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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,220

Journal Archives

Elie Mystal: This Supreme Court Term, Conservatives Have One Aim: Stop Progress

October 18/25, 2021, Issue
This Supreme Court Term, Conservatives Have One Aim: Stop Progress
During the next nine months, conservatives justices will use their power to attack abortion rights, weaken gun regulations, and rewind the clock to a darker age.
By Elie Mystal
September 30, 2021

On the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court, the most powerful government body controlled by conservatives, returns to work. Democrats have the White House and both chambers of Congress; Republicans, who have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, are currently confined to the unelected, unaccountable branch of government.

However, because that one branch claims sole authority to nullify the actions of the other two, Republicans can do a lot of damage. Indeed, the ability to stop the actions of branches that Republicans cannot control without voter suppression is a big reason Senator Mitch McConnell spent so much energy stacking the Supreme Court. From stealing a seat from Barack Obama in 2016 to giving a third appointment to Donald Trump in 2020, McConnell has been playing the long game: wresting control of the one institution that is immune to the popular will. The former Senate majority leader never needed the MAGA coup to succeed. Instead, he had the court, which is now poised to do what a mob of white terrorists never could: Stop progress.

This term, we will see conservatives celebrate the achievement of two long-sought goals they could not accomplish through electoral politics. We will see broad conservative agreement that women should be treated as second-class citizens, reduced to the status of incubators with mouth parts, when the court hears the most direct challenge to abortion rights in a generation. And we will see broad conservative agreement that guns have more rights than children.

There will also be a bunch of cases that we don’t know about yet, conducted as part of the Supreme Court’s “shadow docket.” This consists of cases that are decided through an emergency process that allows the court to avoid holding full public hearings and issuing detailed opinions. No surprise, the conservatives have frequently employed it to decide the most controversial and partisan cases. The court is now fully owned by these conservatives—six justices to three—and they aren’t about to pass up this opportunity to win the culture wars they were sent to fight.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:13 PM (0 replies)

Treason Evidence Grows As Trump Plotted Pressure Campaign Against Pence


Posted on Sat, Oct 2nd, 2021 by Jason Easley
Treason Evidence Grows As Trump Plotted Pressure Campaign Against Pence
Trump plotted a pressure campaign from inside the White House against his own vice president to get him to overturn the election.

Trump Plotted His Coup Inside The White House

The New York Times reported:

Still, by early January 2021, amid his wide-ranging effort to overturn the election results, Mr. Trump had become so enamored of Mr. Eastman’s advice that the two teamed up in an Oval Office meeting to pressure Mr. Pence to intervene to help Mr. Trump remain in power by delaying the Jan. 6 certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

In a two-page memo written by Mr. Eastman that had been circulated to the White House in the days before the certification — revealed in the new book “Peril” by the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa — Mr. Eastman said that Mr. Pence as vice-president was “the ultimate arbiter” of the election, essentially saying he had the power to determine who won, and that “we should take all of our actions with that in mind.”

The Department Of Justice Must Investigate Trump

Trump and Eastman plotted a coup from inside the White House and even put it in writing. How much more evidence does the Department of Justice need before they investigate Trump for the plot to overthrow the government?

The 1/6 Committee will be making criminal referrals if they find evidence of criminal activity. Is the DOJ waiting for the Committee to refer the Trump criminals for prosecution?

The Trump crimes are out in the open. Now is the time to hold Trump and his co-conspirators accountable.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 3, 2021, 10:13 AM (62 replies)

When Anthony Bourdain Invited Obama to Dinner... in Hanoi


When Anthony Bourdain Invited Obama to Dinner... in Hanoi
Finding a funky restaurant was easy. Finding one the Secret Service would approve? Not so much. Then the AC broke. Would this meal happen or not?
Tom Vitale
Published Oct. 03, 2021 4:57AM ET


“Make sure to get a good picture I can tweet,” Tony called as Zach and I squeezed through the crowd of security personnel and bureaucrats on our way downstairs to film an entrance shot. We got into position just in time. Seeing President Obama walk through the restaurant’s front door, everyone erupted into applause. He grinned ear to ear, waving back.

I can only describe what I felt as sort of a surreal, even out-of- body experience. It was almost like I wasn’t actually there. Ironically, it felt more like I was watching the whole thing on TV.

I stood behind Zach as the president walked right past us with a big smile and a nod. Arrival shot in the can, Zach and I squeezed our way back up the staircase, which was now even more crowded with people. Zach got through first, then just as I reached the top of the stairs, the president moved through the narrow hallway landing from the holding room to the camera room. As I learned, when the president is on the move there’s no time to say, “Please stand back.” The Secret Service just pushes you out of the way. I started to fall backward down the stairs, but fortunately, in addition to pushers, they also have catchers.

I arrived in the dining room unharmed, and it was decided I would be the one to put the microphone on the president. He was relaxed, friendly, and kind enough to not mention anything about my trembling hands. In the dining room were fifteen local Vietnamese in the background filling the tables, Tony sitting with President Obama, the three cameras, and I stood just next to the table. Jared was by the door next to the president’s head Secret Service guy. The official White House photographer came in a few times to snap some pics. And that was it. The experience was unbelievably intimate.

“I feel a little awkward sitting in front of all this good food with you guys standing there working. Did you get something to eat?” President Obama asked before starting the scene. He was one of the few people in the thousands we’d filmed who inquired if the crew was hungry.
Courtesy Tom Vitale

This is an adapted excerpt from IN THE WEEDS: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain by Tom Vitale to be published October 5, by Hachette Books. ©2021 Tom Vitale and reprinted by permission from Hachette Books.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 3, 2021, 08:54 AM (3 replies)

Democratic senator dings the GOP for going a decade without new ideas

Democratic senator dings the GOP for going a decade without new ideas
Bob Casey said of Republicans, "Other than tax cuts for wealthy people and big corporations and right-wing judges, what do they stand for?" Good question.
Oct. 1, 2021, 11:22 AM EDT
By Steve Benen

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania told Talking Points Memo yesterday that his party's ongoing negotiations are part of a "healthy" debate, which his rivals on the other side of the aisle should try to emulate.

"I think it's a debate in our party about priorities and dollar amounts — I think it's healthy," Casey said. "The Republicans haven't had a new big idea in more than a decade. If you can tell me, if you can contradict me, I'm open to it, but other than tax cuts for wealthy people and big corporations and right-wing judges, what do they stand for?"

The senator wondered aloud about the GOP's plans on health care, climate change, and workforce development — ideas Democrats are trying to tackle in their Build Back Better legislation, which Republicans want no part of.


But in 2021, Casey isn't the only one who doesn't know "what they stand for." In fact, it was just last summer when Republican officials decided they'd go without a party platform for the first time since 1854.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:07 PM (4 replies)

Senate to try to pass 30-day highway bill Saturday after GOP objection

Senate to try to pass 30-day highway bill Saturday after GOP objection
By Jordain Carney - 10/01/21 08:56 PM EDT

The Senate will reconvene on Saturday to try to pass a short-term extension of federal highway programs after a GOP roadblock prevented what was expected to be a glide path to President Biden’s desk.

The Senate was on standby for hours Friday with the expectation that it would try to quickly approve a 30-day extension once the stopgap bill passed the House, where it cleared in a 365-51 vote on Friday night.

But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), appearing on the Senate floor as the House was voting, indicated that they didn’t yet have buy-in from all 100 senators. The Senate largely left town on Thursday, but any one senator can still prevent the highway funding patch from being sent to Biden quickly.

“It is my understanding that the House is going to send the Senate a 30-day extension of the Surface Transportation Authorization Act. Republicans cannot clear it tonight. Therefore, we will come back tomorrow and try to pass it then,” Wyden said.

The Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Aides didn’t immediately respond to questions about the hold up, but without consent the bill could be dragged out for days.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 1, 2021, 11:34 PM (1 replies)

Texas Says Forcing Women to Go Out of State for Abortions Is Stimulating Commerce


Levin Report
Texas Says Forcing Women to Go Out of State for Abortions Is Stimulating Commerce
According to Texas attorney general, the barbaric abortion law has been great for trade.
By Bess Levin
September 30, 2021

As states around the country roll back abortion rights, we’re hearing a lot of arguments explaining why forcing a person to carry a pregnancy against their will is actually a positive thing. In Mississippi, the attorney general claimed last week that overturning Roe v. Wade will “empower” women. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott insisted that the state’s no-exceptions abortion law will not require rape victims to give birth to their attacker’s child because he’s going to “eliminate” all rapists, an argument reminiscent of the one made by a Missouri congressman in 2012, in which he declared, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” All of them are ridiculous, all of them are insulting, and all of them engender the very specific response of, “What the f--k is wrong with you?” And speaking of which!

On Wednesday, Texas defended its Heartbeat Act by arguing—wait for it—that forcing pregnant people to travel hundreds of miles out of state to obtain a medical procedure that it has effectively banned is a good thing because it is “stimulating” interstate commerce. In a court filing, Attorney General Ken Paxton—the one who sued other states last year to overturn the 2020 election—said that contrary to the Justice Department’s claim that the federal government has the authority to block the law over interstate-commerce concerns, he’s seen news reports of women driving to Oklahoma and Kansas to seek abortions. Which, like a sociopath, he paints as a positive development. The DOJ doesn’t “cite any actual evidence that the Texas Heartbeat Act burdens interstate commerce,” Paxton said in the filing in federal court in Austin. “What evidence that does exist in the record suggests that, if anything, the Act is stimulating rather than obstructing interstate travel.” In other words, according to this guy, Oklahoma and Kansas and whatever other states people are fleeing to to end their pregnancies because they can’t do so locally owe Texas a debt of gratitude.

Not surprisingly, Paxton’s line of reasoning didn’t go over well with opponents of the law, which bans abortions at six weeks, a time before most people know they’re pregnant. “As thousands of pregnant Texans seeking essential, time-sensitive medical care are forced to flee the state in desperation, Texas is now claiming its blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban has ‘stimulated’ interstate travel,” ACLU staff attorney Julia Kaye said in a statement. “It is appalling that Texas is trying to capitalize on the catastrophe anti-abortion politicians created.”

Since Texas enacted the strictest abortion law in the U.S. this month, abortion providers are struggling to survive, with patients obtaining abortion pills through the mail, in addition to driving out of state. In court documents, an Oklahoma-based Planned Parenthood doctor drove one woman six hours alone, one way, because she was worried any companion could be sued under the absurd law that allows private citizens who “aid and abet” the procedure to be sued. According to Reuters, KT Volkova, a graduate student in central Texas was forced to take an abortion-inducing medication sent to them via mail after finding out they were nearly six weeks pregnant. “I would have preferred to have it in-clinic, with staff holding my hand, but I had to go through the entire process in my apartment alone,” Volkova said.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing on abortion on Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez castigated an anti-abortion Texas ob-gyn who claimed that women who have been raped have tons of time to obtain an abortion under SB8. “Six weeks pregnant is two weeks late for one’s period,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “When you are raped, you don’t always know what happened to you. And I speak about this as a survivor. You are in so much shock.” The doctor, Ingrid Skop, insisted that “In the case of a rape, women generally know that they’ve been raped,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez responded that it was “unbelievable” that the Republican lawmakers on the committee would call a witness who would be so “irresponsible and hurtful to survivors across this country,” though, really, it’s actually entirely believable.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 1, 2021, 04:58 PM (1 replies)

Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns on January 6, Evidence Shows

Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns on January 6, Evidence Shows
Rioters at the Capitol carried concealed pistols, allegedly stockpiled weapons nearby, and called for overthrowing the US government.
Mark Follman, Dan Friedman, Ryan Little, and Sam Van Pykeren16 hours ago


This attempted political cover-up has hinged on another specific claim: that no one who stormed the Capitol brought guns.

“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” Johnson said five weeks after the attack, adding, “When you think of armed, don’t you think of firearms?” During the May hearings, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona claimed “zero firearms” were found among suspects charged with breaching the Capitol. “There were no guns whatsoever,” former President Trump declared repeatedly during a Fox News interview in July.

Evidence of numerous firearms among January 6 perpetrators shows those claims to be false. A Mother Jones investigation drawing on public video footage, congressional testimony, and documents from more than a dozen federal criminal cases reveals that various Trump supporters descended on DC that day armed for battle with guns and other potentially lethal weapons. At least three people arrested in connection with the insurrection are facing charges for carrying firearms on Capitol grounds. At least eight others carried knives or tasers at the Capitol, including two defendants who allegedly committed assaults with tasers, according to FBI and court documents. Multiple others arrested downtown and in the vicinity of the Capitol had rifles, pistols, explosive materials, and large supplies of ammunition. And communications among numerous January 6 suspects detailed in court documents indicate that many of their fellow insurrectionists were armed with guns.

Evidence disclosed in court filings suggests that some defendants may have decided against bringing guns to the Capitol due to strict DC gun laws. But many other participants that day apparently were undeterred.

“Over the radio I heard our gun recovery unit working constantly,” testified DC Metropolitan police officer Daniel Hodges during late July hearings held by the House Select Committee investigating January 6. “Multiple gun arrests were made from January 5th through the 7th against those attending, likely had attended, or planned to attend Donald Trump’s gathering.” (A spokesperson for the DC police declined to specify the total number of firearms arrests stemming from January 6, but it appears to be at least six.) In his testimony, Hodges also described fearing that law enforcement would have been perilously outnumbered had they acted more aggressively against suspected armed extremists. “Unfortunately, due to the course of events that day we will never know exactly how many were carrying firearms and other lethal weapons.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 1, 2021, 06:58 AM (5 replies)

Secret State Department Report Suggests Likely Cause of Havana Syndrome


Secret State Department Report Suggests Likely Cause of Havana Syndrome
Blake Montgomery
Updated Sep. 30, 2021 6:55PM ET /
Published Sep. 30, 2021 5:48PM ET

A secret report from the State Department concluded that the likely cause of the mysterious Havana Syndrome is not nefarious microwaves, as officials have publicly hypothesized, BuzzFeed News reports. The source of the unexplained cocktail of neurological symptoms may be something you might hear on any given evening: crickets. A scientific advisory board, the JASON group, authored the report for the bureau in 2018, two years after the first reported incident of Havana Syndrome. The report reads, “No plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects. We believe the recorded sounds are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic. The most likely source is the Indies short-tailed cricket.”

Biologists have made the cricket hypothesis in prior studies. Government personnel ranging from State Department diplomats to CIA intelligence officers—roughly 200 in all—have suffered from the symptoms of Havana Syndrome, which include dizziness, headaches, and vertigo, since it was first reported at the U.S. embassy in Cuba in 2016.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:00 PM (3 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Kyrsten Sinema Is Getting Off on This


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Kyrsten Sinema Is Getting Off on This


Which brings us, in a not-so-roundabout way, to Senator Kyrsten Sinema, ostensible Democrat from Arizona, who has never given a single fucking reason for why she's refusing to vote for the Democrats' budget reconciliation bill, other than "I don't like the cost" and not offering a goddamned alternative. The outline of the bill contains a transformative amount of spending on social programs, finally undoing some of the damage that Republicans have done since Reagan gutted the government's role in making people's lives better back in 1981.

And it's also gonna do some good in slowing down the out-of-control train that is climate change. Shit, Arizona faces becoming an unlivable wasteland within 30 years if things don't turn around really fuckin' quickly. Being from, you know, Arizona, you'd think that Sinema might give a fuck about her state turning into a dried up hellhole. But Sinema is too busy sucking down wine (no, really) while gobbling truckloads of corporate donor cash. Those fuckin' quirky-ass outfits aren't gonna buy themselves. Meanwhile, she's met four times with President Biden at the White House and issued a simpering, self-serving statement that essentially says nothing, moving the needle on the bill not a fucking inch.

While pundits and politicos try to figure out what the fuck her game is and what she wants, I can tell you. It's simple. And if you've read to this point, you know what it is: She's totally getting off on this. On the attention. On the rage other Democrats are feeling. On the power. On the way in which she's fucking with the lives of millions of people. Hell, she's probably loving that the people voted for her are ready to support a primary challenger. She's long had a perverse, ego-driven streak of doing shit just to piss everyone off.

You can just picture it: Sinema in a bright kimono on her silk covered bed after a warm bath, using her hand to caress her sopping self to a giant photo of John and Cindy McCain she has glued to the ceiling above her, intoning, "I'm a maverick, too, I'm a maverick, too," over and over, louder and louder, MSNBC on in the background as she hears Rep. Katie Porter tell Lawrence O'Donnell how wrong she is for being an obstructionist. Jesus, fuck, all she needs now is to flip over to Fox "news" and hear them praise her for not backing down and laugh at Democratic in-fighting and she'll have a screaming orgasm. Fuck, finish already.

Maybe then she'll be ready to fucking negotiate like the goddamn politician she's supposed to be. If not, take away the one thing she wants: the much-reduced bipartisan infrastructure bill she so proudly humped to life in an orgy with other bullshitters. Deny her the climax she desires.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:25 PM (17 replies)

Of Course Jared and Ivanka Think They're the Duke and Duchess of South Florida


Levin Report
Of Course Jared and Ivanka Think They’re the Duke and Duchess of South Florida
Unfortunately for the couple, actually royalty thinks otherwise.
By Bess Levin
September 29, 2021

One of the most irksome features of the Trump administration, besides the racism and the mass casualties from COVID-19 and the insurrection was the elevation of Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law to senior positions in the White House, despite them literally having no business being there. Entirely lacking in any self-awareness whatsoever, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner clearly didn’t see things that way, and thus thought it totally reasonable for them to advise the leader of the free world without having any relevant experience between them. (No, the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry line doesn‘t count.) That’s how Kushner horrifyingly became one of the key players in the government’s coronavirus response, and how Ivanka was able to sit alongside so many world leaders as though they were equals that this fine outlet was able to get a whole slideshow out of it.

While the former first daughter reportedly, and disturbingly, believes she could be the first female president, it’s quite clear that this duo views themselves not as former aides to the president of the United States with designs on higher office, but as something significantly more regal than that, having spent years cosplaying Prince and Princess of the Contiguous United States. Except, obviously, they’re not, as an anecdote from a new book by Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary and former chief of staff to the first lady, neatly demonstrates. Per The Washington Post:

[Grisham] is particularly negative about the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner—both of whom held senior White House positions. She wrote that the first lady and White House staff called Ivanka “the Princess” who regularly invoked “my father” in work meetings, and Grisham dubbed Kushner “the Slim Reaper” for his habit of inserting himself into other people’s projects, making a mess and leaving them to take the blame.

Tellingly, Grisham writes that Ivanka and Jared tried to push their way into meeting Queen Elizabeth II alongside the president and first lady, a wild breach of protocol on a state visit, but were thwarted when they couldn’t fit into the helicopter. “I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham writes. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”

After four years of watching the poster children for nepotism actively damage the country with their own incompetence, it’s nice to hear they were on the receiving end of a diplomatic “you’re not on the list.” In fact, it’s almost as gratifying as world leaders visibly asking themselves, “Who is this and how did she get in here?“
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:19 PM (8 replies)
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