Trump Press Conference Recap

Here’s a brief summary:

No, it was worse than that. The man is deranged. I keep trying to sum it up, but I can’t. Here’s Jake Tapper:

I just…wow. No way does this clown last four years. That’s the only positive thing I can say at this point.



This Is How Republicans Are Going To Get People Killed

This happened:

A hearing in El Paso County in Texas went from ordinary to “unprecedented” last week when half a dozen Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up at a courthouse where an undocumented woman was seeking a protective order against the boyfriend she accused of abusing her.

The woman, a citizen of Mexico who was living in El Paso had been driven to the courthouse by a victim’s advocate from the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse where she had been living.

She left under arrest.

This is a disgrace, and an incredibly dangerous one.

Most obviously: anyone w/out documents facing a threat from their partner, former or present, has just been told that the legal system, cops, anyone, are no longer available to them. They’re on their own. They’ve got a target on them, as their abusers now know that they can act without fear of official action.

Some of them will die. One third of the murders of women in the US are committed by an intimate partner.

Increasing the pressure to stay in an abusive relationship tees up more victims.  Making it harder — or impossible — to seek official help locks people in danger.

The chilling effect extends beyond the home.  If reporting a crime puts you in contact with officialdom; if agreeing to testify does so…and so on. You get the idea. The risks of trying to engage public safety resources have just shot up for immigrant and minority communities — from an already no-fun base.

ICE, Trump, and the Republican party:  accessories before the fact to harm, murder and misery.

Every day, down every avenue, these folks have got to named, shamed, and fought.

Image: Unknown artist, A Very Bad Man — on the trial of Ephraim K. Avery for the murder of Sarah Maria Cornell. 1833.



Open Thread: Move Fast, Break Stuff, Don’t Care…

If President-Asterisk Bannon Trump hadn’t been in such a hurry to get his bigly ‘He-Man Muslim-Haters’ Club’ proclamation out, maybe this could’ve been done in advance.

But then, if the grownups at the Pentagon had been given any warning, they’d probably have gone all boringly OMG WORST IDEA EVER, and who needs that hassle?

ETA: From Buzzfeed:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who was not consulted before the executive order, defense officials said, asked that the list be compiled. It was immediately unclear how many categories would be in the request or whether it applies to those who worked alongside US troops during the 2003–11 Iraq War or only those currently part of the US–Iraqi campaign against ISIS.

US troops are currently fighting side by side with Iraqi troops in the ISIS-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul. There also are hundreds of US Special Forces in Syria, whose citizens also are now banned from entering the United States.

Navy Captain Jeff Davis later clarified to reporters the list will include individual names as well as broad categories and would include Iraqis who aided US forces during the Iraq War. The White House offered the Pentagon the chance to make exemptions “sometime over the weekend,” Davis said, after the order was signed…

Mattis had no obligation as defense secretary to comment about the order. But as a Marine veteran and one one-time general who worked alongside interpreters during the war, and whose troops depended on Iraqis to stay alive during the wars, his silence on the issue was notable.

I’d been wondering if Rep. Moulton’s comments this weekend might’ve been intended as a challenge…

HOW YOU LIKE YOUR BLUE-EYED BOY NOW, REPUBS?



This Is Troubling

Not good:

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter were each charged with the most serious level of offense under Washington DC’s law against rioting, after being caught up in the police action against demonstrators.

The Guardian learned of their arrests after reporting on Monday that the journalists Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America had also been arrested and charged with felonies while covering the same unrest on Friday morning.

All six were arraigned in superior court on Saturday and released to await further hearings in February and March, according to court filings. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said late on Tuesday that charges against journalists who were covering the protests should be dropped.

Follow this closely.








Two great philosophers for the next four years

Okay, now it’s real so let us rely on two great philospophers for the next four years:

And it looks like America agrees with Ron Burgundy


CBS News:

It has been 10 weeks since Donald Trump was elected president, and more Americans disapprove (48 percent) than approve (37 percent) of the way he has handled his presidential transition. They are split on his cabinet picks. Views divide heavily along party lines.

Just days before his inauguration, Donald Trump’s favorable rating (32 percent) is the lowest of any president-elect in CBS News polling going back to Ronald Reagan in 1981, when CBS News began taking this measure.

Well we’ll have to survive being “governed” by the Brietbart comment section so we can either laugh or cry while we bang our heads into our desks today.



Late Nightmare Open Thread: Intel Epiphany Eve

CNN, at 1:35am Friday (Feast of the Ephipany) morning:

US intelligence has identified the go-betweens the Russians used to provide stolen emails to WikiLeaks, according to US officials familiar with the classified intelligence report that was presented to President Barack Obama on Thursday…

Meanwhile, US intelligence has received new information following the election that gave agencies increased confidence that Russia carried out the hack and did so, in part, to help Trump win.

Included in that new information were intercepted conversations of Russian officials expressing happiness at Trump’s win. Another official described some of the messages as congratulatory.

Officials said this was just one of multiple indicators to give them high confidence of both Russian involvement and Russian intentions. Officials reiterated that there is no single intercepted communication that qualifies as a “smoking gun” on Russia’s intention to benefit Trump’s candidacy or to claim credit for doing so.

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with PBS NewsHour that an unclassified version of an intel report provided to him will be released “very shortly” and will “lay out in bold print what” the US knows about the hacking…

Officials told CNN there’s been a disconnect between Trump’s remarks about the intelligence community and his behind-the-scenes behavior when he’s present at private intel briefings.

(But who’s bringing the bad news about which ruling power, and who are the innocents to be slaughtered when the ruler’s will is thwarted?)

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Further speculation on Trump’s state of mind, when it comes to “intel”…
Read more



One More Thing: I Do Dare Call It Treason

There’s no way to parse what happened in the few weeks before the election without recognizing that both FBI director Comey and Senate Majority Leader McConnell effectively colluded with Russia to throw this election.

hanged-men-pittura-infamante-andrea-del-sarto-6c

Comey can’t not have known about the Russia connection to the emails, and yet chose to violate policy, precedent and explicit advice from Justice in his email letter ten days before the vote.

McConnell was specifically briefed on Russia’s efforts to influence the election, and he pressured (successfully, alas) the Obama administration to withhold that information from the public.

Both of them made choices that directly enabled Putin’s efforts.  Both of them knew, to a virtual certainty, that this was the case.

Both of them are in my view traitors — both to our country as it is now, and to the idea of a representative democracy America is supposed to embody.

And one more one more thing: Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, is Trump’s nominee for Transportation secretary. It is unconfirmed at this time that this is payment for services rendered.  It would, however, be irresponsible not to speculate.

Image: Andrea del Sarto, Study for a “Shame Painting” — In Italy, this form of execution was associated w. traitors. Before 1530.