Welcome to News Bits: All the News That’s Fit to Hate the State With. Here’s what’s been happening.
From the New York Times: Okay listen, before I get into this, I just wanna say that I’m going to refrain from making any horrible pee jokes. None. I promise.
Intelligence officials apparently showered Donald Trump with a series of unsubstantiated reports claiming that Russia had blackmail material on the President-elect. CNN was the first to allude to these reports yesterday, but Buzzfeed News was the first to actually post them. Trump has, naturally, denied the reports’ content, calling them “FAKE NEWS!!!1!” Russia has also denied the claim because did y’all really think they’d be like “Oh, yeah, we have that. Yep.”
State mouthpiece-for-hire Wikileaks took a giant leak on Buzzfeed’s reporting yesterday as well, tweeting, “WikiLeaks has a 100% record of accurate authentication. We do not endorse Buzzfeed’s publication of a document which is clearly bogus.” Buzzfeed News editor Ben Smith defended the decision to publish, saying, “[This] reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.” Others, like non-profit multi-time Pulitzer-winning investigative outfit ProPublica president Richard Tofel, also defended Buzzfeed’s move.
Also from the New York Times: Dylann Roof was sentenced to death for killing nine black church parishioners in 2015. Transgender women in immigration detention centers fear a higher risk of abuse. An El Cajon police officer wasn’t charged in the murder of an unarmed black man. Outgoing president Barack Obama made his final address to the nation.
From the Washington Post: Trump has tapped “vaccination skeptic” and all-purpose conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to lead a commission on vaccine safety. Just gonna put this out there, vaccines don’t cause autism, the study that claimed they do was discredited in the scientific community, and this is a waste of time. But hey, at least Kennedy is being recognized for something for once. That period in the 2000s where he tried to glom onto Greg Palast’s voter fraud crusade was forgettable and kind of cringey.
Also from the Washington Post: AG Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing was filled with shouting. Rex Tillerson, the pick for Secretary of State, is up next and is probably going to be grilled on his ties to dictators. A Nepalese model will take the stage as the first transgender woman to walk in India’s Lakmé Fashion Week.
From the Los Angeles Times: LA County Supervisors have created an Office of Immigration Affairs that would reportedly help provide services such as legal help to undocumented immigrants. The alt-right is mad about it.
Also from the Los Angeles Times: A painting that depicts police as wild boars is in the middle of a dispute between national lawmakers. Specifically, they’re literally physically fighting over whether the painting, produced by a California high school student, should be hanging up in the Capitol.
From National Public Radio: Contractors working on a Washington, D.C. hotel for President-elect Donald Trump say they’re owed millions of dollars for their work.
Also from National Public Radio: “Blessing boxes,” outdoor food pantries constructed in a similar vein to the Little Free Libraries, are beginning to pop up in communities nationwide. They’ll probably get taken down and their builders arrested for daring to feed the homeless for free, but hey. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Also, an Alaskan village is seeking disaster relief dollars to relocate while their shoreline is slowly subsumed into the Ninglick River.
From Politico: We’ve already talked about this but my dudes, Donald Trump actually asked the question, “Are we living in Nazi Germany??” in response to the released intelligence reports detailing his blackmail. My dudes. My dudes. Maybe that Shazaam movie really does exist and this is the universe’s way of self-correcting? I don’t know, I have a headache.
Also from Politico: Cops say that high profile killings make their job harder, according to a new Pew Research paper. Pro tip, maybe knock that whole “killing” thing off. Just, f*ckin don’t. Also, I’m gagging. I’m gagging. I’m going to throw up. I want to die. Just no. No no no no no. Also, “repeal and replace Obamacare” sounds easy, but uh. Well, it’s not. Finally, Trump is holding an internal West Wing competition to see which advisers can win his ear. F*cking christ.
From Salon: Jeff Sessions plans to bring the hammer down on Dream Act folks, so this is a great place to really bring it home that any city that currently calls itself a “sanctuary city” and promises to uphold DACA should probably go ahead and delete their logs. Burn it all.
From Alternet: Charles C. Johnson (no relation to our Radgeek), a hilarious remnant of the proto-alt-right, went on fellow-useless-alt-right-nerd Stefan Molyneux’s show last month to proclaim that he’s been “doing a lot of vetting” of Trump’s nominees.
From Slate: Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s pick for head of Homeland Security, doesn’t seem to be towing Trump’s line on a lot. He doesn’t like torture and said he’d oppose a border wall. Like, what even is the point if the guy you chose to head up a monstrous organization dedicated to worldwide oppression doesn’t even want to do the fun stuff you thought you’d be able to do now that you have all the power? Jeez.
From Mic.com: Google’s search algorithm is still f*cked, with articles that deny the Holocaust ever existed taking top billing.
From Antiwar: The Iraqi Prime Minister has called for Turkey to withdraw from its northernmost sector. Turkey said no.
From The Intercept: “Seal Team Six” was likely a pretty ruthless and terrible group, participating in “revenge ops,” mutilations and other atrocities.
From The Anti-Media: Obama’s “hands-off” policy in Syria pretty simply wasn’t.
From It’s Going Down: The leaders of the Alt-Right got doxxed by… themselves.
From Antifascist News: Why did “LGBTQ Nation” choose Milo Yiannopoulos for “Person of the Year?”
From Jacobin: Feminists call for a national women’s strike during the inauguration.
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