Monday Open Thread | Black Excellence at the Oscars

The Oscars just happened…and there was some Black Magic.


Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight.


Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences.

Viola Davis: “I became an artist because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” #Oscars

OJ: Made in America- Best Documentary

Barry Jenkins and Tarrell Alvin McCraney win Adapted Screenplay for “Moonlight”.



Congratulations to all the winners!!

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98 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Black Excellence at the Oscars

  1. rikyrah says:

    We No Longer Have Three Branches of Government

    I served in Congress for 16 years and taught civics for 13 more. Our government no longer looks like the one I told my students about—or the one the Constitution describes.
    By MICKEY EDWARDS February 27, 2017

    For more than a dozen years, teaching government classes to graduate students at Harvard and Princeton, I filled my students’ heads with facts that no longer seem to be true. They have become “alternate facts,” or perhaps just outdated ones.

    It has been my habit to begin each semester by slowly taking students through the Constitution, each article and section in turn, emphasizing not only each provision but why it was included.

    Fundamental to the constitutional process, I taught, was the unique delineation of authority and responsibility: the separation of powers that so cleanly distinguished American government from those that had gone before it. There were three branches, independent of each other, with varied duties and roughly equal. The greater power—overtaxing, spending, deciding whether to go to war, confirming members of the president’s Cabinet and justices of the Supreme Court—had been placed in the Congress, I said, because while the Founders had created a republic, they also added a sprinkling of democracy: The people would choose who would do the actual governing. I would underscore this point by noting the provisions that made clear the Framers’ deliberate rejection of a parliamentary system like the ones they had known in Europe, where legislative and executive power were joined. Here, it was to be the people, not the parties, that ruled, I told my students.

  2. Ametia says:

    Why It’s Important to Recognize That “Moonlight” Was Robbed Of Its Moment

    This debacle brought into stark relief just exactly how messy it is and will continue to be to make traditionally white institutions more diverse and inclusive. In many cases, it will look like black people coming on stage to take away the very awards that white people presumed they would win and prepared themselves to receive. This is the scary part of what it means for white people to challenge white privilege: it means sometimes they will lose. More than that, it means they will have to endure the humiliation of losing when they were so entirely sure they had won.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Trump urges insurers to work together to ‘save Americans from Obamacare’
    By Carolyn Y. Johnson and Juliet Eilperin
    February 27 at 12:19 PM

    President Trump met with major health insurers Monday morning, in the midst of political divisions over how to dismantle and replace President Obama’s signature health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, and intensifying public pressure to preserve the policy.

    The meeting included leaders from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente and the industry lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans.

    “We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare,” Trump said in public remarks before the closed-door meeting. He criticized the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, for creating minimal health coverage requirements that restricted the types of plans insurers could sell.

    “Obamacare forced providers to limit the plan options they offered to patients and caused them to drive prices way up,” Trump said. “Now a third of U.S. counties are down to one insurer, and the insurers are fleeing. You people know that better than anybody.”

    Over the past month, more insurers have warned that they are pulling out next year or considering it — and Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini has described the exchanges as being in a “death spiral.”

    Humana — which insures about 150,000 people on the exchanges this year — announced in mid-February it would exit the exchanges in 2018. In an earnings call, Molina Healthcare disclosed that its exchange business lost $110 million in 2016 and said it would evaluate its participation for next year on a state-by-state basis. A Molina spokeswoman said the company, which insures 1 million members through the exchanges, was not invited to the meeting.

    Trump gave few details about his health-care plan, which he promised would increase competition and decrease costs. He said the replacement would allow insurers to sell plans across state lines and include increased flexibility for states. He also called for expanded health savings accounts, which are tax-exempt financial accounts used to pay for medical expenses. He said there would be a smooth transition.

  4. Devin Nunes warned against ‘witch-hunt’ over Trump-Russia but look what he did here. Care to explain this? Oh what a tangled web we weave…



  5. rikyrah says:

    LOL @ Very Smart Brothas

    Even When White People Finally Get It Right, They Still Get It Wrong

  6. rikyrah says:

    Trump Plans To Take Health Care Away From 20 Million Americans And Blame Obama
    By Jason Easley on Mon, Feb 27th, 2017 at 11:47 am

    While speaking to the nation’s governors, President Trump laid out a plan for taking away health care from 20 million Americans and then blaming Obama and the Democrats.

    The President said, “I say to the Republicans if you really want to do something politically something good, don’t do anything. Sit back for a period of two years because seventeen is going to be a disaster, a disaster for Obamacare if we don’t do something. Let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Dems that are in our room, and we can blame that on the Democrats and President Obama. Let it implode, and then let it implode in eighteen even worse, don’t do anything, and they will come begging for us to do something. But that’s not the fair thing to do for the people, not the fair thing. Politically, I think it would be a great solution. Because as soon as we touch it, if we do the most minute thing, just a tiny little change. What’s gonna happen? They’re going to say, ‘It’s the Republicans’ problem.’ That’s the way it is.”

    President Trump said that this is what Republicans can’t do, but what he described is the most likely outcome for Obamacare repeal.

    Trump was actually arguing for Republicans not to repeal Obamacare so that they don’t get the blame for killing it, but at the same time, he was also arguing that they have to get rid of Obamacare.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Totalitarian Trump White House Removes Democratic Governors From Joint Press Conference
    By Sarah Jones on Mon, Feb 27th, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    President Trump continuously claims to be the victim of Democratic obstruction while presenting himself as a “unity” president, but he spends a lot of his time dissing Democrats. In fact, he is doing what Republicans inaccurately accused President Obama of doing. And then Trump whines about the reaction to his insults and snubs.

    Monday morning, Trump put an end to the bipartisan post National Governors Association and President press availability by shuttling the Democratic governors off site.

    Zeke Miller tweeted:

    Post-POTUS/NGA press avail at the White House used to be a bipartisan thing. Now it’s just GOP governors

    — Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 27, 2017

    Jared Leopold tweeted:

    Democratic governors were not invited to join presser at White House. Were shuttled off site.

    — Jared Leopold (@jaredleopold) February 27, 2017

    In 2014 during the press availability post NGA meeting, when governors of both parties spoke to reporters after their meeting with then President Obama, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) accused President Obama of having waved the “white flag of surrender” on economic growth. Did President Obama ban Republicans from the press availability after this? No, of course not.


    So the NGA meetings were tinged with partisanship even though they weren’t supposed to be. But never has a president – especially in their second month of office – completely dissed an entire party and shuttled them away from the press availability.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why did Keith Ellison lose the DNC race?

    By David Weigel
    February 26 at 3:37 PM


    As one of just two reporters who went to every DNC forum — the other was Nomiki Konst, a Young Turks reporter who will also serve on the DNC’s “unity commission” to change the primary system — I saw angst about this reaction building for weeks. I also saw why 235 DNC members decided to back Perez. Had the race been shorter, Ellison might well have won. But a few converging factors blunted his momentum — and they weren’t the factors that got the most coverage.

    DNC members were not ready to reject the Obama legacy. The basic critique of Bruenig et al is right: The leadership of the Democratic Party, nationally and in most states, has resisted acknowledging the failures of the Obama years. Brazile opened the first of the party’s four “future forums” by telling Democrats that the DNC “failed you” in 2016 and “got cocky about our invincible blue wall.”

    But for Brazile and other Democrats, the death blows to the party’s 2016 campaign were struck by Russian hacking and by FBI Director James B. Comey. They have little time for the activists who say that the Democratic primary between Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Hillary Clinton was “rigged” — the “evidence,” the establishment wing says, comes from emails hacked from the DNC and the Clinton campaign and released at damaging times to divide the party. (This is separate from the issue of then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz scheduling only a few, late party presidential debates, which even Perez criticized. When he stumbled and appeared to say that the primary had been “rigged,” he explained that he was talking only about the debates.)

  9. yahtzeebutterfly says:
  10. rikyrah says:

    The Fake Factional War Over the DNC Chair
    by Martin Longman
    February 27, 2017 1:08 PM

    Back in March 2013, when rumors first emerged that the newly reelected President Obama might nominate Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez to be his second term Secretary of Labor, he wasn’t a household name. But a lot of labor leaders knew who he was and they energetically endorsed him. The main reason for this was that he had served under Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland as the head of that state’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

    As Adam Serwer reported for Mother Jones at the time, Perez had pleased labor leaders by going after “employers who were dodging overtime pay, benefits, and taxes by classifying employees as independent contractors.” His efforts resulted in a new law in 2009 that set down new rules and stiff fines. Maryland AFL-CIO chief Fred Mason said, “This is someone who understands the relationship between worker rights and human rights.” The headline of Serwer’s piece was: A Labor Secretary Pick Progressives Will Love—and Republicans Will Hate.

    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley hated him more for the work he’d done at the Justice Department.

    But Perez has made political enemies, too. Chief among them is Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate judiciary committee, who has been harshly critical of the civil rights division’s aggressive approach. The politicization of the civil rights division in the Bush era has been well documented, but Grassley accused Perez and the current division of similar behavior. Grassley signed a 2010 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) accusing the division of “widespread politicization and possible corruption” related to the discredited allegations regarding the New Black Panther Party. In 2011, Grassley complained that too many new hires at the civil rights division had previously worked for “liberal advocacy groups,” by which he meant civil rights organizations.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Return of the Alpha Males
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    February 27, 2017 10:37 AM

    During his speech at CPAC, Donald Trump said something we got used to hearing from him during the campaign.

    We inherited a foreign policy marked by one disaster after another. We don’t win anymore. When was the last time we won? Did we win a war? Did we win anything? Do we win anything? We’re going to win. We’re going on win big, folks. We’re going to start winning again, believe me. We’re gonna win.

    That is a good description of Trump’s entire world view. Everything is about a competition to decide who wins and who loses. It’s why almost four months after the election, he is still consumed by talk about how he won.

    But the statement above is about “winning” when it comes to foreign policy. That is why Susan Glasser points to the fact that White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka refers to the “return of the alpha male” as the crux of Trump’s foreign policy.

    “Our foreign policy has been a disaster,” Gorka told Fox’s Sean Hannity before the inauguration…”The message I have—it’s a very simple one. It’s a bumper sticker, Sean: The era of the Pajama Boy is over January 20th and the alpha males are back.”…

    Trump’s foreign policy, Gorka says, will be a macho foreign policy, when tough guys will once again rule the world and wimpy Democrats (and maybe democrats?) are left on the sidelines.

  12. rikyrah says:

    This will be a moment people will talk about tomorrow.

    — Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) February 27, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    ‘Heil Trump!’: Brawl erupts inside the Minneapolis Institute of Art as protesters confront neo-Nazis

    — Michael F Ozaki MD (@brontyman) February 27, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    This Twitter feed is the truth.

    Latino learns that respectability won’t save him.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Questions surrounding Trump’s Yemen raid linger
    02/27/17 12:43 PM—UPDATED 02/27/17 01:07 PM
    By Steve Benen


    Owens’ father, Bill, told the Miami Herald that he still has questions about what happened and hopes an inquiry will produce answers.

    Trump administration officials have called the mission a success, saying they had seized important intelligence information. They have also criticized detractors of the raid, saying those who question its success dishonor Ryan Owens’ memory. His father, however, believes just the opposite.

    “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” said the elder Owens, pointing to Trump’s sharp words directed at the mission’s critics, including Sen. John McCain.

    “I want an investigation…. The government owes my son an investigation,” he said.

    Bill Owens, himself a veteran, was on hand when his son’s remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base. Told before the plane landed that the president was en route, he told the chaplain, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to see him.” He went on to tell the Miami Herald, “I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Trump: ‘Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated’
    02/27/17 12:02 PM—UPDATED 02/27/17 12:45 PM
    By Steve Benen
    As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump seemed to think health care policy was easy. In remarks this morning at a White House event for governors, the Republican president indicated a different perspective.

    “We’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, and get states the flexibility that they need to make the end result really, really good for them. Very complicated issue…. I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

    Everyone knew that health care policy could be complicated. Everyone. It was complicated when Democrats spent months shaping the Affordable Care Act. It was complicated when Republicans spent seven years working behind closed doors on their alternative to the ACA. It was complicated for generations as policymakers in both parties launched various efforts to extend health security to Americans for the better part of a century.

    To be surprised by its complexity is to be alarmingly ignorant of the debate that’s been ongoing for decades. It appears the only person in America who assumed health-care policy is simple is the one Americans elected president.

    But that’s not all Trump said this morning. The Republican, apparently aware that polls show the ACA’s support reaching an all-time high, added, “People hate [Obamacare] but now they see that the end is coming and they say, ‘Oh maybe we love it.’ There’s nothing to love.”

    I listened to this comment a few times, and I’m still not entirely sure it means. Americans love the policy they hate? There’s nothing to love about your family having health insurance?

    Trump went on to say that he intends to tackle health care before tax cuts – GOP leaders have apparently convinced the president of this, though it’s not entirely true – despite the fact that he “wishes” he could reverse the priorities.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Media Alert:

    Africa’s Great Civilizations begins tonight on PBS. Check your station.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republican health care plan leaks, becomes subject of controversy
    02/27/17 10:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    One of the most important angles to the long-awaited Republican health-care plan is the context: Americans have been promised that the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act would meet a series of key benchmarks.

    As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised, “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” After the election, the Republican president vowed, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody…. Everybody’s going to be taken care of.”

    And it’s against this backdrop that Politico, among others, reported on Friday on the GOP plan that makes no meaningful effort to keep any of Team Trump’s promises.


    It’s worth emphasizing that this refers to an actual bill. Before members took a break last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sent Republican lawmakers home with a series of talking points related to health care policy, including the vague outline of a GOP blueprint, but the draft that emerged late last week is actual legislative text, not a public-relations document.

    And as is obvious reviewing the bill, it’s a doozy. By replacing the ACA with this Republican approach, the wealthy would get a massive tax break, while assistance to working families would be reduced and Medicaid expansion would face a big cut. To pay for their policy, GOP leaders intend to begin taxing employer-provided insurance – a policy that would cause massive disruptions and which many Republicans have already dismissed as a non-starter.

  19. Liza says:

    Oscars: Best Actress Winner Emma Stone Wears Planned Parenthood Pin
    HEADLINES FEB 27, 2017
    Throughout the awards ceremony, many of the attendees also wore blue ribbons to show their support for the ACLU. The awards ceremony also included other political moments. Emma Stone, who won best actress for her role in “La La Land,” wore a Planned Parenthood pin.

    Oscars: Mexican Actor Gael García Bernal Denounces Trump Border Wall
    HEADLINES FEB 27, 2017
    Mexican actor Gael García Bernal denounced Trump’s border wall, while announcing the Oscar for best animated feature film. “White Helmets” won the Oscar for best documentary short subject. In their acceptance speech, the directors read a statement from Raed Saleh, the head of the organization, calling on people “to work on the side of life, to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world.”

    Best Foreign Film Winner Asghar Farhadi Boycotts Oscars over Muslim Ban
    HEADLINES FEB 27, 2017
    Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari accepted the Oscar for best foreign film on behalf of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who boycotted the awards ceremony over Trump’s Muslim travel ban. This is Ansari reading Farhadi’s statement.

    Anousheh Ansari: “I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”

    Ahead of the awards ceremony, the directors of the Oscar-nominated foreign-language films issued a statement reading: “On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Kevonstage saying a prayer for Nikki Minaj.

  21. rikyrah says:

    White House seeks intelligence that tells Trump what he wants to hear
    02/27/17 08:30 AM—UPDATED 02/27/17 08:37 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump hasn’t given up on his Muslim ban, but after failing in the courts, the president realizes his proposal needs some work. Hoping to craft a policy that can pass legal muster, the White House has moved forward in recent weeks with a plan that involves defending the legality of the administration’s policy by pointing to security risks that, in Trump’s mind, makes his proposal necessary.

    With that in mind, a senior White House official told CNN late last week that intelligence officials at the Department of Homeland Security “are working on an intelligence report that will demonstrate that the security threat for these seven countries is substantial and that these seven countries have all been exporters of terrorism into the United States.”

    As Rachel noted on Friday’s show, the key phrase in the quote is “will demonstrate.” The White House hadn’t seen the incomplete intelligence reports, but Team Trump was nevertheless comfortable describing the findings and boasting about how they would support the president’s preconceived conclusions. As the Bush/Cheney administration’s handling of pre-invasion Iraq intelligence helped prove, this is exactly the opposite of how the process is supposed to work.

    But a funny thing happened to derail Team Trump’s plan: intelligence professionals decided to tell the White House the truth, instead of what the president wanted to hear.

    Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.

    A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.

  22. rikyrah says:

    White House makes matters worse by trying to suppress Russia scandal
    02/27/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Top White House officials have been so alarmed by the Russia scandal that they reached out to the FBI – during the FBI’s ongoing investigation – to encourage federal law enforcement to quietly tell the media to ignore the controversy. The outreach is itself problematic – the phrase, “obstruction of justice” keeps coming to mind – but FBI officials ignored the West Wing’s pleas.

    As it turns out, however, the FBI wasn’t the office the White House contacted. As Rachel noted on Friday’s show, the Washington Post published an important scoop: after the FBI said it wouldn’t talk to the media on the White House’s behalf, Donald Trump’s team found others who were more amenable.

    The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.

    Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.

    Of particular interest, the White House’s public-relations campaign included Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), both of whom confirmed that they spoke to journalists about the Russia scandal at the White House’s request.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Trump Administration Still Has No Idea What It’s Doing
    by David Atkins
    February 26, 2017 8:00 AM

    We are now over a month into Trump Administration–over 1/3 of the way into the first 100 days honeymoon that new presidents usually receive. And the Trump team still has no idea what it is doing.

    At CPAC Trump made many pronouncements about the things he was going to do: passing tax reform, repealing Obamacare, building the wall (“ahead of schedule” as he put it) and much more besides. But despite years of obstruction against the Obama Administration with promises enact tax reform and repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act if only Republicans were put in charge, it’s not clear Republicans have any concrete plans for how to achieve these things.

    Consider tax reform. Republicans still can’t even decide on how to enact the simplest of tax cuts, mostly because voters are paying close attention to whether the tax cuts will actually help the middle class or just the rich. The bloom is off of the trickle-down rose, but Republicans have no actual intention of making the tax code more progressive even with simple middle-class cuts. They want to satisfy their wealthy donor base, but they’re gun-shy about making it too obvious. And that’s just the tax cuts. Tax reform itself is a much heavier lift, and there’s still no sign that the Republican caucus is coming to a consensus about the details of that reform, nor does it seem likely that policies will be emanating from the White House. The entire project is in limbo.

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Trump White House Tears Itself Apart Over Internal Leaks
    by David Atkins
    February 26, 2017 8:37 PM

    This is hilarious: Sean Spicer’s attempt to target his own staff over leaks to the press has itself been, well, leaked to the press..

    The Trump White House has been persistently attacking press leaks since well before the inauguration. And it’s true: the leaks have been pouring out fast and furious. Trump has gone to war with the FBI itself on Twitter, as the Administration blames various parts of the deep state for embarrassing him publicly, especially over matters relating to Russia. At CPAC Trump took issue with the very idea of anonymous sources, even as the the Trump White House itself insisted on going on background to the press that very morning.

    But what many reporters have been at pains to note is that while some leaks are coming from civil servants with no particular political loyalty to Trump, many of the leaks are coming from within the White House itself by staffers who have axes to grind against intramural rivals.

    Predictably, Team Trump has been trying to smoke out the leakers. Which is fine under normal circumstances when most people are on the same page but there are one or two holes that need plugging.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Nothing in Moderation: Anti-Trump Backlash Will Shrink the GOP
    by D.R. Tucker
    February 27, 2017 7:00 AM

    It’s hard to understand the thought process of Republicans, running in parts of the country that are not reliably red, who think they can put just enough distance between themselves and Donald Trump and still hope to survive. Granted, it’s hard to understand the thought process of Republicans generally, but the idea of presenting oneself to the public as a “non-Trump” Republican grows more curious with every passing day under this administration, something that GOPers such as Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who attended last night’s White House Governor’s Ball, have yet to realize:

    Republican governors in Democratic-leaning states are especially vulnerable if policies put forward by Trump and the GOP Congress are disruptive in the states.

    Baker, a moderate with high approval ratings in a state politically dominated by Democrats, has distanced himself from Trump since early in the presidential campaign. He said he left his presidential ballot blank.

    After the election, the Massachusetts governor promised to forge constructive ties between the state and the new administration. But he has not hesitated to criticize White House policies, including the travel ban aimed at seven majority-Muslim nations that sowed confusion in the U.S. and abroad. He publicly backed the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, when her office filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s action.

    During the women’s march after the presidential inauguration, Baker was just blocks away as protesters flooded Boston Common. Defending his absence, he said he was working on time-sensitive matters and said it was not an intentional snub.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
    With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network

    Just over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world’s press before him and told them they were liars. “The press, honestly, is out of control,” he said. “The public doesn’t believe you any more.” CNN was described as “very fake news… story after story is bad”. The BBC was “another beauty”.

    That night I did two things. First, I typed “Trump” in the search box of Twitter. My feed was reporting that he was crazy, a lunatic, a raving madman. But that wasn’t how it was playing out elsewhere. The results produced a stream of “Go Donald!!!!”, and “You show ’em!!!” There were star-spangled banner emojis and thumbs-up emojis and clips of Trump laying into the “FAKE news MSM liars!”

    Trump had spoken, and his audience had heard him. Then I did what I’ve been doing for two and a half months now. I Googled “mainstream media is…” And there it was. Google’s autocomplete suggestions: “mainstream media is… dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished”. Is it dead, I wonder? Has FAKE news won? Are we now the FAKE news? Is the mainstream media – we, us, I – dying?

    I click Google’s first suggested link. It leads to a website called and an article: “The Mainstream media are dead.” They’re dead, I learn, because they – we, I – “cannot be trusted”. How had it, an obscure site I’d never heard of, dominated Google’s search algorithm on the topic? In the “About us” tab, I learn CNSnews is owned by the Media Research Center, which a click later I learn is “America’s media watchdog”, an organisation that claims an “unwavering commitment to neutralising leftwing bias in the news, media and popular culture”.

    Another couple of clicks and I discover that it receives a large bulk of its funding – more than $10m in the past decade – from a single source, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. If you follow US politics you may recognise the name. Robert Mercer is the money behind Donald Trump. But then, I will come to learn, Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Mercer started backing Ted Cruz, but when he fell out of the presidential race he threw his money – $13.5m of it – behind the Trump campaign.

  27. rikyrah says:

    George W. Bush opens up on Trump’s war with the media, Russia and travel ban
    an hour agoEun Kyung Kim

    In his first in-depth interview since Donald Trump’s inauguration, former President George W. Bush gave his take on the current commander in chief’s first month in office, addressing Trump’s attack on the media, his controversial immigration policy, and the Russian hacking scandal.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Yemen raid cost taxpayers $100,000,000+ incl $75M for destroyed Osprey–not a peep out of Republicans…@RachelMann123 @jasoninthehouse— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) February 25, 2017

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Future of Obamacare May Depend on a Georgia Special Election
    by David Atkins
    February 27, 2017 8:00 AM

    It’s safe to say that Republicans are already very worried about the Affordable Care Act.

    The leaked Republican replacement plan was met with withering criticism, while Republican governors are recoiling at the real and political damage it might do to them and their states. Reports abound about GOP legislators getting cold feet on the issue. The biggest psychological damage, however, is coming from packed constituent town halls where ACA recipients are asking hard, angry questions about what will happen to their health insurance when Obamacare is dismantled. The town halls are so unnerving Republican legislators that many are coming up with lame excuses for why they refuse to meet their constituents.

    But for a politician there is no fear like that of electoral accountability. The first taste of a voter backlash against the party of Trump came in Delaware, where a usually tight state senate district went resoundingly for the Democrat by 18 points and featured remarkably high voter turnout.

    But Delaware was small potatoes compared to the test coming up in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. On April 18th, Georgians in the north Atlanta suburbs will be holding a special election to replace Tom Price, who was appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services. The district has traditionally been safely Republican, but it wasn’t so comfortable with Donald Trump–it only voting for Trump over Clinton by a single percentage point

  30. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s Radical Assault on Regulations Has Already Begun
    Three bills awaiting Senate approval would go a long way to achieving Steve Bannon’s dream of the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

    by Peter Shane
    February 27, 2017

    Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration appear to share a straightforward philosophy on regulatory reform: “regulation bad, deregulation good.” Presidential adviser Steve Bannon, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, said one of the administration’s three top priorities is the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

    Three radical bills already passed by the House of Representatives, and awaiting approval by the Senate, show how Bannon could get his wish. It is harder to put a human face on this agenda than on the Trump travel ban, but it is just as perverse. Many decades of executive-legislative collaboration have resulted in thousands of regulations that help to safeguard the environment, manage the economy, protect students, workers, and consumers against discrimination, and much more. No doubt some regulations can be usefully updated or even repealed, but modern life is unimaginable without the protections of government regulation.

    To perceive the radicalism of the new statutes, keep in mind that most federal regulations already run a demanding gauntlet of scrutiny. First, an agency can make a binding rule only if Congress has passed a statute directing or permitting it to do so. (For example, air-pollution regulations are authorized by the Clean Air Act.) When an agency wants to issue a new regulation, it must gather facts, consult with potentially affected parties, give the public an opportunity for input, assess costs and benefits (which are often reviewed in the Office of Management and Budget), and craft both a final rule and an explanatory statement—sometimes book-length—that accounts for all that went before. A year’s passage between initial proposal and final rule is not unusual and even fairly efficient. If a regulation is challenged in court, the process will stretch on much longer.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    The count:
    —Navy Secretary withdrawing
    —Army Secretary withdrew
    —1st Nat’l Security Advisor resigned
    2 possible replacements withdrew

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 26, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    A coal town that voted overwhelmingly for Trump is upset that a longtime Latino resident may get deported:

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 27, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    Charles Blow for the truth:

    Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy. The Trump phenomenon is devoid of compassion, and we must be closed to compromise.

    No one need try to convince me otherwise. The effort is futile; my conviction is absolute. This is a culture war in which truth is the weapon, righteousness the flag and passion the fuel.

  34. rikyrah says:

    From Kay at BJ:

    Kay says:
    February 27, 2017 at 7:57 am
    If I had to pick a group of white people who will be most harmed by Donald Trump is would be “near old” white working class. They have no assets. They often have debt. They had no health insurance prior to Obama. None. Some of them have never had health insurance in their lives.

    And they do manual labor so they are falling apart physically.

    Boy, I hope sticking it to the black guy was worth it. They signed their own goddamned death warrant. I don’t know- I try to be sympathetic but my grandmother used to say “you can’t cure stupid” and that is, in fact, true.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Charlotte Abotsi‏@CharlotteAbotsi


  36. rikyrah says:

    Teen VogueVerified account‏@TeenVogue

    A MAJOR moment from Ezra Edelman, dedicating his #Oscar to victims of police brutality and racially motivated assaults.

    Life fact: Ezra is the son of Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman

    • Liza says:

      I watched his entire documentary on OJ but I didn’t expect it to win. He did an excellent job and spent considerable time documenting the relationship between the LAPD and the black community. He also emphasized that OJ never identified with these people, yet that relationship factored heavily into the trial’s outcome.

      I just didn’t think a documentary about OJ could win no matter how well presented for the obvious reasons. I wonder if ESPN spent a fortune promoting it.

      • Ametia says:

        I watched the documentary and the HBO miniseries, The People vs OJ. It won a slew of Emmys too.

        I think the Simpson trial and all that led up to it, during it and after it are still relevant to what is happening in our justice system right now. And yes, RACE did play a huge part in this murder trial.

        The fact the OJ capitalized on being associated with black folks, when he didn’t even identify with them until the trial, shows just how conflicted, complicated, and contradictory he was in accepting his blackness

        Decades later, I also believe, to a large extent that the backlash with juries letting the murderous Geroge Zimmerman and Daryl Wilson go free, in the deaths of Trayvon, Martin and Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray, are related to Simpson’s not guilty verdict.

      • Liza says:

        Yeah, I think you’re right about juries. Every time this happens, someone out there always alludes to OJ getting away with murder. And this is in addition to the cops having such a slim to none chance of conviction to begin with.

        You see all the films, Ametia, so I’m curious as to your opinion about the OJ documentary winning over the other documentaries especially the one about James Baldwin.

      • Ametia says:

        I don’t know Liza.

        The doc was not kind to OJ, and it really gave us an intimate portrayal on Ron Goldman and Nicole. We are left to decide if he was guilty after laying out his societal, racial, and professional sports makeup.

        There is still a lot to be learned from that murder trial.

        Remember, the Rodney King fiasco was still fresh. It’s a sad commentary when folks have so much emotional rage and damage done to their humanity and community, that they would in all consciousness believe OJ murdered Ron & Nicole, but in their heart of hearts, when presented with planted evidence and eye witness accounts and personal experiences with police racially Profiling and beating black people….. I don’t condone murder.

        That being said, this ugly construct of Racism is deadly.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Rikyrah. Thanks for the Oscar thread.

      I threw the remote at the TV when they announced La L Land had won or bet pic and went to bed. So wonderful to hear this morning when I wake up that MOONLIGHT won, and rightfully so.

      • Liza says:

        Same. Now I’m sorry that I stopped watching the awards after La La Land was announced as best picture. I bet they triple check those envelopes in the future. Mistakes happen, to be sure, but this was about putting the right card into an envelope.

        La La Land won a lot of awards, so that takes the sting out of their losing best picture after thinking they won. But Moonlight kind of lost their BIG moment despite the reversal because everyone in the room was dumbfounded by the mistake.

        But they won, and that’s what counts.

      • Ametia says:

        La La Land won 7 of the 14 awards they were nominated for. I’ve seen this movie and for the life of me, I didn’t see 14 nominations, let alone best pic, NO WAY. It was heavily PROMOTED$$$

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