From the department of “Give them an inch …”

Some people just keep pushing the limits of what are allowed to do and then complain when they are finally told to stop.

A Florida man undergoing kidney dialysis three times a week is upset that he can’t bring a life-sized cardboard cutout of President Donald Trump for emotional support.

Nelson Gibson told WPBF that his family can’t sit with him during his three-and-a-half-hour treatments. To help, he began bringing a picture of Trump as a comfort item.

“It just feels like bringing something from home to make you comfortable,” Gibson told the West Palm Beach area television station.

Gibson said no one complained about the photo. Next, he started bringing a small cardboard cutout of himself standing next to a Trump photo. No one complained about the small cutout, and Gibson told the station that some people even took photos with it.

On Saturday, Gibson took a life-sized cutout of Trump to his treatment at Fresenius Kidney Care in Port St. Lucie. He said that again, no one took issue with this new emotional support item.

But when he returned Tuesday for treatment with the presidential cutout, Gibson ran into a roadblock.

“They told me it was too much and it wasn’t a rally,” he told the TV station.

One has to wonder about a person finds that a cardboard cutout of a politician gives him ’emotional support’ during trying times but, hey, whatever floats your boat, as the saying goes. Maybe he also sleeps with a photo of Trump under his pillow and has another one on his bedside table to soothe himself to sleep.

The real question is why he kept steadily increasing the size of the cutout. Presumably he had thought that the two smaller sizes of Trump served his need for a comfort item during the dialysis sessions. To keep making the item larger, so large that no one else in the facility could miss it, seems to indicate that he was trying to make a political statement and was hoping to goad the people at the clinic to object so that he could claim that he was being victimized for being a Trump supporter.

Trump loves playing the victim and it looks like his fans are following suit.

The anti-Sanders media narrative takes shape

Now that Bernie Sanders got the most votes in both the Iowa and New Hampshire contests, the media has gone into overdrive to try and find ways to explain why those results don’t mean that he is the current leader in the race. The main one is that he only got about 30% of the vote (true) and thus 70% of the people must have voted against him (false), showing that the majority dislike him. The latter is a false inference that implies that all the people who voted for the other candidates would unify behind any single alternative.


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Gloria Steinem and the CIA

I know that many of the readers of this blog also follow Marcus Ranum’s blog stderr but for the few who don’t, I would strongly urge you to read today’s post. It is truly disturbing about the relationship that feminist icon and founder of Ms. Magazine Gloria Steinem had with the CIA and a program called MOCKINGBIRD which was, like COINTELPRO, one of the many covert projects of the US government to infiltrate, subvert, disrupt, and destroy progressive movements using a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy by fomenting schisms and conflicts along sectarian lines and thus prevent broader unity emerging among the many disenfranchised and disadvantaged groups.
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A strange and sad story

I am not sure what to make of this story about a doctor who took his own life possibly because of regrets that he had provided parents with fraudulent documents that their their children were vaccinated when they were not. These were parents who wanted their children to be vaccinated but he had decided in the last decade of his life that vaccinations were harmful and unilaterally pretended to vaccinate them.
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What it is like to experience an earthquake

I have been lucky to never experience a serious earthquake, the closest being slight tremors that I would likely not have even noticed if I had been outdoors or asleep. The video below was taken at an airport during the 2011 earthquake in Japan. It is quite terrifying. The tremors last for about two minutes.

What amazes me is that the person taking the video was so committed to doing so that they did not seek to run outside to avoid being injured if the balcony they were on collapsed, or to hide under something to prevent being hit by falling debris.

Boris Johnson is a true Donald Trump acolyte

Just four weeks after his party convincingly won the UK general election, prime minister Boris Johnson has sacked nine cabinet members including Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid (their equivalent of the U S treasury secretary) and replaced them with people whom Johnson thinks will be more loyal to him. Javid’s replacement Rishi Sunak only entered parliament in 2015 and was until recently a hedge fund manager. Javid himself had an 18-year career in banking ending as managing director of Deutsche Bank. Johnson’s dedication to serving the interests of the financial sector is clearly in view.
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Matt Taibbi and Mehdi Hasan tear into mainstream media analysis

Matt Taibbi writes that the dynamics of the 2016 Republican primaries are playing out again in the 2020 Democratic primaries and that it favors Bernie Sanders.

In reality, the results for Sanders cut both ways. On one hand, it’s amazing he can win any state after years of propaganda depicting him as a half-dead cross of Hitler and Stalin (MSNBC before New Hampshire outdid itself with Looney Tunes commentary about “executions in Central Park” and a “digital brownshirt brigade”).

On the other hand, there are signs after New Hampshire that some of the relentless corporate messaging against Sanders is landing. This will inspire orgies of excitement – it’s already happening – as pundits revel in every storyline suggesting Democratic voters are scrambling to find an “electable” alternative.
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DOJ career officials resign after Stone reversal

Four career prosecutors have resigned from the case following a direct intervention by the attorney general Bill Barr overruling their judgment in the case of Donald Trump’s friend, the shady Roger Stone. It is clear that Barr was obeying the dictates of Trump.

Four lawyers who prosecuted political operative Roger Stone have resigned in protest after their sentencing recommendation was overruled and slashed by Donald Trump’s justice department.

Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando quit the case while Democrats demanded an independent investigation into what they described as a dangerously politicised and corrupt justice department.

The growing crisis raised fresh questions over the role of William Barr, the attorney general who has been criticised as a partisan Trump loyalist.
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Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary

Bernie Sanders has been declared the winner of the New Hampshire primary but his margin of victory over second-place finisher Pete Buttigieg was small 25.70% to 24.45%. While the turnout in the earlier Iowa primary narrowly beat the 2016 numbers but was disappointingly smaller than the record 2008 levels, this year’s New Hampshire turnout will beat 2008 and set a new record.

However Sanders won 51% of the youth vote aged 18-29, showing that his ideas resonate with future generations of voters. He alsowon nearly half the voters under 30 in Iowa.

To me the big surprise is that Amy Klobuchar did so well, winning close to 20% of the vote and beating out Elizabeth Warren who finished fourth with less than 10% and Joe Biden who finished fifth with about 8%. I read earlier that Klobuchar polls showed she had won a large share of the women’s vote and that her increase came at the expense of Warren and Biden but cannot find that link now. Since you need 15% of the vote to be awarded any delegates, the latter two will leave New Hampshire empty-handed.
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