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Well, aren’t these prints by Heather Buchanan cute?

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Well, aren’t these prints by Heather Buchanan cute? 

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skittone
21 hours ago
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Ha.
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Sunday week in review

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What else did Donald Trump do today?

FBI. Trump's criticism of the FBI forced his directorial appointee, Christopher Wray, into the probably unprecedented position of defending the nation's federal police force against its own president. Wray sent FBI staff an e-mail expressing his support on Monday, and again in his testimony before Congress on Thursday.

Trump said last week that the reputation of the FBI was in "tatters," as part of a public relations campaign to discredit whatever it or its former director, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, may find regarding Russian interference on his behalf in the 2016 election. 

Novel legal theories. Donald Trump Jr. spent much of Wednesday behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's attempts to get his father elected. By the rules of the committee, what he talked about isn't clear, but members can discuss with the press what he refused to talk about. Trump Jr. was unwilling to discuss a conversation he had with his father during the apparent attempt to cover up his June 2016 meeting with Russian agents--the ones who had provoked an enthusiastic response from him when they promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Since the nature of that conversation is likely to incriminate at least Trump Jr., his refusal to answer is not surprising. But the nature of his refusal is: he claimed that talking with his father was subject to attorney-client privilege.

Neither man is a lawyer.

What is in a name. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has not been expected to run for re-election in 2018, but Trump made efforts this week to get the 83-year-old into the race. The reason is that if Hatch doesn't run, one likely candidate to replace him is former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The two do not like one another: in March of 2016, when it still seemed possible to avert a Trump nomination, Romney gave a heavily publicized speech in which he called Trump a "phony," a "fraud," and a "con man"--among other things.

It was also revealed this week that when Trump appointed Mitt Romney's niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel, to chair the Republican National Committee, he did so on the condition that she stop using her middle name in public.

Regulations. At his Pensacola rally for Roy Moore, Trump praised himself for his skill at cutting regulations--something he usually presents as a good thing no matter what regulations are being undone--and embellished it with an interesting if absurd claim: that only President Lincoln had come anywhere close.

It's not clear what, if anything, Trump had in mind by this beyond wanting to compare himself favorably to Lincoln--something he does a lot. One of the "job killing regulations" put in place by President Obama that Trump axed this week was one requiring airlines to fully disclose baggage fees to customers before a ticket is purchased.

The White House did not comment on how many jobs would be saved by surprise baggage fees.

Business. Trump's business empire expanded into Indonesia this week. Trump's name will go up over a proposed "six-star" hotel, golf course, and luxury resort, according to a report made this week.

This violates a promise Trump made shortly before taking office that he would not enter into "new deals" with foreign business interests. Trump remains the direct beneficiary of any money his businesses make, which makes lucrative deals like this an easy way to buy influence. But in his defense, it will not be any easier for Indonesia to do so than the Dominican Republic, Dubai and China, or any of the new foreign customers of his existing businesses that he now says it is too much trouble to keep track of.

Why are these bad things?

  • A president who does not have faith in the integrity of his own government should leave it.
  • Things a president does or says in possible furtherance of a crime are not secret just because he (or his son) really needs them to be.
  • Making someone renounce their family name just to keep a job is a pretty shitty thing to do.
  • It's bad if a president doesn't keep his promises.
  • It shouldn't be this easy to make it look like the President of the United States can be bought.

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skittone
21 hours ago
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Ugh, that last one.
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Submission pictures

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Named for the two friends without whom this project would not have come to fruition, I present the Susan A. Nancy Horticultural Library.

More pictures and comments to come, but first I have to catch up on housework, etc.

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JayM
1 day ago
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nice.
Atlanta, GA
skittone
1 day ago
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So cool.
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Yellow Power

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This Clio Chang essay on a radical Asian-American newspaper she ran across is a good reminder that the history of Asian-America is not one of the modern stereotypes of “the good immigrants who assimilate” or whatever racist stereotype Andrew Sullivan wants to deploy to compare them to other racial minorities. It’s also a history of great oppression and, in the 1960s and 1970s, radicalism equal to that off Black Power, AIM, or the Chicano movement. That we forget this as a nation is on us not taking our history seriously.

One of the most enduring images of an Vietnam War protester is the controversial photograph of Jane Fonda, with short brown hair, sitting on an anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam. Dubbed “Hanoi Jane,” Fonda’s face is often among the first that comes to mind when we think about the anti-war movement. Today, activists who continue to tell their stories are often white. The Asian American anti-war rabble rouser however, seems to hardly exist—there are virtually none on the list of interviewees in Ken Burns new highly-acclaimed Vietnam War documentary.

Yet two months before Fonda’s trip to Hanoi, a radical Asian American newspaper called Gidra viscerally undermined this idea. On the cover of their May 1972 issue was an illustration of a white officer ordering an Asian American soldier to “kill that gook, you gook!” Inside the paper was a piece detailing the participation of Asians in a recent march in Los Angeles, part of protests drawing out some 100,000 people across the country. In the familiar tone of an activist who was no stranger to marches, Steve Tatsukawa recounted procedure: “A sleepy Asian contingent met at Bronson and Eighth … [it] was one of seventeen in the march and someone had worked it out so we would be third in line right behind the Chicanos and the GI Vets.”

Gidra—whose name is a misspelling of King Ghidorah, a kaiju from the Godzilla franchise—ran for five years, from 1969 to 1974. It was started by five students from UCLA who decided to each pitch in $100 of their own seed money (“a huge amount for students at that time,” according to Mike Murase, one of the Gidra’s founders) to ensure that the paper would have editorial independence from the university. It ran pieces on everything from the war and the drug crisis among Japanese American youth to recipes and diagrams on how to fix your toilet.

Today, “Asian American” has mostly become a demographic signifier, but it was originally conceived as a political identity. Gidra was there to document this conception.

“It was the first voice of the Asian American movement,” Karen Ishizuka, author of the book, Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties, told me. “You really see it unfolding in real time, the concept of political identity and how it was created.” In the newspaper’s first issue, Larry Kubota wrote in an article on yellow power: “This is a new role for the Asian American. It is the rejection of the passive Oriental stereotype and symbolizes the birth of a new Asian—one who will recognize and deal with injustices.”

Perusing through the pages of Gidra, what I noticed most was its voice—irreverent and clever, proudly Asian and radical. Here was a political history I was vaguely familiar with but had never really seen laid out before me, an incarnation of unabashed Asian American radicalism so different from the image of the head-down, hard-working immigrant that dominates the mainstream.

Part of us forgetting about Asian-American radicalism is the geography and the numbers. In the aftermath of the World War II concentration camps, the Japanese-American population dispersed out of the West Coast after 1945. That left smaller numbers there, along with significant Chinese and smaller Korean and Filipino populations in LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, and not really too much else. Of course that has changed since the Immigration Act of 1965 and especially in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. But it’s also important that we remember these histories and not fall into stereotypes ourselves.

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skittone
1 day ago
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The Burger King

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I know that–in the scheme of things–Donald Trump’s eating habits–much like his choice in decor–aren’t important. But something that fascinates me about Trump is that he literally has no redeeming qualities. From top to bottom, from start to finish, he’s a disgusting human being with bad taste who is just a bad bad bad person. I can’t get over it.

This isn’t even an anti-fast food thing. I eat fast food occasionally. “Occasionally” being the key word. I know there are legit reasons for eating fast food: people are tired, in a hurry, broke, live in food deserts, and sometimes you just get a goddamn craving. I don’t like classist critiques of fast-food consumption. But Donald Trump is a billionaire from New York, arguably the world’s food capital. He could be sampling the world’s finest cuisine 24-7, but instead he eats…McDonald’s. It’s baffling. It’s infuriating. He literally cannot do anything right. I hate him so much.

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skittone
1 day ago
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What did Donald Trump do today?He appeared at a civil rights museum opening, and...

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What did Donald Trump do today?

He appeared at a civil rights museum opening, and in a robocall for a man who specifically cited the era of slavery as the United States' greatest time.

Trump spent 40 minutes this morning at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, appearing only in private after outrage by some of the very people the museum honors. Citing Trump's embrace of white nationalist rhetoric, John Lewis and other veterans of the civil rights movement stayed away from the opening after Trump, at the last minute, accepted an invitation from Mississippi's Republican governor Phil Bryant to attend. Trump read carefully from a prepared statement, did not take questions, did not appear in public, and did not see any of the protestors who gathered to meet him.

Trump's actual reason for appearing in Mississippi is its proximity to Alabama. Trump is enthusiastically campaigning for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore and held a rally just across the Florida border last night, but given the very real prospect that Moore may lose--almost unthinkable for a Republican in that state--he seems to be trying to hedge his political bets by not actually crossing the border. 

At some point after he left the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this morning, Trump recorded a "robocall" on behalf of the Moore campaign, according to a White House spokesperson.

The two things are connected. Moore is chiefly known these days for the nine women who say he "dated" them and made sexual contact with them when he was a middle-aged man and they were as young as 14. But when he was asked by an African-American man in September when he last thought America was "great," Moore responded, “I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another.... Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

Why is this a problem?

  • A president who can't attend a civil rights museum opening without making a mockery of it the same day shouldn't go.
  • A president who can't attend a civil rights museum opening without making a mockery of it shouldn't be president.
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skittone
1 day ago
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angelchrys
2 days ago
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Overland Park, KS
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