Friday, November 18, 2016, 8:00am

More Trump cabinet announcements: Jeff Sessions & Mike Pompeo

So, today Trump offered Senator Jeff Sessions the attorney general spot and nominated Representative Mike Pompeo for CIA director. These are awful choices. You can tell because they were nominated by Trump.

Jeff Sessions is a screaming racist. He was shot down for a federal judge position back in ’86, when Reagan nominated him, because of his racism. He called a black assistant U.S. attorney “boy,” and said that the NAACP was un-American and communist-inspired. He once said he liked the KKK until he found out they smoked weed.

Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, is one of the Benghazi bunch that hounded Clinton to death over their little conspiracy theories, which cost tax payers millions. This is a guy who, despite a complete lack of any actual evidence, is convinced that Obama and Clinton authored some sort of cover-up over Benghazi. Y’know, just the sort of paranoiac you want in charge of the CIA.

This goes along with Steve Bannon for, what was it, lead counselor to the president or some such? And Reince Priebus as chief of staff. Bannon is, of course, the actual devil, if you assume the devil is vehemently racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic and transphobic. And Priebus is… well, Priebus. He’s a professional toady.

Plus we’ve got Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, cozying up for a job at the White House. Nobody seems to know much about Kushner – he’s kept his head down. One assumes that if he’s willing to snuggle in with Trump, though, there can’t be much to recommend about him.

It’s important to note here that I’m not disgusted because Trump’s Republican. I’m disgusted because Trump’s a white supremacist who is setting up a white supremacist government in my country. If folks had elected Jeb Bush or John Kasich, sure, I’d probably be annoyed with and grumbling about their picks, because I don’t agree with conservative politics. Trump isn’t about conservative politics. He’s not about being a Republican. He’s about institutionalized racism, sexism, and hatred, and lining his own pockets at everyone else’s expense. It’s appalling and horrifying.

Anyway, I have a reading list below the fold of good articles, stories and blogs I couldn’t get to mentioning this week, to keep you company through the weekend.

Friday Round-Up (11/18/16)

  • The Concourse: Trump’s Transition Team Is Just Now Learning What A President Does – “According to a source closely connected to the Trump transition team, though, the reality of the situation is worse than we might have feared. Apparently—as the Wall Street Journal has reported—Trump and his team really are just now learning what a president is even technically allowed to do.”
  • Columbia Journalism Review: Eight steps reporters should take before Trump assumes office – “With the two houses of Congress controlled by Republicans and a Democratic party in chaos, of course it falls on the shoulders of journalists to deepen the solid investigative work begun during the campaign.”
  • The Atlantic: Why Online Allies Matter in Fighting Harassment – “A clever experiment with Twitter bots shows that telling people not to be racist can work—but only if it comes from someone influential and white.”
  • Politico: Trump allies object to Lewandowski – “The former campaign manager’s reputation for infighting and aggressive behavior complicate efforts to put him in key role.”
  • John Scalzi: Pragmatic Government in an Age of White Nationalism – “Late last week I was interviewed about Trump and his incoming administration, and one of the things that came up was the practical issues involving government, as in, to what extent should the Democrats (or anyone) work with Trump and the GOP to make deals, pass laws and so on.”
  • Washington Post: ‘Ape in heels’: W.Va. mayor resigns amid controversy over racist comments about Michelle Obama – “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.” – Beverly Whaling, former mayor, Clay, West Virginia.
  • NBC News: Trump Transition Shake-Up Part of ‘Stalinesque Purge’ of Christie Loyalists – “The Donald Trump transition, already off to slow start, bogged down further Tuesday with the abrupt resignation of former Congressman Mike Rogers, who had been coordinating its national security efforts.”
  • Politico: Giuliani took money from Qatar, Venezuela, Iranian exiles – “Rudy Giuliani’s paid consulting for foreign governments would present conflicts of interest as the nation’s top diplomat that would make the Clinton Foundation look trifling.”
  • FiveThirtyEight: Trump’s Proposals Won’t Help The White Working Class — Or The Urban Poor – “It’s been a week now, and the post-election narrative seems to be taking shape: Donald Trump’s shocking victory represents the revenge of the white working class over coastal elites. That narrative may be correct politically, but in terms of policy, it misses the mark in critical ways.”
  • New York Times: The End of the Postracial Myth – “Pundits are quick to say that it couldn’t be about prejudice in states like Iowa, where Obama voters went for Trump. But racial anxiety is always close to the surface — and can easily be stoked.”
  • BBC News: Jared Kushner: The quiet millionaire with Donald Trump’s ear – “…Jared Kushner, a softly-spoken 35-year-old millionaire who has quietly become one of Mr Trump’s closest advisers. Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, exerted a powerful influence over the Trump campaign – including digital strategy and top-level hires – and looks set to carry that clout into the White House.”
  • BBC News: Twitter suspends alt-right figureheads – “Twitter has suspended the accounts of several members of the American alt-right movement, including the leader of a white nationalist think tank.”
  • BuzzFeed News: This Is How Facebook Is Radicalizing You – “The sheer size of the impact of a meme like the Ice Bucket Challenge was the first big indication that Facebook had drastically changed the structure of popular culture. Two years later, we are finally beginning to see the consequences of this all around the world.”
  • NPR: How You Can Stop Antibiotic Resistance (And Still Eat Bacon) – “‘How can we stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance.’ As it turns out, the answer has a surprisingly positive message.”

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