Monday Open Thread | AFRICA!

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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50 Responses to Monday Open Thread | AFRICA!

  1. eliihass says:

    “…(Reuters) – The image of the United States has deteriorated sharply across the globe under Donald Trump and an overwhelming majority of people in other countries have no confidence in his ability to lead, a survey from the Pew Research Center showed.

    Five months into Trump’s presidency*, the survey spanning 37 nations showed U.S. favorability ratings in the rest of the world slumping to 49 percent from 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.

    But the falls were far steeper in some of America’s closest allies, including U.S. neighbors Mexico and Canada, and European partners like Germany and Spain.

    Just 30 percent of Mexicans now say they have a favorable view of the United States, down from 66 percent at the end of the Obama era. In Canada and Germany, favorability ratings slid by 22 points, to 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

    In many European countries, the ratings were comparable to those seen at the end of the presidency of George W. Bush, whose 2003 invasion of Iraq was deeply unpopular.

    “The drop in favorability ratings for the United States is widespread,” the Pew report said. “The share of the public with a positive view of the U.S. has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa”.

    The survey, based on the responses of 40,447 people and conducted between Feb. 16 and May 8 this year, showed even deeper mistrust of Trump himself, with only 22 percent of those surveyed saying they had confidence he would do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 64 percent who trusted Obama.

    Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, with confidence ratings of 27 percent and 28 percent respectively, scored higher than Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with a confidence rating of 42 percent, scored highest among the four leaders in the survey.

    The countries with the lowest confidence in Trump were Mexico, at 5 percent and Spain at 7 percent. The only two countries where ratings improved compared to Obama were Russia, where confidence in the U.S. president surged to 53 percent from 11 percent, and Israel, where it rose 7 points to 56 percent.

    Globally, 75 percent of respondents described Trump as “arrogant”, 65 percent as “intolerant” and 62 percent as “dangerous”. A majority of 55 percent also described him as a “strong leader”…”


    The asterisks is mine… And the numbers are not nearly as low as they really ought to be…And ‘strong’ is rather subjective…

    • Ametia says:


    • eliihass says:

      Growing up, you can’t imagine how many favorite pretty swimming caps were destroyed or never used because all that mass of hair could never fit…And the discomfort from the too snug fits or the water seeping through when you opted for xl size caps to contain all your hair..

      Isn’t it funny how it took so long to figure that a cap designed entirely with a particular type and texture of hair in mind, wouldn’t and didn’t fit or cover a huge swath of other heads of hair types..

      Isn’t it strange that it took even longer for someone to finally come up with an alternative that’ll work for everything from wild untamed curls, to long dreadlocks and braids..


      Now, that they have the basic function down, next step is to work on the aesthetics – especially for the kids…who doesn’t remember their swimming caps with the pretty pastel floral buntings …yellows, blushes, baby blues..

  2. Liza says:

    NEW REPORT: Insurers & drugmakers funneled millions to California Dems in lead to them blocking single-payer bill— David Sirota (@davidsirota) June 26, 2017


    • eliihass says:

      There’s no denying that some Democrats have sometimes disgracefully kowtowed to wealthy donors and special interests at the expense of initiating and implementing important, common sense policy..

      But beware dubious, faux-righteous “progressives” and sh*t-stirring purveyors of faux-concern like David Sirota…who like clockwork, always find it opportune to help take the heat off despicable republicans …by dubiously dropping dodgy nuggets that attempt to potentially discredit Democrats, weaken their hand…and only to kneecap and distract…even as republicans go full speed ahead, decimating hard-won protections ..

  3. rikyrah says:

    Donors to GOP: No cash until action on health care, taxes

    Associated Press
    June 26, 2017

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — At least one influential donor has informed congressional Republicans that the “Dallas piggy bank” is closed until he sees major action on health care and taxes.

    Texas-based donor Doug Deason has already refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his checkbook is closed as well.

    “Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” Deason said in a pointed message to GOP leaders. “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

    Indeed, there was a sense of frustration and urgency inside the private receptions and closed-door briefings at the Koch brothers’ donor retreat this weekend in Colorado Springs, where the billionaire conservatives and their chief lieutenants warned of a rapidly shrinking window to push their agenda through Congress and get legislation to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

  4. rikyrah says:

    From Nancy LeTourneau

    The final defense strategy that we’re watching unfold against possible findings from the special prosecutor is perhaps the most bizarre. As Julie Alderman chronicled, we are increasingly seeing right wingers in the media suggest that even if Trump colluded with Russia, it’s not a crime. We’ve heard this idea floated by Fox’s Gregg Jarrett, Geraldo Rivera, Sean Hannity and now Brit Hume, who said this while questioning panelists on Sunday about whether Mueller is running a counter-intelligence or criminal investigation.


    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet. So I’ll simply refer you to Politifact, where they documented what legal experts identified as the four criminal laws that might have been broken if the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians. For those who might put more stock in the word of an ideologue than legal experts, there is the fact that when asked directly whether or not collusion with Russia or any other government would be improper or illegal, Attorney General Sessions replied, “Absolutely.”

    Those are the three defense strategies we’re seeing from Trump and his friends: (1) lie, distract and blame, (2) attack the messenger, and (3) claim that collusion with Russia is no crime. I’d suggest that they are not only weak tea, but that they tend to be more suggestive of guilt than innocence.

    • eliihass says:

      “…we are increasingly seeing right wingers in the media suggest that even if Trump colluded with Russia, it’s not a crime…”

      If only it were just the right wingers…

      There’s a whole slew of agenda-driven sycophants and opportunists, like Zionist Alan Dershowitz who are on every show poo-poohing any and everything, eagerly providing cover and talking points and dubious justification for treason…and chewing up and feeding the buffoon buzzwords and phrases that he in turn, gleefully repeats to alternately cry ‘witch-hunt’ or insist there’s nothing to see..

  5. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Defenses Suggest Guilt, Not Innocence
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 26, 2017 2:13 PM

    Donald Trump and his friends in the right-wing media are employing several tactics that are designed to defend him against possible findings coming from the investigation underway by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on whether or not his campaign coordinated with the Russians in an attempt to influence the election as well as whether or not the president obstructed justice in trying to shut down and/or influence the investigation.

    The least surprising tactic for regular readers here will be that recently Trump has employed his typical pattern of lie, distract and blame. I’m going to repost all of his tweets on this topic because they are suggestive of how obsessed Trump is with this claim.


    This is all based on a report in the Washington Post about how the Obama administration responded to the intelligence that was developing about Russia’s attempt to influence the election. It is significant to note that, as recently as last week, Trump was still calling the whole thing a “big Dem hoax.” In this series of tweets Trump assumes that the basics of what the Russians attempted to do is true and then blames Obama for not doing anything about it. It is just another example of how this president will say anything that suits his purpose in the moment—completely disjointed from any factual basis.


    That pretty much nails down everything I wrote about the Washington Post story last week. The idea that the Obama administration did nothing is a lie, plain and simple. For those that think they should have done more, they’ll need to document exactly what that would have been and how it would have changed the dynamics at the time.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Neo-Cons Are Pushing Trump Toward Regime Change in Iran
    by Martin Longman
    June 26, 2017 1:04 PM

    I’m troubled when I see elected officials who have real influence with the administration on foreign policy who recommend flatly insane policies. For example:

    “The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who speaks regularly with White House officials about foreign policy. “I don’t see how anyone can say America can be safe as long as you have in power a theocratic despotism,” he added.

    It’s hard to define what might be an acceptable level of safety. The Iranian government certainly takes an adversarial posture toward the United States. They have been responsible for ordering acts of terrorism against our people serving abroad and against our allies. The worst examples I can think of are in the 1980s and 1990s, but they’ve certainly been working hard to build up the military power of Hizbollah and lending support to Hamas, both of which of have used terrorism in their struggle against Israel. They’ve also been locked in a kind of subterranean escalating war of tit-for-tat against Saudi Arabia which has taken on the flavor of a regional sectarian war across the region, from the Emirates and Yemen to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and even the heavily Shiite portions of Saudi Arabia itself. During our occupation of Iraq, Iran lent a big hand in the resistance which resulted in the death of many American soldiers, particularly at the hands of roadside bombs.

    There is also, of course, the nuclear issue. The Obama administration worked diligently with the international community, including Russia, to put in place a program that can prevent Iran from rapidly and secretly obtaining nuclear weapons. It’s important that this program work not just because Iran is an adversary that engages in asymmetric warfare. It’s important on general principle as a demonstration that the international community can function in its anti-proliferation role. It’s also key for preventing other countries in the region from seeking their own nuclear weapons programs. We can debate how rational the Iranian regime really is, and whether or not they hold worrisome religious beliefs that might make them more prone than most to act irresponsibly with a nuclear arsenal. The safer course is not to get distracted by such side-arguments and instead just hold to a policy based on anti-proliferation and avoidance of a regional nuclear arms race.

  7. WTFF? Bullshit coming from the Supreme Court. There goes democracy, mofos!

    • Ametia says:


      • eliihass says:

        I think God allowed this crazy season just so we can see exactly what many of these folks really are…

        What folks are really made of….who’s who…and what is what…

        And when push comes to shove, who comes though…and who weasels out…

        In the end, we find that there are few patriots left, and even fewer honorable folk..

        Everyone wants to hold on to their titles, perks and cushy life …at any cost…And those who don’t have the titles and associated perks yet, are auditioning hard and doing their darnedest to be noticed and considered…And all at the expense of our country, our democracy and protections for the most vulnerable and the least among us..

  8. Can someone explain this mess with the Supreme Court today?

  9. rikyrah says:

    Trump Is Obsessed With the Russia Investigation
    by Martin Longman
    June 23, 2017 11:50 AM

    Think about this for a minute:

    Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told House investigators Thursday that President Trump seemed obsessed with the Russia probe and repeatedly asked him to say publicly there was no evidence of collusion, a U.S. official familiar with the conversation told NBC News…

    …Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the NSA, has also told associates that Trump asked him to say publicly there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian election interference effort…

    …A former senior intelligence official familiar with their accounts said both Coats and Rogers [in their refusal to comply with Trump’s requests] were trying to balance their service to the country and to the president with their desire not to be seen as in an way interfering in an ongoing FBI investigation.

    Coats and Rogers were covering their own asses when they declined to fulfill the president’s wishes and clear him of any possible collusion with the Russians, but in doing so they also prevented Trump from committing one more count of “interfering in an ongoing FBI investigation.”

    The mere fact that Trump asked them to do it is a possible obstruction of justice, but if they had actually done it there would be little doubt.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The GOP Can’t Compromise, So What Happens Next?
    by Martin Longman
    June 23, 2017 2:45 PM


    Per usual, the conservative members of the GOP are frustrating the reality-based members by their insistence on using magical thinking.

    Republicans are divided over whether to work with Democrats on spending measures for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins in October.

    Conservatives say Republicans should go their own way and pass a budget and spending bills that make deeper cuts to spending and reflect GOP values.

    Centrist members say that strategy is unrealistic and will increase the chances of a shutdown or, worse, a continuing resolution that would simply maintain existing funding levels. The only way to avoid that outcome, they say, is to work with Democrats.

    “If we don’t have a bipartisan budget agreement, there’s a very good chance we’ll end up with a continuing resolution,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a House moderate.

    The debt ceiling vote won’t have the filibuster problem because the Democrats wouldn’t prevent a vote on avoiding a default of the United States’ debts. But it will be similar because the so many Republicans won’t vote for a clean debt ceiling bill that they’ll need Democrats in both houses of Congress in our order to pass it.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Uptick in Russian visa requests ahead of 2016 election: WaPo
    Ned Price, former NSC spokesman and senior director, shares with Rachel Maddow insights on the reporting by the Washington Post of an uptick in visa applications from Russia ahead of the 2016 electio

  12. rikyrah says:

    Russia 2016 cyberattacks seen as dry run for future elections
    Ellen Nakashima, national security reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about her reporting on Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. election and the Obama administration’s deliberations on retaliation.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Senate Judiciary questions Jared Kushner security clearance
    Rachel Maddow reports that the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has sent a letter to the FBI and the White House questioning Jared Kushner’s security clearance and Donald Trump’s role in his clearance process.

  14. rikyrah says:

    SCOTUS summarily orders Arkansas to permit names of same-sex couples on birth certificates. Three Justices dissent.
    — SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 26, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    Bank under investigation for possible Russian money laundering loaned Kushner $285 million just before Election Day
    — Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) June 26, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    DT: Russia please hack!
    Fox: Yay!
    DT: They didn’t hack!
    Fox: Nope!
    DT: They did, Obama’s fault!
    Fox: Yup!
    DT: I’m guilty!
    Fox: Not a crime!
    — Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) June 25, 2017

    Fox’s Brit Hume: Even if the Trump campaign did collude with Russia, “it’s not a crime”
    — Media Matters (@mmfa) June 25, 2017

    really odd recent trend of right-wing pundits saying Collusion Is Actually Fine 🤔🤔🤔
    — Brendan Karet 🚮 (@bad_takes) June 25, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump blames Obama for Russian attack he doesn’t believe happened
    06/26/17 08:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Washington Post published an extraordinary piece of reporting on Friday, documenting the Obama administration’s challenges responding to the Russian attack on the American election last year. Apparently, someone summarized the lengthy piece for Donald Trump, who responded to the reporting in a rather amazing way during one of his many Fox News interviews.

    “Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that. The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even – before the election…. It’s an amazing thing. To me – in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad.”

    The president also had a pair of tweets on the subject over the weekend, arguing the Obama administration knew about “election meddling by Russia,” but “did nothing about it.” Trump, who now apparently refers to himself in a first-person-and-first-letter way, added, “Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!”

    Even by 2017 standards, this is astonishingly foolish.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Shamelessly Lying About Healthcare Cuts. Because They Can.
    by David Atkins
    June 25, 2017 9:05 PM


    But there’s something particularly pernicious and jaw-dropping about the outright lies Republicans are telling about the Senate healthcare-tax-cut bill. For all its complexities, the bill is at its heart not terribly complicated: it slashes Medicaid by enormous margins over time, in order to pay for tax cuts for the top 5% of incomes. That’s what it does. It barely pretends to do much of anything else.

    Most Americans don’t know this yet. That’s not entirely surprising, of course: keeping the public in the dark about the realities of the bill is precisely why McConnell and crew kept the creation of the bill such a secret. But now the cat will be out of the bag for at least a week until the vote happens on the bill, right?


    So why wouldn’t conservative commentators simply start lying outright about even the most basic facts? Only a sense of shame and decency would prevent it. But this is the Trump Administration, McConnell Senate and Ryan House now. There is no shame or decency.

    Hence the sight of Kelly-Anne Conway flatly denying that the bill constitutes a Medicaid cut. She’s not alone: Republicans from Senator Toomey to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price went all over the Sunday shows denying that people would lose coverage and that Medicaid would be stripped of funding. These are all demonstrable falsehoods: preventing a safety net program from meeting inflation and population growth is a cut, and the bill as currently written wouldn’t just take away coverage, it would actually cause seniors to be removed from nursing homes.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone😐😐😐

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