What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 21, 2019

Full Stop - The Trib Editorial Board Wrote THIS??

Take a look at these paragraphs from this Tribune-Review editorial:
Today there may be more technology in a child’s pocket than there was the NASA control room that managed a flight into space to a distant rock. But we spend our time sharpening the tools we already have rather than looking at other problems that are crazy to even dream of solving.

We have challenges that can be met. We have races we can run. We can reach for distant stars.

We have it in our hands to end the very problems that rip us into factions and tear our world into shreds. There is no reason to fight about climate change when we could put a stopwatch on a solution. [Emphasis added.]
How many years did the Trib deny climate change?

They wrote this four years ago:
Chicken Little climate cluckers issue one failed doomsday prediction after another. Think of, eight years ago, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaring that “as little as eight years were left to avoid” global-warming catastrophe.
To which I responded:
Their mistake (intentional or not) is subtle but still very telling. Look at what they want you to think. They want you to think that the IPCC declared eight years ago a "global-warming catastrophe" would occur within eight years (meaning "by now"). Since this "doomsday prediction" hasn't happened, they must be reasoning, the climate cluckers must've been wrong.
Ten years ago, they wrote this:
Another month, another set of data that counters global-warming orthodoxy -- and another reason why the climate debate must stop generating more heat than light if it's to arrive at scientifically valid conclusions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center has released its "State of the Climate National Overview October 2009." The report finds that the month just past was America's third-coolest October on record. All but six states and all but one of nine "climate regions" had below-normal temperatures.

Though it covers just the U.S. climate during a brief period and the data are preliminary, it's reports such as this that, over time, add up to a most inconvenient truth for "green" high priests:

There's been no significant warming since 1998.
To which I responded:
And so on. I want everyone to note the qualifiers the Brain Trust has liberally (yea, I said it) sprinkled into the text. While they admit that the data "covers just the U.S. climate during a brief period" they're using the data to counter what they call global warming orthodoxy.
Turns out that the Trib was misleading on the science for at least a decade.

But now they're saying there's no need to debate it and further "we can put a stopwatch on a solution"?

Doesn't the use of the phrase "a solution" imply that there was a problem?

When did the Tribune-Review finally accept reality?

This is what I wanna know this hot hot Sunday morning.

July 20, 2019

It's OUR America

I'll just leave that there for you to ponder.

July 17, 2019

Trump's GOP Enablers In The US House Of Representatives (Western PA Edition)

All but 4 GOP members of the US House Of Representatives voted against this.

The resolution states that it's a resolution:

Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

And it ends with this text:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger, and that those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations;

(2) is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter 10their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; and

(3) strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘‘go back’’ to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as ‘‘invaders,’’ and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United 1States of America.
In order to protect Donald Trump, this is what all but four GOP members of the house voted against.

That would include these gentlemen:
  • Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14)
  • Mike Kelly (PA-16)
  • Glenn Thompson (PA-15)
  • John Joyce (PA-13)
No matter what they say in their own defense, the bottom line is that they voted to protect Donald Trump and his racist tweets.

Did you know that:
So instead of pointing that out, representatives Reschenthaler, Kelly, Thompson, Joyce, and all but four of the GOP members if the US House of Representatives voted to protect the man who tweeted the racist tweets.

July 16, 2019

My HUNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, we need to talk about Donald Trump's racist tweets attacking four members of the House of Representatives - all women of color.

First let me commend you for your statement, release yesterday, pointing out that "[t]hree of the four were born in America and the citizenship of all four is as valid as" yours and that it was "wrong" for Trump to suggest they "go back to where they came from." You argue that "We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry."

That in itself is more than the vast majority of members of your own party have done. However close you got to using the "r" word, you didn't exactly point out (much less denounce) the racism of telling four non-white women to "go back to where they came from" did you?

But in a sea of otherwise silent Republican complicity in the face of Trump's racism, it's something. So here's my question: Now that you've put at least some amount of distance between you and the leader of your party, when can we expect you to denounce Trump's treatment of children in those detention centers on the southern border? It's still going on, you know.

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


July 15, 2019

Racist. Donald Trump Is A Racist.

Exhibit, um what number are we up to?

And this is who he was talking about:
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, American citizen, born in New York City
  • Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, American citizen, born in Detroit
  • Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, American citizen, born in Cincinnati 
  • Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, American citizen, born in Mogadishu
As American citizens each is guaranteed the right to speak on any subject (and certainly as members of Congress, they have the right to discuss issues of government policy) and none of their free speech rights are subject to any government filter.

It's certainly un-American for him to say that just because they say stuff with which he disagrees, they should leave the country.

The fact that none of them are men and none are white can't possibly have anything to do Trump's distaste for their dissenting presence on American soil, can it?

July 14, 2019

This Is America Today

Last night in Manhattan a problem at a ConEdison substation winked out the power for about 73,000 customers from 72nd Street to the West 40s, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River.

This included Carnegie Hall and Broadway - where the night's performances had to be cancelled.

So this happened:

And this:

And this:

And this:

But let's refrain from too much self-back patting about how great America is because this, too, is America these days:

In an interview about what he saw in the camps, Trump's Vice-President said:
I think what we saw today was a very fair representation of how families are being treated
But you'll note in the video that it's all men - where are the women and children?  As one twitter writer wrote, someone should remind the VP that all those men were once fetuses.

Then there's this:
Read it. Read it all.

This is America.

July 13, 2019

Title IX, The Trib Editorial Board, And Passage Of Time

Recently, (and surprisingly to anyone following the antics of a right-wing editorial page of a right-wing news source) the Tribune-Review editorial board published a positive piece about Title IX.

The piece is framed by the World Cup victory of the U.S. Women's National Team and it was given this title:

Editorial: Title IX scored USWNT victory

And it contains this:
Title IX is why the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup for a record fourth time.
And this:
The USWNT grew up not just with talent and drive but permission to use them. Little girls had opportunity and ran with it. Big girls honed their skills and watched for their openings. Women scored.

And everyone won because equality is about putting everyone on the same playing field.
Let me just say that were I to have written this, I would not have gone with "permission" or the "little girls to big girls to women" time progression, but that's just me.

But take a look at that second sentence and how it begins:
And everyone won...
Certainly a positive view of Title IX, doncha think?

Getting back to the use of time as a framing device, the Trib Editorial Board opens this piece with this:
You can’t watch a glacier move. You can’t watch the continents shift. You can’t watch a redwood grow.

The big things take a long time to come to fruition. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
Time passes and things change, right?

You'll be surprised (or perhaps not) that it was only 7 years ago that the Trib editorial board had this to say about Title IX:
Title IX, bane of collegiate men’s sports teams, turns 40 this month — an occasion to regret, not celebrate, its sanctioning of “social justice” discrimination and twisted notion of “equality.”
Ever more an anachronism in an America where women are the campus majority, Title IX turns the very notion of discrimination on its head, purportedly rectifying one sort by substituting another. It’s brought higher education no closer to genuine nondiscrimination than has its close cousin, so-called affirmative action.

Those who do celebrate Title IX’s 40th birthday celebrate the codification of gender discrimination. How regrettable indeed.
That cracking sound you're now hearing is your own neck whiplashing.

July 12, 2019

Trump's Attack On Democracy Continues

We'll start here:
Let's go see what the Constitution (remember that one, Trump fans?) says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [Emphases added.]
Doesn't say anything about whether "you see something good and then you purposefully write bad" does it?

Perhaps Trump was talking defamation - and for that (and with the usual caveats that I'm not a lawyer, etc etc) we can go to New York Times v Sullivan which states:
The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with "actual malice" - that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
Note they're talking false/not false, not good/bad.

And in a concurring opinion, Justice Goldberg wrote:
In my view, the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution afford to the citizen and to the press an absolute, unconditional privilege to criticize official conduct despite the harm which may flow from excesses and abuses. The prized American right "to speak one's mind," cf. Bridges v. California, about public officials and affairs needs "breathing space to survive,". The right should not depend upon a probing by the jury of the motivation of the citizen or press. The theory of our Constitution is that every citizen may speak his mind and every newspaper express its view on matters of public concern and may not be barred from speaking or publishing because those in control of government think that what is said or written is unwise, unfair, false, or malicious. In a democratic society, one who assumes to act for the citizens in an executive, legislative, or judicial capacity must expect that his official acts will be commented upon and criticized. Such criticism cannot, in my opinion, be muzzled or deterred by the courts at the instance of public officials under the label of libel. [Emphases added.]
And yet the vulgarity sitting in the Oval Office wants to deny free speech protections to anyone writing anything "bad" about him when he thinks it should be "good."

The threat to all of our freedoms is right there. In the open. For all to see.

July 9, 2019

My HUNDRED AND SIXTEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, a few years ago and on more than a few occasions, you criticized the Obama administration over what you saw as "executive overreach."

Recently, the United States Supreme Court denied the Trump Administration the opportunity to add a "citizenship" question to the next census. A few days ago, Donald Trump said he was considering an "executive order" to get the question on the census, despite the rebuke from the Supreme Court.

Let me ask you, Senator, how is that not executive overreach? Or do you think that a simple executive order can countermand a decision by the Supreme Court? Or just an executive order from this president and not any other?

Your silence on this matter is evidence of your complicity.

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


July 4, 2019

July 4th.

For the past few years on each 4th of July, I've posted the entire text of the Declaration of Independence for you to read.

This year I cannot in good conscience do that.

As Stephen Colbert said a few days ago:
I'm happy to say I love our country.

I love America.

I believe in my heart of hearts, our great country is the last, best hope for all mankind.

And what makes us great is what we believe in - "All men are created equal" [and] "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "

But here's the problem with high ideals: you actually have to live up to them.
My reasons for posting The Declaration every year is to restate at least some of the ideals upon which this society was founded and built. There are a few others:
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Equal justice under the law
While it's obvious to anyone paying attention to our history that this nation has faltered many times in upholding these ideals, ideals to a more perfect union they still are. Pursuing them is all important to realizing a just society.

But each of these ideals (and that's not even an exhaustive list) have been under constant and increasing attack by the current administration and its enablers in the legislative and judiciary branches of government.

And so for that, I have a question for any right-leaning friends who may be reading this: How do the concentration camps on the border and the mistreatment of children in those camps conform to this from Ronald Reagan:
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.
Note: I could have used any number of other examples. It's just that separating children from their parents and then forcing some children to take care of other younger children while denying all of them soap is just the most recent disgusting example of GOP governance in what was once promised to be a shining city on a hill.

Happy 4th.

July 2, 2019

My HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

A year to the day after the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, Donald Trump joked with Russian President Vladimir Puting about "getting rid" of "fake news." Within a day or so, Trump praised Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman even though the latter has been linked to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post.

Trump has been known to call the press "the enemy of the people."

I've asked this before but in light of Donald Trump's actions this past week, I have to ask it again: DO YOU THINK THAT THE PRESS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE?

If not, then why haven't you spoken out against Trump's assault on the nation's free press?

Unless you speak out against this assault on our democracy, you're complicit in it.

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


June 30, 2019

Pittsburgh's Abortifacient History

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this:
Between 1800 and 1900, the birthrate of white native-born women in American declined by almost half, due in some part to the increased use of birth control. The amount of printed literature providing information about contraception, from medical texts to classified advertisements, indicates the popular demand for knowledge, products, and services beginning in the 1840s. Contraception allowed women a degree of freedom and control over their own bodies; abortions enabled them to choose to carry a pregnancy to term or not, whether they were prostitutes selling sex for a living or “ordinary” working women struggling to support the children they already had.
At the bottom of the page were some examples of advertisements found in the New York Herald - like this one from 1841:

It might be difficult to read but the important words are in the title:

And in the text:
These Pills are acknowledged by the first Physicians in the United States as the very best medicine that ladies laboring under a suppression of their natural illness can take, and they very seldom fail to relieve when taken according to the directions.
And so on. What do you think "a suppression of their natural illness" could possibly mean?

I think you can figure it out when you see this other add for Madame Costello:

Were you to take a close look at the second paragraph:
Suppression, irregularity, obstruction &c, by whatever case produced, can be removed by Madam C, in a very short time.
And then the end of the third, how Madame can see:
...those who wish to be treated for obstruction of their monthly period.
"Obstruction of their monthly period"?? I'm not a doctor but what could possibly "obstruct" menstruation but a pregnancy?

So we're talking, at the very least, about pills to trigger miscarriages, if not actual abortion procedures, advertised in New York City newspapers.

The coded language for pregnancy back then was amazing:
  • suppression of [the ladies'] natural illness
  • obstruction of the monthly period
As were the code words used for treatment:
  • "female tonic"
  • "female pills"
  • "female remedies"
  • "regulators"
As well as the names of the medicines themselves:
  • English Remedy
  • French Remedy
And so on. The combination of these terms ("female tonic to regulate the monthly period" or "English Remedy for the removal of any obstruction") could only point to one thing - ending an unwanted pregnancy.

Take as an example an ad touting the above mentioned "French Remedy" from the Brandon Mail May 5, 1887:

The code words are there - Dr LeDuc's "periodic pills" are a  "cure for suppressed menstruation" along with the necessary warning that they "must not be taken during the first five months of pregnancy."

What do you think a woman in 1841, scared that she might be pregnant, would think reading the above ad?


Got me to thinking - did any of these ads show up in any Pittsburgh newspaper in the 19th century/early 20th century?

We've gotten this far down the blog post so I think you know the answer to this.

Take a look at this from The Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, August 2, 1841:

It's ostensibly an announcement regarding a set of medicines previously sold at "41 and 19 St Clair Street" will now be sold by a "Mr. SAMUEL FREW, corner of Wood and Liberty, downtown.

Look about a quarter of the way down:
DR LEROY'S FEMALE PILLS, for diseases peculiar to the sex.
 Any woman in need of those pills in 1841 would know exactly what they were for.

70 years later the story was the same. Take a look at this from the Pittsburgh Press of August 10, 1910:

No longer Dr LeRoy, now we're on to Dr Martell's "Female Pills" sold at May Drug stores.

But May Drug stores (and I guess there were 7 in 1910) wasn't the only place to go. Along with the sales of the "female pills" or the "French Remedy" or the various products promising "regulation of the menstrual period" there were ads selling "female tonic."  Like this one from the Pittsburg Press September 29, 1912:

The amazing part of this is that it's a recipe for the tonic. The tonic is for "toning up the system and restoring the female organs to their normal conditions...." And there's that word "regulator" in there as well.  The clue for it's use is the first ingredient, "black cohosh."

What is it? What is it used for?

Well, there's this from WebMd:
Black cohosh is most often used to control the symptoms of menopause, such as:

Some studies have found evidence that black cohosh does help with these symptoms. However, many experts consider the evidence unclear and say more research is needed.

Other uses of black cohosh have less scientific support. Women sometimes take it to regulate periods, ease PMS symptoms, and cause women to go into labor.
So, let me ask - as it's a recipe for a tonic intended to end a pregnancy, is it illegal for me to repost? For you to read? How about for a woman in Georgia or any of those other "heartbeat bill" states?

Let me put in a caveat here: I am not a doctor or expert in biochemistry in any way. I have no idea whether any of these remedies actually work or even if they're safe. Given that 19th century America was drenched in snake oil cures for many maladies known (or imagined), it would not be wrong to think that some or all of these "cures" are hokum - perhaps even dangerous hokum.

But that doesn't matter - what matters is that the women of 19th century Pittsburgh believed that taking the "periodic pills" (or the tonic or the various remedies) would end an unwanted pregnancy and they were willing to take the pills to end those pregnancies.

Women have been doing this for centuries.

Legislating it away won't legislate it away.

June 26, 2019

Donald Trump Is LYING About The Children Held In Detention Centers

This from FOX NEWS:

They're just little kids and the Trump Administration made them sleep in deplorable unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Donald Trump is lying.

June 25, 2019

My HUNDRED AND FOURTEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

We have to talk about the children in the concentration camp Clint Border Protection facility near El Paso, Texas.

You've read about the conditions there, haven't you? I know you tweeted a few days ago about how June is "National Candy Month" but I'm thinking that children being held in unsafe and unsanitary conditions as a matter of the president's immigration policy is somewhat more important than the Senate's candy bowl. I trust we can at least agree on that.

So here's my question: How do you reconcile your support of Donald Trump when one of his administration's policies is this cruel treatment of children? You already disagree with his policy on tariffs, why not his policy regarding detained children being denied soap, toothbrushes, and showers?

Please explain to your constituents how any of this is OK with you.

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


June 24, 2019

Meanwhile, Outside...

From the climate scientists at NOAA:
The global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average for May 2019 was the fourth highest for the month of May in the 140-year NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The March–May temperature was second highest, and the January–May temperature was the third highest such period on record.
The May temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53°F above the 20th century average of 58.6°F and was the fourth highest for May in the 1880–2019 record. The last five years (2015–2019) are the five warmest Mays on record, with May 2016 the warmest with a global land and ocean temperature at 1.67°F above average.
And from a non-scientist very high up in the Trump administration, we get this:
Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday wouldn't say if he views the global climate crisis as a threat to the United States.

Pence repeatedly dodged when asked multiple times on CNN's "State of the Union" whether the human-induced crisis is a threat to the country, telling host Jake Tapper: "Well, what I will tell you is that we'll always follow the science on that in this administration."
When pressed again on whether he believes the climate crisis is a threat, Pence said, "I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science."

"Well the science says yes," Tapper said. "I'm asking you what you think."

"Well, there's many in the science that debate that," Pence said.
Define "many" please.

Especially in the context of this from NASA:
Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.
That footnote leads here. Where you can find this paragraph:
The number of papers rejecting AGW [Anthropogenic, or human-caused, Global Warming] is a miniscule proportion of the published research, with the percentage slightly decreasing over time. Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.
So "many" needs to be explained. 

I suppose of you surveyed a thousand climate scientists and found that only 97% said they agreed with the science, that would leave 30 dissenting scientists, And I further suppose that you could say that 30 = "many".  I mean ask a kindergarten teacher of 30 five year olds constitute "many" or "few" and you'll see what I mean.

It still ignores (willfully, of course) the 97% who agree.

It's getting warmer outside no matter what Trump and his GOP say.

June 22, 2019

Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) On IMPEACHMENT

From Facebook:
It was deeply unsettling to read Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. It made clear that Russia repeatedly interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the intention of electing President Trump. The Mueller report also presented substantial evidence that President Trump welcomed that interference and, as we all saw, even publicly encouraged it.

Special Counsel Mueller also presented substantial evidence that the President obstructed justice on multiple occasions during the course of the investigation. Under long standing policy by the Department of Justice the Special Counsel was not permitted to indict or prosecute the President for any potential criminal acts. However, the Special Counsel said that if he had confidence that President did not obstruct justice, he would have stated so in the report. The report clearly says that the Special Counsels office did not believe that they could exonerate the President based upon the facts they had uncovered. He concluded that it was the duty of Congress to investigate the findings of his report and to make a determination about whether to impeach the President.

Congress has been conducting investigations into the underlying facts and evidence within the Mueller Report in the face of opposition by the Administration. Congress has the authority to subpoena any information necessary to carry out its Constitutional oversight responsibilities. Nevertheless, the Administration continues to prevent witnesses from testifying and refuses to comply with subpoenas.

No American comes before the Constitution.

Consequently, I feel that Congress should initiate an impeachment inquiry.
Have you read the Mueller Report?

No? Doncha think ya oughta?

June 21, 2019


From the AP:
A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they've been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there's inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.

The bleak portrait emerged Thursday after a legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government.
Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
And so on. And then there's this:
The Trump administration argued in front of a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities.

All three judges appeared incredulous during the hearing in San Francisco, in which the Trump administration challenged previous legal findings that it is violating a landmark class action settlement by mistreating undocumented immigrant children at U.S. detention facilities.
Same story, different source:
The Trump administration’s defense of conditions at its shelters for immigrant minors — it argues it is not legally required to provide all of them with such items as soap, toothbrushes and sleeping accommodations — drew an incredulous response from federal appeals court judges Tuesday at a hearing in San Francisco.
Large numbers of people held in camps without trial in harsh, sometimes life-threatening conditions -  yea that's a fucking concentration camp.

How do I know?


And this.

Say it after me: Trump's concentration camp system.

June 19, 2019

The Central Park Five - THEY DIDN'T DO IT (And Trump Refuses To Admit He Was Wrong)

And yet for the orange vulgarity things haven't changed.

From The New York Times:
President Trump said on Tuesday that he would not apologize for his harsh comments in 1989 about the Central Park Five, the five black and Latino men who as teenagers were wrongly convicted of the brutal rape of a jogger in New York City.

Mr. Trump was asked about newspaper advertisements he bought back then calling for New York State to adopt the death penalty after the attack. (The ads never explicitly called for the death penalty for the five defendants.)

“You have people on both sides of that,” he said at the White House. “They admitted their guilt.”
No Donnie, there's aren't "both sides of that."

There's just the truth:
In 2002, [Matias] Reyes confessed in prison that he had assaulted and raped Meili back in 1989, and that he had acted alone. At the time, the 17-year-old was working at a convenience store in East Harlem and living in a van on the street.

DNA evidence confirmed his participation in the rape, identifying him as the sole contributor of the semen found both in and on the victim.
And those confessions?

False and forced:
The confessions of the Central Park Five were wildly contradictory and at odds with what was thought to be the known timeline of events relating to the rape that night.

The confessions used against them at trial were coerced by NYPD detectives using a combination of lies, false promises and occasionally even physical force to frighten the young defendants into admitting to crimes they never committed.
The five went to jail for a crime they did not commit and Donald Trump refuses to say that he was wrong about it.

June 18, 2019

My HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

As you probably know by now, Senator, the leader of your party said in this past week that he'd take a look at "oppo research" offered from a foreign government - something that triggered a fierce rebuke from the FEC chair (saying that it's "100% illegal" to accept anything from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election) and Fox News' Andrew Napolitano (who said that it was evidence that Trump was "prepared to commit a felony to get reelected.")

This is very serious, Senator. Don't you think?

So far, however, you've remained silent on this matter.


Don't you think it's serious when the president talks about breaking the law so blatantly?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.