February 4, 2017

sane

The authors are real. The articles are fake. Who is behind the sinister ‘CGS’ website? (Yahoo News)

“The CGS Monitor … has taken fake news to new depths with its use of fake opinions,” Mefford wrote in a posting this week on the Atlantic Council’s website. “How do we really know who said what? Academics, scholars, politicians, and writers must now vigilantly manage their brand as a core part of their work. Your opinion, it turns out, may no longer actually be yours.”


Even South Park “Can’t Keep Up” with Donald Trump

How do you do you “do” satire when the entire American scene seems like one giant episode of a satire movie?

Parker noted that the show’s most recent season, which coincided with the bitter final throes of the election season, tried at first to mock current events—before admitting that their efforts “couldn’t keep up” with the unfolding reality.

“You know, it was like what was actually happening was way funnier than anything we could come up with,” Parker continued. “You know what I mean? So. . .we decided to just kind of back off and let them do their comedy and we‘ll do ours.”


Along those lines…

How to Stay Sane as a Cartoonist in Trumpland

I know we’ll all “remain sane” somehow—we have to, so that we can be smart and energized and fight back. But with three years and fifty-odd weeks to go, there are definitely moments when I find myself in total sympathy with this comment someone recently added to his post of my cartoon on Twitter: “My desire to be well-informed makes me wish I could fall asleep and wake up on a different planet.”


Posting for its relevance to the climate debate generated by the Trump presidency…

The Snow Guardian of the Rockies

For over 40 years, a man named billy barr (he prefers his name to be spelled all lowercase) has lived alone in a small cabin in Gothic, Colorado. It’s one of the coldest and most isolated places in the United States. Bored and without anything to preoccupy himself, he began recording snow levels in 1973. “The main thing I interacted with was the weather and the animals, so I just started recording things just cause it was something to do,” he says in this short film, The Snow Guardian, by Day’s Edge Productions. “I had nothing to prove, no goals, no anything.” Climate researchers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab discovered that barr’s detailed records showed compelling evidence of climate change, and the data has been vital in understanding the severe impending effects of global warming. For more information, visit www.endofsnow.com and read “The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science.


The Deep Denialism of Donald Trump

There are horrific lies of omission: last week, the White House released a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that pointedly declined to refer to Jews, because others were killed, too. And there are denials of truth that are impossible to categorize: the President met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an anti-vaccine zealot with a history of falsehoods, and talked to him about possibly forming a commission on vaccine safety. (After Kennedy said he’d actually been asked to lead such a commission, provoking dismay, the Trump team said that no decision had yet been made.) Then there are lies so ludicrous that it is hard (though essential) to take them seriously: according to Trump, the United States has just gone through the most devastating instance of voter fraud in the nation’s history. And, in his telling, every one of the millions of illegal votes happened to be cast for his opponent.


 

President Bannon

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As I mentioned in my last post, we’re seeing a new tactic popping up – the elevation of Bannon as the defacto King with Trump as mere mouthpiece and one has to wonder how long Trump will indulge this narrative if it really gathers steam. I think it will be an effective strategy for sowing division between the two, as Trump is a textbook narcissist who will tolerate no challenge to the idea that he is the ultimate captain of the ship.

To that end, here’s some of the narrative so far…

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Is Donald Trump Just a Pawn in Steve Bannon’s Game? (Vanity Fair)

But Bannon, who jokingly refers to himself as “Darth Vader,” is perhaps alone in viewing the Trump administration as a means to a specific philosophical end.

This strategy so far has worked for Bannon, either because Trump understands he needs him or hasn’t caught wind of the fact that he might be being played. The reason why Kushner rose to prominence so quickly, after all, is the fact that Trump knows where his loyalty lies, and that is squarely behind him. If Trump feels that Bannon’s own motives are setting him up to lose, then it’s anyone’s bet as to how topsy-turvy this West Wing could get.


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January 28th, 2017

Trump rewrites American valuesPolitical cartoon courtesy of Peter Brookes.

Your daily Trump news for January 28th:

A Sweeping Order Unlikely to Reduce Terrorist Threat (NYT)

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, no one has been killed in this country in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from, or whose parents emigrated from, any of the seven countries named in the order’s four-month visa ban: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen…

Justin Trudeau posted a pointed rebuke on Facebook today:

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As Trump’s draconian executive order began to have real world effects, the news picked up fast with impact stories…

Banned From U.S.: ‘You Need to Go Back to Your Country’

Seyed Soheil Saeedi Saravi, Iran

Mr. Saravi, a young scientist in Iran, had been scheduled to travel to Boston, where he was awarded a fellowship at Harvard to study cardiovascular medicine, according to Thomas Michel, the professor who was to supervise his research. Then the visas for Mr. Saravi and his wife were suspended, Professor Michel said.

“This outstanding young scientist has enormous potential to make contributions that will improve our understanding of heart disease, and he has already been thoroughly vetted,” Professor Michel wrote to The New York Times. “This country and this city have a long history of providing research training to the best young scientists in the world, many of whom have stayed in the U.S.A. and made tremendous contributions in biomedicine and other disciplines.”

A Doctor Waits For the Plane Carrying His Wife, A Syrian Refugee, to Land 

At JFK, the Times reports, International Refugee Assistance Project supervising attorney Mark Doss asked a border agent who to call.

“Call Mr. Trump,” the agent replied.

According to flight trackers, Salem’s wife’s plane is currently halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, and running about 25 minutes ahead of schedule. What will happen to her once the flight lands at Dulles is anyone’s guess. A number listed for Dulles media relations rang through to a broken voicemail.

Salem is now racing against the clock to save her from being turned away, but he’s having trouble finding a way to get her representation.

“I spoke to lawyers but in the airport they don’t allow any lawyers,” he said.

On the lighter side of things:

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States (The Onion)

Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.

How Does Trump’s Immigration Freeze Square With His Business Interests?

He has significant commercial interests in Turkey and Azerbaijan, is developing properties in Indonesia and Dubai, and has formed companies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. His daughter Ivanka said in 2015 that the company was looking at “multiple opportunities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia — the four areas where we are seeing the most interest.”

Terry McAuliffe Statement at Dulles Airport (YouTube)

Discriminatory tactics breed hatred… This is not the nation that we know, this is not the nation that we love.