solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Okay, so editorials and background mostly for you this morning.

I include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial because that is not a liberal town. Item two makes it look to me like Steve Bannon has not just bought into the cyclic theories of Neil Howe's, but is trying to short-circuit them to get them to a desired position - and certainly adds another layer to his desire for massive war in the mideast. And there's another round of Jewish cemetery desecration, in a new city.

Leakers continue to leak, 'cause leakers gonna leak, even when it's a memo about leakers. Six and seven are about the vote coming on Tuesday to more or less shut down Trump investigations in Congress. Eight has the new EPA head talking about how awful the EPA is - as he's done his entire career, of course.

Item 10 is important because it charts together some of the previously-murkier people involved at the high-money/high-data levels of the rightist/authoritarian movement. It's long, but worth reading.

11 - Trump may have more secret loans, but no proof - just curiously inconsistent data. 12 - meet the 16-year-old Canadian girl known only as "Julia" who got the NeverTrump Republicans attention on the Milo videos. And finally, the current candidate for Secretary of the Navy withdraws.

Good luck.

It's February 27, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Okay, so the front-line names on Initiative 1552 (the anti-LGBT initiative that puts bounties on the heads of trans students) are three women nobody's heard of being particularly active in politics before: Kaeley Triller, Kristi Meritt, and Cassandra Nelson.

But! Guess what: their domain (justwantprivacy dot org) has a non-concealed owner! And that owner is Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood.

Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood is president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), a long-time right-wing fundamentalist evangelical political group, and a legally-distinct but nonetheless listed affiliate of the Family Research Council, a decades-old anti-LGBT hate group spun off of Focus on the Family for specifically political actions. (You can find FPIW on FRC's state affiliates page here: http://www.frc.org/state-policy-organizations )

FPIW were previously behind Referendum 74, which asked voters to reject our then-recently-passed marriage equality laws.

Joseph Backholm himself used to be with the similarly anti-queer and anti-woman's-rights ADF ("Alliance Defending Freedom," formerly "Alliance Defence Fund"), of Scottsdale, Arizona, which may be best known to larger audiences as supporting law making LGBT people illegal.

They also have ties to anti-LGBT/fundamentalist political groups such as the Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the (dead?) "ex-gay" group Exodus International. The Heritage Foundation also supports states' rights to make LGBT people illegal.

So if, you know, you thought this was anything other than an attempt to peel off layers of the alliance to weaken the entire coalition so they can pick all of us off one layer at a time? It's not. That's exactly what it is.

Registry Registrant ID: CR212357711
Registrant Name: Joseph Backholm
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 16108 Ash Way
Registrant City: Lynnwood
Registrant State/Province: Washington
Registrant Postal Code: 98036
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4256080242
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: info@fpiw.org
Registry Admin ID: CR212357713


(If you go to Google Maps streetview, you'll find their office, facing the parking lot in back, suite 113.)
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[Posting this a little early to get it done]

White supremacist Steve Bannon brought in Sebastian Gorka to the White House staff. Gorka has extensive ties to anti-Semetic groups back in Hungary. Also in Breitbart alumni, we have a pro-Trump megadonor who is part owner of Breitbart News empire. And Bannon promises daily war against the press and everybody not part of the Trumpian movement.

Fox News has been holding up a convicted felon as some sort of Swedish government security official. He's not. But I doubt that'll sink in - as another story shows, people still mad (at CPAC) over alleged Obama holidays and spending refuse to believe the numbers incurred by Mr. Trump. They just flatly reject the data.

Churches are putting together immigrant protection cells - safe houses, transport networks, etc. A few other immigrant stories, too, including another legal Visa holder ejected at the border.

The White House told DHS to justify Trump's travel ban - their report did the opposite. So it was suppressed, then leaked.

Where is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? He's been invisible. Particularly to the press.

Kansas is having an intra-Republican fight over the fiscal implosion caused by the polices Trump and Ryan intend to implement nationally. It's blown the budget and job growth fell and is below national averages. Governor Brownback doesn't care and is fighting the hardliner side; they fell three votes short of overriding his veto.

Trump is reportedly going to throw out more anti-environment EOs this coming week; targeting clean water rules, in particular.

This is what passes for a quiet day these days.

It's February 26, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
hoo boy.

ICE raid at a Seattle tech company. Jay Inslee says "fuck you, no help from Washington State" via a series of executive orders. Kenmore, Washington leads a league of smaller King County, Washington towns in declaring themselves "welcoming" cities - meaning they won't help ICE and are making sure they don't collect data that could be used to help ICE. Not incidentally, DHS concluded that citizenship is an unreliable indicator of terrorism threat; so the report was suppressed, then leaked. It's also suppressing housing sales in our area, as (legal, again) immigrants get scared.

Twitter is locking down accounts (shadowbanning) if you swear at blue-checkbox people. They say the blue-check is not actually a factor? But it is. Three longer-term studies say voucher schools are _much worse_ than the schools they replace, across most to all axes.

Republicans are trying to crack down on protest nationally, but at the state level. 17 states have had bills introduced. Washington State's was dead on arrival, but that didn't stop it from being introduced. (And the sponsor from being publicly shamed, which was great.) The NRA is declaring protesters to be paid terrorists, "dedicated to destroying not just America but Western Civilization;" that won't lead to violence, now will it? And Montana's GOP chair opposes making voting easier, not because of supposed vote fraud, but because it hurts Republicans, and he actually said so in those words.

Lots of articles on Trump's attacks upon and exclusion of critical press. Key to note is that all of the news organisations excluded on Friday are leaders in the Russia-Trump stories. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Remember that effort in Iowa to force political hiring of professors at universities? It's shown up now in North Carolina, too. I'm sure that's just a coincidence too.

Two fundamentalist groups filing amicus briefs to the Supreme Court regarding access to washrooms by transgendered students misgendered Gavin Grimm (the plaintiff) intentionally. (Very intentionally; pointedly so. And said so when asked.) So they both got reprimands FROM THE COURT ITSELF, for not following court procedure and for generally being dickbags.

And a number of abuse stories, as well - extensive interrogations of native-born Muslim citizens at customs, and so on. It's ugly. And more. It's another big day.

It's February 25, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (gaz)

Turns out it’s not just me having racism and misogyny problems in Overwatch competitive. I saw Wil Wheaton reblog this article from mic.com about it, as well as this thread on the Reddit Overwatch forum, and yeah – it did get a lot worse in Season III.

And so far, nobody official seems to be doing much about it. And people doing it won’t stop until it hurts them, so I’m definitely going with my announcement and plan as a de rigueur thing before all competitive matches in Series IV.

Meanwhile, back in quickplay, I’ve started singing what I call the Tracer Tank song again, because Tracer is a tank in the right circumstances and the right levels. NO, SHE IS, REALLY. I have golded so many times for objective time as Tracer that it’s hilarious.

Tracer tank / Tracer tank
movin’ the payload
’cause somebody has to

where the fuck is Reinhardt?
where the fuck is D.va?
i could be that Reinhardt
if i really wanted

let’s all move the payload
i said everybody
okay fine I’ll do it
objective gold again

I mean, think about it. If you’re on offence in a payload level, and you’re good at her dodging motion/blinking/rewind, it works out to an effective hitpoint/armour total of easily 350 points, assuming only one rewind – much more if you’re lucky and good. I have beaten back one-on-three facedowns across the payload, more than once.

How does that work? Base health/armour of 150. Near-double that to 290 from your own health, doubled, with use of rewind. You get 10 points per second back from being on the payload; survive five seconds – not hard if you are good with her movement – and that’s another 100 points (with the single rewind), which gets you up to 390. Survive 10 seconds, that’s 490. Survive 15, 590.

Survive, oh, 2:09 like I did in one game last night as Tracer Tank? That’s 2580+300 hit/armour points (tho’ that assumes more rewinds, as it would), for a total of 2880.

Bulletproof. Reinhardt? Roadhog? Paper people.

And that’s not even getting into how the payload is functionally a motion-restricted shield with infinite hit points and infinite duration.

Tracer is a tank.

(Really, of course, Tracer shouldn’t be your group’s tank. For one thing, this whole shtick falls apart if they have a Sombra who knows what she’s doing. Even without that, it’s not Tracer’s best mode, and usually if I’m doing it, the team I’m on isn’t very good. But we all know the number of people that just won’t get on the goddamn payload, right? I was on one of those a couple of days ago where I literally solo-escorted the payload from Objective A to (just short of) the Eichenwald castle gate entirely by myself. It was hilarious.)

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Item 3 is the kind of thing that - were it to pass - means you should flee the state. No lie.

Item 21: what part of "trying to get the FBI to shut up about Russia" isn't obstruction of justice?

Item 24: Keep on eye on this. The plan may be to flood non-cooperative cities and states with ICE personnel, to the point where ICE presence is overwhelming. This will be where non-cooperation needs to go all the way down. There are several other ICE- and police-state-related stories today as well.

Washington State governor Jay Inslee is acting quickly to remind everyone 1) Fuck you, Trump, and 2) Washington State has its own civil rights protections that do include trans kids. (We're also ready to fight on legal marijuana, which the administration is now hinting it may try to stop.)

Item 4 involves more 'alterations' to reality - if they change the import/export numbers to be wrong, they can make the trade deficit look worse, and gain more support for trade wars. This is very bad, of course, but may well happen.

More on Milo's lies; a Muslim now-former staffer talks about leaving the Trump white house; Matt Schlapp was going to let neo-nazi and overt genocide planner Richard "One Punch [and down]" Spencer attend CPAC, but yanked his membership when people noticed; Trump refers to increased ICE action as a "military operation," which would be 192 kinds of illegal; the FBI is cold-calling Muslims in Seattle and calling it "outreach" but it's all kinds of intimidating; several notes from CPAC; it is UTTERLY INSANE that Trump's desire to RAMP UP NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRODUCTION isn't the lead story here and maybe it should be; more. Good luck.

It's February 24, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
This'll be in Friday morning's news, but if you have anybody in Arizona:

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent
By: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services February 22, 2017 , 5:11 pm
http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/02/22/arizona-senate-crackdown-on-protests/

One of the neat things about this bill is that it allows arrest of planners of protests ("riots") before the protests even happen, if someone decides they're going to "riot" (which has been redefined to property damage). Also, it doesn't matter if you have anything to do with the property damage - involved at all, you're in the net.

This is just a straight-up police-state anti-protest law and needs to be stopped at all costs.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
So many big problems.

Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines (And then did so, in "Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students"). Reportedly, there were conflicts between Ms. DeVos and Mr. Sessions (strongly for) but frankly I don't believe it, and it doesn't matter anyway.

The emails that the GOP didn't want to come out before the Pruitt vote came out; he "Was Arm in Arm With Industry," as in, let polluting industries write his policy papers and briefs. Basically, his whole career has been PR for serious-business toxin emitters, and that's why they didn't want the letters out.

In a similar "betrayal of everything" theme, the GOP will kill a House measure forcing release of data on Trump's various deep conflicts, in committee.

Another Federal amendment at the state level: a proposal in Florida to disable the Judicial branch by letting Congress override court constitutionality decisions with a 60% supermajority.

4chan/pol had a straw poll: "Is /pol/ for Milo, or Against?" A strong plurality is still fine with Milo, at 46%. If the "don't care" didn't care before (pretty likely), then 2/3rds of those who care about Milo still support Milo. This could be useful.

Washington State GOP release statement: "Exposed: The Democrats’ plan of disruption and intimidation," by which they mean the Indivisible groups specifically.

Other stories:
  • Trump’s America will be on vivid display at annual conservative gathering (CPAC) Relatedly:
  • Facebook gave $120,000 to CPAC, half in cash and half in-kind contributions. That's not cool.
  • Mr. Trump’s ‘Deportation Force’ Prepares an Assault on American Values
  • "We Will Never Stop": An EPA Employee Blasts the Trump Administration
  • Trump’s New Immigration Crackdown Has Private Prison Investors Salivating
  • How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter
It's February 23, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
While there isn't a story to go with it, Mr. Trump's approval ratings continue to go down the toilet - except with Republican voters, where he's got a rock-steady unshakable 85% approval rating. They love all of this; it is his party now; and CPAC will make that very clear. I'll have an article or two about that tomorrow. Until then:

Republians still mining old Milo interviews, are shocked - shocked! - to discover that he has been preaching that campus rape reports are all "frauds and hoaxes" - there are a few other Milo stories as well, including one about his boys on the bus;

North Carolina gives up on its extraordinarily blatant disenfranchisement law (for now);

more on Trump's business interests in Russia;

Canadian shoppers pressure Hudson's Bay to drop Ivanka Trump brand;

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal, while Trump's administration signals they're completely fine with state actions against transgendered kids;

Another article on protecting your data while crossing US and Canadian borders;

Plans to cut environmental protections, and Scott Pruitt's first day on the job attacking his own staff;

ACLU announces plans to fight new versions of Trump immigration bans, which include deporting non-Mexicans to Mexico, which is very much a "...what?" situation;

School Asks Teachers To Take Down Pro-Diversity Posters, Saying They're 'Anti-Trump';

An interesting personal report by a Southern Baptist preacher at Trump's rally in Melbourne, Florida;

British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip, nobody knows why;

And "The Myth of the U.S. Immigration Crisis" - noting that as in everything else, what isn't a lie from the Trumpists is a decade (or more!) out of date. Notice how Mr. Trump's descriptions of conditions in cities are all basically from the 1970s? That's not a coincidence.

It's February 22, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Milo Y has resigned from Breitbart News. But note this key line from the Milo resignation announcement story:

Yiannopoulos blamed the media for the controversy and for not reporting on the comments sooner, calling it a "cynical media witch hunt." That sentiment was also expressed by [Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex] Marlow on Breitbart's radio show on Tuesday morning.
THIS IS WHAT BREITBART IS, AT ITS HEART.

Getting called on supporting pederasty and calling the idea of requiring consent for sex "oppressive" is a "cynical media witch hunt" to Breitbart's editor-in-chief Alex Marlow.

THIS IS WHAT BREITBART IS FOR.

And that doesn't even get into Milo dismissing literally all campus rape reports as "frauds and hoaxes."

THIS IS BREITBART.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Sorry I haven’t been doing much with the band blog lately. Frankly, all my blogging energy has been used working against the literal fascist movement which has grabbed partial power and is trying to grab more.

I blog at Dreamwidth and it’s echoed to Livejournal. Here’s my post on Milo’s support of child pedastry, for example, which I wrote last night. The Republicans have been fine with his vicious misogyny, overt and savage white supremacy, and slanderous attacks on transgendered people; let’s see if they’re also on board with 28-year-old men fucking 13 year old boys.

I mean, we already know they’re fine with 50-year-old men raping 13 year old girls, but everybody knows the only way to end up dead in politics is to get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. Because boys are valuable and girls aren’t.

Apparently, CPAC (biggest conservative political conference, where he has a headline speech this year) and his fans in general all knew about this already – the interview I’m quoting ran over a year ago. And they’re okay with that. Monstrous filth.

Anwyay, I’ve been getting used to being back in full-time war mode for a couple of months now. Since this movement has always hated women and queers (unless, apparently, they’re pederast fascists), I’ve had to do this my whole life – but I had kind of some time off for a little while, and it made me soft. Hopefully I can return to band stuff more regularly, as I start to feel more ramped up on all this again.

Hopefully.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Milo Yiannopoulos is pro-pederasty. Yeah, he thinks 28-year-olds fucking 13-year-olds is fine. Also, he thinks that that this "consent" crap is "oppressive." Apparently, particularly so when it comes to 13-year-olds, since that's the context in which it came up. Here's a longer, formatted post about this, with links.

Meanwhile, 4chan/pol is aware, and is of mixed opinion - there's the "all fags are pedos/fags are degenerates" crowd who are happy about him coming under fire, while the "He's feeding people babby's first redpill constantly" side (who see him as a gateway to fascism/anti-Semitism) are saying FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT WE MUST DEFEND OUR OWN, etc. And, for the record, one of these interviews is over a year old, and people covering the Milo beat all knew, and CPAC knew, which means they made their choice knowing this and are fine with it. Never forget that.

As for the other news...

There is some US inquiry into the Russian hacking; it involves three FBI probes, we're told by Reuters. We have a story of a HUD official (a political one, so this isn't criminal) fired for writing an anti-Trump piece in his own time. There's more coverage of the Trump rally on Saturday that the fascist channers loved, some news about possible draft immigration orders which are expectably harsh in various ways; Haaretz declares that it's time to stop pretending Donald Trump isn't an anti-Semite; the Mormon Church has jumped in against trans rights, and more.

Item 10 is pretty disturbing in an operational way; it speaks to yet another attempt to consolidate power around political operatives rather than diplomats, and this is definitely something to watch for.

Really, there's a fair bit, and I need to get to bed, and you know the drill. Click through, you'll find it all below the fold.

It's February 20, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I have no words for how angry I am right now, or how revolted.

So turns out Milo Yiannopoulos - who gets called a "conservative provocateur," who says women shouldn't be allowed to drive, who thinks women should be kept out of STEM, who thinks if women don't like violent harassment online that they should just log off, and who is SPECIFICALLY AND ACTUALLY A WHITE SUPREMACIST, but who is nonetheless treated like Someone Who Should Be Heard -

Turns out? He's pro-pederasty. Yeah, he thinks fucking 13-year-olds is (excuse me: can be) fine and that this "consent" nonsense is just arbitrary and oppressive. Particularly, I guess, when it comes to 13-year-olds.

YOU THINK I'M MAKING THIS UP? VIDEO. SECOND SOURCE. THIRD SOURCE (tho' I haven't listened to that version myself, the first link is the relevant section excerpted).

Can't wait 'till next next appearance on Bill Maher and Simon & Schuster extending his book contact, can you? Are you looking forward to his CPAC keynote speech this year? I SURE AM.

He's a sadist, and all of his fans are vicious, drooling monsters, and all of this was known already, but now he's also pro-pederast, in his own words.

And if that is finally enough to get him de-platformed, do not fucking forget, for one goddamn minute - not one - that being an overt white-supremacist and overtly savage misogynist and actual literal fascist...

...wasn't enough. It took this.

[Transcription mine. Some incidental anti-black racism, misogyny, and transphobia is elided intentionally]

MILO: We get hung upon on this kind of, this child abuse stuff, to the point where we're heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults... [interrupted] [aside, joking about a picture put up in the video feed]

HOST: The whole consent thing, for me, is, it's not this black and white thing that people try to paint it.

MILO: No, it isn't.

HOST: Are there some 13-year-olds out there capable of giving informed consent to have sex with an adult? Probably. But I was also a 13 year old. I hung around with 13-year-old guys when I was, you know, 13, and there were some of them that still thought girls were fuckin' icky at 13. Like not many, but they were just coming out of that phase... the reason that these age of consent laws exist, is that we have to set some kind of barometer here...

MILO: The law is probably about right... but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age... people who are sexually active younger... I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way. And in many cases, actually, those relationships with older - and this is one of those, this is sort of stu-, this is why this is one of those reasons I hate the left, you know, I meant this sort of stupid, one size fits all policing of culture, this arbitrary - I'll be quick - this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys, you know, understandings that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and actually in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of a rock, where they can't speak to their parents - some of those relationships are the most [interrupted]

HOST: It's funny because ... you gave me a few videos to watch to brush up on my Milo-isms, and one of the things that you said in one of these clips is that transgenderism is the new frontier of, you know, rights - my wording is bad here, but - the new frontier of social progress, and the next thing in line is going to be pedophilia, and yet here you are talkin' about how, look, some of these kids who get diddled by these priests, I mean, it's a good thing for them, they're getting this love, now they are also gettin' dick...

MILO: You're misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature; pedophilia is attraction to children, to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don't have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty, who are too young to be able to understand the way their body works. That is not what we're talking about.

That's assuming even this does it. I'm not taking bets.

ETA: MY GODS, THERE'S MORE. Completely different interview. Watch Milo insist that everybody lusts after 14, 15-year-olds. Host says no, they're kids, Milo says he's lying.

This is bog standard molester logic. (Also, not incidentally, rapist logic.) Everybody does it, or would if they could, and you're lying if you say you don't want to. Bog standard.

NICE HERO YOU'VE GOT THERE, FASCISTS.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
The neofascists of 8chan loved the Trump speech, generally rating it as his second best, some his third. (4chan doesn't seem to have paid much attention and doesn't seem to care.) Fundamentally, it resonated well with his somewhat-dispirited white supremacist/authoritarian base.

Highlights for them included:
  • attacks on the press (they themselves dragged out "lugenpresse" - the Nazi-era term meaning "lying press" - again; Examples: "Pretty smart of Trump to bring out those quotes from old American Presidents about the Lügenpresse," "Is fake news the new luggenpresse?" others)
     
  • calls to restrict immigration (which they specifically interpret approvingly as ethnically based)
     
  • the Sweden reference (they consider Sweden the most "cucked" of European nations, but other than that, I don't know what this is about)
     
  • the "Syrian safe zone" reference (which in their lexicon means "White America" somehow? Something else to figure out)
     
A number have decided that when Trump says "drain the swamp" he's referring to "the International Jew," and that - as with them - "Global Elite" also means "International Jew." A few are showing relative restraint, such as this guy (yes, this is what passes for restraint):

I don't think it's a dogwhistle, but if he's educated on the terms; he may just end up being the saviour of the white race.

They're making a lot of comparisons to Trump and Hitler, but mean it as a good thing - while at the same time laughing at the press for making the same comparison. You're also seeing a bit of commentary akin to David Duke's line that comparing Trump to Hitler makes people more receptive to neofascism and neo-Nazi action.

Despite that, they don't see this as a Nuremburg Rally moment yet - just a promising lead-in - to wit, these examples:

get ready, he hasn't even come close to delivering his Nuremberg just yet. When he does, it will be glorious and we will witness it.

God damn, I don't think I could handle a real Trump Nuremburg rally. This was just Florida and I'm already preheating my oven.

tfw these rallies will get more and more authoritharian and will go full nuremberg once he declares martial law.

21st Century Nuremberg rallies? As if that were a bad thing…

Fundamentally, Mr. Trump has re-energised his neo-Nazi/anti-semetic/authoritarian base with this speech. I can't know whether that was his intent, but it was definitely the effect.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Arkansas held their vote on their proposed Federal constitutional amendment, and it's passed out of committee with a partisan recommendation to pass as a whole. Relatedly, le Pen's fascist movement in France has also added ending marriage equality to their platform.

Evan McMullin, who hoped to throw the election into the House of Representatives to prevent Mr. Trump's election, is begging the GOP to save the country. They aren't listening. At all. Remember: they're all in on this. Remember that, when this is over.

The rough outlines of an ACA replacement are starting to come into focus, and they're crap. McConnell says they want no Democratic votes, and they're certainly going to get it - I guess the strong form of the Hastert Rule is back in effect.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working towards prohibiting states from setting up their own low-income pensions, because why the hell would they pass up an opportunity to be evil dickbags, right?

And Republicans in Oregon are trying to get started there with voter suppression - it's a lot harder, with mail-in balloting, so they're going to try to force everyone to be deregistered and re-registered in two years. It's a citizen initiative. Oregonians might want to do something about that.

It's February 18, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I really don't know what to say about the Trump press conference yesterday. I was livetweeting it, and it was... certainly something. Here's Rolling Stone's article on it, and here's a transcript.

I think the most appalling moment was when he called the rise in anti-semetic hate crimes false-flag operations, created by "people on the other side, to anger people like you." That was actually in response to a follow-up question on the topic, after he refused to answer the original, clearly Jewish reporter's version. (Trump in fact told that first reporter to sit down, then insulted him and called him a liar, before moving to another question.)

Clearly in second was Mr. Trump twice promoting a conspiracy theory lie, that 20% of the United States uranium supply had been sold - traitorously - to the Russians. In previous versions of this conspiracy theory, it was allegedly Mr. Obama's fault, but now it's allegedly Ms. Clinton's fault. Of course, the entire thing is horseshit. Here is a Bureau of Land Management publication from last year addressing the lie:

https://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/newsroom/files/uranium.pdf

Perhaps the single most odd thing was his repeated insistence upon confirming the Russian contact leaks as real and yet the news about them as "fake." To quote him directly from my own transcript: "TRUMP: The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake."

He keeps confirming the leaks. You have to get past all of that in order to reach the cascade of more ordinary lies, from the boring (largest electoral college victory since Reagan, completely untrue in any framing) to the bizarrely obvious (the travel ban rollout "was perfect" until it was ruined by a judge) to the casually racist (telling a black reporter he could tell before she even stood up that this was going to be an "unfair" and "bad" question). I think the best reaction I saw to all of this lesser noise was, "This is the longest cold opening in SNL history."

Anyway.

The biggest story today is that ocean oxygen content is falling. This is an unmitigated and possibly unmitigable disaster, and is a direct result of global climate change. It goes hand-in-hand with both total warming and acidification, which is _also_ disastrously bad for the oceans. This is literally some kind of Soylent Green-level calamity could very well be how humanity ends itself.

So that's fun.

White man arrested planning racist terror in South Carolina; voter ID laws do in fact suppress legal voting, but only for poor and minority voters (which is, of course, the point); plans from the DeVos family's institute to dismantle public education and replace it with religious training; Mike Pence has been fighting for three years to prevent a particular document from becoming public, but now it's coming out via court order, that might be fun; lots more. Enjoy?

It's February 17, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
hoo boy where to start

A couple of big german media anti-immigrant stories have been retracted by their publisher, and there's discussion of whether criminal charges should be pressed.

The hearing on a constitutional convention call to stop LGBT marriage was moved to today, the 16th. We'll see if it happens.

Looks like European intelligence agencies have data on the Trump campaign's contacts with the Russians, too. That's fun.

Various Republicans are attacking various intelligence agencies over the reports. Also fun.

Mr. Trump is holding a rally in Florida this weekend. Mr. Spicer referred to it as a "campaign" event, and Mr. Trump has filed, so I guess the 2020 election is ALREADY ON.

Lots more, but it's midnight and I'm off to bed. Good luck.

It's February 16, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
4chan is depressed; 8chan is freaking out, hoping for a Trump-led coup d'etat, and going into civil war/full-anti-semitism/nazi mode. (Interestingly, they're both still on the fake pizza pedophiles conspiracy theory.) There are a lot of people starting to celebrate; don't even think about that yet. Even if Trump were forced out - which I do not think is about to happen, his white male approval rate is still at like 60% - we'd just be looking at President Pence, who isn't nearly as inflammatory or disturbing, but is about as bad.

The California disaster declarations requested on the 10th and on the 13th were finally confirmed, so that, at least, is actually normal. But everything else is on fire. And Canada is still seeing refugees coming north from the States, particularly in Quebec.

The relatively-lower-key effort is one starting in Arkansas to use the other way of getting amendments to the US Constitution - one coming directly from the states. This hasn't ever been done but is clearly defined, Constitutionally. The effort, of course, is to eliminate marriage rights for LGBT people.

Adventures. Lots of adventures.

It's February 15, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I held this one until after noon Eastern time because I wanted to give the Trump administration the morning to respond to California's second disaster request. No response I can find as of yet.

Also, Flynn resigned, but you know that, so I've not bothered including the story. What's more interesting is Item 13, and the possibility that Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates was fired less over the refusal to defend Mr. Trump's illegal EO, and more over her warnings about Mr. Flynn.

It's February 14, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (Lecturing)
There's a lot of speculation going around that the Trump administration is ignoring California's request for disaster declaration. There has been a fake news report that it was explicitly denied; that's not true, as far as I can tell. (The only source for the version going around is a fake news site identifying itself as the Sacramento Dispatch; said newspaper does not exist, the domain was registered on January 17th, it's fake, do not quote.)

However, California did request declaration on the 10th, as can be seen here, on real news sites:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article132113664.html
http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/northstate/gov-brown-requests-presidential-major-disaster-declaration/326144202

And there has as yet been no response. By contrast, Louisiana also requested declaration on the 10th, due to tornadoes, as can be seen here:

http://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/02/gov_edwards_requests_new_orlea.html

And that was approved by Mr. Trump on the 11th, as can be seen here:

http://wgno.com/2017/02/11/president-trump-approves-louisiana-tornado-disaster-request/

Rank-and-file in the GOP have been agitating against - and in Congress, actively voting against - disaster relief for Democratic controlled states for some time, such as Hurricane Sandy in New York, while voting for disaster relief in their own states. So there is an open question: is this now executive policy as well?

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