Authoritarianism: Aug 5–11

“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”
 ― George Orwell, The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell

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  1. Wow. Daddy throws Junior under the bus.

Also, Secret Service sez “Don’t be a moron.”

“Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time,” the statement said.

2. Indeed.

Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on U.S. companies and consumers. When a big U.S. retail chain or an equipment manufacturer has to pay 10 or 25 percent more to get steel from Canada or a certain part from China, that U.S. company has to pay the tax when it imports that item. U.S. businesses either eat that extra cost or pass it along to consumers.

You have point zero zero three seven five seconds to guess which choice (eat it or pass it along) businesses will go for. (There’s a third alternative, see #8)

3. Sure. Turn all of California into one giant desert and there won’t be any wildfires, nor any pesky blue state giving you middle fingers.

General reaction:

https://twitter.com/rudepundit/status/1026301814818238464

He gets everything about California wrong, full stop.

We don’t like him either.

Aha, there’s the hammer.

The Commerce Directive announced a directive on Wednesday ordering the National Marine Fisheries Service, a sub-agency of NOAA, to “facilitate access to the water needed to fight the ongoing wildfires affecting the State of California.” That more or less cuts California Fish and Wildlife, which works with the NMFS to regulate state waters, out of the process. Per ABC News, said directive would allow federal officials to overrule protections for threatened and endangered wildlife:

4. >.<

Although the press has routinely been blamed for some of the United States’s most controversial conflicts, the historical evidence demonstrates that the power to make wartime decisions rests in the Oval Office and on Capitol Hill — not in the newsroom. Yes, the news media has the power to influence public opinion and to focus attention on particular threats, but elected officials always have considerable leeway — outside of an immediate national-security crisis — to make decisions about how and when to use military force.

Huh. Although, for a fuck-up who lasted ten days on the job, why does he get any national attention at all?

5. If he isn’t in jail by then, I hope his opponent fucking landslides over him 99–1.

6. Every Dem candidate needs to hammer on this:

7. o.O

Note this, dated March 2017:

8. Corruption. Force captive consumers and put them out of business.

Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers — both with deep ties to administration officials — have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by American companies that buy foreign steel to exempt themselves from President Trump’s stiff metal tariffs. They have argued that the imported products are readily available from American steel manufacturers.

9. War over emissions/environments proceeding apace.

The statement itself:

10. A bit of history and lessons thereof.

11. Interesting info on Big Ag. I’m still ruminating on this because I think this may vary regionally (eg California). But go read. If you prefer twitter, the thread starts here: https://twitter.com/SarahTaber_bww/status/1026198501129179137

12. Where are those coffin nails?

13. I always thought the whole thing about Kushner owning the Observer was weird AF.

Now a senior White House adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, Kushner in 2012 went around the editorial leaders at the New York Observer — the newspaper he owned and operated — to mandate the removal of a handful of articles from the website, according to emails obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Kushner requested the removal of a 2010 story about a settlement between then-New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo and real estate firm Vantage Properties regarding allegations that the company had illegally forced tenants out of their apartments to raise rents. Kushner also ordered another 2010 article deleted about Vantage’s top executive Neil Rubler. That story’s URL suggests that Rubler had appeared on some sort of “10 worst landlords” list.

14. Gotta love that correction, which reminds us of how often he stays at his own properties, most likely to force money out of them while others have to follow him to these places.

(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrect [sic] stated Donald Trump was at the White House. He is at the Trump National Golf Club clubhouse in Bedminster.)

15. Oh, he could only hope to be within measuring distance of being considered an actual news outlet. And really nice of him to give cover to anyone else thinking about murdering journalists.

16. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? I didn’t even think this shit was still produced.

More detail:

17. Wilbur Ross needs to be arrested and put on trial. And don’t whitewash it by calling it “grifting”, FFS. That’s CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. FELONY THEFT.

18. Tuesday was a day for voting in a number of states. Some results:

19. Swampiness.

The indictment is related to Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company on whose board the congressman served. Collins illegally shared nonpublic information about the company with his son, who traded on the information, according to federal prosecutors. Cameron Collins then passed that information along to Zarsky. The trades allowed Collins, his son and Zarsky to avoid $768,000 in losses, according to the indictment.

This is not how it works, johnny boy:

In a statement, attorneys representing Chris Collins said they “will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name.”
“It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share of Innate Therapeutics stocks. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated,” the statement said.

See here (I’d say SEC is a good source) https://www.investor.gov/additional-resources/general-resources/glossary/insider-trading :

Illegal insider trading refers generally to buying or selling a security, in breach of a fiduciary duty or other relationship of trust and confidence, on the basis of material, nonpublic information about the security. Insider trading violations may also include “tipping” such information, securities trading by the person “tipped,” and securities trading by those who misappropriate such information.

(Bolds mine)

And…kaboom.

MORE swampiness

20. Rand Paul. Trump’s errand boy, Putin’s….?? Besides, don’t we have an ambassador and an embassy all set up for this kind of thing??

https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/1027186813587337216

21. /splutters…oh, that’s PERFECT

22. Such…enthusiasm. Or lack thereof.

[…] Trump had to be nudged by Congress into unleashing the penalties after blowing more than a month past a statutory deadline. The government had two months after a formal congressional request in March for Trump to determine whether or not Russia had violated international law. After the deadline came and went with no response, Trump was called out in late July by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, NBC News first reported.

23. Of course not. (Note that he did eventually recuse himself. Also that one revision of the results cut his lead in half.) This is for the Republican government primary, so either Kobach or Colyer will face the Democrat candidate. (See also #30)

A bit on the Democrat candidate, Laura Kelly.

24. Oh for fucks sake.

25. Imagine that. Constituents pressuring their elected representative TO MEET WITH THEM. Uppity women daring to exercise their rights.

Vote the fucker out, you guys. He ain’t representing you. He just wants to run you over.

26. I generally agree. I just don’t want to be at all complacent.

At the same time, the GOP base is showing an alarming tendency to not care what Трамп and his complicit GOP are doing.

27. Wow.

[Devin Nunes] candidly revealed that Republicans hope to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein after the elections. Nunes is already leading such an impeachment drive — which hasn’t generated much GOP support — but Nunes added that he expected many Republicans to back Rosenstein’s impeachment down the line.
In case the meaning of this isn’t clear enough, Nunes also candidly stated that maintaining the GOP majority in Congress is imperative — to protect Trump from the Russia investigation.

28. The 1% siphoning off U.S. coffers:

Tell me again that GOP and Dems are the same. Even with a centrist president (Obama) we have a much more equitable tax structure with him:

29. Damn, how many is that now?

30. Nice. (see also #23)

31. Wow.

32. Shameful.

33. It’s got to really suck working at the EPA right now if you’re not one of the soulless monsters intent on enabling the destruction of the U.S. in order to siphon off as much money as possible.

34. Well that’s not good.

Meanwhile:

35. Something to keep in mind. I do my best to vet articles I list here, for example, but you never know :-P

36. Key word: dehumanization.

37. This is a pretty good rundown of what’s going on with Canada and Saudi Arabia. It’s worth noting that Kushner may have been ham-handed enough to encourage MBS on his present course.

38. PAPER.

39. This would not surprise me in the slightest.

The Pentagon has shown little to no intention of indulging Trump’s fantasies of a new, space-oriented branch of the U.S. military on par with the other five branches of the armed services.
But within one hour of Mike Pence’s speech at the Pentagon Thursday about the supposed “space force,” the Trump campaign sent an email urging supporters to pick a logo for campaign gear.

But this is brilliant. Again, twitter comes through.

https://twitter.com/janksmarc/status/1028239203367366656

40. More Gestapo.

41. This should be interesting.

42. I am not surprised. Healthcare is a fundamental need.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-08-10/states-work-to-create-health-care-coverage-options-on-their-own

43. Hm. Maybe a giant educational campaign to warn people away from for-profit schools? Kill all these schools off by preventing further students? Would be nice to do an end run around DeVos.