Sunday, March 17, 2019

Last Call For Fox's Pirro-ette

Anyone who thinks the "lover's quarrel" between FOX News and Donald Trump over the future of host Jeanine Pirro's show is real probably believes that pro wrestling is completely spontaneous, too.  It's 100% kayfabe.

Jeanine Pirro, whose show did not air on Saturday night, was suspended by Fox News after her widely criticized commentary doubting Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's patriotism, according a source familiar with the matter. 
Fox did not announce the suspension publicly. The network declined to confirm or deny that Pirro has been suspended. There is no word on whether Pirro's show will return next week. 
At the same time, there is no indication that she has been fired from Fox. The source said she has not been fired. 
Pirro is one of the network's highest-rated weekend hosts, well known for her vehement defenses of President Donald Trump and attacks against his perceived enemies. 
On Sunday morning the president returned the favor, tweeting, "Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well." 
Last Saturday night Pirro questioned whether Omar's Islamic religious beliefs stand in opposition to the US Constitution, prompting Fox to say "we strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro's comments." 
The network said at the time that the views Pirro expressed "do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly" — but declined to say if she was being sanctioned in any way. 
Several advertisers subsequently distanced themselves from Pirro's weekly show, called "Justice." 
The show did not appear on this weekend's cable schedule guide. In its place was an unusual repeat of a documentary series. 
Pirro has not said anything about taking a vacation. She hasn't tweeted since last weekend.

All this is scripted, Trump is happy to play his part, FOX News will most likely have her back next weekend, and her ratings will be way up...allowing the network to charge more for advertisers who will quietly come back.  This is such an obvious rope-a-dope that it should be sickening, and the real reason is to make sure Tucker Carlson keeps his White Power Hour.

Trump needs FOX, and FOX needs Trump. It's an incestuous relationship that is destroying the country.  When Trump really gets into trouble after the Mueller report lands and the NY state and SDNY cases close in on him and his family, it's FOX that be the loudest voice to broadcast armed insurrection to "protect" the Trumps.

And then it stops being kayfabe, and starts being bloody.

Climate Of Destruction, Con't

Meanwhile record spring flooding in the Midwest from Nebraska to Wisconsin will only get this worse this week as rivers rise from snowpack melt courtesy of last week's epic "bomb cyclone" March blizzard.

Several areas in the Midwest experienced record flooding this past week, with high water on Saturday causing more levee breaches on the Missouri River, prompting widespread evacuations and isolating neighborhoods and towns.

Record-high river levels were reported in at least 38 locations in the Midwest, particularly in Nebraska and Iowa, said Jonathan Erdman, a senior meteorologist with weather.com. Heavy flooding was also reported in Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota, and the National Weather Service said it would continue past the weekend.

At least one man was confirmed dead in Columbus, Neb. The Omaha World-Herald reported that the man had been trying to help someone stranded by floodwaters on Thursday when a bridge collapsed as he was crossing it. Officials in Fremont County, Iowa, confirmed another flood-related death on Saturday.

The devastation was captured in dramatic photographs circulated on social media by those who surveyed the damage. Senator Ben Sasse and Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska showed how floodwaters from the Niobrara River in the northern part of the state had ripped through a dam on Thursday, releasing a torrent of water and depositing huge chunks of ice onto fields and roadways.

They shared photos of water rushing over riverbanks and encircling homes and neighborhoods.

Floodwaters had surrounded the town of Fremont, Neb., about 40 miles northwest of Omaha, said Councilwoman Linda McClain. The town sits between the Platte River to the south and the Elkhorn River to the north. Both rivers had overflowed their banks, Ms. McClain said

“We’re like an island,” she said. “You cannot get in or out.”

Ms. McClain said she spent Saturday visiting shelters where people who had been displaced were congregating. About 75 people had been reluctant to leave their homes, but as the buildings took on water, they were rescued by airboats and taken to the shelters, she said. Many homes were flooded by as much as three or four feet of water.

Parts of the city had been under a mandatory evacuation.

“Right now, we’re in crisis mode,” she said.

It will only get worse this week as more snow melts and rivers crest across the plains states, and climate change will continue to play a major part in why this is happening.  Now and in the future, what would have been historic 50- and 100-year flooding events are now happening every five or ten years instead.

We don't have the infrastructure in place to deal with it, and we won't build it as long as Republicans control our government that simply refuse to believe this is happening.

Thoughts and prayers should be enough to fix those levees, right?

Sunday Long Read: The Dark History Of White Supremacy

Adam Serwer explores how The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has also been a beacon for white supremacy in other countries, and much of the history of white supremacy and "racial purity" comes from an American author from 100 years ago named Madison Grant.

Robert Bowers wanted everyone to know why he did it.

I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he posted on the social-media network Gab shortly before allegedly entering the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27 and gunning down 11 worshippers. He “wanted all Jews to die,” he declared while he was being treated for his wounds. Invoking the specter of white Americans facing “genocide,” he singled out HIAS, a Jewish American refugee-support group, and accused it of bringing “invaders in that kill our people.” Then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announcing that Bowers would face federal charges, was unequivocal in his condemnation: “These alleged crimes are incomprehensibly evil and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation.”

The pogrom in Pittsburgh, occurring just days before the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, seemed fundamentally un-American to many. Sessions’s denunciation spoke to the reality that most Jews have found a welcome home in the United States. His message also echoed what has become an insistent refrain in the Donald Trump era. Americans want to believe that the surge in white-supremacist violence and recruitment—the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis chanted “Jews will not replace us”; the hate crimes whose perpetrators invoke the president’s name as a battle cry—has no roots in U.S. soil, that it is racist zealotry with a foreign pedigree and marginal allure.

Warnings from conservative pundits on Fox News about the existential threat facing a country overrun by immigrants meet with a similar response. “Massive demographic changes,” Laura Ingraham has proclaimed, mean that “the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore” in much of the country: Surely this kind of rhetoric reflects mere ignorance. Or it’s just a symptom of partisan anxiety about what those changes may portend for Republicans’ electoral prospects. As for the views and utterances of someone like Congressman Steve King (“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”), such sentiments are treated as outlandish extremism, best ignored as much as possible.

The concept of “white genocide”—extinction under an onslaught of genetically or culturally inferior nonwhite interlopers—may indeed seem like a fringe conspiracy theory with an alien lineage, the province of neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers. In popular memory, it’s a vestige of a racist ideology that the Greatest Generation did its best to scour from the Earth. History, though, tells a different story. King’s recent question, posed in a New York Times interview, may be appalling: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” But it is apt. “That language” has an American past in need of excavation. Without such an effort, we may fail to appreciate the tenacity of the dogma it expresses, and the difficulty of eradicating it. The president’s rhetoric about “shithole countries” and “invasion” by immigrants invites dismissal as crude talk, but behind it lie ideas whose power should not be underestimated.

The seed of Nazism’s ultimate objective—the preservation of a pure white race, uncontaminated by foreign blood—was in fact sown with striking success in the United States. What is judged extremist today was once the consensus of a powerful cadre of the American elite, well-connected men who eagerly seized on a false doctrine of “race suicide” during the immigration scare of the early 20th century. They included wealthy patricians, intellectuals, lawmakers, even several presidents. Perhaps the most important among them was a blue blood with a very impressive mustache, Madison Grant. He was the author of a 1916 book called The Passing of the Great Race, which spread the doctrine of race purity all over the globe.

Grant’s purportedly scientific argument that the exalted “Nordic” race that had founded America was in peril, and all of modern society’s accomplishments along with it, helped catalyze nativist legislators in Congress to pass comprehensive restrictionist immigration policies in the early 1920s. His book went on to become Adolf Hitler’s “bible,” as the f├╝hrer wrote to tell him. Grant’s doctrine has since been rejuvenated and rebranded by his ideological descendants as “white genocide” (the term genocide hadn’t yet been coined in Grant’s day). In an introduction to the 2013 edition of another of Grant’s works, the white nationalist Richard Spencer warns that “one possible outcome of the ongoing demographic transformation is a thoroughly miscegenated, and thus homogeneous and ‘assimilated,’ nation, which would have little resemblance to the White America that came before it.” This language is vintage Grant.

Most Americans, however, quickly forgot who Grant was—but not because the country had grappled with his vision’s dangerous appeal and implications. Reflexive recoil was more like it: When Nazism reflected back that vision in grotesque form, wartime denial set in. Jonathan Peter Spiro, a historian and the author of Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant (2009), described the backlash to me this way: “Even though the Germans had been directly influenced by Madison Grant and the American eugenics movement, when we fought Germany, because Germany was racist, racism became unacceptable in America. Our enemy was racist; therefore we adopted antiracism as our creed.” Ever since, a strange kind of historical amnesia has obscured the American lineage of this white-nationalist ideology.

Madison grant came from old money. Born in Manhattan seven months after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, he attended Yale and then Columbia Law School. He was an outdoorsman and a conservationist, knowledgeable about wildlife and interested in the dangers of extinction, expertise that he soon became intent on applying to humanity. When he opened a law practice on Wall Street in the early 1890s, the wave of immigration from southern and eastern Europe was nearing its height. “As he was jostled by Greek ragpickers, Armenian bootblacks, and Jewish carp vendors, it was distressingly obvious to him that the new arrivals did not know this nation’s history or understand its republican form of government,” Spiro writes in his biography.

We've been here before.

A century ago, we had leaders and wealthy elite and even presidents who said "there are many fine people on both sides" of the debate over racial purity.   It took a German politician of Austrian nationality putting Madison Grant's ideas into practice before we fought against it.

But here we are again.
 

Berlusconi's Bunga-Bunga Becomes Bloody Brutal

Italian police are now treating the hospital death of one of the main witnesses against former Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi in his corruption and bribery trial as a deliberate radioactive material poisoning homicide investigation.

Italy prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties. 
Imane Fadil, 34, died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning,” Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. 
In 2012, Fadil had told reporters that she feared for her safety after telling prosecutors investigating possible witness tampering in the case that she was offered money in exchange for her silence about what went on at Berlusconi’s parties. 
Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman at the sex-fueled “bunga bunga” parties, and used his influence to cover it up. He was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015. 
Asked Saturday to comment, Berlusconi said he was always sorry when a young person dies. 
But he added: “I’ve never known this person and never spoke to her. What I read were her declarations that made me always think these were always invented and absurd things.” 
Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence. That trial is ongoing. 
Fadil, who had reportedly wanted to be a television sportscaster, argued that she had suffered from lost opportunities because of her involvement in the cases. 
Late last year, lawyers for one of Berlusconi’s co-defendants in the witness tampering trial began negotiations to settle the women’s claims, ANSA reported at the time. But by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether. Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized. 
News reports said before Fadil slipped out of consciousness she told her lawyer and family that she feared she had been poisoned. 
ANSA quoted Greco as lamenting that the Humanitas hospital in Rozzano didn’t report Fadil’s complaints or symptoms, which he said were consistent with poisoning while she was being treated. He said prosecutors were only informed of the death when Fadil’s lawyer reported it. 
In a statement reported by ANSA, Humanitas disputed that, saying that Fadil’s medical charts were seized by law enforcement as soon as she died. It said it provided the results of her toxicological exams to prosecutors when they were completed on March 6.

Regardless of the poisoning charge, a major witness against an extremely corrupt former PM is now dead, that's not in dispute.  If Italian prosecutors were supposed to protect her, they failed. In a kinder timeline, I'd think that US intelligence may have some clue as to what really happened, and a President Hillary Clinton would be making more than a few phone calls to make it clear what the international community expected here.

Sadly, in this timeline I believe our intelligence services might be the ones giving Bunga Bunga Berlusconi tips on how to get away with poisoning your foes, since our good friend Vladimir Putin runs them anyway.

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