Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Secret Service agent Sam Kinney JFK assassination


Eric e-mailed to note this video on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and to note that he is supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the Democratic Party presidential primary.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Wednesday, May 31, 2023.  The hate merchants in charge of the GOP are getting crazier and crazier, Lauren Boebert either doesn't understand the concept of legislative sessions or has no idea that Nancy Pelosi was a Speaker of the House long before Lauren squeaked into Congress, Ron DeSantis continues his failing campaign for president, Iraq still can't produce a budget for 2023, and much more.

Starting with the illiterate in the House, Lauren Boebert.  Someone strung some sentences together and put Lauren's name to it so we'll hold her accountable for what CRAIG PRESS printed.  She wants her constituents to know she's serving them.  She's had this bill and that bill passed and . . .  Wait, what new laws has she authored?


That's right.


We called Bernie Sanders out for this we'll damn well call Lauren for this.  Anyone can get a bill through -- especially through a House their party controls.  But Lauren can't draft any legislation that gets approved by the Senate because she's a whack job.  The crazy wants you to know, "The numbers don't lie."  They don't.  But Lauren does.  

She's not helping anyone with her lies.  

She then wants to say:

Additionally, in our first 100 days, our strong Republican majority has passed more bills and have had more bills signed into law than Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat majority did in its first 100 days. 

Again, bills, not laws.  But let's stop a moment.  How stupid is Lauren?  I know she's illiterate and I know she has a fit when her child calls 911 because he's in fear of his life -- so she's as bad a mother as she is a member of Congress.  But how stupid is she? What is the bottom on her stupidity?

More than Nancy in her first 100 days?  

Which first 100?

Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the house in 2007, in 2008, in 2009, in 2010, in 2011, in 2019, in 2020, in 2021 and in 2022.  

Idiot Lauren does realize that, right?  So is she claiming this happened in 2007 or in 2009 or in 2011 or in 2021?  Which legislative period?  

So eager to claim victory and yet she's already admitting defeat.   Ewan Palmer (NEWSWEEK) reports:

Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert has hit out at the debt ceiling deal negotiated between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, describing it as a "gift" to the Democrats.

Boebert, who is one of several Republican figures who have said they will not support the deal in Wednesday's crucial vote, said that the lack of concessions from Biden's "radical" plans means that the president has come out on top in the negotiations.

[. . .] Boebert said the bill would allow funding for the Inflation Reduction Act, viewed by many across political lines as a revised version of the Green New Deal, which the GOP had strongly opposed. The congresswoman said not enough concessions were made with regard to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to help streamline the approval of projects such as roads and pipelines.

Oh, well.  At least she's still piss cop, right?

Staying with the topic of Republican failures, Ron DeSantis.  Jonathan Turley's crush just can't get it together to save his life or his falterning campaign for president.  Madison Hall (BUSINESS INSIDER) explains:

  • In December 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis led all listed Republican candidates in a Monmouth University poll.
  • At the time, DeSantis had 39% support compared to President Donald Trump's 26%. 
  • New polling from Monmouth University shows that Trump now leads the governor by 24 percentage points.

Republican Rep. Greg Steube claimed on a podcast that presidential candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to primary members of Congress if they endorsed former President Donald Trump over him.

Steube, who represents Florida's 17th Congressional District, relitigated his apparent feelings of contempt for Florida's governor on Monday on Donald Trump Jr.'s podcast, "Triggered With Don Jr." The congressman, who previously endorsed Trump for president, said in April that DeSantis never responded to Steube's attempts to discuss political issues

And in that article, you can find a photo of his man-wife Casey.  She really does look like a man in drag.  And as Ron goes after African-Americans and LGBTQ+ members, let's remember he's targeting families and individuals and, no, this nonsense of 'family is off limits' just doesn't damn well apply.  He's destroying lives in Florida so it's not at all out of bounds to note that the person he crawls into bed with has the body of a man -- including the adam's apple.

His hate has consequences.  Joshua S. Mackey (INTO) notes:

More anti-LGBTQ+ legislation continues to arise within the United States and conservative pressure is starting to dictate what students learn within public education. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, ushered in by Governor Ron DeSantis, has already impacted school curricula within the Sunshine State, prohibiting education surrounding gender and identity,  including LGBTQ+ education. 

An increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation means a decrease in education around gender, identity, and sexual health resources for LGBTQ+ students. Unfortunately, this could change the downward trend of HIV infection rates for young gay and bisexual men. Research shows that proper sexual education exponentially decreases HIV infection rates. However, if students in public schools lose access to sexual education resources, infection rates could increase, undoing the work implemented by effective public health measures. 

According to the CDC, 1.2 million people are living with HIV in this country. And 1 in 8 people aren’t aware that they have the illness and HIV status awareness is low within younger demographics, representing 15% of new infections in 2021. So much progress has been made, but it’s evident that the GOP are nowhere near aware of the massive ramifications, including for queer health, that their legislation could have. 

Now we should remember these crazy and crazed hate merchants are defending children.  That's what they say anyway.

Jared Michael Boyce, a recently arrested member of the white nationalist anti-LGBTQ+ organization Patriot Front, has pleaded guilty to possessing images of child sexual abuse. He had previously accused LGBTQ+ people of “grooming children” and advocated for hanging pedophiles and Jews.

FBI agents reportedly found 22 images of child pornography on Boyce’s phone. The images included “children from toddlers to prepubescents performing sexual acts” and also minors “exposing their genitals,” court documents said.

Boyce admitted that the images belonged to him, the court documents added. He also told investigators that he had had “sexually-themed conversations about children” in an online chatroom, had transferred images of child sex abuse, and had sent an explicit photo of his genitals to a 16-year-old girl.

He pleaded guilty to nine felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and a misdemeanor of dealing in harmful material to a minor, KSL-TV reported. Though he faced up to 30 years in prison for the crimes, on Tuesday, a judge sentenced him only to a year in prison and three years probation.

Boyce was one of 31 Patriot Front members arrested last June for plotting a riot at a northern Idaho Pride event. The group had crowded into a U-Haul truck that was pulled over by police. The white supremacists were clad in identical khaki pants, dark blue shirts and masks and carried homemade riot gear. They were charged with misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot.

These are the children of professor and professional transphobe Jonathan Turley, the children of Turley breast fed by Ron DeSantis who had to breast feed them because his wife's boobs were too small.

Poor GOP, so many crazies in their party.  Take Tara Reade.  Or let Russia take her.

Tara is back in the news.

Tara started out a Democrat.  But then she became a raging transphobe.  Though she billed herself as an "actress," she wasn't.  She stepped forward in 2019 to state that Joe Biden made her uncomfortable when she worked at his Senate office.  Then in 2020, she stated that he had harassed her and this became his inserting his finger into her private area.  Back then, she stupidly refused to do FOX "NEWS" or anyone who would have her and the reason was her principles.  

Said principles flew out the window rather quickly and she began making transphobic and homophobic statements as she went on Tucker Carlson's program, began reTweeting Scott Ritter (Republican and convicted pedophile who went to prison for it and is a registered sex offender) -- that last bit is when she lost support and even the WE BELIEVE TARA Twitter account stopped promoting her.

Now she's in Russia.  Apparently she no longer works for Kim Iversen -- but will she still continue to reTweet her buddy Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Tara thinks she can say she's defected, request Russian citizenship and still be an American citizen.  It does not work that way.  If you say you're defecting, then you're giving up your citizenship.

Poor dumb Tara.

And dumb people and homophobic people and transphobic people can be assaulted.  So this doesn't mean Tara wasn't assaulted by Joe.  It does mean that most of us no longer give a damn one way or the other.  When you cozy up to a registered sex offender, most of us who would have defended you now won't waste our breaths. 

In 2021, Tara became the Republican Party's problem.  Now she's Russia's problem.  

Turning to Iraq, there's still no federal budget for the year 2023.  Dana Taib Menmy (THE NEW ARAB) reports:

 Negotiations on Iraq’s budget bill for 2023 have been deferred after the parliament's deputy speaker suspended the legislature's finance committee over legal irregularities the and bypassing of a joint agreement between the Iraqi federal government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

"Our committee has been suspended as per a document from the deputy speaker of Iraq’s parliament, because our committee members are now 24, while according to law the number should not exceed 23," Jamal Kochar, Iraqi lawmaker from the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) bloc and member of the Iraqi parliament's finance committee told The New Arab in a phone interview.

"A political agreement is needed before negotiations on Iraq's budget bill for 2023 resumes. The bill has been stuck at the finance committee because the political agreement between the Iraqi government and the KRG has been violated."

The finance committee on Saturday announced some amendments to the budget bill, including a condition that the Kurdish region must first deliver 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the federal authorities, along with non-oil revenues, before it can receive a share of nearly 12 per cent from the federal budget.

Azhi Rasul (RUDAW) adds:

 The Kurdistan Region’s finance minister on Sunday said that the finance committee in the Iraqi parliament does not have the right to add or remove articles from bills, adding that the new amendments to the draft budget law aim to ruin Baghdad-Erbil ties. 

The Iraqi parliament’s finance committee on Thursday amended two articles of the bill that relate to the Kurdistan Region, prompting the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG| to slam the amendments as “unconstitutional,” labeling them a violation of the previous agreements between Erbil and Baghdad. 

“The Federal Supreme Court decision No. 35 prevents the parliament from changing the texts in the budget bills sent by the government,” KRG Finance Minister Awat Sheikh Janab said. 

According to Janab, the federal court decision specifies that the finance committee maintains the right to change the numbers in the bill or transfer them between articles and paragraphs, but the committee cannot add or remove any paragraph from the bill. 

“Those who truly want Kurds to remain in Baghdad, and those who value the brotherhood between Kurds and Arabs, are worried. This does not seek to help the closeness between the [Kurdistan] Region and Baghdad, but to ruin the relations between the Region and Baghdad,” Janab said. 

The budget.  It was a big deal May 18th when the United Nations Security Council heard testimony on Iraq (see the May 19th snapshot).  

UN Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert: Madam President, the resources needed to turn certain Government goals into realities, such as adequate public service delivery, should be unlocked with the passage of a federal budget. This is yet to happen and, these days, all eyes are on Iraq’s Council of Representatives. Needless to say: agreement on a functioning budget, sooner rather than later, is critical. Including for the timely organization of the long-awaited Provincial Council Elections, now announced for no later than 20 December this year.  

The United Kingdom's  Political Coordinator Fergus Eckersley:  The UK remains committed to supporting the Iraqi Government and the implementation of its ambitious reform agenda. In particular, passing a budget will be a crucial step in delivering the Government’s priorities including on economic reform and energy diversification.

Khanim Latif, founder and director of Asuda for Combating Violence against Women: Finally, we call on the Iraqi Government to allocate a budget for and fully implement the Yazidi Survivors Law adopted in March 2021.[9]

The only one not speaking of the budget that day to the Security Council?  US Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

Every one else thought it was a necessary and worth noting.  Eleven days later and the budget it yet again put on hold.  It's supposed to be passed before the year starts.  That means the budget is 151 days late. 

Iraq's too late -- the whole world is -- to address climate change.  They're using a fix though, for farming, that's actually going to do even more damage.  Timour Azhari and Ahmed Saeed (REUTERS) report:


 Watered by sprinklers fitted to wells dug more than 100 meters under the sun-bleached earth, his land now produces double what it did compared to when he relied on ancient methods that flood fields with river water, he said.

“It’s a golden year, a golden season,” said Salah, wearing a traditional white robe and reflective sunglasses as he walked his field and noted the benefits: less money and water spent, as well as a bigger and quality harvest.

Iraq’s government says this officially supported shift has allowed the country to double areas cultivated with wheat this year to some 8.5 million dunams (850,000 hectares) compared to roughly 4 million (400,000 hectares) last year.

Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Al-Khuzai said that has translated into a harvest of around 4 million tons of wheat — the largest in years and 80 percent of the needs of a country with a 43 million population who eat bread at almost every meal. The shift in methods is driven by necessity: Iraq’s two main rivers, along which civilization emerged thousands of years ago, have lost more than half of their flow due to reduced rainfall, overuse and upstream dams.

Drilling the desert for water could provide immediate relief in a country that the UN says is among the five nations most vulnerable to climate change in the world, and where climate-induced migration has already begun. However, heavy use of the wells could bleed desert aquifers dry, agricultural experts and environmentalists warn. Some farmers have already noted a drop in the water table.

Depleting the aquifers is not an answer, nor is it sustainable.  It will leave Iraq in a much worse situation than it currently is.  And let's remember that currently, Iraq -- if you'd stop the government corruption -- has more than enough money to import wheat.  If climate models do encourage others to finally address climate change, oil revenues will drop for Iraq.  So five, ten years from now, Iraq could find itself with depleted aquifers and with low oil revenues.  This is not sustainable and it is not an answer.

  • BP returned to Iraq in 2009 after a 35-year absence and was awarded a significant interest in the country’s largest oil field near British-occupied Basra
  • BP has pumped 262m barrels of Iraqi oil since 2011
  • Sir John Sawers, the UK’s first special representative to Iraq after invasion, has banked £1.1m since joining BP’s board in 2015
  • Other UK oil “supermajor” Shell also won Iraq contract in 2009 as lead operator developing “super-giant” Majnoon oil field

BP has pumped oil worth £15.4bn in Iraq since 2011 when it began production in the country for the first time in nearly four decades, new analysis shows.

The new information comes on the 20-year anniversary of the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, which was judged to be illegal by the UN. However, neither US president George W Bush nor British prime minister Tony Blair, the leaders who prosecuted the war, have been subjects of a criminal investigation. 

The invasion began in March 2003 and unleashed a catastrophic humanitarian disaster with an estimated 655,000 Iraqis killed in the first three years of conflict, or 2.5% of the population. 

It was widely denounced as a war for oil on the part of the US and UK: Iraq holds the world’s fifth largest proven oil reserves. Iraq had no connection to the September 11th terrorist attacks which had taken place 18 months before and initiated the so-called “War on Terror”. 

The data on BP’s post-invasion production in Iraq comes from the company’s annual reports and was calculated using the average annual price for a barrel of oil for each year of production. 

From 2011-22, BP pumped 262m barrels of Iraqi oil.

Of course it was about oil.

Alan Greenspan, the consummate Washington insider and long-time head of the US central bank, has backed the position taken by many anti-war critics - that the invasion of Iraq was motivated by oil.

His claim comes in his newly published autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, in which he also castigates George Bush's administration for making "grave mistakes" in economic policy.

Sounding more like an activist than a lifelong Republican who worked alongside six US presidents, Mr Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview with the Guardian that the invasion of Iraq was aimed at protecting Middle East oil reserves: "I thought the issue of weapons of mass destruction as the excuse was utterly beside the point."

Mr Greenspan said it was clear to him that Saddam Hussein had wanted to control the Straits of Hormuz and so control Middle East oil shipments through the vital route out of the Gulf. He said that had Saddam been able to do that it would have been "devastating to the west" as the former Iraqi president could have just shut off 5m barrels a day and brought "the industrial world to its knees".

In the book Mr Greenspan writes: "Whatever their publicised angst over Saddam Hussain's 'weapons of mass destruction', American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in the area that harbours a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy. I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Asked to explain his remark, he said: "From a rational point of view, I cannot understand why we don't name what is evident and indeed a wholly defensible pre-emptive position."

On September 24, 2007, Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) hosted a debate between Alan Greenspan and Naomi Klein:

NAOMI KLEIN: Well, I’m just wondering if it troubles Mr. Greenspan at all that wars over resources in other countries are actually illegal. Mr. Greenspan has praised the rule of law, the importance of the rule of law, in his book. But in his statements about the reasons why this has not been publicly discussed, he has said that it’s not politically expedient at this moment. But it’s not just that it’s not politically expedient, Mr. Greenspan. Are you aware that, according to the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, it is illegal for one country to invade another over its natural resources?

ALAN GREENSPAN: No. What I was saying is that the issue which, as you know, most people who were pressing for the war were concerned with were weapons of mass destruction. I personally believed that Saddam was behaving in a way that he probably very well had, almost certainly had, weapons of mass destruction. I was surprised, as most, that he didn’t. But what I was saying is that my reason for being pleased to see Saddam out of office had nothing to do with the weapons of mass destruction. It had to do with the potential threat that he could create to the rest of the world.

NAOMI KLEIN: Yes, I realize that, but he was not simply deposed. The U.S. invaded Iraq, occupied it and took control over its resources. And under international law, that it is illegal to wage wars to gain access to other countries’, sovereign countries’, natural resources.

ALAN GREENSPAN: Yes. No, I’m fully aware of the fact that that is a highly, terribly important issue. And as I said in other commentaries, I have always thought the issue of what essentially amounts to what is often called preemptive, preventive action on the part of some countries to secure resources or something else like that, it’s an issue that goes back to the Cold War, when we had the very difficult moral dilemma of what do you do when you think a missile is coming in our direction and you’re not sure whether it’s an accident or not an accident. And that is a problem which I think is a deep moral problem in civilized society. And the issue is one which I don’t think we’re going to resolve very easily. And as you point out, yes, I am a believer in the rule of law, and I think it is a critical issue, not only for domestic economies, but for the world economy as a whole.

It was not about liberation.  It was not about freedom.  It was not about compassion or caring or humanitarian issues.  It was about oil.

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Monday, May 29, 2023


Andrew Stanton (NEWSWEEK) reports:

Former Attorney General William Barr said on Saturday that Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is likely to face "serious charges" stemming from a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe.

The DOJ has conducted a yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden for alleged tax offenses and making false statements while purchasing a firearm. Barr, who was serving as attorney general when the investigation began, provided his perspective on the investigation during an appearance on CBS News.

Barr said he suspects a recent meeting between federal prosecutors, Delaware authorities and Hunter Biden's attorneys indicate that DOJ officials are "nearing a charging decision" in the case.

So what do you think?

It has been a never-ending investigation.  Why has it taken so long and why do we have to continue to wait?

Mr. Barr does not think that Hunter Biden will see jail time.  So, after all of this, we are just looking at a fine and a slap on the wrist?

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 26, 2023.  The American Taliban continues their war on democracy and on the United States, a royal visits Iraq, and much more.

The American Taliban is out to destroy democracy and freedom.  They lie and pretend they're "doing it for the kids" but they're no Robbie and Kylie.

And their not "doing it for the kids."  Their actions and their remarks make clear that's not the case.  

What they are doing is damaging children.  Beth Hawkins (THE 74) reports:

In the opening weeks of the 2023 legislative season alone, more than 400 pieces of legislation aimed at LGBTQ people— most of them targeting schools — were introduced throughout the country. 
It’s no surprise that queer students in Republican-dominated states where these laws have passed are profoundly impacted. But less visible is the dramatic effect the steady drumbeat of headlines has had on youth in places with even strong anti-discrimination laws. Newly released data from the advocacy groups GLSEN and The Trevor Project show increases in hostility, victimization and discrimination experienced by students in blue states as well as red.

The effects are devastating. Nearly half of LGBTQ 13- to 17-year-olds considered suicide last year, as opposed to some 19% of high school students overall, according to The Trevor Project. Eighteen percent actually attempted it. Seventy percent report anxiety, and 57% experienced depression.

Strong in-school relationships are a well-known protective factor. LGBTQ students who say their teachers care a lot about them are 37% less likely to consider suicide and 43% less likely to be depressed than those who don’t feel cared for, according to The Trevor Project. 

Rates of self-harm are much lower among students who feel affirmed in school, and acceptance of LGBTQ students had risen steadily — if unevenly — following legal recognition of same-sex marriage. But the number of youth who see their schools as affirming has fallen dramatically over the last four years. 

In California — where the first gay couples married in 2008 and schools began teaching LGBTQ history a decade ago — a statewide survey of students found that the number who reported hearing homophobic remarks from adults in school rose from 12% in 2019 to 49% in 2021. That’s an increase of 408%.

In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been recognized for almost 20 years, the number of youth exposed to anti-LGBT remarks is up 686% over the same time frame.

Yeah, but, hate merchants, keep pretending that your concern is for the kids.  Scarface Tulsi Gabbard might try having kids -- before it's too late, she's 42 -- since she's so obsessed with other people's children.  Or is Tulsi too manly for pregnancy?    The report notes:

A new data analysis by The 74 shows how this political wedge issue, aimed at a relatively small population of students, is having an outsize effect. The number of youth who identify as something other than cisgender is growing, but it’s still a tiny number of children. 

Of the approximately 16 million high school students in the United States, an estimated 1.8 million, or 11.6%, identify as LGBTQ. Just 300,000 are gender-nonconforming. 

Ten years after same-sex marriage became widely recognized, a sizeable majority of Americans are comfortable with gay, lesbian and bisexual co-workers and neighbors. Experts say it’s harder to attempt to undo LGBT rights overall than to capitalize on confusion about the experiences of a very small subset of people.     

And unlike past campaigns to vilify LGBTQ people, this time, the rhetoric targets kids, not adults. Even though some of the new policies take aim at bathrooms and gymnasiums, the impact spills over to classrooms, hallways and libraries, affecting a much larger number of children.

They are bullied and assaulted; subjected to increasingly negative remarks even from teachers who are supposed to protect them; silenced from raising LGBTQ topics — even talking about their families during class discussions; discouraged from participating in sports or other activities; forbidden from wearing clothing with supportive messages or forming gay-straight alliances or other affirming student clubs; disciplined for identifying as LGBTQ and for wearing clothes deemed “inappropriate” for their gender.

It's like the 70s all over again. As I've noted before, not long ago, a group of gay adult malea at one group we were speaking to in the last 12 months, brought up what life was really like for them in high school and middle school.  Teachers and principals mocked them and made fun of them, publicly ridiculed them.  My response was sue.  I don't care if it gets kicked out for whatever reason.  Get on the record so that these failures do not get to enjoy their retirement but instead everyone grasps that these failures weren't just intolerant, they were actively betraying their legal obligations.  

I would recommend the same to the families of any children currently in school and experiencing this.  File immediately.  Let's identify these people who think they can abuse their jobs and harass students.  

That's the only way this will stop.  

The American Taliban is brave when egged on by a bunch of hate merchants but when they find out it's not Tulsi Gabbard that's having to pay for the actions, but themselves, they'll learn to conduct themselves as educators are supposed to.     

Rowan Johnson learned what it meant to be transgender not from a parent or a teacher, but from Jerry Springer.

Home from school one day when they were about 8 years old, Johnson caught Springer’s often-raucous daytime talk show. “There are girls here to tell their parents they want to be boys,” Johnson recalls hearing at the top of the hour.

That’s something a person can do? Johnson thought. They had sensed already that something was different about their own gender identity but didn’t know what. “I didn’t have the words for ‘transgender’ or ‘nonbinary’ or any of this.”

Most trans adults went to school at a time when there was little or no discussion of gender identity. If the subject came up, it was on tabloid television or in schoolyard taunts rather than in conversation with caring adults. Now, as Americans debate policies that affect trans Americans, there’s disagreement over how — or whether — to broach these issues in schools.

For transgender children, this question can be urgent. A Washington Post-KFF poll conducted in late 2022 found that about 1 in 3 transgender adults was 10 years old or younger when they began to understand that their gender was different from their sex assigned at birth. Forty-five percent of them said they felt unsafe at school, the place where they spent most of their time and where acceptance or rejection can make a deep impression. The isolation and discrimination that many trans people experience can lead to depressionsubstance abuse, self harm and suicide, experts say.

[. . .]

In other words, what trans Americans say is needed appears at odds with what many Americans appear comfortable providing. That’s unsettling to the trans community at a time when gender identity has taken center stage in the culture wars and Republican lawmakers have attacked the very existence of trans people.

“If I had had the opportunity," said Johnson, "to learn that it’s normal and common to question your gender identity and to want to experiment and explore your gender identity, I think it would have saved a lot of emotional pain.”

The poll found support for teaching these issues in high school, with more than 6 in 10 saying it was appropriate. Americans were divided when asked about middle school. But at the same time, nearly 7 in 10 Americans supported laws that would bar discrimination against trans people in K-12 schools.

The American Taliban is in the minority -- just as they are on abortion.  But what the people want doesn't matter to these authoritarians.  They want to destroy the country and destroy democracy.  The right to privacy got shredded in DOBBS and they planned and conspired for years to get to that point.  They're coming after every right and you're insane -- or married to Max Blumenthal (which may be the same thing) -- if you can't see that.

Target on Wednesday said it was removing some products that celebrate Pride Month after the company and its employes became the focus of a “volatile” anti-LGBTQ campaign.

The company said threats against employees impacted their sense of safety and well-being, but Target did not specify which products it was removing, the nature of the threats, or where they occurred. Target said it removed from shelves “items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

For a decade, Target has celebrated Pride Month in and around June. The company runs advertisements to appeal to LGBTQ customers and employees, and it sells t-shirts, coffee mugs and merchandise with rainbow flags and other symbols of gay rights.

“Pride Month at Target is a time of affirmation and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community,” the company says on its website.

A few things.  Openly homophobic people?  They can't afford Target and don't shop there regularly.  Threats against employees?  Those need to be reported to legal authorities and done so immediately.  Isn't it interesting that Jonathan Turley is no where to be found yet again.

He's like FOX "NEWS" -- emphasizing everything that will scare the elderly but nothing that will enlighten or educate.  He's an old whore slinging it for FOX "NEWS." 

The backward and inbred homophobes who study online with Professor Turley pretend to care about democracy.  But it's not really a democracy, is it, if you're threatening violence because you don't want people to have the option of buying clothing?  That's reality and it's not an angle Turley is going to share with his cult or, for that matter, that FOX "NEWS" plans to share.  Target clearly noted threats of violence to the staff.  But here's FOX BUSINESS "NEWS" 'covering' the topic and leaving that threat out.  CNN could -- and did -- note the threats.  USA TODAY did as wellAP did as wellBLOOMBERG NEWS did it.    But not FOX "NEWS."  This is how FOX "NEWS" lies -- they don't present most stories and when they do present a story they lie and they leave out significant details.  A half-wit could park themselves in front of the TV, watch six hours straight of FOX "NEWS" and still be a half-wit when they turned the TV off.

A right-wing outlet (tiny and we're not promoting it) wants you to know that conservatives are "successfully" boycotting Target.  Homophobic conservatives don't shop there.  Try the Dollar General.  This is the same crowd -- small and vocal -- that Nancy Reagan sneered at (they were focused on ending abortion when she was First Lady) and this crowd buys beers and Fritos but, as demographics make very clear, they don't have the income to spend at Target.  Walmart is a big treat for them.  So, no, they're not "successfully" boycotting a store that they don't actually shop at.  If they did shop there, they would have noticed, years ago, that Target celebrates Pride every June.  Bad news for them, Walmart did last year too.  May have done so before last year but last year Walmart even offered a Pride ice cream. For this crowd, Dollar General and Dollar Tree and Dollar whatever are their go-tos. Again, that's demographics. This is the group that loved FOX "NEWS" but couldn't find it in their budget to pay for the streamer FOX NEWS NATION.  

This is a war on freedom carried out by the American Taliban.  They are not patriotic and they do not believe in democracy.  They're for tyranny and oppression.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom called out the war on the LBGTQ+ and hate merchant Marjorie Taylor thought her response was called for.

Good for Gavin.  As for Marjorie?  Yes, she is the space laser person.  Let's again note Chelsea Handler on MTG. 


Marjorie Taylor Greene: I have people come up to me and say crazy things to me out of the blue in public places that they believe because they read it on the internet.

Chelsea Handler:  Well if that's not the pot calling the kettle QAnon.  This woman thought 9/11 was a hoax, that the Clintons killed JFK Jr. and that Jews are in charge of space lasers.  But please, don't come at her with some crazy ideas -- she might believe them. 

Crazy Marjorie will continue attempting to destroy this country.   Paul Rudnick noted Crazy Marjorie this week.

This is not about helping the kids.  It's not helping children, first of all, but that's just their cover story. 

Amid recent, highly publicized conservative backlash to several corporations partnering with LGBTQ+ artists and activists, two far-right commentators are saying the quiet part loud: Their goal is to make support for the LGBTQ+ community “toxic” to brands.

On Wednesday, Matt Walsh, a host for far-right media outlet The Daily Wire and one of the most virulently anti-trans voices in the country, kicked off a tweet storm about recent calls to boycott brands like Bud Light and Target by explicitly outlining what he says has been the goal from the start.

“The goal is to make ‘pride’ toxic for brands,” Walsh tweeted. “If they decide to shove this garbage in our face, they should now that they’ll pay a price. It won’t be worth whatever they think they’ll gain. First Bud Light and now Target. Our campaign is making progress. Let’s keep going.”

On his own Daily Wire show, host Michael Knowles reiterated Walsh’s point. “This has been the point that has been building for months now, which is we need to make that symbol toxic, the Pride flag symbol, we need to make that toxic,” Knowles said. “We need to have companies think twice about it.”

“Everyone was talking about the Dylan Mulvaney incident as being harmful to the Bud Light brand,” he continued. “That’s true. But more importantly, it was harmful to the Dylan Mulvaney brand. Now, other companies are going to think twice before sponsoring Dylan Mulvaney because they don’t want to lose $6 billion in market cap in two days. That’s what we got to do. And then once we make these things culturally toxic or as we’re making these symbols culturally toxic, we’ve got to bring in the cavalry, we’ve got to come back in with more political force to ban some of this stuff and to say no.”

The Bud Light debacle started in early April, when the beer brand partnered with Mulvaney, a trans influencer and popular target for anti-trans trolls, sending her a one-off commemorative beer can with an image of her face on it. Transphobes both online and in the media quickly called for a boycott of parent company Anheuser-Busch’s products. The corporation’s lackluster response to the backlash drew criticism from the LGBTQ+ community and led the Human Rights Campaign to downgrade Anheuser-Busch’s previous 100 percent rating on the organization’s corporate equality index.

On Wednesday, Walsh also tweeted that, “The Bud Light boycott will prove to be one of the most significant conservative victories of this decade. It was never just about Bud Light. It was about sending a message.”

This is a war declared by the American Taliban.  

Acceptance of gays and lesbians has increased and most Americans grasp that.  So these hate merchants seized upon the "T" and worked overtime to lie and scare the easily frightened over transgender persons and pretend that there are all these five-year-olds having gender surgery.  

They lied -- and they were helped by THE NEW YORK TIMES and other outlets -- and they've scared a country.  

And on the left we get idiots like Max Blumenthal's wife offering smears on transgendered person because the left doesn't want to her February event which was putting a convicted pedophile on stage.  Grasp that Mrs. Blumenthal can't defend transgender people (and has a pinned Tweet attacking them at the top of her feed since February) but she will gladly share the stage with a convicted pedophile who was sent to prison.  

And, of course, Marjorie had the pro-pedophile working for her.  These anti-Trans people are the ones hanging around with child molestors.  

This war is doing great harm.  Applause for Gavin and everyone who is standing up right now.  Shame on those -- especially if you claim to be left -- who are silent or, even worse, encouraging this war.  Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

A cisgender mother helping her cis disabled son use the restroom was prevented from entering a Kansas library’s women’s restroom with him, even though they’ve done that for years. The mother thinks that the state’s recently passed anti-transgender bathroom bill is to blame, but the library has called the incident “a mishandled customer service moment.”

On May 20, Karen Wild entered a women’s bathroom in the Wichita Public Library’s central branch with her son, Ellis Dunville. She was assisting her son, who is on the autism spectrum, has a seizure disorder, and is nonverbal, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

A male security guard told her that her son couldn’t enter the restroom. Wild said they had used the women’s restroom together for years without any issues. However, she also noted that another person in the women’s restroom objected to her son’s presence.

Shortly after, a female library employee entered, said the library had policies regulating restroom use, and asked Wild if she and her son could use the building’s gender-neutral family restroom, which Wild never knew existed.

Wild told the aforementioned publication that she suspected the incident might have occurred because the legislature recently passed S.B. 180, a law that bans trans people from using bathrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity.

“There isn’t anything I can think of that has changed except that they heard about that law and decided they needed to be emboldened by it somehow,” she said. “I can’t explain it any other way.”

Let's turn to Iraq.  BBC NEWS notes:

The Duchess of Edinburgh has become the first UK royal to visit Baghdad - as part of her work to support survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

Buckingham Palace said Sophie had spent two days in Iraq's capital to learn of the challenges women and girls face.

She visited a girls' school to hear from pupils about their education.

After meeting Iraq's women young and old, Sophie visited President Abdul Latif Rashid and prime minister Mohammad Shia Al Sudani.

She was praised for being the first member of the Royal Family to visit Baghdad by the UK's ambassador to the country, Mark Bryson-Richardson, whom she spent most of the trip with.

Sophie, who gained the title of Duchess of Edinburgh when her husband Prince Edward took on a new role in March after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, has said in the past that she is passionate about supporting women and gender equality around the world.  

Really not sure what to say here.  First, Sophie's visit brings attention to Iraq and that is a good thing.

But there's more than just that.

Why are we supposed to be enthused?  The current king of England visited Basra in 2009.  

More the point, England destroyed Iraq as much as the United States did.  Are we ignoring that as we rush to celebrate a ruling class figure visiting the country they destroyed?

+ As most readers of Roaming Charges know, I’ve been skeptical of Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the sabotage of the Nordstream pipelines. Some of his initial assertions were easily disproved and others seemed highly speculative and thinly, very thinly, sourced.  Hersh’s narrative was problematic and antiquated. One of the most glaring issues to me was: why use scuba divers, like something out of a 70s Bond movie, which require decompression tanks and conspicuous naval support, when you could deploy the weapon de jour: underwater drones controlled by a joystick and a laptop? Now comes James Bamford, an intelligence reporter whose credentials are at least as accomplished as Hersh’s (and somewhat less tarnished), with a detailed and persuasive account in The Nation that explains how it’s much more likely that Ukrainian intelligence operatives, trained in underwater demolition techniques by the Brits and the US, blew up the pipelines using submersible drones, with the probable assistance of Poland.  Where Hersh is vague, Bamford is specific. Where Hersh relies on a sole anonymous source, Bamford meticulously builds his piece from documents. Bamford explains in compelling detail how it was done, the kind of drones used and why both Ukraine and Poland wanted to take the pipelines out. Bamford also suggests that both Russian and US intelligence knew that a plot in was the works and that the US kept quiet because the sabotage had been committed by its allies. This is deeply informed journalism and also a terrific read.

The following sites updated: