solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I wasn't going to do a news post this evening, but this is too important:

"AP Exclusive: Manafort firm received Ukraine ledger payout." This is a smoking gun. "Here are 10 things about the explosive Washington Post story on Carter Page that only lawyers and #Russiagate analysts would catch." And Trump's response? "As FBI probe continues, Trump says it’s ‘not too late’ to fire Comey."

Comey is not a political appointee. Trump's threatening to fire him. Keep that in mind.

"CNN Exclusive: Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say." This particular vector is turning into "everyone vs. Trump," even the Republicans. Blood in the water?

"Trump Says He Offered China Better Trade Terms in Exchange for Help on North Korea" isn't so interesting for the headline or the offer but the _amazing_ degree of unpreparedness and ignorance he walked into that meeting carrying. Seriously, it's _blinding_.

"Sadly, Sean Spicer's Hitler comments serve as a useful distraction for Trump." I don't agree with that, I think it's very important in and of itself in highlighting the white supremacy and holocaust denialism, and that is _not_ a distraction. But still, here it is, along with "Team Bannon ‘Laying Low,’ After Being ‘Blindsided’ by Trump" - Bannon, meet bus? One can only hope.

It's Only Sharia If Brown People Do It: "Alabama senate votes to allow church to form own police force." No, really. 24-4 vote. In other culture war news, "Fake “Radical Feminist” group actually paid political front for anti-LGBT James Dobson organization." The fundamentalist right isn't just propping up TERF groups; it's making fake ones of their own. This is actually pretty traditional for them, but it's good seeing the money trail.

"Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy," because invalid data, bad science, and fake forensics are good as long as it lets you throw more people - particularly people of colour - into jail. It's grotesque.

More attempts at ACA sabotage: "Trump Threatens to Withhold Payments to Insurers to Press Democrats on Health Bill." This would be a straight-up refusal to issue payments due under the law. Fun times.

"Report: Body of country's first female Muslim judge found in Hudson River" does NOT, I must stress NOT, show signs of foul play at press time. But keep an eye on this.

Also on the 11th, "United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler." Like the doctor dragged off the plane, this guy, too, had a boarding pass and was seated.

Finally, in COMPLY OR GET THE BEATDOWN, "How the Government Is Turning Protesters Into Felons."

Now I'm going to go to Norwescon and try to act like things are normal for a few days. It won't work, but I can try.

Good luck out there.

It's April 13, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Good morning! This is late because we had no internet again. At least this time, we were told. (More fallout from the previous problem, apparently? It's all at the ISP level.)

Anyway. "Rex Tillerson says Russia needs to come clean on election meddling. Does his boss agree?" follows up on somewhat cryptic comments a day before. "FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page" is finally a bit of data on that set of data. But the big story is, "Kushner Omitted Meeting With Russians on Security Clearance Forms." He left out a _lot_ of meetings with foreign officials, only one of which is known to be a Russian contact.

"U.S. Official: Russia knew Syrian chemical attack was coming," because apparently we're still getting different stories on this. "On Trump’s Syria Strategy, One Voice Is Missing: Trump’s." And finally, "Russia Opens New Front in U.S. Rivalry With Taliban Support." This last story has a degree of haziness to it - as do many things at the moment.

Sessions is really showing off his vicious xenophobic motherfucker stripes; this is nasty language. "Sessions signals immigration crackdown: 'This is the Trump era'," gives you some idea of the attitude, but only the start. The Times really soft-pedals it in the headline, "Undocumented Immigrants Who Commit Crimes Face Tougher Policy," and similarly, "During border visit, Sessions outlines immigration plan."

"Sean Spicer Draws Backlash by Comparing Hitler With Assad" - saying that Hitler never used gas in warfare. Seven million victims would _fucking well disagree_. "Social media users question Spicer calling concentration camps 'Holocaust centers'" documents this reaction to the Trump administration's low-key holocaust denial. Nasty, horrible stuff.

"Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are the problem — a staff shake-up won't fix anything" Well, unless the "staff shake-up" involves removing the whole lot of them. " But we're seeing open intra-Republican warfare in Congress now: "Republicans are coming after Paul Ryan: He needs a “change in direction”" and "Amash: We need 'change in direction from this speaker' or a new speaker."

"Trump's proposal to eliminate the Social Security payroll tax may be his worst idea yet" speaks for itself.

Finally, "Neo-fascist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says France was not complicit in rounding up Jews" (a straight-up partial-holocaust-denial lie) and "Indonesia: gay men facing 100 lashes for having sex" is about a semi-autonomous region in Indonesia. The national government could take action against this but hasn't yet.

Good luck out there.

There most likely won't be a post tomorrow or the next few days due to Norwescon.

It's April 12, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
"Horrifying News out of Chechnya: 'World's First Concentration Camp for Homosexuals Since Hitler's in the 1930s'. Multiple translations of the original article (which was in Russian) are translating their term as 'concentration camps,' not just ones going through the Daily Fail. Fortunately, "Chechnya has opened concentration camps for gay men" doesn't involve the Fail story - but I'm running with both.

UN Ambassador "Haley on Russia and Iran: 'I don't think anything is off the table'" seems to be contradicting earlier Trump administration statements, but I guess since the entire team - what there is of it - consists of clusterfuck after clusterfuck, we shouldn't be surprised. "Trump aide drew plan on napkin to partition Libya into three" - that would-be imperial realignment mastermind would in fact be neo-fascist Gorka. We also have "U.S. Threatens More Pressure on Syria After Missile Strikes," "Trump’s foreign policy is dangerously impulsive," and the most important statement, "The Scariest Part About the Syria Attacks Is What Donald Trump Will Learn from Them."

Though no, that's wrong, the most important thing is that this missile attack started media normalisation of the Trump administration, and that can't be allowed to happen. Journalists need to be reminded that this is still not a normal administration and to stop treating it like one, because they're trying to reset to that mode now that they've seen something familiar: bombing runs.

But we also need not to start digging into conspiracy bullshit. "MSNBC host’s conspiracy theory: What if Putin planned the Syrian chemical attack to help Trump?" NO EVIDENCE. Until such evidence exists, DO NOT DO THIS. DO NOT PROMOTE THIS. (The MSNBC version, not the article calling it out.) We can't let the shitty mainstream media suddenly make "Fake News" into an actual thing across the board in the same way that the right has made all the weird conspiracy theories of the 90s become real! It's the only thing we have.

I haven't seen anything on the Russia-Trump election meddling except for this weird little story: "Tillerson: Election Meddling Something 'Russia Needs To Confront Themselves'." Um, how about an independent investigation confronting it? That'd be good.

In corrosion of civil rights news, we have "After violently dragging a passenger from overbooked flight, United Airlines apologizes to everyone else," and "My phone was searched at LAX, which apparently is the new normal." I imagine you've seen the violent assault on the passenger. The LAX story is targeting a US citizen at a US airport and threatening her with more abuse to come.

Finally, "Big Pharma Funds “Independent” Advocacy Groups Attacking Drug-Price Reduction Bill." It's more ordinary corporatism, but I thought I'd bring it in.

Good luck out there.

It's April 11, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Norwescon is this week, and I'm pinched for time. I won't be doing these over Norwescon (barring something dramatic, like at Conflikt), so expect a few missing days later this week and over the weekend. I will not be attempting to catch up, but will skip over those days.

Media fawning is a theme today, and one of the items we really, really have to be fighting against. "STUDY: Gorsuch Supporters Vastly Outnumbered Opponents On Fox News And CNN" - their guests were weighted almost as if they were selling Gorsuch. The thing we didn't get to talk about was this story, "Gorsuch's writings borrow from other authors" - the Republicans refused to extend debate to consider it. And a non-Gorsuch story shows yet another telling side of the picture: "Here's How Frequently Women Supreme Court Justices Are Interrupted by Men." (Spoiler: overwhelmingly more than by men, and also, attorneys feel free to do it too, which is explicitly in violation of court rules, but don't get called on it. And they don't really do it to male justices.)

The Trump-Russia connection is being shuffled off to the side, and that's a direct result of the media's love for bombings and war. Here are a few stories, but two are from before the Syria attack: "Briefing: Trump, Russia, Rice – and now Nunes," "To Charm Trump, Paul Manafort Sold Himself as an Affordable Outsider" (which soft-sells Manafort, for that matter), and "The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin," which is frankly kind of bizarre in tone. But there it is.

Civil rights and immigration: "U.S. Man Is Suing After ICE Holds Him in Jail for 3 Weeks While Trying to Deport Him." The lawsuit is what got him released, not any actual due process. "Trump's Border Wall Designs Are Public," and some of them are quite Stalinesque. I've got a picture of the start of the Berlin Wall queued up waiting for construction to begin. "How Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs" is exactly what it says on the headline - Trump's administration will, if they can, go back to a mass, African-American targeted bootstomping approach to "justice," including all the oppressions of the drug war. And the ACLU ays, "Local Police Should Just Say No to Federal Agreements That Make Their Officers Part of Trump’s Deportation Force." True.

Trumpology: "Trump to Bannon and Kushner: Work this out." This is mostly just Kremlin-watching for a new era.

A couple of relevant market stories: "No ‘Death Spiral’: Insurers May Soon Profit From Obamacare Plans, Analysis Finds" and "America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever." The ACA won't collapse on its own, looks like; it'll take some shoves.

Also, everybody quotes that big and legitimately important 2010 study about facts introduced in arguments backfiring - but there's another large 2016 study that says, "Fact-checking doesn’t ‘backfire,’ new study suggests." Or more accurately, it can, but doesn't have to, and may only in certain circumstances. That doesn't mean RATIONALITY WILL OUT, but it does make the picture less grim.

North Korea: "North Korea missiles: US warships deployed to Korean peninsula," and "Trump must consult Seoul over any actions on N. Korea" says the Korea Times. I wonder if what Trump really wants Bannon and Kushner to 'work out' is whether they're going to war against North Korea or Syria. That's because, like fucking clockwork, "The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria." Of course it did. David Frum writes about the "Seven Lessons From Trump's Syria Strike," one of which is that all those empty seats in the Executive branch make it frankly impossible for the Trump administration to have done any part of this legally - groups that were required to at least look at the situation don't even exist at the moment, because they're all empty chairs.

The media reaction truly was disgusting, though. "Jeremy Scahill Slams Fareed Zakaria on CNN: If He Could Have Sex With That Missile Strike, He Would" sums it up. But there are a few glimmers of self-awareness, like here, in WaPo: "The media loved Trump’s show of military might. Are we really doing this again?"

Sadly, they'll probably keep doing it until they can't.

It's April 10, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
"Alt-Right Goes 'Apoplectic' Over Trump’s Decision to Bomb Syria" It's true. I "Can personally verify that this is being pushed on fascist political boards," and did so in a Twitter thread talking about the various 4pol and 8pol meltdowns over the Syrian bombing. It's true, they're reeling, it's wonderful.

Meanwhile, Voice of America - you know, official US government news - is saying, "Airstrike carried out so it wouldn’t hurt Russia’s long-term plans in Syria: US military official." And "Trump Admits: White House Looked the Other Way During Assad’s Gas Attacks." It's like they're jumping up and down saying, "Yeah, we didn't mean it, we're just taking control of the news cycle." And now "Russia condemns U.S. missile strike on Syria, suspends key air agreement" and "Russia to help Syria beef up air defenses." Now they've got an excuse. (A few more details on that in "US air strikes in Syria: Russia suspends agreement preventing direct conflict with American forces.")

The Atlantic thinks "The Fight Against the Islamic State Just Got Harder," but still spends a lot of time calling it a good idea, because WOW YAY MISSLES. See also, "After the Airstrikes on Syria, What’s Next?" in The New York Times. Almost all of the media falls into line as soon WAR WAR WAR comes out and that's still true, and something we have to fight - somehow - if we want to get anywhere. And that was the point, after all - "U.S. defense official calls U.S. strike on Syria a 'one-off'" just shows that none of this was meant to do anything more. It's depressing when it's Rand Paul being the one going no, no, no - "Rand Paul: Trump needs Congress to authorize military action in Syria." At least Barbara Lee and Ted Lieu both jumped in similarly; "Ted Lieu: Trump Can't 'Launch Missiles Because He Sees Images That Offend Him'."

And later in the day, The Atlantic contradicted itself, with "Trump's Syria Strike Was Unconstitutional and Unwise."

Now, getting past Syria:

"Trump’s Options for North Korea Include Placing Nukes in South Korea." Oh good, that will go well.

"Ethics panel opens investigation into Nunes" is one of the smallish numbers of stories on the ongoing Trump-Russia scandal. Now that he's down, leaving Schiff, the GOP is going after Schiff - anything, really, to keep it from doing its job. ("Former House intel chair: 'Schiff should consider recusing himself'.")

As was inevitable, "Neil Gorsuch Confirmed by Senate as Supreme Court Justice." The seat is stolen; the quest to make them pay for stealing it must not be. The Hill called it, "McConnell’s shining moment." Politico writes about "Why Republicans May Regret The Nuclear Option." Daniel Burbank at The Washington Post is far pointier: "Mitch McConnell, the man who broke America."

"Steve Bannon Isn’t a Genius." No. Being free of any hint of ethical or moral restraint - willing to do anything - doesn't make you smart, even if it does make you effective, at least to a point. See also suicide bombers. Jeff Sessions continues going after civil rights, saying "Sessions: Police reform deal may make Baltimore 'less safe'." Much better to give violent racism a free hand, clearly. "How The Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Is Infiltrating Public Schools" is important Cultural War data, as is "One Third of Americans Uncomfortable with LGBTQ Colleagues, Study Shows." We've made progress, but this is far from over.

Finally, in building-walls-where-they-can-be-built news, we have "Trump Border Plan Calls for More Phone Searches, Includes Close Allies." No wonder tourism is declining so rapidly.

Sorry for the late.

It's April 8, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I'll put up a news post tomorrow. But I wanted to mention that 4pol and 8pol are in total disarray right now over this Trump-Syria-Putin thing and it is hilarious. Also they are force-trending an anti-Kushner hashtag because they've decided there's an internal war between him and Bannon and they need to keep /theirguy/ and kick out the [obscene word for Jewish person here]. I talked about it a little on Twitter earlier; read the whole thread.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
The Onion is disturbingly on point today:


This strike accomplished nothing else, certainly. The Russians were told, which means the Syrians were told, and bunkered their planes and moved their military people. Reuters reports it's "a one-off," which is consistent to similar distraction attacks in the past.

And, of course, the clown commentariat class is all spooging themselves over SHINY BOMBS. Here's video of CNN and MSNBC praising the military and these strikes without knowing anything at all about them, just like always. <genji>So predictable.</genji>

Here's a Twitter thread that will step through the pieces. Do not fall for it. Do not let others fall for it.

Fight.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Yes, Trump has shown now that he knows he can completely disrupt the news cycle - and take everyone's eyes off whatever they were looking at - by bombing someone.

While I will be covering that, I will not let this particular mission succeed. Let's start with Gorsuch.

"Gorsuch heads for confirmation as Senate tears up own rules" and "Gorsuch heads for confirmation as Senate tears up own rules" are two versions of the same story. McConnell was blaming the Democrats for "unprecedented" behaviour towards judges today and I just wanted to punch is smarmy little prune-pit face through the monitor. What a fucking bastard. The ability to spew that kind of unmitigated bullshit - how does anyone not just want to hit him?

"House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia probe," while continuing to insist that everybody is lying about him and it's all baseless. I'm sure they're all hoping this goes away for a while as Trump bombs Syria; I was wondering whether you'd get the North Korean war or the Middle East war first, and I guess now we know.

You're already getting calls to "rally around" Donald Trump. FUCK. THAT. If you do that I don't even know what you're doing reading this. I'm sure though that the "CIVIL WAR" (Wherein "Steve Bannon Calls Jared Kushner a ‘Cuck’ and ‘Globalist’ Behind His Back") will be quelled at least a little, even if "Inside the White House, paranoia and unrest among top staff" continue to be a fair degree of the norm. All of the focus on it will vanish, though - unless we keep it up. See also: "Donald Trump Just Started a War He Cannot Win," which is not about Syria, but about GOP infighting - particularly between the neofascists and the Liberty Caucus.

"Top Democrats Are Wrong: Trump Supporters Were More Motivated by Racism Than Economic Issues" is why nothing has budged Trumpist and Republican support. It'd be even more interesting if they queried about misogyny. But nobody wants to talk about that, do they?

"Trump: We've had 'one of the most successful 13 weeks' in history" - today marks the 11th week - and again the jokes write themselves.

No one would be surprised by "Cutting Off 'Fly-Over' States, Trump to Axe Amtrak for 220 Cities." Also high speed rail projects in California are defunded. And I don't know what, specifically, is at the root of Trump's obsession with coal, but "Bureau of Land Management Changes Website Homepage to Coal Bed Photo" kind of sums it up, doesn't it? At least it wasn't the EPA.

Economically, regarding the summit, we had this article beforehand: "Why Trump wants the U.S. to act more like China." Just another reminder: the GOP never believed in any of its supposed principles. None of them. Not a one.

So, finally, let's get to Syria.

The racist and misogynist pro-rape Mike Cernovich: "#SyriaGasAttack was sponsored by deep state" - the conspiracy network is on it. But it started in Russia, then moved into white supremacist circles. Russian Troll Army? Perhaps. They knew the US was going to bomb.

The bombing, of course, was definitely not their idea. One of the few things that gets both parties all excited is bombing a bunch of people, and earlier yesterday, "Hillary Clinton: US should 'take out' Assad's air fields" set the tone. And several hours later, "U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base After Chemical Weapons Attack." The usual cheerleading and calls to "rally behind President Trump" are flying, and again: FUCK THAT AND FUCK ANYONE WHO SAYS IT. You can see the Now He's Presidential rehabilitation going even in the CBC's "Missile attack on Syria a 'win-win' for Trump, say some analysts" and "McCain, Graham applaud Syrian airstrikes," but no - he's still the same dickbag he was yesterday.

I'm not sure how much the New York Times knows about "What We Know and Don’t Know About the Missile Attack on Syria," because some of their "things we know" have been directly contradicted elsewhere. I imagine that it'll be updated, however. We do know that Putin - unsurprisingly - is unamused ("U.S. missile strikes at Syria base 'in violation of international law': Putin")
but that's part of the point of doing this, so how much of that is real and how much is show? No idea. ABC news the Syrians may've been ready for this, in "Eyewitness says Syrian military anticipated U.S. raid."

Finally, let's close on fascism in the workplace: "Having a job in America means being subjected to continuous, intimate surveillance." And that isn't going to change any time soon. The four-year war won't begin to be enough for that, because I don't believe for a second that the Democrats would make meaningful fights against it. Quoting from the article, the attitude is basically, ""If you didn't want your employer to know about sensitive, private information, you shouldn't have a sensitive, private life, mumble mumble mumble" (recent corollary: "if you don't want to be in the FBI's giant, illegal face-recognition database, just don't have a face")."

Things just got really nasty. The two-year and four-year wars are now well underway. Good hunting.

It's April 7, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
As per my post on this made earlier, the new Russian Federation-compliant Livejournal Terms of Service are unacceptable; my existence is not obscene and it is not propaganda and I do not agree and I will not mark my journal "Adult."

I have disabled automatic payments and the Livejournal echos of my blog will degrade to 'free' status when the current paid status expires in several months. I have locked down comments as completely as I can without deleting/hiding all previous comments made in the past; even if it still lets you try, please do not comment on Livejournal. (You can use your Livejournal account to comment on Dreamwidth, however.) I have also disabled participation in ratings, which is too bad since I was a top 250 journal at this point - though that is far more about being a small pond than being a big fish. I have removed all references to following me on LJ on band-related sites, and so on.

And as you can probably tell, I have clicked "accept" on the TOS to be able to post this message and resume crossposting from the band blog and Dreamwidth. Most of my posts will violate TOS. That is intentional. If LJ management wants to take action based on that, so be it; assume my livejournal could vanish at any time.

I am on Dreamwidth at solarbird.dreamwidth.org and you are encouraged to follow me there.

Which is a damn shame, even if I've been expecting it since the sale to SUP. I was reading LJ when Brad was still running it out of his dorm room. But, well, all good things.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Wednesday didn't theme well, but I'm doing the best I can. The big news will be the Supreme Court - by the time you see this today, the rules may've been changed in response to the filibuster which currently has 44 or 46 Democrats. Stick. To. The. Guns.

Two conflicting stories, following up on Bannon's removal from the NSC: "Bannon's removal from National Security Council doesn't indicate any erosion of his influence in White House," and "Trump Removes Stephen Bannon From National Security Council Post." The second says quite explicitly that the President Bannon thing really gets on Trump's nerves, so keep that up.

Fascism: "Who Is Mike Cernovich? A Guide." They leave out that he thinks his semen is magical. NO REALLY HE DOES. This is the kind of mystical misogynist muttonhead the Trump administration promotes. "California’s Senate Just Approved a Bill to Protect Its Residents From Trump’s Deportation Forces" - well, a bit, anyway. It'll help. "UN human rights chief says Trump torture talk unsettling" - not just to you, bro. Finally, "Mary Colbert: God Will Curse Trump’s Opponents And Their Children And Grandchildren." Arguing that Trump is literally The Chosen One, in those words. In those exact words. Chosen By God.

Nepotism and Trump family corruption:
"Eric Trump Offers Surprisingly Candid Thoughts On Nepotism." But it's okay, because he deserves it and he's good at things he does, says he. Glad that's cleared up. "Jared Kushner Hires Horror-Film Publicist to Run PR for His New White House Office" isn't so much nepotism, but c'mon, the jokes write themselves.

Russia, or, more correctly, the global fascist movement: From 2009: "Erik Prince and the last crusade." I remember this story and talked about it when it came out. Why bring it up again? Because Erik Prince, remember, is Betsy DeVos's brother, an unofficial Trump advisor, and Blackwater (Xe, etc) founder, the one who went to Seychelles, reportedly to establish a backchannel Trump-Putin connection. "Survivor of shooting at UW Milo event speaks out" is worth reading just to have the update.

Incompetence that matters, and the march to war: "The Silence of Rex Tillerson," "Trump’s Team Has No Idea What It’s Doing On China," "Pence on Syria, Assad: 'All options are on the table'," and in a tiny bit of almost-pushback, "marcorubio: Not "coincidental" Syria chemical attack followed Sec. of State Tillerson saying U.S. is not prioritizing removing Assad." Trump is one big war away from pushing everything else to the side, he cannot be allowed to start it. But he sure as hell wants to.

Social effects: "Inside the Trump Effect: How One District Is Fighting Hate at School" is about how schools are dealing with overt racist and misogynist bullying. "CNN Had a Problem. Donald Trump Solved It." (That problem was identity.)

Important environmental impacts: "The Senate Should Grill Trump's FDA Pick on Antibiotics." The effort to save antibiotics cannot be understated, but so far, none of that matters to anyone in President Bannon's administration, least of all little Trump. "Trump’s EPA moves to dismantle programs that protect kids from lead paint," just because they're that kind of total fuckers.

The sexual harassment cases are getting lots of press; these aren't, as much. "Third Black Employee Sues Fox News for Racial Discrimination."

Dispatches from the four-year war: "Republican Ad Tries To Tar Democratic Congressional Candidate With Osama Bin Laden," "A Montana Special Election Nobody Is Following Could Deal A Huge Blow To Trump." The DNCC is throwing no money to the Montana election, and that's a mistake - they make so very many.

Finally, "Uber Had Male Managers Pretend to Be Women to Get Drivers to Work More" (no, really), and "Trump White House Sells New Health Plan as GOP Seeks Details." Nothing's likely to happen on the latter until after Congressional recess. But be aware.

An administrative note: Livejournal's new Terms of Service are fundamentally anti-LGBT based on active inclusion of Russian Federation law; political topics ("political solicitation") is also banned. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. I long ago echoed my LJ to Dreamwidth, and Dreamwidth - I'm not sure what I'm doing about that yet, exactly. I'm solarbird.dreamwidth.org if you're interested.

Good luck out there.

It's April 6, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Sorry this is late, I was really busy yesterday.

/Their Guy/ is no longer on the NSC. That's right, "Bannon Loses National Security Council Role in Trump Shakeup." We are winning the six-month war. "Ex-Writer: Breitbart Broke the Law" won't change much but doesn't hurt anything either. XD

"At Trump's EPA, going to work can be an act of defiance," and it's no doubt because of top-level-forced political press releases like deeply Stalinesque "High Accolades Across the Country on Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order," which touts how great it is that they're working against the environment. Also because shitting hijinks like "Trump’s budget would slash funding for EPA’s top science panel." Rightist governments are consistently doing their best to remove knowledge and discovery in this modern era. But maybe "EPA head Pruitt under investigation for allegedly misleading Senate" will cheer a few people up.

Trump spends more words attacking Obama than Syria in White House statement about Syrian gas attack in "Trump statement on Syria slams Obama by name and then gives no explanation of current policy." But did Syria just distract the administration from starting a war with North Korea? "White House: 'The clock has now run out' on North Korean nuclear program" segues into "Rex Tillerson's incredibly odd and confusing statement on North Korea." But don't think this isn't serious business, because it is; "Evidence From Victims Points to Nerve Gas in Syria Attack."

Return of Trumpcare: "Revived GOP health care talks could hurt those with pre-existing conditions." That was already true, but apparently this version makes it even worse.

"I'll back Texas independence, EU's Juncker warns Trump" isn't serious but is pretty funny for an EU politician.

Finally, just to get this out, potpourri: "What to Know About Bill O’Reilly and the Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Him" He's losing advertisers pretty quickly, but not quickly enough. "Trump's White House Touts A Rape-Promoting Media Troll Propped Up By The "Alt-Right"" is pretty vile - Mike "good sex feels like rape" Cernovich is pretty grotesque even by the Trump administration's very rapey standards. He was also a gamergate shitheel and has now jumped on the overtly white supremacist bandwagon. "NYPD officers accessed Black Lives Matter activists' texts, documents show." Unsurprising, but talks about their infiltration techniques. "Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With the Same Risk" is also not surprising but is documented here. And finally, "The Confederacy was a con job on whites. And still is."

Good luck out there.

It's April 5, 2017; this is the news )
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 )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
"Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies." As I said early on, their plan is to undo Obama as completely as the South undid reconstruction.

This is how to start a war with China, as McArthur learned: "Trump: US will deal with North Korea with or without China: report"

This is how to start a war with Europe, apparently: "‘We are in a trade war,’ Trump’s commerce secretary says after stern German warning." Not helping: "The U.S. economy just got hit with a disturbing piece of bad news" (though that's not Trump's fault, for once.)

I'm just going to list the Trump stories, sorry - I'm so far behind. The most important one is probably "In Trump Country, Shock at Trump Budget Cuts, but Still Loyalty," which is 100% made up of "I didn't think they'd eat _my_ face" - and yet, they're not even considering changing their minds and would vote for Trump again. Even the ones who say they would LITERALLY DIE from Trump's budget? Sticking to their guns. Insanity:

Our Dishonest President
Trump v. the Earth
Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
In Trump Country, Shock at Trump Budget Cuts, but Still Loyalty
Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
Flynn files new financial paperwork disclosing payments from Russian firms
Flynn made $1.3 million for lobbying, speeches, other work
Judge to Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence
Document Dump Reveals Flynn's Russian And Turkish Income Sources
FBI probing whether Trump aides helped Russian intel in early 2016

These are also Trump, but in different ways:

America’s crisis in governance
The White House Is Being Reset Even Before It Started
Trump’s Lawyers Argue President Is Too Busy for Sexual Misconduct Defamation Lawsuit

And finally, "Bill O’Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up."

Good luck out there.

It's April 3, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Frankly, it's not an easy day to get through all this. I'm not the only one feeling it; Trump is too. I told him (in a tweet) that he didn't want this job, and the thing is, I meant it. He didn't know it at the time, but he didn't want it, and it's showing, as "Trump walked out of an executive order signing ceremony without having signed the executive orders" - because he was not willing to deal with questions about Russia and Flynn.

(Note that NONE OF THIS IS APRIL FOOLS' DAY ANYTHING. Horribly, freakishly, this is all real.)

Let's pick up with the Russian election subversion.

"Trump’s White House struggles to get out from under Russia controversy" is probably the understatement of the year so far. And a bad headline for a bad article, given that it kind of treats all this as political, but that's kind of why I'm including it. "Did Russia Help Trump Win the Primary? Marco Rubio Deliberately 'Sidelined,' Senate Investigation Told" has piqued Marco Rubio's interest, for whatever that's worth.

But the big question at the moment is Flynn. "Could Michael Flynn Turn on Trump?" Not yet, he's not. "Chaffetz: Flynn's request for immunity 'very mysterious'"? Perhaps. I like the analysis in "Why Michael Flynn may be seeking immunity," and I, too, immediately went to the Ollie North fiasco - wherein Ollie North's grant of immunity was key in the Reagan administration getting away with treason in Iran-Contra. Keep that in mind when considering any support for immunity for Flynn. Nonetheless, "The Trump White House is in deep legal trouble, according to Trump’s own standards." Also Flynn's, by his own pre-election statements. "Rachel Maddow Explains How Mike Pence Is Going To Go Down With Trump For Russia Scandal" reminds us of how completely nonsensical Mike Pence's "I had no idea!" response to Flynn being a foreign agent actually is. Thankfully, so far, "Senate Intelligence Committee Denies Immunity To Michael Flynn In Russia Probe." And Maxine Waters asks, "Republicans: Where are the Patriots?" Ask the Republicans who supported Reagan through Iran-Contra, and Nixon's sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968. Once is an accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

"Lisa Desjardins breaks down the financial connections between President Trump, the people around him and Russia." It's a fairly short runthrough. "Trump won't reveal his taxes, so Congress should change the way presidents report their finances" writes a Republican lawyer.

"I saw what happens when a U.S. president lets Vladimir Putin get away with murder. His name was Barack Obama." is from a former president of the Republic of Georgia. A bit of a ... not a counterpoint, because he thinks Trump is far worse. But there you are.

Not that it helps that State has been being gutted. "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spends his first weeks isolated from an anxious bureaucracy" - wherein staffers are reportedly told not to talk to him or even make eye contact. BECAUSE EYE CONTACT. WHAT.

Because hopping christ on a hairy pogo stick it's an administration made ENTIRELY OF STEROIDAL BABOONS doing NOTHING but APE GRUNT BIGGER DICK HORSESHIT apparently.

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

Fuck, where were we? Subversion or corruption, subversion or corruption? Subversion? Sure. "Betsy DeVos’s Brother, The Founder Of Blackwater, Is Setting Up A Private Army For China, Sources Say." Erik Prince says it's not really military, it's private security. Military-type private security. Like, a private army. But not military.

And, about as promised, "President Trump's Middle East Policy Consists of Bombing People."

Corruption! HHS secretary "Price intervened on rule affecting drug profits the same day he got drug stocks: report." AWESOME! More complete version of the story: "Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Drug Profits, the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock."

What _should_ be administration-ending news - "Trump University Suit Settlement Approved by Judge" ($25 million payout for fraud) - goes nicely in parallel with "Trump’s Administration Is Making It Easier for For-Profit Colleges to Screw Over More Students."

Scientific American: "Republicans Want to Destroy Our National Parks. It's Up to Us to Save Them" is a call to protest. "Judge halts shutdown of last Kentucky abortion clinic" is our only old-school culture-war element today.

Locally, we have "Free press? State hits tiny paper with pricey lawsuit after it seeks public records" [Note: despite being the Seattle Times, this story is about Oregon, and involves a question of medical records] and, in the _one_ piece of good news here, Washington State "AG sues Tim Eyman for $2M, says he profited from campaigns." For those not from here, Tim Eyman is an anti-government-funding/anti-tax activist who has made a career in-state of running a for-profit company which does nothing but run rightist initiative campaigns. His signature gatherers are generally well paid, there has been fraud, almost all of his initiatives get ruled unconstitutional even if they pass, but various usual suspects - and some local people - keep funding him. He's also been busted - successfully - for spending campaign funds on personal expenses before, so _this ain't new_. Last time hurt him; hopefully this time will too.

Good luck out there.

It's April 1, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Everything is on fire. But not just for us.

"2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports" - the Trump administration gave Nunes information that he "briefed" them on the next day to create plausible-appearing secondary sourcing for Trump's tweets about being bugged. "Devin Nunes’ sources raise new questions about Steve Bannon’s role on the National Security Council" indeed. Also, "Russian Hackers Targeted 109 Clinton Staffers in a Single Month." Neat.

"Trump Russia dossier key claim 'verified'" - well, that a particular person at the Russian embassy was, in fact, a spy. "How Ex-Spy Christopher Steele Compiled His Explosive Trump-Russia Dossier" is a background piece on how the dossier was compiled and how it got started.

"Russia hired 1,000 people to create anti-Clinton 'fake news' in key US states during election, Trump-Russia hearings leader reveals" - focused in those states Trump focused on in the last days of the election, which some found kind of strange at the time.

Then the bombshell, of course: Flynn offers to cooperate with congressional probe in exchange for immunity" and "Michael Flynn Offers to Testify Before Congress in Exchange for Immunity" are two versions of the story, but really, they're both based off The Wall Street Journal's story, which broke it.

Is "FBI Visits Office of Saipan Casino Run by Trump Protege" related in some way? We just don't know yet.

Yeah.

"House Science Committee Calls on Alt-Science to Drive Policy" is about how crackpottery and conspiracy theory are being installed. "Even ExxonMobil is Begging Trump to Show the Environment Mercy" isn't much of an exaggeration - I read another article a few days ago about how the climate-change reactionaries consider Exxon part of the liberal conspiracy, which gets us well into "The Consequences of Electing a Birther: Trump's Obsession with Conspiracy Theories" - an essay from a source I don't think I've read before but which I thought was worth including here.

"Mike Pence gleefully breaks tie for Republicans, takes away women's health care" strikes me as a... less than entirely accurate headline, but "allowing fundamentalist-controlled states to do so" isn't that different. See also, "How Pence's Dudely Dinners Hurt Women."

Sheriff Batman needs to go, as "Dave Reichert Votes Against Demanding Trump's Tax Returns (Again)." That probably won't make a lot f sense to people not from Seattle but in the 90s there was this video of Dave when he was sheriff jumping out of a car and taking down some caught-on-camera perp totally live? And after that he was Sheriff Batman until he ran for Congress.

"Remember when Rep. Chaffetz said he was withdrawing that bill to sell off public lands? He lied." Indeed.

"U.S. priority on Syria no longer focused on 'getting Assad out': Haley" is a nasty bit of work, given how happy Russia would be with that and what a monster Assad has been. On the other hand, it's got a bit of realism to it, like it or not. So.

"Senate votes to eliminate Obama-era retirement rule" is mostly about corruption overriding State rights; remember that again: none of the things they pretend to believe were ever real, except the worst ones.

"North Carolina’s Bait-and-Switch on Transgender Restroom Law" - HB 2 got repealed, but mostly in name. Not entirely, but mostly. Don't fall for it.

"The First Horseman of the Privacy Apocalypse Has Already Arrived: Verizon Announces Plans to Install Spyware on All Its Android Phones" is another headline that's a bit over the top, but it's still a bad deal.

Good luck.

It's March 31, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
A few days ago, KOMO was forced by corporate (they were bought by Sinclair of Maryland) to air a rightist story about "fake news." Local employees are rebelling; "KOMO employees will take on Trump-friendly bosses." Good on ya, KOMO employees.

In Russia issue news, we have a few stories. "First GOP lawmaker calls for Nunes to recuse himself" - we'll be lucky to get more than two or three, but one is better than none. In "I'm Not Crying You're Crying" news, "Trump wants a Russia investigation … directed at Clinton." No, really. But the real hope today is that the Senate might do something, in "Senate Intelligence Committee Leaders Vow Thorough Russian Investigation."

Also, reportedly, "FBI Director James Comey Tried To Reveal Russian Tampering Months Before Election." Erf.

Science, and How the Republicans Hate It: first, there was an action item earlier, but it didn't help; "House votes to restrict EPA’s use of science." This is a restriction so onerous and comprehensive that if taken at black text, the EPA won't ever be able to do much of anything new again. I consider that intentional, particularly given that Lamar Smith called the journal Science - you know, one of the most important and respected journals on the planet - basically fake news, during this hearing: "Climate Scientist Fires Back at House Science Committee During Hearing." And, of course, you can't have a good purge without language controls, so "Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’." That's fun! And finally, "E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide."

Oh, did I mention that "Trump Proposes Slashing Medical Research This Year, Too"? Well, now I have.

"Seattle will sue Trump over sanctuary city threats." Good! We're doing pretty well so far, what with repeated victories in court against the Muslim travel bans. Another one came down yesterday, late, in fact - this time, Hawai'i gets the win. "We have just won in #HawaiivsTrump. Trump Admin lost everything it sought." They're describing it as a real smackdown of a decision, too. Relatedly, "Rep Gutierrez Tells CNN Sanctuary Cities Are Actually ‘Fourth Amendment Cities,’" which is good language from a rhetoric standpoint.

Still, "UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it." See above about the 1,000-ish Russian hackers setting up rightist fake news sites through the election. Maybe this should've been with the above.

Corruption update: "Ivanka Trump will have an official White House position." Are all the kids on the payroll now? Is this everybody?

"Puget Sound transit projects would lose big under Trump budget." This is older, but I don't think I posted it before.

And finally, WashingtonWontDiscriminate.org is reporting that the fundraising rate with the fundamentalist "bathroom bill" initiative is "neck-and-neck," and that's really bad - I-1552 is getting infusions of cash from somewhere (I don't know where offhand but I can make a fleet of guesses) and they're asking for more donations. I know it's easy to get caught up in the Federal issues, but as I've said many times: we have to keep the bulwark here. Now is a good time to donate.

It's March 30, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
So let's see where we are today.

Look, a story! Made of headlines. Looks like the "Trump administration sought to block Sally Yates from testifying to Congress on Russia," but got a letter saying they couldn't because it wasn't going to include confidential data, as "NBC obtains letter from Yates lawyers to WH stating her intent to testify despite attempt to block her." Upon hearing this, "Devin Nunes canceled Russia hearing same day Sally Yates promised she’d talk about Mike Flynn." "Was today's open hearing cancelled because WH did not want Sally Yates to testify re Gen Flynn's deception? Didn't want to assert privilege?" Good question! Particularly made more relevant after we hear from Rep. "Schiff: Yates would have testified on Flynn ‘cover-up’".

Trying to throw some spin on things, the "White House denies it sought to prevent Yates' testimony," but the "White House evasive as House Intelligence Committee grinds to a halt." Which suits their purposes of course. Meanwhile, "House intel panel chief Nunes says he will not divulge his sources," not even to members of his own committee. Well, that's neat. "Swalwell on Nunes fallout: ‘This is what a cover-up to a crime looks like’" begins our current-status analysis, on "How the White House and Republicans Blew Up the House Russia Investigation." And Representative Nunes's own hometown paper says, "Russia-Trump probe is in chaos, and Rep. Devin Nunes is to blame."

So that's a clusterfuck.

Meanwhile, oh good, the "Affordable Care Act Repeal Is Back on the Agenda, Republicans Say." I presume they have no more ideas than they have had for the last seven years. But people are increasingly convinced they'll complete their sabotage of the ACA without changing the law - it's not like they haven't been doing that already. See also: "U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare."

In "The Offender of the Free World" news, "Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies." But that isn't even enough; "Climate Deniers Are Winning—and Getting Greedy" and trying to move to convincing people that air pollution has no real effect on human health. So don't think this will stop with carbon dioxide and methane, but even if it doesn't, the "Worst humanitarian crisis hits as Trump slashes foreign aid" - worst since World War II.

"Google tries to define a valid family. Predictable awfulness ensues." speaks for itself. And you're not imaging things: "Research Shows Donald Trump Is Making Men More Sexist." That isn't what they were trying to study, even, but that's what they found in the data. We actually got a heads up on this, because a Trump-like misogynist became PM in Italy last decade, and things got much worse. For everyone - even the men becoming more misogynistic - but that didn't stop it.

Over in corruption news, "Trump's business network reached alleged Russian mobsters." Neat! It isn't nearly as well sourced, but reportedly, "In Dec, Kushner met with head of SANCTIONED Russian bank favored by Putin" and a whole lot of things fell out of that - see the thread. But don't worry, there'll be no investigations; "Republicans vote to block resolutions on Trump's tax returns" late yesterday.

And finally, "Antiabortion activists face 15 felony charges over undercover videos that targeted Planned Parenthood." I doubt they'll get much and it'll make them a rightist cause celebre again, I fear - lying about who you are to make secret recordings of people without their permission is illegal in California, but nobody will care.

Good luck.

It's March 29, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Lots on the Russia situation - first, on Nunes's continuing interference-run on behalf of the Trump administration. "Nunes met source at White House before surveillance announcement," "Chairman and partisan: The dual roles of Devin Nunes raise questions about House investigation," "Nunes’ Surveillance Claim: It’s Coming From Inside the White House," "House Democrats Ask Devin Nunes to Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry." Good luck with that last one.

I wish I could expect more out of "Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians." But, as we've seen, lying to Congress doesn't mean anything anymore, so even if he's truthful, we can't really know that, right? (Another version of that story, more partisan but not paywalled: "Trump’s son-in-law had undisclosed meeting with Putin crony with KGB ties.")

In "so much for breathing" news, "Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record."

An opinion piece states the obvious: "The All-Male Photo Op Isn’t a Gaffe. It’s a Strategy." The channers loathe women. I cannot overstate how much they hate, despise, loathe women. It's the ocean in which they swim. And that extends well into Trump's larger base.

"White House keeps up sanctuary cities pressure with funding threat" and "King, Snohomish counties may be targets in Justice Dept. threat against ‘sanctuary cities’" are - well, the latest version of threats and stories made before. Still, keep an eye on it. Also in economic war news, "Next up for Trump Amateur Hour: NAFTA?" Cascadia is a net exporter. Hell, Cascadia runs a surplus with fucking MAINLAND CHINA. Or did, last time I saw figures. I can't wait to see how the Trumpists manage to screw that up.

"Seven Ways the Trump Administration Could Make Obamacare ‘Explode’" goes into detail about some of the ways the GOP will continue to play sabotage over the next few years.

In corruption news, we have a trifecta: "Carl Icahn Is Apparently Profiting Enormously From His Role as an Adviser to Donald Trump," "Finally, a Cure for Government Dysfunction: Nepotism," and "Why Republicans Are Ruling With Utter Incompetence." Well, okay, the last one isn't really... no, it is. "Trump keeps demanding credit for Obama’s successes" kinda is - let's call that the Plus4.

"Trump Repeals Regulation Protecting Workers From Wage Theft" is self-explanitory. "AP Exclusive: 'Bathroom Bill' to Cost North Carolina $3.76B" is kind of a lowball estimate, but is pretty solid as such and I'm good with that.

Finally, an historical: "How resistance overcame hate in Hood River" in World War II and after.

It's March 28, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
The NYC attack on a randomly-chosen black man by a white supremacist was explicitly intended to achieve a political purpose through fear and intimidation. See "White supremacist who killed black man only regrets his victim wasn’t younger and ‘more successful" and also, "Timothy Caughman’s Murder Was a Lynching and Donald Trump has said nothing," both of which are excessively important. 8pol seems not to be bothering to talk about it, 4pol isn't talking much but what discussion there is blames it on false flag/MK-ULTRA.

Meanwhile in Russia proper, "Protesters Gather in 99 Cities Across Russia; Top Putin Critic Is Arrested." Brave people. Of course, "The Trump Administration Is Silent After Russia Arrests Hundreds Of Protesters." He's too busy making an ass of himself printing fake invoices and handing them to Andrea Merkel expecting payment, I guess? That didn't work with Mexico, why the fuck would it work with Germany? ("Germany slams ‘intimidating’ £300bn White House bill.")

Remember how Trump promised brutality and savagery in the middle east? He may be delivering on that, as "Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised." This is, of course, how to ramp up the war. "The west condemned Russia’s bombs – now coalition attacks are killing civilians in Mosul" is another story on the topic.

"Pussy Riot's advice on how to defy Putin and Trump" is pretty straightforward, but I include it as part of the shared struggle. They have no illusions about what's going on. In related organisational/structural news, "A Harvard study identified the precise reason protests are an effective way to cause political change" - which is to say, people who attend protests are afterwards more likely to do things and get others to do things as well. The multiplier is nontrivial.

Post-healthcare-reform continues: "Blaming conservatives, Trump signals new openness to Dems" (presumably a lie), "Donald Trump is giving a lot of mixed messages about whom to blame on health care" (true), "Trump Becomes Ensnared in Fiery G.O.P. Civil War" (point and laugh, children), and "Reince Priebus lies after GOP debacle: ‘Obamacare is imploding and exploding and every other adjective’," indicating that Priebus doesn't know that "imploding" and "exploding" are verbs.

I suspect "Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas" is going to be a bit of a do-nothing position, not because they might not want to do some of these things, but because they still don't have a staff worth mentioning. Still, be aware. Kushner has no qualifications on this other than being Trump's son-in-law, and is overbooked already, so... yeah.

Only one immigration/expulsion/travel ban story at the moment: "‘Dreamer’ immigrant in Oregon detained by US authorities."

"An Oklahoma School Had a Christian Sex Educator Speak to Kids, and (Surprise!) It Was a Disaster."

And finally, locally, "McCleary roundup: Senate GOP’s budget plan draws swift opposition from Democrats, teachers union" - nothing to do with fascism, really, but a lot of Washington State people are subscribers, so there's your education funding update. It's hard to keep up with 'normal' things right now, but you need to. It's just life.

It's March 27, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
The day after.

I've talked about the six month, the two year, and the four year wars. This may be the beginning of the end of the six-month war. It is, at very least, the end of the beginning: elected Republicans are no longer universally afraid of the Trumpists, and are no longer lining up behind him and his movement. The neofascist movement is still very much alive and very, very dangerous, as a whole, and this is one of the longer wars, but this goal - of capturing the entire government functionally unhindered out of the electoral box - has been smashed.

Not that they won't keep trying, of course. The six-month war is not over. But the skies - for the moment - are clear over London.

So let's look at what happened. "Pence: Trump 'won't rest' until ObamaCare repealed" - as I said, they won't stop trying. But "Inside the Trumpcare meltdown," we learn that "Steve Bannon Thought He Could Bully Republicans On Health Care. He Couldn't." The steamroller has broken down. It's a Democrat saying it, but "Dem rep: 'We must pause the entire Trump agenda' until Russia investigation complete" - that's not going to happen, because there's far too much consolidation of power going on inside the executive branch that he's managing simply by not appointing people. (See: the two year war.) But it can be talked about.

As fallout, "Trump asked his supporters to watch Fox News host. She then called on Paul Ryan to step down." There's barely any attempt to keep up a united facade now. This will further hurt the legislative agenda, but will not hurt the continuing personalisation of rule and the executive branch. If anything, it will help it. But, again - the two year war.

The investigations continue - and perhaps, if the Republican civil war ramps up, they will become useful leverage for the establishment GOP, and something might happen. "AP Exclusive: US probe of ex-Trump aide extends to Cyprus" is following the Russian money. "Boris Epshteyn, Trump TV Surrogate, Is Leaving White House Job" - his style was very much of Putin's Russia, and now he's being levered out. The CBC report that "A former NSA analyst says the Russia investigations could end Donald Trump's presidency," and there are rumours from a "CNN analyst: Sources say Mike Flynn may have turned on Trump and become a witness for the FBI."

What they were building for, of course, is their ult attack - a broad racial-religious war against Arabic Muslims. That's still the biggest card they have in their hand. And they haven't forgot it, not for a minute. "Civilian deaths from US-led airstrikes hit record high under Donald Trump" shouldn't be ignored. "U.S. Investigating Mosul Strikes Said to Have Killed Up to 200 Civilians" - the US is claiming procedures haven't changed, but the rise in civilian death toll is staggering, and other local sources say US procedures have changed. Finally, a US senator says, "Trump Is Dragging Us Into Another War... And No One Is Talking About It."

We most certainly are.

Possibly tangential, possibly related: "Five months, eight prominent Russians dead." Clean-up, consolidation, or coincidence?

Before this administration, this would've been the biggest headline: "Senate to vote on Neil Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court in first week of April in a political clash with big ramifications." We need to force a loss here, or a rules change, because I'm confident that the Republicans will change the filibuster rules as soon as a judicial filibuster is used against them; they're a paper tiger at best, now, and more likely, an excuse to inaction. Or so it seems to me. Obviously, I'm not on the ground.

Before this administration, this would've been in "news of the weird" territory only, but we are where we are: "Alex Jones Admits He Blew It With Pizzagate Allegations, Sort Of." I don't think that'll bother the conspiracy goons.

Finally, a couple of cultural warfare stories of import: "Transgender passengers uneasy about TSA shift on pat-downs." and "Utah's governor signs abortion-halting legislation." The headline on the latter is misleading; the bill requires doctors to tell women taking RU-486 and similar drugs that if they only take one pill the abortion can still be halted. There is no medical evidence for this of which I'm aware, and I can't see it being a good idea. But, well, those are facts, and considering facts to be the problem...

...well, that is, in and of itself, part of the problem.

Good luck out there.

It's March 26, 2017; this is the news )

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