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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
January 15, 2021

Michigan: Washtenaw County will no longer prosecute consensual sex work

(Detroit Free Press) Washtenaw County's new prosecutor says his office will no longer pursue charges against adults who engage in consensual sex work, a move that national advocates praised as a win for marginalized people.

The policy directive that Prosecutor Eli Savit issued Thursday applies to both people who sell sex and those who solicit it.

Savit's policy cites research showing that criminalization forces sex workers to operate in a black market and in isolated areas, exposing them to violence and exploitation. The threat of prosecution makes sex workers and survivors of trafficking less likely to report crimes, he said.

"As with other prohibitionist policies, the criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work-adjacent harm," Savit said in an announcement on the prosecutor's office website. "Forcing sex workers to operate in the shadows increases their susceptibility to physical assault, sexual assault and trafficking." ............(more)


January 15, 2021

Marjorie Taylor Greene is my new favorite person to troll on Twitter.

Sweet Jesus what a whackjob! ..... She makes Sarah Palin seem like a Rhodes Scholar and Michele Bachmann seem sane.

January 15, 2021

Decency. Genuine empathy. An actual plan. .... Hell, complete sentences.

After the last four years that requires a bit of readjustment.

January 14, 2021

The End Of The Pussy-Grabbing President

The End Of The Pussy-Grabbing President
From start to finish, one of the defining themes of Donald Trump’s presidency was his profound anxiety about masculinity.

By Emma Gray and Emily Peck
01/14/2021 05:45 am ET

(HuffPost) It began with “pussy,” and it will end with “pussy.”

Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of mainly female protesters peacefully descended on Washington, D.C., to register their opposition to the president of the United States. They wore pink “pussy” hats. They carried signs with slogans like “Pussy Grabs Back.”

Last Wednesday, another angry group arrived in D.C., egged on by that same president.

Earlier that day, the vice president had received a phone call from President Donald Trump. According to The New York Times, the president had called to forcefully push Pence to overturn the results of a democratic election. During that Jan. 6 phone call, Trump reportedly set up a binary choice for his deputy. “You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Trump told him, according to the Times’ report, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”


A misogynist in chief, fighting back against the perceived threat of a world populated by increasingly powerful women ― like Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi ― was incredibly appealing to the aggrieved white men we saw Wednesday rampaging through the Capitol. .........(more)


January 14, 2021

"We're all on high alert': Delta to ban checked firearms, increase security on flights to DC

Starting this weekend, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said the airline will ban passengers traveling to Washington, D.C., from checking firearms as part of increased security measures ahead of the inauguration. .......(more)


January 14, 2021

Accused Whitmer kidnap plotter says God gave permission to kill

(Detroit News) An accused bombmaker identified as a ringleader of a plot to kidnap and harm Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claimed he had permission from God to commit murder and was the national leader of a militia group that rioted at the U.S. Capitol last week, an FBI agent said Wednesday.

The new details emerged as the accused ringleader, Barry Croft, 45, of Bear, Delaware, pleaded not guilty and was denied bond during a hearing in federal court in Grand Rapids. The hearing marked Croft’s first appearance in a Michigan courtroom since being charged alongside five others in October in a case that has focused national attention on violent extremism in Michigan.

Croft is the national leader of the 3 Percenters, a small militia that participated in the Jan. 6 insurgence at the U.S. Capitol, FBI Special Agent Richard Trask said during the hearing, which featured undercover audio and video recorded by FBI informants. At one point Wednesday, Croft was asked to stand and display the 3 Percenters tattoo on his hand.

Prosecutors used those ties while arguing Croft was dangerous, a flight risk and should remain jailed amid warnings from the FBI about potential armed protests by violent extremists at all 50 state capitols ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor has asked Whitmer to activate the National Guard. .............(more)


January 14, 2021

'No one took us seriously': Black cops warned about racist Capitol police officers for years

When Kim Dine took over as the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in 2012, he knew he had a serious problem.

Since 2001, hundreds of Black officers had sued the department for racial discrimination. They alleged that white officers called Black colleagues slurs like the N-word and that one officer found a hangman's noose on his locker. White officers were called “huk lovers" or “FOGs" — short for “friends of gangsters" — if they were friendly with their Black colleagues. Black officers faced “unprovoked traffic stops" from fellow Capitol Police officers. One Black officer claimed he heard a colleague say, “Obama monkey, go back to Africa."

In case after case, agency lawyers denied wrongdoing. But in an interview, Dine said it was clear he had to address the department's charged racial climate. He said he promoted a Black officer to assistant chief, a first for the agency, and tried to increase diversity by changing the force's hiring practices. He also said he hired a Black woman to lead a diversity office and created a new disciplinary body within the department, promoting a Black woman to lead it.

“There is a problem with racism in this country, in pretty much every establishment that exists," said Dine, who left the agency in 2016. “You can always do more in retrospect." .................(more)


January 14, 2021

The GOP was sowing seeds of fascism and violence long before Trump

The GOP was sowing seeds of fascism and violence long before Trump
If you think that these violent elements of Trump’s base will leave with him, you haven’t been paying attention.

Jan. 13, 2021, 11:49 AM EST
By Dean Obeidallah, MSNBC Opinion Columnist

"Fascism" is a word we tend to throw around often, and often with little regard to its true definition. But in the case of President Donald Trump and for parts of the GOP, it applies not hyperbolically, but accurately.

At its essence, fascism — while exhibiting other characteristics, such as attacking democratic institutions and stirring up anger — employs undemocratic methods, especially violence, to acquire and retain power. At the moment, an American fascist movement that uses violence to acquire and hold on to power is no longer a hypothetical; it is already underway.

This is why the siege of our nation's Capitol by Trump supporters to prevent the congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory cannot be dismissed as a one-off. These events are just a show of coming attractions.


First, experts have documented that the Republican Party in recent years has increasingly rejected democratic norms and embraced autocratic tactics to wield power. An October study by V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden warned that the GOP had already been moving in that direction pre-Trump, but it said that under Trump, with "the disrespect of political opponents" and "the encouragement of violence," the GOP now more closely resembles authoritarian ruling parties like Hungary's Fidesz and Turkey's AKP. ................(more)


January 14, 2021

Las Vegas, the hardest-hit metro economy in America, just suffered another blow

(CNN Business) In the run-up to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, Gina Muoio was pulling 60-to-80-hour weeks at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Muoio worked as an event coordinator for a third-party electrical vendor and carefully choreographed the power needs for exhibitors, presenters and attendees at trade shows held in the massive hall.

"There are very long days, and you're on your feet the entire time," said Muoio, 39. "Sometimes you don't even have time to eat."

During a typical January, the presence of CES in and around Las Vegas is unmistakable. Hotel prices skyrocket, restaurants and clubs are packed, and workers like Muoio log extra hours to ensure everything goes on without a hitch for the major money-making show and related events. Last year, the 170,000 CES attendees were estimated to have generated $169 million in direct spending and a broader economic impact of $291.2 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

During this atypical January, however, that flurry of activity, that money and that work is gone. CES 2021 is an all-digital affair. ..............(more)


January 14, 2021

Isolated & broke: Where will Trump turn?

(Salon) It's an amazing turn of events that one year ago today we were on the cusp of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate and today the House of Representatives is poised to do it again. They will pass another Article of Impeachment against Donald Trump — this time with a bipartisan vote — for the crime of inciting an insurrection. That will make Donald Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.

Nobody expects more than a handful of Republicans to sign on, despite the clear evidence we've all seen, but there will be a few which is more than we had the last time. The fact that a losing incumbent president would have done something so heinous that he would be impeached a week before he was set to leave office is something none of us could have imagined. During the first impeachment trial, we were told by Republicans that the president had done nothing wrong but even if he did we were so close to an election that we should let the people decide. Well, they decided. And we all know what happened next. There have been two months of non-stop, absurd, overwrought lies, which turned many of Trump's voters (who were already indoctrinated with wild conspiracy theories) into raving hysterics, egged on daily by Trump himself. January 6th was the inevitable consequence.

The second impeachment vote may just end up being a historical footnote and Trump will likely make his ignominious exit on January 19th, having already announced that he will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration — clearly not wanting to spoil his perfect record as the greatest sore-loser the world has ever known. He may have a pardon spree in his final days, including one for himself and his family and I would not put it past him to issue a mass pre-pardon for the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol. Who knows if any of that is legal, but those questions have never stopped Trump before.


Furthermore, the Trump Organization itself is going to bear the brunt of this withdrawal of support from the business community. The company was already in trouble. It was previously reported that Trump holds a tremendous amount of debt that's coming due very soon and for which he is personally liable. Had he won the election or even if he had maintained his hold on the Republican establishment and kept a slight modicum of respectability, he would probably have been able to refinance that debt fairly easily. That's no longer going to be possible. Deutsche Bank, which holds a big piece of the debt, has reportedly decided not to do business with him. Two other banks have closed his accounts and have stated they will no longer work with him. Investment banks that might have held their noses and helped him out will no longer need or want to take the risk on someone who is so publicly damaged. .............(more)


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