Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rachel Maddow Breaks Down Reporting On Separated Children At The Border

At the end of her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow was handed breaking news by the Associate Press about the Trump administration operating “tender age” shelters for migrant babies and toddlers.

As has been widely reported, journalists who have toured the facilities have described the experience being similar to "visiting an animal shelter."

Coming after an hour of reporting on the "zero tolerance" policy, Maddow tried to read the report live on air she kept choking up while speaking.

"This has just come out from the Associated Press," she began, then paused, as her emotions were clearly taking hold.

She attempted to continue reading, but her voice broke.

Trying to get the camera off of her, Maddow asked producers to put up a graphic, but it’s not ready.

There was a final attempt before shaking her head, saying: "I think I’m gonna have to hand this off."

And that's exactly what happened. Thankfully Lawrence O'Donnell was at the ready for the handoff into the next hour.

Maddown later apologized via Twitter to her viewers:

Obama Takes Veiled Swipe At Trump Immigration Policy On 'World Refugee Day'

President Barack Obama
In observing World Refugee Day, former President Obama took a not-so-veiled swipe at Donald Trump's hideous policy of separating families at the southern U.S. border.

From Obama's Facebook page:

Today is World Refugee Day.

If you've been fortunate enough to have been born in America, imagine for a moment if circumstance had placed you somewhere else. Imagine if you'd been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children. A place where you finally found yourself so desperate to flee persecution, violence, and suffering that you'd be willing to travel thousands of miles under cover of darkness, enduring dangerous conditions, propelled forward by that very human impulse to create for our kids a better life.

That's the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?

Our ability to imagine ourselves in the shoes of others, to say “there but for the grace of God go I,” is part of what makes us human. And to find a way to welcome the refugee and the immigrant – to be big enough and wise enough to uphold our laws and honor our values at the same time – is part of what makes us American. After all, almost all of us were strangers once, too. Whether our families crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we’re only here because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, how our last names sound, or the way we worship. To be an American is to have a shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve the chance to become something better.

That’s the legacy our parents and grandparents and generations before created for us, and it’s something we have to protect for the generations to come. But we have to do more than say “this isn’t who we are.” We have to prove it – through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.

Trump Announces Executive Order To Stop Family Separations At The Border

President Trump announces he will finally stop separating migrant children from their parents after weeks of saying he had no power to do so
Donald Trump
After weeks of claiming only Congress has the power to stop separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border of the United States, Donald Trump announced today that he will sign an executive order to stop the horrific policy.

The truth of the matter is no executive order is needed. Trump can stop all this with a phone call to his Attorney General.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Trump’s executive order would seek to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.

Stories of children being taken from their parents and images of teenagers in cage-like detention facilities have exploded into a full-blown political crisis for Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers, who are desperate for a response to critics who have called the practice “inhumane” and “evil.”

Mr. Trump has for weeks refused to simply end his government’s “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents, saying that the alternative would be to fling open the nation’s borders and allow immigrants who cross the border illegally to remain in the country.
But the president, furious about the pummeling he has taken in recent days, has been casting about for an escape from the crisis, people familiar with his thinking said.

Today's announcement comes as Trump's approval rating on immigration has hit an all-time low.

According to a CNN poll released Monday, Trump's handling of immigration dropped five points in just the last month to only 35% approval.

Axios reported this morning that a senior White House official described Trump's perspective on the issue as "being moved personally, but also doesn't want to look weak."

"He feels boxed in, is frustrated and knows it's bad politics — but also understands it's not a fight he can back down from," added the official.

Watch Trump weave back and forth in his announcement below:

Survey: 14% Of Americans Have Had Sex In The Workplace

A new survey shows 14% of Americans have had sex at work

The New York Post recently reported on a new study shows that for those who do make a ‘love connection’ at work, a substantial number say they’ve done the deed at the office.

A survey of 2,000 Americans was commissioned by sex store EdenFantasys to explore the realities of romance in the workplace.

The results of the poll showed 14% of Americans admit to having sex at their place of employment.

Of those who engaged in office playtime, one in five revealed they were caught in the act.

More from the survey:

• 92% of those who engaged in an office romance said it made going to work more exciting

• Over half of the respondents said an office romance made them more ‘productive’

• One in ten admitted to having sex with their boss

• 34% of those folks say they did so to advance their career at work

• 17% of workplace romances cost someone their job

• 1 in 4 co-worker relationships end and result in awkward situations at work

• 60% of all workplace relationships end within 12 months

• However, there’s good news - 1 in 4 workplace romances end in marriage

• But 34% of workplace romances involve someone who’s already married or engaged

Let me know in the comments what you think? Have any of you shiny, happy people engaged in office playtime?

Yes, the photo above is from Sense8, but I wanted a pic of gays kissing and I like this one... :)

Tone Deaf Vanessa Trump Brags About Her Children's 'Summer Camps'

Earlier this week, conservative pundits and TV hosts like hate group leader Tony Perkins and Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham began defending the current policy of separating children from their migrant parents at the southern U.S. border comparing the children's horrific situation to "summer camps.'

Enter Vanessa Trump - the estranged wife of Donald Trump Jr., who in total political tone-deafness gloated on Twitter about sending her five children to “summer camp.”

Miss Vanessa was immediately bombarded by the Twitterverse with calls of trolling liberals who are rightfully outraged over her father-in-law's policy of keeping migrant children in cages at the border.

The tweet was quickly deleted but, of course, nothing disappears on the internet.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Michael Cohen May Be Open To Cooperating With Special Counsel Investigation

Former Donald Trump attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen
CNN reports that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's longtime attorney and "fixer," has signaled to friends that he is "willing to give" investigators information on the President, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.

"He knows a lot of things about the President and he's not averse to talking in the right situation," one of Cohen's New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. "If they want information on Trump, he's willing to give it."

Cohen is planning to hire Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division of the US attorney's office in Manhattan and an experienced trial lawyer, a source familiar confirmed. The source said all the paperwork and retainer may not have been finalized just yet.

The shift in legal strategy and signals of potential cooperation with investigators come as Cohen feels increasingly isolated from the President, whom he has been famously loyal to for more than a decade. Last week, CNN reported Cohen has indicated a willingness to cooperate to alleviate pressure on himself and his family.

"He feels let down by him and isolated by him," another friend of Cohen's told CNN. Cohen has famously said he would take a bullet for Trump and he has fashioned himself as Trump's "fixer," willing to help handle situations quietly.

Cohen facilitated a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet her allegations of an affair a decade earlier with the then-candidate.

The White House has denied any affair.

Cohen hasn't been indicted on any charges at this time.

Breaking: United States Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

This. Is. Insane.

Moments ago, the United States withdrew from the United Nations' Human Rights Council after no other countries “had the courage to join our fight” to reform the “hypocritical and self-serving” body, said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

“In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments,” Haley added.

From The Hill:

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the withdrawal alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, following multiple news reports that the move was imminent.

Haley blasted the council as a "protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias" and accused the body of "politicizing and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records."

The withdrawal, which comes as the 47-member body begins a three-week session in Geneva, had been expected as a result of the Trump administration's frequent criticism of the group's treatment of Israel.

Haley repeatedly voted against U.N. measures that were critical of Israel, and she has rebuked the council for what she called a “chronic anti-Israel bias."

The Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez responded with this statement:

“The United States should be leading the world on human rights, not retreating into isolation and separating young children from their families. Because of our seat at the table, we’ve been able to give voice to the voiceless around the world while fighting for the council’s fair treatment of our allies like Israel. Today, President Trump is sending a signal to the world that we’re too weak to lead and too cowardly to fight for our foundational values.

“Trump’s withdrawal is especially disturbing given his persistent praise for despots and dictators with abysmal human rights records, not to mention his administration’s cruel mistreatment of immigrant families seeking asylum. His blatant disregard for basic human rights will have dire and tragic consequences for marginalized people across the globe for years to come. We must all condemn Trump for his failure to lead, and we should work together to hold him accountable immediately.”

Irish Government Apologizes For Persecuting LGBTs

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadakar

On the 25th anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality in Ireland, the country's first openly gay prime minister publicly apologized for the chilling effects of the discarded law.

Via RTE:

The Taoiseach has paid tribute in the Dáil to those who were criminalised for homosexual activity prior to the repeal of the laws in 1993.

"Today the people I want to pay a special tribute to are the unknown heroes, the thousands of people whose names we do not know, who were criminalised by our forbears," Leo Varadakar told the Dáil during a debate on a Labour party motion marking the 25th anniversary of the repeal of the laws.

The Taoiseach also said that it was no secret that a number of patriots who were involved in the founding of the State - men and women - were homosexual.

"While the state's laws affected gay men in a legal sense, they had a chilling effect on lesbians as well," he said.

Mr Varadkar said that we cannot erase the wrong that was done to them: "What we can say is that we have learned as a society from their suffering. Their stories have helped change us for the better; they have made us more tolerant, more understanding and more human."

Additionally, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan served similar duty in the Seanad, apologizing to members of the LGBT community who suffered as a result of the criminalisation of homosexuality.

“I extend a sincere apology to all of those people, to their family, and to their friends. “To any person who felt the hurt and isolation created by those laws, and particularly to those who were criminally convicted by the existence of such laws," said Mr. Flanagan.