HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » babylonsister » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 165,940

Journal Archives

Open Letter: To my Trump-supporting family.


Open Letter: To my Trump-supporting family.

To my Trump-supporting family,

On the morning of November 9, 2016, the America I knew and loved died. Or rather, I woke that day to discover that it never really existed in the first place.

Let me explain.

I grew up in the Deep South. I was a flag-waving, gun-shooting, red-blooded American boy. I said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school, got tingles when I heard the national anthem, and fervently accepted that no other country on the planet could ever come close to the grandeur, freedom, and inspiration that the United States of America offered. We were that City Upon the Hill that was promised to the world – a shining beacon of participatory democracy that everyone else desperately wanted to emulate but could never achieve. We were tough on our allies, but only because we needed to push them to excel and improve. Of course, they’d never quite catch up to us economically, politically, or militarily, but hey, that’s the price of not being the USA. The chants of “USA! USA! USA” weren’t taunts, but merely celebrations of our preeminence. And anyone’s detractions were just signs of their jealousy. Because everybody wanted to be American, right?

I was sold the American dream just like the hundreds of millions of my compatriots. Work hard, pay your dues, and you’ll succeed. No child left behind. All in this together. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. I joined the Navy and proudly served my country because that’s just what a Southern boy did. There simply was no higher honor than being part of the vanguard protecting democracy from those who would do us harm.

Even after traveling the world with the Navy and learning that, actually, America didn’t hold a monopoly on freedom, I still wasn’t swayed from my categorical resolution that no country was better. No people could be better. America resulted from the failures and lessons learned from every other country’s trials and errors. Mostly errors. But we corrected them all. Where other countries had endured the restrictions of authoritarianism or the unfettered chaos of direct democracy, America perfected the balance with our Constitution and its representative democracy. Sure, we had our own fits-and-starts, which our schools taught – seizure of land and the treatment of Native Americans, the slave trade and oppression of black people, relegation of women to the home – but the America in which I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s had moved past those missteps. Right? Wasn’t America now that happy melting pot teeming with opportunity for all, if only you tried hard enough?

Of course not. But that was how I viewed it. And I’m sure that’s how you still think of America. What we did to the Native Americans? They just need to accept that we civilized them and they should be thankful. Slavery, Jim Crow, systemic racism? Nah, African Americans need to get over slavery, stop being ghetto thugs, and start accepting responsibility for their own communities. And women certainly have come a long way – just don’t get too uppity or think you’re entitled to too much of a political view, otherwise you risk losing your innate genteelness. (If reading this part makes you feel uncomfortable – and it probably does – stop for a second and think about why. Your discomfort is what’s left of your conscience.)

After I left the Navy and joined the real world, I saw more and more of what this country truly was. The mistreatment of people of color, the judgment and chastisement of the LGBT community, and the everyday sexism. Unlike the America taught in schools, this place had a lot of scars, scratches, and quite a few gaping wounds. But still I thought none of them were terminal. Surely Bill Clinton (for all his flaws) had it right when he said there was nothing wrong with America that couldn’t be cured by what was right in America. Surely.

Up until November 8, 2016, I genuinely believed that, despite its myriad shortcomings, America was still the country that stood up to bullies. It valued intellect and scientific discovery. Americans may have disagreed on specific policies, but still had faith that public servants genuinely had the country’s best interests at heart. Immigration built this country. And we should always, always protect the innocent and welcome those fleeing poverty, war, or famine with open arms.

But America didn’t elect a leader who represents any of those principles. America didn’t elect a leader with any principles. And you did that. You can say you held your nose and voted for the “lesser of two evils,” or that you only voted for Trump because you knew he’d further the policies with which you agreed, even if you found him personally detestable. But when you and all of the other Trump voters pulled that lever, you weren’t just selecting your preferred presidential candidate. You were selecting what America was. And it is nothing like the America I grew up believing in. To say that your choice and the result it brought about triggered an existential crisis would be an understatement. My whole life, I’d been an unquestioning, patriotic servant of America because of what I’d believed it stood for. But in a single night, everything it stood for was revealed as a fraud. Everything I stood for was a fraud.

So now, two and half years into the alternative reality, I’ve come to grips that this isn’t some insane nightmare. This is reality. And seeing how Trump supporters (yourselves included) have behaved since then, I really was a fool for ever believing America stood for anything else.

I won’t bore you with my journey to “wokeness” or why the things you tolerate literally sicken me. Sexual predator? “They’re not hot enough to sexually assault.” Racist bully? “Fake news.” Uncompassionate bigot? “They should stay in their own damn countries.” Even if I had the capacity and patience to expound on every deviation from the America I thought existed, you wouldn’t care. Why? Because you’ve stopped listening. The rise of Fox News means you’ve stopped reading the papers. And even if you did, you wouldn’t be intrigued or inquisitive about what they say because you’ve bought into the idea that the press is the enemy of the people (except for Fox News and the National Review, which get passes because, well, why?).

You’ve stopped paying attention to anyone who doesn’t agree with your crystallized view of the world. You’re the mosquito of the Reagan era, completely unaware the sap has long hardened around you into amber. And frankly, it’s not even particularly pretty amber. It’s dull, opaque, muffled. You can’t see or hear through it and you don’t want to.

But to be honest with you, I’ve lost all interest in trying to break you free. At first, I really wanted to. I wanted you to understand how the promise of America was broken. I wanted you to see so we could find some way to fix it. But every time I tried, you trotted out some line you heard Trump spew (none of which make any sense whatsoever, by the way) or that some Fox News commentator has conned you into thinking reflects reality. So I’m done.

The America I believed in doesn’t exist. Instead, it’s a different country now, irretrievably. I get a bit melancholy about it sometimes, because promise and hope and opportunity are like political endorphins, and I miss them. And I miss you. I miss having conversations about our lives as though you hadn’t abandoned everything we ever believed in. I miss seeing your smiling faces without having to hold back a political tirade. I miss spending time with you without constantly wondering how you sleep at night knowing what this country is doing to the defenseless.

Surely by now you’ve seen the AP’s recent photo of an El Salvadoran man and his two and a half year-old daughter who drowned as they fled the violence in their home country, hoping to seek asylum in America. They drowned because Trump won’t let them claim asylum at the border entry points. He’s denying them the safety and promise that America used to stand for. Many observers who haven’t yet fully recognized their prior delusions are saying, “This isn’t what we stand for.” But it is. It’s exactly what America stands for.

And that is why I’m done with you and your ilk. We’re still family; you raised me; we share the same blood. But we come from and live in two different countries.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 05:54 PM (3 replies)

Nearly Half The Country Is Suing Donald Trump

Posted on Tue, Aug 13th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Nearly Half The Country Is Suing Donald Trump
By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twenty-two states, including New York and California, and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s replacement of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, arguing it prolongs U.S. reliance on coal power and obstructs states that pursue cleaner electricity generation.

The petition filed in a federal appellate court in Washington calls for the rule to be vacated. The petitioners argue that the EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which it finalized in June, will not curb rising carbon emissions from power plants and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants .

“Without significant course correction, we are careening towards a climate disaster,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, adding that the coalition of states and cities “will fight back against this unlawful, do-nothing rule.”

The lawsuit is one of dozens undertaken by Democratic-led states to challenge the Trump administration’s series of rollbacks of major rules in the energy sector aimed at easing regulatory burdens for industry.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 05:22 PM (5 replies)

Republicans Mock Nunes Over Lawsuit Frenzy

Campaign 2020 Congress Law Republicans
Republicans Mock Nunes Over Lawsuit Frenzy
Oliver Willis August 13, 2019

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is being ridiculed and criticized by his fellow California Republicans for suing his own constituents in his congressional district.

Nunes has been in a frenzy of lawsuits lately. He sued Twitter over people making fun of him, and he sued McClatchy, the parent of the Fresno Bee newspaper. Nunes was angered when the Bee reported on his involvement with a winery busted for a fundraiser that allegedly involved drugs and prostitution.

The latest lawsuit “is Nunes’ third in which he alleges that political consultants conspired against him to damage his chances for re-election last year,” McClatchy reported on Thursday.

Nunes is suing four Californians, including retired farmer Paul Buxman, who told the paper he voted for Nunes in the past.

“There seems to be no strategy other than to attack his enemies,” Republican consultant Kevin Spillane told McClatchy. “He should focus on working his district and stay out of the politics of Washington, D.C.”

Spillane also told the outlet that the lawsuit does not help the growing belief that Nunes is increasingly disconnected from his district’s concerns, as Democrats have noted.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 05:06 PM (11 replies)

It Isn't Much to Ask That Cops Have a Higher Standard for Killing People

It Isn’t Much to Ask That Cops Have a Higher Standard for Killing People
Two House Democrats marked the fifth anniversary of the Ferguson uprising by proposing police officers use force as a “last resort”
By Jamil Smith

Stephon Clark lived and died in Sacramento. When the 22-year-old father of two was shot and killed by local cops after a foot chase in the spring of 2018, it provoked the largest national uproar over a police killing of an unarmed black man since the groundswell of protests that began with the death of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising five years ago this week. The Sacramento officers who took Clark’s life were not charged with any crime.

It didn’t happen in Rep. Ro Khanna’s district, but it was close enough. The Philadelphia-born Democratic Congressman representing the nearby 17th District of California recalled what he did as he tried to make sense of Clark’s death.

“It seemed just like another case of a young man’s life being taken without any rationale,” Khanna told Rolling Stone Friday in a phone interview. “And so after Stephon Clark, I had a conversation over breakfast with Reverend [Al] Sharpton. He said, ‘Look, if you really want to do something, this is what’s consequential: Change the actual standard. The ghost of Rehnquist still haunts us. Go propose federal legislation to change the standard.’”

What Sharpton was referring to was the varying measure of determining what is and what isn’t excessive force by law enforcement. The “ghost” he spoke of is the unanimous 1989 Graham v. Connor decision under then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist. That ruling ostensibly established an “objectively reasonable” standard for excessive use-of-force claims under the Fourth Amendment, which protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ruling has been more elastic in practice, often allowing officers to escape legal and even departmental sanction for killings and heinous abuses.

Both Khanna and Rep. Lacy Clay of Missouri, who represents Ferguson, are now trying to create a law that actually honors the spirit of the Graham v. Connor decision: establish a national standard for the use of force by police. The PEACE Act would “change the use of force to be a last resort, rather than a first resort, and require officers to employ de-escalation techniques,” according to their joint statement.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 10:15 AM (2 replies)

Cuccinelli accidentally implies that politicians like Ted Cruz have no right to US citizenship


Cuccinelli accidentally implies that politicians like Ted Cruz have no right to US citizenship
Trump's immigration head tried to justify the Trump administration's new immigration policy -- but it backfired.
Josh Israel
Aug 13, 2019, 9:57 am

Ken Cuccinelli presented a very narrow view of who has a legitimate right to be a U.S. citizen on Tuesday, as he attempted to justify the administration’s new public charge rule for immigrants.

In the process, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) inadvertently suggested that even children born abroad to U.S. citizens, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Trump’s own Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, should not be granted the “right to become an American.”

Cuccinelli, the xenophobic former Republican attorney general of Virginia, was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition and was asked to discuss the administration’s new public charge policy, which discriminates against legal immigrants deemed likely to need public assistance based on their health and monetary needs.

The acting USCIS chief told the host that immigration is a “privilege” for those “who can stand on their own two feet.”

“No one has a right to become an American who isn’t born here as an American,” he said.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 13, 2019, 10:04 AM (8 replies)

Angry S.E. Cupp Says: 'I Am No Longer An NRA Member'


8/12/19 7:21am
Angry S.E. Cupp Says: 'I Am No Longer An NRA Member'
"I know, I will be accused of letting my emotions get in the way of facts here. I've made that accusation before myself. But this is an emotional issue. How could it not be?" she said.
By Susie Madrak

This was quite a righteous rant, especially since it came from someone who has been such an enthusiastic supporter of the NRA.

"For years, I've gone on television and made the case for the Second Amendment -- the right to bear arms. I've pointed out that criminals don't follow gun laws, and I've defended the NRA and its members -- law-abiding gun owners like me who have nothing to do with mass shootings or violent gun crimes. I've done that because I am a gun owner and a gun-rights advocate. And I believed it was true," she said.

"But I am no longer a NRA member. Being right no longer feels righteous. Because in the wake of more mass shootings, acts of senseless violence that sent innocent people running for their lives, leaving children orphaned and loved ones dead on the ground, I know we must do something about guns."

She went on to talk about how people driven by hate have such easy access to guns.

"Where to begin? How about passing universal background checks, instituting violence restraining orders, raising the age of gun purchases to 21, banning 100-round drums, fixing our National Instant Criminal Background Check System and investing in mental health inside our schools? These things cannot wait.

"I am so sick and tired of participating in this predictable cycle of politics, where a mass shooting happens, the left calls for new gun laws -- some meaningful, some unproductive -- the right yells "slippery slope" and hides behind the Constitution.

"Nothing happens, nothing changes. And with the next mass shooting, we do it all over again.

"I love the Constitution. But it's still a document, meant to protect human beings and ensure their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What lives are we protecting when we arm a 21-year-old alleged white supremacist with 100 rounds of ammunition only so he can shoot up dozens of people at a Walmart, including the parents of a 2-month-old child? What liberty are we protecting if we don't feel safe at the mall or walking down the street? What happiness are we protecting if our children are afraid to go to school?

"I know, I will be accused of letting my emotions get in the way of facts here. I've made that accusation before myself. But this is an emotional issue. How could it not be? In fact, it should be more emotional -- and to my friends in the Republican Party, at the NRA, on the side of gun rights, if you're not emotional about this -- join me, won't you?

"Let's start with emotion. There's a lot we can accomplish if we start as humans -- not as NRA lobbyists or gun control lobbyists, not as special interest groups or politicians. But humans -- moms and dads, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues -- because we have everything to lose if we don't."

Wow. We seem to have reached some kind of critical mass when longtime gun supporters like S.E. Cupp speak out, and does so in a way that's hard to rebut, especially this:
I love the Constitution. But it's still a document, meant to protect human beings and ensure their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Welcome to the Sanity Club.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 02:15 PM (19 replies)

Is the Emerging Democratic Majority Finally Coming to Pass?


Is the Emerging Democratic Majority Finally Coming to Pass?
Paul Waldman
August 11, 2019
The suburbs may be slipping from the Republicans' grasp.


Consider the stunning news that The Los Angeles Times reported last week: Orange County, California—cradle of the Reagan Revolution, former hotbed of John Birch Society support, birthplace of the megachurch—now has more registered Democrats than Republicans. A couple of decades ago that would have seemed as likely as San Francisco becoming a Republican stronghold.

In 2018, four Democrats ousted Republican members of Congress whose districts include parts of Orange County. And that election saw similar results in suburban swing districts all over the country, where Democrats beat enough Republican members to enable their party to take back the House of Representatives.

And now, not just Trump’s message but that of the entire Republican Party seems designed to alienate those voters. Right now the issue dominating the headlines is guns, where Republicans are not only out of step with a public that is increasingly supportive of new restrictions, but are about to betray that public sentiment yet again.


There is a growing awareness within the Republican Party that inaction on guns, combined with the administration’s unfathomably cruel immigration policies and the distastefulness of Trump’s relentless racism, is alienating more and more suburban voters, especially women. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found Trump’s approval at 51 percent among suburban men, but only 37 percent among suburban women. As one GOP donor told Bloomberg News, “Republicans are headed for extinction in the suburbs if they don’t distance themselves from the NRA.” Which they can’t do. And there will be more mass shootings between now and next November.

One can imagine a different kind of Republican Party that could compete better with suburban moderates, not to mention do better with non-white and younger voters. It might advocate for lower taxes and a lighter government footprint, but consent to more sensible gun policies and get rid of its race-baiting. The trouble is that the current Republican Party has decided that no priority is higher than holding on to its white, rural base—and in Donald Trump’s view, that requires a commitment to a white identity politics based on hatred and resentment. In an America that grows more diverse by the day, the GOP is actually getting whiter.

Three years into Trump’s term, it is no longer possible for any Republican voter to deny what their party is about. For most, it isn’t enough to get them to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate. But a significant number, perhaps even enough to swing the election, might just decide to stay home. If their losses in the suburbs continue, some in the party will plead that they need to change in order to retake power. There’s no telling if they’ll have the will to do it.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 02:09 PM (2 replies)

MSNBC Anchor Pushes Back After Colleague Wrongly Scolds Him On-Air Over Immigration


MSNBC Anchor Pushes Back After Colleague Wrongly Scolds Him On-Air Over Immigration
“I’m not sure where you’re getting that from,” Kelly O’Donnell said to Mohyeldin after he explained Trump’s anti-immigrant stance. He later took to Twitter to push back.
Justin Baragona
Updated 08.12.19 12:28PM ET / Published 08.12.19 11:59AM ET

MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin took to Twitter to defend himself minutes after a Monday segment in which his colleague, NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, rebuked him on-air over his description of President Trump’s immigration views.

Prior to introducing O’Donnell during a Monday morning MSNBC segment, Mohyeldin noted that Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli had just announced a new policy to make it harder for low-income immigrants to secure permanent residency in the U.S.

“We know President Trump proposed this update last year, according to our own reporting,” the MSNBC host said to O’Donnell. “According to the former Homeland Security secretary, it’s designed to promote immigrant self-sufficiency to ensure they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

“We know the president has always had a preference for immigrants from Nordic countries,” Mohyeldin added. “He’s made that very clear as opposed to other more disadvantaged countries. Walk us through the impact on these immigrants. Why now?”

While Mohyeldin was referencing President Trump’s infamous “shithole countries” remarks to lawmakers last year in which the president reportedly suggested America should bring in more immigrants from Norway, O’Donnell immediately pushed back on the anchor’s interpretation of Trump’s position.

“I don’t know that the president has expressed a preference for Nordic countries,” she replied. “That is something where I’m not sure where you’re getting that from. He certainly said he has an emphasis on merit-based immigration. And he has talked about that extensively. So that matches up to his rhetoric.”

Mohyeldin, meanwhile, didn’t offer a retort or explanation during the segment, instead moving on to Cuccinelli’s press briefing. He did, however, respond on Twitter moments later. After Tom Colicchio tweeted that Mohyeldin was correct, the MSNBC anchor thanked the celebrity chef while seemingly tossing a little shade at his colleague.

“There have been so many disparaging comments made about immigrants by this President, it’s understandable why this would have been forgotten,” Mohyeldin tweeted


O’Donnell later found herself on the receiving end of online criticism for seeming to pretend she didn’t know why Mohyeldin referenced Nordic countries. Esquire’s Charles Pierce linked to NBC reporting on Trump’s “shithole” quote, noting that O’Donnell’s “own network is here to help.”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 01:59 PM (16 replies)

William Barr Ripped For Bungling Jeffrey Epstein's Federal Custody


Posted on Mon, Aug 12th, 2019 by Jason Easley
William Barr Ripped For Bungling Jeffrey Epstein’s Federal Custody

Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi said that Attorney General William Barr bungled Jeffrey Epstein’s federal custody, but not having him secured at the highest level.

Figliuzzi said on MSNBC, “If he felt that Epstein was so important and the victims getting some justice was so important as Tom referred to this prisoner could have been under watch as a valuable prisoner, put aside the suicide threat, that risk, the psychological concerns, this was a very valuable prisoner that should have been kept alive. So a little bit too late for Barr to come in and say he wants justice for the victims. He could have had it by ordering special handling for Epstein. The other thing that I hope is wrapped up in his statement that there will be justice and coconspirators will be looked at I hope he also means the corruption investigation into how Alex Acosta, Trump’s Secretary of Labor but former U.S. Attorney of Miami, got Epstein off the federal hook years ago and got him a state charge instead. I hope there will be pursuit of a corruption investigation for the southern district of Florida to figure out how this even happened in the first place.”


If Epstein was so important to the DOJ, why was he sitting in New York City like any other federal prisoner? Why didn’t the DOJ step in after Epstein’s first prison suicide attempt? It is difficult to believe Barr now when the Trump DOJ had ample opportunity to secure Jeffrey Epstein at the highest level of federal custody and did nothing.

The prison is to blame because they apparently were not following procedure, but Trump administration bumbling gave Jeffrey Epstein the opening to commit suicide.

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 11:40 AM (15 replies)

Texas Republicans Brace for 2020 Drubbing


Texas Republicans Brace for 2020 Drubbing
August 12, 2019 at 8:43 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“As bad as it’s been for Texas Republicans lately, some members of the party are warning that 2020 could be even worse,” Politico reports.

“The rash of recent House GOP retirements is just the latest sign of a state party in distress: In last year’s midterms, Democrats flipped a pair of longtime GOP districts, a Democrat came within striking distance of a Senate seat and more than 50 elected Republican judges lost their jobs. Democrats also gained ground in state legislative races.”

Said Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX): “If the Republican Party in Texas doesn’t start looking like Texas, there won’t be a Republican Party in Texas.”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 12, 2019, 09:26 AM (6 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next »