Stephen Chung: "'Hope' artist Shepard Fairey reveals new posters to protest Trump" (CNN)
The three posters feature Muslim, Latino, and African-American women. "We thought (they) were the three groups that had been maybe criticized by Trump and maybe were going to be most, if not necessarily vulnerable in a literal sense, most feeling that their needs would be neglected in a Trump administration," Fairey told CNN
Garrison Keillor: Blessed are the winners. Big league. (Washington Post)
The Lord is my shepherd. Okay? Totally. Big league. He is a tremendous shepherd. The best. No comparison. I know more than most people about herding sheep. And that's why I won the election in a landslide, and it's why my company is doing very, very well. Because He said, "I'm with you, Donald. You will never want."
Laurie Penny: Mad King Donald's Executive Disorder (New Statesman)
Mental health problems are no excuse for bigotry and abuse - even if you're the president.
Christine Emba: The Trump brand was built on winning. So what happens when it starts to lose? (Washington Post)
The White House is perhaps the best imaginable venue for product placement. But despite the fact that it now commands a presidential seal, the Trump brand seems less attractive than ever. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and even discount retailers such as Kmart are dropping daughter Ivanka's fashion line. Companies such as Uber face backlash for merely giving the impression of being pro-Trump.
Helaine Olen: Meet the Teacher Whose Powerful, Christian Defense of Obamacare Made a GOP Town Hall Go Viral (Slate)
"As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate. So the individual mandate, that's what it does. The healthy people pull up the sick," Bohon said at the event at Middle Tennessee State University. Her concern? If Republicans repeal the ACA and offer coverage to people with chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions via so-called high-risk pools
Mary Beard: What price nostalgia?
When the followers of Trump claim they are making America great again, when are we actually going back to? Like segregation? Who wants to go back to the US in the 50s and 60s? And when was the British high spot …?
Ed Mazza: Check Out Mitch McConnell's Face As An Angry Voter Lets Him Have It (Huffington Post)
"The last I heard, these coal jobs are not coming back and now these people don't have the insurance they need because they're poor. And they work those coal mines, and they're sick, the veterans are sick, the veterans are broken down, they're not getting what they need." - unidentified voter
Sam Stein: Testy Town Halls Driving Many GOP Lawmakers To Simply Duck Them (Huffington Post)
It's 2009 all over again, just a different party in the hot seat.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Who could have predicted how this is playing out? (Evidently, not the current FLOTUS or her staff).
Melania Trump Starts #PowerOfTheFirstLady Hashtag Campaign. Of Course, It Backfires. | Someecards Politics
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
JUST LIKE IN A FASCIST COUNTRY.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL FASCIST QUARTET.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!
THE WISDOM OF 'PRUNE WHIP'.
THE INNER CIRCLE JERKS!
THIS IS WHO THEY ARE!
MAKE TRUMP TOAST AGAIN!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
WTF - No rain!
Amnesty International said on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump's (R-Fabulist) "poisonous" rhetoric on his way to winning the White House led a global trend towards increasingly divisive politics in 2016 that had made the world a "darker" place.
In its annual report covering 159 countries, the human rights group said principles of human dignity and equality had come under assault from politicians seeking election and it zeroed in on Trump, who took office on Jan. 20.
Donald Trump's poisonous campaign rhetoric exemplifies a global trend towards angrier and more divisive politics," Amnesty said in a statement issued in Paris. The world, it said, had become a "darker ... unstable place", with a rise in hate speech targeting refugees across Europe and the United States.
"The early indications from (...) Trump suggest a foreign policy that will significantly undermine multilateral cooperation and usher in a new era of greater instability and mutual suspicion," Amnesty added.
Trump, a Republican former reality TV star and property magnate, has said he is "the least racist person" and "least anti-Semitic person you've ever seen" and that one of his top priorities is to protect the United States from terrorism.
By 2030 life expectancy for South Korean women could top nine decades, an average lifespan long thought to be out of reach, researchers said Wednesday.
South Korea is not only the first country in the world where women may live past 90 on average, it is also the one on track to log the biggest jump in longevity, they reported in The Lancet medical journal.
Other developed countries are not far behind: the longevity of French and Japanese women are more likely than not to stretch past 88 years.
Nations boasting the greatest longevity among men by 2030 -- 84 years in each case -- will likely be South Korea, Australia and Switzerland, according to the study.
In the United States, by contrast, life expectancy at birth is currently below most other high-income countries, and is poised to fall even further behind.
Despite his distaste for pineapple-topped pizza, Iceland's President Gudni Johannesson has no plans to ban it, admitting he doesn't have the powers to pull the Hawaiian.
The pineapple polemic erupted last week when a high school student in the northern town of Akureyri asked Johannesson what he thought of putting the tropical treat on top of a pizza -- with the president admitting he hated it and would ban it if he could.
His remarks were picked up by the local press and soon caused a stir on social media across Iceland and beyond over the merits of the Hawaiian, a ham-and-pineapple pizza, prompting a presidential post on Facebook to clarify his position.
"I like pineapples, just not on pizza," he wrote.
"I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza," he said.
French artist Abraham Poincheval embarked on a new feat on Wednesday by enclosing himself inside a block of stone for a week, adding to the two weeks he previously spent inside a sculpture of a bear.
Poincheval is to live entombed in a body-shaped slot carved out from a limestone boulder from Feb 22. to March 1, at Paris' Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum.
He will eat stewed fruit, soups and purees stashed in cubby holes inside the stone block, which is also equipped with an air vent and items such as a log book.
The artist, who has made a name for himself living in enclosed spaces, told journalists that the best way to understand objects was not from a distance but by entering them.
In 2014, Poincheval spent 13 days living inside a hollowed-out bear sculpture, eating worms and beetles to follow a bear's diet.
Deep Ties To Fossil Fuel Interests
A batch of 7,564 pages of emails and other records from Scott Pruitt's tenure as Oklahoma attorney general - made public Wednesday morning - show that he worked with the fossil fuel industry in its efforts to roll back environmental regulations.
The documents were handed over to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) Tuesday night as a result of an Open Records Act request and lawsuit. Many liberals and environmentalists are outraged that the records were withheld until after Pruitt's confirmation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday.
CMD said a number of documents were redacted, and additional documents are still being withheld as "exempted or privileged." The attorney general's office has been ordered to hand over records related to five other CMD requests by Feb. 27, according to the watchdog organization.
CMD focused on several exchanges that appear to confirm what critics have long said about Pruitt: He was willing to use his elective office as a mouthpiece for the fossil fuel industry.
Other emails show more evidence of Pruitt's close relationship with the oil and gas production company Devon Energy. In 2014, New York Times reporter Eric Lipton exposed how Devon Energy would draft letters Pruitt would send out on his state government letterhead. A newly uncovered email shows the energy corporation helping Pruitt write a letter to the EPA about limits on methane emissions.
Rank-and-file Republicans are more concerned about leaks to the media of conversations between Trump advisers and the Russian government than they are about the conversations themselves, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released Wednesday.
The poll, conducted between Feb. 16 and Feb. 20, shows how President Donald Trump (R-Grifter) has shifted opinions within the party of Ronald Reagan, where national security has been a top issue since the Cold War, said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
"Republicans have now put a higher priority on their partisan identification and support for their current leader than principles they have had for many decades," Sabato said. "We live in such a polarized era."
Yet, while the media focused on the contacts with Russia, Trump blamed Flynn's departure on "criminal" leaks. He said Flynn was treated unfairly and that news reports of the conversations were "fake news."
Overall, 43 percent of Americans said they were most concerned about reports of the contacts with Russia. Another 39 percent said they were concerned about the leaks and 19 percent said they didn't know.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Papist Loon) promised publicly Tuesday to veto a bill that would roll back personal income tax cuts he's championed, calling the bipartisan measure for fixing the state's persistent budget problems "an assault on the pocketbooks of the middle class."
The conservative Republican governor announced his intention four days after the GOP-controlled Legislature approved the bill - and only hours after it was formally delivered to his office. The tax increases in the bill would raise more than $1 billion over two years, starting in July.
"This is bad policy for Kansas. This will hurt growth in this state. Growth is what we need," said Brownback, who made the promise to nearly 1,000 people during a speech at an annual banquet of the highly supportive Kansas Chamber of Commerce. About a third of the crowd gave him a standing ovation, cheering and applauding, while some did not clap.
The governor later issued a lengthy statement in which he called the bill's tax increases "punitive."
Kansas has struggled to balance the budget since GOP lawmakers slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback's urging.
'Like A Rock'
President Donald Trump (R-Crooked) received his lowest approval rating since he took office, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
Thirty-eight percent of voters in the latest Quinnipiac University poll said they approve of the job Trump is doing, down from a 42% approval rating in Quinnipiac's last poll on February 7.
The Quinnipiac poll shows a severe partisan split - 83% of Republicans said they approve of Trump's job performance, while 91% of Democrats disapprove.
"President Donald Trump's popularity is sinking like a rock," Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a release. "He gets slammed on honesty, empathy, level-headedness and the ability to unite. And two of his strong points, leadership and intelligence, are sinking to new lows.
"This is a terrible survey one month in," Malloy added.
Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Feb. 13-19. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.
1. "NCIS," CBS, 15.29 million.
2. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 13.51 million.
3. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 11.08 million.
4. "Bull," CBS, 10.64 million.
5. "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.35 million.
6. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 10.32 million.
7. "Blue Bloods," CBS, 10.14 million.
8. "Hawaii Five-O," CBS, 9.62 million.
9. "This is Us," NBC, 9.04 million.
10. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 8.61 million.
11. "The Great Indoors," CBS, 8.01 million.
12. "Mom," CBS, 7.87 million.
13. "Kevin Can Wait," CBS, 7.86 million.
14. "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 7.68 million.
15. "The Bachelor," ABC, 7.57 million.
16. "Criminal Minds," CBS, 7.35 million.
17. "Superior Donuts," CBS, 7.25 million.
18. "MacGyver," CBS, 7.239 million.
19. "Scorpion," CBS, 7.238 million.
20. "Man with a Plan," CBS, 7.20 million.
Disability rights activist Nick Dupree died last weekend.
Tomorrow Today would have been his 35th birthday.
Back in 2003, he told NPR: "I want a life. I just want a life. Like anyone else. Just like your life. Or anyone else's life."
He got that life.
Dupree had a severe neuromuscular disease and was living in Mobile, Ala. He was in a wheelchair and depended on a respirator to breathe. The state paid for nurses to come into his home - even take him to college classes. But that care was about to end the day he turned 21. He faced going to a nursing home, where he feared he would die.
Every state has a program that pays for care for severely disabled children to live at home, but not every state continues that care into adulthood. When Dupree was 19, he started Nick's Crusade - an online campaign to change the rules in Alabama.
Just a few days before his 21st birthday, he won. In 2008, he decided to move to New York City.
"I assisted him moving to New York, which was very, very scary for me," says Dupree's mother, Ruth Belasco. "But, I figured that his joy would outweigh my fear."
In New York, Dupree made friends. He went to museums. He could move just the tip of his thumb and his index finger. And if someone placed his hand on a computer track ball, he could draw. That's how he made online comic books that reflected his quirky humor.
Dupree created webcomics - occasionally featuring Theodore Roosevelt and zombies - that reflected his quirky humor.
Something else happened in New York, too: "It was just wonderful that he fell in love," Belasco says. "And it was a wonderful story. And it was something that he always hoped for; [he was a] very romantic young guy and he actually found someone who loved him and he loved in return."
He'd met the love of his life - Alejandra Ospina - online. Their wedding ceremony was in Central Park.
"We had vows. We had lots of people," says Ospina, who has cerebral palsy and also uses a wheelchair. "There was food. And it was very windy that day, which didn't play well with the ventilators. But it was all right."
Still, like many other people with disabilities, they didn't legally marry. If they had, their incomes would have been counted together, and Medicaid would have cut Nick's benefits.
"He lived with me in an apartment in the community for seven years and 8 months," Ospina says.
She knows exactly because that's how Nick - who wasn't supposed to live past his 21st birthday - counted time.
They separated last spring and Dupree decided to move to a hospital - the place he'd tried to avoid his whole life.
In the past 10 months, he moved between a hospital and nursing homes. He got pneumonia and bed sores.
"Each time he got sick again, it would be worse and worse and worse," Belasco says. "And his ability to withstand that just ran out."
Belasco says she wanted her son to come home to Alabama. But that wasn't easy. She already cares for his younger brother who has the same disease. She takes the night shift seven nights a week, sleeping during the day.
And then last week, Nick fell ill with sepsis and heart problems. He died at a hospital in New York City.
Nick was a regular in the BartCop chatroom a few years back.
A damn fine man and hero for our time.