26 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion
Before we get on to the stuff that happened today, I feel I just have to backtrack to a story that apparently broke last weekend and I somehow missed it:
“I understand that they [women] feel like that is their body,” [Oklahoma] State Rep. Justin Humphrey said, referencing women. “I feel like it is a separate – what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant. So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body, and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.” NewsOK, 13 February 2017
He’s using the word “host” in the same way biologists use it when talking about parasites like wasps and worms, right? Not the best choice, if you ask me. Makes me wonder what kind of a man thinks that pregnancy is something that happens to women, willingly or unwillingly, rather that something men and women do together?
Now, on to the shitshow!
“Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election … American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee … The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election … the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services …” The New York Times, 14 February 2017
“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, echoing his boss in Washington, warned on Wednesday that the amount of American support for NATO could depend on whether other countries meet their own spending commitments. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do,” Mr. Mattis said in his first speech to NATO allies since becoming defense secretary. “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms.” “America will meet its responsibilities,” he said, but he made clear that American support had its limits.” The New York Times, 15 February 2017
“Two days after Trump’s [electoral] victory, Russia’s deputy foreign minister told a reporter in Moscow that “there were contacts” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” he said. That prompted a vigorous denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who insisted there had been “no contact with Russian officials.” The Washington Post, 15 February 2017
“Join me in Florida this Saturday at 5pm for a rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport! Tickets: http://bit.ly/2lQarqaFLORIDA” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 15 February 2017
“Trump is hosting his first rally of the 2020 campaign just 29 days into his presidency. The idea of a “permanent campaign” has been floating around American political circles since 1980, when Sidney Blumenthal used it as the title for a book. Yet Trump’s choice to hold a campaign rally less than a month into his presidency breaks new ground. Where his predecessors practiced electoral politics between cycles, none was willing to do so as baldly, as quickly, as Trump. Trump … is planning a straightforward campaign-style rally on Saturday. It’s at an airport, in a swing state, and it’s being advertised through his campaign website. His press secretary even called it a campaign event. Making the event a campaign event rather than a speech … means that … it might also grant Trump more leeway to make straightforwardly political arguments and attacks that it might be unseemly for a president to make at an official event – though Trump has shown such little regard for those unwritten rules that it’s hard to imagine he could be significantly more strident.” The Atlantic, 15 February 2017
“It’s now official: President Donald Trump is planning a rally Saturday evening at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. Free tickets for the event, scheduled for 5 p.m., can be obtained by going to Trump’s website. Doors are scheduled to open at 3 p.m. The White House [said]that Trump’s plane would be stopping at the Melbourne airport on Saturday as he made his way down to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, the third visit in as many weeks to what the Trump administration calls the “Winter White House.” the Orlando Sentinel, 15 February 2017
“The fast food executive Andrew F. Puzder withdrew his nomination to be President Trump’s labor secretary on Wednesday amid growing doubts among Republican senators that he can be confirmed. The chief executive of the CKE Restaurants fast-food chain, owner of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had come under intense fire from Democrats and liberal groups who accused him of mistreating his workers, opposing the minimum wage and supporting automation in the workplace. The attacks on his policy views were compounded by intense scrutiny of his personal life, including allegations that he abused his ex-wife in the 1980s.” The New York Times, 15 February 2017