The Wires
The Ledes

Sunday, September 15, 2019.

New York Times: "Juanita Abernathy, who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott and took part in other pivotal protests at the outset of the civil rights era alongside the Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, her husband and a leader of the movement, died on Thursday at a hospital in Atlanta. She was 88."

Public Service Announcement

September 5: Washington Post: "State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks. The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the United States. FDA officials shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call." The NPR story is here.

New York Times: "A solid 18-karat gold toilet, titled 'America' by its creator, Maurizio Cattelan, was stolen early Saturday [September 14] from an exhibit at Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace and family home of Winston Churchill.... The artwork is based on a common Kohler toilet and was created by a foundry in Florence. The work’s value was not disclosed, but [Guggenheim artistic director Nancy] Spector described it as 'millions of dollars’ worth of gold.'... The police said in a statement that they were investigating the burglary and that a 66-year-old man had been arrested but not charged. The toilet has not been recovered. Jess Milne, a detective inspector, noted that the toilet had been plumbed to the building, so the theft 'caused significant damage and flooding.' He said the police believed a 'group of offenders' using at least two vehicles was behind the theft." the Hill's story is here.

Modern Art. CNN: "Hillary Clinton's emails ... have become art -- and the former secretary of state herself went to take a look.The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee looked through printed copies of her emails and sat at a replica of the Oval Office's Resolute Desk during a visit Tuesday to an art exhibit in Venice, Italy, titled 'HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails,' according to the exhibit's creator and curators. 'Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice,' American poet and artist Kenneth Goldsmith tweeted Wednesday. 'She is pictured here at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk, stacked with her emails.' Francesco Urbano Ragazzi -- the collective name for two men who are working as the exhibit's curatorial team -- told CNN that Clinton came in for a private tour of the exhibit Tuesday morning."

... Related Washington Post story here.

     ... Thanks to NJC for the lead.

Washington Post: "the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships were no different — especially Sunday night, the final night of the two-day [U.S. Gymnastics Championships]..., [Simone] Biles aced a skill no other woman (and only two men in the world) has successfully landed in competition — a triple-twisting, double somersault that capped the first tumbling pass of her floor routine like a cymbal crash":

 

Washington Post: White Southern plantation visitors who pay good money "to learn about the history of life on a plantation" are very upset guides mention slavery. Mrs. McCrabbie's recommendation: put on your MAGA caps & hoop skirts, watch the first 10 minutes of "Gone with the Wind," & practice saying "Fiddle-dee-dee."

Here's one for contributor Jeanne. "Margaret Atwood joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss 'Corrie,' by Alice Munro, from a 2010 issue of the [New Yorker] magazine":

Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

Tuesday
Aug202019

The Commentariat -- August 21, 2019

Afternoon Update:

Michael Shear & Zolan Kanno-Youngs of the New York Times: "The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that limited how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and mandated the level of care they must receive.... The new regulation would codify minimum standards for the conditions in family detention centers and would specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the 'catch and release' of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States. The change will require approval from a federal judge before it can go into effect, and administration officials said they expect it to be immediately challenged in court." The NPR story is here. Mrs. McC: It's like, it's like, DHS has revealed Stephen Miller's wet dreams. But left out the torture part.

Jim Tankersley & Emily Cochrane of the New York Times: "The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected, even as President Trump muses about more tax cuts and other ideas that would add to government debt. The deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said in updated forecasts released on Wednesday. Previously, it had projected an $896 billion deficit for 2019 and $892 billion for 2020. Those numbers would be even higher, if not for lower-than-expected interest rates, which are reducing the cost of servicing the national debt." The CBS/AP story is here.

Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post: "President Trump said Wednesday that Jewish Americans who vote for Democratic candidates are 'very disloyal to Israel,' expanding on his remarks from the previous day and dismissing criticism that his remarks were anti-Semitic.... Asked by a reporter Wednesday to clarify his remarks, [Trump said,] 'In my opinion, the Democrats have gone very far away from Israel... I cannot understand how they can do that .. In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that.'" ...

     ... The NBC News story, by Allan Smith, is here. "Then, while speaking to reporters on Wednesday about his efforts to take on China's trade practices, Trump pointed at the sky and said, 'I am the chosen one.'" ...

... John Wagner of the Washington Post: "President Trump went on Twitter on Wednesday to quote a conservative radio host and known conspiracy theorist who praised him as 'the greatest President for Jews' and claimed that Israelis 'love him like he is the second coming of God.' In his tweets, Trump thanked Wayne Allyn Root for 'the very nice words.'... In his Wednesday morning tweets, Trump quoted Root saying, 'President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world ... and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he's the King of Israel.'... 'But American Jews don't know him or like him,' Root continued, according to Trump's tweets. 'They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that's OK, if he keeps doing what he's doing, he's good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he's good for everyone in America who wants a job.' In his own words, Trump added: 'Wow!'" ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: As Wagner notes, "Jews do not believe in a second coming.” That, of course, is because they don't believe in Christians' claim there was a first coming. See also today's Comments. ...

... Beth Levin of Vanity Fair: "It's probably self-evident that anyone claiming Trump is the Messiah is not right in the head, but just so it's on the record, Wayne Allyn Root -- a self-described 'Jew turned evangelical Christian' -- is an unhinged conspiracy theorist who believes the 2017 Las Vegas shooting was a 'coordinated Muslim terror attack' by ISIS and that George Soros paid actors to stage the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville that included Nazi chants like 'Jews will not replace us.' Trump, incredibly, seems to believe that he's going to win over Jewish voters by telling them they don't [know] what's good for them ('They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore!')."

This thread, not a full day after calling American Jewish Democrats disloyal, is eschatological antisemitism from a right wing extremist. It draws a line between good (right wing and/or Israeli) and bad (liberal) Jews. This is stochastic terrorism. -- Rabbi Andy Kahn, in a tweet

The President is a raving lunatic. He is not well. -- Andrew Gillum in a tweet ...

... Jonathan Chait: "If the president is seeking more insight into why Jews have failed to jump onto the Trump train, this tweetstorm itself supplies more evidence. Root is taking the traditional complaint that Christians make against Jews -- Why are you stiff-necked people forsaking your Lord and Savior? -- and substituting Trump himself for the role of the Messiah. The traditional Trumpist overture to Jews is that Trump might go after all the other minority groups but definitely won't turn on Jews. That approach having failed to yield dividends, he is now turning to castigating them for failing to worship the true King of the Jews and veritable Second Coming of God. 'They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore' is not usually a good pitch for any constituency. And where Jews specifically are concerned, the whole 'Second Coming' thing remains a bit of a sensitive area."

It's What He Says about Women. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times: "President Trump on Wednesday said that the new prime minister of Denmark was 'nasty' to him when she rejected his interest in purchasing Greenland, as he explained why he abruptly canceled a trip to the European nation next month. Mr. Trump made the remarks to reporters outside the White House as he departed for a trip to Kentucky for an official event. he statement from Mette Frederiksen, the 41-year-old prime minister of Denmark, had called Mr. Trump's hope of buying Greenland 'absurd,' a statement the president called 'nasty.'... 'She's not talking to me, she's talking to the United States of America,' he said. 'They can't say "how absurd."'" ...

... Allie Malloy of CNN: "The President has frequently used the word 'nasty' to describe women he is angry with." Malloy cites "nasty" remarks Trump made about Nancy Pelosi, Meghan Markle, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris & Elizabeth Warren.

~~~~~~~~~~

Chicken Little. Elaina Plott of the Atlantic: Shortly after the massacres in El Paso, Texas, & Dayton, Ohio, Ivanka Trump thought she had talked her father into hosting a Rose Garden ceremony in which he would sign a measure enhancing background checks. On August 7, Donald Trump called Wayne LaPierre of the NRA to discuss the plan. "The president reportedly asked LaPierre whether the NRA was willing to give in at all on background checks. LaPierre's response, the sources said, was unequivocal: 'No.' With that, 'the Rose Garden fantasy,' as the NRA official described it to me, was scrapped as quickly as it had been dreamed up. Earlier this [Tuesday] afternoon, according to a person briefed on the call, the president told LaPierre in another phone call that universal background checks were off the table." ...

... The Bad News: Innocent People Will Needlessly Die. The Good News: White House Issues the Most Excellent Doublespeak Ever. Gregg Re of Fox "News": "The White House pushed back late Tuesday on claims by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that President Trump said universal background checks were off the table.... A White House official, speaking to Fox News, maintained that 'meaningful' new background checks remained a legislative option, and denied that Trump said he supported universal background checks." Mrs. McC: So the White House (1) denied that Trump had taken universal background checks off the table & (2) denied that Trump had ever supported universal background checks.

Orion Rummler of Axios: "President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Tuesday that he didn't 'buy' the tears from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) at a recent press conference addressing Israel's decision to bar entry to her and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), adding that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats show either 'a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.'" Emphasis added. ...

... Julie Davis of the New York Times: Trump's language echoed the anti-Semitic smear that Jews are more devoted to Israel than they are to their own country, an accusation that goes as far back as the Roman Empire and is now used by white nationalists.... 'It's unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be "disloyal" to,' Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said on Twitter..., 'but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews.' Logan Bayroff ... of J Street, a progressive Jewish organization, said: '... it is no surprise that the president's racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.'... [Trump's] remark was the latest from a president who has a history of language that stokes racial and religious divisions, some of which have surfaced recently in the statements and writings of deranged people bent on committing violence." ...

     ... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: This is how crazy Trump is now. I leave it to your imagination as to how stark-staring mad he will be by election day 2020. ...

I am a proud Jewish person, and I have no concerns about voting Democratic. And in fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa ...

... Jacob Kornbluh of Jewish Insider:"Jewish Democrats rushed to condemn Trump's statement. Halie Soifer, executive director of Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in a statement, 'This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism.' The president's 'appalling' statement reveals that 'his professed support for Israel is based on personal political calculation, not principled commitment,' the Democratic Majority for Israel said on Twitter. Aaron Keyak, former National Jewish Democratic Council head, told JI, 'Just because President Trump is deeply unpopular in our community is no reason to slander us with echoes of some of the most insidious attacks against our people.' The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) defended the president. 'It shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion,' the RJC tweeted." ...

... Conservative Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner: "No matter which way one wants to interpret this comment, it's sickening coming from an American president -- all the more bizarre coming as he has been unleashing a barrage of attacks on Tlaib and Omar for anti-Semitism.... [Trump] has up to this point avoided turning his wrath on Jews, but given his history of flipping on people he views as 'disloyal,' his comments make me wonder what would happen if, as is most likely, Jews overwhelmingly vote against him despite his pro-Israel policies." ...

... Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward: "President Trump, long a trafficker in anti-Semitic stereotypes, treated American Jews to a classic anti-Semitic canard Tuesday afternoon.... The dual loyalties trope is a classic of anti-Semitic literature. The idea that Jews are more loyal to each other or to Israel than to the countries where they live has long been used as an excuse to vilify our communities and to whip up pogroms against us. It's been used to justify our torture, murder, and even genocide. That the President of the United States would suggest that we vote for his party or be called traitors is an absolutely horrifying state of affairs, reminiscent of the worst periods of Jewish history.... Who in the Republican Party -- so quick to call out Democrats for their failures -- will call him out for this?... Someone close to the President clearly knows the comment was problematic: It was edited out of the White House's [video] version of the press conference...." Similarly, Democrats have failed to call out Omar & Tlaib for their recent anti-Semitic actions. "It's getting to the point where separating out left wing anti-Semitism from right wing anti-Semitism feels moot...." ...

... Brett Samuels of the Hill: "President Trump on Tuesday ramped up his attacks on Rep. Rashida Tlaib after the Michigan Democrat got emotional at a press conference criticizing Israel over its decision to bar her from entering the country last week. 'Sorry, I don't buy Rep. Tlaib's tears,' Trump tweeted after Tlaib spoke out the previous day about Israel's decision. 'I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears?' Trump again claimed that Tlaib 'hates Israel and all Jewish people,' and called her an 'anti-Semite.'" (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Wait, Wait. There's More Crazy. Annie Karni of the New York Times: "President Trump on Tuesday night abruptly canceled a coming trip to Denmark, writing on Twitter that because the country's prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, 'would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland,' they would meet 'another time.'... Mr. Trump said he was reacting to Ms. Frederiksen's hard rejection of his interest [in buying Greenland].... Mr. Trump was scheduled to visit Copenhagen on Sept. 2 and 3, after being invited by Queen Margrethe II. The president was expected to participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders, and Ms. Frederiksen had underscored the importance of the session, calling the United States 'Denmark's most important and strongest ally in NATO.'... Mr. Trump ... [previously] claimed that discussing a potential purchase of Greenland, a semiautonomous territory reliant on Danish support, was not the purpose of his trip to Denmark.... The Twitter cancellation appeared to take Mr. Trump's own administration by surprise. 'Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit!' Mr. Trump's ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, wrote on Twitter, hours before the trip was pulled back, with a photograph of 'Trump' billboards in place to welcome the president." ...

This is no longer funny. Danish troops fought alongside the US in Afghanistan and Iraq. 50 Danes died. The president dishonors the alliance and their sacrifice. On the same day he sought to appease [Russian President Vladimir] Putin by supporting his return to the G8. -- Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution, in a tweet ...

... Felicia Sonmez, et al., of the Washington Post: "Trump's announcement suggests that, despite his denials, the central purpose of his trip had been discussion of a U.S. purchase of the massive, glaciered island, which holds increasing value as melting sea ice opens new parts of the Arctic to shipping and resource extraction.... Danish lawmakers, however, were outraged [that the purpose of Trump's had visit apparently had been to buy Greenland].... Senior administration officials had discussed the possibility of offering Denmark a deal in which the United States would take over its annual $600 million subsidy to Greenland in perpetuity, said two people familiar with the talks who were not authorized to reveal the internal deliberations. They also discussed giving Denmark a large one-time payment as well to incentivize the transfer, the people said." ...

      ... The USA Today story is here. ...

... Jonathan Chait: "During the 2016 presidential primary, Ted Cruz said, 'I don't know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the button. I mean, we're liable to wake up one morning and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark.' So the good news is that Trump is still exceeding expectations." ...

... Maybe Trump Thinks Putin Will Sell Him Siberia. Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post: "President Trump on Tuesday reiterated his call for Russia to be allowed to rejoin the Group of Seven industrial nations, saying it's 'more appropriate to have Russia in.' Trump was speaking with reporters in the Oval Office days before he is set to arrive in France for this weekend's G-7 summit. 'I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him -- President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out,' Trump said, referring to his predecessor's push for a united stand against Russia after it annexed Ukraine's Crimea region. 'But I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in.'" The CNBC story is here.

Nearly Every Time Trump Speaks, He Makes Liars of His Staff. Damian Paletta, et al., of the Washington Post: "President Trump on Tuesday confirmed he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut or other tax changes amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump tried to tout the economy's strength while also spelling out a number of steps he might push for that are usually reserved for periods of significant economic weakness. In addition to tax-cut ideas that Trump said are under review, he continued Tuesday to push the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates. Trump's comments laid bare increasingly urgent White House discussions that have shifted from public denials that anything is wrong to a review process aimed at soliciting ideas to stimulate the economy.... [Monday,] the White House publicly denied [a payroll tax cut] was under consideration." The ABC News story is here. ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Way back when Barack Obama was president, I occasionally listened to the daily press briefings (because way back then, there actually were daily press briefings). In response to questions, the press secretary (Jay Carney or Josh Earnest) would sometimes say, "I spoke to the President about that this morning...," or "I haven't spoken to the President about that; I'll get back to you" (which he reportedly usually did). As a result, there was none of this:

WH official yesterday: 'cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time.'

Trump today, per pool: 'Been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time'

     -- Annie Karni
of the New York Times, in a tweet

... Nancy Cook of Politico: "At a fundraising luncheon this week in Jackson, Wyo., headlined by both Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged the [precarious state of the economy] to the GOP elite behind closed doors. If the U.S. were to face a recession, it would be 'moderate and short,' Mulvaney told roughly 50 donors, according to an attendee."

Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Brandy Zadronsky & Ben Collins of NBC News: "By the numbers, there is no bigger advocate of President Donald Trump on Facebook than The Epoch Times.... Behind the scenes, the media outlet's ownership and operation is closely tied to Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual community with the stated goal of taking down China's government.... Former practitioners of Falun Gong told NBC News that believers think the world is headed toward a judgment day, where those labeled 'communists' will be sent to a kind of hell, and those sympathetic to the spiritual community will be spared. Trump is viewed as a key ally in the anti-communist fight.... The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.... That engagement has made The Epoch Times a favorite of the Trump family and a key component of the president's re-election campaign.... [I]ts network of news sites and YouTube channels has made it a powerful conduit for the internet's fringier conspiracy theories, including anti-vaccination propaganda and QAnon, to reach the mainstream." Read the whole article. There's too much crazy to summarize. --s

Travis Gettys of the Raw Story: "Federal agents arrested a Washington state man who allegedly threatened to 'exterminate' Latinos as part of a race war he believed would be launched by ... Donald Trump. According to court documents, Eric Lin frequently praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler online and sent multiple death threats against a woman in Miami and plotted to pay a man to beat her up, reported the Miami New Times. 'The time will come when Miami will burn to the ground -- and every Latin Man will be lined up against a Wall and Shot and every Latin Woman Raped or Cut to Pieces,' Lin wrote Aug. 8, according to investigators." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... Another "Very Fine Person"? Anthony Attrino of NJ.com: New Jersey "State Police troopers who responded to the scene of a traffic accident last month said they found three firearms inside the driver's vehicle, along with bullets and brass knuckles that led to the discovery of a bigger weapons cache at the man's Sussex County home.... 'In the process of extracting Rubino from the motor vehicle in order to render medical treatment, law enforcement observed, among other things, various firearms and ammunition inside Rubino's vehicle,' authorities said in the complaint filed in federal court.... Police then obtained a search warrant for Rubino's home, where they found 14 more firearms, including assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns, authorities said. They also found four high-capacity magazines, ammunition, a grenade launcher, silencer tubes and a ballistics vest, authorities said. Officers also found methamphetamine, more than 6 pounds of marijuana, 200 cannabis vape cartridges and marijuana edibles, authorities said. Inside both the vehicle and the home, police found clothing and bumper stickers with white supremacist and Neo-Nazi slogans along with a document 'containing racist material and purporting to be an instruction manual for owning a slave,' the complaint states."

S.V. Date of the Huffington Post: "... Donald Trump has filed financial disclosure statements that appear to misstate the value and profitability of his Scotland golf courses by $165 million, possibly violating federal laws that are punishable by jail time. Trump claimed in his 2018 U.S. filing that his Turnberry and Aberdeen resorts were each worth more than $50 million. For that same time period, he filed balance sheets with the United Kingdom government showing that their combined debt exceeded their assets by 47.9 million British pounds ― the equivalent of $64.8 million at the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2017, the date of the last U.K. filing available."

Anne Flaherty & Katherine Faulders of ABC News: "The Trump administration is expected to announce, as early as Wednesday, that it's moving ahead with new rules that would allow for the longer term detention of families traveling with children across the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two government officials familiar with the plan. The government's detention of children has been limited to less than 20 days under a court settlement known as the Flores Settlement Agreement." ...

... Nick Miroff of the Washington Post: "The Trump administration is trying to reach a deal with the Panama government that would allow the United States to send asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and elsewhere to Panamanian territory, if those travelers passed through the country en route to U.S. soil. The 'safe third country' accord would primarily apply to the relatively small but growing numbers of 'extracontinental' asylum seekers who arrive in South America before heading north into Panama through wild jungles and muddy rivers. Acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan will travel to Panama City on Wednesday to meet with the country's newly elected president, Laurentino Cortizo, to 'discuss regional cooperation to confront irregular migration,' the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement." ...

... Jessica Bursztynsky of CNBC: "The U.S. won’t be vaccinating migrant families in holding centers ahead of this year's flu season, despite calls from doctors to boost efforts to fight the infection that's killed at least three children at detention facilities in the past year.... At least three children who were held in detention centers after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico have died in recent months, in part, from the flu, according to a letter to Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., from several doctors urging Congress to investigate health conditions at the centers. The United States had previously gone almost a decade without any children dying while under U.S. immigration custody."

Presidential Race 2020

Warren is, for once, on the right.Hannah Sayle of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: At a Minnesota rally, Elizabeth Warren met her doppelganger: Stephanie Oyen of Edina, Minnesota. Before the event began, so many people rushed Oyen, thinking she was Warren, that Oyen eventually removed her glasses & blazer.

 


Charles Pierce
: "Unlike several of his colleagues, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, has managed to find a way to keep busy without the expense and bother of running for president." Read especially the excerpts of Whitehouse's amicus brief to the Supremes regarding a gun case. Mrs. McC: Whitehouse, who was at the top of my next-POTUS list until he chose not to join the stampeding horde, does not mince words, except to say he's very good at chopping them fine & making sure the guests get their just deserts.

David Ignatius of the Washington Post: "The corporate panic about capitalism [-- expressed most forcefully by the Business Roundtable's statement that companies must serve not only shareholders but also customers, employees, suppliers and communities --] could be a turning point, opening the way for a future president to begin fixing the problems of stagnant wages and inequality that are at the core of America's disarray. Business leaders seem to recognize the crisis: ... Corporate America fears the system is failing. President Trump's election reflects a populist rage that threatens America's future prosperity and stability.... [Franklin] Roosevelt saved capitalism by reforming it, redeeming his campaign pledge to 'the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.' Who in the current Democratic field can claim this role in 2020?" ...

... ** OR. Eric Levitz of New York: "Coverage of the Business Roundtable's rejection of shareholder value has been largely positive, while criticism has focused less on the substance of the lobby's new position than its alleged insincerity in adopting it.... But the Business Roundtable literally exists to prevent the U.S. government from statutorily mandating corporate America's fulfillment of such obligations. Founded in 1972, the lobby played a leading role in blocking the creation of a consumer-protection agency -- and a progressive revision of labor law -- under Jimmy Carter, thereby setting the stage for an era in which the interests of those' stakeholders' were ruthlessly subordinated to those of corporate stockholders (very much including the Business Roundtable's membership). In light of this history, the lobby's statement reads less like an argument for a less-profit-driven corporate culture than a case against a more democratically managed economy."

Justin Miller of the Texas Observer on how ALEC is preparing state legislators for the 2021 redistricting battle. "ALEC appears to be positioning itself as a key player in the scramble to maximize Republican power for another decade.... The GOP has embarked on a highly controversial and legally dubious crusade -- led by Trump -- to change how districts are drawn in a way that requires a radical reinterpretation of the Constitution's 'one person, one vote' principle. Right now, states draw those districts based on total population counts, but for years, party operatives have quietly plotted to draw state legislative districts based solely on the voter-eligible citizen population -- a move that would increase the power of predominantly white areas and diminish the power of heavily Hispanic areas...."

A Sickening New Definition of "Work Release." David Ovalle of the Miami Herald: "While serving a lenient jail sentence in Palm Beach County, wealthy financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to leave jail for 'work release' -- at an office at his own organization, the Florida Science Foundation. But at the foundation, according to a newly filed lawsuit, Epstein and his web of associates repeatedly arranged for sex with at least two girls, including one he met when she was 17.... The allegation was included in a trio of lawsuits filed Tuesday by three women who have now come forward to allege that Epstein abused them over years, dangling promises of riches and stability."

Way Beyond the Beltway

Brazil/Earth. Bruce Douglas & Tatiana Freitas of Bloomberg: "Around half a billion bees died in four of Brazil's southern states in the year's first months. The die-off highlighted questions about the ocean of pesticides used in the country's agriculture and whether chemicals are washing through the human food supply -- even as the government considers permitting more.... Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, Brazil has permitted sales of a record 290 pesticides, up 27% over the same period last year, and a bill in Congress would relax standards even further.... Brazil's pesticide use increased 770% from 1990 to 2016, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations." --s

Italy. Jason Horowitz of the New York Times: "Italy's nationalist government collapsed on Tuesday as the country's prime minister [Giuseppe Conte] announced his resignation in the face of a mutinous power play by the hard-line and increasingly popular interior minister, Matteo Salvini.... With Mr. Salvini seated beside him with raised chin, Mr. Conte took aim, accusing him of 'political opportunism,' disregard for Italy's institutions and thrusting the country into a 'vortex of political uncertainty and financial instability.'" The Guardian's story is here. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

U.K. Jennifer Rankin & Jessica Elgot of the Guardian: "The European Union has rebuffed Boris Johnson's attempts to tear up the Irish backstop, in a coordinated response that appeared to close the door on further meaningful Brexit negotiations." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Reader Comments (28)

"......along with Shen Yun known for its ubiquitous advertising and unsettling performances, make up the outreach effort of Falun Gong..." (from the NBC Epoch News story above)

I mention it because I was an unwitting witness (sometimes the best kind) this last year, when my wife suggested we attend a Shen Yun performance in Seattle. Likely due to my general insensitivity I was more bored (after seeing the same incredibly acrobatic leaps for the sixth time) than unsettled. The propaganda was mostly too subtle for me, except for one sequence when the bad guys did look a lot like thuggish militiary types, which made me think that something political was up and that the troupe was likely made up of Taiwanese angry about something.

The constumery was colorful but the choreography robotic, and the introductions to each set were delivered in such a sing-song cadence, as if spoken by wind-up Chinese dolls, it made me a little uncomfortable because I didn't know if what seemed to be the self-referential satire was deliberate or not.

Overall, I didn't dislike the experience or take my usual nap, but thought once was more than enough. And I didn't ask my wife how much the tickets cost because I didn't want to know.

Then last night as a followup to the NBC piece I read this: https://www.insider.com/shen-yun-show-falun-gong-2019-3

No telling how my life would have been changed if I weren't such an insensitive dolt.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

So glad, Ken, that you had a chance to see that robotic performance. Their touting it on PBS was ubiquitous for awhile and I was curious about it. Rachel spent most of her program last night giving us the skinny on Falun Gong. "Far out" does not begin to describe this group.

And Marie: I agree–-Whitehouse has always been on top of my list of senators that deserve great respect and admiration. Good for him to let the Court know exactly what he thinks and yes, I suppose Tribe is right in his warning, but pretending that all is right with the Right slant on those big benches doesn't change anything or anyone.

MEET THE CIA'S disguise artists who helped Cold War spies disappear. With video and transcript.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/meet-the-cias-disguise-artists-who-helped-cold-war-spies-disappear

The Trump gallimaufry continues and we are beginning to see the actual extension of his nose and if indeed it continues to grow might prevent his usual smelling out the most putrid aspects of life therefore reducing him mute and if someone, accidentally of course, slams a heavy object on those delicate fingers, we may never hear from him again.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Following on from yesterday, I agree very strongly with you all, Ak, Safari and P. D.. Usual caveat “crawl over broken glass”, I love Warren’s campaign. She’s so fired up, strong, fast on her feet (literally and metaphorically), and fightin’ mad, like so many of us. I believe we need someone this determined and clear eyed to fix the fiascos. I don’t want someone who starts from compromise. I don’t want any “both sides”, ‘cos it ain’t. I want someone who starts from the Democratic side. Let the Cons try out compromise. There are too many very serious issues that must be corrected: voting access, gerrymandering, EPA, climate, infrastructure, SCOTUS, foreign relations, on and on. This maladministration is causing disasters all over. Someone smart and strong and steely needs to be elected. I was so disappointed in Harris during Beer O’Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I don’t see her slamming dopey in debates like Warren, who would cut through him like a rapier through lard. While I understand Safari’s concerns about the African American community, for me, a Warren/Buttigieg ticket would be powerful. Average age just under 55 ;) Vibrant, articulate, a real WYSIWYG pair, a bit yin and yang. I’ve heard some South Benders say Buttigieg is very popular amongst his minority S B constituents, though I see minorities’ desire for representation on the ticket.

D for Drive. R for Reverse.

I’m with you P. D., I won’t do another of my rants on this subject, but abortion is simply health care. Dems should copy those repugnant Con ads that had “Uncle Sam” in the exam room. Big Government leering at you pushing your doctor out of the way so he could tell you what treatment you may or may not have, regardless of your medical needs. Anti abortion bills written by old men who are spectacularly and proudly ignorant of human biology. And while I’m here, I’m fed up with the woman being (solely, it seems) responsible for her birth control and pregnancy. What’s wrong with telling men if they don’t want a child to support, keep their pants zipped, take responsibility for birth control? That’s what I teach my sons.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

Gloria: You go girl! Once I asked my brother whether our father ever talked to him about sex; once, he replied, "when Dad said, "Keep your zipper zipped." Man of few words.

You mention Mayor Pete being a perfect duo with Warren. I'm afraid many would find that much too progressive–-those many are the ones who want "comfortable" with Biden, sad to say. I find Pete most interesting and his religiosity intrigues me: he intellectualizes it to a great extent but I think the image of a God for him is paramount. His own father, who just died in January, didn't "really get" his son so perhaps the solace he receives from this belief system makes sense. Here's a really good overview of Pete's thinking in an interview with a Father Edward Beck who does a pretty nifty job.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/02/opinions/buttigieg-and-religion-qa-beck/index.html

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

What, me worry? Well, I guess just a little.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/21/amid-recession-warnings-trump-reportedly-considering-more-tax-cuts-rich-

Not to mention the payroll tax cut the Pretender is or is not (one or the other, for sure) considering.

Don't think he can do any of this just by fiat, so just more blather to make the idiots think he's actually thinking.

In the Dem House, don't imagine there's any no chance for any of this to pass.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Brave, Brave Sir Donald

Trumpy sez checks will be done
'fore guns can be sold t'anyone
Wayne takes him to school
And makes Trump look the fool
And with tail tween his legs he doth run

So Trump, in a moment of fear masquerading as reasonableness (the fear stemming from the tidal wave of criticism connecting his hateful words to recent mass killings, "No one can blame The Donald for anything!"), comes out and declares that expanded background checks are a good thing and could be on the table. But, oops! he forgot to clear this with his leash holders at the NRA.

Wayne-O gives him a call and says "What can you be thinking? BAD DOG!" Trump runs to his doggie bed, curls up and licks his balls for a while then comes out an sez "Background checks? Who said anything about background checks? We already do too much of that!"'

For his troubles, Wayne-O sent the Orange Menace a pair of thousand dollar bathing trunks. He would have autographed them, but he withheld that perk in light of the fact that Trumpy dared to even question the gun knobbers' status quo, which is "Buy however many guns you want, and whatever kind, from anyone, anyplace, at any time with no background checks at all".

Brave Sir Donald. He spoke, they chastised, he ran away.

Brave Sir Donald.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Interesting background on the Greenland purchase that wasn't.

Turns out Denmark couldn't have sold Greenland anyway. Because of its status, Greenland would have had to vote to sell itself.

But as they say, who (in that gaggle of White House advisors) knew?

No one apparently.

https://www.vox.com/2019/8/16/20807928/donald-trump-buy-greenland-denmark

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

PD,

Gallimaufry! Great word. 16th century Middle French. I now have an alternative to salmagundi, with an interesting pedigree. In the case of the Orange Menace, it would be more a gallimaufry of rancid, stinking meat as nothing of his is in the least bit digestible.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

One li'l ticky, one li'l tocky.

I can hear the Li'l Randy clock ticking away. It's been far too long since we've received the regular serving of tripe and raw bullshit he loves to use to worm his way into the limelight.

What can be on that little mind under that ratty wig-thingy? He must think of SOMETHING that will put his puss on the front page.

Maybe he'll offer to negotiate the purchase of Greenland. Do they worship Aqua Buddha in Denmark? They will after Randy gets there, by jing.

How about a Li'l Randy special? The Paul Gun Idea. Everyone gets as many guns as they want, because Freeeeedom (natch), but they can only use three at one time. Of course the rest can be in the trunk waiting as backup in case the gun knobbers want to swap them out.

No? Well, there's always healthcare.

As a self-certified eye-poker he knows loads about stuff like that there. How 'bout EVERYONE gets self-certified? Yeah. Sure. Then everyone is a doctor. For a small fee ($100) he'll even send you the Li'l Dr. Randy Do-it-Yourself Kit. It includes a pocket knife and needle and thread (sorry, only white thread, but he's no racist! Don't even think it, you damn libruls) for in case you have to remove your own liver. Just think of the savings.

And that liver can be recycled. Just pop it in the frying pan with a little bacon grease and PRESTO! dinner for the kiddies. This great idea takes care of healthcare and hunger and doesn't cost the guv'mint a cent.

And to help with those empty desks across the wide swath of government departments and agencies, King Trumpy not having enough time or interest to hire people to make those departments actually work (takes time away from TeeVee watching), Li'l Randy will agree to take on ALL those roles. He can do it in between rasslin' matches with the neighbors.

He can serve as under-under-under Secretary of State for an hour in the morning, then jiggedy jig over to the Pentagon to oversee nukular warfare after lunch, then a quick uber ride over to Treasury where, oops, he almost walked in on Mr. and Mrs. Munchkin having sex on a pile of thousands of freshly printed bills. Well, as janitor at Treasury, he'll clean up that pile of soggy simoleons before he heads home.

Any day now, we'll be hearing from the littlest self-promoter. He just can't help it.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I love Mayor Pete but ... not yet. His youth and gayness will be too much of a turn-off for some voters, especially the ones we are trying to persuade to support the good Professor Warren. But in 4 years (8?), he will be not-so-young, and his gayness will be just another attribute, no different from his blue eyes and dark hair. And in that time he can maybe run for Congress and get some Federal experience, which will make him an even better candidate for the future.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRockygirl

Philip Klein says, "given Trump's history of flipping on people he views as 'disloyal,' his comments make me wonder what would happen if, as is most likely, Jews overwhelmingly vote against him despite his pro-Israel policies.”

We Jews will vote overwhelmingly against Trump because we understand not only his anti-Semitism, but because we recognize that, in the long run, his policies are most decidedly not in Israel's best interests and are ultimately most decidedly not "pro-Israel." Israel's best interests are served by reaching an equitable agreement with the Palestinians. Trump, like Netanyahu, sees the Palestinians as a foe to be vanquished, not a neighbor to be accommodated, or perhaps even potential friends.

Treating them like enemies when the demographics are simply not on your side, is ultimately suicidal. If you're pro-Israel, you have to be pro-Palestinian, too.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSchlub

David Ignatius asks, " [Franklin] Roosevelt saved capitalism by reforming it, redeeming his campaign pledge to 'the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.' Who in the current Democratic field can claim this role in 2020?”

Hello! Elizabeth Warren!

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSchlub

He has surely gone over the edge. From Crooks & Liars:

"President Trump went on Twitter on Wednesday to quote a conservative radio host and known conspiracy theorist who praised him as “the greatest President for Jews” and claimed that Israelis “love him like he is the second coming of God.”"

Complete tweets included.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

Um...correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure (as in positive) that The concept of a second coming is Christian, not Jewish. And calling Trump the Second Coming (ie, Jesus Christ) and Trump retweeting this insanity without qualification, meaning he accepts and agrees with this pronouncement, should be viewed by Christians as extreme blasphemy.

They used to burn people at the stake for this shit.

This isn’t just around the bend, this is around the Mobius Strip at the speed of light and back for a few loop de loops. It’s very possible that Trump has no idea what the term “second coming” represents, conta all those winger Christians who proclaim him a holy man and a wonderful Christian. But adding the word “god” is a clear indication that he agrees he should be looked upon as a deity.

Nancy Pelosi, are you paying attention?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

...and one more thing about Trump touting himself as King of Israel.

It's pretty insulting (if for nothing else, the rank ignorance) to talk about the Second Coming when demanding loyalty from Jews. It would be like going to a Christian church and spouting off about how you are revered in another religion but the congregants better get with the program and bow down to you no matter what.

I'm tempted to call it chutzpah, but it's not that. Chutzpah is more brass or gall. THIS is immense self-regard, drenched in ignorance and served up with a large side of tetched.

We have a mentally unstable asshole in control of nuclear weapons declaring himself king of foreign countries and, oh yeah, God.

Nancy? Can you hear me?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

In terms of the world economy, Trump seems to have said, "I am the chosen one." This, coupled with him building up the story of being called the second coming of christ, convinces me that he is psychotically delusional, not just grandiose, now. Really. Remember from our Marvin: Seriously Mentally Ill. Or, as stated by Ms. Bea, stark-staring mad.
Buying Greenland????
We have to get our minds around the fact that he is psychotic. We tend to shake it off as a bad joke. I think he's past the joke stage.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Trump wants to return to those "thrilling days of yesteryear" when large swaths of territory were bought, sold and swapped. After being flatly refused he takes offense in the Danish Prime Minister calling the proposal "absurd". I'll agree that absurd doesn't do justice to this one...how about "assinine" or "imbecilic"?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

Trump is not an Anti-Semite. He just plays one on TV and Twitter. He's the best friend Israel has had since, since George W. Bush. Bush attacked Iraq on behalf of Israel. Google the 30 Jewish Neocons behind the Iraq War. More Muslim Americans died in that war the Jewish Americans.The Middle East from Bagdad to Beirut is a perpetual war zone. (Best Yiddish accent) "Better they should fight each other than attack us. With that we can live."

Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem. Trump closed the Palestinian relief office. Trump and Netanyahu are best buddies. The Orthodox Jewish Jarrod Kushner is Trump's Middle East envoy. There is one more thing to do to eliminate the last existential threat to Israel. Regime change in Iran. Trump's people are working on it.

Obama scared the hell out of the Pro-Israel Lobby which includes Evangelicals and other non-Jews when he refused to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlement policies. The US abstained. Obama also put conditions on the aid we give to Israel in a Memorandum of Understanding. Hillary paid the price.

JewsChooseTrump spokeswoman Carol Greenwald credits her organization for swinging pro-Israel Jews and delivering Florida to Trump. This national organization wanted our withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement the capitol moved to Jerusalem, the conditions on aid lifted and public funding for religious education. Three out of four - so far.

The Pro-Israel lobby (not just Jews) are third in political expenditures after Korea and Japan. Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib learned what happens when you touch the live third rail of American politics - Israel. Even the NYT was badly burned when they published the carton depicting dachshund Trump on a leash held by Netanyahu.

What we're seeing is the creation of an alternate reality - gas lighting. Trump as anti-Semite. To what purpose? Speculating; The Anti-Semite Trump didn't go to war with Iran for Israel and the Pro-Israel lobby. Defuse the blow-back when American Gentiles start dying in Iran.

Kushner is Jewish. So is Steven Miller and Mnuchin. Whatever happened to Trump's accountant Weisselberg who was granted immunity. Who can forget Trump's saying that no one touches his money except "short guys wearing yarmulkes".

Sorry - Warren is not acceptable now that she has taken on Max Berger, a JStreet activist against Israeli occupation. Bernie is bad on Israel even though he's Jewish. In fact, no Democrat currently running, no Democrat, could possibly be a better friend to Israel and the Pro-Israel lobby than Donald Trump.

Trump said that. For once in his presidency he is telling the truth.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCrashdavid

I can't wait 'til the press corps asked mike pence what he thinks about the "second coming".

"Sir, Mr. Vice President. A question. When you and your mom are holding hands on your knees every Sunday, when you're doing your squinty eyes face and feeling God heat your loins, is Donald Trump in a white robe what you imagine?"

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commentersafari

Once more with feeling:

The Second Coming
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

And how about this news for Our Savior?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-created-500000-fewer-jobs-since-2018-than-previously-reported-new-figures-show-2019-08-21

The Pretender never trusted those Obama numbers. Wonder if he'll trust these from the deep state?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Safari,

The fact that little mikey pence works tirelessly for his master Trumpy and helps whip up the hatred to keep them both in power is the only answer you need.

Were pence the holy roller Great Christian he has always pretended to be, he would have nothing to do with Trump. But he's right there to carry his water, jerk him off, cover for the tsunami of his sins, whatever it takes.

So fuck his religiosity. And fuck his pretense at holiness and Christian purity.

He's a slimy, greedy hack, just like everyone else in Trump's orbit (who else would be there?). And here's the thing. Christians will tell you (I hear it all the time) that good deeds will not get you into heaven. You have to walk the walk. So, okay. This means abiding by the teachings of Christ, who taught that his followers should care for the sick, the imprisoned, the immigrants, the poor, the outcasts.

Trump and pence piss on the poor. Imprison the immigrants. Push the sick into the gutter. And make outcasts of any American citizen who doesn't back their hate fueled authoritarian power grab.

Walking the walk there, mikey? I think not. More like crawling the crawl. Or like burying landmines for those who do walk the walk. Or even try to.

So pence clearly doesn't give a single (never mind two) shits about Jesus Christ or Christianity or the Bible or prayers or hymns or the gospels or cotton candy at the fucking church picnic.

He cares about Trump and himself and their power to force Americans and the world to bow before them.

The rest are all lies.

QE fucking D.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

PD,

I thought about that poem earlier today. One of my favorites. Yeats held the power of vision and language. In that respect, he was the anti-Trump.

The gyre, it widens by the day. It's only the haters who hear their master, the ignorant, spite-filled lump of feculence that is the Orange Menace.

The center is caving in.

Where are you Chuck and Nancy? Are you sitting on the sideline watching while Fatso burns us to the ground?

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Crashdavid: What you're discounting is the fact that Trump IS an anti-Semite, and that is obvious from remarks he has made about Jews. Yes, Trump's policies are pro-Israel, but that's not because HE is pro-Israel. It's because his evangelical base is pro-Israel. Trump's pro-Israel feint is purely transactional. He's a friend to Israel only as long as he thinks it's advantageous to him. That's not my idea of a friend.

(When I was growing up, evangelicals were decidedly antisemitic. I never heard of Judaism until a friend of mine told me Jews were Christ-killers. Had to ask my mom about that; she told me it was a ridiculous slur. Their pro-Israel views today are rooted in the idea that at the aforementioned Second Coming, many of Israel's Jews will accept Jesus & those who don't will be driven into the sea. You might call that "pro-Israel"; I don't.)

And, IMO, making Israel more toxic to all of its neighbors is not doing Israel any favors. That's something Netanyahu hasn't figured out, and obviously, Trump is too dumb to figure it out & he wouldn't care anyway. Middle East peace can come only if the various factions (including intra-Muslim factions, of course) decide to get along with one another. That's been an impossible goal so far, but other warring regions -- like, uh, Europe -- have done it, so there's no reason the Middle East can't do the same.

You're viewing Trump thru pretty rosy glasses.

August 21, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

and to apply a line I read somewhere to the Middle East: "Some of these people have hated each other for so long they forgot why a couple of thousand years ago".

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

PD, thanks. Yes I know Warren is too “progressive” for many, or at least portrayed as such. And a Warren/Buttigieg ticket would be way too scary for many, or portrayed as such. No ticket, no candidates are perfect, just my personal aspiration. Crawl over broken glass, even for Ak’s cantaloupe. Sadly, that’s where we are.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

... broke don is a racist, anti Semitic, misogynistic, narcissistic, psychopathic, lying piece of shit. This is the abridged version. Anyone who associates with him despite these traits, has their own corrupt/criminal agenda. And/or shares them.

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

FYI. Thinking for awhile that all that sweet "socialism" farm buy-your-vote money was going to big agribusiness. Saw a piece by Matthew Chapman from 7/30 (Raw Story).
"...54 percent of it went to just the top one-tenth of farms, with 82 farmers receiving at least $500,000 and many of the recipients actually living in large cities. Smaller family farms, meanwhile, have received very little, with the bottom 80 percent of farmers getting less than $5,000 each — and farmers of color have received almost nothing."

Although 125K was supposed to be the cap for a payout, family members of rich farmers have been submitting individual claims, so that a single rich farm "family" keeps dipping multiple times.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/07/trump-shafted-family-farmers-to-give-trade-war-bailouts-to-huge-corporate-farms-instead-report/

Trump called off his midwest agri tour because of push back on these issues from farmers.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/trump-officials-abruptly-call-off-midwest-agriculture-tour-amid-rising-tensions-with-farmers/

August 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous
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