California

What Rosenstein Said

#PutiPoodle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies to the House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., 13 December 2017. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Via Bloomberg:

Beyond the 13 people indicted, Mueller announced the Feb. 12 guilty plea of a California man for identity theft, Richard Pinedo, who is cooperating with prosecutors. The indictment of Russian individuals and companies also suggests a broader conspiracy than Mueller charged, saying grand jurors heard about others involved in the scheme.

Richard Painter, who was the chief ethics adviser in the George W. Bush administration, said the lack of any evidence of collusion in the indictment wasn’t the final word by prosecutors.

“They’re charging what they know,” he said. “The contact with the Trump campaign might be unwitting in this case, but that doesn’t mean that the collaboration issue is finished.”

Now, just to make certain: We should probably bear in mind that neither, really is the question of this or that contact being unwitting truly closed. It seems a tawdry hair to split, except there is also the part about how—

This “information warfare” by the Russians didn’t affect the outcome of the presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters. Trump and his Republican supporters have repeatedly denounced the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” and have denied any collusion. The indictment cites no instances of Russians coordinating directly with the Trump campaign.

—and this is important: Rosenstein did not say the information warfare “didn’t affect the outcome of the presidential election”.

(more…)

Advertisements

#DimensionSteve (Theme Song Edition)

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a press conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., 16 February 2017. (Photo: Associated Press)

Notes and quotes from Steve Benen, at MaddowBlog, 20 February 2017:

#ProbablyNot: “If it makes Sweden feel any better, many Americans often have no idea what Trump is saying, either.”

#WatersEdge: “As a factual matter, the senator is a Maverick in Name Only.”

#WhatTheyVotedFor: “There’s no reason to go along with this as if it were somehow normal.”

#GettingWorseNotBetter: “Republicans may be eager to blast Democratic ‘obstruction’ and partisan delays, but the truth of the matter is simple: Democrats can’t block nominees who don’t exist.”

#McCarthysMouth: “That’s the kind of quote that could use some clarification.”

#Backfill: “The era of ‘fuzzy math’ is back with a vengeance.”

#WhyGovernmentDoesntWork: “So, the nation’s Education Secretary, even now, isn’t sure the position she now holds should exist―apparently because she’s still not on board with the idea of having a federal Department of Education, which she now leads.”

#MatthewFifteenElevenα: “The president is himself on board with the ‘Never-Mind-What-Trump-Said’ approach to foreign policy.”

#PutiPoodle: “Why Cohen would tell two very different stories to two different newspapers is unclear.”

#YesWeHave: “Have we really reached the point at which Trump World is so accustomed to pushing bogus and misleading information that even the president’s golfing is fair game?”

(more…)

Glenn Beck on Fatherhood

Glenn Beck, circa 2016, via Twitter.

And then there is this:

… a teary-eyed Glenn Beck and his studio audience engaged in something of a therapy session as they struggled to come to grips with the fact that God’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)The rejection of Cruz by Republican voters was “the last reckoning for us,” Beck declared, warning that God will now allow this nation to suffer the consequences of our decisions. America, Beck said, has become “a petulant child” that God has warned and scolded and disciplined over and over again “but the behavior is getting worse” and so punishment must follow.

God cannot allow this nation to escape the punishment that is due, he said, because “that would be a bad dad. That would be a very bad dad and the one thing I know about God, He ain’t a bad dad.”

(Mantyla)

Three brief notes:

(1) Remember, the difference between the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and other religious condemnations of America is that he sounded like he was suggesting God should damn America, while Sarah Palin’s preacher, or Pastor John Hagee, or … I don’t know, how many along the way? At any rate, they simply said God would. And Glenn Beck? He just says God cannot not. You know. Because something about a “petulant child” and how God “ain’t a bad dad”. Because, you know, it’s not the bad dads that nail Florida and Louisiana with hurricanes. And what the hell did Canada do to deserve all that? I mean, come on, sure, we know the whole tar sands thing is a bad idea, but really?

(2) Preachers and media celebrities can say what they want about God’s will, but if California needs to answer the Lord for something, so do New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina. Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Rick Scott, and, well, Pat McCrory. Alabama must be terrified.

(3) Or perhaps we ought to try something a bit more rational? Because, you know, it would be best to pay no mind to raving, bigoted stupidity, but when it’s actually functionally dangerous, we would be remiss to ignore it.

So, Glenn: What are you going to say when you wake up in Hell? Are you going to say, “Thanks, Dad, I know I deserved that!”

____________________

Image note: Top ― Glenn Beck, circa 2016, via Twitter. Right Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). (Photo by Daniel Sangjib Min/Times-Dispatch.)

Mantyla, Kyle. “Glenn Beck Says God Must Punish America For Rejecting Ted Cruz Because ‘He Ain’t A Bad Dad'”. Right Wing Watch. 6 May 2016.

The Tree, and Something About Roses

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey breaks another big play against the University of Arizona Wildcats, 3 October 2015, at The Farm in Stanford, California.  (Detail of photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

Sometimes we might wonder whence comes a question.

Stanford has the Rose Bowl routine down pat.

The Cardinal are doing it all for the third time in four years — starting with the trips to Disneyland, Lawry’s restaurant in Beverly Hills, the Improv comedy club in Hollywood, followed by media day at a downtown hotel and the team photo at the stadium the day before the game, and culminating with the annual clash between Pac-12 and Big Ten opposition on Jan. 1.

Stanford University quarterback Kevin Hogan talks to reporters during the teams media day in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. Although Stanford is playing in the Rose Bowl for the third time in four years, the weeklong experience doesn't get old for Hogan and the Cardinal. They also know the importance of leaving Pasadena with a win after losing to Michigan State two years ago. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)But Stanford players and coaches swore off the idea that any Rose Bowl fatigue has set in.

“Never gets old, I guarantee it,” said defensive line coach Randy Hart, who is participating in his 11th Rose Bowl and 10th as a coach.

“It’s probably a better feeling that you’re a fifth-year senior because you appreciate it more,” defensive back Ronnie Harris said.

Dan Greenspan’s look ahead to the Rose Bowl might beg a question about how one might complain about repeated trips to one of the most prestigious contests in American football.

The answer is actually kind of obvious, but also a bit specialized; one needs to follow college football in general, and the Rose Bowl is of particular interest to the west coast; it’s our bowl game.

(more…)

A Clown Car Presentation: Insurevirentaderble

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 12 June 2015.

Never read too much into any one poll, but the lede from Associated Press is nonetheless troubling:

Republican voters view Donald Trump as their strongest general election candidate, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights the sharp contrast between the party’s voters and its top professionals regarding the billionaire businessman’s ultimate political strength.

But wait, there’s more:

Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump could win in November 2016 if he is nominated, and that’s the most who say so of any candidate. By comparison, 6 in 10 say the same for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of antiestablishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest.

And then there is the reality check: “Trump and Carson are considered among the least electable general election candidates by the Republican Party’s professionals, those who are in the business of helping candidates run campaigns and win elections”, explain Steve Peoples and Emily Swanson, and in truth one need not be a political professional to figure that out. Still, though, how superstitious do we really wish to be?

(more…)

What Jerry Decided

Inmate Michelle-Lael Norsworthy speaks during her parole hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, 21 May 2015.  Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing whether to grant parole for Norsworthy, a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for a prisoner's sex reassignment surgery.  (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

You know, this actually makes perfect sense. It’s a great lede, though, from the Associated Press:

Gov. Jerry Brown is allowing parole for a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for sex reassignment surgery.

Perhaps it’s the sense of dualism, and California really is running out of time. But this is a thirty year-old murder, the convict, Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, formerly Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, was actually diagnosed with gender identity disorder in 1999, and has been receiving treatment.

A federal judge in April ordered the state to provide the surgery, which had been scheduled for July. It was delayed after the state appealed.

The governor’s office said Friday that Brown was taking no action on the Board of Parole Hearings’ recommendation to release Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, which means her parole will proceed.

The decision makes it less likely that the 51-year-old will be able to have surgery funded by the prison before she is released. Parole board spokesman Luis Patino said it usually takes about a week for an inmate to be released after the governor allows a parole to proceed.

Brown decided Norsworthy is no longer dangerous, 30 years after she fatally shot Franklin Gordon Liefer Jr., 26, following an argument in a Fullerton bar in November 1985.

And, yes, it’s going to happen anyway, for a different inmate; California agreed to provide sex reassignment surgery for Shiloh Quine, 56, a lifer.

Despite that nagging sense of either/or, this really does make perfect sense.

____________________

Image note: Inmate Michelle-Lael Norsworthy speaks during her parole hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, 21 May 2015. Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing whether to grant parole for Norsworthy, a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for a prisoner’s sex reassignment surgery. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Associated Press. “Transgender Inmate Will Likely Get Parole Instead Of Court-Ordered Surgery”. The Huffington Post. 9 August 2015.

Dignity

Transgender pride

Thank you.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made her state the third to outlaw the use of conversion therapy on minors on Monday, eliminating the controversial practice that President Barack Obama called to ban in early April. Oregon joins California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., in prohibiting licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a child.

(Steinmetz)

____________________

Steinmetz, Katy. “Oregon Becomes Third State to Ban Conversion Therapy on Minors”. Time. 19 May 2015.

Your War on Drugs (It’s a Mistake Mix)

This is your War On Drugs:

Drug Enforcement AdministrationObama administration officials and lawmakers are calling for greater accountability and tougher disciplinary procedures at the Drug Enforcement Administration after the agency imposed only light punishments on agents who forgot a San Diego man in a holding cell, leaving him without food or water for five days and nearly killing him.

Daniel Chong, a UC San Diego student, was detained in 2012 for what he was told would be five minutes after he was swept up in a drug bust at a friend’s house, where he had been smoking marijuana. Instead, agents forgot about him. Chong, who was 23 at the time, drank his own urine to stave off dehydration until he was found, delirious and suffering from severe breathing problems, according to a report last summer by the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General.

(Phelps)

This has been going on for decades. The reason it continues is because nobody really cares. But we need to keep in mind that there are two sides to this debate. That is, to the one, there is the question of whether the administrative response to this accidental forgetfulness is sufficient, while, to the other, there are plenty who snort derisively at the proposition that this was any sort of an accident.

When they tell us that not all cops are bad, this is most likely true. However, not a single person working for the Drug Enforcement Administration is covered by that pathetic excuse. That is to say, if I knowingly go to an organized crime outfit and ask for a job, there simply isn’t any presupposition of good faith sufficient to erase that decision. Nor is there any excuse for anyone presently working for the DEA.

____________________

Phelps, Timothy M. “Officials criticize DEA’s light punishment of agents who forgot man in cell for 5 days”. Los Angeles Times. 5 May 2015.

Another Loss

TG-logo-dark

Look, this can’t keep happening.

A 16-year-old transgender teen and YouTube personality has died after allegedly being subjected to intense bullying at the hands of her classmates.

Taylor Alesena made a name for herself on YouTube talking about her experiences with bullying and the loneliness she experienced at the hands of her peers. Now, the transgender teen has reportedly taken her own life ....

(Nichols)

It is easy enough to look at the homophobes and sneer, “I hope you’re fucking happy.”

And, “This is what you want, after all.”

Still, there is this: That pressing whisper in the back of the mind; this comes down to us. The hatred will continue; the bigots are desperate. So it seems that it comes back to us. This can’t keep happening.

Doesn’t mean I have a clue, though.

What the fuck are we going to do?

This just can’t keep happening.

____________________

Nichols, JamesMichael. “Taylor Alesena, Transgender Teen And YouTube Personality, Dies”. The Huffington Post. 9 April 2015.

Bloodlust, in Jesus’ Name

Detail of 'Corpus Hypercubus', by Salvador Dali, 1954.

Because cruelty and stupidity are American virtues:

It doesn’t matter that a California lawyer’s outrageous Sodomite Suppression Act ballot initiative proposes executing gays with “bullets to the head,” or that it’s unconstitutional and could never become law. California Attorney General Kamala Harris is forced to allow the measure to circulate for signatures, legal experts said.

The initiative, which mandates 10 years in prison and permanent expulsion from California for anyone who advocates gay rights to minors, stands no chance of collecting 365,000 valid signatures it needs to appear on next year’s ballot. But because its backer, Matt McLaughlin, paid the $200 filing fee by the February deadline, Harris is bound by law to prepare a title and summary of the initiative by May so that its sponsor can begin collecting signatures, legal experts told the San Francisco Chronicle.

(O’Connor)

And remember, this is all in Jesus’ name

Okay, I suppose that part isn’t surprising.

But if you want to know why so many of our neighbors are ending in self-destruction, well, I guess we can call it God’s love.

The only real question, I suppose, is what sort of person would be willing to stand with such a brutal, vicious farce.

____________________

O’Connor, Lydia. “California Forced To Allow Signatures For Appalling ‘Shoot The Gays’ Ballot Initiative”. The Huffington Post. 23 March 2015.