The next president may well make me cry, though outrage and disgust are likelier reactions; but I doubt he will ever make me cry the way President Obama did at his final news conference on Wednesday in discussing the progress for LGBT people during his White House years. He rightfully gave the principal credit to the activists who pushed for it, both loudly and quietly, and who helped change minds and hearts. But he played an indispensable part, from his public remarks to his personal example to his support for the Justice Department's role in historic court cases and the State Department's role around the world. God bless you, Mr. President, and keep you and your family safe and well.
Congrats, BTW, to Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson, who asked the question.
Obama also defended his commutation of the sentence of Chelsea Manning, saying she had already served a tough sentence and that her original 35-year sentence was far greater than other convicted leakers of classified documents.
.@POTUS on Chelsea Manning commutation: she had "served a tough prison sentence" which was "very disproportionate" to other leaking sent.— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) January 18, 2017
President Obama largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning https://t.co/idlDyabmsV— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 17, 2017
President Obama today shaved 28 years off the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Below are items by Lawfare Blog and Jacobin Magazine supporting this decision. My comments follow.
President Obama must act now and grant clemency to Chelsea Manning. https://t.co/SNje28Vj4R— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) January 14, 2017
Until the past week I had opposed freeing Manning due to the seriousness of her crime, though I defended her right to appropriate healthcare and criticized the apparent denial of care as a form of punishment. I was persuaded by the Lawfare piece, which makes a good point about the difference between pardon and commutation, and about mitigating circumstances. I agree with the distinction between Manning and Edward Snowden. That Manning's jailers have been at best indifferent to her health, and appear to have gone to considerable lengths to harm her health as an extra-judicial punishment, was perhaps the best argument for clemency.
Further, the disgraceful handling of her incarceration makes a strong case for demanding better training and health-related protocols moving forward. It is no more acceptable to treat trans prisoners this way than to condone prison rape. If the latter is truly what we want, then we should advertise our barbarity by explicitly including it in formal sentencing. Otherwise we should damn well stop it.
MLK III has just met at the Trump Tower with Herr Twitler. However that went (and in his exit remarks to the press he bent over backwards to be diplomatic), it cannot dislodge from my mind the photo of him at age two, standing with his father beside a burnt cross on the front lawn of their home in Atlanta. #Remember #Resist
Paul Krugman gets it exactly right.
"But Mr. Trump — who has never sacrificed anything or taken a risk to help others — seems to have a special animus toward genuine heroes. Maybe he prefers demonstrators who don’t get beaten?
"It would be one thing if the incoming commander in chief showed any hint of humility.... Instead, he’s lashing out at and threatening anyone and everyone who criticizes him, while refusing even to admit that he lost the popular vote. And he’s surrounding himself with people who share his contempt for everything that is best in America."
This photo, surprisingly enough, is not an advertisement for Haisten's Mattress & Awning Company. It is a news photo of nonviolent protesters being savagely beaten by Alabama state troopers for exercising their constitutional right to peaceable assembly. The young man on his knees in the right foreground holding the back of his head is the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who at that moment thought he was about to die. We know this because he survived to tell us, including in his autobiography which just sold out at Amazon thanks to a slander against him by the president-elect of the United States.
The young man is now seventy-six and a U.S. congressman whose Atlanta district is not at all the hellhole described by the compulsive liar who is four days away from being sworn in as the most unfit person ever to attain our nation's highest office. John Lewis has done more to serve our country in the past week than the man slandering him has done in his entire life. We must follow the lead of Rep. Lewis and defend our country against Trump and his entire nefarious crew. Either that, or take a crash course in Russian.
I wish he could have grown old as we who were left grew old (to borrow a WWI text). His widow and orphans suffered most directly from his death at 39. But he had a calling, and answered the call. We can be forever grateful, however, for the gifts he shared in his brief time here. [image from: http://nation.time.com/2013/01/21/rare-photos-of-martin-luther-king-at-home/]
Jamaican-born gay author Marlon James, whose novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won Britain's Man Booker prize in 2015, discusses the difference between not being a racist and doing something about racism.
(Hat tip: Ayo Magwood)
In this photo from Sunday, March 7, 1965, the young man in the trenchcoat on the right is leading a group of 600 people, marching two by two. He is unarmed, having nothing but his faith and the heart of a lion, plus an apple and a Bible in his knapsack. A few moments later he is nearly beaten to death by the gentlemen on the left. He experienced something similar four years earlier during the Freedom Rides. Contrary to the current president-elect, this is not a picture of someone who is "all talk," but a picture of immense courage.
Imagine facing that armed phalanx and standing your ground while feeling responsible for those behind you. After suffering severe head trauma, he refused to go to the hospital until he had checked on his brutalized comrades. This is young John Lewis, fighting for the right to vote. Anyone who refuses to respect such a hero is beneath contempt. Mr. Trump, you are not legitimate for the reason given by the gentleman from Georgia, and you will not be my president. Thank you, Congressman Lewis.
DC Mayor Bowser & Council Chairman Phil Mendelson release statement's opposing congressmen's efforts to void local right-to-die legislation: pic.twitter.com/2ZAOcfrVPY— Andrew Giambrone (@AndrewGiambrone) January 13, 2017
Thanks to Mayor Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson for their strong statements against the undemocratic resolution introduced in Congress to block the District's Death with Dignity Act. The District does not need people we did not elect imposing their views on our local public policy over those of our elected reps. The struggle continues.
A national hero and longtime pro-LGBT ally who risked his life fighting for voting rights a half century ago steps up to oppose the nomination of a man with a record of opposing voting rights, LGBT rights, and women's rights. Thank you, Congressman.
Superb testimony by Sen. Cory Booker. Tom Cotton is unhappy that Cory Booker is testifying against a fellow senator. It's a violation of custom, he says. Well so is drafting a letter from 47 senators to leaders of Iran to undermine POTUS. Such a move might even be called treasonous. So take a seat, Tom. Go Cory!
A strong, wise, eloquent and moving speech. A friend today said she had never so wanted a speech to continue.
Brava, Meryl. Without rancor and without mentioning the president-elect's name, the most celebrated actor of either sex in Hollywood used her moment to raise her voice against bullying and xenophobia.
Trump responded by calling Streep overrated. Here is my response to him.
Donnie Connie, howling husk,
Belched his bile from dawn 'til dusk.
A movie goddess threw him shade,
So Donnie Connie bawled and brayed.
Copyright © 2017 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.
Police quickly arrested four suspects in a Chicago hate crime, but racists are gleefully blaming it on Black Lives Matter, which does not advocate hate or violence. Of course it would never occur to these malignant white clowns to take responsibility for the crimes of some random white person, even if their rhetoric helped incite it. This is the poison of racial privilege. But calling them deplorable is the truly unforgivable thing? They can Rot. In. Hell.