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      From Twitter: Journalists and other Twitterati go to work. I think this first one is my favorite: Trump, when told of special counsel's appointment, cursed and said, "This is the end of my presidency," according to Mueller report https://t.co/jNzHGDHned pic.twitter.com/xnfo8DOA62— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 18, 2019 Um, folks. […]
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Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaah

May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you

The Washington Post writes about the terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers:

Forty-nine people are dead and scores more are injured after a heavily armed gunman clad in military-style gear opened fire during prayers at a mosque in the center of Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. A second mosque was also targeted in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a well-planned “terrorist attack,” making for “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

This was a horrific set of attacks perpetrated by right wing extremists from Australia who wrote a manifesto of hatred towards Muslims and immigrants.

The 74-page document states that he was following the example of notorious right-wing extremists, including Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

The United States is becoming an exporter of nationalist hatred, intolerance, and violent ideology. These attacks come the day after our own president insinuated that the military, police and bikers could become violent on the rest of us if we make them mad enough. In 2019, we have more to fear from the irrationally enraged white right wing and its leader in the White House.

The Confluence in Pittsburgh is familiar with this kind of senseless violence and sorrow and sends its deepest sympathy and concern to the country of New Zealand and its Muslim brothers and sisters.


Poor Paul Manafort, he gets blamed for everything he does

Saw this cartoon on mahablog (HT IvoryBill):

This was Trump’s argument yesterday, that if poor Paul hadn’t been caught up in Bob Mueller’s Javert like obsession with getting the president, he could have gotten away with all his crimes. Instead, he’s going to prison for 7.5 years.

I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around this. Mostly it’s because Democrats are supposed to be the party of people who are “open to experience” while scoring lower on the conscientiousness scale. But in these interesting times, we seem to have entered some parallel universe where Republicans don’t GAF about any illegalities their buddies do and Democrats have become our Jiminy Crickets. Oh sure, we might forget to take out our garbage but most of us don’t get caught up in bank fraud, money laundering and Ostrich leather jackets. We haven’t even started the convictions for conspiracy against the United States yet.

So, Trump’s “and he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids” is very disturbing. “Do whatever you want as long as you don’t get caught” is not a good message for 4th graders.

For more on the Manafort sentencing and how bizarre the Trumpian argument for Manafort is, check out Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara where he goes over Amy Berman Jackson’s logic and Manafort’s lawyer’s ill advised response.

Also, Preet’s book comes out next week. I’ve got an audible credit. Hmmmm…

And another thing, Nancy

Her impeachment comments brought back all the things I didn’t like about Nancy, including that she handed Obama the nomination in 2008 and didn’t allow Hilary Clinton a full first vote on the floor. Remember that, California? We got “no drama” Obama for 8 years and Obamacare that made working class people choose between health care and the car they needed to get up work.

Ok, ok, ok, I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to slow down. By the way, what does it mean when you dream of a bunch of Persian fortune tellers invading your house and sending you off to work in a military style jacket and skirt? Agggghhh. Ok, so off topic.

Anyway, back to Nancy.

What she is essentially saying is that Trump can get away with literally a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. As long as there are not sufficient votes in the senate, it’s a waste of time to impeach. That’s right, indicting the president is off the table, so saith the justice department, and impeachment is too decisive.

So, Trump is above the law is the only obvious conclusion. We have no mechanisms that would hold him accountable. He can barbecue Mexican toddlers on a stick while group groping a herd of porn stars on the yacht he bought with the money Putin gave him for the launch codes. It would be impolite to bring up impeachment at the next intersectional congressional picnic.

Are you serious, Nancy?? Are you listening to yourself??

We aren’t talking about a stupid blow job where we could see that the Republicans were overreaching. And Bush Cheney were amateurs compared to the Trump crime family.

He’s doing crimes in front of our faces and daring us to do something.

So, do something. No one should be able to break the law with impunity. Especially Trump.

Unless you’re waiting for SDNY or the NYAG to do the heavy lifting, you have an obligation to not send Trump the green light to do more crimes. Impeachment is written into the constitution for a reason.

It’s meant to be used in circumstances just like this.

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. 🙄

I don’t think Nancy is completely pulling impeachment off the table but I get so damn tired of someone telling us No all the time.

I’ve heard that she’s concerned with moderates who might suffer a backlash if the House impeaches. Let me put that to idea to rest where it comes to Pennsylvania. We redistricted last year. Democratic voters overturned a bunch of seats. It made a huge difference. And those of us who got shoved in Moderate D districts, like Conor Lamb, are not going to vote for a Republican Representative. In fact, Lamb has so many of Mike Doyle’s Democrats, he should be very worried that he’s not kissing up to us enough. We gave him a decisive victory. But ok, if he wants a close race next time, blow us off. Pretend all of us Hilary voters don’t exist.

I might run against him.

It could happen.

Nancy is also not inclined to show Hilary voters any respect. There’s no sympathy for those of us who had our votes stolen. No movement towards righting that wrong. We’re just supposed to suck it up Year after year. It’s incredibly demotivating, Nancy.

Now, I know she’s not ruling it out. I saw some conditions in her comments yesterday. And she was one of the gang of eight who were briefed on the national security threat that Trump’s associations with Russia posed. Remember Andrew McCabe told us about that? She knows more than we do. Is she just going to bide her time until the truth comes out?

That’s one scenario.

The other is that she will get freaked out by the prospect of a bunch of white guys voting for Trump no matter what and we never get satisfaction.

I just think that’s the wrong message to send. For so many reasons.

A judge of honorable families

The Marquis and his nephew talk about the decline of civilization in France at the beginning of the French Revolution. Tale of Two Cities, chapter IX, Charles Dickens:

“In effect, sir,” pursued the nephew, “I believe it to be at once your bad fortune, and my good fortune, that has kept me out of a prison in France here.”

“I do not quite understand,” returned the uncle, sipping his coffee. “Dare I ask you to explain?”

“I believe that if you were not in disgrace with the Court, and had not been overshadowed by that cloud for years past, a letter de cachet would have sent me to some fortress indefinitely.”

“It is possible,” said the uncle, with great calmness. “For the honour of the family, I could even resolve to incommode you to that extent. Pray excuse me!”

“I perceive that, happily for me, the Reception of the day before yesterday was, as usual, a cold one,” observed the nephew.

“I would not say happily, my friend,” returned the uncle, with refined politeness; “I would not be sure of that. A good opportunity for consideration, surrounded by the advantages of solitude, might influence your destiny to far greater advantage than you influence it for yourself. But it is useless to discuss the question. I am, as you say, at a disadvantage. These little instruments of correction, these gentle aids to the power and honour of families, these slight favours that might so incommode you, are only to be obtained now by interest and importunity. They are sought by so many, and they are granted (comparatively) to so few! It used not to be so, but France in all such things is changed for the worse. Our not remote ancestors held the right of life and death over the surrounding vulgar. From this room, many such dogs have been taken out to be hanged; in the next room (my bedroom), one fellow, to our knowledge, was poniarded on the spot for professing some insolent delicacy respecting his daughter—HIS daughter? We have lost many privileges; a new philosophy has become the mode; and the assertion of our station, in these days, might (I do not go so far as to say would, but might) cause us real inconvenience. All very bad, very bad!”

The Marquis took a gentle little pinch of snuff, and shook his head; as elegantly despondent as he could becomingly be of a country still containing himself, that great means of regeneration.

“We have so asserted our station, both in the old time and in the modern time also,” said the nephew, gloomily, “that I believe our name to be more detested than any name in France.”

“Let us hope so,” said the uncle. “Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.”

“There is not,” pursued the nephew, in his former tone, “a face I can look at, in all this country round about us, which looks at me with any deference on it but the dark deference of fear and slavery.”

“A compliment,” said the Marquis, “to the grandeur of the family, merited by the manner in which the family has sustained its grandeur. Hah!” And he took another gentle little pinch of snuff, and lightly crossed his legs.

But, when his nephew, leaning an elbow on the table, covered his eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his hand, the fine mask looked at him sideways with a stronger concentration of keenness, closeness, and dislike, than was comportable with its wearer’s assumption of indifference.

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend,” observed the Marquis, “will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof,” looking up to it, “shuts out the sky.”

He’s blameless, of course.

Trying to wrap my head around this…

Are there any dentists out there who can enlighten me about what services for underprivileged children, native Americans or Vets are considered “wasteful”?

I used to think that keeping all your teeth for a lifetime through preventative treatment was less wasteful than pulling teeth, abcesses, gum disease and dentures because these things lead to sickness, days of missed work and school, pain and chronic unemployment.

But what do I know.

What is, “Not today, Alex!!”?

The answer is: This is what we say to the God of Death.

Double down, Alex.