Saturday, May 19, 2018

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for giuliani images

I need a caption for this pic.

*Pic from dailykos.com 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Again!

Image result for thoughts and santa fe texas gun imagesIf only "thoughts and prayers" could stop bullets we would all be in a better place. Unfortunately, they can't.

We will be hearing a lot of that from republican politicians over the next few days. Why? Well we just had another mass shooting in one of our schools, and rather than try to find real solutions to the gun problem in this country, they will continue to take the NRA's money and stick their rather empty collective heads in the sand.

President trump read from a teleprompter about the shootings, and he read something that was obviously written for him by one of his aides for the occasion. The fact that this man can't just speak from his heart after such a tragedy says all you need to know about him. I guess in order to speak from your heart you have to have one. In fact, the only time he really goes off script and says what he really means is when he is spewing hate. 

But this too shall pass. After a month or so we will forget all about Santa Fe, Texas. Just like we did about Newtown, Parkland, and Columbine. The NRA, of course, will follow their old tried and true playbook: Keep a low profile, keep giving money to all the right people, and keep feeding the crazies on the right with rhetoric that the government is coming to take their guns away.

“To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High, we’re with you in this tragic hour and we’ll be with you forever,” Trump said. “My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others.”

“Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe,” the president continued. “May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims’ families.”

“Very sad day..... “Very, very sad.”

Your words ring hollow tonight. Just a couple of weeks ago you were in Dallas, Texas (the very state where this animal slaughtered his classmates today), and you were embracing the NRA and telling them that they will always have a friend with you as their president. You called them all patriots. As if to suggest that the rest of us were not. This was after you lied to the parents of the Parkland massacre about pushing legislation to address gun safety and sensible gun laws in this country.  That task force you put together to look into school shootings has met only twice so far. Twice!

This doesn't make it look like you cared so much about school shootings to me. You did it all for political expediency. Just like you are doing now.   




Thursday, May 17, 2018

Strolling with your baby while black.

Now this is just getting ridiculous.

Did you hear about the black man who had security called on him by a frightened white lady who saw him out with his baby in a stroller? 

Yes, it really happened.

 "Well, it looks like the epidemic of well-meaning white folks (I guess) calling the police or security on black people as they go about their lives is par for the course in 2018 America.

It is becoming increasingly clear that although the whites have always had an irrational fear of black people, as they move in closer proximity to them (i.e., via gentrification), they also bring their biases—along with ironic dive bars and astronomical rents.

If you are even a semiregular reader of The Root, you have seen in the last month or so (since the “Starbucks incident”) that this type of shit happens every day—that these attacks (because be clear: When you call the law on black people in America, it is an attack) happen with frightening regularity to black folks from all walks of life.   

This time, a black father was pushing his son in a Washington, D.C., park, and a white woman saw fit to notify park security about “a suspicious man walking the bike path with a baby.”

It should make no difference that that man, Donald Sherman, is a professional, a lawyer, because to some folks, he will always be a scary black guy.

Sherman explained in a May 10 Facebook post that on the day in question, his son was not feeling well, so he stayed home with him.
After some time, baby Caleb seemed better, so he took the little guy out for some fresh air at Kingman and Heritage Islands Park, man-made islands in the Anacostia River, not too far from his gentrified neighborhood. Sherman wrote:
30 minutes into our stroll I got flagged by a security officer in one of those cars marked “Special Police” on the side. I was a bit confused as to whether she was looking for me to stop but she honked twice and pulled over so I got the picture. She told me that she received a complaint from someone who said there was a “suspicious man” walking on the bike path with a baby. She said that when the complainant was asked to describe my race, she declined.
What is clear to anyone with eyes, however, is that Sherman is dark-skinned while his son is not, perhaps prompting the woman to think that a black man somehow stole a white baby. I guess.
Sherman noted that the only person he saw on their walk was “a white lady on a bike who veered off as Caleb and I were walking in her direction” and that she was the one who “saw fit to report me to security.”

Thankfully, Sherman reported that his interaction with the security officer was “pleasant” and that she just wanted to let him know what happened.

But being a black man in America, we know it could have ended in tragedy.

“If this complaint had been made to a different security officer or an actual cop, things could have gone very differently,” he wrote. “This is exactly why we have to talk about white privilege and why black lives matter. Because at any point doing anything anywhere my safety and my child’s safety could [have] been in jeopardy because [of] some well-intentioned complaint.”

Let’s break out the flowchart one mo’ gin for those who obviously need it:"

A brother can't even take his infant out on a stroll without that "fear of a black planet" ruining his day. *shakes head*   


++Photo from Donald Sherman (Facebook)



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Open thread Wednesday.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's open thread Wednesday, and, as is usually the case, I have a few things on my mind.

For instance, do you believe Donald trump, Jr., when he says that he didn't recall telling his father about the Russian meeting in trump tower?

Do you still believe Junior's father when he says that he did not know about the Stormy Daniels payment from his lawyer, Michael Cohen?  

Do you think it's cool for black conservatives to play the race and victim card when it suits their purpose?

How do you feel about this spate of incidents in America where white women call law enforcement on Negroes for doing mundane things?  (Walking your baby while black. Now I have seen it all.)

Do you still think that Donald trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize?

Finally, now that we know that Stephan Bannon wanted to suppress the African America vote, is anyone surprised? 


Monday, May 14, 2018

A get well wish, and the White House digs in.

TWEET MESorry to hear that Melania trump was in the hospital having emergency surgery on her kidney. I hope she gets well soon.

I was not surprised, though, to learn that her husband was not by her side for the surgery, and when she needed him most. Apparently her friends were "blind-sided".  Frankly, I am not sure why. You would think that they would know what type of man their friend married by now.

Fellows, I am not sure about you, but I can't imagine my wife going in for surgery where she will be put to sleep and I am not there. The Mrs. would never forgive me, and I wouldn't blame her if she didn't. 

But hey, this is  Donald trump we are talking about. This man thinks of nothing but himself. I suspect that only his daughter, Ivanka (with whom he has a sick obsession) has a shot of being of any importance to him.  And I am pretty sure that he would take the last life-vest if they were the only two people left on a sinking ship. 

Finally, we are now in day five of trump's White House refusing to apologize to the McCain family for what was said about the man at an internal meeting.

Make no mistake, this is all about the leader of that deplorable crew and his unwillingness to apologize for some of the most reprehensible things that he has said  and done in the past.  His White House is more concerned about the leak itself than what was actually said.

He perpetrated a racist lie for years about the former president and refused to apologize to him or his family, and only grudgingly admitted that he was wrong for political expediency. So if I was a member of the McCain family I would not hold my breath.

        

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The bottom of the swamp.

Image result for michael cohen corruption imagesThe following article is from one of my favorite columnists, Will Bunch, who writes for my hometown paper.

"Novartis is a global pharmaceutical giant that’s headquartered in Switzerland, employs 126,000 people, and pulls in $50 billion a year making newfangled drugs, including the medication that ought to be handed out like candy to the American media in the hyperactive age of Donald Trump: Ritalin. But this icon of Big Pharma prefers to deal with politicians the old-fashioned way.
It buys them.

At least that’s the knock on Novartis in places like Greece — when a decade-long bribery scheme that involved two prime ministers and several cabinet members was described by a government official there as “the biggest scandal since the creation of the Greek state” — or China, where Novartis has been accused of paying doctors to prescribe its drugs, or Turkey, where Novartis is linked to a consulting firm that may have kicked back money to government officials.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should, because there’s growing evidence that Novartis used the same heavy-handed tactics to gain access and influence with the despotic ruler of a backwater banana republic called the United States of America.

It was revealed last week, in a bizarre fashion, that Novartis had paid President Trump’s lawyer and self-described “consigliere,” Michael Cohen, some $1.2 million over the course of 2017 in order to pick the brains of Cohen — taxi-medallion king, phone-threatener extraordinaire, and graduate of America’s Worst Law School™ — for high-level strategy on complex issues like drug-pricing policy.
Or maybe it was because Cohen is one of a handful of people who can speed dial Trump’s personal cellphone. If so, it was slightly depressing to learn that the White House can be bought so cheaply. AT&T, the world’s largest telecommunications firm, paid just $600,000 over roughly the same period of time for Cohen’s deep insights into the button-down mind of our current president, while Korean Aerospace cited the New York attorney’s skill in accounting as why it sent him a $150,000 check last fall, right after the Pentagon delayed a massive Air Force jet-trainer contract the firm is up for. You can draw your own conclusion about the $500,000 linked to a Russian oligarch

Those of us rooted in Philadelphia know that pay-to-pay politics is nothing new in America, and in fact our lawmakers and judges have worked hard to ensure that much of it is legal. Still, there’s something especially crass and unseemly about the way Team Trump does it. Big cash payments to an unskilled and sometimes thuggish  “fixer” so close to the president himself — an autocratic ruler who continues to profit from his own business while he runs the country and puts his daughter and son-in-law in a position of great power — is the kind of thing you used to read about in some laughable central Asian dictatorship, Whereverstan, but not the formerly exceptional  U.S. of A. The only thing we’re missing is a glorious military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue…wait, what?
Still, Cohen — and by extension, Trump — have managed to place a uniquely American stamp on our presidential corruption, by making the whole thing look like the lost episode of The Sopranos.

When the FBI recently raided Cohen’s office, home and hotel room, Cohen — who has a long history of family and personal ties to suspected Russian organized-crime figures — put on a wild-patterned sports jacket that looked off the rack from Martin Scorsese’s prop room, and met his associates outside on the street while paparazzi snapped photos that looked like government surveillance shots. It was reported that — in addition to the big-name clients he did land — Cohen was rebuffed by at least one, Ford Motor Co., and one can only imagine his pitch to the executives in Detroit. “Hey, that’s a nice Explorer you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

Welcome to the Bada Bing‘s new location on K Street.

The comic possibilities of Cohen’s racket shouldn’t obscure the fact that this is potentially a huge story, with Watergate-size implications. “Potentially” because there are still so many questions about the president’s lawyer and his consulting business, not least of which being how confidential business records ended up in the hands of Cohen’s worst enemy — attorney Michael Avenatti, representing purported Trump mistress and adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

But since Avenatti’s surprising scoop has been largely confirmed, there are now two important ways to look at this.

The most immediate concern is, quite simply: What did the president know about Essential Consultants LLC, a Delaware corporation, and when did he know it? Because consider some things we do know about the business of this shell company formed just as Trump was getting elected 45th president of the United States. Its cash inflows included more than a couple million dollars from powerful corporations seeking influence with the U.S. government. At other times, the cash outflows included the $130,000 intended to silence (and doing so quite badly) Stormy Daniels about her alleged Trump liaison, as well as a $1.6 million payout to a former Playboy model which everyone involved insists had nothing to do with the president, even as some pundits ask some very interesting questions.

Did Trump know which companies were hiring Cohen to influence him? Were monies from these influence-seekers somehow connected to the funds that seem to have directly benefited Trump, by solving problems in his personal life? If not, where did the money that paid off Stormy Daniels come from? The powers that be have made it almost impossible to prove the crime of political bribery in modern America. The wrong answers to these questions, though, could make the impossible suddenly seem possible, and raise serious doubts about the survival of Trump’s presidency.

But what if the dollars from Novartis, AT&T, et al, didn’t benefit Trump in any illegal way? What if Michael Cohen simply sold these large corporations a bill of goods, winning huge contracts for high-level access and insights that he then didn’t deliver. There’s a valid argument that what Cohen did after Trump’s surprise victory in November 2016 is no different from how other Trump insiders cashed in — what, for example, is the deal with Qatar paying Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski $500,000 a month? — and what close associates of both Democratic and Republican presidents or top Capitol Hill lawmakers have been doing for many decades. Under this scenario, the work of Essential Consultants is about as shocking as gambling in the back room of a Casablanca nightclub.
Politico’s Playbook, not surprisingly, spoke for the corrupt and contented classes the other day when it published this:


— YES, guys like Michael Cohen routinely get paid amounts like $1.2 million to offer insights about their boss or former boss. Yeah, it’s crazy. But many readers of this newsletter would not have their McMansion in McLean, their BMW, their membership at Army Navy, second homes in Delaware, cigar lockers and endless glasses of Pinot Noir at BLT Steak and Tosca if that kind of stuff didn’t happen. Newsflash: $1.2 million is not even a rounding error for massive corporations. (The smart companies route these deals through law firms.)

 First of all, why are wealthy fixers buying houses in Delaware, of all places? Second of all, both the cynicism expressed here, and the fact that few people are shocked by it, are in and of themselves … shocking. If what Michael Cohen did here is business as usual, and it may well have been, then why must Americans accept a level of business as usual that would look familiar to an Uzbek tinhorn dictator? Especially when it leads to outcomes that hurt everyday Americans.

How so? It’s hard not to notice the companies that hired Cohen got outcomes that were good for them and not for the public. Novartis hired Trump’s lawyer with a goal of keeping prices for prescription drugs artificially high, which is just what happened the other day when Trump broke his campaign promise for Medicare to negotiate with Big Phama. The AT&T lobbyist who hired Cohen got a private dinner with Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai just a month later — and not long before Pai announced the commission was scrapping net neutrality, a cherished goal of Big Telecom.

If America wants to become an exceptional nation, let’s pass some exceptional laws that restrict this kind of influence peddling. Let’s pass a bill to make it clear that the “strategic consulting” performed by Cohen and his ilk is really just old-fashioned lobbying, that needs to be disclosed to the public. And when the new Congress takes its seats next January, it needs to launch an all-out war on big money in politics, including the unwinding of the Citizens United case, even if that requires a constitutional amendment. We don’t know yet what this scandal means for Trump, but we can do some things to prevent the Michael Cohens of the future. Bada bing, bada boom!" [Source]

Mr. Mueller, please hurry. The Sopranos was great on television and we loved it. I am just not true that we are quite ready for the real live version, Washington style. 

*Image from slate.com

Saturday, May 12, 2018

CAPTION SATURDAY

Image result for TRUMP KOREANS IMAGE

I need a caption for this pic.

Pic from pn.org

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERS It's open thread night in the fields, and I need your thoughts on a few things:

Does anyone care that Donald trump, Jr. is now dating FOX host, Kimberly Guilfoyle?   

Do you believe Charles Payne when he says that he did not hear  when a FOX News analyst smeared John McCain, a man who is terminally ill and a war hero to boot? Sadly, mocking McCain has become a thing of late with trumpbots. 

Is the pro-trump group adviser's Nazi remarks a reflection of the types of people that Donald rump surrounds himself with?

Why is the press calling the return of these Americans from North Korea "historic" when this happened under the Obama administration on numerous occasions.   

Has the trump administration's actions pertaining to the Iran nuclear deal brought us to the brink of a major war in the Middle East? 

Should Gina Haspel be confirmed as the next CIA director given her history with torture?   

Do you believe  that Matt Patricia should get the Detroit Lions head coaching job now that past allegations of sexual misconduct has come to light?  The team is sticking by him for now.

Finally, speaking of sexual misconduct. How harsh do you think the Judge will be in sentencing Bill Cosby? Will he get jail time? And if he does, how long?  The over and under here is at 5 years. 

Holla.








Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Sleeping while black.

Image result for yale student sleeping imageMy lord! Here we go again. Now black folks can't even sleep or study while black.

Let's go to New Haven, Connecticut, and to the campus of one of the most Ivy of Ivies, Yale University.

"A white person voices suspicions about an innocuous person of color. Police are summoned. And the encounter is posted on social media, sparking outrage about racial profiling.

In what is becoming an all-too familiar episode, a black Yale University graduate student was interrogated by campus police officers early Tuesday morning after a white student found her sleeping in a common room of their dorm and called police.

The black student, Lolade Siyonbola, posted two videos of the encounter to Facebook, where they have been widely viewed and drawn thousands of comments.

"I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else," an annoyed Siyonbola told responding officers in one video after they asked for her ID. "I'm not going to justify my existence here."
    The incident is one of several in recent weeks in which police have been called on people of color for seemingly harmless acts. In one of the most recent, three black women were detained while leaving their California Airbnb after a neighbor called police, thinking they were burglars. Last month two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia after a manager called 911 on them because they didn't order anything. 

    According to Siyonbola, she was working on a paper in the Hall of Graduate Studies when she fell asleep in a common room. Another female student came in, turned on the lights and told her, "You're not supposed to be sleeping here. I'm going to call the police."

    Siyonbola pulled out her phone and recorded 54 seconds of a hallway encounter with the unidentified student, who told her, "I have every right to call the police. You cannot sleep in that room."
    After two white police officers arrived and began questioning her in a stairwell, Siyonbola posted 17 minutes of their encounter to Facebook Live.

    When Siyonbola asked them about the complaint, one officer said, "She called us (and) said there's somebody who appeared they weren't ... where they were supposed to be."

    The 34-year-old grad student in African Studies unlocked her dorm-room door in front of police to show that she lived there, but they still asked for her ID. "We're in a Yale building and we need to make sure that you belong here," the other officer told her." [Watch here]

    "Jesus take the wheel."  

    I want to blame this all on the trump effect, but let's be honest, this has been going on for a long time, and it will continue long after trump is gone. Although, granted, it has gotten worse under trump, and your typical racist next door certainly feels more empowered and emboldened enough to let their racism flag fly. 

    *Pic from thegrio.com 




    Tuesday, May 08, 2018

    A hot mess.

    This Michael Cohen Donald trump fiasco is just getting crazier and crazier.

    I don't know where this is all going to end, but I think we can all agree that we are now in uncharted waters. One thing we do know though is this: trump's minions will stick with him no matter what.

     "So let’s review: Stormy Daniels‘ lawyer Michael Avenatti put out a document with multiple new allegations about Michael Cohen. One of them concerned $500,000 Cohen received from a company run by a Russian oligarch.

    CNN subsequently reported this oligarch was questioned by Mueller’s team over payments to Cohen, and The Daily Beast followed up with its own report confirming the payment.

    Another allegation in the document Avenatti shared is multiple payments from AT&T to Cohen’s Essential Consultants, LLC.

    Now AT&T has confirmed the payment:" [Source]

    Wow! Half a million big ones from a Russian oligarch to trump's personal lawyer and we are supposed to believe that there was no collusion? I don't think so.

    But that's not all. Apparently there is more to that story about the GOP fundraiser and the Playboy model than we were led to believe.

    Here is John Ziegler's take on it:

    "If a story doesn’t add up, there is almost always a major problem with that narrative. And often, the biggest lies are both obvious and right out in the open. These are two basic principles of understanding humanity which the modern media has seemingly forgotten, especially when it comes to covering President Donald Trump.

    There is no better evidence of this reality than the amazing piece posted today by New York Magazine which outlines a very convincing theory that the media recently bought into an obvious myth in a way which may have inadvertently protected Trump from perhaps his biggest scandal yet.

    Recently we were told that a previously little-known GOP fundraiser named Elliott Broidy was immediately forced to resign from his position in the party because it was revealed that he had paid, through Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, former Playboy model Shera Bechard $1.6 million to cover up an affair and possible abortion. My “blink” reaction on Twitter to this story was that it did not add up, though even I did not immediately conclude, as Paul Campos has in this piece, that Broidy was actually taking the fall for Trump himself.

    After reading Campos’ in-depth analysis, we should all be embarrassed that we ever gave Broidy’s narrative even the slightest bit of credibility. Campos systematically decimates every aspect of the original unrealistic storyline like it was an episode of Sharknado. Quite literally, there is not one aspect of the current “plot” which makes sense, and only one element which doesn’t totally fit Campos’ alternative theory that it was really Trump, and not Broidy, who impregnated a Playboy model.

    I always start at the most basic human level when evaluating the plausibility of any narrative which doesn’t at least pass the smell test. What struck me first here was that it seemed impossible that Broidy, and older, non-famous, long-married man would have had found himself in a situation in which he impregnated a top Playboy model to begin with.

    Then there was also the issue of why he would pay so much money to cover up something which would not have had that much impact on his life if it had somehow come out naturally. It is important to note that there is no current evidence that his wife has even left him over this “revelation.”
    But Campos goes far deeper in deconstructing the absurd current conventional wisdom about what supposedly happened here. When you look at the details (things which the modern media all-to-often has neither the time nor the wisdom to fully evaluate) of the business/legal aspects, it is actually laughable that it has taken this long for a mainstream media outlet to seriously question Broidy’s narrative.

    Specifically, when you look at the motives of everyone involved in this, it all makes far more sense for Trump to have had the affair and possibly facilitated an abortion, Cohen to turn the super-rich Briody to pay Bechard off, and for Briody to take the blame to protect Trump while also obtaining huge leverage over the president of the United States, which was theoretically worth far more than $1.6 million to him." [Source]

    Today, knowing that it would blow up the news cycle, Donald trump announced that he is pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. He did it because he wanted us to talk about something else besides his distasteful and reckless behavior. He could care less about foreign policy and the impact on his decisions on the safety of the American people who elected him.   

    Sadly, looking at the way that the media has been covering the story, it looks like he might have gotten his wish. 

    *Pic from dailykos.com




    Sunday, May 06, 2018

    Next time wave to the nervous white lady.

    And now, the latest case of living while black in America.

    STORY TIME: During our time in Cali we have been staying at an Airbnb. The 30th was our second morning and at about 11am we checked out. The four of us packed our bags, locked up the house and left. As you can see 3 of us were Black. About 10 seconds later we were surrounded by 7 cop cars. The officers came out of their cars demanding us to put our hands in the air. They informed us that there was also a helicopter tracking us. They locked down the neighborhood and had us standing in the street. Why? A neighbour across the street saw 3 black people packing luggage into their car and assumed we were stealing from the house. She then called the police.

    At first we joked about the misunderstanding and took photos and videos along the way.
    About 20 minutes into this misunderstanding it escalated almost instantly. Their Sergeant arrived... he explained they didn’t know what Airbnb was. He insisted that we were lying about it and said we had to prove it. We showed them the booking confirmations and phoned the landlord... because they didn’t know what she looked like on the other end to confirm it was her.. they detained us - because they were investigating a felony charge - for 45 minutes while they figured it out.

    We have been dealing with different emotions and you want to laugh about this but it’s not funny. The trauma is real. I've been angry, fustrated and sad. I was later detained at the airport. This is insanity.
    The cops admit that the woman’s reason for calling the police was because we didn’t WAVE to her as she looked at us putting our luggage into our car from her lawn.
    #wedidntwave #arighttoberight #racialprofiling privilege #rightourstories #therevolution #whenyoupulloverfilmmakers @directedbykells
    @iamdonisha @komiolaf @ahutchphoto Nisha Rebel Ashlee Hutchinson"
     

    Is Airbnb really worth it? You Negroes need to start going to regular old fashion hotels. With all these nervous white folks in America you might not return home after your planned vacation at one of those Airbnb spots.    

    Shout out to my twitter family for turning me on to this story. One of the victims posted her experience on social media. [Story]