I really was looking for something meaty to post about today but there seems to be mostly about the slide of the Republican Party into abject delusion and insanity. Last night, on Brian Williams, I had to look twice at the sight of Rudy Guiliani basically being a hype man for the My Pillow psycho. Guiliani evidently has a youtube channel and last night’s performance of abject fellating of a man that could help him with his legal bills was eye-opening. I thought it resembled that old Dan Ackroyd SNL character.
This is from Newsweek: “Rudy Giuliani Features MyPillow Ads as Mike Lindell Says Donald Trump Will Be President in August’.
“I’m been sleeping on MyPillows for some time. I love them. They’re simply the very best pillows ever made,” Giuliani said in the most recent episode of his YouTube show, Rudy Giuliani’s Common Sense. The 53-minute episode asked whether UFOs are real, in reference to a forthcoming Pentagon report on UFOs.
Giuliani continued the ad by stating that he “just found out” that MyPillow also offers other non-pillow products. When mentioning their slippers, he brandished a pair at the camera.
GEORGES ROUAULT (1871-1958) Clown de profil
BB talked about some of this craziness yesterday. I think he’s doing his usual signalling to the hounds of hell to give him another coup attempt in August. This is Amanda Marcotte’s take:”How do we report on Trump’s dastardly schemes without amplifying his lies and incitement? Trump’s blog failed, so he’s inciting followers through media leaks. Does that make journalists his accomplices?”
It is likely no coincidence that right around that time, stories based on claims by anonymous sources “close to Trump” (which often means Trump himself) started to tick up. It began when New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, a longtime outlet for Trump “leaks”, tweeted that Trump has been telling people close to him that he believes he’ll reinstated as president in August. This tweet echoed a conspiracy theory from the QAnon and Q-adjacent world, and coincided with an uptick in far-right chatter about how the American right should look to Myanmar’s February military coup for inspiration.
This is entirely too similar to the way Trump got the message out to his followers to stage a revolt on Jan. 6, through winking and nudging. So far, the big difference is that no exact date and location, as far as I can tell, has been established for a MAGA uprising.
As much as liberals resist the idea that Trump has any wits at all, what he’s doing is not exactly mysterious. He wants to get this particular message out, vaguely claiming that a glorious revolution will restore him to power later this year, and he’s using the mainstream press to do it. To make things worse, he’s exploiting the liberal desire to point at him and laugh to spread the message further. Every time a liberal shares one of these stories and calls Trump and his followers “delusional” for thinking that some extra-constitutional return to power is possible, they help spread the word — while also reminding Trump supporters how “owned” liberals would be if there really were a “storm” that swept Trump back into the White House in August.
Is it to avoid this too?
Eric Trump complains about the avalanche of Trump subpoenas, confirms multiple investigations pending:
But the nutter parade continues with the ever-shrinking numbers of screeching, hateful, white nationalist evangelical Christians. This is good news. Their numbers are shrinking. This is from NPR: “How Is The GOP Adjusting To A Less Religious America?” My days in that party got limited the minute they come in riding the tails of Ronnie Raygun and Pat Rob’em all Robertson. Talk about another grift operation. No wonder they grabbed onto Mister Two Corinthians.
The Clown by Auguste Renoir, 1868
In fact, the U.S. recently passed a religious milestone: For the first time, a majority of Americans are not church members, Gallup found this spring.
Over the last decade, the share of Republicans who are church members fell from 75% to 65%, according to Gallup. That’s a solid majority but also a sizable fall.
The key bloc of white evangelicals is also shrinking as a share of the population, while the share of religiously unaffiliated Americans grows.
This makes religion one key part of a looming, long-term demographic challenge for Republicans, says Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster.
“Republicans clearly have a stronger hold among the religiously affiliated, especially evangelical Protestants. And consequently, any decline in evangelical Protestant affiliation is not good news for the GOP,” he said.
The upshot, to Ayres, is that a party still deeply entwined with conservative Christianity and, particularly, white evangelicals will eventually have to win over more Christian conservatives — for example, among the growing Hispanic electorate — or make gains among substantially less-religious groups, like young voters.
Already, they’re directly inserting themselves in the Israeli ousting of Bibi. This is from All Israel News. “Will Christians support new Israeli government? Many will. But one prominent Evangelical has declared war on Naftali Bennett, sent scathing letter denouncing him with profanity – ‘I will fight you every step of the way'”. They just can’t seem to stick to clothing and feeding the poor and homeless.
The apparently imminent demise of the Netanyahu government is coming as a shock to the 60 million pro-Israel Evangelical Christians in the United States.
In recent days, I have received many concerned emails and text messages from Evangelical leaders asking me what is happening, why, and what the implications of this political earthquake are likely to be.
By and large, Evangelicals have come to love and respect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving premier in the history of modern Israel.
By contrast, most have never heard of Naftali Bennett, the right-wing former chief of staff to Netanyahu and former defense minister in Netanyahu’s Cabinet, who now appears poised to replace Netanyahu as the nation’s next prime minister.
Most have not heard of Yair Lapid, the centrist former finance minister and incoming foreign minister, either.
But they will soon.
To be clear, it is far too early to be sure that Bennett and Lapid and their colleagues will actually be sworn into office.
They have many opponents, who are working feverishly to derail their nascent new government.
But if they do come to power, one key question is whether Bennett and Lapid can quickly build relationships and trust with American Evangelicals – and Evangelicals worldwide – who are among the most important strategic allies that the State of Israel has.
There’s also one less congregation in Tennessee. This former California TV star–who I never heard of–and his now late wife preached fat people could not get into heaven because of the sin of gluttony. Their schtick was a diet. I think if you see the pictures you’ll see this poor woman had body dysmorphia. These kinds of things really confuse me. Guess where they were going?
REVEALED: Plane carrying Tarzan star Joe Lara and five others 'was en route to MAGA rally' when it crashed https://t.co/0ZuzQqiEkO
Clown tragique Georges Rouault Date: 1911 Style: Expressi
You have to wonder what the discussions these days are between George and brother Jeb Bush on this. From WAPO: “George P. Bush is running for attorney general in Texas — and courting Trump.” Trump was brutal during the first primary and “low energy Jeb” took a lot of hits.
George P. Bush’s campaign video does not mention the Republican political dynasty that preceded him. Not his father, the former governor of Florida. Nor his uncle, the 43rd president of the United States. Nor his grandfather, the 41st.
The video does pay homage to former president Donald Trump.
“Under the leadership of President Trump our country was strong and vibrant again, but because of the failed leadership of liberal ideas, our country is suffering,” said George P. Bush, who this week launched a 2022 bid to become Texas attorney general. The state land commissioner is channeling and courting Trump despite the 45th president’s past attacks on elder members of the Bush family — a sign of Trump’s still-strong hold on a transformed GOP.
Scholars of Texas politics said the Bush name can still be a plus in the state, but also saw Trump’s endorsement as a big prize in the GOP primary for attorney general, where George P. Bush will face incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton is staunchly pro-Trump and last year.
Okay, enough of this! Hopefully, you’ll see me on Monday with something newsy and less sleazy! Have a great weekend! I’m still feral but going to get my eyes checked this afternoon. My post-vaccine life means catching up with doctor appointments, etc. Have you dressed up and gone out into civil society yet?
Oh, wait, one more idiot before I go.
Ok Donald Trump Jr selling birthday greetings for $500 a pop is one of the saddest and most hilariously unexpected outcomes of our prior four years of Hell.
The fat lady hasn’t even started to warm up, she won’t be singing anytime soon.
Since CDC announced the new COVID-19 mask guidance for vaccinated Americans, a flurry of right-wing accounts — seemingly belonging to unvaccinated people — have tweeted saying they “identify as vaccinated” and won’t be wearing a mask.
In one of his final acts, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s multi-pronged efforts to remain in power laid the groundwork for the unprecedented burst of violence terrorizing Israeli streets https://t.co/phWDy07bNk
A day after the Israeli military misled reporters over its offensive, this. We are not the story. A building is nothing beside the people who have died. But this is a shocking assault on the free press. More power to my brave colleagues at @AP and @AJEnglish in Gaza https://t.co/r2Wjbhk2dg
BREAKING: The Israeli military says it has targeted the home of Gaza's top Hamas leader after nearly a week of heavy airstrikes and rocket fire into Israel from the territory ruled by the Islamic militant group https://t.co/hjq3NyosWg
"Mental illness does not give anybody the right to put their hands on my child," Amy Sutherland, Jamal's mother, said as she fought back tears. "That's my child. I love my child. His father and his brothers, they love Jamal." 💔💔💔 https://t.co/SpZfUZRIXN
The death of Jamal Sutherland in a South Carolina jail after officers tried to remove him from his cell using pepper spray and Tasers has raised calls for changes in the treatment in custody of the mentally ill. https://t.co/gUGJ6rDTC4
That link takes you to a gallery of pictures representing celebrity deaths from 2018….including:
The Oscar-nominated actress passed away on Nov. 3. The Any Which Way You Can star was 74 years old.
The magician and actor, best known for his roles in Tomorrow Never Dies, Deadwood and Boogie Nights, died on November 24 from natural causes. He was 72.
The country star was known for hosting Yee Haw died at the age of 85 on November 15. He died of complications from pneumonia while surrounded by family and friends at his Tulsa, Okla. home.
The star, who played Harriet Oleson in the ’70s hit series Little House on the Prarie, died on November 13 at the age of 93. She was living at the Motion Picture Fund Long Term Nursing Care facility in Woodland Hills, California at the time of her death.
The famous Broadway playwright and screenwriter, known for plays such as The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, died at age 91 on August 26 after battling complications from pneumonia
The Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist died on August 22 at age 68 after battling lung cancer.
The iconic songstress died at home in Detroit on August 16 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76 years old.
The ’50s movie idol (born Arthur Andrew Kelm) died July 8, three days shy of his 87th birthday. Known for starring in movies like The Burning Hills and Damn Yankees, Hunter came out of the closet in 2005 in his autobiography, confirming rumors that had been swirling since his heyday. Hunter’s cause of death was not immediately known.
The famous fashion designer died of apparent suicide in June 2018. She was 55 years old.
The Austin Powers star died on April 21 at the age of 49. A statement was posted on the actor’s social media that said, “It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
The Night Court star passed away April 16 at his home in North Carolina, the Asheville Police Department confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 65. No foul play was suspected.
The renowned physicist, scientist and professor passed away at 76. His life story was portrayed in the 2014 film titled The Theory of Everything.
The actor, whose credits included Vacation, MASH and Tin Cup, passed away Wednesday, February 7 from a long illness. He was 76.
The Temptations lead singer passed away in Chicago on February 1 just days before his 75th birthday.
The Emmy-winning actress, known for her work in such the famed 1977 mini-series Roots and Backstairs at the White House, died on Jan. 19 at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She was 75.
The Irish actress, best known for her performance in 1950’s Gun, Crazy, passed away at the age of 92 after suffering a stroke.
The surprise for many was the recent death of Penny Marshall:
As both a performer and a filmmaker, Marshall, who died Monday at the age of 75, stood counter to the prevailing wisdom of what women like her were supposed to be, and do. From her breakthrough as a sitcom star to her subsequent success as a blockbuster filmmaker, Marshall never seemed to get hung up on what other people thought she was supposed to be doing — or if she did, you could never tell. And as both an actress and a director, she was simultaneously big and subtle, aiming at the widest possible audience while smuggling in little grace notes that caught even fans by surprise.
When viewers of a certain age first noticed Marshall on sitcoms in the 1970s — first as Oscar Madison’s secretary on The Odd Couple, and then as Laverne DeFazio on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley — they saw a throwback to character actresses from ’50s television and prewar movies. She was a scene-stealer with big city, white ethnic bluntness, the kind of woman who might’ve dispensed tough but loving advice to Grace Kelly or bashed a mugger over the head with an umbrella.
Give that obit a read through…it details Marshall’s work in Hollywood through the years.
Actress and director Penny Marshall died “peacefully” last night at age 75 at her Hollywood Hills home, E! News has confirmed. Her cause of death was complications from diabetes, and a celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date. “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” a spokesperson for the star’s family told E! News in a statement. Born Oct. 15, 1943, Penny is predeceased by her brother, actor/director GarryMarshall. She is survived by her sister Ronny Marshall; her daughter Tracy Reiner; and her three grandchildren.
A no-nonsense New Yorker, Penny’s Hollywood breakthrough came from starring in the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which ran for eight seasons on ABC from Jan. 27, 1976, until May 10, 1983. But Penny found even more success behind the camera, directing hit films like Big (1988), Awakenings (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars With Boys (2001), among others. With Big, Penny made history as the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100 million—something she did again with A League of Their Own.
“With directing, I didn’t have to wear makeup or get my hair done. But I do not like getting up that early,” she said in a Women and Hollywood interview in 2012. “In TV we did our show in front of an audience, so we got up early only one morning. We did camera blocking in the morning and we shot at night which was a much more humane existence. No one is funny at 7 a.m. It’s faster to act, but a lot of times you are sitting in a Winnebago waiting. Directing is more fun—if you can create stuff, if you can create business for people to do and not just pull lines out of people’s mouths. So if people come prepared then you can add business. I like behavior.”
A multitalented workhorse, Penny also produced a number of movies and TV series. “Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive ‘L’ on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story,” the Marshall family said. “We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”
When actress, director, and general multi-hyphenate trailblazer Penny Marshalldied earlier this week, one of the trending topics that followed the news was her BFF status with Carrie Fisher — fun quotes they said about each other, some cute photos, you name it. We love it! But despite the very public celebration of their friendship on social media, the women enjoyed spending time together away from life’s flashbulbs and recorders, really only regaling us with their life’s anecdotes through memoirs and rare interviews. “We’ve lasted longer than all of our marriages combined. Our crazy lives have meshed perfectly,” Marshall perhaps put it best in her 2012 memoir. “We’ve always said it’s because we never liked the same drugs or men, but I know there’s more to it.” Here, let’s take an abridged look at the early stages of their pairing, which we promise we won’t refer to as “friendship goals.”
Great pictures there at that link…and read the few stories as well. A cheerful look on both women’s lives.
The last surviving fighter from the doomed 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising by Jewish partisans against the Nazis died Saturday in Israel aged 94, the country’s president said.
Simcha Rotem, who went by the nom-de-guerre Kazik, served in the Jewish Fighting Organisation that staged the uprising as the Nazis conducted mass deportations of residents to the death camps.
“This evening, we part from… Simcha Rotem, the last of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters,” Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement.
“He joined the uprising and helped save dozens of fighters”.
Hundreds of Jewish fighters began their fight on April 19, 1943, after the Nazis began deporting the surviving residents of the Jewish ghetto they had set up after invading Poland.
The insurgents preferred to die fighting instead of in a gas chamber at the Treblinka death camp where the Nazis had already sent more than 300,000 Warsaw Jews.
Speaking at a 2013 ceremony in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the uprising, Rotem recalled that by April 1943 most of the ghetto’s Jews had died and the 50,000 who remained expected the same fate.
Rotem said he and his comrades launched the uprising to “choose the kind of death” they wanted.
“But to this very day I keep thinking whether we had the right to make the decision to start the uprising and by the same token to shorten the lives of many people by a week, a day or two,” Rotem said.
Thousands of Jews died in Europe’s first urban anti-Nazi revolt, most of them burned alive, and nearly all the rest were then sent to Treblinka.
Rotem survived by masterminding an escape through the drain system with dozens of comrades. Polish sewer workers guided them to the surface.
He went on to participate in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising led by Polish resistance fighters against the Nazis.
And let us not forget the death of Jakelin Caal… and the deaths of other children and immigrants who seemed to lurk in the background of news story recaps:
Antelope Wells, an isolated point of entry in New Mexico, is where hundreds cross over, seeking refuge from violence
The black shadows of yucca shrubs huddled under a three-quarter moon. A stiff desert wind hushed all but the deafening crunch of footsteps where a chest-high barrier divides the US and Mexico.
Behind María and her son were the thousands of miles they covered overland from Guatemala, with Mexico streaming by the bus window, day and night. On the way, she broke her ankle but pressed on with few stops.
Then came the last leg: the night crossing into the New Mexico Bootheel. The state’s rugged, remote south-western corner was where seven-year-old Guatemalan girl Jakelin Caal crossed with her father one December night and became gravely ill.
Her death earlier this month became the symbol of a dangerous new pattern of human smuggling through New Mexico, where 20 groups of more than 100 migrants each have arrived since October, a massive increase from just eight large groups in all of fiscal 2018, according to US Customs and Border Protection. A record number are asking for asylum in the US.
I was going to end it there…but here are a few news worthy links:
A volcano…Child of Krakatoa has made some noise, this time causing a tsunami that has killed and injured many in Indonesia.
PANDEGLANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday.
The volcano that apparently triggered a deadly tsunami in Indonesia late Saturday emerged from the sea around the legendary Krakatoa 90 years ago and has been on a high-level eruption watchlist for the past decade.
Anak Krakatoa (the “Child of Krakatoa”) has been particularly active since June, occasionally sending massive plumes of ash high into the sky and in October a tour boat was nearly hit by lava bombs from the erupting volcano.
At last, we’re getting somewhere. Two years after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we’re finally beginning to understand the nature and extent of Russian interference in the democratic processes of two western democracies. The headlines are: the interference was much greater than what was belatedly discovered and/or admitted by the social media companies; it was more imaginative, ingenious and effective than we had previously supposed; and it’s still going on.
In a scathing letter to the magazine’s editors, Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, claims the journalism of Claas Relotius, who resigned from the German news magazine last week, was symptomatic of anti-American bias across the mainstream media. “It is clear that we were the victims of a campaign of institutional bias,” Grenell wrote to Der Spiegel, in a letter also seen by the daily newspaper Bild. He said he was aghast at the way “anti-American coverage” had been facilitated by the magazine.
You can read the details at the link, main focus being:
The scandal has sparked fears that the far right will exploit the scandal to sow further distrust of the media. The German far right has a long history of attacking the press.
In recent years, the anti-immigration group Pegida and elements of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) have resurrected the Nazi-era slur of Lügenpresse (“lying press”) to describe mainstream journalism they claim does not represent the world as they see it. These voices have been further emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and his use of the term “fake news.”
“Relotius is in the end only a product of an absurdly leftist writers’ fraternity that is increasingly seldom prepared to leave its own convenient moral comfort zone in favour of the facts,” wrote Alice Weidl, a leader of the AfD, in a Facebook post.
The leading German journalist Hendrik Wieduwilt wrote: “It’s started! The fraud of ‘reporter’ Relotius has now been made into ‘fake news’, or strategically fraudulent lies. The AfD will exploit this for all it is worth. That’s probably the biggest damage of the whole scandal.” The independent media journalist Stefan Niggemeier took to Twitter to express fears the case represented a “deep blow – not just for Der Spiegel, but for German journalism.” In a series of soul-searching written apologies, the magazine acknowledged the wider undermining affect Relotius’s actions will have on those striving to deliver objective, informative and well-sourced reporting.
“We are aware that the Relotius case makes the fight against fake news that much more difficult,” wrote the incoming Spiegel editor-in-chief Steffen Klusmann and deputy editor-in-chief Dirk Kurbjuweit in a joint open letter to readers. “For everyone. For other media outlets that are on our side and for citizens and politicians who are interested in an accurate portrayal of reality.”
One more link because, this is really a heavy post for a Sunday before Christmas…
Hundreds of books about the Middle Ages are published each year. They cover a vast number of topics, sometimes offering new research, sometimes retelling stories for new audiences. What makes one book stand out above the rest?
I’ve made it a habit the last few years of keeping track of as many new books about the Middle Ages as I can – a process that leads me to visit many libraries and book stories. I can’t possibly get familiar with all the works that have come out, so my choices are subjective, but I think the books mentioned below will prove to be important contributions to medieval studies. I look for those that I think will enlighten and expand our understanding of the Middle Ages, that are well written and well researched, and will have lasting significance in their field.
So, what is the book of the year?
The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the Africa, by François-Xavier Fauvelle, is my choice for the medieval book of the year. It’s not a particularly large book at just 264 pages, but it offers readers a great trove of topics related to the medieval history of Africa (with the exception of Egypt and the Mediterranean coast). It consists of 34 separate stories, each about six to eight pages long. They cover events between the eighth and fifteenth centuries, and zig-zag across the African continent, so you will be at first reading about Mauritania, then going to Zimbabwe, and then off to Ethiopia. Fauvelle is highly effective in giving us snapshots of life in these places, all the while acknowledging that his sources are often fragmentary and sparse.
Fauvelle’s aim in this book is to show that Africa was not mired in the ‘dark centuries’ as many historians have assumed, but was going through something more akin to a ‘golden age’ during the Middle Ages. Many of his sections reinforce the idea that merchants were flourishing in medieval Africa, with gold and slaves being sent across the continent into the Arab world, India, and even to China. Perhaps medievalists have been too focused on the connections between medieval Europe and Africa, which are very limited, and haven’t yet researched the much deeper relations between the Islamic and African worlds. Here Fauvelle offers a guide to historians on how they can learn more about Mali, Somalia or the Sahara, and the role they played in the medieval world.
It’s hard to know where to start the day’s news round up because it’s just one big shit show brought to you by KKKremlin Caligula. There was an active school shooter this morning in Sante Fe, Texas where they have been injuries and fatalities reported. While this was going on, the most despised human being on the planet was tweeting about Hillary Clinton and some deep state cover up by the FBI which is tantamount to broadcasting some Alex Jones drug-induced conspiracy theory to the world.
Why isn’t disgraced FBI official Andrew McCabe being investigated for the $700,000 Crooked Hillary Democrats in Virginia, led by Clinton best friend Terry M (under FBI investigation that they killed) gave to McCabe’s wife in her run for office? Then dropped case on Clinton!
Bill Gates, the billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, has claimed Donald Trump twice asked him the difference between HIV and HPV and knew a “scary” amount about Gates’s daughter’s looks.
The remarks were recorded at a recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meeting, where Gates took questions from staff, according to MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes show, which broadcast the footage on Thursday.
Gates told the audience how Trump had encountered his daughter Jennifer, now 22, at a horse show in Florida. “And then about 20 minutes later he flew in on a helicopter to the same place,” the Microsoft co-founder said. “So clearly he had been driven away but he wanted to make a grand entrance in a helicopter.”
Gates himself met Trump for the first time in New York in December 2016, he recalled: “So when I first talked to him it was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter’s appearance. Melinda [Gates’s wife] didn’t like that too well.”
This was the additional creepy thing.
Gates is hardly known for his comic timing but he frequently prompted laughter from the audience at the foundation event. In one anecdote he said: “When I walked in, his first sentence kind of threw me off. He said: ‘Trump hears that you don’t like what Trump is doing.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, but you’re Trump.’ I didn’t know the third-party form was always expected. ‘Gates says that Gates knows that you’re not doing things right.’”
Trump has a now-familiar verbal tic of referring to himself in the third person.
The Trump administration is preparing to announce on Friday a far-reaching change in how Title X family planning funds are awarded so that clinics that provide or abortion services or referrals will no longer be eligible — a move that would effectively defund Planned Parenthood by millions of dollars.
Under the proposal to be filed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the $260 million program would require a “bright line” of physical and financial separation between Title X services and providers that perform, support, or refer to abortion as a method of family planning.
These requirements are similar to those that were in place, although they were not enforced, during the Reagan era. Unlike the Reagan regulation, the proposal will not prohibit counseling for clients about abortion, meaning that there’s no “gag rule” that critics of the changes had feared, according to an administration official.
The changes, the official said, reflect the view that taxpayer funds should not be used to fund abortion and that Title X funds are for family planning services, and abortion is not family planning. The updates are also designed to establish more transparency about the activities of grantees and their sub-grantees.
Conservatives are confident that the new rules will withstand a legal challenge, because similar Reagan-era requirements overcame a Supreme Court challenge.
David Christensen, vice president of government affairs for the Family Research Council, said in an interview that those standards required operations receiving Title X funds to be physically and financially separate from those performing abortions.
“Under Reagan, they could not be co-located, they couldn’t refer for abortion,” Christensen said.
Why do all bad and evil things find their roots in the Reagan years? Asking for womankind here. So, now Faux news has decided that Trump just might be the “second coming” of Reagan. And while I’m asking questions does any one find all this messianic language creepy? I swear,the Republican party is a damned cult these days.
Bret Baier, chief political anchor of Fox News, President Trump’s favorite network, insists he isn’t living in some alternate reality. He knows that our current President is louder, cruder, and ruder than Ronald Reagan, “a counterpuncher” from New York far different from his genial Republican predecessor. Baier is not handing Trump the Nobel Prize for a North Korea summit that hasn’t even happened yet, and he footnotes every conversation with a caution that we don’t know how the Trump story turns out. “I’m not saying that Trump is Reagan, or Reagan is Trump,” he said when we met the other day, in his corner office at the Fox bureau in Washington, not long after handing me a signed copy of the new book he wrote with Catherine Whitney, “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Union.”
Cautions dispensed with, Baier, who has carved out a profitable sideline moonlighting as a Presidential historian, reeled off what he sees as striking parallels between Trump and Reagan, and his book makes much of everything from their “similar rhetoric in big speeches” to tough media coverage and a shared penchant for being “underestimated.” Decades after many of the details about precisely what happened in Reagan’s eight-year Presidency, in the twilight of the Cold War, have faded from public memory, he remains an exalted figure in the Republican pantheon. Most significantly, Baier argues, Reagan met with the Soviets, but only after years of talking tough about the “evil empire.” A generation later, Trump may be poised for his own expectation-scrambling summitry with the North Korean leader, an example Baier and some Trump partisans portray as a modern-day equivalent of Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength.” “Heads were exploding back when Reagan was elected, and heads are exploding now,” Baier said, as we talked about the twin challenges of covering Trump, a President “unlike any we’ve ever seen,” and writing history amid the “fire hose” of Trump-era news.
Right before our conversation, Baier had appeared on the radio with Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-show host who reveres Reagan so much he refers to him as Ronaldus Magnus. Limbaugh waxed on to Baier about “the parallels” between two different men, and Baier agreed. “Exactly,” he said. “One thing you can say is, like Reagan, Trump has changed the paradigm. I mean, the jury’s still out on the end result, but the game changed in the way Washington worked.” Baier, who devotes the entire last chapter of his Reagan book to a discussion of Trump, would go on to sell the Reagan-Trump comparison throughout the week, as his book launch continued, chatting amiably about it with the ladies of “The View,” nodding along with his colleagues at “Fox & Friends.” “Bret Baier talks Reagan-Trump parallels,” Fox touted in the video clip from its show, “The Five.”
Soon after our interview on Monday evening, Baier would head over to the Marriott Marquis hotel for his book party. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao showed up, as did White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. It was so crowded with Trump luminaries, it could have been a Cabinet meeting.
Once, a fellow journalist exited our shared taxi outside my apartment. I thought we were sharing a cab to our respective homes, but he had other expectations, and suddenly his tongue was in my face. On another evening, another journalist grabbed my wrist and dragged me out of a nightclub without a word. I was clearly too drunk to consent; it was a caveman approach to get me into bed while I was intoxicated. And on yet another occasion, in a Beijing restaurant, a Western public relations executive reached under my dress and grabbed my crotch.
The incidents aren’t limited by proximity. I have received multiple unsolicited “dick pics” from foreign correspondents — generally on the highly monitored messaging service WeChat. Somewhere deep in the Chinese surveillance apparatus there is a startling collection of images of journalists’ genitalia.
The #MeToo campaign has reminded us of how common these stories are — but the behavior of foreign men working abroad has, in my experience, been far worse than anything I ever experienced at home. Fortunately for me, I’ve experienced this only as part of the wider journalist community, not in my own workplaces – but others haven’t been so lucky. The phenomenon is not a problem unique to the press, but it’s one that’s especially problematic for journalists.
A somber meeting this Tuesday of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, which represents the interests of foreign journalists in a difficult local environment, provided another painful example of this. As the New York Times reported, former club president Jonathan Kaiman, who had resigned in January after being accused of sexual misconduct by Laura Tucker, a former friend of his, was now accused of sexually assaulting a female journalist, Felicia Sonmez. After the second accusation, the Los Angeles Times quickly suspended him from his role as Beijing bureau chief and has begun an investigation. But as the Hong Kong Free Press noted, the original accusation had prompted many male correspondents to launch misogynistic attacks on Tucker in online conversations.
Such actions, and entitlement, reflect a sense of privilege and a penchant for sexual aggression that threatens to distort the stories told about Asia, and that too often leaves the telling in the hands of the same men preying on their colleagues. I have seen correspondents I know to be serial offenders in private take the lead role in reporting on the sufferings of Asian women, or boast of their bravery in covering human rights. In too many stories, Asian men are treated as the sole meaningful actors, while Asian women are reduced to sex objects or victims. And this bad behavior — and the bad coverage that follows — is a pattern that repeats across Asia, from Tokyo to Phnom Penh.
The Trump administration says that if the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea fails or doesn’t happen at all, the United States and its allies can go right back to the “maximum pressure” campaign that brought Kim Jong Un to the table in the first place. In reality, doing that would be difficult if not impossible. The pressure is already diminishing.
The administration’s claim that it can immediately turn on the pressure again is crucial to its effort to play it cool ahead of the Trump-Kim summit. President Trump often says that if Kim doesn’t want to strike a good deal, he will simply walk away, no harm done. After the North Korean government threatened to scuttle the talks this week in response to comments from national security adviser John Bolton, the White House doubled down on this assertion.
In reality, the dynamics that made a successful maximum-pressure campaign possible have changed fundamentally. The United States and its allies have paused their efforts to increase sanctions on North Korea to give diplomacy a chance to work. The sting of the existing sanctions naturally erodes over time. There are reports that China is already easing up on its sanctions enforcement, allowing more laborers and goods to flow over North Korea’s northern border. The mood in South Korea has changed significantly, making the threat of military action less credible.
Meanwhile, the United Nation is actively slapping US foreign policy on Israel to the ground. I’m actually thinking Trump will pull the US from the body at this point it’s so obviously aimed at him. The UN has voted to investigate War Crimes in the Gaza Massacre that happened during the Kushner debacle opening an US embassy in Jerusalem. which, once again, panders to religious cultists. This is from The Independent.
The UN has voted to send an international war crimes probe to Gaza after the body’s leading human rights official slammed Israel‘s reaction to protests along the border as “wholly disproportionate.”
Israeli firing into Hamas-ruled Gaza killed nearly 60 Palestinians at mass border protests on Monday.
“There is little evidence of any attempt to minimise casualties on Monday,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The council voted through the resolution by 29 in favour and two opposed, while 14 states abstained.
The United Nations Security Council will begin talks on Monday on a Kuwait-drafted resolution that condemns Israeli force against Palestinian civilians and calls for an “international protection mission” to be deployed to the occupied territories.
The draft resolution, seen by Reuters on Friday, asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report within 30 days of its adoption on “ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population.”
At least eight people are dead following a shooting at Santa Fe High School outside of Houston, Texas, law enforcement officials have told multiplelocal news sources.
One person, reportedly a male who federal officials believe to be a student, is in custody, and another person has been detained, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted. At least three people — two adults and one student — are being treated for injuries at a local hospital. One police officer was wounded. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the officer was “clipped” and is not seriously injured.
November 18 is coming and we all need to vote to end this war on humanity, science, world peace, and civilization.
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It’s Monday and we continue to see the enabling of the worst of America. Today, two Democracies with Presidents under criminal investigation are using religious fanaticism to destroy peace and life. Israel is an apartheid state. It uses its military to gun down protesters. We continually enable them to commit mass genocide on the indigenous peoples of what used to be Palestine. I’m ashamed that my country has this administration which takes deliberately provocative foreign policy actions and endangers world peace.
Israeli soldiers on Monday killed 41 Palestinians demonstrating along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and wounded more than 1,600 in the bloodiest day in the enclave since the 2014 war with Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the edges of Gaza as the U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem, fanning out along the fence in what appeared to be some of the largest demonstrations yet.
At a gathering point east of Gaza City, organizers urged demonstrators to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.
At the barrier, young men threw stones and tried to launch kites carrying flames in hopes of burning crops on the other side. Most of the demonstrators, though, were peaceful, protesting the loss of their homes and villages and the embassy move.
Occasional sporadic gunfire could be heard over the noise of the crowd, and a constant stream of ambulances roared back and forth from the fence, ferrying away the wounded.
Israelis see the ancient city as their capital — sentiments Trump echoed in December with his decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy there — while Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The international community, however, has traditionally viewed Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.
At least 43 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces & almost 1,960 others were wounded after thousands of protesters converged on the fence between Gaza & Israel as the US Embassy opened in Jerusalem. Earlier, we spoke with city residents about the move https://t.co/ANVxxPEMarpic.twitter.com/e2RnGxpcsE
As Mother Jones reported, during a 2010 lecture, Jeffress claimed, “God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism–not only do they lead people away from from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell.”
Jeffress once said that “the dark dirty secret of Islam” is that “it is a religion that promotes pedophilia,” and that Islam is “a heresy from the pit of hell.”
Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate, called on Monday to remove Jeffress from his participation in the embassy opening ceremony. Romney, one of the most prominent Mormon politicians in the United States, said Jeffress was a “religious fanatic” and accused him of incitement against religious minorities. “Such a person should not lead the service at the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem,” added Romney, who is currently running for an open Senate seat from Utah despite his clear identification with the Republican Party. He is considered one of President Trump’s critics in the party.
Monday’s ceremony marking the relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will break with tradition in more ways than one.
Besides the political concerns over the move itself, a pair of Christian evangelical leaders will be on hand whose words have caused their own share of controversy.
Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, will deliver the benediction at the ceremony, a spokesman for his organization confirmed to CNN. A major proponent of the embassy move, Hagee said in a recent interview with conservative news site Breitbart that he told President Donald Trump he would win “political immortality” for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv.
“I told him that the moment that you do that, I believe that you will step into political immortality,” the news site quoted Hagee as saying. “Because you are having the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage to do.
So, let’s look again at which big Republican donor has been after this forever and what exactly he just did with Paul Ryan. It’s true.Religious Fanatics come in all flavors but they are especially dangerous when they have the capability to do this.
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has cut a $30 million check to the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, a massive cash infusion that top Republicans hope will alter the party’s electoral outlook six months before Election Day.
The long-sought donation was sealed last week when, according to two senior Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the billionaire at his Venetian Hotel. Also at the meeting with Adelson was his wife, Miriam; Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition; Corry Bliss, who oversees the super PAC; and Jake Kastan, Ryan’s No. 2 political aide. They laid out a case to Adelson about how crucial it is to protect the House.
As a federally elected official, Ryan is not permitted to solicit seven-figure political donations. When Ryan (R-Wis.) left the room, Coleman made the ask and secured the $30 million contribution.
CLF did not respond to requests for comment. The contribution will become public later this month in the organization’s campaign finance filing.
Coleman said he would not discuss his dealings with Adelson.
Adelson’s donation comes at a perilous moment for House Republicans, who are facing growing headwinds as they try to save their majority. With dozens of incumbents being outraised by emboldened Democratic challengers, desperate party officials have been hoping that Adelson — the party’s most prominent benefactor — would give more than he traditionally does, and earlier in the election cycle.
Iran denounced President Donald Trump as “feeble-minded” over Monday’s controversial move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and called for resistance from the Palestinians and the international community.
“America has entered a crisis of strategic decision-making that looks at the international arena immaturely and adventurously,” said parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a key establishment figure, at a conference on the Palestinian situation in Tehran.
“I believe the current US president is not capable of identifying and judging the long-term consequences of his actions,” he added.
The United States was due to open its new embassy in Jerusalem later on Monday amid widespread praise from Israelis and Palestinian anger
“Spur-of-the-moment and uncalculated actions cannot continue in today’s world. Feeblemindness is costly for statesmen and they will eventually have to pay the price,” Larijani said.
A guy who has a lower security clearance than the White House calligrapher, just opened the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Jewish Voice for Peace opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.
It’s just really difficult to fully understand the impact this will have on people here and around the world. I guess if you’re rich and powerful and open to taking bribes or doing anything, you really don’t have to care. The Buddha once told stories to get people to understand the results of their actions. It was later picked up on by the Jesus that most of these yehaws profess to understand. It’s meaningful at all levels of life. Be care of of what you sow because you will reap it. Karma baby!
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.