Monday, February 20, 2017

Maverick McCain

John McCain—the original Maverick, ol’ Walnuts, the brave teller of truths—is somehow once again positioning himself, to credulous journalists, as a renegade Republican who isn’t afraid to buck his party, despite his three-decade record of not ever actually bucking his party in any meaningful way.

[...]

McCain has supported every one of Trump’s nominees besides one: budget director Mick Mulvaney, who lost McCain’s support because he has supported defense budget cuts. McCain’s sole inviolable principle is that we must spend an unlimited amount of money on war with everyone forever.

[...]

[T]he sum total of McCain’s record of brave or maverick-y actions consists of “giving good quote to reporters.” That’s it.

[...]

McCain was and always had been a mostly unremarkable party-line Republican, whose obvious discomfort with the far-right was not actually supported by the backbone necessary to challenge the far-right. Now, with a deranged Republican president and a wholly Republican Congress, McCain will once again try to paint himself as a voice of reason and a courageous truth-teller, while not actually doing anything.

[...]

McCain is not going to “fight” Trump. He’s going to say various anti-Trump things, on TV and to reporters, while never using his very real power as a senior Republican senator to interrupt the implementation of Trump’s, and his party’s, eschatological agenda.

  Alex Pareene @ The Concourse

The title of this article is:



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Welcome to America

Did I say welcome? I meant, we don't want your kind here.
A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the United States.

Juhel Miah and a group of children and other teachers were about to take off from Iceland on 16 February on their way to the US when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik. The previous week, on the 10 February, a US appeals court had upheld a decision to suspend Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The trip proceeded as planned but pupils and colleagues from Llangatwg comprehensive in Aberdulais were left shocked and distressed after the maths teacher, who had valid visa documentation, was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel.

[...]

A council spokesman said Miah was left feeling belittled at what it described as “an unjustified act of discrimination”. The council said the teacher is a British citizen and does not have dual nationality.

[...]

“We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local MP.

“No satisfactory reason has been provided for refusing entry to the United States – either at the airport in Iceland or subsequently at the US embassy in Reykjavik. Mr Miah attempted to visit the embassy but was denied access to the building."

  Guardian

Think of the Queen

The US president was compared to a “petulant child” and had his intelligence questioned by [British] MPs during a three-hour debate triggered after more than 1.8m people signed a petition urging Theresa May to cancel her invitation.

So many politicians packed into Westminster Hall for the debate that they had to have their speeches limited to five minutes each.

[...]

Labour’s Paul Flynn said that only two US presidents had been accorded a state visit to Britain in more than half a century and it was “completely unprecedented” that Trump had been issued his within seven days of his presidency.

Flynn – who started the debate because he is on the petitions committee – said Trump would hardly be silenced by the invitation being rescinded, accusing him of a “ceaseless incontinence of free speech”.

[...]

Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley, warned against sneering at the 61 million Americans who voted for the president, describing them as “the forgotten people”.

  Guardian
But definitely not forgettable.
Crispin Blunt, who chairs the foreign affairs committee, said the Queen would be embarrassed if the invitation was now withdrawn.

Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, told colleagues that he was going to make a “difficult argument” and then claimed that Trump’s racism and misogyny had been overstated. “Which one of us has not made some ridiculous sexual comment at some point in his past,” he said, prompting an angry response from female MPs.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Going Rogue: Twitter Anonymity

ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS Donald Trump did when he took office was temporarily gag several federal agencies, forbidding them from tweeting.

In response, self-described government workers created a wave of rogue Twitter accounts that share real facts (not to be confused with “alternative facts,” otherwise known as “lies”) about climate change and science. As a rule, the people running these accounts chose to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation — but, depending on how they created and use their accounts, they are not necessarily anonymous to Twitter itself, or to anyone Twitter shares data with.

[...]

The FBI, a domestic intelligence agency that claims the power to spy on anyone based on suspicions that don’t come close to probable cause, has a long, dark history of violating the rights of Americans. And now it reports directly to President Trump, who is a petty, revenge-obsessed authoritarian with utter disrespect for the courts and the rule of law.

[...]

If you plan on following these steps [to maintain your anonymity on Twitter] you should make sure you understand the purpose of them, in case you need to improvise. I also can’t guarantee that these techniques will protect your anonymity — there are countless ways that things can go wrong, many of them social rather than technical. But I hope you’ll at least have a fighting chance at keeping your real identity private.

  The Intercept
Continue reading.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

President of All the People

By the way, the White House Spanish site is still not functioning.

Can't wait to see what it looks like if they ever decide to put it back up.  Perhaps it will have a self-reporting form and nothing else.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fake News!


That's a good question:  "Who would believe this?"  Trump Turds.  That's who.  The people at that "rally".  He's gone back to rallies because that's the only place he gets adulation and applause.

Waiting for T-Rump to Take Credit


So, How's It Going?

Some of the malaise can be attributed to the growing pains that plague any new administration. Some is said to be down to the factional struggles, imported to the White House from Trump’s businesses. And much is believed to be on the shoulders of the capricious, egocentric, volatile president, the first in US history to have been elected with no political or military experience.

Yet both Trump and his supporters deny the dysfunction, pointing to executive orders, a supreme court nomination and the scrapping of a Pacific trade deal at breakneck speed.

“Don’t believe the main stream (fake news) media,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it.”

Sleeping just four or five hours a night, Trump’s manic pace has made the world’s head spin. He had an angry phone call with the prime minister of Australia, a Twitter spat that convinced the president of Mexico to cancel a meeting, and consulted the prime minister of Japan about a North Korean missile launch in full view of dinner guests at his Florida country club, Mar-a-Lago. He approved, over dinner, a commando raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy Seal and an eight-year-old girl.

At home, he was caught on live television making a false claim about his electoral victory, press releases have been littered with spelling mistakes, and the president has fought Twitter battles with everyone from senators to Arnold Schwarzenegger to a department store that dropped his daughter’s products.

Then there were the White House contradictions around the abrupt departure of Flynn, who misled the vice-president over his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Then Trump’s pick for labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination after facing questions over his personal background and business record.

Not even in his fourth week, there was the president’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, an order widely denounced and sowing disarray and demonstrations at airports. Trump sacked his acting attorney general for refusing to defend the ban, attacked the courts for pausing it to weigh its lawfulness, and insisted this week that it was “a very smooth rollout”.

“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine,” he said at a rambling, impromptu press conference.

[...]

But operations have also been hampered by competing interests and seething mutual suspicion. Media reports describe paranoid staff using a secret chat app that erases messages as soon as they are read.

[...]

Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president in 2008, told reporters this week that “whole environment is one of dysfunction in the Trump administration”.

  Guardian
Sure. But he got himself captured. So...

So That's How It's Going to Be

A top aide to President Trump’s housing secretary nominee, Ben Carson, was fired and led out of the department’s headquarters by security on Wednesday after writings critical of Mr. Trump surfaced in his vetting, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Shermichael Singleton, who was one of the few black conservatives in the Trump administration, had been working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development since Jan. 23 as a senior adviser.

[...]

“My party in particular has allowed itself to be taken over by someone who claims to be a Republican but doesn’t represent any of our values, principles or traditions,” he wrote in The Hill in October 2016.

The firing was reminiscent of the decision by the White House to block a senior Republican foreign policy adviser, Elliott Abrams, from becoming deputy secretary of state. The move came after Mr. Abrams’s anti-Trump writings came to the president’s attention.

[...]

A person close to Mr. Singleton said an initial vetting of the 26-year-old by HUD and White House personnel had come up with his criticism. He answered a number of questions regarding the article and expressed remorse for the piece and support for Mr. Trump.

  NYT
Yeah, that was his first mistake.
On Wednesday, Mr. Singleton was presented again with the piece and told it was the reason for his termination.
Now how stupid does he feel? Black man groveling, then whacked anyway.
Mr. Singleton plans to return to a previous job he held as a vice president with Howard Stirk Holdings, a media company run by Armstrong Williams, a conservative media personality and close friend of Mr. Carson’s.
It's hard for me to understand why a black man would be a Republican in the first place. Hard to feel sorry when someone who won't stand up for himself gets canned. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the reason here is abhorrent and disturbing.

You must not criticize the T-Rump.

When he can get his Supreme Court nominee in, perhaps he can sign an EO firing all journalists who do not speak glowingly of him. He'll start with the prize-winning journalist - black man with some dignity - who wrote this:
Dear Mr. So-Called President:

So let me explain to you how this works.

[...]

The bottom line is, you were elected.

And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the room.

But there is one thing to which your election does not entitle you. It does not entitle you to do whatever pops into your furry orange head without being called on it or, should it run afoul of the Constitution, without being blocked. You and other members of the Fourth Reich seem to be having difficulty understanding this.

[...]

Three weeks ago, your chief strategist, Steve Bannon, infamously declared that news media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

[...]

Just last Sunday, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller declared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

What you do “will not be questioned?” Lord, have mercy.

[...]

Just who the hell do you think you are?

Meaning you and all the other trolls you have brought clambering up from under their bridges. Maybe you didn’t notice, but this is the United States of America. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Nation of laws, not of individuals? First Amendment? Freedom of the press? Any of that ringing a bell?

Let’s be brutally clear here. If you were a smart guy with unimpeachable integrity and a good heart who was enacting wise policies for the betterment of all humankind, you’d still be subject to sharp scrutiny from news media, oversight from Congress, restraint by the judiciary — and public opinion.

And you, of course, are none of those things.

[...]

I know, too, that you’re accustomed to being emperor of your own fiefdom. Must be nice. Your name on the wall, the paychecks, the side of the building. You tell people to make something happen, and it does. You yell at a problem, and it goes away. Nobody talks back. I can see how it would be hard to give that up.

But you did. You see, you’re no longer an emperor, Mr. So-Called President. You’re now what is called a “public servant” — in effect, an employee with 324 million bosses.

[...]

Yet you and your coterie of cartoon autocrats think you’re going to cow them into silence and compliance by ordering them to shut up and obey? Well, as a freeborn American, I can answer that in two syllables flat.

Hell no.

  Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Hell yeah.