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January 20, 2017

Kellyanne's fashion flub

Kellyanne_inaugural_wear

And I thought Thomas Jefferson's purple coat in Hamilton was loud. But hey, props to Kellyanne for taking a fashion risk with her expensive Gucci outfit, which was created as a tribute to London. Kind of a revolutionary cheerleader uniform.

Peaceful inaugural protests are turned violent by anarchists

Anarchists intermixed with peaceful protesters on Inauguration Day, effectively sabotaging those protests and giving #NotMyPresident apparent visual proof to claim his absurd and bigoted claims about "inner cities" (a racist code phrase) being crime-ridden, burning hellholes was true.

The #Resistance begins

January 19, 2017

Trump meets with SCOTUS candidate who likened gay sex to pedophilia

A long national nightmare will soon be upon us.

Mnuchin failed to disclose $100 million in assets

I cannot say it better than Brian Klaas, author of The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy, said in a tweet today.

Trump team prepares dramatic cuts

A sample:

At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

Obama discusses his LGBT legacy at his final news conference

The next president may well make me cry, though outrage and disgust are likelier reactions; but I doubt he will ever make me cry the way President Obama did at his final news conference on Wednesday in discussing the progress for LGBT people during his White House years. He rightfully gave the principal credit to the activists who pushed for it, both loudly and quietly, and who helped change minds and hearts. But he played an indispensable part, from his public remarks to his personal example to his support for the Justice Department's role in historic court cases and the State Department's role around the world. God bless you, Mr. President, and keep you and your family safe and well.

Congrats, BTW, to Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson, who asked the question.

Obama also defended his commutation of the sentence of Chelsea Manning, saying she had already served a tough sentence and that her original 35-year sentence was far greater than other convicted leakers of classified documents.

LGBT dance party held outside Pence's DC-area home

January 17, 2017

Patrice Lumumba, assassinated with American help 56 years ago today

Under orders from outgoing President Eisenhower, the United States helped Belgium and the forces of Mobutu in the assassination of Congolese prime minister and anti-colonial leader Patrice Lumumba on this day in 1961. It is but one of many shameful crimes committed by the United States during the Cold War. American assistance in this murderous coup was entirely at odds with our own avowed principles.

President Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning

President Obama today shaved 28 years off the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Below are items by Lawfare Blog and Jacobin Magazine supporting this decision. My comments follow.

Until the past week I had opposed freeing Manning due to the seriousness of her crime, though I defended her right to appropriate healthcare and criticized the apparent denial of care as a form of punishment. I was persuaded by the Lawfare piece, which makes a good point about the difference between pardon and commutation, and about mitigating circumstances. I agree with the distinction between Manning and Edward Snowden. That Manning's jailers have been at best indifferent to her health, and appear to have gone to considerable lengths to harm her health as an extra-judicial punishment, was perhaps the best argument for clemency.

Further, the disgraceful handling of her incarceration makes a strong case for demanding better training and health-related protocols moving forward. It is no more acceptable to treat trans prisoners this way than to condone prison rape. If the latter is truly what we want, then we should advertise our barbarity by explicitly including it in formal sentencing. Otherwise we should damn well stop it.

Betsy DeVos wants to 'advance God's kingdom'

Women’s March to include LGBT presence

Parents in India seek ‘corrective rape’ for son after finding out he is gay

No matter how bad things get, never say it couldn't get any worse.

Trump Aide Claims GOP Never Questioned Obama's Legitimacy

At this point it would be just as informative to interview wax figures.

Gay Man Has Skull Fractured by Masked Men in Target Parking Lot in Dallas

January 16, 2017

A child's witness to terror

MLK_and_son_with_burnt_cross

MLK III has just met at the Trump Tower with Herr Twitler. However that went (and in his exit remarks to the press he bent over backwards to be diplomatic), it cannot dislodge from my mind the photo of him at age two, standing with his father beside a burnt cross on the front lawn of their home in Atlanta. #Remember #Resist

Krugman: Calling Trump illegitimate is positively patriotic.

Paul Krugman gets it exactly right.

"But Mr. Trump — who has never sacrificed anything or taken a risk to help others — seems to have a special animus toward genuine heroes. Maybe he prefers demonstrators who don’t get beaten?

"It would be one thing if the incoming commander in chief showed any hint of humility.... Instead, he’s lashing out at and threatening anyone and everyone who criticizes him, while refusing even to admit that he lost the popular vote. And he’s surrounding himself with people who share his contempt for everything that is best in America."

Defending America against Trump

John_Lewis_beaten_in_Selma

This photo, surprisingly enough, is not an advertisement for Haisten's Mattress & Awning Company. It is a news photo of nonviolent protesters being savagely beaten by Alabama state troopers for exercising their constitutional right to peaceable assembly. The young man on his knees in the right foreground holding the back of his head is the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who at that moment thought he was about to die. We know this because he survived to tell us, including in his autobiography which just sold out at Amazon thanks to a slander against him by the president-elect of the United States.

The young man is now seventy-six and a U.S. congressman whose Atlanta district is not at all the hellhole described by the compulsive liar who is four days away from being sworn in as the most unfit person ever to attain our nation's highest office. John Lewis has done more to serve our country in the past week than the man slandering him has done in his entire life. We must follow the lead of Rep. Lewis and defend our country against Trump and his entire nefarious crew. Either that, or take a crash course in Russian.

January 15, 2017

In a Small Texas Town, a New Private Detention Center for Transgender Migrants Brings Jobs — and Concerns

Sen. Baldwin to vote against Sessions for attorney general