Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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good morning, it's second breakfast, 17 may 2017

"Trump’s voting commission is a sham." No kidding. The linked article is to an ACLU action item because people need to get signed up on this. They're going to gin up some fake results to repeat Trump's "three to five million illegal voters" lie, in order to engage in the kinds of voter suppression at the Federal level that they've been working at the state level. Stopping this will require pulling off the very few Republicans actually willing to vote against Cheeto Mussolini, so be ramping up on that.

"This is what emboldened white supremacists look like" - you mean Jeff Sessions? No, these are neo-Klan marchers in Virginia.

"Former Attorney General Eric Holder statement" is about Jeff Sessions's plans to undo sentencing reform.

"Erdoğan security attacks, beats US citizens protesting in Washington, DC" - graphic footage at link. This is the kind of leader Cheeto openly admires.

"Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger" shouldn't be very surprising, and isn't.

LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU: "FCC halts public comments on Net Neutrality"

"No room for science in Trump administration" - true.

The word you're looking for, WaPo, is LIE: "Republicans misstate, again and again on TV and at town halls, what’s in their health-care bill"

"MSNBC Ending Lawrence O’Donnell “The Last Word” Show Despite Top Ratings (Exclusive)" - though fan response may have overwhelmed MSNBC. We'll see.

Good luck out there.

----- 1 -----
Trump’s voting commission is a sham

President Trump has just established a “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” But this commission will have no integrity if its vice-chair is Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and the king of voter suppression.

The ACLU has sued Kobach four times on voter suppression – and won every case. The problem we have in this country isn’t voter fraud – it’s voter suppression. And on that front, Kobach is Public Enemy #1.

Kobach disenfranchised 18,000 Kansas voters when he required them to show birth certificates or passports in order to vote, in violation of the federal motor-voter law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a unanimous opinion – by George W. Bush-appointee Judge Jerome Holmes – that this was a “mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right.”

----- 2 -----
This is what emboldened white supremacists look like
by Douglas Williams | The Guardian | 15 May 2017

It was a scene out of the darkest days of the civil rights movement. A couple of dozen white supremacists rallied around a statue of Robert E Lee, a Confederate army general, in Virginia, carrying torches and chanting: “You will not replace us.”

But this was no black-and-white newsreel, relaying the horrors of a time long since past. This grotesque scene played out on Saturday, at a rally headlined by the white supremacist Richard Spencer.

The cause for this neo-Klan rally? The city of Charlottesville’s decision in February to remove the Lee statue from the park that bears his name in the city’s downtown area. The white supremacists also demonstrated at the city’s Festival of Cultures earlier in the day.

Perhaps it is no surprise that, in a state that hosted the capital of the Confederacy for the vast majority of the civil war, decisions around squaring grand monuments to the defenders of slavery with social progress have always been cause for tension.

----- 3 -----
Former Attorney General Eric Holder statement
via Rachel Maddow on Twitter - 12 May 2017

[This is regarding Jeff Sessions's reversal of sentencing reform]
[Text image at link]

----- 4 -----
Erdoğan security attacks, beats US citizens protesting in Washington, DC
on Twitter - 16 May 2017
[Video at link]

----- 5 -----
Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger
May 12, 2017 | NPR
Nina Martin, ProPublica

As a neonatal intensive care nurse, Lauren Bloomstein had been taking care of other people's babies for years. Finally, at 33, she was expecting one of her own. The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy, her husband, Larry, recalled recently— "the happiest and most alive I'd ever seen her."

When Lauren was 13, her own mother had died of a massive heart attack. Lauren had lived with her older brother for a while, then with a neighbor in Hazlet, N.J., who was like a surrogate mom, but in important ways she'd grown up mostly alone. The chance to create her own family, to be the mother she didn't have, touched a place deep inside her.

"All she wanted to do was be loved," said Frankie Hedges, who took Lauren in as a teenager and thought of her as her daughter. "I think everybody loved her, but nobody loved her the way she wanted to be loved."


American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling; in Great Britain, the journal Lancet recently noted, the rate has declined so dramatically that "a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is." But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths are preventable.

While maternal mortality is significantly more common among African-Americans, low-income women and in rural areas, pregnancy and childbirth complications kill women of every race and ethnicity, education and income level, in every part of the U.S. ProPublica and NPR spent the last several months scouring social media and other sources, ultimately identifying more than 450 expectant and new mothers who have died since 2011.

----- 6 -----
FCC halts public comments on Net Neutrality
Cory Doctorow / 5:42 am Mon May 15, 2017 / Boing Boing

After hearing from so many angry Americans who wanted to preserve net neutrality rules that they had to invent a seemingly fictional "denial of service" attack to explain their servers melting down, the FCC has solved the problem by telling the public to go fuck themselves.

The FCC will no longer accept public comments on Net Neutrality, while it "reflects" on the comments it's received.

You can still tell the FCC what you think by posting to EFF's site -- EFF will make sure the commissioners get your comments.

----- 7 -----
No room for science in Trump administration
Monday, May 15, 2017 | KBZK Montana
By Christine Todd Whitman

Editor's note: Christine Todd Whitman is the president of The Whitman Strategy Group (WSG), a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues. She is the former governor of New Jersey and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency administrator. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN) -- On Monday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt declined to renew the terms of nine of the 18 scientists on the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors. According to an EPA spokesperson, this change was made in order to bring different scientists into the mix, including industry ones.

This dismissal, which is unprecedented in recent presidential history, represents yet another data point in the Trump Administration's trend away from science as the backbone of the EPA and other key federal agencies. It is appropriate to have one representative from industry on the panel that reviews the EPA's work -- after all, those industry researchers know best how they will be affected by particular regulations.

But the remainder of the board should be made up of research scientists who understand the effects of chemicals and whose primary concern is ensuring standards that will not harm human health and the environment. Ongoing research and development cannot be dominated by those who have an economic interest in the outcome.

The dismissals are particularly troubling since they are one of a number of developments in an administration which appears to take a diminished view of science.

President Trump has not yet filled nearly fifty key science and technology positions throughout the federal government. While Obama also did not fill these posts immediately, Trump's pace is far slower than his predecessor. His administration has also proposed sharp cuts to science programs and the agencies that depend on them.

----- 8 -----
Republicans misstate, again and again on TV and at town halls, what’s in their health-care bill
By David Weigel | May 12, 2017 | The Washington Post

[The word you're looking for, WaPo, is "lie."]

The American Health Care Act that narrowly passed out of the House this
month cuts $880 billion from Medicaid — but that won’t affect anyone’s

It keeps the GOP’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act — but
doesn’t really repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It passed after conservatives demanded that it allow states to end some
mandated benefits — but states aren’t actually going to do that.

Such pronouncements from Republicans in the days since they passed the
AHCA and celebrated in the Rose Garden reflect a deep struggle to sell
the bill at home. The bill falls short of the GOP’s long-standing
promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But most
Americans now oppose the “full” repeal that so many Republicans have
pledged to make happen year after year.

That means these lawmakers face two potential backlashes: one if
opponents of Obamacare perceive that the bill does not go far enough,
and another from Americans worried that the bill would eliminate their

The result has been a confused sales effort — and a series of flat
misstatements and contradictions about what’s actually in the bill.

----- 9 -----
MSNBC Ending Lawrence O’Donnell “The Last Word” Show Despite Top Ratings (Exclusive)
by Roger Friedman - May 15, 2017 - Showbiz 411

[A followup here; there's been a huge fan response: ]

I can confirm that MSNBC is ending the top rated “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, the popular show that follows Rachel Maddow at 10pm. O’Donnell’s contract is up shortly, and the network has not made any overtures about keeping him on.

There is a fear that despite Maddow’s dogged liberalism, MSNBC is taking a turn to the right. O’Donnell would not fit into that model. But they’ve installed Fox News’s Greta van Susteren at 6pm, and more changes are coming. (This follows the disaster with Tamron Hall and the coming of Megyn Kelly from Fox News, too.)

It seems just like MSNBC to abruptly kill their own success. They’re finally beating CNN and Fox, so why not reverse course? Crazy. O’Donnell’s ratings have never been higher.

“The Last Word” has been on since 2011, and O’Donnell has been with MSNBC since it began. If CNN were smart, they’d pick him up right away. He’s one of the smartest guys in the room, and a pleasure to watch. Among his credits are writing for and consulting on “The West Wing.”


My NBC sources say that O’Donnell’s tireless criticism of Donald Trump is the cause of the trouble. O’Donnell calls Trump a liar on TV almost ever night. Says my observer: “Phil Griffin fought back Trump’s demands to Comcast chief Steve Burke that O’Donnell get fired for years. But now he’s president and now it’s Andy Lack’s decision and Andy has never run a single promo for O’Donnell and he wants access to Trump for Lester Holt interview and more.”
Morale at NBC News has been low for some time. My source says: “This version of NBC news would have handed the Pentagon papers back to the Pentagon. The New York Times and Washington Post remain our best hope.”

Maybe Bill O’Reilly will take his place. Maybe pigs will fly.

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Tags: #1, fascism watch, politics
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