The Fascists of Silicon Valley.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Before Gamergate, Larry, the Google software engineer, was “a standard Democrat straight-voting person,” as he puts it. But reading about the movement in the tech press and on pro-Gamergate websites “did highlight some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies with positions on the left,” he says. A comment in a Gamergate thread led Larry to the Unz Review, a website run by Palo Alto tech entrepreneur and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz. There, Larry says he was exposed to treatises on “human biological diversity” expounding on the supposed cognitive differences between intellectually superior and inferior races.

Human biological diversity has also gained currency in the Valley through computer scientist Curtis Yarvin, who writes under the pseudonym Mencius Moldbug. Starting in 2007, in series of blog posts often cited by alt-right followers, Yarvin laid out a political philosophy known as neoreaction or the “Dark Enlightenment.” Combining a technocratic sensibility with reactionary political thought, neoreaction rejects Enlightenment concepts—such as democracy and equality of the races and sexes—and instead advocates something much closer to authoritarianism. Yarvin believes government would work much better if run like a tech company and helmed by an all-powerful CEO president. He spoke admiringly Napoleon, whom he considers to be “kind of the Steve Jobs of France.”

Yarvin’s blog combines dorky programmer lingo with dense references to obscure, proto-fascist political texts. “When I started blogging 10 years ago, the availability of completely unorthodox written content [online] was mostly confined to the pre-1923 corpus, which Google did such a nice job scanning,” Yarvin told me in an email. He believes that software programmers are attracted to his writings because they “are always looking for something to do with their restless, fidgety brains. Especially if it’s weird and doesn’t involve dealing with physical humans.”

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who reportedly gave Trump more than $1 million during the campaign and was an adviser on Trump’s transition team, has circled neoreactionary ideas. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” he wrote on the Cato Institute’s blog in 2009, adding that women and “welfare beneficiaries” have through their voting habits “rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron” (He clarified two weeks later that he supports women’s suffrage and redirected blame for the supposed demise of democracy on “unelected technocratic agencies.”)

That’s just part of an in-depth article on all the dyed-in-wool bigots infesting the tech sector. I’m sure this wouldn’t come as news to anyone who works in the industry, and certainly not news to women and people of colour. Recommended Reading.

Call It What It Is, Class Warfare.

Pyramid_of_Capitalist_System

Wikimedia. Click for full size.

Steve Rosenfeld has a good article up at Raw Story, about the insidiousness of the new, so-called healthcare plan. Definitely recommended, just a bit here:

It’s important to note what Republicans are not talking about. While their messaging is emphasizing premium increases under Obamacare and how the program’s insurance exchanges are suffering from lack of competition, the GOP is not discussing who is making undue profits in American health care. Nor are they discussing the simplest reform that would address the maladies they cite, allowing Obamacare states to create interstate pools where risk and costs could be shared among greater numbers of people and insurers.

While the politics of the Obamacare repeal effort are only beginning, what’s clear is its GOP sponsors are tinkering with the rules governing one-sixth of the economy in a manner that appears to be a giant transfer of wealth upward. These Republicans can talk about “free markets” and “individual choice” all they like, but there’s a better phrase for it: class warfare.

Republicans are poised to unleash a wave of health insecurity and economic hardship on poor, working- and middle-class Americans, as well as on the nation’s system of medical providers, public health institutions and social safety nets. On social insurance listservs and discussion forums Wednesday, there was a debate about what to call the GOP bill: The Deplorable Care Act? The Unaffordable Care Act? Trumpcare? The I Don’t Care Act? No matter what one chooses, this is class warfare and it will be painful.

If you aren’t rich, you’re going to find yourself getting poorer, and constantly caught between a rock and a hard place, none of which concerns the Regime in the least. All that matters to them is that the rich get richer, and the most basic of rights be reassigned to privileges available only to those who can pay for them. Go have a read!

Russia, Russia, Russia.

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Report: Trump adviser communicated with Russian hackers before election:

Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and adviser of Donald Trump, exchanged direct messages on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0 before the presidential election, according to a report published Wednesday by The Smoking Gun.

Authorities looked into Manafort protégé, an associate of an ex-Trump campaign chairman is suspected of connections to Russian intelligence:

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The operative, Konstantin Kilimnik, came under scrutiny from officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department partly because of at least two trips he took to the U.S. during the presidential campaign, according to three international political operatives familiar with the agencies’ interest in Kilimnik.

‘Everyday, a new piece falls into place’:

Part One:

Part Two:

The Dynamics of the Regime.

President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The Trump administration’s agenda has started to solidify a month and a half after his inauguration. ThinkProgress checked in with scholars on authoritarianism to see how that agenda it’s taking shape. For people who have devoted their lives to studying anti-democratic movements, recent White House actions are more disturbing than ever.

[…] Trump’s language has spread not just to the media, but to supporters in politics. Take a recent tweet from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) where he claimed leakers needed to be ‘purged’:

@RealDonaldTrump needs to purge Leftists from executive branch before disloyal, illegal & treasonist acts sink us.

Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, and author of Populism, A Very Short Introduction: This is a great example of how the U.S. far right has become emboldened and more visible. Steve King has been a radical right voice in the U.S. House of Representatives for years and years. He started normalizing radical right politicians from Europe years ago, with Louis Gohmert and Michele Bachmann, meeting, among others, with [Dutch right-wing nationalist] Geert Wilders in 2015 and 2016, with [French right-wing nationalist] Marine Le Pen in 2016 and 2017, and with [German right-wing nationalist] Frauke Petry in 2016.

While the meetings were public, King seemed aware he was part of a fringe within the GOP that supported these parties. Now, as one can see in this tweet, King clearly feels Trump is on the same page. Like David Duke and other long-standing U.S. far right activists and politicians, they believe their time is now, and they call upon Trump to do what they have only dreamed off in the past decades. It again shows that Trump is not “alien” to the GOP. Not only does the majority of the GOP base support him, and most of his “controversial” policies, but many GOP members of Congress, particularly in the House, were always closer to him than to Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell.

This goes for all the Religious Reich, right wing pundits, and far right conspiracy theorists, too. They finally have the audience they have craved, with a power to back it up. There might be a minor disagreement here or there, but they will continue to back the Regime in order to get things they have dreamed about for decades.

Berman: It’s one thing to say leakers are bad or government employees shouldn’t be leaking classified information, but these kinds of terms or concepts — purging, enemies — are very dangerous. Again it’s a sign of no longer seeing yourself as a national community engaged with fellow citizens, but in a zero sum struggle going on here — and people opposed to you are not just different politically but enemies. It makes democracy impossible to function and a social consensus impossible to achieve.

Trump’s power is in his rhetoric — and not just policy — which is incredibly divisive. He’s creating problems, and the rhetoric itself makes it impossible to do what democracy requires: compromise and consensus.

Ben Ghiat: The tone of King’s Tweet — get them before they can wreck us — conveys this cornered feeling — and what might transpire.

Trump’s policies are messages aimed at the people of the United States. They say what kind of country, society, and culture his administration wants.

This one sentence ^ is one that apologists for Trump supporters need to take on board, stat. Most Trump supporters are not dismayed, they are happy with the way things are going. They are filled with bile and rage, bloated with a sense of entitlement, and they want other people to suffer.

Berman: The revised ban … claims to be something that keeps terrorists out of the U.S., even though there is empirically no evidence that it does that. But it speaks to his base and says, “Look, I did what I promised.”

[On undocumented immigrants] Trump is saying, “I’m enforcing the law.” Which is technically true, but he’s doing it in a way that is speaking to his base and breaking up families, which is very, very cruel. He’s doubling down, and it’s very attractive to a lot of people. It’s very powerful for lots of people who think politicians make promises they don’t keep.

Yes. Yes, it is. Anyone who takes 10 minutes here or there to read comments following the slightest criticism of the Regime will see just how much Trump supporters are in love with this.

I think what’s most worrying to me is the divisiveness that Trump is using to whip up his base and solidify support among true believers. He’s not winning anybody on the other side, and this is really problematic. Rolling back Obamacare is bad and banning people is a bad thing. It’s not entirely different from what we expected from other conservatives, but it’s really proven to be way, way, way different than with other candidates. And way more dangerous for democracy is this rhetoric, alternative facts, and inability to reach compromises with the other side of aisle. It’s truly pernicious, and what he’s managed in a couple months is really frightening.

Ben Ghiat: The separation of families and the further empowerment of ICE are unnecessary, cruel, and intimidating — and that is exactly their point. Causing human suffering and demoralization was built into this administration and emphasized in Trump’s dark inaugural address. They also show allies their commitment to the agenda of state racism. I see the setting up of immigrants as targets to be deported as part of a racist population management scheme which has [Chief Strategist Steve] Bannon as its mastermind, but plenty of help from the GOP.

We really aren’t all that far from concentration camps. A lot of people on the left insist this is hyperbole, no, it wouldn’t ever get that bad, checks and balances, all that. Well, all that hasn’t worked at all so far, has it? A lot people on the left said it could never reach the point it has, insisting on their rose-coloured glasses. “It won’t come to that.” It has come to that, and it’s going to get worse.

Mudde: As should have been clear to anyone watching President Trump’s joint session speech, he hasn’t changed. Yes, he read a speech from the teleprompter without going on rants, but every time he talked about the need to come together and not divide the nation, he pointed his hand in the direction of the Democrats. Moreover, despite the pandering to congressional Republicans — in terms of deregulation and overturning Obama legislation, particularly Obamacare — let there be no mistake that this was a Bannon-[Stephen] Miller speech.

The only topic of discussion after the speech, at least for liberals, should have been VOICE, i.e. the new federal program for Victims of Immigrant Crime Enforcement that he announced. This is an incredible example of nativist politics, distinguishing victims not on the basis of the crime or damage they have suffered, but the ethnicity/legal status of the perpetrator. It obviously serves the purpose to identify “immigrants” — not just undocumented ones — with crime and crime with immigrants.

The fact that self-appointed liberal spokesmen like Van Jones and Bill Maher hailed this speech for its presidentialism shows just how shallow and self-centered their opposition is. He didn’t go after “us,” so it was a good speech. In other words, for me, the main story of the last week was not anything Trump did, but the deep desire among conservatives and liberals to normalize Trump.

The sheer amount of people intent on normalising Trump and the Regime is terrifying in and of itself. I understand the desire, the constant onslaught of corruption and evil is difficult to deal with. Heads get filled with anxiety and depression, shoulders hunched and knotted with the weight of stress. There comes a point where the desire to just sink into denial is overwhelmingly welcome. Regardless, we can’t afford ourselves the narcotic of normalisation, we must all stand, as firm and bright torches blazing in the dark, lighting the way we must go.

Full story at Think Progress.

“Miss Piggy”. “News Bimbo”. “Extremely Unattractive”. “Grab ’em by the Pussy”.

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Via Twitter.

Mr. Tweet has been at it again, this time tweeting out his “tremendous respect” for women, even as a whole lot of women are out on the streets today, fighting against fascism, and the Fascist-in-Chief. Mr. Tweet has been met with scorn, and I daresay, many near-fatal eyerolls.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday posted a tribute to International Women’s Day on his Twitter feed, and it was met with instant ridicule and disgust from across the web.

The president, who is notorious for making sexist remarks and was even infamously caught on camera bragging about grabbing women’s genitals, wrote on Twitter that he has “tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.” He also asked his fellow Americans to join him in “honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world.”

Given his past words and actions, many Twitter users reacted with instant mockery of the president’s supposed “tremendous respect” for women.

It should not be forgotten that Trump has also been accused of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape. It’s more than obvious that he doesn’t have the slightest problem with any of those, especially as he’s bragged about being a serial sexual assaulter. He also has a seriously skeevy view of at least one of his daughters. Oh, and let’s not forget that Violence Against Women grants are poised to be cut. Also, there’s that hideous thing he’s trying to pass off as healthcare, which prominently features removing basic care for women. Yeah, there’s tremendous respect for you.

You can see some of the reactions here.

Facts Be Damned. Oh, And Fuck Women.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the White House on January 31. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the White House on January 31. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

One of the uglier aspects of the ‘new’ Muslim ban is a focus on ‘honor killings’, even though that’s not a massive problem here in uStates, but it’s a convenient thing to rail about when you’re attempting to incite a racial panic. Just how much the Regime does not care about victims of honor killings is highlighted by the fact that the Violence Against Women grants are going to be eliminated, even though roughly 1,500 women are murdered as a result of domestic violence per year. It should not be ignored that both Trump and Bannon have been accused of domestic violence. Nor should Trump’s attitude toward women in general, which is incredibly ugly. The reasoning behind the ban is nothing more than slimy white nationalism, and there isn’t all that much to cover the shit over, they simply don’t care. Well, that’s not quite fair. They do care about any possibility of having this ban legally overturned as well. As usual the problem does not just rest with the Regime’s legislation and executive orders. It also lies on the shoulders of all those Regime voters and supporters.

I am sick to death of people wringing their hands over these poor, poor Trumpians who start crying when the chickens come home to roost. No, I do not have sympathy for them, because they have none for anyone, they were firmly and flatly in favour of bigotry, hatred, and misogyny, and any of them who claim they weren’t, they are liars. Trump’s whole fucking campaign was nothing but a constant litany of bigotry, hatred, and misogyny, as well as a paen to the might of white, and a psalm sung to the filthy rich.

The whole excuse of “well, some of them just wanted to throw a brick at the establisment” is a fucking lie, too. One Big Lie. If those people truly wanted to buck the establishment, Trump would have been dumped and Sanders would have ended up in the white house, and we would be moving towards a properly socialized government. That would have been tossing a brick at the man. Voting for Trump? For fuck’s sake, how could you possibly get more establishment? The excuse of “they thought he was a good business man!” won’t wash either. Trump’s constant failures over the years were not a secret. His incompetency was out there for all to see, during the whole campaign. The regime voters chose to ignore it. The excuse of “oh hey jobs”? No, doesn’t wash either, because what all those white Trumpians meant by that was “stomp all over those brown peoples!”. They never have anything to say when you point out that they don’t want to work cleaning toilets and peoples’ houses.

No, no more fucking excuses. The assholes who voted in the regime who are now crying? They’re only crying because they weren’t supposed to get bitten on the arse. They wanted all those others to get fucked over. Anyroad, back to the fucked up, shit-caked ban…

President Trump’s second Muslim ban, signed on Monday, includes a provision directing the Department of Homeland Security to collect and make public “information regarding the number and types of gender-based violence against women, including so-called ‘honor killings,’ in the United States by foreign nationals.”

According to numbers from a Department of Justice-sponsored study conducted in 2014, there are less than 30 such “honor killings” in the country each year. The killings — which are “perceived by the perpetrator to be a way to restore honor to the family in the face of a perceived damage,” according to the report — are sometimes “motivated by a radical and dark interpretation of Islam,” as Fox News wrote in late 2015.

The inclusion of the “honor killings” provision in the new Muslim ban marks the second time in a week the Trump administration has outlined a plan to use federal resources “to whip up as much racial panic as possible,” as Matt Yglesias of Vox puts it. The first instance was Trump’s vow to create the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office, or VOICE, during his speech to Congress last week, even though immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

In a similar vein, the number of “honor killings” in the U.S. stands in stark contrast to the roughly 1,500 women who are murdered as a result of domestic violence in a given year. But according to numerous reports, Trump’s budget proposal will eliminate the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women grants. Those grants had a $480 million budget last year and funded 25 grant programs helping domestic violence victims, according to Mother Jones. Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon have both been accused of domestic assault.

[…]

But the “honor killing” provision is just the latest example of Trump trying to portray Islam in a violent light. Despite the fact that a person in America is much more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than a Muslim terrorist, the Trump administration has signaled it wants a federal counter-terrorism program to stop focusing on violent white supremacists and any other extremist groups not comprised of Muslims. And after the Department of Homeland Security released a report last month undermining the administration’s core rationale for the Muslim ban  — “citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity,” it found — the administration tried to downplay the report.

“The president asked for an intelligence assessment,” the a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal. “This is not the intelligence assessment the president asked for.”

Right. An accurate assessment is provided, but the Tiny Tyrant doesn’t want that, and neither does shadow tyrant Bannon. They want shit shoveled onto a platter, and shaped into the form of whatever they asked for, providing them with a basis for the regime.

Think Progress has the full story.

Also see: The mass deportation of African immigrants that isn’t getting media attention. Nobody noticed.

Religious Right Myths.

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The myths of the Religious Right, they never, ever die, just keep being recycled in order to shore up claims of christian persecution.

Earlier this week, James Dobson interviewed Kelly Shackleford and Jeremy Dys of the First Liberty Institute about what they see as the vital need for President Trump to protect the religious liberty of Christians in this nation.

Dobson, Dys and Shackleford insisted that conservative Christians are under relentless attack in America and facing increasing persecution, so much so that now even five-year-old girls are being told they cannot pray before eating their lunch at school.

“The attacks are not just increasing, they’re increasing at an exponential level,” Shackleford asserted. “So we’re seeing a lot more attacks, [including] a little five-year-old girl we represented who was actually stopped from paying over her meal and told—quote—’It’s not good to pray in school’.”

“You’re not making that up,” Dobson responded, to which Shackleford replied that this was indeed one of the “real cases that are occurring all over the country.”

Later in the program, when Dys brought up the incident again, Dobson still couldn’t believe that “that’s a real story,” but Dys assured him that it was, saying that he was personally in the room when the young girl was asked to identify the teacher who allegedly told her that she was not allowed to pray because “it’s not good.”

“These are real stories,” Dys insisted.

Okay, everyone counted all the “really trulys” and “real stories!”, right? For sure, absolutely real, the truth, you know, because he was actually there, right there in the room!

If this story sounds familiar, that might be because we covered it back in 2014 after Fox News commentator Todd Starnes wrote about it in one of his columns while conveniently failing to mention that the young girl in question just so happened to be the daughter of the man who was the vice president of sales at the Christian publishing house that was publishing Starnes’ forthcoming book, that just so happened to be about how Christians in America were under attack.

As we noted back then, the school district launched an investigation into the allegations and concluded that there was “no proof whatsoever” that this young girl had ever been told to stop praying. The teacher identified by the student, according to the school, wasn’t even in the cafeteria at the time the event supposedly occurred:

School officials said Wednesday that they can’t find any evidence to suggest that a kindergartner was told not to pray in a Seminole County elementary lunchroom.

But the school district apologized anyway, and a lawyer for the girl’s parents said they are satisfied with the outcome.

“We found zero evidence an incident ever occurred,” said district spokesman Mike Lawrence. “There’s no proof whatsoever.”

As for the identified staffer, a school-district investigator has concluded that “there is no way possible that person was anywhere near the lunchroom” that kindergartners and first-graders use. In addition to the student and her family, the district has interviewed staffers, the accused adult and Gabriella’s classmates, Lawrence said.

If there’s one truth the Religious Right does demonstrate, repeatedly, it’s their absolute willingness to lie, because they know there are a whole bunch of smug assholes out there who are so desperate for power over others, they’ll promote whatever shit they are told to swallow.

Via RWW.

Trump’s Blame Shifting: False Flag!

Tucker Viemeister.

Tucker Viemeister.

Trump is worse than a little sprog. Whenever something bad happens, he immediately looks for someone to blame, anyone except who is actually responsible, like white supremacist scum. In regard to the recent acts of anti-semitism, which are increasing, Trump decided to imply that while sad, they could, y’know, be a false flag operation, done to make someone else look bad. Apparently, the Tiny Tyrant hasn’t figured out that no one needs to make the current nazi infested government look bad, they are doing a fine job of that themselves. Not in the least bit surprising, various white supremacists are also spreading the false flag bullshit. Just in case this is needed: the false flag crap is just that, it’s a lie.

President Donald Trump received a lashing online after suggesting that his supporters were being framed for anti-Semitic bomb threats.

Trump on Tuesday suggested to attorneys generals that threats targeting Jewish community centers and attacks on Jewish cemeteries could be false flag operations. When speaking about the acts, which he called “reprehensible,” the president said “the reverse can be true,” according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Someone’s doing it to make others look bad,” Trump added.

“He just said, ‘sometimes it’s the reverse,’” Shapiro recalled. “‘It’s to make people or make others look bad.’ He used ‘reverse’ two to three times in his comments.”

The Anti-Defamation League quickly released a statement calling on the president to clarify his remarks.

You can see many of the responses here.

In case that wasn’t enough idiocy, Anthony Scaramucci is trying to pin the blame on democrats, citing Breitbart as his go to source for this claim. Seriously, can we stop the world, I want the fuck off.

A senior adviser to President Donald Trump suggested Democrats may be to blame for dozens of threats recently against Jewish community centers.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of Skybridge Capital hedge fund and a former employee at Goldman Sachs, sent out a pair of tweets questioning the possibility that Trump’s anti-Semitic supporters may be behind the threats, reported The Hill.

[…]

Scarmucci, a top Trump fundraiser tapped as White House public liaison to government agencies and businesses, linked to a Breitbart News article Tuesday morning on a Project Veritas investigation of “trained provocateurs” at GOP rallies.

“It’s not yet clear who the #JCC offenders are. Don’t forget @TheDemocrats effort to incite violence at Trump rallies,” Scaramucci tweeted.

A reporter called him out for his baseless claim, and Scarmucci doubled down.

Via Raw Story. Same response here: the only thing making Trump look bad is Trump and his crew of henchtoadies.

Behind Breitbart.

POLITICO screen shot.

POLITICO screen shot.

Back in November, Breitbart began the process to secure official Capitol Hill credentials. On Friday, the site’s CEO, Larry Solov, appeared before the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery and revealed, for what is believed to be the first time, who owns the right-wing nationalist site that has grown exponentially in influence over the past few years.

According to BuzzFeed’s Steve Perlberg, who live-tweeted the meeting, Solov revealed that the owners are himself, founder Andrew Breitbart’s widow, Susie Breitbart, and the Republican megadonor family the Mercers. Breitbart’s family owns the largest stake.

Within the rules of admission to the gallery, there is a clause that states the person and organization holding the pass “must not be engaged in any lobbying or paid advocacy, advertising, publicity or promotion work for any individual, political party, corporation, organization, or agency of the U.S. government.” In order to prove that they are not engaged in any of the above and are an editorially independent institution, the Standing Committee can ask for information or proof on how the business is structured.

Solov said during the meeting that he wants “to disclose as little as possible about financial and ownership structure.” But the Standing Committee had questions, per Perlberg, about Steve Bannon’s involvement. Bannon was Breitbart’s chairman until he joined the Trump campaign last August, and is now chief strategist at the White House.

In the meeting, the committee asked for proof of Bannon’s disassociation from the site. Solov said Bannon resigned to him “via phone,” but the committee said it wanted a letter stating the date of his resignation, that it’s a termination and not a leave, and for the letter to address any editorial and financial interest.

“If I could get Bannon to write it down, I would,” Solov said, according to Perlberg.

[…]

In the meantime, Breitbart reporters have been able to report from the Capitol using a temporary pass, until a decision has been reached on permanent credentials.

Other publications, such as the well-regarded SCOTUSblog, have been denied credentials by the gallery. In the case of SCOTUSblog, it was because of the dual role of the publisher, who was also the proprietor of a law firm that argues before the court.

Unfortunately, this is what now comprises business as usual. Open corruption, a convenient double standard for Nazis, fascists, and religious fanatics (xian only, natch), while a pretended adherence to law when it comes to anyone who might actually report the truth. From what I’ve seen, this news has sunk before it got so much as three strokes in, quietly disappearing beneath the roiling waves of the Trump regime. I have no doubt that suits Bannon, who doesn’t seem any more disposed to cut off business ties than Trump. Bannon also prefers to work in the shadows, quietly, so he can’t have been pleased about this making any news at all, but as it seems all but buried now, I’m sure he’s breathing easier. Bannon’s ability to slink away from focus is a problem, because I expect we’ll all pay dearly if we forget about his fine hand behind the unpresidency.

Via Politico.

Water, What Is It Good For?

Oh, who needs clean water, I mean that stuff isn’t good for anything at all, right? It’s not as if life is dependent on it or anything, after all, we can adapt to drinking toxic sludge.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign a measure on Wednesday aimed at rescinding a major Obama administration water regulation and direct an end to the government’s defense of the rule, a Trump official briefed on the plan said on Friday.

Trump is expected to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.

The rule was finalized by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May 2015, and was blocked by a federal appeals court pending further court challenges.

The rule has faced intense opposition from Republicans in Congress, farmers and energy companies.

Critics contend the rule vastly expands the federal government’s authority and could apply to ditches and small isolated bodies of water. The EPA under President Barack Obama said the rule protects waters that are next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries “because science shows that they impact downstream waters.”

Full story here.

The Trump Regime is also busy attempting to hasten the death of everything in every way possible. Here’s reading:

Former member of Trump’s EPA transition team suggests air pollution doesn’t kill people. 4.2 million people died prematurely from air pollution in 2015.

Trump’s EPA policies risk more Alzheimer’s cases, doctors warn. Two new studies support findings that polluted air causes dementia.

Trump’s allies have some of the worst environmental voting records in Congress.

There’s much more here.

This Is Our Land.

Water Protectors Leave Oceti Sakowin Reluctantly.

‘Absolutely False’: No Contact From Trump Administration, Archambault Says.

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NODAPL; The Last Stand © Marty Two Bulls.
 
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No DAPL; Beware the Early Thaw © Marty Two Bulls.

No Lines, Russian Flags, and Bizarre Braggadocio.

Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center (Gabrielle Bluestone/Twitter).

Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center (Gabrielle Bluestone/Twitter).

The Tiny Tyrant’s appearance at CPAC, not all he claimed, to say the least. Here’s the roundup:

President Donald Trump complained the media would not report that crowds lined up for six blocks to hear him speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference — and he’s right.

There were no lines outside the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, where the annual CPAC gathering is hosted, because the event is private, reported The Slot.

Via Raw Story.

CPAC attendees wave Russian flags with the word "TRUMP" written on the front (Screen cap).

CPAC attendees wave Russian flags with the word “TRUMP” written on the front (Screen cap).

Russian flags were being waved all over the place during the Tiny Tyrant’s braggadocio, which alarmed CPAC organizers, who had them quickly collected.
Apparently, the flags were handed out beforehand in an act of brilliant subversion. People who prefer obscurantism are so damn gullible. By the way, if you’re unclear about all the latest on the Russian situation, Think Progress has you covered.

Via Raw Story.

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Lastly, the twitternet exploded over the Tiny Tyrant’s bizzare speech, a mix of bragging and a philippic against media.

Via Raw Story.

Quick, Put SNL On or Something!

U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

I’m sure that’s going to make us all sleep better. FFS, can’t someone tell him “oh, there’s  terrible skit on SNL” or “oh, Celeb Whatever just sucks, but you’re busy…” and distract this fucking moron? Also on the Tiny Tyrant’s agenda, wiping out every bit of progress made on decriminalizing weed, medical weed, and not locking up every other person in prison for years over weed.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a lovely packet of medical weed right now. Fuck.