Alt-right website tries to weed out Jews from drug reform

‘It gets scary when the most die-hard Trump partisans, who happen to be neo-Nazis, are coming after you’

From The Times of Israel:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/alt-right-website-tries-to-weed-out-jews-from-drug-reform/

A neo-Nazi ‘news’ outlet — the US’s top hate site — claims that ‘kikes’ are behind attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his ardent anti-drug policies

By Madison Margolin
February 18, 2017

NEW YORK — Back in 1971, the father of the American “War on Drugs” drew a connection between Jews and cannabis.

“You know it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish,” president Richard Nixon said. “What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them? I suppose it’s because most of them are psychiatrists.”

Most Jews are not psychiatrists, of course, just as most marijuana law reform activists are not Jewish. Nixon, however, wasn’t alone in calling Jews out for their involvement in cannabis policy.

An anti-Semitic article published by alt-right website The Daily Stormer in late November entitled “Weed Kikes Attacking Jeff Sessions!” denigrates a number of Jewish activists by name for opposing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General, a position that directs federal drug law enforcement.

“The Jews come at you from every angle. Here they are coming at you from the weed lmao [sic] angle,” the article says. “The marijuana legalization agenda is entirely Jew.”

The Daily Stormer, recently ranked the US’s top hate site by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), took its name from Der Stürmer, a Nazi newspaper started by Julius Streicher, who was later hanged for war crimes at Nuremberg. SPLC calls the website a “malignant presence in the real world.”

The Daily Stormer article, one of many displays of anti-Semitism that seem to be gaining traction in America, doesn’t merely attack Jews for being Jewish: The pretense of this article is that association with Jews is inherently a smear against the drug reform movement.

It sets a dangerous precedent, though its argument itself isn’t very strong. The story names a prominent Jewish cannabis activist, Adam Eidinger from Washington, DC, who led protests against Sessions’ nomination, and later goes on to describe a cannabis-themed seder that took place in Portland, Oregon last year.

Perhaps the article’s strongest — or most accurate — point is acknowledging “a Jew group that considers legalizing drugs as part of the Jew agenda of ‘Tikkun olam’ (fixing the world).”

There are indeed many Jewish cannabis activists (and many Jewish psychiatrists). Including those interviewed for this article, many of these activists propose that drug policy reform really does align with Jewish values like tikkun olam and standing up against oppression.

The alt-right may be using anti-Semitism to discredit marijuana law reform and clearly the “marijuana legalization agenda” is not “entirely Jew,” as the article states, but Jewish morality does play a role for some of the Jewish activists who are motivated by social justice.

Continue reading at:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/alt-right-website-tries-to-weed-out-jews-from-drug-reform/

The Plot To Turn Same-Sex Marriage Into Second-Class Marriage

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-plot-to-make-same-sex-marriage-into-second-class-marriage_us_58a51d6be4b07602ad519abb

Anyone who thinks that marriage equality is “settled law” needs to think again.

By Michelangelo Signorile
02/16/2017

Since the election in November, religious conservative zealots have been giddy ― super-emboldened in their battle against LGBT rights. Through various avenues now coming into view they are hellbent on making same-sex marriage into second-class marriage. And they could very well succeed.

Donald Trump courted evangelicals studiously and under the radar during the election. He wink-winked and nudge-nudged to them while being hailed as gay-supportive by the above-the-radar media, which would help keep him from alienating other voters. It worked. He won. And anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and others are once again feeling as if they can accomplish anything.

The Trump administration, at the groups’ behest, decided last week not to fight in court for transgender students, letting a judge’s ruling stand against President Obama’s directive from 2016. Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is beloved by religious conservatives, an example of “success and access” they now believe they have, as a New York Times headline put it. They’re encouraged that he rejected arguments by a transgender prison inmate seeking medically necessary hormone treatment, and backed religious exemptions in the Hobby Lobby case. In the states, bathroom bills (and other anti-equality bills) are still abounding, even after North Carolina proved with HB2 they could lead to the downfall of a governor.

And a concerted effort is also well underway to chip away at marriage equality. I’ve been writing about this long-term plan for several years, actually, going back to a panel I sat in on at the 2014 Values Voter Summit in which the mastermind of the Proposition 8 campaign, Frank Schubert, had said conservatives would have to find a gay “version” of “partial birth abortion”  if they lost on marriage equality at the Supreme Court (which of course they did in 2015 on the Obergefell case).

It sounds crazy and bizarre but what he meant was they’d have to grab onto a term or an idea, and both exploit misunderstandings and emotions while engaging in distortion. This is one way they’ve chipped away at abortion rights since Roe v. Wade. There is no such thing as “partial birth” abortion, just a late term surgical procedure known as Intact D&E, that’s used after late term miscarriages and, very rarely, in late term abortions, mostly when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. In 2000, it accounted for .17 percent of abortions. Nonetheless, re-branding this procedure as “partial birth” abortion tapped into people’s emotions around an issue about which some may be uncomfortable and know little about, even if they lean toward a pro-choice position. That helped religious conservatives in passing the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act” in 2003, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2007.

We’ve seen an effort to do this regarding marriage equality with “religious liberty” bills in the states, allowing for business owners or government workers to turn away gay or lesbian couples if gay marriage offends their faith, attempting to play on fears that religious individuals are being discriminated against. Several of these bills were beaten back in the Obama era (though some passed, in Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina, for example), even as some polling showed the strategy could work nationally.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-plot-to-make-same-sex-marriage-into-second-class-marriage_us_58a51d6be4b07602ad519abb

Caitlyn Jenner’s Mission

The only thing being trans (whether you prefer transsexual or transgender as a descriptor) means is that you are trans.  It doesn’t imply membership in some sort of family, politics or religion.

I think perhaps the bright lights of fame and notoriety have blinded Jennifer Boylan to the evil embraced by Caitlyn Jenner.

I may consider myself a member of some sort of nebulous LGBT community, albiet it more so as a lesbian than as part of my past history of having had SRS, butI don’t feel that either Milo or Caitlyn are part of the same community I feel I am part of.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/opinion/sunday/caitlyn-jenners-mission.html

Impeachable

Mr. President: ‘Just who the hell do you think you are?’

From The Miami Herald:  http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article132721909.html

Dear Mr. So-Called President:

So let me explain to you how this works.

You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is, you were elected.

And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the room.

But there is one thing to which your election does not entitle you. It does not entitle you to do whatever pops into your furry orange head without being called on it or, should it run afoul of the Constitution, without being blocked.

You and other members of the Fourth Reich seem to be having difficulty understanding this. Reports from Politico and elsewhere describe you as shocked that judges and lawmakers can delay or even stop you from doing things. Three weeks ago, your chief strategist, Steve Bannon, infamously declared that news media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

Just last Sunday, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller declared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

What you do “will not be questioned?” Lord, have mercy. That’s the kind of statement that, in another time and place, would have been greeted with an out-thrust palm and a hearty “Sieg heil!” Here in this time and place, however, it demands a different response:

Just who the hell do you think you are?

Continue reading at:  http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article132721909.html

 

None dare call it treason: As the Flynn scandal widens, let’s consider the evidence that Trump is a traitor

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2017/02/16/none-dare-call-it-treason-in-the-wake-of-the-flynn-scandal-what-more-proof-do-we-need-that-donald-trump-is-a-traitor/

Has Trump’s entire team been compromised by Putin? If so, everyone who continues to support him is complicit

On Monday evening, national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after supposedly losing the “trust” of President Donald Trump by failing to adequately and fully explain his phone conversations with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.

 As The New York Times explained on Wednesday, FBI agents apparently concluded that Flynn had not been “entirely forthcoming” in describing a phone call he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. That set in motion “a chain of events that cost Mr. Flynn his job and thrust Mr. Trump’s fledgling administration into a fresh crisis.”

As the Times report elaborated, Trump “took his time” deciding what to do about Flynn’s dishonesty and was none too eager to fire him.

But other aides [such as other than press secretary Sean Spicer] privately said that Mr. Trump, while annoyed at Mr. Flynn, might not have pushed him out had the situation not attracted such attention from the news media. Instead, according to three people close to Mr. Trump, the president made the decision to cast aside Mr. Flynn in a flash, the catalyst being a news alert of a coming article about the matter.

“Yeah, it’s time,” Mr. Trump told one of his advisers.

Flynn is not alone. Other Trump operatives are also under investigation by the FBI for potentially illegal contact with senior Russian intelligence operatives.

This information is not new. The New York Times and other American news media outlets were aware of reports about Russian tampering in the 2016 election as well as an ongoing federal investigation of Trump, his advisers and other representatives. Instead of sharing this information with the American people during the election campaign, the Times and other publications chose to exercise “restraint” and “caution.” Decades of bullying by the right-wing media and movement conservatives would pay great dividends.

Afraid of showing any so-called liberal bias, the corporate news media demonstrated little restraint in its obsessive reporting about the nonstory that was Hillary Clinton’s emails. This, in conjunction with other factors, almost certainly cost her the election.

In all, the Republican Party and its voters have abandoned their Cold War bona fides and their (somewhat exaggerated) reputation as die-hard enemies of Russia and the former Soviet Union. To borrow from the language of spy craft, it would seem that they have been “flipped” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Despite mounting evidence suggesting that Trump’s administration has been compromised by Russia, his public continues to back him. The Republican Party and its leadership have largely chosen to support Trump in a type of political suicide mission because they see him as an opportunity to force their agenda on the American people and reverse or undo by the social progress made by the New Deal, the civil rights movement, feminism, the LGBT movement and other forces of progressive change.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2017/02/16/none-dare-call-it-treason-in-the-wake-of-the-flynn-scandal-what-more-proof-do-we-need-that-donald-trump-is-a-traitor/

Republican Health Proposal Would Redirect Money From Poor to Rich

What else is new from the Republican Thieves.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/upshot/republican-health-proposal-would-redirect-money-from-poor-to-rich.html

Republicans in Congress have been saying for months that they are working on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in the Trump era. Now we have the outline of that plan, and it looks as if it would redirect federal support away from poorer Americans and toward people who are wealthier.

A white paper drafted by House leadership and the staff of the House and Senate committees that oversee health policy details a structure that could replace large sections of the Affordable Care Act. Crucially, the proposal largely contains provisions that could be passed through a special budget process that requires only 50 Senate votes, and fulfills President Trump’s promise that the repeal and replacement of the law would take place “simultaneously.”

The plan would make major changes in how health care is financed for Americans who don’t get coverage from work. It would greatly expand the number of Americans who could benefit from federal help in buying health insurance, but it would change who benefits most from that support.

Obamacare, as the A.C.A. is known, extended health coverage to 20 million Americans through two main mechanisms. It expanded Medicaid coverage to Americans below or just above the poverty line in states that participated, and it offered income-based tax credits for middle-income people to buy their own insurance. Obamacare was a redistributive law, transferring money from rich to poor.

The Republican plan would alter both of those programs, changing the winners and losers. It would substantially cut funding for states in providing free insurance to low-income adults through Medicaid. And it would change how tax credits are distributed by giving all Americans not covered through work a flat credit by age, regardless of income.

That means that the biggest financial benefits would go to older Americans, like, say, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. If he didn’t have a job in the Trump cabinet and access to government coverage, a 64-year-old multimillionaire like him would get the same amount of financial assistance as someone his age, living in poverty, and he would get substantially more money than a poor, young person.

The idea of matching tax credits to age makes some sense. Older people tend to have higher medical bills, and insurers, even under Affordable Care Act rules, charge them substantially higher prices. The new plan would also simplify the current system, which requires verifying every applicant’s income and then giving just the right amount of financial assistance. It would also eliminate incentives for low-income people to avoid earning more (higher earners can face a reduction in benefits).

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/upshot/republican-health-proposal-would-redirect-money-from-poor-to-rich.html