I find it astonishing that Senator Susan Collins isn’t going to do the right thing on her own, and that we have to force her, in this case, to vote against Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But, I suppose I should not be surprised. Susan Collins is one of those Republicans people often look to do “do the right thing” but I can’t remember the last time she actually did the right thing.
One way or another, we’ve got to throw her out of office and replace her with a Democrat. But, in the meantime, there is an interesting project going on at Crown Pac.
Promise to donate money, at leat $20.20, if she votes Yes on Kavanaugh. The money will be used to fund the endorsed Democrat who ends up running against Collins in the next election.
A typical Maine Senate seat costs, I think, about $6 million to run for, if you are a well established incumbent like Collins. If this program raises about 3 million or so, that’s enough to knock her off her game if the Democrats can find a well liked candidate that knows how to run a campaign. There must be somebody in Maine like that.
The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.5 million. Obviously I think they should double that goal. So far, just under 50,000 people have pledged just over $1.3 million.
A good amount of that $6 or so million you need to run a campaign in Maine, may be one million bucks worth, maybe more comes from corporations, and probably, some of those corporations are boycottable. They include General Dynamics, DLA Piper, Elliot Management, the Cohen Group (different Cohen, I hope), and Lion’s Gate Entertainment.
Here’s what the good people of Maine are saying to Susan Collins:
Top officials with the donor network affiliated with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch this weekend sought to distance the network from the Republican Party and President Trump, citing tariff and immigration policies and “divisive” rhetoric out of Washington.
At a gathering of hundreds of donors at the Broadmoor resort here, officials reiterated their plans to spend as much as $400 million on policy issues and political campaigns during the 2018 cycle. Earlier this year, they announced heavy spending aimed at helping Republicans to hold the Senate. But in a warning shot at Trump and the GOP, network co-chair Brian Hooks lamented “tremendous lack of leadership” in Trump’s Washington and the “deterioration of the core institutions of society.”
Note the number: 400 million bucks right now on campaigns and policy rhetoric.
Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars. During National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for victims, and strengthening our response. Continue reading Presidential Proclamation: National Sexual Assault Awareness Month→
Trump has just named Brad Parscale to run his 2020 campaign. LOL on the campaign, but you might want to know who Parscale is.
The House Intel committee showed interest in him in mid 2017. Parscale had been Trump’s “digital director,” which would have put him right in the middle of any on-line activity related Trump-Russian collusion.
Just the fact that this looks bad makes us wonder why Trump would put him in charge of Trump Steals POTUS 2.0. On possible explanation is that Trump is simply following marching orders, from Putin or some Oligarchich handler. I say this as pure speculation, of course, but why the hell else would such a controversial pick be made?
Anyway, some basic information on who this dude is:
Parscale is from Kansas, and worked for various Trump enterprises, building their web sites. He created a firm that Trump paid $91 million to run the digital phase of the Trump campaign. Other than building some campaign web sites, the company had no experience related to running or helping with a campaign.
The work Parscale did was the Trump side (as opposed to the Putin side, or other interests) of the on line (mainly Facebook) trump blitz to win the election. Parscale had denied that he or anyone else colluded with Russia.
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, would not confirm whether Parscale had been invited to testify as part of the congressional investigation.
But Schiff told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow this week that he is “very interested in finding out” whether there was “Russian funding or support” for the Trump campaign’s data analytics operation, “or Russian assistance in any way with gathering data” that was then used by the campaign.
After graduating from Trinity, Parscale moved to California and worked as a sales and marketing director, selling CGI software for five years. After the dot.com bust, he returned to San Antonio, investing $500 to establish Parscale Media in 2004, where he gained clients by soliciting customers at Barnes and Noble looking at web development books, through the Yellow Pages and online for businesses in San Antonio that he thought needed a web presence. In 2011, he partnered with Jill Giles of Giles Design and together, founded Giles-Parscale, a San Antonio branding, design, digital media, website and marketing firm. Parscale also co-founded TechBloc, a San Antonio-based organization focused on building and expanding technology, as well as attracting and retaining professionals in the technology field.
When I suggested several months ago that a document produced by a source that I knew independently to be good strongly suggested that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to alter the outcome of an American election, Scienceblogs shut me down, unposted the post, and made it impossible for me to access my account. I complained and they backed off, and I think the individual who did it was literally on drugs at the time, but still, it was the only time anything like that ever happened at Scienceblogs. And it was about Trump being guilty of collusion with Russia. I have not mentioned that before because I believed the individual who carried out this act was vindictive and I didn’t know if there was a link to the Republicans or some other entity, so I kept my mouth shut about it until the very last day that there could be any retribution. Scienceblogs stopped the redirect from the old site to my new blog yesterday.
A pair of American B-1 Lancer bombers is flying north northeast along the border of North Korean air space. Accompanying the bombers is a squadron of F-15C Eagle fighter jets. The crews are aware of the fact that North Korea may have a policy of shoot first and ask questions later, as a response to a tweet by the Russian-installed president of the United States, in which he threatened to kill the psychopathic leader of North Korea.
(I fear for a big drop in Tom Clancy novels, as they are no longer challenging or outlandish. But I digress. Back to the bombers.)
There was never any intent for these bombers to move into North Korean air space. In fact, the bombers are not armed. This is an annoyance mission, mere saber rattling in response to North Korean rhetoric that was, in turn, a response to the tweet by the President.
Suddenly, a nearby RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone detects a pair of MiG-29s moving at high speed on an intercept path with the bombers and their accompanying F-15Cs. The MiGs are armed but they are under orders to harass but not fire on the American planes. However, the American fighters do not know their intentions, but they do know that there will be no opportunity to stop the MiGs from destroying the bombers if they chose to fire missiles over the next minute or so, unless they act now. So, the fighters turn towards the MiGs, lock on, and fire their AMRAAM misles.
The bombers change to a defensive course, and even as the last bits of the MiGs float at various speeds down to the sea after being exploded in mid air, American and North Korean fighter aircraft are scrambling on both sides of the demilitarized zone. More ominously, senior officers in the North Korean People’s Army Air Force, the United States Strategic Air Command, and the US Navy Pacific Command automatically move their missile firing units to ready alert and arm a variety of conventional and nuclear missiles, ready to launch in seconds.
While all this is happening, American President Donald Trump is in the White House. It is late at night, and he is in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. At first, he just needed to pee, as is often the case with men of his age, with their increasingly swollen prostrates. But then he decided he wanted to spend a little more time in the privacy of his bathroom. With the door locked, he has had his smart phone out, and has been scrolling through the tweets from the special list he calls “Enemies_of_me,” and he is becoming increasingly agitated at the negativity. Many of the nasty tweets are about his handling of North Korea, since his earlier tweet that the North Koreans took, reasonably, as a declaration of war.
There is a knock at the bathroom door. It is Trump’s personal assistant.
“You have to go to the situation room, sir,” calls John. “They say they need you now.”
“Tell them I’ll come by in the morning,” the President responds.
“Sir, they say they need you now, I need you to buck up and come down the the situation room. They say it is urgent.”
“OK, OK, I’ll be there in the very near future. Did they say what is about?”
“Sir, they didn’t say but I think it is about Korea. North Korea.”
“OK, just one second. I’m coming.”
Time for one tweet, he thinks. But I’m going to make it a good one. How about this ….
Over the next hour, the era of nuclear threat ends and the beginning of the age of nuclear war begins.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider a couple of other stories.
In August, 2017, a Twitter user in Japan was bitten by a mosquito. He tweeted, “Bastard! Where do you get off biting me all over while I’m just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actually you’re already dead).”
He was then banned by twitter.
Milo Yiannopoulos, white supremacist troll, was banned by Twitter for making racist comments.
Back in mid 2016, it was revealed that at least a couple of major companies decided to not buy Twitter (presumably at a high price) because they did not want to own a social networking venue in which bullies and bullying were so common. Perhaps in response to concern about this, Twitter may have increased its tendency to ban bullies, despite the fact that there manages to be an increasing number of certain kinds of accounts, notably those that are racist or white supremacist.
Yesterday, a friend of mine sent Trump a tweet that implied that Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, had won the election. She was banned from Twitter.
So, clearly, the banning practices of Twitter have economic meaning. Clearly, Twitter can be very bad at making decisions about banning individuals, and has no clear or reasonable policy. (As I write this Twitter is promising to let everyone know what its policies really are, and how those policies allow Donald Trump to threaten to kill people to keep their accounts, while someone who gets snarky at the President gets banned.)
My point here is that Twitter is at sea, and Twitter is allowing something very dangerous to develop. Twitter is the vehicle by which Donald Trump has isolated America among world powers, it is the vehicle by which Trump has made repeated racist and sexist attacks on our own citizens, and now, it is the vehcile by which Trump is bringing the United States to the brink of war. One highly respected expert on US-North Korea relations puts our chance of conventional war with North Korea at about 50%, and the chance of nuclear war with North Korea at about 10%. Other experts see those numbers as low.
Because of Trump tweeting. And Trump gets to tweet because Twitter lets him.
Let it be said today, and remembered for all time, that every person who dies in any upcoming conflict with North Korea will have died in no small part because Twitter does not ban Donald Trump’s account.
Watch the following overview of US and North Korea conflict provided as context to the situation of this very morning:
Now, go to this tweet. Click on the little down arrow in the upper right, and chose “Report Tweet,” if you understand and agree with why this is a problem.
Note: the above tweet about blowing up Kim Jong-un is a fake tweet. Hard to tell, though, isn’t it?
One mean spirited decision intended to end the effort to end slavery led to one million dead and the end of slavery anyway.
I spent some time this weekend comparing prosecutors and other legal eagles, who were all hoping to get the job of Attorney General. They were Candidates General, I guess. Trump was mentioned, and somewhere along the line, Dred Scott was mentioned as well. I turned to a highly placed official sort of dude and said, “Did you know that Dred Scott lived in Minnesota?” He did not know that. So I asked a couple of other people if they knew, and they did not. Finally I found the smartest person in the room and he didn’t know either.
Gee, I thought, if you want to be the Attorney General off Minnesota and you are going to invoke the name of Dred Scott, you really ought to know that he lived just a few short miles away from where you are standing there invoking!
So I wrote this:
In 1857, US Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that a person who is black and of African ancestry can never be thought of as an American citizen, and therefore, has no standing to bring a law suit in federal court. In the same decision, Taney determined that a previous act of Congress that prohibited slavery in most of the territory north of a certain latitude, in land that was in the United States but not in a given state, was unconstitutional. In so doing he decided and determined that the US Congress could not prohibit slavery.
This decision was made in response to a suit filed by a slave named Dred Scott, who lived for a while, during a very important part of his life, just south of the Twin Cities.
Mr. Scott had been born a slave in Missouri, but later lived in various non-slave territories, as one of his owners was in the military and moved around a lot. During that time, he met and married Harriet Robinson, who was also a slave. Mr. Scott was owned by a military doctor stationed at Fort Snelling, which had been built on Lakota-Dakota land known as B’Dote (or Bdote) near what is now Bloomington Minnesota, home of the Mall of America. Ms. Robinson’s owner was Lawrence Taliaferro, who was the fort’s Indian Agent. Since Taliaferro was a Justice of the Peace, it was he who both gave his slave the permission to marry her fiance, and it was he who performed the ceremony.
At the time, Fort Snelling was in “Wisconsin Territory,” which is why, I suspect, Minnesotans by and large don’t know that Dred Scott lived here. Wisconsin Territory included parts of North and South Dakota, all of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and possibly tiny bits of adjoining lands. But if you come across a reference to Dred Scott in a history book, the word “Wisconsin” is right there, and Minnesotans think of the Green Bay Packers and move on.
Previous legal decisions, and a certain amount of common logic sprinkled with a sense of humanity, had already determined that a slave who then lived as a free person for a while got to be a free person for the rest of their lives. Since slavery was not legal in what was to eventually become Minnesota, and other territories in which Scott lived, he had a pretty solid legal case to make that he should be freed even after his owner moved him back into a slave state at a later time.
In order for Justice Taney to determine that Scott’s case was invalid, he had to create law that made the federal abolition of slavery in all non-state territories impossible, and to make all blacks non-citizens. Taney’s ruling was only the second time the Supreme Court had found an act of Congress unconstitutional, and of all the SCOTUS decisions ever made, this one had by far the greatest and most negative ultimate consequence.
Mr. Scott’s history is more complicated. There were changes in who owned him. He had tried to buy his freedom. He and his wife had children, including children born in non-slave territory. Abolitionists got involved. The Dred Scott vs. Sandford supreme court case, and all the legal events that preceded it, were major news at the time. The final result of Taney’s decision sealed the fate of the United States, set back civil rights by a century and a half, and contributed materially to the violent deaths of about a million people.
Fast forward to 1879.
From the time of the birth of the nation, but with greater intensity staring around 1830, and getting more and more intense in subsequent decades, the United States continuously wrestled with the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln had always thought slavery was bad, but he was enamored with the US Constitution and could see no easy direct way to make slavery illegal country-wide. He felt it would eventually die out as a practice, through a combination of legal and social changes.
But reducing or eliminating slavery had become an order of magnitude more difficult than it ever had to be because of Taney’s Supreme Court ruling. When Abraham Lincoln was elected to be president of the United States, slave owners felt that their ownership of other humans, and their right to spread that practice to the other sates simply by moving to them (with their property, their slaves) was threatened. This threat was sufficient that they assembled armies, caused their states to separate from the Union, and attacked the US Federal government with military force. The ensuing Civil War is the reason most of the previously mentioned million people died, but many others, blacks, have been killed before, during, and after the war by white supremacists. (This includes Union soldiers who were black, who were routinely killed on the spot when taken prisoner by Southern soldiers.)
After the war, there was a rapid and remarkable shift in society and politics in the south. Federal authority made it possible and relatively safe for southern Blacks to run for office and to vote in elections. Suddenly there were black faces in state legislatures and the US Congress.
But at the same time organizations like the Klu Klux Klan formed, and these organizations and their supporters infiltrated local and state governments. In some cases, they set up separate governments. On election day, in some jurisdictions, there were two voting boxes, and you could pick which one to cast your ballot in. The white supremacists had their vote, everyone else had a different vote, and when the results were different, the federal government would enforce the correct vote. At times, these disputes turned into small shooting wars, and were sometimes accompanied by random slaughter of blacks living in local communities.
Eventually the new fight over the old south fully evolved at the federal level and things got really strange.
In 1876, the United States had its most contentious election for president ever. Democrat Samuel Tilden, a Democrat (and thus of the party of the South) from New York (and thus maybe not so much from the party of the south) won 50.9% of the vote to Rutherford B. Hayes’ 47.9%. Hayes is credited with having had 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184.
Initially, however, the count was Tilden with 184 electoral votes, Hayes with 165, and 20 votes from that special category of votes that involved the multiple voting boxes and other shenanigans. The states with the bad votes were Florida (of course), Louisiana, and South Carolina (and there was a small problem in Oregon as well).
Eventually, a deal was struck. This deal was almost certainly illegal and extra constitutional, but even if that wasn’t the case, the deal was bad. But it is hard to say because the process and even details of the decisions made in the deal were kept secret and to this day we are not entirely sure what happened.
Rutherford Hayes, the Republican, was awarded all the messy votes, and became president. But, in return for keeping the Presidency out of the hands of the Party of Slavery, the federal authorities that were in the South keeping the white supresists at bay were withdrawn.
This is the beginning of the Jim Crow era, the era of terror and and harassment, hate and murder, bestowed by southern whites on southern blacks.
OK, fast forward to 1879 but for real this time, now that you have the context.
Slavery, a fight against slavery, Roger Taney personally ensures the continuation of slavery for a few, as well as the many, and produces the most bone-headed court decision ever, which is on the top list of three or four reasons that definitely led to the Civil War, followed by a lot of white supremacist whinging about, followed by the Jim Crow era.
And that is when art and antiquities collector William Walters (of the Walters Museum), who had hid out in Europe during the Civil War and seems to have been involved in about zero political activities as far as I can tell, paid for the erection of a monument to Roger Taney in Baltimore.
Now, fast forward a bit farther to March 6th, 2017. That is when this happened:
This is Charles Taney III, a great great grand whatever of Roger Taney, hugging Jynne Jackson, a great great grand whatever of Dred Scott, in front of the Taney statue. This photograph was taken at a ceremony in which Taney publicly apologized to Jackson.
Lynne M. Jackson winced outside the Maryland State House on Monday as she listened to Charlie Taney repeat some of the words his great-great-grand-uncle wrote in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision 160 years ago.
Black people cannot be U.S. citizens and have no rights except the ones that white people give them. Whites are superior to blacks. Slavery is legal.
“You can’t hide from the words that [Roger Brooke] Taney wrote,” Charlie Taney said, standing a few feet from a statue of his ancestor, who lived in Maryland and was chief justice of the nation’s highest court from 1836 until his death in 1864.
“You can’t run, you can’t hide, you can’t look away. You have to face them.”
Then Charlie Taney turned to Jackson, the great-great granddaughter of Scott, an enslaved man who sued for his freedom. He apologized — on behalf of his family, to the Scott family and to all African Americans, for the “terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision.”
And just a few short months later. during the early morning hours of August 18th, as a result of civil unrest stemming from pro-Nazi and pro-white supremacist remarks made by President Donald Trump, that Taney statue was removed:
Many of the Southern statues related to the Civil War, or, I suppose,pro-slavery supreme court decisions, were installed at about the same time as the Taney sculpture. The motivation behind the Taney statue, and possibly, who was really behind it, are an enigma, but in many cases, statues or monuments were erected by local governments under pressure (from within or elsewhere) by organizations like the KKK or other post war white supremacist groups and individuals. These statues were put up after the election of 1876 and the start of the Jim Crow era and their erection was very much part of that social movement.
A second wave of statue building and memorializing of things Southern happened during the 20th century Civil Rights Era. At this time, many schools were named after southern notables.
So at the start of Jim Crow, blacks living in southern cities were served up a reminder of their place in southern society. During the Civil Rights Era, black students were served up a reminder of their place in southern society, during the period of forced integration of schools.
No wonder so many northerners require southerns to prove that they are not a) assholes or b) stupid before giving them a break. Considering that our least racists and overall best presidents have come from the South, and Donald Trump comes from Queens, New York, northerners should give southerners more of a break. But we can do that while at the same time noting that there are a lot of people in this country that don’t deserve anyone’s respect because of their hateful views.
Meanwhile, in Bloomington, MN, you can find a memorial to Dred Scott, as well as a Dred Scott miniature golf course, a playground, and a car repair place.
I’d tell you what the plaques in Bloomington say, but I can’t find the text. I will visit the park soon and report back, it is not too far from me.
Meanwhile, if you live in or near the Twin Cities, get over to Fort Snelling and visit the place where Harriet and Dred lived. There is some interpretive history there, and the rest of the historic site is pretty interesting too.
It wasn’t much of a corner, he was already pretty much there, but yesterday, Donald J. Trump, pretender to the Presidency of the United States, threw in his lot with the “good people” of the fascist, white-supremacist, KKK-loving movement.
There is a lot of commentary out there about this. None of it surprises me, I and others have been pointing at this train wreck all along. But there is one new thing I’ll mention now. Listen to Trump’s tirade about the protestors. When he speaks of the past notables, including Jefferson and Washington, and the statues, he is plain and articulate, non-hesitant, and clear. He sounds like someone with an IQ. He even sounds thoughtful. That is Trump speaking articulately about that which he has often on his mind.
Donald Trump is not a clown who has served as a stooge for Steve Bannon. He is Steve Bannon’s mentor. Trump is not the accidental friend of the Klan and the Nazis. He is, following in his father’s footsteps, the Klan and the Nazis.
Of all the great segments ever done by Rachel Maddow, the following is one of the best; Watch every second of it, and you learn things and you will be afraid:
May I also recommend this also historical piece from a day earlier:
You can tell when Rachel Maddow is about to land a roundhouse punch, when she’s about to put the ball a few blocks down the street from the park, when she starts a segment with something like “Back in 1924.” She appreciates, almost exclusively among commenters and anchors, the importance of the historic context on one hand and the granularity and nuance on the other. Almost wants to make me pay for cable, that’s how good she is.
The truth about the Statue of Liberty and that poem and everything.
The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of American openness to immigration since it was built. However, modern White Supremacists want us to believe it was something else. I found one example of that on the Internet, writtne by Hunter Wallace with the tags “Identity” and “The Jewish Question,” and titled “David Brooks: The Great War for National Identity”:
…millions of Jews came to the United States during the Great Wave. Much of the early 20th century is the story of how these Jews rose from working class occupations into the American middle class before ascending into the highest levels of the American elite.
By the mid–20th century, America’s traditional Anglo-Protestant elite was being replaced by a more cosmopolitan New York-based Jewish elite. This new elite wasn’t and never has been exclusively Jewish (it included, for example, Catholics like the Kennedys), but was predominantly so, enough for Jewish intellectuals to have a major impact on American culture.
Around the mid–20th century, Jewish intellectuals began to change American culture and rewrite American national identity. They introduced new concepts like “racism” and new taboos like “anti-Semitism.” They concocted the myth that America was “a nation of immigrants.” Previously, Americans had no clue that there was even such a thing as “racism,” or that “anti-Semitism” was immoral, or that “we are all >…immigrants.” As Jews became more concentrated in culturally sensitive institutions (i.e., the elite news media, top universities, the entertainment media), they introduced an entirely new moral code.
The Statue of Liberty is one of my favorite examples:
“The Statue of Liberty myth provides a good case study of the shift to a post-WASP, consensus-liberal version of America. In current parlance, the Statue of Liberty is viewed as a symbol of the openness of America to immigration, and the plaque at its base by Emma Lazarus, which urges other nations to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” is believed to be organically connected to the statue and its liberal-universalist narrative. Unfortunately, reality is not so simple. Lazarus’s poem was not present when the statue was inaugurated in October 1886. Nor did President Grover Cleveland make any mention of the statue’s significance for immigrants in his acceptance speech.
Some Americans, especially Protestant clergymen, greeted the gift of the statue cautiously. In addition, the statue was often viewed less as a beacon for immigrants than as a guardian of American purity. As for Emma Lazarus’s oft-quoted poem, it was first erected on the interior wall of the immense statue in 1903 owing to the financial contribution of one Georgina Schuyler. Schuyler had donated the bronze plaque in memory of Lazarus, an obscure poet of Jewish ancestry whose work she admired. Not until the 1930s did the contemporary myth of a statute to immigrants arise – exactly the period in which the cosmopolitan ideas of America’s organic intellectuals were starting to win wider elite acceptance. In turn, this attitude change prompted officials to relocate Lazarus’s obscure poem to its current position at the base of the statue. …”
Kauffman is a fairly obscure figure, but he seems to have promulgated the myth that America, as a country, was made up at the time of the American Revolution of almost entirely white British Protestants. That is a myth that ignores the non-Protestants or at least non-mainstream Protestants such as Quakers, Shakers, and various other sundry groups, Catholics, non-religious, etc. white people from Britain, all the non-British that came from Europe, all the Africans who were here non-voluntarily (about 20% of the population in the 1770s), and the Native Americans (about 100,000 within the colonial boundaries, but a strong majority in the western areas being settled at the time). White British Protestants were probably a minority in the land between the coast and the farthest extent of settlement (up to the French territories) at the time of the revolution, and that proportion of society certainly shrank further in the decades immediacy following the Revolution when additional lands occupied mainly by Native Americans, but also French and Spanish and others, were added to the US. And, it shrunk father when immigration from across Europe including many Germans, and across the rest of the world, including, obviously, more Africans, and many from the Middle East and Asia, occurred as well.
Roughly speaking, by 1790, English members of the US population was about just over half of the total, with non British Europeans being about 10%. British-Protestants may have been just barely a majority, but just. We were not a pure land of wasps at the time, or any time since.
The Statue of Liberty was at the time it was built, and is recognized today as having been built as, a monument to American Liberty, as in the American War of Independence. It dates to the centenary celebration of the Declaration of Independence, more or less. From Wikipedia:
The torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar.
As part of the fundraising effort, Emma Lazarus, who was at the time heavily involved in helping refugees who had left eastern Europe under pogroms there against Jews, was asked to write an original poem. Clearly, the idea of freedom and liberty and the promise of America were tied together in the minds of all the people involved in erecting this statue, which is why the poem linked to both the statue and the fund raising was about the openness of America to receive the tired, poor, huddles masses.
The original manuscript for the poem, “The New Colossus,” is curated by the American Jewish Historical Society, which is always happy, I’m sure, to do its part in the Great American Jewish Conspiracy to annoy 21st century white supremacists.
Here is the poem:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Stephen Miller, representing the White House and Donald Trump, gave the White House Press corps a pretty straight forward White Supremacist line. Me? I’d rather have the coarse and belligerant Scramucci than this guy. Well, neither, actually.
Trump gave a talk to a gathering of police out on Long Island, earlier today. It went horribly. There are cops that are going to take Trump’s lead, take what he said seriously, and because of that, they are going to harm or kill Americans and end their own careers, destroying their own families and parts of their communities along the way.
The President of the United States egged the police on to disdain their civilian bosses, and they cheered him. The President of the United States told the police that they should not avoid harming suspects, and they clapped. The President of the United States encouraged the police to injure suspects, and they cheered.
He called American citizens being harassed by the police “animals.”
This was like and unlike Trump’s over-the-top and embarrassing tirade in front of the Boy Scouts. Similar because this was in both cases Trump being an unmitigated and stupid ass. But different because even though both the cops and the Boy Scouts were blindly cheering and clapping and yowling at these obnoxious comments, we could guess that the leaders of the Boy Scouts were potentially embarrassed. Also, for every Boy Scout there is one or more parental unit of some kind, and we knew many of them would be upset about Trump’s yammerings. And that all turned out to be true, and the Boy Scouts eventually, after some pressure, apologized.
But with the cops we should not assume anything like this is true. The only thing worse than a bunch of cops that show up to hassle some citizens is an organized bunch of cops in the form of an association or union. Today, Trump empowered the police, as a faction on our increasingly fractionated society, to become more violent. I don’t think there is any doubt that they will do this.
The New York City police department did not attend the Long Island event. Some see this as a boycott, since New York is a sanctuary city, and Trump intends to crack down on sanctuary cities. But it is not clear what the position of the New York City, or any other police department or group of police is. As far as I can tell, Trump’s new violence is something cops love. You should see the happy glowing faces of the cops standing behind the president when he tells them to treat suspects like animals, knock their heads on their cruisers, and otherwise, hurt them.
Happy glowing faces of cops clapping and cheering because they just got permission from the head of the United States to be physically harm American citizens.
I have been looking for the name of the organization that sponsored this talk, but I haven’t been able to find it. Whatever organization that is, we should demand that they apologize for Trump’s speech. But they won’t. Because they are cops.
Today is also the day that Donald Trump fired his Chief of Staff and replaced him with the Director of Homeland Security. The top security officer, in a sense, the top cop, of the country is now, apparently, at least according to a set of tweets, going to also be the person closest to the President in any official capacity in the West Wing. I wonder who thought of that idea?
Think about that for a minute. This is what dictators do.
Watch Chris Hays alter the anatomy of a Republican Congress member:
A statement has just been released by the White House, regarding President Donald Trump:
President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people, whether he is speaking to a room of three or an arena of 30,000. He has built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor … and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible.
There are a thousand ways to interpret this. And they are all AT THIS LINK
What we are reporting here isn’t fake news. But it doesn’t feel exactly like real news, either. It’s in that foggy realm of Trump news in which everything is slightly ambiguous and wobbly and internally inconsistent and almost certainly improvisational and not actually grounded in what you could call “government policy.”
On being told that a reasonably ambitious plan for going to Mars would get humans there in the 2030s, Trump directed NASA to speed it up and make sure it happens between 4 and 8 years from now.
Yes there are Nixon-Trump similarities. But in the end, probably not many. (A lot of Congresspersons boycotted his second inaugural, by the way). Also, for those who are not familiar with Watergate, I’ll tell you this: The medium to worst case scenario of Trump’s election, which would include Russian Hacking and possibly the Trump Dossier (but you don’t need the dossier in this scenario) is about 400% worse than Watergate. The Watergate scandal, after which we now name all scandals, was also about stealing an election. It is not as clear that the Plumbers stole the election for Nixon that it is clear that Putin stole the election for Trump. Either case is hard to be absolutely certain of, but Nixon trounced his opponent the year he had illegal help from his hired thugs, while Trump actually lost the election in the year he seems to have had help from Putin and Comey.
But that is not what I came here to speak with you about today. Rather, I’m just using the Bloggers Prerogative to reminisce about the time that I refused, as an 11 or 12 year old, in New York City, to sit in the chair sat in by Richard Nixon. We were watching Much Ado About Nothing from a box in Winter Garden, and this was, we were told by the usher, the very box Nixon had sat in during the previous performance. (We had seen him leave the theater. What a mess that made of local traffic!) Learning that, I asked which chair Nixon had sat in. The usher pointed to one of the chairs. I asked to have it removed. My hard core Democratic father concurred.
I have no idea if the usher was just playing around with the kid, perhaps even thinking that we would be happy to share Richard Nixon’s butt kooties. And I’ll never know. But I choose to believe that I made a point.
As are these folks:
“We woke up on November 9 just gutted,” he said. “We were planning to get married in July and decided, ‘Let’s get married this weekend. Let’s be as married as we can be, as long as we can be, starting now.'” The couple opted to elope to Las Vegas.
“As soon as we opened up the drapes [we saw] the front of Trump’s building and we’re like ‘Oh, no way,'” he said. “The letters across the top of the tower are just huge. It was a bitter irony that we were running away from him and he was right there.”