Friday Open Thread

TGIF, EVERYONE! Take a look at yourself, AMERICA.


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53 Responses to Friday Open Thread

    • Liza says:

      Quite frankly, I don’t think that anyone who has ever been employed by Fox Fake News for Your Entertainment Only should ever get a contract with any other news outlet that is even half sincere about reporting.

      Megyn Kelly is a Fox News entertainer, not a news reporter. She has no credibility outside the Fox News audience.

      • Ametia says:

        LOL her whiteness is her credibility, Liza. That Gretchen Carlson was a guest host on “The View” Whoopi wasn’t there. MH these networks are getting on board the Trump train tt their attempt to further’ normalize’ phoney, fake, dumbed-down trash

  1. rikyrah says:

    File this under:


    GA GOP lawmaker recovering after being shot at adult cinema parking lot carrying thousands in cash
    27 JAN 2017 AT 15:02 ET

    A Georgia Republican lawmaker is in recovery after he was robbed and shot at an adult cinema parking lot while he was carrying thousands of dollars in cash.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that State Rep. Gerald Greene (R – Cuthbert) is now recuperating in his own home after being treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg that he incurred during an armed robbery.

    Greene claims that he had parked outside of the Foxes Cinema, an adult book and video store in Columbus, GA because he wanted to go into an adjacent liquor store.

    Greene also claims that the thief — whom he described to police as “a male about 5 feet 5 inches tall who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black pants” — only took his iPhone and was apparently unaware he was carrying a sackful of cash.

    As for the money itself, Greene says that it was collected donations to help victims of storms that had ravaged Southern Georgia over the past weekend.

    No arrests in the shooting have been made, and police are still searching for the alleged perpetrator.

  2. rikyrah says:

    ,Nearly 5 million U.S. jobs depend on Mexico

    Well before the relationship seems to have reached a crisis point, Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute, boiled down some fairly substantial numbers in his study. He noted that the two countries trade over a half-trillion dollars in goods and services each year — “more than a million dollars in bilateral commerce every minute.”

    Breaking that down further, some 4.9 million jobs are at risk from frozen trade, which means one out of every 29 U.S. workers has a job supported by trade between the countries, he said. When looking state by state, the data referred to 2014 numbers that showed California most vulnerable with 556,000 jobs dependent on trade, while Texas was equally at risk with 382,000 jobs relying on that relationship.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Russian Charged With Treason Worked in Office Linked to Election Hacking
    JAN. 27, 2017

    MOSCOW — The authorities in Moscow are prosecuting at least one cybersecurity expert for treason, a prominent Russian criminal defense lawyer confirmed on Friday, while a Russian newspaper reported that the case is linked to hacking during the United States presidential election.

    While surely touching a nerve in American politics, the developments in Moscow left a still muddled picture of what, exactly, a series of arrests by the security services here signifies.

    But the virtually simultaneous appearance of at least four prominent news reports on the hacking and several related arrests, citing numerous anonymous sources, suggests that the normally opaque Russian government intends to reveal more information about the matter, though it is unclear why.

    In the waning weeks of the Obama administration, American federal intelligence agencies released a report asserting the Russian government had hacked into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John D. Podesta, stealing and releasing to WikiLeaks emails intended to damage Mrs. Clinton and help President Trump win the election.

  4. rikyrah says:

    John Nichols ‏@NicholsUprising

    Democracy wins one!
    Federal court orders new legislative maps for #WI by November 2017 — a bold rejection of Republican gerrymandering!

  5. rikyrah says:

    Joshua Silver‏@eyejosh

    @ericgarland There is an urgent call now in the UK for a cross-party MI5 full Investigation of Russian subversion of the “brexit” Referendum

  6. rikyrah says:

    “I think the media is the opposition party in many ways. I’m not talking about everybody, but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, total deceit and deception. It makes them certainly partially the opposition party, absolutely. I think they’re much more capable than the opposition party. The opposition party is losing badly.”
    — President Trump, in an interview with CBN.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Dept of State (Alt) @AltStateDpt

    State Dept. site had Myths & Facts on Refugees, Migration & Humanitarian Assistance. Page is now gone. Will new admin re-post facts? #Resist
    2:00 PM – 27 Jan 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trump Executive Order Could Block 500,000 Legal U.S. Residents From Returning to America From Trips

    In banning newcomers from seven countries from entering the United States for the next 30 days, the president has used language that could affect those who are in the U.S. already on visas and green cards.
    ProPublica, Jan. 27, 2017, 8:07 p.m.

    Muslims and immigration activists at a prayer and rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on Jan. 27, 2017, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    When details leaked earlier this week about a spate of immigration-related executive orders from President Donald Trump, much public discussion focused on a 30-day ban on new visas for citizens from seven “terror-prone” countries.

    But the order signed this afternoon by Trump is actually more severe, increasing the ban to 90 days. And its effects could extend well beyond preventing newcomers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, from entering the U.S., lawyers consulted by ProPublica said.

    It’s also expected to have substantial effects on hundreds of thousands of people from these countries who already live in the U.S. under green cards or on temporary student or employee visas.

    Since the order’s travel ban applies to all “aliens” — a term that encompasses anyone who isn’t an American citizen — it could bar those with current visas or even green cards from returning to the U.S. from trips abroad, said Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Obama.

    “It’s extraordinarily cruel,” he said.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Abed A. Ayoub ‏@aayoub

    Visas being denied immediately. Chaos at airports and in the air. #MuslimBan will apply to green card holders attempting to return tonight.

  10. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Michigan’s top court looking at porch shooting trial”

    DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court is zeroing in on jury instructions in the case of a man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch in suburban Detroit – a key step that might eventually upset the second-degree murder conviction in the high-profile 2014 trial.

    Theodore Wafer wanted an instruction that said he shot Renisha McBride because her actions showed she was breaking into his house. The trial judge explained self-defense to jurors but rejected that specific instruction.

    In an order released Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it will consider whether Wafer’s rights were violated. It’s possible that the court will take no action after reading more briefs or hearing arguments in the weeks ahead.”

  11. eliihass says:

    The very same folks who have for no reason endlessly and viciously dehumanized – and continue to dehumanize the historic first black First Lady for 8+ years and counting….now have their panties in a bunch over Chelsea Handler – a comedian – saying no in response to an interview following the Women’s March….on whether she’ll have the 3rd wife of the racist, misogynistic buffoon on her show. She said she wouldn’t have the buffoon…and the interviewer asked if she’d have his wife. To which she asked ‘what for’ …she barely speaks English…

    And the same folks who call the black FLOTUS ‘moochelle’, and worse, are up in arms…apoplectic …and together with their Russian back-up trolls, are all over Chelsea Handler’s Social media trying to get her to take it back…calling her the c and the b words while accusing Chelsea of ‘immigrant shaming’….because that’s supposed to rile up other immigrants…the very immigrants the buffoon and his 3rd wife don’t think belong here.. .LOL..

    Michael Cohen the lawyer who is already representing the buffoon’s 3rd wife in a lawsuit against a blogger, put out a statement whining that Chelsea Handler is not being nice to his furst lady … insisting that 3rd wife speaks ‘5 languages’…the 5 languages differing and based entirely on who’s claiming and asserting it as fact of course…

  12. eliihass says:

    “…Megyn Kelly to replace Al Roker and Tamron Hall on the TODAY SHOW..”

    It really does pay to be a vicious racist ..

    • eliihass says:

      Neoconservative political commentator Bill Kristol responded by calling Bannon a “sensitive guy … Such a snowflake, really, right?” Kristol continued, “Poor guy, he’s in the White House. They’ve been there five, six days. He’s been looking forward to four years. Six months ago he’s editing a fringe website, now he’s in the White House.”

    • eliihass says:

      Ugh at CNN correspondent Brian Stelter..

  13. rikyrah says:

    GOP officials revive a scheme to help rig presidential elections
    01/27/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The scheme first crossed my radar in 2011 with a Republican effort in Pennsylvania. GOP policymakers in the Keystone State thought it’d be a good idea to change the way Pennsylvania allocated electoral votes in the presidential election: instead of awarding all of its votes to the candidate who receives the most votes in the state, they’d divvy up votes based on specific congressional districts.

    There was no great mystery behind the scheme. Democratic tickets won Pennsylvania, a key and competitive battleground, in every cycle for decades, and Republicans were looking for a way to mitigate the Dems’ advantage by rigging the process.

    The proposal eventually faltered – though, ironically, it would have backfired in 2016 – but the idea behind the scheme quickly spread. As regular readers may recall, after the 2012 elections, six states – Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – all considered plans to end winner-take-all electoral models. In each instance, cooler heads prevailed.

    The idea, however, isn’t going away. The Washington Post reported this week:
    Republicans in two swing states lost by President Trump in 2016 have introduced legislation that would have benefited Trump in the 2016 election, by splitting up their electoral votes by congressional districts instead of awarding them statewide.

    In Minnesota, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt has introduced a bill that would assign one electoral vote to each of the state’s districts, and two to the winner of the statewide popular vote. In Virginia, Rep. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) has introduced identical legislation, and passed it through the Elections Subcommittee on a party-line vote.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Trump picks leader for federal agency overseeing his D.C. hotel
    The White House booted the agency’s designee for his own choice within eight hours.
    01/26/17 02:55 PM EST

    President Donald Trump has installed the head of the agency that has to decide whether to evict him from his Washington hotel.

    Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, an Obama-appointed General Services Administration official named Norman Dong became acting administrator, according to an agency email obtained by POLITICO. Seven and a half hours later, Trump replaced Dong with Tim Horne a Denver-based GSA official who had coordinated the agency’s transition with the Trump team, a second email showed.

    Democrats are already pressuring Horne to terminate the GSA’s lease for Trump’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue because a line in the contract arguably prohibits it from benefiting an elected official. The GSA hasn’t indicated what it will do, but the fact that the agency’s chief now owes his position to Trump cements the conflict of interest — effectively making the president both landlord and tenant.

    The reason for the whiplash isn’t clear. Political appointees like Dong usually offer to resign at the start of a new administration but sometimes stick around on an interim basis. It appears the GSA’s outgoing leadership wanted Dong to take over temporarily but Trump preferred Horne.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s White Supremacy on Display…Again
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 27, 2017 10:36 AM

    As a result of Trump’s discrimination against people of color in his buildings, attack on the Central Park Five, and revival of the birther movement against Obama, many of us had no doubts about his embrace of white supremacy. That was only confirmed by the kind of campaign he ran last year.

    But during his remarks at the Republican retreat yesterday, he went off script for a moment and dove deeply into his racist core.

    We also need to keep the ballot box safe from illegal voting. Believe me, you take look at what is registering, folks — they like to say, Oh, Trump Trump Trump… take a look at what is registering.

    Aside from his lies about voter fraud, any decent human being would have suggested that we we need to take a look at “who” is registering. The “what” in that sentence is simply dehumanizing. The backdrop to that is the story Trump recently told Congressional leaders about why he is so convinced that there was voter fraud in the election.


    When Trump admonishes us to take a look at “what” is registering, he is referring to “voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote.” In other words, they looked like they came from Latin American countries.

    According to this president, people who should vote obviously look like him…the person who comes from a great gene pool.

  16. Liza says:

    Some of today’s HEADLINES on Democracy Now:

    Legal Experts & Republicans Condemn Trump Endorsement of Torture

    Thousands March in Philadelphia Against Trump & Repeal of Obamacare

    State Department Senior Team Ousted by Trump Administration

    Trump Chief Strategist Says Media Should “Keep Its Mouth Shut”

    Trump Orders Publication of List of Crimes by Undocumented People, Recalling Nazi-Era Practice

    DHS Halts Refugee Interviews Abroad, Effectively Halting Future Admission

    Trump Ordered Park Service to Find Photos Showing Big Inauguration Turnout

    Mike Pence to Speak at Anti-Abortion Rally in First for Sitting Vice President

    George Orwell’s “1984” Becomes Best-Seller After Trump Takes Office

    Trump Begins Immigration Crackdown, Authorizing Border Wall & New ICE Agents

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s voter-fraud nonsense takes a ridiculous turn
    01/27/17 10:41 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s been quite a ride for Donald Trump’s bizarre voter-fraud claims. Three weeks after winning the presidential election, the Republican said he secretly won the popular vote he lost, because of illegally cast ballots that exist only in his imagination. This week, the president repeated the claim, pointing to a second-hand anecdote from a German golfer he knows about people “who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote.”

    Trump has cited a report he didn’t read and blasted its author. The White House said it wasn’t calling for an investigation and then the president said the opposite. Trump was supposed to issue some kind of executive directive yesterday on initiating a probe into a problem that doesn’t exist, only to reverse course without explanation.

    It’s worth pausing from time to time to appreciate the fact that the new president of the United States isn’t just lying about details he doesn’t understand; he’s also attacking American democracy and the electoral system that put him in office.

    This morning, the president made the whole mess even more farcical with another tweet.

    “Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!”

    Who’s Gregg Phillips and what’s VoteStand? I’m glad you asked.

    As Right Wing Watch explained, “Phillips is a longtime conservative activist who, according to his LinkedIn profile, has worked for the Mississippi and Alabama Republican parties and a pro-Newt Gingrich Super PAC, and currently sits on the board of directors of True the Vote, a group ostensibly created to root out the massive voter fraud that it has been so far unable to find. On his Twitter profile, Phillips says he is the founder of VoteStand, an app for reporting suspected voter fraud that True the Vote promoted heavily before this month’s election, despite its previous failure to uncover any evidence of widespread fraud.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Bannon’s Battle Plan
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 27, 2017 9:19 AM

    A couple of weeks after the election, Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said this to Kimberly Strassel:

    I never went on TV one time during the campaign. Not once. You know why? Because politics is war. General Sherman would never have gone on TV to tell everyone his plans. I’d never tip my hand to the other side. And right now we’ve got work to do.

    One week into the Trump administration, we have a pretty good idea of the battle plan Bannon has been cooking up. Not only did he and Steven Miller write Trump’s combative inaugural address, according to reporting by Isaac Arnsdorf, Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim, they have written the series of executive orders that the president has signed this week, as well as those that have been leaked to the press.

    While their plan is an attempt to show an appearance of momentum, it’s not hard to see Bannon’s fingerprints on things like restricting Muslim refugees and immigrants from entering the U.S., the announcement that the administration will be tracking and publicizing individual incidents of crime by undocumented immigrants, attempts to cripple the U.N. and policies that will be a great recruitment tool for ISIS. It is a white nationalist Islamophobic dream come true.

    The problem is that apparently Bannon and Miller haven’t consulted with Trump’s cabinet nominees, the federal agencies involved or members of Congress on any of these plans. That means that many of them might be “unworkable, unenforceable or even illegal.”

    The backlash that has been unleashed, along with an obsession with the results of the election that placed Trump in the White House, have led Mr. Bannon to be more than a little bit combative – as he demonstrated in an interview with the New York Times.

    “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview on Wednesday.

    “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”…

    “The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”…

    “That’s why you have no power,” he added. “You were humiliated.”

    Obviously Bannon shares Trump’s world view that assumes every interaction involves either dominating or being dominated. He thinks he can humiliate the press by pointing out how they got the election wrong and telling them to keep their mouths shut. Obviously that isn’t going to happen. But it’s telling to hear someone who assumes he can outsmart his opponents say something that exposes how obsessed they are and how much the reaction to these first few days of Trump’s presidency has unsettled them

  19. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s bogus claims about American cities start to add up
    01/27/17 08:40 AM—UPDATED 01/27/17 08:45 AM
    By Steve Benen

    During one of the 2016 presidential debates, Hillary Clinton noted that the murder rate in New York City is dropping. “You’re wrong,” Donald Trump said, interrupting her. “Murders are up.” Trump was wrong; murders in NYC are down.

    Five months later, on Martin Luther King weekend, Trump thought it’d be a good idea to feud with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) after the iconic congressman questioned the legitimacy of the president’s election. The Republican responded in part by going after Lewis’ Atlanta congressional district, insisting Lewis should overlook the election scandal and focus instead of his “crime infested” city that’s “in horrible shape and falling apart.” A closer look revealed Trump’s condemnations of Atlanta weren’t at all true.

    Earlier this week, the president turned his attention to criticizing Chicago, insisting that during President Obama’s farewell address, “two people were shot and killed during his speech.” It turns out, Trump simply made that up and those shootings didn’t happen outside of the president’s imagination.

    Yesterday, as the Washington Post noted, it was Philly’s turn.

    Speaking in Philadelphia on Thursday, President Trump made one of his trademark digressions into a discussion of violent crime.

    Mentioning the increase in violent crime in some major cities nationwide – which is true, homicides have gone up in numerous big cities – Trump also pointed to the city where he was speaking during a Republican strategy retreat.

    “Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady – I mean just terribly increasing,” he said.

    Trump has no idea what he’s talking about. The murder rate in the city just decreased, and it’s improved steadily in recent decades.

  20. rikyrah says:

    At a key moment, Trump admin eyes Obamacare sabotage
    01/27/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump spoke at the biennial Republican retreat yesterday and made an unexpected acknowledgement. The new president said he recently spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) about “just doing nothing” with health care policy “for two years,” ignoring possible reforms to the Affordable Care Act, in the hopes that the system would struggle and hurt Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

    Trump said he ultimately decided against that route, but as the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, the remark was nevertheless instructive: according to the president himself, he’s open to playing politics with Americans’ lives.

    Keep that in mind when reading this Politico scoop from last night.

    The Trump administration has pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season, according to sources at Health and Human Services and on Capitol Hill.

    Even ads that had already been placed and paid for have been pulled, the sources told POLITICO…. It is also halting all media outreach designed to spur signups in the days leading up to the deadline. Emails are no longer being sent out to individuals who visited, the enrollment website, to encourage them to finish signing up. Those emails had proven highly successful in getting stragglers to complete enrollment before the deadline.

    The point, obviously, is to try to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. The enrollment deadline isn’t until Tuesday, and because so many consumers wait until the last minute, the last few days are crucial.

    The Trump administration, however, has decided to stop letting Americans know about their options – not to save money, since the ads were already bought and paid for, but because the White House doesn’t want people to participate and get covered.

  21. Liza says:

    Well, one week now of this living nightmare. I don’t know how it ends, but it can’t go on.

  22. rikyrah says:

    New Trump Agency Memo Gags Staff Communications, Democrats Say
    Jan 26, 2017, 3:59 PM ET

    The Trump administration is circulating a memo ordering federal employees not to communicate with Congress, a demand that Democrats are calling an illegal gag order.

    “The Trump administration has issued restrictions at multiple agencies on employee communications, including, in some instances, communications with Congress,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., wrote in a letter Wednesday to new White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II. “These directives appear to violate a host of federal laws.”

    Cummings’ letter cited a memo — dated Jan. 20 — circulating at the Department of Health and Human Services from Acting Secretary Norris Cochran that tells agency division heads that “no correspondence to public officials (e.g., members of Congress, governors) … unless specifically authorized by me or my designee, shall be sent between now and Feb. 3.”

    Within the last two days, Cochran, in a follow-up message to staff that was provided to ABC News by an agency spokesperson, sought to “clarify” his earlier memo, telling employees the “memorandum should not be interpreted or implemented in any way that would preclude or in any way interfere with our HHS staff addressing their concerns to their elected representatives in person or in writing.”

    He said that the language in his memo was simply intended “to coordinate the Department’s policy positions with the appropriate policy staff on agency business.”

    Staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency earlier in the week told The Los Angeles Times that their new bosses ordered a media blackout, quoting one directive as telling them, “Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press.”

    Cummings accused the administration of imposing a widespread ban on agency communication.

    White House aides did not immediately respond to request for comment about alleged efforts to block employees from communicating with Congress, broadly, or about the latest in a series of letters from Cummings about the way they are handling the transition. The Associated Press reported that White House press secretary Sean Spicer said no directives to silence communication from agencies came from the White House.

    A call and an email to HHS requesting comment was not immediately returned.

    Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, refers to a memo circulating in the federal health agency that appears aimed at halting any effort to finish work on regulations that began during the prior administration. It is in that context that the acting agency head prohibited employees from talking with Congress.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Russia treason arrest seen as tacit corroboration of US intel

    Rachel Maddow reports on concerns about Russia’s influence over Donald Trump, and the likelihood that Russia’s arrests of FSB members for treason is confirmation of some part of recent U.S. intelligence releases about Russia.

  24. rikyrah says:

    From Mayhew at BJ about Obamacare:

    Anti-ACA piccadores

    by David Anderson at 8:42 am on January 27, 2017. It has 15 Comments.

    It is becoming clear that there is a strategy to hamstring and hamper the ACA so there will be less public opposition to repeal because the law won’t be seen as delivering any benefits. But the hamstringing and hampering will not be great acts that immediately cripple the Exchanges but instead, small jabs and lances that bleed and break the sinews that hold the law together. The Day 1 executive order that sets the policy of the federal government to pass out hardship exemptions to the individual mandate as a matter of routine is part of this. And then the decision on Thursday to cancel paid for ads is another element of this strategy:

    Trump administration abruptly pulls Obamacare ads that had already been paid for – from @pauldemko

    — Jennifer Haberkorn (@jenhab) January 26, 2017

    Why does this matter? Right now enrollment is either at or slightly above projected pace. But the distribution of enrollment most likely skews slightly older compared to the initial and final 2016 risk pool. Young or healthy people are usually the last people to sign up for an insurance product as it gives the least value while sick or old people who know that they could get sick are more likely to sign up early.

    One chart that explains why its so damaging to halt ACA ads now — young adult sign ups spike at end of enrollment.

    — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) January 27, 2017

    Deadlines spur action. Deadlines spur young enrollment.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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