The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Safety/Irony Alert. CNBC (December 25): Your new home security system may be an open invitation to hackers to make you, and perhaps many others, unsafe.” -- CW

Vanity Fair: "... Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times chief book reviewer and Pulitzer Prize winner, who has been, by a wide margin, the most powerful book critic in the English-speaking world, is stepping down.... Kakutani said that she could neither confirm nor comment. But sources familiar with her decision, which comes a year after the Times restructured its books coverage, told me that last year’s election had triggered a desire to branch out and write more essays about culture and politics in Trump’s America." -- CW 

... Washington Post: "... investigators believe they have discovered the 'smoking gun' that would support a decades-old theory that [Amelia] Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were captured by the Japanese: a newly unearthed photograph from the National Archives that purportedly shows Earhart and Noonan — and their plane — on an atoll in the Marshall Islands.... Gary Tarpinian,  executive producer of the History documentary, told the Today show that they believe the Koshu, the Japanese merchant ship in the photo, took Earhart to Saipan, where she died in Japanese custody." -- CW 

Summer Beach Reading. James Hohmann of the Washington Post suggests Al Franken's Giant of the Senate. Hohmann's column hits some of the highlights. CW: Let us be thankful that Donald Trump is incapable of learning the lessons Franken learned from his team. If Trump were half as bright as Franken, he would be a succesful president & very effective dictator.

Politico: "MSNBC has parted ways with anchor Greta Van Susteren after just six months on air, as her show failed to live up to the network's ratings expectations. An MSNBC executive said the decision to remove the former Fox News host was purely for business reasons, based on ratings." -- CW 

Click on the picture to see larger image.... Low Society News. AP: "... Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin’s) married a Scottish actress. Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress" CW: which, if you follow Reality Chex, you will know was enhanced by some really costly baubles that remind the bride of Grace Kelly or happy times or something.

New Yorker: "In a paper in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers announced that they have pushed back the date of the earliest human remains to three hundred thousand years ago. And the specimens in question were found not in East Africa, which has become synonymous with a sort of paleoanthropological Garden of Eden, but clear on the other side of the continent — and the Sahara — in Morocco." -- CW ...

Washington Post: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus took a final, bittersweet bow Sunday, staging its last three shows [in Uniondale, N.Y.,] after 146 years of entertaining American audiences with gravity-defying trapeze stunts, comically clumsy clowns and trained tigers." -- CW 

Guardian: "Pippa Middleton [sister of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge --] has married James Matthews in what has been called the society wedding of the year, in front of royalty, family and friends." -- CW

Washington Post: "Two months before Monday’s [May 8] announcement that Sinclair Broadcast Group would pay $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and add to its dominance as the nation’s largest owner of local TV stations, a top executive at Sinclair beamed a short commentary piece to many of the company’s 173 stations.In the segment, which looks like it belongs in a newscast, Sinclair vice president for news Scott Livingston stands before a wall of video monitors and warns that 'some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.' He accuses the national media of publishing 'fake news stories' — a direct echo of President Trump’s frequent complaint — and then asks viewers to visit the station’s website to share 'content concerns.' The piece was a 'must-run,' meaning news directors and station managers from Baltimore to Seattle had to find room for it.... While partisan coverage is a familiar staple of cable networks — Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left — it remains mostly unheard of in broadcast TV, where it has generally been accepted that public airwaves should be used in the difficult-to-define public interest.” -- CW 

Contact the Constant Weader

Click on this link to e-mail the Constant Weader.

Friday
Jul142017

The Commentariat -- July 15, 2017

Late Morning Update:

The Translator -- Witness for the Prosecution? Jessica Schulberg & Paul Blumenthal of the Huffington Post: "One of the previously unidentified attendees [at the Trump-Russia meeting] was Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian-born American translator who previously spent years working for the U.S. government.... Samochornov's presence at the meeting is key because he appears to be the only witness to the event who does not have close ties to either the Trump campaign or the Russian government. He wouldn't tell HuffPost whether he had been contacted by investigators probing the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia.... CW

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Between its 'Fox and Friends' morning show and Sean Hannity at night, Fox News has become a haven for those who think this whole Russia thing is nonsense. On Friday morning, Steve Doocy even declared that 'the Russia story is starting to fall apart.' But on Friday afternoon, a Fox host went off on the Trump administration's handling of Russia in a way we've rarely seen.

*****

NEW. How Low Can They Go? Election "Integrity" Commission Publishes Personal Info of Voters Opposed to Release of Their Personal Info. Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post: "The White House on Thursday made public a trove of emails it received from voters offering comment on its Election Integrity Commission.... The Trump administration did not redact any of their personal information from the emails before releasing them to the public. In some cases, the emails contain not only names, but email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and places of employment of people worried about such information being made available to the public. The Washington Post is not publishing any of this information because in most cases it does not appear that the individuals were aware their comments would be shared by the White House." ...

     ... CW: This is going after private citizens who disagree with the White House, and it is aimed to hit them where it hurts. Who'da thought Trump, pence & Kobach would win the limbo contest?

Jonathan Martin & Alexander Burns of the New York Times: "The nation's governors, gathered [in Providence, R.I.,] for their annual summer meeting, came out strongly on Friday against the new Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, turning up the pressure on Republican leaders struggling to round up the votes to pass the bill next week. Opposition came not just from Democratic governors but from Republicans who split along familiar lines -- conservatives who said the legislation did not go far enough and moderates who said it was far too harsh on their state's vulnerable residents." -- CW ...

... What Happens When Men Misogynists Write a "Health Care" Bill. Molly Redden & Sabrina Siddiqui of the Guardian: "The latest version of the US Senate's bill to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act would eliminate the so-called birth control mandate, handing a long-sought victory to conservative activists who have spent years assailing the regulation. The mandate is one of the most controversial benefits of the Obama administration's enforcement of the ACA. As Senate Republican leaders insisted they would forge ahead with a vote by the end of next week on their latest version of legislation to replace the ACA, reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood warned about the threatened change." -- CW ...

... Michelle Goldberg in a New York Times op-ed: "... after nearly six months in office, Mr. Trump has already surpassed George W. Bush as the American president most hostile to reproductive rights and measures to promote sexual health. There is a deeply insulting irony in this: American women are being stripped of their sexual and reproductive autonomy not by a moralizing puritan but by an erotically incontinent libertine.... His presidency is proving that cynicism and indifference can be as damaging as fanaticism.... Mr. Trump doesn't care about women's health or rights, and it's easy to outsource policy to the activists of the religious right who helped elect him." Read on & be disgusted. -- CW ...

... Just Hold an Aspirin Between Your Thighs, Honey. Jane Kay of Reveal News: "The Trump administration has quietly axed $213.6 million in teen pregnancy prevention programs and research at more than 80 institutions around the country, including Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University. The decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will end five-year grants awarded by the Obama administration that were designed to find scientifically valid ways to help teenagers make healthy decisions that avoid unwanted pregnancies. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and other top Trump appointees are outspoken opponents of federal funding for birth control, advocating abstinence rather than contraceptives to control teen pregnancies." Via Paul Waldman. -- CW

Abigail Hauslohner & David Nakamura of the Washington Post: "The Trump administration is weighing a new policy to dramatically expand the Department of Homeland Security's powers to expedite the deportations of some illegal immigrants. Since 2004, the agency has been authorized to bypass immigration courts only for immigrants who had been living in the country illegally for less than two weeks and were apprehended within 100 miles of the border. Under the proposal, the agency would be empowered to seek the expedited removal of illegal immigrants apprehended anywhere in the United States who cannot prove they have lived in the country continuously for more than 90 days, according to a 13-page internal agency memo obtained by The Washington Post.... Two administration officials confirmed that the proposed new policy, which would not require congressional approval, is under review." -- CW

"Consistent Dissembling & Deceit." Desmond Butler & Chad Day of the AP: "A prominent Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer attended a meeting with ... Donald Trump's son, son-in-law and campaign chairman last year, the lobbyist said Friday... Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his involvement to The Associated Press in an interview. He had not been previously identified as a participant in the meeting at Trump Tower in New York, which was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican's White House campaign.... Akhmetshin told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but he was never formally trained as a spy.... [The Russian Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia] Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democrats, Akhmetshin said. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the campaign, he said.... Trump Jr. asked the attorney if she had sufficient evidence to back up her claims, including whether she could demonstrate the flow of the money. But Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin. 'They couldn't wait for the meeting to end,' he said. Akhmetshin said he does not know if Veselnitskaya's documents were provided by the Russian government. He said he thinks she left the materials with the Trump associates.... Rep. Adam Schiff of California said ... Trump Jr.'s omission of Akhmetshin's role in his public account of the meeting and the president's son's shifting explanations 'paint a portrait of consistent dissembling and deceit.' Kushner disclosed the meeting on his security clearance paperwork, but Schiff said the Akhmetshin revelation raises questions about how much Kushner disclosed about it. He said he believes [Jared] Kushner's clearance should be reviewed, and 'if he was not perfectly candid,' the clearance should be revoked." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... Plus, At Least One Mystery Person. CNN: "The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort included at least eight people.... So far acknowledged in attendance: Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, [Rinat] Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN there were at least two other people in the room as well, a translator and a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting. The source did not provide the names.... Earlier this year, Sen. Charles Grassley [R-IOwa] had written a letter to John Kelly, the secretary of Homeland Security, describing Akhmetshin as 'a Russian immigrant to the United States who has been accused of acting as an unregistered agent for Russian interests and apparently has ties to Russian intelligence.'" -- CW (Also linked yesterday.) ...

... Kevin Poulsen, et al., of the Daily Beast: "The alleged former Soviet intelligence officer who attended the now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign officials last June was previously accused in federal and state courts of orchestrating an international hacking conspiracy.... The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. was told in July 2015 that Akhmetshin had arranged the hacking of a mining company's private records -- stealing internal documents and then disseminating them. The corporate-espionage case was brought by [International Mining Resources, a Russian company], which alleged that Akhmetshin was hired by a law firm representing a fertilizer producer company called Eurochem.... Early last year the company abruptly withdrew 'all allegations made by it against Defendants in the Complaint,' according to a court document." CW: How conveeenient. (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

... Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, in a Washington Post op-ed, explains why "everything we know about the meeting -- from whom it involved to how it was set up to how it unfolded -- is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like. It bears all the hallmarks of a professionally planned, carefully orchestrated intelligence soft pitch designed to gauge receptivity, while leaving room for plausible deniability in case the approach is rejected. And the Trump campaign's willingness to take the meeting -- and, more important, its failure to report the episode to U.S. authorities -- may have been exactly the green light Russia was looking for to launch a more aggressive phase of intervention in the U.S. election.... Had this Russian overture been rejected or promptly reported by the Trump campaign to U.S. authorities, Russian intelligence would have been forced to recalculate the risk vs. gain of continuing its aggressive operation to influence U.S. domestic politics. Russian meddling might have been compromised in its early stages and stopped in its tracks by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies before it reached fruition by the late fall. So the suggestion that this was a nothing meeting without consequence is, in all likelihood, badly mistaken." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... Jonathan Chait: "... the meeting at Trump Tower, which was held on the explicit promise of furthering Russian support for the Trump campaign, included a hacker, and the materials the Russians say they brought were among those published by the Russian hacking cutout [nine days later]. At this point, the notion that this meeting did not discuss Russian hacking of Democratic emails seems extremely remote." -- CW ...

... CW: Let's bear in mind that this meeting was, according to the part of the story we can glean from Akhmetshin, the set-up to a transaction. Until yesterday, all we heard was the quo: the something that Veselnitskaya (and now Akhmetshin) wanted, first described as "adoptions" but later clarified as lifting sanctions. Now we know the quid: hacking the DNC HQ to get damaging info on Clinton. Clearly, the Trump team & the Russia reps present at the meeting made that pact. There was a meeting of the minds, and the Russians came through. Trump, because of the publicity surrounding the Russia scandal, is still working to fulfill his part. If he doesn't ever do so, eh. Reneging on contracts is old sport for him. ...

     ... CW: The timing of this development is no coincidence. Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post: "Russia said Friday that it is 'ready to take reciprocal measures' if the United States does not return property in this country seized in December as part of the Obama administration's response to Russian meddling in the U.S. election and harassment of American diplomats in Moscow." The fact that the June 2016 deal is now out in the open & Trump hasn't delivered on his end has embarrassed Putin. This is partial payback -- and a warning to Trump that Putin won't shrug off screw-ups & delays. Not a full-on kneecap so far, but a threat.

... My Dog Ate My Homework & My Secretary Accidentally Hit "Send." Twenty-eight Times. Carly Sitrin of Vox: "Jared Kushner's lawyers say there's an innocent explanation for why his first security clearance application omitted his meetings with several Russians, including Sergey Kislyak and Natalia Veselnitskaya: A member of Kushner's staff hit send on his form too early. But the thing is, there isn't one 'send button' for this kind of security clearance form. There are 28.... Kushner filed his first SF-86 (a government document to amend his security clearance) in January and omitted any meetings with foreign government officials. In May, he submitted a revised security clearance form with more than 100 foreign names, including a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but still did not include the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya revealed in Donald Trump Jr.'s emails.... CBS News reported Friday that the Veselnitskaya meeting was later conveyed to the FBI and included in a third version of the form before July." CW: You just can't get good help these days. Looks as if it took his secretary four months to partially correct the "clerical error." BTW, even when you have the fiercest lawyers in the country, when your crimes appear on the front page of the NYT, a hilariously phony excuse is the best they can muster. ...

... Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post: "Every week -- nearly every day -- brings fresh, stomach-churning evidence of President Trump's unfitness for office. The latest may be the most revolting. Confronted with incontrovertible proof that his son leapt at the prospect of meeting with a 'Russian government attorney' offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as 'part of Russia and its government's support' for his candidacy, the president took the position that this was political business as usual.... [Equally as chilling is] Trump's staggering refusal to recognize the reality of Russian attempts to interfere in the election. What was Trump doing, at this late stage, asking Russian President Vladimir Putin if he meddled?" -- CW ...

... Glenn Thrush of the New York Times: "Ty Cobb, a veteran Washington lawyer, is joining President Trump's legal team to coordinate the response to the expanding investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia's election interference, reflecting a growing sense among West Wing officials that the president's private lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, cannot handle the job alone. After a tumultuous week in the fast-moving inquiry, Jared Kushner's top lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, also announced plans to remove herself from matters related to the Russia investigation that are engulfing her client.... She said she will continue to represent Mr. Kushner on other concerns.... She will hand over representation on matters related to the Russia investigation to another powerful Democratic lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell." -- CW ...

... Philip Rucker, et al., of the Washington Post (July 13): "Another question is who will pay the legal fees for the president and administration officials involved in the Russia inquiries. Some in Trump's orbit are pushing the Republican National Committee to bear the costs, said three people with knowledge of the situation, including one who euphemistically described the debate as a 'robust discussion.'" -- CW ...

... Charles Pierce: "Right now, [Trump & Co. have] run their own administration into a ditch through their own greed and incompetence. Everybody has to lawyer up because the administration is run by boobs and grifters, and perhaps by Russian oligarchs. And the First Family is still looking to tennis-shoe the legal costs and stick somebody else with the check. The Chew-and-Screw administration. Well done, America. Seriously." -- CW ...

... Kellyanne Moves the Goalposts. Jonathan Chait: "The official Trump administration line used to be that no member of the campaign had any contact with Russia.... [Kellyanne] Conway today has a new standard: 'Kellyanne Conway on Fox News: "The goalposts have been moved. We were promised hard evidence of systemic, sustained furtive collusion." -- Jennifer Jacobs July 14, 2017.'... After having heatedly denied any contact with Russians, it's now insufficient to demonstrate that contact took place. Even demonstrating that collusion took place isn't enough. The evidence has to be 'hard' and the collusion must be 'systemic, sustained,' and 'furtive.'" -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... David Graham of the Atlantic: "Trump Jr.'s story has repeatedly been proven incomplete. Kushner's explanation is challenging. [Investigative reporter Michael] Isikoff claims Trump's lawyers knew of the meeting before. Given the pattern of the last few days, it is hard to see why anyone would assume that the public has received a full and honest reckoning of the June 9 meeting -- or why anyone would give Trump Jr. and the White House the benefit of the doubt." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...

... He's Only a Boy in a Gilded Cage. Nancy LeTourneau of the Washington Monthly: "The Trump legal team is preparing a defense for Donald Jr. that is all based on the idea that his meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was an elaborate scheme set up by the Democrats." As you read on, you'll discover that It Was All Obama's Fault. -- CW (Also linked yesterday.) ...

... With a Little Help from Co-Conspirator Loretta Lynch. Grace Wyler of BuzzFeed: "'Somebody said that her [Natalia Veselnitskaya's] visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch,' [President] Trump said at a press conference in Paris. 'Now, maybe that's wrong. I just heard that a little while ago, but a little surprised to hear that. So, she was here because of Lynch.' Almost immediately, a spokesperson for Lynch put out a statement insisting that she had no authority over whether or not the Russian lawyer was allowed to enter the country." Wyler lays out the recent history of Veselnitskaya's visits to the U.S. She received a couple of "parole" visas to represent her client Prevezon, which the U.S. attorney's office in New York had accused of extensive money-laundering, but she entered on a regular visa to meet with the Von Trump Family Scoundrels. (CW: The DoJ settled the Prevezon case in May, & Congressional Democrats want to know why, because, um, it smells mighty fishy.) (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)

Dominic Rushe of the Guardian: JP Morgan CEO Jamie "Dimon, who last year turned down Donald Trump's offer to become treasury secretary..., blamed bad policy for 'holding back and hurting the average American' and financial journalists for concentrating on the bank's trading results when they should be focusing on policy.'Who cares about fixed-income trading in the last two weeks of June? I mean, seriously,' Dimon said after a reporter asked about the health of the bonds markets.... 'It's almost an embarrassment being an American traveling around the world and listening to the stupid shit Americans have to deal with,' he said.... 'We need infrastructure reform,' he said. 'We need corporate tax reform. We need better skills and education. If we don't focus on these things, we are hurting average Americans every day.'" -- CW

Ah Declare, Ol' Granpappy Will Nevah Traverse Our Shimmerin' Shores. Jordan Fabian of the Hill: "The Trump administration said Friday it will ask the Supreme Court to block a federal judge's ruling limiting the scope of President Trump's travel ban. 'The Supreme Court has had to correct this lower court once, and we will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the executive branch's duty to protect the nation,' Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. The decision came one day after a Hawaii-based judge dealt Trump a defeat by ordering the government to expand the number of people who are exempt from the controversial ban." -- CW

I'm sittin' on the Champs-Elysées
Watching the troops march away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the Champs-Elysées
Wastin' ti-i-i-ime.

 

... James Downie of the Washington Post: "... in both making and executing laws, passiveness to the point of abdication is a growing hallmark of Trump's presidency.... Even as he acknowledges that 'it would be very bad' if Senate Republicans fail [to pass a healthcare decimation bill], he suggests there is no role for him in getting a bill passed. The president has been similarly uninvolved on foreign policy.... Trump's apathy is also shown in the slow pace of executive-branch appointments.... The debt ceiling and the 2018 budget (and corresponding threat of another government shutdown) are two areas where a president would normally get involved. It's more likely, however, that Trump will continue to abdicate his responsibilities, with a growing cost to the country." -- CW

Beyond the Beltway

Life In a Red State. Good-bye, Freedom. Adios, American Dream. Conor Dougherty of the New York Times: "Idaho ... became one of the hardest places in America for someone to quit a job for a better one. The state did this by making it easier for companies to enforce noncompete agreements, which prevent employees from leaving their company for a competitor.... For the most part, states have been moving toward making it easier for people to switch teams, but Idaho went the other direction with legislation that was friendlier to employers. The resulting law was particularly strict because it put the onus on employees to prove that they would not harm their former employers by taking the new jobs." -- CW

Reader Comments (10)

Women's March on NRA

Very disappointed in the lack of press coverage. Can't find any numbers or much else in the WaPo or other online newspapers. Nothing on PBS Newshour last night. Tried to watch some commercial TV news, but as always, couldn't stand watching more than a few minutes at a time.

Marchers have put out some 9000 tweets so far, but no way of knowing how many people. Many completed the 18 mile hike, despite heat and thunderstorms, and stayed overnight at an AME Church.

I'll be leaving for the DOJ rally around 8:30. Will talk to marchers and try to get some idea of numbers.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterD.C.Clark

To leave for a moment this unbelievable mishmash in the U.S. and return again to Paris. I've been thinking again of the stark contrast between Macron and Trump and you have got to believe that the former is "handling" the latter for whatever gains he can get for France. It appears Adam Gopnik (from the New Yorker and has lived in France) is wondering the same thing.

Gopnik says that Macron seems to imagine that Trump can be easily manipulated to France's benefit, but this will almost certainly be an illusion. Trump's tenancy to be irritated by a perceived slight is greater even than his capacity to be ingratiated. Narcissists can be manipulated for a moment, but they can't be managed, Gopnik reminds us. Perhaps Macron imagines that Trump will maintain fond memories of dinners shared and parades watched but memory for slights felt is greater than this narcissist's memory for sights seen.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/why-is-emmanuel-macron-being-so-nice-to-donald-trump

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

TRUMP'S RUSSIAN LAUNDROMAT:

How to use Trump tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House:

Heard about this piece last night on Rose. Graig Unger, the journalist from The New Republic, who is the author, said in his estimation Trump could not have gotten the presidency without the Russian Mafia.
https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

P.S. That we need at times to look at all this, as Marie said yesterday, with a sense of humor, is exactly right. This fucking first family whose history is one of sleaze and scams managed to get themselves into the White House believing they could run our country is like those old black and white films where scoundrels take over the government and the country falls apart. And we laughed then. And we can laugh now at the hubris of these neophytes that are making a mockery of our system of governance but the laughter stops when THEY can't be stopped and the suffering begins.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Interesting the Republicans are all about self control when it comes to other people's sex life....but never about their own greed.

How handy it must be to be blessed with such a selective moral compass!

This morning I'm wondering if they're all born with this gift from the gods or have to work very hard ( maybe the reason hard work is the virtue Republicans most like to tout) to develop a talent that serves them so well.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Department of Comic Relief
Trump last week on the border wall: "..it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall…when they throw the large sacks of drugs over… you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over." 

Philip Bump of the Post conducted scientific research and came up with "Good news for border residents: No one is throwing 60-pound bags of drugs over a 50-foot wall."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/07/14/good-news-for-border-residents-no-one-is-throwing-60-pound-bags-of-drugs-over-a-50-foot-wall/

Readers piled on:

>>You think you're funny, but being hit in the head by a 60lb bag of drug is exactly how most victims died in the Bowling Green massacre.

>>It's the Rick Perry notion of supply and demand. You throw 60 pound bags of drugs over a wall and that creates demand.

>>"a steel wall with openings"  Yea, that's called a FENCE, like what we already have, not a wall.

>>Maybe he should build a border roof under which his supporters could cower.

>>Given the arc of the flight path, I think that the safest place to be is close to the wall. 
Wait for the drugs to fly over. 
Get them. 
Drive home.

>>Let's not trouble ourselves with the thousands of gun deaths and injuries each year, or the fact that 22 million people stand to lose their health insurance…. let's focus on the dangers of popping champagne corks.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermonoloco

NRA 2 DOJ after action report:

Fun little rally. Assembled compactly on the broad sidewalk of Pennsylvania Ave at 9th, which made it pretty easy to headcount the length and breadth of the crowd. I confidently estimate the number at 500. Spoke with a couple of DC and Park Service Police who, though reticent, concurred.

There were exactly 8 counter demonstrators, with 4 signs. Police kept them on the median strip in the center of PA Ave, apart from the rally. I heard one of them loudly insisting on his right to cross the street, and demanding to speak to a senior officer; but, so far as I could tell, to no avail. However, over time, a number of people with pro rally signs and tee shirts gathered in that area as well, until there were maybe 30 people there. Since many on both sides carried slogans addressing first and/or second amendment rights, it became a little difficult to tell who was whom (chuckle). All was peaceful, though, I saw no confrontations or misbehavior.

Co-winners of the D.C.Clark Best Sign Award:

“If women took up arms to defend their reproductive rights, the GOP would ban assault rifles YESTERDAY.”

and

“Question — How many NRA spokesmen does it take to change a lightbulb?
Answer — More guns.”

As I congratulated the winners, one of them suggested that I hand out gold stars. I will surely do so henceforth.

Hands down highlight of the day: Mysonne performing his: "I Don’t Have The Right To Do Nothing"

https://youtu.be/JgzLFM4bDSA

Got me fired up for the next couple hundred marches — I am THERE!

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterD.C.Clark

Thank you D.C. for the amazingly good rap.
One of the kids in my family has made it into the final round of his classical music camp and is glad of that; but his heart belongs to rap, mostly trash.
I have forwarded your video to him. Let's see what happens.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

Victoria,

I'm not a big fan of rap myself, but listening to this I was reminded of one of my heroes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, reciting his beat poetry to jazz accompaniment. Pretty radical at the time, don't know whether Byron, Keats, or Shelly would have approved. A classic is just something that survives the test of time. Since non of us will, we'll never know.

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterD.C.Clark

DCC: Yeah, Ferlinghetti was cool; so was Rexroth. But the originator of the poetry and jazz craze was Kenneth Patchen and, as I recall, he and Benny Goodman took that show to Moscow. Patchen was also, in my opinion, a better poet than either Ferlinghetti or Rexroth... and none of them quite as good as John Beecher, whose "Letter to the Shareholders" is an American classic (and Smithsonian recording).

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Sorry. "Report to the Stockholders."

July 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.