Btw

May. 29th, 2017 08:28 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I am generally ignoring UK politics in favour of US politics because the latter is a fuck of a lot more entertaining right now.

However, this is happening:

The Independent: Conservatives slash election projections as Corbyn surge in polls continues
The Guardian: Tory nerves fray as Jeremy Corbyn narrows Theresa May’s lead in new poll

To be more accurate, I think it's not that Corbyn himself is doing anything spectacularly impressive but that May is fucking up spectacularly. And the Tories still have a solid lead.

(And obviously by this point, we know that polling seems to be broken even if nobody knows why.)

However, just avoiding a Tory landslide would mean a lot. And for the Tories to end up with a reduced majority (and May seen as a liability) would be magical and also hilarious.

(LET ME DREAM. I CAN STILL DREAM DAMMIT.)

More popcorn

May. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
First, Mother Jones have put together a handy timeline, which they promise to keep updating:

Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal

And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:

The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide

***********

So, lately:

NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:

Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.

It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:

Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem

(Via [personal profile] robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/865695064722251776 Once this has been pointed out, it's hard to stop noticing it.)

Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.

This also suggests it’s Kushner:

NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say

And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:

WaPo: Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Cut for length )

What's wrong with the Legion?

May. 26th, 2017 06:41 pm
shanejayell: (Default)
[personal profile] shanejayell



1) It's hard for readers focused on the modern DCU to care. There's no 'connection' between the Legion and all other DC titles other than the occassional guest star of Superboy appearance.

2) It renders current stories without jeopardy. Villain threatens to destroy the Earth? We KNOW it didn't happen because Legion has to have Earth around 1000 years from now. And so on with ANY existing threat....


OK, so how do you fix this? Set Legion in the 21st Century.


Some basic questions that need answers:

Why so many humanoids in space? Why do many develop powers?


Both questions can be solved by using the planet Maltus. They were the homeworld of the Guardians of Oa, and due to overpopulation spread out across the galaxy. They can be the parents of the various Legion races, due to having the potential for various powers.

Why would a version of the United Planets exist now? Why Legion now?


DC's crossover event Invasion, in which the Dominion lead aliens in attacking Earth. I imagine a LOT of unaffiliated planets looked at that and went: that could be US getting invaded next. So they form a mutual defense alliance which becomes the basis of the UP.

The Legion, interestingly, could form both because they save Brande like in canon, as well as a fast response force in case of Dominion or Khund attacks....

Will add more later as I think about it.

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:10 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(X-posting to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

Out of curiosity

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
What happens if the new Republican rep for Montana is now convicted of assault?

He appears to have "declined" a further interview requested by local law enforcement (which, much like "declining" a subpoena, is one of those things I didn't know you could do).

But he's apologized (or "apologized") for having "made a mistake".

(A "mistake" that allegedly involved grabbing someone by the neck with both hands, body-slamming them to the floor, then repeatedly punching them.)

Paul Ryan (displaying all the guts and principle we have come to expect from him) took the bold stand of saying Gianforte should apologize. Other Republicans seem to feel that Ben Jacobs should apologize for having wickedly provoked Gianforte to attack him by being a liberal journalist in public.

... wow

May. 25th, 2017 03:01 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(x-posting from [community profile] thisfinecrew)

Holy shit:

The Guardian: Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter

The day before the Montana special election (which is today).

And it was caught on audiotape and witnessed by a Fox News team also present who wrote this about (avid Trump supporter) Gianforte's alleged attack on Ben Jacobs:

Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.


Fox News: Key Montana newspapers pull Gianforte endorsement after incident

Here's [personal profile] colorblue's post on the Montana election:

Action: Montana Special Election

If you are a US citizen, you can still donate to the last-minute get-out-the-vote effort for Gianforte's opponent, Rob Quist, and he currently has 5X matching:

ActBlue page for Rob Quist (thanks to [personal profile] loligo)

Here is a delightful thing

May. 23rd, 2017 09:38 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via [tumblr.com profile] violent-darts:

AV Club: Meme becomes reality as Netflix orders Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna’s con artist movie

Because we need it this morning.

Fuck terrorism, fuck Katie Hopkins and her vile cohorts, pre-emptively fuck Trump because presumably he's going to make some sort of statement about Manchester at some point and it's going to be awful (or at best the kind of vacuous blandness that means they've managed to make him stick to a script for a few moments), go awesome black women and making movies happen through the power of Twitter and delight.

May all the surviving kids at the concert be safe and reunited with their families soon and participating in the proud British tradition of recounting acts of terrorism in terms of the epic journeys that had to be taken because public transport was shut down (a la 7/7 -- Americans: "We weep for you!" British people: "I had to walk for FIVE HOURS").

ETA: Oh fuck they let him write at least part of it. Yes, of course Buttercup thinks the worst thing you can call someone is a "loser". Because winning is all that counts, and Buttercup is the winningest winner ever. Losing means you're wrong because winning is right.

Random observations

May. 22nd, 2017 08:56 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
• I've ordered, from Japan, a tenugui towel with an udon noodle design. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be fair the shipping was only £1.50. All the designs are amazing, but I was particularly struck by this. (Tell me that Yuuri Katsuki doesn't take one to the rink with him.)

• I also seem to be buying excessive quantities of culottes. (Well, two pairs, but you know.) For once I'm on trend. I know I have to buy now, before they disappear for another twenty years. I hate the fashion cycle.

Victor isn't the only one who has a phone case of himself

• This weekend I'm going to Belgium, and it's now clear that it's going to be boiling hot, like 28C/83F on Sunday. Currently reconsidering my packing list, plans, life choices, etc. (Don't laugh, people from elsewhere.) I still plan on climbing the Wall of Geraardsbergen but I'll have to do it early in the morning. And, you know, on foot. Needless to say.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
No, a literal one, not (just) metaphorical. I had to Google to be sure. Reality is getting way too on-the-nose lately.

Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia

That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.

Popcorn for everybody!

May. 20th, 2017 09:43 am
rydra_wong: Nichole watches TV: "My name is John Dean III and I want to spill my guts out." "Proceed." (john dean III -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Officials identify White House 'person of interest' in Trump-Russia investigation

The Washington Post reported that investigators have identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, according to people familiar with the matter. The individual is described as someone who is “close to the president”. (yes, some of us have used up our free articles at the WaPo again)

(The Guardian are also reading Buttercup's claim that he "speaks for himself" in his most recent denials of collusion with Russia as suggesting that he may be preparing to throw others in his staff under the bus. Which, one presumes, those others may be suspecting too.)

Also!

NYT: Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”


Also!

Politico: Trump meets with lawyers at the White House

Money quote:

Some aides have begun reaching out to lawyers to see if they need counsel, according to one attorney who has spoken to several of them. This lawyer declined to identify the aides because he said at least two may end up being retained by his firm.

Via John Dean, who has deja vu.

Meanwhile! Madison is grappling with the fact that not every issue can be settled by committee

Reuters: Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians

In January, the Trump White House initially denied any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The White House and advisers to the campaign have since confirmed four meetings between Kislyak and Trump advisers during that time.

(I'm still not clear if those four are included in the 18 under discussion, or in addition to.)

Meanwhile!

Talking Points Memo: Big Trouble

A round-up of multiple links including those related to Flynn's being an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey, including the fact that he blocked a military operation against ISIS that Turkey didn't want, and that according to the NYT:

on January 4th, Flynn notified Trump Transition lawyer and now White House Counsel Donald McGahn that he was being investigated for his undeclared lobbying work on behalf of Turkey.

The article puts the pieces together and makes a very strong case that Pence can't have not known about this:

In this case, Pence was saying in March that he was only just learning about Flynn’s work for Turkey. But we now learn that Flynn had notified McGahn he was being investigated by the DOJ for that work at the beginning of January.

Well, that’s McGahn, not Pence.

But remember, Pence ran the Transition!

Maybe for some reason McGahn somehow didn’t tell Pence. But that’s very, very hard to figure since Flynn was in line for one of the most consequential positions in any presidency and McGahn had just been notified of a fact that under most circumstances would be disqualifying. If Pence lied about this part of the Flynn saga, the idea that he innocently passed on Flynn’s lies about the Kislyak conversation instantly looks much less credible.


In other words, Pence is up to his eyeballs in all of this too.

Slate tries to cope:

Everything Feels Like It Happened Forever Ago
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
but please spam your social medias for those who might not -- especially young people, many of whom aren't registered, owing to the shift to individual registration:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You have to be registered by the 22nd May to vote in the election on the 8th June.

I would like to take this opportunity

May. 18th, 2017 01:13 pm
rydra_wong: Assorted Watergate conspirators sing along: "We're Richard Nixon's seeecret tapes club band!" (secret tapes club band)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
To remind people of the extreme excellence (and popcorn-and-schadenfreude delight) that is this four-hour BBC documentary:

YouTube: Watergate (1994)

(I got a friend hooked and since then she and I have both been going round randomly exclaiming "Chinese-motif houseboat!" or "Fire-bomb the Brookings Institute!" from time to time and cackling.)

If you didn't live through those events and are currently going "Saturday Night Massacre, wtf, I thought that was something to do with Al Capone," this is your chance to get caught up.

As I keep saying, I don't think current events are going to play out like Watergate, because that would be bizarrely improbable and weird, and yes history replays itself but not in identical forms -- but then reality seems intent on proving me wrong ...
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
Oooh, apparently this has been common knowledge for some time already but I only just found out that Star Trek: Discovery will be available on Netflix outside US/Canada. I see a renewal of my Netflix account in my near future (okay, so I would have done that this summer anyway to be able to watch Sense8, but now I have another reason to do it).

Also, there is a new trailer:

Hahahahahahahaha

May. 16th, 2017 06:38 pm
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
I finally got over my issues with Peter Capaldi, and caught up with Doctor Who. "Knock, Knock" was the first dud this season (though David Suchet was great - I always forget what a good actor he is because I keep thinking of him only as Poirot).

"Oxygen", on the other hand... Four letters: EPDN.

I imagine the script meeting might have gone something like this:

"Sir, remember how we got Ruuger to finally like the Doctor by just throwing pretty much every narrative kink she's ever had into "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent"? Our plan was to keep her hooked by having actually good episodes this season, but it might not have been enough because she just watched "Knock, Knock" and it made her doubt her commitment to sparkle motion. Also, I think we may have made a mistake by casting an actor who looks a bit like her aunt."

"Damnation! What do you suggest we do to prevent her from just going back to The Mentalist rewatch and forgetting that she had this little fling with Doctor Who fandom these last few weeks?"

"Well, you can never go wrong with hurt/comfort with Ruuger, but I think we should play it safe and do something involving thing and another thing ), because those are the two really specific physical h/c kinks that she has. Also, you know that really weird thing she has about characters who are things )? Put that in too. And wrap it up by having stuff ), because you know how much she loves that. I guarantee, the sleep she will lose thinking about this episode will be a worthy tribute to the memory of Douglas Netter."