That rotten smell in the White House is a racist, our fake president

❝ It seems maddeningly repetitive to have to return time and again to the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, but it must be done. It must be done because it is a foundational character issue, one that supersedes and informs many others, in much the same way that his sexism and xenophobia does.

❝ On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Representative Elijah Cummings’s district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a “very dangerous & filthy place” and “No human being would want to live there.” Cummings is black, as are most people in his district…

None of this is about crime as a discrete phenomenon, but rather about inextricably linking criminality to blackness. White supremacy isn’t necessarily about rendering white people as superhuman; it is just as often about rendering nonwhite people as subhuman. Either way the hierarchy is established, with whiteness assuming the superior position.

❝ It would be easy to prosecute a case against Trump on policy, but policies are not at the center of the creature. White supremacy, white nationalism and white patriarchy are.

The core of this man is racist in a way that is so fused to his sense of the world that he is incapable of seeing it as racist. It is instinctual for him to attack people of color. It is instinctual for him to denigrate the places they live and the countries to which they trace their heritage.

This commentary by Charles Blow in the NYTimes is detailed, profound, in addressing our fake president’s racism. I shan’t waste time and space trying to convince Trump’s supporters. They must be aware of racist content – and not decrying it, not rejecting the front man for this racist attack on America’s body politic – they are willing to be complicit.

The task is to explain this to that larger, sweeping body politic who wish to move forward from the stink of racist populism that now owns the Republican Party.

Funerals are now livestreamed — and families are grateful

❝ …There were friends who couldn’t travel and family members who lived too far away to make it in time for the service, which, by Jewish tradition, had to happen as soon as possible. But their chapel had a solution: It livestreamed the funeral, and uploaded a recording of the service to its website shortly after, with a hyperlink prominently displayed in the obituary…

❝ In a culture obsessed with tweeting and Instagramming every moment of life, it’s little surprise that streaming extends to death. Funeral livestreaming services have been around for more than a decade, but the practice has recently exploded in popularity, says Bryant Hightower, president-elect of the National Funeral Directors Association. He estimates that nearly 20 percent of US funeral homes now offer the service — a big number in an industry resistant to change — in response to demand from clients…

Close-felt examples, thoughtful reflection. I’ve always been useless at funerals. I don’t know that I feel emotions any more deeply than anyone else; but, I fail at containing them to the boundaries of what passes for American culture. The last time I flew instantly cross-country for a family funeral I ended up sitting alone in my sister’s home while the rest of my kin attended a wake, then the funeral the next day. My family has learned to accept how I am affected by grief and loss.

That I appear to be outliving most of my peers, close family, doesn’t help. So, they understand. Tell me to stay here in my own home – with my wife to console me directly. I guess I’ll start asking if ceremonies are streamed and/or available after the fact. I’d like to try that.

Leading gun owners’ site says — It’s Time to De-Fund the NRA

❝ The National Rifle Association — America’s oldest civil rights organization — is in an existential crisis today brought on by mismanagement, cronyism, and self-dealing by its leadership. Every week brings forth a new allegation, a new bit of evidence that the the NRA’s leaders are more interested in lining their own pockets and enjoying the perquisites of power than promoting marksmanship, gun safety, and defending the right to keep and bear arms.

Every day this circus continues is a day that the NRA’s credibility as an organization takes another hit. This is a dangerous situation for the organization and for American gun owners because — whatever the reality — the identity of gun owners in this country is tightly linked to that of the NRA.

❝ We’d like to say that the NRA’s leadership has stepped up to the plate in response. We’d like to say they’ve at least mouthed the correct words, made promises of transparency going forward, committed to an independent audit of the books, expressed interest in correcting what were inarguably missteps (even if you believe the leadership is innocent of any actual wrongdoing, missteps in communications and public relations have certainly been made,) and of welcoming fresh blood and new voices to its ranks.

We can’t say any of that, though, because they haven’t.

I have a fondness for sporting firearms that goes back to my youth. I grew up in Connecticut, the arsenal of America in my day. My generation was the first in my family NOT to work sometime or other for a gun manufacturer. The two generations preceding, just about every man and a number of the women did work for one or another gun manufacturer – including a gunsmith who worked on the designs of many of today’s modern military rifles.

None of which diminishes my strong feeling about the need for strict regulatory standards. Above and beyond that, the hustlers and con artists who infest the so-called leadership of the NRA need to go. Time to clean house is overdue.

Republicans want to stop 500,000 schoolkids from having a free lunch


Ellen O’Nan/AP

❝ The Trump administration recently proposed changes to the food stamp program, but omitted the fact they would make half a million children ineligible for free school meals…

The Department of Agriculture outlined an overhaul of the food stamp program that would reduce the number of Americans that are eligible for those benefits…

❝ Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, notes the proposal neglects to note the USDA estimates more than 500,000 children would lose their eligibility for free school meals. Currently, families receiving food stamps are automatically entered into a program that provides children with free breakfast and lunch at school.

❝ “…However, when the rule was published in the Federal Register, the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) did not include discussion of the rule’s impact on free school meal eligibility.”

The whole truth and nothing but the truth doesn’t mean diddly-squat to the corrupt Republican Party afraid to challenge their Führer.