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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 165,914

Journal Archives

Sen Sherrod Brown Blasts Mitch McConnell For Being Addicted To NRA Money


Posted on Wed, Aug 7th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Sen Sherrod Brown Blasts Mitch McConnell For Being Addicted To NRA Money



Mitch McConnell Will Stop Anything Meaningful From Happening On Guns

Sen. Brown laid the problem at the feet of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. The president won’t support doing anything about the ease of obtaining guns, and McConnell is saying that he won’t support any legislation unless Trump signs off on it. Majority Leader McConnell is exploring legislation to regulate violence in video games, but he is not going to do anything about guns. Republicans blocked action after kindergartners and first graders were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary. The Parkland shooting didn’t phase them. Shootings at places of worship in South Carolina and Pittsburgh did nothing.

Republicans didn’t blink when one of their own got shot practicing for the congressional softball game.

As long as those checks keep coming from the gun industry, the Majority Leader doesn’t care, which is why America needs to rid itself of Mitch McConnell.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 05:30 PM (7 replies)

Al Franken: "Learn the Damn Speech!

As found on FB~

Few things here...
1) Al Franken was railroaded into resigning and should still be in the Senate.
2) I miss his ability to communicate intelligently with humor.
3) I miss him and his point of view. He just posted the following and I thought I’d put the copy/paste function to good use for your convenience. So. Without further ado, Senator Al Franken...

“Learn the Damn Speech!

One of the most frustrating parts of being an American during these past couple years has been trying to process the sheer tonnage of lies, the endless vitriol and stupidity, the unyielding crassness, cynicism, and self-aggrandizement, not to mention the sheer cruelty coming on a daily basis from Donald Trump. It is so overwhelming that it all sort of blends into one nightmarish mountain range of bullshit.

At a certain point, the brain gives up. There is no sense trying to remember his childish taunts, malicious calumnies, and transparently empty boasts. Just wait a few minutes. There’ll be a new one.

Keeping track of, let alone cataloguing, his daily stream of effluent, quickly became an impossible exercise, especially, I would imagine, for the poor souls whose job it is to do just that. But every once in a while, I will find a new category of affront that screams, “point me out!”

And that is Trump’s unwillingness to step up during a moment of national pain and deliver a speech meant to provide some comfort to Americans in a manner that makes you believe he gives shit. Remember, this is a guy who criticized President Obama for using a teleprompter. Yet, when he spoke yesterday about the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, his expressionless face appeared to be mounted on a swivel-head, turning mechanically from one prompter to another in a way that suggested that he was reading the words for the first time and that he really felt he had better things to do.

Mr. President, when more than thirty people are randomly gunned down by two men in two American cities within hours of each other, and one of the killers had written a manifesto borrowing heavily from your own words, it’s time to step up and at least say something that, while not particularly comforting, (not your forte), at least sounds sincere. Some tips. Practice the speech. Start by reading it. Several times. That way, when you say the words for the cameras, they will seem familiar to you and you may understand why you are saying what you’re saying. Try to rewrite the speech, if just slightly, in your own words – enough to make it sound like you mean what are saying. Don’t gin up emotion if you don’t have any to gin up. But at least make an attempt to pretend that you grieve for those who died and their friends and family.

Don’t go to El Paso. Or to Dayton. But especially El Paso. The families and friends of those who were massacred there have every right to believe that your words from the moment you started your campaign at Trump Tower, then throughout your campaign, and to the very day of the shooting – that those words encouraged the shooter and that their loved ones may very well be alive were it not for the hatred you’ve been spewing almost daily.

Give the speech – a new speech – that expresses heartfelt sadness and grief. Do it from the Oval Office, not from one of your golf courses. And try to make it sound like you’re sincere, even if you’re not. That will require some work. But it will be worth it. Understand how desperate all of us are for some reassurance that there are indeed limits to your unfeeling cruelty. Please. Not just for the people of El Paso and Dayton. But for all Americans.”

~ Al Franken
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 05:06 PM (57 replies)

Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests

Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests
an hour ago

MORTON, Miss. (AP) — U.S. immigration officials raided numerous Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in what marked the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.

The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to visit El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino city where a man linked to an online screed about a “Hispanic invasion” was charged in a shooting that left 22 people dead in the border city.

Workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant in tiny Morton, 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Jackson. They were taken to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, “Let them go! Let them go!” Later, two more buses arrived.

A tearful 13-year-old boy whose parents are from Guatemala waved goodbye to his mother, a Koch worker, as he stood beside his father. Some employees tried to flee on foot but were captured in the parking lot.


About 600 agents fanned out across the plants involving several companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing. They occurred in small towns near Jackson with a workforce made up largely of Latino immigrants, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 04:58 PM (31 replies)

'Green Shirt Guy' Wins The Internet Today


8/07/19 10:27am
'Green Shirt Guy' Wins The Internet Today
A MAGA-hatted woman freaks out over immigration at a city council meeting, and green shirt guy just laughs and laughs. (Open thread)
By Frances Langum

Green Shirt Guy wins the internet today. Also, the guy off camera who yells "You are in direct violation of being a jackass."


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 04:54 PM (7 replies)

The Rude Pundit: This Desperate, Armed Land


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
This Desperate, Armed Land


Calling mass shooters "crazy" for committing the shooting may be comforting because it makes them Not Like Me, but it's a lie. It degrades the real sufferers of mental illness, and it demonizes them. It places the blame at arm's length and gives every NRA-owned politician an out. This is much the same as Trump's offer to discuss even weak gun control measures in the context of immigration reform. It blames the wrong thing and the wrong people. Immigrants aren't what ail the country.

Simply put, the special sickness in the United States is the guns. The majority of Americans know that. I'd venture that the majority of politicians know it. But the Republican has a stake in keeping its voters stoked with paranoia about outsiders, about any government programs, about their own neighbors who aren't like them. The GOP needs its base to be desperate and then to exploit that desperation in order to maintain power. But the desperate need to have something that gives them comfort, that makes them feel safe in a world that they are constantly told by their leaders and their media is out to destroy them and their fading way of life. Guns provide that security. No, they may not have health care, access to a good education, a fair wage at a fair job, or decent infrastructure, but, goddamnit, they can have guns and the belief that it inoculates them should shit go south. Or if they believe it's finally go time to act on whatever belief is driving them, never realizing that the people who sold them this bill of goods are the real enemy.

In his statement after El Paso and Dayton, former president Barack Obama made guns the very first point: "First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do." Yeah, he said, there are these other factors (not violent video games because that's just stupid). But as any law enforcement officer will tell you, you have to disarm someone or render them no longer dangerous before you can do anything else for them.

Of course, Trump, who is the king of misdirected grievance and thus the ideal leader for the desperate and armed, only saw that Obama said, "We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments," and made the whole thing about himself and unwittingly admitting he uses that very language. Then he started tweeting about how the Dayton shooter had leftist leanings and that people should stop blaming him and Beto O'Rourke sucks. The guns may be the sickness. Trump is the parasite that feeds on the ill.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 12:18 PM (3 replies)

Trump calls visiting El Paso and Dayton a terrific opportunity


Trump calls visiting El Paso and Dayton a terrific opportunity
Posted on Wed, Aug 7th, 2019 by Jason Easley

Trump made his photo-op intentions clear when he called visiting El Paso and Dayton after mass shootings a terrific opportunity.
Trump said, “We’re going to Dayton first and then we’re going to El Paso, and we’ll be meeting with first responders, law enforcement, some of the victims and paying my respects and regards. I’ll be going with the first lady. It’s a terrific opportunity, really, to congratulate some of the police and law enforcement. The job they’ve done is incredible. Really incredible.”

Trump isn’t going to El Paso and Dayton to console the victims of mass shootings or announce new policies to combat gun violence. He is going there to get his picture taken with local law enforcement and congratulate them for having to risk their lives because he and his party refuse to do anything about gun laws and gun violence.

For Trump, this trip to the two cities where the latest American mass shootings occurred is about political opportunity. Trump doesn’t care about the victims. He doesn’t care if the residents of these cities don’t want him there. Trump is only interested in Trump, which is one of the main attributes that make him a terrible president. The day should be about honoring the victims and calling for fixing the nation’s gun laws, not a presidential photo-op with law enforcement.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 10:35 AM (12 replies)

A Reformed White Nationalist Says the Worst Is Yet to Come

A Reformed White Nationalist Says the Worst Is Yet to Come
Christian Picciolini discusses the mainstreaming of white nationalism, what it takes to de-radicalize far-right extremists, and why the problem is metastasizing.
Yara Bayoumy Kathy Gilsinan
Aug 6, 2019

It’s going to get worse.

That’s the warning of a former violent extremist, Christian Picciolini, who joined a neo-Nazi movement 30 years ago and now tries to get people out of them. White-supremacist terrorists—the ones who have left dozens dead in attacks in Pittsburgh, New Zealand, and El Paso, Texas, in recent months—aren’t just trying to outdo one another, he told us. They’re trying to outdo Timothy McVeigh, the anti-government terrorist who blew up an Oklahoma City federal building and killed more than 100 people in 1995—the worst terrorist attack in the United States before September 11, 2001.

On Saturday morning in El Paso, a gunman shot and killed 22 people, including children, at a Walmart. The store was crowded for back-to-school-shopping season. The victims included a high-school student, an elementary-school teacher, and a couple carrying their infant son, who survived. And the shooter, according to an online manifesto authorities attributed to the suspect, saw himself fighting a “Hispanic invasion” as he gunned them down.

That shooting, along with another one hours later, in which an attacker killed nine people over 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio, renewed the clamor for gun-control laws that has become a grim ritual after such events. But Picciolini said that even if the U.S. could get a handle on its gun problem, terrorists can always find other ways. McVeigh had his car bomb, the September 11th hijackers had their airplanes, Islamic State attackers have suicide bombings, trucks, and knives. “I have to ask myself, Do we have white-nationalist airline pilots?” Picciolini said. “There have to be. I knew people in powerful positions, in politics, in law enforcement, who were secretly white nationalists. I think we’d be stupid and selfish to think that we don’t have those in the truck-driving industry.”

Picciolini now runs a global network, the Free Radicals Project, where former extremists like him provide counseling to others trying to leave extremist movements. He spoke with us yesterday morning about the mainstreaming of white nationalism, what it takes to de-radicalize far-right extremists, and why the problem is metastasizing.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 7, 2019, 10:09 AM (9 replies)

Obama Still Sounds Like a President

Must drive the orange turd bonkers.


Obama Still Sounds Like a President
The former consoler in chief issued a statement on El Paso and Dayton that contrasted sharply with Trump’s rhetoric.
5:48 PM ET
David A. Graham

Today, the consoler in chief finally emerged to comfort the nation after the massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

No, not President Donald Trump. He spoke, too, in White House remarks read stiffly from a teleprompter, using a lexicon that sounds stunted coming from him.

Instead, this was Barack Obama, in a statement delivered on social media:
It is vintage Obama. There is the sense of consolation that seemed to come naturally to him—in any case, he got horrifically frequent practice at striking this tone during his eight years in office. There’s moral clarity, identifying the problem as “troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy,” and (in contrast to Trump) situating the internet’s role not as a cause but as a catalyst. And there is the call to unity that has been his central political theme since 2004: “But just as important, all of us have to send a clarion call and behave with the values of tolerance and diversity that should be the hallmark of our democracy.”


There’s no figure in American politics who has as much credibility and popularity to act as a counterweight to Trump as Obama. But he’s still unsure what to do with that power—except, as he did today, to just do the job for him.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 5, 2019, 11:46 PM (3 replies)

Donald Trump Has Run Roughly 2,200 Facebook Ads Using the Word 'Invasion' Since May 2018

Donald Trump Has Run Roughly 2,200 Facebook Ads Using the Word 'Invasion' Since May 2018
By Christina Zhao On 8/4/19 at 10:05 PM EDT
President Donald Trump has run roughly 2,200 Facebook advertisements using the word "invasion" since May 2018, Media Matters announced on Sunday following two mass shootings over the weekend.

"According to Facebook's ad archive, Trump has run around 2,200 FB ads since May 2018 mentioning the word 'invasion.' Scrolling through, all of them seem to be about immigration," Natalie Martinez, an extremism & social media researcher for Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog, tweeted on Sunday, alongside screenshots of the president's advertisements.

"We have an INVASION! So we are BUILDING THE WALL to STOP IT! Dems will sue us. But we want a SAFE COUNTRY!," one of Trump's advertised posts read. "It's CRITICAL that we STOP THE INVASION. Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have no negotiated in good faith to fund a wall at our Southern Border, proving that OBSTRUCTION is far more important to them than YOUR SAFETY..."

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Martinez's post on Sunday evening and declared that by repeatedly using the words "infestation" and "invasion" to address a "specific, targeted group of people," Trump is implying that they are "vermin."

"This is the language of white supremacy & it goes all the way to the top," the freshman lawmaker tweeted. "It's not a matter of political stances. This is stoking hatred + endangering the country."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 5, 2019, 01:16 PM (2 replies)

Before Trump criticized the urban poverty he uses to attack Democrats, he profited from it

Before Trump criticized the urban poverty he uses to attack Democrats, he profited from it
The president's transparently dishonest attacks on cities in Cincinnati conveniently erase the role played by greedy, cheating developers like himself.
Alan Pyke
Aug 2, 2019, 3:44 pm

Cities are the problem, President Donald Trump told a typically riled-up crowd Thursday night in Cincinnati, and their problems are Democrats’ fault.

The latest iteration of the president’s evolving attack on urban — and specifically majority-black — communities expanded past Baltimore to encompass Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. In each case, he said, “these communities have been run exclusively by Democrat politicians” whose tapping of federal programs amounts to “stolen money and…wasted money.”

But Trump’s caricatured version of city life is especially cynical given the fact that he’s mounted a considerable effort during his time in office to cause the very dereliction for which he blames others. He’s proposed eliminating the main federal grant program that cities use to build new public resources and refurbish old ones. He’s repeatedly plotted to evict millions of the most vulnerable people from their existing housing. He’s asked for roughly a trillion dollars in cuts to health care programs for the poor and elderly.

And when his budget cuts have been largely stymied by congressional Democrats, Trump has slipped punishing austerity in through the side door. His agencies are using their regulatory authority to kick millions of working people off of food stamps for daring to save a bit of money, to kick millions of other citizens off Medicaid for the crime of being unable to find work, and to rip down safeguards that protect them from the greed of developers. Where he’s been unable to punish inner-city communities by shutting off the funding faucet, he has introduced new barriers in the form of paperwork and bureaucracy.

But the hypocrisy of his new heel-turn against the cities where most Americans reside also long predates his time in office.

The president made his wealth on business practices that hollow out urban cores, exacerbate inequality, push low-income residents out, and relocate social problems rather than ameliorate them. Trump’s habitual exaggeration of the crime, drug, and public health challenges facing various cities notwithstanding, to the extent that cities do have such problems they are the byproduct of the shameless wealth-hoarding behavior of developers like him.

Economists have a fancy term for the bad things a business venture causes for others during their pursuit of profit: “negative externalities.” The civic struggles Trump is now lambasting for political gain are in fact negative externalities to the rich fancy-lad class of goons from which he sprung. Trump’s celebrity and wealth were built on depriving cities of the resources they need for sustained success, in both raw economic terms and at the less tangible level of social fabric.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 3, 2019, 01:10 PM (2 replies)
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