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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,797

Journal Archives

As Confederate monuments tumble, die-hards are erecting replacements

The teardowns get all the attention, Walter “Donnie” Kennedy grumbles.

Every time a local government votes to remove a century-old Confederate war monument, every time activists swing ropes around statues and yank them to the ground, “our enemies claim victory again,” said Kennedy, the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “We know America doesn’t agree with us — heck, they fought a war against us — but we’re going to tell our story.”

Their membership might be dwindling, and their popular support seems to shrink by the day, but the guardians of America’s 700-plus Confederate monuments are mounting a serious defense — filing lawsuits and demanding control of statues slated for removal.

They, too, are launching a concerted offensive.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans and, in a quieter way, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that erected many of the monuments that are now the target of the biggest removal campaign in history, are pushing back by building new statues, buying land to house torn-down memorials, and airing radio and online ads seeking public support for their cause.


Assholes gotta be assholes.

Reagan Foundation to Trump, RNC: Quit raising money off Ronald Reagan's legacy

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which runs the 40th president’s library near Los Angeles, has demanded that President Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) quit raising campaign money by using Ronald Reagan’s name and likeness.

“It was simply handled with a phone call mid-last week to the RNC, and they agreed to stop,” Reagan Foundation chief marketing officer Melissa Giller said in an email Saturday.

What came to the foundation’s attention — and compelled officials there to complain — was a fundraising email that went out July 19 with “Donald J. Trump” identified as the sender and a subject line that read: “Ronald Reagan and Yours Truly.”

The solicitation offered, for a donation of $45 or more, a “limited edition” commemorative set featuring two gold-colored coins, one each with an image of Reagan and Trump. The coins were mounted with a 1987 photograph of Reagan and Trump shaking hands in a White House receiving line — the type of fleeting contact that presidents have with thousands of people a year.


To the Trump White House, every coronavirus wildfire is an ember

President Trump turned to a visual aid as he briefed the media on the coronavirus pandemic Thursday.

“This is a copy of the map, and this is a — you have it right behind me,” he said. “That’s really very much indicating where the problems are. You see from — from that, it’s in great shape — lots of it,” meaning most of the country.

“The Northeast has become very clean,” he continued. “The country is in very good shape, other than if you look South and West — some problems. That will all work out.”

Well, yeah, except for the Southern and Western parts of the country, all was well.

This effort to play down the breadth of the pandemic by highlighting its narrow geographic focus has become a hallmark of the Trump administration’s response. With the president’s resumption of daily briefings in recent days, we’ve seen that repeatedly, from his broad assessment that the outbreak was contained to half the country to his even more narrow focus on nursing homes. It’s an approach that harks back to his celebrations of his electoral victory in 2016: If you can point to large swaths that show what you want to show, your case is made.


Fleetwood Mac blues guitarist Peter Green dies at 73

Source: Washington Post

Peter Green, the dexterous blues guitarist who led the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac in a career shortened by psychedelic drugs and mental illness, has died at 73.

A law firm representing his family, Swan Turton, announced the death in a statement Saturday. It said he died “peacefully in his sleep″ this weekend. A further statement will be issued in the coming days.

Green, to some listeners, was the best of the British blues guitarists of the 1960s. B.B. King once said Green “has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”

Green also made a mark as a composer with “Albatross,” and as a songwriter with “Oh Well” and “Black Magic Woman.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/fleetwood-mac-blues-guitarist-peter-green-dies-at-73/2020/07/25/737d1044-ce91-11ea-99b0-8426e26d203b_story.html

Trump's deployment of federal agents in cities has everything to do with his reelection

ANOTHER DAY, another attempt by President Trump to reframe the election as about anything but his abject failure to contain the most catastrophic public health crisis in a century. This time, the president deploys federal agents to cities genuinely wracked by violence. Yet by justifying the move in inflammatory partisan terms — cities “all run by very liberal Democrats” whose fate under a President Biden would mean “the whole country would go to hell” — he makes clear his real agenda. It has nothing to do with violent crime, and everything to do with his reelection.

The president used a similar playbook days ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, sending 5,200 active-duty troops to the southern border and warning of “an invasion of our country,” meaning a caravan of migrants heading north from Central America. He seemed to forget about it right after Election Day, and the troops began withdrawing a few days later.

A spike in violent crime is a genuine problem in Chicago and Albuquerque, where the deployment of agents under the Justice Department’s direction will begin. But don’t expect Mr. Trump to care or say much about it after the polls close this November.

The president is a wizard at changing the subject. “This will divert from Ivanka,” he said, explaining an incendiary 2018 statement defending the murderous Saudi crown prince, after The Post reported that his daughter had sent hundreds of emails from her personal account to government officials, in violation of federal rules. That account, from former national security adviser John Bolton, has never been contradicted.


Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine

Source: New York Times

Well-timed stock bets have generated big profits for senior executives and board members at companies developing vaccines and treatments.

On June 26, a small South San Francisco company called Vaxart made a surprise announcement: A coronavirus vaccine it was working on had been selected by the U.S. government to be part of Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19.

Vaxart’s shares soared. Company insiders, who weeks earlier had received stock options worth a few million dollars, saw the value of those awards increase sixfold. And a hedge fund that partly controlled the company walked away with more than $200 million in instant profits.

The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and some companies and investors are betting that the winners stand to earn vast profits from selling hundreds of millions — or even billions — of doses to a desperate public.

Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members are capitalizing on that dynamic.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/25/business/coronavirus-vaccine-profits-vaxart.html

McConnell says stimulus deal could take 'a few weeks,' putting millions with expiring aid in limbo

Source: Washington Post

With days to go before enhanced jobless benefits expire, the White House and Senate Republicans are struggling to design a way to scale back the program without overwhelming state unemployment agencies and imperiling aid to more than 20 million Americans.

The hang-up has led to an abrupt delay in the introduction of the GOP’s $1 trillion stimulus package. The White House and Democrats have said they want a deal by the end of the month, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Friday that reaching an agreement could take several weeks, a timeline that could leave many unemployed Americans severely exposed.

“Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks,” McConnell said at an event in Ashland, Ky.

Part of the problem stems from a push by administration officials and GOP lawmakers to reduce a $600 weekly payment of enhanced federal unemployment benefits. The White House and the GOP disagree about how to do this, and talks remain highly contentious. They hope to release a proposal early next week.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/24/unemployment-benefits-congress-coronavirus/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-main_bailoutunemployment-450pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

Another painful economic clusterfuck brought upon us by Republicans.

Infant baptism in the time of Covid

The Top 5 Trump Hannity Interview Answers Because You Weren't Yet Having A Stroke

Last night Donald Trump appeared on Sean Hannity's long running soap opera "Old and the Feckless," where he went twenty whole minutes without discussing his amazing score on the "Are You Demented" test. So by that metric, it was a rousing success! By the "Will We All Survive Until January" metric, the results were ... less good.

Here are some choice excerpts we culled from the transcript because FUCK NO we're not watching that whole thing. Not for all the Malbec in Argentina, and certainly not on a Friday. The transcript was painful enough, TYVM!


Hannity started off the interview saying he wanted to "talk about COVID a lot."

"Well, it's really the China virus. Call it COVID. Call it any one of a lot of different names," blarped our Commander in Chief.

For months the president predicted that the virus would "disappear one day, like magic." But since that hasn't happened, he's making masks great again: "And then all of a sudden, it was a big thing to get masks because I'm all for it."


The GOP war on unemployment aid is bad for workers and disastrous for the economy

Republicans on Capitol Hill never tire of portraying themselves as family-friendly populists determined to help American households get a leg up in this rough-and-tumble world.

The pandemic crisis is where the rubber meets the road on this claim. As the coronavirus has made a mockery of half-measures to stem its spread, so too has it exposed the party’s true character.

As we write, Senate Republicans have been unable to reach an internal accord — let alone an agreement with Democrats controlling the House — on extending and expanding coronavirus relief programs last enacted as the CARES Act at the end of March.

Plans to introduce a sample bill as an initial negotiating strategy Thursday fell apart. The current goal is Monday.

Of course, there’s no urgency.

Oh, wait — by Monday, emergency unemployment benefits will have expired for millions of American households. The nascent economic recovery seen in April and May appears to be evaporating.

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