Friday Open Thread | James Baldwin Week

TGIF We hope you are enjoying Baldwin week.

James Baldwin Debates William F. Buckley (1965)  

Malcolm X – Debate with James Baldwin – September 5, 1963

James Baldwin’s National Press Club Speech 1986

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About Ametia

I am a Spiritual traveler, a devoted wife, mother, sister, lover of dream study, reading, theater, music, dance, and thought-provoking discussions on love, life, humor and service.
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80 Responses to Friday Open Thread | James Baldwin Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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  3. rikyrah says:

    This cracks me up everytime I watch it

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  6. rikyrah says:

    GOP rep: Many career civil servants are liberal
    02/17/17 10:17 AM EST

    Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) says a significant number of career government officials are politically left-wing.

    “When you start getting into the bowels of the bureaucracy, intelligence but certainly the State Department, you have a lot of career officials who are supposed to be nonpartisan, but they really do have a liberal bent,” he said Friday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

    “So you have the president of the United States, they don’t agree with him, so some of them are taking matters into their own hands,” DeSantis added of President Trump. “That is not the way this system is supposed to operate.”

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  12. rikyrah says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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  13. rikyrah says:

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  14. rikyrah says:

    Get your tissues

    Liked by 2 people

  15. rikyrah says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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  16. rikyrah says:

    Like they’re telling Pompeo anything……

    Trump yells at CIA director over reports intel officials are keeping info from him
    February 17, 2017, 5:28 PM

    CBS News has learned that on Thursday, an angry President Trump called CIA Director Mike Pompeo and yelled at him for not pushing back hard enough against reports that the intelligence community was withholding information from the commander-in-chief.

    The agency then drafted a strongly worded statement rebutting the claim. “We are not aware of any instance when that has occurred,” read Pompeo’s statement. “It is CIA’s mission to provide the President with the best intelligence possible and to explain the basis for that intelligence. The CIA does not, has not, and will never hide intelligence from the President, period.”

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  17. rikyrah says:

    DeVos: Critics want to ‘make my life a living hell’
    February 17 at 9:20 AM 

    In her first full week as U.S. education secretary, Betsy DeVos wasted no time in getting to work to try to explain her vision for education and the U.S. Education Department — and to go after her critics, saying they want to make her life “a living hell.” She also said she has identified people in the department who want her to fail, but vowed not to let them.
    […]
    In a speech and several interviews, DeVos made clear that she is planning to push the expansion of school choice — charter schools, voucher programs and other alternatives to traditional public schools.

    In an interview with Axios, excerpts of which were published on Feb. 17, she said:
    “I expect there will be more public charter schools. I expect there will be more private schools. I expect there will be more virtual schools. I expect there will be more schools of any kind that haven’t even been invented yet.”

    The one thing she said she didn’t expect more of was traditional public schools.

    As far as the role of the federal government in education, she said:
    “I think in some of the areas around protecting students and ensuring safe environments for them, there is a role to play. … I mean, when we had segregated schools and when we had a time when, you know, girls weren’t allowed to have the same kind of sports teams — I mean, there have been important inflection points for the federal government to get involved.”

    But when asked whether there are any other issues in which the federal government should intervene, she said: “I can’t think of any now.” As to whether the Education Department should be eliminated, she said:
    “It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job, but I’m not sure that — I’m not sure that there will be a champion movement in Congress to do that.”

    In an interview with conservative columnist Cal Thomas published on Feb. 16, the Michigan billionaire blasted protesters for the second time in the same week, saying they are “sponsored and very carefully planned” and not “genuine protests.”

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  18. rikyrah says:

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  19. rikyrah says:

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  20. rikyrah says:

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  21. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert:

    Dear Members,

    We are so pleased to announce that on Sunday, February 19, from 6 – 8:30 pm Eastern, C-SPAN’s American History TV (C-SPAN-3) will take viewers inside the National Museum of African American History & Culture for a special look at the Slavery & Freedom, Segregation and 1968 & Beyond galleries.

    This program will have several special guests!

    Judge Robert Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, a member of the Presidential Commission on the Development of the Museum and author of, “Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History & Culture.”

    Mary Elliott, Museum Specialist, National Museum of African American History & Culture

    William Pretzer, Curator, National Museum of African American History & Culture

    In addition to being interviewed, Mary and Bill will take viewers on a tour of their exhibitions, and take viewer calls and Tweets.

    The entire program re-airs at 10 pm Eastern, February 19, and again on Presidents Day, Monday, February 20, at 8 am and 8 pm Eastern, all on C-SPAN3, American History TV.

    This is the perfect opportunity for members to see inside our Slavery & Freedom, Segregation and 1968 & Beyond galleries and hear special tidbits from experts! We hope you tune in, call, and Tweet about it!

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  22. rikyrah says:

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  23. rikyrah says:

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  26. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on MSNBC: Steve Bannon is “a stone cold racist and a white supremacist sympathizer”. pic.twitter.com/AGly3r4SYg

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 17, 2017

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  27. rikyrah says:

    1.If this is true there will be rebellion at the NSA/CIA. If they establish Saddam-like show trials government will descend into mayhem. https://t.co/LeUXwGFkNa

    — Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) February 17, 2017

    2. I hinted on @11thHour last night about Trump witch hunt by WH loyalists. This maybe major coverup for Russian Intelligence investigation.

    — Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) February 17, 2017

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  28. rikyrah says:

    Extremists killed 372 in US, 2007-2016:
    74% by right-wing extremists
    24% by Islamic extremists
    2% by left-wing extr.https://t.co/kLTnP5DxgK

    — Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) February 17, 2017

    Like

  29. rikyrah says:

    Tillerson presides over abrupt shakeup at State Department
    CNN Digital Expansion DC Elise Labott
    By Elise Labott and Nicole Gaouette, CNN
    Updated 4:42 PM ET, Fri February 17, 2017

    Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reassigned a majority of the staff meant to work most closely with the top US diplomat in what career officials at the State Department fear is the start of a major reorganization.

    The news sent shock waves through the agency and has left career officials on edge, in part because of its abrupt nature — taking place before their assignments end this summer and replacements have been found — and in part because these officials help the secretary, a government novice, work with policy experts throughout the building.
    While Tillerson was on his first overseas trip at the G20 in Bonn, Germany, his aides told the entire staff in the offices of the deputy secretary of state for management and resources and the State Department counselor that their current assignments were prematurely coming to an end, according to senior aides.

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  30. rikyrah says:

    Beyond Russia, Trump’s Business Ties in China Raise Questions
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 17, 2017 12:51 PM

    While most of us have been focused on Trump’s ties to Russia, there was an interesting development with his business interests in China.

    The government of China awarded U.S. President Donald Trump valuable rights to his own name this week, in the form of a 10-year trademark for construction services.

    The registration became official on Feb. 14 and was published in a trademark registration announcement on the website of China’s Trademark Office on Wednesday…

    The registration this week came as a surprise win for Trump after a decade of trying — and failing — to wrest the rights to his name back from a man named Dong Wei. The abrupt turn in Trump’s bureaucratic fortunes once he declared his candidacy has raised questions about the extent to which his political status may be helping his family business.

    Trump’s relationship with China raises a lot of questions. While he spent much of his campaign attacking the country for their trading practices and his chief strategist assumes we will go to war in the South China Sea, the Trump Organization makes a lot of its apparel and home products in that country.

    But even more important are the questions raised by this statement from the Steele dossier.

    Commenting on the negative media publicity surrounding alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election campaign in support of Trump, Source E said he understood that the Republican candidate and his team were relatively relaxed about this because it deflected media and the Democrats’ attention away from Trump’s business dealings in China and other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public, would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

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  31. rikyrah says:

    Ignoring Trump, Chaffetz seeks charges related to Clinton emails
    02/17/17 10:14 AM
    By Steve Benen

    On Nov. 9, literally the day after the election, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said his pre-election plans had not changed: he remained focused on Hillary Clinton and her email server management. In December, he said it again. In January, he said it again.

    Yesterday, as the Associated Press reported, the Republican congressman took the next ridiculous step.

    The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges against a former State Department employee who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday asking him to convene a grand jury or charge Bryan Pagliano, the computer specialist who helped establish Clinton’s server while she was secretary of state.

    So let me get this straight. There’s evidence that Russia launched an illegal espionage operation to help put Donald Trump in the Oval Office. There’s evidence that Team Trump was in communications with officials in Vladimir Putin’s government at the time. There’s evidence that leading members of Team Trump lied about these contacts. There’s evidence that the communications continued during the presidential transition process, which Trump administration officials lied about, and which led to the White House National Security Advisor resigning.

    There’s evidence that this entire scandal, possibly the most serious since Watergate, is part of an ongoing U.S. counter-espionage investigation.

    It’s against this backdrop that Jason Chaffetz, just yesterday, contacted the Justice Department seeking criminal charges related to … wait for it … Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a deeply stupid nightmare?

    Political scientist Norm Ornstein said this week, “When the history of this dark period is written, Jason Chaffetz will go down as one of the real villains.” That’s hardly an unreasonable assessment under the circumstances.

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  32. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s latest cabinet nominee has a controversial record of his own
    02/17/17 12:49 PM
    By Steve Benen

    On Tuesday, the “fine-tuned machine” that is Donald Trump’s White House had yet another breakdown. Andy Puzder, the president’s choice to lead the Labor Department, was forced to withdraw in the face of multiple scandals and bipartisan opposition.

    The Trump administration did not, however, wait long to name his successor. The president announced yesterday that Alex Acosta, the dean of Florida International University’s law school in Miami, is Trump’s choice to be the next secretary of labor. His nomination – Trump’s first and only Latino for his cabinet – has generally been greeted by a collective shrug by much of the political world, which makes his confirmation more likely.

    But there are some aspects of Acosta’s background that should make for interesting questions during his confirmation hearings.

    I published an item for my old, old blog 10 years ago about Acosta’s role in a voter-suppression scheme in Ohio. McClatchy reported at the time:

    ………………

    What’s more, The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer reported yesterday on another key aspect of Acosta’s DOJ background.

    R. Alexander Acosta … was the head of the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice in the Bush administration during a period in which his subordinates became embroiled in a scandal over politicized hiring. That scandal raises questions about Acosta’s ability to effectively manage a much larger federal agency in an administration that has already shown a tendency to skirt ethics rules.

    “That period, all hell broke in the civil rights division,” said William Yeomans, a professor of law at American University and a former deputy section chief in the division under Acosta. “That was all under Acosta, he presided over the politicization of the civil-rights division.”

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  33. rikyrah says:

    How the Opposition Can Wound Trump
    by John Stoehr
    February 17, 2017 11:44 AM

    ………………………………..

    The reason I’m going into the weeds like this is to get readers of the Washington Monthly and anyone who believes Donald Trump is a singular threat to democracy to understand how and why his supporters very much like what the president is doing, even though it makes no sense to the readers of the Washington Monthly and anyone who believes Donald Trump is a singular threat to democracy. In understanding how and why these people very much like what the president is doing, we can devise an effective strategy for the battles ahead.

    There’s a reason why Donald Trump is reportedly fond of watching himself on TV with the sound turned off. It’s not only because he’s a narcissist, though narcissism surely plays a part. It’s also because he is trying to experience what most normal people experience when they watch the president on TV, and that means a majority of people since most still get their news about what’s happening in Washington from TV, despite the ubiquity of digital. Remember, they don’t know enough to know he’s lying. What they can see is Trump’s performance: the expressions of strength, the wit and charm (which are evident), and the braggadocio.

    Yesterday’s press conference was in fact a hot mess, but imagine watching it with the sound turned off so you don’t know what the president is saying. Imagine watching the president’s gestures, his expression, his sparring with the press. That’s probably a close approximation of what his supporters experience when they watch the president on TV. That’s the extent to which most people assess the president’s policy views. It is style’s mastery over substance.

    Which brings me back to character. That is something people can judge, because they trust their ability to size up the president. That trust, of course, is misplaced, because Trump is in fact a serial liar, but remember, most people, especially Trump supporters, don’t know enough about politics or care enough to know much about politics, so they don’t know he’s lying.

    What they can see is how he looks. And this is key.

    I really want you to understand the connection between Trump’s appearance and the trust his supporters place in him. What the Democratic opposition needs to do is undermine that trust. Part of doing that is pointing out every time Trump lies. (The Washington press corps is doing that.) But the opposition must also attack the president where it really hurts him—by appealing to logic and reason, but not only logic and reason. The opposition must wound the president by focusing on his weakness.

    Fact is, the president is weak. We saw that yesterday. When confronted with the fact that he did not win a bigger electoral victory than anyone since Reagan, he immediately backed down, spluttering something about how he had been given that information so it’s not his fault. Some have implied he will never accept the truth, so don’t bother. But that’s an argument of logic and reason. What happened in that brief exchange needs to happen a million times over in order to reveal that the president is weak and that in that weakness his supporters have misplaced their trust.

    So, say it with me: The president is weak.

    Say it again. Over and over. Then when the president really does demonstrate weakness, as he did when confronted by the reporter about his fake electoral landslide, the president will have substantiated the opposition’s charge of weakness.

    That will hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ametia says:

    Things That Wouldn’t Have Been Surprising for Trump to Do at His Fucked-Up Press Conference

    Donald Trump’s press conference yesterday was so weird, so disconcerting, and so filled with lies and fantasies and violent imagery that it wouldn’t have been surprising if…

    1. Trump had presented the corpse of a man tortured and killed by ISIS and put on a ventriloquist act with the body as his Charlie McCarthy, asking it, “Do you wish President Obama had wiped out ISIS?” and making the bloodstained head nod and the lips move and, in an awful accent that would best be described as “a bad version of Achmed the Dead Terrorist,” answered, “Yes, most wonderful and sexy Donald Trump. Only you can save us Christians from being boiled alive and having our heads cut off.”

    2. Trump had looked at the orthodox Jewish reporter from Ami magazine (motto: “What? You don’t love Israel with your whole being, you shmendrik?”) and said, “You wanna see how anti-Semitic I am? Watch this” and taken out his dick and a small knife and recircumsized himself, adding “You see that? Who loves the Jews more than me?” before throwing the piece of of his dick at the media and snarling, “Fake news!”

    3. Trump had asked a black reporter if she is friends with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and that she should arrange a meeting for him with the CBC, as if the black woman was his secretary. (Oh, wait. He really did do that to April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks.)

    4. Trump had said, “You wanna see how much I don’t care about Russia?” and then phoned Vladimir Putin on his unsecured Android phone, asking, “Is your refrigerator running?” and awaiting an answer before adding, “Well, then you better catch it,” hanging up, and telling the reporters, “See? You keep saying ‘Trump loves Putin,’ ‘Trump loves Putin.’ Would a man who is friends with Putin prank him so viciously? That’s the best prank you ever saw, by the way” before whispering behind him, “Call and apologize, Bannon, now.”

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2017/02/things-that-wouldnt-have-been.html

    Like

  35. Receipts!

    What was that lie again @PressSec

    Like

  36. Say it ain’t so? No they didn’t? They can’t possibly be this stupid?

    Like

    • rikyrah says:

      They are jealous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ametia says:

        They nearly killed themselves, running from a popular POTUS, who won TWICE.
        But they are running to those WWC folks, who don’t want POC to have a pot, let alone to piss without, them having any and all things at their beckon call.

        I.CAN’T WITH.THESE.FOLKS. I’m no longer a democrat. I am a CITIZEN WHO VOTES.

        Like

    • Ametia says:

      Dem leaders better

      3370927962_12b8798a26_z

      raw

      giphy

      OFA gets any and all funds from me. FUCK these mealy-mouthed, pandering, DINOS!

      PBO showed these fools a winning strategy, but NO, they don’t want to take lessons from that BLACK BARACK!

      FUCK’EM with a rusty pitch fork.

      Like

  37. rikyrah says:

    Powerful— CBC reporter finds a Somali refugee fleeing the US into Canada: “America is problem now.” https://t.co/DuToDK4Zp8 pic.twitter.com/3e1V9xNyVi

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 17, 2017

    Like

  38. Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican Rep. Sean Duffy says he will not run for U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018

    — Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) February 16, 2017

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    Again I ask: who will be America’s Anne Frank? https://t.co/802Hhu3hK2

    — SheriffFruitfly (@sherifffruitfly) February 17, 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Ametia says:

    Republicans, Protect the Nation

    President Trump’s disturbing Russian connections present an acute danger to American national security. According to reports this week, Mr. Trump’s team maintained frequent contact with Russian officials, including senior intelligence officers, during the campaign. This led to concerns about possible collusion with one of America’s principal strategic adversaries as it tried to influence the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. On Monday, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, was forced to resign after details of his communications with the Russian ambassador emerged.

    Republican leaders in Congress now bear the most responsibility for holding the president accountable and protecting the nation. They can’t say they didn’t see the Russian interference coming. They knew all along.

    Early in 2015, senior Republican congressional leaders visited Ukraine and returned full of praise for its fight for independence in spite of Russia’s efforts to destabilize the country and annex some of its regions. And in June, coincidentally just before Mr. Trump announced his campaign for the Republican nomination, they met with Ukraine’s prime minister in Washington — one of many meetings I attended as a senior aide to the House Republican Conference.

    As the presidential race wore on, some of those leaders began to see parallels between Russia’s disinformation operations in Ukraine and Europe and its activities in the United States. They were alarmed by the Kremlin-backed cable network RT America, which was running stories intended, they judged, to undermine Americans’ trust in democratic institutions and promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Deeply unsettled, the leaders discussed these concerns privately on several occasions I witnessed.

    Like

  42. Ametia says:

    Charles Blow be like:

    tumblr_m8rlhqmcre1qm5gfbo1_500

    Kayleigh be like

    get

    Like

  43. So which is it, folks? It’s so damn disturbing. How much more can the country take?

    Like

  44. Ametia says:

    lying, racist POS

    Like

  45. rikyrah says:


    He interviewed RFK and MLK months before their deaths. Fifteen of 25 guests were African American.

    By Joan Walsh

    ……………………….

    When the old folks say television used to be different from the profit-driven, ratings-obsessed, news-as-entertainment industry of today, they don’t always have good counterexamples. But a few years back, I came across a perfect one: the week in February 1968 when, at the height of the Vietnam War’s Tet offensive, as riots were wracking major American cities and the Democratic Party was coming apart, Johnny Carson handed The Tonight Show over to the legendary Harry Belafonte, who proceeded to use the platform to introduce white America to his world of art and activism.

    The week featured Belafonte’s searing, in-depth interviews with Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., just months before both were assassinated. Even before their deaths, America had begun to unravel. Big, bold changes like the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts still left black Americans behind economically, while whites were convinced they’d done enough. The most innovative efforts in the War on Poverty were already winding down, a casualty of white backlash and ballooning spending on the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon loomed ominously on the horizon. In conversation with Belafonte, King and Kennedy come across as thoughtful, admirable, heroic—but also battered and shaken. They don’t have the answers.

    But the show wasn’t all politics. The well-connected entertainer gave his audience an amazing high-low pop-culture-and-politics mix. The night Kennedy appeared, so did Bill Cosby, Lena Horne, and the Greek actress Melina Mercouri. A few days later, King kibitzed with comedian Nipsey Russell, the blacklisted African-American singer Leon Bibb, and actor Paul Newman, who played his trombone. Another episode featured basketball star Wilt Chamberlain and actor Zero Mostel, who stood on the couch to shake the giant NBA player’s hand. Other guests included singers Buffy Sainte-Marie, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, and Robert Goulet; comedians Tom and Dick Smothers; actor Sidney Poitier (Belafonte’s close friend); American poet laureate Marianne Moore; water-skier Ken White; and Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Hoving. Fifteen of the 25 guests that week were African-American. Only Belafonte could have pulled that off, says TV producer Norman Lear almost 50 years later. “He was an ambassador in both directions—to his own people and to the Caucasian community. There wasn’t anyone else like him. It is rare to this day.”

    Belafonte’s Tonight Show stint certainly thrilled black viewers everywhere. The scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. recalls being a high-school junior in Piedmont, West Virginia, transfixed by seeing the entertainer on Carson’s throne. “Night after night, my father and I stayed up late to watch a black man host the highest-rated show in its time slot—history in the making,” Gates wrote in a 1996 New Yorker profile of Belafonte.

    Like

  46. rikyrah says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.

    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 17, 2017

    A military force walking the streets of America asking brown people for papers? https://t.co/offaBMfFFu

    — meta (@metaquest) February 17, 2017

    Like

  47. rikyrah says:

    Imagine if Barack Obama had taken three vacations in three weeks and then held a vanity rally at the one month marker. @realDonaldTrumpfraud

    — John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) February 16, 2017

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Orange POS #45 is going back to gin up his KKK base to get his FIX. SMH. Meanwhile talks of sending out 1,000 NG troops to round up PEOPLES OF COLOR.

      BUT RUSSIA THOUGH!

      Like

  48. rikyrah says:

    The thought..there mere thought…that the State Department calls up anyplace in the world, and is told..’we’re booked’….

    BWA HA HA HA HAHA H AH AH AH HA HA HA

    You know people from the Kerry State Department ‘unbooked’ those rooms before they left…yeah, I’d be petty like that too…going from Kerry to the Secretary of Exxon….

    ………….

    Secretary of State stayed at sanitarium in Germany after G-20 hotels are all booked https://t.co/xQTTuYGdHx pic.twitter.com/kKXdr9v7Ss

    — The Hill (@thehill) February 17, 2017

    Like

  49. rikyrah says:

    The Pentagon cannot find any records approving Flynn’s 2015 trip to Moscow for a paid Russian state TV event: https://t.co/XzaIuQLX1q

    — Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) February 17, 2017

    Like

  50. rikyrah says:

    Natalie Moore: Heroin policies reveal racism of drug laws

    Natalie Moore
    Follow @natalieymoore

    Back in the 1980s when crack cocaine captured the nation’s attention, black women morphed as the face of the drug. Their womanhood was stripped and they became derided as “crack hoes.” The story line rife with stereotypes asserted these women would sell the soul of their babies for one hit on the crack pipe. Just like Reagan-era welfare queens, they were shiftless and trifling.

    We know that crack cocaine did not cause instant addiction as suggested at the time. We know a lot more about effects of the drug, much of which was stoked by fears a generation ago. The drug devastated black communities across the U.S. because the crack trade itself produced violence and entered urban areas at a time of disinvestment.

    The public policy response created racial disparities in sentencing for cocaine and crack. Cocaine was seen as white and decadent while crack was the depraved black drug. The logic was that crack users and dealers morally failed and needed to be locked up longer because crack was categorized as worse.

    I’ve considered the racialization of drugs now that heroin is in the public eye with a new face: young, white and suburban. Today, heroin is cheaper and no longer an end-of-the-line drug. It can be snorted and is sometimes more accessible than prescription drugs.

    Heroin-related deaths are up in places like DuPage and Will counties. I hear thoughtful responses from law enforcement. I’ve seen task forces on heroin. Education and treatment are the focus. Compassion is guiding public policy.

    None of that is wrong.

    But it’s hard not to remember the black bodies locked up and lost because their lives didn’t have value in the crack era. African Americans were criminalized.

    Illinois is now taking a different approach with heroin, emphasizing public health, which has been seen as a model for other states. The state Heroin Crisis Act, among other actions, provides insurance coverage to all medication to treat opioid use and amends drug court programs to keep users in treatment and out of jail. The Good Samaritan Law says if you witnesses a drug overdose and seek medical help, you’re immune from prosecution. The user is immune, too. Another law allows lay people to administer opioid reversal drugs.

    For years Kathie Kane-Willis advocated better drug policies through her work at the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University. And not because of the recent heroin epidemic. But she’s learned a key detail around advocacy.

    “Race matters. It really does in terms of public policy solutions. I don’t think you could’ve changed any legislation if only focused on black folk,” said Kane-Willis, who is now director of policy and advocacy for the Chicago Urban League.

    “And when people see whites suffering they are more likely to be emphatic. It’s harder to ‘otherize’ them. They are friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, children in the white communities,” she said.

    Like

  51. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Mental Unfitness on Display at the Press Conference
    by Nancy LeTourneau February 16, 2017 6:42 PM

    Donald Trump told a lot of lies in his press conference today. I’ll leave all of that unpacking for the fact-checkers. But let’s pretend that, rather than holding a press conference, Trump was sitting in a psychiatrist’s office for the purpose of having his mental health assessed. In order to meet the criteria of having Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he would have to have demonstrated at least five of the following criteria. Let’s see how he did.

    1. Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

    If you remember, at the Republican National Convention, Trump laid out his view of a dystopian America and then said, “Only I can fix it.” Today, he said that we’re becoming a drug-infested nation and “we’re not going to let it happen anymore.” In talking about companies that have said they’ll keep jobs in the U.S., he said that if he hadn’t been elected, they would have left.

    2. Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.

    “There has never been a presidency that has done so much in such a short amount of time.”

    3. Exaggerate your achievements and talents.

    In mentioning that he won 306 electoral votes, Trump said that was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.

    4. Preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.

    On a couple of occasions he referred to the Rasmussen poll stating that his approval rating is at 55% – ignoring all other polls showing him at less than 40%. Trump also suggested that he is assembling one of the greatest cabinets in American history.

    5. Believe that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people.

    In referring to the 9th Circuit – which continued the stay on his travel ban – he said that it was a “bad decision by a circuit that has been overturned a record number of times. I’ve heard 80%….I think that circuit is in chaos and frankly in turmoil.”

    Like

  52. rikyrah says:

    The Method to Trump’s Madness
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 17, 2017 9:24 AM

    It’s true that most of the media was aghast at Trump’s performance in the press conference yesterday. But that’s not how it’s playing in the right wing media. Take a look at some of these headlines:

    Rush Limbaugh: Trump Triumphs Over Press
    Roger Simon: The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump
    Alexis Simendinger: Defending Rocky Start, Trump Regains His Mojo

    As Michale Goodwin writes, that’s how Trump’s performance yesterday is playing among his supporters.

    Trump’s detractors immediately panned the show as madness, but they missed the method behind it and proved they still don’t understand his appeal. Facing his first crisis in the Oval Office, he was unbowed in demonstrating his bare-knuckled intention to fight back.

    He did it his way. Certainly no other president, and few politicians at any level in any time, would dare put on a show like that.

    In front of cameras, and using the assembled press corps as props, he conducted a televised revival meeting to remind his supporters that he is still the man they elected…

    Trump, first, last and always, matches the mood of the discontented. Like them, he is a bull looking for a china shop. That’s his ace in the hole and he played it almost to perfection.

    …………………………

    Yesterday when I noted the criteria for assessing Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one that had not obviously been exhibited during the press conference was, “requires constant admiration.” Obviously Trump was able to satisfy that need when he was running for president, but the office itself comes with constant scrutiny and the kind of critiques his ego isn’t able to withstand. Getting back in touch with his supporters via the press conference yesterday and a campaign rally tomorrow is the method to Trump’s madness we’re seeing on display.

    Like

  53. rikyrah says:

    Trump Does Not Deny Campaign in Contact With Russia
    He denied personal knowledge or involvement. He also denied ordering Flynn to talk to Russia about sanctions.

    by Josh Alvarez
    February 16, 2017

    I can imagine President Trump, having just finished a marathon 2-hour press conference that was as a pyrotechnic display of an uncontrollable id, grabbing his hapless press secretary by the collar and growling, “Now that’s how you do a goddamn press conference.”

    Trump really outdid himself in this one. It was meant to be a press conference simply announcing his new pick for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Acosta, to replace his first pick, fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder, who withdrew himself from consideration on Wednesday. Instead, he singlehandedly attempted to squash Tuesday night’s revelations—by The Failing New York Times and Fake News CNN—that multiple Trump campaign staff and associates were in regular contact with Russian intelligence officials. They closely followed the resignation of Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was revealed to have discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador prior to Trump’s inauguration, a charge Flynn had repeatedly denied and, apparently, even lied to the Vice President about it. Worse yet, Trump knew since at least January 26 that Flynn, by publicly lying about the nature of the calls, had exposed himself to blackmail, yet did not immediately fire him or even exclude him from national security meetings.

    Trump squashed nothing, instead attempting to replicate his 16-month presidential campaign method of pummeling the media with multiple red herring stories to distract from the ones that matter in a 2-hour format. It was symphonic. The livestream feed I was watching momentarily glided over Kellyanne Conway with a rapturous look in her eyes. The maestro was at work.

    But ignoring all the specious dust Trump kicked up yields the two most important facts. First, he neither confirmed nor denied that his campaign staff was in contact with Russian officials during the campaign. Second, he denied ordering Flynn to talk to the Russians about sanctions, but he “would have directed him to do it.”

    To defend himself regarding Flynn, Trump specifically cited Fox News’s Charles Krauthammer, who argued that Flynn was merely doing his job talking to Russia’s ambassador about sanctions. This argument conveniently ignores the context of that phone call. The Atlantic’s David Frum, a conservative himself, has kindly done the easy work of knocking down Trump’s defense:

    Nobody would care if an incoming national security adviser had confidential conversations with an ambassador of a hostile foreign government before Inauguration Day, if it were believed that the conversations served a legitimate and disinterested public purpose. But that is exactly what is doubted in this case.

    Like

  54. rikyrah says:

    Californian Republican Delivers A Giant “F*ck You” To Indivisible, Calls Them “Enemies Of Democracy”

    They’ve been politely asking for a town hall meeting for weeks and the pressure is getting to the cowardly congressman.
    WES WILLIAMS

    One of the big stories that followed the election of Barack Obama was the outrage of the newly formed Tea Party and the appearance of angry citizens at town hall meetings held by Democratic (and some Republican) members of Congress. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s GOP congressmen and women who are the targets of voter anger. Some of them are not taking it well.

    Dana Rohrabacher is a Republican who represents California’s 48th Congressional District, which stretches along the southern California coastline from Seal Beach to Dana Point. Rohrabacher won re-election to his seat in the November election despite the fact that his district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Now his constituents want to talk to him at a town hall, and he is refusing to meet with them.

    On Valentine’s Day, a group of constituents went to Rohrabacher’s district office to delivery Valentines to him, asking that he please meet with them and other residents of his district. Think Progress says the group, representing “Indivisible Orange County” has been coming to the office every Tuesday to request a town hall meeting. This past Tuesday, however, things got a little ugly.

    According to a statement issued by Indivisible Orange County, a 2-year-old girl named Lola was hit in the head as she attempted to slide a Valentine under the locked door of Rohrabacher’s office, when a staffer opened the door into her from the other side.

    he staffer, Kathleen Staunton, also took a tumble in the incident when protesters grabbed the door to make sure it didn’t hit the child again. That left Rohrabacher angry, accusing the protesters of “political thuggery.”

    “Deliberate or not, the incident came as part of a mob action that not only intimidates but coerces. Though the protesters think of themselves as idealists, they engaged in political thuggery, pure and simple,” Rohrabacher said.

    “These people do not want, as they’ve claimed, to hold a town hall meeting with me. These are unruly activists on whom the lessons of civility and democratic participation have been lost. These holier-than-thou obstructionists will be held responsible for this outrageous assault. They are exposing themselves for what they are — enemies of American self-government and democracy.”

    The members of Indivisible OC had a different take.

    We are hardworking, taxpaying Americans who want to engage in our democracy and to simply be heard by our Congressional representative. It is a shame that Rep. Rohrabacher has refused repeated requests to hold a town hall meeting for his district and holds a particular contempt for engaged citizens by characterizing civic duty as “political thuggery.” For all we know, the only political thuggery we see is his Twitter behavior.

    Like

  55. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Like

  56. Ametia says:

    TGIF, Everyone! :))))

    Like

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