Losar and Lundi Gras ReadsPosted: February 20, 2023 Filed under: just because | Tags: Faux News, Losar, lundi gras, mardi gras, Ukraine 24 Comments
Losar Tashi Delek to you, Sky Dancers! Happy 2150 to everybody!
So, it’s the beginning of a new year for those of us following the Buddhism of the Himalayas. Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, and I’m following the traditional old-school way of resting up the day before. Plus, Losar is a day to clean house; mine needs that more than I need to see a few parades.
When my kids were younger, we read Jataka stories during Spring break. These stories are lessons in developing a moral framework.
Ani Wangmo, a Tibetan Buddhist nun, reminded me of one story that always seemed sad and yet, heroic. This is an excellent lesson to think about on this auspicious day!
Irrelated to astrology, rabbit is one of the four harmonious friends from Buddhist folklore, sharing their living environment and collaborating peacefully. May all beings strive for such harmony in the world, in this year and beyond.
In a Jataka story a rabbit’s virtue draws attention of the gods, who challenge him to test the sincerity of his dedication to serving others. The rabbit sacrificed his life for others, and in his honour the gods imprinted his shape to the moon, so that when we look at it, we can always remember virtue. May we always selflessly strive to benefit all beings.
This story also reminds me of former President and Rosalyn Carter, who spent endless hours rebuilding and building homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Today, the story reminds me of other harmonious friends as President Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine demonstrates our country’s unwavering commitment to democracy abroad, even if it’s endangered here at home. This is the headline from the New York Times. “Biden Visits Kyiv, Ukraine’s Embattled Capital, as Air-Raid Siren Sounds. President Biden took a nearly 10-hour train ride from the border of Poland to show his administration’s “unwavering support” nearly a year into Russia’s invasion.” Good for him because the FAUX nation wants to bail on them.
President Biden made a surprise trip to the embattled capital of Ukraine on Monday, traveling under a cloak of secrecy into a war zone to demonstrate what he called America’s “unwavering support” of the effort to beat back Russian forces nearly a year after they invaded the country.
Mr. Biden arrived early Monday morning to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the two stepped out into the streets of Kyiv even as an air-raid siren sounded, a dramatic moment that underscored the investment the United States has made in Ukraine’s independence.
“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Mr. Biden declared at Mr. Zelensky’s side in Mariinsky Palace, the gilded ceremonial home of the Ukrainian president. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.”
“Thank you so much for coming, Mr. President, at a huge moment for Ukraine,” Mr. Zelensky said.
Mr. Biden promised to release another $500 million in military aid in coming days, mentioning artillery ammunition, Javelin missiles and Howitzers, but he did not talk about the advanced arms that Ukraine has sought. Mr. Zelensky told reporters that he and the president spoke about “long range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.”
This is from David Rothkopf at the Daily Beast. “Biden’s Trip to Kyiv is the Ultimate Humiliation for Putin—and Trump.” It should humiliate the Fucks at FAUX, but hey, they just care about their ratings.
Stirringly, just days ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s brutal offensive against Ukraine, Biden walked through the streets of Kyiv, paid his respects to those who had fallen in defense of Ukraine, and said, “Freedom is priceless. It’s worth fighting for, for as long as it takes.”
Biden also movingly invoked the conversation he had with Zelensky last February as Russia’s massive escalation of its nine-year-old war of unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. He recalled with Zelensky at his side, “You said you didn’t know when we’d be able to speak again. That dark night…the world was literally bracing for the fall of Kyiv…perhaps even the end of Ukraine.”
Of course, the symbolism of the American president standing alongside Zelensky, walking through the Ukrainian capital even as air raid sirens sounded, carried many other messages as well.
To those fighting for Ukraine, it was a vitally important message of solidarity that came with further commitments from Biden of military support for Ukraine.
To Vladimir Putin, it was Biden’s way of saying, “I am here in Kyiv and you are not. You not only did not take Kyiv in days as some predicted, but your attack was rebuffed. Your army suffered a humiliating defeat from which it has not recovered.”
And, now we turn our eyes to the Fucks at Faux News. Mike Allen of Axios has this exclusive. “Scoop: McCarthy gives Tucker Carlson access to trove of Jan. 6 riot tape. “It’s not very comforting knowing that second in line to Biden is this fascist jerk.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot, McCarthy sources tell me.
- Carlson TV producers were on Capitol Hill last week to begin digging through the trove, which includes multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds. Excerpts will begin airing in the coming weeks.
Why it matters: Carlson has repeatedly questioned official accounts of 1/6, downplaying the insurrection as “vandalism.”
- Now his shows — “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, and “Tucker Carlson Today” and “Tucker Carlson Originals” on the streaming service Fox Nation — have a massive trove of raw material.
Carlson told me: “[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret.”
- “If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.”
There’s some more on the MAGA Propaganda Station today. Charles Kaiser writes this news at The Guardian, “How Dominion Voting Systems filing proves Fox News was ‘deliberately lying'”
Document makes clear senior Fox News figures knew after 2020 election voter fraud claims were false – and it’s likely a landmark case
The Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said Dominion Voting Systems’ brief requesting summary judgment against Fox News for defamation – and $1.6bn – is “likely to succeed and likely to be a landmark” in the history of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“I have never seen a defamation case with such overwhelming proof that the defendant admitted in writing that it was making up fake information in order to increase its viewership and its revenues,” Tribe told the Guardian. “Fox and its producers and performers were lying as part of their business model.”
The case concerns Fox News’s repetition of Donald Trump’s lie that his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud, including claims about Dominion voting machines.
Tribe said the filing “establishes that Fox was not only reckless” but also that producers, owners and personalities were “deliberately lying and knew they were lying about the nature of Dominion’s machines and the supposed way they could be manipulated”.
Filed last week, the 192-page document makes it clear that senior figures at Fox News from Rupert Murdoch down knew immediately after the election that claims of voter fraud, in particular those aimed at Dominion, were false.
Tucker Carlson called the charges “ludicrous” and “off the rails”. Sean Hannity texted about “F’ing lunatics”. A senior network vice-president called one of the stories “MIND BLOWINGLY NUTS”.
But none of this knowledge prevented hosts from repeating lies about everything from imaginary algorithms shaving votes from Dominion machines to non-existent ties between the company and Venezuela
Tribe was one of several first amendment experts to call the filing nearly unprecedented.
More comments from the other expert witnesses are in the article at the link above.
Here are two articles showing how climate change is causing global havoc. BB’s Boston has hardly had a winter. It’s in the 80s in New Orleans for the end of the Carnivale season and the beginning of Lent. That’s a little early for those temperatures.
Ana Mano / Reuters:
Three dozen dead as Brazil rains cause calamity
Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
‘Not much time left’: Salt Lake City’s mayor on the Great Lake drying up
This is from last fall from the Yale Enviornment 360. “As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, a Water Crisis Looms in South Asia. Warmer air is thinning most of the vast mountain range’s glaciers, known as the Third Pole, because they contain so much ice. The melting could have far-reaching consequences for flood risk and for water security for a billion people who rely on meltwater for their survival.”
Spring came early this year in the high mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, a remote border region of Pakistan. Record temperatures in March and April hastened melting of the Shisper Glacier, creating a lake that swelled and, on May 7, burst through an ice dam. A torrent of water and debris flooded the valley below, damaging fields and houses, wrecking two power plants, and washing away parts of the main highway and a bridge connecting Pakistan and China.
Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, tweeted videos of the destruction and highlighted the vulnerability of a region with the largest number of glaciers outside the Earth’s poles. Why were these glaciers losing mass so quickly? Rehman put it succinctly. “High global temperatures,” she said.
Just over a decade ago, relatively little was known about glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the vast ice mountains that run across Central and South Asia, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. But a step-up in research in the past 10 years — spurred in part by an embarrassing error in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, which predicted that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 — has led to enormous strides in understanding.
Like I said, Lundi Gras is still my day of rest! But here’s a look at what’s going on today! So, this is my peak holiday season! Y’all can keep that stuff after Halloween and before Twelfth night!
Have a great day, whatever you’re up to!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Friday Reads: Regime Change and ReliefPosted: February 12, 2021 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: coronavirus pandemic Covid-19, Krewe of Muses, mardi gras 12 Comments
Happy Friday Sky Dancers!
It would have been Muses parade Thursday last night up town but instead we had a flood of rain and the French Quarter under a heavy shut down order. The Krewe of Muses was not to be left out of whatever fun we were trying to have at home. Operation Shoe Fairy was on last night! Glitter shoes were going to nurses and doctors and random people who bump into a muse driving her car full of glittery shoes around the city. Glittery Shoes from Muses and Glittery Coconuts from Zulu are the winning lotto tickets of parade throws.
“New Orleans is really resilient, and we rise to the occasion and we’re seeing that this year,” said Krewe Creator/Captain, Staci Rosenberg.
Rosenberg says not rolling this year is heartbreaking, however there is a plan in place to keep the magic alive. It’s called Operation Shoe Fairy.
“We’re going to be walking, driving, flying around the city, flitting around and landing in different parts of New Orleans giving glitter shoes to unsuspecting people,” she said.
All deliveries will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. They’ll also be made at 12 local hospitals to recognize the heroic work being done during this tough time. They call it, “Heels for Healers.”
“We’re doing that because we so appreciate what the healthcare warriors at all levels have done for us this year,” Rosenberg said. “Their sacrifices have been unbelievable and if we can give them a tiny bit of joy, we want to do that.”
It’s not just New Orleans Krewes sending out love and support this time of year! Look what’s happening at the White House today! No morbid red trees! No ripping up trees and flowers! The First Lady Dr. Jill Biden sends out love for Valentine’s day!
Her predecessor is not amused. Poor lil Melania did not get the same treatment and like her husband, she doesn’t get it that people find her basically unpleasant and cold. You can go read about her bitterness at the link at CNN. Be sure to bring along the smallest violin in the world
But then there’s the big news that we may all have our vaccinations by summer! I just got my first dose of Pfizer on Wednesday. This is terrific news! Via CBS “Biden announces deal for 200 million more COVID-19 doses.”
President Biden announced Thursday his administration has finalized an order for 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered by July 2021, adding to the 400 million doses that the Trump administration had already ordered from Pfizer and Moderna by that date. The two drug companies both produce a two-shot regimen, so the total 600 million doses will vaccinate 300 million people — most of the U.S. population.“Within three weeks, round-the-clock work of so many people, people standing behind me and in front of me, we’ve now purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans and now we’re working to get those vaccines in the arms of millions of people,” Mr. Biden said in remarks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The president also said the companies were on track to supply their initial orders of each vaccine weeks earlier, distributing their first 200 million doses each by the end of May.
“That’s a month faster,” said Mr. Biden. “That means lives will be saved.”
Though snafus with complicated vaccination scheduling systems and mishandled doses have hampered the vaccine rollout, local and state health authorities have insisted the key issue they faced was that demand far outstripped supply at most clinics.
Okay, so no we’ve really made some changes! There’s a FACT SHEET posted on the development at the White House website. Facts! What a concept!
One of the most interesting things to read today is in Nature. “This COVID-vaccine designer is tackling vaccine hesitancy — in churches and on Twitter. Immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett helped to design the Moderna vaccine. Now she volunteers her time talking about vaccine science with people of colour.” Here’s the blurb about her and you can read her interview at the link.
Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), is one of the scientists who in early 2020 helped to develop an mRNA-based vaccine for COVID-19. Developed in collaboration with biotech firm Moderna of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the vaccine is now being distributed across the United States and elsewhere. And Corbett is taking on another challenge: tempering vaccine hesitancy by talking about COVID-19 science in communities of colour.
Corbett is one of many Black scientists and doctors who are doing this outreach, often virtually, in their free time. Researchers say it’s necessary to make scientific knowledge accessible in public forums, to ease health disparities.
In the United States, COVID-19 has affected Black, Native American and Latino American people at higher rates than white people, for reasons rooted in racism and historical segregation. At the same time, people in these groups are more wary of COVID-19 vaccines. In a December survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46% of Black adults said they probably would not get vaccinated against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, compared with 30% of white respondents. Those who were hesitant cited worries about side effects, and the speed at which the vaccines were developed. A legacy of exploitative medical research, such as infamous syphilis studies in Tuskegee, Alabama — in which doctors withheld treatment from hundreds of Black men from the 1930s and 1970s — contributes to this scepticism.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Corbett was part of a team at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and elsewhere, that was designing vaccines for other coronaviruses in collaboration with Moderna. The scientists’ mRNA technology delivers a piece of genetic code to a person’s cells to create immune-stimulating virus proteins. When the outbreak began, the team mobilized to quickly identify the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence it would need to make a vaccine for COVID-19, which Moderna then produced. Before trials began in people, Corbett designed tests of the vaccine in animals, and perfected assays that measured its effectiveness in clinical trials.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, Why YES! I am actively ignoring the Trump side show on the senate floor today. They may not give him the guilty verdict but we know what he’s done and what he is not done and why things like the following are happening. This is from the US District Attorney’s office in North Carolina as it appears on the DOJ’s website. “Individual Charged With Threatening The President of The United States Appears In Federal Court”. Trump’s “Big Lie” will continue to cost lives.
According allegations in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, between January 28 and February 1, 2021, Reeves contacted multiple times the White House switchboard via telephone and made threats against President Biden and others. The criminal complaint alleges that, on February 1, 2021, a Secret Service agent contacted Reeves to discuss the threats. Reeves allegedly called back the Secret Service agent multiple times throughout the day, and repeated the threats against the President, the Secret Service agent, and others. According to filed court documents, on the same day, Reeves also contacted the U.S. Capitol Police switchboard and communicated similar threats.
Following today’s hearing, Judge Keesler ordered Reeves to remain in custody.
The charge of making a threat against the President of the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
Well, it seems a few Republicans have decided their political interests don’t link with KKKremlin Caligula.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued stunning remarks breaking with former President Trump, telling Politico in an interview published Friday that she believes he “let us down.”
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley, who served in her ambassador role under Trump, said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Haley’s remarks are her strongest yet against the former president in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and come as Trump’s legal team is set to present its defense of Trump on Friday in his second Senate impeachment trial.
It’s still not a very brave statement but at least a few of them are speaking out still. It’s a Politico interview with her so you’re forewarned about this link. But to me, the take away is this. I’m still shaking my head and laughing about “stunning” remarks because if you read the interview I don’t think they meant stunning the way I was stunned.
What was more striking was Haley’s underlying position: that because Trump believed he had been robbed, he was therefore justified in saying and doing whatever he pleased.
“You have the president of the United States telling everyone that he was cheated, that the voting systems are corrupt, that we’re living in a banana republic where the deep state has rigged this election against him,” I told her. “Isn’t that dangerous?”
“He believes it,” she smiled.
Yeah, That just means y’all need to send the nice young men in their clean white coats to take him away. Just because he believes he’s following his oath means he should be absolved too. Enabling delusion when it basically brings the country’s democracy to its knees ain’t pretty. Just say no to any public life for Ms Haley. I’ve really had it with this tripe.
Here’s a real Muses Parade from 2018 if you want to see some of what goes on down here in a normal year. I have a feeling with Joe and Kamala and all the professionals they have surrounded themselves with that we will have a more normal Mardi Gras next year.
I would also like to wish you Happy Chinese New Year! Tashi Losar! Happy Valentine’s Day! And Best of Mardi Gras to you for the season that I consider the only Holiday season I recognize as worth the effort! And to all of you who know any one who is even thinking about coming here tell them we do not want them here. Auntie Latoya ain’t playing!
What’s on your reading and blogging list! And let us know how things are going with you on getting that vaccine!
Friday Reads: C’mon Mueller Friday!!!Posted: March 1, 2019 Filed under: Afternoon Reads | Tags: Infant kidnapping by ICE, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, mardi gras, Michael Cohen, Otto Warmbier 32 Comments
We’re deep in lead up to Mardi Gras Day! The big parades are slogging through rain and the neighborhoods are lit! I love the traditional Mardi Gras practices more than anything so you’re going to see pix today of local traditions. Hopefully, that will carry you through Mueller Friday and all the incredibly, soul sucking news about what the nation’s number one Family Crime Syndicate is up to.
Yes. The Trump family criminal syndicate and their comfort with lying is on full display today with their denials that Trump had to override his entire administration’s objections to give son-in-law Jared Kusher any kind of security clearance. Trump and Ivanka have both baldface lied about this. For some reason, Republicans are still obsessed with the former Trump Fixer Michael Cohen’s lying rather than this case of lying that clearly threatens the national security of the country.
This led is a shared byline from yesterday’s NYT and is behind appalling. “Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance.” Kushner is gallivanting around Saudi Arabia with the murderous MBS and hasn’t been actually interviewed or seen much recently. He’s undoubtedly bringing home more bacon to the family crime syndicate while selling out the country.
President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.
The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.
The disclosure of the memos contradicts statements made by the president, who told The New York Times in January in an Oval Office interview that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving his clearance.
Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell, also said that at the time the clearance was granted last year that his client went through a standard process. Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and Mr. Kushner’s wife, said the same thing three weeks ago.
Asked on Thursday about the memos contradicting the president’s account, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said, “We don’t comment on security clearances.”
Trump Family Crime syndicate is led by the nation’s leading Nation Security threat–Dictator-curious Donald J Trump–who we have seen provide apologies for the murderous Vladimir Putin, MBS, and Kim Jong Un. Today they have met with even more criticism than usual. His biggest sin of his latest dictator love affair is that of taking the word of Kim that he had nothing to do with the death of American Student Otto Warmbier. The family has spoken via this WAPO article today: “Otto Warmbier’s family responds to Trump’s defense of Kim Jong Un, saying Kim’s ‘evil regime’ is responsible for their son’s death:
The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who died after being detained for 17 months in North Korea, on Friday directly blamed leader Kim Jong Un for their son’s death a day after President Trump said he believed Kim’s account that he was not responsible.
“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuse or lavish praise can change that.”
Trump said at a news conference in Hanoi that Kim felt “very badly” about Otto Warmbier’s death in 2017, several days after being released in a coma from captivity in North Korea.
“He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” Trump said, responding to a question from a Washington Post reporter.
In December, the Warmbier family won a $500 million judgment in federal court against North Korea, with a judge ruling that the Kim regime was responsible for the torture and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier.Warmbier, then 21, was detained in Pyongyang in January 2016 after taking part in an organized tour of North Korea. He was accused of taking a propaganda poster.
Meanwhile, Trump’s policies continue to take on the veneer of third world dictators with extreme human rights abuse. This is from Kate Smith a CBS: “Infants as young as 5 months old are being detained by ICE, groups claim.” Oh,and don’t forget! MIcheal Cohen has a history of lying and is going to jail for it. So,yeah, these are INFANTS taken from their mother’s breasts but don’t worry, the Republicans are still frothing about the Cohen Show and Tell.
At least nine infants younger than a year old, including one who is just 5 months old, are being held in ICE custody at a rural Texas detention center without care that’s legally required.
That’s what three immigration advocacy groups claimed in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on Thursday afternoon. The groups said there has been “an alarming increase in the number of infants” being held in ICE custody, and urged the department to “intervene immediately” at the Dilley, Texas, facility.
“We have grave concerns about the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable population,” said the letter from the three groups — the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Catholic Immigration Network, Inc.
The advocacy groups alleged the infants have been subject to “lengthy delays in receiving medical attention and lack of appropriate follow-up treatment.” They said one infant has been detained for over 20 days.
This Raw Story headline speaks for itself: “‘I was happy to do it for you’: Matt Gaetz overheard making stunning admission to Trump about Cohen threat”. Since Cohen’s mission of threatening over 500 Trump irritants is over, Trump now hires Republican Congressmen as Fixers.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has fallen under investigation for an apparent threat against Michael Cohen — which he may have made at President Donald Trump’s request.
The Florida Bar Association is investigating a tweet Gaetz made, and later deleted, apparently threatening to reveal Cohen’s alleged infidelities to his wife, a day before the former Trump Organization lawyer testified before the House Oversight Committee.
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) suggested during Wednesday’s hearing that he should be referred for possible criminal prosecution for witness intimidation or tampering.
Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff reporter for The Atlantic, tweeted Thursday that he overheard a phone conversation between Gaetz and Trump, whom he said called the Florida Republican from Hanoi to discuss the Cohen testimony and apparent threat.
“I was happy to do it for you,” Gaetz said, according to Dovere. “You just keep killing it.”
Gaetz later refused to discuss the call, but Walter Shaub, the former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, said the lawmaker’s comments should be investigated by both the Florida Bar and the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Yup. That’s my mayor with the all woman Krewe of Muses. So, that’s a big parade but I still had to put this in because this is the first Mardi Gras that all the krewes–even the big traditionally racist and sexist ones–will be saluting a Black Woman Mayor! The all women Nyx and Muses Krewes are among the most diverse in the city. Long may they roll!!
So, Fordham University has actually confirmed that Trump fixer Michael Cohen threatened them on behalf a Crime Syndicate Boss Donald J. Trump. This is via Market Watch.
Fordham University is confirming it received a letter from Donald Trump’s then-lawyer threatening legal action if Trump’s academic records became public.
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has testified to Congress that Trump directed him to write letters warning his schools and the College Board not to disclose his grades or SAT scores.
Cohen has given the House Oversight and Reform Committee a copy of his letter to Fordham. It was dated May 2015, about a month before Trump started his presidential campaign.
Alex Wagner–writing for The Atlantic–writes about the Cohen Testimony. We must never normalize this crap!
It was a frenetic scene on Wednesday morning outside hearing room 2154 in the Rayburn building of the U.S. Capitol complex: Reporters, producers, cameramen, and members of the public clogged the hallways as the Capitol Police barked at everyone to Stay to the side! and Clear a pathway! as the congresspeople of the House Oversight Committee made their way into the room, invariably flanked with an assortment of aides—their faces all plastered with weary, inscrutable looks signaling that they meant business. Michael Cohen was finally making his debut on the Hill, ready to sit for nationally televised hearings, and this was going to change everything.
Perhaps it did. Ironically, Trump’s preferred medium, television, may be the one that ultimately damns him.
Scandals, in the age of Trump, have taken on a certain numbing quality: vote rigging in North Carolina, a climate-science denier placed in charge of a climate-science panel designed to refute the conclusions of actual climate scientists, official subpoenas of an inaugural committee. These things come and go, provoking various degrees of indignation and debate, but they do not sear themselves in the American imagination. Nor have they provided any truly teachable moments, save for the fact that their frequent, passing nature tells us something broadly damning about our human appetite for behaving unethically.
But Michael Cohen’s testimony was something different. Here was a made-for-TV drama in the middle of a television presidency, an inflection point that drove home how unusual this moment is—in its sordidness and absurdity and lawlessness. Yes, cameras were everywhere, but Cohen’s testimony was made for the screen independent of the fact that many, many screens all over the nation were carrying it.
Foremost, Cohen offered a powerful indictment, clearly transmitted: The president of the United States is poison to our democracy. “He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat,” Cohen intoned in his opening statement. The description was, and likely will remain, impossible to forget. Equally so, the fact that not a single member of Congress chose to defend the president against these allegations—or even address the toxicity of the assessment.
Cohen will return this month to the halls of Congress before he does his 3 year stint in jail. Clearly, the Southern District of NY is not done with him as we got some tantalizing tidbits that there are investigations we do not know about quite yet. The best headline I’ve read today is this one from USA Today. “Is anyone safe?” That strikes a note on so many levels that it almost seems a moment of zen.
Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lead lead defense attorney, largely dismissed Cohen’s testimony as the product of a “tainted witness” whose own convictions related to financial fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations called his credibility into serious question.
“Look, this whole thing started with allegations of collusion with Russia,” Giuliani told USA TODAY. “They haven’t proved that. All the rest are process crimes that don’t involve the president.”
While Cohen drew fresh attention during his congressional testimony to hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, he indicated that Manhattan prosecutors were continuing to review the involvement of Trump Jr. and Weisselberg in that plan to conceal an alleged affair with Trump. The Trump Inaugural Committee also is in the sights of prosecutors in New York, having recently acknowledged receipt of a subpoena seeking information related to possible fundraising irregularities.
And late into Cohen’s marathon House testimony Wednesday, after the the former Trump attorney offered a searing account of his dealings with the president, he dropped another stunner in a matter-of-fact exchange with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.
“Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven’t yet discussed today?” Krishnamoorthi asked.
“Yes,” Cohen responded, declining to elaborate because the issue is “currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York,” a reference to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
This circus may not leave town for some times but, at the very least, we could jail the clowns and the ring masters.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Lundi Gras ReadsPosted: February 12, 2018 Filed under: 2018 elections, Afternoon Reads, Women's Rights | Tags: allegations of predatory behavior by Donald Trump, Caroline Thomas, Harvey Weinstein, Krewe D'Etat 2018, lundi gras, mardi gras, Mardi Gras artists, Trump and women 37 Comments
Happy Lundi Gras!
It’s the day before Mardi Gras and traditionally a day of resting up to go full out on the big day. I’ll be working since–last time I checked–Indiana doesn’t recognize the day. Unlike the Universities here, Purdue ignores the chance to break the winter blues.
And, it is a bit New Orleans wintry down here. I’m putting up pictures for parades I’ve been missing due to the ongoing sinus crud. These parade pictures are from Krewe D’Etat. It’s always got serious satire going plus I have a friend that does a lot of the pictures and float designs. She’s basically a full time Mardi Gras artist which has to be the best gig ever. She also designs amazing headdresses. Meet Caroline Thomas!
It takes a lot to put on these huge parades. I think a lot of folks get carried away by the sheer spectacle of it all. But, I’d just like to remind you that it takes the creative genius of Caroline and her peers to really capture the sense of it all. Each krewe has its own vibe. It’s a real skill to be able to make art that’s a combination of show and tell.
So, that’s Caroline! And here’s some of her work for Krewe D’etat and Chaos. Enjoy it before I share my reads that have given so much fodder to the satire krewes and all the parade artists for two very long years. I love Caroline’s comment that accompanied her caricatures of “creepy men”.
So, speaking of creepy men,Harvey Weinstein’s office was basically a little shop of predatory horrors that he forced employees to stock.
Among notable examples of harassment cited by the lawsuit:
• Harvey Weinstein told several employees words to the effect of “I will kill you,” “I will kill your family,” and “You don’t know what I can do.” He also asserted that he had contacts within the Secret Service who could take care of problems for him.
• The Weinstein Company, the suit says, “employed one group of female employees whose primary job it was to accompany (Harvey) to events and to facilitate (his) sexual conquests. … One of the members of this entourage was flown from London to New York to teach” his assistants “how to dress and smell more attractive” to him.• Another group of employees were assigned to “further his regular sexual activity, including by contacting … prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction and maintaining space on his calendar for sexual activity.”
• A third set of employees also were forced to facilitate his sexual conquests. These female employees were supposed to help his company produce films and television projects. But despite their skills and stated job responsibilities, he required them to meet with prospective sexual conquests for his own personal interests. “This compelled service demeaned and humiliated them, contributing to the hostile work environment.”
• His use of vulgarity was widely noted in the suit, which described how he would call female employees “c—” or “p—-” when he was angry with them or felt they had done a task poorly or incorrectly. And he also used those terms to scold or degrade male employees. On some occasions, he asked female employees if they had their period, including asking an employee if her tampon was “up too far,” the filing says. In one 2012 incident, he launched into a tirade against a female employee in which he berated her in front of other employees and threatened to “cut (her) loins.”
• Weinstein’s assistants were required to provide childcare for his young children and handle other domestic work for his wife, Georgina Chapman, and an adult daughter.
• Assistants had copies of a document called the “Bible,” which included information about his likes and dislikes, and a list of people to assist arranging “personals,” or sexual activity.
• His drivers in both New York and Los Angeles were required to have available condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car at all times.
• The suit says the head of human resources at Weinstein’s company was not empowered to do anything about his ongoing sexual harassment of female employees. Victims were told by the director of HR that he “sympathized” with them, acknowledging that they had a “tough job,” but that there was nothing he could do.
Yeah, that’s pretty much representative of the mind of a psychopath. But, you know, KKKremlin Caligula is pretty disturbed along those lines too. Here’s Jennifer Rubin on Trump and breach of classified information.
Candidate Donald Trump used, more than any other issue, Hillary Clinton’s home email server to argue that she was unfit for office and, moreover, that there were grounds for sending her to jail. The eerie chants, more common in banana republics, to imprison his opponent (“Lock her up!”) would thrill his crowds and reignite the anti-Clinton anger that had gripped Republicans for decades. For less crazed voters, it was an effective reminder of the Clintons’s proclivity to break the rules, to disregard conflicts of interest and to only grudgingly come clean when caught misbehaving. Her offense, in retrospect, seems small and innocuous, in large part because Trump’s defiance of rules, indulgence in massive conflicts of interest and habitual lying in just one year in office dwarf anything (and everything) both Clintons have done in a lifetime in the public eye.
And that brings us to President Trump’s handling and mishandling of classified information. No president has more recklessly exposed the country’s secrets than this one.
Consider that he blabbed code-word intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. According to national security expert Amy Zegart of Stanford University, “On a scale of 1 to 10—and I’m just ball parking here—it’s about a billion. … The president could have jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. Not America’s source. Somebody else’s. Presumably from an allied intelligence service who now knows that the American president cannot be trusted with sensitive information.”
Fast-forward to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who cooked up a memo falsely accusing the FBI of omitting information on a warrant application to the FISA court to conduct surveillance on longtime suspected spy Carter Page. Nunes has stubbornly refused to say if he drafted the memo in concert with the White House, but his refusal to deny the accusation speaks volumes. The president, contrary to the pleading of FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, released the memo publicly, sending out to everyone on the planet a document originally labeled “top secret.” (Countless national security experts have explained that “top secret” is usually the designation of material whose release would expose sources and methods of intelligence gathering.) Trump, even before the so-called vetting process, told a lawmaker at the State of the Union address that he intended to release the memo. Keeping our nation’s secrets, as well as releasing his tax records, are hindrances to his self-protection. Therefore, top-secret classification (and personal financial transparency) be damned.
Then, there’s his continued defense of predators and men that commit physical violence on women. It’s undoubtedly because he’s been there done it.
One could barely get a night’s sleep before another White House aide, the speechwriter David Sorensen, was forced to resign after it was revealed that, during a background check, his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, had told the F.B.I. that he had abused her by, among other acts, putting out a cigarette on her hand and running over her foot with a car.
Trump’s response on social media to these allegations was not entirely surprising. He tweeted his suspicion of the #MeToo movement, saying, “People’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused—life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
Trump responded with similar fellow-feeling when charges were levelled at Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, late of Fox News, and Roy Moore, the right-wing former judge who had seemed headed to victory in an Alabama Senate race. (Trump, of course, is unforgiving when it comes to Democrats like Al Franken and John Conyers.)
Kellyanne Conway, whose defenses of Trump’s most preposterous statements are sometimes so tortured that they become the stuff of late-night satire, could not bear to back the President on this one. She told CNN that she saw “no reason not to believe” Porter’s former spouses. “In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports, you have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury,” Conway said. “You have photographs, and when you look at all of that pulled together, Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning.” This was hardly a condemnation, but, in the context of this White House and these times, she showed, if fleetingly, common sense.
Trump is considered the “most anti-woman President* ever and polls are confirming what women think of him.
Donald Trump wants you to believe he has “great respect” for women, but his words and actions tell a far different story. In fact, Trump may be the most anti-women US president ever.
Case in point: On Friday, Trump defended his former aide Rob Porter after news broke of allegations that Porter had been physically abusive to his two ex-wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby.
At that point, America had already seen the photo of Holderness with a black eye caused when Porter allegedly punched her. We had heard Porter’s second wife, Willoughby tell us that while married to Porter he had been abusive. He “grabbed me from the shower by my shoulders up close to my neck and pulled me out to continue to yell at me,” she said. Porter has denied these allegations.
It’s clear that women are increasingly not buying Trump’s lie that he respects them. According to exit polls for the 2016 election, Trump received the support of 41% of female voters, including 52% of white women. But now it appears Trump is losing favor among women, with a recent Marist Poll showing he not only has just a 33% approval rating among women, but also that 50% of women strongly disapprove of the job he is doing as president.
These twin forces—of class and gender—have established a sharp continuum of white attitudes toward Trump. White men without a college degree remain his foundation, even if the pillar is showing some cracks: Relative to his 2016 vote, Trump’s approval rating in 2017 among this group declined in all 13 states. But given his commanding initial position, Trump retains a very strong hold on those men, drawing 60 percent or more approval from them in each state except Michigan, Colorado, and Minnesota (though he still retains majority support in those).
At the opposite pole, college-educated women remain the engine of white resistance to Trump. In only four of the 13 states (more on them below) did Trump’s approval among college-educated white women exceed an anemic 34 percent. That widespread rejection of Trump keys the Democratic opportunity in 2018 in House seats in information-age, white-collar suburbs in major metropolitan areas.
The two other groups of whites are more conflicted. Among college-educated white men, Trump retains majority approval in five of the states and draws at least 45 percent in four more. The intense backlash against Trump from well-educated white women means that GOP hopes of minimizing their suburban losses may depend on maintaining majority support from college-educated white men—who many Republican strategists consider the audience most likely to snap back to GOP candidates over the tax bill and generally brightening economic picture (the stock market’s tumble this week notwithstanding).
The situation looks even more volatile among white women without a college degree. No group was more central to Trump’s victory, especially in the Rustbelt states that effectively decided the election. (Trump won at least 56 percent of those women in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, according to exit polls.) In 2017, Gallup found, Trump averaged majority approval from these blue-collar white women in six of the 13 states. But that finding highlights the continuing force of regional variation in shaping attitudes about Trump: All six of those states are in the South and Southwest.
In the Rustbelt states that decided 2016, Trump has slipped into a much more precarious position with these women: Gallup put his 2017 approval with them at 45 percent in Pennsylvania, 42 percent in Michigan, and 39 percent or less in Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Compared to his 2016 vote, his 2017 approval among blue-collar white women in the Rustbelt represented some of his largest declines anywhere—18 percentage points in Ohio and 19 in Wisconsin and Minnesota. That erosion, which intensified during Trump’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, creates the opening for Democrats to contest blue-collar and non-urban House seats this fall through the Midwest and Northeast.
I love the title of this piece in the Kansas City Star. “Rob Porter and the Team Trump men’s club: Accused of mistreating women? You’re hired!”
It’s almost as if domestic violence allegations are a résumé enhancer for the Trump administration.President Donald Trump’s staff secretary, Rob Porter, who had the power to decide what information would cross the commander in chief’s uncluttered desk, was the second top Trump aide to have been accused of past spousal abuse. A third was out before week’s end.Back when Steve Bannon was the new CEO of the Trump campaign, the news broke that he had been charged with domestic violence in 1996. But that in no way diminished his influence with the candidate.Can Team Trump’s indifference to allegations of wife-beating endure in the #MeToo moment? It can, it has and it continues to. White House officials didn’t fire, suspend or otherwise signal they thought any less of Porter after reports that two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend had accused him of physical abuse. Why would they flinch when that was not news to them?
But let’s not forget!!!
… on Saturday, Trump remained sad for his former aides, tweeting that men can be “shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”Presumably, the president can relate. His first wife, Ivana, later withdrew her allegations that Trump had raped her and ripped a handful of her hair out around the time of their divorce. Some 19 women willing to be quoted by name have accused him of harassment and assault in the years since.Trump, who has bragged about grabbing women but denied all specific allegations, is reportedly still looking for a job for former Carl’s Jr. head Andy Puzder, who took himself out of the running to be labor secretary after reports that ex-wife once went on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and accused him of abusing her. Like Bannon’s ex-wife, she has taken it back.The president also remains in a mutual admiration society with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was charged with assaulting Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Like the charges against Bannon, those were dropped as well.How did all these alleged hotheads slip past the filter? They didn’t.
I can only hope all the blowback from this translates to votes the House and Senate just in time to impeach Pence and Trump using Mueller’s findings. Oh, and with a Democratic Speaker.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
(Note: The Day time pictures are Caroline’s and “creepy men”.)
You can find Caroline’s work on Instagram. She goes by C_to_the_line and her website. Also, d’Etat designs are by Ryan Blackwood. The float with Matt Lauer on the front is painted by the very talented Noah Church.
Monday Reads: Going to the Dogs!!!!Posted: February 5, 2018 Filed under: just because | Tags: Barkus, mardi gras, Mystic Krewe of Barkus, Trump Russia, What was Justin Timberlake thinking? WTF was Dodge thinking? FBI 37 Comments
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
We’re in full throttle Mardi Gras mode down here and I’m laid up in bed with sinus crud. I’m a second-hander atm who is viewing all the Tu Deaux through the lens of friends. Meanwhile, I sniffle and cough on.
One of the big questions I had back in 2016 is the subject of a Politico feature featuring former diplomat Victoria Nuland. Why didn’t President Obama set off more alarms about the Russian Hacking?
By the summer of 2016, Victoria Nuland’s “Spidey sense” told her something was very wrong.
That spring, Nuland, the top State Department official charged with overseeing U.S. policy toward Russia, was one of those who had “first rung the alarm bell” inside the Obama administration, warning that Russia appeared to be trying to “discredit the democratic process” in the United States as part of a concerted 2016 strategy.
Now, the Russian campaign was turning out to be even more serious than she had imagined. She had known since late 2015 that the Democratic National Committee’s email servers had been hacked; all these months later, the stolen DNC emails were being publicly released by websites known to be Russian conduits right on the eve of the Democratic convention, and the hack would soon be confirmed as a Russian operation by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“That’s when the hairs really went up on the back of our necks,” she recounted in an interview with The Global Politico, her first extensive public comments about what it was like to spend months in the middle of the U.S. government’s halting, frustrating attempts to understand the Russian attack on the U.S. electoral system — and then try to figure out how to respond to it.
While the broad contours of that response are known, hearing it viscerally described by one of those who tried to stop it is bracing. Nuland is now confirming publicly that she pushed Obama to respond more aggressively to the hacking before the election and acknowledging that she and others at the State Department were informed by “sometime in late July” about the inflammatory findings of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele apparently linking the Russian effort to Republican candidate Donald Trump. Unbeknownst to her, the FBI, also in July 2016, had begun a secret investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and the issue of whether the Steele report, paid for by Democrats, helped fuel that investigation is now the subject of heated partisan dispute on Capitol Hill.
It’s an interesting read so go check it out.
It’s clear that the Republican party has become unhinged. There is a Holocaust denier/NAZI running as the sole Republican for a suburban Chicago Congressional Seat.
Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs.
“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Indeed, Jones’ website for his latest congressional run includes a section titled “The ‘Holocaust Racket’” where he calls the genocide carried out by the German Nazi regime and collaborators in other nations “the biggest blackest lie in history.”
Jones, 70, a retired insurance agent who lives in suburban Lyons, has unsuccessfully run for elected offices in the Chicago area and Milwaukee since the 1970s.
He ran for Milwaukee mayor in 1976 and 13th Ward alderman on Chicago’s Southwest Side in 1987.
Since the 1990s to 2016, Jones has jumped in the GOP 3rd Congressional District primary seven times, never even close to becoming a viable contender.
The outcome will be different for Jones in the Illinois primary on March 20, 2018.
To Jones’ own amazement, he is the only one on the Republican ballot.
Trump voters have all the appearances and characteristics of a cult. They’ve totally run the traditional party off the rails.
Rarely has a president changed his party as fast and profoundly as Donald J. Trump. Love him or hate him, you can no longer argue his ability to bend an entire party to his will.
In the two and a half years since he announced his candidacy, he has moved the party away from decades of orthodoxy on trade, Russia, deficits and more — and has helped make the law-and-order party skeptical of FBI leadership.
Perhaps the most profound thing Trump has done is show how many movement leaders and Republicans in Congress are out of touch with Republican voters:
- There’s a massive cohort of Republican voters who are socially conservative and culturally reactionary but fiscally liberal, even if they don’t know it.
- The base is very skeptical of trade deals — convinced that ordinary Americans have lost at globalization.
- Huge swaths of Trump Country are dependent on Social Security, Medicaid and other government programs.
While much of the GOP donor class is passionate about issues like criminal justice reform and expanded high-skilled immigration, many GOP voters want the exact opposite:
- The ratio between the number of Republicans who think that way, versus number of conservatives who talk that way on cable TV or at the Capitol, is way out of whack. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum were their lonely on-air champions.
- If Trump has tapped into a silent majority, it’s those voters — the opposite of Paul Ryan voters, the opposite of Rubio, the opposite of Jeb.
- The source close to GOP leadership said: “All evidence in the last two years points to the fact that the R base was never as ‘conservative’ on economic policy as we portrayed them during the Obama years.”
What will Trump’s brand of reactionary populism continue to let him get away with?
This, then, is the article we thought we would never write: a frank statement that a certain form of partisanship is now a moral necessity. The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).
Of course, lots of people vote a straight ticket. Some do so because they are partisan. Others do so because of a particular policy position: Many pro-lifers, for example, will not vote for Democrats, even pro-life Democrats, because they see the Democratic Party as institutionally committed to the slaughter of babies.
We’re proposing something different. We’re suggesting that in today’s situation, people should vote a straight Democratic ticket even if they are not partisan, and despite their policy views. They should vote against Republicans in a spirit that is, if you will, prepartisan and prepolitical. Their attitude should be: The rule of law is a threshold value in American politics, and a party that endangers this value disqualifies itself, period. In other words, under certain peculiar and deeply regrettable circumstances, sophisticated, independent-minded voters need to act as if they were dumb-ass partisans.
For us, this represents a counsel of desperation. So allow us to step back and explain what drove us to what we call oppositional partisanship.
In a May 10 press conference, the same day McDermott was asking her staff to make sure one another were “doing OK,” then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that the president had “lost confidence in Director Comey” and that “the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.” She stated that the president had “had countless conversations with members from within the FBI” in the course of making his decision to fire Comey. The following day, Sanders stated that she personally had “heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision” and that the president believed “Director Comey was not up to the task…that he wasn’t the right person in the job. [Trump] wanted somebody that could bring credibility back to the FBI.”
Trump himself blasted Comey too, stating in an interview that the former director was “a showboat. He’s a grandstander” and that the FBI “has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil—less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.” A few days later, the New York Times reported that Trump had told Russian officials visiting him in the Oval Office the day after Comey’s firing that Comey was a “nut job.”
Over the next few days, a wealth of evidence emerged to suggest that Trump and Sanders were playing fast and loose with the truth. But we now have the documents to prove that decisively. Their disclosure was not a leak but an authorized action by the FBI, which released to us under the Freedom of Information Act more than 100 pages of leadership communications to staff dealing with the firing. This material tells a dramatic story about the FBI’s reaction to the Comey firing—but it is neither a story of gratitude to the president nor a story of an organization in turmoil relieved by a much-needed leadership transition.
Within a few days of the firing, both current and former FBI officials began pushing back against the White House’s claims. Then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI” and that “the vast majority of employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.”
Yes, that’s me up there in 1999 with Honey and Karma parading in 007: From Barkus with Love. Good grief that was a long time ago!! We were “Bondage” Girls!!! and clearly on the side fighting the Russians!!
Meanwhile, Trump still finds Presidential life to be a combination of spending time at Trump properties on the Tax Payer dime. This weekend it was back to Florida for Super Bowl Party. Then, it’s time spent twitting and elimination shit.
President Donald Trump traded insults with the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Monday, a day after Democrats and Republicans said Trump was wrong to assert that a GOP-produced classified memo on FBI surveillance powers cleared him in the Russia investigation.
Trump’s attack on California Rep. Adam Schiff came before a planned meeting of the House intelligence panel Monday, where the committee is expected to consider whether to release a Democratic rebuttal memo. Democrats are seeking to push back on the Republican document, which questions the FBI methods used to apply for a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate.
On Twitter, Trump called Schiff “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington,” adding that he “must be stopped.”
Schiff quickly shot back: “Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or … really anything else.”
Trump also praised Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Twitter, calling him a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!”
Meanwhile, Trump is “poo-pooing” the bipartisan effort to give Dreamers legal permanent status.
The White House is dismissing an immigration deal brokered by a bipartisan group of lawmakers as a non-starter just hours before it is expected to be formally introduced in the Senate.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons are slated to introduce a bill Monday that would grant eventual citizenship to young undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since 2013 and came to the US as children, but it does not address all of the President’s stated immigration priorities, like ending family-based immigration categories — which Republicans call “chain migration” — or ending the diversity visa program
It also would not immediately authorize the $30 billion that Trump is seeking to build the border wall, instead greenlighting a study of border security needs. The bill would also seek to address the number of undocumented immigrants staying in the US by increasing the number of resources for the immigration courts, where cases can take years to finish.
The bill is a companion to a piece of House legislation that has 54 co-sponsors split evenly by party.
A White House official rebuffed the effort, telling CNN that it takes “a lot of effort” to write up a bill worse than the Graham-Durbin immigration bill, but somehow “this one is worse.”
An update on a story from New Orleans that captured many hearts prior to the end of the Football Season.
Oh, and this about sums up my thoughts about the latest pannem et circenses event. Well, that and WTF did Justin Timberlake think he was doing with Prince. White people! Wake the fuck up! Black people, black culture, black history, and black labor is not yours to co-op!!!
What’s on your reading and blogging list?
This is an open thread! I’ll check in as the sniffling allows!
Oh, and BB!! Here is something special for you!
It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose. Now, new evidence strongly suggests that language is in fact learned in brain systems that are also used for many other purposes and even pre-existed humans.
Scientists studying brain scans of people who were asked to come up with inventive uses for everyday objects found a specific pattern of connectivity that correlated with the most creative responses. Researchers were then able to use that pattern to predict how creative other people’s responses would be based on their connections in this network.
And something from me to Everyone:
It may sound like sci-fi, but mind reading equipment are much closer to become a reality than most people can imagine. Researchers used a magnetic resonance machine to read participants’ minds and find out what song they were listening to. The study contributes to improve the technique and pave the way to new research on reconstruction of auditory imagination, inner speech and to enhance brain-computer interfaces for communication with locked-in syndrome patients.