The Virtual Pub + Programming Note

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Beloved Community Pub'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

Belly up to the bar,
and be in this space together.

I've got a friend coming in to visit tomorrow, and I am going to be taking the remainder of this week and all of next week off.

Because I know myself, lol, I will be very inclined to show up if something major happens, but I'm really going to try not to do that. I'm getting lax about self-care again, and I've got the tremors and twitchy fingers again to prove it.

I know this is an inconvenience for people who depend on this space for their news, so I'm sorry about that, but I'll be back on Monday, April 30.

See you then!

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Wednesday Links!

This list o' links brought to you by chlorophyll.

Recommended Reading:

Abby J. Leibman at Ms.: [Content Note: Class warfare; food insecurity] The 2018 Farm Bill Will Disproportionately Harm Single Mothers

Daniel Johnson at Black Youth Project: Mignon Clyburn, Hailed as the "Conscience" of the FCC, Resigns

Zack Whittaker at ZDNet: [CN: Video may autoplay at link] Data Firm Leaks 48 Million User Profiles It Scraped from Facebook, LinkedIn, Others

Blue Telusma at the Grio: [CN: Police misconduct; death; misogynoir] Say Her Name: Sandra Bland Documentary to Debut at Tribeca

Vivian Kane at the Mary Sue: [CN: Misogyny; objectification] Lola Kirke Responds to The New Yorker's "Glib" and Sexist Review of Her Movie Gemini

Kristy Puchko at Pajiba: [CN: Fat hatred] Review: Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty Is Even Worse Than You're Expecting

Brian Kahn at Earther: Bull Sharks Are Heading North Thanks to Climate Change

Sarah Sloat at Inverse: 100-Strong Cluster of Unknown Octopus Species and Eggs Baffles Scientists

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Let the Rehabilitations Begin (Actually, Don't)

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

In January, I wrote:

So, I have been less optimistic about the lasting impact of the current spate of exposures of sexual predators than many other people have been — and the reason is because I have written about the rape culture for 13 years now, and among the many things I have learned is that our culture loves to rehabilitate abusive men.

Yes, some men have lost their jobs and suffered a bit of public humiliation. Men who are millionaires; men who will be just fine.

At the same time, in the middle of what is frequently called "the #MeToo moment," its very moniker suggesting an inherent transience, Mel Gibson made a comeback in a mainstream holiday franchise, despite infamously having sexually harassed a police officer, having been recorded verbally abusing his girlfriend, and having pleaded "no contest" to domestic violence charges.

Roman Polanski is still making movies. Woody Allen is still making movies. Johnny Depp is still making movies. Michael Fassbender, Christian Bale, the Affleck brothers, Terrence Howard, Gary Oldman, Jared Leto, and dozens of other men are still A-level celebrities after being accused of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Some of them have never even faced much public scrutiny for their abuse. Some of them have been vociferously defended and their accusers vilified.

Plenty of men, from Charlie Sheen to Mike Tyson, have benefited from second and third and fourth chances, even after they have confessed to or been convicted of violent crimes against women.

I am not remotely convinced that this dynamic has changed. Regretfully, I expect that following these recent disclosures, after some "reasonable" period of time, then the rehabilitations will begin.
About three months, as it turns out.


Every time I write about this, I get pushback along the lines of: Doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? And, honestly, I don't even know what that is supposed to mean, when Louis CK, for example, was not arrested, not tried, not convicted, not jailed, not held civilly liable, not forced to pay restitution, not compelled to abide by anything resembling a meting out of justice after confessing to what are criminal acts of sexual abuse.

He is a multimillionaire who has maybe lost some opportunity to make even more money.

So, really, all we're talking about is a "second chance" to be famous. To have power and influence. To have access to women whom he may harm by leveraging his fame, power, and influence.

If there is any chance for a man like Louis CK to be truly rehabilitated, restoring his power, and the attendant entitlement and privilege, isn't part of that equation.

It's his humanity that needs rehabilitation, not his career.

And we have plenty of evidence that abusive men handed more power and additional chances will exploit it all to do more harm.

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The Makeup Thread

Here is your semi-regular makeup thread, to discuss all things makeup and makeup adjacent.

Do you have a makeup product you'd recommend? Are you looking for the perfect foundation which has remained frustratingly elusive? Need or want to offer makeup tips? Searching for hypoallergenic products? Want to grouse about how you hate makeup? Want to gush about how you love it?

Whatever you like — have at it!

* * *

Today, I want to recommend a make-up adjacent product: Bumble and Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil.

image of me in my living room, wearing a black and white striped top, with my hair down

So, first of all, listen: I have terrible hair. It's getting super thin; it doesn't have any body but isn't pin-straight, either; and it grows far too fast for reasonable maintenance of any dye or style.

Second of all, your girl needs a haircut!

All of which is preface to this: My ends are the worst at the moment. Dry and split and generally in need of chopping off.

But until I can find the time and wherewithal to drag my butt to a salon, Bumble and Bumble is keeping my hair from being a total disaster. Compared to what they actually look like without the Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, my raggedy ends look AMAZING in that photo, lol!

And even when my hair is freshly cut, it just works wonders, to give a little body and bounce around my shoulders.

Although it's a spray, I usually spray it into my palms first, and then work it through the ends of my hair. My scalp tends toward oily, and I don't want to get the oil on my face as it would undoubtedly cause me to break out, so I like to target exactly where it's going.

This is a product I never would have tried on my own, but I got a free sample when I bought a Bumble and Bumble shampoo, and I'm so glad I did!

Anyway! What's up with you?

(As always, I'm not affiliated in any way with any of the companies whose products I mention, nor am I getting anything in exchange for my recommendations. I just like the products!)

* * *

Please note, as always, that advice should be not be offered to an individual person unless they solicit it. Further: This thread is open to everyone — women, men, genderqueer folks. People who are makeup experts, and people who are makeup newbies. Also, because there is a lot of racist language used in discussions of makeup, and in makeup names, please be aware to avoid turns of phrase that are alienating to women of color, like "nude" or "flesh tone" when referring to a peachy or beige color. I realize some recommended products may have names that use these words, so please be considerate about content noting for white supremacist (and/or Orientalist) product naming.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound, lying on his chaise asleep in a patch of sunshine
Yes, Dudley has his own chaise next to a window so
he can spent his retirement napping in the sunshine.

(I mean, it didn't start out as his chaise, but you know the old saying: Once you drool on something enough with your stinky dumpster mouth, it's yours.)

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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We Resist: Day 454

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Trump Just Straight-Up Tweets That He's a Spy and This Video Is a Harbinger of Bad Things to Come.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Shane Harris, Carol D. Leonnig, Greg Jaffe, and David Nakamura at the Washington Post: CIA Director Pompeo Met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un over Easter Weekend. "CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea as an envoy for [Donald] Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un, and plans for a possible summit between the two leaders are underway, Trump confirmed Wednesday. The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump's most trusted emissaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The clandestine mission came late last month, soon after Pompeo was nominated to be secretary of state." Oh.

(This is not normal.)

Helene Cooper at the New York Times: Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria; He Was Overruled. "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged [Donald] Trump to get congressional approval before the United States launched airstrikes against Syria last week, but was overruled by Mr. Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said. ...Until this month, Mr. Mattis had a buffer at the White House in the former national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who often deferred to the defense secretary, a retired four-star Marine general. The arrival of Mr. Trump's new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, means that buffer is gone." Oh.

(This is also not normal.)

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM: Trump Says He Didn't Fire Comey over Russia Probe, Contradicting Past Claim. "Donald Trump on Wednesday morning claimed that he did not fire James Comey as FBI director over his handling of the Russia investigation, even though the president admitted as much last year. [He tweeted: "Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!"] Trump's tweet contradicts comments he made to NBC's Lester Holt in May of last year. The President said he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to fire Comey and said he would have fired the FBI director regardless of any recommendation from the Justice Department. 'And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,' Trump told NBC at the time."

Just a profligate fucking liar. Oh, and also corrupt AF, in case you'd managed to forget for two seconds (j/k I know you didn't).

Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: Trump Finally Tweets About Stormy Daniels, Accidentally Incriminates Himself. "On Wednesday morning, [Donald] Trump claimed that a composite sketch of the man Stormy Daniels says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 is of 'a nonexistent man.' Trump retweeted a sketch of the man posted by a pseudonymous Twitter account, 'Deplorably Scottish,' and wrote, 'A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!' ...But it's unclear how Trump could have knowledge of what did or didn't happen to Daniels in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 — particularly if, as he claims, he wasn't aware of Cohen's activities regarding Daniels." Whooooooooops!


Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: The Entire Island of Puerto Rico Just Lost Power Again. "Puerto Rico was hit with an island-wide blackout Wednesday morning, according to the government-owned electric power company. Puerto Rico has been consistently suffering from an unstable power grid since Hurricane Maria struck the island seven months ago. The island had been experiencing the worst blackout in American history and second worst in world history before Wednesday's blackout. According to government officials, it could take 24 to 36 hours to restore power." Goddammit.

[Content Note: Nativism] Rory Carroll at the Guardian: California Mudslides: As Wealthy Town Recovers, Undocumented Are Left Behind.
After wildfire and mudslides ravaged Montecito, the little California town had at least one consolation: the trauma united the community.

Everyone had suffered in some way. Flames scorched the hillsides last December in the biggest wildfire in California's modern history. Weeks later torrential rain unleashed huge mudflows, killing at least 21 people, destroying dozens of homes, and forcing thousands to flee.

..."We're going to come together and do what great Americans do all the time. We're going to help each other," said Oprah Winfrey, one of many celebrity residents.

Now, three months after the mudslides, normality is returning.

...One segment of the population, however, is struggling to recover: The largely Latino service workers — maids, nannies, gardeners, caregivers, cooks, waiters, busboys — who earn near minimum wages and live in the shadows, paycheck to paycheck.

Many recently returned to work after enforced layoffs and discovered they would not be paid for any lost time.

"Not a cent," said Zita Nevarez, 38, a barista and single mother who lost six weeks of work.

...Lacking legal status also bars them from seeking emergency relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The undocumented service workers on whom the town depends for its own survival should and must be taken care of by the rest of the town. If you value someone's labor, you must equally value their humanity. Or you compromise your own.

[CN: Nativism] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: The Trump Administration Is Reportedly Denying Green Cards to Young Immigrants. "The Trump administration appears to have lowered the age limit for a legal immigration status granted to certain young people under the age of 21 who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by their parents, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The publication found that several people between the ages of 18 and 21 have been unable to proceed with their petitions and are now ineligible for green cards." So, first it was women who have escaped domestic violence, and now it's children who have escaped domestic abuse. This fucking administration. Seethe.

[CN: Nativism] Layidua Salazar at Rewire: I'm an Undocumented Taxpayer: Here's How My Taxes Are Used Against My Values. "Our nation's budget — funded by federal, state, local, and sales taxes — is an indicator of our priorities. More and more it's clear that funding the military, artificial border walls, and jails are more of a priority for lawmakers than ensuring all U.S. residents have access to food, housing, education, and health care, including abortion." This is an important read, especially for folks who erroneously believe that undocumented residents don't pay taxes.


[CN: Environmental toxins; class warfare; racism] Fiona Harvey at the Guardian: More Than 95% of World's Population Breathe Dangerous Air, Major Study Finds. "More than 95% of the world's population breathe unsafe air and the burden is falling hardest on the poorest communities, with the gap between the most polluted and least polluted countries rising rapidly, a comprehensive study of global air pollution has found. Cities are home to an increasing majority of the world's people, exposing billions to unsafe air, particularly in developing countries, but in rural areas the risk of indoor air pollution is often caused by burning solid fuels. One in three people worldwide faces the double whammy of unsafe air both indoors and out."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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This Video Is a Harbinger of Bad Things to Come

We are all keenly aware of the damaging effect that fake news had during the last election cycle — and continues to have. Images manipulated via Photoshop and pre-existing methods have long played a role in disseminating fake information. For some time, we thought we could trust video for the most part, because there was a steep barrier to entry for faking it, but those days are now gone.

Imagine how quickly the erosion of our democracy will accelerate with the tools to do this available to any and every bad actor:


Video Description: The video opens with President Barack Obama wearing a suit and sitting in front of a U.S. flag. Speaking directly to the camera, he says: "We're entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time — even if they would never say those things. So, for instance, they could have me say things like, I don't know, [the Black Panther character] Killmonger was right! Or: Ben Carson is in the Sunken Place! Or — how 'bout this? — simply: President Trump is a total and complete dipshit. Now, you see, I would never say these things — at least not in a public address. But someone else would. Someone—" The video turns into a split-screen, and we can see that the actor Jordan Peele is actually speaking, doing his famous Obama impression. "—like Jordan Peele."

As Peele continues to speak as Obama, the Obama avatar speaks in time with Peele. "This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It's a time when we need to rely on trusted news sources. It may sound basic, but how we move forward, in the age of information, is gonna be the difference between whether we survive, or whether we become some kind of fucked up dystopia. Thank you. And stay woke, bitches."

* * *

Chilling. We need to be more vigilant than ever.

More here:

David Mack at BuzzFeed: This PSA About Fake News from Barack Obama Is Not What It Appears.

Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed: How to Spot a Deepfake Like the Barack Obama–Jordan Peele Video.

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Tammie Jo Shults Saved the Day — and Lots of Lives

Yesterday, a pilot had to make an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport, after an engine exploded on a flight from New York to Dallas. Shrapnel from the engine blew out a window; a passenger was partially sucked out, but other passengers pulled her back in; one passenger died and seven others were injured; and Captain Tammie Jo Shults landed the plane safely.

The recording of Shults' conversation with air traffic control is remarkable. She is so calm.

Air Traffic Control (a man's voice): Southwest 1380, I understand your emergency. Let me know when you want to go in.

Shults: So, we have a part of the aircraft missing, so we're gonna need to slow down a bit.

ATC: Southwest 1380, speed is your discretion. Maintain at any altitude above 3,000 feet.

Shults: Southwest 1380, like to turn — start turning inbound.

ATC: Southwest 1380, start turning southbound there. There's a Southwest 737 on a 4-mile final; be turning southbound. Start looking for the airport. It's off to your right and slightly behind you there. And altitude is your discretion. Use caution for the downtown area.

Shults: Okay. Could you have the medical meet us there on the runway as well? We've got injured passengers.

ATC: Injured passengers, okay. And are you— Is your airplane physically on fire?

Shults: No, it's not on fire, but part of it's missing. They said there is a hole and someone went out.
Wow. Shults developed those "nerves of steel" during her career as the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy, where she had to fight for her place after the Airforce wouldn't even give her the time of day.
In the midst of the chaos, Shults successfully completed an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport, sparing the lives of 148 people aboard the Boeing 737-700 and averting a far worse catastrophe.

"She has nerves of steel," one passenger, Alfred Tumlinson, told the Associated Press. "That lady, I applaud her. I'm going to send her a Christmas card — I'm going to tell you that — with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome."

Another passenger, Diana McBride Self, thanked Shults on Facebook for her "guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation." She added that Shults "came back to speak to each of us personally."

"This is a true American Hero," McBride wrote.
Indeed.

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Trump Just Straight-Up Tweets That He's a Spy

That is not an exaggeration. He was tweeting it as though it's an absurdity, but, of course, anyone who has been paying attention had a metric fuckton of side-eye for the nation's most disloyal president.


Yeah.

The collusion is right out in the open. Cough.

Just for a moment, imagine what the leaders of our allies think when they read a tweet like this. What a fucking asshole. He is making all of less safe every day he remains in office, in every conceivable way.

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Open Thread

image of a red couch

Hosted by a red sofa. Have a seat and chat.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Diverkat: "If you could come back as any animal after you die, what would you come back as?"

image of a manatee, to which I've added text reading 'ME!'
A manatee, obvs. I'm basically one already.

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Discussion Thread: Self-Care

What are you doing to do to take care of yourself today, or in the near future, as soon as you can?

If you are someone who has a hard time engaging in self-care, or figuring out easy, fast, and/or inexpensive ways to treat yourself, and you would like to solicit suggestions, please feel welcome. And, as always, no one should offer advice unless it is solicited.

* * *

A new set of measuring cups that I bought just arrived today, and I am very excited about them because they are purple and red and yellow. So I'm going to make a loaf of bread, which will give me an opportunity to use my new colorful measuring cups, fill the house with a wonderful smell, and then fill my belly with yummy bread!

All of these are good things that will make me happy.

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Today in Men Who Can't Resist Proving the Point

[Content Note: Sexism; racism.]


"All this is by way of saying to women: I'm on your side." No, you really fucking aren't, bub.

Not for nothing, but a white man who publicly insists on telling the world that he "recoils" at women calling for women to be employed in prominent roles across all industries is pretty much making the case for us that we need women from marginalized communities who have a commitment to intersectional leadership to fill leadership roles, because white men keep showing us that they can't be trusted to treat us as their equals.

Or even acknowledge that we have spent millenia being denied that equality. Or care about it, beyond grudgingly "conceding" our complaint.

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TV Corner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

promotional image of the primary cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

When Brooklyn Nine-Nine first premiered in 2013, I gave it a tentatively positive review. Two years later, I reported I was still watching it and still loving it.

Well, nothing has changed! Except that the show has gotten even better.

They're really knocking it out of the park this season, in every way. Each episode gives me a bunch of belly laughs, even as they introduce serious subjects like racism in policing and continue to explore serious subjects like homophobia and misogyny.

This season, one of the main female characters came out as bisexual. We saw her come out to her colleagues and to her family. She has dated both men and women on the show.

In the most recent episode, the show explored variations in the human body and how there are different kinds of strength. Which is all I can say without spoiling it!

I just continue to love this show so much, and I really hope that Fox renews it for another season, because I can't deal with losing Brooklyn Nine-Nine and One Mississippi in the same year!

Are you watching? Discuss!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt and Dudley the Greyhound lying next to each other on the sofa, looking at me plaintively
They are TOO CUTE! Must be showered with treats and affection STAT!

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Open Wide...

We Resist: Day 453

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: On the "Trump Pulitzers" and The Collusion Continues to Be Right Out in the Open.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Just a perfectly normal tweet from Russian state propaganda outlet Sputnik:


Everything is fine. (Everything is not fine.)

[Content Note: Domestic violence; gang violence; nativism] Julia Preston at Politico: Trump Administration Wants to Shut Door on Abused Women.
Women in an exodus from Central America since 2014 have succeeded in winning asylum or other protections in the United States as victims of a pandemic of domestic abuse in that region. Because of recent cases that established fear of domestic violence as a legitimate basis for asylum, those claims often found more solid legal grounding in U.S. immigration court than claims of people who said they were escaping from killer gangs.

Now the Trump administration, determined to stop the stream of people to the border from Central America, is moving to curtail or close the legal avenues to protection for abused women like L.C. ...Attorney General Jeff Sessions, from his position as the top official in charge of the immigration courts, is leading a broad review to question whether domestic or sexual violence should ever be recognized as persecution that would justify protection in the United States.

...Sessions has expressed his suspicion of asylum claims based on domestic abuse or gang predation. In a speech in October to immigration judges, Sessions said asylum was meant to protect people who fled their home countries "because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality." He said the immigration courts were "overloaded with fake claims."
Rage. Seethe. Boil. Sending women back to countries where husbands and/or gangs who want to kill them await is one of the lowest policies in an administration defined by low policies. And I never, ever, want to get pushback again from trifling men who accuse me of "hysteria" when I say that the Trump administration is killing women. The Trump administration is killing women.

[CN: Threats of violence] Staff at the Daily Beast: Stormy Daniels' Lawyer Reveals Sketch of Man Who Allegedly Threatened Her. "Stormy Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, on Tuesday unveiled a sketch of the man who allegedly threatened the adult-film star in a parking lot in 2011. The man is purported to have warned Daniels to not speak out about her alleged affair with [Donald] Trump, she said during a recent 60 Minutes interview. 'And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone,' she said."


Nick Statt at the Verge: Broadband Adviser Picked by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Arrested on Fraud Charges. "A broadband adviser selected by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to run a federal advisory committee was arrested last week on claims she tricked investors into pouring money into a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme, according to the Wall Street Journal. The adviser, Elizabeth Pierce, is the former chief executive of Quintillion, an Alaska-based fiber optic cable provider operating out of Anchorage. In her capacity as CEO, Pierce allegedly raised more than $250 million from two New York-based investment companies using forged contracts with other companies guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue. Pierce resigned from Quintillion in August of last year, and she stepped down from her role in Pai's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee the following month." They're all corrupt.

Sara Ganim at CNN: Ryan Zinke Refers to Himself as a Geologist; That's a Job He's Never Held. "Since becoming leader of the 70,000-employee agency, Zinke has suggested that he was a geologist or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including many under oath before Congress. ...Zinke, however, has never held a job as a geologist. ...Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift provided this statement to CNN: 'Ryan Zinke graduated with honors with a B.S. in Geology.' ...Several geologists who CNN has spoken with have flagged his comments as disingenuous, saying that someone with a 34-year-old degree who never worked in the field is not considered a geologist." They're all liars.

Addy Baird at ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman Charlie Dent Announces His Resignation. "Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) announced this week that he would be resigning from the House of Representatives in May, according to a statement his office released Tuesday morning. ...Dent previously served as the chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Last September, he announced his retirement, but his announcement Tuesday means he will not even serve out his term." They're all cowards.

Apart from the fact that the new districts in Pennsylvania mean Dent (and Ryan Costello) will have an uphill reelection battle, all the Republicans who have decided not to seek reelection are clearly worried that Trump is going to do something they can't ignore, and instead of doing the right thing before they abandon ship, they're jumping ship even earlier so they don't even have to face the expectation. Weasels.

I mean, what's going to happen when Trump fires Rosenstein after all these dudes have called that the line in the sand, or the red line, or whatever? They're definitely not going to do anything about it! I guess they're hoping that the media won't remember their earlier statements, and the media will probably oblige.


Staff at CBS News: Cambridge Analytica Boss Pulls out of Parliamentary Grilling. It's definitely newsworthy that Alexander Nix continues to try to evade accountability, but this may be the even bigger news item, buried deep in the piece: "But on Tuesday, former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser told British lawmakers in written testimony that it wasn't just one app that harvested the data eventually handed over to her former company, but in fact 'a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners.' Until Tuesday, all of the misused data was believed to have come from Facebook users who filled out the questionnaire on the 'This Is Your Digital Life' app. ...But Kaiser said Tuesday that, given Cambridge Analytica's use of at least two other separate personality quiz apps, 'it can be inferred or implied that there were many additional individuals as opposed to just the ones through Aleksandr Kogan's test (This Is Your Digital Life) whose (data) may have been compromised.'"

[CN: Nativism; exploitation] Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Immigrants Allegedly Forced to Work in Detention Centers for $1 a Day.
Detainees held at a privately-operated immigration detention center in Georgia are forced to work at the facility for pitiful pay and are threatened with serious harm if they refuse to "volunteer" to work, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against the private prison operator CoreCivic.

According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of current and formerly detained immigrants, the CoreCivic-operated Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin solicits "volunteers," or immigrants detainees, to "mop, sweep, and wax floors; scrub toilets and showers; wash dishes; do laundry, clean medical facilities; and cook and prepare food and beverages" for the nearly 2,000-detainee population.

Detainees are then paid between $1 and $4 per day and occasionally slightly more for double shifts. The lawsuit states that immigrant detainees reportedly do not have a choice to refuse because the facility has a "policy of threatening detained immigrants until they comply."
[CN: Nativism] Sheila Burke at the AP: Lawyers: Journalist Was Detained by ICE Because of Reporting. "Lawyers for a journalist who was arrested in Tennessee and then placed in an immigration detention facility said Monday that the government was trying to suppress his reporting and violated his rights of freedom of speech and the press. Attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center have asked a federal court to release Manuel Duran Ortega, a reporter who was arrested earlier this month in Memphis... Duran, 42, was working for Spanish-language media outlet Memphis Noticias and has written stories raising questions about local police and their cooperation with federal immigration officials, one of his attorneys at the SPLC said."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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I've Never...

This is like the drinking game, except without the drinking part, lol.

Where is a place you've always wanted to visit, but never have?

I'll start.

I've never been to Mexico. I would love to go sometime, though! And by "sometime," I mean many, many times, because there are so many different parts of the country I want to see.

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The Collusion Continues to Be Right Out in the Open

As I have observed on a number of previous occasions, the collusion between the Trump campaign, and now Trump administration, has always happened right out in the open. It's been "hidden" in plain sight — from the moment that Donald Trump stood at a podium on the campaign trail and invited Russia to hack State Department emails.

And so it remains. One day after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on CBS' Face the Nation that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be imposing new sanctions on Russian companies behind the latest presumed chemical attack in Syria, Trump rolled them back.

Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced as "international economic raiding."

...Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.

Administration officials said the economic sanctions were under serious consideration, along with other measures that could be taken against Russia, but said Trump had not given final authorization to implement them.
So, to be clear: Haley disclosed imminent sanctions; the Kremlin complained; and Trump backed off. Those dots are not difficult to connect. And yet, we continue to pretend that collusion must be carefully proven, despite the fact that it's happening right out in the open.

Even if these sanctions had been announced, they would not have been enforced, just like the sanctions before them. This was just 10 days ago:


And let me be perfectly clear: The reason that none of this matters is because the Republican Party, who hold the majority in both Houses of Congress, refuse to make it matter. They are abetting this collusion, because they are disloyal wrecks whose patriotism extends only as far as its usefulness in consolidating power — and almost certainly because many of them are compromised by Russia, too.

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On the "Trump Pulitzers"


And that's really all I have to say about that.

Congratulations to the rest of the winners, though — especially to the writers who worked on the Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein stories, who amplified survivors' voices in important moments and did so with great sensitivity. Also: Kendrick Lamar! Wow!

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