solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-27 01:07 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 27 april 2017

Well, I've at least managed to clear my browser tabs.

Fascism/authoritarianism and the corporatist state:
  • Rep. Adam Schiff on @MSNBC: It sounds like the W.H. has paperwork from Mike Flynn that they weren't willing to give to the Oversight Cmte.
  • Justices Alarmed by Government’s Hard-Line Stance in Citizenship Case
  • Trump says he may break up 9th Circuit Court after rulings go against him
  • Juvenile criminal defense attorneys forced to agree to Taser's terms of service to see the state's evidence
Corruption and looting:
  • The tale of the dictator’s daughter and her prince
  • Mar-a-Lago blog was not reviewed before posting on State site
  • Whitehouse Files Hatch Act Complaint Over Pruitt Participation in Oklahoma GOP Fundraiser
  • Nominee to head FDA joined effort to get a drug company more fentanyl
  • Trump tax proposal would slash taxes for his businesses
  • At Trump’s EPA, Less Science and More Industry
  • Trump orders review of national monuments to allow development
  • MNUCHIN: we are going to eliminate on the personal side all tax deductions other than mortgage interest and charitable deductions.
  • Trump Tax Plan Slashes Individual and Corporate Rates
Xenophobia and reactions against:
  • White House Optimism on Shutdown Complicated by Trump Demands
  • When is a wall not a wall? GOP redefines Trump’s border wall
  • Police Chief Meidl: In Spokane, undocumented immigrant crime is practically nonexistent
Trumpcare/Chumpcare 2.0:
  • Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest health care proposal
  • Apparently repealing Obamacare could violate international law
Trade:
  • Trump puts EU ahead of Britain in trade queue
  • Trump Administration Puts Trade Deal With EU Ahead of Post-Brexit Britain
  • Republicans tell Trump to hold up on NAFTA withdrawal
Brutal horribleness:
  • Sandy Hook truther Alex Jones asks for privacy in custody battle ‘for the sake of my children’
(Alex Jones spent a lot of time siccing conspiracy theory haters on the parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook, claiming the shooting didn't happen and was staged. The abuse, stalking, and harassment the parents of the dead children suffered was truly barbaric, and Alex Jones was the primary motivator here.)

Everything else:
  • Different president, same old government shutdown threats
  • Republican North Carolina judge resigns — and slams the GOP on the way out
  • Trump’s over-the-top, boastful AP interview, annotated

Good luck out there.

It's April 27th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-26 01:19 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 26 april 2017

I'm overbooked this week; Anna's nasal surgery on Monday went about as planned, but there is much more time-consuming aftercare than I understood, and while this needed to happen, it is a lot of time away from other things. Here's a partial catch-up, with emphasis on fascism and neo-fascist activities.

Russia:
  • Republican Oversight Leader: Michael Flynn Apparently Broke the Law
  • EXCLUSIVE: Sebastian Gorka’s Ties To Nazi-Allied Group Stretch Back Decades
  • Senate Russia probe flounders amid partisan bickering
  • Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses
  • Macron Victim of Cyber Attack Similar to U.S. Democratic Party’s
  • Donald Trump, Jr., retweeting Nigel Farage endorsing Marine Le Pen. Global. White. Nationalist. Authoritarianism. Movement.

Misogyny:
  • A GOP Lawmaker Has Been Revealed As The Creator Of Reddit’s Anti-Woman ‘Red Pill’ Forum
  • And here it is, the NH state rep and founder of The Red Pill talking about why he should get to sleep with underage girls
  • Donald Trump to strip all funding from State Department team promoting women's rights around the world
  • Inside The Online Community Of Men Who Preach Removing Condoms Without Consent

Corruption and farce:
  • House Oversight Committee calls on Trump’s business to prove he’s not violating the Constitution
  • Ivanka Trump adds a chief of staff
  • Report: Trump won't fire Spicer because 'the guy gets great ratings'

Chechnya:
  • Gay men detained in Chechnya give accounts of abuse, electrocution
  • President of Chechnya Intends to Eliminate All Gay Men There by Ramadan

And three unsorted:
  • Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order Blocked by Federal Judge
  • Resilience of the Resistance
  • May Benefits as Britain's Pro-Brexit Party Loses Supporters

It's April 26th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-22 01:10 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 22 april 2017

Sorry this is a short summary. A proper post takes a few hours and I've been too busy the last couple of days. :/

Reports of a new ACA repeal:
White House Officials, Craving Progress, Push Revised Health Bill
White House pressures GOP leaders on Obamacare showdown next week.

Fascism and Racism:
Tax-Dodging Nazi Sovereign Citizen Furries Forced To Cancel Denver Furry Convention. Yes, Really.
Why gay French men are voting far right
AG Sessions says he's 'amazed' a judge 'on an island in the Pacific' can block Trump's immigration order

Russia, et al:
House intel panel invites former acting AG Sally Yates to testify
Leader Of Justice Department National Security Division On The Way Out

Vote suppression:
Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election

An Actual Real Life False Flag:
Borussia Dortmund bombs: 'Speculator' charged with bus attack

Environment and corruption:
AP Exclusive: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study

Finally, culture war:
Army Secretary Nom: Trans People Are 'Evil' Who Must Be 'Crushed'

It's April 22nd, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-20 01:18 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 20 april 2017

Okay, I'm running late - as always, but more than usual - and so the most important thing I can talk about is that we are starting to see the dam break. There has been over the last few days of sampling a significant breakdown in the strongest levels of support for the Trump administration, specifically in both GOP in general and Trump voters in general.

Now, it's not a complete breakdown - what we're seeing is a significant move out of "strongly approve" and into "somewhat approve." But it's out of the margin of error and a clear trend. It's the start of reconsideration.

Nothing is disastrous for them yet, there's not much fall through lower - say, into somewhat disapprove - but it's meaningful. This matters.

And now, the news.

Russia and corruption:
Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election - documents
Paul Manafort Meets with a Chinese Billionaire to Talk U.S. Infrastructure
The White House’s game on Russia has now been fully exposed
The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes’s Fake Scandal

Environmental attacks:
EPA plans to offer buyouts as part of Trump push to shrink workforce
Battle over landmark law already raging out of public eye [This means the Endangered Species Act]
A Timeline of the War on Science

Misogyny:
All-Male Panel Failed to Pass Maryland Law Barring Rapists’ Parental Rights
Fox News Found the Perfect Woman-Hater to Replace Bill O'Reilly

Naziism, nativism, neo-fascism:
Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of ‘Terror Campaign’ Against a Jewish Woman ["Alt-Right" meaning Nazi, it's literally the Daily Stormer crew, a website literally named after the Nazi paper of the 1930s, and yet, they will not use the word "Nazi" here.]
First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump

General horribleness:
Betsy DeVos Is Wasting No Time Screwing Over Students Who Borrow Money for College

Resistance:
After travel ban, AG Ferguson’s next fight: deceptive student-loan practices
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Will Not Seek Re-Election

Good luck out there.

It's April 20th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-19 12:17 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 19 april 2017

"Ivanka's biz prospers as politics mixes with business" and "Ivanka Trump awarded 3 China trademarks on the same day she dined with Chinese president: report" are talking about some of the same corruption.

Russia: "Blackwater Founder Prince Said to Have Advised Trump Team" - this ties in with his secret (and denied) trip to set up a Putin backchannel. "Alexander Dugin and Steve Bannon’s Ideological Ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia" talks about how while Bannon-Putin ties are not showing up as much, the ideological ties are very clear.

White supremacy/neofascism: "Globe editorial: Turkey, Erdogan and the end of liberal democracy." Basically, Turkey just passed - in a very dirty election - their version of Nazis' Enabling Act. Trump tweeted his congratulations to Erdogan, so we see what he thinks of representative government. Also, "White nationalist argues Trump should be liable for inciting violence at rally." "At least 100 gay men in Chechnya have been abducted by police" talks about the long and brutal history in Chechnya of targeting LGBT people (and others) to prop up support for their absolutist government within the Russian Federation. And "Spicer Argues That More Public Disclosure Is Unnecessary, Even Harmful" speaks more or less for itself. "Betsy DeVos wants more character development in schools. That’s a big problem." And the problem is that it's mostly about beefing up the school-to-prison-pipeline. And it's a lot easier to run a dictatorship when fewer people are going to notice: "A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, Justice Department does not have any U.S. attorneys in place."

Other Trump actions: "Donald Trump’s nuked credibility: How can a flagrantly dishonest president manage an international crisis?" The problem is I don't even entirely think he knows when he's lying. I'm not sure of that, but... damn. "The Latest: White House cancels meeting on Paris accords." They're claiming they'll reschedule. "Trump targets visas program for highly skilled workers" - which would be less of a problem if tech stopped driving women out of the workforce through harassment. Maybe that'll be the silver lining HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I kid, I kid.

"No cameras for ‘worst political attack on women’s health in a generation’" is so underreported.

"Amazon workers rail against company ads on Breitbart" is a good bit of resistance, but the number should be larger. Steve Ballmer is _shocked_ that so many tax subsidies go to the well off, in "Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove." "Hiring Anti-Trump Conservative Is Part Of New York Times' Effort To Expand Opinion" - too bad he's a climate denialist. But then, what sanity is left?

"Opening of UN files on Holocaust will 'rewrite chapters of history'" - or won't, really? But will make a _lot_ more direct evidence directly public. I don't know that it'll help with that kind of denialism, really, but it won't hurt.

Finally, some environmental commentary: "Joel Connelly: Inslee calls Trump budget cuts 'devastating'." Because they are.

Good luck out there.

It's April 19th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-18 01:38 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 18 april 2017

Norwescon was pretty neat, I'll post more about that to the band blog later.

"KUOW Employee Woke Up to Find Swastikas Painted on Her Cars, and Cars All Down the Block." That's near here. "Trump’s favorite conspiracy theorist claims he’s just a ‘performance artist.'" That's not, and I need to see what the channers are thinking about this. Hopefully, it's hilarious. "Dortmund attackers wanted to incite backlash against Muslims" - you probably haven't heard about the Dortmund bombing, this is why.

"Alt-Right Ringleader Mike Cernovich Threatens to Drop ‘Motherlode’ If Steve Bannon Is Ousted." PLEASE. YES, DO THIS, THANKS. "Polls show Americans voted for Trump out of "fear of diversity"" shocks nobody except the LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU crowd.

"Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon" - that's where I was. "Does the Furry Community Have a Nazi Problem?" Yes, but that's not where I was.

"The Editors of a Major Scientific Publication Are Urging Readers to Attend the March for Science" - that's THIS WEEKEND, folks.

"Trump will keep list of White House visitors secret" went through a few headlines, but it's a big DRAIN THIS to his voters, who absolutely do not care. "Trump's pivot is real — he's more right-wing than ever" is what the GOP cares about. "100 Days of Horror" is mostly a list of what has been managed, mostly by putting white supremacists and neofascists in positions of power. And, as we already know, the "EPA emerges as major target after Trump solicits policy advice from industry."

Finally, "Yes, You Can Measure White Privilege."

Sorry for short shrift on analysis, I'm playing catch-up.

It's April 18th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-12 11:21 pm
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 13 april 2017

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)
2017-04-12 08:11 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 12 april 2017

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)
2017-04-11 12:09 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 11 april 2017

"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)
2017-04-10 01:50 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 10 april 2017

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)
2017-04-08 06:09 pm

good afternoon, it's 8 april 2017

"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)
2017-04-08 01:26 am
Entry tags:

News post is late

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)
2017-04-07 12:29 pm
Entry tags:

Are you ever NOT going to fall for that?

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)
2017-04-07 01:36 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 7 april 2017

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)
2017-04-06 01:49 am

my livejournal is officially depreciated.

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)
2017-04-06 12:55 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 6 april 2017

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)
2017-04-05 10:01 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 5 april 2017

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)
2017-04-04 12:26 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 4 april 2017

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)
2017-04-03 02:10 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 3 april 2017

"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)
2017-04-01 01:33 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 1 april 2017

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 )