Dark days and I’m really feeling it as I travel through Germany watching my country and its very dark element become unrecognizable to me. How to return to that? It’s a sad, cruel joke and the entire world sees it exactly that same way. It’s an embarrassment and I can’t help but use an apologetic tone when replying “the USA,” when someone asks me where I’m from. The photos this week are from Tokyo (it translates into something like “kiss a dick”), here in Dresden, they really want to see David Hasselhoff become our next president (Germany LOVES him), and they have a “No Nazis” signature mantra echoing on the streets. Also, two very poignant pieces from Jim Carrey. “Entitled Little Shits” featuring that lying Kavanaugh, and “Why Don’t You Report?” featuring traitorous Lindsey Graham. Critics accuse Carrey of really ugly portraitures, but I have to ask, isn’t it all very ugly right now? His artwork is the most authentic representation we have right now ~ the TRUTH.
Week 98 of this: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
This week our country was riveted as new allegations of sexual assault surfaced against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. On Thursday, 20 million Americans tuned in to the watch the Kavanaugh hearings. Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming across as poised and credible, while a belligerent Kavanaugh delivered testimony riddled with inaccuracies, Republicans planned to push forward for a confirmation vote on Friday. In a stunning turn, the power of the #MeToo movement and protests changed a key senator’s vote early Friday, pushing off Kavanaugh’s confirmation and forcing Trump to open a one-week FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against his nominee.
This week Trump was literally the laughing stock of the world, as leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly laughed out loud at a braggadocious claim during his speech. On Thursday, Trump held an 80-minute news conference, only his fifth since taking office, which was panned by media outlets as “bizarre,” “insane,” and “surreal.”
Increasingly, our country feels at war with itself, as Trump and white male Republican leadership readied to push through Kavanaugh’s nomination at any cost, ignoring the voices of women. Trump’s push on Kavanaugh threatened the integrity of another institution, the Supreme Court, while he continued his attacks on the FBI, the Department of Justice, and, his favorite target, the media. Notable this week were comparisons of the Kavanaugh proceedings to a storyline in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
- On Saturday, WAPO reported Trump’s advisers are counseling him not to fire deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, citing concern it would feed the Democratic narrative of a regime in chaos and hurt the GOP in the midterms.
- Aides say Trump will fire Sessions after the election anyway, so removing Rosenstein would just hurt Republicans. Aides also say Trump could revive the incident later if Mueller’s probe produces an unfavorable conclusion.
- The FBI Agents Association defended its members amid Trump’s vitriol, tweeting “Attacks on our character and demeaning comments” will not stop agents from dedicating “our lives to protecting the American people.”
- On Sunday, WAPO reported the fight for Kavanaugh risks exacerbating the GOP’s problem with women, as it reveals the party’s hyper-masculine mindset. All 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are white men.
- Trump is also pulling the party along with him in grievances about what he sees as injustice against accused men, setting the stage for white men dismissing women and attacking them with victim blame.
- Reportedly, Sen. Mitch McConnell called Trump last Friday to warn him that Trump’s tweets attacking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford were not helpfuland could cause new problems. Trump stopped attacking her over the weekend.
- On Saturday, the Trump regime announced a proposed rule which would make it harder to obtain visas or green cards for immigrants who have ever been dependent on public benefits, including Medicaid or food stamps.
- The rule would apply to immigrants already in the US legally as well as those seeking to enter. Disqualifying benefits would also include the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy and vouchers for Section 8 housing.
- The proposed rule is based on “public charge,” which was first implemented in the 1800s as a way to deny entry to immigrants who were likely to become a drain on the economy.
- The US already has a law that allows it to deny green cards to immigrants it believes could become “a public charge.” The rule would expand the definition to public benefit to programs like food stamps or Medicaid.
- Advocates say the new rule could cause about one-third of immigrants to drop or avoid signing up for benefits if enacted, leading to worse health outcomes and increased communicative diseases and poverty.
- On Monday, Trump declared himself an “absolute no” on the question of statehood for Puerto Rico, citing critics such as San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz as his rationale.