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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Get ready: Stephen Colbert is making an animated comedy about the Trumps

Source: Washington Post

For the past couple months, I’ve been covering President Trump and his family as if they were players in a fictional television show. After all, the events of the last year or two have made lots of us feel as if we’re living in fiction, and badly written fiction at that. And things are about to get even more meta: Showtime announced on Thursday that it has ordered 10 episodes of an animated series about President Trump and his family, with Stephen Colbert — who himself played a fictional character who shared his name as the host of “The Colbert Report” — and Chris Licht as the executive producers.

The goal of the series is to provide “insights into what makes them so definitively Trumpian,” though given that Showtime is describing the show as “a character study in search of character” — the implication being that Trump doesn’t have any — that may be difficult. I would never dream of telling Colbert how to do comedy. But for the show — which will be produced on a short turnaround to keep up with current events — to truly get at the absurd drama that surrounds us, I hope Colbert and his colleagues keep a couple of things in mind:

1. Trump and the people in his orbit take their cues from the media, whether it’s reality television, “Fox & Friends” or anti-hero dramas: As a result, any series that tries to get at the truth of Trumpworld needs to be as much a commentary on media as on the Trumps themselves. It’s possible that a true, real, secret “Donald Trump” lies buried behind all the personas that Trump has adopted over the years. But it’s much more plausible that he’s what philosopher Jean Baudrillard would call a simulacrum: Trump has tried to be so many things over the years that his performance has essentially eclipsed any real persona he had, if it even existed in the first place. So rather than trying to psychoanalyze Trump, use him as a vehicle to comment on the media he resembles. Is he Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), believing everyone laughs at his jokes because he’s actually funny, or Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese), ranting at the world and unaware of his own inefficacy? How about a Trump family game of musical chairs to determine who is who in “The Godfather”? What would an episode of the “Real Housewives of Mar-a-Lago” look like? The best way to answer questions about Trump may be to explore pop culture and the news.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2017/07/28/get-ready-stephen-colbert-is-making-an-animated-comedy-about-the-trumps/?utm_term=.4a4c325b85f2

VOGUE: Look, It's Time to Collectively and Officially Give Up on Ivanka Trump

Source: Vogue

It was Groundhog Day, dystopia edition, yesterday morning when the president banned all transgender servicepeople from the U.S. military, unfurling yet another reversal of an historic Obama-era policy. It was another sweeping and instantly-controversial ban, and, as it’s being widely noted today, another big, fat failure for Ivanka Trump.

Just this June, in honor of Pride Month, the presidential daughter and special assistant to the president pledged to be an ally for the LGBTQ community, tweeting, “I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.” That support evidently doesn’t extend to the likely thousands of trans servicepeople (that's the “T,” in LGBTQIA, Ms. Trump), who signed up to risk their lives on behalf of all Americans and whose careers now hang in the balance. (True to form, President Trump was quick to tweet, but by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s own admission, seems to have no plan for those current trans military members, and according to some theories, he dashed off the ban in an effort to appease his blood-red base. Today, the Department of Justice dealt the LGBTQ community another blow, filing a brief that argues against workplace protections for LGBTQ employees.)

By now, though, empty words from Ivanka Trump are no longer noteworthy; they are the norm—as routine as the president’s cyberbullying (any day now with your First Lady initiative, Melania) and schmoozing from Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci. While Ivanka is repeatedly credited as “having her father’s ear,” the trans ban is just the latest in a string of defeats on what are believed to be Ivanka’s stated causes. On climate change: It was she who met with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio during the transition, only to see her father make the U.S. one of the only developed nations on the planet to pull out of the Paris climate accord. While she fancies herself an “advocate for the education and empowerment of women and girls,” she’s been conspicuously (dead) silent as her father rolled back workplace protections that apply to the gender pay gap and continues to urge (to the point of public shaming) GOP congressmen to defund Planned Parenthood and pass health care bills that would strip coverage from millions of women—not quite a boon to women’s empowerment.

Read more: http://www.vogue.com/article/ivanka-trump-ineffective-adviser-give-up-hope

White House caught further exaggerating Scaramucci's boast about Trumps PGA-like putting skills

Source: Raw Story

Last week, incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci held a press briefing in which he boasted of President Donald Trump’s athletic prowess in an effort to demonstrate the president’s competitiveness.

“I’ve seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire,” Scaramucci said. “I’ve seen him at Madison Square Garden with a top coat on, he’s standing in the key and he’s hitting foul shots and swishing them. He sinks three-foot putts.”

However, Daily Show writer Matt Negrin has noticed that the Trump White House has increased the president’s putting range in its official transcripts of Scaramucci’s remarks, which now declare that the president makes “30-foot putts.”




Is anyone surprised?!

'Go deeper, go darker': on location with the stars of Top of the Lake

Source: The Guardian

Gwendoline Christie watched Top of the Lake four times before she finally summoned the courage to email the director, Jane Campion, pleading to be cast in the sequel. But first, she ran a draft past a friend: “If you read this and think I sound like an idiot, I won’t send it to Jane and we’ll never speak of it again,” she said.

The fact that I’ve come to meet Christie and her co-stars on the show’s Bondi beach set is proof that the email was sent, and that Campion liked what she read. The director remembers Christie describing herself as an unusual actress “because I’m very tall”. It was precisely what Campion was looking for: “Somebody who’s a real challenge, almost too tall, too big, to be a woman. I like to play with those stereotypes of what a woman should be or shouldn’t be.”

The Game of Thrones star was immediately cast as Miranda Hilmarson, the eager new sidekick for Elisabeth Moss’s detective senior-constable Robin Griffin. Christie wasn’t the only big name to ask to be involved. Nicole Kidman visited Campion and Gerard Lee, who co-wrote both seasons, in 2015 with a similar request, and was undeterred even when offered a small role. This stellar acting trio – Kidman, Moss and Christie – goes a long way to explaining the excitement brewing about the series’s second instalment.

Top of the Lake: China Girl sees Griffin swap the bucolic New Zealand town of the first season for Australia’s rocky eastern coastline and sleazy inner-city in a tale of Asian sex-slavery, and communication breakdowns between mothers and children.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/26/top-of-the-lake-on-location-with-the-stars-elisabeth-moss-gwendoline-christie-nicole-kidman-jane-campion?CMP=twt_gu

I am assuming that it will make it's way to Netflix like the first season did. If you haven't seen the first season, it is definitely worth the watch:

Auntie Maxine bringing it to the House floor:


Cristina Marcos✔@cimarcos
.@MaxineWaters currently on the House floor with this screen shot of Trump mocking a disabled reporter.
11:01 AM - Jul 27, 2017

North Dakota's Norway Experiment

Can humane prisons work in America? A red state aims to find out.

Source: Mother Jones

Late one night in October 2015, North Dakota prisons chief Leann Bertsch met Karianne Jackson, one of her deputies, for a drink in a hotel bar in Oslo, Norway. They had just spent an exhausting day touring Halden, the maximum-security facility Time has dubbed “the world’s most humane prison,” yet neither of them could sleep.

Halden is situated in a remote forest of birch, pine, and spruce with an understory of blueberry shrubs. The prison is surrounded by a single wall. It has no barbed wire, guard towers, or electric fences. Prisoners stay in private rooms with en suite bathrooms and can cook for themselves in kitchens equipped with stainless-steel flatware and porcelain dishes. Guards and inmates mingle freely, eating and playing games and sports together. Violence is rare and assaults on guards are unheard of. Solitary confinement is almost never used.

By this point, Bertsch had been in charge of North Dakota’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which includes four adult prisons and one juvenile facility, for more than a decade, and Jackson had spent seven years as director of correctional practices. They’d left Bismarck feeling pretty good about their system, which prided itself on its humane practices and commitment to rehabilitation. But now, sitting in the glassed-in bar of the Radisson hotel with its view of the Oslo fjord, Bertsch began to cry. “We’re hurting people,” she said.

North Dakota prison officials Leann Bertsch, left, and Karianne Jackson aim to trim the long list of rules that get inmates into trouble “into something more like the Ten Commandments.” Andy Richter

It is worth noting that Leann Bertsch is no pushover. With her ivory skin, flaxen hair, and chiseled cheekbones, she comes across as stoic and cool. She grew up on a farm in the eastern part of the state and served 21 years in the National Guard (retiring as a major) and eight years as a state prosecutor. She has run the prisons in this deep-red state under three Republican governors, and she moonlights as president of the Association of State Correctional Admin­istrators. “No one who has met Leann or seen her in action would consider her a softie,” says John Wetzel, the association’s vice president and Pennsylvania’s secretary of corrections. “I would describe her as ballsy. Corrections has historically been a really misogynistic field, so when you see a woman in charge of a corrections system, and in charge of one of the more influential organizations in corrections, you know she’s got to be strong.”

But in Oslo that evening, Bertsch was uncharacteristically emotional. “It was definitely one of those moments where you’re rethinking everything,” she recalls. “I had always thought that we run a good system. We’re decent. We don’t abuse people. We run safe facilities with good programs. It was just like, ‘How did we think it was okay to put human beings in cagelike settings?'”

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/07/north-dakota-norway-prisons-experiment/

President Truman signs an executive order, desegregating the military of the United States...


BREAKING: Insurers say "skinny" repeal will destabilize markets and lead to "steep premium increas


Strange times, indeed.

In Denver speech, Michelle Obama urges women to seize their power while not hiding their scars

Source: The Denver Post

In her first public appearance in Colorado since leaving the White House, former first lady Michelle Obama had a message for women: Seize your power and don’t let go.

Sitting for an armchair conversation in front of 8,500 people, Obama was relaxed, personable and playful but still serious as she talked on a range of topics around education for girls, health and nutrition and female empowerment — all things she worked on as first lady — at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center.

The crowd was a mix of young and old and predominately women. The event’s popularity forced organizers to open up more seats. Obama was greeted by an extended standing ovation and a few calls of “we love you.”

WFCO President and CEO Lauren Casteel commented that Obama broke a glass ceiling by becoming the first black first lady. She then asked which of the falling glass shards cut the deepest.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” she said, referencing being called an ape and people talking about her bottom. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

She said she can’t pretend like it doesn’t hurt because that lets those who do the hurting off the hook.

“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”

But Obama said women should own their scars. Referring to failure, she said those wounds hurt deeply but they heal with time. If women own their scars, they can encourage younger girls who are getting their first cuts.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/25/michelle-obama-speech-womens-foundation-of-colorado-30th-anniversary-denver/
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