before elections

James Comey Firing Overview

So you’re confused about this whole James Comey thing but also care about America so want to be less confused? Come with me!

James Comey was (until today) the Director of the FBI. A Republican appointed by Barack Obama in 2013. He made a lot of enemies in the Democratic Party when, 11 days before the 2016 election, he re-opened investigation into Hillary’s emails.

Turned out nothing interesting was in those new emails, and also that this probably did result in Hillary losing the election. Kinda uncool. Also turns out, he did not announce that the FBI was looking into links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian Government.

It is clear (though some still argue) that Russia actively worked to influence the outcome of the US Presidential election. They did this by hacking and releasing information on Hillary Clinton, and by creating and promoting incendiary and false news stories online.

The Obama Administration knew about this and got real mad at Russia, basically kicking all of their diplomats out of the country and creating new sanctions.

There are two main concerns that the FBI (and other agencies, including congress) have been looking into.

1. Whether the Trump campaign was in communication with the Russians before or after the election to say that the Obama sanctions wouldn’t last.

(This would be bad. Basically actively working against the existing government of the United States, which is illegal.)

2. Whether the Trump campaign actively worked with the Russians to time the release of negative information on Hillary Clinton.

(This would be even worse. Both could be considered treason.)

A number of people in Trump’s campaign and also his current team had conversations with Russian diplomats and lied about it. This includes Mike Flynn, who definitely violated the law and who was fired for lying to VP Pence about it. It also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who agreed that he would not be involved in the Russia investigations because he lied under oath about it.

The FBI has had an on-going investigation into this stuff the whole time, and James Comey has been leading that investigation.

Quick note, a Grand Jury is a citizen panel that decides whether there’s enough evidence to try a case. These are usually secret, in order to protect the people who might not be even brought to trial, much less found guilty. But sometimes they need to gather information, like documents or testimony. And they do this with court summonses called subpoenas.

Well, yesterday, CNN reported that a Federal Grand Jury investigating Mike Flynn and the Trump Campaigns ties to Russia exists. That Grand Jury has issued subpoenas for more information, indicating to experts a high level of seriousness to the investigation.

It’s pretty clear that Trump campaign knows about this, and as it’s a Federal case, it was likely overseen by the FBI director, James Comey.

Suddenly, just before that story came out, the Trump team decided that Comey’s treatment of Hillary’s emails was bad, and fired him. The recommendation to fire Comey came from AG Sessions, who, again, recused himself from the Russia investigation after lying under oath. To be clear, both Sessions and Trump have previously praised Comey at length for his treatment of that investigation.

The response from Dems and also many Reps has been shock. It is very concerning for a President to fire someone who is investigating him. This seems to have happened very quickly. Comey found out he was fired the same time as everyone else, the letter Trump wrote to him was delivered to DC, but Comey was in Los Angeles at the time. Of course, the Deputy Director of the FBI is now in charge, but Trump has the job of appointing a new director, and has not made any sign that he has a list of candidates.

This seems the sort of thing that most congressional lawmakers, who have a mandate to check the power of the President, should be very worried about. Many are calling for a Special Prosecutor, who would be free to work without congressional approval, to be appointed.

Others want broad, unanimous support for Comey’s replacement, which would ensure someone who is not under Trump’s thumb.

The power to grant these things lies with congress. A congress that is controlled by the President’s party, but not by the President.

And that is where we are. It is pretty convoluted, thank you for taking the time to read.

The controversial points in this are:
1 Whether the Russian government hacked Hillary’s emails (many Republicans say there is no proof while every intelligence agency in the US said that it was orchestrated by the Russian government.

2. Whether Jeff Sessions lied under oath or if he just misspoke or forgot that he had met with Russian officials. In any case, he agreed to remove himself from the congressional investigation.

3. Whether the Trump Campaign investigation was the cause of Comey’s firing. The stated reason is that Comey “lost credibility” and damaged the reputation of the FBI by mis-handling the Clinton email investigation.

That’s as good as I can do, it feels like it’s a good deal more comprehensive and concise than most of what I’ve been reading. If it helped you, please show it around.

beaus-and-pearls  asked:

I know Taylor Swift lied about Kanye, but at the same time, he did make a nude wax model of her and use it in a music video. Which is so disgusting and misogynistic. So I do kinda take her side. I'd rather have a liar than someone who is gross sexually

Listen I never said Kanye West was perfect, I have huge issues with the sexism and the entire Kardashian family, to be honest. And the fact that he “endorsed” Trump, although he did check into a mental health clinic a few days after that so who the hell knows if that behavior wasn’t influenced by his mental illness. That being said Taylor Swift didn’t just lie. Putting it down to Taylor lying is a huge understatement of what she did.

Let’s look at what Taylor did, shall we? 

So Kanye West writes a song in which he mentions Taylor and making her famous. Now what does Kanye West do, he calls Taylor up told her about this song, she told him he was cool with it and at an award show, she would surprise everyone by saying she was in on it. Instead what she did was paint Kanye as this crazy, obsessed, evil black man. She denied ever getting a phone call from him. 

After Taylor got exposed by Kim Kardashian for being a lying snake, does Taylor apologize? Does she ever act regretful? No, what she does is release a bullshit statement about not wanting to be  “a part of this narrative” and how she didn’t know about the bitch part which makes her entire actions towards him okay. 

Now if Taylor didn’t know about the bitch line and was upset about that, fine she could have been, however, that’s not what Taylor went after Kanye West for. She painted the entire narrative as her being just attacked out of the blue by him. Not knowing at all anything that was going on. 

Fast forward to now, she has now had a song, all about Kanye entitled “Look what you made me do” a line many have pointed out is a word abuser’s use at their victims. The entire song gaslights Kanye West and again makes it appear as though she was his victim. Instead of owning up to her shit she is trying to yet again paint Kanye West as the evil black man coming after her. 

She is not only copying Kanye’s merchandise from his Life of Pablo album, but she also is copying Beyonce’s Lemonade, particular from the song Formation, which is a song about a black woman’s struggle in America. On top of that, she is releasing her album on the day Kanye West’s mother died. And I call bullshit that she didn’t know. If anyone follows any of this shit closely you know that Kanye’s mother’s death deeply impacted him, it’s speculated that it was part of the reason his mental illness was triggered. Taylor Swift knows this as it was talked about during the VMAs stuff, and she is obsessed with “getting” Kanye West back for interrupting her VMA’s speech, which yes was stupid of him, but Kanye had a point when he did that. Kanye was attempting to stand up for black women when he did that, he did it in an incredibly stupid way but his heart was in the right place. Taylor has never got over that moment and has set out to make Kanye West forever look like the black man who is bullying her. 

So no Taylor isn’t better than Kanye, Kanye may not be the best person on the planet, but you don’t need to be perfect in order to be a victim. And that’s what Kanye is right now, he is a victim of a white woman attempting to paint herself as this innocent, while he is an evil black man attacking her. 

Now let’s get into some history here which is deeply upset and most white people, especially white women, want to ignore. Historically white women have lied repeatedly about black men attacking them, usually sexually, and this has led to the violent, brutal, deaths of hundreds of black men. One of the most famous cases was of Emmett Till, who in the 1950s (a time period that people are still alive from) was lynched by a group of angry white men after a white woman lied (she’s admitted it now) about him whistling at her. 

These are the facts of this country, white women repeatedly lying about black men leading to them being murdered. So no Taylor Swift isn’t just lying about some random music bullshit, she is lying in a racially charged way. She is using systematic racism and white supremacy ideas to help her win this battle against Kanye. 

And as I’ve stated many times that yes Kanye has his issues, but Kanye can still be affected by racism, the same way Taylor can be subjected to sexism. Those two things shouldn’t be conflated. Two wrongs don’t ever make a right, Taylor coming for Kanye in a racially charged way shouldn’t sit well with anyone. Especially in our current political climate where we have the KKK/Neo-Nazis marching through the streets, killing people, where we have black men and women being killed disproportionately by police officers, for usually non-violent crimes. 

Taylor has a lot to answer for race-wise, her best friend is engaged to Jared Kushner’s brother. Breitbart News, home of the Alt Right Neo Nazi movement is praising her new song and using her lyrics over Pro-Nazi articles. She will not denounce Donald Trump, neither before or after the election. Isn’t it funny that “Feminist” Taylor Swift won’t denounce our “Grab them by the Pussy” President? Taylor uses feminism when it pleases her agenda but won’t stand for it when it would affect her fan base and ticket sales. 

And I call bullshit on anyone saying she doesn’t have to state political opinions. We don’t live in that world, anyone. That’s over. We are living in an era where our own President won’t condemn Neo Nazis after they murdered someone in the streets. We are in a critical and crucial time in American history, anyone who doesn’t see that is fooling themselves. If you’re a big name celebrity like Taylor, who has been political in the past, and your staying silent, that’s all we need to hear. Taylor’s silence on these matters speaks for her.

Taylor shouldn’t be given a free pass by anyone for using systematic racism, just because the man she’s using against isn’t perfect himself. That isn’t how victimhood works. We are under this false notion that in order to be a victim you have to be perfect. The same way Taylor Swift was a victim of sexual assault when a man groped her, Kanye West is a victim of racism by Taylor Swift. Her attempt to rewrite the narrative to make herself seem like a victim isn’t okay at all. Nobody should be supporting her in this at all. She is in the wrong here. 

2

In case you missed it. FBI director James Comey, when called to testify in a public hearing to the House Intelligence Committee revealed two key pieces of information today. 

 1), the most obvious and expected announcement being that there never was any evidence of Obama wiretapping Trump. Not that anyone *really* needed this confirmed, but he was the last line of defense for the White House to continue on with this entire farce. But I obviously don’t expect him to ever come clean about lying or apologize to President Obama. 

 2) More importantly, Comey also revealed that the FBI has an actual ongoing criminal investigation into Trump/Russia connections. 

Since July.
MONTHS BEFORE ELECTION DAY. 

While Comey was writing letters about Hilary’s emails, the FBI was also investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian hack of the DNC. 

So just to reiterate, because this is new information, there is an ongoing FBI criminal investigation looking into possible links between the Trump Campaign and Russian hacks of the US election and attacking our nations democratic process.

In case you missed it

gudriin  asked:

i havent been keeping up with canadian politics for the past year so im completely uneducated in this regard, but can i ask what's wrong with Trudeau? I want to be more knowledgeable of what's been going on

A lot.

Here’s a short list I made a little while ago:

-Trudeau is considering selling our ports & airports.

-Trudeau is pushing an infrastructure bank, which is going to privatize public infrastructure.

-Trudeau selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

-Trudeau approving 2 huge oil pipelines and happy about Donald Trump’s approval of Keystone XL.

-Despite making it pretty clear before the election that communities and First Nations would need to give consent for projects, Trudeau has backtracked and now says that this is no longer true.

-Justin Trudeau bailing out Bombardier with millions, doesn’t care that their CEO’s are getting huge bonuses as they’re laying off thousands of workers.

-Their Marijuana legislation is filled with harsh penalties, and it is not true legalization. There will be limits on the amount you can grow and carry (and if you exceed these limits you can be arrested or charged), and new harsh penalties related to youth & driving under the influence.

-Justin Trudeau’s government is refusing to pay First Nations children equally, despite the Human Rights Commission sending him notices saying he has to (they have now sent 4 compliance orders for him to comply with the law).

-Justin Trudeau’s government is still underfunding First Nations education.

-Justin Trudeau supports Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria.

-Justin Trudeau is in favour of Regime Change in Syria, which many feel could escalate violence in that region.

-Justin Trudeau has not ruled out sending the military into Syria.

-Justin Trudeau is refusing to change the ‘Safe Third Country’ agreement to help refugees fleeing the USA.

-Justin Trudeau is refusing to fund a basic income pilot project on PEI.

-Justin Trudeau abandoned electoral reform (a big election promise) and has stuck with the First Past the Post system (a system the Conservative Party of Canada also supports).

-Justin Trudeau refuses to decriminalize marijuana in the meantime. Cops will arrest thousands more people for marijuana possession before 2018.

-Justin Trudeau is refusing to pardon anyone for marijuana possession despite knowing full well how harmful this can be for people job searching or crossing the border.

-Justin Trudeau is not in favour of a $15/hour minimum wage.

-Despite his feminist rhetoric, Status of Women Canada received no new funding in the 2017 budget.

-Justin Trudeau broke a campaign promise to close a tax loophole that largely benefits millionaire CEO’s.

-Justin Trudeau is breaking indigenous rights to consent with permits given on the Site C Dam and Kinder Morgan Oil Pipeline.

-Justin Trudeau’s tax cut for the middle cut, benefits the top 10% of income earners the most. Those making under $40,000 per year get nothing.

-Justin Trudeau still hasn’t changed or repealed the draconian anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51.

-Despite a push from the NDP, Trudeau is refusing to expand our healthcare system to cover things like Pharmacare.

-Justin Trudeau is maintaining Stephen Harper’s cuts to healthcare transfers.

-Justin Trudeau is maintaining Stephen Harper’s weak climate change targets

.-Justin Trudeau wants to delay a promise to cut methane (a potent greenhouse gas) emissions for 3 years or more.

There’s plenty more than that. Yes, arguably Justin Trudeau is better than Stephen Harper, but that is a very low bar to pass.

If you need sources on any of these points I can provide them.

Okay - hear me out.

Bitty just got named Captain of the SMH Team right?  But he has been pretty open at Samwell about being a proud gay man.  Took a male date to his first Screw and though he didn’t date around, he never hid who he is.

Now?  Well it’s true that there are more gay athletes in college who are coming out while still on their teams, but our boy might be the first Captain of a male NCAA team who is gay and out. and his team knew before electing him unanimously captain.  

Since these kinds of stories are usually picked up by sports news, how long will it take before there are calls for interviews and reporters looking through his social media for information to write about him.  

What do they find?  Well, they will find that he was open and honest about things since his freshman year and that he also talked about never falling for a straight boy. Then in his Junior year he got a boyfriend who apparently is not in college.  

So there are two issues facing Bitty - first, he might be outed to his family if he doesn’t tell them soon and then there’s this picture on his instagram

Can you say a comedy of misunderstandings, assumptions, and wrong guesses about who his boyfriend is??  And does anyone doubt that Kent would thoroughly enjoy screwing with reporters about it?

How to End Crony Capitalism

The largest corporations and richest people in America – who donated billions of dollars to Republican candidates the House and Senate in the 2106 election – appear on the way to getting what they paid for: a giant tax cut.

The New York Times reports that business groups are meeting frequently with key Republicans in order to shape the tax bill, whose details remain secret. 

Speed and secrecy are critical. The quicker Republicans get this done, and without hearings, the less likely will the rest of the country discover how much it will cost in foregone Medicaid and Medicare or ballooning budget deficits.

Donald Trump has been trashing democratic institutions – the independence of the press, judges who disagree with him, uncooperative legislators – while raking in money off his presidency. But don’t lose sight of the larger attack on our democracy that was underway even before Trump was elected: A flood of big money into politics.  

Lest you conclude it’s only Republicans who have been pocketing big bucks in exchange for political favors, consider what Big Tech – the industry that’s mostly bankrolled Democrats – is up to. 

It’s mobilizing an army of lobbyists and lawyers – including senior advisors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign – to help scuttle a proposed law requiring Google, Facebook, and other major Internet companies to disclose who is purchasing their online political advertising.

After revelations that Russian-linked operatives bought deceptive ads in the run-up to the 2016 election, you’d think this would be a no-brainer. But never underestimate the power of big money, whichever side of the aisle it’s aimed at. 

Often, it’s both sides. Last week The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” reported that Big Pharma contributed close to $1.5 million to Democrats as well as Republicans in order to secure enactment of the so-called “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.”

This shameful law weakened the Drug Enforcement Authority’s power to stop prescription opioids from being shipped to pharmacies and doctors suspected of taking bribes to distribute them – a major cause of the opioid crisis. Last year, Americans got 236 million opioid prescriptions, the equivalent of one bottle for every adult.

Overwhelming majorities of House and Senate Democrats voted for the bill, as well as Republicans, and President Obama signed it into law.

There you have it, folks. Big money is buying giant tax cuts, allowing Russia to interfere in future elections, and killing Americans. That’s just the tip of the corrupt iceberg that’s sinking our democracy. 

Republicans may be taking more big money, but both parties have been raking it in. 

Average Americans know exactly what’s going on. 

I just returned from several days in Kentucky and Tennessee, both of which voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

A number of Trump voters told me they voted for him because they wanted someone who’d shake up Washington, drain the swamp, and get rid of crony capitalism. They saw Hillary Clinton as part of the problem.

These people aren’t white nationalists. They’re decent folks who just want a government that’s not of, by, and for the moneyed interests. 

Many are now suffering buyer’s remorse. They recognize Trump has sold his administration to corporate lobbyists and Wall Street. “He conned us,” was the most polite response I heard.

The big money that’s taken over American politics in recent years has created the biggest political backlash in postwar American history – inside both parties.

It’s splitting the Republican Party between its large corporate patrons and a base that detests big corporations and Wall Street.

Trump is trying to straddle both by pretending he’s a champion of the working class while pushing for giant tax cuts. But if my free-floating focus group in Kentucky and Tennessee is any indication, the base is starting to see through it.

Which you might think creates a huge opportunity for Democrats heading into the 2018 midterms and the presidential election of 2020.

Think again. Much of the official Democratic Party is still in denial, continuing to debate whether it should be on the proverbial “left” or move to the “middle.”

But when it comes to getting big money out of politics and ending crony capitalism, there’s no right or left, and certainly no middle. There’s just democracy or oligarchy.

Democrats should be fighting for commonsense steps to reclaim our democracy from the moneyed interests – public financing of elections, full disclosure of all sources of political funding, an end to revolving door between government and business, and attempts to reverse the bonkers Supreme Court decision “Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission.”

For that matter, Republicans should be fighting for these, too.

Heres’a wild idea. What if the anti-establishment wings of both parties came together in a pro-democracy coalition to get big money out of politics? 

Then it might actually happen.  

That no-good, lazy Obama. How dare he not respond immediately to the Hurricane Katrina crisis a whole three years before he was elected President.

Thank god we have good American patriots like these to make sure none of us forget that Obama was playing golf in the summer of 2005. I’m not sure how they know that, since he had only just become the Junior Senator from Illinois so nobody was paying attention to him, but you know these Trumpublicans and their love for America have access the information the rest of us just get ahold of.

“He had a handful of my ass. I know it was him.”

Taylor Swift is a pop star, one of music’s most savvy businesswomen and a $280 million brand.

And yet, she was none of those things yesterday in a Denver courtroom, where she testified against a man who she says groped her at a 2013 meet-and-greet. Swift was just another woman in a world that requires women to insist — to prove, over and over again — that their experience qualifies as truth. In a world that decides, off the bat, that women are crazy or mendacious or simply wrong. And so Swift insisted, more times than anyone should have to and in increasingly descriptive terms, that a former radio DJ had the audacity to put his hand under her skirt and violate her.

On the stand in the civil trial in Denver, Swift identified former radio DJ David Mueller as the man who grabbed her, in front of fans and cameras, when they posed for a photo at that city’s Pepsi Arena. After her camp reported the incident to his employer, he was fired. Mueller then sued her, alleging her accusation was false and unfairly cost him his job. He contends it was a jostle, that someone else did it and also that he believed his hand was on her rib. Swift has countersued, arguing that he, in fact, had assaulted her.

On Friday evening, U.S. District Judge William Martinez threw out Mueller’s case against Swift, citing insufficient evidence that she personally caused him to lose his job, according to the Associated Press. The jury will return Monday to consider Mueller’s claims that Swift’s mother and radio promotions representative got him fired; Swift’s claim of assault and battery will also go forward.

Swift was questioned for more than an hour, an hour in which Mueller’s attorney told Swift that she could have taken a break during the meet-and-greet if she was so bothered, but she did not. Her mother testified too, saying that the incident “made me, as a parent, question why I taught her to be so polite.”

Related: Taylor Swift’s mom and I have this common: Neither of us wants to raise a polite daughter anymore

This is the burden women endure — this probing and hand-wringing and point-blank disbelief and shame and self-doubt.

It’s what remains deeply unsettling about the case of Swift, a woman ensconced by bodyguards, a woman nestled in what surely must be the comfortable down pillow of superfame, a woman who also immediately reported the incident to her bodyguards and had Mueller escorted from the arena: Her testimony suggests that even she must struggle to be believed.

Swift was unbowed, lighting the courtroom ablaze:  “It was a definite grab,” she would say. Once his hand found its target, she testified, it “stayed latched on to my bare ass cheek.” Again and again, she described what she says happened. The Denver Post suggested it might have been the highest recorded number of instances of the words “ass” and “cheek” in the courtroom’s history.

Before it was eventually edited, a CNN article described Swift’s testimony as “snarky.” Others described her as aggravated. We’d do better to see Swift’s testimony as what cultural critic Soraya McDonald described recently in the Undefeated as “necessary arrogance.”  It’s necessary because not being believed is the baseline for women. It’s necessary, too, because the photographic evidence of the encounter was sealed by the judge and shown only to the jury in court. (It is possible to see the photo, thanks to the Internet, and perhaps you should.) And like every woman who has found herself in a similar position, all Swift has is her word.

It’s entirely possible she will be the one to prevail, but astonishingly few other women do. For example, her case has striking shades of that of Kristin Anderson. She was the California photographer who, weeks before the election last year, accused then-candidate Donald Trump of lifting her skirt and putting his hands on her vagina. She never pressed charges. (Trump’s spokeswoman called the claim “a phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity.”) “You’d have to be a simpleton to believe her,” a commenter on our site wrote.

And Swift’s persistence in this lawsuit should remind us, too, of Barbara Bowman, one of Bill Cosby’s accusers, who maintained her story for decades, despite, she wrote in this paper, “victim blaming.”

Swift’s sure-footedness yesterday recalls the story of Anita Hill, who, during her 1991 Senate testimony about then-nominee to the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas, alleged that Thomas harassed her repeatedly when they worked together. (Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.) “I am not given to fantasy,” Hill said then, amid battering questions about her truthfulness. “This is not something I would have come forward with if I was not absolutely sure of what I was saying.”

There are inklings, too, of the Stanford sexual-assault-case victim, whom a jury did believe. Despite the fact that it convicted Brock Turner, her attacker, on three separate felony charges, the judge fretted publicly that punishing Turner would have a “severe impact” on the young man.

Mueller is also arguing that Swift’s accusation has wrecked his career prospects and his name; for that, he is seeking as much as $3 million from Swift. (She is seeking $1, and in court documents said she filed suit only to “serv[e] as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts.”)

In court, asked about the fallout for Mueller, Swift retorted, “I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine.”

It was as if she really was speaking for every woman. And that’s profoundly sad.

(X)

honestly this is so much worse than Watergate like a) Nixon annihilated his opponent. watergate was because of a paranoid anxiety ridden president who was committing illegal actions yes but the election result wouldn’t have even changed if it didn’t happen and was not b) colluding with Russia on a presidential election. Watergate at least was a domestic matter, with all the key actors being american.

let me put it this way: one is illegal and definitely grounds for impeachment, this is not to take away from that moment, but the other is fucking treason and according to US code is grounds for death.

Really, you go back into the cold war and tell really anyone of any party “hey the soviet union maybe interfered with an american presidential election and we have concrete proof both from our own government and from allies the winner was aware of this, what do you think” they would say that is treason

On Al Franken, Roy Moore, and the limits of empathy

What Roy Moore appears to have done in Alabama is utterly deplorable and should cost him even the chance to run for a Senate seat from that state.

Likewise, what Al Franken appears to have done before he was elected to the US Senate was utterly deplorable and, while it hurts me to say this, it ought to compel his resignation from the US Senate.

Yet somehow when there is not an obvious and sympathetic victim for people to grow outraged about, our ability to identify with and support “victims” seems to decline. Hence, the appropriate outrage aimed at Moore, and increasingly Franken, erodes when the victims become abstract and unrecognizable.

I am thinking here of the 9,000,000 children who have recently lost their insurance when Congress failed to renew the CHIP program. This was itself loathsome, and the fact that the “savings” generated by not funding insurance for children are instead being used to support tax cuts for wealthy people and businesses only intensifies the loathsomeness of the act. Yet the names of the men and women who perpetrated this loathsome act (ending insurance for kids) generates nowhere near the bile that Moore and to an increasing degree Franken have.

I am not excusing Moore or Franken. I am merely asking that we recognize victims even when we can’t put names to their faces, or faces to their existence. Until we can empathize with both the faced and the faceless we will not live in the kind of truly just society I hope we eventually build together.

There is now a fully-realized fascist social movement in this country. It is not anchored in one party or organization, and it is still amorphous, diverse, and in formation. But it is fully here now.

In this last astonishing week alone we have seen a white supremacist murder in Maryland, and a double-murder in Portland. There was a racist knife attack in Northern California, and two members of the Quinault nation were run down by a truck in Washington, killing one. Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor was just forced to cancel public talks because of over fifty death threats.

The targeting, threatening, and mobilized doxxing of organizerss, activists, professors, and others has been building steadily for over a year now - gaining momentum through various circuits: internet bulletin boards, public talks by white nationalists, right-wing and libertarian campus organizations, militia groups, the traditional resonance machine of cable television and talk radio, and the GOP itself.

This is - and has been since before the election - one of the most dangerous aspects to Trump’s rise.

We have to stop dismissing talk of neo-fascism as hysterical, overblown, or somehow more European than American. It is nourished by deep strains in US political culture, and made possible by the current arrangement of political, institutional, and economic forces. And we will now be forced to deal with it whether Trump stays or goes.

—  Joe Lowndes
Remember I’m Here For You -- Billy Hargrove

Written By: @rune-of-a-writer

Requested: Can I request a billy x reader fanfiction where the reader is dealing with depression and feels lonely but then billy starts to care for her and he’s really cute and fluffy and tries to make her happy.

Warnings: Depression, angst, self-doubt, cuss words

Pairing: Billy Hargrove x Reader

Summary: Things hadn’t been going so great for you lately, and your boyfriend Billy has been picking up on it. So he decides to try his best to make you feel better.

Listen To: Teen Idle by Mariana and the Diamonds

Gif Creds: @elevnns

Words: 2,504

Keep reading

I just need people to understand that Donald Trump does not actually give a fuck about Syrian civilians and children killed by Assad. As late as last week, his aides were telling the press that they “weren’t focusing on Assad” and that he wasn’t a priority for them, even though Assad has used chemical attacks before and has a long history of vile human rights abuses. Now suddenly he’s lobbing missiles into a humanitarian crisis without even consulting congress. Mark my words, this is just him taking an opportunity as a backdoor into something else that he wants to do, aka wholesale bombing of Syria in order to “stamp out ISIS”.

First 100 Days: Trump and the Degradation of the Presidency

Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.

From early in the Republic, we have looked at the office of the president as a focal point for the nation’s values. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts exemplified for generations of Americans the moral authority of the highest office in the land. It is not merely what these men accomplished, but how they did it; not just their policies but their positive effects on the institutions of democratic governance.

True, many of our presidents have fallen short of those ideals. But our disappointments in those individuals reflected the high expectations we have had for those who hold that office.

Yet under Trump, the moral authority of the presidency has all but disappeared.

I’m old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy invited the world’s great artists, writers, and philosophers to dine at the White House. The nation felt ennobled. 

Donald Trump invites Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, who once called President Obama a “mongrel,” and we feel sullied.

But it has not just been Trump’s vulgarity.

There have also been Trump’s lies – blatant, continuous, and unsubstantiated even after the lack of evidence has been pointed out repeatedly. 

They are not just any lies, but lies that deepen Americans’ suspicion of one another and undermine our confidence in our system of government – such as his repeated contention that “three to five million” people voted illegally in the last election, or that Obama spied on him during the campaign.

Prior presidents have embellished the truth and on occasion have lied about a particular important thing, such as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But never before Trump have we had a president who chronically lies, whose lies have become an integral part of his presidency even in the first 100 days.

There is also Trump’s vast family business, from which he continues to benefit even though the decisions he makes in office affect what he earns, and the almost certain decisions by foreign governments to curry favor with him by bestowing benefits on his business. 

Trump shrugs off such conflicts – even refusing to release his tax returns, even inviting his daughter and son-in-law, each with their own businesses and conflicts of interest, to join him at the highest reaches of the White House.

Some presidents have profited from their presidencies after they leave office through large speaking fees and book contracts. But never before Trump have we had a president for whom conflicts of financial interest during his presidency are so flagrant yet ignored.

The first 100 days has also been marked by Trump’s divisiveness – turning Americans against each other, legitimizing hatefulness toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans and African-Americans, fueling violence between his supporters and his opponents.

We have had divisive elections before. But after them, other presidents have sought to heal the wounds. Even after the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln famously asked us to come together without malice. 

Trump, by contrast, has fomented the warring camps – calling his opponents “enemies,” suggesting they are plotting against his administration, and staging rallies to encourage and fuel his bedrock supporters.

We have also seen Trump’s cruelty – toward refugees, undocumented immigrants, and the poor among us. He has issued a budget that would deeply harm the least advantaged Americans, and supported a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would also hurt those most in need.

He has refused asylum to refugees at a time when the world faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and unleashed immigration enforcers on 11 million residents of the United States, many of whom have been productive members of their communities for years. He has even deported people who have been here since childhood and know know no other nation.

Other presidents have on occasion been cruel. But Trump’s cruelty has defied reason. It is utterly unnecessary.

There has also been Trump’s affect on the rest of the world – legitimizing crude nationalism and hateful xenophobia. He has promoted France’s Marine Le Pen and encouraged authoritarians such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, while at the same time confusing our democratic allies and friends.  

Finally, there is Donald Trump himself – who in the first 100 days as president has shown himself to be narcissistic, xenophobic, paranoid, vindictive, and thin-skinned; who takes credit for the work of others and blames others for his own failings; who lashes out at the press and journalists when they criticize him, and who demonizes judges who disagree with him.  

We have before had presidents whose personality defects harmed their presidencies and tainted the office of the president, such as Richard Nixon. But Donald Trump is in a different league altogether. He exhibits the opposite of every civic virtue ever encouraged in our school rooms, town halls, and churches.

The first 100 days is an artificial landmark for presidents. But it does offer an opportunity to pause and assess what they have done. Too often, though, we think in the narrow gauge of policies and legislation.

With Trump, it’s important to think more broadly. Among the most significant legacies of his first 100 days is his degrading of the moral authority of the office of the president, and, thereby, of America.

Since before Trump was elected I’ve seen discussion of using magical action against his presidency, and alongside that, I’ve seen criticism of said magical action. It’s now almost nine months since he was elected, time enough to gestate a friggin’ baby, and the 200th day of his presidency. That’s enough to evaluate both his presidency so far and the results of any magic against him and his agenda, and it’s also time enough to evaluate the criticisms of that magic.

Here are the usual criticisms I see levied in regards to magical action against Trump or other public figures:

  • It isn’t working because magic against a public figure you’re not personally connected to doesn’t work.
  • It isn’t working because too many people are casting at once.
  • It isn’t working because someone is countering for the person/the person’s position lends them protection.
  • It isn’t working because people were public about using magical action.
  • It isn’t working because everyone doing magic is an ineffective newb.
  • It isn’t working because you’re not doing magic the way I think you should be doing.
  • It isn’t working, and in fact through some convoluted logic it’s helping him instead.
  • It isn’t working because I’m assuming that every single person did that one binding spell that was published and also did it exactly word for word and on the exact dates it was planned for, and nobody did any different kind of work whatsoever or adopted different kinds of tactics.

Now, I can rebut a lot of those points, but I want to address a fundamental thing all those criticisms share: “it isn’t working.”

My question is: says who?

Do you read the news? I have been reading the news, both Politico’s main page and a scan of Google News’s top international and US stories, almost every day since the election began drawing near. Since Trump’s presidency started, I have seen a clear pattern: he has barely gotten any shit done. It’s his 200 day mark right now and many of his 100 day objectives remain unfulfilled. He’s got his own party controlling the entire US legislature and he can barely pass anything. Not only that, but he and his family and associates are constantly getting tarred by allegations of Russia collusion that will not go away because firing the special prosecutor in charge of looking into those allegations would be political suicide for him. He only makes his situation worse and worse as time goes by, either not appointing enough people to get his agenda done or fouling up negotiations over his own legislature or outright saying different things than his own communications office says on the same dang day. The Republican party leadership is largely troubled by Trump’s effects on their party and how to keep hold of congressional seats in 2018 and even how to keep their party united. Last year, Trump was looking like one of the best things to happen for them, a guaranteed way to pass lots of conservative Republican legislation and tilt the entire US further towards their party. Now the legislature is mired in quicksand and the current president has the lowest approval ratings in the history of approval ratings. (Like I don’t think that binding spell was the absolute best constructed spell ever but… a lot of these legislative agenda results do seem like what you’d get from a general binding against an agenda causing harm…)

I think some people expect immediate success from a spell to, say, make him fall over into a coma or make him immediately be impeached. The latter is largely unrealistic barring some very direct connection to the target of a spell and the former is entirely impossible because of how actual impeachment procedures go. But seeing neither happen, some people assume that any magical action must be failing completely or in its failure is producing the opposite results.

Exact magical results can often be difficult to determine in a complicated situation and so that’s why people are often prompted to do divination to determine those results. So I ask people who claim that all of the magic is completely ineffective or propping Trump up: what is telling you this? Since it can’t be an examination of the news and of the current political reality in the US, have you been applying divination towards this task to see just what the effects of the magic have been? If not, then what exactly are you basing your criticisms on?

Because from my vantage, what I see are three different reasons for the criticisms being made:

  1. “I don’t want this magic to be successful, so I’m going to say it’s not a success regardless of any proof of the results.” This comes from two fronts: people who disagree with the use of the magic in general, being anti-curse or anti-use of magic in politics, and people who are pro-Trump and therefore obviously biased against this sort of thing.
  2. “I don’t think the people casting are competent, either because I assume they’re all new at it or because they’re not me, and since I’m much better at magic at them that means their magic just won’t work.” This is usually from people who have difficulty imagining magic from other people’s perspective and often comes from a bias towards one specific system of magic (which is always the system the critic uses). Honestly it’s based out of a kind of arrogance that tends to get the critic in trouble eventually.
  3. “I’m projecting an attitude that these people are incompetent and their entire endeavor is a bad idea because I’m covering up the fact that I’m doing the same damn thing.” Props to you for obscuring your work but honestly, this is a shitty way to do it. If you want to keep a secret about something then just don’t talk about it. Using it as an excuse to tear other people down is not only being an asshole, it shows that you’re not a very good person to discuss magic with because you’re more concerned with your own image as a badass magician than with what actually works.

I’m not gonna discuss too in-depth what I’ve observed about the reality of the magic aimed at Trump, because quite honestly, secrecy is… a good thing? But I’d suggest anyone critiquing the whole of all magic that’s been cast for this reason start thinking a bit more realistically about the results. Start reading the news from some informed outlets and learning how politics works if you’re going to do commentary on political magic. Start thinking seriously about how others do magic and how other magical systems work before immediately writing their effectiveness off. And for goodness sakes, if you’re doing your own magical work in this area, don’t publicly tear others down to throw off suspicion about your own measures or as a way to brag about what you’re doing without actually outright bragging. That’s crass and your actions are obvious to those who know how to see through them. Get some perspective and start giving other people than yourself credit for being able to do magic competently too. A competent magician or magical system isn’t the Highlander–there can be more than one.

So this silly bitch Jim Comey starts investigating Hillary Clinton for her shitty handling of emails back in summer 2016. Just before the election rolls into town, he decides to send a letter to Congress saying, “Oh shit, son, we got a pantload of new emails to look at!” Then three days before the election, he shrugs that shit off with “Eh, we just found some cat GIFs and pics of Anthony Weiner’s dick, which is sad but not illegal.” But it doesn’t matter – everyone thinks Hillary Clinton is the Baba Yaga of emails at this point. Trump wins the election.

Word spreads pretty quick that Trump may have some ties to Russia, whom we now suspect meddled in the election worse than Scooby and the gang meddled in the day-to-day business affairs of your average haunted amusement park. And by “some ties,” I mean everyone Trump has appointed, worked with, met, or looked at is probably a sleeper Russian agent who, when given the signal, will together form Mecha-Putin. So Comey heads up an investigation into the Trump/Russia ties, and along the way Sally Yates gets fired, and so does Preet Bharara – both of whom are looking into Team Trump’s connections to Russia. Well ain’t that a bitch?

Then in comes Trump out of the blue with the firing of Comey, claiming it was because of how he dealt with the emails months previously – something which Trump publicly praised Comey for at the time.

What in the merciful fuck is going on?

Forget Fake, This News Is Certifiably Insane