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Creeping Meatballism

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      Creeping Meatballism

      The Normalization of the Abnormal

      "Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long,

      fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?"


      By Ray Cunneff

      January 18, 2018

      It always seems more than a little egocentric when you start quoting yourself. It's right up there with Trump referring to himself in the third person.

      "Trump talking about himself in the third person reflects his perception of himself as being a larger-than-life character in the world stage."

      - Kim Schneiderman, Psychotherapist

      But every now and again, I write something that comes out so organically and spontaneously that it's only later that I realize that I may have stumbled into saying something insightful, possibly even important.

      Earlier today, on my "Another Step Toward Tyranny" article from yesterday, I added this as a comment:

      "The problem for all of us is the normalization of the abnormal, the daily, hourly, drip-drip-drip of lies and disinformation that begins to make truth irrelevant, ethics passe, democracy inconvenient and reality itself relative."

      That's not too bad.

      It's a cliche by now, as is often the case when something is self-evidently true, how we gradually adjust to new conditions that we would react to very differently if they were to happen all at once.

      It's that frog in the boiling water story: You drop a frog in boiling water and it will immediately jump out. You put a frog in water and gradually raise the temperature to a boil, the frog boils to death.

      But that's exactly the risk we face in dealing with the day-to-day madness of Donald Trump and his regime of sycophant enablers.

      The Washington Post recently calculated that the president surpassed 2,000 misleading statements and outright lies before his first year in office was completed. The repeated revelations of sexual misconduct, whether with porn stars, aspiring actresses or friend's wives, soon become mind-numbing. Something that in any other plane of existence would be outrageous headline news gets lost in the constant onslaught of offensive speech and behavior. An example:

      For the past week, the media has been obsessed with Trump's "offensive language" at a supposedly bipartisan meeting on immigration policy, whether he called Haiti, El Salvador and 54 African nations "shitholes", or "shithouses" or "hellholes", while paying little attention to the clearly racist sentiments beneath the words.

      And while we're obsessed with semantics, a story behind them goes largely unreported. Trump has today doubled-down on his Haiti slurs, banning immigrants from Haiti from applying for temporary work visas that allowed low-skilled workers to operate in the United States.

      The rationale from DHS is “high levels of fraud and abuse,” and that Haitians have a supposed tendency to overstay their visas. There is no evidence to support that claim relative to other countries, but it's meant to reinforce Trump's narrative and help justify his racist comments.

      But if we're paying attention, it actually underscores the president's utter ignorance on the subject of immigration and the reasons why people have historically sought refuge, freedom and opportunity in America.

      The big "tell" was when some White House spokeshole, attempting to clarify the criteria for immigration policy actually said, "Nobody goes on vacation to Haiti".

      We cannot allow ourselves to get accustomed to the aberration of "creeping meatballism".*


      * Jean Shepherd first introduced the term in a 1957 issue of Mad Magazine as shorthand for postwar conformity.


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          If you thought the GOP would only threaten to shut the government down when there was a Democrat in the White House, it appears you may have been wrong. The GOP now controls both chambers of Congress, and the White House, but yet again they are threatening to shut the government down, and guess whose fault it will be, according to them? Democrats!!!

          Some Democrats have signaled that they will not vote for a CR unless there is a positive and meaningful DACA fix included in it. Trump and republicans, who claim they want to fix DACA, that they broke, will only support it if Trump gets $18 billion for his wall that he said in his campaign that Mexico would pay for.

          Now, Trump's defenders are saying they never believed Mexico would pay for the wall, but they are willing to deport children who came here with their parents and have only known the USA as their country of origin, unless Trump gets U.S. taxpayer funding for his wall.

          There is an unintended consequence to republicans constantly threatening to shut down the government, for various and sundry reasons, this time being a wall along the Rio Grande River. As many of you might know, the dollar has not been backed or supported by gold or any other commodity since the early 1970s. Like every other world currency, the dollar is only supported by the full faith and credit of the government. So what happens when the world loses faith in the U.S. government? How good is the credit of the U.S. government when there is no faith in the U.S. government?

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/global-leadership-us-trump_us_5a607778e4b062a7df0b25da?section=us_politics

          Global views on U.S. leadership have plummeted since President Donald Trump took office, according to a Gallup poll.

          The poll, released Thursday, shows that only 30 percent of the public approves of U.S. leadership, down from 48 percent in 2016. At the same time, 43 percent of people expressed a negative opinion of the U.S. leadership, up from 28 percent in 2016.

          The previous record for lowest global approval rating came in 2007― the first year Gallup did the polling ― during the end of George W. Bush’s administration, amid the global financial crisis. The results are based on phone and in-person interviews with approximately 1,000 people in more than 130 countries.

          Meanwhile, approval of China’s leadership was at 31 percent. Yes, you heard that right ― about as many people trust China, with an abysmal record on human rights and press freedom, as the U.S.

          Declining public opinion on U.S. leadership follows months of spats between Trump and several key allies, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. In contrast, he’s cozied up to controversial leaders, like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

          Trump’s America First agenda ― and his more isolated stances on trade, immigration and climate change ― also has damaged the U.S. reputation abroad, Gallup said. Trump’s decision last year to pull the U.S. out of the historic Paris climate pact was especially unpopular, with politicians and business leaders worldwide resoundingly denouncing the move.

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          Trump: Another Step Toward Tyranny

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              Trump: Another Step

              Toward Tyranny

              "..the greatest threat to the First Amendment

              since the passage of the Sedition Act of 1798.”


              By Ray Cunneff

              January 17, 2018

              On Tuesday, CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta was ordered physically removed from the Oval Office, told to get "out!" by the president when he asked Trump about his contradictory positions on immigration. Later, in the Roosevelt Room, Acosta was prevented from asking further questions by White House aides, presumably on the instructions of the president and/or his Chief of Staff.

              Jim Acosta@Acosta

              When I tried to follow up on this in the Oval Office, Trump

              told me to get "out." We then went to the Roosevelt Room

              where WH aides obstructed us from asking questions.

              "Out!"

              Describing the incident later to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Acosta said that not only had Trump clearly ordered him out of the room, but that Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley “got right up in [his] face” and started shouting at him to block out any questions.

              Acosta said that the exchange reminded him of, “something you might see in less democratic countries when people at the White House or officials of a foreign government attempt to get in the way of the press in doing their jobs.”

              Not content to simply malign the press with accusations of "fake news", Donald Trump has taken an additional step toward tyranny.

              When an accredited member of the White House press pool is prevented from the legitimate pursuit of information, basically doing his constitutionally-protected job, it raises a number of legal issues.

              Opinion from Elura Nanos:

              "If you weren’t alarmed by Shitholegate last week, or by our president’s immediate and unconvincing denials shortly thereafter, you definitely should be now. President Donald Trump has now moved from merely attempting to discredit the press to actually physically removing respected members of the press pool from their briefings.

              On Tuesday, 45 actually ordered CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta expelled from the Oval Office after Acosta attempted to ask about Trump’s comments on immigration.

              Full disclosure, Trump hadn’t invited the media with the intent of fielding any hard-hitting questions; the press had simply been summoned to look on with adoration as an ostensibly dignified President Trump welcomed Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the White House. Acosta’s questions about whether Trump prefers more immigrants from Caucasian countries had to be something of a buzzkill."


              From Law & Crime:

              “Legally-speaking, when information is censored based on its content (as opposed to its general timing or general manner, for example), courts get a little touchy about it. Courts have held that government press conferences are “public fora,” open to the media. As such, restrictions must be based on criteria other than content. Jim Acosta is an accredited member of the White House press pool. His account of the events today points to his being ejected based precisely on the content of his question.”



              From George Freeman, Executive Director of Media Law Resource Center:

              “The White House doesn’t have to conduct press conferences and probably can invite whom it wants to presidential interviews, but where a reporter is part of an accredited press pool, and then gets excluded on the basis of the content of his question, that certainly raises First Amendment concerns.”

              “There is no case law on this, presumably because no prior president has stooped to these depths in treating reporters in this way. And my guess is that the White House will obfuscate the facts to shed doubt on the notion that Mr. Acosta alone was excluded and that it was due to the substance of his question.”

              Could the president's actions be considered censorship? Possibly. There’s certainly a chance this latest attack on the free press could be characterized as a form of “prior restraint,” the subsection of First Amendment law that deals with government prohibition of expression.

              In November, 2016, noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams gave a speech in which he pronounced that then-President-elect Trump “may be the greatest threat to the First Amendment since the passage of the Sedition Act of 1798.”


              Floyd Abrams:

              “Its seems to be that in light of the attacks made by then-Candidate Trump against the press on a continuing basis—his preventing certain journalists from even attending his rallies as part of the press corps because he disapproved of their writing, and his public comments about wanting to loosen American libel law—the press ought to be thinking broadly about how to defend itself if his Administration turns out to be as antagonistic to the press as may be the case.”


              NOTE: Right-wing website Change.org is now circulating a petition to "Fire Jim Acosta and Remove CNN from White House Press Corps".


              Author and blogger Andrew Sullivan fears that Trump's rise is "an extinction-level event" for democracy.


              http://www.businessinsider.com/yale-history-profes...

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              Pundit Post

              Coming To America

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                  I await the hundreds of thousands of Norwegians showing up on the shores of the Eastern United States.........So much on offer.........

                  A Norwegian lands in America, is shot by someone mentally unfit to actually own a gun......

                  The Hospital Bill runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars......

                  Treated by new doctor hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to student loans.....


                  Norwegian forced into thousands of dollars of debt, treated by a doctor hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt......

                  As I have said.....No sane Norwegian would leave a progressive society to live in the increasing puritanical madness.


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                  Pundit Post

                  Steve Bannon To Meet Behind Closed Doors With House Panel On Russia

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                      Let the show begin. Wonder what could be going through Trump's mind after he finds out about this. Now that Bannon has lost it all, what does he have to lose by testifying against Trump? What Bannon can get which I am sure he is thinking about lately is Revenge, Oh so sweet Revenge. Trump made a complete fool out of Bannon and being that Bannon thought he was smarter than Trump got played so bad that it was Trump who knew more that Bannon. Will this be Bannon's ace in his sleeve, knowing what went on in the White House during his tenure there? Could very well be.


                      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-...

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                      IQ45's Profound Message On MLK Day

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                          FORE !!!

                          Not one word about this day or its' meaning and symbolism.

                          Trump begins MLK Day - a day he proclaimed as one to observe by doing acts of community service and civic work - at his golf club for the 3rd consecutive day. It’s his 95th day as President at one of his golf courses.

                          I can't handle all this greatness . . . will probably need therapy soon !! LOL


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                          PAUL RYAN GIVES UP ON CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE IN 2018?

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                              Ryan says no cuts to Medicare and Social Security this year - but do we believe him? If this is so, maybe we can vote him out before 2019.

                              House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday admitted that his biggest "wish list" item isn't likely to happen in 2018.

                              Ryan has long wanted to enact reforms to entitlement programs — which usually takes the form of cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. But at an event in Wisconsin on Friday, he said entitlements wouldn't be addressed by Congress this year.

                              House Speaker Paul Ryan has long wanted to enact entitlement reforms through cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

                              Ryan said in December that he wanted to tackle the issue in 2018.

                              On Friday, Ryan admitted that these programs would not see changes in the upcoming legislative year.

                              http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-no-social...

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                              10 Questions I Want To Ask President Donald J Trump - #3

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                                  Late in the summer of 2016, Donnie had a difficult decision to make. Having secured the GOP nomination for the then upcoming Presidential election, our nominee for the "Yugest Lying President" was told he had to select someone - and apparently almost anyone - to run on the ticket with him. That presented somewhat of a problem for a couple of reasons. First off, in the interest of job security, Trump would have to choose a person who would be an even worse Executive Office holder than himself. Secondly, that co-runner would have to be the poster child for "Deplorable" in order to maintain the cohesion of the MAGA White Nationalists, Rigorously Right Evangelicals, White Supremacists, Federal Government Despisers, the dupes and those too ignorant or lazy to read the truth regarding Donnie's personal history or his love affair with the Russians.

                                  Now it has been suggested that the first twenty or so potential VP candidates that the clueless nominee asked turned the man down. Flat. One could easily imagine that the speed at which his selections ran off would generate a dust cloud that has not settled yet.

                                  Enter Mike Pence, a man so devoid of flash and panache that he could not possibly overshadow the narcissistic, self-loving Trump. Now Pence had a slew of other things going for him, not the least of which was that he had so screwed the people of Indiana as their loathed Governor that he faced certain defeat at the 2016 polls - if he were to secure the nomination for that office in the primaries at all.

                                  As I proffered back in July of 2016 *(https://www.yabberz.com/post/brother-pence-preache... ), Pence was the best choice left standing after all the others had either laughed Trump off, recoiled in horror at the thought of serving under him or simply refused to join what they mistakenly believed was a losing ticket (though those who refused to run with the Dimwitted Donnie were right in one sense - when the Russians and Robert Mercer helped buy the election for the wannabe despot, the vast majority of Americans suffered what has turned out to be one soul-crushing defeat after another).

                                  One fact that has become patently obvious is that the 36% that remain with Trump have a VP to be proud of. For example:

                                  "(Vice President Pence)certainly was trying to improve the lives of his sheep in accordance with his born-again evangelical Christian attitudes, eliminating support for those who were not tithing to the Great White Male Church Of Indiana in order to allow the Heathen to be denied healthcare services and removing support for those addicted to anything that was not alcohol. The Faith Based Initiatives were successful, increasing an outbreak of the AIDS plague that hopefully would leave Scott County available for resettlement after the last bodies were disposed of.


                                  This outbreak differed in several ways from others previously seen among people who inject drugs in the US. The newly diagnosed population is rural, almost all white, and includes a substantial proportion of women (42%); the median age was 34 years. Dr Brooks noted that in some cases drug use was multi-generational, with “parents, children and grandchildren injecting together” - The evolving epidemiology of HIV infection in persons who inject drugs: Indiana 2015. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Boston, presentation 132, 2016.

                                  It just did not happen fast enough, and in a moment of weakness, Brother Pence made the unforgivable mistake of asking the Federal Government of Heretics for assistance. As part of the response, Indiana declared a public health emergency that allowed local governments to establish an otherwise-illegal syringe exchange program in Scott County that led to a decrease in risk behaviors (including needle sharing) in its initial months and effectively eliminating the opportunity to rid the state of its unholy residents. Adding insult to injury to his White Church Elders, he was forced to go back on his words in another manner. When he was forced to sign a referendum to "fix" the 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) he could no longer survive as High Priest - the outcry from the Indiana Pastors Alliance called for his head". - July 2016 GS Jade Barrett


                                  So brutal has the outbreak been in Scott County, Indiana that the human suffering is decades away from diminishing. After Pence successfully shut down the Planned Parenthood clinic in Scott County, Dr William Cooke became the sole medical provider. The failure by Governor Pence's Administration to act in 2014 when Cooke sounded the alarm regarding rising HIV rates among the local population has successfully reduced the number of humans requiring health care as they have died off.

                                  Scott County, where Austin is located, was second in the state for hepatitis C rates, which can reflect syringe sharing. In 2014, Scott County had the third-highest rate of drug poisoning deaths — a marker of overdose — and had no syringe access program until most of the people in the outbreak had already been infected. And Scott County had the lowest quality of life in the state, according to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation data.

                                  What's more, Cooke says, the area was in the top three in the state for measures of childhood abuse and neglect — a marker of adverse childhood experiences that is associated with higher rates of injection drug use and HIV diagnosis. - Heather Boerner, NPR January 14 2018

                                  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/...


                                  So Question #3 for you, Donnie the Duplicitous:

                                  Was the ability to legally kill off the old, the sick and the poor while being a sexist boor at the same time a prerequisite for a VP candidate to be eligible for your selection, or just an added bonus?

                                  GS Jade Barrett, Chairman SANE60

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