16
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 05:18 pm
@izzythepush,
I don’t feel that making references to Shakespearean scenes is particularly pretentious, but I can see where someone might.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 05:21 pm
@izzythepush,
I have to thank you for that Izzy. Just read a summary. I have no memory of that opening scene at all. I'm going to find a filmed play to watch.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 05:28 pm
@snood,
Shakespeare wrote anout people, and people don't change, there's almost always an appropriate quotation out there.

And it really pisses some people off.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 05:49 pm
@izzythepush,
Clearly, I read only the first part. There are not enough hours in the day. The guy was so ******* smart.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 06:20 pm
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

Clearly, I read only the first part. There are not enough hours in the day. The guy was so ******* smart.


He really was. I have to read modern English versions of his plays in order to absorb all the meaning, but I do appreciate the beauty of his word craft.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 09:08 pm
@snood,
Quote:
but I do appreciate the beauty of his word craft.
Yes. And also as Izzy suggests, his acute and profoundly honest observations of human psychology and behaviors.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2022 09:17 pm
On the issue of schools we've been discussing earlier, Dana Milbank has an excellent piece on the current right wing media (and right wing politicos') campaign to demonize teachers and schools. HERE
Quote:
For three months, Republican officeholders and Fox News personalities have been shouting it from the rooftops.

“The attorney general announced the FBI would investigate moms who dared to complain at school board meetings as potential terrorists,” Fox’s leading prime-time host, Tucker Carlson, announced last week.

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“Biden and his cronies are calling the parents domestic terrorists,” contributed Florida’s lieutenant governor, Jeanette Nuñez, on Fox News last Sunday.

“I’m glad that the Biden administration labeled us domestic terrorists, because that was a wake-up moment for a lot of parents,” commentator Matt Walsh said on the channel last week.

“Parents who are complaining about the schools are being branded as extremists, or even domestic terrorists,” host Laura Ingraham inveighed. “Merrick Garland gets involved, Justice Department gets involved.”

“The Biden administration … has said that they are considering parents who speak out regarding education issues for their children to be domestic terrorists,” proclaimed Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House GOP leader, on Fox News.

There’s just one wee problem with the whole Biden-says-parents-are-terrorists claim, reported dozens of times on Fox News airwaves and echoed at each link down the Republican media food chain: It’s horse excrement. Biden never said it. Attorney General Merrick Garland never said it. No senior (nor even junior) official in the Biden administration has ever been shown to have said it. Yet Fox News presents it as unchallenged fact, week after week. (In response to my request, a Fox News spokeswoman provided me no instance of a Biden official calling parents domestic terrorists.)

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It would be easy to overlook this one drizzle of disinformation in the torrent of falsehood the GOP-Fox axis produces. The network, which “informs” the majority of Republican voters, has painstakingly constructed a parallel universe in which vaccines kill you, Biden stole the election, Biden is senile, grade schoolers are being force-fed critical race theory, the FBI orchestrated the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the country is in an apocalyptic spiral of open borders, rampant crime and runaway inflation.

But let’s pause to dissect this particular smear, because the Biden-says-parents-are-terrorists fiction fits with a narrative sometimes described on Fox as Biden’s “war on parents.” It also sanitizes violence.

Fox’s Carlson and others have objected to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists being (accurately) labeled as domestic terrorists. If they can make it appear that Biden is “labeling anyone who disagrees with his policies … as domestic terrorists” (Fox’s Rachel Campos-Duffy), or that Biden is saying all “Trump supporters are effectively domestic terrorists” (as one of Carlson’s guests put it), then it’s just more condescension from liberal elites about “deplorables.”

“They are trying to turn half of the country into second-class citizens,” J.D. Vance, a Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, told Fox, with “Attorney General Garland going after parents as domestic terrorists.”

The basis for the smear is Garland’s Oct. 4 memo saying that, because of a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” the FBI would develop “strategies for addressing threats” with state and local authorities. It said nothing about parents being labeled domestic terrorists.

Fox News has reported that the administration “requested” a Sept. 29 “letter from the National School Boards Association calling parents domestic terrorists.” The administration denied this allegation (which was based on a third-hand remark in an NSBA email released under the Freedom of Information Act) and, in any event, the NSBA-written letter (it has since apologized for the language) also didn’t call parents domestic terrorists. It said that certain “heinous actions” of violence and threats against school officials “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claimed an FBI email provided by a “whistleblower” showed “troubling attempts” by DOJ and the White House “to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents.” This email also didn’t mention parents; it was about tracking “threats” against educators.

In reality, DOJ is doing what you’d expect: targeting people who threaten or commit violence, whether at school board meetings or at Capitol insurrections — not angry parents. “The Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish,” Garland testified to Congress.

But the smear goes on.

Kellyanne Conway tells Fox that Americans “see the Democrats calling parents domestic terrorists.”

Lara Trump tells Fox that Biden should apologize for choosing “to label … parents as domestic terrorists.”

Sean Hannity solicits “reaction to the memo of the Department of Justice to look at parents … being investigated as domestic terrorists.”

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise tells Fox that Biden’s DOJ is telling parents “that they’re domestic terrorists if they go to the school board meeting to say, ‘Stop teaching your kids to hate America.’ ”

“Parents don’t like being told that they’re domestic terrorists,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tells Fox.

Indeed not. But thanks to Republicans and Fox News, millions of Americans can now add this to their long menu of lies digested.


And here's an example of the reality where, in the last couple of days, an anti-mask extremist in Virginia threatened that if her child was made to wear a mask in school she would arrive with all her guns loaded and ready.
that's here and it is frightening.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 03:53 am
@blatham,
My favourite is Measure for Measure which could be written about the evangelical Christian types who support Trump.

It's set in Vienna which is ruled by a Duke. At the time it has a reputation as a good time city with lots of brothels. The Duke is under pressure to clean up the city so he decides to leave and appoint a real do gooding godsquad type as his regent.

The first thing the regent does is condemn a man to death for having sex with his fiance. When the man's sister, a nun who has taken a vow of celibacy, goes to plead for his life the regent says he will only spare his life if she has sex with him.

That's the religious right for you.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 05:09 am
HCR wrote:
On Wednesday, January 19, by a vote of 8 to 1, the Supreme Court refused to block the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from releasing documents produced by the Trump White House to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Last night, NARA handed over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee. Today, Betsy Woodruff Swan at Politico published one of them.

Hoo, boy.

It was an unsigned executive order dated December 16, 2020, just two days after the false Trump electors in seven states executed documents falsely saying Trump had won the election in their states. The executive order charges that there is “evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020, election.” It went on to echo the lies that the campaign peddled after Trump’s loss.

Those complaints were used to justify using the National Guard to seize the nation’s election machines (ironically, the most intrusive possible federal interference in state elections from the leader of a party that just killed a voting rights bill on the alleged grounds it was federal overreach).

The order told the secretary of defense to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” from the election. It gave the defense secretary power to call up the National Guard to support him and told the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security to provide support from the Department of Homeland Security.

The secretary of defense had 60 days to provide an assessment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, suggesting that the process would continue after Inauguration Day.

The executive order also provided for “[t]he appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee this operation and institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected and provided all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.”

Aside from the eye-popping content, the executive order gives us some hints of who was behind it.

The document cites two National Security Presidential Memoranda—numbers 13 and 21—to justify the emergency powers Trump planned to assume. That citation revealed that this was no run-of-the-mill bananas proposition: the existence of Memorandum 21 was not publicly known. Its inclusion in this document suggests the author had access to sensitive government secrets. Tonight, Hugo Lowell of The Guardian noted that the National Security Council would not say anything about what National Security Presidential Memo 21 authorizes.

The proposed special counsel was likely Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who was lobbying to become a special counsel at the time this executive order was drafted. Indeed, she may have had a hand in drafting it, although lawyer Rick Petree noted that the important role of the secretary of defense suggests that Trump loyalist Kash Patel might have been involved as well. After he lost the election, Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and replaced him with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, making Patel Miller’s chief of staff where he exercised unusual authority.

Washington reporter for Reuters Brad Heath noted that people close to Sidney Powell said Trump authorized this executive order before his staff talked him out of it.

Tonight, Trump lawyer Boris Epshteyn, who was subpoenaed by the January 6 committee on January 18 along with Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that he and “the Trump legal team” were part of the plan to create the false electors. While he claimed that what they did was legal, he pushed responsibility for the plan onto Giuliani as the one in charge.

And today the election threats task force in the Department of Justice launched its first case against a man accused of threatening lawmakers. Today, the FBI arrested 54-year-old Chad Christopher Stark of Leander, Texas, who posted a message on Craigslist on January 5, 2021, offering $10,000 to kill Georgia lawmakers. He wrote: “Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors.” “It’s time to put a bullet” into certain officials, because “it’s our duty as American Patriots to put an end to the lives of these traitors and take back our country by force we can no longer wait on the corrupt law enforcement in the corrupt courts.” In language that echoes that of genocidal movements, he wrote: “If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people.”

He concluded: “Remember one thing local law enforcement… we will find you oathbreakers and we’re going to pay your family to visit your mom your dad your brothers and sisters your children your wife… we’re going to make examples of traitors to our country… death to you and your communist friends.”

The story of January 6 came perilously close to a different ending.

substack
snood
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 08:42 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

And here's an example of the reality where, in the last couple of days, an anti-mask extremist in Virginia threatened that if her child was made to wear a mask in school she would arrive with all her guns loaded and ready.
that's here and it is frightening.


…Or, at least it should be frightening. Conservatives seem to always be scared and angry about the ******* wrong things. And forever trying to rile up everyone on their side to be scared and angry (and wrong), too.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 09:28 am
@izzythepush,
To complete my Humanities minor, I was tasked with writing a big paper (the head of the department said, "What I'm looking for here is something like a mini-Masters thesis") and I chose Lear as my subject. It still remains my favorite play.

But your point on religious figures who proclaim rigid/oppressive rules on sexuality and yet behave themselves in an opposite manner are so numerous that it would be a long, long project to name them all. The American evangelical community is bursting with such characters. I detest these people with what one might describe as religious fervor.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 09:48 am
@hightor,
Quote:
The order told the secretary of defense to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” from the election. It gave the defense secretary power to call up the National Guard to support him and told the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security to provide support from the Department of Homeland Security.

Yeah. This one came out of the blue, didn't it. This was a far more serious attempt at a coup than anyone I know of suspected. These are dangerous people.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 09:49 am
@blatham,
The Victorians rewrote Lear to give it a happy ending.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 09:55 am
@snood,
Quote:
Conservatives seem to always be scared and angry about the ******* wrong things. And forever trying to rile up everyone on their side to be scared and angry (and wrong), too.

Like suggesting that America was in danger of falling under the legal regime of Sharia Law? Or Tucker Carlson equating vaccine mandates with Imperial Japanese Army and Nazis medical experiments?
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 09:57 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
The Victorians rewrote Lear to give it a happy ending.

Yes, I know. There was, if I recall correctly, a period of 200 years where the happy ending version was all that was performed. I had one prof who said he could no longer teach the play for emotional reasons.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 10:00 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

Quote:
Conservatives seem to always be scared and angry about the ******* wrong things. And forever trying to rile up everyone on their side to be scared and angry (and wrong), too.

Like suggesting that America was in danger of falling under the legal regime of Sharia Law? Or Tucker Carlson equating vaccine mandates with Imperial Japanese Army and Nazis medical experiments?


Or caravans of disease-ridden terrorists invading across the southern border. Or democrats secretly harboring cannibal pedophiles, led by Joe Biden. Or hundreds of thousands of dead people casting votes for Democrats. Or Black Lives Matters activists raping white women and murdering police.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 10:07 am
@snood,
Yeah, that sort of stuff. And gay marriage, etc etc.

As one fellow wrote, "It was gay marriage and Homosexuality In America that caused Jerry Falwell Jr to sit by the bed and watch as his wife was boinked by the pool boy for two years".
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 10:27 am
A very worthwhile read here
Quote:
David Austin French (born January 24, 1969) is an American political commentator, theologically conservative traditional Christian, and former attorney who has argued high profile religious liberty cases. A fellow at the National Review Institute and a staff writer for National Review from 2015 to 2019, French currently serves as senior editor of The Dispatch. (wikipedia)


Georgia Has a Very Strong Case Against Trump
To see the most compelling evidence of the former president’s criminality, look to the Peach State

By David French
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 10:53 am
@blatham,
Things change, the most recent version of Measure for Measure by the RSC didn't rewrite anything but they made it clear the 'happy' ending wasn't quite so happy for one of the principal characters.

That is pretty much in keeping with today's attitudes.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2022 06:31 pm
@blatham,
Update: that fine upstanding citizen who threatened to come back to the school board loaded for bear has been arrested.
 

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