Read These Two Things

First, read this….

Mr. Flynn is gone, having been caught lying about his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the proposal, a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, remains, along with those pushing it: Michael D. Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer, who delivered the document; Felix H. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr. Trump scout deals in Russia; and a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in a political opposition movement shaped in part by Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul D. Manafort.

Then read this….

But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching ‘peace plans’ for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. (Artemenko is part of the political faction which Manafort helped build up in the aftermath of the ouster of his Ukrainian benefactor, deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.) Indeed, far, far more important, Cohen – who is very close to Trump and known for dealing with delicate matters – is in contact with Sater and hand delivering political and policy plans from him to the President.

Were Cohen not involved, one might speculate that Sater is just up to yet another hustle, looking to parlay his one-time association with Trump into influence with the new President. Cohen hand delivering his messages to the President changes the picture considerably. How or why Cohen would do this, if for no other reason than the current massive scrutiny of Trump’s ties to Russia and Sater’s scandals, almost defies belief. But here we are.


Defending the Law

Standing up for ‘so-called’ law – The Boston Globe

We are deans of respected law schools. We have dedicated our professional lives to the proposition that law overrides violence with reason. Law stands for what we have in common, not merely what divides us. Law respects disagreement; it patiently considers evidence and advocacy; it engages with the views of all. Each person — not just each citizen — is equal before the law. Created in ancient times to terminate endless cycles of vengeance and retribution, law substitutes official, publicly justified sanctions for animosity and enmity.

Spicer Goes Full Spicer

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier –

Evan Perez

Reached for comment this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN’s fake news reporting.”

Spicer later called back and said, “This is more fake news. It is about time CNN focused on the success the President has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation, and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations. The President won the election because of his vision and message for the nation.”

This is a quote that will live in infamy.

We are a Banana Republic

North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy


In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.

While we look at Russian hacking, we take our eye off the ball here in the US. While Russian propaganda played a part in our last election, the GOP war on voters played a bigger part. In states like North Carolina and Wisconsin lawmakers made it their goal to stop people of color, young people, and other more liberal leaning voters from actually voting.

Dust Off Your Pantsuits

Radio City Rockettes ‘Appalled’ Over Trump Inauguration Command Performance

Author: Itay Hod

“Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration,” posted Duarte, whose Facebook page identifies her as the creator, producer and host of Dead Darlings. “AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the full time Rockettes that they must accept the inauguration gig or they will lose their jobs. It’s perfect, actually. What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?”

When I saw the news yesterday that the Rockettes would be performing I assumed their parent company signed them up. Some will resist, and could lose their job. I hope it does not come to that, instead the dancers who have come to represent the holidays in New York City should do their routine in white pantsuits. I don’t think the owner of MSG who agreed to have them perform will be checking out the act during rehearsal!

Trump is going to be our President, so go and send your message. That is how America works!

Michelle Obama’s Message

This video is really good, and the sad part is that it did not need that much editing. This is the discussion we are having in 2016? Trump did his best to call into question the validity of the first African American president, and now even after his coming loss in a few weeks he has called into question the validity of the first woman president.


Well Mr. Trump here is a message for you. Yes there will be a portion of the population that will never recognize a woman or a black man as the leader of their nation because they are just “deplorable” people. The reality is that 25 years ago when the first Clinton was running for president you needed a portion of those people to win. Not anymore Donald, you and your loathsome group of supporters are a shrinking minority. In a few weeks you will be nothing but what you always have been, a loser who was born on third base and is now standing on first. Bye Felicia….

The New York Times Had One Job

Donald Trump Unveils Plan for Families in Bid for Women’s Votes – The New York Times

But in selling his case, Mr. Trump stretched the truth, saying that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has no such plan of her own and “never will.”

Mrs. Clinton issued her plan more than a year ago, and it guarantees up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for a newborn or a sick relative, financed by an increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans. On Twitter, her campaign posted a link to her plan after Mr. Trump’s remark.

“Stretch” is the word the New York Times goes with here?  This is what is wrong with the election coverage.  The so called liberal New York Times decides to pretend this is only some minor gaffe, fact check it’s not, and makes it sound like politics as usual.  Earlier in the event Ivanka Trump made the same outrageous claim.  Hillary has had a full plan on her website since the spring, and was doing roundtable events on the subject before then.

P.S. Only offering maternal and not paternal leave is a good way to try and keep women from being able to enter the workforce.  Oh forget that actual thought as that would mean I am taking any proposal from the campaign seriously. 

I Fixed Our National Anthem

Long before this week’s chatter about the Star Spangled Banner I have said that we need to change our National Anthem. There are a few reasons for that; the current one sucks, it is hard to sing, and it is based on a very overtly racist poem (which I learned about in a poetry class 20 years ago).  
We already have the song, we just need Congress to pass a law making “America the Beautiful” our new national anthem. I will now take this opportunity to have you listen to Beyonce because why not?

While we are fixing shitty jingoistic music, we need to table “God Bless America”.  If you are looking for an alternate I welcome you to listen to the greatest American folk song ever written “This Land is Your Land”.  

We can do all of this, have the appropriate conversation about race in our society, and go back to doing what we do best as America, faux patriotism. 

Kaepernick’s protest is as American as that flag

Kaepernick’s protest is as American as that flag

And throughout history, rather than making the appropriate sacrifices, the most powerful among us sent police in to cure issues of poverty and the first lack of opportunity with arrests and guns. And today we see the result. Saddest of all is rather than Kaepernick’s stance pushing us to work for a cure to the root of these problems, we will just put on the jersey of our team and root for either side to win a game that can’t be won.

Just read the whole thing.