Sorry for today’s lack of effort.
Things are not well around here.
Let’s just call it an open thread and leave it at that.
Please put links to things below.
I’ve decided to no longer capitalize trump’s name.
I even had to change the auto-correct on my phone…to stop it from switching “trump” to “Trump”. Actually, yesterday I saw a hashtag that made me laugh. #tRump. Nuff said.
But if you think about it, my little protest is not singular in nature…
Before Trump, our national pastimes centered mainly around baseball and Instagram stalking our exes. But as the over-exposed meat bag trundles toward office, it’s time to rededicate our efforts to one oft-overlooked aspect of the resistance: Finding subtle ways to mock and needle him until he implodes with a wet pop, leaving nothing but a pair of gaudy cufflinks and a neglected Twitter account.
Trump’s skin is so thin it makes a baby’s eyelids seem like the callused palms of a cattle rancher. Probing him is satisfying because it provokes a response, which is why we have to spend the next four years doing it all the time. On Saturday, it was discovered that typing “Trump Tower” into Google Maps led you to…
DUMP TOWER! Immature? Sure! Ultimately pointless? Maybe not! Think of Trump’s ego like a giant balloon, full to the point of bursting. We, the American people, are each armed with our own tiny pins, with which we can and must prod that gas-filled balloon at every available opportunity.
Just a few more trump links, in dump fashion.
The president-elect held court on Thursday at his Palm Beach, Fla., Mar-a-Lago club at a large table with family members including wife Melania and sons Eric and Barron.
One witness told us Trump took a prime table next to the fireplace in the club’s living room, but spent a lot of time greeting members and asking who they think should be his top diplomat.
The spy said, “Donald was walking around asking everybody he could about who should be his secretary of state. There was a lot of criticism about Romney, and a lot of people like Rudy. There are also many people advocating for [former US ambassador to the UN] John Bolton.”
On Friday it was reported that Trump wants Romney to publicly apologize for criticizing him during the campaign in order to be considered for secretary of state.
Guests joining Trump for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago included Christopher Nixon Cox, the grandson of Richard Nixon, who we are told is being lined up to be Trump’s ambassador to China. Also there was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Newsmax Media Christopher Ruddy, boxing promoter Don King, interior designer William Eubanks and political consultant Mary Ourisman. Attracting almost as much attention as the president-elect was chiseled romance-novel hunk Fabio, who was seated at a table near Trump, and “was asked for pictures nearly as often as Trump himself.”
Meanwhile, security was intense. The witness told us that Ocean Boulevard outside Mar-a-Lago was sealed off, and all vehicles were diverted to a nearby parking lot to be fully searched and checked by sniffer dogs. Entering the club, all members had to pass through airport-style metal detectors and have their bags searched. Once inside, “Secret Service agents were swarming everywhere. But Trump seemed relaxed, like he was in his own living room and surrounded by family.”
More on that Romney apology: REPORT: Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid | Mediaite
Whether Donald Trump is already bored with being president, or simply overwhelmed, there are signs that Trump is already handing the presidency off to his incoming vice president Mike Pence.
Keep in mind that earlier this year Trump’s own son reportedly told the Kasich campaign that future president Trunp planned to hand off most of his presidency to his vice president.
And judging by Trump’s refusal to attend the critically-important daily intelligence briefings that the president, and incoming president, receive, it appears that Trump is on track to license the most important parts of the presidency to religious right activist Mike Pence.
Here’s the NYT, which first reported the story of Kasich being offered what amounts to as the entire presidency:
Take a look at the link for the rest.
Now for links related to the trump presidency. (God, that is depressing.)
The New York Postreports that despite earlier reports to the contrary, the incoming Trump administration supports an ongoing legal witch hunt against the Clintons after all — just not one conducted by the U.S. government:
Foreign governments will be encouraged to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s finances….
A source close to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team told The Post that the new administration plans to pressure the US ambassadors it will name to bring up the foundation with foreign governments — and suggest they probe its financial dealings.
Trump said last week that he would not order an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server or her role in the foundation.
But Trump’s statement didn’t preclude the backroom moves to investigate the group.
“Haiti and Colombia will be key diplomatic posts for this because of all the money involved,” said the source.
Yeah, those are certainly the legal systems you want to turn to for investigations that are aboveboard and first-rate: Freedom House says of Haiti that “The judiciary is inefficient and weak, and is burdened by a lack of resources, a large backlog of cases, outdated legal codes, and poor facilities,” adding that “Bribery is rampant at all levels of the judicial system,” while in Colombia “The justice system remains compromised by corruption and extortion.”
Remember the veteran who had his dinner taken away by the Chili’s manager? Check this shit out:
The Army veteran who was denied a free meal on Veterans Day at Chili’s has temporarily vacated his home because of threats, reports the Dallas Morning News.
But the news isn’t all bad, the veteran has also received more than $6,000 in pledges from many Americans through a GoFundMe account. He has asked the money be used to support hungry veterans. And Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, extended a personal invitation to the veteran to games for the remainder of the season.
Ernest Walker began receiving threats after a television news outlet showed his address and phone number during a segment about the incident, said Walker’s attorney. The newspaper reports that Walker received phone calls from restricted numbers saying “I know where you live.” He also received threats on Facebook and is now filing a report with the Ovilla Police Department.
On Veterans Day, Walker went to a Chili’s Bar & Grill in Cedar Hill to enjoy the free burger deal offered to vets, but had his meal removed by a restaurant manager. The manager challenged his status as a veteran despite Walker having shown him the proper ID and papers. Walker then began filming his exchange with the manager and posted it on Facebook. After several days, the post went viral, Chili’s was inundated with complaints and the company apologized to Walker and placed the manager on leave.
Uh, the manager was egged on by a Trump supporter in a “Make America Great Hat” btw…
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency reveals the true character of America.
Americans, like other humans, live in bubbles: The place you live, the media you consume, and the experiences you have shape what you take to be the world. To get out of hers, Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a self-identified liberal progressive, headed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for five years of field work, resulting in Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a book that’s being called one of the best things you can read to understand the election.
In interviews with her subjects — a gospel singer, an oil-rig worker, “an obedient Christian wife” — Hochschild was careful to make them feel safe, allowing them to reveal to her what their views are, rather than prying it out of them. “I was acutely aware of the fragility of the ground rules I was trying to set, to promise them no judgments, so that they would be honest with me,” she tells Science of Us. They avoided the topic of race altogether, and when she did finally raise it to them, the immediate reply was, No – I’m not racist.
Her subjects’ sensitivity underscores a fact of political life that gets overlooked: If you want someone to listen to you, don’t offend them. Even if you think their views are deplorable.
“The word racist is one of the country’s most powerful triggers,” she says. It immediately puts people on the defensive, and political-science research suggests that shaming people isn’t the best way to convince them of your worldview. Her subjects assumed than anybody from the North would think of them as a racist — a bad, brutal person associated with slavery and the oppression of minorities. “They were allergic to the word,” she says. When conversations did arrive at race with her 40 in-depth subjects, she saw “every expression of every viewpoint.” One guy described himself as a “reformed bigot”: He used the N-word in the 1960s, when everyone around him was, but hadn’t used it since. While he has a Facebook page heroizing policemen, he also doesn’t tolerate racial slurs on it. His was “a mixed story,” she says, and “there are so many mixed stories if you don’t start with that word racist.”
Journalist Masha Gessen has spent years reporting on Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia. She has written that the focus on Russian influence over now President-elect Donald Trump has been overstated and the result of a failure of imagination: the inability to imagine that the president would profoundly break with the norms of our country’s political discourse and practices.
A few days after Trump’s win, Gessen wrote about what citizens should be on the watch for with the incoming administration. ProPublica’s Eric Umansky and Jesse Eisinger sat down with Gessen to talk about how exactly journalists should be covering Trump.
Well, people died this week. Some of note:
trump marked his death with a tweet:
I guess trump’s boyfriend didn’t appreciate it…
Obituaries for the past week. Fuck 2016:
Continuing the link dump…
Georgia man serves life despite
DNA implicating another killer
That is an article from February of 2016. But I just thought it would be as interesting read for you all.
As well as this one:
This is an open thread.
The Trump way of getting a woman…just grab em by the pussy!
Watch this video…its only a minute and 20 seconds.
“I said get…get…”
“He had beautiful hair.”
I have a theory.
Well, not a theory…so much as a vision.
Trump is like Sasquatch.
All of us staring down a Sasquatch Trump, with his “beautiful hair”, each of us holding a stick…and telling him…get…get. (Actually, it should be spelled…git…git.)
Let’s add another image to this shall we?
(I just edited the picture a bit…with the pencil sketch app.) He sure looks like a monster, right?
Have you heard?
Hillary Clinton’s lead over President-elect Donald Trump in the popular vote now exceeds 2 million, according to reports. Dave Wasserman, of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said Clinton has received 64,223,958 votes, where Trump has 62,206,395 votes. Still, Trump grabbed more than the required 270 Electoral College votes and prevailed Nov. 8. Last week on Twitter, Trump wrote: “If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily.” Despite Trump’s win, on Tuesday evening, a group of computer scientists, activists, and election lawyers urged for a recount in three states—Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—citing abnormalities in the reported results.
A half-dozen electors, those who will formally cast votes for Trump and Clinton on Dec. 19, are pushing to block Trump from winning a majority of votes.
Trump told New York Times reporters Tuesday he would “rather do the popular vote” and was “never a fan of the Electoral College,” according to Maggie Haberman, who was live-tweeting Trump’s comments during the interview session.
A week after his historic election, Trump tweeted: “The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”
That was an about-face from what he tweeted after President Barack Obama’s reelection against Mitt Romney in 2012.
“The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,” Trump declared then.
For good measure, Trump boasted last week, “If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily.”
Hillary has gotten more popular votes than any other candidate in an election that was decided on electoral votes.
Al Gore’s lead over George W. Bush in the famously close 2000 election was about 500,000 — which at the time was the largest advantage in the popular vote for a candidate who lost the Electoral College vote in the presidential election.
A growing number of academics and activists are calling for US authorities to fully audit or recount the 2016 presidential election vote in key battleground states, in case the results could have been skewed by foreign hackers.
The loose coalition, which is urging Hillary Clinton’s campaign to join its fight, is preparing to deliver a report detailing its concerns to congressional committee chairs and federal authorities early next week, according to two people involved.
“I’m interested in verifying the vote,” said Dr Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting. “We need to have post-election ballot audits.” Simons is understood to have contributed analysis to the effort but declined to characterise the precise nature of her involvement.
More at the link.
There is a lot of reports about hacking in several states: Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots – Medium
How might a foreign government hack America’s voting machines to change the outcome of a presidential election? Here’s one possible scenario. First, the attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers. Closer to the election, when it was clear from polling data which states would have close electoral margins, the attackers might spread malware into voting machines in some of these states, rigging the machines to shift a few percent of the vote to favor their desired candidate. This malware would likely be designed to remain inactive during pre-election tests, do its dirty business during the election, then erase itself when the polls close. A skilled attacker’s work might leave no visible signs — though the country might be surprised when results in several close states were off from pre-election polls.
Could anyone be brazen enough to try such an attack? A few years ago, I might have said that sounds like science fiction, but 2016 has seen unprecedented cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the election. This summer, attackers broke into the email system of the Democratic National Committee and, separately, into the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, and leaked private messages. Attackers infiltrated the voter registration systems of two states, Illinois and Arizona, and stole voter data. And there’s evidence that hackers attempted to breach election offices in several other states.
In all these cases, Federal agencies publicly asserted that senior officials in the Russian government commissioned these attacks. Russia has sophisticated cyber-offensive capabilities, and has shown a willingness to use them to hack elections. In 2014, during the presidential election in Ukraine, attackers linked to Russia sabotaged the country’s vote-counting infrastructure and, according to published reports, Ukrainian officials succeeded only at the last minute in defusing vote-stealing malware that was primed to cause the wrong winner to be announced. Russia is not the only country with the ability to pull off such an attack on American systems — most of the world’s military powers now have sophisticated cyberwarfare capabilities.
Take a look at that.
More of those tweets too…just follow the thread.
Here are the hard numbers:
In other news:
Another sad fact we already knew would happen.
And then there is this….in the what the fuck category of earthquake science:
Early on Nov. 22, the residents of Fukushima, Japan were woken by loud sirens. At 6am local time, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake had struck off the coast. Authorities issued a warning that a tsunami, estimated to be about 3 meters (10 feet) high, could hit the coast within hours, and resident were asked to evacuate immediately and move to higher ground.
Though Japan has seen similar magnitude earthquakes in recent years, the proximity of this one to the devastating 2011 quake raised anxieties. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake in 2011 triggered tsunami waves as high as 4 meters crashing onto the coast, killing more than 15,000 people. The tsunami also destroyed emergency cooling generators at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which led to overheating and leakage of radioactive fuel into surrounding water.
The waves that hit the Japanese coast on Tuesday topped out at about 1.4 meters high, and there haven’t been any reported deaths. The Fukushima plant had a minor problem with its spent-fuel pump, but has since been declared intact and safe. While there are people who suffered minor injuries, no serious injuries or damage to infrastructure has been reported.
Tuesday’s quake has a direct connection to the 2011 disaster: scientists believe that it was actually an aftershock of that earthquake—the largest since those that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the initial magnitude 9.0 quake.
“For an earthquake to be classified as an aftershock, it has to satisfy two conditions,” says Stephen Hicks, a seismologist formerly at Liverpool University. First, it must be in the same area as the initial quake. Second, it must occur in a period when the seismic activity in the area hasn’t gone back to average that existed before the large quake.
Ever since the 2011 earthquake, seismic activities off the northern coast of Japan haven’t gone back to the pre-quake levels. Researchers at Japan’s meteorology agency expect more aftershocks, some as large as the one on Tuesday.
Can you believe that?
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake only occurs once or twice in a century, which is good considering that size quake releases energy equivalent to 30,000 times the amount discharged by the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Some earthquake occur when the different tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust collide abnormally. The energy released in the process at magnitude 9.0 is enough to push down on the the thick but fluid mantle right beneath the Earth’s crust, which then eventually rebounds—just like a rubber duck pushed into water would rebound. This rebound, however, occurs over many years, and it’s one reason why aftershocks are being felt even though it has been more than five years since the big earthquake.
Earthquakes are universally known to be powerfully destructive, but it’s not every day you can witness them raise a seabed a bunch of feet into the air.
A Youtube video from GeoNet features an area in New Zealand known as the Papatea fault. That’s where earthquakes with magnitudes of up to 7.8 literally lifted the sea bed on the coast of the south island.
In the video, researcher Kevin Berryman inspects the area where the quakes lifted the sea bed almost 6 metres (19.6 feet) into the air, essentially creating a massive wall a little out to sea.
Go to the link to watch the video.
Just a couple more links.
A rock structure, built deep underground, is one of the earliest hominin constructions ever found.
That is all…if you want me I’ll be at Tickle Cock Bridge.
This is an open thread.
If I told y’all I just had to drag myself out of bed to write this post at 4:20pm…would you believe me?
And it isn’t like I was taking some “artistic” license with that statement.
I fucking don’t know what is going to happen if this keeps up. I will likely stay in bed, my own personal “safety zone”, until the Terror of Trump is over.
Yesterday was the first day since the election, that I ventured out into the world. My world being the town of Banjoville, heartland of Trump Central. It was so cold, not just the wind…but the attitude of the folks around me. “Make America Great Again” hats were worn with a “Caucasian Pride” that would be better suited at a cross burning. And the men who wore these hats had their swinging dicks out, partying their patriarchy around in front of their women (mothers-in-law, wives, and daughters). It was disturbing to see.
Not that the woman were disagreeable to this dick wagging…I’m almost certain the wife and mother-in-law voted Trump. As for the young teen daughter, she was on her iPhone the entire time and only made human contact with another teen when she happened to look up a moment to adjust her hair away from the phone.
I afraid that I have lost faith. (Not a religious sort of faith, but in the sense that Women’s Rights and the things that I believe in are my belief…my religion if you will.) Yes, I feel like I am losing my religion. And it is being taken away from me…not slowly like before, where there was a chance that fighting and standing up had some form of action. That action would stop the bleeding. Now there is no hope whatsoever. I see the things I care about. The people I care about. The government. The Constitution. The Rights that we hold self evident. All…being steamrolled.
I’ve tried to get out of bed, but I can’t…
Here are some links.
“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Dixon said to further applause. “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for seeing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”
Following this excellent example of free speech…
Vice President-elect Mike Pence said he was not offended by the message that the Broadway cast of “Hamilton” directed at him after Friday night’s performance and that he “really enjoyed the show.”
Speaking to “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, Pence acknowledged that he was greeted by a mix of boos and cheers when he arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City with his daughter and her cousins.
“I nudged my kids and reminded them that’s what freedom sounds like,” Pence said.
Pence reportedly was leaving the auditorium before Dixon finished speaking, but told Wallace that he heard the full message.
“I did hear what was said from the stage, and I can tell you, I wasn’t offended by what was said,” Pence said. “I’ll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.”
He added that he wanted to address the cast’s message.
“I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know this is a very anxious time for some people,” Pence said. “And I just want to reassure people that what President-elect Donald Trump said on election night, he absolutely meant from the bottom of his heart. He is preparing to be the president of all of the people of the United States of America.”
Pence’s comments — in their tone and substance — were sharply different from those of Donald Trump on the incident.
The “Hamilton” cast’s unusual address quickly went viral and Twitter exploded late Friday night with responses that cleaved into two camps: Those who cheered the cast for voicing their concerns so directly and those who found the exchange “rude.”
In the latter was Trump, who said that the cast members had “harassed” Pence with “cameras blazing” and demanded they apologize.
Well, prior to Pense’s response to this…Twitter came up with a way to deal with it…
Mike Pence attended a Broadway performance of Hamilton on Friday, and was booed by the audience. After the show, a cast member spoke to Pence directly and delivered an impassioned plea.
The show’s pro-immigrant and pro-diversity themes may seem an odd choice of entertainment for the conservative politician, so people on Twitter are making up their own Pence-inspired musicals using the hashtag #NameAPenceMusical.
Take a look at some of these…
Considering what has been going on lately since the election…those Pence musicals are funny, but damn are they sad. Because they are true.
This is an open thread. Post your thoughts and links to horrors below.
I am a woman. I am Latin. I am disabled. I am a victim of sexual violence. It’s personal. My uncle is gay. My cousins are Muslims. It’s personal. My husband’s maternal grandmother was a Jew who escaped Hitler when he invaded Poland. My great-grandparents come from Sicily, Spain and Cuba. It’s personal. I have a daughter who suffers from endometriosis and ovarian cysts. I have a son who has Type 1 Diabetes. It’s personal. My kids have friends who are Black, Mexican, gay, Haitian. I have friends who are Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, agnostic, Wiccan and atheist. My brother had Down Syndrome. I had to have an ectopic pregnancy aborted at 4 months. It’s personal. We are all a part of this crisis. It is personal to all of us. We can’t allow our country to become a fascist state.
This is the situation:
An architect of anti-immigration efforts who says he is advising President-elect Donald Trump said the new administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped write tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, said in an interview that Trump’s policy advisers had also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
Kobach, who media reports say is a key member of Trump’s transition team, said he had participated in regular conference calls with about a dozen Trump immigration advisers for the past two to three months.
Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for confirmation of Kobach’s role. The president-elect has not committed to following any specific recommendations from advisory groups.
Kobach told Reuters last Friday that the immigration group had discussed drafting executive orders for the president-elect’s review “so that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security hit the ground running.”
To implement Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants, Kobach said the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the United States on visas from countries where extremist organizations are active.
Kobach helped design the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, while serving in Republican President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants.
Under NSEERS, people from countries deemed “higher risk” were required to undergo interrogations and fingerprinting on entering the United States. Some non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 from countries with active militant threats were required to register in person at government offices and periodically check in.
NSEERS was abandoned in 2011 after it was deemed redundant by the Department of Homeland Security and criticized by civil rights groups for unfairly targeting immigrants from Muslim- majority nations.
Then there is this:
Which is way…not normal.
At least in a democracy.
I’m not sure what I expected from a Trump administration, but at least I expected Donald Trump to be the actual President. Now, I’m not so sure.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has not strayed far from Trump’s side during the campaign, and is always the last person to see him before any decision, may take on a significant role in the White House. A very significant role.
Trump made an unprecedented request for his children to receive Top Secret clearance. Odd, considering that just visiting Daddy doesn’t require the highest security rating in the country.
Now, Trump has also asked that Kushner attend the Presidential Daily Brief after he receives his Top Secret security clearance. This request is beyond unprecedented. Frankly, it’s disturbing.
– Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) November 15, 2016
We already suspect that Trump never expected to get elected. Now we have to wonder if he’s just not capable of leading, and must bring in a ringer: Kushner. After all, Kushner already seems to have an inordinate influence in the Trump transition team.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Kushner is also a newspaper publisher.
At some point in time, does anyone have the authority to tell the President-elect that his request is totally cracked?
In other not normal news, you have heard that Trump has twice dumped his press corp:
Dear President-elect Trump,
We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation’s capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation’s great strengths: our freedom of the press.
As the new leader of the free world, we expect that you will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president’s movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country, whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn’t about access for the press itself, it’s about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.
Being president is an enormous responsibility and working with the White House Correspondents’ Association to ensure journalists’ access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost via the press pool.
We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people.
A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.
The National Press Club
National Press Club Journalism Institute
Society of Professional Journalists
Mizell Stewart III
American Society of News Editors
Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation
Reporters Without Borders/RSF
Committee to Protect Journalists
Sandy K. Johnson
National Press Foundation
National Association of Black Journalists
President, Board of Directors
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Native American Journalists Association
Asian American Journalists Association
National Association of LGBTQ Journalists
Elisa Lees Munoz
The International Women’s Media Foundation
Regional Reporters Association
President, Board of Directors
Online News Association
Journalism and Women Symposium
National Press Photographers Association
More for you…with the tag #NotNormal
You have to click here for the tweet to see the video. I could not get the thing to embed.
Speaking of the Electoral College. I thought this was interesting. With all the talk of eliminating the Electoral College lately…I know this is quoted in full, but it made some points that seemed so important, I thought it would be good to bring it to you:
Donald Trump is not yet the President-elect. Under our constitutional framework, the Electoral College will select the President next month. Electors customarily vote the way their state voted. But many states don’t require that they do so. As pundits have started to point out, a few dozen “faithless” electors could—lawfully—send Hillary Clinton to the Oval Office.
This leads to an apparent puzzle. One of the Electoral College’s purposes, at least on some accounts, is to provide a check against charismatic demagogues. For many months now, civic-minded critics have called Trump a fascist, a white supremacist, a sexual predator, a pawn of Putin, “a one-man constitutional crisis,” and “an extinction-level event” for liberal democracy. Both Clinton and President Obama have insisted that Trump is “uniquely unqualified” to be President. Clinton, moreover, received the most votes nationwide, and she might have done a good deal better if not for Republican-led voter suppression.
Critics have a variety of grounds, then, for challenging the legitimacy of a Trump presidency, and in the Electoral College they have a constitutional tool that might derail it. Yet no public officeholders have even raised the possibility. Why the reticence?
There are some obvious concerns. It would be exceedingly difficult to engineer an Electoral College bailout. If it could be done, millions of Trump supporters would feel cheated by the “rigged” system that Trump has denounced all year. Violent protests could well erupt.
As weighty as these concerns are, they don’t necessarily solve the puzzle. Clinton, after all, won the popular vote, leaving her supporters feeling cheated. If switching to Clinton would nonetheless be unrealistic or unwise, progressives could join with conservatives to find a Republican capable of siphoning enough votes from Trump to deprive him of an Electoral College majority and throw the race into the House, which could then elect this other Republican. And if a true fascist is on the verge of taking power and the opposition has a lawful means to head him off, even one that might fail or backfire, doesn’t the opposition have a duty to try?
Political judgment is complex, and it is easy to second-guess from the outside. The Democratic Party leaders and the “Never Trumpers” in Congress may be right to hold back. Even still, the fact that they so immediately and decisively abandoned the Electoral College suggests a couple of awkward lessons.
The first is that these officials do not fully believe their own apocalyptic rhetoric about Trump. He may be a demagogue, but they doubt his ultimate desire or ability to shatter our system of government. Never Trump, we can now see, was more of an aspiration than a commitment. Because again, if you truly believe that someone poses an existential threat to democracy, you do not accept his claim to the White House—and normalize his coming presidency—without attempting an appeal to the final gatekeepers, imploring them to keep faith with their country, Constitution, and conscience rather than a local voting majority. (As part of any Electoral College bailout strategy, the vocabulary of “faithless” electors would need to be resisted.)
The second lesson is that the Democratic and Republican parties are now divided not only on what they think the Constitution means but also on how they engage in constitutional conflict. The Republicans are bolder. Asking electors to reject their state’s winner would unsettle a longstanding norm, which is a serious step in a polity that depends on such unwritten traditions. But congressional Republicans have not hesitated to flout numerous conventions of constitutional government in an all-out effort to sabotage the Obama presidency, from threatening to default on the national debt to using the filibuster as a routine tactic to refusing to give a Supreme Court nominee a hearing.
Trump himself has participated in this destructive project, urging Senate Republicans to stonewall the Merrick Garland nomination and promoting the false claim that Obama’s birthplace makes him constitutionally ineligible to be President. Trump of course also refused to pledge that he would accept the results of the election, should Clinton have prevailed.
Democratic and Republican officials have both done plenty of unsavory things in recent times. But as the events of the past week reveal, a gulf has opened up between the two parties in their willingness to resort to technically lawful yet extreme measures to combat what is seen as an unacceptable outcome. Democrats, by and large, have been more beholden to a model of traditional legal process. They have been less willing to play constitutional hardball.
The refusal to play hardball reflects a restraint that is admirable, indeed essential, in ordinary times. But it can also amount to unilateral disarmament in a genuine moment of crisis.
Here, at least, it misses an opportunity not just to challenge Trumpism but also to force a bipartisan conversation that is long overdue—about whether the Electoral College is justifiable in the first place. An aggressive appeal to the electors would have risked inviting tit-for-tat retaliation by future candidates, destabilizing our system of elections and galvanizing reform efforts. Given the Electoral College’s deep democratic flaws, that prospect is hopeful as well as terrifying.
I will tell you what is also terrifying.
In the wake of Trump’s election, Texas Republicans have filed multiple bills that would ban abortions even for fetal abnormalities and require ‘proper burial’ for miscarriages.
Georgia legislator Tuesday proposed a bill that would bar women from wearing a burqa and veil in their driver’s license photo, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreports.
House Bill 3, sponsored by state Rep. Jason Spencer, would also subject Muslim women to Georgia’s anti-masking statute, which makes it a criminal misdemeanor to wear “a mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer” on public property.
The Georgia anti-masking law was originally enacted to combat the Ku Klux Klan and is currently gender-specific. Spencer said his legislation is intended to apply to women in burqas driving on public roadways, but as the AJC reports, the law is vaguely written and “might also apply to any kind of public property.”
If passed, the amended statute will read:
“A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he or she wears a mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed or covered as the conceal the identity of the wearer and is upon any public way or public property or upon the private property of another without the written permission of the owner or occupier of the property to do so.”
Then there is this video…you only need to see it to feel the pain…on so many levels.
This is all I can post today. I am sorry it is so very late, my internet is extremely slow…and it has been acting up terribly.
Nothing I can say or write will make things any easier.
People in the United States are now wearing safety pins in solidarity with those who might be denigrated or made afraid in a post-election America.
I reported on the post-Brexit safety pin movement back in June.
Only to share these cartoons with you.
This is an open thread.
Leonard Cohen has passed away at age 82. His voice will be missed. His message was always sublime.