It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village is a reminder of Democratic Party values – especially the values of long time Democrats whose lives have been dedicated to helping people.

TGIF….ugh!

Well, yesterday wasn’t a good day to say the least. The Republicans showed us once again that they are a basket full of deplorables by passing the worst bill in our lifetime and maybe all time. Is what they did despicable, yes, no doubt and the way they did it was just as bad. Should we be worried about it? Not really as it will never become law in it’s current configuration. Even now the Senate Republicans, I’m assuming as I highly doubt any Democrats will cross party lines on this, are saying they will write their own bill. With knowing how they have operated the last 8 years they more than likely haven’t even started on anything yet. It’s always pass the buck with them, never do any real work if they can get away with it, so they have waited to see the what the foolish R’s in the House would do. That’s a losing endeavor if there ever was one seeing as how they were relying on the moron, Ryan, to do something he’s ill equipped to do. My theory for what it matters is that it passed the House because a lot of the “yes” votes was for no other reason to keep on Trump’s good side and to just get it out of the House so they wouldn’t look any more stupid then they already do plus they are tired of dealing with it.

So what do we have to look forward to…The Senate R’s will craft something entirely different, or at least we can hope. It won’t be much better for anyone but that’s not the point. To get the vote in the House they had to appease the “Freedom Caucus”, read super deplorables. So whatever the Senate comes up with will then have to go back to the House for a vote and will never pass. I’m looking at this as the never ending story.

What I find more worrisome is that this clusterfuck the Repukes are carrying on with will take eyes off the prize, Trump/Russia and that the ACA will suffer more from Dump and his deplorables lack of actually trying to help the ACA do what it was intended for.

 

 

This is your TGIF open thread…

Have a great weekend!

 

 

It takes a village: Tough sledding

 

Despite a rough first 100 days the house look poised to pass the ahca out the house. That increases the chances of this bill hitting his desk. We’re gonna take some setbacks…. this may be one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats did the right thing.

 

 

This is your Thursday thread.

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday Taste the Rainbow… Tastes Like Resistance

The Village News & Views May 3, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

Greetings Village Meese! Yes, it’s another Get Over the Hump post and discussion thread for your reading, viewing and commenting pleasure!

Today I’ve decided to feature the Rainbow side of the Resistance, which can actually mean anything you darn well want it to mean, but for my purposes, spotlights resistance under the Rainbow Flag of LGBTQ Activism.

While most of our attention, intentionally or otherwise, is often monopolized by the antics of the Pussy-Grabber In Chief, just behind his shoulder there is someone patiently (more or less) waiting for the time he is certain will come – his time. The Time of Pence.

He’s not worried about #TrumpRussia, he doesn’t care how many gaffes the Donald fails to duck, he can tolerate the Trump Kids Carousel and the Bannon Banning, secure in the belief that even if the Resistance succeeds in defeating the Moscow Candidate, what is the country going to do, have a new election? No! If Trump bails or is indicted or impeached, Mike Pence will eagerly step in to save us from… the Godless Gay Agenda, the Ludicrous Ladies Equality Movement and the Pagan Pursuit of Progress!

But he isn’t content to simply wait, wringing his hands and chuckling evilly, safely chaperoned by his dear “Mother”, er Mrs. Pence. After all, Warriors of God shouldn’t wait! Instead he’s working to get as much of his backwards time warp started as he can shove under the radar, over the rive, and through the woods.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

The New Civil Rights Movement…

Trump Expected to Sign Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Executive Order

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an anti-LGBT “religious freedom executive order on Thursday, the National Day of Prayer.

You may recall they attempted to put this through a short time ago and El Presidente Loco failed to sign it for some reason. Mike Pence and his fellow religious zealot homophobes went back to work and here we are again.

“Pence and a small team of conservative allies quickly began working behind the scenes to revise the language, and in recent weeks have ratcheted up the pressure on Trump to sign it,” Politico notes.

And now, for some more article links, and more tweets on the backside…

WTFJH yesterday…

What The Fuck Just Happened Today – May 2

Consummerist…

4 Misleading Things ISPs And The FCC Need To Stop Claiming About Net Neutrality

Wonkette…

Hillary Clinton Emerges From Woods To Break Foot Up In Donald Trump’s Ass

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Family and the Ties That Bind 5/2/17

Sisters and probably my maternal 2x great aunts; one of those unsolved genealogical mysteries.

Be forewarned; rambling, stream-of-consciousness post ahead…

The most recent pronouncement by 45* (about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War) once again illustrates his complete lack of historical knowledge, and coming as it did on the heels of an unexpected interaction in my own life, it has me again thinking about grand themes like, “What is history?” and “What is family?” On Saturday, I received a Facebook friend request from someone I’ve never met; I did, however, recognize the name, because he shares the name of the husband of a great aunt (both of whom I also never met). Before accepting his request, I perused his FB page (why on earth do people not keep their pages locked down?) and was able to immediately discern that he is a full-blown Republican and Hillary hater. I’m not certain he is a T***p supporter, but he certainly isn’t shy about broadcasting his disdain for Dems. Given that I’ve limited my interaction with my own sister because of her vote for the Orange Shitgibbon, I had to think awhile on whether to accept this friend request. I finally did and don’t regret it; he’s a second cousin who searched for me on the recommendation of another recently-discovered second cousin. We had an amiable and lengthy chat, and signed off with the promise to stay in touch.

It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 5/1/17



 

Excellent report I wanted to share with you:

Welcome to the latest issue of Greenlining’s #ResistReport, which appears on our blog every Thursday. With so many harmful policies coming out of Washington, we hope this will help our friends and supporters plug into grassroots activities to resist these policies here in the Bay Area and around the country.

If you find this weekly compilation of actions, updates, and resources useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Individual actions:
    • Resist negative stereotypes and celebrate Muslim and immigrant mamas this Mama’s Day, thanks to these beautiful images from Forward Together.
    • May Day actions to resist dangerous policies and protect communities are coming! Catch up on the latest Beyond the Moment nationwide “road to May Day” call here (discussion actually starts at about 34:50).
    • Resist on May Day! Stand up for immigrants, workers, womxn, and people of color wherever you are! Find local events, digital resources, posters, and other info here.
    • Connect theory with action through Harvard’s free Resistance School videos.
    • Practice self-care — check out wisdom from Jen Hofmann here.
  • Political & Social Justice Events:
    • March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday 4/22! Rallies in Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, and around the U.S. Find local events here.
    • Learn more about sanctuary policies at the Sanctuary Jurisdiction Symposium, hosted by the Santa Clara Law Center for Social Justice and Public Service on Friday 4/21 at 9 a.m.
    • Join Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Prof. Lowell Bergman for “45 from the Mexican Perspective,” on Friday 4/21 at 6 p.m.
    • Untangle the relationship between (neo)liberalism and Islamophobia at Cal’s 8th Annual International Islamophobia Conference on Friday 4/21-Sunday 4/23.
    • Livestream Sen. Kamala Harris’ first Town Hall as California Senator at Shotgun Players on Friday 4/21 at 3 p.m.
    • Support young people in conversations about race, gender, and power dynamics; attend “Talking with Kids about Race: A Panel Discussion,” hosted by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), on Saturday 4/22 at 3:30 p.m.
    • Learn to resist unlawful evictions and learn more about your tenants’ rights. Join the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the East Bay Community Law Center, and others on Saturday 4/22 at 2 p.m.
    • Join this multigenerational conversation on the LGBTQ movement’s involvement in electoral politics, hosted by the GLBT Historical Society on Tuesday 4/25 at 7 p.m.
    • Protest ICE detentions and deportations in Richmond on Sunday 4/23 at 11 a.m.
    • Discuss Angela Davis’ “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” at a Racial Justice Reading Group. Meets in Alameda on Tuesday 4/25 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Protest Berkeley’s participation in Urban Shield at the Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday 4/25 at 7 p.m.
    • Fight for justice and jobs, peace and the planet: Join the People’s Climate Movement Bay Area at Lake Merritt on Saturday 4/29.
    • Explore emerging threats and learn how to resist authoritarian trends at ‘Facing the Right: A Conversation with Tarso Luis Ramos.’ Hosted by the Center for Political Education, featuring Ramos, ED of Political Research Associates, on Tuesday 5/4 at 7 p.m.
  • Trainings and Discussions:
    • Register for a webinar discussion with Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s EPA Administrator from 2013-2016, on Thursday 4/20 at 5 p.m. Thanks to Interfaith Power and Light for hosting this conversation.
    • Explore social justice and the healing power of art at “The Art of Seeing,” a workshop through OneLife Institute with funding from the Akonadi Foundation, Thursday 4/20 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Practice public speaking at the “Speak from Your Strengths” workshop, hosted by the Asian American Women Artists Association on Saturday 4/22 at 1 p.m.
    • Join the Legal Observer Training for a Rapid Response Team, hosted by Sacramento Immigration Coalition on Tuesday 4/25 at 6 p.m.
  • Arts Events:
    • Uplift over 60 art pieces by trans and gender nonconforming artists across the US at the “Trans Life + Liberation Art Opening” on Friday 4/21 and Saturday 4/22.
    • Support local storytelling at “Stranger in a Strange Land,” on Saturday 4/22 at 7 p.m.
    • Cheer on local musicians at a concert benefiting ScienceDebate.org, fiscal partner for the March for Science. Concert on Saturday 4/22 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Screenprint shirts, hoodies, and fabric to support immigrant justice! Join the Berkeley Animal Rights Center and Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy on Saturday 4/22 at 1 p.m.
    • Build art for the May Day March and Strike on Monday 4/24 at 4 p.m.
    • Drum alongside BoomShake Music and Batala SF on Monday 4/24 at 7 p.m.
    • Celebrate SF MOMA’s Birthday Bash with Solange on Wednesday 4/26 at 6:30 p.m.

WINS FOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR:

  • Thousands March Nationwide to Demand 45’s Taxes:
    • In over 150 cities on Saturday 4/15, people rallied to demand 45’s tax returns. Thousands gathered in San Francisco alone (with over 10,000 marked interested on the FB event). Speakers included SF Supervisor and Greenlining Leadership Academy alum Jane Kim.
  • 45’s Lawyer Retreats on Sanctuary Cities:
    • On Friday 4/14 the Trump administration’s lawyer told a federal judge that 45’s recent executive order doesn’t actually deprive sanctuary cities of funding. SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, “President Trump tried to take a scorched-earth approach to immigration, and San Francisco stood up to him. Because San Francisco faced down this bully, and because others like Santa Clara County joined us, President Trump had to back down.” Whether this constitutes a real change or a temporary tactical retreat as cities resist remains to be seen. Read Herrera’s full statement here.
  • Sanctuary Restaurant Movement Sweeps Bay Area and East Coast:
    • The Sanctuary Restaurant movement has swept the Bay as well as cities around the country, including Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Miami, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Though lacking legal force, the effort at least symbolically “protects restaurant workers from harassment and [promotes] diverse workplaces and communities regardless of immigration status.”
    • With an estimated 30% of SF restaurant workers undocumented, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association announced last week that it will formally educate its 1,000 member restaurants on immigrants’ rights for employees and patrons alike.
  • New Fruitvale Restaurant and Worker-Owned Cooperative Incubator to Support Workers of Color in Fine Dining:
    • Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights purchased a building in Fruitvale for a new restaurant, Colors, to serve as a training facility and worker-owned cooperative incubator. The effort seeks to usher more workers of color into fine dining and higher-wage restaurant industry jobs by specifically addressing the intersection of race and income inequality.
  • Foundation Earmarks $90 Million to Girls of Color:
    • Executive Director of the NoVo Foundation, Pamela Shifman, noted that “minority girls are disproportionately affected by a number of social ills, including poverty and sexual assault, but are largely overlooked in philanthropic giving.” Over seven years, the $90 million will fund community-based groups that specifically work with girls of color, as well as national policy and research organizations focused on issues for women and girls of color.

RESOURCES:

  • Intro Materials:
    • Explore how one Korean-American woman understands being a woman of color and how a Chinese-American woman grapples with the absence of Asian Americans in U.S. history books.
    • Unpack the ‘Model Minority’ Myth here. Learn how this myth has pitted AAPI communities against black communities in the US here.
    • Check out these “10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read.”
    • Decolonize your history with this article, “8 Times the US Government Gave White People Handouts to Get Ahead”’
    • Listen to Prof. Duchess Harris’ presentation, “Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA,” the inspiration for the movie Hidden Figures

 

 

Status of the Latest Distraction from Russia– Tax Reform:

The Vagina Grabber In Chief has introduced his “Bernie Madoff” tax reform principle that has the potential to create a black hole of financial debt and send the country into a recession. That bastion of liberalism Jennifer Rubin [snark], even scoffs at the Tax reform effort backed in March.

” In the case of taxes, both Trump and Ryan ignore palpable distaste for widening income inequality and the risk of enlarging the already enormous debt. However, in this case, Ryan is more wrong than the president, if only because Ryan offers the working poor and middle class so little. At least Trump would have the argument that the middle class gets something along with the rich:

Trump’s plan arguably reflects his unique style of conservative populism. The proposal would be extremely costly for the government, and the president’s past comments suggest he would be willing to put the federal government deeper into debt to fund breaks for the middle class.

Ryan’s plan would instead simplify and streamline the tax code in accordance with conservative orthodoxy, eliminating the goodies for households with modest incomes that Trump would preserve or expand.

In all, taxpayers with roughly average incomes could expect a tax cut of around $1,100 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to just $60 under Ryan’s plan once the proposals were fully implemented.

Ryan’s plan gets worse, however. Ryan want to fill the revenue gap created by his plan with a border adjustment tax. That idea makes the Ryan plan even less likely to pass the Senate and less friendly toward middle- and lower-class Americans who spend more of their income on imported necessities (e.g., food, clothing, household goods) that will include a new tax paid by consumers.

Frankly, we don’t think any cut of the top marginal rate for individuals makes sense at a time of huge debt, when neither party has the nerve to address entitlement reform. Revenue-neutral corporate tax reform, pro-growth trade and immigration policies, smart regulatory policy and investment in both worker skills and physical infrastructure have much more appeal politically and are likely to bear equal or better results than another 1980’s-style tax cut for those at the very top.

Most Corrupt ever!

Trump’s White House Family Affair Looks A Lot Like The Most Corrupt Nations In The World

Presidential advisers Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are still connected to their own businesses.

ILLUSTRATION: JON SHIN/HUFFPOST; PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON ― For decades, the United States has worked with other countries to eliminate nepotism. There’s a good reason for that: Nepotism breeds corruption.

“You’ve seen it in countries all over the world where they’ve appointed family members, whether it’s their son, daughter, in-laws — it provides for tremendous opportunities for corruption,” said Shruti Shah, an international anti-corruption expert at Coalition for Integrity, a good-government nonprofit. “People who want to curry favor find their way to provide favors to family members as a way to get closer to the person in power.”

But President Donald Trump, who has entrusted more power to his family members than any recent president, puts that agenda at risk. “I like nepotism,” Trump told Larry King in 2006, the year he replaced his “Apprentice” costar, Trump company executive Carolyn Kepcher, with his daughter Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, hold broad portfolios at the White House that include everything from diplomacy with China, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, women’s issues, cybersecurity and reinventing government.

They determine who else has power in the Trump administration. Trump sidelined Steve Bannon, a close adviser, after he butted up against his daughter and adviser-in-law, and he elevated former Goldman Sachs employees Gary Cohn and Dina Powell based in part on their friendly relationships with Ivanka and her husband. And the couple act as presidential emissaries, with Kushner traveling to Iraq at the suggestion of the Pentagon and Ivanka heading to Germany.

Ivanka and Kushner — the two Trump advisers least likely to be fired — now rule the White House. And, although Ivanka and Kushner are not being paid, they maintain ownership stakes in their own businesses. Ivanka owns her own personal brand, which produces shoes, clothing, jewelry and accessories, and has a stake in her father’s businesses, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Kushner, like Trump, is a real estate magnate with numerous holdings throughout the U.S. who inherited his wealth from his father.

The nepotism in the Trump administration would seem familiar in foreign countries with high rates of corruption, according to U.S. diplomats who have served in them.

“For many countries and governments, certainly in the Gulf, in the Middle East, they would recognize this pattern immediately,” Gerald Feierstein, who served as ambassador to Yemen from 2010 to 2013 and worked as a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, told HuffPost. “I think that they would find it completely normal that leaders mix personal business interests with government affairs and would use family members in various official responsibilities.”

THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law, listens to Donald Trump during a White House session with cybersecurity experts.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, former ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995 and deputy chief of mission in Iraq during the first Gulf War, told HuffPost, “If you’re an overseas businessman or politician who wants to curry favor with the Trump family, it doesn’t hurt to provide these little niceties to them. Things such as having a conference at the Trump hotel in Washington or entertaining at the Trump hotel, that you already see.”

Foreign countries have indeed taken advantage of the continued business ownership of Trump and his children/advisers.

China approved five new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s business on the same day she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ivanka’s business already had 16 registered trademarks in the country and has 30 more pending. The new trademarks covered the brand-name rights for jewelry, spa services and purses. The vast majority of Ivanka Trump’s product line is made in China and imported to the U.S.

Kushner’s company was seeking an investment from a politically connected Chinese bank into the largest property he owns. Those negotiations ended after members of Congress and others questioned whether it would create a conflict of interest with his work as a go-between for the White House and Chinese leadership. (Kushner sold his stake in the building to a private trust controlled by his family members.)

Foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Turkey, have held or plan to hold events at Trump’s D.C. hotel, which both the president and his daughter have a stake in. It is not known how many diplomats and foreign dignitaries have decided to book rooms at Trump hotels or properties since the president took office.

“I think the Chinese have already completely figured it out,” Feierstein said. “I would say the Arabs have figured it out. Because, again, from their perspective, this isn’t an unusual thing. One way of ensuring favorable treatment is you take care of the business interests.”

SABAH ARAR VIA GETTY IMAGES
Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrate in Baghdad on Feb. 8 to demand reforms from Iraq’s leading parties, which they accuse of corruption and nepotism.

Not all former diplomats see Trump’s nepotistic governing arrangement through the lens of foreign nations.

“Actually I would compare it to what I’ve seen in Washington,” Ambassador John Herbst, who headed the embassy in Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003 and in Ukraine from 2003 to 2006, told HuffPost.

Herbst is right: The U.S. has its own long tradition of political nepotism. President George Washington was opposed to nepotism, but his successor, John Adams, appointed his son John Quincy Adams as minister to Prussia. Unlike Kushner and Ivanka Trump, John Quincy Adams had already, perhaps against his wishes, worked as minister to the Netherlands during Washington’s administration. “I rather wish it had not been made at all,” Adams lamented about the Netherlands posting. Later, President John F. Kennedy appointed his brother Robert as attorney general.

When PresOident Bill Clinton tapped his wife, Hillary Clinton, to lead an effort to reform health care in 1993, conservative and medical industry groups charged that her appointment violated either a 1967 anti-nepotism law or a federal advisory committee law requiring public meetings. But two appeals court judges ruled that Hillary Clinton’s White House role was not a violation of the anti-nepotism law. The decision stated that the nepotism law probably did not apply to White House adviser positions, particularly if they were unpaid.

“The anti-nepotism statute, moreover, may well bar appointment only to paid positions in government,” D.C. Circuit Court Judges Laurence Silberman and Stephen Williams wrote in their 1993 decision. “Thus, even if it would prevent the President from putting his spouse on the federal payroll, it does not preclude his spouse from aiding the President in the performance of his duties.”

The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel made the same argument in a 14-page memo rationalizing Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law as a White House adviser. The legal counsel also argued that a subsequent law providing the president with unilateral hiring authority in the White House superseded the possibility of the nepotism law restricting the employment of children or in-laws.

Or, as Eric Trump, the co-head of the president’s multibillion-dollar international business, puts it, “Nepotism is kind of a factor of life.”

One Hundred Days of Incompetence:

There is frustration all around. During his first hundred days in office, Trump has not done away with populist rhetoric, but he has acted almost entirely as a plutocrat. His Cabinet and his cast of advisers are stocked with multimillionaires and billionaires. His positions on health care, tax reform, and financial regulation are of greatest appeal to the super-wealthy. How he intends to improve the situation of the middle class remains obscure. A report in Politico described thirty staffers holed up in a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, attempting a “rebranding” of this first chapter of the Trump Administration. The aides furiously assembled “lists of early successes” on whiteboards.

One success they can name is the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, although Democrats rightly judge that his seat was stolen from Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. The first hundred days are marked most indelibly by Trump’s attempted ban of travellers from six Muslim countries, which failed in the courts, and the effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, which imploded in the House of Representatives. The list of domestic initiatives is largely confined to reversals of achievements of the Obama era. Trump has proposed an expansion of the prison at Guantánamo and ordered the easing of Dodd-Frank financial regulations. He has reversed plans to save wetlands and protect waterways from coal waste; he has reversed executive orders that banned gun sales to the mentally ill and that protected L.G.B.T. federal employees from discrimination; his Vice-President voted in a Senate tiebreaker to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood clinics. Trump, because of the lavish travel habits of his family, is shaping up to be the most expensive executive in history to guard. At the same time, his budget proposals would, if passed in Congress, cut the funding of after-school programs, rental-assistance programs, the Community Development Block Grant program, legal assistance for the poor, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scorekeepers will credit these as promises kept. Guardians of democratic values and the environment, champions of economic opportunity and the national well-being will view them as an ever-growing damage report.

“There’s a slight madness to thinking you should be the leader of the free world,” Obama admitted before he went ahead and ran for President. But even after Richard Nixon’s anti-Semitic rants and Ronald Reagan’s astrology-influenced daily schedule, we are at a new level of strangeness with Donald Trump—something that his biography had always suggested.

Trump emerged from neither a log cabin nor the contemporary meritocracy. He inherited his father’s outer-borough real-estate empire—a considerable enterprise distinguished by racist federal-housing violations—and brought it to Manhattan. He entered a world of contractors, casino operators, Roy Cohn, professional-wrestling stars, Rupert Murdoch, multiple bankruptcies, tabloid divorces, Mar-a-Lago golf tournaments, and reality television. He had no real civic presence in New York. A wealthy man, he gave almost nothing to charity. He cultivated a kind of louche glamour. At Studio 54, he said, “I would watch supermodels getting screwed . . . on a bench in the middle of the room.” He had no close friends. Mainly, he preferred to work, play golf, and spend long hours at home watching TV. His misogyny and his low character were always manifest. Displeased with a harmless Palm Beach society journalist named Shannon Donnelly, he told her in a letter that if she adhered to his standards of discretion, “I will promise not to show you as the crude, fat and obnoxious slob which everyone knows you are.” Insofar as he had political opinions, they were inconsistent and mainly another form of performance art, part of his talk-show patter. His contributions to political campaigns were unrelated to conviction; he gave solely to curry favor with those who could do his business some good. He believed in nothing.

By the mid-nineties, Trump’s investment prospects had foundered. Banks cut him off. He turned to increasingly dubious sources of credit and branding opportunities at home and abroad. A typical deal, involving a hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan (described at length in these pages by Adam Davidson), included as partners an Azerbaijani family distinguished for its outsized corruption and for its connections to some Iranian brothers who worked as a profit front for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. There is little mystery as to why Trump has broken with custom and refuses to release his tax returns. A record of his colossal tax breaks, associations, deals, and net worth resides in those forms. It may turn out that deals like the one in Baku will haunt his Presidency no less than his grotesque conflicts of interest or any of the possible connections to Russia now being investigated by the F.B.I. and congressional committees will.

As Trump struggled in business, he made a deal with NBC to star in “The Apprentice,” which, for fourteen seasons, featured him in a role of corporate dominance. It was there that he honed his peculiar showmanship and connected to a mass audience well beyond New York City, perfecting the persona that became the core of his Presidential campaign: the billionaire populist. That role is not unknown in American history: in the eighteen-seventies, wealthy leaders of the Redeemer movement, a southern faction of the Bourbon Democrats linked to the Ku Klux Klan and other white paramilitary groups, set out to defund public schools, shrink government, lower taxes for land owners, and undercut the rise of a generation of black politicians.

TGIF….Are our weeks getting longer?

 

Sure seems like our weeks are getting longer with all we are having to put up with…Deplorables, Fuckin Bernie and now Liz getting on the stupid train.

I’ll get my rant out first and move on to a few tweets..

I’m disgusted with some members of the Democratic Party…Liz for her running her mouth and quite a lot of our Democrats for allowing Fuckin Bernie to stay anywhere near our party seeing as how he thinks we are doing everything wrong. Coming from someone that couldn’t articulate anything at all and getting his ass handed to him in the primary is telling us we are doing it all wrong…Bull fucking shit…What is it going to take to get the leaders in the party to wake up to the menace Bernie Sanders is to democracy. I AM FED UP…

OK, rant done…Twitter time!

Good news here…Sounds like a few Democrats have got their shit together…

Bye you worthless moron…

Biggest reason Dump should have never been elected…well other than he’s an asshole.

Totally uncalled for…Liz has gone off her damn rocker…Barack is a private citizen doing what every ex-President has always done. Instead of targeting BHO for making money legally maybe attacking Dump and his deplorable family for making money illegally would be spending her time more productively. This really pisses me off.

Hard for me to get my brain to register this as anything other down right asinine…Are people really this damn stupid?

The damn stupid fools from the last tweet need to have this tweet shoved down their throat.

Yeah, you’re a real freakin saint Bernie…Ya damn crook…Hillary didn’t use this against him and should have while the Republicans would have used it like a cudgel oven his damn head…This sickens me…All the BoBers can go to hell…

Could we get so lucky as to see Fox News go down in flames?

LOL…

Yeah….Right Sean…You idiot..

And as always…Hillary…

 

This is your Friday open thread…Fire away!

 

 

 

It takes a village: This is just f#=/_+$@ Ridiculous.

So his integrity is questioned?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folks need a refresher course.

 

 

This is my redline. The intensity African-Americans like and care about barack obama Exceeds the following Sanders and the progressive left has for him.

 

for the polticans who passively aggressively bashed the man OR resented HIS MOVEMENT or HIS success….. read this statement. He’s more than willing to have this discussion about his accomplishments vs empty repetitive rhetoric.

.                                       HE. WILL NOT. BE. DISRESPECTED.

 

 

 

This is your Thursday thread. My apologies for a few f bombs in advance.

It Takes A Village: VNV Wednesday Super Hero Edition

The Village News & Views April 26, 2017
Wednesday Get Over the Hump Free for All

Hi everyone! I’m FalseEquivalence Avenger, and this is my partner, DemBase Sheero!

Your regular blogger, MomentaryGrace was wiped out by work last night so she asked us to fill in for her today. We understand that you inhabit a metropolis known as The Village at Moose Pond and that you might be expecting tweets and cat memes. We will do our best to accomplish the mission.

It’s Day 97 of the Resistance. It seems you good people of the Village at Moose Pond, along with all the heroes in your world are battling against a supervillain known as The Punch Line, who has a not-so-secret identity as a bogus billionaire and would-be fascist dictator.

According to the mission briefing we received from MomentaryGrace, The Punch Line has managed to become President with the aid of his conniving henchmen (and women) and a deeply entrenched Legion of Doom, Obstruction and Menace, at the behest of some shadowy foreign mastermind, by duping some of the people some of the time and energizing the baser natures of a portion of the populace. That is truly a diabolical scheme!

DemBase Sheero tells me that you have been fighting hard against the evil foes and pushing back in the face of incredible odds. Fellow heroes, we salute your courage!

And now, for some links, a few tweets, and of course….

WTFJH yesterday…

What The Fuck Just Happened Today – April 24

Wonkette…

New Orleans Removes Confederate Statues! Wingnuts Totally Reasonable About It, As You’d Expect!

GothamGirlBlue at medium.com…

Wherein I Try And Probably Fail To Save the Democratic Party.

The Root…

What Happened to Your Revolution, Bernie Sanders?

Melaka at Daily Kos…

They’re Coming for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville…

On Hillary Clinton’s Beautiful Refusal to “Go Away”

Tweets after the break….

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Deep into the Unity Weeds 4/25/17

Whether we’ve liked it or not, unity has become the Democratic buzzword of late.  The tour with DNC Chair Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders has created waves on Twitter and in the press; the dismay, disarray, and disgust that have resulted are an unfortunate by-product of tone-deaf politicking. It occurred to me in the midst of my anger of the past week that I wanted to know more about where this emphasis on “unity” originated.  I did a deep dive into the background and what I found is both encouraging and cause for concern.  I am the first to recognize that this topic is a bit esoteric and wonky when resistance to the Republicans has to be our primary focus.  But I also hope that it will provide some helpful information about directions the Democratic Party is considering for itself.