Robert Mercer only funds racists, he says

It seems Robert Mercer doesn’t like being called a racist:

‘‘Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group,’’ Mercer wrote in his resignation announcement. ‘‘Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me. But more than that, it is ignorant.’’

Sure, he funds and backs Steve Bannon and Breitbart News which enable racists but don’t call him a racist. It makes him sad. Also:

‘‘In my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate,’’ Mercer wrote. ‘‘I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.’’

Milo has basically said he is a troll, that is his whole reason to exist, so it’s a little much to say you’re surprised when it turns out he’s divisive. Oh, and obviously racist–actually allowing Neo-Nazis to help ghost-write some of his stuff. Shocking, I know.

The poor don’t need healthcare

Here’s the Trump administration’s idea of helping people out:

Underpinning that effort is Verma’s belief that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was a disastrous move that extended coverage to millions of low-income people who shouldn’t be getting insurance from the government.
“We’ve put more than 10 million people, 12 million people into this program where the doctors won’t see them, and the policies that are in the Medicaid program are not designed for an able-bodied individual,” she said. Verma added that the administration’s goal is to keep those people in the private insurance market, where they would not be “dependent on public assistance.”

Umm, Verma, the whole reason they are on Medicaid is they don’t have and can’t afford private insurance so keeping them in the private insurance market means keeping them without insurance. I know that’s the Republican ideal but you would think she might want to circumspect when she says people don’t deserve insurance.

Politcal Correctness in the EPA

The new EPA is all about Political Correctness:

The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.

Ok, that’s really just censorship. Here’s the Political Correctness:

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program is funded through the EPA’s approximately $26 million National Estuary Program. It funds 28 state-based estuary programs and delivers about $600,000 annually to the Narragansett Bay program. Pruitt’s proposed budget for 2018 would eliminate the national program.
Under Pruitt’s leadership, the EPA also has removed most mentions of the words “climate change” from its website.

On an EPA website, scores of links to materials to help local officials prepare for a world of rising temperatures and more severe storms have been removed.
Among the now-missing pages are those detailing the risks of climate change and the different approaches states are taking to curb emissions. Also edited out were examples of statewide plans to adapt to weather extremes.

It is no longer politically correct to talk about global warming at the EPA–that’s impressive, the agency tasked with protecting the environment doesn’t want to talk about something that will have a pretty adverse effect on the environment.

More Political Correctness from the Trump administration

Here is more political correctness:

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems.

So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it.

The Trump administration doesn’t want to hear about the problems caused by these chemicals so they try to bury the information–it’s not politically correct to talk about.

And there’s more:

In March, Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief, overrode the recommendation of Ms. Hamnett and agency scientists to ban the commercial use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, blamed for developmental disabilities in children.

The E.P.A.’s new leadership also pressed agency scientists to re-evaluate a plan to ban certain uses of two dangerous chemicals that have caused dozens of deaths or severe health problems: methylene chloride, which is found in paint strippers, and trichloroethylene, which removes grease from metals and is used in dry cleaning.

and here’s some typical political correctness in action:

Methylene chloride has been blamed in dozens of deaths, including that of a 21-year-old Tennessee man in April, who was overwhelmed by fumes as he was refinishing a bathtub.

“How is it possible that you can go to a home improvement store and buy a paint remover that can kill you?” Ms. Hamnett asked. “How can we let this happen?”

Furniture-refinishing companies and chemical manufacturers have urged the E.P.A. to focus on steps like strengthening warning labels, complaining that there are few reasonably priced alternatives.

Ms. Hamnett said Dr. Beck raised the possibility that people were not following the directions on the labels. She also suggested that only a small number of users had been injured. “Is it 1 percent?” Ms. Hamnett recalled Dr. Beck asking.

Methylene chloride is killing people but that’s bad for business and so you have to work to find ways to say what the administration wants–sure it’s killing people but maybe they didn’t follow the directions and anyway it’s not that many people.

And here’s how the administration replies when a news agency continues to be politically incorrect:

“No matter how much information we give you, you would never write a fair piece,” Liz Bowman, a spokeswoman for the E.P.A., said in an email. “The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.”

RIP Gord Downie

Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip has died. The first album of theirs I bought was Day for Night, about 20 years ago. It included this:

Here’s another:

And of course:

“Fake News”=political correctness

According to Wikipedia:

In the early-to-mid 20th century, the phrase “politically correct” was used to describe strict adherence to a range of ideological orthodoxies. In 1934, the New York Times reported that Nazi Germany was granting reporting permits “only to pure ‘Aryans’ whose opinions are politically correct.”[2]

As Marxist movements gained political power, the phrase came to be associated with the dogmatic application of Stalinist doctrine, debated between Communist Party members and American Socialists. This usage referred to the Communist party line, which provided “correct” positions on many political matters. According to American educator Herbert Kohl, writing about debates in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s,

The term “politically correct” was used disparagingly, to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.

— “Uncommon Differences”, The Lion and the Unicorn Journal
Thus President Trump is the ultimate politically correct politician. Anything that he signs is great (including ‘health care’ bills that he hadn’t yet seen. Anyone who praises him is great–even if they’re a dictator. States that voted for him are great, those that didn’t are not. He has said that the deal with Iran was terrible, so he found a way to say it needed to go even if Iran has exactly followed its terms. When the unemployment rate was going down under Obama it wasn’t real, but it is now that he’s President. If someone doesn’t kowtow to him, they’re fired.
The biggest tell is when he says ‘Fake News’. If something isn’t to his liking he labels it fake news which is the equivalent of being politically incorrect. Every time he says ‘fake news’ you should substitute ‘politically incorrect’ and you will see what he really means:
for example, if he says CNN is fake news that really means they are saying bad things about him. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, only if it makes him look good or bad.

Patriotism

There was a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the origin of the Pledge of Allegiance today in Malden:

James Bailey Upham (1845-1905) resided on Lincoln Street in Malden and was an active member of the First Baptist Church. As a partner at the popular children’s magazine, The Youth’s Companion, Upham devised a promotion to distribute an American flag to every public school in the country and to have students recite an oath to the flag in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

There’s more to the story here with this interesting bit:

What is uncontested is this: The pledge — in an early form — was first published in the magazine Youth Companion on Sept. 8, 1892. YouthCompanion was, in the words of the early publishers Nathanial Willis and Ada Rand, aimed at  encouraging  “virtue and piety, and … warn against the ways of transgression.”  Both Upham and Francis Bellamy, a minister,  then worked for the magazine. In 1888, one of the departments in the magazine launched the School Flag Movement. This was a campaign to sell flags to public schools. In the guise of patriotism, a genius marketing boom was born.

Yes, the idea of the Pledge was originated to sell flags. Now that’s American patriotism.

You see the same thing in the NFL:

In 2015, a Senate report released by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake poured cold water on some of the more heartwarming moments of patriotism seen in professional sports.

The report found the Department of Defense had spent $6.8 million on what they called “paid patriotism” between 2012 and 2015. This money was spread out among 50 pro teams from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, MLS and others.

In exchange for the money, teams organized displays of national pride including flag presentations, the honoring of military members, reenlistment ceremonies, and even the most unassailable and uplifting of patriotic moments: surprise military homecomings. To be clear, plenty of teams also do, and have done, such things with no compensation.

and it wasn’t until 2009 that players were mandated to be on the field for the Anthem–before that they usually stayed in the locker room until after the Anthem.

It sure seems like one of the main reasons for displays of patriotism in the US is to make money.

Oh, there’s also religious freedom involved:

On Monday, June 3, 1935, Watch Tower Society president J. F. Rutherford, was interviewed at a Witness convention about “the flag salute by children in school”. He told the convention audience that to salute an earthly emblem, ascribing salvation to it, was unfaithfulness to God. Rutherford said that he would not do it.” While the matter was not yet established doctrine or written policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses, at least some Witness families quickly made a personal conscientious decision on the matter.

Well, I’m sure everyone realized they had a right to their beliefs. Ha ha, I kid:

In September in Lynn, Massachusetts, a third-grader and Jehovah’s Witness named Carleton Nichols refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and was expelled from school. The Nichols incident received widespread media attention, and other Witness students soon followed suit. Rutherford gave a radio address praising Nichols, and schools around the country began expelling Witness students and firing Witness teachers.

and it gets worse:

Minersville, Pennsylvania was predominantly Roman Catholic and there was significant animosity towards the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Tensions were already high before this case arose and many viewed this as one way to get back at the Witnesses. As a result, his children were subjected to teasing, taunting, and attacks from the other kids. For Lillian, this meant giving up her status as class president and losing most of her friends. “When I’d come to school,” she said, “they would throw a hail of pebbles and yell things like, ‘Here comes Jehovah!’ Billy’s fifth grade teacher attempted to physically force his arm out of his pocket to make the requisite salute.

A local Catholic church started a boycott of the family store and its business dropped off.

and even worse:

On June 9, a mob of 2,500 burned the Kingdom Hall in Kennebunkport, Maine. On June 16, Litchfield, Illinois police jailed all of that town’s sixty Witnesses, ostensibly protecting them from their neighbors. On June 18, townspeople in Rawlins, Wyoming brutally beat five Witnesses; on June 22, the people of Parco, Wyoming tarred and feathered another.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported to the Justice Department that nearly 1,500 Witnesses were physically attacked in more than 300 communities nationwide. One Southern sheriff told a reporter why Witnesses were being run out of town: “They’re traitors; the Supreme Court says so. Ain’t you heard?”

Remember this the next time the conservatives cry about religious freedom.

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