Good Afternoon!

It’s just another day in upside down world. Among the strange things going on today are a bizarre terror attack made up from whole cloth by White House Mommy who seems to be losing grip on reality. Conway has been telling serious whoppers for some time.  Is the pressure to create a narrative that fits the insanity finally getting to her already slim grasp on reality?

Senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway made a statement during a TV interview Thursday that pricked the ears of fact-checkers everywhere.

She told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews:”I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. It didn’t get covered.”

First of all, Obama didn’t ban the Iraqi refugee program.

Second, there’s no such thing as the Bowling Green massacre.

Conway later clarified that she was referencing the case of two Iraqis — Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi — who lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Both were granted refugee status and entered the United States in 2009.

“On @hardball@NBCNews@MSNBC I meant to say ‘Bowling Green terrorists’ as reported here,” she said, before linking to an ABC news story on the case.

They were arrested in May 2011 on a series of terrorism charges and were sentenced two years later after pleading guilty.

The two men were never planning on committing an act of terrorism on US soil. Instead, they were trying to help get weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq. They were terrorists who should not have been allowed in the country, but they weren’t planning an attack in the United States. And they didn’t kill anyone in Bowling Green (or anywhere else in the US).

It’s amazing to me that we basically have an administration that says anything and everything and does anything it wants to without any shame. I’m not even sure any of them know how to feel shame or when it’s appropriate!

The most disturbing thing the narrative that ignores the role that young white ‘radicalized’ –and Christian–men play in acts of terrorism in this country. Abi Wilkinson–writing for the UK Guardian–explains the role of the “manosphere” and its horrible connection to misogyny, racism, and Fascist elements in the US.  It’s a straight line from this cesspool of angry white men to Bannon and his ilk.

For several years now, I’ve had a dark and fairly unusual hobby. When I’m alone and bored and the mood strikes me, I’ll open up my laptop and head for a particularly unsavoury corner of the internet.

No, not the bit you’re thinking of. Somewhere far worse. That loose network of blogs, forums, subreddits and alternative media publications colloquially known as the “manosphere”. An online subculture centred around hatred, anger and resentment of feminism specifically, and women more broadly. It’s grimly fascinating and now troubling relevant.

In modern parlance, this is part of the phenomenon known as the “alt-right”. More sympathetic commentators portray it as “a backlash to PC culture” and critics call it out as neofascism. Over the past year, it has been strange to see the disturbing internet subculture I’ve followed for so long enter the mainstream. The executive chairman of one of its most popular media outlets, Breitbart, has just been appointed Donald Trump’s chief of strategy, and their UK bureau chief was among the first Brits to have a meeting with the president-elect. Their figurehead – Milo Yiannopoulos – toured the country stumping for him during the campaign on his “Dangerous Faggot” tour. These people are now part of the political landscape.

On their forums I’ve read long, furious manifestos claiming that women are all sluts who “ride the cock carousel” and sleep with a series of “alpha males” until they reach the end of their sexual prime, at which point they seek out a “beta cuck” to settle down with for financial security. I’ve lurked silently on blogs dedicated to “pick-up artistry” as men argue that uppity, opinionated, feminist women – women like myself – need to be put in their place through “corrective rape”.

This hateful movement is so in with the White House at the moment that Milo Yiannopoulos is attending White House Press Briefings.  Just a few days ago he was the source of a series of protests that turned violent at Berkley.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the conservative provocateur and Breitbart News columnist, claims he is going to attend the White House press briefing on Friday.

“I’ll be there,” Yiannopoulos said in an email to Yahoo News.Yiannopoulos said he didn’t know whether he would get to ask White House press secretary Sean Spicer a question at the briefing. He previously attended a briefing last March.

Yiannopoulos asked former White House press secretary Josh Earnest about his belief that Facebook and Twitter are “punishing conservative and libertarian points of view.”The briefing comes at the end of a week when a speech Yiannopoulos planned to deliver at University of California, Berkeley was canceled amid violent protests. President Trump responded to the demonstrations with a tweet on Thursday morning that seemed to suggest he might pull federal funds from the university.

There have been rumors that Trump’s administration is trying to redefine law enforcement efforts to stop mass attacks in this country to just ones perpetrated by those professing faith in Islam.  This has not be confirmed yet but the Snopes site has outlined some sources where speculation as to what is meant by “News reports in February 2017 suggested that President Trump may revamp the Countering Violent Extremism program so that it focuses solely on Islamic terror threats.”  Follow this link to several articles that are worth reading including the original Reuters piece.

Very grateful no one seriously hurt in the Louvre attack …or the (completely fake) Bowling Green Massacre. Please don't make up attacks.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 3, 2017

What we do know is that we’re discussing completely made up Terror Threats and the latest which is a knife attack by a solo actor at the Louvre in Paris rather than the White Supremicist Trump Supporter than killed 6 people at a Canadian Mosque.  We have yet to hear the White House show any sympathy for those victims.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned that the attack that killed an 8 year old girl, many women, and a US soldier was rejected by the Obama administration as a no go because there wasn’t adequate intelligence.  We’re finding out more and the details aren’t pretty at all.  The Trump Team owns this mess and as BB reported yesterday, Bannon and Kushner were part of the decision. There’s also been no apology on the death of so many noncombatants. As my friend Joshua Holland put it: “Imagine a Dem launching a raid w/ inadequate prep and not even monitoring it as it went to Hell, killing a seal and women and children.”

Meanwhile, the one shock of the day is that Hair Furor has told the Israelis to knock off the settlements which is sure to make waves with Bibi, et al.  Bibi was about the only leader Trump had yet to tick off other than Vladimir Putin. That has changed with this announcement.

The White House warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President Donald Trump’s effort to forge Middle East peace, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

For the first time, the administration confirmed that Trump is committed to a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict negotiated between the parties.

I’m still trying to figure this one out.  But, I’m not relying on the Media. Only The New Yorker and Vanity Fair have pulled out of The White House Correspondents dinner.  I would hope for a rather large boycott of Nerd Prom but I’m not counting on it this year.

This year, though, the decision of whether to host a soiree pinned to the April 29 dinner is just a touch more… complicated than in the past. Although the dinner is put on by the White House Correspondents Association and is ostensibly about raising money for scholarships, some media types worry about the appearance of yukking it up with a president who has been openly hostile to the press (make that “failing piles of garbage”) and are thinking harder about their party plans.

“I can understand how the media, which host the dinner — that serves a philanthropic purpose — are struggling,” said one person at a news organization that typically hosts a WHCD-related event.

Vanity Fair and the New Yorker have pulled out of their traditional parties this year, the New York Times reported on Friday. The soirees hosted by those publications are among the most glittery celebrity draws of the weekend — the kind of confabs where you might spot Robert DeNiro chatting with John Kerry or run into Emma Watson at the bar — some dinner observers think their decision to cancel was at least in part influenced by the fact that a WHCD under a Trump administration will attract few Hollywood types. (Bloomberg News, which had co-hosted with Vanity Fair, will reportedly continue to host its afterparty.)

I’m horrified that Dodd Frank is about to be taken apart. This is the worst news to me this week. Hold on to your wallets.

Trump vows to gut Dodd-Frank, saying "The American Dream is back." For traders, bankers, CDO dealers, that is.https://t.co/fME87MSKjF

— Jesse Eisinger (@eisingerj) January 30, 2017

I’m not sure what to even say about that but expected it given how many billionaires and Goldman Sachs execs are way up there in the West Wing chain of command.  Maybe this covers it.

The last bit of sad news I have to report is this.   Feisty and wonderful Ruline Steininger the Clinton supporter from Iowa died yesterday at 103 never having seen her dream of a Hillary and Woman president.

On a cold February night last year, 102-year-old Ruline Steininger caucused for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, determined to witness history and help elect the country’s first female president.

“I’ve got a big job ahead of me … I’ve got to live,” she said at the time. “After that, OK, I can die if I want to, but I’m going to live until she’s elected.”

At this point, I just want the country to survive. I want us to survive.  I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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