5TtRT: Hate crimes, CA’s fires, Jim Acosta, John Kelly & Kirstjen Nielsen, & the attorney general controversy

Today’s topics include a (so far) three-year increase in hate crimes in the US, CNN suing to get Jim Acosta’s press pass back, John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen possibly getting fired, and the State of Maryland suing to get Rod Rosenstein named acting attorney general. Also, brief mentions of “Game of Thrones” and the new “Detective Pikachu” movie.

Apropos of nothing else in this post, the 2019 Game of Thrones teaser trailer is out this morning. The season’s scheduled for April 2019. Let’s all hope we make it that long.

Also, a trailer dropped yesterday for Detective Pikachu, a live-action Pokemon movie starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. This movie is going to be a white hot mess and I am here for it, y’all.

5 Things to Read Today

⚖️ AP: FBI: 17% Spike In Hate Crimes In 2017 Marks Rise For 3rd Year In A Row

Hate crime reports were up again for 2017, making three years for increases in hate crimes. Hate crimes against Jewish people were up 37% in 2017.

🔥 Lifehacker: What Trump Gets Wrong About California’s Wildfires

Trump’s been blaming “bad forest management” for the California wildfires, which is BS. These are “urban interface” fires, which means they started in areas where people had built homes around flammable areas. The reason the fires are so bad is – drum roll, please – climate change, of course.

📰 CNN: CNN sues President Trump and top White House aides for barring Jim Acosta

CNN just filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to get Jim Acosta’s access to the White House restored.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has changed their story about why Acosta’s press pass was taken in the first place. The White House initially said they yanked Acosta’s press pass because he hit one of the press interns, and tired to back that claim up with an altered video of the incident. Clearly that wasn’t going to fly, so now they’re trying to say Acosta’s press pass was pulled because he wouldn’t yield the mic to the intern.

🏛️ ABC News: Trump planning shakeup, eyeing new chief of staff and DHS secretary: Sources

Apparently Trump’s fixin’ to fire John Kelly, his Chief of Staff, and Kirstjen Nielsen, Kelly’s handpicked replacement at Homeland Security.

Trump’s decided he hates Kelly, and that’s fine, because Kelly’s a hateful trash person. Unfortunately, he’s also one of the so-called “adults in the room,” and god only knows what slow-motion train wreck Trump’ll get to replace him.

Kirstjen Nielsen is the hardline hate machine responsible for enacting Kelly’s plans for separating children from their parents at the border, the child concentration camps, and other atrocities, and she’s apparently being fired for not being enough of a hardline hate machine.

Hold on, kids. Shit’s gonna get real rocky before the Dems take the House in January.

👨‍⚖️ NBC News: State of Maryland asks judge to declare Rosenstein acting attorney general

To wrap things up, Maryland is asking a federal judge to declare Rod Rosenstein the acting attorney general, instead of Matt Whitaker, the toady Trump tired to – possibly unconstitutionally – appoint to the job.

I’m not sure that’ll actually work? I dunno, folks, we’re getting deep in the weeds when it comes to the legal guts of government.

As far as I can tell, Rosenstein should have become acting attorney general when Sessions was fired, and Trump should not have appointed a replacement, because there was already a chain of command in place. That seems to be the prevailing argument at any rate.

5TtRT: CA Fires, Democracy, Hush Money, North Korea, & Donald Trump

Today’s topics cover the fires in California, what the Democrats plan to do when they take over the House in January, Trump’s latest impeachable offense, what’s North Korea’s been getting up to, and the Republican election shenanigans.

We had a busy weekend news-wise, what with the California fires and Trump being trash in France, but I’m starting the week off with a quick look at what’s trending in the news this morning.

5 Things to Read Today

🔥 AP: Death toll rises in California wildfire, matching deadliest

Twenty-nine deaths so far in the hellscape that is currently California.

📜 NPR: Democrats Say Their First Bill Will Focus On Strengthening Democracy At Home

The Democrats are currently planning to make their first bill after they take power in January a bill that will “remove obstacles to voting, close loopholes in government ethics law and reduce the influence of political money.” The tricky part will be getting it passed.

⚖️ CNN: Rep. Jerry Nadler says hush payments ‘might very well be an impeachable offense’

And again: It doesn’t really matter right now if something is “impeachable” or not, because we don’t have the votes in the Senate to impeach Trump. There’s no point in impeaching him in the House if you can’t get the Senate to vote to remove him. Democrats are better off spending their political capital on curtailing Trump in other ways.

🇰🇵 New York Times: In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception

Surprise! North Korea has hidden missile bases and their missile program is ticking right along just fine. I mean, of course it is. They always pull this stunt.

🗳️ ABC News: Trump, without evidence, calls Florida ballots ‘massively infected,’ demands end to recounts

I know I’m preaching to the choir, here, but the Democrats are not up to any voting shenanigans. Not in Florida, where they’re still counting the initial vote; not in Georgia, where Kemp cheated in basically every way possible; and not in Arizona, where the Democrat is now winning. Voting shenanigans came from the Republican side.

Just to wrap things up, I want to point out these two stories over at Axios:

FYI, as far as I can tell Axios just prints whatever their high-value sources in the White House tells them to print, so I’d take any reporting by them with, just, like, an entire Utah salt flat.

It’s nice to hear about “subpoena cannons” and how much we all hate each other or whatever, but I wouldn’t take Axios too seriously, here, is all I’m saying.

Neil Gaiman on Imagination

“The imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.” – Neil Gaiman

“Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, born Neil Richard Gaiman, (10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.” (Wikipedia)

Terry Pratchett on Fire

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.” – Terry Pratchett

“Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels.” (Wikipedia)

A few things about the 2018 Midterms…

As far as I’m concerned, last night was a banner night. We took the House of Representatives, and that’s a lot.

As far as I’m concerned, last night was a banner night. We took the House of Representatives, and that’s a lot. It’s protection from the Republican legislation agenda, protection from everything Trump needs Congress to get done, protection from a lot that Trump thinks he can do by executive order, and protection for the Mueller investigation.

We had some defeats. We lost Democrats in the Senate, but not as many as we thought we might back in 2016, so that’s something. Some crappy state measures got passed here and there. Beto O’Rourke lost, and it looks like Stacey Abrams did too. (Well, “lost,” I guess, since it’s pretty obvious that her opponent cheated like a dog to win.)

But overall, I’m tickled pink with last night’s results.

Meanwhile, Trump’s apparently pretty damned cranky this morning. He had one of his lunatic press conferences and basically unloaded on everyone. He yelled at a bunch of reporters, particularly CNN’s Jim Acosta, and told a bunch of them to shut up and sit down, including April Ryan.

So, a few quick things to keep in mind.

First: Trump’s going to turn Nancy Pelosi into his new Democrat boogiemonster. He’ll also be trying to play her against McConnell, because he thrives on conflict and doesn’t know any other way to proceed.

Second: There are a lot of Democrats and progressives out there who are mad because Pelosi’s said she’s not going to pursue impeachment right now. Stop that. Of course we’re not going to pursue impeachment right now, because we can’t.

We can’t get the 67 votes needed in the Senate to impeach Trump, and anything less than a total impeachment, kicking him right out of office and into a jail cell, is a win for Trump. We are not in the business of handing wins to Trump, are we?

Besides, there are plenty of things we can do to Trump short of impeachment. Investigations, subpoenas for tax returns, all kinds of legal things we can do, just piles of stuff we can do to make the next two years a giant pain in his ass, while also helping to build a case against him. We have the House. We can have all sorts of fun now.

Third: You are never going to hear about that caravan of migrants in Mexico again.

Fourth: If the midterms showed us anything it’s that going forward our first agenda should be cleaning up the elections process. Fair elections where everyone gets to participate. Fair drawing of districts. That’s our first order of business.

You’re gonna hear a lot about how our “blue wave” didn’t show up, but let me assure you, that’s bullshit. It definitely did. I mean that statistically. Something like 9% more people voted Democrat than Republican in last night’s elections. Previous years that have been called “blue waves” only managed like 7% or 8% more.

The reason it didn’t seem like a “wave” is because Republicans have gerrymandered and voter suppressed and diddled elections to the point that Democrats need massive turnouts just to make small gains.

Step one is free, fair elections and gerrymandering reform.

Okay. Here’s a few things to read. I gotta go get some actual work done now, since I haven’t been able to get squat done in like two weeks.

Vote.

For every time in the last two years you wondered who in the hell was going to save us from this godawful mess. You are. The time is now. Vote.

For every Muslim banned from the country. For every child torn from their parents at the border, kept in a cage, and lost in the system. For every shitbag nazi who feels safe marching with a torch. Vote.

For every black person shot by a racist cop. For every single one of Donald Trump’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault victims who got no justice. For every time the GOP attacked Planned Parenthood. Vote.

For every mass shooting. For every person of color, everyone in the LGBT+ community, every woman. For every Native American voter who lost their voting rights in North Dakota, and every other disenfranchised voter in this shitty election. Vote.

For every tragedy and travesty. For Puerto Rico. For every necessary regulation rolled back. For every lie Trump told. Vote.

For every time in the last two years you wondered who in the hell was going to save us from this godawful mess.

You are.

The time is now. Vote.

Vote in the 2018 Midterms Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Election Day. This might be one of the most important elections you ever vote in.

Tomorrow is Election Day. This might be one of the most important elections you ever vote in. Get ready to vote: www.BallotReady.org.

Other Voting Resources:

Vote tomorrow. Even if you’re tired. Even if you have to get up early or stay out late. Even if it’s raining. Even if it’s freezing. Bring water, bring a snack. Stay in line. Vote. Even if you think it doesn’t matter, because I assure you, it absolutely does. Vote Democrat. Don’t “protest vote” for 3rd party candidates who have no chance of winning. Don’t vote Republican. Suck it up and vote for Democrats. We can fix the Democrats and start viable third parties after we save the country. Prioritize, people.

5 Things to Read Today

Some of these might be repeats. Read them again anyway.

What to Do if Something Weird Happens at Your Polling Place Tomorrow