Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Chainsaw-Forged Monument to Melania Gets Unambivalent Reviews

Jackie Kennedy never had a clunky statue carved of her, with a chainsaw, but then again, we do live in a different era nowadays. An American artist named Brad Downey commissioned a sculpture carved from a linden tree and local folk artist Ales Zupevc took chainsaw in hand and obliged. Here’s the result. Reuters via NBC News: The blocky, rustic figure was cut from the trunk of a living linden tree – whose base forms a tall plinth – in a field beside the Sava River in the village of Rozno, five miles from Sevnica. There is no attempt at an accurate likeness, to the point where the gallery in Ljubljana appears uncertain how seriously to take the statue. “Perhaps we are simply trying vigorously to make sense of things that might only be a slapstick prank,” it says in a leaflet. “Who knows?” Downey said he wanted to “have a dialogue with my country’s political situation” and highlight Melania Trump’s status as an immigrant married to a president sworn to reduce immigration. The sculptor, known as Maxi, was born in the same hospital as Melania Trump, in the same month, and now mostly works as a pipe-layer. “Let’s face it,” he says in a short film being shown as part of the exhibition, “she owns half of America while I have nothing.” Maybe there’s some deep, hidden meaning in the piece, but so far nobody has been able to unearth it and commentary is running towards the irreverent, shall we say. I can’t stop visualizing Nick Cage climbing to the top yelling in Nick Cage fashion “I care!” — Tim Dohm (@tdohm22) July 6, 2019 Looks like something out of some creepy pagan ritual like in The Wicker Man — Robert Garnsey (@rgastoria) July 6, 2019 I’m seeing babushka & go-go boots here. Total head-to-toe look. Wow. — Amy Abramson (@AbramsonAmy) July 6, 2019 The resemblance is uncanny. The person who created it did such a great job at capturing her brilliance. — Lynnie (@LynnieM73) July 6, 2019 Do you suppose it's nose grows every time it lies? — Ursula Faw (@ursulafaw56) July 6, 2019      
ABC News / YouTube Donald Trump  s Children Ivanka...

Ivana Trump’s Ex-Husband Calls Junior, Eric and Ivanka ‘Garbage’

Here’s one step father who was not impressed with his wife’s kids from another marriage. Rossano Rubicondi was married to Donald Trump’s first wife and mother of his three elder children, Ivana, from 2008 to 2009 — then the couple started dating after the divorce. Apparently there was no love lost with Ivana’s kids, because […]

White House Releases Phony Photo Of Crowds Packing Trump’s 7/4 Parade UPDATE w/Snopes Fact...

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m. PDT A few people here and at Daily Sound and Fury said that Snopes verified the photograph of the crowd at the July 4th gathering as real. I just went and checked out Snopes and that is what they are saying. Here is the link if you want to read the entire […]

Ted Lieu Alerts FBI That Trump May Have Accepted Bribe On 4th of July...

You think that Trump taking $2.5Mil in Park Services money for his 4th of July rally was low? That was just the warm up. Check this out. (1) Fireworks CEO meets with Trump in Oval Office to oppose tariffs. (2) CEO announces ‘donation’ to Trump’s 4th of July event. (3) *That same day* Trump announces […]
Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump pence...

Did Pence Get Called Back To Washington On Real Emergency Or WTF Is Going...

There was a day not too long ago when one could turn to a broadcasting or print media source and learn about the events of the day. In TrumpWorld, that is no longer standard operating procedure, if Tuesday’s information kerfuffle involving Mike Pence canceling an appearance in New Hampshire is any indication. The drama began […]
Fox News / YouTube Kellyanne Conway on tax plan Senate...

The White House Just S*it Canned The Hatch Amendment, Calls OSC’s Recommendation To Fire...

I knew this was going to get nuts and fast. Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, a 1939 law enacted to prevent “pernicious political activities.” Simply, the Act provides that a government employee may not do political activities, like campaigning, while on the job. The problem is, in Trump-topia, the Act is rendered […]
Michael McIntee / Flickr Melania Trump Shares Opioid Abuse Stories...

Melania Invites Fox News Host Fired Over ‘Dick Pics’ To Speak At Be Best...

Tuesday was the first anniversary of Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative, aimed at helping children avoid opioids, online bullying, and overall well being. It was also the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” family separation policy, which resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents at the southern border and put in cages. To say that there is some cognitive dissonance in the Trump family with respect to children, not to mention bullying, is putting it mildly. That wasn’t the only aspect of the Be Best gathering that raised a few eyebrows. Former Fox News host Eric Bolling was there to speak. Bolling’s son died from an accidental overdose of drugs, so arguably Bolling was a qualified speaker — except for the fact that he was discharged at Fox News for being a cyber bully, who harassed female co-workers with pictures of his genitalia. So a known cyber bully was asked to speak at an event dedicated to the eradication of cyber bullying? If I was Robby the Robot, my circuits would be frying right now. WTF NEWS: Eric Bolling who was fired from Fox News after sending unsolicited photos of his penis to women was a featured speaker at Melania’s “Be Best” event at the WH yesterday . A pervert who would bully his female coworkers in such a way is a bizarre spokesperson for Be Best pic.twitter.com/4JAPdul7Qh — Stone 🥶 (@stonecold2050) May 8, 2019 Bolling was also there to give good sound bite. Melania has achieved royal status, like Lady Di, at least to listen to Bolling. The Guardian: In a heartfelt speech, Bolling praised “Lady M’s” effort to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic by speaking at events around the country. “You’ve helped lift the stigma, which will lift countless lives going forward,” he said. “When the history books are written, there should be a special chapter reserved for our first lady.” He added: “Many first ladies have focused on making American life better and they have, but you, First Lady Melania Trump, have gone one step further and saved lives … The most important and accomplished first lady in American history. Full stop.” “The most important and accomplished first lady in American history. Full stop.” Sounds like Sean Spicer’s “largest inauguration audience in history. Period.” doesn’t it? Okay. So everybody from Dolly Madison to Eleanor Roosevelt has now dropped a peg. And Jackie Kennedy, who never ran second to anybody in her life, is now second to Melania. Right. Jackie Kennedy was fluent in Spanish, French and Italian and spoke these languages publicly and often. She was educated at the Sorbonne, and famously translated French for husband Jack and then-French president Charles de Gaulle, shortly before Kennedy was killed. Melania ostensibly is also fluent in French, Italian and German, in addition to English and her native Slovenian. Has she ever spoken in any of these languages, to any world leaders, ever? I daresay it would have been a great selling point with the likes of Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and the Pope, just to name a few. Anybody ever see this? No, and you won’t, because it’s a lie, like everything else in Trumpworld. Here’s a little more cognitive dissonance: “While in Africa, I felt it was important that people throughout the continent and world understand […]
Rich Girard / Flickr james comey...

James Comey Rips Barr and Rosenstein in NYT Op/Ed, Talks Of How Trump ‘Eats...

James Comey is a controversial figure to be sure. History has noted the effect of his October missive to Congress on the never-ending subject of Hillary Clinton’s emails. History has also cast him in the role of showboat. Be that as it may, Comey wrote an op/ed piece, published Wednesday in the New York Times, exploring what in the world could be happening to people like Rod Rosenstein and William Barr? Rosenstein recently resigned and actually quoted Trump speaking on the “importance of the rule of law” (?) and thanked him for his “humor and courtesy?” And Barr, as we speak, is defending himself to the Senate over writing a summary of the Mueller investigation that Mueller himself has characterized as misleading? So, what gives with these people? New York Times: I don’t know for sure. People are complicated, so the answer is most likely complicated. But I have some idea from four months of working close to Mr. Trump and many more months of watching him shape others. Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man. But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites. It starts with your sitting silent while he lies, both in public and private, making you complicit by your silence. In meetings with him, his assertions about what “everyone thinks” and what is “obviously true” wash over you, unchallenged, as they did at our private dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, because he’s the president and he rarely stops talking. As a result, Mr. Trump pulls all of those present into a silent circle of assent. When Trump was elected, the Dallas Morning News ran an editorial, saying that the press was having problems covering Trump as a candidate because there was no “mechanism” for dealing with somebody like him. The example they used, is trying to photocopy chunks of cardboard in a copy machine — it won’t be very long before the machine jams and breaks. That is what happened to press coverage of Trump in 2016. Early on, the mechanisms in place simply broke down, because presidential politics simply had never seen an amoral candidate who lies continually. The media coverage mechanism is still broken to this day, as the Washington Post has logged in over 10,000 Trump lies and still counting. Apparently, the media is not the only group of people lacking a mechanism to deal with the likes of Donald Trump. From Comey’s op/ed, one gets the sense that the people involved simply get overwhelmed by the process of trying to deal with Trump, as if he was like other political figures, when he emphatically and overwhelmingly is not. He’s […]
Washington Post / YouTube Rosenstein Wray testify before House Judiciary...

Foreign Policy Journalist On The ‘Full Blown Crisis’ In How ‘The President’s Men’ Assert...

Foreign Policy journalist David Rothkopf sees the events of the past week with great clarity — and unfortunately, his clarity is alarming. Something broke in America this week. We have been spiraling downward since Trump's election, but this week, we crossed a line. The President and his men began asserting that they were above the law–and effectively no one in our system did anything to stop them. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 He asserted again that he was the final arbiter of whether obstruction of justice by the president had taken place. He even went so far as to imply that law enforcement authorities carrying out their duty to protect America were somehow "spying", perhaps illicitly… — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 At the same time, the Secretary of the Treasury and the head of the IRS determined to violate a law that required in no uncertain terms for them to provide the president's tax returns to the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 to those who break the law, encouraging a crime and abetting it. We learned that they considered an egregious abuse of power that would involve releasing illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities controlled by Democrats. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 The president repeatedly called law enforcement officers who investigated him traitors, guilty of treason–a crime that carries with it the death penalty. We discovered that the president considered appointing his grossly unqualified daughter to be head of the World Bank. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 In so doing, they sent a message that they would never challenge him much less convict him of the myriad crimes he has committed. The checks and balances our system was built upon are gone. Worse, the courts are being packed with Trump cronies–often unqualified. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 This is how democracies die. The rule of law is slowly strangled. The unthinkable becomes commonplace. The illegal becomes accepted–from violations of the emoluments clause to self-dealing to Federal election law crimes to serial sexual abuse. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 I have long thought our system was better than this–more resilient. But candidly, I'm no longer sure. I remain hopeful…hopeful that the next election cycle can redress this manifold wrongs. But it will not be easy. It will be too close. Trump may be with us for six more yrs. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 They are daring someone to enforce it. But what if…what if the courts rule against them but they ignore it? What if the Treasury Secretary has violated a law and no one arrests him. What if the president steals and canoodles with enemies and he goes unpunished? — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 Our only hope is recognizing the seriousness of our situation. This is not politics as usual. This is not an erosion of what was. This is a full blown crisis, the greatest American politics has faced in half a century…perhaps much longer. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 12, 2019 It is not a time for equivocation. It is not a time for patience. It is time for those who seek to protect the rule of law to step up to […]

Trump’s Lie Du Jour, ‘Ivanka Created Millions of Jobs’

Trump has a sugar coated vision of his elder daughter, Ivanka. He sees her as a “natural diplomat,” who should be the UN Ambassador, perhaps, and then go on to run for president. And he apparently sees Junior as the doofus that the rest of us do as well. The Atlantic: In our conversation, the president wanted to be clear: He was very proud of all his children. “Barron is young, but he’s got wonderful potential,” he said. “And Tiffany’s doing extremely well. Don is, uh, he’s enjoying politics; actually, it’s very good. And Eric is running the business along with Don, and also very much into politics. I mean, the children—the children have been very, very good.” But Ivanka, whom he sometimes calls “Baby” in official meetings, is “unique.” If Trump sees any of his children as his heir apparent, it’s Ivanka. “If she ever wanted to run for president,” he said, “I think she’d be very, very hard to beat.” At 37, she is old enough. But Ivanka has never talked with her friends about running for office, and the president said she has never expressed any interest about that to him. Still, while Don Jr. might be a hit at political rallies, Ivanka is the only child the president ever considered for an administration post. “She went into the whole helping-people-with-jobs, and I wasn’t sure that was going to be the best use of her time, but I didn’t know how successful she’d be,” the president said. “She’s created millions of jobs, and I had no idea she’d be that successful.” Nobody else has an idea about this particular success, either. There are no millions of jobs. Walmart and IBM have agreed to create programs to employ people, at Ivanka’s behest, but they are reskilling programs, for people who already have jobs. Just another example of how Trump can take a topic and make a self-serving narrative up out of whole cloth. John Kelly, evidently, is not in agreement with Trump about Ivanka being president. That John Kelly despised both Ivanka and Jared is no secret. When the retired Marine general was brought on as chief of staff, in July 2017, he saw a couple “playing government,” a phrase he would utter frequently. “He kind of walked in and looked at Ivanka like, What the fuck is Barbie doing in the West Wing?” the source close to her said. But if Kelly saw Ivanka as a headache, Jared was a consciousness-altering migraine. Kelly had little idea what Jared did all day—he could be text-messaging Van Jones about criminal-justice reform or catching up with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (implicated in the murder last fall of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi). Kelly struggled to hide his contempt. At one senior-staff meeting, when someone raised a question relating to foreign policy, Kelly, according to a person in the room, observed that having a clear read on the answer was hard for him, given that “we have about three secretaries of state now.” Jared, who was present, remained silent. The saga of Javanka is one for the ages. Never in history, has a sitting president hired his daughter and son-in-law as advisers, when they couldn’t even pass a security clearance without intervention from that same president.  But Ivanka has been quoted as saying that […]

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