Sunday Facepalm: Guns & Death Edition.

Image credit: STILLFX.

The NRA is all fired up by Donny’s sucking up. They really didn’t expect the Tiny Tyrant to win, and hadn’t planned on having a new target, as they were completely focused on Clinton. They’ve had to do a bit of scrambling to identify a new enemy, and as the Tiny Tyrant is doing such a good job of shoving his head up the NRA arse, they’re supporting him in the ‘enemy’ department.

But with President Trump’s win — unexpected even for many here at the NRA’s annual meeting — the group had to reorient itself around a new target able to drive just as much anger in its millions of members.

ISIS or other international threats may have been easy marks. But judging by the rhetoric used by NRA leaders and President Trump in Atlanta this week, the gun lobby has set its sights elsewhere: the media.

“It’s up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats” LaPierre told thousands of NRA members on Friday at the group’s Leadership Forum, explaining that the media is trying to destroy Trump and his administration.

When do we get to talk about dangerously obsessed gun fondler elites? I’d like to have that discussion.

“Leftists media elites deliberately deceive and spin and twist the truth to grow their anti-American agenda,” he said. Later he asked: “When did the media stop being journalists and start becoming PR flacks for the destruction of our country?”

Taking it a step further, LaPierre told his members that the job of the NRA is to give “the media the big fat black eye it so often richly deserves.” Dana Loesch, a conservative media personality and NRA spokesperson, later used similarly incendiary language in a video segment, saying gun owners need to “fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth.” And Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist, claimed that the media “drew their knives from the very beginning” and led a “vicious” attack against Trump.

The line drew huge applause from the audience, and a mention of CNN later in the event led NRA members to take to their feet chanting “CNN sucks.”

Oh great, the aging white dudes think they are playing war. Did they not get the memo that guns are passé? Donny has nukes!

The NRA spent more than $30 million last year to elect Trump — more than three times the amount it spent on Mitt Romney’s campaign — and the investment paid off. Speaking on Friday as the first sitting president to address the NRA in over three decades, Trump confirmed his commitment to upholding the group’s agenda.

When it comes to attacking the press, the NRA appears ready to do Trump’s bidding. And its members are ready to fall in line.

[…]

With similar thinking coming from the Trump administration in Washington, that kind of language could translate into policy when it comes to freedom of the press. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told ABC News Sunday that the president is open to considering changing the constitution so that he could sue journalists for unfavorable coverage.

Well, didn’t take the Tiny Tyrant long to focus on the merits of fascism once again. Speaking of, the Tiny Tyrant is all a gush over his new bestest buddy ever, Rodrigo Duterte. Donny really, truly admires Duterte’s war on drugs. Yeah, we’re very fucked here.

Full stories at Think Progress: NRA, Duterte, Suing Journalists.

Oh My, Randy Has A Cry.

Oh my. Prepare yourself for a treacly glurge overdose, because Rep. Randy Weber has one comin’ your way, all choked up and laced with tears, as well as a slight rewording of The Lord’s Prayer.

Modifying the Lord’s Prayer to declare that “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth here in the halls of Congress,” Weber confessed the “sins our nation has been so emboldened to embark upon” and pleaded with God to forgive us.

“We have endeavored to try and kick your word out of public schools,” Weber said. “Father, we have endeavored to take the Bible out of classrooms, the Ten Commandments off the walls. Oh, Lord, forgive us. Father, we think we’re so smart, we have replaced your word and your precepts with drug-sniffing dogs, with metal detectors, with uniformed police officers in our schools. Oh, Lord, forgive us.”

Perhaps if you assholes were smart enough to legalize some drugs, and get serious about gun control, but yeah, real world solutions, those things aren’t good at all, no.

“Father, we have trampled on your holy institution of holy matrimony and tried to rewrite what it is and we’ve called it an alternate lifestyle,” Weber continued, his voice cracking. “Father, oh Father, please forgive us.”

:Sputters tea all over: Excuse me? Have you read the fucking bible? At all? Holy institution of holy matrimony my decidedly unsainted ass. This is barely dipping into the subject. There was a tremendous amount of fucking around in the bible, of all sorts.

“Lord, we have gone to killing the most innocent amongst us,” he wept. “Your servant Moses warned in Deuteronomy 19 for us to choose life so that we and all our descendants might live. Father, we’re killing our descendants and we’re calling it a choice. Oh, God in heaven, forgive us, please.”

Oh please. No one is killing your descendants, you silly asspimple. Whether or not I have descendants, and how many is none of your business. Once again, do you ever read the bible? Ever? In between public praying performances, perhaps? You should. I’ll help you out. I can help you out with Deuteronomy, too. You’ll have to pardon me if I simply raise an eyebrow over the thought of following the sociopath’s rule book. No thanks.

Via RWW.

Awww, Josh Is Unhappy.

Tea Party Tribune.

Oh my. I don’t know much about Josh Bernstein, but he is very upset. Those gosh darn republicans won’t do what he wants, and he’s so upset, why, he flipped them the bird. Ooooh, naughty.

Bernstein said that Republicans in Congress represent “the biggest threat to America” because of their failure to secure funding for Trump’s wall, especially that “scumbag” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who has a fence around his own house but won’t finance the construction of the border wall.

“You’re damn right I’m pissed,” Bernstein fumed. “I’m really pissed!”

Bernstein said that while he remains “on the Trump train,” he is now “sitting in the back, looking at the exit sign.”

“I’m not happy about this,” he said. “Fund the damn wall!”

“This is unacceptable,” he continued. “This is my red line and I can’t be any clearer than that. The border wall must be built now. It cannot wait—and for anybody who thinks it can wait, you’re stupid!”

I don’t consider myself stupid, and I don’t think there’s a need for a wall at all. The idea of the wall is fucking stupid. It won’t do a damn thing except suck everyone’s pockets dry, kill wildlife, and steal land from people. Oh, a big ol’ wall might test peoples’ ingenuity and creativity for a short while, but we’re inventive types. I doubt it would be any sort of an impediment to anyone. I’m also not at all okay with the idea of being trapped behind the gold curtain.

Bernstein said that Republicans are giving “a giant this to America and Trump supporters” as he flipped off the camera, declaring that “I’m done. I’m pissed. I’m livid.”

Watch out now, you’re going to give yourself a stroke. You should be planning for what you’ll do when you inch over that personal red line.

Via RWW.

Trump: Fingers On Phone Disease.

Both The Daily Beast and Think Progress have articles up about the Tiny Tyrant’s latest Tweet Tantrum, which happens to be directed at the wrong court. Jay Michaelson at The Daily Beast says Trump has to be the ultimate nightmare for his lawyers. They say one thing, he says another. They say shhhh, he’s flapping it all about. One thing he is doing is happily documenting every ill, every wrong, and every cock up by morphing into Mr. Tweet with clock-like, predictable regularity.

President Donald Trump is the worst client in the world.

Yet again, this time in a case involving his threat to withhold funding from so-called “sanctuary cities,” Trump’s careless out-of-court statements have come to bite him in the behind, just as they did in the travel ban cases.  You can almost hear his lawyers sigh with exasperation.

And yet, following the judge’s injunction against the sanctuary cities order, finding it overbroad and likely unconstitutional, Trump issued yet more outrageous statements, more lies, and more of a record for what would be the president’s ultimate court case: his impeachment trial.

[…]

But it was Trump’s unforced errors that really swung the decision.  The government’s lawyers said the funds affected were small, but Trump said they were huge.  The lawyers said it was just a mild allocation of funding, but Trump said it was punishment.  The lawyers said that the order was narrowly focused on the sharing of information, but Trump said it was a broad weapon against cities not complying with the law.

In other words, Trump’s tweets sunk his case.

And yet, he went right back at it.  As if to reassure those of us worried that Trump’s incompetence might not protect us from his malevolence, the ruling was greeted by another tweetstorm filled with usefully outrageous claims.

At 6:20 a.m. today, he went off:

First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!

This is false: the ruling was from a district court, not the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit, which Trump just insulted, will be the next court to hear the appeal of the order. Trump just pilloried the judges he’s going to be standing in front of next week.

There’s much, much more at The Daily Beast.

Think Progress also has this story.

OH FFS.

This is unbelievably infuriating, but I’ll leave you to discover your own outrage here, as it’s another work day, and I must work, rather than try to figure out what the fuck to say about the latest idiocy from the regime.

President Donald Trump won’t be attending this year’s White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, but quietly invited some of his favorite news outlets for a small, private reception Monday ahead of the annual event. The group features some of the farthest right and most nationally recognized conservative media outlets and hosts, while networks such as CNN and MSNBC—which the president has repeatedly condemned throughout his first 100 days for reporting on his approval ratings—were left off the guest list.

Instead, the networks and publications invited to the soiree include sites such as Breitbart and The Daily Caller, often accused of Trump propaganda and fake news during the 2016 election season, as well as headlines like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

The event was called to honor right-leaning outlets after “they were neglected the last eight years,” Sean Spicer said in an interview Monday.

Neglected? Right. They are nothing more than tabloids, with zero credibility, they just make shit up. Oh, yes, right up Trump’s backside, then.

“They’re an important medium to communicate to a massively growing number of Americans who, frankly, have grown tired of mainstream media’s coverage,” Spicer said. “We’ve definitely done our fair share of meetings with mainstream reporters. Once in a while it’s important to appreciate the folks who have really covered the president fairly and covered a lot of issues ignored by mainstream media.”

Making shit up out of whole cloth equals fairness now, does it? Christ. I don’t just want out of this country anymore, I want off this planet. One with no Trumps at all. You can read the full article at Raw Story.

Oh look, it actually gets worse! A Fox and Friends anchor has been declared the new U.S. State Deparment spokeswoman [sic].

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world,” the statement said.

Uh huh. Fuckety fuck fuck. That’s all I got.

A Trump Tantrum and Government Shutdown.

Toddler Trump, by Sham.

Despite the Tiny Tyrant’s recent reversal on the importance of the first 100 days, he’s absolutely desperate for a “win” of some kind. For the most part, this involves another attempt at repealing the ACA, or failing that, trying to force congress to hand over forty billion dollars for the Grate Wall of Stupidity™.  More and more Americans are standing fast on not wanting the wall at all, and it’s not a remotely realistic “win” to push for, but Mulvaney is dangling an ACA concession, but only if all the money is handed over for the wall. Things were working, more or less, before Trump had to toss a late night wrench into the works, making everything all about his “wins” and nothing more. He has said “yeah, we want to keep government open”, but his actions don’t match that sentiment in any way. As usual, government in this case doesn’t mean jack shit if it doesn’t translate to “wins and approval” for the monstrous ego of Trump.

Trump’s instability has already caused a great deal of damage and irreparable harm; that harm keeps being extended with every rollback, all in the service of making the Tiny Tyrant feel like a big man. Now, he’s looking to toss anything into the cavernous maw of his always hungry ego, and if government shuts down, well who cares? I have no doubt that Trump would see that only as a bully tactic he could use, as that’s the current tactic, and the only one he possesses.

As the deadline for a spending bill looms, the Trump administration is reportedly throwing a monkey wrench into negotiations. The Trump administration is fighting for border wall funding or a crackdown on sanctuary cities, according to Politico, to give the president a victory during his first 100 days in office.

Desperate for a win, the administration is risking a government shutdown by insisting on funding the border wall. Congress has until April 28 to clear a spending bill — but negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate stalled over the last 24 hours after White House officials showed they wouldn’t move on funding the wall, Politico reported on Thursday evening.

A victory! The Tiny Tyrant must have a victory! Once again, language choice reveals a very nasty, unstable mindset. Think Progress has the full story, as does Politico.

The Weekly White House Bible Study.

Photo via AP.

Evangelism everywhere, promoting a theocracy, with a firm footing in the white house.

…The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to be running weekly Bible sessions specially for the Trump Cabinet. He has praised the new administration for its power to “change the course of America in ways that are biblical.”

[…]

In a January radio interview, Drollinger praised then-senator Jeff Sessions, who “hungers and thirsts for the Scripture,” for his performance during his confirmation hearing, when he provided a Biblical justification for his draconian views on immigration. “I’ve had the distinct honor of teaching him on this subject, and many others,” Drollinger said. “There’s nothing more exciting, when you’re a Bible teacher, to see one of the guys you’re working with—to see him or her articulate something you’ve taught them when they’re under the gun.”

Vice President Mike Pence, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, nominee for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, HHS Secretary Tom Price, and Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, have all sponsored the Capitol Ministries Cabinet Bible study, according to literature put out by Capitol Ministries.

The Cabinet Bible study is the just newest piece of what Drollinger has described as a “para-church ministry” with a “target audience” of political members. In a September 2015 interview, Drollinger described his mission as creating a “factory” to mass-produce politicians like Michele Bachmann, who is on the Capitol Ministries board. “She thinks Biblically,” Drollinger said. “She doesn’t need a whole lot of time to figure out how to vote because she sees the world through a scriptural lens. We need more men and women like her in office.”

[…]

For an outside group to hold an event in a Congressional building, they must be sponsored by a senator or representative; dozens of Members of Congress sponsored Drollinger’s group, including Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, and Sessions while they were all still on Capitol Hill. Rep. Mike Conaway, who recently took over the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election from Devin Nunes, is also a Capitol Ministries sponsor.

Now, Capitol Ministries holds three separate Bible Studies each week which it describes in its literature: one for Cabinet members (“7:00 am Wednesdays Mornings. Location Undisclosed. Light Refreshments Served.”); one for the Senate (“8:00 am Tuesdays, Rotating Offices of Senators. Hot Breakfast Served.”); and one for members of the House (“Capitol H324: Monday or Tuesday Evenings after First Votes Back. Dinner Served.”) In an interview in January, Drollinger described the House study as feeling like a truck stop and the Senate study feeling like a country club.

Everything in the article is highly disturbing and frightening. Recommended Reading. Fusion has the full story.

Copwatch Premieres At Tribeca Film Festival.

Copwatch Documentary still.

Copwatch will be premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 23rd to April 28th, if you can grab a ticket and watch!

Copwatch is the true story of We Copwatch, an organization whose mission is to film police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. Around the country, a network of regular people take up cameras to bear witness to police actions and hold law enforcement to accountability. Director Camilla Hall profiles several We Copwatch members, including a young California dad who’s found direction in this activism, and Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal Staten Island arrest in the devastating video that has galvanized protestors and activists nationwide. And yet Orta is the only person involved in these incidents who has seen the inside of a jail cell. In her powerful directorial debut, Hall crafts an intriguing and incredibly timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who are seeking to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

—Opal Bennett

If you’re unaware of We Copwatch, please become aware, and if you haven’t supported We Copwatch, please consider doing so now. You can get a snazzy T-shirt or hoodie!

Oh Great, Another Slogan: Buy American, Hire American.

Noel McKay, left, a program manager and Karen Latina, right, a biotech consultant, hold up signs during a Tech Stands Up rally on Pi Day, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, outside City Hall in Palo Alto, Calif. Subcontracted tech service workers and direct tech employees rallied together to call on their companies and CEOs to stand with their workers against injustice and hate. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Risberg.

As a conservative columnist recently pointed out, the Tiny Tyrant is acting the full lame duck by concentrating on Executive Orders very early on. This is usually not seen until much later, usually when congress is busy blocking a president. The Tiny Tyrant has also turned to “foreign policy” in attempt to overshadow investigations and come across as doing something. The latest EO was announced in Wisconsin, at the expense of the Paris Climate Accord meeting. Now we have “Buy American, Hire American”, which, as Jake Tapper pointed out, is the height of hypocrisy when it comes to Trump’s own business dealings, which depend greatly on immigrant workers and the H-1B visa program. Of course, I’m sure he’ll declare all his little cash cows to be exempt. Contrary to the Tiny Tyrant’s constant vow of jobs and greatness and all that other crap, every move he has made so far is damn near custom-tailored to crash the economy, and this move will accelerate that considerably, if congress can be swayed to enforce it. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.

The “Buy American, Hire American” executive order emphasizes enforcement of “Buy American laws” that will encourage government agencies and Americans to buy and hire American. The main thrust of the order calls on cabinet secretaries to implement administrative changes and produce reports that identify potential abuses of the H-1B visa program, which awarded 85,000 work visas this year to foreign knowledge workers through a lottery system, and look for ways the government can only award contracts to American business owners.

Regarding immigration, the order doesn’t address the administration’s main criticisms of the H-1B program, such as exploitatively low pay and replacing the lottery system to guarantee recipients are the best candidates for the positions. It also carries little weight on its own.

“It doesn’t do anything,” said William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Philadelphia. That’s because the changes Trump campaigned on need to be approved by Congress.

[…]

The policy proposal sent a chill through the tech industry, which heavily depends on H-1B workers to fill out full-time and contract positions. That tension intensified earlier this year, after Trump signed his first executive order restricting entry of immigrants from or traveling from several Muslim-majority countries and companies such as Google required resident employees abroad to immediately return to the U.S.

The White House’s tenuous relationship with Silicon Valley was strained further as Trump’s policies homed in on issues central to the tech industry’s ethos and economic health. And with cracking down on H-1B visas in his sights, there’s concern Trump could hurt the economy he’s trying to help.

 […]

Besides a potential congressional hurdle, there could still be economic consequences to Trump’s desired changes, especially when it comes to funding existing programs and trade.

For example, further restricting H-1B visas could actually result in taking jobs away from American workers by encouraging companies to relocate, Stock said. That would create more jobs in places like Ireland, India (which is currently the biggest recipient of H-1B visas), China, and countries in South America, where there are growing IT workforces.

“If the workers can’t come here, then companies are going to have to go where the workforce is,” Stock said. “The unintended consequences are going to outweigh what he was trying to achieve.”

[…]

Restricting H-1B visas or prioritizing American businesses also doesn’t replace jobs lost due to the collapse of manufacturing or mining industries.

Dan Ikenson, the director for trade policy at the Cato Institute a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C., said the order looks tough, especially when it comes to government contract spending. But he worried that Trump’s emphasis on only awarding government contracts to American companies could mean that taxpayers lose out. From a free market perspective, Ikenson said, there should be as many foreign companies as possible bidding for government contracts.

“You need the competition,” Ikenson said, arguing that only contracting with American businesses could result in overspending. “We shouldn’t just assume that it’s good for America if Americans transact with other Americans.”

That economic stance is why Trump’s immigration policies have garnered criticism from economists across the political spectrum.

“We need smart foreign workers to come here and share their ideas,” Ikenson said. “Immigrants are 50 percent more likely than Americans to start new businesses.”

Think Progress has the full story.

So That’s What Anti-Establishment Means Now.

CREDIT: Diana Ofosu/ThinkProgress.

Oh, the poor Trumpholes, they are disappointed, why, why, there’s a bog standard republican in the white house! I never bought the whole “we voted for him because he’s anti-establishment!” You can’t really get more establishment than Trump. At the same time, that sentiment baffled the hell out of me, because I know what anti-establishment actually is – I’m a child of the counter-culture, a bonafide hippie, and no matter how you stretch and distort the definition, Trump does not fit. Turns out that distorting and stretching the definition wasn’t the problem. A brand new definition is in place for anti-establishment in the eyes of Trumpholes, it now means nationalism. As in “Rah, rah, white ‘merican nationalism, yeah!” Bit of an eye opener for me. Anyroad, they are most upset with their God Awful Emperor, who doesn’t seem to be doing all those God Awful Emperor things, and he’s gone … *gasp* soft, oh no! He is, at the moment, doing what he always does, truly stupid shit beyond the pale, like asking his faithful what bits of the government should be shut down, but I guess that’s not enough anymore. What most of the Trumpholes want, it seems, is President Bannon.

Donald Trump’s true believers are losing the faith.

As Trump struggles to keep his campaign promises and flirts with political moderation, his most steadfast supporters — from veteran advisers to anti-immigration activists to the volunteers who dropped their jobs to help elect him — are increasingly dismayed by the direction of his presidency.

Their complaints range from Trump’s embrace of an interventionist foreign policy to his less hawkish tone on China to, most recently, his marginalization of his nationalist chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But the crux of their disillusionment, interviews with nearly two dozen Trump loyalists reveal, is a belief that Trump the candidate bears little resemblance to Trump the president. He’s failing, in their view, to deliver on his promise of a transformative “America First” agenda driven by hard-edged populism.

“Donald Trump dropped an emotional anchor. He captured how Americans feel,” said Tania Vojvodic, a fervent Trump supporter who founded one of his first campaign volunteer networks. “We expect him to keep his word, and right now he’s not keeping his word.”

Earlier this week, Vojvodic launched a Facebook group called, “The concerned support base of President Trump,” which quickly drew several dozen sign-ups. She also changed the banner on her Facebook page to a picture of Bannon accompanied by the declaration: “Mr. President: I stand with Steve Bannon.”

[…]

Trump voters “felt like they were voting for an anti-establishment candidate — and they’re terrified, they’re losing faith,” Cardillo said. “They’re saying, ‘Why does he have these people around him?’”

The gripes go beyond Bannon’s apparent downgrade. Many of Trump’s most stalwart supporters, including radio show hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, called last week’s bombing of Syria a betrayal of Trump’s pledge to be an “America First” commander in chief who would avoid unnecessary conflicts overseas.

[…]

Other Trump boosters worry that he’s ditching his economic agenda. They wonder why he backed off his vow to label China a currency manipulator, and are chagrined by his reversal on his position to eliminate the Export-Import Bank.

Oh, that’s easy enough. The dipshit was flattered, and had a 10 minute history lesson on China and Korea, so now he knows everything, by golly! And as for the bank, he changed his mind because someone actually explained what it was to him, because he did not fucking know, what with being a fuckwitted ignoramus.

Michelle Dallacroce, an anti-immigration activist, is more pointed. Immigration is “why we voted for Donald Trump,” she said. “This could be the most elaborate reality show. I’m wondering, was this all an illusion for us, using our movement so he could get in there?”

Oh, they want their poison, and they want it now! Politico has the full story on the disappointment.

Trying to Kill Planned Parenthood.

In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women’s access to reproductive health care on “National Pink Out Day’’ at Los Angeles City Hall. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nick Ut, File.

Yesterday, the Tiny Tyrant made a move to allow states to punish Planned Parenthood, and people at large, by allowing them to withhold federal funds. This is going to do a great deal of harm, especially in the more regressive states, of which there are too many. This is a direct hit on Title X, which is a devastating blow to healthcare, which the rethugs are all happy about, as they couldn’t come out and just repeal. As usual, poorer people and women will be suffering the most under this new move.

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Thursday that would allow states to withhold federal money for family planning services, such as birth control, from Planned Parenthood clinics and other women’s health centers.

The bill is a repeal of an Obama-era regulation that said states couldn’t withhold Title X funding, which covers family planning and preventative care, from organizations just because those organizations also provide abortion care. This bill would roll back that protection, emboldening states to try to restrict such funding.

The Senate passed the bill 51–50 in March, with Vice President Pence casting the tie breaking vote.

Four million people with low incomes rely on Title X for preventative health care. Roughly 1.5 million receive their Title X care at Planned Parenthood.

In practice, what this bill does is open the door for states to restrict these people from choosing certain health care providers — which may be, in many cases, the only health care provider nearby, the one they trust, or the only one that they can afford.

While the bill does not defund Planned Parenthood directly, it is part of a wider GOP attack on the women’s health provider — and will likely encourage further efforts to cut federal funding off from Planned Parenthood.

It is already legally prohibited to use federal funds for abortion care, thanks to the Hyde Amendment. Currently, Planned Parenthood gets federal funding through programs like Title X and Medicaid, which cover STD testing, cancer screenings, birth control access, and other health needs for people who wouldn’t be able to afford them.

In reality, federally defunding Planned Parenthood — as the GOP proposed to do in their failed health care bill  — actually means preventing people who rely on it from accessing health care. And while anti-Planned Parenthood politicians argue that people can go elsewhere, for many low-income and rural women and men, Planned Parenthood clinics are their only option.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Problem of Prettifying Trump for Children’s Books.

Michael Ian Black and Marc Rosenthal, A Child’s First Book of Trump.

Unfortunately, when it comes to history, there’s a long, ugly history in the U.S. of lying to children. Books are filled with euphemisms and omissions, desperate to find any way to praise past politicians and their acts. This is quite the problem with presidential bios, going all the way back. People were considered courageous to mention that the oh so holy Saint Jefferson was a slaveholder. They omitted the rapes, subsequent pregnancies, and those inconvenient little slaves Jefferson fathered. You don’t find sections or books on just how genocidal presidents were when it came to Indians, or how they spent time and money on being devious bastards, making promises they fully intended to break. Nothing about the rapes, murders, and stealing of children, no. There’s very little action across uStates to undo all the whitewash. That much has not changed, but even in an industry well practiced in the art of whitewash, Trump is presenting special problems.

…Rosman catches the Scholastic folks red-handed as they rewrite history to try to prettify Trump for their audience. In a prepublication draft of the book, under the heading “Troubling Statements,” its authors initially explained: “Some of Trump’s biggest supporters were white nationalists. Their comments and actions during and after the campaign were racist and often dangerous. Trump did little to speak against them.” But in the final version, we get, instead, a page called “Campaign Statements,” which explains that, “Some of Trump’s critics felt he did not speak out against prejudicial people and groups strongly enough.”

[…]

The problem with Trump is not that he did not denounce the racism, much less the fact that some people might have felt this way. It’s that he actively encouraged not merely racism but a particularly violent strain of it; one that helped create an atmosphere of menace toward almost all people of color among his most virulent supporters. What’s more, this racism, according to the best data we can find, was central to his appeal both in the Republican primaries and in the general election. The fact that he is now president of the United States presents an additional ideological problem for children’s book publishers. Not only must they find a way around the fact that their subject is a racist, sexist, ethnocentric, McCarthyite, lying con man, but also that nearly half the country’s voters knew all this and picked him anyway.

To be honest about Trump is to be honest about America, and right now, that is just not the kind of thing children’s publishers are set up to do. It’s not even the kind of thing The New York Times or The Washington Post is set up to do — at least not without blaming “both sides” for whatever crime against democracy, decency or common sense Trump has most recently committed. Joana Costa Knufinke, group editor for nonfiction books in Scholastic’s library publishing division, uses this time-honored excuse when she explains to Rosman, “We make an effort to show both points of view.”

[…]

The challenge regarding Trump, however, is not that he has flaws, as men and all presidents do. The problem is that he is all flaws and that it was these flaws that got him elected president. Without those flaws — the racism, sexism, jingoism, dishonesty, incompetence, ignorance and belligerence — there is nothing left to say about Trump… except perhaps to make fun of his hair. This puts the nice people in the children’s book business in the uncomfortable position of either ignoring the new president or running interference of his destructive qualities and teaching our children to, at best, ignore them, or at worst, emulate them.

An incisive look at how the children’s publishing industry is going to be very busy orange-washing and filtering all information about the current unpresident of uStates. Highly recommended reading.

Full article here.

Elvis Gospel Albums, Catheters, Aaaaaaand…

Wow, that will bring in the dollars, won’t it? These are the replacements for all those national brands who fled Bill O’Reilly’s no longer erect ship. It’s sounding more and more likely that Bill’s vacation is going to be permanent, and all I have to say about that is Good Riddance.

Sherman also reports that James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, wants O’Reilly gone. Murdoch forced out longtime Fox News CEO Roger Ailes last summer over allegations of sexual misconduct.

O’Reilly has not addressed the new allegations of sexual harassment on his show. Fox News, with the exception of a lukewarm statement to the New York Times, has also largely remained silent. Silence, however, has not stemmed the controversy.

So far, at least 77 advertisers have publicly announced they will no longer air commercials during O’Reilly’s show. The number of ads on the show has dramatically declined and large national brands have been replaced with ads for Elvis gospel albums and catheters.

Think Progress has the full run down.

Moving on to a remarkable bit of language twisting by none other than Oscar Munoz, who should perhaps hand over the public speaking to someone with more than pieces of silver in their brain:

“We’re not going to put a law enforcement official… to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”

You did do that.

Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation and that Dr. David Dao, whom security officers dragged by his hands, on his back, from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

A system failure that prevented employees from using common sense. Right. Perhaps if your corporateness would allow employees to think and problem solve, this little public relations nightmare of yours wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I think everyone knows where to place the blame, Mr. Munoz, and it appears that the only “system” which failed is you.

Via Raw Story.