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“There will be a massive revolt”

The left demands Senate Democratss fight Trump on Supreme Court.

‘Several prominent progressive organizations are demanding that the Democratic Party’s senators do whatever they can to block Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday night, Trump picked Neil Gorsuch, 49, to fill the seat.

“As long as the president is in flagrant disregard for the basic underpinnings of our republic, it is no time to consider a Supreme Court nominee,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org, in an interview. “The next election is a while away, but what Senate Democrats do here and over the next few months will be seared into the memory of every Democratic voter.”

The core of the progressive groups’ argument is that Senate Democrats have dramatically underestimated the scale and depth of their voters’ anger toward Trump’s administration. (Only one Senate Democrat, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, has announced that he’ll filibuster Trump’s nominee.)

Dozens of Senate Democrats have cast votes for several controversial Trump nominees, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. That may be well within the norm for the Senate, and it is largely in line with how Senate Republicans treated President Obama’s nominees. But organizers at MoveOn.org and Democracy for America argued that the Democratic Senate caucus needs to match the outrage of the progressive base by using every tool at its disposal to fight Trump — including opposing whomever the president names to the high bench…’

Source: Vox

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Today’s Drumphism from Vox

Textbook shit-eating grin from the Mad King.

 

Trump quickly changed his mind on drug prices

Expect the same on Obamacare. Source: Vox

 

A leaked Trump order suggests he’s planning to deport more legal immigrants for using social services

Build a wall around public benefits, and make immigrants’ relatives pay for it. Source: Vox

 

We’re the lawyers suing “President” Trump: his business dealings violate the Constitution

He receives “emoluments” from foreign officials. Source: Vox

 

Trump isn’t an evil genius

And that’s not what matters anyway.

‘Whenever a reactionary populist regime takes power and begins doing illiberal things, the same question arises among its critics: How much of this is part of a master plan and how much is just flailing? What is the exact mix of incompetence and ill intent?

That argument is already taking shape around Trump, as he ham-handedly issues executive orders poorly understood by his own bureaucracy and fires members of his administration. It is aptly captured in two recent essays.

The first is by Yonatan Zunger, a Google privacy engineer. It’s called “Trial Balloon for a Coup?” and it reviews the news of the past day or two through the lens of a unifying theory: By putting confidant Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, cutting agencies out of rule-making, and defying a court order, Trump is systematically attempting to reduce any checks on his power. He’s trying to concentrate power in a small counsel of trusted advisers (the “coup”) and avoid legal review.

The second essay is by political scientist Tom Pepinsky, in response. It’s called “Weak and Incompetent Leaders act like Strong Leaders,” and it makes a simple point: The very same actions Zunger interprets as a devious, coordinated plan can also be interpreted as the bumbling, defensive moves of a weak leader who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing…’

Source: Vox

Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, explained

‘Gorsuch is more outspoken and forthright in his positions than your typical Supreme Court aspirant, providing a lot of fodder for any opponents. A Democratic filibuster motivated by Republicans’ successful obstruction of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, for this same seat last year is a certainty for any nominee, and if Democrats conclude that Gorsuch’s views on issues like the right to life and religious liberty are outside the mainstream, the filibuster might have a chance of success…’

Source: Vox

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FBI: U.S. law enforcement infiltrated by white supremacists

‘It won’t surprise you to learn American policing has a racism problem. It may surprise you to know that the FBI has been quietly, systematically investigating the white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.

Alice Speri writes that there’s just not much anyone in politics is willing to do about it—and an inevitable conservative-led backlash when they try—but the FBI is starting to treat local cops the way it treated hippies: as a problem worth getting its hands dirty over…’

Source: Boing Boing

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The Machinery Is in Place to Make Trump Protests Permanent

‘The Arab Spring six years ago first demonstrated social media’s ability to power political dissent. Now it’s reaching a new point of maturation. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Bernie Sanders all found ways to use social platforms to organize. In the course of those efforts and others, protesters have built a kind of plug-and-play network that makes it easy to generate widespread civil action with a click or tap. With this infrastructure in place, street protests could become as much a fixture of the new administration as President Trump’s tweets…’

Source: WIRED

#resist

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The Myth of Trump

‘As Americans turn to George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) to better understand Donald Trump’s election, as we entertain the exciting possibility that we can read our way to some level of sensible public understanding, it’s time to suggest another classic 20th-century work, one that lends even deeper insight into Trump’s unlikely rise to power: Roland Barthes’ Mythologies (1957). Like Orwell, Barthes deals in language. Unlike Orwell, he deals in language to elucidate the subversive (and oppressive) power of myth.

Trump is more than a butcher of language. He is a builder of myths.Myths are not, in Barthes’ analysis, innocent origin stories. They are dangerous cultural distortions. They cleanse language of its history, and liberate words from their past, all in order to make a non-essential (and often ridiculous) connection seem essential. This somewhat mystical (myths are mysterious) transformation works by suggesting that certain fabricated phenomena are all natural (and, thus, all good) while hiding the cynical process of social construction behind their making. We build myths to prevent as many people as we can from asking questions about the hidden distortion that, inevitably, serves someone’s interest at the expense of truth, justice, and enlightened common sense…’

Source: Pacific Standard

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Can Trump defy the courts? Even the Supreme Court? YES.

‘For those of you who haven’t taken in a history book in a while, President Andrew Jackson defied the Supreme Court and removed my ancestors, the Cherokee, from their lands and marched them to Oklahoma. “The Trail of Tears” was the result of a President openly defying the courts.

Just letting you know, there’s precedent for this President. And many of his followers consider themselves modern ‘Jacksonians.’ Best not get your hopes up for a judicial remedy. We are a nation of laws, but apparently the Constitution didn’t spec this division of power very well.

[I think we need to be putting pressure on Repubs in their jurisdictions, convincing them that letting this guy run wild is going to cost them dearly, instead of reacting to every executive order and tweet. He can ignore protests. His Repub pals can’t. Put thumbscrews on the enablers.] …’

Source: Garret Vreeland, dangerousmeta!

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A Conservative on Surviving Trump’s Presidency

‘Precisely because the problem is one of temperament and character, it will not get better. It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity—substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better. …’

Source: Eliot A. Cohen, The Atlantic. Cohen is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and former adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He minces no words about Trump’s outrages and about how bad it will get, but still maintains his faith that American values will survive the onslaught. A must-read in full. 

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Five Books to Change Conservatives’ Minds

‘After reading these books, conservatives are hardly likely to rush out and volunteer to work for the Democratic Party. But they will end up a lot more humble. They’ll also have a far better understanding of why so many of their fellow citizens disagree with them — and on one or two issues, they might even change their minds.’

Source: Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg View

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Five Books to Change Liberals’ Minds

‘Having read these books, you might continue to believe that progressives are more often right than wrong, and that in general, the U.S. would be better off in the hands of Democrats than Republicans. But you’ll have a much better understanding of the counterarguments — and on an issue or two, and maybe more, you’ll probably end up joining those on what you once saw as “the other side.” ‘

Source: Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg View

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Why Was the Doomsday Clock Just Set Closest to Apocalypse in Over 50 Years?

‘The first week of Trump’s Presidency was marked by an abundance of warnings amidst a flurry of executive orders that seemed designed to deliver on Trump’s campaign promises. The executive orders were often short on specifics and time will tell how many of the proposed policies are going to stick, but as has been the case so far – those hoping that somehow Trump will be tamed by the awesome power and responsibility of the office he now holds, are likely to be disappointed. In fact, the exact opposite is proving true – Trump is doubling down on even his most controversial policies. The wall is getting built, Muslims are getting banned, scientists are gagged.

While this may be pleasing to the most ardent of his supporters, the mood of the rest of the country swings between less optimistic caution and sheer abject depression. More than 3 million marchers filled American streets, the dystopian novel “1984” (written in 1949) becomes a best-selling book, and Nazi supporters are suddenly both more visible and getting punched in the face.

But no one has encapsulated the emotions of these early Trump days more dramatically than a group of scientists, who every year since 1947 determine whether to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock. This is a symbolic clock that is meant to indicate how close we are to nuclear war and global annihilation.  The scientists announced that the Doomsday clock has been moved 30 seconds closer to midnight specifically because of Trump’s election, going from 3 minutes away to 2.5. That’s the nearest the clock has been to midnight in 50+ years. We are talking the peak of the Cold War close. Why did the scientists, who include 15 Nobel laureates, move the clock’s hands?

Short answer – Donald Trump.’

Source: Big Think

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Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s America

baby-trump11The incomparable Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker:

‘…[T]he single most striking thing about his matchlessly strange first week is how primitive, atavistic, and uncomplicatedly brutal Trump’s brand of authoritarianism is turning out to be. We have to go back to “1984” because, in effect, we have to go back to 1948 to get the flavor.

There is nothing subtle about Trump’s behavior. He lies, he repeats the lie, and his listeners either cower in fear, stammer in disbelief, or try to see how they can turn the lie to their own benefit. Every continental wiseguy, from Žižek to Baudrillard, insisted that when they pulled the full totalitarian wool over our eyes next time, we wouldn’t even know it was happening. Not a bit of it. Trump’s lies, and his urge to tell them, are pure Big Brother crude, however oafish their articulation. They are not postmodern traps and temptations; they are primitive schoolyard taunts and threats.

The blind, blatant disregard for truth is offered without even the sugar-façade of sweetness of temper or equableness or entertainment—offered not with a sheen of condescending consensus but in an ancient tone of rage, vanity, and vengeance. Trump is pure raging authoritarian id.

And so, rereading Orwell, one is reminded of what Orwell got right about this kind of brute authoritarianism—and that was essentially that it rests on lies told so often, and so repeatedly, that fighting the lie becomes not simply more dangerous but more exhausting than repeating it. Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.

When Trump repeats the ridiculous story about the three million illegal voters—a story that no one who knows, that not a single White House “staffer,” not a single Republican congressman actually believes to be true—he does not really care if anyone believes it, even if, at some crazy level, he does, sort of. People aren’t meant to believe it; they’re meant to be intimidated by it. The lie is not a claim about specific facts; the lunacy is a deliberate challenge to the whole larger idea of sanity. Once a lie that big is in circulation, trying to reel the conversation back into the territory of rational argument becomes impossible…’

 

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Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports; Trump Immigration Order Is Challenged

‘President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect on Friday night. Refugees who were airborne on flights on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.The detentions prompted legal challenges as lawyers representing two Iraqis held at Kennedy Airport filed a writ of habeas corpus early Saturday in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have their clients released. At the same time, they filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry…’

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Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

‘Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort. …’

Source: Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

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Trump Has Lots of Options for Inflicting ‘Consequences’ on the Press

baby-trump1‘President Donald Trump’s new press secretary, Sean Spicer, opened his relationship with the White House press corps over the weekend with a flurry of condemnations for the “deliberately false,” “reckless,” and “shameful and wrong” reporting on the president’s first 24 hours in office. “We’re going to hold the press accountable,” he declared.It was not the first such threat from the Trump team. Earlier this month, Trump himself warned that BuzzFeed News would “suffer the consequences” for having published a dossier of unverified claims, initially compiled by a former British intelligence agent, about the depths of the incoming president’s entanglement with Russia.

On this, as on so many other things, the question is how exactly a Trump presidency would go about translating aggressive rhetoric into policy. The conventional mechanisms for payback by politicians against the press are mild—reducing access, feeding leaks to competing outlets, making unkind remarks. Trump did his own version of this at his pre-inaugural press conference, refusing to take questions from CNN’s Jim Acosta and barking at him about trafficking in “fake news.”

But the Trump Administration has also demonstrated a readiness to apply pressure to its designated opponents in less conventional ways. As a thought experiment, what could Trump do to impose more severe “consequences” on an individual news outlet, or to hold one “accountable”? If the president wanted to punish BuzzFeed, for instance, and drive it to ruin, what tools would he have? …’

Source: Gizmodo

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How to Securely Send Snail Mail the CIA Way

‘After September 11, 2001, the US government instituted high-tech monitoring of snail mail sent through the US Postal Service. Basically the front of every letter can be scanned and catalogued with the flip of a switch. In fact, there’s some evidence that the USPS might photograph every piece of mail that makes its way through their systems. But if you’re concerned about someone (the government or otherwise) tampering with the inside of your mail, you might do well to get a roll of this stuff. If it’s good enough for the CIA, it’s probably your best bet…’

Source: Gizmodo

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Report: Donald Trump as Stimulant Abuser

‘Back in December [2015], Donald Trump’s personal doctor declared to the world that Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” While that particular claim is unfalsifiable (although almost certainly incorrect), according to a source with knowledge of Trump’s current prescriptions, that letter isn’t telling the whole story. Most notably: Donald Trump is allegedly still taking speed-like diet pills.

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.

In 1993, Harry Hurt’s unauthorized biography on Trump, Lost Tycoon, corroborated the rumors and went one step further:

The diet drugs, which [Trump] took in pill form, not only curbed his appetite but gave him a feeling of euphoria and unlimited energy. The medical literature warned that some potentially dangerous side effects could result from long-term usage; they included anxiety, insomnia, and delusions of grandeur. According to several Trump Organization insiders, Donald exhibited all these ominous symptoms of diet drug usage, and then some.

The supposed drug Trump took back then was Tenuate Dospan, a drug with speed-like effects that’s not unlike dexedrine.

These rumors say Trump stopped seeing Dr. Greenberg decades ago. But according to our source, the Donald Trump of today is on a diet drug called phentermine—and has been since at least April of 2014…

C. Richard Allen, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, called phentermine “cheap speed” to The New York Times. Side effects of phentermine include:

  • Trouble with thinking, speaking, or walking
  • Decreased ability to exercise
  • False or unusual sense of well-being
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Confusion …’

Via Gawker

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Report: Your Mean Tweets Upset Donald Trump on His Special Day

baby-trump‘Donald Trump reportedly spent [Inauguration Day] getting “increasingly angry”—all because of some not-so-nice messages on Twitter. According to The New York Times, a series of tweets pointing out that Trump’s inauguration was not as well attended as Obama’s in 2009 caused the President to become increasingly upset, a mood that only lifted with Friday night’s festivities. But the pain, it seems, was back Saturday morning, and Trump was “filled anew with a sense of injury,” according to several Times sources close the President. Even outside of Trump’s inner circle, some of that anger was visible this weekend. On Sunday, for instance, the President used Twitter to complain about demonstrations against him (instead of celebrating his new job), writing, “Why didn’t these people vote?” …’

Source: Gizmodo

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Donald Trump Is Already Making a Mess of the Middle East Peace Process

‘On Sunday, the White House said it was in the “beginning stages” of talks to relocate the American embassy to Israel from its current home in Tel Aviv to the much more hotly contested Jerusalem. The announcement came just a few hours before Trump was scheduled to hold his first official conversation with embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (above).

To be clear, the embassy move isn’t some small diplomatic snafu by the fresh-faced Trump staffers at the State Department. As Reuters noted Sunday, the international community regards Jerusalem’s diplomatic status as “a matter for peace negotiations,” with Palestinian leaders vowing that “an embassy move would kill any prospect for peace.” …’

Source: Pacific Standard

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The Women’s Marches may have been the largest demonstration in US history

‘Crowd estimates from Women’s Marches on Saturday are still trickling in, but political scientists say they think we may have just witnessed the largest day of demonstrations in American history. According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 500 US cities were attended by at least 3.7 million people…’

Source: Vox

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Maggie Roche, 1951-2017

Ms. Roche (left) developed a pop-folk songwriting style that could be droll or diaristic, full of unexpected melodic turns and often inseparable from the way the sisters’ voices harmonized and diverged. On albums from the early 1970s into the 2000s, Maggie Roche’s songs chronicled a woman’s life from early stirrings of independence (“The Hammond Song”) and amorous entanglements (“The Married Men”) to thoughts on longtime connection (“Can We Go Home Now”). They often mixed heartfelt revelations and flinty punch lines.

With the Roches, and in duos with each of her sisters, she released more than a dozen albums. The Roches never had a major hit, but the group maintained a devoted following. They shrugged off disappointments in “Big Nuthin’,” a song the trio wrote together. “We’d like to make a million dollars and be set for life,” Maggie Roche told The Los Angeles Times in 1995. “We’ve been lucky, though. We have a career, and that is a gift. I guess I want things to be easy, but that’s not the way it is.”

Source: NY TImes obituary.

Unique harmonies, clear as a bell, and an infectious sometimes whimsical uplift; I never stopped listening to the Roches. Rest in peace, Maggie.

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An inaugural poem from Robert Pinsky

‘Exile and Lightning’

You choose your ancestors our
Ancestor Ralph Ellison wrote.
Now, fellow-descendants, we endure a
Moment of charismatic indecency
And sanctimonious greed. Falsehood
Beyond shame. Our Polish Grandfather
Milosz and African American Grandmother Brooks
Endured worse than this.
Fight first, then fiddle she wrote.
Our great-grandmother Emma Lazarus
Wrote that the flame of the lamp of the
Mother of Exiles is “Imprisoned lightning.”
 My fellow children of exile
And lightning, the indecency
Constructs its own statuary.
But our uncle Ernesto Cardenal
Says, sabemos que el pueblo
la derribará un día. The people
Will tear it down. Milosz says,
Beautiful and very young
, meaning recent,
Are poetry and philo-sophia, meaning science,
Her ally in the service of the good . …

Their enemies, he wrote, have delivered
Themselves to destruction.
“Un dia,” and “very young” — that long
Ancestral view of time:
Inheritors, el pueblo, fellow-exiles:
All the quicker our need to
Fight and make music. As Gwendolyn
Brooks wrote, To civilize a space.

Source: CNN

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This beautiful, forgotten essay from 1968 has terrific advice for today’s protesters

‘[Peter S.] Beagle’s achingly tender, sorrowful account of the [Poor People’s Campaign] is a reminder of the enormous political power that disenfranchised people can have when they are unified en masse — and of how wastefully that power can be squandered by an incompetent leadership. It’s a powerful prescriptive for how today’s protest campaigns can plan their work. It’s also an enormously beautiful essay.’

Source:  Vox

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Trump’s epic inaugural failure

‘…Trump likes to think that he is perpetually breaking boundaries and setting records, and he surely did with his inauguration speech. It was the worst in generations, and perhaps the worst of all time.

It wasn’t just mediocre. It was stunningly, disconcertingly, dumbfoundingly bad. And bad in a deeply worrying way.

There was little that was unifying about it; little that was inspirational; little that spoke to the better angels of America, to transcendent American values or freedoms, or higher causes. Nor was there much by way of concrete causes, beyond a call for investments in American infrastructure.

Instead, Trump outlined an all-out nationalist, protectionist, and populist approach that, frankly, is incompatible with a nation that leads the free world….’

Source: Scott Lehigh, Boston Globe

Oh, schadenfreude, you’re killing me.

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Totally Epic Soundscape That Trump Won’t Be Hearing at His Inauguration

‘…[I]n typical Trump fashion, the president-elect shot off a tweet in early January saying the inauguration is going to be a great show. What would it have sounded like if all had went according to plan? Below, check out our playlist comprised of all the artists who rejected a bid to participate in the merriment — and imagine what could have been…’

Source: Pacific Standard

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Once More: What Was Marine Le Pen Doing Getting Coffee at Trump Tower?

Genesis of the New Axis?

‘Last week, Le Pen, one of France’s far-right presidential hopefuls, made an unusual appearance at New York’s Trump Tower. Reports say she didn’t meet with Donald Trump.

What’s verifiable is that Le Pen is now taking trans-Atlantic strides to garner outside support for what at least one member of her own party (and family) has called a world “axis” of emerging populist politicians.

Also certain (at a time of few answers to Pacific Standard’s requests for comment from world politicians) is that Le Pen is making greater overtures to international supporters at a time when her party has been strapped for cash and has had difficulty obtaining loans from French banks…’

Source: Pacific Standard

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20 Lessons from the 20th Century

 

How to Defend Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian Timothy Snyder

‘After the November election, Snyder wrote a profile of Hitler, a short piece that made no direct comparisons to any contemporary figure. But reading the facts of the historical case alarmed most readers. A few days later, the historian appeared on a Slate podcast to discuss the article, saying that after he submitted it, “I realized there was more…. there are an awful lot of echoes.” Snyder admits that history doesn’t actually repeat itself. But we’re far too quick, he says, to dismiss that idea as a cliché “and not think about history at all. History shows a range of possibilities.” Similar events occur across time under similar kinds of conditions. And it is, of course, possible to learn from the past…’

Source: Open Culture

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Will the Women’s March Resurrect the Democratic Party?

‘The Women’s March on Washington, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of participants to the capital on Saturday, was intended to demonstrate opposition among progressive women to the policies of President-elect Donald J. Trump.But the loudest criticism of the march has come not from Trump supporters; rather, it has come from participants who argue that women of color have hijacked the event by focusing it on themselves, instead of women more broadly.

March organizers told me they received a surge of complaints after women of color called for more representation on the march’s leadership team.In essence, black and brown women are being labeled divisive for wanting to finally see themselves reflected in the modern feminist agenda.

This criticism echoes one of the most persistent attacks against Democrats, from the left and the right, after the presidential election: that a focus on so-called identity politics was in part to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss. Proponents of this view argue that Democrats have been sidetracked by trying to accommodate the various needs of a diverse America and thus have failed to promote a unifying narrative.

Critics miss the point. It’s not selfish — nor need it be divisive — for women of color to push to be included, just as it wasn’t inappropriate for minority groups to expect to be courted by Democrats during the campaign. The problem is not that “identity groups” have some undue obsession with their own agendas. It’s that the groups with the most power often fail to have a sense of solidarity across race and class that would allow for a vision of multicultural liberalism that could reinvigorate the Democratic Party…’

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Icelandic Study: We Are Getting Dumber

‘Certainly, to many of us, it feels like the world is getting dumber. Just-published research from deCODE, a genetics firm in Reykjavik, Iceland, suggests that Idiocracy might have had it about right. Thankfully, though, the dumbening won’t be happening so precipitously, with a drop in the average IQ of only about 0.04 points per decade. The concern is about what this could mean over time…’

Source: Big Think

Certainly, this study should come as no surprise when considered with regard to the US electorate.

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David Byrne wants to put you in a science experiment

‘The new immersive art installation here in the heart of Silicon Valley was dreamed up by David Byrne, the front man of the Talking Heads, and loosely modeled after the work of neuroscience and psychology labs at top institutions like Caltech and Harvard.

So when I showed up at a warehouse on a rainy Sunday morning earlier this month, I wasn’t sure what to expect.What I experienced was light on science but heavy on amusing novelty. I trekked with a group of nine fellow visitors through four rooms, each the site of a quasi-scientific experiment. After an hour, I’d navigated moral dilemmas, got tricked into believing a moving object was standing still, predicted (with limited success) the winners of an election, and found myself experiencing life as though I’d been turned into a doll.

The vibe could hardly get more surreal…’

Source: StatNews

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I’m with Paul Auster

‘In the wake of Trump’s victory, he says, “I feel utterly astonished that we could have come to this. I find his election the most appalling thing I’ve seen in politics in my life.” The Russians hacking the Democratic party is “almost like a declaration of war, without bullets”. “I’ve been struggling ever since Trump won to work out how to live my life in the years ahead,” he says. And he has decided to act: “I have come to the conclusion to accept something that has been offered to me again and again over the years – to become president of PEN America. I have been vice-president, and secretary, but I’ve never wanted to take on the full burden. I’ll start early in 2018. I’m going to speak out as often as I can, otherwise I don’t think I can live with myself.” …’

Source: 3quarksdaily

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Something Silent But Deadly Is Killing Galaxies

‘Across the universe, unsuspecting galaxies are literally getting the life sucked out of them. Though the culprit is still at large, a team of researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia is working tirelessly to crack the case—and to restore law and order.After examining 11,000 galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey, the team concluded that a process called ram-pressure stripping—which forces gas out of galaxies—is more common than previously imagined. It’s a quick

After examining 11,000 galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey, the team concluded that a process called ram-pressure stripping—which forces gas out of galaxies—is more common than previously imagined. It’s a quick death, because without gas, galaxies are unable to produce more stars. The group’s findings were published on January 17th in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.So, who’s the prime suspect in this crime? It’s none other than dark matter: the mysterious, invisible material thought to make up 27 percent of the universe.

So, who’s the prime suspect in this crime? It’s none other than dark matter: the mysterious, invisible material thought to make up 27 percent of the universe…’

Source: Gizmodo

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How to organize a volunteer-based, radical new form of American politics

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything is a book by Bernie Sanders advisor Becky Bond and netroots pioneer Zack Exley.

In an excerpt on Alternet, the authors lay out their plan for using a volunteer army to elect allegedly unelectable radical candidates like Sanders, building on the lessons learned from the 2016 election. …’

Source: Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

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Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger listen to Hells Angel Sony Barger defend Altamont murder

‘In 1969 The Rolling Stones hired the Hells Angels to help out at a free concert at the Altamont Speedway near Oakland, California. The Stones paid the Angels by giving the $500 worth of beer. One of the Hells Angels ended up killing an 18-year-old man. …’

Source: Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

‘Bikers for Trump’ will form ‘wall of meat’ to protect inauguration from protestors

‘One of president-elect Donald Trump’s biggest supporters is taking it upon himself and his group of bikers to make sure the inauguration event goes smoothly, promising to form a “wall of meat” to guard against any protestors.

Chris Cox is founder of the pro-Trump organization “Bikers for Trump,” and is expecting more than 5,000 bikers from his group to be in attendance at the inauguration. …’

Source: SFGate

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Scottish TV Guide’s Description Of Trump’s Inauguration Is Painfully Hilarious

‘With President-elect Trump’s January 20 inauguration fast approaching, you’re probably well aware of what other Americans think about him.

But thanks to a hilariously satirical TV guide entry in the Scottish Sunday Herald, we get a little window into how Trump is viewed around the world. It’s both wonderful and horrible at the same time. …’

Source: Billy Bragg via Digg

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Running over protesters on roadways could soon be legal in North Dakota

‘Protesters may want to think twice about blocking roads in North Dakota.

Republican lawmakers in the state introduced a bill last week in the legislature that would not hold motorists liable for negligently running over someone obstructing a roadway. The bill was introduced in response to a year of protests over a proposed pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

“A driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages,” the bill reads. “A driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense.” …’

Source: Justin Boggs, wptv.com

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A hellscape awaits journalists covering Trump

‘So, we can expect President Trump to lie to the media, manipulate reality and go after those who upset the notion that adulation is his birthright.

After last week’s news conference, Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev wrote “A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media .” He warned: “This man owns you. He understands perfectly well that he is the news. You can’t ignore him. You’re always playing by his rules — which he can change at any time without any notice.” …

Journalists are in for the fight of their lives. And they are going to have to be better than ever before, just to do their jobs…’

Source: Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

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Why Spicy Food Makes You Feel High

‘Helix, a magazine and blog at Northwestern University explains that spiciness is actually not a taste but a sensation caused by capsaicinoids. In really simple terms, these compounds send a message to your brain that make it think it’s in pain. As a response, your brain releases endorphins and dopamine…’

Source: Lifehacker

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A New Type Of Food Pantry Is Sprouting In Yards Across America

‘There’s a small-scale charity movement starting to take hold in neighborhoods across the country. Think of those “little free library” boxes, but with a twist: These are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items like toothbrushes and diapers for people in need.

They’re found near churches, outside businesses and in front of homes. Maggie Ballard, who lives in Wichita, Kan., calls hers a “blessing box.” …’

Source: Deborah Shaar, NPR

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John Carpenter clashes with Internet Nazis over ‘They Live’ 

‘On Wednesday, Hollywood legend John Carpenter hit back at neo-Nazis and white supremacists online who had been idolizing his 1988 cult classic, They Live, as an allegory for fighting against Jewish supremacy.

…Carpenter, rather than counting his millions and resting on his legacy, decided to strike back against the trolls and racists by taking to Twitter to call the myth “slander and a lie.”

They Live is probably one of the most enduring and iconic films to emerge from the Reagan era. It’s a sharp sci-fi satire loaded with ridiculous Double Dragon-style 80’s sheen. The film features the instantly recognizable scene of protagonist John Nada putting on a pair of huge-ass sunglasses and realizing the world has been colonized by aliens, who have already enslaved humans into a system of unchecked capitalism and consumption—but no one noticed.

In the surrealist shit show that life post-2016 has become, however, Carpenter had to step in almost 30 years later to clarify that the film is not, in fact, an allegory for Jewish supremacy…’

Source: Gizmodo

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Are the Marx Brothers Still Funny?

‘A recent Blu-Ray package of the legendary comic troupe’s first five films contains some answers…’

Source: The Daily Beast

Still funny?? To my way of thinking, they have never been surpassed! I hadn’t been aware of this eye-popping restoration job on these five cherished favorites, but I’ll be looking for it as soon as I post this.

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This desolate English path has killed more than 100 people

‘If you consult a large-scale map of the Essex coastline between the River Crouch and the River Thames, you will see a footpath – its route marked with a stitch-line of crosses and dashes – leaving the land at a place called Wakering Stairs and then heading due east, straight out to sea. Several hundred yards offshore, it curls northeast and runs in this direction for around three miles, still offshore, before cutting back to make landfall at Fisherman’s Head, the uppermost tip of a large, low-lying and little-known marshy island called Foulness.

This is the Broomway, allegedly “the deadliest” path in Britain, and certainly the unearthliest path I have ever walked. The Broomway is thought to have killed more than 100 people over the centuries; it seems likely that there were other victims whose fates went unrecorded. Sixty-six of its dead are buried in the little Foulness churchyard; the other bodies were not recovered…

…The Broomway traverses vast sand flats and mud flats that stretch almost unsloped for miles. When the tide goes out at Foulness, it goes out a great distance, revealing shires of sand packed hard enough to support the weight of a walker. When the tide comes back in, though, it comes fast – galloping over the sands quicker than a human can run.

Disorientation is a danger as well as inundation: in mist, rain or fog, it is easy to lose direction in such self-similar terrain, with shining sand extending in all directions. Nor are all of the surfaces that you encounter reliable: there is mud that can trap you and quicksand that can swallow you…

The Broomway takes its name from the 400 or so brooms that were formerly placed at intervals of between 30 and 60 yards on either side of the track, thereby indicating the safe passage on the hard sand that lay between them. Until 1932, the Broomway was the only means of getting to and from Foulness save by boat, for the island was isolated from the mainland by uncrossable creeks and stretches of mud known as the Black Grounds. The island is currently controlled by the Ministry of Defence, which purchased it during the First World War for “research purposes” and continues to conduct artillery-firing tests out over the sands…’

Source: BBC

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Micro-dosing: The Drug Habit Your Boss Is Gonna Love


‘What started as a body-tinkering, mind-hacking, supplement-taking productivity craze in Silicon Valley is now spreading to more respectable workplaces, maybe even to your office, where the guy down the hall might already be popping a new breed of brain-boosting pills or micro-dosing LSD—all in the name of self-improvement. Can you afford not to keep up? …’

Source: GQ

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Beyond wild allegations, what’s clearly true about Trump and Russia is disturbing

‘Allegations now floating around range from the salacious (Russia has Trump sex tapes made at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow) to the serious (using intermediaries, Trump and Russia agreed to an explicit quid pro quo in which Russia would give him electoral help and in exchange he would shift US foreign policy). None of this is proven, and much of it is unprovable (if the FSB has a secret sex tape, how are we going to find it?) but the truth is that these kind of allegations, though difficult to resist, simply shouldn’t matter much compared to what’s in the public record…’

Source: Vox

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Would You Enter the Perfect Matrix? 

Why One Philosopher Says You Wouldn’t.

‘The idea of the experience machine makes us ask ourselves what we value. If we only value pleasure, then we should agree to go in. If don’t want to get in, then we must value something else. Even the most devoted hedonists might pause to wonder if they value their pleasure being “real” before entering the machine. Those who suppose there are other valuable parts of a good life other then pleasure would have less trouble deciding…’

Source: Big Think

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Intelligence Analysts: Trump Report Merits Caution

‘IN THE HOURS since a private firm’s intelligence document leaked to the web, alleging 35 pages of President-elect Donald Trump’s dirty laundry—complete with corrupt ties to Russian officials, blackmail, and bodily fluids—Twitter, Facebook, and cable news have become a feeding frenzy. Taken on its face, the report contains potentially devastating revelations. But former intelligence agents see it differently: To borrow the phrase often applied to Trump himself, they’re taking it seriously, not literally.

On Tuesday evening, Buzzfeed News published what it described as a dossier on Trump compiled by a former British intelligence official. The document includes reports from unnamed sources claiming that the Kremlin has cultivated Trump as a Putin-friendly politician for the last half decade, recorded him in blackmail-worthy “perverted sexual acts,” and made secret deals with his campaign to exchange information. Other news organizations chimed in to say they had also obtained the file, but decided not to publish it because they could not confirm its claims. While Buzzfeed acknowledges that the document is unverified, it says it decided to publish it so that “Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.” …’

Source: Andy Greenberg, WIRED

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The Bumble Bee is now officially an endangered species

‘A once common bee that inhabited 28 states, the rusty-patched bumble has become the first bee from the continental United States to be added to the endangered species list. Its population has declined 90% since the early 1990s—some can still be found in 13 states and Ontario—due to a mix of factors including climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss, a federal official told the New York Times…’

Source: Gizmodo

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Is Mass Murder Now Part of the Repertoire of Contention?

‘If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds, no matter how angry they are. The shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport is just the latest example. Mass shootings are on the rise and I’m fearful that what we are seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the rise of a new habit, a behavior that is widely recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are…’

Source: Pacific Standard

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Bombshell Trump “Golden Shower” report

‘According to an anonymously-sourced dossier, Donald Trump paid to watch hookers piss on a Russian hotel bed where he knew President Obama and his wife had once slept. The report (read it!) was supposedly compiled by a former British intelligence official who researched the candidate for his Republican rivals and, later, Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It alleges that Russia has compromising information on Trump. The report is unverified, and was in the hands of D.C. insiders, the FBI and CIA leadership and some journalists long before election day…’

Source: Boing Boing

#notmypresident

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A Drug Meant for Alzheimer’s Treatment Regrows Human Teeth

‘Researchers at King’s College released a study today stating they’ve discovered a medicine that can prompt teeth to regrow over cavities or injuries. The study was published this week in Scientific Reports.

Researchers realized that an experimental Alzheimer’s drug called Tideglusib had the side effect of encouraging dentin growth, which is the bony part of the tooth made of calcified tissue. It makes up most of the tooth, just above the pulp but under the hard enamel…’

Source: Motherboard

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A Red Nova Could Be Visible In the Night Sky In 2022

‘It’s not often that a new body appears in the night sky—aside from meteors and the [occasional] comet, things tend to look pretty much the same. Now, astronomers predict that a pair of stars so close they’re basically touching will collide and create a so-called red nova, resulting in a bright explosion visible to the naked eye.

The Calvin College team, lead by professor Larry Molnar, has been observing the KIC 9832227 binary system since they first heard about it at a conference in 2013. After determining that the system truly was binary, the astronomers looked at data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope and noticed that the orbital period, or amount of time it took the stars to orbit each other once, had decreased. Continued observations revealed that the spinning stars are speeding up, which allowed the astronomers to estimate that the pair will collide in 2022 (plus or minus a year)…’

Source: Gizmodo

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Donald Trump Nicknames

A compendium from public media sources:

70-Year-Old Toddler — Charles M. Blow and Samantha Bee
Agent Orange — Anonymous
Agent of Deranged Change
Alpha Molester
America’s Black Mole — John Oliver
America’s Burst Appendix — Samantha Bee
Amnesty Don — Joe Scarborough (after Trump said that he was “softening” his stance on illegal immigrants)
The Angry Cheeto
Angry Creamsicle — Stephen Colbert
Antichrist — (see Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?)
Art Deal and Mr. “Art of the Deal” — Donald Trump (taken from the title of his 1987 book, which he considers second only to the Bible)
A$$aulter-in-Chief — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
A$$hole
Baby Fingers Trump — Michael R. Burch
Bag of Toxic Sludge
Baldfaced Crier
Barbecued Brutus
Barbarian at the Debate — Charles M. Blow
John Baron — Donald Trump (a pseudonym he used to brag about his exploits in the third person)
Barrel-Shouting Meatball Donald Trump — Chris Hardwick
The Big Cheeto
Big Donald — Marco Rubio (revised to Pig Donald by feminists)
The Bigoted Billionaire
The Bilious Billionaire
Birther Maniac
Blitzkrieg Bozo
Blowhard
Boiled Ham in a Wig — Jon Stewart
Boldfinger — Michael R. Burch
The Boychurian Candidate  — Michael R. Burch (a pun on “The Manchurian Candidate”)
Bratman
Bribe of Chucky
The Bouffant Buffoon
Bully Boy — Mike Rubio
Bumbledore
Bush Baby and Bush Baby Fingers — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
The Bush Basher
The Bush Beater
Bushman — Michael R. Burch, after Trump bragged about groping bush to Billy Bush of Access Hollywood
Bushmaster
Butternut Squash — Trevor Noah
Cancer in a Wig — Trevor Noah
Captain Bluster
Captain Chaos — NBC News
Captain Crunch
Captain Outrageous — Michael R. Burch (a pun on Captain Courageous)
Captain Tantastic
The Chaos Candidate — Jeb Bush
Cheddar Boy
Cheez Doodle — Maureen Dowd
Cheez Whiz — John Oliver
Cheeto-Dusted Bloviator — jezebel.com
Cheeto Jesus — Rick Wilson
Chicken Donald — Martin O’Malley
Chimp-PAN-Zee
Cinnamon Hitler — Trevor Noah
Chickenhawk — Because Trump evaded serving in the Vietnam War, but portrays himself as a war hawk (“the most militaristic person on the planet”)
Clown Prince of Politics
Comedy Entrapment — Jon Stewart
Commander-in-Grief
Conspiracy Commander-in-Chief
Con-Dike Gold Rush
Corn Husk Doll Cursed by a Witch Donald Trump — Chris Hardwick
The Cowardly Lyin’
Crybaby Prima Donald
Crybaby Trump — Jeff Kanew
Creep Throat — Seth Meyers
Daddy Warbucks
The Daft Draft Dodger
Dainty Donald
Damien Trump
Damn Turd Pol — anagram
Dangerous Donald — Hillary Clinton
Darth Hater
Darth taxeVader
DDT
The Debate Hater
Decomposing Jack O’Lantern — Jon Stewart
Deeply Disturbed Fuzzy Orange Goofball
The Definer — because according to The Donald, he defines other candidates, after which they quickly become political trivia questions
Dehydrated Orange Peel — Libby Inman
Demander-in-Chief — Michael R. Burch
Der Groepenfuehrer
Der Trumpkopf
Diaper Donald — Kevin Cavanaugh
Dickhead
Dickhead Dongle
Dingbat Donald
Dire Abby — Michael R. Burch (a pun on “Dear Abby” because Trump frequently tweets relationship advice to other people, but it’s usually dire)
Dishonest Don
The Disruptor
The Dick Tater
DJT
Dodgy Donald — CrumblingSlowly
The Don
Don the Con
Don Dementia
The Donald — Ivana Trump (she first used the term in a 1989 Spy Magazine cover story)
Donald deGonad 
Donald the Deadbeat — Dan Rather
Donald Dingbat
Donald Dipshit
Donald Dodo — as in the famously stupid dodo bird
The Donaldmeister
Donald Doom
The Donimator
Donald Douche and the Bags
Donald Drumpf — John Oliver
Donald Duck
Donald Duck Doo-Doo
Donald Ducknuke
Donald Dump
Donald Gonad
Donald the Menace
Donald Tax-Duck — John Joseph Ribovich
Don Goner
Donnie Darko
Donny — SNL’s Church Lady (Dana Carvey); also his boyhood nickname
Donnybaby
Donnyboy
Donnybrook
Don of Orange
Draft Dodger — Don C. Reed
Dr. Strangelove
Duke Nuke ‘Em
Dumbelldore
Dumbo — Grace Taylor
The Dumpster — Pun on Trumpster and the “Dump Trump” slogan)
Dump Tump — Grace Taylor
Ego Maniac
The Emperor with no Balls — Graffiti found on naked statues of Trump
The Emperor with no Clothes
Evil — Gloria Reed
Itty Bitty Ball Trump
Failed Mail-Order Meat Salesman — Ashley Feinberg, sticking a satiric fork in Trump Steaks
Fascist Carnival Barker — Martin O’Malley
Feral Shouting Meatball Donald Trump — Chris Hardwick
Field Marshall Trump
Fifth Avenue Freeze-Out (for trying to deny disabled vets the right to street vend on Fifth Avenue)
Financially Embattled Thousandaire — Gail Collins
Flat Top — Trump’s boyhood nickname
Flipper
Flip Flopper
The Fomentor — Trevor Noah
The Fomentalist
Forrest Trump
Fragile Soul — Ted Cruz
Frisker-in-Chief
Frisky Frisker — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
The Frontrunner
Fruit of the Loom — for oddly looming over Hillary Clinton at the second presidential debate
Fuckface von Clownstick — Jon Stewart
The Germinator (Trump hates to shake hands, fearing germs)
Genghis Cant — Michael R. Burch (because unlike Genghis Khan, the Donald can’t rule the world, making his promises mere cant)
Gentle Donald — Ted Cruz
The Greatest Charlatan (of them all) — Brent Bozell
Golden Calf of Doom
God — Jay Leno
God-Emperor Trump
Godzilla, with Less Foreign Policy Experience — Stephen Colbert
Golden Wrecking Ball — Sarah Palin
The GOP’s Unhinged Front-Runner — Robert Schlesinger, managing editor for opinion at U.S. News & World Report
Government Expander — Glen Beck
Gossamer-Skinned Bully — Graydon Carter
Grandpa Fucko — Kyle Bunch
The Grand Wizard of Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory — Murfster35 on DailyKos
Great Orange Hairball of Fear
The Great White Dope
The Great White Dope on a Self-Hanging Rope
Grope Dope
Groper-in-Chief — Nicholas Kristof (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
Halfwit Tweet Twit
Hair Apparent — pun on Heir Apparent
Hair Furor — pun on Herr Führer
Hair Hitler — pun on Herr Hitler
Head Twit
Herr Führer Trump
Herr Lugenpresse ― Dan Rather
Herr Trump
The Human Amplifier
The Human Combover
The Human Corncob — Erin L. Cody
The Human Bullhorn — Jim Newell, in Slate
Human-Toupee Hybrid — Stephen Colbert
Humble — Donald Trump’s ironic choice when asked to provide a Secret Service codename
Humble Trump — a nickname given to Donald Trump by his son Eric Trump aka “Eric the Red”
Humble Cow Pie — because he’s full of shit about being “humble”
Hurricane Donald ― Jeff Singer
The im-POTUS
The Inane Interjector
Immigrant-Bashing Carnival Barker — TIME Magazine, quoting presidential candidate Martin O’Malley
In-Vet-Irate Liar (for claiming to “support” vets while trying to sweep them off the streets)
The ISIS Candidate
Jack the Gripper — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
John Baron and John Barron — Donald Trump pseudonyms
John Boehner’s Tanning Partner in Crime — Michael R. Burch
John Miller — Donald Trump (a pseudonym he used to brag about his exploits in the third person)
Job Security (for Comedians) ― Jimmy Kimmel
Kelly’s Zero (pun on [Megyn] Kelly’s Heroes)
Killer Klown from Outer Space (the title of a “b” movie)
King of Debt
King Leer
King of the Oompa Loompas ― Justin Baragona
King of Sleaze
King of Spin
King of the Whoppers — USA Today, Christmas Day, 2015
King Trump
King Tut — Because his insults make billions of people go “Tut, tut, tut!”
King Twit
K-Mart Caesar
Lady Fingers Trump — Don C. Reed (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
Liberals’ Best Friend (since the Trump administration will undoubtedly convert some conservatives into liberals)
Liberal Lip
Liberal Wannabe Strongman — David McIntosh
Little Donnie Sissypants
Little Dutch Boy
Long Dong Trump
Loosin’ Donald — Ted Cruz
Lord Dampnut — anagram
Lord Voldemort — Rosie O’Donnell
Lurch
Machado Meltdown — Hillary Clinton
The Mad Shambler
Maladroit Savage Spiraling Out of Control — Charles M. Blow
Man-Baby — Jon Stewart
Mango Mussolini
Master Debater
Meathead — John Joseph Ribovich
MEGA-low-maniac
Mein Furor — Murfster35 on DailyKos
The Michelangelo of Ballyhoo — TIME by David Von Drehle in his cover article on Trump
Mogul — his Secret Service code name
Moneydiaper McStupid — Nick Musgrave
Mr. “Art of the Deal” — Donald Trump (taken from the title of his 1987 book)
Mr. Brexit — Donald Trump (perhaps because his political currency is about to be devalued?)
Mr. Chickenhawk — Because he’s a coward who portrays himself as a war hawk
Mr. Firepants
Mr. Inappropriate
Mr. Boinker Oinker
Mr. Macho — Bernie Sanders (who perhaps gave the lily-livered draft dodger too much credit)
The Man of Steal (made in China) — after Hillary Clinton pointed out that Trump hotels have been built with illegally-imported Chinese steel
Mr. Meticulous — Trump’s military academy nickname, given because he folded his underwear into neat squares
Mr. Wiggy Piggy — Because he’s such a male chauvinist pig, and that hair!
Mussolini’s Taint — Kyle Bunch
Narcissistic Human Airhorn — Chris Hardwick
The New Furor — Pun on Führer)
New York Dork
New York Pork Dork — Michael R. Burch (because Trump’s companies have feasted on government subsidies and tax breaks)
No More Donald — Elizabeth Warren, in a tweet
The Only Plausible GOP Nominee — Bustle
Orange Anus — Rosie O’Donnell
Orangeback Gorilla — After trying to physically intimidate Hillary Clinton in the second presidential debate
Orange Bozo
Orange Caligula — Victoria
Orange Clown
Orange-Hued Self-Immolator
Orange Julius — A pun on the fruit drink chain (emphasis on fruit) and Julius Caesar
Orange Man
Orange Manatee — Stephen Colbert
The Orange Messiah
Orange Moron
Orange Omen of Doom
Orange Slug — Rosie O’Donnell
Orange Toilet Bowl Crud Brought to Life as a Genital-Grabbing Golem
Orange-Tufted Imbecile Intent on Armageddon
Orange-Tufted A$$hole
OranguTAN
Panda Hair — Elizabeth Harris Burch
Pander Hair — Elizabeth Harris Burch
Party Pooper
Peripatetic Political Showman — The Fiscal Times
Pile of Old Garbage Covered in Vodka Sauce — Trevor Noah
The Puerile Sophomoric Sniveler — Charles M. Blow
Pig Donald — a variation of Big Donald, coined by Marco Rubio then adapted by feminists
Political Gutterball — Michael R. Burch
Poor Donald — Hillary Clinton
Poster Child of American Decline — Robert Spencer
POTUS WRECKS — Michael R. Burch
The Predictable Endpoint of Republicanism — Charles M. Blow
Prima Donald
Puffed Up Daddy
Pussy Posse — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
Putin’s Gambit — Michael R. Burch
Putin’s Pet
Queens’ Reich — Trump hails from Queens NY, and sounds like the second coming of the Third Reich
Queer Orangutan
Rabble-Rousing Demagogue — John Cassidy in The New Yorker
Republican Rapture Inducer
Riptide of Regression ― Dan Rather
Rome Burning in Man Form — John Oliver
Ronald McDonald Trump-Bozo — Michael R. Burch
Ryan’s Nope
Sack of Gilded Lunchmeat — Kyle Bunch
Screaming Carrot Demon — Samantha Bee
Scrooge Grinch McGrump — Michael R. Burch (first used Christmas Eve, 2015)
Scrooge McTrump
Serial Feeler — pun on “serial killer” (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
Sexual-Predator-in-Chief
The Shambling Sasquatch — (after Trump shambled and lurched around the stage in the second presidential debate, as lampooned by SNL)
Shitler
Silver Spoon Donald — Don C. Reed
The Silver Spoon Scion — Charles M. Blow
Snake Oil Salesman — Rosie O’Donnell
Sniffles — After the Donald sniffled like a cocaine addict during the second presidential debate
Sociopathic 70-Year-Old Toddler — Samantha Bee
The Sophomoric Sniveler — Charles M. Blow
The Spin King
The Spinster and The Sinister Spinster — Michael R. Burch
Stubby Baby Fingers Trump — Michael R. Burch
Stuporman — Since Trump’s superpower is putting people to sleep and making them dream that he has magical superpowers
The Suicide Bummer
The Swamp Draining Lizard-Man-Toddler
The Talking Yam
Tan Dump Lord — anagram
The Tanning Bed Warning Label
Tangello Fruit Roll-Up Stretched Over Cat Litter Donald Trump — Chris Hardwick
Tangerine Jesus
Tangerine-Tinted Trash-Can Fire — Samantha Bee
Tangerine Tornado — SNL’s Church Lady (Dana Carvey)
The Teflon Don — Michael R. Burch
Tepid Trumpeter
TelePrompTer Trump — Mark Sumner
Thin Skinned Orange Peel
Terroristic Man-Toddler — Charles M. Blow
Tic-Tac-Dough — Michael R. Burch
Tic-Tacky Trump
Tie-Coon (because his menswear line includes ties)
Timid Trumpster
The Tiny Fisted Emperor — Murfster35 on DailyKos
Tiny Hands Trump
Tricky Trump
Tricky Don Trump — After Tricky Dick Nixon
T-Rump
Trumpalump
Trumpamaniac
Trumparius — Nate Silver, from “The Age of Trumparius”
Trump Card
The Trumpet — Trump’s boyhood nickname
Trump of Doom — Michael R. Burch (first used in a Facebook post on September 11, 2015)
Trumpdozer — TIME Magazine
Trumpelthinskin — Murfster35 on DailyKos
Trumplestiltskin
Trumpenstein — Murfster35 on DailyKos
Trumpinator — Soopermexican
Trumple-Doodle-Doo-Doo
Trumpledore
Trumpletoes
Trumpling Dildo
Trumpmeister
Trumpocalypse — Markos Moulitsas on Daily Kos
Trumpster
Trumptastrophe — Chris McKay
Trumpthechumps
Trump the Grump
The Tufted Taliban
Twat Twit — (see Donald Trump’s War on Women)
Twitter-Drunk Donald — a Bush aide
Twitter Flitter
Twitter Spitter
The Twitter Terror — Michael R. Burch
Two-Bit Caesar — Bill Kristol
Two Pump Trump — Troy Ramos
UNA (Unrepentant Narcissistic Asshole) — Jon Stewart
The UNA Bomber
“The uniquely underqualified and overblown king of bragging and whining” — The New York Times
Unreality King
Vanilla Isis — Pun on Vanilla Ice
Venom-Drenched Regurgitated Slimy Orange Hairball
Vet Evictor —  For staging a benefit for veterans after trying to sweep disabled vets from New York City streets for more than a decade
Voldemort ― Rosie O’Donnell
Walking Punchline
Walking Talking Human Combover — Michael R. Burch
Weak Donald — Trevor Noah
The Wedgie from West Palm — Kyle Bunch
Whiny Don
Whiny Donald
The White Kanye ― Bill Maher
The Winning Whiner — Donald J. Trump explained how he “wins” by whining in an interview
World’s Greatest Troll — FiveThirtyEight Politics
Xenophobic Sweet Potato Donald Trump — Chris Hardwick
YUGE Asshole
YUGE Liar
Zen Master of Hate

Source: thehypertexts.com

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Erasing Obama

‘On his first day in office, Trump will “repeal every single Obama executive order.” That’s the promise of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Obama issued just under 270 executive orders, well below the number proclaimed by Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt and even that conservative paragon, Silent Cal Coolidge.

A significant Obama order protected gays in the government contracting system from discrimination. Another prohibited federal employees from texting while driving. There were sanctions against criminals, mobsters and other international monsters, and upgrades in pay for federal employees who earned less than their private sector counterparts…

Obama leaves office with his highest job approval ratings in four years. Most Americans like him and his policies. Trump will enter office with the lowest transition approval ratings of any president-elect in nearly a quarter-century. About half of all American don’t like him, and of course, he got nearly three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

Most of the Trump agenda — building a wall, cutting taxes on the rich, ramping up oil and gas drilling at the expense of alternative fuels, taking away people’s health care — is opposed by clear majorities. Trump will erase Obama’s policy legacy at his peril.

What he cannot do is erase the mark of the man — a measured and rational president, a committed father and husband, who is leaving his country much better off, and the office without a trace of personal scandal…’

Via Tim Egan, New York Times op-ed

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2017: the year we become ungovernable

‘Kali Akuno, an organizer with Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement talks to Alternet about the first stirrings of the mass-scale civil disobedience we must practice to resist trumpism.

I find great inspiration in Akuno’s ideas, and find them an excellent counterpoint to the idea of “not normalizing” Trump. The reality is that we always normalize everything — read the accounts of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps or Americans tortured for years in the country’s solitary confinement wings and you’ll find that, to a one, their terrible situations become normal. All constant stimulus fades to a background refrigerator hum that we can only notice when it ceases.

But Akuno is talking about normalizing resistance, becoming habitual monkeywrenchers and refuseniks, people whose first response to any trumpist outrage is “no way,” and whose fallback position is “hell no.” ‘…’

Source: Boing Boing

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You’re more likely to get struck by lightning here than anywhere else on Earth

‘If you don’t want to get struck by lightning, avoid open areas and tall objects, as the experts suggest. But if you want to be extra safe, stay the heck away from the middle of Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo. Satellite data suggest that one particular square kilometer there—on the northern tip of South America—gets zapped more than 200 times per year. “Lake Maracaibo is one of the largest lightning generators on the globe,” says Robert Holzworth, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in the new study…’

Source: Science