Tag Archives: On Politics

How it was: 1/19/17

By Dennis Hartley

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Just for giggles, let’s look at some of the developing news stories on this day before the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the POTUS:

Oh, boy.

Aw, jeez.

Ay, cabron.

Oh god.

Oh, fuck…

…this is no dream, this is really happening, isn’t it?  I feel safe. You?

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“Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry. But that is how I see it.”
– From the novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

A Trump era survival guide

By Dennis Hartley

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In anticipation of what may be in store for us,  here are links to the resources likely to be more crucial than ever.  Bookmark this post!

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

American Civil Liberties Union

Amnesty International

Center for Democracy and Technology

Committee to Protect Journalists

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Human Rights Watch

Indivisible

League of Women Voters

Planned Parenthood

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Rock the Vote

Southern Poverty Law Center

You’re welcome.

 

*  *  * UPDATE 1/20/17 *  *  *

And so it begins:

(from People Politics)

The moment Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Friday, the LGBT, climate change, health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.

Motherboard, VICE’s website focusing on science and technology, reported that the changes occurred at noon, when the Obama administration turned over the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, to the Trump team.

As I said: bookmark this page. Perhaps a screen capture, just in case?

A new low (as if that were possible)

By Dennis Hartley

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Representative John Lewis has stated in an interview he did for Meet the Press that he will not be attending the presidential inauguration ceremonies on January 20, because he feels that Russian interference in the 2016 election nullifies the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s win. As we have come to expect, the President-elect Tweeted up a storm:


“No action”? Really? You mean the same John Lewis in this photo?

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Future Congressman John Lewis is the gentleman in the lower right of the photo, being “helped” to the ground by a policeman and his truncheon…that John Lewis? The John Lewis who marched with Dr. King, and put his own life and limb on the line for civil rights? OK.

While you’re at it, Mr. PEOTUS, are you sure you don’t want to throw in a jab at that gutless choker, Gandhi? Or that nasty overrated woman, Mother Theresa? Those people are just talk, talk talk! Sad!

Nice inspirational lead-in to MLK Day, Mr. PEOTUS! Stay classy!

Bands still wanted! Sad!

By Dennis Hartley

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With SNL on hiatus, I’ve really been getting a kick out of the venerable weekly Canadian sketch comedy series This Hour Has 22 Minutes (on the CBC, which we get as part of our cable package here in Seattle). While I admit I don’t “get” all the jokes regarding Canadian politics (which, like most Americans, I don’t really follow that closely), they have been pretty relentless (and consistently hilarious) in their take downs of Donald Trump. God knows, there’s years of comedy gold to mine coming down the pike (or at least until he Tweets North America into nuclear oblivion). This recent bit had me in stitches:

I love Canada…

The gorge will rise again

By Dennis Hartley

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As Congress heads into Day 2 of confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s choice of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (missing from the painting) for Attorney General of the Confederate United States of America, an interesting document has been making the rounds of the internet and other media outlets:

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That is excerpted from a 1986  letter, signed by a Coretta Scott King:

[from the Washington Post ]

Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., urged Congress in a letter to block the 1986 nomination of Jeff Sessions for federal judge, saying that allowing him to join the federal bench would “irreparably damage the work of my husband.” The letter, previously unavailable publicly, was obtained on Tuesday by The Washington Post. […]

Thirty years later, Sessions, now a senator, is again undergoing confirmation hearings as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, and he is facing fierce opposition from civil rights groups. […]

“The irony of Mr. Sessions’ nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given a life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods,” she wrote, later adding, “I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect on not only the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made toward fulfilling my husband’s dream.”

During the 1986 hearing, the letter and King’s opposition became a crucial part of the argument against Sessions’s confirmation. The current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), has not previously released the letter, which committee rules grant him the sole authority to reveal.

Yeah, that’s an ‘R’ in front of ‘Iowa’. Shocking, isn’t it?

If this man is confirmed as  “our” Attorney General, all I can say is, this Monday will be The. Saddest. Martin. Luther. King. Day. Ever.

And I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

On Women: Three views

By Dennis Hartley

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Michelle…Michelle LaVaughn Robinson of the South Side…for the past 25 years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for. And you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.

Malia and Sasha…under the strangest of circumstances you have become two amazing young women. You are smart and you are beautiful. But more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion. … you wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.

President Obama, from his farewell address, January 10, 2017

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And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now, I — I know — I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And — and to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

Hillary Clinton, from her concession speech, November 9, 2016

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Trump: Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Unidentified voice: Whatever you want.

Trump: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

President-elect Trump, from the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tapes.

C’mon, everybody! You know the words…

The act of empathy

By Dennis Hartley

As if I didn’t already have enough reasons to admire Meryl Streep:

Wow. Truth to power, baby. In case you missed the gist:

“Thank you, Hollywood foreign press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press. But who are we? And, you know, what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. […]

Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. They gave me three seconds to say this. An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, passionate work.

There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.

And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. […]

This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists. Because we’re going to need them going forward. And they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

[…] And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.

As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you.”

Stay tuned for Orange Julius Caesar’s 3am Tweet storm…

*    *   *   UPDATE 1/9/17   *   *   *

Right on cue:

Your new POTUS in just 11 days, America! Sad!