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Don midwest
Don midwest

Juan Cole clarifies propaganda use of Islam extremism

I didn’t know that term “religion” came from Islam

Islam prohibits terrorism so it is a contradiction to use Islamic terrorism phrase

And more

Is Trump right to doubt that Islam is a Religion?


Don: I read that religion comes from an ancient Greek word relio. It simply means to believe. Word history is fascinating. You see that English is a ‘heinz57’ language. 🙂 T and R to the usual suspects!!



A wide slew of Environmental Protection Agency programs could be under the knife to meet President Donald Trump’s budget proposal requirements, a source told CNN Wednesday night.

The source spelled out details of an Office of Management and Budget proposal that would cut the EPA’s budget by 24% and reduce its staffing by 20%. Some of the EPA’s most longstanding and best-known programs are facing potential elimination — including initiatives aimed at improving water and air quality as well as a number of regulations tasked with reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

John Coequyt, a campaign director of the progressive environmental group Sierra Club, called the plan ludicrous and said the administration wouldn’t be able to get signoff on these cuts from the legislative side. He also argued that zeroing out the Environmental Justice program, which focuses on fair protection from environmental and health hazards for people of all races and incomes, has racial motivations.

“To cut the Environmental Justice program at EPA is just racist,” he said. “I can’t imagine it’s an office that runs up much cost. I can’t describe it in any other terms than a move to leave those communities behind. I can’t imagine what the justification would be, other than racism.”

The sizable cuts won’t play well around the country, he added.

“States and Congress won’t go for this. They are proposing cutting programs that are connected to jobs in states and programs that address environmen
tal issues,” Coequyt said.



A law professor who served as the White House ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions over reports that he lied to Congress about his communications with Russia.

According to the The Washington Post, Sessions spoke to the Russian ambassador twice last year and did not mention the conversations in his confirmation hearings.

If the report is true, it’s “a good way to go to jail,” said Richard Painter, who served as White House ethics lawyer between 2005 and 2007 and is now law professor for the University of Minnesota.

Sessions is far from the only Trump official to be accused of improper contact with the Russian government. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned last month following reports that he spoke to the Russian ambassador about sanctions before Trump took office. Other current and former Trump staffers accused of similar ethics violations include personal lawyer Michael Cohen, former campaign chief Paul Manafort and former adviser Roger Stone.


Whiplash here–just yesterday Cillizza was gushing over Trump’s speech


That’s going to become an untenable position for Republicans — starting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — in light of this new information about Sessions. Not only is there a very serious question about whether Sessions misled — purposely or accidentally — his colleagues while under oath, but this is only the latest incident involving unanswered questions about the ties among Trump, his top advisers and Russia.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn lost his job last month after lying to Vice President Pence — and lots of other people — about the nature of his conversations with Kisylak. Trump has repeatedly refused to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin while insisting that stories about his ties to Russia are “fake news.”

In short: Where there’s smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke, most reasonable people will assume there is fire — or that there should be an independent investigation to determine whether there is fire. Arguing that “there’s nothing to see here” is simply not a tenable position for Republicans at this point.

I suspect lots of Republicans will follow Graham’s lead over the next 24 or 48 hours. The details here — particularly given the Flynn resignation — almost certainly will force an act of political triage from GOPers. They need to find a way to wall themselves off from what, with each passing day, is becoming more and more toxic. Otherwise, the spillage could leak all over them.


What a bunch of disgusting, white, backwards, mostly male + Betsy, wrinkled, biped vomit!!!! Starts with dimwitted tRump and just keeps on going. Sorta like a toxic Energizer Bunny!


Jimmy Dore takes Chris Hayes to the Woodshed concerning the Susan Sarandon interview!

Chris is following in the footsteps of Rachel. So Sad!

This is the second part and I certainly ENJOYED IT!


I love Jimmy Dore. I would love to get paid to rant like that. He makes me laugh and that’s important nowadays, eh?



But those fears did not stop Vargas from speaking out at a news conference Wednesday at Jackson City Hall, alongside immigrant rights advocates.

“Today my father and brother await deportation, she said, “while I continue to fight this battle as a dreamer to help contribute to this country which I feel that is very much my country.”

After leaving the news conference with her friend, two law enforcement cars pulled her over. ICE agents reportedly opened the car door, telling Vargas, “you know who we are and you know why we’re here,” her friend, Jordan Sanders, told Univision. Then, they handcuffed her and took her into custody.

Vargas’s detention shocked and angered immigrant rights advocates, who feared ICE officials may have retaliated against her for speaking publicly about her case. It also heightened existing anxieties that “dreamers” registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama could now be targeted for deportation.

On the morning they were taken into custody, Feb. 15, Vargas’s father had just given her a kiss goodbye before leaving for work, Vargas told the Jackson Free Press. He came back inside a few moments later, waking her with the words, “Dany, immigration is here.”

“During that time, I couldn’t even breathe, honestly,” she told the Clarion-Ledger. “I just watched them handcuff my dad and take them. I was scared for my life. I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything. I called my mom and I just let out a cry. I didn’t even get to see my brother leave.”

She locked her door and hid in her bedroom closet for hours, until the agents knocked down her door, entering with a search warrant, guns raised. The authorities found a handgun the family kept for protection, she told the Clarion-Ledger. Under federal law, possession of a firearm by an undocumented person is a felony.

It is unclear why ICE declined to arrest her on that day. But after the detention of her father and brother, she told the Clarion Ledger she was “terrified.”


Of course she was terrified. That’s the idea. Terrorize all the undocumented people into leaving. Terrorize anyone contemplating coming here. Seal the borders. Antagonize everyone, everywhere, so that Americans are not welcome anywhere. Seal us all off. I lived for many years next door to Erich Honecker’s German Democratic Republic. The parallels are there for those who have eyes to see.


Chris Christie is still free as a bird.

Not so much his underlings.


A federal judge rejected a request for a new trial by two former associates of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who were convicted for their roles in the “Bridgegate” lane closure scandal.

The decision late Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton clears the way for the two defendants to be sentenced on March 15.

Bridget Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff under the Republican governor, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were convicted in November of orchestrating the shutdown of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.

U.S. prosecutors said the resulting gridlock in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was intended to punish the town’s Democratic mayor for declining to back Christie’s re-election campaign.

Christie has not been charged in the case and has denied any knowledge of the plan. But Kelly and another conspirator, former Port Authority official David Wildstein, both testified that Christie was aware of the lane closures before they occurred.


Are Trump’s actions having a boomerang effect?


The European Parliament called on the EU executive on Thursday to force Americans to apply for visas before visiting Europe this summer, stepping up pressure to resolve a long-running transatlantic dispute on the issue.

The European Commission stressed it was pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the row, leaving it unlikely that it would act on the vote by lawmakers setting a May deadline to impose visas – a move that could hurt Europe’s tourism sector.

Washington refuses to grant visa-free access to people from four east European states and Cyprus, while those from the other 23 member states can enter using the U.S. visa waiver program. EU rules call for equal treatment for all Union citizens.

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