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Jun 18, 2018, 04:43 PM
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 on: Today at 08:20 AM 
Started by Deva - Last post by dollydaydream
Hi Heather, the MB is also a blessing for me.  Thanks for sharing your inner experience in the way that you have.     I hope you stay with us.  DDD

 on: Today at 07:51 AM 
Started by Deva - Last post by Bhaskara
Hi Deva and Everyone,

My intentions were to post and I kept telling myself that if I give myself some time and space it will happen but it has not happened. It's like I have nothing to say anymore and I'm in some deep inner void... I want to write with discernment and discrimination, I want to write from a place that is true from within myself yet come from a place of true humility at the same time, yet It doesn't seem to happen or I don't seem to understand what this means.. I realize I won't learn unless I try but I'm not getting feedback from the Universe as to the change or what it will look like or what it should be and even though I have learned such important lessons  about being on public forums and to truly think about what one is putting out there for the world to read I just don't want to keep making the same mistakes... I don't know how to move forward and it's honestly breaking my heart because for the last two years these practice threads have helped me keep going they were a life line for me...

Rad, Deva, Kristin, DDD, Helena, Wei, Barbara 1 and Everyone who comes to this message board and shares has been such a blessing for me, a home,  kind of like a family as in my world I feel very displaced.
I just wanted to say thank you so much with all my Heart and Soul...

Wolf's work has been and continues to be my guiding light and always will be and I hope and pray that some day the Universe will help me assimilate this work and be able to pass on the Gift of EA to others...

Love Heather

 on: Today at 06:52 AM 
Started by Skywalker - Last post by Skywalker

Thank you for your kind words. I hope you find value in it!

All the best

 on: Today at 06:14 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
He was fired 10 months ago, but Stephen K. Bannon has won

by Fred Hiatt Editorial Page Editor
June 182018
WA Post

He was fired 10 months ago, but Stephen K. Bannon has won.

Truculent, anti-immigrant nationalism; disdain for the “deep state”; disparaging democratic allies while celebrating dictators: These are now the pillars of President Trump’s rule. In his administration’s policy, foreign and domestic, and in the compliant Republican Party, Bannonism is ascendant.

Corey Stewart, the xenophobic, Confederate-celebrating Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Virginia, is cheered by Trump as the face of this new party. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), tweeting on behalf of old principles, is a total outsider. Supposed leaders such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the Senate and Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) in the House fall abjectly into line.

This is the victory not only of a Trump personality cult, as it has been described, but also of an ideology, one closer to Putinism than Reaganism.

To realize how thorough is the rout, it helps to think back to spring 2017 — when such an outcome did not seem inevitable.

Back then, you may recall, some of the “crazies” — such as national security adviser Michael Flynn — had left the White House, and supposed pragmatists had taken charge: H.R. McMaster for national security, Gary Cohn for economics, Jared and Ivanka for — well, for general reasonableness.

There was talk of working with Democrats on infrastructure. Trump wanted to help the “dreamers,” those blameless young immigrants brought to this country as children. It seemed that existing international agreements — NATO, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Paris climate accord — might be preserved, with some face-saving adjustments. Trump was still the politician who had spoken tolerantly on LGBT issues.

Now, any hint of compromise with Democrats has been purged. The White House defines itself and prepares to motivate its voters by the “enemies” it constantly creates, refines and rediscovers, including African American athletes, the press (“Our Country’s biggest enemy,” in a recent Trump tweet), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (“very dishonest & weak”), and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III (directing a “Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats”). Also: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Democratic leaders in the Senate and House, former FBI director James B. Comey, his own attorney general, his deputy attorney general . . . The list will never end.

But Bannonism is not just a snarling attitude. It encompasses a contempt for democracy and a respect for authoritarianism. When Trump refused to sign a statement of solidarity with the world’s other six leading industrial democracies and then proceeded to slather praise on North Korea’s dictator (“a tough guy . . . a very smart guy”), this was not just a sign of personal pique or favoritism: The U.S. president raised questions in the minds of other leaders about whether the concept of the West itself can survive his presidency.

It encompasses an “America First,” for-me-to-win-you-have-to-lose philosophy now being implemented in tariff wars against virtually every U.S. trading partner.

It encompasses a contempt for immigrants, for outsiders of any kind. Certainly it is possible to support lower levels of immigration without being a racist. But to countenance the deliberate policy of tearing away small children from their parents that we are seeing today on the U.S.- ­Mexico border is consistent only with a worldview that deems Mexicans and Salvadorans somehow less human, less worthy, than white Americans.

And it’s no coincidence that Trump, who boasted about being the first Republican to say LGBTQ in his convention acceptance speech in 2016, has, as The Post’s James Hohmann noted last week, tried to ban transgender people from the military, removed protections for transgender inmates, employees and students, failed to acknowledge Pride Month and disbanded the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. As in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, this revival of bigotry dovetails with an effort to woo the conservative Christian establishment.

Finally, Bannonism encompasses contempt for the government itself. Trump has served this well with his constant disparagement of the Justice Department and the FBI; his at times insultingly unsuitable appointments (such as his personal physician to head the mammoth Department of Veterans Affairs); and his generally cavalier attitude toward staffing. Even today, 17 months into his first term, fewer than half of the 667 key positions tracked by The Post in collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service are filled, and for almost 200 there are no nominees.

How has Bannonism prevailed without Bannon? In part, with the help of true believers who remain in the White House, including Stephen Miller (on immigration) and Peter Navarro (on trade).

But another answer came from Trump himself, who said after Bannon’s firing: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. . . . Steve was a staffer.”

Even discounting for Trump’s normal petulance and self-aggrandizement, there may have been an element of truth in what he said. The anti-democratic, protectionist, anti-immigrant, pro-authoritarian administration that has now taken shape, in other words, is not only Bannonism. It is raw and unvarnished Trumpism, too.

 on: Today at 05:43 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Americans will only ‘sit up’ for Trump when he’s handcuffed and frog-marched out of the White House

Common Dreams
17 Jun 2018 at 12:41 ET                   

President Donald Trump on Friday added to the astronomic tally of his bizarre brainfarts by saying of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: “He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

Politico’s interviewees are afraid that Trump is normalizing Stalinist tactics, using phrases like “enemy of the people.” And while that may be true of a small number of his acolytes, most Americans don’t like Trump or his ways and certainly are not going to fall into lockstep.

Many working-class people who voted for him (not as big a group as the business classes and corporate news networks fondly imagine) are already regretting it, as he destroyed their access to health care insurance.

The reason for which Trump’s hope is forlorn is that, as Pew’s scientific polling demonstrates, the vast majority of Americans don’t like and don’t approve of Trump, whose ratings in the polls remain shockingly low for a sitting president at this point in his tenure. Concentrating only on one data point, of favorable/unfavorable hides a great many key insights as to how despised Trump really is.

Fully 58 percent of Americans say that they have no or almost no areas of agreement with Trump. That is almost six in 10. And while the number has fallen from 77percent last year this time, remember what we are talking about. I mean, Trump takes lots of stances on lots of things. Hell, there are things I agree with him about, like the desirability of getting out of Syria (assuming he really means it when he says that). Nearly six in 10 Americans are saying his positions are completely or almost completely alien to them.

Even 42 percent of Republicans say that they agree with him on some but not all issues. Given that 88 percent of Democrats have no or almost no areas of agreement with Trump, that so many in his own party demur from at least some of his major positions shows just how much of a minority president he is. He is fully supported only by 38 percent of Republicans, who in turn are only about 25 percent of Americans.

Full, unadulterated support for Trump and Trumpism doesn’t stand at 42 percent or 44 percent as the favorability ratings suggest. It is more like 9.5 percent if we ask about areas of agreement with him. And remember that is opposed to 58 percent who just throw up their hands and can’t get into anything he says.

Then there is the issue of widespread corruption. Among independents, a key swing vote that typically leans Republican, two-thirds (65 percent) view the Trump administration’s ethical standards as “not good” or “poor.” Only 32 percent demur.

On that issue of ethical standards, almost all Democrats (86 percent) say the Trump administration’s are “not good” or are poor. But even 25 percent of Republicans say this.

Overall, fully 58 percent of Americans view the Trump administration’s ethics as not good or poor. That number is substantially above a simple majority, on the way to a super-majority.

If a large percentage of Republicans approve of the Trump administration’s ethics, the same is not true of his conduct as president. Sixteen percent of the GOP actively dislike his conduct, and 45 percent have mixed feelings.

That is worth repeating. Sixty-one percent of Republicans have mixed feelings about or are out-and-out mortified by Trump’s conduct as president.

And here is the percentage that disapproves of Trump on key issues:

    Have no confidence in his immigration policy: 55 percent
    Think poorly of his ability to handle an international crisis: 54 percent
    Think poorly of his ability to work with Congress: 54 percent

(Remember, he has a Republican Congress!)

Americans are not going to stand at attention to any authoritarian leader. In a republic, a president is just first among equals, an employee of the people, who are not lesser in station than he.

But it is particularly absurd to think that the 9.5 percent who are knee-jerk supporters of Trump can impose themselves on the rest of us. Trump is a walking Titanic, and the only thing Americans will sit up for in his regard is the day he is handcuffed and frog-marched out of the White House to share a jail cell with his good buddy and former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

 on: Today at 05:33 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Separation at the border: children wait in cages at south Texas warehouse

    US Border Patrol allows reporters to visit holding facility
    Melania Trump speaks out against separation policy

Associated Press in McAllen, Texas
18 Jun 2018 22.22 BST

Inside an old warehouse in south Texas, hundreds of children wait away from their parents in a series of cages created by metal fencing.

One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

One teenager told an advocate who visited she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. She said she had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.

On Sunday, the US Border Patrol allowed reporters to briefly visit the facility where it holds families arrested at the southern border, responding to new criticism and protests over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and resulting separation of families.

    Rep. Peter Welch (@PeterWelch)

    I saw chain link cages full of unaccompanied children. They sat on metal benches and stared straight ahead silently
    June 17, 2018

More than 1,100 people were inside the large, dark facility that was divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own and mothers and fathers with children. The cages in each wing open into common areas, to use portable restrooms. The overhead lighting stays on around the clock.

Reporters were not allowed by agents to interview any of the detainees or take photos.

Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents since the attorney general Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs homeland security officials to refer all cases of illegal entry into the US for prosecution.

    Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized
    Senator Jeff Merkley

Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane.

Stories have spread of children being torn from their parents’ arms, and parents not being able to find where their kids have gone. A group of congressional lawmakers visited the same facility on Sunday and were set to visit a longer-term shelter holding around 1,500 children – many of whom were separated from their parents.

“Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized,” said the Democratic senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, who was denied entry earlier this month to children’s shelter. “It doesn’t matter whether the floor is swept and the bedsheets tucked in tight.”

In Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for people trying to enter the US, Border Patrol officials argue that they have to crack down on migrants and separate adults from children as a deterrent to others.

“When you exempt a group of people from the law … that creates a draw,” said Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol’s chief agent here. “That creates the trends right here.”

Agents running the holding facility – generally known as “Ursula” for the name of the street it’s on – said everyone detained is given adequate food, access to showers and laundered clothes, and medical care.

People are supposed to move through the facility quickly. Under US law, children are required to be turned over within three days to shelters funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Padilla said agents in the Rio Grande Valley have allowed families with children under the age of five to stay together in most cases.

An advocate who spent several hours in the facility on Friday said she was deeply troubled by what she found. Michelle Brane, the director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, met a 16-year-old girl who had been taking care of a young girl for three days. The teen and others in their cage thought the girl was two years old.

“She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper,” Brane said.

Brane said that after an attorney started to ask questions, agents found the girl’s aunt and reunited them. It turned out that the girl was actually four. Part of the problem was that she did not speak Spanish but K’iche, a language indigenous to Guatemala.

“She was so traumatized that she wasn’t talking,” Brane said. “She was just curled up in a little ball.”

Brane said she also saw officials at the facility scold a group of five-year-olds for playing around in their cage, telling them to settle down. There are no toys or books. But one boy nearby wasn’t playing with the rest. According to Brane, he was quiet, clutching a piece of paper that was a photocopy of his mother’s ID card.

“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions,” Brane said. “If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other five-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.”


Trump aide Stephen Miller brags about policy ripping immigrant kids away from parents: ‘It was a simple decision’

Bob Brigham
Raw Story
18 Jun 2018 at 12:27 ET                  

Controversial White House advisor Stephen Miller bragged about President Donald Trump’s new policy of child separation as a “simple decision” during a West Wing interview with The New York Times.

“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement,” Miller told The Times.

“It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period,” he claimed. “The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”

In May, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay identified Miller as the leader of a White House faction intentionally inflicting harm.

“Let’s be clear, though, immigration has been an issue, a difficult one, a thorny one for the administration, but some of the stuff we’re seeing, the cruelty, is intentional,” Gay argued. “You know, this is a ‘Stephen Miller faction.’ That’s what’s happening.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reached a similar conclusion.

“This is not a zero tolerance policy, this is a zero humanity policy, and we can’t let it go on,” Merkley suggested. “Ripping children out of their parents’ arms to inflict harm on the child to influence the parents is unacceptable.”


Trump ‘literally holding children hostage’ for border wall: Washington Post columnist

Martin Cizmar
Raw Story
18 Jun 2018 at 18:42 ET                  

Donald Trump continues trying to paint his extremely controversial policy of separating immigrant children from their parents and holding them a jail-like facilities as somehow the fault of Democrats. This despite his own advisers bragging about the policy.

Early this morning, the president said that Democrats can “can fix their forced family breakup at the Border” by working with Republicans, even though the policy is something Trump himself put into place and could instantly change.

    Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2018

Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty called him out in this on Saturday afternoon saying that “Trump also lies as a strategy” and laying out how that’s working here.

“Trump is literally holding children hostage to get his unpopular border wall,” she writes. “He may think of it as leverage, but the rest of us should recognize it for what it is. It is a tragedy, born of a lie. He may refuse to take responsibility for what he has done, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t see a lie for what it is, no matter how often he tells it.”


Attorney Avenatti pounds ‘fascist’ Stephen Miller for writing immigrant child detention policy — and vows legal action

Tom Boggioni
Raw Story
17 Jun 2018 at 11:56 ET                  

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, took to Twitter on Sunday morning to offer the services of his law firm to help the families who have been ripped apart by the immigration policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, resulting in children being held separately in detention camps.

Along the way, he took a shot at Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller, who bragged about being behind the detentions.

Avenatti, who later called into AM Joy on MSNBC to expand on his plans, tweeted: “If anyone knows of a parent that has had their child taken from them at the border and not returned, please have them contact me as I am entering this fight. This outrageous conduct must be brought to an immediate end. #Basta”

He later took his shot at Miller.

“Stephen Miller: Congrats, the separation policy that you sold to your boss Mr. Trump will result in images that will crater you both. We will ensure you will never escape them. In your fascist zeal, you forgot that mothers are mothers first, regardless of their politics. #Basta,” he wrote.

You can see the tweets below:

    This is not my America. This is not our America. #Outraged #Basta https://t.co/OXc6eHxPAt

    — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) June 16, 2018

    If anyone knows of a parent that has had their child taken from them at the border and not returned, please have them contact me as I am entering this fight. This outrageous conduct must be brought to an immediate end. #Basta

    — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) June 17, 2018

    Stephen Miller: Congrats, the separation policy that you sold to your boss Mr. Trump will result in images that will crater you both. We will ensure you will never escape them. In your fascist zeal, you forgot that mothers are mothers first, regardless of their politics. #Basta

    — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) June 17, 2018


Laura Bush: Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart’

by Laura Bush
June 17 2018
WA Post

Laura Bush is a former first lady of the United States.

On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders.

I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.

People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer. I moved away from Washington almost a decade ago, but I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this.

Recently, Colleen Kraft, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a shelter run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She reported that while there were beds, toys, crayons, a playground and diaper changes, the people working at the shelter had been instructed not to pick up or touch the children to comfort them. Imagine not being able to pick up a child who is not yet out of diapers.

Twenty-nine years ago, my mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, visited Grandma’s House, a home for children with HIV/AIDS in Washington. Back then, at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the disease was a death sentence, and most babies born with it were considered “untouchables.” During her visit, Barbara — who was the first lady at the time — picked up a fussy, dying baby named Donovan and snuggled him against her shoulder to soothe him. My mother-in-law never viewed her embrace of that fragile child as courageous. She simply saw it as the right thing to do in a world that can be arbitrary, unkind and even cruel. She, who after the death of her 3-year-old daughter knew what it was to lose a child, believed that every child is deserving of human kindness, compassion and love.

In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.


‘How bad does it have to get?’ MSNBC’s Mika begs Republicans to stop Trump’s cruelty to immigrant families

Travis Gettys
Raw Story
18 Jun 2018 at 07:10 ET                  

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski begged Republicans to stop President Donald Trump’s cruel policy ripping apart immigrant families seeking asylum.

The “Morning Joe” co-host said only two or three GOP senators could force the administration to end the policy, which has been in place for about a month, but she asked why they had not already.

“I’m going to just beg,” Brzezinski said. “I mean, I will make a plea to Republicans this morning, that it is on you to speak out. We need to hear from you. What exactly does this president need to do to get you to step up? What is it? How bad does it have to get?”

MSNBC analyst Mike Barnicle asked why the policy hadn’t provoked outrage until the past few days.

“We have covered each and every presidential tweet over the past four or five weeks as if they were parts of the Magna Carta and ignored, not ignored, but not covered extensively, the separation of children from parents really like a fury, like we ought to have been doing, only over the past week or 10 days,” Barnicle said.

New York Times reporter Nick Confessore said Republicans had the leverage to halt the policy.

“Susan Collins and Jeff Flake could stop this policy tomorrow if they went out and said, ‘I’m not going to approve a single Trump judge until it’s over,'” Confessore said. “They have leverage, but we have seen over and over again with few exceptions that these senators on the right just don’t want to use their leverage on this stuff or take on the president directly, and it goes to the fear that the president has created in his own party of him. It’s actually astonishing. I think these lawmakers are more afraid of Trump than the outcry from the media or from the population.”

Barnicle said lawmakers were afraid of the president’s tweets, and Confessore agreed.

“We treat these tweets as, you know, as law or statement but, in fact, they are extraordinarily popular or powerful in steering our politics — which is crazy,” Confessore said.

Watch: https://vimeo.com/275608907


‘It’s not a f*cking law!’: John Oliver rains hellfire down on justification for tearing families apart in Jeff Sessions takedown

Sarah K. Burris
Raw Story
18 Jun 2018 at 00:14 ET                  

As horrific stories of families ripped apart flood the airwaves, late-night comedian John Oliver fact-check President Donald Trump’s decision to blame the Democrats for his own policies.

During his Sunday evening episode of “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver called out Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the policy he knew would mean children would be separated from their parents, who would be incarcerated.

“And that is objectively awful. And yet, Trump argued that Sessions had no choice,” Oliver said before playing a clip of Trump saying Sessions is following laws that are already on the books.

“I want the laws to be beautiful, humane and strong,” Trump told the press.

“OK, so ‘beautiful, humane but strong?’ That is not how you describe a law, that’s how you describe a Viola Davis character in a movie called ‘It Hasn’t Even Been Written Yet But She’ll Still Win The Oscar.'”

He went on to fact-check the president’s claim that Democrats handed the administration those laws.

“Because, and I cannot stress this enough, there is no law that suddenly required separating parents from their children,” Oliver continued. “This was the result of a deliberate policy choice by Jeff Sessions. A man so small he can wear, and this is true, a raspberry as a hat. That’s a fact.”

It’s also weird to Oliver that Trump is trying to distance himself from his own administration’s policy while Sessions doubled down and said that the decision came “from the very top,” and quoted the Bible.

Oliver noted that quoting the Bible to justify a hateful policy is just as arbitrary as basing policy off of Green Eggs and Ham, claiming, “We must keep children in a box. We keep them with a fox.”

The choice of the Bible quote, that was frequently used to justify slavery, was another thing that took Oliver back.

“And I know that you’re thinking, ‘Wait, wait wait. He wouldn’t align himself with slave owners, even accidentally,'” Oliver continued. “‘Not Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama!’ Well, I’m sorry, but he did.”

When it came to Sarah Huckabee Sanders backing Sessions up saying that people should follow the law, Oliver again exclaimed “not a f*cking law!” He also noted that there are many things said in the Bible, but it is obvious that the world doesn’t still follow them.

“At one point the Bible demands that the head of government get 100 foreskins, but I don’t think Sanders is looking for Congress to gather together and start slicing d*cks,” he closed.

Watch the full commentary : https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6m4vpe


‘We need to disband the entire Republican Party’: Ann Coulter flattens her own party

Sarah K. Burris
Raw Story
17 Jun 2018 at 22:34 ET                  

Conservative long-time Republican commentator Ann Coulter made a dramatic turn when she decided President Donald Trump wasn’t keeping his promises on immigration. Now, Coulter is turning against the GOP entirely.

During a panel discussion on Fox News’ Steve Hilton’s Sunday show, Coulter and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) both decided they were done with the Republican Party.

“You see that with the left and the elite conservatives in the Republican Party that don’t want an honest dialogue about the successes of this president,” said Chaffetz. “Instead of joining together and moving forward with specific goals to restore getting wins in the midterms, they are being disruptive in a haphazard way. ”

Coulter took her disdain to a deeper level.

“I completely agree with you that we need to disband the official Republican Party. That was the point you were making and I completely agree. I’m sorry Representative,” Coulter said, turning to Chaffetz.

“Hey, I quit, so,” Chaffetz said with a chuckle.

“Everything you said is right,” Coulter said to Hilton. “It kind of depresses me because I feel like we are at the end of the campaign, because, you are right, [Trump] appealed to the people. This was the first time I hated the Republican Party. I mean, I’ve been a Republican my entire life, they were exposed as a uni-party. You’re right. Indistinguishable from the Democrats. It’s for the rich. It’s for the donors. Since he’s been president. I know he’s up against a lot, but man the swamp has been moving in!:

She went on to say that it was absurd and she felt like she was living in a nightmare.


Rick Wilson: GOPers ‘write daily erotic fanfic about Trump’s executive power’ but are silent on splitting families

David Edwards
Raw Story
17 Jun 2018 at 12:33 ET                  

Republican strategist Rick Wilson on Sunday lashed out at conservatives who fantasize about President Donald Trump’s executive power while staying silent on his ability to end a policy that separates asylum-seekers from their children.

“The cheering section in the ‘conservative’ media that has been screeching with joy over Trump’s executive orders, his unlimited pardon power, steamrolling the rule of law, etc ad nauseam is STRANGELY silent on why he doesn’t just change the family separation policy by diktat,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.

He, then, fired off a second scorching tweet.

“These people are essentially writing daily erotic fanfic about Trump’s executive power and are mute on this one,” Wilson raged. “It’s almost — ALMOST — as if they’re a bunch of tendentious doucheholes taking pleasure in the misery and trauma the policy causes.”

    The cheering section in the "conservative" media that has been screeching with joy over Trump's executive orders, his unlimited pardon power, steamrolling the rule of law, etc ad nauseum is STRANGELY silent on why he doesn't just change the family separation policy by diktat.

    — Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) June 17, 2018

    These people are essentially writing daily erotic fanfic about Trump's executive power and are mute on this one.

    It's almost — ALMOST — as if they're a bunch of tendentious doucheholes taking pleasure in the misery and trauma the policy causes.

    — Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) June 17, 2018

 on: Today at 05:24 AM 
Started by Skywalker - Last post by dollydaydream
Skywalker, thanks for the article you posted recently.  I have not had chance to read it yet but I will be doing so as soon as I have finished moving house and dealing with all the drama that entails.  I want to give my full attention to your article and always appreciate your insights.  DDD

 on: Today at 05:19 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by dollydaydream
Thanks to Deva, Linda and all the other participants for a great EA Zoom meeting on Saturday.  I hope there will be more in the future.  Namaste.  DDD

 on: Today at 05:14 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Iván Duque wins election to become Colombia's president

Conservative opponent of Farc peace process wins long and divisive campaign

Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
Mon 18 Jun 2018 11.20 BST

Colombia has chosen Iván Duque, a conservative neophyte, to be its next president after a long and divisive campaign that often centred on a controversial peace process with leftist rebels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Duque, who opposes the peace deal, won in a second round runoff election on Sunday with 53.9% of the vote. His vanquished opponent, Bogotá’s former mayor Gustavo Petro – once a leftist militant himself – defends the peace process.

Despite being the first leftist in the conservative country’s history to come so close to the presidency, he lost on the night, taking 41.8% of the vote.

Many now worry about the fate of the fragile peace deal signed with the Farc in 2016, which formally ended 52 years of civil war that left 220,000 dead and seven million displaced.

That deal initially failed to pass a referendum with voters outraged by its guarantees of softer sentencing for rebel leaders and guaranteed seats in congress. It was later amended and ratified by lawmakers, a move some viewed as undemocratic. Sunday gave them another chance to voice their disquiet.

Farc’s wartime leader, Rodrigo Londoño, tweeted after the result: “We have lived the quietest elections of the last decades, the peace process bears fruit. It is a moment of greatness and reconciliation, we respect the decision of the majorities and we congratulate the new president. Now to work, the roads of hope are open.”

Duque promised on the campaign trail to modify the deal’s most contentious components, something that resonated with voters.

On a clear Sunday morning in Bogotá’s central Ciudad Jardín neighbourhood, voters filed into a school repurposed as a voting station when polls opened at 8am. “I am voting for Ívan Duque,” said Marcelo Rodríguez, dressed in a Colombian football shirt. “I want peace but we can’t have it without justice.”

Others at the poll station were less convinced. “Amending a deal is the same as tearing it up,” said Andrea Gómez, a student. “Some people in Colombia won’t be happy without war.”

Duque – who will turn 42 just before taking office on 8 August – will be Colombia’s youngest ever president, though his party, Democratic Center, has a coalition in Congress. He also has the backing of several industry leaders and, perhaps most importantly, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, still an immensely powerful – if divisive – figure in Colombian politics.

Uribe, who dealt severe military blows to the Farc during his tenure from 2002 to 2010, led the campaign against the peace deal in 2016’s referendum. He was Duque’s earliest champion for president, having persuaded his protege to leave a job at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC to fill a party senate seat in 2014.

Duque’s opponents say is little more to than Uribe’s puppet, a charge particularly worrying given the hardline svengali’s authoritarian tendencies.

While president, a state intelligence agency was shut down after Uribe used it to spy on the opposition, journalists and members of the supreme court. His military campaign against the rebels was marked by grave human rights abuses: thousands of civilians were murdered in order to falsely inflate combat statistics.

Both men denied the charge, and accused Petro of being the real threat to democracy. Uribe, after voting in Bogotá’s historic Plaza de Bolívar, said that Duque was the only bulwark against Petro’s “destructive socialism” – the same force he said has mired neighbouring Venezuela in economic and political turmoil.

Petro was reluctant on the campaign trail to distance himself from Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chávez, and with 1 million Venezuelans having fled to Colombia, many here worry that Petro could bring a similar fate.

Duque’s market-friendly economic policies appealed to voters near the Venezuelan border, though younger and more moderate voters worry about his conservative social policies from drug policy and crime to abortion.

The campaign was long and ugly, with stark polarisation revealed in the first round when Duque and Petro eliminated a handful of more moderate rivals. Now, Duque’s job will be build bridges between Colombians divided on ideology and the peace process, with the worst outcome being another flare up of civil war.

“Polarisation is common in politics around the world,” Pedro Piedrahita Bustamente, a political science professor at the University of Medellín previously told the Guardian. “But here, where there is a history of internal armed conflict, it could be a dangerous thing.”

 on: Today at 05:11 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Turkey's Islamists and secularists join forces in bid to unseat Erdoğan

Presidential contender Temel Karamollaoğlu tells the Guardian he hopes to weaken Erdoğan’s hold on power

Kareem Shaheen and Gokce Saracoglu in Istanbul
Mon 18 Jun 2018 05.00 BST

The leader of Turkey’s largest Islamist party rattled off what he believes to be the failures of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government: a high unemployment rate, a widening trade deficit, a chaotic foreign policy, a stalled European Union membership application and a state of emergency since the failed 2016 coup – all of which have damaged fundamental rights and freedoms.

Temel Karamollaoğlu, the Manchester-educated head of the Saadet (Felicity) party, says it is for these reasons and more that he is running for president. He has also allied with staunch secularists in the race for parliament – a coalition that would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Two weeks before presidential and parliamentary elections, the race is unexpectedly tightening.

Although Erdoğan remains the most powerful and popular politician in Turkey, his opponents have performed exceptionally well in opinion polls, with recent ones suggesting the legislative hold of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) could be broken.

In an environment of declining freedom of expression and purges of dissidents as well as growing displays of public piety in a country where secularism is enshrined in its founding principles, a consistent voice of opposition has emerged from an unlikely quarter.

Islamists, who were once ideological allies of the president, have joined the alliance trying to weaken his hold on power.

“The policies that Erdoğan or his government are following do not help Turkey stand up on her own feet in almost all aspects and policies, whether economic or foreign policies,” Karamollaoğlu told the Guardian. “His method of approach, the discourse, causes polarisation in Turkey. He is in great extent disrespectful to the upholding of law.”

Karamollaoğlu’s party was once led by Necmettin Erbakan, the father of Turkey’s modern political Islamist movement, one-time prime minister and former mentor of Erdoğan.

Erdoğan and other key figures in the movement, who were seen as more reform-minded at the time, split off to form the AKP, which has ruled Turkey since 2002.

Turkey’s president likes to portray himself as the global defender of Islam and has sought to position himself as a champion of Muslim causes and a leader of a solidarity movement for the oppressed faithful around the world, another stance that plays well with conservative voters.

Karamollaoğlu said his party’s vision for Turkey is one of UK-style secularism in which religion and the state can co-exist peaceably, a self-sufficient economy and a foreign policy based on dialogue and diplomacy, with closer ties to Muslim nations. He wants to abandon the pursuit of EU membership in favour of a special status agreement, as well as the strategic alliance with the US that is already frayed under Erdoğan.

For the elections, the Felicity party has entered an alliance with the main secular opposition bloc, the Republican People’s party (CHP). The Islamists and secularists make for unlikely bedfellows, united by their opposition to the president and his ruling party, despite their bitter ideological disparity.

“We don’t have the same policies or the same understanding of governance, in economics, in foreign policy,” Karamollaoğlu said. “But we have certain principles we agreed, [like] separation of government and the judiciary … press freedom, lifting of the state of emergency.”

The oddity of the pairing belies the broader campaign to draw away voters from Erdoğan’s religiously conservative base, which has reliably voted for him.

His strongest rivals in the presidential race are making implicit appeals to religious voters by signalling their own piety. Meral Aksener, the leader of a new nationalist party, points out that she performed the pilgrimage to Mecca and, though she does not wear the veil, she regularly performs daily prayers.

Karamollaoğlu’s candidacy and vociferous opposition to the AKP’s policies also blurs the traditional dividing lines of Turkish politics, and marks a public disavowal of the idea that Erdoğan is the only legitimate champion of the pious.

Religious voters often point to Erdoğan’s personal piety as a factor in his appeal, as well as his support for Islamist causes like the headscarf, which under the ruling AKP was allowed in universities and state institutions.

To many conservative voters, Erdoğan’s rise signalled that public displays of faith had become mainstream, after decades of the vilification of religion and its adherents. It was a repudiation of the “White Turks”, the secular elite who controlled the military and the state’s bureaucracy and looked down on their religious countrymen as ignorant and poor.

Distrust will continue to pose a challenge to opposition parties who want to draw in conservatives in sufficient numbers to tip the scales.

They hope, for example, that conservative voters in Kurdish areas who have long voted for the AKP will vote for other parties this time around, due to a combination of Erdoğan’s electoral alliance with the nationalists, Turkey’s military operations against Kurdish militias in Syria, and the sweeping crackdown on dissident Kurds, as well as the failed promise of the inclusive vision of Turkey once espoused by Erdoğan’s AKP.

“We are witnessing a fracturing of the [AKP] base,” said Huda Kaya, an MP with the Kurdish issue-oriented People’s Democratic party (HDP), who campaigned for the right to wear the headscarf and previously supported the AKP.

“The most distinct and vivid words in our memory is when Erdoğan said all 80 million [people in Turkey] are my fellow citizens if they vote for me or not,” she said. “We kept our hopes on this being the truth … but all the promises, the equality, rights and freedom, the position of Kurdish society is nothing near what was promised.”

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