Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trump Gives the Grand Canyon to Putin

Admit it.  Just for a second, you believed it.  Because in the light of what the Orange Loser has done over the last few weeks, giving away an American shrine to his KGB BFF is not really unbelievable.

Because when somebody holds $10 billion in your promissory notes, you do what you're told.

I didn't sleep well last night, mostly because I made the mistake of reading Talking Points Memo right before going to bed.

Damn you, Josh Marshall:

President Trump’s visit to Brussels/Europe wasn’t just another grab bag of impulsive aggression and gaffes. It wasn’t scattershot. It was quite clearly focused on destabilizing and perhaps eviscerating the NATO Alliance and somewhat secondarily, but relatedly, the European Union. This has been the strategic goal of Russia and before it the Soviet Union for decades. The sum total of everything that happened on this trip casts the entire Trump/Russia story in a decidedly more ominous light.

And the light was already quite ominous.

There are plenty of theories as to why President Trump might want to destabilize our alliance with our European allies and upend the global liberal internationalist order. But that he wants to do that seems basically beyond question at this point. His still largely unexplored and in many ways inexplicable relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia is just the most viable explanation. On virtually every other issue he is almost infinitely malleable and susceptible to blandishments and praise. Except this one. Here he remains fixed on True North.
No, seriously:  The Orange Menace just told Europe in so many words of one syllable that Russia can invade and subjugate every single one of their nations and the United States of America won't lift a finger to help them.

I only hope that the Europeans can hold back from nuking Mar a Lago until the 2018 elections give us a chance to impeach Pootie's butt boy.

Of course, that means we have to survive another 20 months.  And that the Democratic Party can actually win enough seats to take Congress away from the repugs.

Oh, fuck. Now I'll never get to sleep.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

School Cops Tase 7-year-old; Betcha Can't Guess His Ethnicity

If the Trump-empowered stormtroopers can't deport the spics, they'll just torture 'em.

Think Progress:

Yosio Lopez, a 7-year-old student with special needs, was reportedly handcuffed and tasered by police while at school last Tuesday. According to CNN, police officers were called when Lopez, who suffers from both ADHD and another mood disorder, was banging his head against a wall in class. A trained aide is usually on hand for these incidents, but was not present during the incident. April Obin, Lopez’s mother, was called for assistance, but police intervened before she arrived. Officers restrained Lopez on a desk and cuffed his arms while the school’s principal choked him with her elbow, seemingly in an attempt to restrain him. He was later taken to a mental health facility, where he was kept for almost a week, without his mother’s permission.


The next day, a Dallas ISD police officer body slammed 12-year-old Mariana Valdez at Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L. Academy. Valdez was reportedly in a fight with another student at the time when the officer grabbed and slammed the child on the ground, in a moment caught on video. According to Valdez, he then pepper sprayed her.
Careful about tanning this summer; anyone darker than a paper bag is fair game now.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The War on Public Education Moves Toward the End Game

It's not just charter schools for the healthy white kids and defunded public schools for everybody else.  It's way worse.


You catch that?  Mosley wants to define who does and who does not get to have the "privilege" of public education.  In a border state like Arizona, you can guess exactly who Mosley would like to deny education to.
That's the endpoint of the GOP attack on education in this country, to reserve it for those who are "privileged" enough to deserve it.  The rest of America's kids, well, maybe a little child labor will fix them right up.  Or you know, prison for the bad ones.  (Same difference if the GOP has their way.)

But don't be fooled for a second by the "charter school" crusaders and the "accountability reformers". The goal is to turn public education into something only the right people are allowed to have.  It's much easier to control the uneducated, you see.

Stop Letting the GOP Deny All Our Voters

When everybody votes, Democratic candidates win.  If everyone votes, the GOP will never win another election. Anywhere.  And they know it.

The only way repugs can win elections is by election fraud: claiming that non-existent "voter fraud" is a crisis and demands strict ID laws that disenfranchise Democratic voters.

Kentucky has an all-repug state government and semi-strict voter ID laws (non-photo Social Security cards are acceptable).  Don't think bills to shrink the Democratic electorate won't come up in the legislature in January.

Shakezula at LGM:

Like a well-oiled machine that is actually well-oiled.
A new memo from Priorities USA and Civis Analytics provides evidence that voter ID laws successfully disenfranchised voters in 2016.
First, Civis and Priorities performed a simple analysis of how turnout changed in states that adopted voter ID laws between the 2012 and 2016 elections. As the table shows, states that adopted strict turnout laws (MS, VA and WI) saw their turnout drop, while states that did not saw an increase in turnout (this aligns with a similar GAO analysis of voter ID laws).
Civis and Priorities also find that these laws disproportionately harmed black voters, by examining how black turnout changed at the county level between 2012 and 2016. As the table shows, turnout out in counties with a high black population share dropped by 2.2 points in states where ID laws did not change, compared to a 5 point drop in states where a strict ID law was implemented.
I know the current vogue is to set out on quests to capture the votes of the Elucidated & Elusive Guild of Fence Sitters, Middle-Roadsters, Bern Noticers & Goldilockians. But unless the Democratic Party and affiliates are willing to defend the base with all out war against the GOP’s voter suppression efforts we’re going to have 8 years of President tRump abetted by Republican majorities in both Houses, followed by President Worse than tRump abetted by a larger majority of Republicans.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Justice, for once

The history of humanity is the long struggle to acknowledge the full human-ness of those Not Like Us.  Members of other tribes, people with different skin color, people who worshipped different gods, people who stand in the way of our territorial expansion, people who do not have a penis, people who have sex in ways we don't like. 

And finally, people whose appearance and born sex organs don't match.

Shakezula atLLGM:

Joshua Vallum has been sentenced for the murder of Mercedes Williamson.
A Mississippi man has been sentenced to 49 years in prison for the first-ever conviction on federal hate crime charges arising from the killing of a transgender person.
A federal judge on Monday sentenced Joshua Vallum, who had previously been sentenced to life without parole on state murder charges.
Vallum acknowledged guilt in the 2015 death of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson. The case had been closely watched by LGBT advocates nationwide.
He could have received life without parole. I suppose I should settle for being pleasantly surprised that he was convicted at all. But half a century – with likely early release – for killing a girl seems a bit light.

After Vallum’s “trans panic” defense failed, he claimed he killed Williamson to keep his fellow gang members from finding out about their relationship.

Some papers are focusing on the fact that Vallum was a gang member. Dramatic, but I think it muddies the waters. Vallum didn’t kill Williamson because he was a gang member. He killed her because he saw her as the rest of society sees transgender women: Something disposable.

All Exist

Divine Irony:

 (Source: cure-your-delusions)

Respect for Religion

Divine Irony:

‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion’. Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and yes, our fearless disrespect.

Salman Rushdie. (via veganoanarchosatano)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Take Jeff Davis Statue Out of the KY Capitol Rotunda Now

Motherfucker might have been born in Kentucky, but he made his home in Mississippi.  Contrary to the hallucinations of the Commonwealth's many Defenders of Treason in Defense of Slavery, Kentucky never seceeded from the Union, never committed Treason in Defense of Slavery, never joined the Confederacy.

Jefferson Davis has no business looming over people in the Capitol Rotunda as if he were a hero.  He's a traitor, and a motherfucking piece of shit.  Get his statue the fuck out of there and replace it with one of a genuine Kentucky hero:  Muhammad Ali.

Erik Loomis on the removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis in New Orleans last week:

This is genuinely a wonderful thing. Again, these aren’t “monuments to history.” They are expressions of Jim Crow power, placed on the population of New Orleans at a moment where black voting and social rights had been repressed by force. They served, in the minds of the people who erected them, as social lessons to the black population, reminding them who was still in charge. There is no good reason to keep these statues up.
 UPDATE: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's op-ed:
But New Orleans was also America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of misery and torture. Our history is forever intertwined with that of our great nation — including its most terrible sins. We must always remember our history and learn from it. But that doesn’t mean we must valorize the ugliest chapters, as we do when we put the Confederacy on a pedestal — literally — in our most prominent public places.
The record is clear: New Orleans’s Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were erected with the goal of rewriting history to glorify the Confederacy and perpetuate the idea of white supremacy. These monuments stand not as mournful markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in reverence of it. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.
The right course, then, is to excise these symbols of injustice. The Battle of Liberty Place monument was not built to commemorate the fallen law enforcement officers of the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia. It was meant to honor members of the Crescent City White League, the people who killed them. That kind of “honor” has no place in an American city. So, last month, we took the monument down.
This week, we began the removal of a statue honoring Davis, and soon thereafter Lee and Beauregard. It won’t erase history. But we can begin a new chapter of New Orleans’s history by placing these monuments, and the legacy of oppression they represent, in museums and other spaces where they can be viewed in an appropriate educational setting as examples of our capacity to change.
After we’re done moving these monuments, we’ll face an even greater task: coming together to decide who we are as a city — and as a nation. Over the past few years, before the monument removal effort, we began Welcome Table New Orleans, which facilitates tough conversations about race and brings various communities together on projects in their neighborhoods. As part of our work, residents have discussed and designed reconciliation projects, such as a mural and oral history project on what was once part of a plantation, as monuments to the future, not the past.
Lexington Kentucky was the biggest slave market north of New Orleans. Long past time the snooty denizens of that city (in which I was raised, so I know of what I write) get their snowy white asses down off their thoroughbred high horses and demand the removal of Jeff Davis.

Cops Who Murder Walk; Bitches Who Laugh at Trumpies Get Prison Time

No, that is not an exaggeration. For the moment, her appeal is likely to be heard by Obama-appointed judges who understand the First Amendment.  But every day, those judges are being replaced by trumpies who think Bull Connor was a bleeding-heart liberal.

Scott Lemiuex at LGM:

…she has been convicted on two counts. Tina Nguyen [H/T Downpuppy] adds valuable context:
The Justice Department will not press federal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in last year’s shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday, bringing renewed attention to how Attorney General Jeff Sessions, already controversial, is choosing to deal with allegations of police bias and racially motivated shootings. The decision is not entirely surprising: federal civil rights charges in such cases are rare, due to the high burden of proof, and even the Obama-era D.O.J. repeatedly declined to charge police officers involved in high-profile deaths. Still, it is stunning to see what cases Donald Trump’s attorney general has decided to prosecute.
On Wednesday, a jury convicted a 61-year-old female activist who had laughed during Sessions’s January confirmation hearing in the Senate. Desiree Fairooz, a longtime protester affiliated with the anti-war group Code Pink, had been escorted out of the room for laughing in response to Senator Richard Shelby’s assertion that Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” history of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” (Sessions had, in fact, been denied a federal judgeship in 1986 because of a history of racially charged remarks, and Shelby himself had once run a campaign ad suggesting that Sessions was a Klan sympathizer.) Fairooz, along with two other protesters, faces up to a year in prison.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Resistance: NYC School Shuts Door on La Migra

Not here, not our kids, not today, motherfuckers.

Crooks and Liars:

Is America great yet?
An officer from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services was denied entry Thursday to an elementary school in Queens, New York, when they arrived looking for a fourth-grade student, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office reported.
A school safety agent and administrator turned the agent away when they arrived at Public School 58 without a warrant, Gothamist reported. Mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted that the agent left when school officials failed to provide assistance, and that it was unclear why the agent was trying to locate the student.
"All students, regardless of immigration status, are welcome in NYC public schools, and parents should rest assured that we will do everything in our power to protect students, staff and families," chancellor Carmen FariƱa said in a statement, according to Gothamist. "The federal agent was turned away — we're looking into this incident and are providing schools with additional information on our protocol and more trainings."
Because under Trump we have to train teachers "protocol" on how to resist fascist brownshirts arriving to haul away kids. Thank you, sanctuary cities. Stay strong.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Impeaching the Orange Loser Won't Remove the Real Threat

Neighbor of mine still has his Trump Pence sign in his front yard.  He won't ever remove it.  That makes him a clear and present danger to American Democracy.

DR Tucker at Political Animal:

The greatest threat to our institutions comes from those who choose to embrace nihilism and ignorance at the ballot box—a problem that will remain with us long after Trump has left the White House.

Those who voted for Trump—those who put this madman into power, and who will be eager to put future right-wing madmen into power—threatened our institutions. Those who voted for Trump bear full responsibility for the havoc he has inflicted upon this country. Those who voted for Trump owe an apology to everyone who will suffer as a result of his actions.

Is it too harsh to regard the people who voted for this man as citizens who, with extremely rare exceptions, sought a “safe space” from an increasingly diverse country and a culture trending leftward? Is it too snobbish to regard these voters as the sort of people who, when they say they want “good jobs” to return to this country, actually mean they only want one specific demographic to have access to “good jobs”?

Donald Trump did not make himself President. A significant portion of the American electorate begged for a candidate like Trump—someone who scorned expertise, someone who believed that talking tough constituted leadership, someone who believed America fell into degeneration in the years following Brown v. Board of Education. Trump is the natural consequence of a generation of folks that watched All in the Family and actually thought the Archie Bunker character would make a one heck of a president.

The folks who voted for Trump knew exactly what they were doing. It wasn’t desperation. It wasn’t confusion. It was a willful and deliberate attempt to turn the clock back, to “deconstruct the administrative state,” to live out a fantasy of privilege, prejudice and power.

When Trump attacks our institutions, he is doing so with the full and total imprimatur and approval of those who voted for him. They like what they’re getting. Progressive nightmares are the same as their dreams.

It’s easy to put this all on Trump. It’s easy to say he’s out of control. It’s harder to countenance the idea that those who voted for Trump wanted chaos and disorder, wanted national and international harmony destroyed, wanted to eliminate all vestiges of progressivism and enlightenment in this country. No one wants to believe their neighbors hate them.
But they do. And they always will.