Senate confirms Trump's pick Gina Haspel to lead CIA. Here are the 6 Democrats who voted 'yes' for torture.

What's a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump's pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush.

Her role in destroying the CIA's damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her the perfect spy boss for Trump, the President for whom force, secrecy, and lies are solutions to every problem. Read the rest

NEWS: Senate votes to reinstate Net Neutrality protections

The US Senate has just voted in favor of REVERSING the #NetNeutrality rollback which Trump FCC chairman, Ajit Pai put in place. This is a major win for the internet, Net Neutrality, and the American people. Read the rest

Maryland has banned "gay conversion therapy" for minors

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law protecting minors from "gay conversion therapy," a bullshit, discredited, harmful "method" of trying to psychologically change a person's sexual orientation. The new law prohibits health "professionals" from practicing the "treatment."

"I think it's fantastic, because it will save the lives of young people in our state," said bill sponsor Sen. Richard Madaleno (D).

From CBS News:

Mathew Shurka, an activist who has campaigned for the measure and experienced conversion therapy for five years between the ages of 16 and 21, said the new law marks another step toward ending the practice.

"We know 700,000 people in the United States have been through conversion therapy, and 78,000 teenagers will go through it in the next five years, and this is getting us closer to zero," Shurka said.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington also have laws on the books, as well as the District of Columbia. New Hampshire and Hawaii recently passed similar measures that have gone to the governor in those states.

Read the rest

White House official on John McCain's objection to torturer Gina Haspel leading CIA: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

John McCain's objection to Gina Haspel's appointment to lead the CIA is easily understood: he was tortured in Vietnam, whereas Haspel supervised torture at the CIA. Many conservatives have often held him with a certain contempt for being a prisoner of war, partially because they think torture is effective (cf. the Manchurian candidate) and partially just because they hate victims who share their experiences. Trump's mockery of him over it was not a blurted-out accident, but rather a vulgar fingers-in-mouth earsplitting humanwhistle to the right. And so here we are, with White House official Kelly Sadler's opinion of him.

Special assistant Kelly Sadler made the derisive comments during a closed-door White House meeting of about two-dozen communications staffers on Thursday morning.

“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said, according to a source familiar with the remarks at the meeting.

The White House did not deny the account of Sadler’s remarks, which came amid a discussion of Haspel’s nomination and McCain’s opposition to it. ...

Sadler is a former opinion editor for The Washington Times. At the White House, she focuses on illegal immigration, often sending out press releases to highlight stories about the issue to reporters.

This sort of jocular disgust, plugged into the place where most people have a sense of humor, is a totalitarian thing.

Previously: CIA & Army veteran has the best response to Gina Haspel confirmation obfuscation

Photo: White House Begins Christmas Season With Ceremonial Lighting Of Cross [The Onion] Read the rest

Trump pulls U.S. out of Iran nuclear deal

“I am announcing that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” President Donald Trump announced to a room of reporters at the White House today. Read the rest

Donald Trump is a pathogen evolved to thrive in an attention-maximization ecosystem

My latest Locus column is The Engagement-Maximization Presidency, and it proposes a theory to explain the political phenomenon of Donald Trump: we live in a world in which communications platforms amplify anything that gets "engagement" and provides feedback on just how much your message has been amplified so you can tune and re-tune for maximum amplification. Read the rest

Top Republican Senate candidate wants Jews removed from America

Republican Patrick Little doesn't stand much of a chance in California's Senate race this fall: he's up against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and his own party denounced him. Nonetheless, as the state's top-polling Republican candidate, his hatred for the Jews says much about the GOP's future.

In an interview with Newsweek on Monday, Little reportedly said he admired Adolf Hitler and said that, if he were more religious, he would view Hitler as “the second coming of Christ.”

Little also denied that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Little topped other Republican candidates in a poll released late last month, with 18 percent support of the vote. Feinstein received 39 percent, coming in first in the poll.

Note: this is a different Republican Nazi candidate to the one in Illinois. Read the rest

Conservative protestor unable to tear up anti-fascist sign

As posted to YouTube by Nate Gowdy, this gentleman appropriates a counter-protestor's sign and makes strenuous efforts to rip it up. But it's a fancy thick one and he lacks the strength or technique to do the job. Watching him wither under the sarcastic commentary and recording cameras of nearby libs will never not be funny.

You've worked so hard, you're so close," a woman filming the painful failure is heard saying. "You've been doing a lot of arm work at the gym, right? You know, this is a very educated city, there are a lot of engineers in this city… you can get a lot of help."

He's definely not mad online about his experience, too.

And to think he'd spent so much time building up the strength that failed him! [via emotional support turtle]

Antifa was indeed watching. Read the rest

How to do smokey eye as well as Sarah Huckabee Sanders

After Michelle Wolf made fun of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the courtiers of the White House press corps, there was much anguish and gnashing of teeth. Beyond a heightened awareness of how servile and sad the American political press is, though, not much good's come out of it. The best is surely Laura Hudson's (previously) guide to doing Smokey Eye makeup, an art that Sanders is as accomplished at as she is at lying.

This may come as a surprise, but it does not mean that Sanders applied eyeshadow to herself like a 19th century chimney sweep rubbing her eyes. A smoky eye is a complex, elegant makeup technique that is difficult to execute well without copious practice, and saying that someone nailed it is no small compliment. Fortunately for the uninitiated, there are many, many YouTube tutorials from beauty experts that can help explain it in more detail! After reviewing a few of my favorites, I’ve put together a quick guide on how to achieve the classic look that Sanders so often wears to press briefings

Read the rest

John Kelly calls Trump an idiot, mocks his ignorance

Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to have referred to President Trump as an idiot. Accurate. Read the rest

Stormy Daniels sues Donald Trump for defamation

Stormy Daniels has filed a lawsuit against US President Donald Trump for his defamatory comments on Twitter. Read the rest

Trump: Singapore and DMZ possible sites for North Korea Summit with Kim Jong-Un

In a White House press briefing with Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari at his side, U.S. President Donald Trump said he believes a summit with North Korean president Kim Jong-Un will happen, and that Singapore and the Korean DMZ are possible sites for the historic summit. Read the rest

Senate confirms Paul Nakasone to head NSA and U.S. Cyber Command

The U.S. Senate today confirmed President Donald Trump’s selection to lead the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Paul Nakasone will replace Mike Rogers, who is retiring. Read the rest

Paul Manafort was interviewed twice by FBI years before he joined Trump's political campaign

The FBI interviewed Paul Manafort two times when he worked as a consultant for a political party in Ukraine aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in March 2013 and July 2014--that's long before Manafort teamed up with Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Read the rest

"But slavery was so long ago"

Originally commissioned as a wrist tattoo, the simple and powerful chart showing how recent black freedom is in America is now also a t-shirt.

"...but slavery was sooo long ago."

We've heard this quote over and over throughout the course of modern American history. In an attempt to urge black people to "move on" and to recognize just how good they have it in America, this dismissive and tone deaf statement attempts to transform relatively recent history into ancient history or myth.

However, when looking at this graphic, it is very clear that American slavery and segregation was not so long ago. In fact, it is very possible to have conversations with many African Americans who have vivid memories of Jim Crow South and the racist and subversive practices in the North.

I like this black and white version:

Read the rest

FBI, DHS, and UK cyber agency warn of Russia internet attack that targets routers

The United States and Britain today accused Russia of launching a new wave of internet-based attacks targeting routers, firewalls and other computer networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators around the globe. Read the rest

Sean Hannity revealed as Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's client number 3

In New York today, a judge ordered Michael Cohen to reveal the name of a third client, someone who didn't want to be named. It's Sean Hannity. Read the rest

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