Yeah, I never waste time gaming.


The Police State That Already Exists

Borders are not where you think they are. If you live within 100 miles of an “International” Airport (and most people do), you’re technically in “Border Country” and Customs and Border Patrol can stop and arrest you on whim, without pretext let alone a warrant or probable cause.

I have no idea what it’s like for normal people (White Guy) but the last time I visited Campobello (literally so close to Lubec you can walk there if the tide is right) I dumped a Gallon of Green Tea (Kirkland, it’s really good) before I crossed so I could say that I wasn’t transporting any Agricultural products.

Not that the Canadians care about anything except Firewood carrying parasites. “You’re smuggling U.S. beer into Canada? I’m sure you could find someone willing to piss in your mouth.” Most Canadians are waaay too polite to say something like that out loud, but the ones who aren’t thinking it have never tasted U.S. beer.

Returning is a different story. “Smile for me. You were smiling in your passport picture.”

Ok. My natural demeanor is resting bitch face which some people interpret negatively and that’s fine in most normal interactions, scares away the weak, but I didn’t want to upset my companion who was in fact smuggling a trunkfull of beer so I summoned up what passes as a rictus.

“Welcome back.”

Now none of this is helped mind you by my habit of costuming myself in full Stockton for crossings, Bucket Cap, Aviators, Flamingo Shirt, and Cigarette Holder.

C’mon. It’s Campobello. FDR sported a Cigarette Holder.

But the sad fact is I live in Connecticut, home of BDL, 110 miles from Greenwich to Stonington and 70 miles from New Haven to Enfield and there’s not a square inch that isn’t under CBP jurisdiction. We are at the front line of the War Against…

Brown people?

Steve Thrasher has some more thoughts in the New York Times, not his usual haunt at The Guardian.

Daniel Pantaleo Was Fired. We’re Still Afraid for Our Lives.
By Steven W. Thrasher, The New York Times
Aug. 20, 2019

Returning from visiting a friend near the Mexico border, I was driving up State Route 90 when all northbound traffic was diverted into a giant tent, where officers from Customs and Border Protection were performing cursory inspections of all vehicles. A menacing German shepherd was being led around each and every car, presumably sniffing for narcotics.

I was experiencing one of the legal checkpoints that the agency uses to search and potentially seize any vehicle within 100 miles of a border, without what would normally be called probable cause. And while I didn’t have any contraband, I felt a rising sense of panic as the officers and dog got closer to my car.

As a kid, I often saw my father pulled over and harassed by the police. And as an adult black man, I’ve been threatened by the police myself. As a journalist, I’ve reported on and read research about how — though most murdered Americans are killed by someone they know — about one-third who are killed by strangers are killed by the police. And while I’m a United States citizen, the Supreme Court’s ruling that allows for indefinite detention of noncitizen migrants has made me fearfully wonder, Just how could I prove I am a citizen and entitled to a lawyer and other rights if I was arrested by Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

To mitigate some of my fears, I’ve taken to having my passport with me most places in the country. In Arizona I kept it in my backpack as I drove. And as I waited for the authorities and dog to search my car, I took it out of my bag and placed it on the seat next to me, beside the rental car agreement I already had in plain sight, just in case I got pulled over, as I almost always do when I rent a car.

Not that a passport would have saved me from a long detention necessarily — ICE recently held a citizen for a month — and it wouldn’t have saved me from an officer’s bullet. But as I’ve written before, whenever I am near the police or even think I might be, I do anything I can so that I won’t have to put my hands in my pockets or into a bag or give them an excuse to say I might have been reaching for something dangerous.

The dog was walked around my car and an officer smiled at me inconclusively. Cautiously, I asked if everything was O.K., and he told me I was free to go. I drove off. I realized my heart was pounding and my breathing had unconsciously become very shallow.

I have a passport and citizenship yet still have this reaction, so I can only imagine how certain migrant communities — particularly Latinx communities subject to racist targeting — cope with the threat of detention or deportation by an immigration system that can stop anyone, anytime, and make judgments without due process.

But as a black journalist who has reported as police officers lobbed tear gas and used sound cannons in Baltimore, Ferguson and New York, and simply as a black person living in America, my experience in Arizona reminded me of how very real the stress of living under occupation is for black and brown people. Such stress, of course, takes a mental health toll and likely contributes to rates of hypertension and heart disease that create “John Henryism,” a term Dr. Sherman James, an epidemiologist, coined while trying to understand why black men die younger than white men.

Five years after Mr. Garner was killed, it is still painfully, mortally obvious that we’re justified in our daily anxiety.

After leaving Arizona last week, I was quickly reminded how such fears of the police do not exist merely in our heads. A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that police use of force is a leading cause of death for young men of color overall and the sixth leading cause for young black men. One in 1,000 black men and boys can expect to be killed by the police, making them about 2.5 times more likely to experience this fate than white men and boys.

The same study found that black, American Indian and Alaska Native women face a higher risk than white women, with American Indian and Alaska Native being up to twice as likely to be killed by the police as white women.

“This study shows us that police killings are deeply systematic, with race, gender and age patterning this excess cause of death,” Michael Esposito, one of the study’s authors, said.

On Monday, news broke that the New York City police commissioner had finally fired Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who had used the banned chokehold that led to Mr. Garner’s death, a death that the medical examiner deemed a homicide. It took five years — a half decade during which Eric Garner’s daughter Erica died at just 27 years old from a heart attack after vigorously pursuing justice for her father. During which Mr. Pantaleo continued to draw paycheck after paycheck.

I don’t know if white readers can comprehend how stressful police stops are for black and brown folks in the United States. I don’t know if any amount of writing, or epidemiological research, or news accounts can convince white readers that a police encounter is a dangerous, potentially family-separating or life-ending event for black and brown folks.

But to brown and black readers: Know that the fears you have are not merely in your imagination. As white supremacists grow bolder under President Trump, and as technology allows for ever-more-expansive surveillance of intimate areas of life, policing still haunts and threatens us as much as it did the day Mr. Garner stopped breathing.

See, I’m allowed to give a wink and a nod because I appear unthreatening, “Old (120+ you young whippersnapper) White Dude.”

That makes me as angry as Bugs Bunny finding the bounty on Rabbits is 2 Cents.

I am busy formulating plans to steal the locks from the Panama Canal and cut Florida off the continent. Rabbits are perfectly harmless my ass.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: The World Has a Germany Problem

The debt obsession that ate the economy.

You might think that recent events — market turmoil, weakening growth, declining manufacturing production — must be producing some soul-searching in the White House, particularly over Donald Trump’s view that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” That is, you might think that if you haven’t paid any attention to Trump’s past behavior.

What he’s actually doing, of course, is attributing the economy’s troubles to a vast conspiracy of people out to get him. And his recent remarks suggest, if anything, that he’s preparing to open a new front in the trade war, this time against the European Union, which he says “treats us horribly: barriers, tariffs, taxes.”

The funny thing is that there are some aspects of European policy, especially German economic policy, that do hurt the world economy and deserve condemnation. But Trump is going after the wrong thing. Europe does not, in fact, treat us badly; its markets are about as open to U.S. products as ours are to Europe’s. (We export about three times as much to the E.U. as we do to China.)

The problem, instead, is that the Europeans, and the Germans in particular, treat themselves badly, with a ruinous obsession over public debt. And the costs of that obsession are spilling over to the world as a whole.

Eugene Robinson: Trump is melting down. Again.

Uh-oh. President Trump is in such a state of panic about his dimming reelection prospects that he’s getting his lies mixed up and occasionally blurting out the truth.

“It’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if it’s competing with a very good company [Samsung] that’s not,” the president told reporters Sunday — flatly contradicting the ridiculous and utterly false narrative that he has spent months trying to sell. Trump apparently forgot his standard lie that China is somehow paying “billions of dollars” in tariffs, acknowledging instead that they are taxes paid by U.S. companies and, ultimately, the American consumer.

This reflects more than just the difficulty of juggling multiple lies. Evidence suggests that Trump is melting down. Again.

And for good reason.

Fears of a global recession, greatly exacerbated by Trump’s erratic and self-destructive trade policies, have sent financial markets tumbling. A sharp downturn would close off one of the principal lines of attack the president was hoping to use against his Democratic opponent. He tried it out at a rally in New Hampshire last week: “You have no choice but to vote for me,” he told the crowd, “because your 401(k)’s down the tubes, everything’s gonna be down the tubes” if he loses. “So whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me.”

Fact check: No.

Catherine Rampell: Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump’s economy is massive.

When Barack Obama was president and the economic statistics were good, then-candidate Donald Trump said they were fake. When Trump became president and inherited the exact same stats, they suddenly became real.

Now that they’re turning south, they’re apparently fake once more.

Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, believes any indicator showing the U.S. economy could be in trouble must be fabricated. It’s all part of an anti-Trump conspiracy, he rants, according to reports in The Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

And move over, Illuminati, because this particular conspiracy is massive.

It’s led by the Federal Reserve, Democrats and the media, of course, or so say Trump and his Fox News minions. But it also includes the entire U.S. bond market, which flashed a warning sign last week when the Treasury yield curve inverted (meaning long-term bonds had lower interest rates than short-term ones, which usually predates a downturn).

Michelle Goldberg: Toxic Nostalgia Breeds Derangement

A writer who charted the collapse of reality in Russia now sees it worldwide.

In 2014, Peter Pomerantsev, a British journalist born in the Soviet Union, published “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which drew on his years working in Russian television to describe a society in giddy, hysterical flight from enlightenment empiricism. He wrote of how state-controlled Russian broadcasting “became ever more twisted, the need to incite panic and fear ever more urgent; rationality was tuned out, and Kremlin-friendly cults and hatemongers were put on prime time.”

Since 2016, the book has enjoyed a new life among people struggling to make sense of the dual shocks of Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory. Both catastrophes demonstrated the triumph of xenophobic post-truth politics, and both were assisted by Russian information warfare. Pomerantsev’s book about Russia suddenly seemed prophetic about the rest of the world.

Now, he’s written a penetrating follow-up, “This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality,” that is partly an effort to make sense of how the disorienting phenomena he observed in Russia went global. The child of exiled Soviet dissidents, Pomerantsev juxtaposes his family’s story — unfolding at a time when ideas, art and information seemed to challenge tyranny — with a present in which truth scarcely appears to matter.


The Facepalm Five

Told you I might be putting up some more Steve Shives.

I find the incest controversy over Steve King instructive. If you are a Bible believing Christian (as I was raised to be, Methodist you know) whom did Adam’s sons marry? Their Daughter of Lilith Half Sisters? Do the Math.

Well now, would you rather be ape descended or incest and rape descended? Have you read about Uriah at all?

My Christian friends who will still talk with me point out David was a flawed messenger which is fair enough. I’m flawed myself but I make no pretence of divinity or a ‘special’ relationship with it (do admire the sling thing though, that was cool).

The Breakfast Club (Wings On A Pig)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

U.S. cruise missiles hit Afghanistan and Sudan after American embassies bombed in Africa; The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia; NASA’s Voyager 2 launched; Singers Issac Hayes and Robert Plant born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.

William J. Clinton

Continue reading

The truth emerges.

Ok. There is only one “Whitest Guy” (Ben Franklin certified) and so I have unwittingly Doxxed myself as John Oliver.

You should now re-read all my posts ever in a British accent. They’ll sound much more authoritative and classy.

That’s what Game of Thrones money gets you.

Wanda Sykes.

As the whitest guy in the room and having spent a piece of time in the body and fender shop let me tell you my experience. You never sleep. Ever. While you stare out the window at the sun rise over the dank industrial city your symptoms deserve (why do they put Hospitals on hills?) or the tv feed of magnificent landscapes, artistically framed with soothing music, both designed to distract you from your imminent mortality.

Yes, they really do use “Code Blue”.

I had the benefit of having a Nurse at the station specifically curse me out by handle (do you really think I’m John Oliver? Really?) “ek hornbeck” at random. Some people I interact with in meatspace know I write but I don’t make a big deal about it and I was sick, self promotion was a secondary consideration. Well, it was an instructive insight into dK politics at the time (which I no longer care about other than- Told You So!) and kind of flattering.

I was that big a deal.

I’d pass it off as medication hallucination except it happened again at the next Shift Change. You never sleep, ever.

Finally my real Doctors (I’m picky) saw me and decided palliative care and monitoring was all I required and I was released into the general population where my diet varied not a bit off “clears” despite numerous inqueries and promises for 4 days, and before I was released I was expected to defecate in a bowl to prove I was healthy enough.

Nurses generally like me (White Guy) because I’m funny and don’t complain much. They decided to sign off and now I’m told all you have to do is prove you can eat solid food without barfing.

But the funniest part is that I languished in post-op for hours, waiting for my previous care team to sign off on my transfer. As darkness fell they trooped in, Lab Coated Penguins in a long line, who asked me all the same questions that had already been answered a dozen times before.

That’s a test by the way, it shows you’re aware of your surroundings and can give coherent responses that confirm your previous statements. You never appreciate that Whiteboard with the day and the date on it quite as much as you do after a medically induced coma.

They poked and prodded because I am a miracle of medicine and everyone is surprised I’m still pissing on them and marched out, astonished I suppose that I survived their care.

Thanks for emptying my barf bowl. Once.

I mean it sincerely. Because of my publicly funded health care I am alive today and I feel my medical treatment has been nothing else but upstanding despite several attempts by my Doctors to kill me. So Medicare for All! It doesn’t suck, especially if you have an advocate and learn the names of your Doctors and pay attention. Like everything else the libertarian instinct is to acquire or hire the expertise I’ve been afforded by sentiment but I don’t think like that.

I could have died yet I’m here to inflict you with more punishment.

How cool is that!

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Arwa Mahdawi: The misogyny Steve King embodies is very much in the DNA of the Republican party

The party of “family values” is at it again. On Wednesday, Republican congressman Steve King, tried to justify banning abortions even in cases of incest and rape by arguing that rape and incest are good, actually. Without them humans would go extinct! [[.]

While King may have been condemned by some Republicans, let’s not try and pretend that his views are by any means fringe; King absolutely reflects the values and principles of the GOP. Indeed, I suspect the only reason Republicans are losing their patience with King is because he keeps shouting out loud what they prefer to say quietly in private. He keeps speaking the subtext.

Republicans may not normally wax lyrical about incest over breakfast meetings, but the misogyny and racism that King embodies is very much in the GOP’s DNA. This is the party, after all, of pussy grabbers, perverts and hypocrites. It’s the party of men like Roy Moore, Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump. It’s the party of Muslim bans, detention camps and child separation. It’s the party that tries to force teenage immigrants to have their rapist’s babies. It is the party that wants to prevent women from having any autonomy over their own bodies, but gives rapists parental rights. It is very much Steve King’s party. Don’t let any Republican try and pretend otherwise.

Thomas L. Friedman: If You Think Trump Is Helping Israel, You’re a Fool

By barring Representatives Omar and Tlaib, Netanyahu made the president happy. But he has poisoned relations with America.

I am going to say this as simply and clearly as I can: If you’re an American Jew and you’re planning on voting for Donald Trump because you think he is pro-Israel, you’re a damn fool.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Trump has said and done many things that are in the interests of the current Israeli government — and have been widely appreciated by the Israeli public. To deny that would be to deny the obvious. But here’s what’s also obvious. Trump’s way of — and motivation for — expressing his affection for Israel is guided by his political desire to improve his re-election chances by depicting the entire Republican Party as pro-Israel and the entire Democratic Party as anti-Israel.

As a result, Trump — with the knowing help of Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — is doing something no American president and Israeli prime minister have done before: They’re making support for Israel a wedge issue in American politics.

Few things are more dangerous to Israel’s long-term interests than its becoming a partisan matter in America, which is Israel’s vital political, military and economic backer in the world.

James Downie: The Trump economic team: Men without a plan

The United States’ economic outlook is not exactly confidence-inspiring: Manufacturing is flagging, bond yields have turned ominous, and stocks are down (then up a little on Friday, but still very much down). So, faced with the Sunday talk shows, the Trump White House sent out National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro. On Friday, my colleague Catherine Rampell described the pair, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as Trump’s “dream team” of economic mismanagement; on Sunday, they showed why.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Kudlow to assess Wall Street fears about the economy. “I don’t see a recession,” answered Kudlow. “And let me add just one theme, Chuck. … Let’s not be afraid of optimism.” He cited strong “consumer numbers,” low oil prices and low interest rates and predicted “the economy’s going to be very good in 2019.”

That may sound good. But given that we’re well into 2019, Kudlow’s silence about 2020 is concerning. [..]

Here’s the problem: Kudlow and others failed to see a recession coming because they refused to believe housing and other markets could really collapse. Others learned from that mistake; it seems Kudlow hasn’t.

Sydney Blumethal: Trump’s Statue of Bigotry is not Cuccinelli’s first neo-Confederate assault

In 2010, as Virginia attorney general, the acting USCIS director tried to make his staff wear a symbol of secession

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), is an aspiring literary critic as well as a revisionist historian. After issuing new draconian policies discriminating against poor immigrants resembling his Italian ancestors, he decided to show off the far-ranging interests of his multifaceted mind with his reinterpretation of the poem engraved inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, whose beacon welcomes “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”. [..]

Cuccinelli’s proposed correction of Lazarus’s poem was not his first attempt to alter patriotic symbols. Nearly a decade ago, he engaged in sleight of hand to shuffle in the Confederate version of the great seal of the commonwealth of Virginia.

In 2010, when he was state attorney general, Cuccinelli distributed lapel pins to members of his staff. “Office of the Attorney General Virginia” circled what purported to be the image of the great seal, the Roman goddess Virtus wearing a breastplate and standing with one foot on a prone tyrant, his crown fallen from his head. Observers noticed that the real great seal features Virtus wearing a toga and with her left breast bared. Was Cuccinelli, a denizen of the religious right, simply covering up the goddess for modesty’s sake? He joked that he was making Virtus “a little more virtuous”.

In fact, the image on his pin was a copy of the great seal adopted by Virginia in 1861 after secession and used on battle flags of Confederate regiments. After the local press caught the replication, Cuccinelli claimed his pin had been copied from another “antique” great seal. But the local “commander” of the Sons of Confederate Veterans praised him, saying: “The state is getting trumped by the federal government.”

Charles M. Blow: Where Went My Empty Nest?

Welcoming your children back home after college is great, but as a parent, the adjustment can also be jarring.

Parenting is rewarding, but it is also challenging. It is a full-time, rest-of-your life job.

You always think — hope — that whatever difficulty you are facing with one period of a child’s life and development will simply be solved when he or she grows out of that phase. Soon, they’ll be potty trained, or be able to retrieve their own snacks, or walk home from school alone, or whatever.

But, what one soon discovers is that one phase of difficulties is only replaced by the difficulties of the next. Parenting doesn’t necessarily get easier, it is simply transformed. There are new joys, but also new headaches.

And, I find that the headache part is the part parents feel tremendous shame disclosing. Our modern, parenting-book, social-media-sharing culture seems to dictate that the only thing that one can say about parenting is that “it is the most important and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.” That is the only way that one is allowed to signify that one loves his or her children and has made the sufficient level of sacrifice.

I find those constraints ridiculous and impossible. It is possible to love your children complete and simultaneously be exhausted by them. For many parents, that is the truth, and there is nothing shameful about acknowledging that.

It’s worse than you think.

So the Intertubz is a twitter after Steve King’s abysmally attended Town Hall Saturday.

As it turns out the Corporatist Media is vastly exaggerating the turn out, by like 100%.

These fractions are easy because the denominator, the statistical (yeah, had to take that too) universe of people who attended Steve King’s Town Hall is exactly 2.

And one of them was a footsore staffer.

The other? Here’s her story.

The Only Person Who Attended Steve King’s Forum
By Pat Rynard, Iowa Starting Line
August 18, 2019

It was early Saturday morning, and Jessica Birch didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Hungover and tired, the 21-year-old University of Northern Iowa student could easily have turned off her alarm.

But the night before, she saw a Facebook event for Congressman Steve King’s town hall forum in Grundy County come across her feed, and she felt a civic duty to attend. So, Birch forced herself out of bed and headed 17 miles down the road to the Grundy Center Community Center.

She arrived to peculiar scene: out of the over 12,000 people that live in Grundy County, Birch was the only one to show up to King’s forum.

“It was just odd, because I don’t know what the record was for the world’s smallest town hall is, but one person I think has to be it,” Birch told Starting Line in an interview this morning.

A photo of the near-empty room by a Reuters photographer quickly went viral Saturday afternoon, showing only two people in a room of mostly-empty chairs. However, as Birch explained, the other woman on the left in the photo was an intern for King. Birch, who lives in Dike, Iowa, was the only constituent of King’s not required to attend to show up.

“I was the only person who was not paid to be there,” she said.

When Birch arrived to the parking lot, it was just a few police cars there for security.

“I looked at them, they looked at me,” she said of the four to six police officers who were there as she walked in.

King’s staff opened the door for her as she arrived, and she wrote her name — the only one — on the sign-in sheet. A few staff and one photographer were the only other people on hand.

Birch had planned on just sitting in the back of the room. When King entered, he walked back to her to greet her, then she moved herself up to a closer row as he approached the podium.

“It was very awkward, it was a very weird thing,” Birch explained. “Part of me wanted to leave, but it would be rude to leave, and the Midwestern part of me couldn’t do that. I feel bad for him a bit. But then part of me was really, really angry because other Democrats didn’t show up. I kind of let stuff he said slide, on stuff like abortion and health care, because I don’t want to get in an argument with him. I already know you’re wrong. Let’s talk about things I actually care about.”

Once the hour-long forum was finished, King’s staff encouraged her to get a photo with the congressman.

“I politely declined, mostly because I plan to run for office and I don’t need a picture of Steve King and I shaking hands in the future,” she said.

On her way out the door, she jokingly apologized to the officers for having to get up early to provide security for someone as rowdy as herself.

“I don’t know if they found it funny; I did,” Birch said.

While she sent out a tweet during the event, Birch didn’t get much response and headed back home for the day.

“I ate breakfast pizza and then I went back to bed,” Birch explained. “I woke up at 4:00 and I pulled up my phone, and I have a dozen notifications.”

The photo of King’s Grundy Center town hall had been bouncing around Twitter for hours. Even Senator Amy Klobuchar had commented on it. While Birch herself wasn’t named anywhere, she said it was odd to see the back of her head and another photo of her face being shared by so many people.

“It was interesting, I don’t think I’ll ever have another experience like that again in my life,” she said.

Folks, that’s what activism looks like.


Ever wonder what Hasan Minhaj was doing nowdays?

The Breakfast Club (Cavemen)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Soviet hard-liners mount a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev; Nazi Germany ratifies Adolf Hitler’s powers; U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers convicted by Soviet tribunal; Comedian Groucho Marx dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The cavemen are still in charge at the networks. They’re all white males, and you can’t get away from that.

Connie Chung

Continue reading

Not A Rant

I’m a great believer in purpose driven shopping.


When shopping with others my job is usually “No!”

Except when I say, “Oh, that looks pretty, and it’s in just the right color to match your shirt.”

Ok, I’m pretty terrible to shop with.

The Effects of Brexit

First of all, “Effect” is a result. “He shot the Prison Guard to effect his escape.” or the ever popular “cause and effect.” “Affect” means adopt (with an implication of insincerity and pretense). “Stephen Colbert affected the mannerisms and attitudes of a right wing news commentator.”

Good. Now we’ve settled that the Tory’s latest consternation is the leaking of a secret report, dubbed “Operation Yellowhammer”, that predicts dire results, at least in the short and medium term, from a “No Deal” Brexit.

No 10 furious at leak of paper predicting shortages after no-deal Brexit
by Rowena Mason, The Guardian
Sun 18 Aug 2019

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages, with No 10 sources blaming the disclosure on a hostile former minister intent on ruining Boris Johnson’s trip to see EU leaders this week.

The leaked document, detailing preparations under Operation Yellowhammer, argues that the most likely scenario is severe extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods, combined with price rises, if there is a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

It said there would be a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland before long and a “three-month meltdown” at ports unable to cope with extra checks. Protests could break out across the UK, requiring significant police intervention, and two oil refineries could close, with thousands of job losses, according to the documents.

Those campaigning against a no-deal Brexit said the official Cabinet Office document confirmed all the warnings about the risks of crashing out without an agreement. Tom Brake, a leading Liberal Democrat MP, said it revealed the truth that no deal would “have wartime implications, in peacetime, all of them self-inflicted”.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) also reacted with alarm to the idea of fuel shortages in particular, saying these possibilities had not been conveyed to them by the government.

“This is the first time the industry is learning of any threat to fuel supplies – a particularly worrying situation, as this would affect the movement of goods across the country, not just to and from Europe, and could put jobs at risk throughout the sector which keeps Britain trading,” a spokeswoman said.

After the Yellowhammer report emerged, senior government figures moved to dispute it and dismiss its dire warnings. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal planning, said the document showed “absolutely the worst case”, and it was an “old document” that did not reflect significant steps taken by Johnson’s administration over the last four weeks.

Speaking to Sky News, Kwasi Kwarteng, an energy minister, dismissed it as something with “a lot of scaremongering around and a lot of people are playing into Project Fear and all the rest of it”. The government of Gibraltar also claimed that predictions of queues of up to four hours at the border with Spain were “out of date” and based on “planning for worst-case scenarios”.

A No 10 source was even more critical, claiming the leak came from one of May’s former ministers in order to undermine Johnson’s trip to see Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Wednesday and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, on Thursday.

Despite the document, leaked to the Sunday Times, being dated to earlier this month when Johnson was already in post, the senior No 10 source said: “This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available. It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.

“Those obstructing preparation are no longer in government, £2bn of extra funding has already been made available and Whitehall has been stood up to actually do the work through the daily ministerial meetings. The entire posture of government has changed.”

Downing Street advisers are privately claiming that EU leaders will not offer any concessions towards a new deal unless they are sure that parliament is unable to block a no-deal Brexit. They are already setting the stage to blame former ministers working against no deal, such as Philip Hammond and Greg Clark, for any failure in EU negotiations.

Among the important things to reflect on is that this is a report by the professional bureaucrats who are preponderantly Tory themselves and were hired in a period of Conservative (including War Criminal and double Class Traitor Tony Blair) dominance.

Keep calm and carry on or panic. It doesn’t make much difference really.

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