Immigration Policy: Trump and Before

The Intercept podcast is always interesting, always new.  If you think you’ve heard all the arguments, you haven’t.


Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill is one of the three founding editors of The Intercept. He is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international bestselling books Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!.

Scahill’s work has sparked several congressional investigations and won some of journalism’s highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for Blackwater. Scahill is a producer and writer of the award-winning film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.



Trump, Inc., Stephanie Ruhl, Yamiche Alcindor, Mark Warren, Gina Haspel, Hummingbirds, Grey Burmese, Squirrels, the coup.

I’m having a hard time getting back to writing these days.  There is just so much information all the time, washing over me.  I am overwhelmed.  I am outraged.  I am despondent.

I read an article yesterday in which the reporter was saying that all of us keep waiting for some incident, some event to happen that we can mark as the coup (the firing of Mueller, for example).  But the coup has already happened.  We are just documenting, bearing witness, to the slide into kleptocracy.  I am no longer convinced that we will emerge from the Trump presidency with anything like a workable democracy.  There is too much at stake for the Republicans, the Trump, Inc. people and the Russians to allow themselves to lose.  And they have already demonstrated that they are willing to do anything, anything, to win.  And, the forces against them are too weak, too compromised, too ambitious to make careers and money off the proceeds, too mannered, too deluded about how the institutions (or Bob Mueller) are going to save us.  Everyone keeps asking why the Republicans enable this.  It’s easy.  The Republicans are up to their eyeballs in Russian or dirty money.  They can’t afford to stand up to Trump, Inc. because they are completely owned subsidiaries of Trump, Inc.  They are not cowards.  They are part of the scam.

These are just a few of the things that are pissing me off today:

-Stephanie Ruhl and Ali Velshi (MSNBC) posing in a gushing, hugging photograph with Sarah Huckleberry Sanders at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

-Ali Velshi posting in response to the criticism for the photo that they had also posed with Kathy Griffin.  The fact that he thinks this makes everything alright just demonstrates that they don’t get it.

-Mark Warren for voting to confirm the torture Queen Gina Haspel.  I phoned his Senate office and told them I felt betrayed, heartsick and furious.

-Michael Cohen and his lifetime of sleaze.  You must listen to Trump, Inc. a podcast that details Cohen’s career of sleazy behavior.  Almost everybody he’s ever worked with has been disbarred, arrested, had their medical license taken away.  His whole career has been working with people who were con artists.  Natural he would land up with Trump.

-Jennifer Rubin for arguing that Nikki Haley and Salley Yates should run for president on the same ticket.  Nikki Haley just walked out on the Palestinian ambassador when he started speaking at the UN.

-People who think that voting for women is the answer to all our problems.  I lived in Scotland during the reign of Margaret Thatcher.  Tell me about how naive that is.

-Yamiche Alcindor for asking Bernie Sanders if he wasn’t a sexist for running against Hillary Clinton.  And she has made a career off it when I’ve never heard her say anything that was remotely interesting.

The Things that are keeping me Sane.

-The ruby-throated hummingbird who comes to my bedroom window feeder now at least ten times a day.

-My mouse-gray Burmese cat, Little Neal, who sleeps in my arms, watches hours of news every day with me, makes me take a walk with him by pulling my glasses off my head with his teeth, hates taking his potassium medicine but doesn’t run (which he could) and takes it anyway, who has loved me and been my constant companion for the better part of twenty years.

-J.P. Morgan, the new feral cat (or at least we think he’s feral, or sort of).  He comes around every few days, but we can’t find his parents.  He’s too fat to be homeless.  This guy has never met a stranger, including the guy who delivered rocks the other day.

-The sunshine filtering through the Spanish moss in our back yard.

-The three tiny squirrels who have made our upstairs deck their feeding station three times a day and who sit on the back of the outside sofa and look at me while I’m reading or writing or cursing at Trump, Inc.





The Trump Cult

trump 4

In a HuffPost/YouGov poll taken just after the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, 8%, just 8% of the supporters of Trump believed that he had been guilty of sexual assault even though the Access Hollywood tape had already been released.

There’s a reason why evangelicals flock to Trump.


History Extra Podcast

The History Extra Podcast is made by the BBC.  

500 Years of medicine

Were the Suffragettes terrorists?

1983: The Cold War almost goes nuclear

Africa’s Contested past

Shakespeare’s Greatest Actor

The Vietnam War on Film

Medieval mystics


If you haven’t got the podcast habit yet, this is a great place to start.  Listen in the car, while exercising and most importantly when you can’t sleep.


Women and the Death Penalty: Ruth Ellis

ruth ellis and david vlakely   Ruth Ellis was the last woman hung in Britain.  Ellis, beaten cruelly by her lover, David Blakely,on several occasions, was beaten so badly that she miscarried a few weeks before the killed Blakely.  She was condemned to death in less than 15 minutes.  Ellis was not only a successful model and business woman, she refused to adopt a  penitent pose in Court.   Statistically, she is the kind of woman who still gets the death penalty – unrepentant and challenging conventional female stereotypes.  Class was a salient issue in the trial.  Ellis was a lower class single woman who was having an affair with a wealthy man.  She was seen as a social climber who expected to marry a wealthy man above her station. 

Se was the last woman hung in Britain.


   ruth ellie and man

“The Ruth Ellis Files” can be seen on BBC.  And there is an article about her in the BBC History Magazine.