5TtRT: George Soros, Donald Trump, Russia, asylum seeker conspiracies & Evil Week

We recently started watching “The Good Place” because I kept hearing that it was really good and we like Kristen Bell. Right around the third episode we looked at each other and were like, “So, the ‘Good Place’ has to be Hell, right?” We’re at episode eight or nine and I’m pretty sure we were right.

Anyway, some news.

5 Things to Read Today

💣 New York Times: At George Soros’s Home in N.Y. Suburb, Explosive Device Is Found in Mailbox

It turns out that George Soros is an actual real person, not an urban legend invented by the right wing, and someone mailed him a bomb.

🤯 CNN: Trump embraces ‘nationalist’ title at Texas rally

Trump said at a rally Monday night, “You know what a globalist is? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much, and you know what, we can’t have that. You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist, and I say, ‘Really, we’re not supposed to use that word?’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. … Use that word.” In the alt-right parlance “globalist” is a dog-whistle for “Jewish.” And obviously we know “nationalist” from, y’know, Nazis. So don’t let the media bullshit you on this one. Trump was talking to his Nazi-ass base, here.

🇷🇺 NPR: Here’s How Russia Runs Its Disinformation Effort Against The 2018 Midterms

Yes, the Russians (and others) are still messing with us.

🤪 TPM: WH Doesn’t Have Evidence For Conspiracy About Asylum Seekers Traveling To Border

So there’s a huge caravan of folks from South America heading this way from war- and violence-torn countries, hoping to seek asylum in America. Trump, of course, has been telling outrageous lies about the caravan.

😈 Lifehacker: Evil Week

To wrap things up, it’s “Evil Week” at Lifehacker, where they explain all things evil, selfish, lazy, and duplicitous, in the name of education. It’s always a hoot, and often quite informative.

Trump admin ‘defining transgender people out of existence.’

I swear, checking the news on Monday morning gives me such a headache, y’all.

The New York Times reported this weekend that the Trump administration is considering defining transgender people out of existence, governmentally speaking.

So, to explain: There’s some argument over whether or not various protective federal laws actually protect LGBT groups. There are federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, skin color, etc., right? These laws also make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “sex.”

“Sex” was originally meant to refer to women, but the Obama administration issued guidance that made it so “sex” applied to the gay and transgender communities, and several court rulings have upheld that interpretation.

The Trump administration is planning to walk that back. They want to define “sex” as being born either male or female biologically, as in, based on the bits you’re born with between your legs, possibly to be determined by genetic testing, which cannot, under any circumstances, be changed, forever and ever, amen. This results in taking rights away from transgender people.

This is obviously wrong and evil. I’m not being facetiousness here. At any point when an action you take might result in taking rights away from people, you need to pause and reflect on what you’re doing and why. If the “what and why” comes back with any answer less than “because the person I’m taking rights away from is actively harming other humans for no particularly good reason” then you maybe need to reconsider your actions.

And being a transgender person doesn’t hurt anyone. It really doesn’t. Republicans like to scare you with stories about, I dunno, men dressed as women so they can assault or creep on women in bathrooms or whatever BS horror story they’re passing around this week, but that’s not a thing.

Like, name me the last time you paid any real attention to the gender of the person in the bathroom stall next to you. I’ll wait.

Transgender people are just people. They should be treated like you treat any other people. They should have the rights everyone else has.

Just, just let people live, man. Life is hard enough without us wandering around making it harder on people.

There’s no immediate solution to this new assault. This isn’t a law we can have overturned. It’s just an interpretation. You can protest, you can call your congresspeople, and you should.

But the real answer to this problem comes November 6th. Vote. Vote for Democrats. They may not be perfect, but at least you can count on them to treat people like, y’know, people.

Our federal deficit went up 17% over 2017 because of the GOP tax cuts.

Busy day ahead again, but I just want to point this out real quick. Here’s the story in the New York Times: Budget Deficit Jumps Nearly 17% in 2018.

In 2017, the federal budget deficit was $666 billion. In 2018 it’s $779 billion. That’s due to the GOP’s big tax cut, the benefits of which largely went to the rich. Your average person hasn’t seen much, if any, increase in their paycheck.

Because the deficit’s exploding, Mitch McConnell and his GOP minions are now talking a big game about cutting spending on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Because of course they are; it’s what they do.

Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are all programs that we pay into via taxes to help take care of the poor, sick, disabled, and elderly.

The GOP voted in a drastic tax cut written to give fat wads of cash to rich people. Now they want to pay for that tax cut by stealing money from those among us who are the most in need of help.

The Republican party is stealing from you and lying to you about it.

Look, you can say what you want about the Democrats. They have plenty of faults to complain about. But at least they aren’t actively trying to kill you by taking away your healthcare while stealing the money out of your pockets and the food off your tables.

Trump’s trashtweeting again this morning…

Donald Trump trashtweets, 10/16/18.

Trump’s trashtweeting again this morning, which usually means some bad news (for him) is about to drop. Not always, but usually. Keep an eye out.

5 Things to Read Today

Keep an eye on Trump’s fundraising and spending, because I highly, highly doubt that he’s getting that much money from his fanboys.

Meanwhile, go get your damn flu shot, people. Like 80,000 people died of the flu last year.

Today: Elizabeth Warren, Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview & More

I’ve got a busy day ahead and I stayed up too late last night, so we’ll make this one quick.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that show she has at least some Native American ancestry. Trump doesn’t care.

Also, Trump “promised” back on the campaign trail that he’d give a million bucks to Warren’s charity of choice if she took a DNA test and it showed she had Native American ancestry. When asked about it today, Trump said it never happened, despite the fact that it’s on tape.

Meanwhile, Trump did an interview on 60 Minutes last night where he pretended the Russian interference in the 2016 elections wasn’t a big deal; ignored humans rights abuses in favor of getting along with dictators and murderers; claimed General Jim Mattis was “sort of a Democrat” and dodged answering if Mattis was leaving the administration; crapped on our international allies again; denied climate change and tried to claim it would reverse itself anyways; and admitted that the White House is a swirling storm of chaos, that he doesn’t trust anyone there, and that he likes it that way. Read about it here.

Want to give to charity? Find out how to give to good charities and get the most bang for your buck right here.

Hurricane Michael basically scrubbed the Florida panhandle flat. You can read about the destruction here, here and here. Trump’s on his way to visit.

And, to wrap things up, Sears declared bankruptcy.