Suzan eraslan is a theater director and designer on a temporary hiatus and a reluctant political activist and documentarian living in new york city.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD, 2017

Reminder that any donations I receive through the end of the month (February 28th, 2017) will just go directly to Trans Lifeline, and you can avoid any part of your donation going to a processing fee by donating directly at https://www.translifeline.org/donate

  • On February 21st, Representative Louie Gohmert of east Texas issued a statement that he would not organize a town hall while Congress is in recess because he is afraid that he will get shot, presumably by one of the "far left" rural and suburban white grandmothers who keep demanding an answer to why republicans want to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 
  • On February 21st, DT released 2 executive memos that would dramatically increase the number of people who can be deported without ever going to court as well as expanding the powers of state and local law enforcement to act as immigration officers, what is referred to in the memos as "a force multiplier." Several immigration lawyers and other immigration experts have called the memos "shocking," "mean-spirited," and "inhumane," and said of DT that he is "more concerned with attempting to fulfill misquided campaign promises than doing what is best for the safety and security of the country." 
  • On February 21st, 2017, in what has to be the most shameless exhibition of either a complete lack of self-knowledge or flagrant lying, Representative Jason Chaffetz refuted criticism that he hasn't taken on DT's administration by saying he had done so on four different issues. Chaffetz, despite being the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has refused to investigate DT's ties to Russia or his conflicts of interest in regards to his businesses. Chaffetz recently claimed that DT is not subject to conflict of interest laws. 
  • On February 22nd, 2017, two Indian engineers were harassed with racial slurs by an armed, islamaphobic racist who believed they were Muslim at a bar in Kansas City. After a white regular of the bar stepped up to defend the two men, the racist was kicked out of the bar. He returnd shortly afterward with a gun and opened fire, killing one of the engineers and wounding the other, as well as the man who stepped in to try to diffuse the situation. When called a hero, the white man who intervened said simply, "I was just doing what anyone should have done." Take that to heart, everyone. 
  • On February 22nd, 2017, an undocumented woman from El Salvador who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor while in ICE custody and was awaiting surgery for a brain tumor was removed from the hospital and returned to a detention center against her will, with her wrists and ankles bound. Despite being cleared for unrestricted communication by both the hospital and ICE, Sara has been unable to communicate with her mother or lawyers. 
  • On February 22nd, 2017, the Arizona state senate voted to expand racketeering laws to cover anyone, at all, at a protest that could turn violent (not that has, but could) and to seize all of their assets, under the assumption that protesters are being paid, and therefore community organizers are actually organized crime bosses paying people to riot. This is a horrifying violation of the First Amendment and authoritarian oppression based on entirely false accusations, as protesters are not being paid. The bill was passed 17-13 and has been sent to the Arizona state house for confirmation. 
  • On February 22nd, 2017, Customs Border Patrol boarded a domestic Delta flight at JFK on its arrival from SFO and demanded to see every passenger's government issued photo IDs "because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had asked for help locating an individual 'ordered removed by an immigration judge.'" 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Ivanka Trump is holding a meeting with DT, Marco Rubio, and Bob Corker to discuss the issue of human trafficking. I can't wait to see how DT's administration somehow makes this into a way to attack immigrants. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Frommers reported that travel industry experts and workers have seen a dramatic drop in international tourism just a few weeks after the executive order refusing entry to the US for travelers from 7 majority Muslim nations. They are calling it the "Trump Slump," and the decline is not limited to the nations named in the executive order or even other Muslim countries. Flight searches to the US from international locations were down by 17%. "A drop of that magnitude, if continued, would reduce the value of foreign travel within the U.S. by billions of dollars. And the number of jobs supported by foreign tourists and their expenditures in the United States—and thus lost—would easily exceed hundreds of thousands of workers in hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operations, travel agencies, and the like. While, earlier in the year, the Administration had boasted of saving 800 jobs in the Carrier Corporation, the drop-off in employment resulting from the travel ban would eclipse that figure."
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Newsweek released audio of a truly bizarre TWENTY-TWO MINUTE phone call between Sebastian Gorka, the unqualified, islamophobic extremist who is officially providing terrorism advice to DT and noted terrorism expert Michael S. Smith II after the former was insulted by the latter's criticism of his lack of credentials on Twitter. An administration official calling to bully a private citizen is beyond the pale and Gorka should be reprimanded (if not dismissed out right for his completely garbage "qualifications" for his position). 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, the Washington Post reported that a group of 15 law processors have filed a professional misconduct complaint against Kellyanne Conway for her promotion of Ivanka Trump's clothing line and for making up the Bowling Green Massacre terrorist attack in order to justify DT's executive order banning entry to the US for travelers from 7 majority Muslim nations. Conway is a member of the Washington, D.C. bar and the complaint could result in an investigation, prosecution, and possible disbarring. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Attorney General and noted racist Jeff Sessions withdrew a 2016 Department of Justice memo curtailing the department's use of for profit prisons, as they would be needed to "meet the future needs of the federal correction system." 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, several sources reported to CNN that, despite decade long restrictions limiting communication between the White House and FBI on ongoing investigations, the DT administration asked the FBI to publicly declaim stories regarding communications between DT's staff and Russia. The Department of Justice has issued a statement that Attorney General and noted racist Jeff Sessions is making sure that the White House is following all guidelines. That's reassuring. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, DT said he wants the US nuclear arsenal to be at the "top of the pack" while reiterating that he will pressure our allies in NATO to pay for the defense promised through the post-WWII era treaty, saying, "They owe a lot of money." The US nuclear arsenal includes 6,800 nuclear warheads, more than is necessary to destroy the entire world hundreds of times over. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Axios reported that DT's administration plans to delay one of the few universally popular campaign promises he made, increasing and updating federal infrastructure, in order to use it as a political wedge to discourage voters from removing republican lawmakers at the midterms. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, former Speaker of the House John Boehner said at a healthcare conference that Congressional republicans will not repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but rather "fix the flaws of Obamacare and put a conservative box around it." He also said he "started laughing" when he heard the nonsensical promise that republicans would be able to quickly provide an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. "In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once. And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we'll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Jackie Evancho was on Good Morning America to defend the overturned guidelines for restroom use by trans students (note: the law has not been overturned, simply the Department of Justice's guidelines to schools), appearing with her sister, Juliet, who is transgender. Juliet said, "'being at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear' creates an 'unsafe environment. I live it everyday, going through discrimination, having things thrown at me. I’ve had people say pretty horrible things, and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy. Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good, not only for the transgenders in the LGBT community but as well as everyone as a whole.'" At his daily press briefing, Sean Spicer said that DT "would be welcome to meet with her." 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Politico reported that Paul Manafort, former campaign manager to DT, was the target of attempted blackmail by someone claiming to be Serhiy Leschenko, stating they had "bulletproof" evidence of damaging information regarding both Manafort and DT. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, Bloomberg reported on Ivanka Trump's $500B (five hundred billion dollar) child-care tax credit plan. The tax credit will only help families who can already afford child care and will do nothing for those who cannot. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, DT described the mass deportations of undocumented US residents as "a military operation," leaving no uncertainties as to whether or not we are now living under martial law. 
  • On February 23rd, 2017, self-proclaimed Christian and hugely sheltered billionaire Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos cleared up once and for all any question as to whether or not she's read the Bible she claims to believe is the literal word of God. Bragging that she was the first person to tell Bernie Sanders there is "no thing as a free lunch," DeVos let everyone know she was unfamiliar with Jesus Christ's feeding of the 5,000, which is mentioned in all four Gospels. No mention of Jesus charging for the lunch is mentioned in any of them. DeVos inherited billions of dollars for being born, leading one to question whether she's ever had a lunch that wasn't free. 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH, 2017

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND, 2017