Monday Reads: Good News First

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Vivian Maier is often considered one of America’s greatest street photographers.

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Today’s pictures are of women artists and their self portraits from the National Geographic and other sources.

There’s some very good news out of the Supreme Court today for Louisiana Women and women every where in the country!  From NBC News: “Supreme Court, in 5-4 ruling, strikes down restrictive Louisiana abortion law. The measure would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of a clinic.”

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana’s tough restriction on abortions violates the Constitution, a surprising victory for abortion rights advocates from an increasingly conservative court.

The 5-4 decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court’s four more liberal justices, struck down a law passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2014 that required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Its enforcement had been blocked by a protracted legal battle.

Two Louisiana doctors and a medical clinic sued to get the law overturned. They said it would leave only one doctor at a single clinic to provide services for nearly 10,000 women who seek abortions in the state each year.

The challengers said the requirement was identical to a Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. With the vote of then-Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court ruled that Texas imposed an obstacle on women seeking access to abortion services without providing any medical benefits. Kennedy was succeeded by the more conservative Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by President Donald Trump, who was among the four dissenters Monday.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the Texas decision, also wrote Monday’s ruling. The law poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking an abortion, offers no significant health benefits, “and therefore imposes an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.”

Roberts said he thought the court was wrong to strike down the Texas law, but he voted with the majority because that was the binding precedent. “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”

Even small victories based on stare decisis are still victories.

 

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Self Portrait By Paula Modersohn Becker

Well, Iran always makes things interesting.  You have to give them that. From The Sydney Morning Herald: “Iran issues arrest warrant for Donald Trump, requests help from Interpol.

Tehran: Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol to help detain US President Donald Trump and others it believes carried out a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly says.”

While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and more than 30 others whom Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad face “murder and terrorism charges,” the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed that Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.

From BuzzFeed News: “Democrats Won’t Let Republicans Speak In Coronavirus Hearings If They Won’t Wear Masks.  “We’re not going to have another meeting in a confined space if we’re not going to abide by this,” Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn told Republicans.”

Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are threatening to bar Republican members from participating future meetings in-person after they showed up to a hearing on Friday without masks.

Subcommittee Chair Jim Clyburn is sending a letter to ranking member Steve Scalise, warning he would not recognize members in hearings and meetings without proper face coverings; the chair must recognize members to speak and participate in committee business.

“Going forward, as long as the Attending Physician’s requirement to wear masks is in place, I will not recognize any Member of this Subcommittee to participate in person in any Subcommittee meeting or hearing unless the Member is wearing a mask and strictly adheres to the Attending Physician’s guidance,” Clyburn said in a letter to Scalise. The letter further recommends members participate remotely if they insist on not wearing masks.

The letter comes after a monthslong debate in Congress where Republicans have repeatedly disregarded recommendations and then a requirement from Capitol health experts to wear face coverings. The disagreement on the topic came to a head at the end of a Friday hearing when Clyburn reminded his Republican colleagues they were in violation of a mandate handed down by the attending physician, even as disposable masks were stationed outside the hearing room for members to use.

“For the United States House of Representatives meetings, in a limited and closed space such as a committee hearing room for greater than 15 minutes face coverings are required,” Clyburn said, reading the Capitol health official’s order. “And we’re not going to have another meeting in a confined space if we’re not going to abide by this. I will stay in the safety of my home as I would ask all you to do.”

Scalise responded to Clyburn by saying members of the House are following guidelines on how to social distance just fine, suggesting mask-wearing is an additional precautionary measure.

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Self-Portrait, Lois Mailou Jones

From Kyle Cheney at Politico: “House Dems propose strengthening Congress’ contempt power to break administration stonewalls. “We’ve seen unprecedented and illegal obstruction by the Trump administration to Congress,” Ted Lieu said.”

House Democrats increasingly frustrated by the Trump administration for defying subpoenas are proposing legislation that would ratchet up their power to punish executive branch officials who reject their requests.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), and five other membersof the House Judiciary Committee, unveiled a rule change Monday to formalize and expand Congress’ power of “inherent contempt” — its authority to unilaterally punish anyone who defies a subpoena for testimony or documents.

Though Congress has long had inherent contempt power, it has been in disuse since before World War II. This power, upheld by courts, has included the ability to levy fines and even jail witnesses who refuse to cooperate with congressional demands.

But such extreme measures have fallen out of favor over the years, as Congress has relied instead primarily on litigation to enforce its subpoenas and officials across government have acknowledged the unappetizing prospect of using force to impose its will. It’s even trickier when applied to a coequal branch of government, which may have its own privileges and protections to assert.

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Frida Kahlo Self Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

More news is coming forth about the Russian bounties.  This is from WAPO: “Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments.”

Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.

Several people familiar with the matter said it was unclear exactly how many Americans or coalition troops from other countries may have been killed or targeted under the program. U.S. forces in Afghanistan suffered a total of 10 deaths from hostile gunfire or improvised bombs in 2018, and 16 in 2019. Two have been killed this year. In each of those years, several service members were also killed by what are known as “green on blue” hostile incidents by members of Afghan security forces, which are sometimes believed to have been infiltrated by the Taliban.

The intelligence was passed up from the U.S. Special Operations forces based in Afghanistan and led to a restricted high-level White House meeting in late March, the people said.

 

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Joni Mitchell Self Portrait

This is really unfolding in a particularly quick way.  Here’s an opinion from Greg Sargent at WAPO’s Plum Line: “As Trump’s corruption gets worse, some Democrats want a tougher response.”

The big revelations of the moment — the reports that Russia may have paid bounties for the killing of U.S. troops, and the news that a U.S. attorney was ousted after investigating Trump cronies — are a reminder that Trump has found a gaping hole in our system.

If a president refuses to cooperate with congressional oversight in just about every conceivable way — and if that president has the near-total backing of a party that controls one chamber of Congress — any such scrutiny can basically be ground to a halt, with no repercussions.

But a group of House Democrats is now calling on its chamber to get a lot tougher in this regard.

This group of Democrats — which is led by Rep. Ted Lieu of California and includes other high-profile lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee — is introducing a resolution Monday that, if successful, would dramatically increase the House’s ability to compel compliance with oversight.

This resolution would create a new, modernized mechanism by which the House could seek to levy stiff fines on officials who defy subpoenas for testimony or documents. It would in effect bring into the 21st century a power that Congress has used only rarely in the past — the power to enforce its own subpoenas.

“The administration can simply choose not to have witnesses appear and not produce documents, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Lieu told me, noting that “we’ve seen the Trump administration getting worse, not better, in terms of both obstruction and engaging in reckless conduct.”

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Self-Portrait by South African Visual Artist Zanele Muholi

One last OpEd piece from WAPO by Elizabeth Spiers: “Trump’s ‘silent majority’ isn’t a majority, and it’s far from silent. But the rhetoric lays the groundwork for crying foul when the true majority wins.”

The Trump team’s declaration that a silent majority lurks, ready to return Trump to the White House, is at odds with almost everything else the president says and does. His efforts to make it harder to vote by opposing voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic, and his repeated claims that Democrats are plotting election fraud, suggest a distinct nervousness about the majority’s true will. He appears to be laying the groundwork for explaining away a Democratic victory in November, as the result of deception and trickery. On June 22 he tweeted, in typical fashion: “RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!” In a system where success usually depends on grasping what a majority of the electorate wants, the sound strategy might be to reach out from one’s base to voters in the middle. Trump instead is heavily invested in the assumption that his enthusiastic minority will determine the outcome — even if it means that the people who don’t like him are prevented from voting.

These are hopeful signs in a fight to stop some of the most disturbing trends of the Trumpist Regime.  However, the fight is on so many levels and we battle the rich and powerful and the firmly entrenched like Mitch McConnell. Take this idiot as an great example. He’s not on the front pages like Police Reform and Abortion Restrictions.  And we still don’t make enough noise about voter restrictions in so many Republican-controlled states.

 

They’re killing our land, our children, our hopes and dreams, our democracy, our economy, our climate and its ecosystems, our indigenous peoples,  Black Men, and just about everything with their greed, racism, misogyny, and rigid theocratic ideologies that punish women, the GLBT community, and science and rational thought.

We just have to hang in there.

Remember we have leadership that will stand up to it all

Have a great week Sky Dancers!  Do be safe!  Stay home if possible!  Wear a mask!  Be kind, gentle, and giving to yourself and others!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Monday Reads: Trumpist Chaos is on an Exponential Growth Path

Hackwhackers: Today's Trump Cartoon Trifecta - The Meltdown

Good Day Sky Dancers!

The Chaotic Trumpist Regime continues to wreak havoc on the peace, health, and stability of our Democracy.  Looking at headlines today creates the impression that we are under attack from within in so many ways that it’s hard to understand and counter them all.  It’s also difficult to prioritize what we should be reading about. Here’s my list and I know there’s more!

Trump has cut funding to Doctors and Scientists working on a Covid 19 vaccine and insisting this pandemic will go away without a vaccine.

 

 

Cartoons

Meanwhile, back in reality, Sarah Owermohle  of Politico writes: “Why the U.S. isn’t prepared to meet overwhelming demand for a coronavirus vaccine.  The nation’s supply chain isn’t anywhere close to ready. What I want to know is how  could we possibly be preparing for this when Trump thinks we don’t need a vaccine?

The nation is already grappling with a shortage of the specialized glass used to make the vials that will store any vaccine. Producing and distributing hundreds of millions of vaccine doses will also require huge quantities of stoppers — which are made by just a handful of companies — as well as needles and refrigeration units. Low stocks of any one of these components could slow future vaccination efforts, much as shortfalls of key chemicals delayed widespread coronavirus testing.

A massive manufacturing effort is already gearing up to produce hundreds of millions of doses of promising vaccines now in late-stage trials, as scientists and the government gamble that at least one of the shots will prove safe and effective. The effort could rival the urgent national campaign to vaccinate children against polio in the 1950s.

“Probably the biggest challenge will be scaling up the actual vaccine. It’s one thing to have clinical trial samples and materials in lab quantities,” said George Zorich, a pharmacy expert and CEO of ZEDPharma. “It’s another challenge actually scaling that up effectively.”

Potentially making it even harder is that the U.S. is striking out on its own. The administration has snubbed an international collaboration spearheaded by the World Health Organization, while the president readies for a November election that could be a referendum on his coronavirus response.

 

Sack cartoon: Anti-stay-at-home protests | Star Tribune

This is really no way to run a country or a response to a nationwide threat.

The Flynn Travesty has caused a number of former DOJ employees to call for investigation by Congress and for judicial action.

This is probably even scarier than the Pandemic.  As I said before. this is truly Banana Republic territory.

 

 

Bruce Plante Cartoon: The Protesters | Columnists | tulsaworld.com

You’ll just love the Republican plan for any more monetary help to people hold on to their lives.  Hand them your social security and you’ll get diddles for now. So, your choice on when to fall of the financial cliff.

 

 

Coronavirus cartoons: Protesters denounce stay-at-home orders

And we still have to deal with angry Trumpist mobs wanting access to strip clubs, nail salons, and gun stores. From Steve Neavling / News & Views of the9 Detroit Metro Times:  “Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing”

Dozens of angry Michiganders, fueled by conspiracy theories and disinformation about the coronavirus, are promoting violence and mobilizing armed rallies against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Facebook, in violation of the social media company’s policies.

Metro Times gained access to four private Facebook groups that can only be seen by approved members. The pages, which have a combined 400,000 members, are filled with paranoid, sexist, and grammar-challenged rants, with members encouraging violence and flouting the governor’s social-distancing orders.

On Sunday, after being contacted by Metro Times, Facebook removed one of the groups, Michigan United for Liberty, and deleted posts on others for violating the company’s policy against inciting violence. Facebook announced last month that it will remove groups and events that encourage people to defy social-distancing measures. Facebook also is investigating the other groups.

“We removed one group for violating our policies and will remove any other violations as we continue our review,“ a Facebook spokesperson tells Metro Times.

Assassinating Whitmer is a common theme among members of the groups. Dozens of people have called for her to be hanged.

“We need a good old fashioned lynch mob to storm the Capitol, drag her tyrannical ass out onto the street and string her up as our forefathers would have,” John Campbell Sr. wrote in a group called “People of Michigan vs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,” which had nearly 9,000 members as of Monday morning.

Steve Doxsie had the same idea: “Drag that tyrant governor out to the front lawn. Fit her for a noose.”

“Either President Trump sends in the troops or there is going to be a midnight lynching in Lansing soon,” Michael Smith chimed in.

Others suggested she be shot, beaten, or beheaded.

“Plain and simple she needs to eat lead and send a statement to the rest of the democrats that they are next,” James Greena, of Fennville, wrote.

Chris Rozman said, “She needs her ass beat. Most of these politicians need a good ass whooping. Just. Punch there lights out.”

When someone suggested the guillotine, Thomas Michael Lamphere responded, “Good ol’ fashioned bullets work better, but I like the enthusiasm.”

“Wonder how long till she’s hit with a shotgun blast,” Chris Parrish wrote.

Matthew Woodruff had another idea: “Can we please just take up a collection for an assassin to put that woman from Michigan down,” he asked.

Lynching seems to be  the “in” remedy with Trumpists these days.  Black Americans are still the primary target and there is no lack of it in the news these days either.

 

 

 

 

Hands on Wisconsin: Impeachment taught Donald Trump a valuable ...

I continue to wonder how we can rid ourselves of all of these Trumpists even if we do rid ourselves of Trump.  It is truly discouraging that such a vile minority could overtake our government. The Pandemic Mismanagement chaos is being used by many Republican States to suppress the rights and well being of minority citizens.

The majority of Americans continue to support Public Health measures taken to make every one safe and are appalled by the Open Up Demonstrations.  (Via The AP)

A majority of Americans disapprove of protests against restrictions aimed at preventing the spread the coronavirus, according to a new poll that also finds the still-expansive support for such limits — including restaurant closures and stay-at-home orders — has dipped in recent weeks.

The new survey from the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 55% of Americans disapprove of the protests that have popped up in some states as some Americans begin chafing at public health measures that have decimated the global economy. Thirty-one percent approve of the demonstrations.

Political Cartoon US Whistleblower Identity Schiff Liar Pants On Fire

How many will continue to all prey to Trumpist Gas Lighting?  (Via WAPO an Greg Sargent.)  Certainly more folks can see9 he’s really the Psycho in Chief.

The news that the novel coronavirus has invaded President Trump’s inner circle — and that the White House is implementing aggressive testing and tracing to combat it — is a devastating story on an obvious and immediate level, but also on a deeper and longer-lasting one.

Most palpably, it has revealed the sort of glaring double standard that’s catnip to political media: The White House is taking extensive steps to protect Trump and his top advisers with resources that are largely unavailable to the rest of us, in part due to his own dereliction.

But new reporting about the White House’s handling of this points to something more fundamental. How will Trump persuade the country we are returning to a normalcy that makes it safe to resume economic activities when his own advisers are panicked about its invasion of their own spaces, even as they can protect themselves in a way we cannot?

According to CNN, Trump’s advisers grasp that this story has become a deadly problem for them. But note why they have concluded this:

An official said there is extreme sensitivity inside the White House at the current state of affairs with officials recognizing the contradiction in telling states to reopen while the White House enhances protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The problem isn’t just that this story is revealing that Trump and his advisers benefit from testing and tracing that the rest of us mostly do not enjoy, though that’s damning enough.

It’s also that this shatters the larger illusion Trump is trying to weave with his magical reality-bending powers — that the coronavirus has been so tamed by his stupendous leadership that it’s now safe to reopen the country, setting the stage for an equally spectacular Trump-marshaled comeback.

Approximately 14 days after the open up America protests ...

The most interesting office pool game right now is which of this gang of feckless nitwits is now under quarantine and which ones are still running around coughing on people?  This tool is obviously following the example of his master.

 

 

 

 

It appears Dr Fauci and a few others may be the only ones in the administration following its own guidelines but this also seems pretty convenient.

 

 

Image may contain: possible text that says 'BLACK LIVES MATTER'

So, there’s plenty more headlines out there today if your mental health and blood pressure can handle it.  Just check out the ones on SCOTUS then light a candle for the health of Notorious BRG

Be safe!  Be kind to yourself and others!  Stay your ass home as much as possible!

xoxo,

Dakinikat, not afraid to wear a mask and still not afraid to speak out against injustice!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Banana Republican Friday Reads

The Stuff of Banana Republics

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Lessee … High unemployment rate (14.7%)…. check.  Unchecked Pandemic clearly botched with high levels of death … check … Cronyism and Nepotism out the wazoo …. check.   State News channel aiding and abetting all of it using propaganda … check.  Focused hate on scientists and reliance on sham science,  lava level hate for  journalists, people of varying religions, ethnicities, and race … check … stacked judiciary … check ... Ugly ass thug who doesn’t speak coherently about anything but shouts a lot about people out to get him …check

Am I leaving anything out?

Well, feel free to add to the list. because I’m undoubtedly leaving out how quickly Trumpists, McConnell, and Barr have let our country slide into chaos so they can stack the courts and rewrite the Constitution into something it was never supposed to be. And all those links are fresh today.  We continue our path to Banana Republic.  No where is this clearer today than in the revival of crazy ass, lying General Flynn.  The only thing that comes between him returning to the West Wing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his associations with the Russians and breaking a slew of lobbying laws including being an unregistered foreign agent is one Judge.  This is why Mitch McConnell is intent on getting rid of as many prudent, qualified judges on any federal court.  Judges have stopped their coup a helluva lot more times than the opposition party.

Trump banana republic - PolitiZoom

From Reuters: “Skeptical judge could hold up Trump administration’s bid to clear Flynn, legal experts say”

 The notoriously independent-minded federal judge who once said he was disgusted by the conduct of Michael Flynn could block the administration’s bid to drop criminal charges against the former adviser to President Donald Trump, legal experts said.

The Department of Justice on Thursday told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington it wants to drop the case against Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, following a pressure campaign by the Republican president and his political allies.

While judges typically sign off on such motions, Sullivan could refuse and instead demand answers from the DOJ about who requested the sudden about-face, said Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor now at the law firm Dickinson Wright.

“If Judge Sullivan wanted to he could conduct an inquiry and start asking a lot of questions,” said Waxman.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general who served as an adviser to Trump during the 2016 election campaign, had been seeking to withdraw his 2017 guilty plea in which he admitted to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump took office.

Flynn’s lawyers, both in court and in public, had argued that he was ambushed as part of a plot by biased investigators and that the case should be dismissed. Trump said in March that he was considering a pardon for Flynn.

The Justice Department said in a court filing on Thursday it is no longer persuaded that the FBI’s January 2017 interview with Flynn that led to the charges was conducted with a “legitimate investigative basis” and does not think Flynn’s statements were “material even if untrue.”

While the judge still has to rule on the submission, elated supporters of Flynn said there was no way Sullivan could force the department to prosecute if it did not want to. But the judge could stop Flynn from withdrawing his guilty plea and impose sentence. In that case, Trump could pardon Flynn.

Trump revoking security clearances is bananas: Darcy cartoon ...

And Trump wants him back in the West Wing!    This is from the Daily Beast: “Team Trump Wants Flynn Back for 2020, Sees Him as Its ‘Nelson Mandela’”.

With the Justice Department announcing Thursday that it would drop the case against Michael Flynn, officials close to President Donald Trump are already gaming out ways to bring the former national security adviser back onto the national political stage.

Of the nine senior Trump administration officials, campaign staff, outside advisers, and longtime associates of the president reached on Thursday, all said that they wanted Flynn to assume some public-facing role in service of the president, including potentially as an official Trump surrogate as Election Day inches closer. One even compared the ex-general, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, to one of history’s greatest human rights icons.

“Years ago when Nelson Mandela came to America after years of political persecution he was treated like a rock star by Americans,” John McLaughlin, one of President Trump’s chief pollsters, told The Daily Beast on Thursday evening. “Now after over three years of political persecution General Flynn is our rock star. A big difference is that he was persecuted in America.”

Jamie Raskin (D-MD): "[T]here are now banana Republicans who will ...

We’re due for another slaughter at the FBI now.

From WAPO:  “After Flynn reversal, Trump signals his FBI director is on thin ice”.  This level of revenge and paranoia would make Richard Nixon blush.

President Trump voiced uncertainty Friday over the future of his FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, a day after the Justice Department moved to throw out the guilty plea of the president’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

The president’s comments in a phone interview with Fox News highlight the ongoing distrust between the White House and some senior law enforcement officials in the wake of a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into the Russia’s 2016 election interference and the Trump campaign.

“It’s disappointing,” Trump said when asked about Wray’s role in the ongoing reviews of the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation. “Let’s see what happens with him. Look, the jury’s still out.”

Trump faulted the FBI director for “skirting” the debate surrounding the Russia investigation, although the agency and the Justice Department have insisted it has cooperated fully with officials reviewing the case.

And nothing says Kim Jong Il like dragging out elderly veterans during a pandemic that is likely to kill them if they get it just for a display of jingoism. On full display is his maskless face and Melania’s highly sculpted ass.

Here Are 5 Ways President Trump Behaves Like The Leader Of A ...

None of the secret service or the military guards–including the color guard–are wearing masks.  Meanwhile, it looks like we may have another “hotspot”.  It’s the damn  West Wing which may actually give us all a break from  Trumpist insanity.

I’m just hoping we can some how get rid of JarVanka for awhile.  This is from WAPO: “I worked for Jared Kushner. Of course he says his covid-19 failure is a success. President Trump’s son-in-law always casts himself as the genius cleaning up someone else’s problems.”

Jared Kushner’s coronavirus response team, we learned this week, is fumbling because it’s largely staffed with inexperienced volunteers. Of course it is. It’s being run by one.

Kushner’s lack of experience and expertise has not been remedied in any way during his now three-plus years in the White House. After bungling many high-profile efforts to address various problems and often making them worse (see, Middle East, peace in), he keeps being handed more responsibilities with higher stakes. He has wasted taxpayer resources and endangered lives trying on policy roles usually reserved for the country’s top experts with the sophistication of a child playing dress-up, cavalierly discarding them when he can’t fit into them.

There have been no consequences. In any normal administration, an adviser with Kushner’s string of failures would be fired, but Kushner, like his father-in-law, keeps crediting himself with imaginary successes. Most recently, he declared the administration’s coronavirus response “a great success story,” a mind-boggling assertion that raises the question of what, if anything, Kushner thinks failure looks like. He has also continued to bash the actual experts, disputing their assessments and implying that they, not he, are the amateurs, and he is here to clean up their mess.

This is basically Kushner’s modus operandi, and it’s painfully familiar to me because he was my boss when I was the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which he had bought when he was 25. (I’ve written before about what he was like as a businessman.) One of the more memorable instances of this I witnessed was at a memorial service for a beloved longtime Observer staffer, Tyler Rush, who’d joined the paper well before Kushner bought it. When it came time for Kushner to say a few words, he launched into a supercilious monologue crediting himself with finally getting the paper published on time after what he described as chaos when he arrived. He also told an anecdote about Rush approaching him when he bought the paper to note that his staff was underpaid, which was true at the time, and true when I took the editor job years later. Kushner congratulated himself during the memorial for giving Rush and his production team the only raise that year because “unlike everyone else,” Rush hadn’t been lying to Kushner.

 

 

Let’s see if any of their religionist craziness or white wing nationalist views can protect them now.  Having all of them sick would actually be a nice ending for the week and I say that fully knowing that it sounds harsh.  But, what a better fate for the crew that has introduced us to living in a banana republic hell realm of their making.

An they can take their little dogs McConnell and Barr with them …

However, for the non Magrats in our country, be safe, be kind and gentle to yourself and others, and stay your asses home!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 

 


Sunday Reads: New Years Wish

^My New Year’s Wish ^

 

 

Now for some interesting tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding the Kelly interview this morning:

 

 

 

And I want to end with this:

Fuck Yes!

And what is with all this Beto shit! Stacy Abrams ran a hell of a campaign…and came damn close to winning, even with all the possible illegal voter suppression that Kemp succeeded in achieving while acting as Secretary of State and running for Governor. She has a future ahead of her, but like Harris…she is a black woman.

This is an open thread…


Sunday Reads: Rain on his Squirrel

Hey, I thought up the post’s title before I saw that tweet…referring to tRumps “squrriel’s nest toupee”…but before we get to a few links on the Orange Turd’s Paris trip, take a look at this thread.

As I said, that thread deserved the full treatment. For serious.

So what has happened today?

Now, here are several tweets for your review:

In honor of Armistice Day, (yesterday) …

Also, a new recording:

Listen to the Moment the Guns Fell Silent Ending World War I | Smart News | Smithsonian

End of the War

The soundscape of the Great War must have been devastating: constant artillery bombardment, rifle shots, fighter planes buzzing overhead and the screams of soldiers encountering gas. But we don’t actually know quite what the World War I sounded like. Magnetic tape didn’t exist yet and recording technology was in its infancy, requiring sound to be mechanically produced using a needle and soft wax or metal. Taking such machines into the field was not practical.

Still, there were people on the front recording. Special units used a technique called “sound ranging” to try and determine where enemy gunfire was coming from. To do so, technicians set up strings of microphones—actually barrels of oil dug into the ground—a certain distance apart, then used a piece of photographic film to visually record noise intensity. The effect is similar to the way a seismometer records an earthquake. Using that data and the time between when a shot was fired and when it hit, they could then triangulate where enemy artillery was located—and adjust their own guns accordingly.

At least one bit of that “sound ranging” film survived the War—the film recording the last few minutes of World War I when the guns finally fell silent at the River Moselle on the American Front. As Richard Connor at Deutsche Welde reports, part of a new exhibit called Making a New World at London’s Imperial War Museum uses those graphic sound waves to recreate the moment the Armistice went into effect and the guns fell silent.

As part of a celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, the museum commissioned the sound production company Coda to Coda to use the film strip of the guns firing away at 10:58 A.M. on November 11, 1918, then going silent when the clock strikes 11, the symbolic moment politicians determined the war would end, to try and recreate what that instant may have sounded like.

More information at the link.

Here is where you can hear the recording:

IWM – WW1 Armistice Interpretation | Coda to Coda

That link is to the direct Coda to Coda website, it plays the full one minute of the last sounds of WWI.

The Facebook link below does not play the full recording.

One hundred years later, the absence from the orange asshole mouth fuckwad, is overwhelming:

(Hey, the point is he is there in the fucking rain. And he was there on Saturday.)

I guess Putin was the reason he was late?

Read some of the responses to that tweet.

I guess tRump finally did show up for the dinner…coming into the event through the back door…WTF?

Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau arrive at Paris’ Orsay Museum for Armistice Day  | Daily Mail Online

You can see all the dignitaries photos, on the red carpet etc., at that Daily Mail link above.

A few more articles:

This is an interesting interview:
Last surviving prosecutor at Nuremberg trials says Trump’s family separation policy is ‘crime against humanity’ | The Independent

The last surviving member of the Nuremberg trials prosecuting team has said Donald Trump committed “a crime against humanity” with the recent family separation policy.

Ben Ferencz, 99, made the comment during a recent interview with outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The lawyer said it was “painful” when he heard about how the Trump administration had separated more than 2,000 children from their families after they had crossed the US-Mexico border.

Video at the link.

In connection with that: ICE Detention Center Says It’s Not Responsible for Staff’s Sexual Abuse of Detainees | American Civil Liberties Union

Can you fucking believe this shit?

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government impose criminal liability on correctional facility staff who have sexual contact with people in their custody. These laws recognize that any sexual activity between detainees and detention facility staff, with or without the use of force, is unlawful because of the inherent power imbalance when people are in custody. Yet, one immigration detention center is trying to avoid responsibility for sexual violence within its walls by arguing that the detainee “consented” to sexual abuse.

E.D., an asylum-seeker and domestic violence survivor from Honduras, was sexually assaulted by an employee while she was detained with her 3-year-old child at the Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania. At the time of the assault, E.D. was 19 years old.

She filed suit against the detention center and its staff for their failure to protect her from sexual violence, even though they were aware of the risk. The record in the case, E.D. v. Sharkey, shows that her assailant coerced and threatened her, including with possible deportation, while the defendants stood by and made jokes.

Although the employee pled guilty to criminal institutional sexual assault under Pennsylvania law, the defendants contend that they should not be liable for any constitutional violations. Their argument rests in part on their assessment that the sexual abuse was “consensual” and that they should be held to a different standard because the Berks Family Residential Center is an immigration detention facility rather than a jail or prison.

Read the rest of this disturbing case at the link.

Some updates on the California killer:

“I Hope People Call Me Insane”: Thousand Oaks Shooter Posted To Instagram During The Massacre

Calif. shooter used high-capacity magazine that voters outlawed, but ban was blocked by lawsuit | TheHill

And lastly, these few articles that have a tie-in…civil war.

The American civil war didn’t end. And Trump is a Confederate president | Rebecca Solnit | Opinion | The Guardian

n the 158th year of the American civil war, also known as 2018, the Confederacy continues its recent resurgence. Its victims include black people, of course, but also immigrants, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, trans people, gay people and women who want to exercise jurisdiction over their bodies. The Confederacy battles in favor of uncontrolled guns and poisons, including toxins in streams, mercury from coal plants, carbon emissions into the upper atmosphere, and oil exploitation in previously protected lands and waters.

Its premise appears to be that protection of others limits the rights of white men, and those rights should be unlimited. The Brazilian philosopher of education Paulo Freire once noted that “the oppressors are afraid of losing the ‘freedom to oppress’”. Of course, not all white men support extending that old domination, but those who do see themselves and their privileges as under threat in a society in which women are gaining powers, and demographic shift is taking us to a US in which white people will be a minority by 2045.

More of course, at the link.

Those racist will tell you, the Civil War was strictly over the question of “state’s rights”:

Acting AG Matthew Whitaker Said That States Have Right to Nullify Federal Law – The Daily Beast

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said he believed states have a right to nullify federal law, CNN reports. In a campaign speech for his GOP primary run for Iowa Senator, Whitaker touted the need for states to have “political courage” to nullify federal laws. “Now we need to remember that the states set up the federal government and not vice versa. And so the question is, do we have the political courage in the state of Iowa or some other state to nullify Obamacare and pay the consequences for that?” Whitaker said in response to a question at a September 2013 campaign speech. “The federal government’s done a very good job about tying goodies to our compliance with federal programs, whether it’s the Department of Education, whether it’s Obamacare with its generous Medicare and Medicaid dollars and the like… But do I believe in nullification? I think our founding fathers believed in nullification. There’s no doubt about that.” According to a Des Moines Register columnist, Whitaker reportedly made similar remarks about nullification in April 2014 but said he didn’t believed states would do it.

I swear that Whitaker looks like a skinhead/Nazi.

And….at last we come to this:

Russian sites claim the 2020 election will cause an American civil war – Business Insider

  • The Russian media has published more than 30 articles in the past few days suggesting that America could devolve into a civil wardue to the 2020 election.
  • Stories that seek to undermine faith in Western democracy among Russian audiences are a staple of the Russian media, much of which is state-controlled.
  • The source for these articles was an opinion piece published by conservative commentator Niall Ferguson, who references a “cultural civil war” but concludes that civil war is not imminent.
  • This type of coverage in the Russian media highlights the challenge of contending with information that is distorted to the point of inaccuracy but is not explicitly fake.

The Russian media is obsessed with the American civil war. No, not the one that erupted in 1861 over the secession of the South — the civil war that’s coming with the next US presidential election.

tRump’s 30% are just hateful enough…and armed enough, to actually do something crazy like start a war.

This is all I have for today…btw….Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday, he would have been 48 years old. I miss him so fucking much.

This is an open thread.