Tuesday Open Thread


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55 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Y’all deserve a treat tonight. I remember this one from the radio, so yeah, I’m old.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Less than 1/5 of Asian-American voters supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, according to new exit poll data https://t.co/1ILarOX2C7 pic.twitter.com/b83TKUvlfy

    — NPR (@NPR) April 18, 2017

  3. rikyrah says:

    Beyond Black and White, the Role Xenophobia Played in the Election
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 18, 2017 2:47 PM

    Yesterday Martin raised some important questions about the findings outlined by Thomas Wood in an article titled, “Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism.” On the same day, Philip Klinkner wrote, “Immigration was central to the election, and hostility toward immigrants animated Trump voters.”

    It is important to note that this kind of analysis has been triggered by the release of data from the American National Election Study (ANES). That was also the basis for an article by Mehdi Hasan that I referenced previously titled, “Top Democrats Are Wrong: Trump Supporters Were More Motivated by Racism Than Economic Issues.”

    Some of the questions that arise from the reviews of this data might have to do with the need to revisit what we mean by words like “racism.” We have traditionally used that to describe some of the attitudes White Americans have about Black Americans. The questions Wood relies on to identify racism are all based on that formulation. But does “racism” also apply to attitudes about Mexican Americans? How about immigrants more generally? The survey questions from ANES on which Klinkner relies are a completely different set of inquiries.

    The fact of the matter is that many Mexican Americans are not immigrants. They lived here long before European Americans came to these shores. And yet they have been subjected to much of the same kinds of racism directed towards African Americans. Is that because white people assume they are immigrants or because they are not white? Perhaps a combination of both.

    Of course, we can’t talk about the role that anti-immigration played in the election without discussing Islamophobia. Based on what I have seen and read, that was a huge factor in many rural communities, especially where evangelical churches and community groups hosted presentations by the fear-mongers. That brand of discrimination is primarily based on religious beliefs. But there are also a lot of stereotypes about Muslims being “brown” and Islamophobia is often linked to fears about immigration in general.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Andrew Sullivan’s Pathology

    The writer’s perpetuation of model-minority and black-deficiency myths is pretty boring at this point.

    By Jamelle Bouie

    Writing for New York magazine last week, Andrew Sullivan posed a question for those who see racism as the primary obstacle to equality and prosperity for nonwhite Americans: What about Asians?

    Riffing off of the recent incident on a United Airlines plane, where an elderly Asian American man was forcibly removed from his seat to make room for United employees, Sullivan presented a question about the strength of racism and white supremacy.

    Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the “social-justice” brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well — even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years … Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America.
    What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?


    Even as he avoids the words black or African American, that charge—that black deficiency (or even pathology) drives black disadvantage—is the core of Sullivan’s inquiry. And his argument, unstated but clear as the blue sky, is that black Americans have only themselves and their culture to blame for continued racial inequality. That this flies in the face of what we know about structural and institutional disadvantage—of ongoing discrimination in jobs and housing, of the long and enduring effects of past discrimination and bias, of racial disadvantage among well-educated, two-parent black families, of the half-hearted efforts to remedy those accumulated burdens—is, at most, a minor obstacle in Sullivan’s narrative. It also flies in the face of what we know about Asian American gains, which followed that aforementioned—often politically motivated—mid-century decline in anti-Asian racism. Even still, Asian Americans face continued discrimination; among the highly educated, for instance, Asian men earned significantly less than their white counterparts.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s daughter meets Chinese president, receives Chinese trademarks
    04/18/17 12:47 PM
    By Steve Benen

    During the presidential transition period, Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York, which wouldn’t have been especially notable were it not for Ivanka Trump’s participation in the discussion. The Republican’s daughter, at the time, said she intended to have no role in the Trump administration, so why was she there?

    We learned soon after that Ivanka Trump was working on a licensing deal in Japan, as part of a deal with a bank owned by the Japanese government, when she sat in on a meeting with Japan’s prime minister.

    This quickly became an obvious example of Team Trump’s conflict-of-interest troubles, which Trump himself showed little interest in addressing. Four months later, the Associated Press has highlighted a related story that’s just as jarring.

    On April 6, Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

    The scenario underscores how difficult it is for Trump, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House.

    Let’s not lose sight of the timeline here: we learned in late March that Ivanka Trump, after having said the opposite, has joined her father’s White House team. Though she won’t receive a paycheck, Trump’s daughter will have an office in the West Wing and will serve as an assistant to the president.

    It was a week later when White House Employee Ivanka Trump’s company won approval in China for several new trademarks, literally the same day she sat down for dinner with the Chinese president.

  6. Ametia says:

    Watch The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    ON HBO SATURDAY, APRIL 22 @ 8 pm ET/7 pm CT


    Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star in this adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name. Told through the eyes of Henrietta Lacks’ daughter, Deborah Lacks, the film chronicles her search, along with journalist Rebecca Skloot (Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

  7. rikyrah says:

    This is so beyond troubling into alarming. US foreign policy has been sold for hotels & handbags https://t.co/QbnFbl7nMj

    — David Frum (@davidfrum) April 18, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    Some Disturbing Questions About Trump’s Ties to China
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 18, 2017 10:42 AM

    I have already written about my skepticism that Donald Trump turned on a dime during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago last week and that the two of them have now developed a “warm rapport.” That is mainly based on the fact that the president is a congenital liar. But I’ve always felt that there was something fishy about his demonization of China during the campaign. Then came this little tidbit in the Steele dossier that seems to have been completely ignored:

    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.

    Since Trump’s election, we’ve seen several things happen that raise serious questions about who is pulling whose strings when it comes to this president’s relationship with China. They are worth taking a look at.

    First of all, there are the Trump trademarks that have been approved in China. Today we learn that it is not only the president who is benefiting. His daughter Ivanka got approval for three new trademarks the same day she participated in the dinner with President Xi at Mar-a-Lago.

    But it’s worth asking what China wants from Trump. That question might have been partially answered soon after the election with this:

    President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to goose infrastructure spending will offer strong investment opportunities, said Ding Xuedong, chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp. (CIC).

    “Trump calls for expansionary fiscal policy and more investments in U.S. infrastructure. The upgrades and the expansion mean massive investment,” Ding told CNBC in translated comments. “The U.S. government doesn’t have the money, private investors in the U.S. don’t have the money and this is where the foreign investors come in.”

    The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute has ranked CIC as the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund by assets under management, with around $813.8 billion.

    Ding, speaking on the sidelines of the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong this week, saw a natural fit between Chinese investors and Trump’s infrastructure plans, expressing little concern over the president-elect’s “America first” rhetoric.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Another key item on Trump’s wish list drifts further away
    04/18/17 10:24 AM
    By Steve Benen
    As Donald Trump’s 100-day benchmark quickly approaches, it’s hard not to notice the Republican president’s to-do list is lacking check marks. Trump’s Muslim ban has faltered in the courts; his health care legislation can’t overcome opposition from within his own party; his infrastructure plan doesn’t exist; and his dream of a border wall is little more than a mirage.

    What about tax reform, ostensibly at the top of Trump’s list of priorities? It’s drifting further away.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration’s timetable for tax reform is set to falter following setbacks in negotiations with Congress over healthcare, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

    Mnuchin told the Financial Times in an interview that the target to get tax reforms through Congress and on President Donald Trump’s desk before August was “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point.”


    Wait, it gets worse. Congressional Democrats have said they won’t consider any reform legislation unless they know how it would affect Trump’s finances, which means the president would have to release his tax returns in order to get Democratic buy-in on any proposal. Trump, however, remains committed to keeping the materials secret for reasons he hasn’t explained.

    At the Treasury Department, meanwhile, so many key offices are empty – Trump simply hasn’t nominated anyone for a variety of important posts – that the White House “does not appear to have the personnel in place to get an overhaul of the tax code out of the station.”

    • Liza says:

      Does the US really need to show it’s strength?

      And where is the public concern / fear / outrage over Trump’s foreign “policy”?

      • Liza says:

        They’re talking about nuclear war. They’re comparing the “heightened tensions’ with North Korea to the Cuban missile crisis. Did someone tell Trump about the Cuban missile crisis and how it helped JFK’s approval ratings?

    • Liza says:

      Well, “sorry” doesn’t help us now, does it?

      Some of these “larger than life” icons believe their own mythology, and that is a big part of the problem here.

  10. rikyrah says:

    I have said it for awhile…

    they long for the delusional days of Mad Men.

    they long for White Socialism


    My friend @Kris_Benny wrote this excellent analysis that “economic anxiety” actually stems from racism. Everyone should read it. pic.twitter.com/X63WWCTsrz

    — Sally Albright (@SallyAlbright) April 17, 2017

  11. Liza says:

    Oregon man dies thinking President Trump was impeached
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, April 17, 2017, 10:33 PM

    A man died peacefully in his Oregon home after his ex-wife lied to him that President Trump was impeached from office.

    Michael Garland Elliott, 75, passed away on April 6 and was surrounded by his caregivers, neighbors and friends who loved him dearly, his ex-wife, Teresa Elliott, told the Daily News Monday.

    Teresa, 68, who is described as Michael’s “best friend” in his obituary published in The Oregonian, said she told him Trump was impeached over the phone from her Austin, Tex. home.

    “I knew it was his very, very last moments,” Teresa Elliott told The News. “I knew that would bring him comfort and it did. He then took his final breath.”

    Michael died from congestive heart failure after his health had declined over the years, Teresa Elliott said.

    She described Michael as a “news junkie” who had expressed his disapproval of the President frequently until he couldn’t communicate it verbally.

    “He hated his effing guts,” she said of Michael’s attitude toward the President.
    Asked whether she regretted telling Michael of the false news, Teresa Elliott replied: “Oh God no.”

    “If I could leave him with a happy piece of news then why wouldn’t I?” she said. “And maybe in the end it won’t turn out to be a lie.”


  12. rikyrah says:

    The mills aren’t coming back, you whiners.


  13. rikyrah says:

    Judge orders Secretary of State Kobach to produce plan taken to Trump
    By Associated Press
    Published: April 17, 2017, 4:24 pm

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A federal judge has ordered Kansas’ top elections official to turn over a proposed changes to federal voting rights laws that he took to a meeting with President Donald Trump.

    After privately examining the documents, U.S. Magistrate James O’Hara ruled Monday that parts of documents from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are “unquestionably relevant” to a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring voters provide proof of their U.S. citizenship when registering.

    The order also instructs Kobach to produce a related internal document about proposed changes to the National Voter Registration Act. The ruling allowed him to redact parts of the plan that did not involve the voting rights issues.

    An Associated Press photo of that November meeting showed Kobach holding a paper outlining homeland security issues.

    • rikyrah says:


      ACLU seeks copy of proposed changes to US election law
      By Associated Press
      Published: January 24, 2017, 11:47 am Updated: January 24, 2017, 12:15 pm

      WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to force Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to turn over proposed changes to the nation’s voter registration law that the conservative Republican was photographed bringing to a meeting in November with Donald Trump.

      That draft document — which is partially obscured by Kobach’s left arm and hand in the photograph taken by The Associated Press — is being sought as part of the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging Kansas’ restrictive voter registration law. The ALCU filed its request for the proposed amendments late Monday.

      Kobach has championed Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship requirement as an anti-fraud measure that keeps noncitizens from voting, including immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Critics argue such requirements suppress voter turnout, particularly among young and minority voters, and that there have been few cases of fraud.

      The ACLU contends the photographed document is relevant to its lawsuit because lobbying by Kobach to change the central provisions of the National Voter Registration Act may show that there’s no problem with noncitizen registration in the state.

      The ACLU argued that the proposal could provide “key evidence” that Kobach cannot rebut the presumption that existing federal law that requires people registering to vote to attest under penalty of law that they’re citizens is enough. Kansas requires people to provide documents, such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

      Kobach’s attorney argued in a Jan. 20 email to the ACLU that the document is subject to “executive privilege” because “it was created and is maintained in Kobach’s capacity as a Trump advisor.”

      “Additionally, to the extent you are now asking about the document seen in that photo, it is clear that the request is designed to harass, as opposed to actually obtain documents relevant to a claim or defense in this case,” wrote Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Garrett Roe.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Trump ignores oppression in congratulatory call to Erdogan
    Joy-Ann Reid reports on the questions about the legitimacy of a Turkish referendum election and the authoritarian power grab seen in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s win, none of which stood in the way of Donald Trump making a congratulatory phone call.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Real Trump anti-immigrant plan seen in arrests of innocents
    Joy-Ann Reid contrasts the Donald Trump White House explanations of its priorities for deportation with reports of arrests for deportation of mothers of American children with no criminal records.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Why is Trump celebrating Turkey’s democratic crisis?
    04/18/17 08:43 AM
    By Steve Benen
    During yesterday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about Turkey’s referendum, and allegations of election irregularities in a process that’s given Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. Spicer was circumspect.

    “My understanding is there’s an international commission that is reviewing this and issues a report in 10 to 12 days,” Spicer said. “And so we’ll wait and let them do their job.” Asked what Donald Trump would like to see Erdogan do, Spicer added, “I think we’d rather not get ahead of that report and start to make decisions without knowing. There were observers there, as there routinely are, and I’d rather wait and see.”

    A few hours later, Donald Trump decided not to wait and see.

    President Trump called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Monday to congratulate him on winning a much-disputed referendum that will cement his autocratic rule over the country and, in the view of many experts, erode Turkey’s democratic institutions.

    Those concerns were not mentioned in a brief readout of the phone call that the White House released Monday night…. The statement did not say whether Mr. Trump had raised independent reports of voting irregularities during the Turkish referendum or the government’s heavy-handed tactics in the weeks leading up to it, when the country was under a state of emergency.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Despite Benghazi focus, Trump looks past diplomatic security
    04/18/17 09:34 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump’s lax approach to filling key posts throughout his administration is becoming one of the president’s more glaring missteps. As of yesterday, of the 544 top positions requiring Senate confirmation, the White House hasn’t nominated anyone for 473 of those offices.

    As Politico reported, that includes the office responsible for diplomatic security abroad.

    President Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad – despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

    Congressional Democrats say it’s a striking omission that shows Trump’s campaign rhetoric was just that. And even some Republicans are urging Trump to move faster to fill this and other key State Department posts.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Alex Jones’ ‘performance artist’ claim leaves Trump in awkward spot
    04/17/17 12:40 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Alex Jones has earned a reputation for being a bellicose conspiracy theorist who routinely shares some deeply odd ideas with his broadcast audience. For most of the American mainstream, watching Jones push some of his most offensive theories – the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was a staged “false flag” event, for example – gives the impression that he may not be altogether stable.

    It’s against this backdrop that Jones finds himself in a legal fight with Kelly Jones, the host’s ex-wife who is seeking custody of their children. Not surprisingly, she and her attorney are pointing to Alex Jones’ InfoWars content as proof of his unsuitability as a parent.

    The Austin American Statesman reported over the weekend, however, that the host’s lawyer has a specific defense in mind to explain away his client’s over-the-top tirades.

    At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

    “He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    I like the phrase ” Swamp of Corruption”

    Sums them up perfectly.


    How Trump Is Filling the Swamp of Corruption
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 18, 2017 8:00 AM

    Throughout the campaign, one of Trump’s biggest applause lines came from his promise to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington. As we near his 100th day in office, much will be made of the fact that on January 28th he signed an executive order on ethics that will be touted as proof that he kept that promise. But the Washington Post has labelled it a promise broken.

    Trump actually weakened some of the language from similar bans under Obama and George W. Bush, and reduced the level of transparency. Given that this action in many ways is a step backward, we will label this as a promise broken.

    For a while now I’ve been saying, “Who needs lobbyists when Trump’s entire cabinet consists of foxes who have been hired to guard the henhouse?” Not only are they the richest cabinet in U.S. history, the New York Times reports that the swamp is being filled by corporate interests.

    President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck…

    This revolving door of lobbyists and government officials is not new in Washington. Both parties make a habit of it.

    But the Trump administration is more vulnerable to conflicts than the prior administration, particularly after the president eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years…

    The Trump administration’s overhaul of personnel lays the groundwork for sweeping policy changes. The president has vowed to unwind some of the Obama administration’s signature regulatory initiatives, from Wall Street rules to environmental regulations, and he has installed a class of former corporate influencers to lead the push…

    …in several cases, officials in the Trump administration now hold the exact jobs they targeted as lobbyists or lawyers in the past two years.

  20. rikyrah says:

    District Says 24 Credits and a D-minus Average Aren’t Good Enough
    Focusing on family buy-in, a Connecticut district shifts to mastery-based learning

    by Tara García Mathewson
    April 17, 2017 10:52 PM

    WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — When Kylie Jones brings home her report card, it doesn’t have any A’s, B’s or C’s. The Windsor Locks High School freshman belongs to the first cohort of students going through middle and high school under a new system. Traditional grades no longer exist, children get extra help based on their individual learning needs and classrooms run very differently.

    The small Connecticut town, just south of the Massachusetts border, is in its fifth year under a system that asks students to master specific skills in every subject. They can’t just do all their homework and ask for extra credit projects to obscure the fact that they didn’t truly learn something.

    Superintendent Susan Bell likes to say 24 credits and a D-minus average — what used to be the cutoff for graduation — is not enough.

    Kylie’s class is known as the guinea pigs. They will be the first to graduate with a mastery-based diploma. And, more important to many parents in town, the first to find out how this new system will affect their college applications.

    Some families have not stayed in the district long enough to find out. Indeed, five years into the shift, there is still organized opposition to it — even though 69 of the region’s colleges have said students with diplomas from mastery-based schools will not be discriminated against in their application processes. Some families have left for magnet schools and private alternatives. Some teachers have departed for more familiar work or taken advantage of offers for early retirement.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Trump White House struggles with questions about transparency
    04/18/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    During Barack Obama’s presidency, Donald Trump whined incessantly about transparency, calling the Democrat, among other things, “the least transparent president ever.” Trump asked in 2012, “Why does Obama believe he shouldn’t comply with record releases that his predecessors did of their own volition? Hiding something?”

    Soon after, the Republican added, “Obama thinks he can just laugh off the fact that he refuses to release his records to the American public. He can’t.”

    At the time, Trump’s preoccupation with transparency had a rather specific focus: Trump, championing a racist conspiracy theory, called for the disclosure of “records” such as Obama’s college transcripts.

    Now that Trump is himself the president, the Republican has adopted a dramatically different posture. The New York Times reported:

    White House officials on Monday mustered a sweeping defense of their less-is-more public disclosure practices, arguing that releasing information on a wide array of topics would strike a blow against personal privacy and impede President Trump’s ability to govern. […]

    Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, facing a barrage of questions about the president’s commitment to transparency, repeatedly shut down reporters’ queries – from the identity of Mr. Trump’s weekend golf partners to his refusal to release his 2016 tax returns. Mr. Spicer said that greater public disclosure was unnecessary, intrusive or even harmful.

    There are basically four elements to this: (1) Trump’s secret tax returns; (2) the White House’s now-secret visitor logs; (3) disclosure of Trump’s excessive golf outings; and (4) White House readouts of the president’s conversations with foreign leaders.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  23. Ametia says:

    Britain’s prime minister calls surprise elections for June 8 to seek support for Brexit moves
    “I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I have to make,” Prime Minister Theresa May said. The surprise announcement comes amid political strains over Britain’s planned exit from the European Union and moves by Scotland to possibly carve its own independent path to remain in the bloc.


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