May. 10th, 2017

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
This is the second news post today. The lowkey item to pay attention to here, probably, is the departure of the Census head. Harper screwed with the census too; I'm presuming the Trumpists will do so as well, to aid in their extensive voter-suppression and gerrymandering efforts. (U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count, Departure of U.S. census director threatens 2020 count).

In pre-Comey Russian news, "Where are they now? The Russian bots that disrupted the 2016 election" follows the Russian botnets in the first few months of this year. And "6 Takeaways From Monday’s Senate Hearing on Russia" isn't that great, but leads well into a whole series of stories about the attempt to intimidate Sally Yeats. (That's a felony, by the way.) To wit, "And now, 6hrs before #SallyYates testifies against him & his cronies I'm pretty sure this constitutes as a POTUS intimidating a witness," and "‘The president is threatening a witness’: CNN analyst slams Trump’s ‘disturbing’ Sally Yates tweets" cover that. They also had "Per @axios, WH plans to smear Sally Yates tomorrow as a "Democratic operative." She was a nonpolitical, career DOJ attorney for two decades" queued up.

But her testimony was damning nonetheless. "Spicer: White House Didn't Act on Sally Yates' Warning Because She's a "Political Opponent"." "Trump Is So Freaked Out By Sally Yates He Changed His Goddamn Twitter Profile" and "Yates: Alarm about Russian blackmail led to warning on Flynn" are also important

Sessions's justice department is moving against Cascadian groups protecting immigrant rights, sending cease-and-deists to them. They're fighting back. ("Group sues to continue giving immigrants legal help"). We also have a first-person report from Desiree Fairooz, the woman arrested for laughing at Jeff Sessions. ("I'm facing jail time after laughing at Jeff Sessions. I regret nothing.") Sessions is also trying to revive discredited (and overtly racist) Supreme Court decisions of the past. (The racist, discredited argument Trump’s DOJ just made in a federal court). Also, Sessions continues the tradition of trying to get Julian Assange in jail, with "The government wants Julian Assange in jail. That could hurt the rest of us." Yes, he's a Russian tool, but he's not a US citizen and he's not acting on US soil, and publishing data - even curated with political intent - isn't criminal.

Have a little cultural warfare, scarecrow: "Texas Bill Could Let Agencies Bar LGBT, Atheist, Single Parents From Adopting" (another 'religious liberty' bill), "Tennessee 'Natural Meaning' Law Raises Fears in LGBT Community" (an attempt to weasel in general inefficiencies targeting LGBT couples trying to use their rights under the law), and "Alabama Governor Signs Law Allowing Adoption Agencies to Discriminate Against Gay Couples" (more 'religious liberty' horseshit).

Suppression of Science: "Interior Dept. freezes work of advisory boards." Reportedly some haven't met in years, and those are fine, but this a broad brush. And given everything else we've seen, it'd be stupid not to assume the worst.

"White House advisors called Ottawa to urge Trudeau to help talk Trump down from scrapping NAFTA." YES, REALLY. THAT IS THE STORY FROM A REAL CANADIAN NEWSPAPER. Christ.

Other Racism: "99% of students handcuffed by NYPD in public schools were black or Hispanic: report."

Other Fascism: "The Healthcare Bill Exposes Trump's Chilling Authoritarian Agenda."

Other "alt-facts," a.k.a. lies, discredited in "Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions."

A bit of opinion: "Yes, House Republicans, the heartless health-care vote will define you," and "Washington Loves General McMaster, But Trump Doesn't."

As always - good luck out there.

It's May 10th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (Default)
I've been collecting material for a news post, but you need to know that House Speaker Paul Ryan has already rejected calls for an independent investigation. In a time of great threat to constitution, country, and even representative government itself, it is good to see the worms declaring their allegiance.

Every Republican needs to know: act, or you're implicated too. Every Democrat needs to know a special prosecutor is the minimum immediate necessity, and impeachment is the agenda.

Here is a phone script to call for a special prosecutor. Do it TODAY. Get OTHER PEOPLE to do it today.

Go.
solarbird: (Default)
Lena watched the hacker's fingers fly across the console next to her bed. Cables ran to the device strapped around her torso, and the world around her occasionally rezzed out, blue and red in surges. She wasn't growing used to it.

"So," she asked, "What's your name, anyway? I still don't know."

A particularly strong bit of blueshift, and she let out an involuntary gasp of fear.

"That... wasn't funny."

The hacker replied, "I'm not trying to be funny, don't bother me while I'm doing math in my head. Bad things could happen, you know?" as her eyes darted between six screens.

Finally, the world settled back down; ░░░░░░ scowled at the monitors, and disconnected the hard links to Tracer's chronal accelerator. "I don't like to say it, but I'm sure now. We're going to have to build another."

Lena laughed nervously, looking at the device holding her in sync with time. It never had looked entirely finished. "You mean, this one's really not quite right, then?"

The hacker looked down at the floor, to the left, to a scorch mark left from another calibration attempt - one Oxton didn't remember, and one ░░░░░░ was in no mood to tell her about. "This one, you see..." She looked back to the pilot. "You were never supposed to have it. Nobody really was. It was a test device. You were supposed to have the one Winston built, he built it for you. I built this to learn how Winston's worked, and, hey, I'm glad we had it when we needed it, but... it's not my best work."

Tracer shifted in place. "You mean it's unstable."

░░░░░░ winced a little. "Unstable is a very unpleasant way of saying it. It's not getting any worse!" At least, not quickly, she added, to herself. "It just will not get any better, and I can't fix it. I'll have to build a new one. It'll be better, I swear - but you will have to trust us maybe a liiiittle bit more."

"Then let's get started already. Build it and slap it on me, what's the holdup?" the pilot nervously joked.

"It'll have to be part of your body."

"...oh." She blinked, and thought about what that meant. "So there's really no... putting the old me back together, then."

"No. But if it means anything, I think Winston knew that, too. His acelerator was supposed to be implanted. I've learned a lot in the last couple of weeks, and now that I really understand it, it's kind of obvious. You would've had a glowing ring in your chest, like that superhero of the old movies" - she gestured at her chest, making a circle - "What was he called?"

"Dunno - never cared much for superheroes, honestly. Not unless they had airplanes. Or spaceships."

"Eh, it doesn't matter. I'm all over it. I already have a design worked out, it'll be verrrry elegant. A lot more controllable." And all but unhackable, she thought to herself. Amélie insisted. The "on pain of death" part went unstated, but understood.

Tracer huffed. "Already worked it all out amongst yourselves, then. Could've told me."

"I think I just did."

"I think if you're going to be building something that's gonna be part of my body, I have a right to know who you are."

░░░░░░ gave the pilot a long, hard look, and thought about it for a moment. Always the truth, she said. Fine. "My name doesn't matter, because after I'm done here, this girl be disappearing forever anyway."

"What?" said Tracer, blinking. "Why?"

"Because, you see, I've been noticed, by the wrong people. In my line of work... that's always, always a fatal error."

Shocked, Lena could only get out, "...I'm so sorry."

"What? No, no, no, don't be so melodramatic! I'm not going to let myself be killed, I'm far too smart for that. I'll still be out there, just, not like me, now. Improved. This version of me needs an upgrade anyway." The hacker reached out her hand as holographics appeared in the air, and the room went dark save for her own screens, casting a shadow in purple against the wall.

She leaned forward, and quietly said, with broad grin, "En el nuevo año, busque una nueva Sombra."

"Oooh, scary! Like a bit of drama, then?"

"If you think that's dramatic, you're going to love my new hair." She brought the lights back up, and folded away the PADDs.

Lena chuckled. "At least you can do something with yours. Mine just grows like this." She ran her hand through her hair. "Can't do a thing with it. Not that anything fancy would survive a flight helmet anyway."

"Huh," said the hacker. "You've tried letting it grow, of course?"

Tracer nodded. "Yeh, when I was a kid. I looked like Goku, from Dragonball."

"I'm so sorry."

"I'm so bored. You look finished, can I go back to the gym yet? I need to stretch. I get all stiff if I sit around too long."

"Sure, I'm finished here." She hoisted a small bag of gear over her shoulder. "But you need to decide."

"Decide about what?" asked the pilot.

"...the new chronal accelerator? The embedded one? We just talked about it?"

"Oh. I already did. I wasn't joking, really. I mean..." - Lena jumped off the bed, and blueblurred almost into the floor, until the accelerator stabilised again. "...what choice have I got?"

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