Puzder, who’s the CEO of CKE Restaurants, met with Trump for the second time on Wednesday. CKE Restaurants is the parent company of burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
During Thursday morning’s transition call, Trump aides wouldn’t confirm or deny that Puzder would be tapped for the position, but said there will “additional Cabinet information” announced later in the day.
Puzder served as an economic adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and has been a vocal opponent of President Obama’s controversial rule expanding overtime pay.
Obama’s rule, which would require overtime pay for most salaried workers who make less than $47,476 annually, is temporarily on hold due to a Texas court’s order.
In an op-ed published in May, Puzder argued that the rule adds to the “extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers.
International Franchise Association’s President and CEO Robert Cresanti applauded Trump’s expected nomination, calling Puzder “an exceptional choice” to helm the Labor Department.
Boston Boomer is under the weather today, so I’m bringing you the round up for the day.
First up I have to start this thread with a little tongue in cheek;
Okay, now let’s get serious.
Why do I get the feeling the passengers that were “randomly” chosen for United to “reaccommodate” perhaps had a little more than a random pick behind it?
People are rallying around the passenger who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday, in response to what many see as attempts to vilify a victim.
On Tuesday, the Louisville Courier-Journal published an article reporting that the passenger, David Dao, “has a troubled history in Kentucky.” The article cites past drug-related felonies in the early 2000s, noting that the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowed Dao to resume practicing medicine in 2015.
Soon after the article published, many people took to social media to criticize the Courier-Journal for seemingly attempting to justify an incident in which Dao was dragged from United Express Flight 3411 by law enforcement officers. Dao suffered injuries to his face, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
None of this man’s past has anything to do with the atrocious treatment he received…but I would not put it past the company to have orchestrated the chosen 4 for just this possible situation. I bet that is part of the protocol. Pick people that can be exploited negatively in the press if you need to…
More tweets of anger at CJ and support of David Dao at that link.
Onward to the shooting and murder of two people at a California primary school.
I mentioned in a comment last week that my dad is part of this survival group, and that there was a rumor going on about the strike force heading to the Korean Peninsula…well, last night he told me the new rumor is that China is dealing with a huge number of refugees from North Korea flooding into the country because of the fear that tRump is going to blow Kim Jong Un off the planet.
I don’t know, the shit is hitting the fan.
I had to do it…
But here are some news links about all that shit.
As for the Syria and Putin and Assad shit. (The word shit has become my go to expression for everything lately, you can take a look at some of these updates.
It is all so disturbing.
Thursday evening, Trump attacked Syria, a sovereign country, with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. This act of war was done without Congressional authorization, even after Trump’s August, 2013, tweet that “Obama needs Congressional approval” before attacking Syria in nearly-identical circumstances.
The following morning, headlines like this one appeared in the business press: Raytheon, maker of Tomahawk missiles, leads premarket rally in defense stocks:
Defense and energy stocks dominated the list of premarket gainers on the S&P 500 Friday, led by Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp., after U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base overnight.
Donald Trump apparently owns Raytheon stock. In May, 2016, Trump reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he owned Raytheon stock. Interestingly, this FEC report does not appear to include the extensive web of offshore anonymous shell corporations Trump uses to mask assets.
Since that filing Trump’s assets have not been sold with the proceeds placed into a “blind trust,” and there is no public record of his having otherwise sold the stock. Not only that, but Trump is able to draw cash from his “trust” at any time. He could literally have pocketed cash from his gains from attacking Syria.
Read the rest at the link.
But tRump is not only profiting on the attack in Syria. He is making money on his time off, away from, the White House:
Again, I can’t believe that nothing has been done to move forward with impeachment.
The Sessions’ Justice Department had tried to stop the ruling.
Margaret Atwood—author of The Handmaid’s Tale and dozens of other novels, short-story collections, children’s books, works of poetry and criticism, and the new comic-book series Angel Catbird—is the subject of a lengthy and insightful profile in The New Yorker. She speaks briefly on Donald Trump’s presidency, telling New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, “If the election of Donald Trump were fiction… it would be too implausible to satisfy readers.” It’s an insightful viewpoint from the writer of speculative fiction (her preferred term over “science fiction”), who’s penned arguably the most influential speculation through the lens of patriarchy. Atwood goes on to say:
Fiction has to be something that people would actually believe. If you had published it last June, everybody would have said, “That is never going to happen.”
This study looks like an interesting read….
Why did the Arab spring fail? Despite a number of revolutions in the Arab world, in the end only Tunisia emerged as a functioning democracy. Results from an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Gothenburg indicate that the problem might be traced partially to the lack of women’s civil rights in the region.
A new study published in the European Journal of Political Research discusses the importance of women’s rights for countries to become democratic. The researchers used a dataset developed by V-Dem, a research institution cohosted by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Notre Dame (USA). The dataset includes the state of democracy in 177 countries over the years 1900 to 2012.
The study demonstrates that countries do not become fully democratic without political and social rights for women. This is particularly true for the Arab Spring countries, where the failure to foster women’s rights compromised any attempt at democratic governance in the area.
According to Professor Staffan Lindberg, director of the V-Dem Institute, the result is important because it shows that democratic development is not gender blind: societies transitioning from authoritarian regimes strongly need women in order to develop functioning democratic governments.
This next link is for Dak, another grave for you.
The desert bloom from space….is something to see.
And I will end it on that note.
This is an open thread. I hope BB starts to feel better, and that y’all have a good afternoon.
This will be a quick post, and it won’t mention a tRump at all.
Well, except for this little tidbit…
Republicans are demanding Democratic support for Donald Trump’s nominee to the stolen Supreme Court seat, but the White House is denying some Democratic women the opportunity to even meet with him for questioning.
Not surprising when his VP won’t even have dinner with any woman other than his wife.
The vice-president’s rule is insulting for men and limiting for women. But let’s not let Pence’s sexism distract us from his whole party’s sexist agenda
Also, on that note…Mike Pence strips women of healthcare with tie-breaking Senate vote
Vice President Mike Pence just used his powers in the Senate to be the lone decider in whether or not women will have access to crucial healthcare coverage.
In a 51-50 vote, Senate Republicans — with a few members defecting to side with Democrats — just repealed an Obama-era regulation that puts states “on notice” with respect to funding Planned Parenthood health centers. The initial regulation stipulated that states that sought to deny Title X funding — which goes to groups like Planned Parenthood that provide low-income Americans with affordable family planning services — would be in violation of federal law.
The National Women’s Law Center broke down the harm that the latest decision by Vice President Pence and Senate Republicans would cause to low-income women in a recent blog post:
Breast exams—which were provided to over 1 million women nationally at Title X sites in 2015;
Other important confidential preventive care, including screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV, and health education; and
Contraceptive care and counseling that helped women avoid 904,000 unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 439,000 unplanned births in 2014.
The move to relieve states attempting to cut Title X grants to dry up Planned Parenthood’s funding comes on the heels of the Republicans’ embarrassing Trumpcare defeat last week, when President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposed healthcare overhaul didn’t even receive a vote in the heavily Republican House of Representatives. With Pence’s latest tiebreaker, Republicans will now no longer be 0-1 in fulfilling campaign promises related to taking away healthcare for low-income people.
What a way to end out the month that was supposed to celebrate women…
It is constantly amazing to me how the right can continue to put forth life threatening laws like this:
An Iowa state representative is under fire after saying women who miscarry after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be forced to carry their dead fetuses to term.
During a hearing Wednesday of Senate File 471, which would clear the way for a state ban on abortions after the 20-week mark, Republican Rep. Shannon Lundgren — the manager of 471 — faced a question from fellow Rep. John Forbes, a Democrat.
Noting that he has a daughter who is 20 weeks pregnant, Forbes asked that under the bill, would his daughter have to carry her child to term even if a doctor told her there was no longer a heartbeat.
“Is that good medicine?” Forbes wondered.
“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies…that don’t have one. I understand what you’re saying—this fetus, this baby, is not alive. I would concur that in that instance, if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.”
And this isn’t all that we have seen from the GOP this week…Georgia lawmakers cruelly mocked rape survivor lobbying against harmful bill
If you REALLY want to rage, watch this clip of Ehrhart saying being “falsely accused” is just as traumatizing as being sexually assaulted.
The year is 2017 and that video above still shows the dangerous repercussions of rape culture that is perpetuated by the patriarchy attitudes that show no signs of calming down. Take this incident, which is not in this country…but illustrates the point: Wealthy Man in Mexico Acquitted of Rape Because He ‘Didn’t Enjoy It’
A judge in Mexico has acquitted one of three men accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on the grounds that, as one activist described it, he “didn’t enjoy it.”
Diego Cruz, who was 19 at the time, and three of his friends, all sons of wealthy businessmen and politicians, allegedly abducted their former high school classmate and forced her into the back of a car as she was leaving a party in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, in 2015. The girl said Cruz and another man, Jorge Coahuila, grabbed under her shirt and shorts. A third man, Enrique Capitaine, raped her, while the fourth sat there.
Though Judge Anuar González acknowledged that Cruz touched the girl’s breasts and genitals, he found that Cruz’s action was “incidental rubbing” that lacked “carnal intent,” and was therefore not assault.
And you know, the fight…is a world wide assault. Over in Britain: Anger as tampon tax is used to help fund anti-abortion group | Politics | The Guardian
Seriously…no wonder so many women over the world took the Woman’s March to heart.
But let’s hear it for the women and girls who are standing up to the right.
Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny is Little Miss Flint. She is 9 years old and lives in Flint, MI. She told me that in her free time she likes to “go on Twitter or just play with my toys or just lay down in bed, read, and play with my dollhouse, and color and draw and cheer.” She hasn’t been able to drink the water from the sink in her house for 1,071 days, because, as she put it, “you might die.”
Copeny’s story has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
The water smelled bad. It gave me a bad rash. It smelled like bleach. We couldn’t use it no more. [We used] bottled water: 36 gallons for a bubble bath and so we could brush our teeth.
More stories of women and girls standing up below…
Want to follow some body positive folks: 6 Body Positive Illustrators You Need To Know About
Self-love is for everybody! For those days then you feel like “ugh,” you need bright, cheerful reminders of how you are just perfect, just the way you are! Here are 6 of my favorite body-positive illustrators to watch for everyday inspiration to love yourself and be kind to your body!
With history mostly focusing on the achievements of men, it’s necessary to elevate the stories of women. As British historian and author Bettany Hughes states, “It’s the inconvenient truth that women have always been 50 percent of the population, but only occupy around 0.5 percent of recorded history. Physically the stories of women have been written out of history, rather than written in.”
That’s why the work of 24-year-old Zaira Funes is so important. During this year’s Women’s History Month, she fought this erasure by tweeting about inspirational Latin American women. Because the Salvadoran-American student chose to solely highlight Central America – an isthmus that’s also very familiar with erasure – she gave many a chance to learn and feel pride about barrier-breaking women from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize.
Funes included a range of athletes, activists, singers, and everything in between. To wrap up March, check out these Central American women who made history, as curated by Funes:
Go to the link to read more and check those women out.
And since I am packing this post with links on women, why not post a story on…The Real Story of Elizabeth Báthory: History’s Most Prolific Female Serial Killer
Whenever you hear this story, you’ll find plenty more questions than answers. Was Elizabeth Báthory really the most prolific female killer of all time? Was she framed, a victim of being a powerful woman in a time when that alone was enough to ruin her reputation?
Or was she as bad as they say, a woman who had her henchmen gather virgins (up to 650!) from neighboring villages in order to bathe in their blood, a practice she believed would keep her young?
As with the majority of history (especially history about women and other underrepresented categories of people), you’ll just have to read what we know and make up your own mind, because there will never be a black-and-white truth.
Well, y’all know what I mean.
Now a quick video, because it makes me laugh every time I see it.
If you are on Facebook, then follow the next couple of groups. They always have interesting post.
And if anything is said of feminism…this must be: Intersectionality
Let’s keep the women post going….
For some reason that Instagram of Alan Cumming is not showing up…this is the image btw:
We celebrated Transgender Day recently, and one story that went around the web caught my eye:
I put up three different links there…each has the same story but they all have little various details and quotes.
Lesbians are well-known for our unique ability to find a girlfriend and then turn that romantic relationship into an all-consuming life partnership — starting businesses, pursuing activism, revolutionizing social services, erecting schools, liberating marginalized groups. This is true today but has also been true since the beginning of time. Back in the day, many women were held back from activism and entrepreneurship by the demands of marriage and motherhood, making some women-loving-women uniquely able to pursue civilization-shifting ventures. (Although many managed to do both!) We’re gonna talk about some of those relationships here today.
For the purposes of this list, I defined “power couple” as a relationship through which both women were able to achieve greater professional, artistic or service-related success because of their relationship with each other. I leaned towards couples that actually made or did things together — whether that be starting a school, hosting a nightclub, creating social services for disadvantaged humans or making films. Also, as usual, the word “lesbian” is used as an adjective to describe a same-sex relationship, not the sexual orientation of the women in the relationship.
And for many of us, this next article may come as no surprise: What states have the best and worst quality of life for women.
Ladies love Hawaii! The island state is declared to have the best quality of life for women – while Utah, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have the worst
A new in-depth study by MoveHub ranked US states based on the quality of life for women who live there
The site looked at factors like gender pay gap, political representation in the state legislature, equality in education, and accessibility to health insurance
It also examined reproductive rights and the number of incidents of violence against women
States in the Northeast and West mostly fared best, while Utah and a cluster of Southern states performed worst
I also thought this was a good story to share, ‘Penis Seat’ Causes Double Takes on Mexico City Subway – The New York Times
A seat in a subway car in Mexico City’s metro system caused a stir earlier this year. There were awkward glances. Visible discomfort. Baffled looks. Some laughs. And of course, the inevitable pictures from passengers’ camera phones.
It was meant to be provocative, and it was. A seat was changed to look like the lower half of a male’s body, including the penis, part of a campaign by UN Women and the Mexico City government to raise awareness about sexual harassment on subways.
On the floor beneath the seat, there was a sign reading, “It is annoying to travel this way, but not compared to the sexual violence women suffer in their daily commutes.”
Video and more at the link.
And finally….this last story:
It’s a place where women rule, marriage doesn’t exist and everything follows the maternal bloodline. But is it as good for women as it sounds – and how long can it last?
A Mosuo woman weaves with a loom at her shop in Lijiang, China. Photograph: Chien-min Chung/Getty Images
Imagine a society without fathers; without marriage (or divorce); one in which nuclear families don’t exist. Grandmother sits at the head of the table; her sons and daughters live with her, along with the children of those daughters, following the maternal bloodline. Men are little more than studs, sperm donors who inseminate women but have, more often than not, little involvement in their children’s upbringing.
This progressive, feminist world – or anachronistic matriarchy, as skewed as any patriarchal society, depending on your viewpoint – exists in a lush valley in Yunnan, south-west China, in the far eastern foothills of the Himalayas. An ancient tribal community of Tibetan Buddhists called the Mosuo, they live in a surprisingly modern way: women are treated as equal, if not superior, to men; both have as many, or as few, sexual partners as they like, free from judgment; and extended families bring up the children and care for the elderly. But is it as utopian as it seems? And how much longer can it survive?
Go to the link and read the rest. It is fascinating.
Well, that is all I have for you today…this is an open thread..have at it.
What a week it has been…
This presidency is like a horror show, and I’m not talking about a good one either. It is beyond Plan 9 From Outer Space…
The images are my commentary on that.
Things are very bad at home right now. Cancer is a bitch. So the post today is just links. In no particular order…
Yale History Professor Timothy Snyder’s latest book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century outlines some of the things that fall under dictators as they rise to power. In a conversation Friday with Bill Maher, the host asked Snyder if this was his “busy season” given President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
Maher asked Snyder to give the top three lessons from tyranny for which Americans should suit up.
“Don’t obey in advance,” was Snyder’s first instruction. He doesn’t necessarily mean obeying leaders or authority rather, “don’t follow what everyone else is doing… figure out what you stand for and be yourself.”
His second instruction was that Americans must defend institutions. Many anticipate that “the institution will save us” but Snyder said that this kind of thinking is wrong. “We have to save the institutions. They don’t do it on their own. This is the moment of ‘ask not what the institutions can do for you. Ask what you can do for the institutions.’”
His third was for Americans to believe in the truth. “Without truth, we don’t have trust. Without trust, we don’t have the rule of law. Without the rule of law, we don’t have democracy,” he continued.
More at the link.
Researchers have turned a spinach leaf into working human heart tissue.
Scientists struggle to make large-scale human tissue – while they have had success in creating small lab samples, it is much more difficult to make them at the size of tissues, bones or whole organs. But that’s what will be needed if the tissue proves useful in the treatment of disease or injury.
Now they have come closer to solving perhaps the hardest of those challenges ,and creating a vascular system that can deliver blood into the new tissue.
An eviction notice is never the kind of letter you want to receive, but in 1943, the villagers of Imber, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, all received the very same letter, regretting to inform them “that it is necessary to evacuate” their home to be “made available for training by December 17th”, giving them just 47 days to pack up their lives and “quit” Imber, never to return.
One of the many barriers perpetuating that disparity is a lack of safe transportation options, as many women face sexual harassment when taking public transit — and cabs can be no better. Noor Jehan, a Pink Taxi driver, told the Independent most women in Pakistan would “think thrice” before getting into a car alone with a man.
From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, feminist science fiction writers have imagined other ways of living that prompt us to ask, could we do things differently?
Instead of running the country, Trump has decided his priority is sending cease-and-desist letters to high school girls for making funny websites.
The remaining contestants on a reality television series have emerged after surviving 12 months in the Scottish wilderness — fending off hunger, infighting and fatigue — only to learn that the show stopped broadcasting after four episodes, the last of them in August.
The show, “Eden,” was billed as a unique social experiment in which 23 men and women living in isolation “would take on the challenge of building a new life and creating a society from scratch,” according to a statement promoting the show.
The contestants were taken to a 600-acre estate on the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, which is known for its forests, lochs and beaches.
But “Eden” proved to be anything but paradise.
Carnivore hunted to extinction by European settlers may have survived in isolated wilderness area, if sightings by park ranger and tour guide are genuine
tRump voters are assholes!
That video is sheer horror…
Some more horror tales:
Trump Is Dragging Us Into Another War… And No One Is Talking About It | The Huffington Post Well, we are talking about it here on the blog…
His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up — or down — and galvanize the American public.
We’re watching how Donald Trump is using this platform of unfettered communication now that he’s commander in chief. Here is everything Trump has tweeted since he was sworn in as 45th president of the United States. In many cases, we look at what he was reacting to and whether what he said was accurate. And, as much as possible, we’ll relate what else was going on at the time. Check back for more as Trump continues to tweet.
Nearly 1 million pounds of chicken recalled due to ‘metal objects’ | WSB-TV This chicken was sold throughout the US…so make sure you don’t have any in your kitchen.
Stephen Hawking is shopping for a new voice. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with his old one, it’s just that he’s had it for 30 years and he’s ready to swap it out. Happily, celebrities ranging from Liam Neeson to Anna Kendrick to Rebel Wilson to Lin-Manuel Miranda were more than willing to offer their services, each vying pitifully to have their vocal cords associated with one of the greatest minds in modern physics.
“Stephen…it’s me…surely it has to be me,” said Neeson in his fake audition tape, his neck wrapped tight in a heavy scarf despite being indoors. Kylie Minogue, standing under the shade of a tree, insisted she should be his new voice, since all of her songs are about…science. Lin-Manuel rapped.
“No.” Hawking said, his horror palpable.
The production was created for British charity Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, a high profile telethon that raises money for kids both in the U.S. and in poor communities in developing countries.
In the end, Hawking ultimately rejected each celebrity entreaty, selecting instead Sir Michael Caine. He didn’t even have to audition. Figures.
And on that note I will wrap this thread up…
Hope everyone is having a better day then we are, lol. This is an open thread…
That vintage cartoon panel sure would have made me laugh a year ago…I would have used it in one of my cartoon mash-ups, depicting the populous fleeing a GOP debate. Now I can only think how prophetic that little drawn rectangle frame could be. If I had a way, I’d be gone. Wouldn’t you?
So, soon Comey is supposed to come out and speak.
Before I get to the political cartoons, let me put a couple more tweets here:
Below is the copy of that above link, via TwitLonger:
Now the cartoons.
The one thing I love about the cartoonist Pat Bagley, if you follow his twitter…he will post many comments and statements aside from his wonderful cartoons.
Here is a link to the past 10 cartoons by Pat Bagley:
That’s all, because it is 1pm…go time?
I’m moving slow today so bear with me. Some really weird, odd glitchy things have been happening on the TV these days which kinda makes me think we’re seeing a bit of a hack of our communications satellites . The Russians could possibly be behind it and what a great group of overlords they’d make for women: “Russian lawmakers move to decriminalize domestic violence in 368-to-1 vote”. That fits right in there with Peeotus Pussy Grabber.
Meanwhile back on the weirdness of TV news interruptions we have two examples. Yesterday, “C-SPAN Live Online Broadcast Taken Over By Russian Television” during a speech by Congresswoman Maxine Waters who was discussing SEC.
As allegations of Russia hacking the US presidential election continue to dominate headlines, C-SPAN’s live coverage of the House of Representatives was abruptly interrupted Thursday by a broadcast of Russia Today.
CSPAN says the RT airing, which cut away from a floor speech by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., for about 10 minutes, was likely due to “an internal routing issue.”
“This afternoon the online feed for C-SPAN was briefly interrupted by RT programming,” C-SPAN said in a statement.
On Thursday, the lights mysteriously went out during the confirmation hearing for Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) while he was being vetted by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Even stranger, the topic of conversation that was happening in the room at the time of the unexplained light outage was about Russian hacks.
Then, a C-SPAN feed was abruptly interrupted later in the day and in its place suddenly appeared a feed for Russia Today television (RT), the Kremlin-run news organization. Representative Maxine Waters (D – CA) was mid-sentence when the 10-minutes of RT footage overtook the airwaves. While C-SPAN meekly offered that is was likely a technical glitch, it has not established any further substantial explanation, though noted it was the first time in the network’s history that anything like that had occurred.
And THEN — mystery struck a third time Thursday night, and it also involved Russia.
During Hardball With Chris Matthews, an interview with David Ignatius was suddenly cut short when the journalist was discussing — surprise surprise — the Kremlin’s interference with the general election. “It’s dangerous when you have Russian jets buzzing U.S. warships in the baltic,” Ignatius said on Hardball. “But I think this whole flap — whatever the Russians intended with this their hacking has made it much more difficult to get to where they want,” he said.
Then, this happened, fully transcribed below as it appeared live on MSNBC:
“When you hear General Mattis today, Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director, [all] almost swearing that they’re gonna be hardliners on Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia…”
Ignatius’ voice hung on that word over and over again, appearing to be a glitch of some kind. Eventually the feed was cut to black, and before long Matthews was back on the air, discussing FBI Director James Comey.
Well, isn’t that special?
Ignatius wrote a bombastic piece at WAPO yesterday accusing President Obama of “dawdling” over the Russian Hacks. This is for NW Luna whose been wondering the same thing. BB posted a link on Thursday’s reads downthread but I thought I’d repost this part because it’s interesting that the same day it was published that the glitch occurred later that day.
The intelligence community issued a statement Oct. 7 charging that “Russia’s senior-most officials” had sought to “interfere with the U.S. election process.” Given that, why didn’t Obama do more?
The White House probably feared that further action might trigger a process of escalation that could bring even worse election turmoil. Trump was barnstorming the country claiming that the election was rigged and warning he might not accept the outcome. Did the administration worry that the Russians would take additional steps to hurt Clinton and help Trump, and might disrupt balloting itself? We need to know.
Meanwhile, it seems possible that Penthouse has got the infamous Donald porn show tapes. I have a weird little hypothesis that the Republican Establishment is getting ready to kick T-Rump to the curve in favor of Pence the Putrid. So, this is the first in their little black ops adventures. Let us not forget that the Bushes still have close ties to the CIA and the Bushes probably can still pull a few strings to undermine the short-fingered Vulgarian.
Adult magazine Penthouse has received three claims for its $1 million offer to anyone who could provide real tapes of President-elect Donald Trump’s alleged and unproven sexual escapades at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, the publication’s editor exclusively revealed to International Business Times Thursday.
Penthouse editor Raphie Aronowitz said the magazine isn’t conducting a “witch hunt,” but wants to prove whether the allegations against Trump are true. Aronowitz said the lucrative offer falls in line with the magazine’s well-established brand, though to his knowledge Penthouse has never made such an exorbitant offer before.
“If the story is real, which we don’t know if it is or not, it really kind of hits at the intersection between politics, scandal and sex, which as a brand both historically and currently is our sweet spot,” Aronowitz said in a phone interview.
He also said the advent and effect of “fake news” – articles containing false or inaccurate information spread by social media sites that many have credited with helping Trump win the Oval Office, including President Barack Obama – played a role in the offer.
“For us, this was the type of story that we wanted to jump all over. But at the same time there’s been so much floating around – as far as fake news stories – there have been so many people who have just been taking shots at President-elect Donald Trump because he’s an easy target, and we as a brand and as an informational source, we didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon,” Aronowitz said. “We wanted to make sure this story could be verified, that the murmurings of their being actual video documentation that corroborates the allegations, do exist. For us, this was a very real ask, which is just ‘Give us some facts, and let us share the real story with our readers and with the public.'”
We always knew Jason Chaffetz was both creepy and highly partisan but this is just about got me thinking he’s as corrupt as they come. AND he’s in charge of Ethics. Catch this: “Chaffetz threatens to subpoena federal ethics watchdog over Trump criticism”. My favorite adjectives these days are Orwellian and dystopian. I feel like I’ve had more occasions to use them than I would if I were writing criticisms of Mad Max and Terminator Movies.
House Republicans have found a subject for their opening review of conflicts of interest under Donald Trump: the federal official in charge of investigating conflicts of interest.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, criticized the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics on Thursday over his criticism of Donald Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest. And he threatened to subpoena the official, Walter Shaub, if he refuses to participate in an official interview.
“He seems to be acting prematurely at best, without doing investigations or thorough looks,” Chaffetz said in an interview. “He’s rendering opinions publicly that really cause you to scratch your head. We need the Office of Government Ethics to act ethically. Ironically, that’s not what they’re doing.”
Shaub, an appointee of President Barack Obama, has been a frequent critics of the incoming administration’s ethics plans, peaking Wednesday when he called Trump’s newly unveiled conflicts of interest policy “meaningless.”
The public rebuke of Trump’s business arrangements came during a press conference at the Brookings Institution that included the outspoken former White House ethics lawyers for Obama and former President George W. Bush. In his remarks, Shaub said the president-elect “stepping back from running his positions is meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective.”
“The plan does not comport with the tradition of our presidents over the last 40 years,” he added.
Chaffetz said Shaub has refused since the election to agree to a meeting to discuss matters related to OGE’s public remarks about Trump, as well as the Republican-led panel’s plans to pass language reauthorizing the office. If Shaub continues to resist, Chaffetz said he’d issue a subpoena “if we have to.”
Trump not only summarily dismissed the man who had been announcing inaugural parades since the Eisenhower years, he’s just gotten ridden of the head of the DC National Guard who has always been part of the security arrangements. Why are so many people being dismissed so handily? This man was a Dubya Bush appointee.
In a bizarre move, Donald Trump has demanded that the commanding officer of the Washington, D.C. National Guard resign from his post in the middle of the Inauguration ceremony, even though the general will be in the middle of helping oversee the event’s security, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz will be removed from his post at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day, just after Trump is sworn in but before the Inaugural parade begins, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Post.
Schwartz has helped plan the security for Inauguration weekend, and he will be charged with overseeing the D.C. National Guard as well as an additional 5,000 troops sent in for the weekend. But he will have to hand over commend to an interim officer in the middle of Inauguration Day.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz told the Washington Post on Friday.
“My troops will be on the street,” he added. “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Hello, I’ve used photos of woman boxers, or women boxing, before…it seemed appropriate with the latest assault in women’s rights out of Ohio and Texas, that images of women in boxing gear (vintage ones at that) should be the perfect accompaniment to this thread.
So focusing on women in this evening thread…
If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.
But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.
“New president, new Supreme Court justice appointees, change the dynamic,” state Senate President Keith Faber (R) told WHIO-TV after the vote. Asked if he believed it could withstand a constitutional challenge, he replied he felt “it has a better chance than it did before.”
There is one vacancy on the Supreme Court, left by Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice who died this year. Another conservative justice in his place would not likely change the dynamics of the court enough to alter the chances for such a bill. But that could change if Trump gets the opportunity during his term to appoint a replacement for one of the more liberal justices.
The vote is the latest sign that Trump’s election has energized conservatives on cultural matters, even as his campaign was built around an economic message. Social conservatives were heartened by his choice for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), who shepherded some of the nation’s strictest laws in his state. They have watched approvingly as his cabinet picks have almost uniformly been outspoken against abortion rights.
Read the rest at the link.
Sign the petition here: Governor Kasich, you can’t just ban abortion | American Civil Liberties Union
On Tuesday, Ohio lawmakers approved a bill that would ban abortion at six weeks, or when a fetus’s heartbeat became audible. The so-called “heartbeat bill” is one of the strictest in the nation and has the potential to prevent women from getting abortions before they even know they’re pregnant, and it makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
Republican Representative Jim Buchy was a strong proponent for the bill, which he said would “encourage personal responsibility.” “What we have here is really the need to give people the incentive to be more responsible so we reduce unwanted pregnancies, and by the way, the vast majority of abortions are performed on women who were not raped,” he told Ohio Public Radio.
Buchy is a longtime proponent of restricting women’s access to abortion — in 2012, he told Al Jazeera that his ultimate goal is to ban abortion completely in the State of Ohio. Then, the reporter asked him an interesting question: “What do you think makes a woman want to have an abortion?”
He pauses. Then he says, “Well, there’s probably a lot of reas— I’m not a woman.” He laughs. “I’m thinking now if I’m a woman why would I want to get … Some of it has to do with economics. A lot of it has to do with economics. I don’t know. It’s a question I’ve never even thought about.”
President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that he would help criminalize abortion. In his postelection interview with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” Trump doubled down, promising to appoint Supreme Court judges who will vote against abortion rights.
Well, Ohio Republicans clearly believe him and are downright excited about it — so much so that state legislators in both houses used the last few days of the lame duck session to pass a bill banning abortion after the embryo begins pumping blood, at about six weeks of pregnancy. It’s called the “Heartbeat Bill,” but that’s a bit of misnomer, since the circulatory system of an embryo that early in a pregnancy hasn’t really developed what most of us recognize as a proper heart.
Now the abortion ban is headed to the desk of John Kasich, Ohio’s governor and former Republican presidential candidate. Kasich is a hard-line opponent of abortion rights and takes a dim view of women’s health care generally. Since 2011, he has waged all-out war on abortion access, using backdoor regulatory schemes to shut down half of the state’s abortion clinics.
The only hope Ohio has, Ohio House Approves Fetal Heartbeat Bill | Mother Jones….
If the measure becomes law, it will likely fail in court.
However, in Texas…this is going on…Texas Governor Can Expect Mailbox Full Of Used Tampons After Passing Abortion Burial Law
After months of fierce opposition from pro-choice activists and the medical community, state health officials in Texas who have had their sights set on punishing women that didn’t carry their pregnancies to term after failing to make abortions more costly, as well as physically and mentally draining earlier this year, have finally succeeded.
Starting December 19th, all miscarried and aborted fetuses will need to be cremated or buried in accordance with the new law, whether the woman wanted to carry the pregnancy to term or not, and regardless of the reasons behind the termination.
Ele Chupik, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, shared an idea that many people have taken a liking to:
It is fucking 2016…and we are still dealing with shit like this?
It is looking a lot like women are totally fucked…remember this article from November 15th? What abortion could look like in America under Donald Trump – The Washington Post
If Donald Trump’s Supreme Court of the future moves to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to legal abortion in the United States wouldn’t vanish. But it would likely become staggeringly unequal — an option only for women who happen to live in a liberal state or have the money to travel to one.
For a glimpse of this possible fate, look to the recent past. In 1970, New York became the first state to allow any woman to end a pregnancy without proving she’d been raped or that her health would fail if gestation continued.
“Women flocked there,” said Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. “But low-income women, disproportionately women of color, were trapped in anti-abortion states.”
Before the Supreme Court decided to guarantee a woman’s right to seek a legal abortion in 1973, making Roe the law of the land, the procedure was banned in 30 states. At the time New York struck down its abortion limitations, allowing women to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks, only Hawaii offered similar access — but solely to residents.
New York, however, upheld no residency requirement. In the two years after the law changed, 60 percent of women who had abortions there came from another state. By 1972, roughly women 100,000 had left their state to get a legal procedure in New York City, according the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. An estimated 50,000 traveled more than 500 miles to reach an abortion provider in the metropolis, and nearly 7,000 trekked double that distance.
If Gov. Terry Branstad is confirmed as ambassador, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace him as Iowa governor. Reynolds has said if abortion is criminalized, the punishment “would be equivalent to murder.”
President-elect Trump on Wednesday announced a slew of cabinet picks, including three anti-choice nominees—one of whom will clear the way in Iowa for a new governor who has said abortion patients, if such care were to be criminalized, should be punished like people who commit “murder.”
Trump intends to nominate Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as U.S. ambassador to China, climate-change denier Scott Pruitt to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon to the Small Business Association.
While governor, Branstad’s administration pushed through restrictions on reproductive health care, including an unconstitutional ban on telemedicine abortions. In 2015, he moved to restrictfunding for Planned Parenthood affiliates after speaking at an anti-choice rally and proclaiming that “no Medicaid-funded abortions have occurred in the state” in the previous two years.
Branstad in 2013 signed a state budget that allowed him to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a person seeking Medicaid funding for abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or life endangerment could be reimbursed.
If Branstad’s appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will replace him as Iowa governor. In an interview with the Carol Daily Herald Timesin July 2010, Reynolds was asked how doctors who provide abortions and women who have them should be punished if the medical procedure were criminalized.
“Well, I think it would be equivalent to murder,” Reynolds said. “I would want to research that before I would lay specifically out what the penalties would be.” When pressed for an answer, Reynolds said, “I don’t know if it needs to be the death penalty.”
Reynolds’ office did not respond to Rewire‘s requests for comment.
Just a few more articles…on abortion.
My pregnancy was going to be high-risk already. And given what I’d already been through, I made a choice. I do not bow to shrunken gods.
Two days later, I went to a little cafe here to meet with Nadya Tolokonnikova of the Russian punk band and activist art collective Pussy Riot. The group’s 2012 guerrilla performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, which viciously mocked Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, resulted in a two-year prison sentence for Ms. Tolokonnikova and another of its members.
I had been in South Florida for family reasons and when I saw that Ms. Tolokonnikova was swinging through Miami for Art Basel, I immediately reached out to her. I’d come to view her as an emissary from a dystopian political-media environment that seemed to be heading our way, with governmental threats against dissent, disinformation from the presidential level and increasingly assertive propagandists who stoke the perception that there can be no honest arbiter of truth.
It’s what Ms. Tolokonnikova was protesting, and it’s what led to her brutal internment, which lasted more than 20 months and ended in 2013.
Leading up to Ms. Tolokonnikova’s trial, Russian news reports carried suggestions that she and her bandmates were pawns of Hillary Clinton’s State Department or witches working with a global satanic conspiracy — perhaps linked to the one that was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, as lawyers for one of their offended accusers put it. This is what we now call “fake news.”
Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Mr. Putin’s crackdown on free speech; of how his regime uses falsehood and deflection to sow confusion and undermine critics.
Now that the political-media environment that we smugly thought to be “over there” seems to be arriving over here, Ms. Tolokonnikova has a message: “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’” she told me. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be O.K.”
She pointed to Russian oligarchs who helped engineer Mr. Putin’s rise to power at the end of 1999 but didn’t appreciate the threat he posed to them until they found themselves under arrest, forced into exile or forced into giving up their businesses — especially if those businesses included independent media critical of Mr. Putin (see Berezovsky, Boris; Gusinsky, Vladimir).
This article was published before the CIA reports effectively stating what we knew to be true…that Putin had a hand in the Trump election. So read the rest of that article with this new information in mind.
Of course, the United States has checks, balances and traditions that presumably preclude anything like that from happening, she acknowledged as we sat comfortably in sunny Miami Beach while it played host to a celebration of free expression (Art Basel).
“It is a common phrase right now that ‘America has institutions,’” Ms. Tolokonnikova said. “It does. But a president has power to change institutions and a president moreover has power to change public perception of what is normal, which could lead to changing institutions.”
Teen Vogue editor pulls fire alarm on Trump gaslighting: He spun ‘accusations of his falsehoods’ as bias -The important part of that link is…Teen Vogue y’all.
Donald Trump’s Harassment of a Teenage Girl on Twitter Led to Death and Rape Threats
In October 2015, then-18-year-old Lauren Batchelder asked Trump a question at a political forum in New Hampshire. “So, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think you’re a friend to women,” she said. Trump defended himself, and Batchelder took the mic again, asking if she’d get equal pay and access to abortion with Trump as president. Trump answered: “You’re going to make the same if you do as good of a job, and I happen to be pro-life, okay?”
Batchelder thought that was the end of it, but when she woke up the next day, she realized that the current president-elect had sent out a series of tweets about her. “The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion at No Labels yesterday was a Jeb staffer!” he tweeted. (Batchelder is not, and has never been, a staffer for Jeb Bush, though she did volunteer for his campaign.) His followers replied with screenshots of Batchelder and posted her phone number and other personal information online.
Within hours, her phone began to ring, and her email inbox and Facebook account filled with threatening messages. “I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” Batchelder, now 19, told the Washington Post. “He was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”
She said the abuse has continued, prompting one Trump supporter to send her a Facebook message five days before the election that read, “Wishing I could f—ing punch you in the face. id then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and i know where you live, so watch your f—ing back punk.”
Batchelder’s case illustrates what happens when Trump, who has more than 17 million Twitter followers, goes after a private citizen online. And far from showing restraint as his following has grown, Trump has continued the pattern. On Wednesday he attacked Chuck Jones, a union leader, who wrote in the Washington Post Thursday that his office is now receiving threats, too.
But wait, there is more…Women’s March on Washington barred from Lincoln Memorial | US news | The Guardian
For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations.
That’s because the National Park Service, on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters.
The NPS filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” for many of Washington DC’s most famous political locations for days and weeks before and after the inauguration on 20 January, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights litigator and the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
But banning access to public land for protesters days after the inauguration is “extremely unique”, she said in a press conference held by the Answer [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism] Coalition.
“It hasn’t come up in any way previously, where you’ve had a groundswell of people trying to have access on the Saturday, January 21, and thousands of people want to come, and the government is saying we won’t give you a permit,” she said.
“What they’ve done is take all of these spaces out of action,” she said, many of which, the Answer Coalition noted in its press release, are “historic spaces for dissent”.
After Ilhan Omar moved to the United States in the mid-1990s — fleeing war in her native Somalia and a childhood spent in a refugee camp — she went to high school in Minneapolis, and was occasionally bullied for wearing a hijab, her father wrote.
Through decades of community activism and civic leadership, Omar fought back against such forms of intolerance. And on Election Day, proudly wearing her headscarf, she made history— winning a Minnesota statehouse race to become the nation’s first Somali American lawmaker.
But less than one month later, as she visited the nation’s capital for policy training at the White House, her historic role didn’t stop a cab driver from targeting her for her religion. Riding in a taxi en route to her hotel Tuesday, after having spent the afternoon at the White House, she “became subjected to the most hateful, derogatory, islamophobic, sexist taunts and threats” she had ever experienced, she wrote in a post on social media.
“The cab driver called me ISIS and threatened to remove my hijab,” she wrote. “I wasn’t really sure how this encounter would end as I attempted to rush out of his cab and retrieve my belongs.”
You can read that article if you want to…at the link.
I will end this post with a few videos from Facebook.
This photo of Elsie Connor looked to us as if it had been Photoshopped in a very interesting way but it wasn’t—we found a version on Getty Images and it was identical to what you see above. The image and the fact that she’s identified as an Irish boxing champion on various websites made us curious about her career, but after a bit of digging we discovered that she was actually a dancer and chorus girl, and appeared in the 1930 musical Earl Carroll’s Sketch Book, the 1929 shows Fioretta and Earl Carroll’s Vanities, and the 1928 production Here’s Howe. That’s a pretty short career, and one that lacked any starring roles, but thanks to the internet she’s famous again, looking like a real world beater. The only thing is, we doubt she was ever a boxer. We can’t be 100% sure, but with no evidence that she ever stepped into a ring, as well as a very clear understanding of how often the world wide web is world wide wrong, we suspect this is just a very, er, striking publicity photo. It dates from 1931.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I read the fuckwad shitheads Bertolucci and Brando schemed together to commit a rape for their film, it made me physically ill….Bertolucci’s justification for the Last Tango rape scene is bogus. It’s called ‘acting’ for a reason | Jessica Tovey | Film | The Guardian
That is probably why this next link really struck a nerve for me?
Artemisia Gentileschi was raped when she was 19. In her career as one of Italy’s greatest painters, she resurrected and exorcized that trauma again and again.
Give this article a full read…but here is an bit to get you going:
Once, there was a man called Holofernes. He was a general, several thousand years ago, in what is now modern-day Syria. Holofernes was doing what generals often did back then—laying siege. His target was the city of Bethulia, which was almost at the point of starvation and surrender when one occupant, a woman named Judith, formulated a plan. She seduced Holofernes through charm and the promise of information. While he slept in his bed, dead drunk, she decapitated him with two slices of a blade and brought his head back to the city in a bag.
The tale of Judith and Holofernes is an ancient and sacred one, but you won’t read it in a modern Bible. It’s not historical. It’s inaccurate. And it may have been written by a woman.
The story struck a chord with Artemisia Gentileschi, one of Italy’s greatest artists during the 17th century. As a teenager, she had been raped. The trial was public and protracted, and Gentileschi was tortured during her testimony. Like Judith, she was portrayed as a slut instead of a hero. And also like Judith, Gentileschi wrote for herself a heroic narrative that would only ever be truly appreciated long after she had died.
That is all folks, sorry for the tardiness.
Well, the year 2016 continues to be a challenging one. I seriously can’t look at any type of media without wanting a script for a happy pill along with a huge bottle of Jamison. It’s just really like living through the Divine Comedy. We’re getting closer and closer to the lower levels as we’re approaching the first season of the Mad King of Hell.
Today’s circle is the one where the Greedy push boulders against the boulders of the Wasteful. It’s a sin against sin extravaganza. Maybe the WWE executive Linda McMahon can arrange for something compelling? I’m sure it’s more up her alley than her pending appointment to lead the SBA into oblivion.
The WSJ has a great article behind it’s awesome paywall illustrating exactly how much of a spider’s web Trump Enterprises represents with the news that it would take an army of forensic scientists and hackers to figure out all the combinations of potential conflicts the Mad King of Hell has with enemy states and other states and his portfolio. Here’s a brief description from WAPO’s Plum Line. The oligarchy of kleptocrats is nearing perfect completion. This continues to be the perfect storm for the End Days of OUR Republic.
If you want to understand why the conflicts-of-interest involving Donald Trump’s business holdings and presidency could matter enormously in the months and years to come, read this single sentence buried in today’s big Wall Street Journal piece about those holdings:
It’s not clear how much Mr. Trump’s businesses would benefit from his proposal to cut business tax rates.
The key part of that sentence is the phrase, “it’s not clear.” The Journal piece reports that Trump has employed a “web” of limited liability companies to house assets accounting for over $300 million of the revenues he reported in disclosure forms last year. The crucial revelation in the piece is that these entities are a key reason why many of the specific details of Trump’s holdings remain shrouded in “opacity.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports this morning: “Trump is considering formally turning over the operational responsibility for his real estate company to his two adult sons, but he intends to keep a stake in the business and resist calls to divest, according to several people briefed on the discussions.”
As I’ve reported, if Trump merely turns his businesses over to family members (never mind whether he keeps a stake), it will not remove the potential for conflicts or even corruption. His family could stand to benefit from his policy decisions, or alternatively, other entities could seek to curry favor with the new president through deals that benefit his businesses, and by extension, his family (or himself, if he keeps a stake). Ethics experts believe only putting his interests into a genuine blind trust, via the liquidation of his assets, would truly remove the possibility of conflicts.
But, now that this looks unlikely to happen, what needs to be emphasized is not simply that such conflicts are very real possibilities, though that’s important. It also matters greatly that our lack of knowledge of the full range and scope of his interests makes it hard to evaluate whetherthese conflicts are taking place in any given situation, and if so, what they truly mean. And that’s where the new Journal story comes in. Here is the rub of the matter:
None of the 96 LLCs examined by the Journal appear to regularly release audited financial statements. That opacity — compounded by Mr. Trump’s decision to break with decades of precedent by declining to release his tax returns — makes it impossible to gauge the full extent of potential conflicts between his business interests and presidential role.
The scope and complexity of Mr. Trump’s private business holdings is unprecedented for incoming presidents, said Norman Eisen, President Barack Obama’s former White House ethics lawyer. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
It’s not clear how much Mr. Trump’s businesses would benefit from his proposal to cut business tax rates.…
Mr. Trump’s wealth is impossible to measure with precision. His financial disclosure form isn’t externally audited and — following government rules — often uses bands, such as more than $50 million, rather than exact amounts to report assets and revenue or income. Only a handful of the hundreds of entities listed in Mr. Trump’s financial disclosure publish audited financial statements — and those figures don’t necessarily illuminate Mr. Trump’s financial situation.
Trump has called for huge tax cuts, including for top earners and businesses, and Congressional Republicans are all but certain to go forward with the same. But, as the Journal points out, we cannot know what impact these policies will have on Trump’s own businesses — or his family’s.
Trump has no intention of giving up his stake in the family kleptocracy. Hey, why should he? No one can even get him to release his taxes. It’s going to take a full on court battle to get him do do anything remotely constitutional or legal. It’s his MO.
Meanwhile, the appointments to the Cabinets continue to be Orwellian. The meetings will likely resemble those infamous scenes from the “Wolf Of Wall Street”. Trump is naming a fast food CEO to be Labor Secretary that will make you ill.
And now, if President-elect Donald Trump has his way, an enemy of the Fight for $15 movement will lead the U.S. Labor Department.
On Thursday, Trump revealed that he had nominated Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, to be Labor Secretary. CKE Restaurants is the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., two fast food companies that have been targeted by Fight for 15. Puzder himself is on record as an opponent of raising the minimum wage, and has said that he would like to try automating service more service jobs in response to wage hikes.
Then, there is further evidence that Trump has no idea what he’s doing in terms of US diplomacy. To make matters worse, his latest possible appointment as Secretary of State is so bad that he makes Rudy G look tame by comparison. Remember disgraced shill Rep. Dana Rohrabacher? He’s out there defending Russia’s Human Rights Record. Again, Trump’s new mantra for the American people is let them all rot and die while we get rich. As long as Trump et al become rich as Russian Oligarchs, we can just suffer.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who has emerged as a dark-horse pick for Donald Trump’s secretary of state, tangled with a Yahoo News host Wednesday over whether Russia is a major human rights abuser. Rohrabacher’s verdict: It’s “baloney.”
The exchange is pretty remarkable — in part because he was debating a Yahoo host who just happens to be from the former Soviet Union, but mostly because Rohrabacher seemed to dismiss long-standing and documented evidence of abuses in Russia. Rohrabacher seemed to take exception to Russia being mentioned in the same breath as China when it comes to human rights abuses.
I doubt seriously the Republic will withstand all of this. In his farewell to the Senate, outgoing Senate Majority Leader and future retiree Harry Reid believes the filibuster will soon be dead.
To hear Reid tell it, the party’s electoral collapse wasn’t a result of poor messaging or even a bad candidate. It stemmed from looser campaign finance rules, FBI Director James Comey and the influence of a few powerful individuals — namely the Koch brothers, his long-running nemeses. The outgoing Senate minority leader is unapologetic on behalf of his party, and remains resolute that Democrats don’t need to chart a new political course after their 2016 debacle.
“They have Trump, I understand that. But I don’t think the Democratic Party is in that big of trouble,” Reid said in a half-hour interview with Politico on Wednesday, one day before he’ll deliver his farewell address. “I mean, if Comey kept his mouth shut, we would have picked up a couple more Senate seats and we probably would have elected Hillary.”
And Reid not only refused to admit any misgivings about invoking the “nuclear option” for most nominations — a move that’s backfiring now by empowering Republicans — he predicted it’s just a matter of time before the filibuster is done away with altogether.
Though the filibuster is Democrats’ best weapon against Trump, Reid said it would be a “mistake” for his party to reflexively oppose whatever Trump proposes. But the outgoing minority leader also wants Democrats to stand firm for their core principles, urging lawmakers to do “everything in their power” to block “wacky” Supreme Court nominees and to not be “complicit” in supporting GOP priorities like tax cuts for the rich and repealing Obamacare.
Frankly, any Democrat should OPPOSE everything the Republicans try to do at this point. It’s our only hope.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?