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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
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Journal Archives

Psaki Drills Context Into Thick Heads Of Beltway Media


9/15/21 3:11pm
Video @ link~

Psaki Drills Context Into Thick Heads Of Beltway Media
No, GOP stenographers, I mean reporters, President Biden is NOT the same as The Former Guy. Gen. Milley doesn't have to worry about, ya know, military coups with Biden.
By Aliza Worthington

I lost count of how many times Press Secretary Jen Psaki needed to explain the context in which Gen. Mark Milley went outside the official chain of command to talk to his counterpart in China, and also his fellow commanders at the Pentagon.

The context, of course, is that when that happened, he had very compelling reason. The Former Guy had just incited and given the blessing for an insurrection that saw thousands of MAGAt psychos attack the Capitol, wherein they attempted to take legislators and the Vice President of the United States hostage and kill them. All in a futile attempt to maintain power.

So, there's that little piece of important context.

You'd never know that context existed, though, from the way the press asked questions today, behaving as if Milley's actions under Trump might carry over to his service as Biden's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The compilation video above are only the second and third time Psaki was asked if Gen. Milley still had Biden's confidence, if he should be investigated, if Biden was worried Milley would do the same thing to HIM, etc. Each and every time, Psaki explained said context. You'd think it was perfectly normal for what happened under Trump to happen under Biden and every other president, from the way the press was behaving.

The first reporter in this video (the second to bring up Milley) asked, as if bewildered, what on earth will Pres. Biden do should his Joint Chiefs go outside the command structure, or decide the president is doing something unlawful?

(Remember. Trump actually was doing things that were unlawful and unconstitutional and demanding others also do those crimey things, and he was considering using the military to maintain power.)

Psaki told him, "Well, beyond this president, or any president, it's the obligation of every Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to follow the constitution to prevent unlawful military action. This president has no intention of fomenting unrest or insurrection. He has no intention of moving forward or recommending unlawful military action. He has no intention of working in a way that is outside of what his national security team, what his military commanders are aligned with him on....He has no intention of working outside of what is legally allowable. So I don't think that's gonna be an issue for this president."

Unlike The Former Guy, who held the constitution in disdain, regarded the rule of law as no better than dogsh*t on his shoe, and treated the military like his personal bouncers at Studio 54.

Another reporter asked, "Is there a point at which the criticism makes General Milley unable to continue in this role, because it is a new administration, it's a new day, and there are some questions about if he exceeded his authority?"

"Well, AGAIN, the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism, and his fidelity to our constitution," answered Psaki. "I can't speak to the former president's experience with him, or the former president's views of him. But THIS president, this CURRENT president, who FOLLOWS the constitution, who's NOT fomenting an insurrection, who FOLLOWS the rule of law, has complete confidence in Chairman Milley, and his continuing to serve in his role."

The reporter brought up criticism of Milley from Republicans, and Psaki shot her down, saying, "I don't think the president is looking for the guidance of members of Congress who stood by while the president of the United States and the leader of their party fomented an insurrection and many of them were silent."

Amazingly, they continued asking her some version of the same question about Gen. Milley fitness and Biden's faith in him. Did they think they'd wrest a different answer from her? Did their brains refused to accept and absorb the truth of the context Psaki had already provided?

Frankly, this is context their own educations and experience should have already ingrained in them — context that would have prevented them from embarrassing themselves with this stenographic repetition of GOP talking points, as if they were legitimate concerns.

It's astonishing that Psaki continues to go out there daily and treat these reporters as professionals. They very clearly are not.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 16, 2021, 06:25 AM (3 replies)

'Exit TX': Republicans' extreme politics send Texas-based tech companies into crisis mode


'Exit TX': Republicans' extreme politics send Texas-based tech companies into crisis mode
Kerry Eleveld
Daily Kos Staff
Wednesday September 15, 2021 · 1:55 PM EDT

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to bragging that—contrary to popular belief—the state's fringe right-wing politics were actually super popular with the business community.

“People vote with their feet, and this is not slowing down businesses coming to the state of Texas at all," Abbott told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. "In fact, it is accelerating the process of businesses coming to Texas."


Just a week later, as Tomlinson suggested, we're starting to see that the GOP's extreme politics could effectively end the state's tech industry boomlet right as the region was turning into a bona fide tech hub.

Tech companies that have already relocated to Texas are now fretting over the possibility that the state's extreme politics will hamstring their ability to recruit top talent. As the Washington Post writes, "In August, Texas had 33,843 tech job openings — the second highest in the United States after California — according to a report from the Computing Technology Industry Association. That’s up 56 percent from a year earlier.

Vivek Bhaskaran, chief executive of an Austin-based software company that produces online surveys, told the Post the company was already finding it "extremely challenging" to attract tech workers to the state. The abortion ban, Bhaskaran said, "seems like an extremely unnecessary conversation we’re going to have to have."

In fact, just two days after the ban went into effect, Bhaskaran convened a virtual town hall for female employees of the company, QuestionPro, and told them the company would pick up the cost of any abortion services they sought out of state.

The company's director of marketing, Crystal Wiese, said the town hall was comforting on one level but disconcerting on another.

“There was a reassuring feeling, but it’s not the kind of conversation you expect to have with your CEO," she said.

Similar to Bhaskaran, the chief executive of the Dallas-based dating app Match is working to cover employee costs for anyone traveling out of state for abortion services. Chief executive Shar Dubey, who immigrated to America from India a quarter-century ago, circulated a company memo blasting the abortion ban.

"I am shocked that I now live in a state where women’s reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India,” Dubey wrote. “Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law.”

The Texas abortion ban also prompted Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff to send a Slack message to employees nationwide saying the company would help employees and their immediate families move to another state if they felt reproductive healthcare wasn't accessible enough where they lived. Benioff later explicitly invoked Texas in a tweet offering to help staff "exit TX."

The Post also talked to workers who have either moved to Texas or considered it. To say that GOP governance of the state isn’t exactly a draw would be an understatement.

Valerie Veteto, a freelance copywriter specializing in tech writing, relocated to Austin from San Francisco just last fall. Guess what? The hip vibe and lower cost of living aren't worth the tradeoff for the state's right-wing bent and governmental incompetence. Between the great power grid freeze earlier this year and fringe GOP politics, Veteto and her boyfriend are hightailing it to New York City.

San Diego-based David Panarelli, a user experience designer, had also considered making the move with his wife. But they balked at the Texas GOP's handling of the pandemic, immigration, and other issues. The abortion ban was the final nail in the coffin.

“If I’m in a situation where I have to make an extremely irreversible decision, I don’t want anyone making that decision for me,” Panarelli told the Post. “It’s not about women. It’s about human rights.”

Seems like banning abortions, targeting voters of color, freezing your constituents to death, and ensuring the pandemic would flourish in your state isn't the hot seller Abbott says it is.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 05:38 PM (6 replies)

Trump Aides Aim To Build GOP Opposition To Afghan Refugees

09/15/2021 08:33 am ET
Trump Aides Aim To Build GOP Opposition To Afghan Refugees
The former president has insisted that the refugees are a threat. Trump adviser Stephen Miller said his focus is on convincing members of Congress.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban arrive in the U.S., a handful of former Trump administration officials are working to turn Republicans against them.

The former officials are writing position papers, appearing on conservative television outlets and meeting privately with GOP lawmakers — all in an effort to turn the collapse of Afghanistan into another opportunity to push a hard-line immigration agenda.

“It is a collaboration based on mutual conviction,” said Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trump’s most conservative immigration policies and among those engaged on the issue. “My emphasis has been in talking to members of Congress to build support for opposing the Biden administration’s overall refugee plans.”

The approach isn’t embraced by all Republican leaders, with some calling it mean-spirited and at odds with Christian teachings that are important to the white evangelicals who play a critical role in the party’s base. The strategy relies on tactics that were commonplace during Trump’s tenure and that turned off many voters, including racist tropes, fear-mongering and false allegations.

And the hard-liners pay little heed to the human reality unfolding in Afghanistan, where those who worked with Americans during the war are desperate to flee for fear they could be killed by the new Taliban regime.

But the Republicans pushing the issue are betting they can open a new front in the culture wars they have been fighting since President Joe Biden’s election by combining the anti-immigrant sentiment that helped fuel Trump’s political rise with widespread dissatisfaction with the Afghan withdrawal. That, they hope, could keep GOP voters motivated heading into next year’s midterms, when control of Congress is at stake.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 09:48 AM (10 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Zero lessons learned --New York Times gives GOP a pass on election lies

Zero lessons learned —New York Times gives GOP a pass on election lies
Words matter
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


Last winter, even as Trump actively tried to engineer the open theft of a presidential contest, and held White House discussions with deranged, conspiracy-peddling advisers, news outlets kept producing ho-hum updates about Trump’s “tactics,” his vague “moves” and “chicanery”; his “quixotic” legal “strategy,” and how he was “sulking” and “brooding” inside the White House. One Politico dispatch even dismissed Trump’s erratic post-election behavior as little more than “bad sportsmanship."

Except that “chicanery” and “bad sportsmanship” soon led to a deadly coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, as violent Trump fanatics tried to overturn the election results.

The Times California recall article last week was a textbook example in how not to cover obvious blatant lies, but at least the report addressed them. Days later, in its California recall election page-one finale, the paper made no mention of the fact that the leading Republican candidate in the race was actively spreading doubt about the election results being trustworthy. Somehow that did not garner a single mention.

The Times has hardly been alone in falling down on this story. The Washington Post recently announced, “California’s Recall Becomes the New Epicenter of Unfounded Fraud Claims,” and refused to call the lies “lies.” CNN highlighted “voter fraud fabrications” in California, “baseless election fraud claims,” and “debunked claims.”

This media malfeasance — the downplaying —unfolds as stunned scholars warn us that Republicans are putting American democracy at risk with their unprecedented and brazen attacks on free and fair elections.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 08:13 AM (3 replies)

Democratic Combat Vet Running Against Madison Cawthorn Calls Him A Traitor


Posted on Tue, Sep 14th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Democratic Combat Vet Running Against Madison Cawthorn Calls Him A Traitor
Josh Remillard, a combat veteran and Democrat running against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, called insurrection inciter a traitor.

Remillard said:

I’m sick of politicians who send us to war and don’t take care of us when we come home. And I’m sick of people like Madison Cawthorn who betray the democracy that I fought to defend and that my friend Brice died for. Madison Cawthorn is a traitor, and I’m the guy to get him out of Congress.

Look at what Madison Cawthorn has done. He incited violence and hate by encouraging insurrectionists, admiring Hitler, and calling for ‘bloodshed,’ and now we have Swastika- and machete-bearing criminals at the Capitol and a second rally this week. This is not a coincidence, and he’s got to go.

Rep. Cawthorn is planning another attack on the Capitol. The freshman congressman is one of Trump’s most loyal devotees and betrayers of democracy.

Josh Remillard is one of a number of Democrats who are vying to face Cawthorn next year.

Remillard lived in foster care, was adopted by his grandparents, and then served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His patriotism and willingness to defend his country has already been proven in war, and if he becomes the Democratic nominee, he will offer voters in North Carolina’s 11th District the choice between a combat vet and a domestic terrorist.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 07:45 AM (63 replies)

Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill {Vice President} Harris

Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris
By Cameron Jenkins - 09/14/21 09:37 AM EDT

A former Florida nurse is facing five years in prison after pleading guilty to threatening to kill Vice President Kamala Harris.

Niviane Petit Phelps, a mother of three, made multiple threats to Harris's life just days after she and President Biden were sworn into office. She created and sent several videos to her husband in prison in which she said she was paid to kill Harris and that the vice president's "days are numbered."

"Kamala Harris you are going to die. Your days are numbered already. Someone paid me $53,000 just to f--- you up and I'm gonna take the, I'm gonna do the job, okay," Phelps said at the time.

She was arrested in April after a criminal complaint was filed against her. On Friday, Phelps pleaded guilty to six counts of making threats against the vice president, according to the Washington Post.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Sep 14, 2021, 09:08 AM (16 replies)

US steps up effort to unite families separated under Trump

US steps up effort to unite families separated under Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is expanding its effort to find and reunite migrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Donald Trump as part of a zero-tolerance policy on illegal crossings.

A federal task force is launching a new program Monday that officials say will expand efforts to find parents, many of whom are in remote Central American communities, and help them return to the United States, where they will get at least three years of legal residency and other assistance.

“We recognize that we can’t make these families completely whole again,” said Michelle Brané, executive director of the administration’s Family Reunification Task Force. “But we want to do everything we can to put them on a path towards a better life.”

The new program, which includes a contract with the International Organization for Migration to help with the often-complex task of getting expelled migrants back to the U.S., is a reflection of just how difficult it has been for President Joe Biden’s administration to address a chapter in U.S. immigration history that drew widespread condemnation.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Sep 14, 2021, 05:59 AM (1 replies)

Anti-Vaxxers Are Now Gargling Iodine to Prevent Covid-19


September 13, 2021 6:16PM ET
Anti-Vaxxers Are Now Gargling Iodine to Prevent Covid-19
One ER doc’s response to the new trend: “Fuck me! Of course they are”
By EJ Dickson

As if attempting to one-up last week’s stupidity with regards to ivermectin, anti-vaxxers on Facebook and Twitter are advocating for a new and unproven Covid-19 treatment: Betadine, an antiseptic used to treat cuts and scrapes.

Povidone iodine, often sold under the brand-name Betadine, is an iodine-based treatment largely for topical use that kills bacteria. It’s a “commonly used cleanser in the ER and OR,” says Kenneth Weinberg, an emergency room physician in New York City. “If you’re in the ER and someone has a wound to sew it up, you use it to clean with.” When told that anti-vaxxers had taken to gargling with Betadine, Weinberg said, “Fuck me! Of course they are.”

Solutions that include povidone iodine have also previously been marketed as a vaginal douche to treat itching in some countries. “We use it before surgery to clean the vagina,” says OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter. “The reason it is bad in douches is that it kills the good bacteria and can be an irritant.”

Betadine is mostly intended for external use, as it can result in iodine poisoning if taken orally, says Gunter. But on social media, people are promoting it as a means of warding off the Covid-19 virus, either by gargling it or using it in a nasal spray. “Don’t get Covid. Prophylaxis is not that hard,” one person touting themselves as an ER doctor tweeted in a post that racked up almost 300 shares, along with a photo of various supplements, including melatonin and vitamin D (none of which have been proven to effectively prevent against Covid-19). “Also nasal spray with a couple of drops betadine in it. And gargle with original Listerine.” Another poster on Facebook wrote, “Gargling, nasal spray and eye drops with 1 percent providone iodine (betadine) results in dramatically better outcomes with Covid infections. I do this every time I’ve been exposed.” (This particular poster cites a 2020 paper written by a Bangladeshi plastic surgeon, one of several that investigates this question, to support this view.)

Betadine does make a diluted product, sold as a gargle to treat sore throat symptoms. But the manufacturers specifically state that it is not intended for ingestion, and that “Betadine Antiseptic products” — including the gargle — “have not been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19 or any other viruses.”

Needless to say, the side effects of ingesting Betadine can be nasty. Weinberg said that when he was doing his residency, he treated a patient who went into kidney failure after drinking iodine and had to be on dialysis (he eventually recovered, but only after he’d started urinating reddish-brown). “I’m sure it would cause all kinds of GI symptoms as well if you ate or drank enough of it,” he says. When asked if gargling Betadine could reduce the effects of Covid-19 or prevent transmission, Weinberg said, “Fuck no.”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Sep 13, 2021, 07:59 PM (23 replies)

Texas Embalmer Shares Nightmare COVID Experiences: 'Unlike Anything I've Seen Before'

Not for the faint of heart.

09/13/2021 09:08 am ET Updated 10 hours ago
Texas Embalmer Shares Nightmare COVID Experiences: ‘Unlike Anything I’ve Seen Before’
“I don’t know how much longer I can keep working this way,” the funeral professional told HuffPost.
By Noah Michelson


We’ve just had to buckle down and do the best that we can. The internet has been a blessing because it allows all of us embalmers to communicate and find out what issues everyone is having because so much of this has been unlike anything we’ve seen before. We get bodies out of ICU regularly, but not in the condition that these COVID bodies are in. They’re tremendously swollen. If they’ve been on a ventilator, that often completely runs down their immune system. It also opens them up to a lot of sepsis and secondary infections that tend to hang around hospitals, like penicillin-resistant staph infections.

These folks were so swollen they were completely unrecognizable. We were also getting sent a lot of people who had died from COVID in nursing homes back at that time, and many of them had not been dead very long at all. Generally when we embalm, we utilize a major artery to inject the embalming fluid and we use its adjoining vein for drainage. The blood tends to settle out because it’s no longer flowing and it’ll gravitate to the dependent part of the body. The longer a body sits, the more blood clots that they develop. I was having people that had only been dead for a few hours and there were major clotting issues. The clots were the size of pancakes ― you never, never see those with someone who didn’t die of COVID.

I’ve been doing this for 30 years and pretty much everywhere I’ve worked has been medium to high volume. I’m not one of those embalmers that works at a place that just does 50 or 60 bodies a year. So I’ve done this long enough and I’ve seen enough that I would know when something different pops up. COVID is unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Many of the people who were in the ICU were on ventilators, and they put adhesive patches on their cheeks. They can easily become septic and they drip that septic saliva on the sides of their faces and the skin in that area gets infected. We were literally receiving bodies with huge lesions on their cheeks or [patches that had gone] gangrene. The sad part is the families of these people, at that point, hadn’t been allowed to see their loved ones during the several weeks that they were in the ICU. So the body comes out in an almost unrecognizable condition, and then you have to explain to their family that their loved one doesn’t look anything like what they should.

Despite the fact that I specialize in postmortem reconstruction ― accidents, trauma, stuff like that ― when the bodies are that swollen, there is very little I can do to eliminate that. And for a lot of these families, it’s just a tremendous shock. I’ve had husbands and wives die within days of each other. I’ve seen entire families wiped out. It’s horrible.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Sep 13, 2021, 07:53 PM (22 replies)

Forget About Biden's 'Cruel Summer'--He's Doing Big Things

Forget About Biden’s ‘Cruel Summer’—He’s Doing Big Things
He’s ended America’s longest war, got vaccines distributed at no cost nationwide and halved the child poverty rate. So why all the stories about ‘Biden‘s Cruel Summer’?
David Rothkopf
Bernard Schwartz
Updated Sep. 13, 2021 10:29AM ET / Published Sep. 13, 2021 10:18AM ET

We are both old enough to remember a time when you picked up the newspaper in the morning or turned on the television news to find out what was happening in the world. Now, it is not that simple.

Opinion, spin, misguided attempts at “objectivity” that produce false equivalencies, the partisanship of some media outlets and a herd mentality in the press have made it difficult to know where the facts end and the truth begins. When untrue or misleading narratives emerge, they can take on a life of their own and have serious real world consequences—shifting the political landscape, remaking polls, changing how subsequent developments are viewed or even impacting whether and how they take place.

This has seldom been made more clear than in the recent treatment of President Biden in the media. Not only has much of it been divorced from reality, misguided, or twisted, but the real world implications of the narratives that have emerged in the past several weeks could have lasting negative ramifications for the country.

The facts of Biden’s presidency are there for all of us to see. When he took office, Biden inherited a country in the midst of a pandemic and an economic crisis, reeling from an unprecedented attack on its political system and wracked by social divisions the last president systematically sought to make worse. Our international standing had been battered by racist policies, nationalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, attacks on our allies, corruption, efforts to undermine international institutions, embrace of our enemies and rejection of our own core democratic values.

In just eight months, the president and his team have engineered transformational progress on many fronts. Where there had been no plan to administer vaccines, today over 200 million Americans have received at least one shot and the vaccines are available to every American free of charge and are now required of federal workers as part of a sweeping effort to contain the spread of the virus here. Our vaccine diplomacy efforts lead the world, with commitments to share 600 million doses to countries in need worldwide. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has cut the child poverty rate in half. More jobs, 4.1 million, were created in the first six months of this administration than in the 12 years of the Trump and Bush administrations combined. The U.S. economy grew at an extraordinary annualized rate of 6.5 percent during the second quarter of this year. Biden implemented scores of executive orders undoing Trump administration policies that damaged the environment, put our security at risk or violated the rights of Americans.

more/sorry, pay wall...

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Sep 13, 2021, 05:05 PM (6 replies)
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