I’m confused. Is this a plan or a plan?

Trump on the ACA replacement Republicans in the House of Representatives are proposing:

“We’re going to do something that’s great, and I am proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives,” Mr. Trump said. “This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor, and this will be a plan where you can choose your plan. And you know what the plan is. This is the plan. It’s a complicated process, but actually it’s very simple, it’s called good health care.”

Boy Trump has a way with words, doesn’t he?

It sounds like there are a number of Republicans who are not happy with it:

“This is not the Obamacare repeal bill we’ve been waiting for,” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who was joined by a constellation of conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America and Charles G. and David H. Koch’s Americans for Prosperity. “It is a missed opportunity and a step in the wrong direction. We promised the American people we would drain the swamp and end business as usual in Washington. This bill does not do that.”

Since the introduction of the ACA in 2010, Republicans have been more focused on dismantling it, than conceiving of an alternative.

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“This is going to be a fight.”

Deadspin writer Hamilton Nolan explains why you don’t kiss Trump’s ring (via Daring Fireball):

[…] The pomp and circumstance and deference will only increase after the inauguration. The press and the Congress are the only two institutions standing between a dangerous man and total power. They must both realize this is not the time to salute and grovel. This is not the time to fall into familiar patterns of default respect for someone who does not himself respect the responsibility to the public that he has been given. This is the time for them to rise to the occasion. And the occasion is a fight for civil society.

This is not going to be a free and fair exchange of ideas. This is going to be a fight. If you have not absorbed that fact yet, you are already losing.

This is only going to get worse.

I thought all those people were so cute who were “wishing 2016 was over already.”

Well, 2016 is over.

All that shit you hated about 2016? Multiple it by a lot.

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Politics

The First Lady

From a December Washington Post article on the potential of Ivanka Trump being the first lady:

First ladies aren’t always presidential spouses. In fact, two early uses of the title refer to the beautiful, popular Harriet Lane, niece of James Buchanan, the only lifelong bachelor president. She was an able hostess who, not long before the Civil War, arranged for Northern and Southern guests to be seated apart at a White House function in order to keep the peace. Harper’s Weekly called her “Our Lady of the White House,” and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper captioned Lane’s picture thusly: “The subject of our illustration … may be justly termed the first lady in the land.”

So as we learn that Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s older daughter, arranged a meeting between the president-elect and former vice president Al Gore; that she and husband Jared Kushner are reportedly house-hunting in Washington; and that Ivanka is rumored to be looking at White House office space, it’s pretty fair to say she isn’t breaking completely new ground. There’s no job description, so like other first ladies, Ivanka can define her position — and it looks like the gig is hers — in a unique way: advocating for nonpartisan causes, as Laura Bush did with children’s literacy and Michelle Obama did with nutrition, or setting up in the White House’s West Wing as a de facto policy adviser, like Hillary Clinton.

I never knew the first lady didn’t have to be the president’s wife.

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Politics

This alt-right shit still boggles my mind.

An Alt-Right Makeover Shrouds the Swastikas:

A small but determined political organization in Detroit began to worry that its official symbol was a bit off-putting. With the group’s central philosophy suddenly finding traction in the daily discourse, appearances mattered.

So in November, as the country’s divisive presidential campaign became ever more jagged, the National Socialist Movement, a leading neo-Nazi group, did away with its swastika. In its stead, the group chose a symbol from a pre-Roman alphabet that was also adopted by the Nazis.

This alt-right shit still boggles my mind.

I didn’t grow up with hate and racism like this in New Jersey and my parents didn’t raise me with racist ideals. When I attended Rutgers, it was at the inner city campus in Newark, NJ. I loved the diversity in Newark and had no problem that white kids were the minority there.

But I digress.

Back to the story:

The movement is also acutely image-conscious, seeing the burning crosses, swastikas and language of yesteryear as impediments to recruitment. Its adherents talk of “getting red-pilled,” a reference to the movie “The Matrix,” in which the protagonist ingests a tablet that melts away artifice to reveal the truth. New, coded slurs have emerged. Fewer pointed hoods, more khaki pants.

I love that the alt-right dislikes burning crosses and swastikas not because they represent hate and racism, but because they impede recruitment efforts.

Un-fucking-believable.

Mr. Martin, the retired teacher, who attended the conference, also didn’t care for the Nazi-like salutes, calling them “very foolish.” But he suggested that most of those raising their arms were using the salute as “their version of the middle finger” — a defiant gesture “to the media, to the Trump haters, to everybody they feel alienated from.”

Why is the middle finger not sufficient enough of a “fuck you” to the media? Oh right, Mike, because the middle finger isn’t racist enough.

These are truly charming people.

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Community, Politics

Devils on Both Sides

This year, Time Magazine named Donald Trump ‘Person of the Year.’

It sounds pretty congradulatory until you spot the clever placement of Donald Trump’s Cheetoh head so the negative spaces around the ‘M’ in ‘TIME’ look like horns on his head:

This isn’t the first time this has been done.

Nope, Time gave Bill Clinton the horn treatment when they named him ‘Man of the Year’ in 1993:

Note that in 1993 it was ‘Man’ of the Year, but now it’s ‘Person’ of the Year.

If you think an orange-faced, New York billionaire has the common peoples’ interests in mind I have some things I’d like to sell you.

Trump voter lost home, blames incoming Treasury secretary:

When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

This woman’s face — along with every other person who voted for Trump and truly thought he’s a “Washington outsider” who’ll “shake up the establishment” — is now in the dictionary under the word ‘gullible’.

Seriously, how much of a sucker can you be? You think an orange-faced, New York billionaire has the common peoples’ interests in mind? If so, I’d like to sell you some things after I get off the phone with the Tooth Fairy.

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Business, Politics

“No Sleep ‘Til No Hate in Brooklyn”

Rolling Stone: Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock Speaks Out at NYC Anti-Hate Rally:

The election “felt very personal because … I’m a brown, female immigrant,” says Maria Paz Alegre, a U.S. citizen and New York resident who was born in the Philippines. “It’s been very painful to hear that half the country doesn’t want me here. It doesn’t matter that I do charity work, it doesn’t matter that I’m a teacher – it matters that I don’t look like them.”

She adds that “MCA was always my favorite Beastie Boy. His discussion of violence against women and his regret over misogynistic lyrics in the past always moved me,” she says. “For this park specifically to be defaced since he was [Jewish] was painful.”

Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz expressed a similar sentiment while addressing the crowd Sunday. “We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do,” he said. “And for many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years, but he was also someone who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me. But this is more about someone in New York City” committing a hate crime in the name of Donald Trump, he noted.

I lived in Manhattan from 2000 to 2012. My younger brother lives in Brooklyn. My father was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens. Swastikas on a children’s playground is not a New York City I recognize at all.

For the people who voted for Trump who don’t consider themselves racists, I ask them, “Why do you think Trump attracts the KKK and white supremacists?”

You can’t cherry-pick the qualities you agree with in the candidate you voted for. You have to accept everything about them. If you’re choice for President of The United States was officially endorsed by the KKK, you have to own that.

You’re part of the problem, not the solution.

It’s not a joke anymore.

In the bowels of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, three blocks from the White House, members of the so-called alt-right movement gathered for what they had supposed would be an autopsy to plot their grim future under a Clinton administration. Instead, they celebrated the unexpected march of their white nationalist ideas toward the mainstream, portraying Mr. Trump’s win as validation that the tide had turned in their fight to preserve white culture.

“It’s been an awakening,” Richard B. Spencer, who is credited with coining the term alt-right, said at the gathering on Saturday. “This is what a successful movement looks like.”

The movement has been critical of politicians of all stripes for promoting diversity, immigration and perceived political correctness. Its critics call it a rebranded version of the Ku Klux Klan, promoting anti-Semitism, violence and suppression of minorities.

Intellectual leaders of the movement argue that they are merely trying to realize their desire for a white “ethno-state” where they can be left alone. Mr. Trump, with his divisive language about immigrants and Muslims, has given them hope that these dreams can come true.

White Nationalists Celebrate ‘an Awakening’ After Donald Trump’s Victory, The New York Times, 19 Nov 2016

First off, “white culture” is mentioned in the quote above. What the fuck is that? It sounds like an oxymoron to me.

In the 10+ years I’ve been running this site, I’ve posted very few entries on politics. I’d rather post on graphic design, web design, art, culture, cars, and technology, but I’m both scared and fascinated by Donald Trump, especially now that he is our president-elect.

Sure, it might be fun for some people to see Alec Baldwin portray him on Saturday Night Live, but I don’t find myself laughing that much. It’s not a joke for me anymore.

I’m concerned both with what Trump is capable of doing with his power as president, and with what white nationalists — a euphemism for racists, in my opinion — are capable of doing.

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Politics

Smoothly

Trump Says Transition’s Going ‘Smoothly,’ Disputing Disarray Reports:

The president-elect criticized a report in The New York Times about his early telephone contacts with foreign leaders. In a post on Twitter, he said he had made and received “calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing @nytimes said. Russia, U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Japan.”

In fact, The Times reported that Mr. Trump had taken calls from the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Russia and Britain, but said they had been conducted haphazardly and without State Department briefings that traditionally guide conversations with foreign leaders.

Of the transition effort, Mr. Trump wrote: “It is going so smoothly.”

According to Trump, the United States is a mess, but his shitshow isn’t a shitshow. If you’re stupid enough to believe him, everything always goes smoothly for him, all the time.

I still can’t believe this is happening.

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Politics

Trump: “I was just fucking with you. I love lobbyists!”

NYTimes: Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They’re on His Transition Team:

President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.

Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.

If this news comes as a surprise to you, you’re an idiot.

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Politics

It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

NYTimes: Donald Trump’s Victory Is Met With Shock Across a Wide Political Divide:

Among the candidates for cabinet secretaries and advisers are members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, aides said, including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a crucial adviser on policy issues; Steven Mnuchin, a businessman who was Mr. Trump’s national finance chairman; Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; and Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House.

Christie. Giuliani. Gingrich.

That’s one of the most sickening sentences I’ve ever read.

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Politics