Joanne pre-NYMHM: 2 May 17

5/2/17 #newsyoumayhavemissed – a shorter one this time:

(1) In case you somehow missed it, Hasan Minhaj (from the Daily Show) spoke at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I hate the tradition of this dinner (journalists in this country are far too cozy with politicians) but it was pretty telling that Trump didn’t go, and Minhaj’s set was good.

(“In four hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nicki Minaj bombed at this dinner, and he’ll be doing it completely sober.”).


The journalists were stiffly unamused in a way that made me want to slap them, and which I thought must have made the stand-up more difficult. But mostly the slapping thing. 

(Also, as an immigrant, the whole “Only in America can a first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president” thing? Is so irritating. The First Amendment is great and everything, but I’ve never understood the American delusion that they’re the only country with free speech or where immigrants can succeed. I mean, the only reason that statement couldn’t ever be true for Canada or the UK is that we don’t have presidents or, I suppose, that particular stage.)

(Also also, can somebody for realsy make a movie about stripper cops solving a murder? Maybe starring, I dunno, the cast of New Girl?)

(2) The Great Barrier Reef is dying, from bleaching, with little chance to recover. [PopSci, Guardian]

(3) The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has had some information removed, including information that has been used to challenge their new administrator Scott Pruitt’s policy suggestions. [WaPo]

(4) 777 former EPA officials signed a letter urging Congress to reject the Trump administration’s climate denial policies. [BI]

(5) I’ve mentioned before the dire state of things in several African countries right now―particularly Somalia (which borders Kenya, who are chafing at having to absorb their refugees), South Sudan (which borders Uganda, who have an open border and want to help but are struggling for funding), Ethiopia, Yemen, and Nigeria. Drought, cholera, war. The migrant crisis is enormous and it’s only going to get worse, especially because we’re limiting aid. [WorldBank, ABCCTVIISDIndependent, ReliefWebWaPo]

(6) More from the Guardian on alleged contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia, including this: hackers used botnets and porn traffic to plant viruses and steal data from Democrats. They were under Putin’s control, but paid by the Trump organization. 

(7) I mentioned in the last news round-up that Trump is appointing former pro-forced-birth president of Americans United for Life Charmaine Yoest to assistant secretary of public affairs for Health and Human Services. Turns out her website had a list of tips for spotting women lying about being raped, including stuff like “Does the girl have problems or a desire for attention?” 

This no-kidding makes me want to cry. 

[NBC] (h/t)

(8) Fred Upton, who has led the vote to repeal Obamacare a number of times, is not comfortable with the AHCA because of the high costs for patients with pre-existing conditions. This is good. [Bloomberg]

(9) Vox has an article all about how Trump and his family are personally profiting from the presidency.

(10) A conservative terrorist attacked Democrats with a machete in Kentucky, asking their political affiliation first.

(11) Kansas needs to come up with millions of dollars for metal detectors and armed guards in order to keep guns out of state psychiatric facilities, because of a bloodyminded concealed weapons law they passed.

(12) Rex Tillerson proposes cutting 2,300 jobs from the State Department. [WSJ]


BuzzFeed News asked the USDA for records about its decision to remove a database on animal welfare from the web. The department responded on Friday, with 1,771 pages that are completely blacked out.”

(14) Republicans are pushing a bill to deregulate Wall Street. It throws out most of the banking oversight passed under Obama, including Dodd-Frank, because none of these shitstains can remember as far back as 2008, and/or because they didn’t feel any particular pain from it personally and have no empathy whatsoever for the rest of the country. [Vox]

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]

Joanne pre-NYMHM: 28 Apr 17

It looks like the House has passed a CR. Haven’t seen details yet, but it sounds like while it wasn’t totally clean, there was nothing about THE WALL, and no stiffing of health care subsidies. The Senate has also passed a one-week continuing resolution. It now goes to, I still can’t believe I’m typing this, President Trump for signature. Navy Federal, USAA, and First Command are offering government shutdown assistance for people on DoD payroll.

I’ve been reading a lot of those “first 100 days’ articles, and few mention Russia. It’s scary that a hostile foreign power can hijack our election and the media is so enmeshed in j-school “report card” habits that they don’t mention it. This isn’t a new thought. There’s a WaPo opinion piece that basically says the same thing. It’s just, once you notice it, you can’t stop noticing it. The state is more focused than the media, though: the Defense Department is investigating money Mike Flynn received from foreign groups.

Facebook has acknowledged that it was exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries. [pdf, Guardian

We’re all – including foreign countries – getting used to the president saying one thing and then the vice president and everybody else saying, “oh, no, it’s totally cool, just ignore him.” [Lawfare]

The Trump administration is trying to pass another TrumpCare bill, now with even more cruelty, enough to satisfy the Freedom Caucus, except that now moderates are unhappy. Molina Healthcare will withdraw from the marketplace immediately if Congress doesn’t fund the cost sharing reductions in the spending bill. About 650k people would lose coverage.

Tax reform is still struggling.

Apparently if we stay in NAFTA, we’ll have new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue to thank, because he brought a map to the White House with highlighted areas on who’d be hardest hit by pulling out of NAFTA, showing Trump they coincide with areas with lots of Trump voters. Oh yeah, we finally got an Agriculture Secretary (Sonny Perdue – amazingly, not associated with Perdue Farms). It’s super weird, because he doesn’t appear to be the worst possible person for the job. New Labor secretary too (Acosta).

Trump has one success (by his metrics, not mine): a big reduction in Mexican immigration. Because if you were Mexican, would you come here right now? Jesus Murphy.

Interior Secretary and former oil pipeline technologies company board member Ryan Zinke (who I know of only because he’s the dude who went to work on his first day on a horse, in downtown Washington, DC, which I have to admit I thought was a baller move) wants to bring logging, mining, and drilling to the lands of national monuments. Sierra Club, Patagonia, and the NRDC all of course oppose this.

Senators were summoned to the White House to hear about North Korea. Apparently it was a mess. North Korea is pretty unhappy with us right now. (Personally I could give a shit, except that Seoul is *right there* and I’m really worried that South Korea will suffer because we elected a no-nothing.)

The Atlantic has provided a rundown of Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Roy Moore is running for Jeff Session’s seat in the upcoming special election. He is, if you can imagine this, even worse of a human being than Jeff Sessions.

Homeland Security’s immigrant database of alleged criminals includes babies and children.

The Trump administration maintains that you can lose your citizenship for lying about or omitting *anything* on their forms, no matter how trivial. Chief Justice Roberts points out that this position allows prosecutors to denaturalize anybody they want to.

Ephrat Livni, Quartz: An astrophysicist used NASA data to make an insanely detailed map of US racial diversity.

WTF. Senator Rand Paul will teach a course on “dystopian visions” at Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Is it wrong that I kind of want to enroll just so I could take this course? What does Rand Paul think is dystopian, functioning social safety nets?

[Note from the future: NYMHM grew out of these public posts from Joanne Merriam’s Facebook account. We retain them here in archives to provide a record going back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency.]