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I say this as someone who does NOT support Maduro – this was a catastrophe, and one more among many clear lessons about our country’s involvement in the internal affairs of others.   When we bluster, it only galvanizes support for authoritarian regimes.

This isn’t just about Trump.  Our government supported a similarly failed coup in 2002.

Ironically, Chile is giving amnesty to the would-be coup leaders.

Obama’s policy wasn’t much better, and in fact Clinton helped engineer a successful coup in Honduras leading to a regime which is partly responsible for the number of refugees leaving that country.

And our never-ending wars in the Middle East can all be tracked back to our involvement in a coup against a legit government in Iran in 1953.

The list is long.  Blowback is inevitable.  It needs to stop.

So reports the Anti-Defamation League, which is actually kind of a conservative organization.

The annual ADL audit of anti-Semitic incidents showed that, compared with 2017, assaults against Jews had more than doubled ― the worst of which was the mass shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October, when a white supremacist killed 11 worshippers. That case alone was one of 39 reported physical attacks on the Jewish community in 2018, representing a 105% increase from the year before.

In total, the ADL found there were 1,879 cases of assault, harassment and vandalism perpetrated against Jewish institutions and Jews throughout the country, making it the third-worst year the organization has recorded since the 1970s, when it began tracking such statistics.

Harassment was up by 5%, however, vandalism dropped by 19%, making it the only category to decrease in 2018.


Whether the trend will continue in 2019 remains to be seen. In March, 59 headstones in a historic Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts were vandalized with graffiti of swastikas and phrases including “Expel the Jews,” “Heil Hitler” and “Oy vey! This is MAGA country,” apparently using the acronym for President Donald Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan.

I’m not a fan of the sport, but this is priceless.

Twitter is denying the reports, but the claim is that they have abandoned the launch of their white nationalist detecting algorithms because they might flag some Republican accounts and generate a backlash.

Twitter is holding back from implementing a possible algorithm that could allow Twitter to more effectively crack down on neo-Nazi and white-supremacist content over concerns it could report accounts of Republican politicians, according to a report from Vice News’ tech site, Motherboard.

A Twitter employee told Motherboard that at a recent company-wide meeting, an employee asked why Twitter — which has successfully used a sophisticated algorithm to identify and almost entirely eliminate ISIS-linked content — couldn’t do the same for white-supremacist tweets.

An anonymous employee attributed it to the potential for political backlash when racists lite get caught up in actions intended for racists heavy.

We live in weird times!

This kid was apparently on the Dean’s List with no run-ins with the law until now. His 9 page “manifesto” (which I can’t find published anywhere) is filled with Bible quotes. Presumably he identifies as Christian, but nowhere in the media do we see the phrase “Christian terror” which would be used to describe the acts of a practitioner of any other religion.

Somebody recently tried to deny that anti-Semitism is “systemic.” I think we need to work on clarity in definitions.

From the article:

“For Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, the attack represents “the strain of anti-Semitism coming from the extreme right, through so-called white supremacists.”

Saturday’s violence, like the attack in Pittsburgh before it, is a “particularly deadly strain of this virus,” he said.

“This wasn’t just an attack on a Chabad congregation, this really was a crime committed against Jewish communities around the world,” he said.

The ADL has tracked anti-Semitic incidents since 1979, drawing on reports from victims, police and news publications. The biggest all-time annual jump came in 2017, when the tally climbed 57% to 1,986 incidents.

“Anti-Semitism isn’t new,” Greenblatt said. “It’s often called the oldest hatred.”

Article on Poway violence manifesto.


So we have 20 Democratic candidates and 2 Republican.  There are 5 to 7 possible additional candidates in the wings for Democrats and 2 for Republicans.  You can read about any or all of them here.

Is this a record number of women?  I don’t know.

There is a debate date in June for the Democrats to be held on two nights to accommodate the number of participants.  To qualify for participation a candidates needs 1 percent support in three consecutive polls or 65,000 donors.  Anybody not making it into the debate will probably be the first to leave the race.   16 have qualified so far.

The Democrats have already lost the candidate I believe would be the most likely to defeat Trump – Sherrod Brown dropped out for lack of early support.

Biden is the front-runner, consistently ahead of Bernie in polls by 6 or 7 points.  Probably Harris, Warren, Buttigieg, Beto, and Booker will last into the fall and maybe winter.  Maybe Cory Booker or Klobuchar will slip in, but I doubt it.  Most of the rest will probably be cleared out by the end of the year.

It’s probably going to come down to Biden and Bernie, but with Biden facing his own me-too issues and he being consistently unable to deal with it, Bernie may well have a chance to win the nomination.  If it gets bad for Biden early one of the other candidates may benefit from his collapse.  I’m wondering if Harris goes after him hard, now that Anita Hill has spoken up.  Biden did single-handedly guarantee Justice Thomas’s nomination.

On the Republican side there is talk of the Maryland Governor Hogan, and Kasich running.  That’s three moderates and the fake conservative President running.  I wonder if a true conservative will step in, but the Republican right wing appears to be cowed by that intransigent base.

Trump is routinely in the low 40s in popularity, with more than 50 percent unfavorable to him.  But he won an election with those polls in pretty much the same state.  The Mueller Report hasn’t moved anything in any direction – it seems to have confirmed everyone’s prior positions with the left reading the report and the right listening to Barr.  But the information from the report is trickling into mass consciousness, and a few Republicans sense blood.  It will be interesting to see if he faces a serious primary challenge.  I don’t see many right wingers voting for Weld, Holder, or Kasich.


By the National Labor Relations Act – but only if you’re trying to organize a union!

The Auditor-Controller says that she is being denied access to county payroll records in “a level of obstruction I’ve never seen.”

How many of you have read any portion of the report?  Not somebody else’s summary with passages, but the report itself.

Second question – if the report exonerates Trump, then why are his lawyers preparing a “rebuttal?”

There may or may not have been “criminal conspiracy.”  But make no mistake – Trump and his cohorts betrayed their country.

The first sign of resistance within the GOP.


April 2019