Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Molly Knew

No, the Orange One Did NOT Save Those Carrier Jobs

It is, as usual, bullshit, bribes and lies.  Repug governor offers company big tax incentives to keep a few jobs in state.  Tax incentives worth WAY more than the actual jobs, meaning state taxpayers get ass-fucked as per standard GOP operating procedure.

The other 1,100 jobs, apparently, will still be lost to Mexico. There are several things to say about this:
  • From a PR perspective, this is genius. If you want to demonstrate that you care about blue-collar workers, what better way than a big televised announcement surrounded by actual blue-collar workers who will be keeping their jobs?
     
  • We don't know yet what incentives Pence has promised, but it's worth noting that this is really nothing new. State and local governments offer financial inducements to keep companies from moving all the time. Trump is following a wheezy old playbook here, but even at that he can only do this because of the lucky coincidence that his vice president happens to still be governor of Indiana for a few weeks longer.
     
  • Compared to Carrier's 1,000 jobs, Obama's auto bailout saved something like 250,000 jobs at GM and Chrysler, and 1-2 million total jobs throughout the entire automotive supply chain. Just sayin'.
     
  • Needless to say, showering incentives on manufacturing companies to stay in America is not a sustainable national manufacturing strategy. And anyway, aren't Republicans opposed to the government picking winners and losers?
     
  • Carrier is a big company, but it's owned by United Technologies, a gigantic defense contractor that does a lot of business with the federal government—soon to be headed by one Donald J. Trump. Would Trump stoop to sabotaging UT's government business if it didn't play ball on the Carrier plant? Maybe. Hell, even Bernie Sanders thinks Trump should promise that UT will never get another government contract if it moves any jobs to Mexico. This would be a massive abuse of power, of course, but who wants to take a chance that Trump cares? Probably not UT.
     
  • Just for the record, the biggest supplier of working-class and middle class jobs in Indianapolis is not Carrier—or any other heavy manufacturing company. The top ten are Eli Lilly, Indiana University, Purdue University, St. Vincent Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, CNA Financial Group, Methodist Hospital, the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Roche Diagnostics, and FedEx.
     
  • All that said, this is, once again, a genius PR move. Donald promised he'd keep those Carrier jobs in Indianapolis, and by God, he delivered.
What to pay attention to next: the exact terms of the deal that Carrier got. Just how big a bribe did Pence have to pay them to save those 1,000 jobs? After all, Trump was probably pretty eager to have this chance to show off, and he's got a long history of giving away the store when he really wants something.

Fighting Trump the Albuquerque Way

Don't be afraid to stand up for people under attack.  The moment one person helps, many others will join.  We're not alone.
 
It was an unpleasant experience for Smith’s shoppers in Albuquerque Wednesday morning, particularly for a woman wearing a hijab, when another customer accosted her.
Barney Lopez was in the store at Coal and Yale when it happened around 9:30 a.m. He remembers walking in and passing the woman with the head scarf as she was checking out.
“I went down the aisle to go get sodas and then all of a sudden I hear somebody starting to yell at her,” he recalls, “And they’re saying things like ‘Get out of our country, you don’t belong here, you’re a terrorist!’”
At that point, Lopez says, practically everyone in the store stopped what they were doing and ran to the defense of the woman in hijab.
Lopez snapped a picture, albeit a bit shaky, of the person screaming at the woman in the hijab. The lady is wearing a hat and sunglasses. A Smith’s employee appears to stand in the way to keep her back.
“There was even another woman that like went over to the woman in the hijab and put her arm around her and gave her hug and held her while the Smith’s employees came,” he says.
Employees shuffled the shouting lady out of the store, but Lopez says the screaming woman waited in the parking lot for the woman in the hijab to come out.
“So all the Smith’s employees gathered around this woman and escorted her to her car and helped her load her groceries,” he recalled.
This is how we have to react. Right now, racists are fully empowered to yell and scream and beat and kill people of color. The way we stop them is to stand up collectively and fight for those we see oppressed. That’s what people did in Albuquerque yesterday. The only way this could have been improved upon is that someone took down the license plate of the racists who did this so she could be investigated by the police.
 Hate lost the election and is now trying to win by intimidation.  We can't let it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Only Free Speech is Praise For the Orange One


Try it, motherfucker.  The smoke from burning flags across the country will block out the sun.

President-elect Donald Trump sent out an early-morning tweet Tuesday musing that burning the American flag should result in jail time or “loss of citizenship."

It is unclear what prompted the message.

Flag burning is a protected act of free speech under the U.S. Constitution. In Texas v. Johnson, a 1989 ruling, the Supreme Court invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag that were enforced by 48 states. A law passed the same year by Congress making it a federal crime to desecrate the flag was also struck down by the Supreme Court.

A constitutional amendment to ban flag burning or desecration has been proposed multiple times in the years since, but failed to pass, most recently in 2006.

Despite this precedent, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller remained unconvinced by CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s insistence that flag burning is a “protected constitutional right” during a Tuesday appearance on “New Day.”

“Can we agree on that?” Cuomo asked.

“No, we completely disagree,” Miller replied.

Miller repeatedly said that such a “despicable” act “should be illegal” and tried to pivot to a discussion of Trump’s cabinet appointees.

“You have to defend what is legal in this country under the Constitution. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean that it's not legal, it's not right for somebody. What do you want this country to be, only what you like? Only what President-elect Trump likes?” Cuomo asked.

“Flag burning should be illegal,” Miller said again, insisting there was a “big difference” between protecting the First Amendment and burning the American flag.

You know what's "despicable" and already is illegal? Profiting from your position as an elected official.  Like shaking down foreign leaders for bribes if they want a meeting with El Presidente.

But even setting aside Trump’s unconstitutional call to criminalize flag burning, which became a staple of American conservative politics long before Trump emerged as a presidential candidate, Trump is calling for something even more extraordinary. He wants to strip citizenship — and with it, voting rights — from political dissidents. Federal law does permit Americans to lose their citizenship after “committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States,” but flag burning is a far cry from treason or armed rebellion. It is a political statement, and democracy depends on the free expression of political ideas.

The president-elect of the United States has proposed stripping a political protester’s very status as an American. In the process, he would take away that person’s ability to vote — and thus to vote for someone other than Donald Trump. Today, Trump proposes this consequence for a very specific category of speech that most Americans view as odious. But once a person’s voting rights can be made contingent upon their beliefs, or their silence, then elections become increasingly meaningless.
Not to mention that criminalizing protest is yet another dead give-away of fascism, as if we needed another example.

KY Board of Ed Ready to Kill Public Education

Charter schools are a scam.  Period.

The private ones funnel tax dollars directly from the public purse into the pockets of corporations without spending a dime on actual, you know, education.

The supposedly "public" and "nonprofit" ones steal tax dollars for religious or corporatist indoctrination free from any oversight or accountability.

Public education is exactly that: public education.  Any diversion of a single dime in tax dollars to entities not currently paid to, you know, teach is an absolute abdication of public responsibility and grounds for impeachment of every public official who advocates it.

Members of the Kentucky Board of Education appear open to charter schools for Kentucky, although the panel did not take a position after a daylong study session Monday.

The board is going to review other states’ laws and is expected to come to a consensus at its December meeting in advance of the 2017 General Assembly.

No legislation had been prefiled in the General Assembly by Monday. In 2016, a bill failed in the legislature that would have allowed charter schools as a pilot in Fayette and Jefferson counties, urban districts that are grappling with an achievement gap between minority, disabled and low-income students and other students. But a charter school bill is much more likely to pass in the coming legislative session after Republicans won control of the state House in the election earlier this month.
 PZ Myers reminds us that nothing about charter schools improves education.  Because, again, their purpose is not to educate; it's to profit.
The longest running voucher program in the country is the 20-year-old Milwaukee School Choice Program. Standardized testing shows that the voucher students in private schools perform below the level of Milwaukee’s public school students, and even when socioeconomic status is factored in, the voucher students still score at or below the level of the students who remain in Milwaukee’s public schools. Cleveland’s voucher program has produced similar results. Private schools in the voucher program range from excellent to very poor. In some, less than 20 percent of students reach basic proficiency levels in math and reading.
Vouchers are simply a means to an end: the demolition of the public school system. The DeVoses can afford the best private schools, and if you can’t, you deserve to be uneducated.

We thought Trump would be bad. We had no idea how awful electing an incompetent sould be, because it’s clear that the first thing he’s doing is appointing more incompetents solely on the basis of ideological fanaticism.
 And the truth about privatization has been known for decades.

Via The Nation, from a 1975 article by Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier, later assassinated by Pinochet's thugs for daring to tell the truth.
This situation recalls the story of a Latin Amer­ican dictator at the beginning of this century. When his advisers came to tell him that the country was suffer­ing from a very serious educational problem, he ordered all public schools closed. Now, more than seventy years into this century, there still remain disciples of the anec­dotal dictator who think that the way to eradicate pov­erty in Chile is to kill the poor people.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pumpkin-Headed Moron Gets Election Backward: Repugs Stopped Millions of Citizens From Voting


Considering the controversy over oddities in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential election, there’s nothing wrong with being a little skeptical about just how decisively the Donald won the Electoral College. Investigative journalist Greg Palast observes that the playing field was rigged–in Trump’s favor–long before November 8:
Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.
The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report, “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters” [which was published in August 2016].
On [Election Day], we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted…
This country is violently divided, but in the end, there simply aren’t enough [right-wing] white guys to elect Trump nor a Republican Senate. The only way they could win was to eliminate the votes of non-white guys—and they did so by tossing Black provisional ballots into the dumpster, ID laws that turn away students—the list goes on. It’s a web of complex obstacles to voting by citizens of color topped by that lying spider, Crosscheck.

Join the Resistance

If we do this right, we won't have to resort to violence, even in self-defense.

The French Resistance (French: La Résistance) was the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during the Second World War. Résistance cells were small groups of armed men and women (called the Maquis in rural areas),[2][3] who, in addition to their guerrilla warfare activities, were also publishers of underground newspapers, providers of first-hand intelligence information, and maintainers of escape networks that helped Allied soldiers and airmen trapped behind enemy lines. The men and women of the Résistance came from all economic levels and political leanings of French society, including émigrés; academics, students, aristocrats, conservative Roman Catholics (including priests) and also citizens from the ranks of liberals, anarchists and communists.

The French Resistance played a significant role in facilitating the Allies' rapid advance through France following the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, and the lesser-known invasion of Provence on 15 August, by providing military intelligence on the German defences known as the Atlantic Wall and on Wehrmacht deployments and orders of battle. The Résistance also planned, coordinated, and executed acts of sabotage on the electrical power grid, transport facilities, and telecommunications networks.[4][5] It was also politically and morally important to France, both during the German occupation and for decades afterward, because it provided the country with an inspiring example of the patriotic fulfillment of a national imperative, countering an existential threat to French nationhood. The actions of the Résistance stood in marked contrast to the collaboration of the French regime based at Vichy,[6][7] the French people who joined the pro-Nazi Milice française and the French men who joined the Waffen SS.
 
The rhetoric is familiar: the demands to take the country back. The railing against an out-of-touch elite. The anger at a rigged economic system.
But now the insurgent cries that propelled Donald Trump to the White House have been taken up by stunned opponents as they try to galvanise anger and fear over his election into a strategy to resist his policies and remake the left as a credible political alternative.
“People came out on the streets because they were in shock,” said Gregory McKelvey, an experienced activist who founded a protest group, Portland’s Resistance, as thousands joined spontaneous demonstrations in the liberal west coast city within hours of Trump’s victory. “Now we are seeing a rising up of people to say it’s supposed to be our country. The government’s supposed to fear us, not the other way around.
“The majority of Americans feel like it’s time for a big change and Donald Trump is pushing for one form of drastic change. We are pushing for another.”
The tide of protests that swept US cities was matched by a wave of individual acts of resistance. Some rallied on the streets and online under the banner Not My President. Facebook groups popped up to plan how to challenge Trump over climate change and misogyny. Donations to civil liberties groups surged in defence of Muslims, immigrants and freedom of speech.
An online petition demanding delegates to the electoral college switch their support to Hillary Clinton because she won the popular vote has received more than 4m signatures. Activists in California and Oregon began the legal process for their states to declare independence from the US, albeit an unlikely prospect.

But as shock and protest gave way to more considered strategies, the focus shifted from the twin issues of opposition to the more egregious of Trump’s proposed policies and how to build a liberal political movement more representative of working Americans, with or without the Democratic party.
Social justice organisations supporting immigrant rights, fighting for the environment or tackling institutional racism have been abruptly forced to shift their attention from long-term policy to defence of existing rights in the face of Trump’s threat of mass deportations, climate change denial and attacks on Black Lives Matter.
The environmental group 350.org called Trump’s election “a disaster” and said: “The climate movement will put everything on the line to protect the progress we’ve made.”
Latino organisations are laying plans to shield young undocumented immigrants who benefitted from an Obama presidential executive order protecting them from deportation. Trump can abolish it with the stroke of a pen.
Some cities have promised to remain places of “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants. In Portland, the public schools board passed a resolution limiting immigration officials’ access to campuses. The city’s schools superintendent warned of a rise in racism tied to Trump: “We have seen a number of incidents of hate speech over the last several months, and it has risen significantly since (the election).” Other parts of a state sharply divided between liberal cities and strongly Republican rural areas, groups opposing discrimination say there has been a sharp increase in attacks on minorities.
The Nation says Welcome to the Fight:

If we withdraw into our grief and abandon those most threatened by Trump’s win, history will never forgive us.

Though the full extent of the damage is still unclear, there is no denying the magnitude of the upheaval: a man who campaigned on a platform of hostility to immigrants, contempt for women, and disregard for civil and religious liberty has now been elected president of the United States. The same Republican Party that successfully stymied progressive legislation for the last eight years, and obstructed President Obama at every turn, now controls both the Senate and the House of Representatives. And the Supreme Court, for so long the bulwark of our liberties, is likely to become a rubber stamp for economic privilege and social reaction—possibly for a generation.
Citizens United, it seems, may just have been the beginning, unleashing a torrent of corporate money that buried Russ Feingold, Zephyr Teachout, Ted Strickland, and the California ballot initiative to control rising drug prices. With Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, and a conservative majority again on the Court, decisions that seemed like settled law only a few days ago—gay marriage, legal abortion, the right to join a union, indeed, the very right to citizenship itself for all born inside this country—may now well come under attack. These are all fights we cannot afford to lose.

And so, despite the temptation to mourn, we have to organize. Because if we can’t rely on the president, or the Congress, or the courts, we have no choice but to rely on one another. Not just for comfort but for strength—and survival.

SNIP

The Democratic Party is in deep disarray. American women have learned that even a buffoon with no experience in government or history of public service is more likely to be elected president—so long as he has a penis, a television program, and a billion dollars (more or less). And so many of our hopes—for free public college, a livable minimum wage, expanded Social Security, a path to universal health care, paid family leave, an end to private prisons, the abolition of the death penalty—now lie shattered, along with the prospect of an administration that, whatever its limitations, had been shown to be open to pressure from the left.
Which means we have to apply even greater pressure from the left: to march in greater numbers, to shout out louder against injustice, and to summon and be prepared to sustain everyday massive nonviolent civil disobedience on a scale not seen in this country for decades. Not because we refuse to acknowledge the results of the election. But because, as we would have written no matter who won last night, elections are only the beginning of the contest for power. And because in the coming contest there are some in immediate peril, who need our help, our energy, and our solidarity.

 History will judge this country—our leaders, our media-entertainment complex, ourselves, and our fellow citizens—harshly for electing Donald Trump. But if we withdraw into our private grief and abandon those who, this morning, feel most threatened by the result—Muslim Americans, Hispanic Americans, LGBTQ Americans, women, inner-city youth—history will never forgive us.

Instead, we have to stand up, and fight back. And to realize that we are not without resources, and advantages, and potential leaders, in that fight.

SNIP

But when—as will far more often be the case—they offer pretend solutions, we should expose them. And when they pose a threat to our rights, our fellow citizens, or the health of our planet, we must oppose them by every peaceful means at our disposal, from filibuster in the Senate and endless amendments in the House to physical obstruction of the machinery of repression, including massive mobilization and demonstrations on our streets and in our cities.
Given Trump’s rhetoric, we would be foolish not to expect repression in return.
So we must be prepared for that, too, politically, by strengthening groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, and the immigrant-rights movement; emotionally, by practicing solidarity; and practically, by picking our battles and not wasting precious time and energy on infighting and sectarian hair-splitting. If we’re going to survive the Trump regime, and have any hope of blocking it in 2018 and overturning it in 2020, we’re going to have to work together: Clinton and Stein voters, gay and straight, black and brown and white, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, socialist and liberal (and even some libertarians).
The next four years will test our country—and our movement—like nothing else we have seen in our lifetimes. Welcome to the fight.
How to do it?  More from The Nation:
 Citizen movements—the Fight for $15, Black Lives Matter, the Dreamers, 350.org, and others—drove reform in the Obama years. Now these same movements will have to mobilize to fend off reaction. Progressives in the House and Senate need to take over the Democratic Party’s agenda and message. New populist energy can drive important reforms at the state and local level, and recruit and train a new generation of populist candidates. Democrats don’t need to abandon their social liberalism; they need to develop their economic populism. If they do, the Trump era may turn out to be as short as his attention span.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Behave Decently


(Source: iamatheistgirl)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The 20-Lies-a-Day Fascist Tangelo

The only things he says that are probably true are his threats to punish people who aren't "nice" to him.
 

Sure, all politicians lie. But Donald Trump is in a class by himself.

He lies strategically. He lies pointlessly. He lies about important things and meaningless things. Above all, he lies frequently. Since he began his campaign last June, the Republican presidential candidate has subjected America to a daily barrage of inaccuracy and mendacity.

His rival, Hillary Clinton, has her own reputation for dishonesty. Some of it is no doubt earned: she has made false claims this campaign about her email scandal, about her flip-flop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and about assorted other things. But our scrutiny shows there is just no comparison in their level of accuracy on the campaign trail. At the three presidential debates, for example, we counted 104 false claims for Trump to 13 for Clinton.

The extreme, unprecedented quantity of Trump falsehoods is why we started fact-checking everything he said. From mid-September through Sunday, we did 28 “#TrumpCheck” analyses of every word he uttered or tweeted in a given day.

The total: 560 false claims, or a neat 20 per day.

Below, find the complete list of the false statements Dale has found.

After that (very long) list, Tanya Talaga examines the errors, exaggerations and lies for patterns. Some remain hard to explain. Click here to jump directly to this analysis.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful for the ACLU

And the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  And proud, loud, courageous Freethinkers like Bennie L. Hart.

Because a state that issues "In god We Trust" license plates at no extra change to any random motherfucking freakazoid has no standing to refuse a far less offensive and obnoxious specialty plate to a follower of reason and freethought.

An atheist's request to say "IM GOD" on his license plate was denied by the state of Kentucky, which said it might distract other drivers, could spark confrontations and would be in bad taste.

Bennie L. Hart says that by driving around with the "IM GOD" message, he simply wants to spread his views about religion — that it's impossible to disprove anyone's claim to being "God."

Besides, Hart says, he had the same plate for a dozen years when he lived in Ohio, without causing any problems.

Hart sued Kentucky's transportation secretary, Greg Thomas, on Tuesday on free speech grounds, asking a federal judge in Frankfort to strike down some Kentucky laws and rules for personalized plates.

"Under the First Amendment, government officials do not have the authority to censor messages simply because they dislike them," said William Sharp, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which helped file the lawsuit. "And in this instance, personalized license plates are a form of individual speech equally deserving of First Amendment protection."

State Transportation Cabinet spokesman Ryan Watts said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Hart, who moved to Kenton County in northern Kentucky in February, intends to reapply for the "IM GOD" plate, his suit says.

When Hart was first turned down in March for the "IM GOD" plate, an administrative branch manager for Kentucky's Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing cited state law and regulations forbidding vulgar or obscene personalized plates, the suit says. That characterization is "demeaning" to Hart and his views and amounts to censorship, the suit says.

"I simply want the same opportunity to select a personal message for my license plate, just as any other driver," Hart said in an ACLU release Tuesday. "There is nothing 'obscene or vulgar' about my view that religious beliefs are subject to individual interpretation."
Right now, the ACLU is the only thing standing between us and the Republic of Gilead. Donate today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Meanwhile, the real president-elect is winning by a landslide

If the results were reversed and Hillary had won the Electoral College with a minority of the popular vote, there would be genuine riots in the streets and the media would be screaming for her to concede to the vulgar talking yam.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory continued to grow Monday as millions of ballots remained uncounted, according to the latest ballot tally published by the Cook Political Report. The first female major-party nominee has secured nearly 2 million more votes than her opponent, billionaire Donald Trump, despite an Electoral College vote in his favor.

Trump managed to secure well over the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency, but Clinton appears to have soundly won the popular vote by an ever-expanding margin. She received about 63,600,000 votes to the president-elect's 61,900,000, according to the Cook Political Report. Updated ballot counts show her receiving at least 48 percent of the national vote compared to Trump’s 46.7 percent.

Clinton’s lead has already exceeded the 540,520-vote gap former Democratic candidate Al Gore maintained over former President George W. Bush before the former conceded in the 2000 election.

Inherent Corruption on a Global Scale

Remember when Herr Drumpf (kudos to Kevin Drum) said he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and his followers wouldn't care?

Political Animal:

(Tuesday), president-elect Trump said, “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
If the fascist tangelo ordered the summary execution of unarmed, peaceful protesters because they called him rude names, do you think Attorney General Jeff Sessions would tell the Justice Department to stop him?

Even "above the law" doesn't cover it.

Josh Marshall at TPM says to stop calling it "conflict of interest." It's far, far worse.
 At a minimum, we use this construct on the assumption that people are acting in good faith and not advancing their private interests with the powers of their office. That's the problem. The concept simply doesn't apply well when you are talking is a public official who is by design using their public office for profit. Everything we've seen from President-Elect Trump so far suggests this all comes so naturally to him that at some level he doesn't even see anything wrong with it. Indeed, this shouldn't be surprising since it matches with his entire career, in which he has used every angle on offer - publicity, stardom, connections with government officials, etc. - to make money or as tools he can leverage to make money for his private businesses. 

This is so obvious, so clear right in front of our faces, that it seems hard to see. These aren't conflicts of interest. The construct doesn't work for what we're dealing with. There is no conflict. Everything is working as planned. He's leveraging the office like one might leverage a business. When you have your hotel pitch foreign diplomatic delegations on bringing their business to your hotel, that's not a conflict. That's a revenue stream tied to owning the presidency. Same with expanding your business in countries where the US has critical diplomatic, economic and military relationships. 

SNIP

That whole package is inherently corrupt. The President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world. Everyone wants his favor. The sprawling Trump organization provides a ready path for virtually anyone to seek to buy it. Even if Trump didn't want this to be so it would still be so. He doesn't have to pursue it. It will come on its own like gravity forcing objects toward the ground. And yet he is actively soliciting it - seemingly across the board. Again, Trump and his children has some mix of indifference and obliviousness to this central fact. 

Note what I flagged this morning. The only reason we know about the meeting with the Indian business partners about expanding operations in India is because it bubbled up in the Indian press. The only reason we know about this phone call with the Argentine president is because an Editor at TPM who knows Spanish and knows Argentina happened to find it. How many other instances like this do you think are out there that the US press hasn't noticed yet simply because of language proficiency in Russian, Chinese, Malay, Polish, Arabic and dozens of other languages where Trump has or wants to build new business ventures? 

Here's a question. Do you think the Trump Organization's overseas and domestic licensing and construction business, managed by Trump's children, will expand over the next four years or contract? The answer is obvious. Money always wants to seek out power. And we've never had a case where the most powerful man in the world had some many active tentacles in so many parts of the world to facilitate that process. 

Just as the US campaign press really wasn't prepared or able to deal with the novelty of Trump's campaign, they seem unable to grapple with the scope of Trump's corruption.

When They Suffer and Die, I Will Laugh

No sympathy for the greedy morons who voted for a fascist tangelo who's going to destroy everything good Obama gave the ungrateful shits.

Rude Pundit:
And I'm gonna bet a fuckload of people who got insurance through the Affordable Care Act, either through the exchanges or through the Medicaid expansion, voted for Donald Trump and Republicans, who have vowed to make repealing the law one of their first tasks.

And when they lose their health insurance, when they get sick, and when they die and when their children die, I will laugh at them.

Does that seem harsh? I mean, I know, I know, we're all supposed to pretend the ugly months that preceded Tuesday never happened. I wish Hillary Clinton had walked up to the microphone yesterday and said, "Burn shit down. Burn down everything the misogynists built. Bring the country to its filthy knees." But, alas, both she and President Obama went with the conciliatory, healing approach, as if somehow those who have broken the country want it to heal. They don't. They want it to scar.

But, no, no, "Stop Shaming Trump Supporters," liberal rabbi Michael Lerner tells us. "The left needs to stop ignoring people’s inner pain and fear. The racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans," he writes. This presupposes that the racism, etc. isn't intrinsic to the fear, that those who have learned and expressed and exulted in hate of others for the crime of not being white and Christian and male are somehow able to be convinced by telling them we understand their class anxiety and poverty. God, how that would be amazing. It would be even more amazing if the left hadn't just been told to take the health insurance we just got most of them and go fuck ourselves with it. And you know what sucks about being a liberal? When we get a chance, we'll be right back at it, trying to make sure these same short-sighted twat fleas can have access to medical care.

This conflagration of anger at the coalition of dumb fucks, assholes, and shitheads who voted for Trump is going to take a long time to calm down to the usual dull roar of blind rage at the fuckery of the ignorant. The idiot hordes have overrun the joint, like barbarians have ever since they evolved enough to wield clubs. Shit, most Trump voters don't have an idea of what the fuck he's gonna do, which makes them that much more pathetic.

SNIP

No, I'm not playing nice. I'm not gonna fuckin' pretend, as the country falls apart, as attacks on Muslims and others increase, as the world distances itself from us, that there was something wrong with me, that I didn't understand Trump voters' concerns, that I didn't try to elect people whose policies attempted to make their lives better. I get it. They don't.

I don't need to reach out to arsonists to understand fire.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

No Infrastructure or Jobs; Just Corporate Welfare

Political Animal:
You’ll want to read what Ronald Klain had to say about Trump’s infrastructure plan.
…Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

Murder at Standing Rock

Of course the cavalry is torturing indians to death.  That's what they've always done and always will do to people standing in the way of corporate profits.


It’s definitely winter up here in the upper Midwest. The temperature is right around freezing, there’s at least 15cm of snow on the ground, and the roads and sidewalks are slick with hard-packed ice. And they’re using water cannons on protesters at Standing Rock.

This is not just cruel — it’s dangerous. I’m sure residents of the Dakotas are just as conscious of the risks of getting wet outside in frigid weather as we are here in the slightly more urban state of Minnesota. You just don’t do that. You can kill people in this weather.

And of course they’re using rubber bullets and tear gas, and roughing up protesters and throwing them in dog kennels.
She told me that they were arrested at a prayer ceremony lead by camp elders, and that she had been slammed to the ground by uniformed officers with shields and helmets that kept her from distinguishing whether they were law enforcement or national guard.
“It was three against one, that’s their strategy,” she said, “there’s tear gas in the air everywhere. They didn’t fire it directly at me, but it’s everywhere.”
I was told that when they were arrested, they weren’t read their rights until after they spent a day in jail.
Her description of the arrest matched my student’s description. She told me they were bussed to a facility where they were kept in dog cages with urine stains on the floor, pictures of dogs hung on the walls. Women were separated from men with chain link fencing and a tarp.
They said their phones and money were confiscated, the money seized and turned into procurement cards and calling cards, allegedly without consent. The balance was not returned upon release, she said.
The state of the jail uniforms made the women feel vulnerable, she said, and the tarp separating the women from the view of the camp’s men exacerbated that feeling. She went on to tell me they were strip-searched.
“It was just turn your head and cough, just spread your cheeks and cough, but they didn’t tell us what they were going to, so when the woman approached me with rubber gloves on, I braced for a body cavity search. It’s worse not knowing, you know?”
America! This is what we’re like before the orange fascist takes power. What’s it going to be like next year?

You can still donate to the Standing Rock Sioux, and they’re going to need it. It takes courage and dedication to confront this kind of oppression.
 Update from Democracy for America:
 Last night, the brave leaders and protesters fighting for Native American rights against the Dakota Access Pipeline came under a brutal and violent attack by local police. We need your help right now to get President Obama to step in and stop these horrible attacks.

Police attacked the protest camp near Standing Rock with tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and even water cannons. Using water cannons in below-freezing temperatures puts people at risk of hypothermia. Hundreds of protesters were hospitalized, with several in serious condition.

President Obama has less than 60 days left in office -- that means time is running out to get him to stop these police attacks, and stop the pipeline. People across the country are calling the White House today -- will you join them and call President Obama right now?

YES, I will call President Obama at (202) 456-1111 -- and tell him to step in to stop the attacks on protesters and stop the pipeline. (Click here to report the results of your call)

No, I can't call (or I got a busy signal) -- but I will contribute directly to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3 billion pipeline designed to carry fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois -- meaning it would cross underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent. A leak in the pipeline would have the potential to destroy the drinking water supply for millions of people who live downstream.

Time and time again, the U.S. government has disrespected and disregarded the treaties it made with native communities. We cannot let them get away with it again. And not only would the Dakota Access Pipeline violate sacred lands, it would open up the entire region to a rapid expansion of fracking activities, with potentially catastrophic results for the indigenous people who live there.

Bold, inspiring protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous communities have managed to successfully stall the pipeline for months. The Obama administration and the Army Corps of Engineers put it on pause for more review. But local police have decided they won't wait, and have unleashed a brutal assault on the protesters, native land and our environment.

Enough is enough. We need to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux and the #NoDAPL protesters until the threat of this pipeline has been completely eliminated. Will you call President Obama?

No More News, Just More New Lies

Steve M at No More Mister Nice Blog is you go-to for the low-down on how the mainstream media is normalizing trump, swallowing all the right-wing lies and bending over for a four-year ass-fuck.
Headline at Politico right now:
Poll: Trump's popularity soars after election
"Soars"?
Donald Trump’s popularity is rising in the days since his election, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of registered voters.

Forty-six percent of voters now have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of the president-elect. Twelve percent have a somewhat unfavorable opinion and 34 percent have a very unfavorable opinion of him.

It’s a dramatic uptick since the election. Trump’s favorability has grown 9 points, 37 percent to 46 percent, compared to a Morning Consult poll right before the election -- while his unfavorability has dropped 15 points, from 61 percent to 46 percent.
So in "a dramatic uptick," Trump's favorability "soars" to mere parity, 46%-46%.

How does this compare? The implication is that it's right in line with what happened to previous presidents:
"Trump’s favorability among voters has reached new highs since he became president-elect,” said Morning Consult cofounder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. "This honeymoon phase in common for new presidents. For example, Obama saw about a 20 point swing in his favor following the 2008 election."
Let's check Polling Report. What were Barack Obama's favorable/unfavorable numbers in polls taken in the five weeks after Election Day 2008?
CNN : 75%-22%
Fox: 68%-24%
Quinnipiac: 67%-19%
CBS: 55%-12%
NBC: 45%-22%
No parity here.

But the Politico headline is right-wing clickbait -- and will probably become mainstream-media conventional wisdom.

Although if we're lucky, this, from Pew, will influence the narrative:



But the Politico headline is probably the story the media likes, so I'm not optimistic.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fascist Tangelo Throws Temper Tantrum

If the entire cast of Hamilton had screamed obscenities at Pence and then dropped trou and mooned the motherfucker, they still would absolutely not owe him an apology.

Apologize for free political speech?  What the fascist tangelo (props to Shakezula) thinks is appropriate punishment for actual protesters has the Abu Ghraib torturers terrified.

Sure Pence is a man who has used his position to oppress gay people and women. Yes, there’s strong evidence that he dabbled in disenfranchisement. Yes, he’s second banana to a fascist tangelo. And no, you haven’t heard him utter a peep against the rest of the white supremacist goons on Team Trump. But Dave Itzkoff saw the man attend an insanely popular musical while surrounded by a Secret Service detail and knew he must be trying to engage [something] and could possibly get some ideas [about something]. Therefore the fact that some members of the audience booed Pence (others cheered), made Itzkoff ;_;.

SNIP

Anyone who has reason to fear fascist goons, tough shit on them and their 1st Am. rights. Should a member of the cast or theater staff, or some guy making deliveries to the building or someone who looks a bit Hamiltonish get mauled because the PEST blamed them for the booing, that will of course not be the fault of the Donald. And give him another chance, because he’s trying.

Stop Pretending They Are Not Stone-Cold Racists

The last dying remnants of the mainstream media are already frantically normalizing the fascist pigs of the trumpian campaign.  Resist. Fight back.
 
The right is building a new culture that is openly comfortable with racists. They are proudly making American conservatism synonymous with racism, while at the same time sniffing indignantly if you dare to point out that fact. And we’ve got lots of liberals going along with this rebranding, protesting that we’re going to offend a lot of voters if we are so brazen as to recognize that the views they are espousing are in fact racist.

SNIP

Do not let them get away with using a blasé media to normalize their delusions. Remember how disastrous that reshaping of perceived reality was in the Bush administration, and realize that their new efforts are going to be just as destructive.

They’re racists. They’re fascists. Their goal is to undermine civil liberties and loot the country to benefit themselves and their ugly, hateful kin. You can’t honestly report on Richard Spencer or Steve Bannon or Donald Trump without stating this fact.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Who to Thank

This giving your invisible sky wizard friend credit for what is actually accomplished by experts who went to school for a decade and practiced for several more just makes me insane.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

No, the tiny dictator did NOT save Ford jobs in Kentucky

Contrary to both the Herald and the Courier - shame on them both - Ford never planned to move those jobs to Mexico, and even if it had, nothing said or done by the Orange Menace would have influenced the decision either way.

The talking yam is a psychopathic narcissist and pathological liar, and I'm betting Ford execs know it.

How long before the media stop pretending otherwise?

From TPM:

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a false claim Thursday night about saving a Kentucky Ford plant from moving to Mexico. By the next day, a handful of reputable news agencies had blasted out credulous headlines that bolstered that falsehood.
“Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky - no Mexico,” Trump tweeted. “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”


Not so: Ford Motor Company operates two plants in the state, neither of which had planned on moving to Mexico. On Thursday night, Ford announced that one of its plants in the Bluegrass State, the Louisville Assembly Plant, would continue manufacturing the Lincoln MKC, the production of which they had previously considered moving to Mexico.

Even if production of that one model had moved to Mexico, the Louisville plant would not have lost any jobs, according to a statement from the company last November. Employees at the Louisville plant would have simply shifted to producing more Ford Escapes.
It's a simple translation:  If the talking yam accuses someone of something, he's projecting and confessing.  If he claims something for himself, he's lying.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trumpians Got What They Voted For

Don't ever let them forget it.

Millions of Americans are justifiably afraid of what they’ll face under a Trump administration. If any group demands our support and sympathy, it’s these people, not the Americans who backed Trump and his threat of state-sanctioned violence against Hispanic immigrants and Muslim Americans. All the solicitude, outrage, and moral telepathy being deployed in defense of Trump supporters—who voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes—is perverse, bordering on abhorrent.

It’s worth repeating what Trump said throughout the election. His campaign indulged in hateful rhetoric against Hispanics and condemned Muslim Americans with the collective guilt of anyone who would commit terror. It treated black America as a lawless dystopia and spoke of black Americans as dupes and fools. And to his supporters, Trump promised mass deportations, a ban on Muslim entry to the United States, and strict “law and order” as applied to those black communities. Trump is now president-elect. Judging from his choices for the transition—figures like immigration hardliner Kris Kobach and white nationalist Stephen Bannon—it’s clear he plans to deliver on those promises.

Whether Trump’s election reveals an “inherent malice” in his voters is irrelevant. What is relevant are the practical outcomes of a Trump presidency. Trump campaigned on state repression of disfavored minorities. He gives every sign that he plans to deliver that repression. This will mean disadvantage, immiseration, and violence for real people, people whose “inner pain and fear” were not reckoned worthy of many-thousand-word magazine feature stories. If you voted for Trump, you voted for this, regardless of what you believe about the groups in question. That you have black friends or Latino colleagues, that you think yourself to be tolerant and decent, doesn’t change the fact that you voted for racist policy that may affect, change, or harm their lives. And on that score, your frustration at being labeled a racist doesn’t justify or mitigate the moral weight of your political choice.

Silly Social Workers. Those People Get Nothing in Trump World.

Yep, it's FREEDUMB! for child abusers and senior neglecters and drug abusers in Kentucky, because Gov. Matt "Trumpian before Trumpian was cool" Bevin and his all-repug legislature aren't giving a dime of public money to help those people.

From the AP:

A current and a former state social worker pleaded with lawmakers to help alleviate staff shortages and rising caseloads.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/2fYvzI1 ) reports Louisville social service worker Katy Coleman told the House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday that workers are quitting at "astronomical proportions," leaving children even more helpless.

The Department for Community Based Services has been hollowed out by repeated budget cuts over the years. In that time, social workers say their jobs have become even more necessary because of the heroin abuse epidemic.

Coleman says there are nearly 8,100 children in foster care, a 200-child increase over a few months ago.

"It just keeps getting worse every day," Coleman said. "Heroin reigns supreme."
 Bevin to start blaming Obama in 3, 2 ...

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/article115333343.html#storylink=cpy

Empty Land Handed Election to the Orange Menace

This is what the Electoral College does: gives more power to millions of acres of dry land empty of people than to cities full of millions of people.
 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Yay We Have Another Chance To Fuck Up Mitch McConnell

For real.  The election is not over.  There is one more Senate race, and you can help the Democrat win.
 
Hey, you there! You are a sad Hillary voter, or you are a person saying arguments to the internet about how Bernie would have won (NO MORE DISCUSSING THAT), or you are protesting in the streets, or maybe you are just curled up in a ball day-drinking and waiting for the end of America on January 21. That’s all fine, and we need to have time to process and mourn and eat our feelings, but it’s also time to get FIRED UP, READY TO GO! for what needs to be the greatest period of libtard/progressive civic engagement in American history, at least since the first time “Arrested Development” was canceled.

And you need a thing to do! And his name is Democratic Louisiana Senate candidate Foster Campbell! No, you perverts, we don’t literally mean you are going to DO him, but you are going to DO whatever you can to get him elected.

The dealio here is that one million and five people were running for the Louisiana Senate seat formerly diaper-stained by gross diaper man David Vitter. Since nobody won a majority of the vote on election day, it’s going to a run-off, which will be held December 10. The Republican challenger John Kennedy got 25% of the vote in the first election, whereas Foster Campbell got only 17.5%, and Kennedy reportedly has a lot of structural advantages and more money dollars. But what did we learn last Tuesday? We learned you either TURN OUT or you gonna get TURNT OUT, you know what we are saying?

 
You will do this because, if Campbell wins, the Republicans will only have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, which gives Dems just a little bit more power to push back on Donald Trump’s worst plans. It means it won’t be as much of a stretch to try to form majority coalitions with Republican senators who are occasionally decent on specific issues, like John McCain with Russia or Rand Paul opposing Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton for secretary of State. If 49 Democrats can pull a McCain and a Susan Collins across the aisle to oppose Trump erecting a statue of Vladimir Putin on top of the White House, we might be able to at least mitigate Trump’s damage, is what we mean.


Another reason for why to do this is the 2018 midterms, which we have to start organizing for NOW, so call your mama and call your liberal congressman, and if you don’t have one of those, call your local party to see how you can get involved. The Democratic Senate map in 2018 is tough, TO SAY THE LEAST, so having one more seat filled with a Democrat up there in Washington could make a big difference.

 
He is a good guy! He’s a cattle rancher good ol’ boy Louisiana dude who just happens to want to raise the minimum wage and go after Wall Street and do something to save Louisiana’s coastline, which, in case you have not heard, is disappearing due to global warming and the oil industry. He wants to fix it with SCIENCE! Doesn’t he sound like a nice new work boyfriend for Elizabeth Warren?

We think so! So give him money. If you have time for a quick weekender, head to Louisiana — WHERE NEW ORLEANS IS — and do some volunteering for him! While you are there, eat at Mandina’s and Cafe Degas and also a million other places, we don’t care, it’s not our responsibility to plan your meals.

If you can’t make it down South, you could always make phone calls for Campbell! And then give him more money. And like him on Facebook! And share this post on Facebook and Twitter and wherever else you share the things!