Sunday, January 22, 2017

Don't mess with CNN


Don't mess with CNN. That's the unvarnished version of a message that the network's president, Jeff Zucker, delivered to President-elect Donald Trump in an interview published on Thursday by New York magazine. "One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus — and that’s CNN," Zucker said. "The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake."

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Women’s marches: More than one million protesters vow to resist President Trump


More than 1 million people gathered in Washington and in cities around the country and the world Saturday to mount a roaring rejoinder to the inauguration of President Trump. What started as a Facebook post by a Hawaii retiree became an unprecedented international rebuke of a new president that packed cities large and small — from London to Los Angeles, Paris to Park City, Utah, Miami to Melbourne, Australia. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said Saturday that as many as half a million people participated.

  

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White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds - Jan. 21, 2017

White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds - Jan. 21, 2017

He was referring to the delay in Senate confirmation for President Donald Trump's pick to lead the CIA, Congressman Mike Pompeo, but the comment came after a long digression about how many people had shown up to watch Trump be sworn in as president.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period," Spicer said, contradicting all available data.
Aerial photos have indicated that former president Barack Obama's first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show that Obama also had a bigger television audience.
Spicer said, without any evidence, that some photos were "intentionally framed" to downplay Trump's crowd.

  Robert's favorite comment at the linked source follows;

The statement is a deliberate falsehood:


Producers at the cable-news outlet, owned by Time Warner, this evening decided to see what was said at the press event, according to a person familiar with the network, then play relevant parts as deemed necessary. Despite a robust amount of evidence to the contrary, Spicer during the conference insisted that Trump’s inauguration Friday drew “the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” The statement is a deliberate falsehood: TV ratings data issued Saturday by Nielsen show that fewer people watched Trump’s swearing-in than President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. What’s more, photos of Friday’s crowds showed that a smaller number of people had come out to Washington, D.C.’s Mall to take part. Data from the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority also suggested fewer people were attending the inauguration than in years past.

  

Comment: It's called The Putin Press Technique. Don't facebook?  

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In one of his first official actions, President Trump signed an executive order late Friday that directed federal agencies to use their authority to relieve individual Americans, businesses, state governments and others from “burdens” placed on them by the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress billed the order as a first step in their push to repeal Obamacare.

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Mike Pence Disappointed In The 200,000 Husbands And Fathers Who Permitted Women To Attend March

Mike Pence Disappointed In The 200,000 Husbands And Fathers Who Permitted Women To Attend March

WASHINGTON—Admonishing those responsible for failing to uphold their moral duties, Vice President Mike Pence expressed disappointment Saturday in the 200,000 husbands and fathers who had allowed the women and girls in their charge to attend the Women’s March on Washington. “I can’t tell you how let down I feel by the heads of these households who did not simply give their wives and daughters a firm, decisive ‘no’ when they asked to participate in today’s demonstration,” said Pence, noting with frustration that many of the protesters had been granted permission to travel across the country alone and stay for several days in a faraway city with no male chaperone whatsoever to guide and look after them.

  

Texas constituents to Republican representative: 'Where are the plans?'


He doesn't agree that the Hyde Amendment is a thing. He's the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee—which handles all the money stuff in the House—and doesn't believe that the amendment attached to every spending bill related to health care since 1976 specifically to prevent federal funds from going to abortion services does that. So that's the baseline that we're dealing with here. Which explains why Brady can say with a straight face that Republicans can keep the stuff in Obamacare everyone likes and not make the whole thing collapse disastrously with 32 million more uninsured, and doubled premiums for those still insured in the next decade. He might actually believe that. Which means he's unqualified for his job. His constituents are discovering that more and more every day.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017


Medicare works. It’s far more efficient, cost effective, and affordable than private sector health insurance. Not surprisingly, it’s also a lot more popular. It should be extended to all of us. Instead, House Speaker Paul Ryan is working hard to destroy Medicare and force seniors and people with disabilities into the arms of private, for-profit health insurers. Ryan wants to end Medicare as we know it and, instead, simply give seniors and people with disabilities fixed cash stipends to fend for themselves, unprotected, on the private market. Ironically, Ryan is proposing to convert Medicare into the very system he is rushing to repeal — the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) — but without its protections, such as the requirement that private insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions.

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Trump, Russia, and the News Story That Wasn’t - The New York Times

Trump, Russia, and the News Story That Wasn’t - The New York Times

A wave of readers over the past week have challenged The Times’s decision to sit on its reporting about the dossier. Among them was Michael Russo of Brooklyn, who had this to say: I can appreciate that journalistic diligence requires your paper to describe these memos as “unsubstantiated.” But the “unsubstantiated” allegations described in this article have been circulating for months. While your editors made a value judgment about the veracity of these claims, American intelligence agencies apparently took the memos seriously enough to open their own investigations. How is this not newsworthy in its own right?

  

Real Time with Bill Maher: Over Time - New Rule | January 20, 2017


Because the need for answers exists

It's what's rated false on Snopes



In fairness, there's a bit more detail on the domestic discretionary side. Actually, a mountain of detail: over the course of 140 pages, Heritage recommends cuts to over a hundred programs. These include catfish programs, the Ex-Im bank, climate programs, Amtrak, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc. etc. Cutting all this stuff might be harder than they expect, since some senator somewhere probably thinks very highly of the USDA Catfish Inspection Program, but I guess they can try. In any case, about 80 percent of the savings come from a small number of programs: Energy subsidies: $28 billion Land and Water Conservation Fund: $20 billion Various HHS/HUD jobs program: $10 billion Davis-Bacon: $9 billion Federal Transit Administration: $4 billion Nine climate programs: $4 billion Military health care: $4 billion

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Smoke and mirrors


This leaves the newly installed president in a unique bind as he adjusts his Twitter presence to reflect his new job. A sweet shot of the adoring masses euphorically cheering his inaugural address would make for a killer banner photo, but what do you do when those crowds don't exist? The answer, it turns out, is "use a photo from President Obama's inauguration instead."

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Protesters in San Francisco formed a blockade across train tracks, leading to eight arrests, and chained themselves to the downtown offices of Uber and Wells Fargo. In the central business district of Portland, Ore., banks, clothing retailers and a jewelry store boarded up windows and covered walls to limit vandalism. Chants in English and Spanish broke out in front of the Capitol in Phoenix. “This is one of the darkest days in the history of our country,” said Adelle Wallace, 75, during a rain-soaked march in Los Angeles.

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Trump White House takes down website pages about disabilities - The Washington Post

Trump White House takes down website pages about disabilities - The Washington Post

Trump did not talk about expanding opportunity for people with disabilities during the primary and general election campaigns, but he did become known for mocking a New York Times reporter with disabilities. In late 2015, Trump went after reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a physical disability that affects the flexibility and movement of his arms. Trump said at a rally in South Carolina, “You’ve got to see this guy,” and then jerked his arms spastically. Later Trump said he did not know Kovaleski had a disability and wasn’t trying to mock him. Kovaleski noted that Trump had met him repeatedly.

  

A most dreadful inaugural address - The Washington Post

A most dreadful inaugural address - The Washington Post

Twenty minutes into his presidency, Donald Trump, who is always claiming to have made, or to be about to make, astonishing history, had done so. Living down to expectations, he had delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, had promised that the speech would be “elegant.” This is not the adjective that came to mind as he described “American carnage.” That was a phrase the likes of which has never hitherto been spoken at an inauguration.

  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Deep do do


“If you asked [Perry] on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Perry’s 2016 campaign and worked on Trump’s transition team, told the New York Times. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.” Error loading media: File could not be played On Thursday, Perry will begin the confirmation process for energy secretary. If approved, he’ll be taking over for former MIT physics chairman, Ernest J. Moniz. The Times notes: For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.

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Trump fueled his campaign with the sense of dispossession and anxiety found among millions of voters—most of them white – many of whom voted for him because they thought he would carry their resentments and fury to the nation’s capital, and make our political economic system work for them instead of the privileged few. Some say Trump rose on racism. But racism has been with us since the founding of the nation. Trump rose on downward mobility and economic fears, which allowed him to exploit racism and as well as fears of foreigners and Mexican immigrants, Islamophobia, and the rest of his hateful arsenal. Trump is the ultimate price our political establishment pays for doing almost nothing to improve the plight of the bottom 60 percent of Americans for over thirty years. As David Remnick has written, the most hopeful way to look at this grievous event is that it and its consequences in coming years “will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.”

  

It's Inauguration Day!


Would you choose Donald Trump to shepherd your parish?


In his words and actions, Trump has shown himself to be outside the bounds of all mainstream norms of Christian faith and practice. His often-expressed xenophobia and misogyny, not to mention his mocking of the disabled and admission of abusive behavior, place him well outside the values of compassion and respect for human dignity that mark historic Christianity at its best. It is simply inappropriate to use a precious institution such as Washington National Cathedral to suggest that the church bestows its blessing on a leader so obviously beyond the pale of Christian thought. The cathedral’s dilemma exemplifies this watershed moment in the Christian church’s role in American public life. The community that claims to follow Jesus must choose between its role as what our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls “the Jesus Movement” and its long-standing practice as the validator of the status quo. With Trump’s election we cannot, with any integrity, be both. If the church is going to be faithful to Jesus, we must (as he did) stand as a force of resistance to unjust and oppressive civil authority. We cannot use the words, symbols and images of our faith to provide a religious gloss to an autocrat.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Limit Press Access:  Who or what?


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President-elect Donald Trump essentially just announced that he will be banning certain press agencies from the White House press corps. In an interview on FOX and Friends today, he said that he won’t be moving the press room to a larger room, meaning that some people will “not be able to get in.” “The press went crazy, so I said, ‘Let’s not move it.’ But some people in the press will not be able to get in. We have so many people that want to go in, so we’ll have to just have to pick the people to go into the room. I’m sure other people will be thrilled about that.”

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DeVos Says States Shouldn’t Have to Comply With Federal Law Protecting Disabled Students

DeVos Says States Shouldn’t Have to Comply With Federal Law Protecting Disabled Students

The hits keep on coming at secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing Tuesday. The Trump pick to lead America’s classrooms appeared to get tripped up when answering a question from Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine about whether all schools receiving federal funding should be required to comply with the requirements of the 1990 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

“I think that is a matter that is best left to the states,” DeVos replied.

  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight | The Huffington Post

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight | The Huffington Post

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact. This assessment has already been the subject of articles in news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, but has not yet received substantial investigation by major media.

  

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert How Donald Trump Spent His MLK Weekend

If Trump isn't Putin's puppet, why does he act like he is? | MSNBC

If Trump isn't Putin's puppet, why does he act like he is? | MSNBC

Yesterday, for example, Trump sat down with two European newspapers for an interview in which he dismissed NATO as “obsolete”; criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for assisting Syrian refugees (whom Trump referred to as “illegals”); said the United States “should be ready to trust” Russian President Vladimir Putin; and endorsed the further unraveling of the European Union.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but if the Kremlin had literally written a script and handed it to Trump to read during the interview, it would’ve sounded exactly like this.

  Robert's favorite comment by Dalloway at the linked source follows;

With flattery, money and blackmail, Vladimir Putin bought himself an American president -- but he couldn't have done it without a corrupt and amoral Republican party willing to sell their birthright (democracy) for a mess of porridge (money and power). I'm not a believer, but sometimes the Bible does get it right.