After getting through the violence and horror of last week…
So today’s post is devoted to political cartoons…granted many are not “laugh out loud” per say, but they are on point.
Starting with Pat Bagley, as far as cartoonist go…in my opinion…Bagley is up there with Luckovich as one of my favorite political cartoonist of today.
And the last cartoon for today:
This is an open thread…
We’ve arrived at the end of another terrible week in America. When will it end? Never, until we do something about the availability of guns–especially military grade weapons that are designed for the express purpose of killing human beings.
I’m going to begin with an excerpt from an essay at NBC News by Shorky Eldaly II: An America I See in the Distance. Eldaly was likely writing before the massacre in Dallas took place; his piece is mostly about police killings of Black people. Please do read the whole thing at the link.
Hours after the first report of another American, another father, another son, killed without the provocation all I could do was repeat this mantra to myself as I searched my home, for something to remind me of why we must go on; why we’re not allowed to give up on an America that seems, in some ways, now more distant than ever.
Today our nation struggles to find its breath after the loss of Alton Sterling. As we are still grieving the loss of life in Orlando I try, alongside the rest of the world, to make sense of the loss of Philando Castile.
In the barrage of questions being posed by experts on television screens and news feed updates, I whisper back, “Where are our solutions?” And I apologize (to who or what I am unsure) for not having done enough, in the wake of these executions.
Amidst these acts of terrorism, I am left at a loss for not just words, but of an ability to fully comprehend the true amount of loss we’ve suffered. I’m searching for an America I can still believe in.
Eldaly asks the questions all decent Americans are asking–where is the America we once believed in? When can we be proud of our country again? Or did that country never truly exist except in our imaginations?
This week we’ve seen the convergence of our national plague of mass shootings and the disastrous effects of racism on the way laws are enforced. The Dallas shooter Mikah Johnson claimed he was angry about Black people being murdered by police. In Tennesee, Lakeem Keon Scott may also have been motivated by anger at recent police shootings. He killed Jennifer Rooney, a letter carrier and wounded three others, including a police officer. At the same time, many police officers say say they feel under siege from people who are angry at police-involved shootings around the country.
As Eldaly asks, “Where are our solutions?” Not in Congress, as long as Republicans are utterly beholden to the NRA. A bit more from his essay:
I know we must encompass something more than sense of power to create change. We must restore a sense of compassion and freedom that illuminates the rhetoric of America’s founders. Though these notions of compassion and freedom were not applicable to the nation’s current populous, America can be, and has already in many ways been re-founded and re-defined in the 21st century.
It is by the hands of those, like my parents, who sought and chose to be American that America has been redefined. Their sacrifice establishes the vision that, for most of its life, has been America’s fairy tale. It is in their lives, and the lives of their children, that I see the evidence that we can grow, that we will be great.
It is in that same vein that Black Lives mattering is not a negation of the rights of other individuals, but a needed imperative to correct the record for a nation whose Congress once legislated the counting of people as property and now sanctions their death at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.
Because, in truth, the men and women who live narratives of hate — regardless of race — are no more American, than those who look to divide us and foster hate or fear within us. These individuals are terrorists and nothing short of that.
For each of those who work against equity, of life, of liberty, to those who kill the innocent — for each one of us you kill — you only strengthen our resolve.
You only strengthen the discipline with which we hold ourselves accountable, increasing the heights we dare to dream.
We are the sons and daughters of men and women who against insurmountable odds survived, who in every moment inhabit the American ideals in ways that our forefathers could not have imagined.
We can not allow violence or fear, to shrink us back or lead us to hate or division, because in ways that only love can sustain — we are dreamers, we are doers, and we are, in our resilience and resolve, bravery, selflessness, and love.
During her campaign for president, Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly that we need more love and kindness in this country. This morning I got an email from the Clinton campaign–you probably got it too. I’m going to post the whole thing here:
Like so many people across America, I have been following the news of the past few days with horror and grief.
On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, father of five, was killed in Baton Rouge — approached by the police for selling CDs outside a convenience store. On Wednesday, Philando Castile, 32 years old, was killed outside Minneapolis — pulled over by the police for a broken tail light.
And last night in Dallas, during a peaceful protest related to those killings, a sniper targeted police officers — five have died: Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens. Their names, too, will be written on our hearts.
What can one say about events like these? It’s hard to know where to start. For now, let’s focus on what we already know, deep in our hearts: There is something wrong in our country.
There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be. No one has all the answers. We have to find them together. Indeed, that is the only way we can find them.
Let’s begin with something simple but vital: listening to each other.
White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about seen and unseen barriers faced daily. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes. To imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past, or if every time our children went to play in the park, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer: “Please God, don’t let anything happen to my baby.”
Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job we need them to do. Remember what those officers in Dallas were doing when they died: They were protecting a peaceful march. When gunfire broke out and everyone ran to safety, the police officers ran the other way — into the gunfire. That’s the kind of courage our police and first responders show all across America.
We need to ask ourselves every single day: What can I do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters — that we have a stake in another’s safety and well-being?
Elie Wiesel once said that “the opposite of love is not hate — it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death — it’s indifference.”
None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other — not now, not ever. We have a lot of work to do, and we don’t have a moment to lose. People are crying out for criminal justice reform. People are also crying out for relief from gun violence. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. We need to act.
I know that, just by saying all these things together, I may upset some people.
I’m talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks, limits on assault weapons and the size of ammunition clips gets you demonized.
But all these things can be true at once.
We do need police and criminal justice reforms, to save lives and make sure all Americans are treated as equal in rights and dignity.
We do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.
We do need to reduce gun violence.
We may disagree about how, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. Surely this week showed us how true they are.
I’ve been thinking today about a passage from Scripture that means a great deal to me — maybe you know it, too:
“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
There is good work for us to do, to find a path ahead for all God’s children. There are lost lives to redeem and bright futures to claim. We must not lose heart.
May the memory of those we’ve lost light our way toward the future our children deserve.
Now here are some links for you to explore:
New York Times: Suspect in Dallas Attack had Interest in Black Power Groups.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Piedmont Park hanging referred to FBI.
New York Daily News: Trump barred from speaking to NYPD officers; Bratton says Dallas tragedy not a photo op.
The New Republic: The Return of Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
The Washington Post: The math of mass shootings.
The Chicago Tribune: Ex-Illinois Rep. Walsh says Twitter took down Dallas tweet ‘Watch out Obama.’
The Atlantic: The Republican Party’s White Strategy.
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?
I don’t know if you saw this, but Bernie Sanders was booed by Democrats at a Capital Hill meeting yesterday. Politico:
Sanders…stunned some of the Democrats in attendance when he told them that winning elections isn’t the only thing they should focus on. While they wanted to hear about how to beat Donald Trump — and how Sanders might help them win the House back — he was talking about remaking the country.
“The goal isn’t to win elections, the goal is to transform America,” Sanders said at one point, according to multiple lawmakers and aides in the room.
Some Democrats booed Sanders for that line, which plays better on the campaign trail than in front of a roomful of elected officials.
It’s about time Bernie faced some serious pushback.
Rank-and-file House Democrats want the Vermont independent to officially drop out of the race and throw his support behind the presumptive nominee, and they can’t understand why he hasn’t.
“It was frustrating because he’s squandering the movement he built with a self-obsession that was totally on display,” said a senior Democrat, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
After Sanders delivered his opening remarks — which touched on his favorite issues, including campaign finance, Wall Street reform and trade — lawmakers pressed him during a tense question-and-answer session on whether he would ultimately endorse Clinton and help foster party unity.
Sanders complained about the superdelegate process used during the primaries. “One person is starting with 900 delegates before anyone even votes,” Sanders said. The Vermont socialist and his supporters have been upset about the issue for months.
But House Democrats didn’t seem very impressed with the unapologetic Sanders, who didn’t yield an inch despite the rough handling he received.
What a pain in the ass Sanders is! Naturally, number 1 fan Chris Hayes invited Bernie onto his show last night to discuss the situation. Hayes did everything he could to get Sanders to finally admit he will endorse Hillary, and finally Bernie grudgingly admitted that it *might* happen next week.
As I’ve said repeatedly, I wish he wouldn’t endorse her. Democrats should just ignore his antics and leave him hanging out on that limb until it finally breaks and he crashes to earth. But apparently the two campaigns are in talks about a joint appearance in New Hampshire at some point. From NY Magazine:
On Wednesday evening, multiple outlets reported that the Clinton and Sanders campaigns were finalizing the terms of the Vermont senator’s endorsement, and discussing the possibility of holding a joint rally next week in New Hampshire. Later that night, Sanders confirmed those reports.
“I think at the end of the day, there is going to be a coming together,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “And we’re going to go forward together and not only defeat Trump, but defeat him badly.”
“So, you’re not denying the report that there are talks about a possible endorsement?” Hayes asked.
“That’s correct,” Sanders replied.
In his interview with MSNBC Wednesday night, Sanders suggested that he was hoping to extract a few more compromise proposals on health care and climate change before falling in line, promising, “I am going to use all the leverage I have.”
What a fucking asshole!
There’s been another police shooting of a black man, following close on the heels of the one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Slate: Video Captures Aftermath of Police Shooting in Minnesota That Left Another Black Man Dead.
An emotional day of mourning for one victim of police violence, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, ended with gut-wrenching news of another on Wednesday night, as word spread on social media that a black man in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, had been shot by an officer during a traffic stop.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune identified the victim as 32-year-old Philando Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school in St. Paul. According to the paper, Castile died a few minutes after being brought to a hospital.
You can watch the “graphic and disturbing” video at the Slate link above.
In the video, which was greeted with sickened disbelief all over the country on Wednesday night as news of the shooting spread, a woman who was with Castile at the time of the incident could be heard explaining that her boyfriend had been shot after informing the officer he was legally carrying a firearm.
“We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back,” the woman said, speaking into her camera in a deliberate and steady voice as her young daughter sat watching from the backseat. “And the police just… they killed my boyfriend. He’s licensed to carry. He was trying to get his ID and his wallet out of his pocket, and he let the officer know he had a firearm and was reaching for his wallet. And the officer just shot him in his arm.”
The officer next to the car could be heard screaming, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand up!”
The woman replied, “You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license. Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead.”
CNN has some follow-up on the Baton Rouge shooting: Piecing together what happened before the videos.
The 911 call that brought police to a Baton Rouge convenience store Tuesday came from a homeless man, according to a senior law enforcement official. The homeless man had approached Alton Sterling, repeatedly asking him for money, the official said. Sterling showed his gun and the homeless man called police, according to the official. Sterling was later shot by police at the scene.Federal authorities have taken charge of the investigation into the Tuesday killing of Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who sold CDs and DVDs outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Sterling was shot outside the store after an encounter with two police officers. The officers could be seen in video on top of him before the shots were fired.
Protests began Tuesday afternoon in Baton Rouge and were largely peaceful. Vigils and memorials have spread across the country.
This morning Donald Trump met with Congressional Republicans. NYT:
The face time comes as Mr. Trump continues to raise anxiety among Republicans about his temperament less than two weeks before the party holds its national convention in Cleveland. As with the convention, some leading Republicans including Senator Marco Rubio, a former primary opponent, decided to pass on the meeting with the presumptive Republican nominee.
Mr. Trump met House members at the Capitol Hill Club, where Larry Kudlow, the conservative commentator, introduced him. According to two members in attendance, the conversation was fairly subdued and focused on border security, the need to protect the Second Amendment and the high costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, the health law that Mr. Trump wants to repeal and replace.
As he did in a speech on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump complained about the tough media coverage he has faced, particularly the portrayal of him as someone who admires Saddam Hussein, and he bragged of his impressive performance in the primary elections.
Despite the recent protectionist tenor of his campaign, Mr. Trump insisted that he is a devoted free trader and that he wants to renegotiate deals with other countries so that they favor America.
Although the members did not confront Mr. Trump about his policies, one did ask him how he could help the party maintain control of the Senate and the House, suggesting some concern about Republican losses in the House in the November elections.
Trump is still trying to justify his use of the star of David juxtaposed on a pile of money to attack Hillary Clinton. His latest defense is truly bizarre. NBC News: Trump Uses Disney Coloring Book to Defend Star Use.
Shortly after Donald Trump lamented publicly that his social media teamreplaced a tweet originally featuring a symbol resembling the Star of David, the presumptive GOP nominee posted a photo Wednesday of a ‘Frozen’ sticker book with a similar symbol. “Where is the outrage?” he asked, calling out the “dishonest media” the same way he did when defending it as a sheriff’s star – “or plain star!” – over the Fourth of July weekend.
Many on social media suggested Trump “let it go!” – echoing the well-sang advice of Elsa, the older sister of ‘Frozen.’ Clinton dug a bit deeper into the film’s songbook for her response.
Of course there’s no money in the Disney graphic. Tweets below.
This morning, House Republicans called FBI Director James Comey to testify about why he failed to recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton over her State Department emails. ABC News: FBI Director James Comey Grilled About ‘Dangerous’ Precedent in Clinton Investigation.
FBI Director James Comey faced skeptical and angry congressional Republicans this morning in a hastily called hearing on Capitol Hill to question his findings in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
In his opening statement, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, accused Comey of setting “a dangerous” precedent that will allow officials to “sloppily” handle classified information with “no consequence.”
Chaffetz said Comey’s determination that charges weren’t warranted in the case sent a message that, “If your name isn’t Clinton or you aren’t part of the powerful elite … lady justice will act differently” toward you.
The criminal case against Clinton and her aides is now closed, but almost immediately after Comey announced his findings earlier this week, Republicans wanted to know why she was not prosecuted for mishandling classified information while using a private email server as Secretary of State.
“We’re mystified,” Chaffetz insisted today. “It seems that there are two standards, and there’s no consequence for these types of activities and dealing in a careless way with classified information.”
Here we go again. Now House Republicans will probably drag EGhazi on for months, and Hillary will again come out on top. The Washington Post asks: Will House Republicans overplay their hand on Hillary Clinton? Well of course they will. It’s what they do.
What stories are you following today?
This is just an open thread until I can get the real thread up….my parents closed on the house and we are celebrating with lunch….
I’m illustrating this post with some beautiful people, mostly engaged in outdoor activities–just because I feel like it.
The news continues to be mostly ugly, unfortunately. There’s the latest terrorist attack in Bangladesh, the endless saga of Bernie Sanders’ refusal to accept reality, and of course the very real danger that racist misogynist xenophobe Donald Trump could somehow gain the presidency.
Before I get started on the bad news, here’s a bit of exciting news for Hillary supporters. The Clinton campaign announced yesterday that it raised nearly $70 million in June. Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign reported Friday that it had raised more than $68.5 million for Hillary for America, the Democratic National Committee and state parties in the month of June.
Of that total, $40.5 million went to the campaign, while the remaining $28 million went to the DNC and state parties through the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary Action Fund, putting Clinton’s total cumulative fundraising at $288 million for the campaign and $90 million for the joint fundraising agreements. Clinton begins July with more than $44 million on hand, with an average donation of $48 to the campaign itself.
Now for the awful news. There’s been another horrible terrorist attack in Bangladesh, just a short time after the massacre in Turkey.
Bangladeshi troops stormed an upscale bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Saturday morning, ending an 11-hour siege by militants who killed 20 hostages and two police officers, officials said.
It was the deadliest and boldest act of terror in a country that has become increasingly numb to ever-escalating violence by Islamist militants.
The victims — most of them foreigners — were among roughly three dozen people taken hostage when attackers stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery on Friday evening with guns, explosives and other, sharp weapons Friday evening, authorities said.
Some guests and workers managed to escape, jumping from the bakery’s roof. Others crouched under chairs and tables as the gunmen fired indiscriminately, witnesses said.
Early Saturday morning, military commandos moved in. By the end, 13 people had been rescued and 20 were dead at the restaurant, officials said. Two police officers had been killed in a gunfire exchange earlier in the standoff, authorities said.
Six terrorists were killed and one was captured alive, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed said.
Exactly who was behind the attack is unclear.
Update to the story:
At least 12 of the 20 hostages who were killed in an hours-long attack at a cafe in Bangladesh’s capital over the weekend have been publicly identified, including three people who attended college in the United States.
Two of the students attended Georgia’s Emory University. That included Abinta Kabir of Miami, who was a sophomore at Emory’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She was in Dhaka visiting family and friends, the school said.
The other was Faraaz Hossain, of Dhaka, a junior at Emory’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta….
The third student was Indian citizen Tarushi Jain, 19, who was studying at the University of California at Berkeley, according to India’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj.
At least nine of the dead were Italian nationals, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Saturday.
According to the Italian foreign ministry, they were: Adele Puglisi; Marco Tondat; Claudia Maria D’Antona; Nadia Benedetti; Vincenzo D’Allestro; Maria Rivoli; Cristian Rossi; Claudio Cappelli; and Simona Monti.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed on Saturday declared two days of mourning for the victims.
It’s all so senseless. What can I say?
CNN has news on the attack in Turkey: Istanbul airport attack: Planner, 2 bombers identified, report says.
Two of the three assailants in the terror attack that killed 44 people at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport have been identified as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu, citing an anonymous prosecution source.
The Friday report did not identify the third attacker.
The report did not reveal their nationalities. But officials have said they believe the three attackers are from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and entered Turkey a month ago from Syria’s ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
The report came a day after U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the man who directed the attackers is Akhmed Chatayev, a terrorist from Russia’s North Caucasus region.
Bernie Sanders is never going to go away. I’m convinced that he agrees with Susan Sarandon that if Trump is elected president, Bernie’s long wished-for “political revolution” will magically take place. As I’ve said before, I don’t even want him to endorse Hillary, and I certainly don’t want him out campaigning for her. He would only be his passive aggressive self–seeking new ways to undercut her while pretending he doesn’t want Trump to win.
From Politico: Sanders is itching for a convention fight.
Bernie Sanders is still spoiling for a convention fight.
It seemed like Democrats could finally claim unity when no member of the Democratic National Committee’s 15-person convention drafting committee voted against the draft of the policy platform draft during a meeting in St. Louis this past weekend: 13 members of the panel voted for the draft, one abstained and one missed the vote. But since then, Sanders-aligned members have teed off on the draft for not going far enough in key areas.
While both neutral national Democrats and Hillary Clinton-aligned Democrats on the DNC standing committees have hailed the draft document — which is headed to a full vote before the 187-member platform committee on July 8 and 9 in Orlando, Florida — as both satisfactory and historically progressive, Sanders supporters insist the draft remains unpalatable. Among the issues they’ve identified: the platform draft’s treatment of Medicare expansion, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a carbon tax, and a ban on fracking. Sanders and his allies are vowing to fight for changes in Orlando — and all the way to the convention in Philadelphia, if necessary.
Nothing is ever enough for Bernie and his bros.
So far, Sanders and his team have locked up draft policy wins on language for abolishing the death penalty, expanding Social Security through raising the cap on how much Americans earning $250,000 or more pay to expand benefits, and breaking up the country’s largest banks. But that’s not everything on Sanders’ lengthy priority list, so the senator and his allies are vowing to keep pushing hard.
While he admits that some gains are better than none at all, Sanders himself has already begun voicing his dissatisfaction. In an email to supporters on Thursday (titled “We’re going to the convention”) Sanders wrote that “we are going to take our political revolution into the halls of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia where we will fight to place a $15 minimum wage, opposition to TPP, and a ban on fracking directly into the Democratic Platform.”
That email came one day after the campaign asked its supporters to sign a petition demanding language against TPP be included in the platform — a top Sanders priority.
“The most significant issue for us is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Clinton team has said there’s absolutely no daylight between their position on TPP and ours,” Sanders policy director Warren Gunnels said. “We want to make that clear in the Democratic Party platform. That the TPP should not receive a vote in the lame-duck session and beyond.
Bernie is a horrible excuse for a human being. He’s nothing but a swollen-headed narcissist with delusions of grandeur. At least we haven’t heard much from Jane lately. Maybe she’s disgusted with him too.
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: Bernie Sanders’ Endgame Is Increasingly Bewildering To Team Clinton.
Democrats have for weeks treated the still-operational presidential campaign ofSen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with a mix of deference and caution, worrying about too strongly pushing the occasionally irascible senator and his legion of devoted followers.
But as time has passed and the party’s convention nears, supporters of Hillary Clinton really want to know what Sanders’ endgame actually is.
The question has been prompted by some recent muddled messaging from Sanders himself. The senator has said he’ll vote for Clinton, but is declining to actually endorse her candidacy. On Tuesday, he raised the specter of convention disorder over the nuts and bolts of the party platform, all while insisting he will do everything in his power to ensure that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump loses.
The problem is, Sanders is actually doing everything in his power to help Trump win.
“So far [Sanders] has been riding a wave of good feelings in the sense he ran an incredible campaign,” said former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who served with Sanders and Clinton but has endorsed the latter.
“But that has a pretty short shelf life and then people start looking at you through a different lens, and that lens is: Are you a team player and do you have the larger picture in mind or are you just focused on yourself?” Conrad said. “At some point, pretty soon, he crosses the threshold. He may have already crossed it.”
He crossed it long ago, in my opinion.
With weeks to go before the party convenes in Philadelphia, Sanders’ role in that coronation of Clinton remains a mystery. He said Tuesday on MSNBC that he was taking his campaign to the convention floor in an effort to affect the platform.
“Politics is not a baseball game with winners or losers,” Sanders said at the time. “What politics is about is whether we protect the needs of millions of people in this country who are hurting.”
But changing the platform with the dramatic stripes that would satisfy the senator and his supporters seems unlikely. The party, for example, will be hard-pressed to formally disavow trade deals that its leader (President Barack Obama, not Clinton) still supports.
“You can’t have a platform that will embarrass the president,” said one prominent Democratic National Committee official.
But that’s what Bernie wants. And frankly, he has already embarrassed President Obama. He has also made a fool of himself. But I don’t think he’ll quit–maybe not even after the convention.
I’ll end with a silly story about Clinton Derangement Syndrome from The Washington Post: Watch people attack Hillary Clinton for dishonesty — while lying through their teeth.
Jimmy Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” took to the streets to ask people about the approximately 160 previously unreleased Clinton emails this week. The show, of course, totally made up what was actually in the rather bland emails — saying Clinton was responding to spam from Nigerian princes and asking Vladimir Putin for shirtless pictures, for instance. But that didn’t stop these people from describing how they had read about these non-existent emails and berating Clinton over them.
The best part? The interviewer gets almost all of these liars to attack Clinton for her lack of honesty.
Here’s the video. It’s maddening but funny.
Have a fabulous Fourth of July Weekend Sky Dancers!!
Like Boston Boomer, I am easily distracted…but since abstract puzzle pieces get my attention…and not mystery books…the links are in a lean dump fashion.
Take a look at the photograph on the PBS NewsHour link.
Italy’s second most sought-after fugitive, a convicted ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate boss feared as a “merciless killer,” was captured Sunday as he slept in his bed in a hideout in the rugged Calabrian mountains, police and prosecutors said.
Ernesto Fazzalari “went from his sleep to the handcuffs of the Carabinieri” paramilitary police after 20 years on the run, Col. Lorenzo Falferi told reporters in the city of Reggio Calabria.
Reggio Calabria Prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho described Fazzalari as “a merciless killer” and a protagonist of the 1991-1992 turf feud between ‘ndrangheta clans that bloodied the Taurianova town area of Calabria in the “toe” of the Italian boot-shaped peninsula. In one macabre episode in the feud, a victim’s head was tossed in the air and shot as a target.
This is a bit of news: Pentagon to Lift Ban on Transgender Service Members | Alternet
A new Broadway play is starting to tour…‘Beautiful’ makes a fetching Los Angeles debut at the Pantages – LA Times
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” is that rare Broadway offering – a jukebox musical with a soul.
The touring production, which opened Friday at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, reveals the reason this show has become the “Jersey Boys” for the XX chromosome set.
Borrowing the tried-and-true biographical formula of scrappy artists working their way to fame, the musical extracts all the nostalgic glory out of a catalog of hits few Baby Boomers will be able to resist.
At the same time, the center of storytelling gravity is decidedly female, making this show as rich in poignant emotion as it is in Broadway pizzazz. There’s psychology for those who want it and era-defining tunes for those who’d rather escape into the memory of a simpler, if not necessarily more enlightened, American era.
“Beautiful” sketches Carole King’s rise from precocious Brooklyn songwriter in the late 1950s through her powerhouse collaborations with husband Gerry Goffin in the 1960s to the liberated solo career catapulted by “Tapestry” in 1971 after her marriage failed.
Douglas McGrath’s book capitalizes on those introspective qualities King’s later music gave unforgettable voice to – tenderness, self-doubt, and wisdom hard won from disappointment. But this is as much about a generation of artists as it is about one extraordinarily gifted woman.
Last link for this Sunday:
Since this is the first official weekend of summer, I thought it would be a good excuse to cull a list of my 10 seasonal favorites for your consideration. These would be films that I feel capture the essence of those “lazy, hazy, crazy” days; stories infused with the sights, the sounds…the smells, of summer. So, here you go…as per usual, in alphabetical order:
The reason I include this link is for the first movie on the list…
Claire’s Knee- This 1970 offering is “part five” of a six-film cycle by the late French director Eric Rohmer known collectively as “ Six Moral Tales ” (each individual entry works fine as a stand-alone film), and my favorite of the cycle. Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy) is a thirty something diplomat enjoying his final “bachelor holiday” on Lake Annecy, where he runs into old friend Aurora (Aurora Cornu). She is a writer, currently blocked for ideas. Playfully informing Jerome that he will be her Muse, she offers him a guest room, and introduces him to her neighbor, a woman with two teenage daughters, a precocious 15 year-old named Laura (Beatrice Romand) and her aloof 16-year old sister Claire (Laurence de Monaghan). It doesn’t take Jerome long to start giving Aurora story ideas. While mindfully keeping Laura’s platonic crush at bay, he finds himself drawn to her sister, developing an inexplicable desire to touch her knee. Despite how that sounds, there’s nothing leering about the way Rohmer handles it. To Jerome, this is an abstract and romanticized form of adulation (like Alan Ladd’s obsession with the painting in Laura), as opposed to a sexual urge. He keeps the voyeuristic Aurora apprised, as she eggs him on (she needs the material). Ultimately as enigmatic as love itself, topped off with gorgeous cinematography by Nestor Almendros.
That is all I have for you …what are you thinking about today?
I’ve spent the better part of last evening and this morning trying to figure out where the bottom might be on this petit mal of a global financial crisis caused by British Politicians opening up a public referendum to something that never should have been put to a public vote. I’m rather hoping the Queen nixes the entire thing but even though it’s possible, it’s unlikely.
A few things from my gut. I do believe we’re going to see the UK break up over the BREXIT vote. Scotland and Northern Ireland will go for independence and unification with Ireland, respectively. They both overwhelmingly voted “remain”.
I’ve been watching the market for the Sterling try to find a bottom. Even U.S. equities have not been spared which means a lot of Americans woke up appreciably poorer today and farther from retirement. Be prepared for a lot less spending on items deemed luxuries like vacations, meals out, and all forms of entertainment. This basically means prepare for a downturn. It may or may not become a recession. It is causing a financial crisis so we’ll get to see how resilient the financial markets and banks have become since 8 years ago.
I could write a book on this and–indeed –I need to hit the World Bank up for some currency data shortly to update my work on parity as prices, wages, and exchange rates bounce around for awhile. I will be out there in the vast reaches of 2nd and 3rd derivatives looking for some sign of inflection points. Suffice it to say, I’m happy to not be invested any where but bank accounts and U.S. real estate. This is not going to be pretty for any of us.
Let me get started on a few stylistic details. The UK kept the pound sterling instead of joining the currency union so some of the issues surrounding Greece are not in this situation. The UK also has a fairly solid base of assets including businesses and real estate so it’s had a AAA rating on bonds. It’s likely to lose that but it’s not without real wealth. The deal is that by disturbing set trade arrangements we will see wages, prices, and interest rates adjust to find some level of market comfort. (This is the parity concept I just mentioned above.)
Market disorientation is likely to create some really bad effects for some time on all major trade partners of the UK. This means the EU, US and the commonwealth as all the details start being sorted out by industry, country, and market. We’re likely to head to a recession along with Europe but it’s not a certainty at this point. Business confusion usually means putting ends to the easy things to get rid of which means labor and inventory orders go along side with households that won’t be buying anything but essentials. The economy will slow down. The question is by how much and how long? This will be compounded by the Scots and Northern Irish looking to bail and stay in the EU. I’m not sure about Gibraltar or Wales to be honest. I don’t know about their specific arrangements in terms of how they are legally bound to the UK arrangement.
Needless to say, London would like to go back to City State status because this will hurt them most of all. London–after New York and along with Tokyo–is a global financial center. I doubt the pound sterling will regain its status.
My strongest sentiment is that this should’ve never gone to public vote. NEVER. In a parliamentary system you get crazy stuff like this. It’s this kind of thing that makes me very glad we’re a Republic with stodgy checks and balances. I’d definitely put this under the heading of tyranny by a slight majority. It seems many of them were making protest votes and are now shocked to see what happened.
This should be a lesson to our voters.This was crude nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the kind of provincialism that one finds in backwaters in our country.
Older Brits may hate the Germans still and dealing with their remains of the empire, but the same folks that voted for it are likely the ones that will be hit hardest. They will be the first on unemployment lines and the first with pension cuts. This also eliminates opportunity for young people.
First, let me say that the happiest about this are right wing nationalists. They are likely partying like it’s 1939.
Europe’s far-right parties have rejoiced at the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, hailing it as a victory for their own anti-immigration and anti-EU stances and vowing to push for similar referendums in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Denmark.
France’s Front National (FN) hailed Brexit as a clear boost for Marine Le Pen’s presidential bid next spring, as well as a move that gave momentum to the party’s anti-Europe and anti-immigration line.
“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” Le Pen wrote on Twitter.
The markets reacted immediately with the first blow felt in Tokyo. I’ve been doing stuff in finance and banking since 1980 and I’ve never seen anything like this.
It’s certainly possible that markets will calm down overnight and throughout the weekend — no one can promise to offer an accurate forecast — but immediate signs from across the world were alarming.
Here are five glaring alarm signs:
1. The Bloomberg terminal screen perhaps offers the world’s first broadest reaction to the news, and it was flashing red all over with headlines early Friday morning. The screen noted heavy losses across Asian stock markets, while also noting that foreign currencies were strengthening against the British pound. Yields on U.S. Treasuries were falling, a sign of a flight to safety among investors.
2. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which has held up in the face of worries about Brexit in recent weeks, appeared primed for deep declines Friday. At half past midnight, S&P futures, which are traded throughout the night, were down 5 percent.
You can follow the link to WAPO to view the rest. It’s very unsettling to see that red screen on the Bloomberg terminal. That’s the alerts of severe market moves. Those things replaced ticker tapes back in my day and this is nothing you ever want to see. The Asian markets melted down immediately and trade was halted on all things UK and many things after that.
This morning, PM David Cameron resigned. He’s been a bit of a trainwreck so that’s mixed news. The problem is that the reins of government may go to the folks most avid about Brexit.
The prime minister’s team were left shocked and distraught by the narrow win for leave, with 52% of the vote, after polls had suggested a move towards a comfortable margin for remain in the final few days of campaigning.
In the statement announcing his intention to step down, Cameron highlighted the key achievements of his premiership, including rebuilding the economy after the financial crisis and legislating to allow gay marriage.
The process of choosing his successor will now begin, with Tory MPs selecting a two-person shortlist, which will then be presented to the party’s members in the country to make a final decision.
Cameron called the referendum as a calculated gamble, aimed at silencing the Eurosceptics in his own party for a generation.
Yet he had underestimated the backing Vote Leave would receive on his own backbenches; and reckoned without the charismatic and popular former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, becoming its figurehead.
Johnson, whose support among the Tory membership shot up after he declared himself for out, is now widely seen as the most likely successor to the prime minister.
The former mayor of London insisted on Friday there was “no need for haste” in negotiating Britain’s exit. Speaking at Vote Leave’s headquarters, Johnson struck a statesmanlike tone, paying tribute to Cameron’s leadership. “This does not mean that the UK will be in any way less united; nor indeed does it mean that it will be any less European,” he said.
A lot of the vote had to do with the mass migration of folks into the UK which is why tanking the EU has always been favored by nationalists through out Europe. It helped the economy a lot but as usual, nervous provincial white folks panic at the sight of diversity and populist politicians use their angst. But this is a double edge sword because younger Brits will not have the opportunities they used to which could take them outside the island itself.
The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion. 630,000 foreign nationals settled in Britain in the single year 2015. Britain’s population has grown from 57 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2015, despite a native birth rate that’s now below replacement. On Britain’s present course, the population would top 70 million within another decade, half of that growth immigration-driven.
British population growth is not generally perceived to benefit British-born people. Migration stresses schools, hospitals, and above all, housing. The median house price in London already amounts to 12 times the median local salary. Rich migrants outbid British buyers for the best properties; poor migrants are willing to crowd more densely into a dwelling than British-born people are accustomed to tolerating.
This migration has been driven both by British membership in the European Union and by Britain’s own policy: The flow of immigration to the U.K. is almost exactly evenly divided between EU and non-EU immigration. And more is to come, from both sources: Much of the huge surge of Middle Eastern and North African migrants to continental Europe since 2013 seems certain to arrive in Britain; as Prime Minister David Cameron likes to point out, Britain has created more jobs since 2010 than all the rest of the EU combined.
The June 23 vote represents a huge popular rebellion against a future in which British people feel increasingly crowded within—and even crowded out of—their own country: More than 200,000 British-born people leave the U.K. every year for brighter futures abroad, in Australia above all, the United States in second place.
As Britain awoke on Friday to the news that it had voted in favor of withdrawing from the European Union, voters were introduced to their new reality with a stunning admission from Nigel Farage, the pro-Brexit advocate who leads the U.K. Independence Party. Farage said that the Vote Leave campaign’s signature pledge—that leaving the European Union would allow for £350 million to be spent on the U.K.’s National Health Service—was a “mistake.”Farage’s mea culpa was made during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, where he was asked if he could continue supporting that promise after the campaign to extract the United Kingdom from the European Union had succeeded.“No I can’t, and I would have never made that claim,” Farage said. “It was one of the mistakes I think the ‘leave’ campaign made”
Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU; Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain. England drove this result, andspecifically Little England—the older, whiter areas outside the big cities. The Leave campaign might have paid superficial lip service to the idea of a global Britain with more room for Bangladeshi immigrants, but make no mistake: this was a racist campaign that ended up causing both death and disaster.
The world’s bond markets (and, even more, its foreign-exchange markets) tell you everything you need to know about the financial implications of this vote: recession in the UK, quite possibly recession in Europe, and extremely nasty spillover effects in the rest of the world, including the U.S. The small-minded burghers of rural England have managed to destroy trillions of dollars of value globally, including to their own investments, pension plans, and housing values. And things will get worse before they get worse: it’s going to take a while for all the subsequent shoes to drop.
Make no mistake, the forces set in motion by this vote will not end here. France and Spain will want their own referendums; so will Scotland. Northern Ireland—the only part of the UK which has a land border with another EU country—will request and probably receive a referendum on whether it should just rejoin the Republic of Ireland, and Europe.
Britain has been in many ways the most unambiguous winner of the European project: it received all the advantages of free trade with an enormous economic bloc, while also having a floating currency instead of one which was pegged mercilessly to how things were going in Germany. The British vote will embolden demands across Europe for similar votes, many of which will have the same result. This is, in other words, the beginning of the end of Europe as we know it.
This vote is also the grimmest of reminders of the power still held by the older generation, not only in the UK but around the world. Young Britons—the multicultural generation which grew up in and of Europe, the people who have only ever known European passports—voted overwhelmingly to remain. They’re the generation that just lost its future. Meanwhile, Britons over the age of 65, fed a diet of lies by a sensationalist UK press, voted by a large margin to leave. Most of them did so out of a misplaced belief that doing so might reduce immigration, or make them better off, or save them from meddling bureaucrats. In a couple of decades, most of those voters will be dead. But the consequences of their actions will resonate far beyond the grave.
In calling this vote, David Cameron has opened up a true Pandora’s Box. The forces of narrow-minded nationalism have tasted a major victory; they will want more, much more. The economic malaise that has beset all of Europe for the past decade will work in their favor, as will the growing inequality that can be seen in almost every country worldwide. International institutions like the European Union, born of an idealistic belief in peace and prosperity, have become avatars of unaccountable power, and are much loathed by the suffering European middle classes.
The result is that we are now entering a world in retreat from progress, a world of atavistic nationalisms and mutual distrust, a world in which we demonize foreigners and prefer walls to bridges.
On both sides of the Atlantic, political establishments and the elites have found themselves on the defensive. Rising resentment over the fallout from globalization and the effects of the financial collapse of 2008, which has widened the gap between the rich and everyone else, has divided voters in Britain and the United States.
Added to that are emotional issues of national and cultural identity at a time of growing demographic diversity, highlighted in both countries by often-angry debates over immigration. Both Trump and those pushing for Britain to leave the European Union have found the immigration issue to be their most potent political weapon.
Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” could easily have been adapted to the messaging of those in the “leave” campaign across the pond. Here, that desire for a return to an earlier time — to make Britain great again — is expressed through the issue of control.
Well, that was pretty awesome – and I mean that in the worst way. A number of people deserve vast condemnation here, from David Cameron, who may go down in history as the man who risked wrecking Europe and his own nation for the sake of a momentary political advantage, to the seriously evil editors of Britain’s tabloids, who fed the public a steady diet of lies.
That said, I’m finding myself less horrified by Brexit than one might have expected – in fact, less than I myself expected. The economic consequences will be bad, but not, I’d argue, as bad as many are claiming. The political consequences might be much more dire; but many of the bad things I fear would probably have happened even if Remain had won.
Start with the economics.
Yes, Brexit will make Britain poorer. It’s hard to put a number on the trade effects of leaving the EU, but it will be substantial. True, normal WTO tariffs (the tariffs members of the World Trade Organization, like Britain, the US, and the EU levy on each others’ exports) are low and other traditional restraints on trade relatively mild. But everything we’ve seen in both Europe and North America suggests that the assurance of market access has a big effect in encouraging long-term investments aimed at selling across borders; revoking that assurance will, over time, erode trade even if there isn’t any kind of trade war. And Britain will become less productive as a result.
But right now all the talk is about financial repercussions – plunging markets, recession in Britain and maybe around the world, and so on. I still don’t see it.
He’s done some pretty horrifying back of the envelop number krunching that you may meditate on for awhile. Just be very glad you don’t have to buy anything in pounds sterling. Europe looks pretty bad, has for some time, and will have ongoing issues. This just kind’ve hastens the problems and yes, Angel Merkel needs to do some penitence. England, however, they just dove into the abyss. For the first time in my life, I am glad I don’t live there.
So, we can discuss this and I can try to answer questions. Frankly, this is all new even to those of of us that study currency unions and trade arrangements. Generally speaking, shutting oneself off from one’s neighbors tends to lead to nasty things. That’s why I can’t decide if I should party likes it’s 1929 or 1939. Let’s watch to see what the Central Banks and the World Bank do. That should give us some clues.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?