PRAWN

Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network
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PRAWN
Blog

Associated website:
Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN

Veteran's resources. This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance.

PRAWN Flyer (PDF) Updated 20Feb2010


Information sheet on Austerity

 


Ray Torres is the director of the short film

Beyond Credit Unions

The film is available for groups to show. Contact Ray at 215 753 9022

Flyer


Study guide available from Christian-Jewish Allies:
Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism

Also: Press Release



I kinda like this as an anthem for the left these days.

Brief history of PRAWN


PRAWN's mission is to:
  • Network groups, organizations, and individuals to stop the repression caused by "never ending wars" at home and abroad, by the US corporate military state
  • Support organizations having common ground
  • Educate and activate the general public


Local Resource Organizations

National Organizations



Marlene Santoyo's Political Allies Newsletter

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Commentary Archives
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Webspace provided by 1&1 Internet
Webmaster: Rich Gardner

Upcoming Events

Philadelphia Orchestra
Stop supporting apartheid in Israel!

Philly Don't Orchestrate Apartheid will protest between 6:30pm to 8:30pm as their regular weekly demonstration time. Days of the protest will be announced every week, either through the C-J Allies mailing list or the the Facebook page Philly Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid. The Kimmel Center is at South Broad and Spruce Streets, a few blocks South of Philadelphia's City Hall.
10May2018
20Apr2018
14Apr2018
06Apr2018
Exploration of BDS lecture
Philly Don't Orchestrate Apartheid has a petition to encourage the Philadelphia Orchestra to not play in Israel.


Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East - Peace Vigil

Held at the corner of 19th & JFK Boulevard

1st & 3rd Fridays of each month - all are invited to attend

link

rally for gaza

Rally for Gaza


assembled

Gay Pride Parade - Vets For Peace and FUMCOG contingents


interview

May Day 2014


Corbett

Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett arranges to meet with students of one of the schools that he's been defunding, but cancels when students, parents and teachers make it clear that they were goingto protest his visit. We all assembled anyway.


drone protest

Anti-drones protest


group photo

Syria strike protest


Horsham Air Base

Protest at Horsham Air Base about proposed Drone Command Center


Anonymous protests

Last (?) Protest on behalf of Pfc. Bradley Manning


gay pride parade

The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade


Brad Manning demo

Demonstration on behalf of Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins next Monday.


 

May Day USA 2013
May Day 2013
Horsham Air Base drone protest
Protesting drones at Horsham Air Base
Sandy Hook Vigil
Vigil for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Visual essay on event and on the gun control issue



near Liberty Bell

National Gathering Facebook page
Live-blog of National Gathering

in front of school board
Rally at the School Board to defeat the Knudsen Plan

sign
May Day Rally
Also, same problems that apply to privatized schools apply to prisons as well.

Decarcerate PA
DecarceratePA
march & rally story


bellringer with vigilers in background
The "Final Friday" vigil concludes


Dilworth Plaza

Occupation of Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia

libya
Protesting War in Libya

Declare Peace
Declare Peace & protest of interception of Boat to Gaza

Mt Airy Day
Mt Airy Day 2011

crowd

Philadelphia's Take Back The Night annual march and testimony

two groups
UNAC opposed to the wars abroad

Lafayette Park
Noting the beginning of the 8th year of the Iraq War. Also, protest of how Pfc. Bradley Manning is being treated.

At Love Park
Two protests in support of the citizens, workers and unions of Wisconsin.
MSB Plaza     Love Park

rally for Egypt
In support of the Egyptian people against their dictator Hosni Mubarak. Update on situation. Videos of another protest shortly afterwards.

Vets protest

Veteran-Led Civil Resistance to U.S. Wars
Announcement    \ Flyers    Photos   Huffington Post

children

Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.


Tucker Carlson wonders why law enforcement is picking on President Trump's lawyer. The Democratic guest replies that, unlike the Kenneth Starr inquiry that turned into an inquisition on Bill Clinton's sex life, the Mueller inquiry found evidence that Michael Cohen conducted illegal behavior and referred it to New York rather than to handle it themselves.

Just in case anyone would like to get a "warm and fuzzy" on the intelligence and integrity of Robert Mueller, this is from the fellow who was his intelligence briefer when Mueller was head of the FBI.


So why did the US, along with Britain and France, bomb Syria? "In our age of politics as reality show..."
Blogger makes it clear he's not a fan of Syrian regime, but feels that Russia and Iran have won the war there.
Good to see bipartisan pushback over legality of Syrian strike.


The Steele Dossier claimed that President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, travelled to Prague to meet with a Russian during the 2016 campaign. That meeting has apparently now been verified.

"RNC flak Kayleigh McEnany told host Eric Shawn that even several Democratic leaders once criticized Comey for his handling of the Clinton investigation..."
Entirely true. Comey was major factor in Trump's electoral victory.
“The fact is Democrats have admitted, James Comey is not credible..."
Hmm, not sure we can reach that conclusion at all. That's a bit of a stretch.


Thing I like about this conversation is that both participants are concise and to the point. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mulvaney, who tried earnestly to destroy the CFPB, keeps saying that there were other institutions that could have performed the same good things. Senator Warren keeps pointing out that those other institutions didn't do so even though they had the opportunity to do just that.


First few mintes of this clip are classic! Can't properly sumarize them!


Former FBI Director James Comey's book is out. Good evaluation:

This is the most important news so far out of the Comey book: Trump, as president-elect, didn't give a damn about the Russian attack on the US and was unconcerned about preventing a repeat. That is a profound dereliction of duty.


In assessing Paul Ryan as Speaker, this is a good start.


A look at the proposed pardon of "Scooter" Libby. President Trump's two other pardons and this proposed one all fit a pattern. These people all violated the law in order to achieve right-wing goals.

And Libby is now pardoned. Valarie Plame is brought forth to explain why Libby was busted and deserved to be treated as a criminal. Deepthink piece on the pardoning power.


Newt Gingrich compares the utterly legal, by-the-book, polite gathering of evidence on Michael Cohen (Yes, Cohen was treated as a "mob lawyer," as someone neck-deep in criminal activities) to how citizens were treated under Stalin and der Fuhrer. But hey, back in 2005, Senator Dick Durbin accurately described the torture program under the younger George Bush and that called for censure! Why, Durbin crossed a line by comparing US military personnel to Nazis! Even though in 2005, the comparison was entirely accurat


Good! Hard-line Trump-supporting right-wingers appear to be really unenthusiastic about going to war for Syria. On this one issue, I agree with them completely!


Thanks to climate change, Atlantic currents are at their weakest in 1,600 years.


A deeply unready, amateur president has an extremely bad Twitter habit. His overall use of Twitter really does him far more harm than good.
Further problem with using Twitter for foreign policy: "Within an hour of posting it, Trump seemed to walk it back, indicating in another tweet that he still hopes to have warmer relations with Putin." It just really doesn't help anything when the President "shoots from the hip" or gets all improvisational. Foreign policy requires deeply, carefully, thought-through and considered responses.
The President's frequent use of Twitter to announce policies also means that his staff is usually the last to know and is constantly playing catch-up with new policies. 


Protecting the President in the upcoming impeachment fight will not be for the weak of heart. If you're a Republican and you're not 100% in his corner, you're in a no-win situation. His defenders have to be all-in.


Now that Speaker Ryan has announced he's not running this November, the Republican Never-Trump pundit Ana Navarro thinks Speaker Ryan is now unleashed to do all sorts of wonderful, productive things. Someone on Twitter answers: "Get ready for Phantom Menace levels of disappointment."


Democrats made a whole lot of criticisms of the Republican tax bill that was passed in December with the slimmest of margins. And you know what? Every single criticism is turning out to be correct.
One of the biggest problems is that the Reagan and younger Bush tax cuts were passed during times when there was no apparent need to boost federal spending. That wasn't true of the Trump tax cut, we have an opioids crisis, infrastructure is rated as being a D+, Republicans want to re-do the ACA/Obamacare, etc.


Michael Cohen, the President's personal lawyer, has his home, office and hotel room raided. The President tweets: “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” Not quite. There's always been a "crime-fraud exception" in the law for quite some time. 


As to the Nixonian idea of "impondment," where the president refuses to spend money that's been allocated, the Republican Party isn't at all interested. Which is good, because impoundment just extends a process that's already quite difficult enough.


Back during the late 90s, Ken Starr went way beyond his mandate. "Starr investigated a banking scandal, a suicide, and later a sex scandal," meaning he was jumping all over the place. Senator Rand Paul said that the Mueller investigation appeared to be going beyond its mandate. The host reminded him of Starr. Paul had to admit that, yeah, he didn't have any problem with Starr back then. 


It is an extremely rare event when I'm on the same page as Tucker Carlson, but I'm completely with him here! We need cooler heads and need to really examine the idea of attacking Syria before we take hasty, ill-considered action.


After taking a week off in response to Parkland student David Hogg calling for an advertiser boycott of her show, Laura Ingraham returns to find 20 advertisers have dropped her show.


How short is President Trump of people who are both loyal to him and who are capable of doing their assigned jobs? Unfortunately, that pool is pretty small

As a fringe right-wing political commentator, Ximena Barreto claimed that “African-Americans are way more racist than white people,” labeled Islam “a fucking cult” that has “no place” in the United States, pushed the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and attacked the “retarded” 2017 Women’s March. In December, she became a deputy communications director at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


With the situation in Syria, the US demonstrates a very serious problem of selective outrage. UN Ambassador Haley complains about civilians being shot in Syria while only about 500 kilometers away, Palestinians are being shot by Israelis. One is worthy of the US going it alone and taking action, the other isn't even mentioned. Oh, and Russia is an involved party. They've "got a dog in that fight." 


I get messages in my inbox: "On Wednesday, April 11th, pro-life students will walk out of their classes for 17 minutes of silence and prayer to honor the 10 preborn babies who will violently die during that time at the hands of Planned Parenthood abortionists." How did it turn out? “It’s still worth noting that the media went all in for the anti-gun walkout, talking about lives lost and free speech, while ignoring the #ProLifeWalkout..." 


Hmm. Very, very interesting. An ageing office building with a high vacancy rate somehow finds a "white knight" to refinance with so that the building isn't repossessed. Yeah, kind of interesting that the President's son-in-law owns the building.


So essentially, the US response to the demands of Gaza is "Sit down and shut up." The US has not presented anything even remotely constructive to try and resolve the conflict there, but has blocked an Arab call for an independent probe of the shootings that have resultd in Paelstinian deaths. Good quickie summary by Chris Hayes of MSNBC. 


President Trump tweeted:

If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!

Yeah, kind of a problem with that. The situation that Obama was faced with in Syria is essentially the same as what Trump is facing today. Russia is not only far closer to Syria than we are, but Moscow has been seeking a warm-water port for centuries. They have one with Assad in power. They're far more motivated to stick it out and escalate than the US is. Analysis.


Jeanine Pirro says the Republican Party must submit, dammit!!! What Our Glorious Leader demands must be delivered without hesitation!!!
BTW, she's lying about the DOJ refusing to submit documents. A Republican-run committee has requested about 1.2 million documents and the DOJ has to go over each one to make sure they're not releasing classified information.


Everything you could possibly want to know about President Trump's ecological and many other policies is contained right in this story of a fire in one of his apartment buildings. He chiseled out a few bucks by shortchanging safety. If people die? Eh, ah well. Sucks to be them!


"Syrian Regime kills dozens in Chem attack on Douma Holdout Enclave: Why?"
Appears that Army of Islam snipers were taking a heavy toll, so Bashar al-Assad hit them and civilian bystanders with chlorine and other chemicals.


A group of us got together in front of Philadelphia's Kimmel Center in reaction to the intention of the Philadelphia Orchestra to play in Israel. Also covers the highly unequal conflct at the Gaza-Israel border, where molotov coktails are being met by gunfire.  


"Puerto Rico will close 283 schools as island continues to struggle"
The remaining 828 schools will remain open, but nearly 40,000 of the island's 357,000 students have already departed.


Fourteen months into his term as President and after Kric Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, spent about a year trying to prove precisely this exact theory, that millions of people cast illegal ballots, the President says

“A lot of times it doesn’t matter because in many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that.

“They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory folks, millions and millions of people.”

Update: The Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that Voter Fraud panel requested a really large amount of data from the states "but a lot of the states didn’t want to cooperate." .New Jersey agreed to provide publicly available data, but not any confidential data. New Jersey just didn't have any confidence that the secret data would be used or secured properly.


"Homeland Security Wants to Build an Online 'Media Influence Database' to Track Journalists"
Can't see any innocent explanations for this, nor can I see any good coming out of it.


Fox News executives on Laura Ingraham

"Inside Fox, senior executives were exasperated, sources said. “You don’t attack a kid,” one told me. “It was an unforced error.” Not surprisingly, the network’s advertising department was in an uproar. “People are pulling their hair out.” 

Well, yeah. I have absolutely zero sympathy for these executives. They knew, or should have known, Ingraham was a bomb-thrower and that was a feature that was highly likely to come back and bite them in their asses.


Nixon's attempt to not spend money he didn't want to spend, called "impoundment," is being considered as a way to go back on the omnibus budget that the President recently signed.


Whole new complications open up for the President in Stormy Daniels case.


Ahh! More reasons for happiness! The Mueller investigation continues to go well!


On the one hand, it's good that Facebook is taking action against the Internet Research Agency (IRA), but the treatment of Palestinian pages still calls for regulations to see to it that all users are treated fairly on such a big and influential website.

The downside of censoring information from the Russians. Here's a report from RT about the Abby Martin's interview of Max Blumenthal on the Palestinians. This is about how that interview was censored in 28 countries by Youtube, thereby shutting off a voice that has no representation among US political parties.


"As some Republicans call for his ouster, Pruitt laments 'toxic' DC"
Yup, DC sure is "toxic." Yeah, when you get a sweetheart deal for super-duper cheap digs from a freakin' bloody lobbyist who has business with your agency, it sure is amazing how judgemental people can be!


I completely approve of the President's desire to get US troops out of Syria, but the pushback he's getting from his national security team continues to demonstrate the folly of Trump's slap-dash, seat-of-the-pants, spur-of-the-moment policymaking.


I take a look at anger and division in the US. Vice-President Pence might want to look to his own side of the political aisle rather than to just make vague generalizations.


Seems that John Bolton, the incoming National Security Adviser, has some 'splaining to do about his connection to Cambridge Analytica.

The questions about John Bolton's ethics and conflicts of interest are so bad, even White House lawyers are raising questions about them.


Jason Chaffetz wonders why the DOJ is slacking off on delivering the documents that the Republican-run Judiciary Committee has ordered them to produce. Erm yeah. Boston Globe says the Committee has requested 1.2 million documents, so yeah, it might take awhile.


*Sigh* No, Iran is not Nazi Germany. In fact, Saudi Arabia is far closer to being one than Iran is. I was especially interested by point 2, the status of Jewish people in Iran.


Hmm, theory here about "Suburban Strategy" as opposed to Nixon's "Southern Strategy."


About two months ago, the President started to try and get a deal on immigration. Democrats have offered at least six proposals that were worked out with their Republican counterparts. The President didn't like any of them. Now he's saying that Democrats are to blame for the lack of a deal.


Christian-Jewish Allies has now issued a new study guide “Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism


So what has been the big legislative/economic initiative of the Trump Administration so far? The big tax break passed in December. How's the economy doing? Poorly. Stocks are beginning to slide. What does one do after a failed policy shows bad results? Why, double down, of course!


The wife of Andrew McCabe, who was fired just a day short of full retirement, has been accused of accepting campaign contributions for her own run for office in order to coordinate somehow with Hillary Clinton and to attack the current president, Trump. "those donations came before Andrew McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation." 
She describe's the effect of being trashed verbally by the President.


Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sure does get a lot of bad press. Now his wife is getting hate and discontent from DCs social circuit.


As states are taking action against oil companies anyway, a highly incriminating videotape shows up.


Heh! So it appears that the big effort by the right wing to pass a tax cut last December has had minimal PR impact and will most likely be forgotten by November.

Is economic trouble purely the fault of politicians? Nah, private enterprise bears a big share of the blame.


The angry blonde chick Tomi Lahren from Fox News tries to give a pep talk to her "fellow leaders" by saying "It's what we signed up for." Soledad O'Brien says: "Girl, please. You are leading nothing."


Good to see that concern about climate change is a bipartisan thing among young people. Clean energy and support for the environment are also strong.


Pope Francis agrees that the "ongoing conflict" on the Gaza-Israel border does not "spare the defenceless."

Israel’s defence minister has rejected calls for an inquiry into the killings by the military during a Palestinian demonstration that turned violent at the Gaza-Israel border.

The look and sound of state-run TV "news."

Senior executive defends the content of messages that all Sinclair News stations are required to run. But the problem is that all stations are required to run the same message with their own on-air people, as though they were delivering independent opinions. As Dan Rather put it : 

News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn't journalism. It's propaganda. It's Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.


So after watching a Fox & Friends piece featuring the President of the National Border Patrol Council, President Trump is now demanding still more unfair, one-sided DACA "fixes" that no Democrat can possibly accept. And then he wonders why Democrats won't "make a deal."


"Silence From NRA After Board Member Nugent Calls Parkland Teens 'Soulless'" So the NRA was pretty quiet about their board member Ted Nugent, whose last big musical hit was during the 70s. I guess they want to see how he was playing first. 
Update: Did a search on "Ted Nugent" on the 20th of April and he's pretty much dropped off the newsfeed. 


Oh, and the Chinese satellite that was set to crash, uh, somewhere on Earth? Landed safely in the ocean.


March


National Review should really just stay clear of youth culture. They claim that, hey, the students at Hogwarts (Harry Potter's school) were armed, so real stuents should be, too! Um, not really. The wands they used were just enhanced wooden sticks that were specific to the students, but that just directed the power that was inherent within them. The wands weren't weapons per se.


Poll from NBC News that pretty much says it all. Democrats are comfortable with changes over past few decades, Independents can live with those changes, Republicans hate them and want to go back to "The Good Old Days."


What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If left wingers can engage in boycotts, so too can right-wingers, something that a right-winger forgets. A pundit from the Washington Times denounces David Hogg of the Parkland students against gun violence for wanting to boycott Laura Ingraham. Oops! Seems she's called for boycotts herself many times over the past several years.

Grimly amusing headline here: "Analysis | Why a Laura Ingraham boycott will probably fail" because the Parkland students have already succeeded. Ingraham thought she was "punching down," hitting at an opponent who was smaller and weaker than she was, but found to her great surprise and distress that she was "punching up." She found that she had taken on an opponent who was bigger than she was and could hit harder.


"Census Advisory Panel Blasts Trump Admin Move To Add Citizenship Question"
Strikes me as a pretty stupid move, more likely to result in dishonesty and/or non-compliance with the Census than anything else. It would be entirely reasonable for non-citizens to wonder if their answers would get reported to ICE.


Right-wing blogger Erick Erickson makes a particularly stupid comment: "Hillary Clinton is the perfect loser for a selfish generation. In the past, the losing Presidential candidate disappeared from the stage. Not Clinton. It's all about her and you're sexist if you disagree." Twitter user responds:  “Bob Dole, 94 - still tweeting, btw Gore, 69 - global leader on climate Kerry, 74 - became Sec of State McCain, 81 - Senator, writing memoirs Romney, 71 - Running for Senate Biden, 75 - Biden 2020! Sanders, 76 - Bernard 2020! All have lost presidential runs. Fact Check: True.


Trouble on the border between Gaza and Israel. Few casualties already as Israelis are using live ammnition on unarmd Palestinian protesters. More details


So President Trump wants to pull US troops out of Syria? Good! We have no clear objectives there anyway and the thought that Bashar al-Assad (Who's backed by Russia and Iran) will just calmly step aside is obviously sheer fantasy. Will the new National Security Adviser John Bolton talk him into staying in Syria? I suspect he will. The theory he'd probably use is called the Flypaper Theory, a notion that many people used to justify our remaining in Iraq awhile ago.


“They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed,” Shulkin wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed. “As I prepare to leave government, I am struck by a recurring thought: It should not be this hard to serve your country.”


While the younger George Bush and Dick Cheney were ginning up the Iraq War, John Bolton decided that Cuba was building a biological weapons capability and had to be stopped immediately. An intelligence official said Bolton was overstating the intelligence. Bolton, furious at being contradicted, called the official a "mid-level munchkin.”
Seriously, this is the guy we now have nominated as National Security Adviser.


During the 2016 campaign, President Trump promised to get the "best people" to work for him. Did he lie? Nah, I think he just defines "best" as mindlessly loyal sycophants.


Hmm, guess it tells us something about American valus and priorities that in 2011, Snooki (Nicole Polizz) got $32K for a speech, and recently, Hillary Clinton got $25K from the same university for a speech.


It's a real problem that our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has so little understanding of voting issues. He appears to believe that independents constitute a meaningful third force in US politics. Actually, independent voters tend to lean strongly one way or the other, towards Republicans or Democrats. The remainder are statistically pretty meaningless.


President is amazed that the Korean DMZ (250 miles) is better guarded than the US-Mexican border (1,954 miles).


Laura Ingraham makws fun of David Hogg of the Parkland students. His reaction proves unexpectedly challenging for her and advertisers are bailing on her show..


After watching s few minutes of Greg Gutfeld's routine here, it's understandable why everyone on the left puts "comedian" in quotes when talking about him. There are two reasons not to use torture, 1. it's immoral and 2. it doesn't work. Gutfeld ignores 2 so that he can trash the people who complain about 1.


Cambrdge Analytica and other democracies across the globe.


President Trump is very upset over the omnibus spending bill that he felt pressured to sign right before last weekend. The reason? In the Navy, we called it "Lack of Attention to Detail." When you wait around for a problem to be talked about on Fox News, it's usually far too late to do anything about it.


Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker appears to have a real problem with the whole idea of "you can't cancel an election just because your party will probably lose that election." He and the state legislature wanted to pass a bill that would cancel the special election, leaving constituents unrepresented for over a year. They finally backed down on that. Update: Walker finally calls special election. 


The NRA was very anxious to get all over the story of a "good guy with a gun" at Great Mills High School in Maryland. Oops! The "good guy" not only confronted the shooter after he was done, but the shooter shot himself before the "good guy" could take him down. The NRA naturally got very excitable before the facts were determined, and "attacked the 'lying MSM' for not devoting 'wall-to-wall coverage' to a story that didn’t 'fit their anti-gun, anti-freedom narrative.'”


Facebook again demonstrates that it needs federal regulation as it deletes a news account without warning or explanation. The news agency, based in Gaza, reaches 60% of their followers via Facebook.


Short, but truly horrifying thread about a prominent, well-known blog smearing one of the Parkland students, going "Oops!" and then trying to retract a story that a responsible journalistic enterprise would have carefully fact-checked before running.


Great garbage patch is between Hawaii and the mainland US and is twice the size of Texas. Real problem is that as plastic garbage breaks down in the ocean, it doesn't disintegrate into chemical components, it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces with unknown but probably bad consequences for marine life.


Kind of amusing how this woman thinks the President is taking aggressive and effective action to the point where liberals are anxious to stop this awesome juggernaut.
Well, let's take a look at Trump's response to the opioid epidemic, he has described it as a national emergency, but Daily Kos describes nothing but "stagnant, flaccid efforts" on his part.  Vox describes the plan as very heavy on law enforcement and very weak on prescriptions and treatment. "But to the chagrin of many drug policy and public health experts, the plan largely focuses on 'tough on crime' efforts that have proven ineffective in the past." 
So no, on the policy front at least, I really don't see Trump as a threat of any kind that needs to be stopped. Is Trump a wannabe dictator? Sure, no question about it. I just don't see liberals being anxious to counter his policy initiatives.


Technically, it was called March for Our Lives, but there were so many people there, getting a march organized wasn't practical. 


Senator Marco Rubio is correct in saying that both John Bolton and Susan Rice were ambassadors to the UN, but wrong when he asserts that makes them equals. Rice successfully got the UN to initiate sanctions against Iran and North Korea but the UN didn't see her objective as being as narrow as just punishing those two countries. They could see that the Obama Administration wanted to achieve specific, limited objectives. But they could also see that Bolton just wanted war with Iran, period.


Awful lot of information following the Republicans on the House Intelligence Comittee closing down their investigation of the President. Seems Cambridge Analytica, a subsidiary of the defense and intelligence contractor SCL, appears to have been doing work for Russian interests. Brexit was apparently a dry run for the 2016 election.


A right-winger says: 

Look. I do not CARE who Donald Trump had consensual sex with ELEVEN years ago. Not sure why anyone cares...?.... Are liberals all of a sudden all virgins?
This has a solid NOTHING to do with his presidency.
We didn't elect him to be our PASTOR

First off, I certainly remember quite a bit of strutting about and posturing and tsk-tsking over Bill Clinton' sex life. Second, Donald Trump made a pretty weird comment to both Storm Daniels/Stephanie Clifford and to Karen McDougal that they both reminded him of his daughter Ivanka Trump.    


Is there really any possibility that there will ever be a separate Palestinian state next to Israel? It's not looking very likely. Some quotes: 

President Mahmoud Abbas himself has repeatedly stated that he cannot leave his Ramallah headquarters without Israeli approval.

...the real ruler of Palestine is not Mahmoud Abbas, it is rather the arrogant politician Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defence minister. 

...

This time, too, no one has asked the Palestinian people for their opinion and position on this project; neither the US administration nor the Israeli government of course, and not even the Palestinian Authority itself.


So former PA Senator Rick Santorum wants us to deal with the consequences of the gun problem as opposed to the causes of it. Erm, okay. He also suggests that there's some sort of conflict between the March For Our Lives being a political rally and between being about solutions. Not at all clear why it can't be both at the same time.

In response to Rick Santorum's suggestion that students learn CPR instead of protesting for gun safety measures (GSW stand for Gun Shot Wound).

@ananavarro @CarmenYulinCruz @RickSantorum : ever done CPR on someone with a GSW to his chest? I have. Ever done CPR on someone with a GSW to his brain? I have. Abdomen? I have. I'm an ER doc and guess what? They bleed out. We don't need CPR classes, we need #GunControl and we need #GunReformNow


Oh, wonderful! [/snark] Bolton wants to begin to "clean house" with “officials believed to have been disloyal to Trump." Looks like he's planning on full-fledged purge of the non-warmongers. As we've seen though, it's difficult to find competent people who are also willing to work in the Trump Administration.The exodus from the administration has been slowed only by the fact that no one wants to hire ex-Trump people.


The NRA spokesperson said: "I wish a hero like Blaine had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month." But that's the problem isn't it? We need better answers than "a hero like Blaine" because a Blaine is far too rarely there. We've been depending on "a good guy with a gun" for quite some time now and we just can't depend on such heroes. We need more reliable answers than that.

March for Our Lives.


After the Presdent signs the spending bill, Fox and Friends critczes it, so now the President doesn't like it. 


Sorry Governor Walker, but "Because we might lose the election to a Democrat" is not a sufficient reason to not hold an election!

A judge ruled Thursday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) must “promptly” hold special elections for two vacant seats in the state legislature — elections that he refused to call because he was afraid his party would lose.


"H.R. McMaster Out; John Bolton In As National Security Advisor
I recall reading about Bolton shortly after the younger George Bush Administration had left office. Bolton's appointment was one of the few actions that Bush admitted was a really bad idea on his part The piece I read was about how people working in the UN reacted whenever Bolton or one his people came calling and their reaction was essentially "OMG! What are these crazy guys up to now?!?!?! What new excuse have they now come up with for attacking Iran?" Because the only reason they ever visited anybody was to get people on board with attacking Iran. As The Intercept puts it:

Bolton has spent the better part of a decade calling for the United States to help overthrow the theocratic government in Tehran and hand power to a cult-like group of Iranian exiles with no real support inside the country.

Back during the presidential campaign in 2015, Donald Trump was a breath of fresh air, taking positions that defied Republican orthodoxy. One of his claims was that he opposed the Iraq War (And yes, in 2004, he made speeches against it, but that was long after the war had become an extended guerrilla war), but now, by hiring John Bolton, the last of Trump's defiance of Republican orthodoxies is gone. And no, he's never acknowledged any changes in any of his positions, let alone explained any of those changes.

Important scoop that brings investigation by Robert Mueller even closer to the Oval Office. Identity of  Guccifer 2.0 is revealed. 


2,200-page, $1.3 trillion bill passes with a 65-32 vote in the Senate. Plenty of both good and bad in the bill.

Good! In the omnibus budget bill, Congress  considered the agenda of Education Secretary DeVos and rejected it completely and wholesale. She has completely failed to convince the majority of the Senate that her approach is a good one. 

And, right on cue, the "budget hawks" speak up.  All of them (including Senator Rand Paul, who shoots us a disaaproving glare while holdinga really large pile of paper).voted for December's big, budget-busting tax cut.


"Tucker Carlson Brings Sniper On To Scold March For Our Lives Organizers”  
The real political problem with this discussion is that it doesn't seem to offer any sort of solution to gun violence. These two seem to be essentially suggesting we do nothing. That we just sit around twiddling our thumbs while mass shootings continue. This doesn't strike as a sustainable answer.


Democrats said that the December tax bill's economic gains would go largely into stock buybacks and not into economic growth. They were right. They said the bill would have all sorts of problems that would need fixing. They were right about that, too. They also said that Speaker Ryan and other GOP members would use the deficits created by the tax bill to justify cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Not quire sure Ryan's latest statement qualifies, but I'd bet Democrats were right about this too.


I'm 100% on PA Governor Wolf's side on a decision on gerrymandering. Republicans have threateed to impeach a state judge because he ruled against them in the case. Had the courts ruled the other way, Democrats would have accepted the result. The Republican response is a danger to the democracy of our country. A legal ruling is characterized as "misbehavior"?!?!?! What's that all about?


"Why The 'Liberal Tea Party' Doesn't Exist (And Why Some People Think It Does)
Good analysis that begins, properly, from the premise that the Republican and Democratic Parties are not symmetrical and are not mirror images of each other. There are lots and lots of purist right-wingers but purity tests on the left are actually pretty rare.


So, a while ago, the President was reported to be very confident in his own performance and competence. Rush Limbaugh of course feels that Trump's judgement is right on the mark. Of course, as this piece makes clear, Trump has absolutely no idea what he's doing. Trump's Solicitor General keeps track of what the government's legal position is, but when a right-wing talk show host disagreed with a legal ruling, President Trump put out a tweet that contradicted the policy that the Solicitor General had agreed to. 


Why did the football player Colin Kaepernick "take a knee" during the anthem at games? Well gee, it might just be because of incidents like this! Stephon Clark, a father of two children, was in his backyard with his parents upstairs in their room. He approached police with his arms outstretched and one hand holding a cell phone. Parents didn't hear any warnings, just shots.


The trial of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has dragged on because he's increasingly infuriating the judge. The latest problem is that Kobach was supposed to send out postcards to every Kansas voter that was denied the right to vote and had their voting rights restored. Judge to Kobach  “Why would I order something you told me you’d take care of?” Here's the twitter thread that summarizes what Kobach and the judge said to each other.


Shortly before the Austin, TX bombing suspect died, the White House made an odd statement: “There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.” Erm, the bombings were acts of terrorism. There may have been no connection to foreign actors, but they were clearly acts of violence that were designed to cause political effects. A blogger clears it up for us: 

It is well known by now that “terrorism” is often used by American officials as a dog whistle to refer to acts of political violence carried out by Muslims or by minorities, and that typically white violence of a terroristic sort is characterized by other adjectives.


Facebook failed to protect user data from Cambridge Analytica. This is why government regulation happens. Private industry fails to do its job, consumers and/or citizens get burned, government has to step in.


"GOP expects Democrats' help in fixing the tax plan's errors"
Yeah, amazing how that works! After extensive hearing and markups and after accepting several Republican amendments to Obamacare/the ACA, there were a few minor problems with the law. Republicans refused to help make any of the modest fixes that Democrats asked for. Now, after cramming through a budget law without any hearings or markups or chances to make amendments, they're astonished that Democrats won't help make any changes to the budget bill.


Crazy notions on how to deal with opioids from the President that just happen, by sheer coincidence, to increase the power of police while failing to do much about the problem. From Joy Reid of MSNBC

My takeaway from Trump's "opioids plan" announcement so far... Brown people!! Build a wall!!! Democrats won't trade DACA for 1927 immigration policy! Sanctuary cities!!! Brown people!!!! Death penalty for drug dealers like Duterte who kills drug dealers!! I think that's about it.


Someone posted a meme on gun ownership and tyranny. Snopes is not at all impressed with any connection and demonstrates that tyranny comes before gun confiscation. First you lose your liberty, then you lose your guns, not the other way around. Yes, Nazi Germany confiscated guns from the Jews, but that was long after Jews lost political power. Non-Jewish citizens of Nazi Germany retained their guns all the way to the end of World War II. The Soviet Union wasn't able to confiscate guns from peasants until Collectivization took place. Gun confiscation was part of an overall quashing of the peasantry during that period.


Good! Supreme Court rejects Republican request to not use new district maps drawn by the courts in Pennsylvania.


"Trump Admin. Purging Civil Servants Suspected Of Disloyalty"
Yeah, I'm not going to wish the President "good luck with that," but keep in mind that the Trump Administration is an absolutely horrible place to work and that no one wants to hire people that used to work for him, so anyone who joins to replace those purged civil servants might as well realize they won't get any job offers after that.


"The Kobach Follies, Week 2: Kobach’s own 'expert' witnesses testify that their research doesn’t support Kobach’s claims"
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was not having a good day last Thursday! One of his researchers is asked about a "foreign-sounding" name and whether that person would be flagged as a likely fake voter. Great response to his answer from the ACLU!


Conservative presenter Chuck Woolery:
"While Democrats and Republicans are fighting for their parties, Trump is fighting for the Republic. I hope you can see this."
No Chuck, I agree with Soledad O'Brien. I don't see the President as fighting for anything grander or bigger than his own self-interest.


Concerning the closing of their investigation of the President, I wonderd whether the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee ever made any attempt to reach out and to persade their Democratic colleagues that there was nothing more to investigate. This piece from TPM says:  

Conaway said later, characterizing Democrats’ protests about the committee ending its probe: “The collusion issue, we found no evidence of it. The Democrats think they have. They’ve not shared that with us, if they have. I’ve shared all of my evidence we’ve got with them, but if they’ve got evidence of collusion, they haven’t shared it with us.”

Hmm, sounds like the Republican majority on the committee simply sent documents to the Democratic minority. It doesn't sound as though there were any face-to-face conversations on the evidence at all.


Cambridge Analytica, a company owned by hedge fund billionaire and prominent Republican contributor Robert Mercer, harvested information from 50 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate electoral results. 
Very interesting! Was the Thom Tillis campaign of 2014 a dry run for Trump's campaign of 2016?


People have  problem with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Difficult to see why, unless the problem is just plain sexism.
I think I was most impressed by Pelosi when John Boehner took over from her as Speaker. Boehner was constantly being taken by surprise by his own caucus. Pelosi had always known exactly where her caucus stood on every issue. I realized "Wow! She really was a highly competent and effective leader, unlike the  idiot who's in charge now!" 


Did the President cause McCabe to get fired for the reasons that were cited? As usual, the President steps all over his own messaging and confirms what the rest of us thought all along.
President Trump considers it tremendously important that McCabes wife was given a lot of money. But she got that money in order to run for a state office. Any problems with spouses of prominent people running for office? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is married to the Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. No one on either side of the aisle has ever had a problem with that. So it's hard to see how McCabe's wife is in any way relevant here.
Also, "By linking Mueller’s investigation with McCabe, [John] Dowd confirmed a key claim in McCabe’s response to his termination — that Sessions’ move against him is really all about discrediting the Mueller investigation."


Unfortunately for anti-choicers, there is indeed a link between providing abortions and providing good pregnancy services. The problem is that those who don't provide abortions also don't provide good pregnancy services. Those who provide good services also provide abortions.


So, 100 days later, how are people dealing with President Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? Not well. Main problem appears to be that as the Trump Administration did nothing to reach the decision via any sort of consultative process, they've also done nothing to sell the decision afterwards.



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