SlayTV.

Slay

Screengrab.

Enter SlayTV.

Slay was founded by Sean Torrington, a former Goldman Sachs project manager, and his husband Terry; after Torrington lost his job in 2010 , he decided to follow his passion for filmmaking by creating some YouTube web series based on the lives of black and brown LGBTQ people. They then created an app to curate content from Youtube and the web onto one platform. And Slay has been growing ever since.

SlayTV officially launches on May 15 online, on iOS and Android devices, as well as on Roku, Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and other services.

Torrington hopes to empower content creators to become “sustainable entrepreneurs” who generate their own revenue. “Slay is not only digital TV, it is a production company and an ad agency,” he tells Out. “We will build campaigns around content on our network to get it branded.”

That content includes a wide variety of programs in various formats, for and by queer people of color, such as: the docu-series Other Boys NYC, a 50-part series exploring narratives of queer and transgender men of color; No Shade, inspired by Torrington’s coming-of-age in New York; and the romantic sitcom Love @ First Night, based loosely on Sean and Terry’s relationship.

Out has a nice introduction video. SlayTV. SlayTV on youtube. Great content, wonderful people, go explore!

Pants On Fire: Fact Check Time!

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In the Tiny Tyrant’s latest interview, he once again went straight back to the past, resurrected old lies, and brought out a couple new ones. Politifact has the fact check, and the truth.

Confronted by his most flagrant falsehoods, President Donald Trump finally faced the question of why he makes so many unsubstantiated claims.

“What have I said that is wrong?” Trump asked.

Trump said his instinct is usually right, and he usually finds evidence supporting his claims that the media and his critics ignore — even as he continued to cite nonexistent evidence.

Here are some of Trump’s most egregious claims from the interview with TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer on March 22. Many of the statements are things we’ve debunked again and again.

Fact-checking Trump’s TIME interview on truths and falsehoods.

Trump-Russia Ties Confirmed.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

FBI Director James Comey opened Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing with a big reveal: The FBI is, in fact, investigating Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, including links between the Trump campaign and Russian government and any coordination between the two.

Naturally, this led to the appearance of a rabid Mr. Tweet again. The multiple tweets can be seen at Think Progress and Raw Story. A certain sense of weariness sets in when I once again glance at the manic ravings of Mr. Tweet, but I can’t help but notice just how stuck the Tiny Tyrant is, like a skipping needle on a glaring scratch. Without fail, he always regresses back to the election, the one moment where he felt competent. He continues to bring up Ms. Clinton, like a superannuated revivalist preacher, terrified of letting go of one thing he knows will whip up a froth among his faithful. In the same manner, he drags back the old bone of the electoral college, desperately trying to remind people of his big “win”.

Then, of course, there’s the old “Fake! Fake I say!”, this time over a CNN poll, which points to plummeting approval ratings. Mr. Tweet scorns CNN, while patting the head of FOX, seeming to be blissfully unaware of a FOX poll which also showed a tremendously decreasing amount of confidence and approval in the Tiny Tyrant. Oops. The Tiny Tyrant demonstrates his own lack of relevance, by continually parroting the recent past, unable to move on, and unwilling to face the realities of being a despot who does something other than tweet and continually take 3 million dollar weekends.

This directly contradicts statements made both by President Trump himself as well as his administration. Monday morning — likely in anticipation of Comey’s hearing — Trump tweeted that any insinuation of collusion between him and Russia is “FAKE NEWS” and that Democrats simply invented the scandal. He nevertheless insisted that the leakers responsible for that information getting out should be investigated.

Oh yes, that too. What is becoming yet another old, old song, “Leaker!” Perhaps, given the rumours about the Tiny Tyrant’s obsession with having people leak on the beds of his enemies, he should attempt to find a different word. Unfortunately for him, people will talk, that’s one of those things people do.

In the wake of Comey’s confirmation of the investigation, it remains to be seen if the congressional Republicans defending Trump will continue to insist that the FBI should be investigating the leaks of the classified information that raise these concerns, but not the concerns themselves.

Think Progress has the full story. For a quick rundown:

 

Mr. Tweet: What. An. Idiot.

Snoop Dog (Screen Capture).

Snoop Dogg (Screen Capture).

There’s been considerable fuss over Snoop Dogg’s latest, which features the assassination of a political clown. (Three guesses.) I’d assume the video was meant to be one which would cause a fuss, because it’s a rather strong indictment of the current regime, which so far has taken many draconian measures against all manner of people, most of them not pasty white. Or orange. Political dissent is being quashed and felonized, the government is allowing cop shops to comb through social media, there’s the ban, the wall, representatives openly speaking out about the wonders of white supremacy, millions upon millions of people will have their health care stripped from them, cops have been given a green light to murder, and on and on it goes. So, I get where Snoop Dogg is coming from, and I agree with him that this regime is evil.

All that said, no matter where you stand on the video, Unpresident Jekyll gave away to Mr. Tweet once again, and once more proves that Mr. Tweet is a fucking dumbass:

Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!

Oh, Crispy Fried Christ, the man is a fucking idiot. No, dipshit-in-chief, there would not have been jail time. You’re the one who wants to jail people for no reason, remember? And, in the scenario you paint, I expect conservative assholes like yourself would have been thrilled and cheering it on. There wasn’t a video like that though, because there was no reason for one. Now, there’s a reason.

Also note the bloated ego of the child in tantrum: failing career, look at me, I’m unpresident, you’re no one! Jesus Fuck. Perhaps putting you in clown face is a good idea, then people might start to wake up to what you really are, an evil sociopath.

People in the tweet stream helpfully pointed out the time that Trump said he could shoot someone in the street and still have people vote for him; and others pointed out that he was stone silent when effigies of President Obama were set on fire; also silent when President Obama’s face was placed on targets for sale; also silent when the craptastic Ted Nugent said President Obama should suck on his gun; pointed out the time Trump called on 2nd amendment fans to take care of Ms. Clinton, and so on. One of the dangers of being such a fucking idiot is having all the smart people point at your hypocrisy.

Full story here.

The Response to Open White Supremacy.

Tucker Viemeister.

Tucker Viemeister.

Well, the response to Rep. Steve King’s open embrace of white supremacy has been, as Mrs. Slocombe would say, weak as water, weak as water!

In his Monday press briefing, Sean Spicer told a reporter who asked about Trump’s reaction to the tweet that he would have to check with the president to see what he thought. On Tuesday, Spicer clarified: “This is not a point of view he shares,” he said. That has been the White House’s only response.

Wow. There’s a bloodless response if there ever was one. Basically, a compleat non-response. The Tiny Tyrant doesn’t share that point of view, no, but all his actions speak to just how much he does share that view.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), initially responded to King’s comments through a spokesperson, who said “the speaker clearly disagrees and believes America’s long history of inclusiveness is one of its greatest strengths.”

Over 24 hours after King’s words hit Twitter, Ryan directly responded in a Fox interview, saying that he disagreed with King but that “I would like to think — and I haven’t spoken to Steve about this — I would like to think he misspoke, and it wasn’t meant the way it sounds, and I hope he’s clarified that.”

Oh, King misspoke. Right. I think it’s pretty damn clear that King did no such thing. He has held these views for decades, and he now feels supported enough to come right out with them, and stand by them without the slightest hint of apology. The apologetics have already started, with Nazis everywhere trying to somehow soften King’s words, and that no, his views aren’t really that stark, just y’know, he’s concerned and stuff.

For fuck’s sake, this wide open, blatant Nazism. We’re standing in it, folks, and it’s rising higher as you read. If you’re one of those people keeping their head down, ignoring everything, you’re going to drown in it first. Get that head up, open your eyes, pay attention, and get involved in The Resistance. This is seriously, horribly bad.

Via Think Progress.

Sunday Facepalm.

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Today, we have the Compleat Batshit Sweepstakes! Who will win? Will it be Rick Wiles, Cindy Jacobs, Wayne Allen Root, or Lance Wallnau? This is also the S word alliteration contest: pick the winner: from Wallnau, we have sabotaging, sniping and snarling enemies, and from Wiles, we have a slithering cabal of seditious snakes. I think, on pure word performance, Wiles has to take the trophy on S alliteration. The overall winner in the Batshit stakes I will leave up to the reader.

We’ll start with the master of hyperbolic bullshit, Rick Wiles, who is on quite the tear over the Satanistic Cabal of Pedophile Baby Sacrificers. (Why Lucifer comes into this, I don’t know. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. – Psalms 137.9).

Rick Wiles dedicated his radio program yesterday to warning that a secretive pedophile ring is working to destroy President Trump before he can expose their murderous global network.

Wiles said that Trump is “besieged by a slithering cabal of seditious snakes” who are attempting to carry out a coup against him at the behest of the “perpetual war and pedophilia party that has ruled America since they assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963.”

Huh. I really think someone is confused, because conservatives have always been the ones in favour of war. Pedophilia too, actually. I did not listen to the broadcast, that’s simply asking too much, so I don’t know if he expounded on this “perpetual war and pedophilia party” business, or how they managed to assassinate Kennedy. It really is true, isn’t it, that conspiracies never die. They just get twisted about now and again.

They’re fighting like cornered animals to prevent their pedophile network from being exposed. … It’s about the darkest, most disgusting, vilest corruption you can imagine. And if the American people ever find out the truth about their politicians and their celebrities in Hollywood and their TV idols and their favorite TV anchormen and women, and they find out all these great famous people and they find out that they’re just child molesters—not only molesters, but child murderers, sacrificing children to Satan. When they find out, they will drag their bloody carcasses down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., with meat hooks! They’ll have meat hooks in their carcasses.

Bloody carcasses! Meat hooks! Meat hooks in their carcasses! Jesus Fuck, the bloodthirstiness of some christians is truly frightening. At least you know where all the projection is coming from, although that’s not at all comforting. Honestly, I’d think that if such a cabal existed, and were descended from the amazing perpetual war and pedophilia party, they’d just quietly carry out another assassination, rather than attempt to ‘destroy’ the Tiny Tyrant, which I read here as discredit. No one at all has to work at discrediting the Tiny Tyrant or his regime, they are bumbling about, doing a fine job of that themselves. The full story is here, complete with soundcloud.

Up next, in the Seriously Eeeuuuuw! category, is Wayne Allen Root, with his praise of just how very much Trump loves business…

[Read more…]

Who Needs A Free Press?

Republican Logo (Shutterstock).

Republican Logo (Shutterstock).

President Donald Trump has made a habit of criticizing the media, calling both stories and news outlets he doesn’t like “fake news” and declaring the press the “enemy of the people.” While some bristle at the idea of the president of the United States attacking the fourth estate, it would appear that Trump’s base doesn’t actually think a free press is all that necessary.

In a new poll, only 49 percent of Republicans and people who lean Republican said it was very important for American democracy that “news organizations are free to criticize political leaders.” The poll, which was published Thursday by the Pew Research Center, found that 76 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning respondents said the free press was an important part of maintaining a strong democracy.

That’s a whole lot of people who think an independent press is simply not necessary, and in an age where ignorant celebrities can waltz into the highest office in the land, that’s disturbing. It’s an indicator of just how many people are openly willing to embrace a dictatorship.

Full story here.

A “Normal” Moment.

Trump humps flag. Twitter.

Trump humps flag. Twitter.

It seems that a good deal of media and regular folks are falling all over themselves about how reasonable Trump’s speech was, it was all so gosh darn normal, oh my yes! Except it wasn’t. It was the same old shit, wrapped up in the flag and exceptional Americanism, with a white nationalist filling. Raw Story has a brief article about this, noting the White House surprise at how media pundits were won over by this speech.

President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday night got glowing reviews from some pundits on cable news — and it turns out even the White House is surprised by how easily they were won over.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeted on Wednesday morning that some sources he’s talked with in the White House are “frankly surprised at how pundits are warming to the speech.”

This is particularly surprising to them, Costa writes, because “Trump has not changed” and there is “no big shift in policy coming.”

Think Progress has a longer piece about this piece of bullshit which too many people are swallowing whole. Interestingly, the white supremacist scum are thrilled about it, because instead of paying attention to the bits of trapping, they focused on actual content, which is a gift to Nazis everywhere.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump portrayed the United States as an island of civilization under siege from immigrant cartels and terrorists posing as refugees.

Trump touted a new Department of Homeland Security office that will target “criminal aliens.” He lied about immigration’s effect on the U.S. economy, boasted about sharp rollbacks to the regulatory state, renewed his call for eradicating the Affordable Care Act, hinted at further efforts to privatize the American education system, and offered a strident defense of his administration’s Muslim ban. At no point did he deviate from the “nationalist-populist” ideology his administration has adopted under top strategist Steve Bannon, former chairman of the white-nationalist website Breitbart.

On the other hand, Trump also read off a teleprompter, tossed off a cursory denunciation of “hate,” and wrapped up the speech with some pablum about how Americans should believe in themselves.

Those minor grace points were enough to earn Trump rapturous applause from the usual pundit gaggle, which is evidently willing to embrace a white-nationalist policy agenda if the presentation includes a few Hallmark aphorisms and leaves out any overt racial slurs.

CNN’s Van Jones said Trump “became President of the United States” when he acknowledged the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL, who was sitting in the audience.

Oh FFS, really? Trump acts like a normal person for 10 fucking seconds, and people are tripping over their tongues at how great he is? Jesus Fucking Christ, it’s not enough, it’s just not enough to say we are in trouble here. We are past trouble. There aren’t even words. We’re up to our neck in fascism, but it’s okay, because someone managed to get Trump to read some nice words from a teleprompter. Why didn’t anyone bother to note that Ms. Owens wouldn’t have been a grieving widow if it weren’t for Trump’s ego and need to play war? That Trump doesn’t want to go along with the investigation requested by Owen’s father? No, he’s so very presidential because he addressed a widow.

The vile Nazi scum were elated, but for reasons grounded in reality:

David Duke @DrDavidDuke

Hail to the Chief – No change on policy to deport illegals and on track to CUT major legal immigration necessary to take our country back!

Richard 🥛 Spencer @RichardBSpencer

After the PC bullshit is out of the way, Trump is making a Trump speech.#trumpaddress

So, what’s it going to take for all the non-Nazi scum to see what’s actually being said and what’s actually going on?

Via Think Progress.

Also see:

Trump lied. Right-wing extremists — not foreigners — commit more terror attacks in the U.S.

Trump’s address to Congress was riddled with falsehoods about the energy industry.

Trump was so busy attacking immigrants he barely acknowledged hate crimes.

Trump draws a fake conclusion from a study that actually finds immigration is good for the economy.

“Power can be addictive and it can be corrosive.”

Former President George W. Bush leaves after the presidential inauguration on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. CREDIT: Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP.

Former President George W. Bush leaves after the presidential inauguration on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. CREDIT: Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP.

Power can be addictive and it can be corrosive.” Normally, there wouldn’t be anything remarkable about that observation. In this case, there is – it was said by George W. Bush, about the Trump Regime. Colour me stunned.

During an interview on Today, former President George W. Bush responded to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and recent criticisms of the media by speaking in support of religious freedom and the free press.

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush told host Matt Lauer, weighing in on a question about whether the media should be considered “enemies of America,” as Trump said during his speech at CPAC last Friday.

“We need an independent media to hold people like me into account,” Bush said. “Power can be addictive and it can be corrosive. It’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”

[…]

When asked about Trump’s “Muslim ban,” an executive order that prohibits travel by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, Bush alluded to the constitutional “bedrock of our freedom — a bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.” Bush added that he supports an immigration policy that’s “welcoming and upholds the law.”

Bush also supported the call for a special prosecutor to look into alleged Trump campaign ties to the Russian government, saying that he was looking to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to recommend a special prosecutor.

“I think we all need answers,” Bush noted. “I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

If Bush’s criticisms of Trump sound like they merely restate fundamental American principles, that’s because freedoms of worship and of the press are already part of this country’s constitutional guarantees.

Yet Bush’s statements are also oddly significant given Trump’s harsh criticisms of the press and Islamophobia. Trump rarely restrains himself from condemning Muslims in the aftermath of real or imagined terrorist attacks, but has yet to publicly condemn two deadly attacks perpetrated by Islamophobes since he took office.

Trump has also escalated tensions with the media by calling them the “enemy of the people,” sometimes claiming that major newspapers like the New York Times aren’t reputable simply because they criticize him. As a result, major news organizations like CNN, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, were denied access from the White House’s daily press briefing last week.

Via Think Progress. (There’s video at the link.)

The Police State of America.

Area

Back in 2014, this was one sentence in a long comment written to an oblivious ass about events in Ferguson, Missouri:

A lot of us recognize the dire nature of this situation, and that sooner or later, that rumble will mow down our towns.

The rumble is here. It’s been here for a while, those at the No DAPL camp got to see it up close and personal, more than once. That noise you hear is the boot stomp of a police state, soon to be wherever you live in the States. Legislators have been busy for a while, coming up with various ways to strip people of their rights, and to punish them severely for attempting to exercise those rights. We’re not only back to the bad old days of COINTELPRO (don’t need that anymore, they have Palantir), it’s much worse now. Lately, I’ve been posting a bit of music every day, from the bad old days, which reflected the protests and fights we were in, music which helped to mobilize people. Turns out, we need that more than ever now. Young people, unlike old farts like myself, don’t have the experience of just how far our government is willing to go to shut down dissent. While past experience informs my current alarm, what’s happening now is worse. Much, much worse. Don’t be thinking it’s okay because you aren’t the protesting kind of person – your rights have been shredded and tossed to the wind too. Once open dissent is shut down, it’s never long before it isn’t safe to criticise or be thought unloyal. The loyalist business has already infected the white house, and that’s gotten worse too, with people being fired for having been critical of Trump.

Flint Taylor, a founding partner of the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, told AlterNet that he believes that Trump’s three executive orders on crime and policing have emboldened these state-level initiatives. One decree, titled “Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers,” is premised on the false claim that there is a war on cops. The order instructs the executive branch to “develop strategies, in a process led by the Department of Justice (Department) and within the boundaries of the Constitution and existing Federal laws, to further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.”

Sessions, who heads the DOJ, has said that he does not believe systemic police brutality is a problem worth addressing.

“The language of this executive order is focused on ‘preventing violence,’ which was the exact language of the memoranda that former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote justifying the neutralization—i.e. destruction—of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Black Panthers,” said Taylor. “One of the key aspects of COINTELPRO was to ‘prevent violence.’ That was the cover for destroying movements.”

“Together with all the other preliminary indications from the Trump administration, this executive order bodes extremely ill, particularly for communities of color, in terms of unleashing the already awesome and racist power of police departments in cities across the country.”

Meanwhile, right-wing Republicans in Congress, with apparent backing from the Trump administration, are advancing efforts to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The initiative, which emanates from far-right conspiracy theories that the Sunni Islamist group is infiltrating the U.S. government, is aimed at crushing Muslim civil society organizations at the core of resistance to Trump.

Amidst a climate of authoritarianism, anti-protest laws are advancing alongside so-called Blue Lives Matter bills that protect police officers under hate crime laws meant to safeguard historically oppressed communities. These initiatives are spreading across the country, with Republicans now in control of roughly two-thirds of the partisan legislative chambers in the United States.

“I definitely think there are a lot of Republicans who feel that Trump is a dog whistle to start writing bills that infringe on people’s rights, because we’re seeing that on a federal level,” said Grimm. “They are taking advantage of this time to make sure that people who don’t agree with them don’t have the right to express that. This is how you move toward fascism and nationalism, by getting rid of dissent.”

That’s just a bit of the full article running down all the current legislation looking to strip rights and quash dissent.

There’s also this:

Upon entering Spicer’s second floor office, staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a “phone check,” to prove they had nothing to hide.

Spicer, who consulted with White House counsel Don McGahn before calling the meeting, was accompanied by White House lawyers in the room, according to multiple sources. There, he explicitly warned staffers that using texting apps like Confide — an encrypted and screenshot-protected messaging app that automatically deletes texts after they are sent — and Signal, another encrypted messaging system, was a violation of the Federal Records Act, according to multiple sources in the room.

The phone checks included whatever electronics staffers were carrying when they were summoned to the unexpected follow-up meeting, including government-issued and personal cell phones.

Spicer also warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leaks was leaked to the media. It’s not the first time that warnings about leaks have promptly leaked. The State Department’s legal office issued a four-page memo warning of the dangers of leaks — that memo was immediately posted by the Washington Post.

But with mounting tension inside the West Wing over stories portraying an administration lurching between crises and simmering in dysfunction, aides are increasingly frustrated by the pressure-cooker environment and worried about their futures there.

Full story at Politico. It should not need to be said that open, transparent governments don’t need to fear leaks. Authoritarian regimes, however…