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Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him

Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him
When Lt. Caron Nazario said he was afraid to get out of the vehicle, one officer responded, “Yeah, you should be."

by Emma Ockerman
April 9, 2021, 12:37pm

Caron Nazario was driving his newly-purchased Chevy Tahoe home when two police officers pulled him over in Windsor, Virginia, whipped out their guns, and started barking orders.

With their weapons raised, the officers demanded that Nazario, a Black and Latino man, get out of the SUV. Nazario looked in the mirror and saw he was being held at gunpoint, then placed his cellphone on his dashboard to film the December 5 encounter. He repeatedly asked to know what was going on. At one point, he even admitted to being afraid to leave the vehicle.

“Yeah, you should be,” one of the officers responded.

Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was coming home from work and in full uniform at the time.

“I’m serving this country, and this is how I’m treated?” Nazario told the officers, according to his cellphone video.
By the end of the incident, the cops would threaten Nazario, pepper-spray him in the face, and knee-strike him in the legs, according to body camera footage, Nazario’s cellphone video, and legal filings. Later, when Nazario was in tears and on the ground of a gas station parking lot as officers put him in handcuffs, he repeated, “This is fucked up, this is fucked up.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 10, 2021, 09:36 AM (2 replies)

President Obama on the death of Prince Philip...


Barack Obama

When we first met His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had already been on the world stage for more than half a century — welcoming leaders like Churchill and Kennedy; Mandela and Gorbachev. As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect.

We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable. Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. We will miss him dearly.

Like the Queen, Prince Philip saw world wars and economic crises come and go. The radio gave way to the television, and the television to the internet. And through it all, he helped provide steady leadership and guiding wisdom. It has long been said that the United States and Great Britain have a special relationship — one that has been maintained and strengthened not just by presidents and prime ministers but by the Royal Family that has outlasted them all.

At the Queen’s side or trailing the customary two steps behind, Prince Philip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman. Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight — serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence. Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.

As the world mourns his loss, we send our warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 05:42 PM (64 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Maggie Haberman, and when Trump access no longer matters


Maggie Haberman, and when Trump access no longer matters
No more scoops
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago


I have no doubt Trump himself served as a source/leaker for Haberman during his four years in office. Yes, he often publicly railed against her and the "liberal" New York Times, but that was likely part of the kabuki dance that went on as Trump and the Times often used each other to their benefit. Trump certainly provided the paper with crucial access. “He wouldn’t talk to me as much as he does if I wasn’t at the Times,” Haberman once said on a podcast. “That’s just the reality. He craves the paper’s approval." According to Haberman, as president he would at times call her and thank her for her coverage, at one point giving one of her Trump stories an "8."

In return, Haberman and Times often normalized him in ways large and small. The daily spent years painting a false portrait of adult decision making at the White House, suggesting Trump was surrounded by a beehive of aides who plotted policy, instead of a madman setting the agenda.


Normalizing seemed to be the goal. When Haberman sat down with Trump in early 2019 for an extended Q&A, he lied nonstop and came across as utterly incoherent, yet the Times politely typed it all up as a normal White House interview.

In 2019, Haberman famously reported that Trump's former communications director (and likely longtime Times source) Hope Hicks faced an "existential choice " about whether or not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena, as if that's somehow the norm. "When a respected paper such as @nytimes calls this an ‘existential’ question, rather than a question about complying with the law, we have a very serious problem with our democracy," Princeton University historian, Julian Zelizer stressed at the time. "This is what it looks like to become dysfunctional."

One year ago, Haberman's byline appeared on a deeply misguided front-page Times piece as America suffered from the government's futile pandemic response: "Despite Pushback, Trump Suggests Testing Is No Longer an Issue." As if his blatant lies ever should have ever been taken at face value, let alone during a deadly public health crisis.

Nonetheless, Haberman won industry accolades for her Trump reporting. Now with him off the stage the future seems uncertain. That’s what happens with access journalism.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 09:21 AM (27 replies)

David Corn: Will the Public Ever Get a Full Accounting of Trump's Disastrous COVID Response?


Will the Public Ever Get a Full Accounting of Trump’s Disastrous COVID Response?
We deserve a 9/11 commission-style reckoning—but may have to settle for less.
David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau ChiefBio | Follow


The United States could use such a soul-searching reckoning regarding the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 555,000 Americans. Recently, Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the coronavirus response coordinator in the Trump White House, said that about 400,000 of these deaths “could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.” That is, errors, miscalculations, and policy failures on the part of Donald Trump and his administration resulted in a death toll nearly 140 times greater than 9/11. And yet, no apology. Moreover, the prospect of a full accounting of the Trump administration’s lethal handling of the pandemic also remains uncertain. But the American public—particularly those who have lost loved ones or suffered in other ways due to the pandemic—deserves a comprehensive evaluation that reveals who made what mistakes and what must be done to prevent a future calamity.


The select subcommittee has done a lot of digging into a wide assortment of pandemic-related subjects. It slammed large corporations that obtained COVID relief funds intended for small businesses. It investigated the disbursement of the PPP loan payments handed out by the Trump administration. It probed PPE contracts and sought to investigate alleged White House suppression of testing. The subcommittee recently released evidence that the Trump administration failed to address PPE supply shortages, even when warned of shortfalls. It examined political interference at the Centers for Disease Control, widespread coronavirus deaths and infections at meatpacking plants, and the ability of states to hold elections during a pandemic. The select subcommittee released documents showing that the Trump administration awarded a $250 million PR contract for an ad campaign shortly before the 2020 election to downplay the impact of the pandemic. It held a briefing with public health experts to examine actions that need to be taken to ensure the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccinations.

The subcommittee has sent out its own document requests to the Biden administration for information on what the Trump administration did last year. And under the resolution establishing the subcommittee, it is obligated to issue a final report of some sort.

Though both the House and Senate committees are scrutinizing various slices of how the Trump White House managed—or mismanaged—the pandemic, there’s no telling yet whether either will be able to hold an investigation that ends up highlighting the whole dramatic and sorry tale. Will they stage attention-grabbing hearings with the officials who failed the public? Will they produce a report as sweeping and as impactful as the one crafted by the 9/11 commission?

The best investigations tell a story. They forge a narrative that spurs greater understanding of the subject at hand. That’s especially important when a tragedy has occurred. There is a need to fully comprehend the event—to come to terms with it—and to prevent a repeat or something worse. A bipartisan independent commission well-staffed and equipped with subpoena power would certainly offer the best forum for guiding the nation through this act of collective comprehension. But it takes two parties to be bipartisan. If the Republicans care more about protecting Trump, the Democrats on their own cannot conjure up such an endeavor. Their only course is to employ the existing mechanisms of Congress and leverage the power of these committees—conducting hearings, wielding subpoenas, issuing reports—to uncover and present a complete accounting. Probably without any apologies.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 09:01 PM (4 replies)

Kind People Are Suffering From Cruelty Sickness

Kind People Are Suffering From Cruelty Sickness
April 7, 2021 / John Pavlovitz


I sense a corporate emotional weariness in kind people these days, the accumulated scar tissue created when you’ve absorbed more bad news, predatory behavior, and attacks on decency than your reserves can manage. Sustained cruelty will do that to the human soul.

There’s only so much contempt for humanity our minds are able process, until one day something snaps and we lose the ability to respond with the same urgency and resilience we once had. A low-grade hopelessness sets in, slowly replacing our activism with apathy and one day rendering us immobile: cruelty sickness.

Prolonged exposure to this kind of seemingly tireless barbarism begins to rob us of energy, to dishearten us to the point that we stop caring and opt out. This is of course, by design. That is what those manufacturing this incessant enmity are counting on.

The fatigue of decent humans is the plan: inundate us with a million tiny crises, assail us with countless daily culture war battles, and batter us with endless legislative assaults—until we are gradually but decidedly crushed beneath the weight of it all. Eventually, we succumb to the numerous wounds of their boundless hatred, the suffering of those they victimize, and a steady stream of the unanswerable questions about how and why human beings can be this perpetually cruel.

Maybe it’s a bit of necessary resting after the the last four ferocious years, perhaps an understandable emotional letdown afforded by the arrival of an adult human president and the feeling that we are not in a continual state of imminent threat from our government, or maybe it’s the welcome distraction of passing through the worst of a brutal year in isolation—but it feels as though our collective passions are waning and we cannot afford this.

So what do we do? What do kind people who are sickened by cruelty do to get well? We tether ourselves to one another.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 11:37 AM (69 replies)

Trump Organization Hires Criminal Defense Lawyer


Trump Organization Hires Criminal Defense Lawyer
April 8, 2021 at 6:54 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Wall Street Journal: “The Trump Organization has hired Ronald Fischetti, an experienced New York criminal-defense attorney, to represent it in Manhattan prosecutors’ investigation into the business dealings of the former president and his company.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 8, 2021, 08:03 AM (5 replies)

Russia Might Be Slowly Executing Alexei Navalny in Prison, Says Amnesty International


Russia Might Be Slowly Executing Alexei Navalny in Prison, Says Amnesty International

Jamie Ross, Reporter
Published Apr. 07, 2021 6:44AM ET

Amnesty International—the world’s leading human-rights group—said it believes Russia’s treatment of Alexei Navalny is so brutal that it could effectively amount to a long, painful, and slow execution. Navalny, the Putin nemesis who was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent last year, has recently gone on hunger strike in prison in an attempt to force authorities into giving him medical treatment. In recent days, he’s complained of a persistent cough and high temperature, and claimed that there have been cases of tuberculosis in his prison. Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, told Reuters on Wednesday: “Russia, the Russian authorities, may be placing him into a situation of a slow death and seeking to hide what is happening to him... Clearly the Russian authorities are violating his rights. We have to do more... [They] have already attempted to kill him, they are now detaining him, and imposing prison conditions, that amount to torture.”



Alexei Navalny ‘Seriously Ill’ In Prison
April 7, 2021 at 10:35 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Alexei Navalny, the most prominent opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin, is “seriously ill” in prison after contracting symptoms of a respiratory illness in prison, the Financial Times reports.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports Amnesty International says Navalny is incarcerated in conditions that amount to torture and may slowly be killing him.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 7, 2021, 11:13 AM (5 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Why are we still seeing Trump Voter stories?


Why are we still seeing Trump Voter stories?
Move on
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


Why newsrooms ever thought that ‘Trump Voters Support Trump’ articles made for compelling reading, we'll never know. But they did. And now to be fair they ought to be churning out ‘Biden Voters Support Biden’ dispatches. Biden today is more popular with Democrats than Trump ever was with Republicans, even though the press portrayed Trump as having a magical, unbreakable bond with the GOP "base."

Instead of Biden Voter stories, we get entirely misguided Republican updates like the recent one from the Post.

Let's look at three wrong-headed assertions from the Post piece, crammed into a single paragraph. [Emphasis added]:

But any window for cooperation appears to have already closed for Republicans in Congress — and it may be closing for GOP voters, as well. Interviews with dozens of voters in three swing congressional districts across the country revealed evidence that attacks on the spending push are beginning to take hold, and congressional Republicans said they are well positioned to capitalize on voter doubts and win their way back to power in 2022.

1. Forget about the GOP "window for cooperation" now supposedly closing for the infrastructure plan. The idea it ever existed is pure fantasy. The Post makes it seem like the Republican Party today is stocked with fair-minded men and women who of course, want to give Biden a chance and approach each new initiative with an open mind and the country's best interest at heart. In reality, the Republican Party has embraced a radical strategy where complete obstruction serves as the norm, even on issues where Republican voters support Democrats.

We just saw that with the Covid relief bill, where a clear majority of Republicans nationwide backed the emergency bill — and not one elected Republican in the House or the Senate voted 'Yes.’ Yet just weeks later the Post pretends Republicans are all ears when it comes to listening to Biden infrastructure proposal?

2. The Post didn't interview dozens of "voters" in three swing congressional districts to get the nation's temperature on the proposed infrastructure bill, the Post interviewed Republicans. Of the six voters quoted in the article, not one is identified as a Biden supporter. The Post also quoted four Republican Congressmen — and zero Democratic members of Congress.

3. The Post amplifies the absurd Republican spin that the one-week-old infrastructure proposal is going to cost Democrats control of the House in two years — it's absurd because nobody has any idea what the defining issues of the 2022 midterm election cycle is going to be. Pretending that an infrastructure proposal, which is popular in the polls, is going to be a loser for Democrats is just regurgitating Republican talking points.

Our political landscape has shifted under the weight of a popular Democratic president. The press needs to drop those old, useless Trump habits, fast.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 7, 2021, 08:25 AM (34 replies)

Share of Democrats in U.S. Spikes After Biden Win


Share of Democrats in U.S. Spikes After Biden Win
April 7, 2021 at 5:38 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

A new Gallup poll found that 49% of respondents consider themselves Democrats or leaning that way, while 40% consider themselves Republicans or lean that way — the largest gap in almost a decade.

Gallup said the jump comes mostly from Republicans leaving the party at the end of President Donald Trump’s tenure. Only 25% of U.S. adults firmly identify with the Republicans, down from 29% late last year.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 7, 2021, 06:01 AM (31 replies)

GOP Infrastructure Bill Jam Plays Right Into Biden's Hands


4/06/21 4:34am
GOP Infrastructure Bill Jam Plays Right Into Biden's Hands
President Biden has absolutely no reason to give Republican lawmakers a second thought in crafting his approach to revolutionizing the nation’s outdated infrastructure, thanks to GOP knee-jerk obstructionism.
By Kerry Eleveld

Last week, GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off the infrastructure debate by promising lockstep opposition to President Joe Biden's $2 trillion proposal. This week, Senate Republicans are suggesting that maybe, just maybe, they could support a plan that's roughly a third of the price, or some $615 billion, but only if the White House finds a way to pay for it without raising the corporate tax rate—because GOP donors, of course.

“There’s an easy win here,” Blunt said on Fox News Sunday.

Riiiiiiight. So easy, in fact, that Republicans took a pass on even trying for a solid four years under Trump. Biden's response? Sorry, fellas, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Biden already redefined so-called bipartisanship while crafting his COVID-19 rescue plan, and Republican lawmakers are giving the president zero reason to reevaluate. In fact, as my colleague Joan McCarter points out, Republicans are simply re-running their last disastrous attempt to mount an opposition to Biden's wildly popular coronavirus relief package.

When asked at a recent press conference about McConnell's suggestion that the White House had rejected bipartisanship, Biden responded that perhaps McConnell should check in with his own base. "What I know I have now is that I have electoral support from Republican voters. Republican voters agree with what I’m doing," Biden said. As for McConnell, Biden added, "He ought to a look at his party,” noting that over 50% of GOP voters supported his COVID-19 relief plan.

This week, Biden is already laughing off the GOP's knee-jerk criticism of his infrastructure package. Asked on Monday if he worried that raising the corporate rate would send jobs overseas, Biden told White House reporters, "Not at all," adding, "There's no evidence of that," according to the White House pool report.

"You're talking about companies in the Fortune 500 that haven't paid a single penny in tax for 3 years," Biden offered, adding his signature catch-all comeback to GOP ridiculousness. "Come on, man."

Biden also said he wasn't going to waste any time bargaining with Republicans over what counted as infrastructure in their view and what didn't. "I'm going to push as hard as I can, to compete with the rest of the world," he said. "Everybody else in the rest of the world is investing billions and billions of dollars in infrastructure, and we're going to do it here."
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Apr 6, 2021, 11:49 AM (1 replies)
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