Marching into Fascist Madness

I’m not ready to discuss A.G. Barr’s “summary” of the Mueller Report, which came out as I was starting this. I didn’t bother watching most of the press coverage, I was too disappointed. Besides, I’d rather wait to see if Jerry “Nads” Nadler, Adam Schiff, etal, can come up with something to cheer me.

In the meantime, I had already run across this survey, which I decided on a whim (of a hat?) to take a look at. I’m glad I did, but when I started reading the questions, I was disturbed – to say the least.

We all know that trump would love to change the libel laws so that he (and his cohorts) can sue a reporter, a newspaper, a network, whoever, over any criticism of trump or his administration.  And of course we all know that trump has been in a verbal war with every news agency except Fox, aka “trumpTV”, although he has lately begun to call out certain Fox reporters who are not lobbing softball questions.

And lastly, we all also know that trump LOVES dictators, and is just dying to emulate them.  So far trump has mainly stuck to his well-documented verbal and Twitter war with journalism and journalists, despite the fact that trump’s stochastic terrorism has already spurred trumpists to violent actions and plots. However, the even stronger stench of fascism in this survey leads me to conclude that the next battle will be much scarier and, eventually, even more violent.  It also seems certain that trump will do whatever he can to try to subvert the First Amendment in order to jail journalists whose questions piss him off for any reason.  The survey also panders to single-issue voters, i.e., anti-choice/”religious-freedom” and/or 2-A voters.

If you don’t want to take the survey or go to the link, below is a description plus the questions.

The survey was titled (in a big red box):

“MAINSTREAM MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY SURVEY”, above which it states

“Certified Website Of President Donald J. Trump”

The response choices to almost all of the following questions are YES, NO, or NO OPINION:

Do you believe that the mainstream media actually cares about working Americans?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has unfairly reported on our presidency?

Do you trust MSNBC to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust CNN to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust Fox News to fairly report on our presidency?

On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans? (Select as many that apply.)
-Immigration
-Economics
-Pro-life values
-Religion
-Individual liberty
-Conservatism
-Foreign policy
-Second Amendment rights

Which television source do you primarily get your news from?
-Fox News
-CNN
-MSNBC
-Local news

Do you use a source not listed above?  [I added BBC News, just for fun – although I was also tempted to add Al Jazeera]

Do you trust the mainstream media to tell the truth about the Republican Party’s positions and actions?

Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?

Do you believe that the media unfairly reported on Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting people entering our country from nations compromised by radical Islamic terrorism?

Were you aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported our temporary restriction executive order?

Do you believe that the media is engaging in a witch hunt to take down President Trump?

Do you believe that people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media?

Do you believe that the media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights?

Do you believe that the media has been far too quick to spread false stories about our movement?

Do you believe that the media has turned a blind eye to Planned Parenthood’s worst actions?

Do you believe that the media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare?

Do you believe that the media purposely tries to pit Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has been too eager to jump to conclusions about rumored stories?

Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?

Do you agree with the President’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the Press Secretary questions?

Do you agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people?

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let me repeat that last one:

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

Um, in what way, trump?

This is more than just shouting “FAKE NEWS!”, or even “THE PRESS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” This is painting “the media” as the enemy of everything trump’s cult holds dear, the enemy of the trumpian “reality” that trumpists are so desperately trying to force on the rest of us, despite the evidence before everyone’s “lying” eyes. It is an attack on one of the most sacred foundations of our democracy and our freedom, and it must be stopped.

OPEN THREAD – Chime in!

(Descending into) March Madness – Week One Gnus

Let’s start with some bad news, hopefully I’ll come up with some good news later.

First, to get it out of the way, the first Manafort sentence – WTF was the judge in the VA Manafort trial thinking, 47 MONTHS? “…an otherwise blameless life…”? This is the guy whose lobbying firm partners were Roger “Nixon Tattoo” Stone and Lee “Evil Incarnate” Atwater, the slimiest trio of political operatives in several decades. Not to mention all of his foreign entanglements with vicious dictators. “Blameless?!” And poor, poor Manafort, so “humiliated and shamed” during the court proceedings. Not “humbled and ashamed”, of course. No, he was “humiliated and shamed” because he had to be seen, even if just in court drawings, in jumpsuit and chains with graying hair, instead of his usual natty expensive suits and jet-black coif. Oh, and there’s the gout, can’t forget the gout- that’s what the wheelchair is for, to remind everyone. Funny how that gout hit him once he was jailed, because in all of the videos we see of Manafort going into and out of courtrooms, he seemed to be walking just fine.

That nominal sentence is a goddamn outrage. A slap on the wrist for an unremorseful lifelong thug, and (another) slap in the face to justice in these United States. I’d go on a good rant, but I’m concerned about my blood pressure. And sanity. 😦

Moving on…

For some reason which I don’t currently remember, I’ve been getting these ‘breaking news’ emails from “Christian Headlines”. Regardless…I got one this afternoon and the title of the article is pretty frightening: “Judge Lets Father Represent Aborted Baby in Wrongful-Death Suit.” Yeah, here we go down an extremely slippery slope, deliberately greased by religious fanatics and misogynistic politicians. This “personhood” nonsense is unconstitutional and dangerous.

According to the article by Michael Foust:

“An Alabama judge has let a wrongful death lawsuit proceed in which a father is suing an abortion clinic on behalf of his aborted unborn child…The lawsuit references a constitutional amendment passed by Alabama voters last year stating “it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”

“The case in Alabama is chilling because it represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice ‘personhood’ policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement’s ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women,” Kimmell [Adrienne Kimmell, V.P of NARAL Pro-Choice America] said. “To see it playing out in this case in Alabama should serve as a grave warning sign.”

(But the good news from Christian Headlines is that you can have “free devotions from Dr. Charles Stanley sent right to your door!” Okay, I was a Roman Catholic, so I have no idea what that means.)

Next…

We all remember what a mendacious git Judge Andrew Napolitano has been in the past. So he continues to surprise me in his appearances on Fox by his relative frankness regarding trump’s myriad legal troubles and appearance of guilt. I wish that Napolitano would apprise his Fox viewers of his opinion as published in yesterday’s Washington Times. Yes, sorry it’s the WT, but it’s actually worth the read. And while I take issue with a few things, i.e., his reference to trump’s “tormenters”; and his interpretation of the Republican-destroyed rule that “politics ends where the water’s edge begins” (that doesn’t mean that the House can’t hold hearings while trump is out “negotiating” with a murderous dictator), Napolitano did clarify some things about which I, at least, had been curious. Just one excerpt:

“Can a lawyer testify against his own client? What has become of the attorney-client privilege? These are sound questions that were not asked last week because of something called the crime-fraud exception. Normally, all communications between a client and his lawyer are privileged from revelation. The exception comes when the lawyer can demonstrate that he and the client were together engaged in criminal or fraudulent acts.”

You’ll have to read the rest, for some reason I can’t copy-and-paste from the Washington Times article.

Let’s get to some cheerier stuff…

Like the penguins in this snippet on Twitter – play it with the sound on, and watch all the way ’til the end. Enjoy!

Also, too…

April the Giraffe is due to give birth any moment, and you can watch her here.** April may have calved by the time I post this, but in that case the morning might bring us a little cutie like this:

UPDATE:  March 13th, 12:26am ET, still no baby giraffe.  I’ve heard that April was more than a month late with her last calf, so…watch this space!

**UPDATE!:  Baby BOY giraffe born approximately 12:42pm ET on Saturday, March 16th.  5′-11″ (taller than our own Zookeeper!) and 139 lbs.  Baby to be named in some sort of contest in the near future.  In the meantime, you can watch mom April and the little guy (with dad Oliver in the far pen) live, almost 24/7, here (The link is a new one, the one above has been taken down for archiving.)

Lastly…

Doesn’t everyone need a hug?

This is our Open Thread – batten down the hatches, ’cause we’re in for some rough political weather!

Distractions for Election Day, November 6th, 2018

Georgia voter suppression hasn’t changed much since the last midterm election.  At least this piece from an older Daily Show has humor mixed in with the overt racism.

Republican Activist Resigns After Racially-Charged ‘Daily Show’ Comments

Some satire from The PEN, a progressive activist group:

“Despite the fact that the Statue of Liberty was extensively restored
and rebuilt from 1984 to 1986, today Trump ordered the National Park
Service to further modify it to be in sync with the political climate
he wants to create.

Said Trump, “Unarmed asylum seekers are such a national threat we are
no longer interested in a torch lighting the golden door of the
application office.” Instead, Trump has invited the NRA to submit
models of a new statue in a flak jacket, toting various models of
military assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, fire
throwers, etc.

Though critics, a lot of people actually, are calling this proposal a
“Statue of Bigotry,” Trump is also directing that the statue to be
moved to our southern border. “That ought to scare these people off,”
added Trump, as if the military deploying 15,000 heavily armed troops
was not enough. Though the problem remains of whose property to seize
by eminent domain for the purpose of a new statue site.

And given the increasingly short attention span of our current
culture, the statue’s famous inscription is to be replaced by a more
blunt and direct, “Get Off My Lawn.””

And here’s some cats, kittens, etc. to help counteract the tension.

UPDATED 1:30pm – now with MORE photos!

“Blaze”

Luna

Squiggy

squiggy2

“Squiggy”

Belz and Lissa play while Splatter watches.

Nog (N.O.G. = Not Orange Guy)

Becca prepares to leap.

Mouse and Butterball (“Balls”)

Amelia

“Face” with spotted belly

“Splatter” and “Preston”

“Pip” and “Valerie”, “Fitzgerald” and “Cecilia”

Wayne holding “Tippy”

Dulcinea and Tippy napping

 

Tippy with Velveteen Rabbit

“Tippy” and “Dulcie”

Stubby in a Planter

“Troi”, aka “Little One”

“Troi” cuddles with “Jack”

“Troi” with “Dulcie”, “Tippy” and “Face”

Sophie’s litter, “The Sophists”

“Missy”

“Valerie” and “Cecilia”

“Gregg”

“Gregg” relaxing

“Missy” and “Gregg”

Eight is enough

How about some nature photos, too?

GLORY10

2221717180

SUNSETVERTICAL

Skyfire Sunset

SKYFIRE4V

Fading Sunset Reflection

GLAD7

 

31370006-1

Honeybee

BFLYCROPZOOM

BIGRHODO

great egret visiting pond

Great Egret Visiting Pond

Before

Before First Winter Storm

After

~ After first winter storm

31370009

Lone Pine Reflected

SUNSHOWER1crop

Fall Season Tree

Jane’s Maples

GardenGateWithMaple

Garden Gate

I hope that this might help us get through Election Day.  Enjoy!

~ and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Rachel Maddow Interviews John Brennan

Rachel interviewed John Brennan, for Director of the CIA under President Obama, on Friday’s show.  Brennan lost his security clearance this week, when the current occupant of the White House revoked his clearance for being a big ol’ meanie.

Like Rachel, I have not been a great supporter of Brennan in the past (remember rendition?), however, I do support his current actions of speaking truth to power to this GOP/Russia-owned administration.

Anyhoo, if you have about 35 minutes, give this interview a listen.  I love it when, around the 25 minute mark, Brennan hesitates a moment, and then says the unstable orange chucklehead is “drunk with power.”  Don’t get me wrong, that statement is scary as shit, but seeing a man, who is normally so careful with his speech, produce those words on national teevee does my heart good.

Open thread, y’all. What’s on your mind?

Manafort Defense Rests — Calls No Witnesses

via RawStory

manafort

The day after Robert Mueller’s team called a butt load of witnesses, Manafort’s defense rested, having called zero witnesses in his trial for fraud and money laundering.

In my humble opinion, Manafort is trying to present an image of confidence that the prosecution failed to prove its case — and failed.  In reality, it appears that the defense was worried about Mueller’s team being able to cross-examine their super-duper honest witnesses.

Anyhoo, I feel safe making the blindingly obvious prediction that tRump, while he’s not using his “executive time” to scrub away the stink of flopsweat, will be frantically tweeting more misspelled batshit insane “thoughts” than usual.  Maybe bring in Hannity for a soothing tongue bath…

BTW, sorryi’vebeengoneareallyreallyreallylongtimepleaseforgiveme.

Consider this your open thread!

Smells Like Trump Spirit (A Song Parody)

Here’s Nirvana to tell you why Trump is dangerous.

Smells Like Trump Spirit
Based on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Original lyrics and music by Chris Novoselic, David Grohl, and Kurt Cobain ©1991 Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider ©2018

They all got guns, warn your friends
They always lose but still pretend
He’s overboard and self-adored
You know he’s just a dirty whore
He’ll go so low, who knows how low
He’ll go so low, who knows how low
He’ll go so low, who knows how low
He’ll go so low, who knows

When he tweets out, he’s so dangerous
But he needs to entertain us
It’s so stupid but contagious
So we let him entertain us
A potato, a white rhino, a bandito, no libido
Yeah, hey

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