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L’église c’est moi?

L'église c'est moi?

by digby



I'm often admonished that I must be respectful of conservative Christians. They are good people with sincere religious beliefs and heathens like me are being rude and dismissive by questioning their sincerity. But I don't know why. They are upfront about the fact that they are now just another political faction, fighting to win by any means necessary without regard to principle or morality:

The conservative Christian coalition that helped usher President Trump into power in 2016 is planning its largest midterm election mobilization ever, with volunteers fanning out from the church pews to the streets to register voters, raise money and persuade conservatives that they cannot afford to be complacent this year.

But the cumulative weight of scandals in Mr. Trump’s private and public life is threatening to overshadow what the religious right sees as its most successful string of policy victories in a generation. And Republicans will be up against not only a resurgent liberal opposition to Mr. Trump but also the historical disadvantages that burden any party in full control of Washington, especially in the first off-year congressional elections of a president’s term.

“The midterms are going to be very, very tough for the Republicans,” said Robert Jeffress, who leads the First Baptist Dallas megachurch and is one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal evangelical supporters.

Mr. Trump, to date, has been accused by a pornographic film star and a Playboy playmate of conducting separate affairs shortly after his wife, Melania Trump, gave birth to their son. Those controversies, paired with the multiple women who accused him of groping them before the election and his own boasts of sexual aggressions, have put a spotlight on the evangelical movement and its unyielding support for the president. Critics in other parts of the Republican tent — and a few among evangelical leaders — are asking just how much obscenity, belligerence and bigotry Christians should accept.

“Now even the Christian culture is O.K. with it,” said Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, one of the nation’s largest evangelical groups. “That’s the sadness,” he added. “The next time a Democrat in the presidency has a moral failure, who’s going to be able to say anything?”

But Christian conservatives contend that Mr. Trump has also more than honored his end of the bargain that brought reluctant members of their ranks along during his presidential campaign. He has begun the process of moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, won the confirmation of numerous judges and a Supreme Court Justice who seem likely to advance their anti-abortion cause, moved against transgender protections throughout the government, increased the ability of churches to organize politically and personally supported the March for Life.

“I don’t know of anyone who has worked the evangelical community more effectively than Donald Trump,” said Ralph Reed, the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which this year plans to devote four times the money it spent in the 2014 midterms.

In essence, many evangelical leaders have decided that airing moral qualms about the president only hurts their cause.

“His family can talk to him about issues of character,” said Penny Young Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, an evangelical organization that is framing the midterm elections to potential donors as a civilizational struggle.

So far, the decision by most conservative evangelical leaders to double down on their support for Mr. Trump is playing out like most of the other moments when skeptics of the president believed he had finally undermined himself with his base.

A poll released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute found white evangelical approval for Mr. Trump at its highest level ever: 75 percent. Only 22 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the president.


They needn't worry about not being able to sanctimoniously wring their hands over Democratic immorality in the future because they will not miss a beat. They'll do it anyway. There is no need for consistency on the right. On the left it's a fetish that cripples the Democratic Party even disallowing most evolution of ideas or changes of heart.


Anyway, the Christian right are the foot soldiers of the Republican Party, they love Trump and they are organizing to get his sycophants elected in the fall:

Much as in the 2016 presidential campaign, Christian conservative events are designed to be highly visible and to convey the movement as one united voice. Hundreds of evangelical leaders plan to gather in June at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for a conspicuous show of support for Mr. Trump. The event will be part pep rally, part strategy session.

In the states, leading religious and socially conservative groups will be propped up by the Republican National Committee, which will encourage voter registration at churches and schedule round tables with local pastors and evangelical liaisons close to the president.

Some of the organizers call themselves “the watchmen on the wall,” a reference to guards who looked over Jerusalem from the Book of Isaiah.

The message to energize Christian conservatives has twin purposes: to inspire them to celebrate their victories and to stoke enough grievance to prod them to vote.

But in a midterm election, no singular political enemy will emerge the way Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Instead, leaders of the movement plan to lean hard into a message that fans fears and grudges: that the progressive movement and national media mock Christian life and threaten everything religious conservatives have achieved in the 15 months of the Trump administration.

“Show the left that you can put labels on us, you can shame us. But we’re not giving up,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, who explained that many conservatives of faith see attacks on Mr. Trump as an attack on their judgment.

The Family Research Council has already activated its network of 15,000 churches, half of which have “culture impact ministries” that organize congregations to be more socially and civically engaged. The group’s efforts will gear up with voter registration drives around the Fourth of July and voter education that will focus on a half-dozen states that could determine control of the Senate.

Their tactics are almost identical to the work they used during the presidential campaign to unite a fractured evangelical base. The June meeting in Washington is a follow-up to a gathering in New York in the summer of 2016 that soothed tensions after it became apparent that Mr. Trump would be the Republican nominee.

Leaders of the Christian right have not only largely accepted Mr. Trump’s flaws and moved on; they seem to almost dare the president’s opponents to throw more at him. Ms. Nance said she heard a common sentiment from volunteers and supporters who did not seem bothered by the allegations of Mr. Trump’s infidelity. “We weren’t looking for a husband,” she said. “We were looking for a body guard.”

Concerned Women for America’s fund-raising pitch claims, “This is our Esther moment,” referring to the biblical heroine whose resourcefulness saved Persia’s Jews from annihilation hundreds of years before Jesus. The group plans to have get-out-the-vote organizers in 10 states where Democrats are defending Senate seats in states where Mr. Trump won.

Mike Mears, the Republican National Committee’s director of strategic partnerships and faith engagement, described the midterm campaign as “a call to arms.”

“You like what the president is doing?” he asked. “We need your help.”

The danger for Republicans is the many evangelicals who do not like what the president is doing. His petty insults, coarse language, lack of humility and private life are difficult to square with Christian faith, opponents say. The president has helped devalue character, morality and fidelity as essential qualities in political leaders, they say.

A meeting of evangelical leaders in Illinois last week featured a frank and candid discussion of the president’s failings, prompting some pro-Trump attendees to walk out.

But for evangelicals loyal to Mr. Trump, the criticism is irrelevant. They say that as challenging as the political realities may be, they remain hopeful that voters understand what is at stake. “We are living in unusual times,” said Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and one of Mr. Trump’s earliest evangelical supporters. “And after what happened in 2016, I think anything is possible.”


The message is that criticizing Trump equals criticizing Jesus and the Church. To these activists and Trump fans the president is not only the state (l'etat c'est moi") he is also the church.

And no, I don't think these people should be allowed to mau-mau the rest of American into respecting this bullshit. They are the ones who are betraying their religion. That's their problem. They are also proving once and for all with Trump that they are simply political opponents, doing what political opponents do, nothing more. They deserve no more "respect" and sensitivity than anyone else.

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Devin Nunes, true believer

Devin Nunes, true believer

by digby


This profile of Devin Nunes in the New York Times is astonishing. His rise is a perfect illustration of the final metamorphosis of the Republican right wing into to the Trump cult. He's as much a believer as the those fanatics at the Trump rallies. This is the conclusion:

For House Democrats, Nunes’s “midnight run,” as they now call it, represented a fundamental break. “Devin and I had a very good relationship until March 21,” Schiff told me. “From that point on, I think that he considered it his primary mission to protect the White House no matter the cost.” In the process, Nunes has all but destroyed what was once the House Intelligence Committee’s greatest asset. When the committee was being created in 1977, to exercise legislative oversight of American intelligence agencies, Speaker Tip O’Neill pledged, “This is a nonpartisan committee; there will be nothing partisan about its deliberations.” Although that goal was occasionally tested, the spirit of nonpartisanship generally prevailed and at times even flourished, as it had under Nunes’s predecessor, Mike Rogers, and his Democratic counterpart, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. “It’s not like Dutch and Mike weren’t stalwarts of their own parties, but they knew they had a national security mission,” says Jamil Jaffer, a Republican lawyer who was a senior counsel on the committee. “They got together and said, ‘Look, this stuff is too important to screw up.’ ”

But since Nunes’s midnight run, the committee has been crippled by partisan fighting. When the committee met in late March to discuss releasing the Republicans’ incomplete report on Russia, not one Democrat on the committee voted to do so. Representative Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, openly mocked his Republican colleagues, clucking at them like a chicken. Now that the committee’s Russia investigation is essentially over — Schiff and his fellow Democrats have pledged to keep investigating on their own, but they won’t get far without subpoena power — the ill will isn’t likely to dissipate. “I don’t know that it can recover, given the degree of bad blood that’s developed between the members,” Representative Tom Cole says. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat and member of the committee, told me: “It is irreparable as long as Devin Nunes is the chairman. He is Trump’s Michael Cohen in Congress. He is Trump’s fixer.” Beyond that, Nunes has damaged the relationship between the committee and the intelligence agencies themselves. “A lot of your effectiveness in overseeing the intelligence community is based on them wanting to have a good relationship with the overseers,” says a former Intelligence Committee staff member. “That’s all blown up. They’re not going to do anything they don’t absolutely have to do. They’re going to marginalize the community.” The former staff member adds: “It’s totally toxic. It’s irreversible. I think the committee has been essentially rendered useless.”

From the ashes of his own committee, though, Nunes has emerged in a far more powerful position. His congressional district is so sufficiently red that despite his Democratic challenger’s multiple appearances on MSNBC, his seat should be safe this November, even in what’s shaping up to be a strong Democratic year. In fact, his stature in the area has been enhanced by the Russia controversy. Jim Brulte, the chairman of the California G.O.P., told me: “If you’re a Republican officeholder in California, and Nancy Pelosi attacks you, I think most Republican voters turn around and go, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard of this guy, but if Pelosi is against him, I’m for him.’ ”

More important, the Russia brouhaha has elevated Nunes far beyond the Central Valley. Once considered the scourge of the Tea Party, he is now viewed as a rock star by the activist Republican base across the country. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House G.O.P., uses him in its fund-raising emails. And among his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, he has never been more popular — so much so that more than one prominent Republican with whom I spoke predicted that Nunes is on track to one day become the top Republican on the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee.

In February, at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, the American Conservative Union presented Nunes with its Defender of Freedom Award for “concerted courage, standing up for truth and freedom under intense duress.” When Nunes accepted the award, he was greeted with cries of “We love you, Devin!” His familiar grimace gave way to a broad smile.

“I don’t know, Mr. Chairman,” Matt Schlapp, the A.C.U. leader, told Nunes as they appeared onstage together. “I think they like you.”


He loves Trump. They love him. That's all it takes.

How many of these people are there in this country? 50 million?

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QOTD: “Special” edition

QOTD: Trump"Special" edition

by digby

Your president, ladies and gentlemen

“We have a very special relationship, in fact I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off. We have to make him perfect -- he is perfect.”

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The new civil libertarians

The new civil libertarians

by digby


I wrote about the conservative handwringing over privacy rights and civil liberties for Salon this morning:

What's the old saying? A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested and a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged? Well, the Donald Trump era is proving this to be more true than we knew. Liberals certainly feel mugged by the corruption, ineptitude and chaos of the Trump administration and conservatives are all becoming "card-carrying members of the ACLU" as the senior George Bush used to spit derisively at his political opponents. The former are uncomfortably counting on the rule of law to bring some sanity to an insane political environment, while the latter claim to believe that the "deep state" is involved in a massive conspiracy to remove their president from power.

Trump supporters have tried out a lot of different tactics to derail special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation. But as the months have gone by and we have seen indictments and guilty pleas in various strands of the Russia investigation, along the latest move by the U.S. attorney in New York against Michael Cohen the president's self-identified "Ray Donovan," they have adopted a new strategy. And it's really something.

Essentially, Team Trump is now claiming that the rule of law is only applicable for Donald Trump as it pertains to Russian "collusion." Any other crimes that may be uncovered from any source are to be ignored:



That tweet referred to a New York Times op-ed about Trump's myriad shady overseas business deals in Russia and elsewhere. The president, who has refused to divest himself from his business, appears potentially vulnerable to blackmail for previous unsavory activity with criminal elements. These things should have been sorted out before the election, but nobody ever considered that the president of the United States might retain his domestic and international business -- still less that he would refuse to open his books and reveal his financial ties. It is still mind-boggling that Trump is getting away with that.

The special counsel referred the Cohen investigation to the New York federal prosecutor because he came across information suggesting criminal activity that fell outside his mandate. That should give all these people pause. Mueller, and presumably his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, are playing it by the book. It seems not to have occurred to these Trump defenders that federal law enforcement authorities might be pursuing these cases not because they hate Trump but because they keep finding evidence of corruption and criminality. Contrary to Trump's insistence, most of these cops are Republicans. Many of whom probably voted for him, although as they would surely agree, that's irrelevant.

While Republicans fret about Mueller exceeding his mandate, it's because the Cohen case has the Trump highly agitated at the moment. His supporters have all been out there telling reporters that Cohen is going to "flip," either because Trump treated him like dirt or because he is afraid of being raped in prison. Either way, the whole discussion is sordid. Trump himself tweeted about it:



If I were a cynical person I would observe that that comment lays the groundwork for Trump to claim that Cohen was coerced into lying if he does cut a deal. (Unofficial Trump legal adviser Alan Dershowitz explicitly spells out that narrative in this op-ed.) Of course, the problem for Trump is more than Cohen's testimony. There are communications, financial records and purportedly audio recordings that could be just as incriminating.

That brings us to the other player in the Cohen saga, Fox News host and shadow White House chief of staff Sean Hannity. When it was disclosed that he was one of Cohen's three clients, the right raced to his defense with the same fervor with which they defend the president. Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton said Hannity had been "victimized in this process. I mean, his name was leaked out ... forced out by the court." Fox News' Tucker Carlson suddenly sounds like liberal Justice William O. Douglas:

Attorney-client privilege no longer means anything, we learned that the other day. Neither does privacy or public reputation or fairness. If Cohen’s other clients can be exposed by the left solely to embarrass them, what is the next step exactly? Could you punish a Trump ally by, I don’t know, revealing his internet search history? What about someone’s medical records? How about a private conversation with a priest or rabbi? Why not? All of that will happen, no question.
Why Hannity should feel the mere fact of this professional relationship should stay private, even as he comments on the case on a daily basis, remains an open question. Most news organizations would call that unethical. But then this is Fox News we're talking about.

At the time Hannity's name was revealed, he said that he had asked Cohen for some casual real estate advice but nonetheless expects attorney-client privilege, which is within his rights but piques everyone's natural curiosity. Why in the world would he need to consult about real estate deals with a "fixer" like Cohen? This is particularly true considering that we have since learned that Hannity has a professionally managed real estate portfolio worth tens of millions of dollars. If anything, it appears that Hannity may more successful in real estate than Donald Trump, who was reduced to flogging cheap perfume and hosting a cheesy game show just a few years ago.

Whatever Hannity consulted Cohen about will probably never see the light of day. The feds are only seeking evidence of criminal behavior and unless Hannity is lying, that will be the end of that. We'll all still be able to talk to our rabbis without Robert Mueller squeezing us for the details.


How long will conservatives continue to care about civil liberties? The only time they ever care about them is when a rich, powerful, white Republican gets caught in the maw of the legal system and finds out that "law and order" isn't just for poor people. It's like a solar eclipse or Halley's comet -- it happens so rarely that we barely get to see it, and after it's over it's like it never happened at all.
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Senate Conspires To Deny Me My Entertainments


Vetting?  How does it work?

From the WaPo:
Senate to postpone confirmation hearing for Ronny Jackson to head Veterans Affairs, White House officials told

Senate lawmakers have postponed the confirmation hearing for Ronny L. Jackson, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, after top Republicans and Democrats raised concerns about his qualifications and oversight of the White House medical staff, White House and other administration officials were told Monday.

The development came just two days before Jackson, the White House physician, was scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and threw what was looking to be a difficult confirmation process into further jeopardy...
Damn.  I was looking forward to that hearing.
Sen. Blumenthal:  Admiral Jackson, Did you order the third Rusty Nail?

Sen. Tester: You don't have to answer that question!

Ronny Jackson:  I'll answer the question!

[pauses] 
Ronny Jackson: You want answers?

Sen. Blumenthal:  I think I'm entitled to.

Ronny Jackson: You want answers?

Sen. Blumenthal:  I want the truth!

Ronny Jackson:  You can't handle the truth!

[pauses]

Ronny Jackson:   Senator, we live in a world that has big, hairy federal agencies, and when Republicans get into office, those big, hairy federal agencies are gonna be run unqualified hacks.  Who's gonna do it? You?  Ha!  Take it up with President Hillary!  Il Douche knows that I have a greater capacity to flatter his flabby ass than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Hillary and you curse Il Douche. You have that luxury. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at Beltway cocktail parties, you know that Washington runs on favors, nepotism, clout and ass-kissing.   We use words like knee-walking, do-a-shot, shitfaced. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent hiding out in the woodwork of the federal bureaucracy. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who gets woozy after one Bud Lite.  I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you grab a chug bucket and stand a keg. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Sen. Blumenthal:  Did you order the third Rusty Nail?

Ronny Jackson:  I did the job I...

Sen. Blumenthal:  Did you order third Rusty Nail?

Ronny Jackson:  You're God damn right I did!


Behold, a Tip Jar!


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Think small by @BloggersRUs

Think small

by Tom Sullivan

Vox's Dylan Matthews cautions against the allure of a deus ex machina arriving from the wings on a clothesline to end the Trump era and fix our beleaguered democracy. We would prefer to see the scoundrels swept out on a tempest followed by a return to democratic tranquility. But that that is both politically unlikely and an oxymoron.

Matthews writes:

This yearning is understandable — but it is both dangerous and misplaced. Ending the Trump presidency will not fix, or even substantially ameliorate, most of the problems plaguing the American political system. They were mounting for years before he took office — indeed, they made him possible — and they will continue to plague us for years after he leaves.
Our current fix breeds a host of conspiracy theories, Matthews believes, plus predictions of and a desire for revolutionary change that will repair the republic in a twinkling. They are driven in part by the sense that things just can’t go on like this and that only dramatic change will suffice to repair the damage to the republic (and to the planet) in time.
We can’t see what’s happening to American politics as just a succession of events that, in themselves, mean nothing. They have to be leading up to a climactic Götterdämmerung in which our slate is wiped clean. This is the yearning behind bold predictions of the Trump administration’s collapse, or of a dramatic descent into tyranny at Trump’s hand.

We fantasize about an early, dramatic end to the Trump years in part because that signals a return to normalcy and a rejection of all the dysfunctions he symbolizes. For more sophisticated observers who know that the forces that produced Trump will continue after he’s gone, you see either a wallowing into dystopia — musing about an American descent into outright tyranny, of the kind occurring in the formerly democratic Hungary and Poland right now. Or you see fantasies of utopia, as in Bernie Sanders’s characterization of the anti-Trump resistance as a broader “political revolution, something long overdue” that will sweep into power “an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class.”

We like a clean narrative with a beginning, a middle, and a dramatic ending. "Shit happens" leaves us as uneasy as an unresolved musical passage. A big finish is more satisfying. It's just that revolutions generally end poorly. What if we just have to muddle along? Matthews asks. He offers a few suggestions, however unlikely:
What does that look like? An unsatisfying litany of heavy political lifts, most of which will fail, and each of which on its own would only mildly improve matters if adopted. We should abolish the filibuster and Electoral College and eliminate midterm elections by having the House, Senate, and president serve concurrent four-year terms. We should adopt the Fair Representation Act to end gerrymandering and move toward proportional representation. We need a robust right to vote in the Constitution, public financing for elections, and more transparency for corporate and nonprofit political spending.
But all the energy of the first Obama presidential run quickly melted away. Watergate did not leave us purified and renewed. Clearly, Matthews writes, "the financial crisis did not usher in a new era of ethical banking."

Maybe that is why my motto these days is: If you're not Goliath, fine. Be David.

After an acquaintance's misdialed yesterday, I listened to a familiar rant about the Democrats' dysfunction and another of frequent demands for better messaging. Agreed. What message exactly? Republicans bad. Right. And there progress comes to a halt before it begins. Even if "the Democrats" (whoever they are) could agree on a message with vision, the left lacks the message discipline and the budget for making anything of it.

Think small.

It is not magic potions that win in sports (honestly, at least), but retooling a golf swing, timing the leap from the starting block, and the work of perfecting the slider. Building skills is the difference between a revolution that peters out and change that is sustainable. Many activists have no patience for working at small improvements that make big wins possible. We want dramatic. John Snow would probably have prefered his party had "game."

Perfecting the unsexy nuts-and-bolts of campaign grunt work can provide an edge where endless arguing over what message or policy will win elections fails. I'm not suggesting message and policy are unimportant. I'm just tired of getting nowhere arguing over them. Mechanics are chronically ignored. The field is wide open. Plus, there's little competition.

I would rather be lucky than good, the saying goes. "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" would seem a better bet.

* * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.

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Web Designers: Follow These Top 5 Website Navigation Best Practices

There is one thing web designers have in common with designers in other disciplines. It is that they look for simple solutions to specific problems. This is the case with improving website navigation.

Web designers strive to create simple, logical structures to build website navigation characteristics. This has resulted in the establishment of best practices. These best practices are not complex. They are quite straightforward and easy to implement.

Taking these top 5 navigation best practices to heart will save you time and energy. Plus, both you and your users will benefit. You won’t face the stress associated with using a poorly-designed navigation system.

The Top 5 Website Navigation Best Practices

Best Practice #1: Make it as easy as possible for the visitor to reach her main goal

When a brick and mortar store has a special something, it doesn’t hide it in the basement. As this would require shoppers to search the store for it.

A visitor to your online store is attracted to a special or new and exciting product line. It can be seasonal sales, or the latest news or updates. Your visitor will be best served by placing an eye-catching image on the front page. A CTA to point her in the right direction will also work perfectly.

BeClothing

A search bar or a set of crystal-clear CTAs is what you need. These are two straightforward methods to keep a visitor from getting lost.

BeDietitian2

BeWanderer

Best Practice #2: Always let a visitor know where in the website she is

A Current Locator has, for a good reason, been a website navigation gold standard for years.

It does not matter how carefully you design a megamenu. It can be easy for a user to get lost when confronted with one that features dozens of different products. That problem can easily be avoided by tracking:

  • The present location of the user
  • Where he came from, and
  • Where he could be expected to go next

A helpful navigation feature is using a contrasting color. This is done to indicate the user’s present location on the website.

BePizza3

Incorporate a mini-map of the user’s journey on the page. It is another way to give him or her a helping hand.

BeCompany

Make it a point to keep a fixed menu on top of the page. This will help the user decide where to go next to further explore the site.

BeAccountant2

Best Practice #3: Use standard icons and lingo – always

Website navigation is one area in which you need to keep creativity on a short leash.

Users want to be helped along the way. Preferably, without having to figure out how best to proceed every step of the way. Don’t make your users have to think, and don’t feel you have to entertain them either. Save your creativity for other areas, where it will be appreciated.

How about hamburger menu? Much of the time it will be an excellent choice.

BeGSMServices

A menu shaped like a penguin with random clickable areas would be appropriate? Definitely a no-no.

How about a bold logo that returns the user to the Homepage when he or she clicks on it? YES.

BeCarWash

An animated logo that warps the user into another dimension? NO! The other dimension would likely turn out to be another website – of the user’s own choosing.

Best Practice #4: 7 menu items – max

Most users can remember 7 things fairly easily, but they begin to struggle when the number is higher. Keep your menus clean and simple.

It’s the same with links, especially on the homepage. Hundreds or even a dozen links can be overwhelming. Multiple links can be appropriate for academic papers. But for a website, you need to keep everything as simple as possible.

BeDenim

Only list what’s important for the user; and place the two major areas of interest at the top and bottom.

BeBistro 2

Best Practice #5: Base the menu type in accordance with the amount of content

What works for one website won’t necessarily work for the next, no matter how good the idea may seem. This applies to menu types and designs as well. This is an area in which you don’t want to mindlessly follow what seems to have worked for others.

That’s mostly because different websites can feature different amounts of content. The amount of content a website has plays an important role in determining the menu type.

For a small store with a limited inventory? A single navigation bar is usually best.

BeShoes

For a large eCommerce shop selling 150 brands of clothing for men, women, and children? You’ll want either a vertical collapsible menu or a carefully-structured megamenu.

BeStore

A Simple Solution Incorporating All 5 Best Practices – BeTheme

Keep it simple, keep it evergreen; and you’ll easily keep up with the top best practices, which tend to change slowly. An even easier approach that will also save you time and energy? It is to take advantage of what pre-built websites offer.

BeTheme has more than 320 pre-built websites. They have been carefully categorized by type and industry. The design of each is aligned with specific user navigation needs and expectations.

BeMusic 2

BeHerbal

Summarizing:

A summary of what we’ve covered:

  • Never fail to direct the visitor toward her main goal – on every page
  • Make it a point to let the visitor know where she is, has been, and could go
  • Use standard icons and lingo so the user knows precisely what to do
  • Limit menu items to seven
  • Base your menu type on the amount of your website’s content
  • Use pre-built websites to ensure easy website navigation
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The Triumphant Return of Rand Paul Running Away From Things



It has been awhile since we dropped in on the bobs and weaves of the Running Man of Bowling Green, but he's back baby!

And this time Senator Rand Paul is running away from...

...Senator Rand Paul.



And now, the late Johnny Cash:


Behold, a Tip Jar!


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Crippled America is great again and yet nothing has changed

Crippled America is great again

by digby


And yet nothing has changed:

The Republican National Committee spent more than $224,000 at President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in March, according to newly filed FEC reports. The expenditures, which were for rental and catering fees, were to cover the costs of an RNC fundraiser there early in the month. It was, far and away, the largest amount that the committee has spent at that specific Trump property (in January, the RNC spent $62,700 at Mar-a-Lago) and it is a reflection of how the president’s private business holdings continue to be intertwined with his political activities. Mar-a-Lago didn’t see every cent of the $224,857.68 spent by the RNC, since much of it was reimbursement for hosting the event. But it did certainly profit from the fundraiser, in addition to the added allure and promotional value that came with hosting. Outside of that expense, the RNC dropped nearly $30,000 for venue rental and catering at the Trump National Doral in Miami. It also spent $4,796.82 on “donor mementos” to Simon & Schuster.

What a sweet sweet scam. The idea that a president who won by calling his opponent "Crooked Hillary" and promising to put her in jail, is directly making a profit from the presidency is just too perfect.
The expense report does not detail which book the committee purchases in order to give to donors. But Simon & Schuster is the publishing house for Trump’s book, Crippled America, which was later retitled Great Again.
Can we all share a good laugh about the fact that Trump's book called "Crippled America" has just been repackaged as "Great Again" with no changes to the content?

Time for a drink. You can't make this stuff up.

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Hello? Is this Donald?

Hello? Is this Donald?

by digby


Everybody wondered why Trump unilaterally decided not to issue the sanctions against Russia which Nikki Haley had publicly announced were coming. Too bad nobody can check his cell phone log. Who knows what it would reveal?

President Donald Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers, multiple sources inside and outside the White House told CNN, as Trump returns to the free-wheeling mode of operation that characterized the earliest days of his administration.

"He uses it a lot more often more recently," a senior White House official said of the President's cell phone.

Sources cited Trump's stepped-up cell phone use as an example of chief of staff John Kelly's waning influence over who gets access to the President ... one source close to the White House speculated that the President is ramping up the use of his personal device recently in part because "he doesn't want Kelly to know who he's talking to."

The senior White House official said Trump "is talking to all sorts of people on it," noting Trump's barrage of private calls is a "recent development."

Three sources familiar with the situation said Trump has also increased his direct outreach to GOP lawmakers over the past several weeks, sometimes employing his cell phone.

"Basically, at this point, he's just sort of engaging on his own," observed a source familiar with Trump's calls to congressional allies.

"Kelly used to be more clearly the gatekeeper than he is now from a Hill standpoint," that source added, noting members would typically call Kelly's office if they wanted to set up a talk with Trump rather than dial the President directly.

"I don't know that he even is running it by the chief of staff anymore," the staff said.
[...]
Former President Barack Obama was permitted to use a Blackberry during his presidency. However, the White House said at the time that the device given to Obama was outfitted with enhanced security to protect potentially classified talks.

A security expert said the President's increased cell phone use makes his calls more vulnerable to eavesdropping from foreign governments.

"All communications devices of all senior government officials are targeted by foreign governments. This is not new," said Bryan Cunningham, executive director of the Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute at the University of California-Irvine.

"What is new in the cell phone age is the ease of intercepting them and that at least our last two presidents ... have chafed at not being able to use their personal cell phones," Cunningham added. "Of course, calls are only secure if both parties use a secure device."

Another implication of Trump's private cell phone use, Cunningham noted, is the possibility that Trump's conversations may not be "captured for the purposes of government accountability and history."


All features not bugs.

Update: Not directly related but close:

The Treasury Department Monday eased sanctions on Russian aluminum producer Rusal and said it would consider lifting them altogether if the company severs ties with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Rusal was sanctioned earlier this month by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control because of Deripaska's stake in the company. The Russian billionaire is alleged to have conducted a range of illegal activities, including money laundering, extortion and ordering the murder of a businessman, according to Treasury.

He is also reportedly part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election...Deripaska made headlines last year after it was reported that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort offered him "private briefings" on the 2016 election less than two weeks after Trump became the Republican nominee.

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