Jan 20 2017

Activism! (Women’s March on Washington)

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Sigh. This is really TMC’s idea, we were having a story meeting (yeah, I may look like a complete flake but I’m actually classically trained, that’s why I never do obituaries anymore) and I brought up the Women’s March on Washington. She’s like- oh yeah, I’m going to be there; how about you?

I never try to hide my chromosome damage.

It’s ok, guys are invited too. Shows solidarity.

Frankly I score about a B- on the Asperger’s scale and the only reason it’s that low is sometimes I can grit my teeth and bluff my way through it the same way I can fight my acrophobia to a draw long enough so I don’t totally embarrass myself. When I can I avoid the issue. So the idea of being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is about as attractive as eating glass and likewise being at a protest which has the added benefit of painting a large target on your ass and carrying a sign that says “Kick Me!”

So I’m kind of lukewarm on it without saying no and shortly enough I’m at my Democratic Town Committee Meeting where they’re talking it up and taking reservations for the Buses- “We’ll be leaving about 2 am so we can get there in plenty of time, we’ll probably be back about the same time next day so you don’t have to pay for a Hotel and the Buses are Free!”

Eh, I’ve slept on a bus before.

But I also realize that once I get there it will be next to impossible to find TMC in the crowd so at the next story meeting I say that I think it makes sense for me to meet her at DocuDharma/Stars Hollow Gazette World Headquarters and take the New York bus.

ek, you’re an idiot.

I separate that because I’ve no doubt it’s what most of you think about me all the time and I want you to know your opinion is validated and shared.

You’ll call up your Cousin and we’ll stay with her.

Hey! I know people and stuff, and actually we had crashed at my Cousin’s place before during a project that has not yet appeared on this page. A kind of funny and brief story. She has 2 kids who hate to go to bed and are really annoying when it comes to begging and pleading. “Ooh, can’t we play a game?” “How about Clue,” says TMC who has eyes like an eagle. The supplicants agree readily, because when they play it takes hours.

Two rounds. “Professor Plum in the Kitchen with a Lead Pipe. Sweet Dreams!” TMC loves kids, she just can’t eat a whole one.

Anyway my cousin was delighted to hear from me (goodness knows why, I’m a burden on everyone) and travel arrangements were soon complete and now I am committed. How committed? Well, over the Holidays I had my Sister knit up some Pussy Hats.

So right now I’m sitting in Washington D.C. at my Cousin’s table making a shopping list for the March (rules say that you can have a gallon plastic bag for food which will be pretty important since it will be a 7 hour event plus transit time. I have a sandwich idea I can share with you-

Hummus Sandwich

  • 1 Demi-Ciabatta loaf (about 12″ long and 4″ wide)
  • Butter
  • Hummus
  • Refrigerated Kosher Dills (sliced if you have no knife skills, whole otherwise)
  • A Few Romaine leaves.
  • Sliced Sweet Onion or Scallions
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Oregano or another herb
  • Sliced tomato (optional, I find it makes your sandwiches soggy after even a short time in storage)

Preparation:

Slice bread lengthways separating Top from Bottom. Coat each half with Butter and thick layer of Hummus (brings out the Tahini flavor of the Hummus). Layer Pickles on Bottom half (I have good knife skills and my Cousin really likes the way I get them real thin). Layer Romaine and Onion. Sprinkle with Olive Oil, Vinegar, and herbs. Close with Top half of bread.

Cut it to fit your gallon bag.

This is all vegetarian (though you can substitute or add any ingredient to your taste). The beauty part is when you whip it out in front of all the other Hippies they’ll think you’re cool. Tell them you grew the wheat yourself organically and ground the flour by hand, they’ll never know.

Or you could just buy a Subway.

We will have bags of mixed nuts (TMC gets a chuckle out of that) and dried Apricots for vitamins, minerals, and dessert in with the Sandwiches. Also Water.

But you had better plan on something even if you don’t like my recipes. There are very few places that sell food in the area and they will swamped.

Women’s March on Washington

These are a few facts I’ve gleaned. Most of this are from people who would know, call them anonymous sources if you like.

It will be held on January 21, 2017. It will start at the intersection of Independence Avenue and SW Third Street, Washington DC, near the U.S. Capitol, and is scheduled to proceed to The Ellipse, a distance of about a mile. Pre-gathering will start as early as 8 am, the Official Program kicks off at 10 am.

The Current Speakers at the Rally look like this-

Ai-jen Poo
Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Aida Hurtado
Professor and Luis Leal Endowed Chair, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Amanda Nguyen
President and Founder, Rise

America Ferrera
Chair, Artists Table of Women’s March on Washington

Angela Davis
Distinguished Professor Emerita, UC Santa Cruz

Ashley Judd
Humanitarian, PhD student, Actor

Bob Bland
Co-Chair, Women’s March on Washington

Carmen Perez
Co-Chair, Women’s March on Washington, Executive Director, the Gathering for Justice

Cecile Richards
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Donna Hylton
Formally Incarcerated, Criminal Justice Reform Activist

Dr. Cynthia Hale
Founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church

Erika Andiola
Political Outreach Manager, Our Revolution

George Gresham
President of 1199 SEIU

Gloria Steinem
Feminist Writer, Activist and Organizer

Hina Naveed
Co-Director of DRM Action Coalition

J. Bob Alotta
Executive Director, Astraea, Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Janet Mock
Author of the New York Times bestseller Redefining Realness & the upcoming memoir, Surpassing Certainty

Judith LeBlanc
Director of Native Organizers Alliance

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner
Executive Director and Co-Founder, MomsRising

LaDonna Harris
President of Americans for Indian Opportunity & Original Co-Convener of the Women’s Political Caucus

Linda Sarsour
Co-Chair, Women’s March on Washington, Co-Founder of MPowerChange

Maryum Ali, Muhammad Ali’s Daughter
Social Worker, Juvenile Delinquency Prevention

Melanie Campbell
President and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

Melissa Harris-Perry
Director, Anna Julia Cooper Center, Editor-at-Large, Elle Magazine

Melissa Mayes
Environmental Justice Activist, Flint

Michael Moore
Filmmaker

Rabbi Sharon Brous
Founder/Senior Rabbi, IKAR

Raquel Willis
Communications Associate for Transgender Law Center

Rhea Suh
President of Natural Resources Defense Council

Scarlett Johansson
Actress, Activist

Sister Ieasha Prime
Executive Director, Barakah, Inc.

Sister Simone Campbell
Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby

Sophie Cruz
Immigrant Rights Activist

Sybrina Fulton
Mother of Trayvon Martin

Maria Hamilton
Mother of Dontre Hamilton

Gwen Carr
Mother of Eric Garner

Lucia McBath
Mother of Jordan Davis

Tamika Mallory
Co-Chair of Women’s March on Washington, Social Justice Activist

Van Jones
President of Dream Corps, CNN Commentator

Wendy Carrillo
Human Rights Journalist

Zahra Billoo
Spokeswoman, Council on American-Islamic Relations

Randi Weingarten
President, AFT

Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s Daughter
Trustee, Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center

Roslyn Brock
Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors

Also some music.

If I get an autograph from Scarlett Johansson I’ll have her do my arm in Sharpie and then get it permanently inked (I know people who do that too).

The Rally is scheduled to end at 1:15 pm and the March will start. I dunno, these kinds of things rarely run on time. I don’t necessarily expect I’ll be very close or hear the speakers much, there are going to be a lot of people there. The entire event is expected to finish by 5 pm.

How many?

Well the original permit was for 50,000 current estimates from the DC Police are 550,000 and counting. There will be over 2,000 Buses. Could be bigger than that because there is a lot of local support and people like TMC and I who have made their own arrangements

A crowd that size doesn’t move very fast, especially if constricted (think Disneyland). I’m reliably informed that the National Park Service, which controls the Mall, is expecting there will be some “technical” violations of the planned route (Trump and his Inaugural Team control the Park space which includes the Mall for their events and have so far been unwilling to release it), but is very unlikely to take any action about the.

On the DC Police’s part they are highly trained to deal with Marches and Demonstrations and that training specifically discourages them from escalating confrontations, using excessive force, or performing mass arrests. They are not expecting any problems.

Also, while TMC and I are going to scrupulously observe the restrictions on food containers, clear backpacks, and purse size, I’m told it’s frankly unenforceable with a crowd this size unless you make a big deal about it and force them to notice.

What the DC Police will do is remove you from the area if you harm or threaten to harm anyone, or if you deliberately vandalize property. Even in those instances most people are released after they have been removed.

Transportation

Independence Avenue and SW Third Street is quite close to a Metro stop so Public Transportation there is not problem. Parking however will be impossible so either you know a local with a spot or you don’t park.

It’s also a good thing they’re ending at The Ellipse instead of the Lincoln Memorial. The Ellipse is near a Metro stop and the Memorial near pretty much nothing.

Now the Metro was originally going to run a standard Saturday schedule which means a train every 20 minutes. With a crowd this size that’s obviously not going to work. People would still be waiting at Cherry Blossom time.

Instead they have been persuaded to run a full Rush Hour schedule which means it will merely means long waits and crowded trains.

Hey, nobody said Marching was easy.

Meta

You can pretty much expect very little content until Tuesday. Tomorrow we will be at the March all day long. Sunday we will be recovering and spending “quality family time”. Monday is travel day and it’s six hours whenever you leave.

I’m sure TMC or myself will be writing about our experiences so you can look forward to that.

Chill.

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
You get what you need–yeah, oh baby

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

Jan 20 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Ed note: I’ll be traveling this week. Pundits will be abbreviated, like today.

Kieth Olbermann: Trump’s Devious Plan to Destroy the White House Press Corps

Seth Meyers: Trump Prepares to Take Office: A Closer Look

Stephen Colbert: The WERD: Thanks, Obama

Samantha Bee: Swamp Dwellers

Jan 20 2017

The Breakfast Club (Suggestions)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Iran releases American hostages; Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy innaugurated as President.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In 1791, the Bill of Rights became law. On January 20, it becomes a suggestion

Seth Meyers

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 19 2017

Godless Killing Machines

Grizzly Bears Are An Educational Menace

Jan 19 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Ed note: I’ll be traveling for the next week. Pundits will be abbreviated, like today.

Trevor Timm: Chelsea Manning did the right thing. Finally, Barack Obama has too

There is no one who has suffered more under the US government’s crackdown on leakers and whistleblowers than Chelsea Manning. But now, after President Obama commuted her unjust 35-year jail sentence on Tuesday, she will, amazingly, soon be able to walk free.

Manning, who provided journalists a historic treasure trove of documents and the public an unparalleled window into world diplomacy, will no longer have to spend the rest of her life behind bars. She will be released from prison on 17 May instead of the unconscionable 2045. It’s a cause for celebration, but also a time for reflection – not just about what she has gone through but what her case represents.

At the time of her revelations, she was the most important whistleblower since Daniel Ellsberg. Upon hearing the news today, Ellsberg said this: “Once in a while, someone does what they ought to do. Some go to prison for it, for seven years; some accept exile for life. But sometimes even a president does it. And today, it was Obama.”

Stephen Colbert: The WERD: Repeal and Erase

It’s President Obama’s last week and he’s determined to protect his entire legacy. Republicans are just as determined to make his entire legacy that time he wore mom jeans.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 19 2017

The Breakfast Club (Principles)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

dgar Allan Poe and Robert E. Lee born; Indira Gandhi is elected prime minister of India; Bill Clinton admits making false statements under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Jan 18 2017

Misty Eyed

As in, “Don’t be gettin’ all,” over Barack Obama’s departure.

The transition period has been a time to reflect on the failures of his Administration, kind of an anti-Greatest Hits Album of broken promises, missed opportunities, and fecklessness. I’d almost be sorry if it wasn’t clear that Obama’s worst policies weren’t so clearly deliberate and evil.

For instance who can forget this nefarious ear worm-

DOJ, Obama Administration Fight Order Requiring The Full CIA Torture Report To Be Turned Over To The Court
by Tim Cushing, Tech Dirt
Tue, Jan 17th 2017

The Obama administration has responded to calls to declassify the full CIA Torture Report with a “will this do?” promise to lock up one copy in the presidential archives. While this ensures one copy of the full report will survive the next presidency, it doesn’t make it any more likely the public will ever see more than the Executive Summary released in 2014.

Other copies may still be scattered around the federal government, many of them in an unread state. The Department of Defense can’t even say for sure whether its copy is intact. Meanwhile, an ongoing prosecution in which the defendant is alleging being waterboarded by the CIA has resulted in an order to turn over a copy of the full report to the court.

This order would preserve a second full copy — with this copy being as close as we’ve gotten so far to seeing it become part of the public record. Of course, the DOJ is challenging this court order on behalf of the Obama administration, which certainly never intended to participate in this much transparency. Charlie Savage of the New York Times notes (on his personal blog) that a motion has been filed seeking to reverse the court’s preservation/deposit order.

The judge had ordered a copy to be filed with the Court Information Security Officer (CISO). The DOJ argues [PDF] that this isn’t necessary because the CIA has its copy locked up real tight-like.

While it’s technically true the CIA hasn’t destroyed any copies of the Torture Report, its oversight has. In May of last year, it was discovered that the CIA’s Inspector General had destroyed the copy he’d received, thanks to a string of counterproductive “normal business” decisions.

The accidental deletion of the IG’s copy was possibly in violation of another preservation order stemming from ongoing FOIA litigation. The CIA was under orders to preserve its copy(ies), which means its oversight office should have been doing all it could to ensure its copy didn’t disappear. If the CIA somehow managed to destroy its copies of the report, its oversight should have been in position to act as its backup, not to mention come down on it for any acts of impropriety. Instead, it took a copy and immediately — if possibly inadvertently — threw it away.

So, while the DOJ may firmly believe in all that is good and right and trustworthy about government officials holding onto damning documents, it can’t rule out the possibility of human error. So, to better ensure preservation in accordance with the order, it should be less reluctant to hand over a copy to the court CISO, which would at least shift the culpability should this copy end up missing.

The obvious conclusion is that the outgoing administration (to say nothing of the incoming replacement) is still very interested in keeping the full report from ending up in the public’s hands. Delivering a copy to the court makes it a part of the judicial process which, despite its tendency to seal documents and dockets far too frequently, is a much more open process than shuffling copies around from lockbox to lockbox within federal government agencies.

Jan 18 2017

Talking With Jeremy Scahill

TMC and I have had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Schakill twice.

The first time was during his book tour for Dirty Wars when he was interviews at The New School by Spencer Ackerman (now of The Guardian– we actually sat next to Spencer’s Mom who was a very nice and charming lady). When we went to get our copies signed he recommended an interesting Pakistani restaurant nearby.

The second time was also in New york at the launch of The Assassination Complex which is more kind of a joint reporting exercise by many Authors at The Intercept where he now works. That was kind of an interesting event, selected readings punctuated by folk music in a dance club. We sat next to the door to the Green Room so we got a good view of everyone’s backs as they waited to take the stage. Oddly enough he remembered TMC from our previous encounter, though she’s kind of hard to forget.

Anyway he’s a gracious guy and whip smart as well as an excellent raconteur even though we don’t agree on every point politically. He was recently interviewed by Democracy Now regarding his most recent piece at The Intercept.

Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump From the Shadows
by Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept
2017-01-17

Erik Prince, America’s most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.

In July, Prince told Trump’s senior adviser and white supremacist Steve Bannon, at the time head of Breitbart News, that the Trump administration should recreate a version of the Phoenix Program, the CIA assassination ring that operated during the Vietnam War, to fight ISIS. Such a program, Prince said, could kill or capture “the funders of Islamic terror and that would even be the wealthy radical Islamist billionaires funding it from the Middle East, and any of the other illicit activities they’re in.”

Prince also said that Trump would be the best force to confront “Islamic fascism.” “As for the world looking to the United States for leadership, unfortunately, I think they’re going to have to wait till January and hope Mr. Trump is elected because, clearly, our generals don’t have a stomach for a fight,” Prince said. “Our president doesn’t have a stomach for a fight and the terrorists, the fascists, are winning.”

Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and she has all but vowed to embark on a crusade to push a privatization and religious agenda in education that mirrors her brother’s in military and CIA affairs. Prince has long been a contributor to the campaign of fellow Christian warrior Mike Pence, and he contributed $100,000 to the pro-Trump Super PAC Make America Number 1. Prince’s mother, Elsa, pitched in another $50,000. That organization, run by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of billionaire hedge funder Robert Mercer, was one of the strongest bankrollers of Trump’s campaign.

Did Education Nominee Betsy DeVos Lie to Senate About Ties to Anti-LGBT Foundation?

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince, the Brother of Betsy DeVos, Is Secretly Advising Trump

Obama’s Commutation of Chelsea Manning & Continued Demonization of Edward Snowden

Jan 18 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Ed note: I’ll be traveling for the next week. Pundits will be abbreviated, like today.

Keith OLbermann: The One Crucial Question Trump Refuses To Answer

Jan 18 2017

The Breakfast Club (Fools On The Hill)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Soviet Union breaks Nazi siege of Lenningrad; British Explorer Robert F. Scott reaches South Pole; Boston Strangler convicted; Rudyard Kipling dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

Charles de Montesquieu

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