Is Trump A Secret Muslim?

Maine actress to make debut this week as TV’s first transgender superhero

From WGME:  https://wgme.com/news/local/maine-actress-to-make-debut-this-week-as-tvs-first-transgender-superhero

by Emily Burnham, BDN Staff
Tuesday, October 9th 2018

(BDN) — Orono native Nicole Maines made history with her family in 2014, when they won a lawsuit against the Orono school district, winning the right for transgender students in the state of Maine to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Maines will make history again this week, when she debuts as TV’s first transgender superhero on The CW’s series “Supergirl.”

Maines, now 21, will have a featured role in season four of “Supergirl,” starring as Nia Nal, a precocious, passionate new reporter who joins Kara Danvers — aka Supergirl — at CatCo, the media group where they work. Kara takes Nia under her wing, with Nia destined to eventually become the precognitive superhero Dreamer. The new season premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 on The CW; check your local listings for channel numbers.

In an interview in August with website The Mary Sue, Maines described how meaningful it is for her to play a transgender superhero.

“First and foremost, had I had a trans superhero growing up, that would have changed the game,” Maines said, “and so now, getting to be the trans superhero for a generation of kids is so special to me. … I just hope that everyone watching this show is going to get to love Nia as much as I do because she is so cool. She’s sweet. She’s caring. She’s got this fierce drive to her and this intensity, and she’s so amazing, and I just really hope that I’m doing her justice.”

Maines was at the center of a protracted court battle that began in 2007, when Asa Adams Elementary School told Maines that she could no longer use the girl’s bathroom at the school, after the grandfather of a male student complained.

Seven years later, in 2014, Maines and her family won the lawsuit, with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling that transgender students have the right to use the school bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. It was the first time any court in the nation ruled it unlawful to force a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the sex he or she was born with, rather than the one with which the child identifies.

Maines moved to Portland in 2013 and graduated from high school there in 2015. She enrolled at the University of Maine in Orono that fall to study studio art but left school after the Spring 2018 semester to focus on her acting. She has relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, where “Supergirl” is filmed.

Continue reading at:  https://wgme.com/news/local/maine-actress-to-make-debut-this-week-as-tvs-first-transgender-superhero

Robert Reich: America’s Most Dangerous Export

Why Can’t Democrats Get Angry?

I’ve witnessed this on the part of the Left since the 1960s.  It seemed like only the Deacons for Self Defense, Black Panthers, Young Lords.

But the Democratic Party of today is not the New Deal Democratic Party.  It has done little to fight for unions and the interests of the working people.

It has become the party of an educated class which believes it is wrong to actually fight for what they believe in.  The Right Wing mocks all the sensitivity all the BS about not lowering ourselves to their level.

From Slate:  https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/brett-kavanaugh-democratic-party-fallout-anger.html

I think it’s because our misogynistic society has pushed them into the same corner women have been forced into. But there’s a way out.

By Jess Zimmerman
Oct 09, 2018

The salient feature of now-seated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony during the hearing that was intended to assess whether he had committed sexual assault in his youth was, as many have noted, his anger. It was anger that made him lash out inappropriately, anger that contorted his face in a way that made many viewers feel sick. He thought this anger would substitute for integrity, and he was right, or right enough anyway; he didn’t fool everyone, but he did at least shout them down. Meanwhile, the salient feature of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was her calm, measured, deferential demeanor, complete with tension-defusing apologies and jokes. I am not the first person to point out how heartbreaking this was to witness: that even while talking about an experience that traumatized her for decades, she obeyed the unwritten cultural injunction that women must manage not only their own feelings but the feelings of everyone around them. This has been laid bare in the past few weeks in America, even as it’s a replay of something we’ve all seen before.

What I haven’t seen discussed, though, is the way these same restrictions have constrained the entire Democratic Party. The left—even the moderate left—is feminized in this country to a degree that I have come to believe actually restricts its avenues for acceptable self-expression.

Our weird cultural commitment to the gender binary goes way beyond actual living men and women—if it didn’t, people wouldn’t freak out so badly when someone declines to choose. Masculinity and femininity are concepts we layer on top of everything from people to pens to political parties. Sometimes there’s a middle ground, but often we seem lost without our familiar patterns; it’s the confused hetero doofus asking a gay couple “which one’s the woman,” except for the entire world. Take any opposed things—Democrats and Republicans, cats and dogs, even the sun and the moon—and you’ll find one of them associated with physical strength, action, and domineering behavior, and the other associated with emotion, reticence, and calm. That’s not just descriptive; it’s prescriptive, and proscriptive too. If we could judge the moon for yelling, we would.

“Everyone is mocking Lindsey Graham for expressing the kind of outrage Democratic Senators should’ve been expressing daily over Merrick Garland,” tweeted writer Isaac Butler after the hearing. He’s not wrong, but it’s worth imagining a similar tweet reading, “Everyone is mocking Brett Kavanaugh for expressing the kind of outrage Christine Blasey Ford should have expressed daily since this debacle began.” What would “should” even mean in this case? She would have been justified, yes, but she absolutely never, ever could have. Crying, screaming, blaming, complaining—Brett Kavanaugh can get away with it. She can’t. This thought experiment isn’t just sophistry; the pressures are the same on the party at large, and for similar reasons. Lindsey Graham can get away with it; Kamala Harris would be pilloried. Even Chuck Schumer would be pilloried. The gender of the legislator is significant, but so is the gender, if you will, of the party. And though we don’t really discuss it, the Democratic Party is a girl.

This isn’t just about who’s allowed to scream without consequence; it’s also about who’s expected to be reasonable and who gets to be stubborn, who keeps the peace and who advocates force, who makes compromises and who makes demands, who can and can’t successfully run a human tantrum for president. It’s also about ideology. Democrats’ concerns are those that are cast as feminine: justice, feelings, women’s bodily autonomy, children, the ability to keep a family provided for and alive. Republicans’ concerns are those considered masculine: money, business, repelling those seen as intruders, the wielding of physical and economic brutality. It’s not an accident that people who are deeply invested in the sanctity of masculinity—the right of men to power, violence, and control—tend to vote GOP. It is not an accident that these same people tend to denigrate the other party as womanly. (They think it’s a denigration, anyway.)

Continue reading at:  https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/brett-kavanaugh-democratic-party-fallout-anger.html

He’s ‘One of Us’: The Undying Bond Between the Bible Belt and Trump

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/politics/trump-southern-voters-campaign-rallies.html

By Maggie Haberman
Oct. 14, 2018

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Sharon Hurd didn’t know that President Trump had used the phrase “dumb Southerner” to describe his attorney general, but hearing it didn’t bother her.

“We’re ready for somebody to be that outspoken, because he seems to be getting the job done,” said Ms. Hurd, 73, a retiree who once owned a restaurant and a gift shop, standing on a street corner about an hour after Mr. Trump’s rally ended here this month. “He doesn’t try to take his words and make them please everybody, and I think that Southern people are noticing that.”

Few things have appeared to test the bond between Mr. Trump and the South, a political coupling of a thrice-married New Yorker and voters in the Bible Belt that seemed unlikely from the start. The president’s swing this month through deep-red Tennessee and Mississippi, where he basked in the warmth of supporters at political rallies, confirmed that despite the scandals and chaos that have churned out of the White House, their relationship endures.

“It is ironic that the warrior that they have found is a billionaire from New York, but he really speaks their language fluidly,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member and party strategist based in Mississippi.

“I don’t think it’s about any specific set of policy positions, but it’s about somebody being a warrior for folks,” he said.

The relationship offers Mr. Trump benefits as well. In Johnson City, Tenn., and in Southaven, Miss., this month, Mr. Trump was far removed from bruising headlines about the special counsel investigation into possible campaign collusion with Russia, his personal finances or allegations of affairs.

And although Mr. Trump often paints a rosy, and sometimes distorted, picture of his support, his descriptions of mutual love with his voters match reality in parts of the South — particularly outside cities and suburbs. In his 2016 victory, he won every Southern state but Virginia. In Tennessee, public polling shows his approval rating is close to 60 percent, far greater than his national average.

After decades of rejecting Northern candidates who were softer on issues they cared about, Southern Republicans have forged a deep, personal connection to the man they saw on television for years. Mr. Trump does the four things those voters love, rally attendees said: He wins, regardless of how fungible the definition of winning may be. He takes the fight directly to Democrats, unlike previous Republican presidential candidates who preferred comity over controversy. He does not bow to politically correct culture. And he does not condescend to them.

After spending 2016 trying to prove his bona fides to voters who found his fame to be aspirational but who remained suspicious of his previous positions on core social issues, Mr. Trump has authenticated a relationship with his supporters, some of whom had previously needed proxies such as Vice President Mike Pence to feel comfortable. At a rally in the spring, Mr. Trump called Tennessee the “home of hardworking American patriots,” an assertion met with cheers.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/politics/trump-southern-voters-campaign-rallies.html

Robert Reich : Folks, there are just 21 days until the midterm elections.

Right-Wing Media Isn’t Happy That Women Are Out There Protesting

From The Huffington Post:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/right-wing-media-isnt-happy-that-women-are-out-there-protesting_us_5bbe026be4b0876edaa4504c

Women continue to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Right-wing media belittles them.

By Andy Campbell
10/10/2018

Conservative media has found a new boogeyman to froth over: civically engaged women.

Last week, women all over the country left their homes and workplaces to protest the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice who they believe represents an ongoing crusade against their rights. They marched by the thousands. They screamed in the faces of their elected officials. They gritted their teeth and, once again, told horrifying stories of sexual abuse, so that their friends, family and colleagues might be heard too.

They were still doing so Wednesday.

This worries the right-wing media and the politicians who read it. Even after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, conservative news is trying to downplay, belittle and flat-out lie about protesters. Fox News, The Washington Times, Town Hall and The Daily Caller, among other outlets, latched on to storylines about “paid protesters” attending various anti-Kavanaugh rallies. The Blaze called the demonstrators “unhinged” and said their numbers were padded by “liberal celebrities”; a Fox News contributor called them “screaming animals” who should be “tasered, handcuffed and dragged out of the building”; Town Hall even published a column comparing the Kavanaugh protesters to Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who was convicted of murdering three infants.

“The darkness of evil infiltrated the nation’s capital during the Senate confirmation process of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh,” Town Hall columnist Rebecca Hagelin wrote. “You could feel the vitriol in the shrills of protesters interrupting the hearings and the confirmation vote.”

The list goes on. To conservative media, liberal women are rabid in their efforts to take down Kavanaugh; the wider point about the Me Too movement and the reproductive rights at stake are lost in the outrage. For some of the more extreme, Infowars-style websites on the right, fear-mongering headlines aren’t a surprise. But the content pipeline between those sites, Fox News and the president’s Twitter account is extremely short.

With each day comes another round of stories portraying peaceful protesters as either violent or part of a bad-faith campaign funded by liberal donors. President Donald Trump thinks anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators were a little of both, calling victims of sexual assault who cornered their congressmen “paid D.C. protesters” and “screamers”:

Donald J. Trump

The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven’t gotten their checks – in other words, they weren’t paid! Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious – less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!

Trump has been using this tactic against protesters since his presidential campaign, and he often gets his ideas for such rhetoric from the media he consumes. This particular outburst likely came from a Fox News segment, in which Wall Street Journal writer Asra Q. Nomani said that protesters are “waiting for their check.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/right-wing-media-isnt-happy-that-women-are-out-there-protesting_us_5bbe026be4b0876edaa4504c