Monday, February 20, 2017

Still one of the greatest moments in television history. I think today it is even more relevant than ever.

I literally get emotional when I watch this scene. It never fails to hit me hard fight in the feels.

Any of us who consider ourselves patriots must always recognize America's flaws, because how else could we possibly improve the country?

Right now it seems we are worse off then I EVER seen it in my entire life.

That is not hyperbole, that is fact.

So THIS is the time that we do what we are the most famous for doing.

We buckle down, take to the streets, and make sure that we exercise those freedoms that we are so proud of having, until we get our country back on track so that someday we can once again brag that we are "The greatest country on earth."

Today thousands will celebrate President's Day by protesting the one in the White House right now.

Courtesy of NBC News:  

Thousands of people nationwide have vowed to spend their Presidents Day Weekend protesting President Donald Trump and his policies at "Not My President's Day" rallies scheduled to take place in at least 25 cities across the country.

This went on through the entire weekend as well, but if you missed them here are some of the protests planned for today:  

"Not My President's Day -- Rally," Los Angeles 
"Not My President's Day -- Rally (NYC)" New York 
"Not My President's Day Rally (Washington DC)," Washington, D.C. 
"Not My President's Day -- Rally (Chicago)," Chicago 
"Presidents Day Protest KC," Kansas City, Missouri 
"Not My President's Day Rally," Denver 
"Not My President's Day March," Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
"Not My President's Day," Salt Lake City 
"ImPEACH NOW! (Not My) President's Day March," Atlanta 

Gee it looks as if this activism which started right after Trump's inauguration, and that the Right Wing predicted would peter out quickly, is not doing much petering.  

And don't worry if you, like me, are unable to attend any of these rallies.

You can still do your part by writing a letter to your Senators or Congressman, or sending a brief message of dissatisfaction to President Bannon.

Also keep in mind that it is ALWAYS "Not My President" day here on IM.

Garry Trudeau uses misdirection to remind us that we are all worried about the same thing.

I love this!

There is no doubt that both Trump supporters and detractors leaped to the same conclusion while reading this, because we are ALL experiencing this lunacy at the same time.

The comic subtly takes you down a road that we are all traveling on a daily basis, and then abruptly changes direction, reminding us that we are all very narrowly focused on what is happening with the presidency right now.

It also demonstrates that despite our partisan differences we are ALL spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what happens next.

And that is simply not good for the country.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chris Wallace to Reince Priebus: "Barack Obama whined about Fox News all the time, but I gotta say he never said we were an enemy of the people."

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

The Fox News Sunday host, who earlier attacked Trump over referring to the media as “the enemy of the people,” went after Priebus early, at one time lecturing him, “You don’t get to tell us what to do any more than Barack Obama did. Barack Obama whined about Fox News all the time, but I gotta say, he never said we were an enemy of the people.” 

Addressing a New York Times report that claimed that top Trump operatives were in contact with the Russians prior to the election, Priebus complained about the media using “anonymous sources,” before calling it “fake news.” 

“I can assure you, and I’ve been to say this, that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that that story is not only inaccurate, but it’s grossly overstated and it’s wrong and there’s nothing to it,” Priebus asserted. “If I can say that to the American people, then what does it say about the story?” 

“I get the fact that you don’t like some stories,” Wallace replied. “You say, because you weren’t part of the campaign before so that you can’t speak to that, you say that the intelligence community says that there were no contacts between anyone in the Trump campaign, no associates of Mr. Trump and anybody involved as a Russian agent, as to the campaign and collusion in the campaign.” 

“They made it very clear that that story in the New York Times is complete garbage,” Priebus replied. “Quite frankly they used different words than that, okay?”

To his credit Wallace pointed that Priebus, who had just complained about "anonymous sources," just did the same exact thing to argue that those news stories were incorrect.

It is interesting that Reince "once and " Priebus planted this flag so firmly in this absolute certainty that the intelligence agencies are not going to reveal that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Especially since these investigations are ongoing, and nowhere near completion yet.

That is unless Priebus knows the fix is in and that with Trump's new people in place there is simply no way that anything untoward will be revealed.

Things that make you go "Hmmm."

So now there are three separate FBI investigations into the Russian hacking of our election?

Courtesy of Reuters:

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. 

While the fact that the FBI is investigating had been reported previously by the New York Times and other media, these officials shed new light on both the precise number of inquires and their focus. 

The FBI's Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee's computer systems, the officials said. Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton. 

The Pittsburgh case has progressed furthest, but Justice Department officials in Washington believe there is not enough clear evidence yet for an indictment, two of the sources said. 

Meanwhile the bureau’s San Francisco office is trying to identify the people who called themselves “Guccifer 2” and posted emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, the sources said. Those emails contained details about fundraising by the Clinton Foundation and other topics. 

Beyond the two FBI field offices, FBI counterintelligence agents based in Washington are pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts, two of the people said.

Okay that all sounds very promising, but it still bothers me that the head of the FBI is a Trump sycophant who interfered in the election to help him win.

Even though I have heard that Comey cannot do anything directly to block this investigation from going forward, I am still troubled.

But do you know who is NOT troubled?

Vladimir Putin.

Courtesy of Business Insider:  

The slow drip of revelations about communication between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump has created the kind of "unbelievable turmoil" in Washington that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been known to revel in. 

Reports have emerged in recent days that the Kremlin is getting nervous about the chaos, because the government has been counting on Trump to improve the US-Russia relationship. 

But some experts say that, on the contrary, Putin is likely feeding off of the chaos and the extent to which it has furthered his own domestic agenda — that is, to convey to ordinary Russians how ineffective Western democracy can be.

Yes their inability to completely control Trump, or predict his behavior, is surely troubling the Kremlin.

But then again since nobody else seems to have any control over him, or have the ability to predict what he will do next, that means that America looks more dangerous and out of control every day.

So how could that not put a smile on Vlad's face?

I just hope the FBI puts a rush on this investigation so that we can get enough evidence to eject the giant Oompa Loompa from office, and hopefully his entire cabinet along with him.

Public school educators take Betsy DeVos to school.

Apparently somebody brought this to the attention of DeVos who then sent out this attempt at conciliation.
Somehow I doubt that the teachers will be fooled by that.

Educators are by definition intelligent and well informed.

They know what's coming, and it terrifies them.

NCLB crippled public education in this country, and DeVos clearly has plans to finally put it out of its misery. 

(H/T to the Daily Dot.)

Trump's campaign style rally in Florida. Melania reads the Lord's Prayer, Trump makes up a terrorist attack in Sweden, and only about half the usual people show up to hear them.

And that is how this bizarre, ego stroking, campaign style event started off.

(Did you notice that Trump found some of those non-white folks to stand behind the stage?)

 Personally I when I hear Melania speak I don't think "First Lady," I think "Bond villain."

However that was not he weirdest thing about this rally.

There was also this:
Now to be clear there was NO terrorist attack in Sweden.

Just like there was never a Bowling Green Massacre.

They just make this shit up. (The New York Times identified a number of other lies during the rally as well.)

But this crowd gladly swallowed all of the bullshit whole.

It should also be noted that while 9,000 people DID show up to be directly lied to by Trump, that back in September that number was 15,000.

That is a 40% decline.

However there was nothing smaller about the crowds that showed up to protest Trump. In fact they set a record:

Hundreds of demonstrators — the largest group of progressive protesters in Brevard County in more than a decade — lined Apollo Boulevard before, during and after President Donald Trump’s rally, stretching from the AeroMod International hangar entrance to Airport Boulevard.

A loud chorus of boos erupted when Air Force One descended for landing across the street at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. 

“Lock him up! Lock him up!” hundreds of demonstrators chanted in unison shortly before Trump took the stage. 

Yeah I know, hundreds of demonstrators are a lot less than the 9,000 who showed up to hear Trump spew his bullshit.

True, but I never claimed that Melbourne, Florida was a bastion for intellectuals.

Besides one has to wonder how many of these folks were paid, or bribed, to show up?

I think the takeaway from this is that Donald Trump loved it when he was RUNNING for the presidency, but fucking hates BEING the president.

I mean just look at his face before the rally.
That does not look like a mentally stable person. 

Texas Senator gets so incensed over testimony against anti-abortion bill that he shatters a table with his gavel. Temper temper.

That last sound you heard was the glass on top of the table shattering.
Here is more on this courtesy of the San Antonio Current:  

It only took state Sen. Charles Schwertner ten minutes of listening to testimony against anti-abortion bills before he broke a table. 

 Schwertner, the Republican chair of the Texas Senate's Committee on Health and Human Services, spent Wednesday morning introducing and defending a bill that would ban most women from donating fetal tissue from their abortions to science. His legislation was bundled with two other anti-abortion bills — one to throw out the safest abortion procedure for second-trimester pregnancies, the other to mandate all abortion remains are buried and cremated — penned by two other GOP senators, Charles Perry and Don Huffines.

When it was the turn of Maggie Hennessy, a UT student and intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, to speak however Schwertnerkind of lost his shit:

"Ms. Hennessy —" Schwertner interrupted a minute into her testimony. "Your time is done." 

But Hennessy went on, saying, "I urge you to all stop playing with reproductive health care like it's your own political puppet." That's when Schwertner dropped the gavel — so hard that he shattered the glass table before him. 

"Your time is done," he repeated.

It should be noted that the Senator let a speaker from the anti-abortion advocacy group Texas Right to Life, speak at least twice as long and did not once lose control of his gavel.

Boy these male politicians sure do get testy when the lady folk argue against them taking away their right to control their own bodies.

It's almost as if they still consider them second class citizens, or perhaps simply property, or maybe something even worse.

Don Young helps launch the "House Cannabis Caucus" that is focused on keeping the federal government from interfering in state pro-marijuana laws.

Courtesy of ADN: 

Alaska's sole congressman, Don Young, on Thursday co-launched the House Cannabis Caucus with three other lawmakers, vowing to pursue changes to banking and other federal laws that stand between states and autonomy over the marijuana industry. 

Young joined with Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., to say they formed the coalition to focus on advancing legislation to put managing marijuana squarely in the hands of states. 

Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and California are among the eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use. Forty-four states have legalized varying forms of medicinal marijuana. 

Young said he helped launch the caucus as a conservative Republican who believes deeply in states' rights. 

"Alaska voted to legalize it — pretty large margin — and I believe in states' rights and the federal government should stay out of it, period," he said Thursday.

Gee, just when you think you know a guy.

I have to admit that I would have pegged Don Young as the LAST guy to defend Alaska's pot legalization laws.

However that seems to be because I was not paying attention to his pro-marijuana bills from the past.

Damn it finally happened. I am actually in agreement with Don Young.

I may have to go lie down.

But don't worry, I still think he's a crook.


This is EXACTLY what that press conference on Thursday felt like.