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

VIGIL FOR JUSTICE
"BLACK LIVES MATTER!"

will CONTINUE to be held at
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
Tuesday evenings, 6:00 to (at least) 6:45 PM
6900 Stenton Ave. (Stenton at Gorgas Lane), Phila 19150
YOU ARE WELCOME TO BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE DIALOGUE!


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

 


Drone Free Horsham


Protests are held last Saturday of each month, 12:00noon to 2:00pm

North corner of Horsham Air Base
Intersection of Easton Road & W. County Line Road

Facebook event page

YouTube - Living Under Drones

Protests held on Apr13, Jun13, Jul13, Apr14, May14, Jun14, Apr15, Jul15, May16, Jun16, May17, Aug17

Senate Intelligence Committee Torture Report

(Local copy, the redacted summary)


Midsection archive


Looking northwards from protest
Palestinians and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Note on Kimmel Center protests: Protests are held once a week, but there is no long-term schedule. They are meant to address the Philadelphia Orchestra playing in Israel next month. Protest are decided on about a week in advance.
in front of Kimmel Center
Rally for Palestinians

March For Our Lives
March For Our Lives
Lancaster direct action
Lancaster Direct Action against a fossil fuel pipeline.
Crowd on the march
Women's March 2018

Video - first part of Conference on US Military Bases in Foreign Countries.

speaker at rally
Treatment of Puerto Rico and 250th day of Trump Presidency

Singer and announcer

Horsham Air Base Aug 2017


facing road
Anti-Drone Protest May '17
May Day at Clark Park

May Day celebration at Clark Park

Marching near Liberty Bell
March for Science

rally-170302-00330 (115K)
Rally on 41st day of Trump Presidency.
15 days into Trump's presidency

Protest held on 15th day of Trump presidency


Women's March in Philadelphia

Women's March in Philadelphia during first week of Trump Administration.


Marching in Central Philadelphia

March held a few days before President Trump's inauguration


protest-160708-00222 (202K)
A Black Lives Matter protest.

protest-160528-00158 (244K)
Anti-Drone Protest outside Horsham Air Base.
Social-Forum-150628-00117 (144K)
Social Forum - Philadelphia 2015
Protest-150425-00025 (236K)

Anti-Drone Protest at Horsham Air Base.


climate march

Climate March NYC / Comments from reporter Naomi Klein. / The significance of the march


Rally for Michael Brown

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.


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.


Piece makes the very good point about liberal vs conservative views on the CIA. Liberals, including even the 60s radical Abbie Hoffman, have never had a problem with the intelligence-gathering arm of that agency. We didn't have any problem defending CIA covert operative Valerie Plame Wilson from Vice President Dick Cheney's maligning of her because we were familiar with her intelligence-gathering and it was never clear that she did much in the way of any covert operations. Conservatives, on the other hand, love covert operations and never had any problem with things like torturing people at black sites.


Good! The House Republican majority on the Intelligence Committee closed their investigation of Russia. They botched their doing so by not agreeing whether or not Russia wanted Trump to win the election. That made the rollout confused and unfocused. The Democratic dissent is overshadowing their dismissal of the case.


"Attorney General Sessions Has Fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe" Note that McCabe was on leave. He was using up his leave days and so cleaned out his desk and departed from the FBI early. He was fired less than 48 hours before he would have been eligible for a full pension. McCabe denies the accusation that he was dishonest.


Represntative Liz Cheney asks two questions, 1. Did torture save lives during the time her dad was Vice President? 2. The amount of pain inflicted by SERE is similar to that produced by torture, but does that mean SERE is relevant?
1. No one has ever shown that torture during the younger George Bush Administration produced any positive results whatsoever.
2.Torture applied by someone you know as a friend is worlds apart from torture applied by someone who hates you and does not feel legally restrained. The question essentially compares a candle to a forest fire.


During the late 90s, the GOP was feeling very powerful and righteous over Bill Clinton's sex scandals, so they really pushed hard to see to it that the scandals would have maximum legal effect. Oops! Now that the shoe is on the other foot, their own past behavior is biting them in the butt. They're sobbing all sorts of useless crocodile tears now, because the precedents they're now bemoaning have already been set in stone as of 20 years ago. Will the House pull anything sneaky? Nothing can be ruled out.


Very cool! "Oil giant begins transition to renewables, scrubs ‘oil’ from its name."


NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch makes a number of good points about the specific case of the Parkland school shooting. Why doesn't anybody seem to care? Because school shootings are happening all the time in the US and they're not happening elsewhere. Parkland is not outrageous because of any unique circumstances, but because it's far too common.


*Sigh* Poor Rush Limbaugh is confused. He doesn't understand how anybody knows that the Big Bang happened in the way that the physicist Stephn Hawking says it did because no one was there to see it. (Facepalm) Okay, let's see if we can make this clear. In the TV show "Crossing Jordan" (2001-2007), Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh and Detective Woody Hoyt would attempt to reconstruct a crime. Naturally, they weren't there to see it occur, but they would take all of the evidence into account and walk it through and attempt to arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to just what happened. That's why the conclusion isn't called a "fact," but is instead a "theory." Some theories are more solid than others because they fit the known facts better than others do.


UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has taken a good position on the poisoning of a released spy who was living in England (He was caught spying for the West and served several years in prison). It is worrying and concerning that the President has appeared to be waffling and soft-pedaling the accusation.


Yes, the daughter of the former VP Dick Cheney is the Representative for Wyoming (She crashed and burned when running for Senator, but recovered enough to win the Representative seat) and she's strongly defending her dad's record of torture during the younger George Bush Administration. As Senator Rand Paul has taken the opposite position, we now have a torture debate within the Republican Party.


The Republican Party as a whole has settled on the narrative that Conor Lamb, who just squeaked out a victory in Western PA, won because he reflected President Trump's positions. Ehh, not quite


Our election night poll in PA-18 found that health care was a defining issue in the race. 52% said it was either the most important issue or very important in their vote, and Conor Lamb won those voters 62-38.

Kids all over America conduct a National School Walkout day. CNN said 
“Students at a Los Angeles school held a die-in spelling #ENOUGH with their bodies as a gong sounded 17 times, one for each student killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting."


So how qualified is Larry Kudlow to be President Trump's chief economic advisor? Hoo boy! Keynesian economists noted the housing bubble in 2002 (It had been building for a few years by then), kept on issuing warnings until it burst in December 2007. Kudlow thought everything was fine in 2005 and though September 2008 was a good time to get back into buying stocks. We lost 452k jobs that month, 474k in October, but 765k in November and 697k in December. When Obama took over in January 2009, we lost 795k. 
Kudlow realy, really favors tax cuts as the best tonic for econmic growth. David Stockman, Reagan's first Budget Director, is unimpressed with ability of tax cuts to help the economy.


"Meet the Alabama sheriff who kept hundreds of thousands in inmate food funds for personal use"
Hmm, one would think that if sheriffs were allowed to keep money that was intended for the feeding of prison inmates but was "excess" or not used, that would encourage sheriffs to skimp on inmate food in order to provide more money for themselves. Sure enough "Many inmates report that the food they are provided is inadequate in quantity or nutritional value, spoiled, or contaminated, such as with insect or rodent droppings, or foreign objects." Funny how this guy thought the law was written to permit him to skim off money.
Update: Yep, state law is apparently on the side of the sheriff, but the Feds are quite interested in the case and call it a "conflict of interest."


The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, gets fired. Will we miss him? Nah, he brought nothing worthwhile to the job. The WaPo subtitle is "A political eulogy for the most incompetent Secretary of State in modern history."
How weak and ineffective was Tillerson? A piece from early February shows that of the State Department's top 10 jobs, eight of them were empty.


The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is very close to the Koch brothers and really, really hates the Iran deal.


Gina Haspel is the President's choice for the new CIA Deputy Director. She oversaw the torture of prisoners and the destruction of evidence of human rights abuses. Obama didn't create the problem, but he certainly didn't "clean out the barn," either. The past comes back to bite the US in the butt.


Physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away.


Congressional District PA-18 was won by Trump in the 2016 election by 20 points. That seat is now held by a Democrat!!!


"CNN Anchor Stunned After Trump's Racist Remarks At Mexico-California Border" CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin gives a great reaction shot here. What interests me about this clip is how narrow the President's vision is. He keeps talking about how terrible California is, but his one and only point of reference, the only factor he considers, is state taxes. As we can see here, California's economy is doing pretty great. No, high taxes do not automatically equal a poorly-run state.


From a tweet by the Minority Leader on the House Intelligence Committee: "BREAKING: GOP just shut down House Intel investigation, leaving questions unanswered, leads unexplored, countless witnesses uncalled, subpoenas unissued."
I find the conclusions reached by the Republican majority on the committee to be something that Republicans should have been able to convince their Democratic colleagues of. Don't see much evidence they made any real attempt to do so. The TV show Fox & Friends also didn't include any such evidence. Link to Democratic rebuttal memo.


Hey, it's Women's History Month! So how has the Trump Administration honored women? *Sigh* No, The First Lady, the Second Lady (Vice-President's wife) and the First Daughter (Ivanka Trump) really don't constitute appointing women to high positions.


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has very deservedly taken lots and lots of heat for this truly terrible interview. She says: "I'm more misunderstood than anything." Nope. I don't agree. Fundamentally, the idea that she champions is to put schools in competition with each other. I think that's fundamentally misguided and fails to acknowledge that schools are not capitalist institutions that respond well to price changes and efficiency improvements. DeVos is asked about white kids and black kids being treated differently. That, say, both groups create a disruption. The white kids would see the principal, the cops would get called on the black kids.
Betsy DeVos: "Arguably, all of these issues or all of this issue comes down to individual kids. And--"
Lesley Stahl: "Well, no. That-- it's not."
Also,
Lesley Stahl: "Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they're doing?"
Betsy DeVos: "I have not-- I have not-- I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming."
Which to me, essentially reveals that here's someone who already had her mind made up when she started her job and has no interest in getting any other perspective on the problem.


President Trump gives a very, very bad speech. So bad, in fact, that Chris Cillizza is flabbergasted at how bad it is. Also, link to right-wing blog that sums up Soledad O'Brien's reaction to Cillizza comparing reality TV to the actual White House. She's not impressed.


Trump Administration decides that press coverage of nuclear energy has been too negative. “A lot of the challenges that we have have been blown out of proportion in the media.” Or, perhaps, the problems have not been "blown out of proportion" at all and perhaps the industry needs to get its act together and carry out reforms.


Very happy to see that Democrats are keeping up the pressure on Carl Icahn's insider trading. "Icahn sold more than $30 million in steel-related stock, crane manufacturer Montiwoc, several days before Trump’s announcement last week on tariffs, after which Montiwoc’s stock plummeted."


So, Hans von Spakovsky, a noted vote suppressor, "said putting Democrats or mainstream Republicans on Trump’s voter fraud commission would lead to its 'abject failure.'” He denied that, but someone then found the email where he said just that. Oops!


"John Kelly reportedly feared Pruitt’s climate debate would be a huge embarrassment" So the, quote "grown-up in the room" gives the American people the worst of both worlds. We get an EPA Administrator who continues to pursue policies that will increase global warming but we don't get a debate that would demonstrate the moral and scientific bankruptcy of such policies. Gee, thanks! %$#@%$!!!


A story that doesn't do Newsweek any favors at all. The Clinton Foundation did not benefit the Clintons personally. Giving money to the Foundation was a very indirect way to curry favor with them and it's not clear that anyone benefited by doing so. 
"The so-called Uranium One deal in 2010 handed Russia control of 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium supply."
It's not at all clear what "control" of the US’s uranium supply meant as no uranium was removed from the US.
"Hillary Clinton served on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which unanimously approved the partial sale..."
Right, so as Clinton was just one of the committee members and all of the members approved, what is the significance of the Clinton Foundation? Why is the Clinton Foundation even vaguely relevant to the case?


Not only is it a really bad idea to go to war in Syria, period, full stop. But going to war with the president we have and with the public not having any real knowledge of what's going on there and Republicans as represented by Senator Graham being utterly clueless as to how to win. Full withdrawal of all American troops from Syria, NOW!!!


In discussing what it's like to work for President Trump, this is a rather alarming statement: "By day's end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States."
This tells us that the President's staff is the last to know about what the President is thinking about any given issue.

It's becoming clear that White House aides are being blindsided by the boss, who comes up with ideas like visiting Kim Jong Un of North Korea and announcing it without having given anyone the chance to weigh in. "...no one wants to work in an environment in which they have no idea what their colleagues and superiors may do next."


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos puts out a picture of a classroom that I find quite familiar and that she describes as typical. I agree that the picture she presents does indeed look typical to me, because like her, I'm an older person who went to school back during the 60s and 70s. Not surprisingly, schools have advanced a bit since then. Problem is, DeVos wants to "reform" schools, but is clearly out of date on how schools actually function today.


Hmm. Nope. Just can't do it. Can't get myself to feel the slightest sympathy for "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli here as he's sentenced to seven years


In a really, really important voting-rights case, the team led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has proven to be amateurish and completely uninformed as to basic legal procedures. Recall please too, that this person also led a committee for the President to examine allegations of millions of illegal votes. The committee discovered nothing and is now disbanded.


A key member of the House Intelligence Committee, who is allegedly, supposedly, in theory, leading the investigation as to Russian influence on the 2016 election, said that he was completely unaware of who a significant figure in the case was. Sounds to me as though the Committee has been spinning its wheels to little real-world effect.


Whoa! Pretty serious shocker! Kim Jong Un has agreed to meet our President in just a few months! Is that good news for him? Very much so as he can then appear to be equal to the US leader. Good new for Trump? Heck yeah, anything that gets the news off of Mueller and his probe is all good news.

Update: White House starting to backtrack.

Update 2: "Trump Says Media Coverage Of Planned Talks With Kim Jong Un Is 'FAKE'"
As we've seen before, President Trump's definition of "fake news" is simply that which he finds inconvenient or embarrassing or no longer useful to him. He's now completely walked back the idea of meeting Kim Jong Un.


John Bolton calls Tucker Carlson simpleminded, but frankly, I think Bolton's aswers are quite simplistic. Yes, I thnk the aftermath of the Iraq invasion of 2003 was inevitable. because yes, the US had the forces needed to defeat Saddam Hussein's army, but  the US didn't commit anywhere near enough troops to win the peace. The younger George Bush simply didn't have any way to counteract the civil war taking place between Sunnis and Shiites. Obama and Clinton were correct in 2008, the "Surge" was far fron the only factor that got Iraq to quiet down temporarily. It was not any error of Obama's that caused ISIS to explode in 2014.


"There is no audience for Boris Epshteyn's pro-Trump propaganda, so Sinclair forces it on people" This is what state-run propaganda TV looks like. Sinclair owns 190 local TV stations across the country. 


How relevants is Fox News? This poor woman tries really, really hard to talk about relevant, today, current news, but the Fox News guys are stuck in the past and talking about years-old stuff. It was meaningful and relevant to discuss any possible connection between Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright and any of President Obama's planned policies back in 2008, when Obama was running for office. No one has drawn any connection whatsoever between these two and anything Obama ever did after becoming president. The news on the connection of Obama and Louis Farrakhan is new, but again, the meaning and relevance of the connection is far from clear. 


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "parachutes in" to the Parkland school, pretty much entirely to have her photo taken with the school as a backdrop. Didn't talk with anyone, didn't send any people in advance to work out any sort of agenda for discussion, just showed up unannounced. The students were less than impressed.


Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicates he's perfectly comfortable with not having done much of anything to stop Russian interference in the 2016 election. Doesn't appear the this November's mid-terms are much of a concern to him, either.


So how's the reaction to the tax cut that Republicans passed back in December? Meh. Voters are underwhelmed.


Fellow keeps saying "I'm a lifelong Democrat, but ..." Can we trust him on his identification with the Democratic Party? Nah.
Reminds me of a piece in Ms. Magazine that I read many years back where they talked about women who said "I'm a feminist, but..." Turned out that when you looked at their explanations for how they were once a feminist, it was never that they actually did anything to work for feminist causes, but that they just sorta, kinda, in a way, felt like they were feminists. The fellow here doesn't appear to have ever had any actual liberal viewpoints on any subject.


President claims that “Everybody wants to work in the White House.”  Yeah, this is what we call "wishful thinking." NPR said back in January that turnover or "churn" in Trump's White House during his first year was 34%. The next highest was Reagan's at 17%, followed by Clinton's at 11%, after which other recent presidents were in the single digits. I once worked in an office with high turnover. High turnover is a sign of a poorly-run office.


Michelle Obama meets an adorable little fan of hers.


The University of California in Berkeley has a clause in the contracts of all speakers, it's a “no boycott of Israel” clause that plainly violates free speech rules.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made a great fuss and bother over how important free speech is. Problem: he's only taken up cases that involve right-wing causes. Question is then, does Sessions support free speech in general or does he support it only when he's supporting right-wing causes?


President Trump has complained several times that Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, protected Obama from all legal jeopardy, so AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III should do the same. Holder's response: "The difference between me and Jeff Sessions  is that I had a president I did not have to protect.”


So what is the Trump Administration doing to safeguard the upcoming mid-term elections? White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders puts out an extremely short, thin and unimpressive list. But the President wants credit for taking strong action to counter Russian efforts anyway.


See, here's a problem with electoral mandates. President Trump Did. Not. Run. on a cheaper and lousier and less effective health care plan for everyone. He ran on a better plan that would cover more people. The poll here was taken by Trump's own pollster and it shows that nobody has forgotten his campaign promise of a better plan and nobody is willing to settle for the plan he introduced a few months after taking office.


The younger George Bush Administration tried to promote "abstinence only" programs. It found that these programs were moderately useful for getting young people to delay sexual activity, but is completely useless for people who have already had sex. The Department of Health and Human Services recently released guidelines on reproductive health and how these guidelines should apply to Title X program. This is pretty much just a cover for attacking Planned Parenthood. 


Yes, "fake news" is a serious problem, but when authoritarians use it as a cover for anti-free speech policies, that's even more of a problem. We've seen with our own president in the way that he uses the term that it just refers to news he doesn't like or finds inconvenient.


Rachel Campos-Duffy of Fox News asks a truly moronic question at the 3:00 minute mark, suggesting that Ivanka Trump, a mother of three and who's run a fashion company, compares to Chelsea Clinton during her father's scandals, when Chelsea was still in high school. And yes, that idiotic comparison prevents us from hearing if Katrina Pierson can substantiate her wild charges of journalists calling for Barron Trump's death (An accusation I find utterly unbelievable).

Update: Campos-Duffy continues to defend Barron Trump. In this case, she mentions talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel's line: “[The Easter Egg Roll] was a fun day for the president. He got to eat chocolate. He even met a nice kid named Barron who he really liked.” Is this an insult of Barron? You have to really, really, seriously stretch the definition of "insulting" to arrive at such a conclusion.


Looks like the NRA has had its day and has pretty much shot its bolt now.


"The left 'attacks people trying to get to the truth,'" says Devin Nunes. Erm, okay, what great "truth" was being uncovered by Nunes and his memo that was released a few weeks ago? One of the big claims Nunes made in his memo concerned the FISA application to look into Carter Page. Nunes said that the FBI hid the fact of the dossier's partisan origins. No, the FBI did no such thing. 


China's President Xi makes himself dictator for life. Instead of condemning Xi, President Trump waxes enthusiastic about that.


Kentucky refuses to outlaw child marriage? Nah, I totally identify with the children here. I can't imagine being given away in marriage to some old woman when I'm not fully mature yet. Can't imagine doing that to some young girl, either.


President Obama played golf a little over 300 times in eight years, or about three out of every 30 days. President Trump marks 100th day on golf course and his presidency is only 408 days old! 


The two right-wingers here try really hard to convince us that the President isn't a racist. Problem is, they never define racism. They seem to be suggesting that if you're not wearing a hood and burning crosses on the lawns of black people, you're okay. So their statements of how they personally know Trump and of how the economy is doing well are completely beside the point.


NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch gets comforted by Fox & Friends. Yep. It's just so awful that liberals won't sit down and discuss a bunch of stupid and unworkable ideas in a calm and civilized manner!


House Intelligence Committee Chairman says (words to the effect of): "Yeah, yeah, I leaked a senator's confidential text messages for blatantly political reasons, but hey, the real problem here is that the press reported my doing so." 


The White House is a tough, strenuous place to work under any president. It's really bad under this one and it's clear to people there that no one is clamoring for former employees of this particular White House.


"Orrin Hatch: Obamacare Supporters Are The 'Stupidest, Dumbass' People He's Ever Seen” Of course, the Senator doesn't go into any detail. I'd be curious to know, with tens of millions of people benefiting from it, just why the ACA/Obamacare was such a terrible bill. Problem is, the President didn't get elected by promising to end the ACA, but by promising to produce something even better.


I have great sympathy for the "unnamed Republican staffer [who] told the Weekly Standard" that “This is why you don’t do high-stakes, hot-button negotiation on live TV with someone who doesn’t know or care about details.”
Liberals should not count on the President sustaining anything he said at this meeting.


Regular consumers are starting to notice that the big, dramatic tax bill was passed in December, but they haven't been getting any discernible benefits from it.


Walmart joins Dick's Sporting Goods in restricting firearms sales. Yeah, in political votes, old people are essential. But as far as being consumers go, not so much. That's why we're seeing what someone yesterday called a "liberal corporatocracy."


Members of the Russian punk protest band "Pussy Riot" were detailed for a bit, but they've been returned.


February



Da-yum! By now resigning, Hope Hicks will have been the sixth Communications Director! And the Trump Administration is only 13 months old! As a blogger said, the Communications Director in the Trump Administration is getting to be like the drummer in Spinal Tap (1984 movie). Further reactions


"Hope Hicks admits to telling 'white lies' to help Donald Trump” Not that Hicks is the slightest bit qualified to distingish between "white," harmless little lies and consequential, serious ones. Piece is an examination of how utterly and completely useless the House's "investigation" of the Trump Administration is. This was a pretty cool quote:

Hicks’s definition of her position as one that called on her to regularly lie would likely baffle Jen Psaki. If you don’t know Jen Psaki, she was communications director for the last two years of the Obama administration, during which time she made zero headlines by not telling lies of any shade. In fact the only controversy of her time in the White House was … nope, there was no controversy.


Ah! Good news! Jared Kushner has lost his security clearance after all! It was looking for a while as though White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was just a paper tiger who couldn't enforce his policies.


Amid protests that there's "no collusion" (a legally fuzzy and imprecise term) between himself and Russia, the President has not authorized the NSA to protect America's voting system from foreign interference.


"Fox News host Howard Kurtz: Trump deserves praise for driving the debate about guns” Ha, ha, ha! No, at best, Trump played a purely reactive role.
Here's one of the students, Emma González, who reacts to the President's suggestion that teachers be armed by saying that's a really bad idea. There are many better prioritis to spend money on. 


Generally, blacks armed themselves during the 12-year Reconstruction period, and "This did serve as some moderate protection while Reconstruction lasted. But when no-holds-barred confrontation broke out, blacks almost always lost horribly against wealthier and hence better-armed whites.” So no, personal firearms will not save us from tyranny.


Trump Organization claims to have donated the profits made in dealings with foreign governments, but won't realease any substantiating details


The GOP reveals that it has absolutely zero interest in investigating the President.


So how's the Trump Administration's response to the opioid problem going? Well, it seems to consist, first, last and only, of executing drug dealers. Kellyanne Conway claims that the President means to only execute high-volume dealers, but no one agrees that he's drawn that distinction.


President confronted by critical governor. President was obviously very unhappy with being confronted.


Trump’s quiet campaign to bring back preexisting conditions” Not that the Trump Administration has the slightest mandate for reversing anything concerning the ACA/Obamacare. Donald Trump didn't promise to do any such thing on the campaign trail. In fact, he promised to improve the ACA, He never, at any point, said he was going to go backwards on a program that Americans endorsed for two elections in a row. 


Just yesterday, CNN's Brian Stelter said President Trump was talking about "an example of Trump's fantasyland." 
Today, we have Trump (Who got deferments from the draft for Vietnam) saying he'd rush into a hail of bullets to save the kids of Parkland.


Like her brother Don Jr., Ivanka seriously needs a good PR person to discuss her public statements with prior to making them (Jr. really needs to run all of his social media posts through a good PR person). It's really hard to take her seriously as a "White House Senior Adviser" when she refuses to make a serious statement and instead cries (words to the effect of) "Waaah! You're being mean to my daddy!" CNN points out that this is why nepotism laws exist


While President Trump appears to be really anxious to start up a trade war with Iran, Europe has decided to pursue a policy that isolates the US in favor of increased trade with Iran.


Democrats finally get their memo that refutes the Nunes memo cleared. The President is very highly critical of the memo, but doesn't provide any substantiating details. Considering also that he was talking on the Jeanine Pirro show on Fox News, he has no excuse. A friendlier audience is hard to imagine.So it's impossible to take any of his criticisms the slightest bit seriously. President is asked if he objects to any single, specfic thing in the Democratic memo. He can't come up with anything



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