Travel Ban Gets SCOTUS Seal Of Approval, Fatherly Advice, And More

And the hits keep on coming. The Supreme Court has legally sanctioned the Trump administration’s modified travel ban (this would be the third version, written specifically so it had a strong likelihood of passing the conservative-dominated court). Tweaked verbiage aside, we know how the ban will work in practice. It’s there in the text and subtext of the original executive order, and in the intervening year and a half, our aspiring emperor has shown no respect for legal strictures that hinder him.

In other SCOTUS news: The Roberts Gang has reversed a decision requiring crisis pregnancy centers to disclose that they’re anti-abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers are notorious for pressuring women not to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Tor Ekeland passes along advice from his father for seriously resisting fascism.

If you haven’t been outside the United States of late, you may not be aware we’re now referred to as a ‘rogue state’ with some regularity.

Remember when Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un ended with the president saying they’d made great progress and our military would stop doing war games in the Korean Peninsula? And remember how defense stocks fell and Democrats practically demanded we have a nuclear war with the Kim regime for some reason? And remember how Trump admired said regime’s YA dystopian novel levels of control over its populace? Actually, just remember all of it? It was a profoundly weird time, followed by absolutely nothing.

When investigators threatened his power, he declared himself dictator.

Nazi pederast Milo Yiannopoulos is encouraging vigilantes to assassinate journalists. In related news, 50% of Americans believe we’re in danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country; most Americans’ wages have declined over the past year; machines can fire us now; gay Americans are arming themselves to stay alive; and suicide rates are climbing dramatically. Of course if journalists are hiding in fear for their lives, they won’t have time to report on all the bad news!

And now for something completely different:

Senate Slowdown Monday, No Recess For Poor Performers, And More

If Senate Republicans insist on working on their health care bill in secret, Democrats will do everything in their power to protest this turn of events. Their limited, limited power…

Democrats can grind the Senate to a virtual halt, and that’s what they plan to do beginning Monday afternoon as they protest the GOP secretive push to revamp the nation’s health-care system.

Under the direction of Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Democrats will begin using parliamentary tactics to disrupt the ordinary business of the Senate, including blocking requests for unanimous consent to consider nominees and legislation and preventing committees from holding hearings that last longer than two hours. In the evening, Democratic senators will hold the floor to deliver speeches assailing Republicans for writing and debating their health-care bill behind closed doors.

Having accomplished little of value so far this year, Congress is considering cancelling its August recess.

Remember when liberals pinned their hopes on Ivanka’s moderating influence on her father because she’s a decent human being or something? LOL.

The only way to get the president to care about HIV is to temporarily rename the virus ‘Donald Trump’.

Have you ever wondered what anarchists will admit in private but never publically repeat?

Hail Satan.

Your monthly reminder from The Intercept to wet yourself in fear:

Indeed we should be prepared for security shocks to be exploited as excuses to increase the rounding up and incarceration of large numbers of people from the communities this administration is already targeting: Latino immigrants, Muslims, Black Lives Matter organizers, climate activists, investigative journalists. It’s all possible. And in the name of freeing the hands of law enforcement to fight terrorism, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have the excuse he’d been looking for to do away with federal oversight of state and local police, especially those that have been accused of systemic racial abuses.

And there is no doubt that the president would seize on any domestic terrorist attack to blame the courts. He made this perfectly clear when he tweeted, after his first travel ban was struck down: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system.” And on the night of the London Bridge attack, he went even further, tweeting: “We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” In a context of public hysteria and recrimination that would surely follow an attack in the U.S., the kind of courage we witnessed from the courts in response to Trump’s travel bans might well be in shorter supply.

And now for some news that has nothing to do with America:

An orthodox priest allied with Vladimir Putin has a very special message about beard care. The Kremlin, meanwhile, has been dealing with the first concerted anti-corruption protests in five years.

Tunisia’s national railway has opened an investigation into whether a hungry conductor stopped his train to buy peaches.

China’s supercomputers are still super.

The Macaroon made out well in France’s parliamentary elections, though turnout was lower than the presidential elections now that the spectre of Lady Hitler has been vanquished.

It’s day one hundred and fifty-one in Donald Trump’s America…

Three Things To Watch Out For Today

Jeff Sessions’ public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Will Jeff come clean or lie under oath? What is the extent of his involvement in abetting the president in the obstruction of justice? Has he seen the new season of Orange Is the New Black, and if so, how does he think it holds up to previous seasons?

Whether Donald Trump actually plans to fire special council Robert Mueller. Yesterday the Donald’s personal friend and CEO of NEWSMAX Chris Ruddy revealed to PBS Newshour that in typical Trumpian fashion, the president is mulling sending Mueller his walking papers in the erroneous assumption that this would lift “the cloud” around his presidency. Doesn’t all this insane political drama remind you of House of Cards, which just released a new season on Netflix?

Any further clues about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. The latest: Russia may have hacked election systems in 39 states. It’s not unreasonable to consider that Russia may have actually handed Trump the keys to the White House, but much remains that we don’t know. If you’re still jonesing for slowly unfolding mysteries with a dark comic sensibility, why not give the 2017 adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events a spin?

This post has been sponsored by Netflix.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Forty-Five)

Dead Priebus Walking, Privatized Air Traffic, And More

Nobody likes Reince Priebus. The names of candidates for his replacement as chief of staff are bandied about openly, his boss doesn’t respect him as a peer, and he’s temperamentally ill-suited for the demands of the position. The only reason he still comes into work every day is

There are few takers for what might be an unworkable gig. He stays in the office until late at night and often toils away on the weekend with little control of what ultimately happens.

The orange goblin’s latest inane scheme involves attempting to privatize air traffic control.

Activists from other authoritarian countries have some advice for the anti-Trump resistance.

Surprise! Bill Maher says shitty things and constantly punches down on Real Time! That’s not really a surprise, is it?

Having survived the latest UK terror attack, Londoner Richard Angell will resolutely continue to drink gin and flirt with men.

Let’s put the myth of kindly old General Lee to rest.

Militants, hard left edition:

Redneck Revolt is just one among a handful of left-wing groups that have pledged to resist emboldened white supremacists and right-wing extremists through “direct action” that sometimes goes beyond nonviolent protest—including picking up arms. Some see themselves as the heirs of ’60s radicals like the Black Panthers, while others look to the antifa movement for inspiration.

Militants, alt-right edition:

In any crowd of far-right agitators, there’s probably a few who call themselves National Socialists or Klansmen—especially since David Duke has become a Twitter maven. But more prominent online and at the “Free Speech” rallies rippling across the United States are newer “identitarian” groups led by younger men. Identitarians claim allegiance to an ideology that originated in France and calls for an end to multiculturalism, as well as unity among people (and nation-states) of the same ethnic backgrounds. In practice, that looks a lot like racism and xenophobia, but hey, semantics.

The colorful headline of the day award goes to FoxNews.com for “Democrats behaving like drunks at a funeral“.

And now for something that that may affect your quality of life: It’s getting crowded in American cities.

It’s day one hundred and thirty-seven in Donald Trump’s America…

The Threat Of A Government Shutdown, Marxism v. IdPol, And More

It’s refreshing to see the Democrats being the ones to threaten a government shutdown for once. Unlike Obama-era Republicans, who were contented to use the abstract idea of federal debt as their justification, Dems have a good reason:

“If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week Continuing Resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well,” the No. 2 Democratic leader in the House, Steny Hoyer, said in a statement.

Do you want to read a Marxist critique of identity politics? Of course you do! It’s less stuffy that it sounds.

Marine Le Pen’s decision to temporarily step aside as head of the National Front ahead of France’s runoff election does not appear to have fooled anyone.

While we fretted about any number of other terrible things, Jeff Sessions has been quietly preparing to double down on mass incarceration.

What have you done to beef up your defense against far-right doxxing?

The Nation asks if neighborhoods can be revitalized without gentrifying them.

Ireland’s 18 – 34 population is ready to overthrow their government. Wouldn’t be the first time.

What ever happened to all those civil rights-era bigots? The answer may… not surprise you.

So America and NAFTA aren’t breaking up after all. Maybe. Ask again tomorrow.

The United States Senate isn’t taking its investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia seriously.

More than three months after the committee announced that it had agreed on the scope of the investigation, the panel has not begun substantially investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, three individuals with ties to the committee told The Daily Beast.

The investigation does not have a single staffer dedicated to it full-time, and those staff members working on it part-time do not have significant investigative experience. The probe currently appears to be moving at a pace slower than prior Senate Intelligence Committee investigations, such as the CIA torture inquiry, which took years to accomplish.

And now for something completely NBA-related: Russell Westbrook’s sensational season transcended wins and losses.

It’s day ninety-eight of year zero in Trump’s America…