Archive | Politics As Usual

Opinion: Stop counter-protesting

Counterprotesters

First, My Definition Counter-protest: an organized response, on the same day, at the same time and in the same place as a previously planned protest. Now, My Argument Counter-protests, by their very nature, escalate the risk of violence, and are therefore a less desirable tactic where the ends do not justify the means. The Issue Is… Continue Reading →

What Sessions should tell Trump about pardons now

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When Donald Trump issued a tweet reminding everyone that as president he has “the complete power to pardon,” did he mean to suggest that he can pardon himself? Or simply to boast that he can issue pardons without consulting any other authority or facing any consequences? The impact of Trump’s provocative statement – along with news… Continue Reading →

Damn, I love Friday surprises… Bannon is out…

Of course, there has to be a big Friday surprise … Oh, hell, I hate it when news comes from Drudge …

President Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon will leave the White House, according to reports on Friday.

In a rare tweet, the Drudge Report’s founder Matt Drudge announced that Bannon “had one hell of a run.” The news also topped the conservative aggregator’s site.

The New York Times then reported that Trump privately told aides he has decided to remove Bannon. He had not decided the timing, according to the report.

The reports comes as speculation has swirled that the controversial Bannon will exit the White House, following several high-profile staff changes among Trump’s senior staff.

Good heavens, they had to debate, if this guy was good for the administration?

President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.

As of Friday morning, the two men were still discussing Mr. Bannon’s future, the officials said. A person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but the move was delayed after the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president’s family.

But the loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

You know, if the folks in the White House think this is damage control of some sort, that has got be a special kind of stupid. Bannon’s interview with the American Prospect alone is just insane. Was he just TRYING to get fired? Here are a few quotes …

Ethno-nationalism — it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more. These guys are a collection of clowns,” Bannon told Kuttner — a cynical dismissal from the former editor of Breitbart news who last year gleefully described his media organization as “the platform for the alt-right,” that same “fringe” movement.

The Democrats — the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day,” Bannon said to Kuttner. “If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.

All I can gather is that Bannon is really in the Breitbart echo chamber.

You know, there are more people going out than are coming in to the administration.

 

Another Advisory Council is Broken Up…

A friend of mine on his social media account commented, “How can you have your worst weeks at work when you are on vacation?”

No joke. As we see the Presidency crumble further into disarray, Trump’s infrastructure council has now been disbanded.

President Donald Trump will not move forward with a planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The infrastructure council, which was still being formed, would have advised Trump on his plan to spend as much as $1 trillion upgrading roads, bridges and other public works. Its cancellation follows Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he was disbanding two other business advisory panels.

Corporate chief executive officers this week had started to quit both the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum in protest over Trump’s remarks that appeared to confer legitimacy on white supremacists following a violent rally Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

That is three advisory boards that have sunk. As if Trump would listen to any advice from them.

An executive order formally establishing the group was not issued until last month. The White House indicated that slots were still being filled on the 15-member council, which was to include experts on real estate, finance, construction, transportation and other areas.

Trump said via Twitter on Wednesday that he was shutting down the other two advisory councils to “avoid putting pressure on the business people” to remain on board, but momentum was already moving in that direction.

The Trump administration has put forward the outlines of an infrastructure package but not formally unveiled its full plans for Congress. The initiative has been waiting in line behind Trump’s legislative pushes on health care and tax reform, both of which have stalled.

On Tuesday, while in New York, Trump signed an executive order related to one aspect of his infrastructure-related ambitions: dramatically reducing the permitting time for new highways.

 

Maybe, someone needs to tell Trump that business people cannot associate with a President that make statements about shared blame for last weekend’s violent protests involving white supremacists. It generally isn’t good for business.

 

They are in plain view…

In July of 2015, South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard quietly removed the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse. The flag was surrendered to the museum curator of the Confederate Relic room in the State Museum, down the road from the Capitol.

I live in a town that if I drive 30 minutes east, I can have all the advantages of a bustling, diverse city. I can drive just 20 minutes to the west and be at a run-down roadhouse bar that displays its hatred and bigotry openly with sign and flags. Their changeable copy sign protested the removal of the flag in South Carolina. In the western area and the northwestern area of Georgia, the reaction to South Carolina retiring the Confederate flag was seen for weeks. Some towns were witnessing parades of trucks flying U.S. flags, “Don’t tread on me” flags, and Confederate Flags on the weekends for weeks that summer. These parades put some towns’ streets in gridlock. Minorities and immigrants were harassed.

In Douglas County, Georgia, the county where I live, was not spared these demonstrations for the love of Confederate Flags. A group the named themselves “Respect the Flag” were parading around the county on a Sunday in July 2015. 5 trucks pulled into an empty lot next to the home of an African American family that was having a gathering for a kid’s birthday outside. A member of Respect the Flag pulled a shotgun and pointed it at party-goers, used racial slurs and threatened to kill people at the party.
Here is the 911 call of one the people attending the party….

Two people, Kayla Rae Norton, 25, and Jose Ismael Torres, 26, were convicted of gang activity in February 2017. The judge sentenced Torres to 20 years, with 13 to serve in prison. Norton was given 15 years, with six to serve.
In reaction to this sentencing, Stephen Howard, imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi, announced that 200 members will arrive in Douglas County to protest in March 2017. He threatened that the group will be armed and dressed in full robes. (The courthouse is approximately three blocks from where the African American family that was harassed lives.)  I decided to go witness the rally with camera in hand. When I arrived, the Klan had not arrived, yet. There was a large law enforcement presence. The crowd was rather large in front of the courthouse. Most people there were in protest the Mississippi KKK. There were a handful people in support of the KKK. There were a few tense moments and words exchanged, but, for the most part, it was peaceful and without incident.

The Mississippi Klan did not show up for their demonstration.

Election season in Douglas County last fall did not go by without incident. Thom Wortham, Douglas County Commission Chair was campaigning at a festival that was held at the courthouse. Commissioner Wortham was elected in 2005 and it was expected that his challenger for the seat, Ramona Jackson Jones, would not pose much of a threat. All of this changed when a festival goer caught Wortham on a cell phone video making racist remarks regarding what would happen to Douglas County if the leadership in the county was primarily African American. (Douglas County is 41% African American.)

Randy Travis Fox5 report:

This video was the primary reason that Wortham lost his seat to Ramona Jackson Jones, as well as the first elected African American Sheriff of the county, as well as an African American Tax Commissioner.

And these are recent incidents and within a mile of my home.

These racists, Klan members, Alt-right, white supremacists whatever they call themselves, are in plain view. They are just not hiding anymore.

They say it is about flags and monuments. Charlottesville was not about a monument. The threat against that African American family was not about a flag. It is about the bigotry and racism like the thoughts expressed by Wortham.

And, yes, people are resisting.

All in plain view.

 

Medical marijuana gets a boost in Georgia

Future Medicine

After Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill expanding the state’s two-year-old medical cannabis program on May 6, hundreds of citizens have signed up for access to low-THC oil.

As of the end of June, the total number of participants is now 2,162. However, even though people with a qualifying medical condition can now legally own the oil, they cannot yet legally bring it in to the state.

Access to medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states. Representative Allen Peake is trying to change that by introducing a bill allowing cannabis to be grown and processed in-state, by giving a license to cannabis producers, preferably to public colleges and universities.

With almost 500 children already registered, he is strongly supported by parents’ groups, and often gives away bottles of (donated) THC oil to families who need it.

“Peake’s in-state license would instantly eliminate the black market and regulate cannabis, allowing for greater access to those patients who need it,” said Attorney Larry Kohn. “Right now, Georgians are being hurt by their lack of access and lack of options.”

However, there is opposition from the governor, as well as the police and some conservatives, claiming the state law would conflict with federal law. Virginia Galloway, regional director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, believes the state’s program perpetuates abuse.

 

Some conditions, such as seizures, respond favorably to low levels of THC, an amount that can be imported; however, Georgia limits the level of THC to 5% — that is often not strong enough for other conditions, such as autism. In addition to authorizing hospice care, the expansion adds six more conditions to those already authorized: autism; Tourette’s syndrome; AIDS; Epidermolysis Bullosa; Alzheimer’s; and peripheral neuropathy.

Previously, only seizure disorders, which comprise 38% of patients, were authorized, as well as late-stage cancer (23%); multiple sclerosis (10%); and ALS; Parkinson’s; Crohn’s disease; mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, according to the Department of Public Health

Senator who just voted to confirm birther judge decries birtherism

U.S Sen. Flake Faults Disclosed Various issues in Trump Administration in his New Book

Sen. @jeffflake (R-Ariz.) tells @chucktodd in an exclusive interview, “I wish we as a party had stood up” to the birther movement. #MTP pic.twitter.com/LfIABvICFj – Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 6, 2017 Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) lamented on Sunday that his party had failed to stand up to Donald Trump’s racist so-called birther movement which falsely… Continue Reading →

Accreditors can keep their hospital inspection reports secret, feds decide

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Federal health officials have backed down from a controversial proposal that would have required private accreditors to publicly release reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation’s hospitals and health care facilities. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had proposed in April that accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and… Continue Reading →

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