Good Day Sky Dancers!
We just can’t seem to get rid of them! It’s like there’s a plague of locusts in every nook, crack, and cranny of our government incessantly making a horrid buzzing sound and devouring everything in sight! I’ve read stories today about these persistent right wing pests in just about every level and branch. Trump’s Deplorables are hunkering down for a long fight.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell –chief Judge of the Federal Court in the District–has to deal with the capitol riot suspects. CNN has the story on one of them who is going to be in jail for some time.
The chief judge of the federal court in Washington scorched Capitol riot suspects during a hearing on Thursday, calling their actions an assault on American democracy and ruling that a man who had bragged about putting his feet on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office should stay in jail as he awaits trial.
“This was not a peaceful protest. Hundreds of people came to Washington, DC, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said in the hourlong hearing for Capitol riot defendant Richard Barnett on Thursday.
Howell’s remarks are some of the first from a federal district judge over the more than 150 criminal cases that resulted from the siege. Her decision on Barnett also marks the first ruling in an appeal from the Justice Department after a magistrate judge out of Washington denied its request to keep a Capitol riot suspect in jail. At least four others are awaiting rulings from district judges in Washington after appeals.
Howell made clear she believes the crowd was trying to thwart the federal legislative branch from carrying out its duties.
“We’re still living here in Washington, DC, with the consequences of the violence that this defendant is alleged to have participated in,” she said.
“Just outside this courthouse … are visible reminders of the January 6 riot and assault on the Capitol,” the judge said, noting that she can see National Guard troops from the window in her chambers in the courthouse.
Barnett is charged with entering the restricted grounds of the Capitol, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and for theft of public property, after he allegedly took a letter from Pelosi’s office.
“The titles of those offenses don’t even properly capture the scope of what Mr. Barnett is accused of doing here,” Howell said at the hearing.
The judge noted that Barnett had bragged to a reporter that he had written “a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk and scratched my balls” in Pelosi’s office. Barnett’s lawyer says he hadn’t seen the report of that quote from his client in The Washington Post.
As BB wrote yesterday, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is a problem for every one with some of the most extremist, racist views as well as the entire Q Anon list of conspiracy theories as her guiding lights. Axios had this to say today: “Scoop: GOP ignored its early fears about Marjorie Taylor Greene”.
During previously unreported meetings last summer, House Republican leaders discussed — but then largely set aside — fears that QAnon-supporting conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene would end up a flaming trainwreck for their party.
Why it matters: Greene has emerged not just as an embarrassment but a challenge for the GOP, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now forced to weigh whether to maintain his policy of sanctioning members who make dangerous statements.
In a series of conversations described to Axios by sources with direct knowledge of their contents, former Rep. Mark Walker was especially vocal about the “crazy” Greene. Reps. Liz Cheney and Steve Scalise also spoke up. But McCarthy and others ultimately did little to stop her.
- A spokesperson for Greene did not respond to a call or email from Axios.
Behind the scenes: John Cowan, Greene’s opponent in August’s primary runoff for Georgia’s 14th District seat, recalls separate conversations he had with McCarthy and Scalise, the House GOP whip, in which both men acknowledged Greene was a serious problem for the party.
- Cowan detailed a phone conversation he had with McCarthy in July, during which he warned him about wild opposition research they had against Greene.
- “I said, ‘She’s bad for the party,'” Cowan told Axios during a 30-minute interview Thursday. “I said she has real problems and does not represent, at least what I think of as, someone who would be allowed even in a big-tented party. I mean, at some point, you have to say, ‘No shoes, no shirt, no service.'”
- While both McCarthy and Scalise condemned Greene, and Scalise endorsed and raised money for and donated to Cowan, it wasn’t enough to overcome the vocal support for Greene from Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The backing of Meadows, his wife, Debbie, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was so strong that Cowan never had a real shot against Greene, he said.
- “The House Freedom Caucus put their fingers on the scale in a big way,” said Cowan, a neurosurgeon. “By default it was sort of, ‘She must be Trump’s person.’ If those guys are going to bat for her, she must be Trump’s endorsed person.”
Greene also came up repeatedly during McCarthy’s leadership meetings last summer, a source with direct knowledge told Axios.
- Scalise, Cheney and Walker gathered for the weekly meeting in the conference room of McCarthy’s office in the Capitol and plotted how they should deal with her.
- Walker, now running for North Carolina’s open Senate seat in 2022, strenuously argued they needed to do more to stop this “crazy” woman who threatened to bring down the party, according to a source with direct knowledge.
- Cheney (R-Wyo.) also spoke up aggressively in these meetings about the danger of having Greene in the party.
- Scalise (R-La.) and McCarthy (R-Calif.) ended up putting out statements condemning her, yet McCarthy didn’t do much beyond that once it was clear she was going to win the race by a healthy margin.
The bottom line: “Everybody was well aware of her previous persona and who she is. I would say they all knew she was going to be a problem,” Cowan told Axios.
- “Maybe they just assumed that the awe of winning an election would calm her down a little bit, and so she would actually be interested in governing and be interested in policy, and she’s just clearly not. She is literally there for a stage production.”
Greene’s a subject of Jonathan Chait’s latest and the list of her belief system just gets more over the top with every finding. You may have seen this little doozy down thread in yesterday’s post by BB. ” GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Laser”.
The top example of a conservative mischief-maker, presented in perfect symmetry, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Greene’s views are just a bit more controversial. They include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
The QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Donald Trump is secretly fighting a worldwide child-sex-slavery ring that was supposed to culminate in the mass arrest of his political opposition, is “worth listening to.”
• Muslims don’t belong in government.
• 9/11 was an inside job.
• “Zionist supremacists” are secretly masterminding Muslim immigration to Europe in a scheme to outbreed white people.
• Leading Democratic officials should be executed.
The most recent Greene view to be unearthed comes via Eric Hananoki. Just over two years ago, Greene suggested in a Facebook post that wildfires in California were not natural. Forests don’t just catch fire, you know. Rather, the blazes had been started by PG&E, in conjunction with the Rothschilds, using a space laser, in order to clear room for a high-speed rail project.
Naill Stanage writes this in The Hill: ” The Memo: Center-right Republicans fear party headed for disaster”.
The centrists’ worry is that the party is branding itself as the party of insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists. This spells catastrophe for the GOP’s ability to appeal beyond a hardcore base, they say.
Ten House Republicans voted to impeach President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 ransacking of the Capitol, but the chances of him being convicted in the Senate seem close to zero.
The GOP activist base still loves Trump, and a related ecosystem of bellicose conservative media has lambasted those who have broken from him.
Now the GOP is spending the critical early days of President Biden’s administration squabbling over what to do about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Greene, a backer of the QAnon conspiracy theory, has also backed social media posts calling for the execution of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Video has emerged of Greene taunting David Hogg, the young gun control activist who survived the 2018 high school massacre in Parkland, Fla.
Greene has, so far, not been stripped of her committee assignments by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), even though this fate befell then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in 2019 when he suggested that white supremacism was not offensive.
Tensions within the party are at boiling point.
The biggest problem is that our democracy is built on the assumption of two functioning parties in charge of the process and system. Today’s Washington Post notes: “Hostility between congressional Republicans and Democrats reaches new lows amid growing fears of violence”.
Open hostility broke out among Republicans and Democrats in Congress on Thursday amid growing fears of physical violence and looming domestic terrorism threats from supporters of former president Donald Trump, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leveling an extraordinary allegation that dangers lurk among the membership itself.
“The enemy is within the House of Representatives, a threat that members are concerned about, in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a Thursday morning news conference.
But even as she and others sounded the alarm, Republicans continued to deepen their ties to the former president, who has been impeached on a charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Hours after Pelosi’s remarks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with Trump in Florida. In a statement, the pair vowed to work together to take back the House. On Thursday afternoon, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Trump acolyte, traveled to the district of Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), a member of the House GOP leadership, to hold a rally criticizing her vote to impeach Trump earlier this month.
The events reflected the extent to which the country’s legislative branch, which has for years been mired in partisan bickering, has reached new levels of animosity just as newly inaugurated President Biden is seeking to win passage of a massive bill designed to help lift the country out of the pandemic.
Some Democrats are expressing fears that Republican lawmakers — who in some cases have tried bringing weapons onto the House floor — cannot be trusted. Some have bought bulletproof vests and are seeking other protections.
And Democratic leaders are putting maximum pressure on the Republican leadership to denounce freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who once endorsed violence against members of Congress. One Democrat advanced a resolution to expel her from Congress.
The threat from right wing militia groups looms over the entire country.
The video’s title was posed as a question, but it left little doubt about where the men who filmed it stood. They called it “The Coming Civil War?” and in its opening seconds, Jim Arroyo, who leads an Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, declared that the conflict had already begun.
To back up his claim, Mr. Arroyo cited Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, one of the most far-right members of Congress. Mr. Gosar had paid a visit to the local Oath Keepers chapter a few years earlier, Mr. Arroyo recounted, and when asked if the United States was headed for a civil war, the congressman’s “response to the group was just flat out: ‘We’re in it. We just haven’t started shooting at each other yet.’”
Less than two months after the video was posted, members of the Oath Keepers were among those with links to extremist groups from around the country who took part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prompting new scrutiny of the links between members of Congress and an array of organizations and movements that espouse far-right beliefs.
Nearly 150 House Republicans supported President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him. But Mr. Gosar and a handful of other Republican members of the House had deeper ties to extremist groups who pushed violent ideas and conspiracy theories and whose members were prominent among those who stormed the halls of Congress in an effort to stop certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
This is from Nance’s op Ed.
This week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning that domestic violent extremists might be “emboldened” by the Capitol assault “to target elected officials and government facilities.” DHS is right to be worried. As an expert in counterinsurgency, I believe we need to take seriously the possibility that Trump’s most zealous supporters are now creating the conditions for long-term conflict — extending, at its worst, to persistent terrorist or paramilitary violence.
The 2014 U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual defines insurgency as “organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify, or challenge political control of a region.” The insurgent’s goal is to make existing governments seem powerless, feckless and incapable of protecting the common citizen — and then exploiting that vacuum to seize political power. The self-styled militia members, conspiracy theorists and Trump zealots who stormed the Capitol demonstrated their aspiration to thwart the workings of American democracy. How far are they willing to go?
Achieving Trump’s disruptive goals on a national scale might be simpler than we want to admit. An NBC poll reveals Trump commands the loyalty of 87 percent of Republicans — even after the Jan. 6 assault. And his followers have successfully employed a cultural tool so powerful many deny it even exists: White privilege.
During the assault on the Capitol, the deference encountered by some violent insurrectionists — in stark contrast to the massive preemptive deployments of force experienced by Black Lives Matter activists in similar situations — could only have served to confirm their assumption that they were protected by their Whiteness. Despite dire intelligence warnings that seizing the Capitol was the goal of the protest, the sergeants-at-arms for both the Senate and the House viewed it as bad “optics” to have National Guard troops present. The massive surge of insurrectionists, shielded by their inherent White privilege, were able to overpower the police, murder a policeman and freely hunt for elected representatives, including Vice President Mike Pence.
So long as these insurrectionists believe they are thus shielded, any act of defiance is within the realm of possibility. Subversion, sabotage, and attacks using snipers or explosives could be utilized to plague urban areas, damaging water- and power-supply systems or computer networks. Even spectacular deadly terrorist attacks, akin to Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 truck bombing in Oklahoma City, are not out of the question.
Trump’s fledgling insurgents are embracing the narrative that they are a modern-day, hyper-patriotic version of the “Sons of Liberty” or the defenders at Lexington or Concord. For them, this faith in their own purity is a force multiplier, but it is also a major vulnerability. We must attack this belief head-on.
Here’s something from a cultist that got out of it. You’ll also note she was Bernie supporter prior to switching to Trump if you read the article.
And, then there’s this from The Guardian that reminds us who is most happy from the chaos the Trumpist regime has brought us: “‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy”. BB has covered this before but this is from today with some updates in a book.
Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.
Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.
Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia.
Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship. He works as a corporate security investigator and was a partner of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006.
It appears we cannot possibly relax completely even though the Biden administration is going through the Pentagon and other places trying to oust Trump plants. The WSJ today reported that the Russian hacks went deeper than just Solar Winds too. Plagues and Pandemics are not easy things to get rid of.
So, it’s been nice to see more signs of normalcy in the TV news but we’re hardly done.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
We can turn this shit around!
Hey, I know…that is a little too positive, coming from someone like me…but even I have to grasp at some rays of hope. Yesterday, on my way to practice I took a picture of the sunset. It made me think of the future, in this way:
I said a little prayer, may this setting sun be the last of “tRumpian unaccountability”…and will tomorrow’s morning sun bring hope for our democracy.
That image of Tank Girl, it is morning…she is having tea and putting on her boots…preparing herself for the day’s ass kicking. We can turn this shit around! Let’s see what comes from winning the House?
Meanwhile, in Georgia:
As of 8:45 this morning, only 75,386 votes separate Kemp and Abrams…
The Democrat Stacey Abrams, a black woman, made a valiant effort to win the governor’s race in Georgia, one of the original 13 states, whose commitment to human bondage ensured that the U.S. Constitution would treat slavery with kid gloves. A state that was part of the Confederacy. A state scorched by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War. A state that refused to accept the outcome of that war, treating its black residents as second-class citizens—if that—until the federal government forced its hand, a century later, with the Voting Rights Act. She tried to write a new narrative for this state.
Although Abrams has not yet conceded, citing uncounted ballots, it looks as though the other side has won, and the narrative is the same as ever. Abrams didn’t have to fight just an electoral campaign; she had to fight a civil-rights campaign against the forces of voter suppression.
Indeed, I can’t quite bring myself to say that Abrams “lost,” because there’s an asterisk next to her Republican opponent’s victory.
Brian Kemp, who billed himself as a “Trump conservative,” refused to step aside as Georgia’s secretary of state; he ran for governor of a state while overseeing the elections in that state. Former President Jimmy Carter, a Georgian with much experience monitoring elections abroad, stressed that this conflict of interest ran “counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections—that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority.” Kemp had no intention of relinquishing a post he has held since 2010, and often wields as a weapon to cull Georgia’s electorate. He understood that he would need every trick in the book because he was up against a woman who, in addition to serving as the minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, founded a formidable voter-registration organization, the New Georgia Project.[…]Under Kemp, Georgia purged more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls, eliminating 10.6 percent of voters from the state’s registered electorate from 2016 to 2018 alone. The state shut down 214 polling places, the bulk of them in minority and poor neighborhoods. From 2013 to 2016 it blocked the registration of nearly 35,000 Georgians, including newly naturalized citizens. Georgia accomplished this feat of disfranchisement based on a screening process called “exact match,” meaning the state accepted new registrations only if they matched the information in state databases precisely, including hyphens in names, accents, and even typos.[…]Days before the deadline to register for the November election, the Associated Press reported that Kemp had put 53,000 applicants on hold due to exact-match problems. An analysis of Kemp’s records found that 70 percent of those applicants were black. (Georgia is roughly 32 percent black.) Separately, the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union found that some 700 absentee-ballot applications and almost 200 absentee ballots were rejected by county officials due to a law mandating that the signatures on absentee applications and ballots visually match the signatures on file. Thus, poor penmanship was added to the list of crimes that can lead to disenfranchisement in Georgia.[…]
In the end, it looks like Kemp won. It’s impossible to know if his attempts to restrict the franchise are what pushed him over the line. But if the Georgia race had taken place in another country—say, the Republic of Georgia—U.S. media and the U.S. State Department would not have hesitated to question its legitimacy, if for no other reason than Kemp’s dual roles as candidate and election overseer. Of course, there were other reasons. As of this morning, he led by about 75,000 votes; more than 85,000 registrations were canceled through August 1 of this year alone.
Stacy Abrams is vowing not to concede until all votes are counted. I think she should demand a recount…as well.
This is a good thread to round up the tRump effect:
From down along this thread:
This piece of shit is gone:
On that note, here are a few cartoons:
I think Boston Boomer had this in one of her post, but it is so good I have to repeat it:
I wonder what the rest of today will bring?
See you in the comments…this is an open thread.
Today’s post is complemented with images of famous people when they were young…some may surprise you…others will not. I hope you enjoy the show.
Earlier this week, Pence came to Georgia. One of my fellow Roller Girls showed up to protest:
I am so proud of Pixie! It takes guts to stand there, by yourself…and she did get harassed by tRump supporters. Video clip of her interview with the local news station at this link.
One thing about the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association), they are proactive when it comes to issues and politics that strike out at causes and the culture Roller Derby stands up for…for instance:
In recent days, the United States executive branch has suggested federal policy changes may be coming that would significantly harm transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, and other gender nonconforming members of our communities. As the governing body for the sport of roller derby, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) denounces these proposed changes, which would be in direct opposition to the inclusive spirit of our roller derby community. We ask other sports governing bodies, amateur and professional, as well as organizations and individuals who recognize the value of inclusivity in sport to join us in pushing back on these discriminatory policies.
As a nonprofit proudly based in Austin, Texas, the WFTDA is saddened to hear of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ interest in defining gender as a biological condition. In the eyes of the WFTDA, this is an attack on our core values as an organization.
In 1972, Title IX was introduced as part of the U.S. Education Amendments, to end “discrimination on the basis of sex.” Title IX specifically offered protections and space for women in amateur sports, addressing the collegiate system directly. In recent years, the NCAA has taken steps to begin extending these protections to transgender athletes wishing to compete at the highest level in their chosen sports, pushing Title IX to end discrimination not just on the basis of assigned sex, but also on the basis of gender expression and transgender status.
The WFTDA has also worked throughout its existence to re-evaluate its own gender policies and create its current gender statement, at the encouragement of the WFTDA community as well as our colleagues in the Junior Roller Derby Association, the Men’s Roller Derby Association, and other organizations that have contributed significantly to gender-expansive competition. Together, we recognize that a commitment to inclusivity makes our sport brighter and more competitive. Diversity adds complexity and nuance that would not otherwise exist on eight wheels. It’s our collective obligation to advocate for the human rights of our membership — especially those who have historically faced disproportionately larger barriers to inclusion.
Please, go to the link to read the rest of the statement. There is a lot more there to chew on.
As you can also see, they encourage their teams to participate in the political discussion:
In 2004, AZRD agreed to play the Texas Rollergirls (TXRG) in the first interstate-bout of the modern era. As part of creating its first All-Star team, AZRD members selected the name Tent City Terrors, a satirical political statement in reference to Arizona’s notorious outdoor jail. Many of the skaters on the original team selected a second identity separate from that of their home team, such as “Sheriff Shutyerpaio”. When it was formed, it was unclear when or how many more games the team would play; at the time, there was no flat track organization nor rule set. Still, the name and uniform stuck through the first national tournament held in 2006, and has been used by the team since.
Yeah, a team name…plus derby player’s names to make a political statement. Check out a few other examples below:
Here are a few more links on politics and WFTDA and Roller Derby this:
A few articles on gender issues and concentrating on Derby as an LGBTQ inclusive sport.
Roller Derby and promoting the Indigenous Community:
Team Indigenous Talks Politics – WiSP Sports | conversations from the world of women’s sports-‘MICK SWAGGER’ AND ‘JUMPY MCGEE’ DISCUSS HOT TOPICS AND THE POLITICS OF TEAM INDIGENOUS AND THE WFTDA
Here is a statement back when tRump issued the fucking Muslim travel ban:
It really makes me proud to be a part of the North Georgia Roller Girls ….which is a WFTDA team associated with Peach State Roller Derby; with the WFTDA backing us, we should stand up for the causes that are a part of the movement that is Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby…it is wonderful to see women like Abby/Pixie embracing the Culture of WFTDA. I applaud her efforts. Brava!
As for the NGRG…we start playing our official first games in March of 2019, so I will definitely keep you all up to date with that nugget of derby news from time to time.
Oh, yeah…more young celebrity pictures:
So back to the shit storm that is tRump.
The 14th amendment to the constitution confirms that all Americans are born equal. One immigrant-hating lover of dictators cannot change that with a simple stroke of his pen
In an interview that will air in full on Sunday, Donald Trump reveals that he wants to end birthright citizenship through executive order. But he doesn’t have that power. An executive order cannot reverse the guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the United States that is enshrined in the constitution.
After the civil war, Congress sought to grant full citizenship to African Americans, who had been denied it under the Dred Scottsupreme court decision. Yet when it passed the 14th amendment in 1868, Congress went further. It wrote a rule making it clear that any person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin, had a right to citizenship upon being born in the US.
The relevant portion of the 14th amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The phrase about jurisdiction was meant to exclude the children of ambassadors and tribal Native Americans, who until 1924 were regarded as citizens of separate sovereign nations.
These words about birthright citizenship reflect the wider values of the 14th amendment, which also guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all persons. Together with the constitution’s ban on royal titles in Article I, Section 9, the document stands for the idea that the US does not condone hereditary hierarchy – or any legal distinction based on birth or parentage, ideas associated with aristocratic societies. In the US, everyone starts on the same plane.
I also think this is yet another form of tRumpian white nationalist intimidation. Considering the past 2013 Scalia Supreme Court decision which removed the Voting Rights portion of Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Remember the Civil Rights Act will again be revisited soon enough.)
This way of sending these outright threats goes far to back the claims of fascism that Boston Boomer discuss in her post from yesterday.
But back to the the op/ed up top. It goes on to discuss the first case that came before the SCOTUS, in 1898… United States v Wong Kim Ark. Please read the rest to learn more…
I’m going to stick with the Guardian for the next few links, I think it will give us a good look from a different perspective.
Hey, what a fucking surprise. Georgia’s election shit is making news over in the UK!
“The consequences of any of us staying home really are profound because America’s at a crossroads,” he warned. “The healthcare of millions of people is on the ballot. Making sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. But maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot.”
It was not meant to be like this. America’s first black president hoped to steer the nation on an upward trajectory. Then came Donald Trump, a man endorsed by white supremacists and the breathing embodiment of everything Obama is not. On Tuesday, these two radically opposing visions of “the character of our country” will collide at the ballot box. Georgia is ground zero.
I live in ground zero. I know the crap first hand. Ugh.
Recently a clutch of American relatives came to visit me in London. I don’t get to see my extended family so much these days, but thanks to the internet they see me all the time, reading my articles and sending messages so supportive they occasionally reject English as insufficiently adoring and opt for Yiddish (“I’m kvelling!”). They ask me about the different things I’ve been writing about: celebrities, feminism, and so on. But when they made the transatlantic trip this time there was a rare consensus: they all wanted to talk about the rise of antisemitism in Europe.
“What is going on? It’s just crazy!” one uncle said to me after I wrote about protesting against antisemitism in British politics. We discussed the rise in verbal and physical attacks on Jews in the UK, the election of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland. He was especially horrified by the murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris. “It is just unimaginable,” my cousin said.
Dietrich was one of many German born actors/entertainers who spoke out and actively campaigned against Hitler during WWII.
Robert Brack, who at one point had the heaviest caseload of any federal judge in the US, pleads for justice for the immigrants he sees every day
One more link for today’s post…
A fleeting moment within the teaser for Axios’s interview with Donald Trump, the centerpiece of Sunday’s “Axios on HBO,” tells all you need to know about how the president truly feels about his relationship to the media.
Moments after Jim VandeHei admits to Trump that his “enemy of the people” rhetoric scares the hell out of him, the reporter (and co-founder of the media site) tells the president, “You are, like, the most powerful man in the world.”
Reflexively Trump looks off-camera and grins, briefly, his face flush with what appears to be self-satisfaction. There was concentrated smugness in that expression, tinged with a pugilist’s cruelty.
In that scene, VandeHei points out the extreme irresponsibility of any leader of the free world using his position and platform to vilify an entire class of people, and using that rhetoric to stoke the emotions of the people who constitute his base.
Ever the attention-hungry reality show star, Trump softly replies, “They like me more because of it,” calling his dangerous hyperbolic term the only way he can fight back. That satisfied grin says he knows he’s winning.
Axios on HBO,” premiering Sunday at 6:30 p.m., is one of many specials the news site will run on the premium cable channel as part of a partnership. HBO has been steadily expanding its news and information footprint. And that in itself indicates how malleable our concept of news has become under Trump’s administration.
This is the interview where tRump announces he is going to snap his fingers…click his heels and poof, no more “14th Amendment.”
So what are you finding today as we count down to Tuesday’s election?
This is an open thread.
If anyone saw the Rep. Pramila Jayapal interview last night on Chris Hayes…you know the absolute terror and disgust that can make an actual pain in your chest.
If you have not seen this interview, stop what you are doing right now, and watch it.
It will be very difficult, and the word difficult is not used lightly…but work your way through it. Feel the bitter pain, that chokes up and taste foul in the back of your throat. For that is the essence of a hateful authoritarian dictatorship rule, and when Hannah Arendt spoke of the Banality of Evil….let me tell you, it starts here….
More from Rep. Jayapal:
The situation is only getting worse….
I don’t know what the fuck the United States is anymore, it sure as hell isn’t a democracy…it has moved on past the point of the “breakdown” period. I truly think we are now at the beginning of the Totalitarian Regime of Trump.
… Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:
In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.
While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.
This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression…
And let’s not forget the fiasco with Canada and our other allies….the isolation that has been the cornerstone of tRump’s rule in office:
What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:
Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.
tRump has aligned the US with ruthless dictators and powerful authoritarian governments…because that is what the US as become.
Some updates on the North Korea Summit:
North Korean state media said on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump had agreed to lift sanctions against the North in addition to providing security guarantees in the summit with the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, the previous day.
Both leaders signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula.
Trump reportedly offered to lift sanctions on the cash-strapped country in addition to those security guarantees, according to Reuters.
North Korea’s KCNA news agency cites Trump making the pledge to lift the economic barriers after saying the U.S. would end joint military exercises with South Korea.
Following the summit, Trump had indicated that sanctions would remainuntil North Korea began the denuclearization process saying of easing sanctions, “I hope it’s going to be soon. At a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off.”
Reuters did not receive immediate comment from U.S. officials.
The Hill has also reached out to the White House for comment.
In other news, Steve King retweeted a Nazi: GOP lawmaker retweets prominent British neo-Nazi | TheHill
There seems to be a new Fox News/ tRump family connection in the “house” ….STASI: Fox should fire reporter Kimberly Guilfoyle, who can’t possibly stay neutral while dating a Trump kid – NY Daily News
And, tRump is keen on building a tRump Tower in North Korea:
“They have great beaches,” Trump said at a news conference following the talks between the two leaders. “You see that whenever they’re exploding the canons into the ocean. I said look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo beyond that?”
“You could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective,” Trump continued. “You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that? Right? It’s great.”
Despite Trump’s grandiose suggestions, the U.S. State Department recommends against travel to North Korea. Federal authorities advise travelers to draft a will and “funeral wishes” before going.
I think that part about drafting a will and making funeral wishes is a dramatically different message to what the tRump admin is pushing.
Going back to the #Wherearethechildren and #FamiliesBelongTogether issue…
After the Chris Hayes interview, Rep. Jayapal posted this on her Twitter account:
Now the funnies…starting with this shit…no it ain’t no joke. This is fucking real:
President Trump’s wooing of Kim Jong-un at the Singapore summit included the iPad showing (in English and Korean) of a “Destiny Pictures” movie trailer, made by the White House’s National Security Council, starring themselves saving the world.Show less
Jonathan Swan’s sources help illuminate Trump’s thinking:
- Trump thinks of his presidency in cinematic terms — with himself as star, producer, director, writer and critic. Now, backed by the resources of the United States government, he’s a studio, too.
- The president is very aware of his celebrity and how people view him.
- Kim is a young tyrant obsessed with pop culture.
- So by literally casting the two of them in a movie, Trump’s was celebritizing the summit, and aiming at Kim’s sweet spot.
The White House is very proud of the video: Vice President Pence showed it at yesterday’s weekly Senate Republican luncheon.
- Garrett Marquis, National Security Council spokesman: “The video was created by the NSC to help the President demonstrate the benefits of complete denuclearization, and a vision of a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula.”
And if you want to see the video…just go to the White House facebook page..yeah, can you believe this shit?
Exactly….yes to this one Nick Anderson!
Uh, that one from Signe is spot on.
I think the kid should be younger in that cartoon…but that is only my opinion.
And that will about do it for me…
One more thing before we go:
It is from a water bottle I bought at Walmart…see what it says…”Designed in the USA.” What a fucking joke…
You know what else is funny…Walmart bicycles say they are assembled in the USA…you what to know what that means?
It means that some store employee puts the bike together in the back room, cute? Yeah, all the parts come from somewhere overseas…innit funny?
“Assembled in the USA.”
“Designed in the USA.”
The mutthafukkin joke is on us.
This is an open thread.
You all remember this song and video from the Dixie Chicks? I have the video posted down below, with the lyrics.
I bring old Earl up again because the latest school shooting is another example of this Earl problem that we see every fucking day:
It is that Toxic Masculinity problem I want to address.
Have y’all taken note of this key point…that doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of press:
There is always a girl, innit?
Sadie Baze says she keeps expecting her daughter to walk into the house, but Shana Fisher was killed Friday, one of 10 people gunned down at her high school.
“She’s never going to walk through the front door again,” Baze said.Baze told CNN that the alleged shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, had been making advances toward Shana, who just turned 16, for the past four months, asking her to date him.
A week ago, during class, Shana stood up and told Pagourtzis she wouldn’t go out with him, the mother said.Baze said Pagourtzis previously dated Fisher’s best friend and she had told told her daughter “you don’t date your friend’s exes.”
The family of 17-year-old Pagourtzis, accused of killing 10 people and wounding 13 others at the Texas high school Friday, issued a statement expressing condolences to the victims.The family members said they are “as shocked and confused as anyone by these events that occurred.”Pagourtzis is a “smart, quiet, sweet boy,” they said.The statement, issued through a law firm, says the family is cooperating with investigators and will make no other public comments until the fact-finding stage is completed.“While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of yesterday’s tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love,” they said.Pagourtzis is being held without bail and is accused of capital murder of multiple people and aggravated assault on a public servant. He has not entered a plea.Robert Barfield, the attorney for Pagourtzis, said his client is “not doing well” and is “confused.”The suspect won’t face the death penalty if he is convicted. Under Texas law, offenders who are under age 18 and charged with a capital offense face a maximum punishment of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years, according to Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center.
He is not doing well? Tough shit. Confused? No…he knew what he was doing.
Yesterday, officials identified those killed as teachers Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, and students Jared Black, Shana Fisher, Christian Riley Garcia, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Angelique Ramirez, Sabika Sheikh, Christopher Jake Stone and Kimberly Vaughan. Here is some information on the people who were killed:
The Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed that exchange student Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting. Sabika was an exchange student with YES, which is funded by the U.S. State Department. It provides scholarships for secondary school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in the U.S.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his “deepest condolences” to her friends and family in a statement Saturday.
“Sabika’s death and that of the other victims is heartbreaking and will be mourned deeply both here in the United States, and in Pakistan,” Pompeo said.
Shana Fisher’s aunt posted on Twitter that Shana was in the art room at the time of the shooting. She announced her death on Twitter.
Please go to the article to read about the rest of the victims, and remember…the killer said he did not shoot anyone he “liked”…Texas school shooting: 10 killed in Santa Fe High School massacre – The Washington Post
The affidavit states that the 17-year-old told police that “he did not shoot students he did like so he could have his story told.”
Yup, he knew exactly what he was doing. And if an ex-girlfriend was on the victim list, or some girl who did not treat him with the kind of attention he felt was “owed” to him…it would only be appropriate to add Pagourtzis name to the list of mass murderers who killed because they felt their women victims were entitled to them.
So it appears, this ex-girfriend and the girl who was being harassed by Pagourtzis may be the same person?
By reading this NY Post article, it doesn’t seem to me that this “kid” had any confusion during the murdering part of his shooting spree…
“My friend Trent was in the classroom and said after [Pagourtzis] would shoot a student he would sing, ‘Another one bites the dust!’” Sante Fe High School sophomore Kole Dixon, 16, told The Post of a classmate, whose last name he asked not be printed.
“He also kept playing a kamikaze song over and over as loud as he could,” on his cellphone, Dixon said of the shooter.
Pagourtzis had the same kamikaze military anthem on his now-deleted YouTube page, Dixon said.
Pagourtzis had earlier bragged of wearing a “Rising Sun” insignia on his black trench coat, explaining it signified “Kamikaze Tactics,” according to a photo and text posted on his also-deleted Facebook page.
New details of the 17-year-old’s sick sense of humor went well beyond the previously reported “Born to Kill” T-shirt he wore, and his taunt of “Surprise!” as he blasted through the walls of an art class supply closet.
“They hear the gunman in the classroom next door yelling Woo Hoo! and firing more shots,” mom Deedra Van Ness said in a Facebook post Friday night, recounting details from her by her daughter Isabelle, who survived unscathed but was covered in blood.
“Surprise, motherf–ker!” the shooter hollered as he fired into the closet wall, instantly killing two of the half-dozen students who had barricaded themselves inside with Isabelle, Van Ness said her daughter told her.
“Are you dead?” he later asked from the other side of the closet.
“Do you think it’s for you?” he also joked, as cell phones left behind in the classroom rang unanswered.
I mean, what else should we expect right?
The main stream media gives these assholes a pass, continuously, just take a look at this article from the NYTs:
This is as “tough” as the thing gets:
Recently, a young man named Alek Minassian drove through Toronto trying to kill people with his van. Ten were killed, and he has been charged with first-degree murder for their deaths, and with attempted murder for 16 people who were injured. Mr. Minassian declared himself to be part of a misogynist group whose members call themselves incels. The term is short for “involuntary celibates,” though the group has evolved into a male supremacist movement made up of people — some celibate, some not — who believe that women should be treated as sexual objects with few rights. Some believe in forced “sexual redistribution,” in which a governing body would intervene in women’s lives to force them into sexual relationships.
Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married.
“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”
Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.
“Half the men fail,” he says, meaning that they don’t procreate. “And no one cares about the men who fail.”
I laugh, because it is absurd.
“You’re laughing about them,” he says, giving me a disappointed look. “That’s because you’re female.”
But aside from interventions that would redistribute sex, Mr. Peterson is staunchly against what he calls “equality of outcomes,” or efforts to equalize society. He usually calls them pathological or evil.
He agrees that this is inconsistent. But preventing hordes of single men from violence, he believes, is necessary for the stability of society. Enforced monogamy helps neutralize that.
In situations where there is too much mate choice, “a small percentage of the guys have hyper-access to women, and so they don’t form relationships with women,” he said. “And the women hate that.”
Emphasis is mine, of course, but read the whole article and tell me if it isn’t soft on this fucker.
(Take a look at the “Times Picks” comments…they are somewhat forgiving, and not from the feminist POV at all.)
(But that is the New York Times….)
Fuck you New York Times:
Back to the Peterson thing real quick…
Fucking Toxic Predatory Men… and their “enforced monogamy.”
I saw this tweet from Mona Eltahawy after I wrote my post above. I am glad I am not the only one who saw the connection.
Those with toxic masculinity …are they stupid dicks or what?
So take a look at that thread…it sounds familiar. I am sure that Dak or Boston Boomer may have brought it up back when the shooting/killing/slaughter occurred. If that is the case it is nothing new…but for those of us who have memories that last as long as a dog’s farts, or say a horse’s fart… it is a reminder. That these domineering men are also crazy assholes.
Let us feed them some black-eyed peas….yeah.
Mary Anne and Wanda were the best of friends
All through their high school days
Both members of the 4H club, both active in the FFA
Mary Anne went out lookin’ for a bright new world
Wanda looked all around this town and all she found was Earl
Well, it wasn’t two weeks after she got married that
Wanda started gettin’ abused
She’d put on dark glasses or long sleeved blouses
Or make-up to cover a bruise
Well she finally got the nerve to file for divorce
And she let the law take it from there
But Earl walked right through that restraining order
And put her in intensive care
Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atlanta
On a red eye midnight flight
She held Wanda’s hand as they worked out a plan
And it didn’t take ’em long to decide
That Earl had to die, goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas, they tasted alright to me, Earl
You’re feelin’ weak? Why don’t you lay down and sleep, Earl
Ain’t it dark wrapped up in that tarp, Earl
The cops came by to bring Earl in
They searched the house high and low
Then they tipped their hats and said, thank you ladies
If you hear from him let us know
Well, the weeks went by and spring turned to summer
And summer faded into fall
And it turns out he was a missing person who nobody missed at all
So the girls bought some land and a roadside stand
Out on highway 109
They sell Tennessee ham and strawberry jam
And they don’t lose any sleep at night, ’cause
Earl had to die, goodbye Earl
We need a break, let’s go out to the lake, Earl
We’ll pack a lunch, and stuff you in the trunk, Earl
Is that alright? Good! Let’s go for a ride, Earl, hey!
Ooh hey hey hey, ummm hey hey hey, hey hey hey
Songwriters: Dennis Linde
Goodbye Earl lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
So let us get on with the picnic shall we?
Here is the wedding sermon from yesterday, if you have not heard or seen it….
Subversive? Uh…I don’t know. It all seemed like a big fuck you from Harry to the Royals, if you asked me. I still feel the sermon was important, which is why I posted it here. There was a lot of talk about how culturally inclusive the Royal Wedding was, which I think this next tweet touches on perfectly.
But back to the Royal Wedding, a few funny tweets:
Just a few more things before we go…
I love that phrase…Empower Girls…Empower Women…Empower Daughters.
My friend Rachana Sunar over in Nepal has been working on building a Kindergarten for disadvantaged children and a center for mothers. With some funds from a Norway free church women’s group. They have a new building with five rooms…she sent me these pictures that I want to share with you:
This is what she says to me in her email:
Our vision is to empower young mothers who have married as a child brides. Our aim is to teach them life skills and vocational education, parenting skills and give them income opportunity.So we have got 15 mothers for this year.We meet them every Saturday to discuss in women righs.They are so excited to learn.Hope one day we can have you here taking some classes.