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Europe Is Trolling Trump with Wickedly Funny Parody Videos (Vanity Fair link): By now, we all know that under Donald Trump’s administration, the United States’s guiding principle is going to be “America First”—as the president stressed in his dystopian inauguration speech. The world got the message loud and clear—and now, European countries are beginning to counter with rallying cries of their own.
The trend began with a viral parody video from the Netherlands, courtesy of the news satire show Zondag met Lubach. The clip, a faux introduction to the Netherlands that mocks Trump by imitating the president’s signature verbiage—”We’ve got the best words. All the other languages failed”—has racked up more than 16 million views on YouTube since last week.
Now, several other countries have hopped on the bandwagon, all sarcastically clamoring to come in “second” to America’s interests by making their cases in terms Trump can understand.
Deville Late Night, a Swiss late-night talk show, made the case for Switzerland by noting, “We have the best women. They’re all 10s. . . And we also love to treat our women badly. Love it. We didn’t let them vote until 1971. In some places, even until 1990. We grab them by the civil rights. And they let us do it.”
Trump defends Putin, says U.S. has 'a lot of killers' (Politico link): President Donald Trump said the United States has "a lot of killers" while again defending Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an excerpt of an interview set to run Sunday before the Super Bowl, Trump was asked by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly if he "respects" Putin.
"I do respect him. I respect a lot of people but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him," Trump replied. "He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not." Trump added that if Russia helps fight against ISIS and "Islamic terrorists all over the world" then it's "a good thing."
O'Reilly, however, followed up by saying that Putin "is a killer."
"There are a lot of killers," Trump responded, "We've got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country's so innocent?"
Throughout the campaign and into his presidency, Trump has noted that he would be willing to work with Russia, and has repeatedly praised Putin's authoritarian approach to governing.
Mod: Great. We have a president that equates American foreign policy with murder.
First Clip OF O’Reilly's Interview: Trump Praises Putin While Sh******* On America (IOYN.com link): The stunned editor of the Wall Street Journal put it aptly: “Never in history has a president slandered his country like this.”
In a casual conversation with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in front of a fireplace in the White House, Trump managed to both defend Vladimir Putin for murdering political dissidents and slam the United States for being equally bad. It was an unbelievable sight to behold and no doubt greeted with cheers in the Kremlin.
Interview with a Bowling Green Massacre Survivor (YouTube link):
Mod: Never remember.
Donald Trump hair loss medication causes sexual dysfunction and mental confusion (International Business Times link): Donald Trump takes small doses of the drug finasteride to treat male pattern baldness, the president's former physician told the New York Times.
The drug has been associated with sexual dysfunction and depression.
The revelation that Trump uses a prostate-related drug to grow scalp hair appears to explain why Trump has a very low level of prostate specific antigen, or PSA, a marker sometimes used to diagnose prostate cancer, the Times reported after interviewing Dr. Harold N. Bornstein.
Bornstein, 69, credited the drug with helping him keep his own shoulder-length locks. "[Trump] has all his hair," Bornstein said. "I have all my hair."
However the drug is associated with several negative side effects, including mental confusion and impotence. According to a 2003 study published in science journal Urology, 15% of the men on finasteride suffered sexual side effects, compared with only 7% of the men on placebos.
Since 2011, approximately 1,245 lawsuits have been filed against Propecia's manufacturer, Merck, alleging that the company failed to warn users of a number of sexual and cognitive side effects.
Mod: I guess we now know why Melania has refused to live at the White House.
Believers are the liars’ enablers. Their votes give the demagogue his power. Their trust turns the charlatan into the president. Their credulity ensures that the propaganda of half-calculating and half-mad fanatics has the power to change the world. How you see the believers determines how you fight them and seek to protect liberal society from its enemies. And I don’t just mean how you fight that object of liberal despair and conservative fantasies, the alternately despised and patronized white working class.
Compulsive believers are not just rednecks. They include figures as elevated as the British prime minister and her cabinet. Before the EU referendum, a May administration would have responded to the hitherto unthinkable arrival of a US president who threatened Nato and indulged Putin by hugging Britain’s European allies close. But Brexit has thrown Britain’s European alliance into crisis.
So English Conservative politicians must crush their doubts and believe with a desperate compulsion that the alleged “pragmatism” of Donald Trump will triumph over his undoubted extremism, a belief that to date has as much basis in fact as creationism.
Mainstream journalists are almost as credulous. After decades of imitating Jeremy Paxman and seizing on the trivial gaffes and small lies of largely harmless politicians, they are unable to cope with the fantastic lies of the new authoritarian movements. When confronted with men who lie so instinctively they believe their lies as they tell them, they can only insist on a fair hearing for the sake of “balance”. Their acceptance signals to the audience the unbelievable is worthy of belief.
“Rednecks” are also embarrassingly evident among Britain’s expensively educated conservative commentators, who cannot see how the world has changed. They say that of course they don’t support everything Trump does. Their throats cleared and backs covered, they insist that the real enemy is his “foaming” and “hysterical” critics whose opposition to the alt-right is not a legitimate protest by democratic citizens but an “elitist” denial of democracy itself.
Brecht wrote against the dangers of inertia in 1935 as Hitler was changing Germany beyond recognition : Even in fabled Atlantis, the night that the ocean engulfed it, the drowning still cried out for their slaves.
Robert Reich Has a Chilling Theory About Those Berkeley Protesters (AlterNet link): In the wake of a University of California Berkeley protest that saw demonstrators burn campus lights and a sign for Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos in effigy, Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funding from public colleges infringing on free speech.
But at least one Berkeley professor believes the so-called alt-right may have instigated the violence.
"I was there for part of last night and I know what I saw. Those people were not Berkeley students," former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich told CNN's Don Lemon, reiterating the statement issued by the university regarding the incident. "Those people were outsiders, agitators. I’ve never seen them before. There’s rumors that they actually were right-wingers. They were a part of a group that were organized and ready to create the kind of tumult and danger you saw that forced the police to cancel the event."
Turning to Trump's remarks, Reich highlighted Berkeley's history as the "home of free speech."
"Donald Trump, when he says Berkeley doesn’t respect free speech rights, that’s a complete distortion of the truth. I mean, Berkeley opened its biggest auditorium to this right-wing Breitbart News character, this hateful, odious person. They said, ‘Free speech is the most important thing we stand for,’ and it was these outsiders who caused the police to finally come in and have to cancel it," Reich pointed out.
“You think it’s a strategy by Yiannopoulos, or right-wingers?" asked Lemon. "They put this on in an effort to show there’s no free speech on a college campus like UC Berkeley?”
“I wouldn’t bet against it, Don," Reich told him. "Again, I saw these people. They all looked almost paramilitary. They were not from the campus. And I’ve heard — again, I don’t want to say factually, but I’ve heard there was some relationship here between these people and the right wing and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News."
Mod: I guess for Steve Bannon a little Reichstag Fire every now and then never hurts.
During Trump’s very first military raid as president, the administration botched every conceivable aspect of the operation. The intel was shaky at best, the operation was already considered too risky and denied during Obama’s time in office, the planning was pathetic, and the execution got a Navy SEAL and a 9-year-old American girl killed – among, humanitarian groups say, a number of other civilians.
In the army they might refer to that as FUBAR – f*cked up beyond all repair.
Officials within the armed forces were justifiably furious at how the whole thing went down, many pointing fingers directly at Trump and his inept team:
U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.
As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.
But unable to accept responsibility for their actions (or in Trump’s case – who was reportedly hiding in the White House residency and avoiding the Situation Room as it was unfolding – inaction), the White House has tried to spin the operation into a complete success. Without a hint of shame, Press Secretary Sean Spicer described the mission as such: “I think when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life … it is a successful operation by all standards.”
What was gained? Funny you should ask because the military is having a hard time figuring that out.
On Friday, after repeated questions about the botched mission, the US military posted a video they claimed was one of the prizes of the “successful mission.”
The video, titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” was first released in 2007 and had been online for years, as it turns out. In the less than two-minute long video, which was widely circulated after it was pushed out on Friday morning, there are several clips showing a man in a white robe and black mask explaining how to make a bomb using chemicals.
That sounds promising… except in a matter of hours people started noticing that all of the information – including the video itself – was extremely old and essentially useless in combating the ever-evolving terror cells.
If it seemed familiar that’s because it was. It quickly emerged that the video titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” was first released a decade ago.
Screen grabs of the same video were posted on Site Intelligence group in November 2007, in a revelation unearthed by Buzzfeed, and have been online for years.
According to the Huffington Post, Vice President Mike Pence will appear on NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face the Nation, and Fox News Sunday, but no White House official will be on CNN’s State of the Union with host Jake Tapper.
The Huffington Post reports that a White House spokesperson said they “offered multiple guests for State of the Union and they declined.”
According to the report Pence was not offered as an option to CNN — which has been the subject of intense criticism from the president and his defenders — but senior adviser Conway was suggested only to have the network decline the offer.
Earlier in the week it was reported that the White House was boycotting CNN because the administration feels the network has not been fair to them, reportedly saying, “We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda.”
Since that time, Conway has been embroiled in controversy over her comments on MSNBC, blaming refugees for a fictitious “Bowling Green Massacre,” which she claimed the media refused to cover.
Mod: The Bowling Green Massacre is now getting the coverage it deserves.
Republicans face anger over Obamacare repeal during town halls (Politico link): Two Republican lawmakers representing reliably conservative districts on opposite ends of the country on Saturday faced down heated questions from Obamacare supporters, demanding that Congress preserve the program.
Fervent backers of the health care law shouted down Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) during a town hall meeting, blasting his views on the Obamacare repeal and President Donald Trump's immigration ban. Hundreds of demonstrators showed up some as early as 6:30 a.m. to a theater in downtown Roseville, just northeast of Sacramento.
McClintock was escorted by police out of the town hall meeting after it ended, as the crowd outside the theater shouted Resist! and "Shame!"
In Pinellas County, Fla., Gus Bilirakis, who represents a district Trump won, was on the defensive as voters packed a town hall on Obamacare. For more than two hours, Bilirakis listened to stories from his constituents young, old, black and white who implored him to not repeal the federal health care law without having a replacement ready.
Mod: Make America Great Again. Steal granny's health care.
Here is Trump's truly jaw-dropping tweet from Saturday morning: "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"
Why is this so concerning? It's OK to argue about whether the judge should or shouldn't have issued this order. But Trump is apparently attempting to delegitimize our federal judiciary by calling Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush-appointed judge, a "so-called" judge while arguing that his decision is "ridiculous."
Let's be blunt, because the stakes demand it: An independent federal judiciary is our last, best hope at preventing Trump from violating the US Constitution and illegally grabbing power. And Trump has to understand that, hence his attempt to undermine it.
The President truly appears to be leading a master class in transforming the United States into a dictatorship. Trump -- and it's fair to assume it is by design -- has sought to undermine anyone or anything that tries to counter him.