For your consideration today:
— POLITICO (@politico) February 21, 2018
On the gun control fight….
But as students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida last week continue to speak out publicly against the NRA’s “blood money,” the gun-rights group has announced that it will send spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in Wednesday’s CNN town hall conversation with Parkland shooting survivors.
The move comes as the NRA appears to be attempting to dial down attention to the speech that longtime leader Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to give at CPAC later this week. Instead it is putting Loesch in the spotlight.
Just one week after surviving a massacre that killed 17 people, grieving students confronted Florida lawmakers Wednesday to demand a ban on assault weapons.
As they took up their fight in Tallahassee, students from Palm Beach to Washington walked out in solidarity — disgusted by yet another school massacre with no change in gun laws.
Here are the latest developments:
Go to the link to read the latest…
Here is something of interest, it is the National Rifle Association – Member Discount List this links to the state of Georgia…however, if you go to the page you can search for your own state’s discount list. Funny…one of the lawyers I used to work for is on the Georgia list. He used to tell me all the time, he was a “Christian” first. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.
You may remember this cartoon from last week…
This is an open thread.
What a sunny way to start a Sunday post….a sun on skis. So, the images of today’s thread are from artist Celestino Piatti. You can see a bunch of his work here and read more about the artist here, Celestino Piatti – Swiss Graphic Design Foundation.
Why don’t we start of with a few tweets:
This tweet from @eaglewoman4 seems like a brilliant idea…if it could work:
Read some of the comments. Some claim that there could be precedent for this exact protection, as some tribes afforded protection to citizens during WW2 who faced being placed in internment camps. (I looked online and could not find any information on this…but it was not a very thorough search.) Still, it does seem like an idea to flesh out.
Meanwhile, it appears John Lewis isn’t the only one boycotting the SOTU:
I don’t think we will get anything together unless we go back to using paper ballots:
Over here tRump has been overly suggesting prison for his former opponent Hillary Clinton, in Russia…tRump’s puppet master has done just that:
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday during anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow as rallies continue nationwide.“I’ve been detained. This doesn’t matter. Come to Tverskaya (Street). You are not going there for me, it’s for you and your future,” Navalny tweeted after his arrest.Within minutes of arriving at Pushkinskaya Square, where hundreds of protesters had gathered, Navalny was wrestled into a patrol van by police, in dramatic footage posted on Youtube.Moscow Police said Navalny was taken to a police station for arraignment and to be charged for illegally organizing a protest. If found guilty, he faces 30 days in detention and a fine.
Tweets from Navalny:
Translation: The detention of one person loses any sense if there are many of us. Someone come and replace me
This weekend marks another Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,
There is a key word here…which I think you may miss without knowing it.
It begins with the letter M.
I will leave with this latest breaking news:
Five people were killed and another was wounded Sunday in a shooting rampage in a small town 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Police said four people died at the scene and one died after being rushed to a hospital. The shootings took place at a car wash in Melcroft at about 3 a.m. ET. The facts were still being sorted out, but it was possible the shooter was among the victims, police said.
“There is no threat to the community, no imminent danger,” police said in a statement to USA TODAY. The identity of the victims, three men and two women, were not immediately available, police said.
11:10 a.m. – A source at the scene told a KDKA reporter that the suspected shooter used a semi-automatic rifle. Police have not confirmed the weapon that was used.
This is an open thread.
This tweet by Jim Cantore sums things up into one single word…yeah, that is your latest update on Hurricane Irma.
This post is a quick round-up of links and tweets on the storms. (Don’t forget about Jose.)
One of those cranes just collapsed on a building:
And if all this wasn’t bad enough:
A little humor to lighten the mood:
Houston sunk 2cm, thank you Harvey:
Update in the Mexico earthquake:
Guess y’all heard about the “stupids” in Florida and their plans to shoot at Irma? Even the sheriff had to make a statement.
LOLGOP had the perfect response:
I will end it there. This is an open thread.
Boston Boomer is under the weather today, so I’m bringing you the round up for the day.
First up I have to start this thread with a little tongue in cheek;
Okay, now let’s get serious.
Why do I get the feeling the passengers that were “randomly” chosen for United to “reaccommodate” perhaps had a little more than a random pick behind it?
People are rallying around the passenger who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday, in response to what many see as attempts to vilify a victim.
On Tuesday, the Louisville Courier-Journal published an article reporting that the passenger, David Dao, “has a troubled history in Kentucky.” The article cites past drug-related felonies in the early 2000s, noting that the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowed Dao to resume practicing medicine in 2015.
Soon after the article published, many people took to social media to criticize the Courier-Journal for seemingly attempting to justify an incident in which Dao was dragged from United Express Flight 3411 by law enforcement officers. Dao suffered injuries to his face, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
None of this man’s past has anything to do with the atrocious treatment he received…but I would not put it past the company to have orchestrated the chosen 4 for just this possible situation. I bet that is part of the protocol. Pick people that can be exploited negatively in the press if you need to…
More tweets of anger at CJ and support of David Dao at that link.
Onward to the shooting and murder of two people at a California primary school.
I mentioned in a comment last week that my dad is part of this survival group, and that there was a rumor going on about the strike force heading to the Korean Peninsula…well, last night he told me the new rumor is that China is dealing with a huge number of refugees from North Korea flooding into the country because of the fear that tRump is going to blow Kim Jong Un off the planet.
I don’t know, the shit is hitting the fan.
I had to do it…
But here are some news links about all that shit.
As for the Syria and Putin and Assad shit. (The word shit has become my go to expression for everything lately, you can take a look at some of these updates.
It is all so disturbing.
Thursday evening, Trump attacked Syria, a sovereign country, with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This act of war was done without Congressional authorization, even after Trump’s August, 2013, tweet that “Obama needs Congressional approval” before attacking Syria in nearly-identical circumstances.
The following morning, headlines like this one appeared in the business press: Raytheon, maker of Tomahawk missiles, leads premarket rally in defense stocks:
Defense and energy stocks dominated the list of premarket gainers on the S&P 500 Friday, led by Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp., after U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base overnight.
Donald Trump apparently owns Raytheon stock. In May, 2016, Trump reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he owned Raytheon stock. Interestingly, this FEC report does not appear to include the extensive web of offshore anonymous shell corporations Trump uses to mask assets.
Since that filing Trump’s assets have not been sold with the proceeds placed into a “blind trust,” and there is no public record of his having otherwise sold the stock. Not only that, but Trump is able to draw cash from his “trust” at any time. He could literally have pocketed cash from his gains from attacking Syria.
Read the rest at the link.
But tRump is not only profiting on the attack in Syria. He is making money on his time off, away from, the White House:
Again, I can’t believe that nothing has been done to move forward with impeachment.
The Sessions’ Justice Department had tried to stop the ruling.
Margaret Atwood—author of The Handmaid’s Tale and dozens of other novels, short-story collections, children’s books, works of poetry and criticism, and the new comic-book series Angel Catbird—is the subject of a lengthy and insightful profile in The New Yorker. She speaks briefly on Donald Trump’s presidency, telling New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, “If the election of Donald Trump were fiction… it would be too implausible to satisfy readers.” It’s an insightful viewpoint from the writer of speculative fiction (her preferred term over “science fiction”), who’s penned arguably the most influential speculation through the lens of patriarchy. Atwood goes on to say:
Fiction has to be something that people would actually believe. If you had published it last June, everybody would have said, “That is never going to happen.”
This study looks like an interesting read….
Why did the Arab spring fail? Despite a number of revolutions in the Arab world, in the end only Tunisia emerged as a functioning democracy. Results from an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Gothenburg indicate that the problem might be traced partially to the lack of women’s civil rights in the region.
A new study published in the European Journal of Political Research discusses the importance of women’s rights for countries to become democratic. The researchers used a dataset developed by V-Dem, a research institution cohosted by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Notre Dame (USA). The dataset includes the state of democracy in 177 countries over the years 1900 to 2012.
The study demonstrates that countries do not become fully democratic without political and social rights for women. This is particularly true for the Arab Spring countries, where the failure to foster women’s rights compromised any attempt at democratic governance in the area.
According to Professor Staffan Lindberg, director of the V-Dem Institute, the result is important because it shows that democratic development is not gender blind: societies transitioning from authoritarian regimes strongly need women in order to develop functioning democratic governments.
This next link is for Dak, another grave for you.
The desert bloom from space….is something to see.
And I will end it on that note.
This is an open thread. I hope BB starts to feel better, and that y’all have a good afternoon.
Another day, another killing spree.
We’re living in the United States of Mass Murder. Where have all the anger and violence come from? How has the second amendment turned from the ability of states to raise and arm a militia to a means of arming insurgents and malcontents? It’s been suggested we need a huge wall around this country. I would like to suggest that we need a huge mirror so that we can examine ourselves and figure out how we came to this. There can be no peace or no justice through violence. It makes no difference if it’s violence against the state or against the people. As one great president said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
The violence in Dallas last night is the American Nightmare. Anger took aim at a police force that is actually well known for supporting Black Lives Matter and took its role of protecting protesters seriously. The voices of angry men in this country, however, generally wind up in some expression of gun violence. Skipping straight from the first amendment to some warped idea of the second is not how any of this is supposed to work.
Four Dallas police officers and a DART officer were shot and killed in a coordinated sniper attack that followed a Thursday night protest.
Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded after the peaceful demonstration against recent shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The shooter, who may have had accomplices, suggested the attack was racially motivated by revenge.
Perched in a parking garage at El Centro College, the man exchanged gunfire with officers early Friday morning before being killed by a robot-planted bomb.
The man was identified by our colleagues at KXAS-TV (NBC5) as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite. A law enforcement official told CNN that Johnson had no criminal record or known ties to terrorism.
On Friday morning, Mesquite officers and crime scene investigators from Dallas were at Johnson’s home on Helen Lane.
Other people of interest were detained for questioning. At a news conference at 7:30 a.m., city officials declined to discuss details about the suspects in custody.
“Now is not the right time,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said.
A commander in the Dallas Police Department, however, described the shooting as a “conspiracy.” He said several people were involved in the planning, logistics and execution of the coordinated attack. He declined to elaborate and requested anonymity.
Police Chief David Brown urged Dallas to get behind its police department in the days to come.
“We don’t feel much support most days,” he said. “Let’s not make today most days.”
The shooting was the deadliest day for law officers since Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers died, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said snipers with rifles shot 12 officers and two bystanders from elevated positions about 9 p.m.
At 1:42 a.m. Friday, the Dallas Police Association tweeted that a fifth officer had died.
“We’re hurting, our profession is hurting,” Brown told reporters at the news conference. “There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
The shooter that was cornered and later killed by a suicide bomber robot has been identified. Every time killings happen the most difficult thing to do is to search out the face of the killer. It’s part of our need to know why this happened. The problem is that the whys tell us less than than the hows. The hows tell us that this happens frequently here and that none of us are safe from people seeking to do bad who have access to weapons that can really do bad.
Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, has been identified as one of the suspected gunmen in an ambush Thursday that left five Dallas law enforcement officers dead and seven more officers injured, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Johnson, who died in the incident, served as an Army reservist until April 2015, defense officials said. He was trained and served in the Army Reserve as a carpentry and masonry specialist, they said.
Police said he told hostage negotiators that he was angry about recent fatal shootings of black men by police elsewhere in the United States and that he wanted to kill white people, especially police officers.
The gunman “expressed anger for Black Lives Matter” and told a hostage negotiator he “wanted to kill [police] officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said today.
Police spent hours negotiating with Johnson before he was killed by an explosive strapped to a police robot.
“We’re hurting,” Brown said. “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city.”
Three other suspects — two men and one woman — have been detained by police, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. Officials said earlier that at least two gunmen were involved.
“I can tell you they’re being pretty tight-lipped at this point,” Rawlings said of the trio.
There is a lot to be learned from the way the two major party presidential candidates framed their take on the event. First, Hillary Clinton who focuses on the lives lost.
Hillary Clinton’s planned rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Friday has been postponed following the shootings in Dallas on Thursday night, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced.
“I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them,” Clinton tweeted after the postponement was announced.
Trump referred to this as an “attack on our country” which is hard to figure out given the shooter basically is a citizen and Army reservist who did tours in Afghanistan. That probably is the least useful or correct characterization I’ve seen to date.
“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said.
The statement went on to send support and prayers to the “brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every day.”
As usual,the message is to let the surviving family members eat imaginary support and very worthless prayers. None of his words were helpful or healing.
President Obama took to a microphone yet another time to mourn large numbers of American dead who were killed working and living on the streets of their own city. He also spoke directly of the Black Lives Matter movement and its utter frustration with the many instances where police kill unarmed black men unprovoked.
President Obama said Thursday he shares the “anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling” about this week’s police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
“All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times.”
Obama’s first reaction to the shootings was published on the social media site while he was flying on Air Force One to a NATO summit in Poland.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was pinned down by two white police officers and shot dead on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, La. Castile, 32 and also black, was fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop on Wednesday.
Parts of both incidents were caught on video, but Obama did not say if has viewed the footage.
He declined to comment on the specifics of both cases, but he praised the Justice Department’s decision to investigate the Louisiana shooting. It is also weighing a probe of the Minnesota incident.
The twin shootings stirred nationwide anger about police violence against black men.
Obama has been forced to confront a string of deaths in cities such as Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and New York City. And his White House has often struggled to mend frayed ties between police departments and the communities they serve.
“Regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents,” Obama wrote. He said they are a result of distrust based on racial disparities between police and urban communities.
The president urged law enforcement agencies to adopt the recommendations of a White House task force designed to close that divide.
Not all Americans are interested in healing the divide. Right wing meat puppet and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh rose to the nation’s crisis by threatening our president. This came in the form of a tweet that hastily went away but was captured by the many who monitor extremists.
Forrmer Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh declared “This is now war” and called for President Barack Obama to “watch out” in a Twitter post reacting to the Dallas shooting that killed five police officers and injured seven.
“This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you,” he wrote in the tweet, which has since been deleted.
I’d like to close this post with some words of Charles Blow who characterizes this situation as “An arms race of atrocities”.
While sitting in on CNN’s coverage of Thursday night’s events, journalist Charles Blow said all protesters want is to make sure everyone — civilian or police — goes home to their families at the end of their day.
“The protests themselves are ultimately about life,” Blow said. “The ability to live out your life and not have life unreasonably taken. Your response to this has to be about life.”
He then pointed out that it’s time to stop making it an “arms race of atrocities.”
“A lot of what I’ve seen over the last few hours have been people rushing to try to figure out ways to see if something adds to an argument or doesn’t add to an argument,” he said. “I don’t understand when you stop being human, enough to slow down and say, yes the two people who were killed, who the protests were about, had families and they are hurt, and they are angry. These people have families too.”
People need to admit that “everybody deserves to go home.”
Here’s hoping that we can get some sensible gun control at some point. It’s incredible to me that we can go through these frequent mass shootings and not actually see any kind of policy attempt to get to the root of the problems.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
What’s going on?
Ah, good afternoon!
It has been a while since we took a look at the offerings of political cartoonist, so I thought today would be a good day for that…and in all honesty, there is another reason, things have been moving quickly with my parent’s closing (it is now pushed to the 6th) so there is plenty to do. (But it is a good plenty…)
First I will start with this video from UNICEF, posted on Huffington Post Facebook page,
Some of you may have seen this…if you haven’t please take the few minutes to watch it in full.
If you cannot see the embedded video, here is a link to the page: The Huffington Post
Those fuckers made that little girl cry.
Many of the cartoons today mention the ruling regarding SCOTUS smackdown of Texas Anti-abortion law HB-2. In relation to this, Vox has an article: It could take years for Texas abortion clinics to reopen, even after a Supreme Court victory – Vox
Pro-choice advocates won a huge victory on Monday when the Supreme Court struck down two major anti-abortion laws in Texas inWhole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Those laws, part of an omnibus anti-abortion bill called HB 2, were responsible for closing about half of all abortion clinics in Texas.
Before HB 2 passed in 2013, Texas had 41 open clinics. Today there are 19. If the Court had ruled to uphold the restrictions, that number would have shrunk to nine. So it’s no surprise that lead plaintiff Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and founder of Whole Woman’s Health, said she was “beyond elated” by the ruling.
But, Hagstrom Miller said in a recent interview with Vox, a victory at the Supreme Court is really just the beginning for abortion providers in Texas. Not only are other restrictions, like a 20-week abortion ban and limits on medication abortion, still in place in Texas but HB 2 has also done lasting damage to abortion access that could take years to repair, if it can be repaired at all.
It turns out, according to the Vox report…
The closed clinics can’t just reopen overnight, and some might never reopen
Well, I realized that they would not reopen with a snap of the fingers, but that some may never reopen, that just is salt in wounds.
Then there was this, from the NY Times: Abortion Ruling Could Create Waves of Legal Challenges – The New York Times
From Texas to Alabama to Wisconsin, more than a dozen Republican-run states in recent years have passed laws requiring that abortion clinics have hospital-grade facilities or use doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Now, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling — that those provisions in a Texas law do not protect women’s health and place an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion — will quickly reverberate across the country.
It will prevent the threatened shutdown of clinics in some states, especially in the Deep South, that have been operating in a legal limbo, with Texas-style laws on temporary hold. But legal experts said the effect over time was likely to be wider, potentially giving momentum to dozens of legal challenges, including to laws that restrict abortions with medication or ban certain surgical methods.
“The ruling deals a crushing blow to this most recent wave of state efforts to shut off access to abortion through hyper-regulation,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
Adopting stringent regulations on abortion clinics and doctors that are said to be about protecting women’s health has been one of the anti-abortion movement’s most successful efforts, imposing large expenses on some clinics, forcing others to close and making it harder for women in some regions to obtain abortions. Republicans like Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who deplored Monday’s ruling, argued that they were requiring clinics to “be held to the same standards as other medical facilities.”
Now, the court has ruled that any such requirements must be based on convincing medical evidence that the rules are solving a real health issue to be weighed by a court, not by ideologically driven legislators — and that the benefits must outweigh the burdens imposed on women’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Take a look at that article, because it highlights a few states that currently have abortion laws going into effect on July 1st…which could now be seen in a different light since the Monday ruling.
One more link before the cartoons…I just think this is funny: Why Do Monkeys Become More Selective With Friends As They Age, Just Like Humans? : SCIENCE : Tech Times
Scientists from the German Primate Center wanted to know how age affected the behavior of more than 100 Barbary macaques kept in an enclosure in a park in France.
They investigated how the monkeys – whose ages ranged from 4 to 29 years (equivalent to 105 human years) – reacted to physical objects such as novel toys and tubes with food, social interactions such as fighting and grooming “friends” and new social information, such as calls and photos of “friends” and “strangers.”
Researchers discovered that the interest of Barbary macaques in toys wane when they become adults. At around 20 or the retirement age of monkeys, these animals approached fewer monkeys and had less social contact.
What surprised scientists is that this obvious withdrawal was not prompted by a social affinity to avoid old monkeys. Younger ones still groomed and approached their elders.
It also wasn’t because older monkeys were not interested in anything at all. Scientists found that older monkeys still hissed to others during fights and still responded to photos of others.
These older monkeys are still attuned to what is going on around them, but they do not want to participate, says Julia Fischer, one of the researchers of the study.
They hissed? Could this be a monkey’s way of saying, get off my lawn?
The dominant psychological theory that could explain why this behavior happens in humans is that they want to maximize the time they have left with death on the horizon.
Fischer says although monkeys have excellent memories, there is no evidence that they are self-aware about their impending deaths. So if both monkeys and humans act this way as they age, the theory may be rationalizing a natural behavior with biological roots, she says.
Alexandra Freund, Fischer’s co-researcher, says the findings of the study clearly tell us that we are not distinctive in how we grow into old age.
“There might be an evolutionary ‘deep’ root in this pattern,” says Freund.
There is a bit more at the link, along with some other sources and connections to the published study.
And now the funnies…
Starting with Luckovich…06/17 Mike Luckovich: Losing letters. | Mike Luckovich
From Cagle Cartoons, click to see the toon:
This is a good one: Brexit
Brexit ….a different one, but the same name.
Brexit …another one with the same name, but different, and damn good.
And the rest from the AAEC:
The above cartoon is from a right wing cartoonist btw….so that is not a sarcastic cartoon. It is in fact a glorification. To see more from this cartoonist…cough, cough: AAEC — Political Cartoons by A.F.Branco Because I will not put up a sample of his other shit. (Now, I bet that gives ya the creeps. As it gave me…at least check this one out: Eye To Eye: 06/26/2016 Cartoon by A.F.Branco)
That is an older cartoon, but I thought it was a good one and should be included.
This is an open thread…