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Immigrants

Trump Extorts New York On Twitter, Just Right There, Right Out In The Open

Collins and Murkowski to raise eyebrow alert levels to 'red.'

Did we not just get done impeaching the motherfucker? Yes, we did, and impeachment is forever. But now that lunatic is out there on Twitter trying to extort the state of New York, demanding personal favors in exchange for federal government action. It's quid pro quo all over again, only this time you don't have to spend ten minutes READING THE TDJ@4QRPPPPPPPP5T, thanks to Twitter's 280-character limit.

He just ... he just tweeted it out. In preparation for a meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about suspending the state's residents from the Trusted Traveler Programs, which allow speedy entry at most highly-traveled northern border points, Donald Trump just demanded that the state stop suing him.

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White Nonsense

Dennis Prager Feels Like The Left's N-Word Because He Can't Just Say ... You Know.

We also believe he has said the full racial slur.

Dennis Prager at the not-an-actual-university Prager University feels very oppressed that he can't say the n-word. On his self-titled radio show, Prager was discussing how former presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon liked to drop racial and anti-semitic slurs. "Steve" from Cleveland, Ohio, phoned in to ask Prager why he used the euphemistic n-word but actually said the full anti-semitic slur. One possibility is that Prager is Jewish and not black, but Prager had a different, more banana pants answer for "Steve."

PRAGER: So, why didn't I say "k-word"? Because the left has made it impossible to say the n-word any longer. That's disgusting, it's a farce. It's the only word that you can't say in the English language.

Maybe it's just me, but I consider "farce" a "comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations," like Noises Off or Fire and Fury. It's not exactly farcical that decent people refrain from using a racial epithet that's indelibly linked to America's history of racial terrorism. No one's stopping you from saying the racial slur. There's no n-word police. Prager, however, believes there is an n-word police, and it's conservatism's favorite bogeyman, the "left." The left didn't drag him off to a reeducation camp for saying an anti-semitic slur, because the left doesn't give a damn about that word (or apparently Jews).

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Cops Behaving Badly

Portland, OR Man ‘Wins’ $1 Million On ‘Who Wants To Get Screwed By Racist Cops?’

This is horrifying.

Michael Fesser of Portland, Oregon, just received $600,000 in the cash settlement sweepstakes, but this isn't another upbeat lottery story. The city of West Linn, Oregon, negotiated the settlement because Fesser, who's black, was the target of an "unwarranted racially motivated surveillance and arrest." Former (thank God) West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus used his own officers to put the smackdown on Fesser as a "favor" for a fishing buddy.

The fishing buddy was Eric Benson, owner of A&B Towing, which is located in Southeast Portland sometime in the 1950s. Fesser, who'd worked for A&B since 2004, claimed in February of 2017 that coworkers had called him racial slurs, and one had asked him what he thought of a Confederate flag that decorated a pickup truck in the parking lot. Fesser escalated his concerns to Benson, who took an unconventional approach to addressing complaints of a hostile work environment: running to his buddy Police Chief Timeus and persuading him to "investigate" bogus charges that Fesser was stealing from the company. Timeus had his officers conduct audio surveillance of Fesser at work — without a court order or a warrant.

Benson kept in close contact with West Linn Detective Tony Reeves during all this, and the two exchanged homophobic and sexually explicit text messages. They also made more racist comments about Fesser. It was gracious of Benson to include Reeves in the hostile work environment.

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White Nonsense

'OK, Boomer' Is Not The N-Word. The N-Word Is The N-Word.

Yeah, we've gotta have this conversation again.

The president of the University of Oklahoma condemned a professor this week who used the n-word in class. It wasn't like, "Wow, isn't it a good thing I'm saying the n-word and not the actual racial slur because that'd be CRAZY!" No, he went full Quentin Tarantino right in the middle of Black History Month.

The professor, Peter Gade, is also director of graduate studies at the university's journalism school. He decided to cosplay every white character in Huckleberry Finn so he could make a point — a very bad point — about social media and journalism. He claimed that the memeable phrase "OK, boomer" is similar to the n-word, which is a racial epithet ... perhaps the racial epithet.

From the New York Times:

"While the professor's comments are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, his comment and word choice are fundamentally offensive and wrong," said the interim president, Joseph Harroz Jr.

"The use of the most offensive word, by a person in a position of authority, hurt and minimized those in the classroom and beyond," Mr. Harroz said. "Our university must serve as an example to our society of both freedom of expression and understanding and tolerance. His words today failed to meet this standard."

Gade is theoretically an intelligent person. He should understand that ageism is very different from racism. For one thing, black people sometimes beat the odds and grow old. Also, words have power behind them. There's history and context. You might find "OK, boomer" annoying. The casual use of the word might sting a little and even take the thrill out of having a member of your generation occupy the White House for 27 consecutive years. (Yes, Barack Obama is a Boomer. Gen X can't have nice things.) However, no one shouted, "OK, boomer" while hanging you from a tree. Nor did a crowd of human-resembling people viciously shout the phrase when you were just trying to attend elementary school.

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Congress

Rep. Ayanna Pressley Learns The Fed Chair Some Black History, How To Mic-Drop

Congresswoman grills Fed chair about a jobs guarantee.

It's Black History Month and not just because all the black Democratic primary candidates are now history. No, this is the one month out of the year where we remind people that black people exist. That's why the South Carolina primary is at the end of February. We all just come out and say, "Hello there!"

Jerome Powell is chairman of the Federal Reserve. He's in charge of our monetary policy. He has a degree in politics from Princeton and a law degree from Georgetown. However, Tuesday, Ayanna Pressley, our badass representative from Massachusetts, gave Powell a remedial black history course for free.

Powell had stopped by the House to recommend that now was a good time to reduce that pesky budget deficit, which has increased by about $3 trillion (with a "t") since Donald Trump gave massive tax cuts to all his golf buddies and the dumber members of his Cabinet. There's probably no connection. Besides, Bernie Sanders might wind up president next year so we need to start using our money responsibly, like on a Space Force.

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Culture

BlazeTV Host Takes Home Oscar For Best Achievement In Twitter Bigotry

Jon Miller can't stand what "these people" are doing to his racist country.

I just heard the Academy Awards were last night. There wasn't any halftime show-related controversy, but apparently some people -- specifically bigots -- were upset that the South Korean film, Parasite, won Best Picture. Reportedly, this foreign-language film isn't even in English. but it also won best original screenplay not featuring an Avenger. Blaze TV host Jon Miller considered this an attack on the American way.

Parasite director Bong Joon-ho is Korean, so it's not a mystery why he spoke his native language. Koreans speaking Korean happens every day. It's not connected to the "destruction of America," which was Donald Trump's election. The part of Joon-ho's acceptance speech that he spoke in English was roughly equivalent to Prince's entire 1985 Oscar speech. I thought he was more than respectful of his audience.

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Education

Babies Hurt By Flint's Water Are Struggling In School. Thanks, Fiscal 'Conservatives.'

But look at all the money they saved!

The children of Flint, Michigan, haven't gone away. They're in school -- have been from the start of the 2014 water crisis, of course. But now the babies harmed at the very beginning of the lead poisoning emergency are reaching school age, and as public radio station WBUR's "Here and Now" reports, Flint schools have a far higher percentage of kids in special education than in schools in areas not treated to lead-poisoned water due to a Republican governor's fiscal shock policy.

[Flint's] rate of special education students has grown steadily since the water crisis began — 28% of students are in special education programs, while the national average is about 13%.

In response, over a dozen Flint families, with help from the ACLU of Michigan, the Education Law Center of New Jersey, and a private law firm, are suing the Flint school district and the Michigan Department of Education in federal court. They argue that the school district and state haven't been meeting their obligations to identify kids with special needs and provide them with an appropriate education as required by federal law. It's one of several ongoing lawsuits over the lead poisoning.

While the lawsuit was filed by 15 Flint families as plaintiffs, the attorneys are seeking to expand it to a class action that would cover all the kids in Flint. The case should be going to trial later this spring.

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Cops Behaving Badly

How Many Liberals Can We Blame For The Shooting Of NYPD Officers?

It's a sick game with no winners.

Robert Williams shot two New York City police officers Saturday night. Sunday morning, he continued his rampage at a police precinct in the Bronx, where he opened fire and shot a police lieutenant. He also injured another officer who was trying to subdue him before being taken into custody.

This was a terrible act of violence, but now it seems the looming question is who else is responsible other than the actual gunman. The police union pinned blame on Democratic state legislators who are apparently soft on crime. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea believed police protestors were accomplices in the "premeditated assassination attempt."

SHEA: Just remember these things are not unrelated. We have people marching in New York City last week and I condemned it and I condemn it right here again today -- using profanities against the Police Department.

They are in fact completely unrelated. However, Mayor Bill De Blasio agreed with Shea's top-notch police work.

DE BLASIO: Anyone who spews hatred at our officers is aiding and abetting this kind of atmosphere. It's not acceptable. You can protest whatever for whatever you believe in, but you cannot vilely attack those who are here to protect us. It creates this kind of dynamic.

This a crazy irresponsible statement. Roughly 500 people gathered last month in Grand Central Terminal to protest the increased police presence in subways. Demonstrators held up signs stating "Poverty is not a crime" and "The real fare beaters are on Wall Street." Some even led a call-and-response chant: "How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D." People might consider that rude, but it's also free speech. What it definitely isn't is criminal facilitation. Saying mean things about the police didn't provide Williams with either the means or the opportunity to shoot cops.

The mayor shouldn't use the term "aiding and abetting" metaphorically. It has a specific definition. If de Blasio has evidence that the protestors had previous knowledge of Williams's intentions and actively helped him in any way, he should contact the police. However, disagreeing with police tactics or even just straight-up disliking the police aren't the same on a moral or practical level as actually trying to murder police officers.

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Post-Racial America

Fertilizer CEO Slips, Falls Into His Own Racist Bullshit In Exchange With Uber Driver

Now former CEO will spend free time catching up on the 20th Century.

It's been a while since we last covered a racist who got fired for public racist-ing. Buckle up! Hans Berglund (no, not the guy from Die Hard) was until recently the CEO of Tempe, Arizona, fertilizer company Agroplasma. Berglund was forced out of the company after he was caught on video hurling racist bullshit (ha!) at an Uber driver.

Arizona State University student Randy Clarke, an Uber driver for the past four years, picked up Berglund outside his Scottsdale home on January 31. Berglund wanted to sit in the front, but Clarke asked him to sit in the back. This wasn't a Rosa Parks situation. Clarke said he prefers not to have riders sit up front after a drunken rider sexually assaulted him in 2018. That's a more than reasonable request and arguably safer for all parties. Berglund disagreed and quickly grew belligerent. He angrily told Clarke to cancel the ride and when Clarke agreed, Berglund said, "Are you fucking serious with me?" and got in the backseat anyway. He informed Clarke that he was going to call the manager file a complaint with Uber, and Clark at this point just wanted the guy to get out of his car. There's limited gain in giving a ride to someone who's just cursed you out and vowed professional retribution. You're looking at several minutes of tense conversation and probably no tip.

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Elections

GOP PAC Runs Ad Promoting Progressive, Dynamic Black Lady Senate Candidate ... Oh ... No?

Oh no, spending millions to promote progressives, how will we live.

Democrat Erica D. Smith is a North Carolina state senator who is now running for the US Senate. She co-chairs the Joint Legislative Women's Caucus and has served as second vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. Her primary opponent is Cal Cunningham, who is better funded and has the endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. All is not lost, however. Smith's campaign has attracted some unlikely assistance. The Republican-affiliated PAC Faith and Power formally launched a week ago and has already placed a $1.56 million ad boosting Smith in the Democratic primary. The ad will play in such major North Carolina markets as Charlotte, Greenville (not the real one in South Carolina), Raleigh, and Greensboro. This is quite the boon for Smith ... or not. Just what are those helpful Republicans saying about her?

www.youtube.com

"Who's the Democrat for US Senate endorsed by progressives and unions? Erica Smith," says the ad's narrator. "Who's got the courage to vote for 'Medicare for All'? Erica Smith. The number one supporter of the Green New Deal? Erica Smith again."

"Erica Smith is one of us -- a high school educator, engineer, state senator and ordained minister," adds the narrator. "Vote Democrat Erica Smith for US Senate, the only proven progressive."

I didn't know much about Erica Smith before today, but now I've learned she has union endorsements and would support Medicare for All and the Green New Deal? Those are all great things, so, uh ... thanks? Republicans obviously have their own motives for promoting Smith, and I assume they are ulterior. The young, dynamic black woman is an easy TKO against the electoral powerhouse that mortals know as Thom Tillis.

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Post-Racial America

Prada Promises To Cut Out The Blackface, Realize It's 2020

Fashion house reaches settlement with civil rights lawyer after blackface debacle.

Prada got in a bit of pickle in December 2018 when it oh-so-wisely decided to go with a blackface theme for the window of its downtown New York store. The fashion powerhouse was promoting its "Pradamalia" line, which featured -- and I quote -- "clothing, jewelry, key chains, cell phone cases, and leather items, ranging in price from $260 to $860, with imagery or figurines of monkey-like creatures with black faces and large red lips."

Seriously, how much do you have to hate black people to pay $860 for a blackface trinket? The strange blackface robots were what you might've seen in a low-budget film titled The Grand Dragon Conquers the Martians. Chinyere Ezie, a black woman and a civil rights lawyer (a potent combination), posted a photo of the disgraceful scene on Twitter, which went viral. It's unclear if Santa left a lump of coal in Prada's stocking, but if he did, the company might've used it to make another blackface figure.

Why does anyone still blackface? We'll never know what exactly compels them other than, you know, racism. Ezie filed a hella-pissed complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, a law enforcement agency charged with "overseeing the city's human rights laws as they apply to housing, retail establishments and other areas." The commission spent the past year trying to put some sense in Prada's head. A settlement was finally reached Tuesday. This is good timing because it's fashion month and we want to raise enough awareness so that skinny white girls don't show up on runways in blackface. We don't care how "fierce" you think the look is. Don't do it.

Prada won't officially admit it's racist, but the company will commit to trying to appear less racist. It's a suburban soccer mom settlement.

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2020 Congressional Elections

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Actual Resident Of Elijah Cummings's District, Wins Primary For His Seat

Protect this House. I will.

No one will ever take the place of Elijah Cummings, may his name be for blessing. He was a giant, gone far too soon. He was my congressman for more than a decade, and I remember so clearly when he addressed Michael Cohen after his congressional testimony:

Let me tell you the picture that really, really pained me. You were leaving the prison, you were leaving the courthouse, and, I guess it's your daughter, had braces or something on. Man that thing, man that thing hurt me. As a father of two daughters, it hurt me. And I can imagine how it must feel for you. But I'm just saying to you — I want to first of all thank you. I know that this has been hard. I know that you've faced a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better, a better, a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world. And I mean that from the depths of my heart.

When we're dancing with the angels, the question we'll be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?

I think about this a lot. I don't know where we go from here as a country, I don't know how we climb out of this pit of rage and hate. The path will be steeper without Congressman Cummings.

But we do have to keep climbing, and yesterday was the special election to fill Cummings's open House seat in West Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs.

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Right Wing Extremism

Coast Guard Nazi Going To Prison. For The Mass-Murder Planning, Not The Racism.

Even though there's no law against 'domestic terrorism.'

White supremacist Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson, 50, was sentenced on Friday to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty in October to four federal weapons charges.

Hasson was arrested in February of last year after authorities found a massive cache of guns and other weapons in the former Marine's home, along with various other materials detailing his plans to commit a massive domestic terrorist attack against American citizens— but primarily against journalists, commentators and Democratic legislators, whom he listed on an Excel spreadsheet. These targets included Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Angela Davis, Van Jones, Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters, and the entire DSA.

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Media/Entertainment

J.Lo, Shakira Deliver Super Bowl Halftime Show Worthy Of All Kansas Cities Everywhere

Predictably, the prude brigade came out in force.

The Super Bowl is over, and reports confirm we have a winner. The Kansas City Chiefs rallied to victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams provided an admirable diversion between the commercials and the halftime show. But you can't have a Super Bowl without some controversy. We'll get the easiest one out of the way first. Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations for Kansas City but he forgot which state the team represents. He thought the Chiefs are from Kansas but they are in fact from Kansas City, Missouri. (The city gets its name in part from its proximity to the Kansas river.) Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who might've had a few beers in her, gently corrected the president's geography.

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Media/Entertainment

PETA's Rejected Super Bowl Ad 'Takes A Knee' For Spiders, Rats, Maybe Black People

So, are they saying 'all pets matter'?

It's Super Bowl Sunday ... or the day of the Big Game if you don't want to get sued. The expensive, often lengthy, star-studded commercials are arguably the main event, but one ad you won't see tonight is a bit of nonsense from PETA. The animal rights organization claims the NFL and Fox rejected its minute-long ad with extreme prejudice. Why? The NFL and Fox haven't commented, but I suspect it's because they watched it.

The commercial features cartoon woodland creatures taking a knee just like former football player Colin Kaepernick (he was blackballed, you know, and his career effectively ended). The ad closes with the message: "Respect is the right of every living being. #EndSpeciesism." Funny that PETA uses the word "respect" when Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to peacefully protest something specific -- America's ongoing legacy of racist brutality -- and PETA co-opted it for their own agenda.

I realize that PETA's goal all along is to make a scene and generate free publicity. However, this is honestly one of the dumbest things I've seen ... and not just on TV. Strap yourselves in and take a look.

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News

Pick Another White Guy To Take Off Your Money Because Stacey Abrams Is Gonna Be President

She's got a plan for that!

Clare Malone chatted with Stacey Abrams last November for FiveThirtyEight's "When Women Run" project. The interview dropped Friday and the BIG SCOOP is that the immensely talented and brilliant Abrams, who came within a few poll taxes of defeating Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor's race, is actively planning to run for president. This ain't breaking news, y'all. I know women aren't supposed to seriously pursue powerful positions unless their husbands, fathers, or Victorian-era guardians grant them permission first, but c'mon, who isn't running for president these days? It's like a political Olympics where all that's required to participate is bringing your own track shoes or ice skates. Abrams should be president now, but we'll have to restrain our inner Veruca Salts and wait a couple decades.

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