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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 166,685

Journal Archives

Eric Alterman on Holding Trump Enablers Accountable


Eric Alterman on Holding Trump Enablers Accountable
BY Eric Alterman | January 8, 2021

I’ve been forced to write about Donald Trump an awful lot during the past five years and the problem I always face when writing in a limited space, like this one, is which of his countless horrific qualities to focus on. The same thing happens when I need to address the consequences of the policies of his administration. There are so many terrible ones, so many victims and so many enablers. I always found myself asking, “Who deserves a thousand words today?”

Not today. I don’t dispute the genuine horror, outrage and sadness genuinely patriotic people feel at seeing the desecration of one of the most potent symbols of American democracy. I share those feelings. But another part of me is glad about it. Finally, Trumpism has clarified itself. It’s not about “economic insecurity.” It’s not about globalization. It’s not about being “forgotten,” “disdained by elites,” or “fear of the future.” It’s just about hatred: hatred of anyone and anything who is not a white, Christian, right-wing, American-born American. Any other attempt to defend or explain Trump’s appeal is a lie and a dangerous one at that because it’s a lie that perpetuates all the other lies that have allowed him and his minions to conduct a rampage against America and all that it stands for; the same rampage that finally found its physical manifestation in the insurrectional riot we saw on Wednesday.


The obvious question for which there is just as obviously no clear answer yet is, “Are we too far gone to save ourselves?” As posed by the punditocracy, it takes some form of, “How much of the Republican Party will remain in thrall to this guy that we now all suddenly discovered is a dangerous lunatic?” This question is always followed by references to rhetorical flamethrowers, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and the total of 179 lawmakers who, even after what they saw on Wednesday, still refused to recognize the rightful president-elect of the United States. (This is coupled with a running count of which rats are jumping from their sinking ship. ) But the Congressional Republican Party is just the head of an extremely pugnacious and poisonous snake. The reptilian structure it grows out of has strangled so many of institutions that make democracy possible and infected so many of the people who shape and influence it, one has a hard time imagining where we will find the resources to nurse the body politic back even to a semblance of good health.

One thing is for certain, however: we have no choice but to try. There is no “moving on” or “looking to the future” without first facing the truth. And that means legally holding responsible everyone who helped to create the criminal syndicate that took over our government and morally, everyone who supported it. They were not just “playing politics,” this time around. They were toying with treason. And that’s just how they need to be treated if we are to restore a semblance of functional democracy to our system and personal honor to our politics.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jan 9, 2021, 12:45 PM (5 replies)

Donald Trump is the accelerant

Donald Trump is the accelerant
A comprehensive timeline of Trump encouraging hate groups and political violence.
By Fabiola Cineas Updated Jan 9, 2021, 11:04am EST


Trump’s messaging on January 6 is precisely in line with how he’s historically addressed violence on the part of hate groups and his supporters: He emboldens it.

As far back as 2015, Trump has been connected to documented acts of violence, with perpetrators claiming that he was even their inspiration. In fact, dozens of people enacted violence in Trump’s name in the years before the Capitol attack, according to a 2020 report from ABC News.

In 2016, a white man told officers “Donald Trump will fix them” while being arrested for threatening his Black neighbors with a knife. That same year, a Florida man threatened to burn down a house next to his because a Muslim family purchased it, claiming that Trump’s Muslim ban made it a reason for “concern.” Then there are the more widely known examples, like Cesar Sayoc, who mailed 16 inoperative pipe bombs to Democratic leaders and referred to Trump as a “surrogate father”; and the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 that left 23 dead, where the shooter’s manifesto parroted Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants.

In some cases, Trump denounces the violence, but he often walks back such statements, returning to a message of hate and harm. In August, he defended a teenage supporter who shot three people at a Black Lives Matter protest. And at the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump shocked many viewers when he was given an opportunity to condemn white supremacists but declined. In October, he equivocated on condemnation of the domestic terrorists who allegedly planned to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, after Trump had stoked outrage over the state’s pandemic safety measures. He criticized Whitmer when the kidnapping plot was revealed and fished for compliments.

Trump has continually refused to recognize what’s at the core of this violence: hate nurtured under a tense national climate that he has helped cultivate.

Trump’s campaign rallies have always been incubation grounds for violence, the sites where Trump spewed hate speech that encouraged physical harm against dissenters. And as president, he has used his platform to encourage violence against American citizens, whether through the police and National Guard or militia groups — unless those citizens are his supporters.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jan 9, 2021, 12:28 PM (1 replies)

Oh, the irony...

Trump signs executive order to protect monuments
By Grace Segers
June 27, 2020 / 9:13 AM / CBS News


"Individuals and organizations have the right to peacefully advocate for either the removal or the construction of any monument. But no individual or group has the right to damage, deface, or remove any monument by use of force," the order says.

It says "anarchists and left-wing extremists have sought to advance a fringe ideology that paints the United States of America as fundamentally unjust and have sought to impose that ideology on Americans through violence and mob intimidation."

The order also says "it is the policy of the United States to prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law, and as appropriate, any person or any entity that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue within the United States or otherwise vandalizes government property."

The order calls for law enforcement to "prosecute to the fullest extent" anyone who "participates in efforts to incite violence or other illegal activity in connection with the riots and acts of vandalism."

Federal law authorizes a penalty of up to a decade in prison for the "willful injury" of federal property.

"It is the policy of the United States, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to withhold Federal support tied to public spaces from State and local governments that have failed to protect public monuments, memorials, and statues from destruction or vandalism," the order continues.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jan 9, 2021, 08:55 AM (0 replies)

CNN Host Shreds 'Propagandist, Liar, Parasite' Tucker Carlson's Racist Insurrection Denialism

Video at link-she is terrific!!


1/08/21 2:52pm
CNN Host Shreds 'Propagandist, Liar, Parasite' Tucker Carlson’s Racist Insurrection Denialism
Brianna Keilar smashed to smithereens Tucker Carlson’s refusal to admit that the MAGA sedition riot at the Capitol was anything more than a “political protest that got out of hand.”
By NewsHound Ellen

Unable to defend the MAGAites and their cult leader Donald Trump, Carlson has tried to deflect by making the critics and the media the real villains.

CARLSON: What happened yesterday, they're telling us, wasn't simply that a political protest got out of hand after the president recklessly encouraged it. That is in fact what happened, but it's not what they're saying. Instead, they're calling it domestic terrorism. CNN describes it as an insurrection. Today, CNN unveiled a Soviet-style enemies list to make it a little easier to find all those Trump supporters and then destroy them.

Keilar quoted from Merriam-Webster and aired video (“since this guy pretends not to understand big words”) to show that yes, indeed, the armed takeover of the Capitol this week was an insurrection and sedition, “incited by the president calling his supporters to action.”

But what’s especially despicable about Carlson’s whitewash of the MAGA insurrection is how it compares to his demonization of Black Lives Matter protests. Keilar brought receipts:

CARLSON: It’s BLM and antifa, crazed ideologues, grifters, criminals, antisocial thugs with no stake in society, nothing better to do than to hurt people and destroy things.

These are not protests. This is not about George Floyd. This is not about systemic racism, whatever that is. America is not a racist country. They flood the streets with angry young people who break things and they hurt anyone who gets in the way. When they want something, they take it.

They’re the armed militia of the Democratic party. They’re working to overthrow our system of government. They're trying to put themselves in power. That's all obvious now.

Then she pounced. Here’s the shot.

KEILAR: Tucker Carlson rolls his eyes at the idea of systemic racism, at white privilege, but perhaps he should roll those eyes on over to a mirror. It's entirely fantastical to think that crowds of Black or Brown Americans would have been treated as the mostly white insurrectionists at the Capitol were on Wednesday. He doesn’t treat them equally.

Yes, looting is criminal behavior punishable under the law. But what we saw on Tuesday is so much more than that. And saying otherwise is false equivalence. To liken the siege on the Capitol to the violence and property damage during the summer of Black Lives Matter is to ignore that this is the United States Capitol, the seat of government, at a moment in time when the vice president is presiding over a joint session of Congress, both the House and Senate present, as they were in the process of making Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election, a fair election, official.

This isn't a Target store. This isn't a statue. This is the Capitol, supposedly one of the most secure buildings on earth.

Since he needs things explained to him in pictures, here is one. An insurrectionist parading a Confederate flag through the Capitol, the inaugural appearance there of this symbol of the American states that tried to secede from this nation under the mantle of slavery, based on the belief that Black people were inferior to white people and it was God's will to enslave them.

And the chaser:

KEILAR: When Tucker Carlson was arguing against the renaming of military bases named after Confederate generals and against the tearing down of Confederate statues, he said, quote, a country is the sum total of its history, good and bad. He said, quote, eliminating the past leaves us unable to say who we are. Well, he's trying to eliminate the present and he is spoon-feeding it to millions of hungry viewers who tune into his show. Healthy societies do not destroy their own history, he said last summer, but what he didn't cop to is that he is part of the illness, a propagandist, a liar, a parasite.

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jan 9, 2021, 07:36 AM (12 replies)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Staffers: Bosses Edited Our Reporting to Be More Pro-Trump

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Staffers: Bosses Edited Our Reporting to Be More Pro-Trump
Reporters told The Daily Beast that the papers’ editors are “manipulating reality” on behalf of an ownership family that is rabidly Trumpist and believes the election was stolen.
Maxwell Tani, Media reporter
Updated Jan. 08, 2021 4:41PM ET / Published Jan. 08, 2021 12:16PM ET

Journalists at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and sister publication the Toledo Blade say the papers’ top bosses edited coverage of this week’s right-wing riot on Capitol Hill to appear more favorable to Donald Trump, reflecting ownership’s rabid support for the outgoing president.

“You have management manipulating reality, and it’s just so unbelievably unethical,” Jay Skebba, a reporter at the Blade, told The Daily Beast in an interview on Thursday evening. “To know that managers in the newsroom with decades of experience would ever allow something like that to happen is so embarrassing. I’ve worked here for seven years, today was the most upsetting.”

In a news conference on Friday organized by the NewsGuild, the union representing staff at both outlets (as well as others like The New York Times and The Daily Beast), Blade reporters said their editors made specific changes to soften language about the outgoing president’s involvement in inciting Wednesday’s riots on the Capitol, which left five people dead, including one police officer.

According to Skebba, the paper could not refer to the rioters as “Trump supporters,” or “Trump protesters,” which reporters viewed as an editorial attempt to distance the president from the riots that followed an event in which he encouraged his fans to march to the Capitol and “fight” for him.

Staffers said that the paper’s managers also “inserted the qualifiers ‘a majority,’ ‘mostly,’ and ‘some’ in front of references to Trump supporters, both in wire copy, wire photos, and a story written by a Blade reporter”—an implication, staff said, that seemingly hinted at the right-wing conspiracy theory that the mob was infiltrated by left-wing political activists.

The edits, staffers at both papers said, stemmed from ownership’s zeal for Trump.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jan 9, 2021, 07:15 AM (2 replies)

The One Good Thing the MAGA Mobs Smashed? The Trump Kids' Futures.


The One Good Thing the MAGA Mobs Smashed? The Trump Kids’ Futures.
For a while, Ivanka and the failsons looked like the future of the GOP. That all changed Wednesday.
Molly Jong-Fast, Editor-At-Large
Updated Jan. 08, 2021 8:49PM ET / Published Jan. 08, 2021 7:26PM ET

On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump made his children the future of the Republican Party. On Jan. 6, 2020, he took it away. As someone who has suckled at the teat of nepotism, I can attest that you’re only as famous or as popular as the parent who made you relevant in the first place. On Jan. 6, 2021 Trump went from “annoying but useful to the Republican Party” to “the thing that the Republican Party finally realizes is going to kill it.”

Sure, many of us knew Trump would kill the Republican Party like five years ago. But Republicans didn’t seem to realize it until armed Trump supporters overran the Capitol, killed a police officer, and had politicians hiding in their offices.
Trump is over. Will he cause a full-out civil war? We honestly don’t know yet. But it’s too early to say we’ve escaped this whole fiasco.


We know the Republican Party is done with Trump and his failsons because of what the biggest opportunist in the Senate said on the day of the coup. Lindsey Graham, Mr. Whatever Way the Wind Is Blowing, who’s practically been Trump’s caddy for the last four years, pronounced he was done pretending to like Trump so that he could get reelected. “I hate it being this way. Oh my god I hate it...but today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough. I tried to be helpful.”

Emily Jane Fox wrote that a longtime friend of Ivanka told her, “It feels like everyone on the Upper East Side is texting me today. Suddenly they all want to join the Resistance.”
That same friend told me on the phone, “I think it’s been a very slow process. I think when she came out against abortion that was the moment when people realized that she would do anything to get ahead.” This friend also told me, “In two weeks, MBS is going to be texting Hunter Biden. No one gives a shit about Jared Kushner anymore.”

The friend continued that people are sort of panicking: “a lot of Jared & Ivanka friends are either posting political things on their account for the first time or they are frantically Hearting other people’s posts.” And she added that in her mind at least, “There’s an unwritten list, from people that went to Camp David were papped with them at the Hess wedding or accepted their invitation to get a private tour if the White House for those people too little, too late seems like an understatement.”

Trump may still be able to command his millions of white supremacists and Confederate fetishizers. But change is in the air, and as we know from the last four years of Republicans losing the House and the Senate, Trumpism isn’t transferable. Trumpism doesn’t scale. Will Ivanaka be able to win a primary against little Marco? Theoretically. Junior might be able to win Matt Gaetz’s Florida House seat, but he’s not going to be able ride Daddy’s racism to the White House now or ever, and I for one am pretty fucking glad of that.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 8, 2021, 09:05 PM (8 replies)

Republicans own this

Republicans own this
The Capitol Hill mob was the logical culmination of years of mainstream Republican politics.
By Zack Beauchamp@zackbeauchampzack@vox.com Jan 8, 2021, 8:50am EST


Blaming President Trump for this violence is, at this point, stating the obvious. He has been inciting his supporters for weeks, telling them that the election has been stolen and they need to stand up to save freedom. If you really believe that — took what the president said seriously — why wouldn’t you take dramatic action?

But the blame needs to go beyond Trump and land squarely on the Republican Party itself — an institution that, for decades, employed a political strategy that sowed the seeds of an uprising against the American state.

The animating force of modern Republicanism is this: Democratic Party rule is an existential threat to America and is by definition illegitimate. It is a belief that explains much of what we’ve seen from the GOP in the past few decades, the glue that binds together Republicans ranging from shitposters in the QAnon fever swamps to much of the GOP congressional caucus.

Whether elite Republicans genuinely believe what they tell their base is beside the point. The fact is their delegitimizing rhetoric has been the fuel of the conservative movement for many, many years now. Trump’s presidency, and the violence with which it is ending, represents the logical next step for the modern GOP — and where it goes from here will determine our future as a democracy.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 8, 2021, 03:57 PM (18 replies)

They Were Out for Blood


They Were Out for Blood
The men who carried zip ties as they stormed the Capitol weren’t clowning around.
By Dan Kois
Jan 08, 2021
12:01 PM


Call the zip ties by their correct name: The guys were carrying flex cuffs, the plastic double restraints often used by police in mass arrest situations. They walked through the Senate chamber with a sense of purpose. They were not dressed in silly costumes but kitted out in full paramilitary regalia: helmets, armor, camo, holsters with sidearms. At least one had a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. At least one, unlike nearly every other right-wing rioter photographed that day, wore a mask that obscured his face.

These are the same guys who, when the windows of the Capitol were broken and entry secured, went in first with what I’d call military-ish precision. They moved with purpose, to the offices of major figures like Nancy Pelosi and then to the Senate floor. What was that purpose? It wasn’t to pose for photos. It was to use those flex cuffs on someone.

In October, the FBI and state authorities charged 13 men with plotting to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of Michigan. Members of that plot attended protests at the Michigan Capitol in April, real planners of violence mixing easily with those for whom guns are fun protest props. The plotters discussed a summary execution—“knock on the door,” one wrote in the group chat, “and when she answers it just cap her”—but settled on a kidnapping, pulled off while police were distracted by a nearby explosion. Think of that plot, as these men surely did, as a dress rehearsal for what the zip-tie guys wanted to accomplish at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

They went into the Capitol, as Congress was counting electoral votes, equipped to take hostages—to physically seize officials, and presumably to take lives. The prospect is terrifying. But just because it seems unthinkable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think hard about what almost happened.
Don’t dismiss the zip-tie guys as “LARPers” or “weekend warriors.” First of all, given the well-documented overlap between ex-military, law enforcement, and right-wing militias, it’s entirely possible these guys were weekday warriors using their training in service of extracurricular interests. (One of the Twitter sleuths who are now trying to track them down sure seems to think they’re ex-military.) More importantly, the long awful course of history reminds us how slippery the slope is from playacting as a strike force to actually behaving as a strike force. Once the zip ties go on, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a “real” terrorist or not.

Today, we’re hearing more about the violence that accompanied the buffoonery: the Capitol Police officer killed with a fire extinguisher, the AP photographer dragged away by goons, the New York Times photographer thrown to the floor who feared for her life. No doubt we’ll hear even more as more stories come out.

But it could have been much, much worse. If the rioters had been a little quicker through the doors; if senators and representatives hadn’t just moved from their joint session into separate chambers to debate the Arizona challenge and had instead still been packed into one harder-to-evacuate room; if any number of things had happened differently, the three people next in the line of succession for the presidency might have been face to face with those zip-tie guys. And then: Who knows.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 8, 2021, 03:07 PM (12 replies)

US Attorney's office opens federal murder probe into Capitol police officer's death: reports

US Attorney's office opens federal murder probe into Capitol police officer's death: reports
By Lauren Vella - 01/08/21 11:06 AM EST

Federal authorities will open a murder investigation following a Capitol Police officer's death after Wednesday's riots at the Capitol building, according to multiple media reports.

The U.S. attorney’s office has opened a federal probe into the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, several law enforcement officials told CNN and ABC News.

Sicknick died Thursday evening after he responded to a violent attack on the Capitol building by a mob who sought to halt Congress's certification of the 2020 election results.

"The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague," a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) spokesperson said Thursday night.

Sicknick had sustained injuries while on duty Wednesday while "physically engaging with protestors," according to a statement from Capitol Police.

"He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the statement continued.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 8, 2021, 11:17 AM (5 replies)

Biden Will Release All Vaccine When He Takes Office


Biden Will Release All Vaccine When He Takes Office
January 8, 2021 at 10:49 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“President-elect Joe Biden will aim to release every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes office, a break with the Trump administration’s strategy of holding back half of US vaccine production to ensure second doses are available,” CNN reports.

“Releasing all vaccine doses on hand could quickly ratchet up the availability of coronavirus vaccines by allowing more people access to a first dose. It could also be a risky strategy as both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses, administered at specific intervals, and vaccine manufacturing has not ramped up as rapidly as many experts had hoped. “
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jan 8, 2021, 11:09 AM (8 replies)
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