Apr. 4th, 2017

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Maybe it would save time if we just tried to figure out who in the Trump administration is not working for Russia.

The big story was Carter Page, of course. "Trump campaign advisor Carter Page targeted by Russian spies," "Trump campaign adviser Carter Page met with Russian spy in 2013," and the core story, "A Former Trump Adviser Met With A Russian Spy." Buzzfeed is the one who found it and got a confirmation before the White House changed all answers to no comment. So it's pretty solid, and apparently, enough that you're seeing articles about how "Trump recycles campaign fodder to distract from Russia." I'm sure you saw the Clinton memes yesterday.

"Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel." This one's been denied - not the meeting, which happened, but what it was about. "Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel" - maybe so, but keep in mind: not illegal. Or, as far as anyone's been able to tell, even considered inappropriate. See also the "Dwindling Odds of Coincidence" on this whole thing.

On the other hand, not all Russians are created equal - Yahoo News reports that the "White House pulled out of meet and greet with ‘conservatives’ favorite Russian’ over suspected mob ties." Pressure must be building if they're telling the Russian mob to cheese it.

"EXCLUSIVE: Controversial Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka Backed Violent Anti-Semitic Militia" has video footage of Gorka doing exactly that. It doesn't confirm he's a member (as seems pretty fucking likely at this point) but best buds? ABSOLUTELY.

The Los Angeles Times continues its four-part condemnation of the Trump administration with Part II: "Why Trump Lies." Meanwhile, "Trump allies in short supply as DC finds out trusting him is ‘like putting your faith in a human IED’."

Turkey continues to be interesting, as per "Messy web of ties, some to Trump, in Turkish mogul's case."

In corruption news, we have this little bonbon - that whole "trust" sham got even shammier - shamwowier - with quiet changes made a little while ago. Now "Trump Can Pull Money From His Businesses Whenever He Wants — Without Ever Telling Us."

Supreme Court! "Democrats secure enough votes to block Gorsuch, setting stage for ‘nuclear option'" - some of us would say the nuke was last year, when the GOP not only refused to even give Merrick Garland a hearing, but had several members pledging never to hear any Hillary Clinton nominee, ever. And that this fight is just fallout. Which is what makes "Graham: Dem Filibuster Of Gorsuch Would Mark 'End Of Bipartisanship On Judges'" so very, very contemptible. Even if you take the GOP's definition of bipartisan - they make demands, Democrats concede these demands - it's still grotesque. Also, as per the Boston Globe: "Judge Gorsuch is more dangerous than he appears."

In environmental destruction, I'm proud to note that Washington State "AG Ferguson to Trump: Drag feet on energy efficiency, we'll drag you to court." We're getting ready to sue, so are several other states, but here we are right out in front. "The left and right agree: Fox News destroyed EPA chief Scott Pruitt over climate change" is kind of clickbaity but does demonstrate a deep incompetence. "Trump’s talking points on clean air and energy are stale and Orwellian" and "5 Great News Stories That Prove Trump's Bet on Coal is Wrong" don't have the most depth, but may be of interest. And, of course, "Trump Budget Cuts “Critical” NASA Climate Missions," since at this point pretty much all so-called conservative movements are about stopping scientific discovery at any cost.

And women, of course. "Trump Pulls Back Obama-Era Protections For Women Workers" lets systemic violators of sex discrimination laws back onto the Federal contract teat. And "Donald Trump Defunds Global Maternal Health Organization" on specious grounds. Like, just lying. Go fig.

"Sessions orders Justice Department to review all police reform agreements" is presumed to be a prelude to 'Sessions throws out police form agreements,' as we all expect.

A few miscellaneous stories: "Report: GOP split over border adjustment tax," "Connecticut bill would make weaponized drones legal for cops," and "Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed." The latter two would be big stories any other year. Particularly the drones bill. But there y'are. The Connecticut police at least need to make their drone announce "JUSTICE REIGNS FROM ABOVE" before it drops its package bomb.

Finally, "Arab News discontinues Andrew Bowen’s column" just... you need to read it. Trust me.

Good luck out there.

It's April 4, 2017; this is the news )

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