This attempted coup is disgusting…here are a few thoughts on the violence this past week.
I think it all stems from the fact that a black man was elected President some years ago….tRump supporters have something in common. They are white supremacist, bigoted assholes.
Just waiting for…
This is an open thread.
This is too much déjà vu…how many times have we seen the phrase “justice for…” used to represent the murder of a black man or woman or child?
The protest are growing…last night my daughter sent me this message as she was driving back from Florida:
I feel this:
And also this:
This is an open thread.
I want to start this post with something warm and cute, be sure to play the video…
Because the rest of the thread is fucking disturbing and disgusting as hell.
I take it you all are aware of the murder that took place in Minnesota?
The image is graphic, but you need to click on the tweet above to see the powerful statement in full.
In other news:
That is it…it’s all got me so pissed off.
What about you?
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
I struggled yesterday and today about sharing my experience Thursday morning with you. I had to go in for labs at the clinic of the hospital I’ve used for years. It’s a regional hospital and attracts people from all over SE Louisiana. It also sits within blocks of where Orleans Parish becomes Jefferson Parish. As such, it’s part of Congressman Steve (‘David Duke without the baggage’) Scalise who appears quite cozy in today’s Republican Party. You can never crawl away from history here. It’s a lesson I relearn frequently.
Now, I had the usual orders of not eating or drinking before these tests and I was loopy from lack of coffee. The minute they were done I headed straight for coffee at the snack bar. Relieved, I sat down, drinking, snacking on a cinnamon roll, and just sort of watching people come and go. Mostly, I saw a lot of elderly people being attended by a lot of what Mr Roger’s would call “the helpers”. This quote has stayed with me a long time. It’s always wonderful watching how nurturing people can be and how many take jobs where they patiently nurture and help all day.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
You can’t help but notice that the helpers in a hospital these days are quite diverse but in a big city you get to see all of humanity. I was sitting next to a helper whose job it is to see to any one needing assistance to get their destination. She was also watching every one come in the clinic door. At one point, an elderly white woman came in the door with her daughter who was probably a bit younger than me but could’ve been a lot younger. It was hard to tell. She immediately grabbed a wheel chair and began the process of getting her mother situated.
It was then I saw the black t shirt with white lettering and an equally white image. The top of shirt displayed “Get Bent” boldly. It was easy to read. The bottom lettering I never managed to get to because the image caught my eye and I started going through the “No, it can’t be. I can’t be seeing that” exercise in my head. “It’s a spoon!” I thought! “Yup. Bent spoon ! That makes sense right?” But, no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of seeing what I was seeing I had to admit my eyes were not lying to me. There was the twine of a rope. The twisted knot. The telltale loop. It was definitely a noose.
As that woman began pushing her mother’s chair by me, I turned to the black woman beside me, the helper, mouthing “Do you see that?” Again, I was hoping she could tell me I was seeing things. She said what? By that time the woman and chair were well behind us and I fought the urge to go snap a picture just so I could tell myself over and over that my eyes weren’t lying. “There’s a noose on her t shirt. A noose”.
The woman said, “Well that’s the sort’ve thing that is looking to start something.” She could tell I was fighting my instincts to chase down that wheel chair for a reason I cannot yet figure out. She saw me and suggested I take a few deep breaths and she started actually taking me through that process. She was a professional helper in patient care who was used to calming down nervous people in a clinic. She repeated my story to two other people while I was there and they looked at me. I told them, yes that’s what I saw and I am so sorry because I really have no idea why any one could be so openly cruel. My mind silently added, so openly cruel in a place where your mother needs help from every one whose job here is to give it to her and this is how you thank them. Every one employed at a hospital clinic is in the helping profession. Every person.
Today, I woke up to doing my usual coffee and reading of the newspapers in my own bed. The NYT had that picture of Tulane that’s up top there. I immediately recognized it but again, kept trying to tell myself that I’m just seeing things. I wasn’t. The date is 1987 and that’s clearly Tulane University. Again, Tulane kicked this frat out a long time ago but the students continue to join and go to school there and some subset of “grown ups in the room” let that picture get posted to a yearbook.
“Black people in general have had to deal with a lot of these things that have happened,” said Dr. David Randolph Sr., an oncologist in Richmond, Va., who graduated from Mr. Northam’s medical school in 1983 and recalled going to a party in the early 2000s and seeing a white couple dressed in full blackface as Venus and Serena Williams. “Everybody except me and my wife kind of looked at them as a matter of course.”
The frantic apology that Dr. Randolph received from the couple underscores what seems obvious: Blackface now and from its beginnings has been known to be offensive, “the filthy scum of white society,” as Frederick Douglass called it in 1848. That did not hamper its popularity. For more than a century it was in the mainstream of American pop culture, in Broadway plays and in Bing Crosby movies, before receding as the civil rights movement ascended.
But blackface has lingered, withdrawing into certain white settings cordoned off from public view.
I’m struggling with how I can best play a role in alleviating and eliminating racism in our society. Today, I feel like I’m clueless and inept. I guess my best response right now is to just turn to the black person next to me, let them know what I see and what I feel which is basically awful. I will let them tell me how best to respond or if I should respond. I just apologize endlessly a lot which really seems empty. I need to listen more.
Here’s some news headlines. I’ve been following including the Bezo/Pecker thing.
This link is from Allyson Chiu and Kayla Epstein at The Washington Post: “Ronan Farrow says he also received ‘blackmail’ threat over reporting on the National Enquirer and Trump”.
Last April, Farrow published a story in the New Yorker about the Enquirer’s “catch and kill” practice — in which stories are buried by paying off sources — that benefited Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
AMI did not immediately return a message from The Post about Farrow’s claim.
The allegations from Bezos and Farrow have since prompted other journalists and media outlets to come forward with claims that they too had been targeted by AMI for reporting on the Enquirer.
In response to Farrow, former Associated Press editor Ted Bridis tweeted a similar story.
Bridis claimed in a separate tweet referencing Bezos’s Medium post that AMI, the Enquirer and its lawyers “tried to shut down public interest reporting on tabloid’s work on behalf of Trump.”
The Daily Beast also reported that attorneys for AMI responded aggressively to two stories published last week that detailed Bezos’s investigation into the Enquirer. In its story about Thursday’s Medium post, the Daily Beast disclosed that during the process of that reporting, the publication “and a member of its staff were threatened by AMI’s attorneys.”
From The Boston Globe Op Ed page and Margery Eagan: “Race, not abortion, was the founding issue of the religious right”.
Here are some facts that might surprise you.
In 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, the biggest white evangelical group in America, the Southern Baptist Convention, supported its legalization. The group continued that support through much of the 1970s. And the late Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, did not give his first antiabortion speech until 1978, five years after Roe.
Though opposition to abortion is what many think fueled the powerful conservative white evangelical right, 81 percent of whom voted for Donald Trump, it was really school integration, according to Randall Balmer, chairman of the religion department at Dartmouth. The US Supreme Court ruled public school segregation unconstitutional in 1954. In 1976 it ruled against segregated private schools. Then courts went after the tax exemptions of these private all-white Southern schools, or so-called segregation academies, like Falwell’s Liberty Christian Academy.
The late Paul Weyrich, whom Balmer called the organizational genius behind the religious right, had long tried to mobilize evangelical voters around some hot-button issue: feminism, school prayer, pornography, abortion. But nothing lit a fire like the federal government’s threat to all-white schools. Only in 1979, a full six years after Roe, did Weyrich urge evangelical leaders to also crusade against abortion, Balmer said in an interview. That was, after all, a far more palatable, acceptable crusade, one with a seeming high moral purpose, unlike a race-based crusade against black children.
The powers that be always work to divide us.
From the Washington Post: “‘My whole town practically lived there’: From Costa Rica to New Jersey, a pipeline of illegal workers for Trump goes back years”. We continue to find out that Trump’s fascination with undocumented works seems to be purely political and purely related to race baiting.
At his home on the misty slope of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Dario Angulo keeps a set of photographs from the years he tended the rolling fairways and clipped greens of a faraway American golf resort.
Angulo learned to drive backhoes and bulldozers, carving water hazards and tee boxes out of former horse pastures in Bedminster, N.J., where a famous New Yorker was building a world-class course. Angulo earned $8 an hour, a fraction of what a state-licensed heavy equipment operator would make, with no benefits or overtime pay. But he stayed seven years on the grounds crew, saving enough for a small piece of land and some cattle back home.
Now the 34-year-old lives with his wife and daughters in a sturdy house built by “Trump money,” as he put it, with a porch to watch the sun go down.
It’s a common story in this small town.
Other former employees of President Trump’s company live nearby: men who once raked the sand traps and pushed mowers through thick heat on Trump’s prized golf property — the “Summer White House,” as aides have called it — where his daughter Ivanka got married and where he wants to build a family cemetery.
“Many of us helped him get what he has today,” Angulo said. “This golf course was built by illegals.”
So, if you’re really into farce, turn on the TV and watch what passes as an Acting Attorney General discuss what’s supposed to pass for a President of the United states.
So, I hope you have a great weekend. Remember to do something nice for the Helpers if you get a chance.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
There is so much news this morning that it’s difficult to know what to focus on. I guess I’ll begin with the followup to the story Dakinikat wrote about in yesterday’s post–Trump’s horrifying decision to withdraw from the INF treaty. This was nothing but a gift to Trump’s puppet master Putin–did they coordinate this?
Associated Press: Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after US does same.
MOSCOW (AP) — Following in the footsteps of the U.S., Russia will abandon a centerpiece nuclear arms treaty but will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.
U.S. President Donald Trump accused Moscow on Friday of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with “impunity” by deploying banned missiles. Trump said in a statement that the U.S. will “move forward” with developing its own military response options to Russia’s new land-based cruise missiles that could target Western Europe.
The collapse of the INF Treaty has raised fears of a repeat of a Cold War showdown in the 1980s, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union both deployed intermediate-range missiles on the continent. Such weapons were seen as particularly destabilizing as they only take a few minutes to reach their targets, leaving no time for decision-makers and raising the likelihood of a global nuclear conflict over a false launch warning.
After the U.S. gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the treaty in six months, Putin said that Russia would do the same. He ordered the development of new land-based intermediate-range weapons, but emphasized that Russia won’t deploy them in the European part of the country or elsewhere unless the U.S. does so.
“We will respond quid pro quo,” Putin said. “Our American partners have announced they were suspending their participation in the treaty and will do the same. They have announced they will conduct research and development, and we will act accordingly.”
“Quid pro quo?” Is that shade from Putin? Because it’s obvious as this point that Trump is checking off everything on Putin’s wish list in order to repay him for the 2016 election and likely promises that he’ll eventually get that Trump Tower in Moscow.
And it’s not just the 2016 election. Natasha has a revealing post up at The Atlantic this morning on Robert Mueller’s latest court filing: Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within.
A new court filing submitted on Wednesday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that a Russian troll farm currently locked in a legal battle over its alleged interference in the 2016 election appeared to wage yet another disinformation campaign late last year—this time targeting Mueller himself.
According to the filing, the special counsel’s office turned over one million pages of evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting as part of the discovery process. The firm is accused of funding the troll farm, known as the Internet Research Agency. But someone connected to Concord allegedly manipulated and leaked those documents to reporters, hoping the documents would make people think that Mueller’s evidence against the troll farm and its owners was flimsy. The tactic didn’t seem to convince anyone, but it appeared to mark yet another example of Russia exploiting the U.S. justice system to undercut its rivals abroad….
When Mueller indicted Concord Management and Consulting in February 2018, along with two other corporate entities and 13 Russian nationals allegedly connected to the Internet Research Agency, it seemed highly unlikely that the indictment would result in a trial because Russians cannot be extradited to the United States. But Concord unexpectedly hired the well-connected American law firm, Reed Smith, to fight Mueller, arguing that the charges should be dropped because the special counsel was illegally appointed. The judge in the case, Dabney Friedrich, has twice refused to dismiss the case and recently lambasted Concord’s American lawyers for submitting “unprofessional, inappropriate and ineffective” court filings, and the legal battle has raged on.
Now, according to the Mueller filing this week, unidentified actors working out of Russia appear to have weaponize the U.S. discovery process to Concord’s benefit. Over 1,000 files on the website that hosted the leaked documents “match those produced in discovery,” the special counsel said. The documents were published from a computer with a Russian IP address, according to Mueller, and whoever released them clearly “had access to at least some of the non-sensitive discovery produced by the government.” But forged documents were mixed in to the trove, too, apparently in an attempt to accuse Mueller of characterizing American websites and Facebook pages like Occupy Democrats as Russian disinformation operations. The website also inserted irrelevant documents into the unique folder names—known only to those with access to the discovery materials—and characterized them as the sum-total of Mueller’s evidence “in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation,” the special counsel said.
It’s complicated, so I hope you’ll go read the rest at The Atlantic.
Yesterday, the The Virginian-Pilot broke the news that Governor Ralph Northam included a racist photo of himself and another man in his medical school yearbook. I’m not going to post the photo; I’m sure you’ve seen it by now.
A photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook shows him and another person in racist costumes — one wearing blackface and one a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, though it was not clear which person was the future governor.
Hours after the 35-year-old photo came to light Friday, Northam apologized for his decision to appear in it. Elected officials and activist groups from across the political spectrum called for him to resign.
But in a video posted to Twitter Friday evening, Northam said he had spent the past year “fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people” and he would continue to do so throughout the rest of his term, which ends in January 2022.
Northam admitted that he appears in the photo, but for some reason did not say which of the costumed men he is. It’s obvious he is going to have to step down, but as of this morning he’s apparently still hanging on. Multiple Democratic politicians, including former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe have called for his resignation.
Shortly after this news broke, CBS New reported that the yearbook also lists a racist nickname for Northam, who was 25 years old at the time.
CBS News uncovered a page from Northam’s yearbook at the Virginia Military Institute that had nicknames listed underneath his name. One of them was “Coonman,” a racial slur.
Northam has to go, but the upside of this is that his Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is a rising star and would be Virginia’s second black governor if Northam resigns. The Washington Post:
Justin Fairfax is an Ivy League-educated lawyer descended from slaves, who as lieutenant governor of Virginia was known mostly for sitting out tributes to Confederate leaders in the historic Capitol in Richmond.
He could now become the commonwealth’s 74th governor, if fellow Democrat Ralph Northam resigns over a racist photo he included in his medical school yearbook in 1984.
Fairfax, 39, was elected as Northam’s deputy in the 2017 blue wave in which Democrats won all three statewide offices and picked up 15 seats in the House of Delegates.
He would be the second African American governor of Virginia, following L. Douglas Wilder, who held the office from 1990 to 1994. Only two other African Americans have been governors in modern U.S. history.
Read more about Northam’s background at the WaPo. Also check out this powerful piece at the Root: Justin Fairfax, The King of Confederate Shade, Shuts Down 100-Year Tribute to American Traitors.
For more than 100 years, the Virginia State Senate has had a little tradition, where they honor Confederate “heroes” Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee at the close of a Senate session sometime near the birthdays of two men. Now if you didn’t take Treason 101 in high school, you probably missed the part where Jackson and Lee were part of the Confederacy that broke away from the United States and started the Civil War by firing on Fort Sumter. Perhaps you also didn’t learn that Robert E. Lee, as head of the Confederate Army, is responsible for more American deaths than the Nazis, The Vietcong, ISIS, the LAPD, Cobra, Hydra, and high blood pressure.
The point is, at the time and by modern standards, Jackson and Lee were horrible men. They also happen to have birthdays very close to each other (Jackson, January 21; Lee, January 19) and Jackson occasionally shares a birthday with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Consequently, for years, on or around the birthdays of these two Confederates, a member of the Virginia Senate would announce, “I would like to adjourn in honor of General Lee or Stonewall Jackson.”
The Senate would agree, someone would take the podium to speak a couple of words, and then everyone would break for orange slices and Mint Julip Capri-Suns. All of this has gone off without a hitch for decades, even after the first African Americans got elected to the Virginia Senate; even after the state adopted the ridiculous Lee-Jackson-King Holiday from 1984 to 2000; even after Virginia elected its first black governor, Doug Wilder, from 1990-1994. However, Justin Fairfax didn’t come to Richmond to play footsie with Confederates and he is very much his great-grandfather’s child….
Since being elected Lt. Governor of Virginia in 2017, Fairfax has served as the president of the state Senate and has quietly left the podium whenever state senators have attempted to honor Stonewall or Lee at the end of the session. He did it last Friday when a Republican senator stepped up to honor Robert E. Lee. The reasons are obvious. First, no one should be honoring American traitors in a government building, no matter where that traitor was born. Secondly, Justin Fairfax, a man who literally took his oath of office with his three-greats-ago grandfather’s Freedom papers in his pocket, knows history and knows power.
It sounds like Fairfax would do just fine as governor; he was expected to run in 2021 after Northam completed his term-limited governorship anyway.
I’m post a few more important reads in the comment thread, but I want to call attention to this one from Raw Story: ‘Incredibly dangerous’: Yale psychiatrist warns Trump will resort to ‘extreme measures’ as Mueller closes in.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump declared that he was not concerned about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
He claimed that departing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein had told him he was not a person of interest in the investigation.
“He told the attorneys that I’m not a subject, I’m not a target,” Mr. Trump told the New York Times.
Nevertheless, the probe seems to be circling closer to the president and his family. The arrest of long-time Trump ally Roger Stone—and wording in his indictment that suggested he’d been directed to perform criminal acts by a more senior campaign official—spurred discussion that Donald Trump Jr. or even Trump himself would be implicated in Stone’s alleged crimes.
Trump also told the Times that he would build a wall along the Southwest border with Mexico regardless of Congress.
Raw Story spoke with Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee about how the latest developments are likely to impact the president. Lee’s views are her own, not a reflection of Yale’s position.
I hope you’ll go read the whole interview. Here’s an excerpt:
Bandy X. Lee: His anxieties are palpable, as he resorts to more and more extreme measures and unreal justifications for building a wall. We had the extended shutdown that put us at real security risk, according to the FBI, and declaring a national emergency is a very real possibility.
He needs to maintain his shrinking base as well as to give himself a sense of victory, and he will go to all lengths to achieve it. What concerns me, however, is our own lack of readiness for when the real crisis comes. As a nation, we continue merely to react, while dangers escalate, and underestimate the profound effects that mental instability can have.
With all the negative news for Mr. Trump, “rational” people may feel relief, as he is finally held to account, but while being driven to a corner, the president’s only desperate remaining diversion may be war. Forces around the globe—the Israelis and the Saudis, for example—want that for their own reasons, and with a foreign policy team that now reflects his psychology, times could turn incredibly dangerous.
What stories have you been following?