Today is my 75th birthday. It seems like a big deal, but at the same time it’s really no big deal. I’m OK with being an old woman; I’m happy to be alive, sober, and generally healthy. I can’t remember proper names very well, but that’s been going on for years. I sometimes have trouble finding the names of things, but I find that if I give myself a minute or two those words will come to me. I still have a very good memory for facts and events.
My Mom is 97 now and has dementia. It’s almost as if she has already left us. She seems to know who I am, but I’m not absolutely sure. I miss the way we used to talk about everything. When I called her on Thanksgiving, she didn’t even seem to understand what that day means. It’s very sad, but I’m grateful for all the years we had–she was really my best friend in many ways.
I miss my Dad too. He has been gone now for 11 years. I miss talking to him about books and language. I miss his sense of humor, even his dad jokes. That’s what it’s like to be old, I guess–losing people. But they are still with you in your memories.
I hope I don’t sound too maudlin. It doesn’t feel that way to me, because I accept being old and I even enjoy it in a way. I have time now to think and to read as much as I want to. I’ve always had an irrational fear of running out of things to read; and so I’ve bought way too many books over the years. Now I’m afraid I won’t have time for all the books I want to read.
Anyway, enough of that, let’s get to some news and comment.
The George Senate runoff election is coming up next Tuesday, Dec. 6. It’s difficult to believe, the the race between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker is very close, despite all the scandals surrounding Walker, the fact that he can’t form a coherent sentence, and his admission that he lives in Texas. Here’s the latest:
A former longtime girlfriend of Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker has come forward to detail a violent episode with the football star, who she believes is “unstable” and has “little to no control” over his mental state when he is not in treatment.
The woman, Dallas resident Cheryl Parsa, described an intimate and tumultuous five-year relationship with Walker in the 2000s, beginning shortly after his divorce and continuing for a year after the publication of his 2008 memoir about his struggle with dissociative identity disorder (DID), once known as multiple personality disorder.
Parsa, who has composed a book-length manuscript about her relationship with Walker, says she is speaking out because she is disturbed by Walker’s behavior on the campaign trail, which she claims exhibits telltale flare-ups of the disorder she tried to help him manage for half a decade.
Amer Ice Cream, by Richard Wallich
“He’s a pathological liar. Absolutely. But it’s more than that,” Parsa, who last had regular contact with Walker in 2019, told The Daily Beast. “He knows how to manipulate his disease, in order to manipulate people, while at times being simultaneously completely out of control.” She said that when she was with Walker, he used his diagnosis as an “alibi” to “justify lying, cheating, and ultimately destroying families.”
Parsa provided a detailed account of a 2005 incident that turned violent after she caught Walker with another woman at his Dallas condo. She said Walker grew enraged, put his hands on her chest and neck, and swung his fist at her. “I thought he was going to beat me,” she recalled, and fled in fear.
Parsa is one of five women who were romantically involved with Walker who spoke to The Daily Beast for this article. All of them described a habit of lying and infidelity—including one woman who claimed she had an affair with Walker while he was married in the 1990s. All five women said they were willing to speak to expose the behavior of the man they now see running for Senate.
Herschel Walker was being swamped by negative television ads. His Democratic opponents were preparing to flood the polls for early voting as soon as doors opened. After being hit by fresh allegations of carpetbagging, he was left with just over a week to make his final appeals to voters in the runoff for Georgia’s Senate seat.
But for five days, Mr. Walker was off the campaign trail.
The decision to skip campaigning over the crucial Thanksgiving holiday weekend has Mr. Walker’s Republican allies airing frustrations and concerns about his campaign strategy in the final stretch of the overtime election against Senator Raphael Warnock.
“We almost need a little bit more time for Herschel’s campaign to get everything off the ground,” said Jason Shepherd, the former chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party, pointing to the transition from a general election campaign to a runoff sprint. Notably, the runoff campaign was cut from nine weeks to four by a Republican-backed law passed last year….
Mr. Shepherd said Mr. Walker’s decision not to campaign during Thanksgiving was just one troubling choice. He also pointed to a series of mailers sent by the Georgia Republican Party encouraging voters to find their polling places that contained broken QR codes as examples of poor organizing. And he raised concern about the steady stream of advertisements supporting Warnock, a first-term senator and pastor, on conservative talk radio and contemporary Christian stations.
By Gregory Frank Harris, 1953
That all sounds like good news for Democrats. It’s hilarious that in making it harder to vote, Republicans have ended up hurting themselves–just as they did in the runoff elections in 2020. But King notes that the race is still close despite all the scandals.
His campaign has been one of the most turbulent in recent memory: Mr. Walker was found to have lied or exaggerated details about his education, his business, his charitable giving and his work in law enforcement. He acknowledged a history of violent and erratic behavior, tied to a mental illness, and did not dispute an ex-wife’s accusation of assault. Two women claimed that he had urged them to have abortions, although he ran as a staunchly anti-abortion candidate. He denied their accounts. He regularly delivered rambling speeches, which Democrats widely circulated with glee.
“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Herschel Walker might be the most flawed Republican nominee in the nation this year,” said Rick Dent, a media consultant who has worked for candidates from both parties and plans to vote for Mr. Warnock.
The high-stakes Senate runoff in Georgia next week will be the first major test of abortion politics since the 2022 general election, when a backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision galvanized proponents of abortion rights and boosted Democrats.
Abortion was a major issue on Election Day in Georgia, when Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock finished about 1 point ahead of Republican rival Herschel Walker, though narrowly missing the 50% he needed to win outright. The 26% of Georgians who ranked abortion as their top issue backed Warnock by a margin of 77% to 21%, NBC News exit polls showed.
Now, Democrats see an opening to weaponize it to finish the job against Walker in the Dec. 6 runoff, when a victory would give their party a 51st Senate seat.
“On December 6th, our rights are on the ballot. Herschel Walker wants a total ban on abortion nationwide,” says a TV ad by the Democratic group Georgia Honor, playing footage of Walker calling for a “no-exception” ban. “Raphael Warnock is fighting to protect our right to make our own health care decisions,” a narrator says.
Meanwhile, Walker sits at the center of a clash within the Republican Party about how to handle the issue in the new era. While some like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have sought to minimize abortion and pivot to other issues, leading anti-abortion advocates insist that’s a losing strategy and want Republicans to lean in and paint Democrats as the real extremists.
Walker is taking the approach preferred by the anti-abortion advocates, embracing their rhetoric equating abortion to infanticide and attacking Warnock for supporting legislation that would protect the right to terminate a pregnancy without legal restrictions.
The problem with that is that Walker has urged at least 2 women to get abortions and paid for them.
…[O]ne campaign issue relevant to many voters has little to do with the highly partisan horse race. Rather, it involves one of the most common chronic diseases in America, diabetes, and the soaring cost of the medicine used to treat it, insulin. In both the general and runoff campaigns, Senator Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, has made much of his efforts in Congress to cap the price of insulin at $35 a month, talking them up in ads, debates and speeches.
“It has resonated with just about everyone,” said Dr. Kris Ellis, a physician who also owns the Bearfoot Tavern in Macon, where Mr. Warnock made a recent campaign stop. “If you don’t have diabetes, you know someone with diabetes.”
He was describing an unsettling reality in Georgia, as in much of the South, where diabetes rates are staggeringly high and the escalating cost of insulin over the years has led to painful choices and, for some, catastrophic consequences.
As campaign issues go, the price of insulin is nowhere near as contentious as just about everything else raised in the four-week runoff between Mr. Warnock and Herschel Walker, the former football star who is his Republican challenger. Even so, interviews with Dr. Ellis and a number of other voters suggested it had broken through the noise of the high-decibel contest, which Georgia requires because neither candidate won a majority of the vote in the general election.
Of course, the candidate who has tried to deal with this issue is Sen. Warnock.
Mr. Warnock has focused on lowering insulin prices since arriving in the Senate nearly two years ago, motivated in part by hundreds of letters that have poured into his office, pleading with him to do something. He has also described seeing the ravaging impacts of diabetes, including losing limbs and eyesight, on congregants at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he is the senior pastor.
The House Ways and Means Committee now has six years of Donald Trump’s federal tax returns, ending a yearslong pursuit by Democrats to dig into one of the former president’s most closely guarded personal details.
“Treasury has complied with last week’s court decision,” a Treasury spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.
The spokesperson did not provide any additional information. Federal courts had decided the House could request six years of Trump’s returns, after the committee had requested them in 2019 and again in 2021, according to public court records.
The handover had been on hold, until the Supreme Court declined last week to intervene. Several judges, including Republican appointees, have found the House had power to request the returns from the IRS….
The committee, led by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, had sought six years of Trump’s tax records, primarily from the time he served as president. That included records about both Trump personally and several of his corporate entities.
The panel is planning to meet Thursday to get briefed on the legal ramifications of the section of the tax law that Neal used to request Trump’s tax returns, according to a Neal aide.
Democrats are not expected to review the tax returns at this session, and the documents are not expected to be immediately released to the public.
Only the Body Withers, by Lucie Bilodeau
Then what is going to happen when Republicans take over control of the the committee? We don’t know yet. I think the Democrats should get busy look at the returns before that happens, but what do I know?
A day after a federal jury convicted two far-right extremists of leading a plot to unleash political violence to prevent the inauguration of Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed that his Justice Department would continue to “work tirelessly” to hold accountable those responsible for efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors highlighted the defendants’ links to key allies of President Donald Trump, such as Roger Stone, “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani.
But Garland declined to say Wednesday if he expected prosecutors to eventually file charges against them or any other people who did not physically participate in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I don’t want to speculate on other investigations or parts of other investigations,” Garland told reporters at a briefing where he also touted Justice Department efforts to establish federal oversight of the water supply system in Jackson, Miss….
Tuesday’s verdicts upheld a key Justice Department argument laid out in the seven-week-long trial: that the breach of the Capitol was not an isolated event, but rather a culmination or component of wider plotting by extremists who wanted to stop the transfer of power from Trump to Biden. In this case, the jury found Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and a top deputy, Kelly Meggs, at least partially responsible for staging firearms and preparing to forcibly oppose federal authority. Both were convicted of “seditious conspiracy,” a rarely used charge that is among the most serious levied so far in the sprawling Jan. 6 investigation.
Justice Department officials had been eyeing the Oath Keepers verdict to help decide whether to file criminal charges against other high-profile, pro-Trump figures who had roles in the buildup to the violence, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.
Garland also said he hopes to get access to the interviews conducted by the House January 6 Committee.
At the briefing with reporters Tuesday, Garland also said that he has asked the House Jan. 6 committee — which has been pursuing a separate investigation into the attack — for all interview transcripts and evidence that it has collected. That’s long been a point of tension between the Justice Department and Congress, with the committee yet to hand over all the materials.
“We would like to have all the transcripts and all the other evidence collected by the committee so that we can use it in the ordinary course of our investigation,” Garland said.
The convictions of two Oath Keepers leaders on seditious conspiracy charges puts new pressure on the Department of Justice to indict Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and his lieutenant Kelly Meggs were found guilty this week for their roles in the U.S. Capitol assault, and other militia members were convicted on other charges, and Woodward told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” those cases would weigh on attorney general Merrick Garland and newly appointed special counsel Jack Smith.
“It gives them a strong basis,” Woodward said. “I think we are now at this point that the Justice Department, the new special counsel is going to have to indict Trump or explain why they are not indicting him. Now, that’s certainly possible that they won’t — prosecutors have discretion, but the case of the violation — I’m sorry, it’s technical 18 U.S.C. 371 — conspiring, working to subvert a lawful function of government is right there in plain sight.”
Garland responded to the Oath Keepers convictions by pledging to hold others accountable for trying to overturn the 2020 election, and the House Select Committee will decide soon whether to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department against the former president.
“In a way, they’re interesting fodder for us to discuss,” Woodward said, “but I really think if you get, you know, Garland is there talking about the dedication and efforts that people have made in doing this investigation. Dedication and effort is wonderful. What is most wonderful is evidence, and they have compelling evidence.”
Watch the video at the Raw Story link.
Just a few months ago, I knew nothing about Elon Musk. Now he’s everywhere. Here’s the latest crazy Musk story:
Neuralink, the neurotech startup spearheaded by Chief Twit Elon Musk, held their much-ballyhooed and oft-delayed tech demo on Wednesday night—promising a lot while showing little in the way of progress towards their lofty promises.
Musk was joined on stage by numerous Neuralink engineers and researchers to explain the technology they’ve been working on for the past few years. This included the N1 link, the company’s wireless brain-computer interface (BCI); and the R1, a robot that the company said would be able to implant an N1 in a human brain. The bot was present at the event conducting a simulated surgery on a dummy while presentations occurred.
The team also announced that the N1 chip was capable of being wirelessly charged, which would be a massive improvement in most current BCI technology which typically requires the devices to be tethered.
Painting by Jantina Peperkamp.
“I could have a Neuralink device implanted right now and you wouldn’t even know,” Musk joked, later adding, “In one of these demos I will.”
However, Musk announced that it would still be at least half a year until Neuralink would be able to begin human trials. “We’ve submitted most of our paperwork to the FDA. In about six months, we should be able to have our first Neuralink in humans,” he said.
The demo was initially slated for Oct. 31 but was delayed by Musk just eight days before it was set to launch. He did not give a reason for the schedule push. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the event itself was also delayed by more than half an hour before it started. Musk then took to the stage and stumbled through an awkward, meandering monologue where he touched on topics from AI, to how BCIs work, to something about how humans are all cyborgs.
WTF? I have no idea what these people are talking about. Maybe Quixote knows what this is all about?
“The overarching goal of Neuralink is to create a whole brain interface,” Musk explained, later using a photo of the character Rick Sanchez from the TV show Rick and Morty to illustrate his point. “So a generalized input-output device that in the long term that could interface with every aspect of your brain, and in the short term can interface with any section of your brain and solve things that cause debilitating issues for people.”
Musk also made a number of very lofty promises that should be taken with a Cybertruck-sized grain of salt if his history of overpromising and under delivering is any indication. This included the idea that the Neuralink will be able to restore vision even to those who were born blind, and also that it could restore mobility back to those who have had their spinal cord severed.
He mentioned that the N1 would allow patients to use it wirelessly and remotely in most any setting outside of a lab—which would be groundbreaking if it, you know, actually ever happens. Rajesh Rao, Hwang professor and director of the Center for Neurotechnology at the University of Washington, told The Daily Beast that this would represent a significant leap forward for BCI technologies—and showcase something that has truly never been done before.
OK, now I’m starting to get it. Read more at the Daily Beast link. I just wish Musk would hurry up and go to Mars and leave us alone.
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Elon Musk claims Neuralink is about ‘six months’ away from first human trial
Elon Musk claims Neuralink is about ‘six months’ away from first human trial
Elon Musk claims Neuralink is about ‘six months’ away from first human trial
Elon Musk claims Neuralink is about ‘six months’ away from first human trial
Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends:
Witches’ Sabbath, 1789. Goya’s depictions of witchcraft mocked what he saw as medieval fears exploited for political gain.
Good Day Sky Dancers!
I had a late night since my block was shut down to film a new AMC series last night. I’m somewhat out of it. They filmed on our neutral ground, and there were a lot of flash bangs, police lights, extras wearing black, two big bucket trucks with lights, and a helluva lot of fog. The actor who was supposedly shot had the tough lines of a series of nos with a lot of coughing and emoting. There was even a fire truck. I was certain there were more police out there than usually patrol my entire district. It was like watching a lot of men play with toys and shoot out like they did when they were in grade school.
Anyway, trying to get back to normal, and at least I got a check for the disturbance and being on standby to open a neighbor’s house if needed. I forget how boring and repetitive the entire process is. I’ve wondered how we live in a society where adults that play make-believe and dress up and a bunch of muscled-up men playing with balls make so much money when teachers, healthcare workers, and others can barely eke a life out. Same as it ever was.
An emboldened cast of anonymous trolls spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours after billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over the social network Thursday, raising fears of how his pledge of unrestricted free speech could fuel a new wave of online hate.
Twitter has struggled to enforce its rules against harassment and extremism, and the company has not yet published any broad-scale changes to its content-moderation policies.
But Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” has fiercely criticized the company’s previous leaders as overly rigid and suppressive and said he would work to overturn some of the company’s main enforcement mechanisms, such as indefinitely suspending accounts.
A wide range of anonymous Twitter accounts celebrated Musk’s takeover and argued it meant the old rules against bigotry no longer applied.
Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies.
I say this with utter confidence because the problems with Twitter are not engineering problems. They are political problems. Twitter, the company, makes very little interesting technology; the tech stack is not the valuable asset. The asset is the user base: hopelessly addicted politicians, reporters, celebrities, and other people who should know better but keep posting anyway. You! You, Elon Musk, are addicted to Twitter. You’re the asset. You just bought yourself for $44 billion dollars.
The problem when the asset is people is that people are intensely complicated, and trying to regulate how people behave is historically a miserable experience, especially when that authority is vested in a single powerful individual.
What I mean is that you are now the King of Twitter, and people think that you, personally, are responsible for everything that happens on Twitter now. It also turns out that absolute monarchs usually get murdered when shit goes sideways.
Here are some examples: you can write as many polite letters to advertisers as you want, but you cannot reasonably expect to collect any meaningful advertising revenue if you do not promise those advertisers “brand safety.” That means you have to ban racism, sexism, transphobia, and all kinds of other speech that is totally legal in the United States but reveals people to be total assholes. So you can make all the promises about “free speech” you want, but the dull reality is that you still have to ban a bunch of legal speech if you want to make money. And when you start doing that, your creepy new right-wing fanboys are going to viciously turn on you, just like they turn on every other social network that realizes the same essential truth.
The Love Potion, Evelyn De Morgan, 1903
I can only imagine our fates when Orange Caligula returns to do his dance of the veils. This is a sad headline today. It’s what demons like Musk and Trump have wrought, unleashing spoiled and violet manbabies everywhere. Speaker Pelosi’s husband was assaulted in their home. His target was the powerful and effective Speaker. Her husband was beaten with a hammer during an early morning break-in.
Pelosi was attacked with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco by a male assailant early Friday morning, law enforcement sources told CNN. The assailant who attacked Paul Pelosi was searching for the speaker of the House, according to a source briefed on the attack. The intruder confronted the speaker’s husband in their San Francisco home shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” according to the source.
Pelosi, 82, was hospitalized but is expected to make a full recovery, the Democratic speaker’s office said in a statement.
The attack sent shock waves through Washington and sparked an outpouring of condolences and condemnation from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. It comes as fears of political violence directed toward lawmakers remain high in the wake of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol as well as other high-profile violent incidents that have targeted members of Congress in recent years.
The US Capitol Police released a statement saying that they are assisting the FBI and the San Francisco Police “with a joint investigation” into the break-in at the Pelosi residence in California.
The statement provides further information on how law enforcement responded, saying that special agents with the USCP’s California Field Office “quickly arrived on scene, while a team of investigators from the Department’s Threat Assessment Section was simultaneously dispatched from the East Coast to assist the FBI and the San Francisco Police with a joint investigation.”
William Blake, Triple Hecate or The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy, 1795, Tate Gallery, London, UK.
Meanwhile, other Trumpist Droogies are after our election results. Here’s some information on Georgia’s elections from the Washington Post: “Inside the secretive effort by Trump allies to access voting machines. How rural Coffee County, Ga. became an early target in the multistate search for purported evidence of fraud after the 2020 election.” This is some scary stuff.
Claims of widespread election fraud have been rejected over and over by local, state and federal officials as well as by computer science experts and numerous judges, including those appointed by Trump. They have nevertheless become an article of faith — or at least a professed belief — for many Republican voters, activists and politicians.
Experts say the events in Coffee County are a potent example of the rising threat posed by insiders who undermine election security in the name of protecting it. While elections officials say security protocols would make it difficult for bad actors to manipulate votes, some experts say the data — circulated beyond a limited number of authorized officials — could give hackers a powerful tool to simulate voting machines and probe for weaknesses.
The operations not sanctioned by courts or lawmakers were clandestine affairs. In Mesa County, Colo., an outsider was allegedly smuggled into the elections office under an alias to copy data. In Michigan, a pro-Trump state lawmaker allegedly persuaded clerks in two counties to hand over equipment for a House investigation that, according to the office of the House speaker, did not exist. In Coffee County, a local elections official invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination more than 200 times when questioned under oath recently for a long-running lawsuit that voting activists brought against state officials.
Coffee County was home to the most extensive of the early covert efforts that have come to light. In January 2021, forensics experts copied data from virtually every component of the voting system there, records show. The incursion provided pro-Trump election deniers with copies of sensitive election software used across Georgia, a state widely seen as a linchpin in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate in 2022 and the White House in 2024.
You may read the details of the plot at the link. Meanwhile, we have folks in Nevada thinking hand-counted ballots might do the trick for Trump. What could possibly go wrong? Should we ask Al Gore?
The GOP nominee for secretary of state in Nevada has pushed to jettison voting machines. One county is already experimenting with counting ballots manually. https://t.co/vacfHYjZkY
Jay Goldberg, a retired electrician who enjoys four-wheeling with his wife, Bonnie, in the dusty hills that loom over this desert town, sat in a tiny government office here this week counting ballots by hand because he believes the 2020 vote was rigged against Donald Trump.
“If something can be manipulated, it eventually will be,” said Goldberg, 70, referring to unproven claims that tabulation machines made by Dominion Voting Systems threw the presidency to Joe Biden. “It’s that simple.”
And to Goldberg, there’s a simple answer: Go back to hand counts. It’s a solution being embraced this fall in Nye County, a rural outpost of 53,000 where officials who deny the results of the 2020 election hold sway. Should Republicans prevail statewide in November, officials could be pushing it across Nevada next year. Like-minded GOP candidates nationwide have offered similar proposals, even as election experts and Democratic candidates have argued that such steps are only likely to further undermine faith in American democracy.
The rejection of voting machines and embrace of 2020 conspiracy theories make Nye County — a vast area that boomed, then busted, on the back of gold and silver mining more than a century ago and today thrives in part thanks to legal prostitution — a harbinger of the country’s future should election deniers take charge.
It depresses me whenever we find such a weird juxtaposition of strange Republican bedfellows. I’m sure the Christian Right has no problem with legalized prostitution, right? So, I may have another cup of tea or a good rest. I’m not sure I want to do reality today. It must be the Season of the Witch.
Whats on your reading and blogging list today?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends:
Peter Saul, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1975
The mainstream media, led by The New York Times, is writing the Democrat’s obituary after Terry McAuliffe’s loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race, but I don’t feel like writing about that. I have no idea whether the loss will affect the 2022 midterms. I don’t really want to think about it, except that I hope the Democrats will finally do something about the filibuster. There has been some talk of changing Senate rules for voting rights legislation, after Republicans once again blocked debate on the Voting Rights Act.
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation to restore parts of the landmark Voting Rights Act weakened by Supreme Court rulings, making it the second major voting bill to be derailed by a G.O.P. filibuster in the past two weeks.
Despite receiving majority support, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named for the civil rights activist and congressman who died last year, fell nine votes short of the 60 required to advance over Republican opposition.
In the aftermath of the defeat, Senate Democrats said they would intensify internal discussions about altering filibuster rules or making other changes to allow them to move forward on voting rights legislation despite deep resistance by Republicans, who have now thwarted four efforts to take up such measures.
“Just because Republicans will not join us doesn’t mean Democrats will stop fighting,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, after the vote. “We will continue to fight for voting rights and find an alternative path forward.”
Yesterday the Federal Reserve announced plans to deal with inflation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been affected by the rising food prices. Even though we’re getting the biggest Social Security increase in a very long time, it isn’t going to be enough. The New York Times: Fed Takes First Step Toward End of Pandemic Measures.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday took its first step toward withdrawing support for the American economy, saying that it would begin to wind down a stimulus program that’s been in place since early in the pandemic as the economy heals and prices climb at an uncomfortably rapid pace.
Peter Saul’s Columbus Discovers America, 1992-1995, points the way to the painter’s mature work, distinguished by provocative subject matter and a cartoon-based style.
Central bank policymakers struck a slightly more wary tone about inflation, which has jumped this year amid booming consumer demand for goods and supply snarls. While officials still expect quick cost increases to fade, how quickly that will happen is unclear.
Fed officials want to be prepared for any outcome at a time when the economy’s trajectory is marked by grave uncertainty. They are not sure when prices will begin to calm down, to what extent the labor market will recover the millions of jobs still missing after last year’s economic slump, or when they will begin to raise interest rates — which remain at rock-bottom to keep borrowing and spending cheap and easy.
So the central bank’s decision to dial back its other policy tool, large-scale bond purchases that keep money flowing through financial markets, was meant to give the Fed flexibility it might need to react to a shifting situation. Officials on Wednesday laid out a plan to slow their $120 billion in monthly Treasury bond and mortgage-backed security purchases by $15 billion a month starting in November. The purchases can lower long term interest rates and prod investors into investments that would spur growth.
Assuming that pace holds, the bond buying would stop altogether around the time of the central bank’s meeting next June — potentially putting the Fed in a position to lift interest rates by the middle of next year.
Federal authorities on Thursday arrested an analyst who in 2016 gathered leads about possible links between Donald J. Trump and Russia for what turned out to be Democratic-funded opposition research, according to people familiar with the matter.
The arrest of the analyst, Igor Danchenko, is part of the special counsel inquiry led by John H. Durham, who was appointed by the Trump administration to scrutinize the Russia investigation for any wrongdoing, the people said.
Mr. Danchenko, was the primary researcher of the so-called Steele dossier, a compendium of rumors and unproven assertions suggesting that Mr. Trump and his 2016 campaign were compromised by and conspiring with Russian intelligence officials in Moscow’s covert operation to help him defeat Hillary Clinton.
The people familiar with the matter spoke on condition of anonymity because the indictment of Mr. Danchenko had yet to be unsealed. A spokesman for Mr. Durham did not respond to a request for comment.
Peter Saul, Quack-Quack, Trump, 2017
So this information was leaked without any indication of what the basis of the arrest was. What laws did Danchenko break? The last Durham arrest was hinky too.
The charges against Mr. Danchenko follow Mr. Durham’s indictment in September of a cybersecurity lawyer, Michael Sussmann, which accused him of lying to the F.B.I. about who he was working for when he brought concerns about possible Trump-Russia links to the bureau in September 2016.
Mr. Sussmann, who then also worked for Perkins Coie, was relaying concerns developed by data scientists about odd internet logs they said suggested the possibility of a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked financial institution. He has denied lying to the F.B.I. about who he was working for.
The power Donald Trump holds as a former president will be put to the test on Thursday, as a federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Trump can keep secret records from his White House about his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump has asked the DC District Court to block the National Archives from giving more than 700 pages of documents to the House Select Committee investigating January 6. He’s claimed the House’s investigation is illegitimate, and that his role as a former President should give him control over reviewing and deciding upon access to the records.
The hearing may be the pivotal moment in a potentially historic legal fight about the authority of a former president, the House’s investigative power and the reach of executive privilege….
In the short term, the case also may have huge implications for the bipartisan House investigation, which is pushing for records and witnesses before the midterm elections take place next year. Without access to the documents, the House could be hampered significantly in its fact-finding.
In court, the House has cast its investigation as one of its most critical tasks in history. “In 2021, for the first time since the Civil War, the Nation did not experience a peaceful transfer of power,” lawyers for the House wrote over the weekend. “A peaceful transfer of power from one President to another is crucial to the continuation of our democratic government. It is difficult to imagine a more critical subject for Congressional investigation, and Mr. Trump’s arguments cannot overcome that pressing legislative need.
Neo-Nazis Christopher Cantwell and Matthew Heimbach on Wednesday seemed almost to forget for a moment that they were in a court of law and defendants in a civil case that could potentially bankrupt them and take down the white nationalist groups with which they’re associated.
“What’s your favorite Holocaust joke?” Cantwell, who is representing himself in court, asked Heimbach, who was called to the stand by the plaintiffs as a witness, during cross-examination….
The strategy behind Cantwell’s line of questioning wasn’t immediately clear, and attorneys for the plaintiffs interjected before any jokes were uttered. But Cantwell, who had previously gone on bizarre courtroom tangents, and Heimbach spent nearly an hour talking about their adoration for Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, the dictator’s book Mein Kampf, and their belief that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Hitler, Heimbach testified, “did nothing wrong” in murdering some 6 million Jews.
The exchange between the two neo-Nazis contrasted sharply with the testimony by Deborah Lipstadt, an acclaimed Holocaust scholar and professor of modern Jewish history at Emory University.
Lipstadt, who was nominated in July by President Joe Biden to serve as the US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism — a State Department post with the rank of ambassador — was called as an expert witness by the plaintiffs. Before her testimony, she had prepared a 48-page report for the trial that focused on “the history, ideology, symbolism, and rhetoric of antisemitism and how those features were on display at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.”
On the stand, she was asked by Roberta Kaplan, a co–lead attorney for the plaintiffs, to elaborate on her report and define and parse some of the most popular, offensive, and violent terms used by the white supremacists who planned and executed the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
“I don’t surprise easily. I’ve been writing about the Holocaust, one of the worst genocides in human history, many things don’t surprise me,” Lipstadt testified. But what she found in the words and symbols used in preparation for and during the deadly rally in Charlottesville four years ago represented a “great deal of overt antisemitism and adulation of the Third Reich.”
Lipstadt said that much of the messaging between some of the 24 defendants in the case constituted “Jew hatred.”
“You know they’re a Jew and you despise them and you want to do them harm,” she told the court, explaining what such hatred meant.
A decision by the University of Florida to bar three professors from testifying in a lawsuit against the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis has ballooned into a political and public relations firestorm, one that could grow as other professors consider whether to step forward with stories of university pressure.
Since Friday, when the university’s decision was disclosed in a federal court filing, five more professors have offered accounts of being barred from testifying or ordered to omit mention of their university positions in court statements.
The body that accredits the university has opened an inquiry into whether its orders violate long-established principles of academic freedom or involve “undue political influence.” On Monday, the university’s president and provost ordered a review of its policy on conflicts of interest, the stated rationale for the decisions to silence the professors.
“The University of Florida stands firmly behind its commitment to uphold our most sacred right as Americans, the right to free speech, and to faculty members’ right to academic freedom,” they said in a statement. “Nothing is more fundamental to our existence as an institution.”
A spokeswoman for Mr. DeSantis said he had not played any role in the university’s actions. “This is an internal U.F. issue and not the sort of thing that the executive branch would be involved in,” the spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, said. “Governor DeSantis has always championed free speech, open inquiry and viewpoint diversity on college and university campuses.”
Asked on Wednesday whether the administration had any role in the university’s actions, a university spokeswoman, Hessy Fernandez, replied with a single word: “No.”
Despite the denials, a legion of critics continued to say that the university’s actions bore the marks of political meddling. In each of the disclosed cases, the conflict of interest that was cited as justification for limiting the professors’ freedom to speak was that they were supporting legal challenges to the DeSantis administration’s policies.
“It’s creating an environment which is putting intolerable pressure on universities and other institutions as well to comply with the political policies of this administration, for sure,” said Dr. Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, a longtime professor and administrator at the university’s College of Medicine in Jacksonville. “I don’t think there’s any questions about that.”
Bush at Abu Ghraib, Peter Saul, 2006
Read more on this issue:
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post: Opinion: The case of Ron DeSantis and the muzzled professors takes another dubious turn.
Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed on Wednesday to create a fully-staffed statewide law enforcement office whose sole job would be to crack down on election crimes, despite previously praising Florida’s smooth 2020 elections and rebuffing calls by members of his own party for an audit.
DeSantis, who is running for reelection and is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender, is also pressing state lawmakers to increase the criminal penalty for violating new restrictions on collecting mail-in ballots. He also wants to enact a tight new 100-day deadline on when local election officials must scrub their voter rolls for those who died, moved or been convicted of a felony.
The new law enforcement office will cost nearly $6 million, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.
“I guarantee you this: The first person that gets caught, no one is going to want to do it again after that,” said DeSantis at a West Palm Beach event billed as a “press conference” but featured dozens of DeSantis supporters who loudly applauded the governor. At one point, the crowd cheered “Let’s go Brandon” — a conservative rallying cry against President Joe Biden.
The governor also said he wants the GOP-controlled Legislature to put additional restrictions on the use of drop boxes.
“I don’t even think we should have drop boxes,” said DeSantis even though he signed the bill two years ago that first authorized their use in the state.
This guy is trying to out-Trump Trump.
So . . . what else is happening? What stories are you following?
Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends:
Yes. More rain for New Orleans. It’s keeping the temps in the 70’s and 80’s so I’m not going to complain. Temple, however, hates thunder and has glued herself to my leg for the time being. The weather certainly is wild this summer with a major heatwave on the west coast and even Moscow appears to be setting record temperatures. My Seattle Doctor Daughter who has firmly entered her third trimester with the twins was not happy about the heat. Portland and Seattle are both heading into the 100s. There’s also another disturbance in the Gulf to be investigated so what can I say? Let’s tackle Climate change while we can!!!
That infrastructure bill better start up fast! We’re still living with 1910 sewage systems here and it ain’t pretty. They’re out tearing up Dauphine Street which intersects with my part of Poland Avenue. I’ve been keen to see the old pipes and keep trying to get a peep at them. Saw one brought out today and it was a huge old iron thing that was probably studded with lead by now. Meanwhile, here’s uptown! Thar she blows!!
Then former president Donald Trump announced he was relaunching his rally roadshow—with the first stop being in Wellington, Ohio tomorrow—the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram had this reaction in an op-ed: “Why us? . . . It’s enough to inspire both anticipation and dread.”
While Trump supporters will dismiss such expressions with their usual disdain for the media, his appearance in Ohio should, indeed, inspire some dread. It is very much a singular act, focused on targeting one GOP member of Congress.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez was one of ten Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment, and his district runs close to this part of Ohio. For that reason, Trump is going to take over the Lorain County Fairgrounds tomorrow to blast a sitting congressman who won his district in 2020 by more than 25 percent, and even ran ahead of Trump by 15,000 votes.
“No, I just don’t think Gonzalez is good. I don’t think he represents the people. I think he’s not somebody that thinks the way I do and others do,” Trump said in a recent podcast, explaining his rationale for the rally.
With a stage set up in the fairgrounds of a small town that is little more than an intersection in farm country, what should we expect?
“Of course, he’s going to talk about some of the Republicans he thinks stabbed him in the back, starting with Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio, Liz Cheney [of Wyoming], Adam Kinzinger [of Illinois], and the people who voted against him in the House during the impeachment,” predicted David B. Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron in a recent interview. “I think it’s mostly going to be a Donald Trump pity party.”
"You can't disprove the negatives that are being thrown out that are absolutely based on nothing." https://t.co/NGnawplk18
The Justice Department will file a federal lawsuit Friday against the state of Georgia for its efforts to enact new voting restrictions that federal authorities allege discriminate against Black Americans, according to people familiar with the matter.
The legal challenge takes aim at Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, which was passed in March by the Republican-led state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp (R). The law imposes new limits on the use of absentee ballots, makes it a crime for outside groups to provide food and water to voters waiting at polling stations, and hands greater control over election administration to the state legislature.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday that the Justice Department is filing suit against the state of Georgia over its sweeping election law recently passed by Republicans, alleging it violates the federal Voting Rights Act by seeking to disenfranchise Black voters.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section Two of the Voting Rights Act,” Garland said.
Garland said the bill signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Brian Kemp includes provisions that “make it harder for people to vote,” and the complaint being filed by the department alleges the restrictions were passed “with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.”
For months, President Joe Biden and other Democrats have been heavily critical of Georgia Republicans and Kemp for signing Georgia’s voting bill into law, equating it to “Jim Crow-era” segregation laws while arguing it’s premised on the lie that widespread fraud tainted the 2020 election.
The department’s lawsuit will be separate from seven other lawsuits that have been filed against the state of Georgia since the election bill was signed into law in March.
Vasily Kandinsky Landscape with rain Guggenheim
Republican-biased media outlets are howling about the bi-partisan section of the infrastructure bill. I’m not going to quote the crazy but Politico is close enough with pearl-clutching Lady Lindsey chasing her skirt around the room. “POLITICO Playbook: Graham: Biden made GOP look like ‘f—ing idiots’” Really, they don’t need President Biden to point that reality out.
The gist is this: If Biden’s proposal for “family infrastructure” and climate change doesn’t pass, then neither will the bipartisan infrastructure deal that senators just struck. Think of this as a Plan B after Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) refused to promise they’ll support Part 2, Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package.
But the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi playbook also has the makings of a serious legislative cluster — and high drama over whether Democrats can actually pull this off — this summer and possibly into the fall.
Here’s your new timeline, according to Hill sources, and bear with us for a bit of procedural wonkery:
1) The Senate will turn the bipartisan agreement into legislative text in the coming days so it can pass it out of the chamber in July. The House will likely have its own version. But instead of conferencing and approving a combined bill for Biden’s signature before the August recess, leaders will put infrastructure on ice until the Democrats-only bill catches up.
2) Schumer and Pelosi plan to have both their chambers pass their respective budget resolutions before the August recess, enabling Democrats to unlock the fast-tracking reconciliation tool.
3) That budget will include instructions for each committee to tackle everything from corporate tax hikes to climate change, education, paid family leave and the like — in other words, everything Democrats want that’s not included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. The panels will work over the August recess to draft the massive reconciliation bill, which Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) hopes will top $6 trillion.
4) When lawmakers return in September from the August recess, they’ll have a few weeks to clear both bills at the same time. The new deadline for getting both to Biden’s desk, per Democratic leaders, is Sept. 30, when a bunch of surface transportation programs expire.
Now, the pitfalls: First off, getting all Democrats to agree on a budget resolution in July is going to be hellish for Schumer and Pelosi. They have virtually no wiggle room due to their slim majorities, and their conferences are divided over how big this Democrats-only bill should be. Expect more Manchin and Sinema flexing.
Going to church in the rain, Wasdale Head (1937) Chiang Lee
President Joe Biden quietly hit a milestone on Thursday: With the help of Senate Democrats, he has confirmed more lifetime federal judges than any president has done in more than 50 years by this point in their first six months in office.
With the Senate’s latest confirmation of Candace Jackson-Akiwumi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Biden has confirmed a total of seven judges. These are specifically Article III judges, who hold lifetime appointments on federal district courts, appeals courts and on the Supreme Court.
Broken down, Biden has confirmed five district court judges and two appeals court judges so far.
By this point in their presidencies, Donald Trump had confirmed two lifetime federal judges (one of whom was a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch), Barack Obama had confirmed zero, George W. Bush had confirmed zero, Bill Clinton had confirmed zero, George H.W. Bush had confirmed four, Ronald Reagan had confirmed zero, and Jimmy Carter had confirmed four.
Going back even further, the comparison isn’t really applicable to President Gerald Ford, who took over for Richard Nixon in 1974 along with his pending judicial nominees.
The last time a president moved this quickly to confirm judges was in 1969, more than 50 years ago, when Nixon had confirmed seven judges by this point in his first year in the White House.
It’s still early in Biden’s presidency. A rapid start to confirming judges doesn’t necessarily mean he will surpass the massive number of judges that Trump ultimately confirmed, for example. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) helped Trump confirm more than 230 lifetime federal judges during his four years in the White House.
On Dec. 19, President Donald Trump blasted out a tweet to his 88 million followers, inviting supporters to Washington for a “wild” protest.
Earlier that week, one of his senior advisers had released a 36-page report alleging significant evidence of election fraud that could reverse Joe Biden’s victory. “A great report,” Trump wrote. “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
The tweet worked like a starter’s pistol, with two pro-Trump factions competing to take control of the “big protest.”
On one side stood Women for America First, led by Amy Kremer, a Republican operative who helped found the tea party movement. The group initially wanted to hold a kind of extended oral argument, with multiple speakers making their case for how the election had been stolen.
On the other was Stop the Steal, a new, more radical group that had recruited avowed racists to swell its ranks and wanted the President to share the podium with Alex Jones, the radio host banned from the world’s major social media platforms for hate speech, misinformation and glorifying violence. Stop the Steal organizers say their plan was to march on the Capitol and demand that lawmakers give Trump a second term.
ProPublica has obtained new details about the Trump White House’s knowledge of the gathering storm, after interviewing more than 50 people involved in the events of Jan. 6 and reviewing months of private correspondence. Taken together, these accounts suggest that senior Trump aides had been warned the Jan. 6 events could turn chaotic, with tens of thousands of people potentially overwhelming ill-prepared law enforcement officials.
Rather than trying to halt the march, Trump and his allies accommodated its leaders, according to text messages and interviews with Republican operatives and officials.
Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official assigned by the White House to take charge of the rally planning, helped arrange a deal where those organizers deemed too extreme to speak at the Ellipse could do so on the night of Jan. 5. That event ended up including incendiary speeches from Jones and Ali Alexander, the leader of Stop the Steal, who fired up his followers with a chant of “Victory or death!”
Read more at the link. That’s enough for me. Have a good weekend!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends:
I managed to ignore the weekend’s whack florida event with the Fatted Trump calf made in Mexico up there on the altar. The only thing that really managed to get sacrificed was the Truth. So, here’s some pleasing beach pictures by Edward Henry Potthast (American Painter, 1857-1927 to get us past all that ugly.
Amid the stream of delusion, depravity, malevolence and megalomania that characterized Donald Trump’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, one message should be regarded as arguably more important than all the others combined.
It’s this: The former president told his audience that the Republican Party’s success in coming years depends, in no small part, on its commitment to being an anti-democracy party. Trump didn’t say this in precisely those words, of course. But that message blared through all the background noise like a loud, clanging alarm bell.
This will require Democrats to redouble their focus on passing their big package of pro-democracy reforms as soon as possible — and to be prepared to nix the legislative filibuster to get it into law. It may be tempting to dismiss or ignore Trump’s deranged rantings, but Democrats should see this one message as an actionable one.
As expected, Trump’s CPAC speech doubled down on the big lie that the election was stolen from him — and then some. Aaron Rupar tallies up at least five different ways he told this lie, which drew at least one standing ovation.
But embedded in that big lie was an unintentional truth. It was revealed when Trump uncorked an extended riff suggesting that the GOP’s future prospects depend on what he called “election reforms.”
Trump was still obsessed with vote-by-mail and the way making it easier to vote and more accessible to POC means Republicans–and specifically the racist Trump family crime syndicate–will not get elected. Groups like the one run by Stacey Abrahams are a clear and present danger to those wanting white hegemony and the presence of NAZI symbols reminids us that these folks are not the least bit benign.
In 2013 Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act & unleashed wave of voter suppression in states like GA TX NC
Now GOP pushing 253 new voting restrictions in 43 states & trying to kill what’s left of VRA before SCOTUS tmrw
In 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion gutting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which required that states with a long history of discrimination had to approve their voting changes with the federal government. That ruling led to a wave of new voter suppression laws in states including Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.
Roberts justified his position by pointing to the continued existence of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which applies nationwide and outlaws the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race or color. “Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in Section 2,” he wrote in Shelby County v. Holder.
But now, in two Supreme Court cases from Arizona that will be heard on March 2, Republicans are trying to kill what remains of the VRA. Influential Republicans at the state and federal level (including Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell in an amicus brief) have asked the court’s conservative majority to weaken Section 2 or strike it down all together. If they succeed, the VRA would provide little to no protection to minority voters facing an onslaught of new GOP voter suppression efforts across the country, where more than 250 bills restricting voting access have been introduced in 43 states in the past two months.
“This is a time where we are in desperate need of the Voting Rights Act,” says Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center for Justice, “where it is unmistakable that some politicians are reacting with restrictions when they see voters voting, instead of choosing to compete for their vote.”
The GOP’s push to weaken Section 2 dates back more than 40 years—and Roberts was a key foot soldier in that effort.
Though the Capitol Hill insurrection was inspired by former president Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and mounted by his followers, some Republicans have tried to pin the blame elsewhere. One prominent target is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as this tweet indicates.
We were convinced by House Republican staff to hold off on fact-checking this tweet before last week’s testimony by key figures in the Capitol Hill security during the Jan. 6 events. But if anything, that testimony further undermined Jordan’s widely circulated tweet.
(Jordan also tweeted it “took over an hour” to get approval on Jan. 6 for National Guard support from “Pelosi’s team” after a request was made. We will hold off on fact-checking that, because there continues to be a gap between phone records and individual recollections of the calls. But the New York Times reported that video indicates Pelosi approved the request on the spot once the request was passed to her.)
Within hours, a narrative built on rumors and partisan conjecture had reached the Twitter megaphones of pro-Trump politicians. By day’s end, Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin had shared it with millions of Fox News viewers, and Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida had stood on the ransacked House floor and claimed that many rioters “were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
Nearly two months after the attack, the claim that antifa was involved has been repeatedly debunked by federal authorities, but it has hardened into gospel among hard-line Trump supporters, by voters and sanctified by elected officials in the party. More than half of Trump voters in a Suffolk University/USA Today poll said that the riot was “mostly an antifa-inspired attack.” At Senate hearings last week focused on the security breakdown at the Capitol, Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, repeated the falsehood that “fake Trump protesters” fomented the violence.
For those who hoped Mr. Trump’s don’t-believe-your-eyes tactics might fade after his defeat, the mainstreaming of the antifa conspiracy is a sign that truth remains a fungible concept among his most ardent followers. Buoyed by a powerful right-wing media network that had just spent eight weeks advancing Mr. Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, pro-Trump Republicans have succeeded in warping their voters’ realities, exhibiting sheer gall as they seek to minimize a violent riot perpetrated by their own supporters.
Breaking: Hotel chain rediscovers corporate values right after large hate conference checks out.
It sounds like Hyatt Hotels wished it had never agreed to host this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference. In an unusually honest corporate statement issued late Sunday, after Donald Trump took to the stage at the conference’s finale, the hotel group said it was “extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues” following reports that attendees became abusive when asked to wear masks and socially distance. The hotel group also called symbols of hate “abhorrent” after the design of the CPAC stage was compared to a Norse rune used by Nazis during World War Two. Hyatt clarified that it had no involvement in the stage design, adding: “We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.” Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union chair, dismissed the comparisons to the Nazi rune as “outrageous and slanderous.”
Yeah, right after they cashed all the checks they did a mea culpa. And I’m sorry, but I just could resist showing you this interview with Julian Castro at MSNBC. I just love gratuitous Ted Cruz bashing!!!
"I saw that, and it made me think 'what a small man' he is," Julián Castro says of Sen. Cruz's joke about his trip to Mexico at CPAC. https://t.co/xGZc3HXVfm
So, Wipipo Hatefest is over with the straw poll giving Trumperz 55% of the vote. That seems a little on the small side too as far as numbers go but then it’s never much of an indicator of much any way. I get my second dose of the Pfizer on Wednesday and I hope I can lecture Wednesday evening on Zoom. I’m hoping I don’t get much of a reaciton but who knows. Let us know how your pandemic life is going! We all care about you!!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Did you like this post? Please share it with your friends:
The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.