recentpopularlog in


« earlier   
Joshua Tree National Park has been trashed in the shutdown. Now visitors are cutting down trees.
Joshua Tree is suffering damages as visitors e.g. drive over cacti and other should-be protected assets in order to try to get where they want to go during the government shutdown.
government-shutdown  trump-presidency  national-parks  joshua-tree 
6 weeks ago by irace
William Barr and the Crucial Role of the Justice Department | The New Yorker
Jeffrey Toobin posits that – while William Barr’s views on voting rights, immigration, and criminal justice reform will all be reprehensible – he believes in the norms of governmental conduct, at the very least.
william-barr  trump-presidency 
7 weeks ago by irace
Peter Carr Speaks | emptywheel
Smart theorizing as to why the Office of the Special Counsel issued a statement to say that BuzzFeed’s report that Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress was inaccurate. The thinking here is that this would raise the burden of proof significantly in such a way that doesn’t actually aid Mueller in the specific indictments that he’s going to be seeking (notably, those for crimes that happened far earlier and that target those he actually *can* indict, e.g. Don Jr.). The BuzzFeed report contradicts Cohen’s testimony which would make it harder for Mueller to use him as a trustworthy trial witness.
mueller-investigation  trump-presidency  buzzfeed 
7 weeks ago by irace
The Conspiracy Memo About Obama Aides that Circulated in the Trump White House
A right-wing conspiracy – that former Obama staffers are now running an organized communications campaign from the private sector against the Trump administration – made it far enough as to be taken seriously by the White House. Pretty sure there’s nothing secret or noteworthy about most Democrats‘ disdain for the current administration.
trump-presidency  conspiracy 
11 weeks ago by irace
The Frustrating Necessity of Staying in Syria and Afghanistan, Explained | National Review
The only way to prevent terrorism against the US is to deprive jihadists of safe havens, which by definition always exist in antagonistic or broken countries, we cannot rely on allies to do for us. As such, active measures against terrorist cells is a national defense requirement so long as these cells exist.

The approval for such occupation should go through Congress and it’s a bipartisan failure that it has not, but this doesn’t excuse the thoughtlessness that is behind the current decision to remove US troops from Syria. What has been a successful occupation with minimal US casualties will require more troops and more casualties if we end up having to return, since local allies won’t trust us to not leave them hanging a second time around. And we know who will take over the territory that we’re ceding (Assad or Afghanistan), and know that neither of those are OK.
trump-presidency  war  syria 
11 weeks ago by irace
Trump’s Base Isn’t Enough
Republican candidate’s did *very* poorly in the 2018 midterms with swing voters and those who voted for a third-party candidate in 2016. Trump’s base is not large enough.
trump-presidency  2018-midterms 
december 2018 by irace
Trump's Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Was Part of World Patent Marketing, a Miami-Based Invention Scam Company
Today President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and announced that his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, would become acting attorney general. Whitaker is a former U.S. attorney in Iowa, but he was also involved in a Miami-based invention-marketing company the Federal Trade Commission shut down last year after calling it a scam...

World Patent Marketing collected millions of dollars by promising starry-eyed inventors it would turn their inventions into best sellers. Company reps claimed invention ideas were reviewed by an illustrious board that included big names such as Whitaker, Republican Congressman Brian Mast, and time-travel scientist Ronald Mallett.
corruption  usa  politics  trump-presidency  crime 
november 2018 by iamfantastikate
Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100
Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century.

A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.

But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed...

“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” said Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.
trump-presidency  politics  environment  future-dystopia  corruption 
november 2018 by iamfantastikate
Why Democrats Should Pack the Supreme Court | Take Care
An argument that Democrats should add more Supreme Court seats the next time that they have the opportunity, because Republicans have already packed the court by stealing Merrick Garland’s seat, as well as taken a number of additional undemocratic measures (gerrymandering, packing state houses, suppressing voters, etc. )
voter-suppression  supreme-court  trump-presidency 
october 2018 by irace
Opinion | Don’t be fooled: Working Americans are worse off under Trump
Despite low unemployment, median wages are not doing well relative to inflation (a decline from the end of the Obama presidency)
unemployment  trump-presidency  economics 
october 2018 by irace
Penn Jillette, In Conversation
But if there aren’t meaningful jobs, is there any reason for libertarianism? I have been very seduced lately by the basic universal human income. But would we be able to find work that would fulfill us if we were on a basic universal income? Really, though, my libertarianism has come down to trying to get into the thought process on any question of Is there a way to solve this with more freedom instead of less? Sometimes the answer’s no. But I think libertarianism is a good thing to have in the conversation. If you told me right now that the United States is going to go to a fully libertarian government I think I’d be against it. But do I want that idea to be discussed? Yes.
politics  celebrity  usa  trump-presidency  interview  economy 
august 2018 by iamfantastikate
Analysis | Peter Strzok just gave a hard-to-rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation’s origins
If Peter Strzok wanted to stop Trump, he had the effect opportunity to do so prior to the election, when he had information about the Trump’s campaign’s ties to Russian election interference that he could have released to the public. The fact that he did not implies pretty strongly that he is telling the truth when he states that he kept his personal political viewpoints compartmentalized from doing his job.
peter-strzok  trump-presidency  russia-investigation 
july 2018 by irace
Wages aren’t growing when adjusted for inflation, new data finds
According to the Labor Department, median weekly earnings fell 0.6% in inflation-adjusted dollars in the second quarter, compared to the same time period of 2017. That’s now the third straight quarter where inflation has outpaced wage growth...

In the report on median earnings released Tuesday, women were earning 81 cents for every dollar a man made. Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings — $1,463 for men and $1,080 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $615 and $512, respectively.
money  economy  usa  trump-presidency  gender-pay-gap 
july 2018 by iamfantastikate
Who’s Really Crossing the U.S. Border, and Why They’re Coming
Back in 2000, Mexican nationals made up 98 percent of the total migrants and Central Americans (referring to Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran migrants) only one percent. Today, Central Americans make up closer to 50 percent...

For Central American residents, control of these gangs over their neighborhood likely means a weekly or monthly extortion payment simply for the right to operate a business or live in their territory. The price for failing to provide this money is death. All it takes is a neighbor or nearby shopkeeper to be gunned down for failing to pay the adequate fees, and it becomes clear that the only options are pay or flee. Parents may also send their children to the United States or take them north as the gangs try to recruit them into their activities: Boys of eleven years old (or younger) may be recruited as lookouts and teenage girls may be eyed for becoming the members’ “girlfriends.” Older women who date or at one point dated a gang member can become trapped and unable to escape the violence, with partner-violence a driving migratory factor for many women...

A 2017 Doctors Without Borders report noted that 68 percent of the migrants that it provided services to in shelters across Mexico had been the victim of a crime during the journey. Women and children are also at particular risk, with nearly one-third of the women reporting that they were sexually assaulted during their trip through Mexico...

Previously, many migrants would seek to reach the United States by hiking through the desert undetected. But in recent years, families have begun crossing the border and waiting for a Border Patrol agent, or showing up at ports of entry, to ask for asylum. Before the Trump administration’s recent immigration crackdown, these families would be then taken to a family detention center, where they would have to pass a “credible fear” interview to be released—that is, prove that they have a real fear of returning to their home countries. At least 77 percent of the families pass this hurdle and are released with an ankle monitor or after paying a bond. They can then begin their cases in immigration courts.

The Trump administration is looking to shake up this system. Under the current policy and the June 20th executive order, the administration is pushing to detain families together for months, if not years, while their cases are processed. However, this flies in the face of the Flores settlement, a 1997 consent decree that courts have found to require that children not be detained for more than 20 days. The administration is now seeking to modify the settlement, a gambit that seems unlikely to succeed given the deciding judge’s previous rulings on the matter against the Obama administration.
abuse  el-salvador  guatemala  honduras  mexico  immigration  politics  usa  trump-presidency 
june 2018 by iamfantastikate
Inside Rex Tillerson’s Ouster
The biggest impact Rex Tillerson’s short tenure as America’s top diplomat had was an overall reduction of our diplomatic capacity, something that will reduce our capabilities for many years to come (even if Trump’s predecessor is more diplomacy-minded).
rex-tillerson  trump-presidency 
june 2018 by irace
Democrats release Facebook ads linked to Russian troll factory
A random walk through some of the 3,000-plus files provided by the committee shows that the vast majority got a tiny, tiny number of “impressions” — which simply means they appeared in someone’s news feed. And most got an equally minuscule number of clicks, and in some cases none at all. Did simply viewing these ads cause anyone to change their mind about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, or about issues like immigration or Black Lives Matter?

Experts in this type of disinformation and propaganda warfare, which has been going on since before the internet and social media were invented, say pushing people in a specific direction often isn’t the point. As Facebook noted in an internal security report released last year, much of the activity involving fake social-media accounts spreading misinformation didn’t seem to have any specific goal, but instead appeared to be designed simply to sow confusion.
democrats  politics  facebook  internet  u.s.-elections  usa  russia  trump-presidency 
may 2018 by iamfantastikate
Out of 26 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Zero Opposed
None of the top 100 newspapers questioned the US’s legal or moral right to bomb Syria, and all accepted US government claims to be neutral arbiters of “international law.” Many editorials handwrung about a “lack of strategy” or absence of congressional approval, but none so much that they opposed the bombing. Strategy and legal sanction are add-on features—nice but, by all accounts, not essential.

The total lack of editorial board dissent is consistent with major papers’ tradition of uniform acceptance of US military action. The most influential paper in the country, the New York Times, has not opposed a single US war—from the Persian Gulf to Bosnia, to Kosovo to Iraq to Libya to the forever war on ISIS—in the past 30 years.
media  politics  trump-presidency  war 
may 2018 by iamfantastikate
Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency
Everyone who has spent time looking into Trump’s business dealings know that he was an opportunistic schemer, not a business genius, willing to sell his name to lend legitimacy to sketchy projects whenever the opportunity to make a quick buck presented itself. Soon, this will be clear to everyone.
april 2018 by irace

Copy this bookmark:

to read