Friday, November 17, 2017

Buyers' Remorse-- In North Carolina

>

Trump calls her his "Foxxy Lady" because she helps him with his whole toxic agenda

That thing with the Trump family and the elephants is just so horrifying, I can't express with words the depths of my sadness. Reversing the ban on hunters importing trophies of elephants killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe has got to be one of his ugliest diversions yet. On noted that anyone who still supports him with rot in hell with him for eternity. (But what do I know? God is wiser than I am-- though I doubt He created elephants so that spoiled assholes like Eric and Fredo could murder them and hang their body parts on walls.) So I was happy to see a post by James Hohmann in the Washington Post about Trumpian buyers' remorse based on a North Carolina focus group that was done even before the elephant murder executive order.

"Republican women," he wrote, "who voted for President Trump in North Carolina said during a focus group Wednesday night that they are embarrassed by and exasperated with him." It's an interesting look inside the heads of Trump voters and it explains why his favorability ratings are still dropping.
Annie Anthony, 56, voted for Trump last year because she opposes abortion and did not like how Hillary Clinton handled Benghazi. Now she fears that Trump is marching us toward war with North Korea. She describes the first 10 months of his presidency as “chaotic, stressful and an uphill battle.”

“While I thought his ideas appealed to me, since he’s been in there he’s embarrassed me by his behavior,” said Anthony, a divorced college graduate who runs a local nonprofit volunteer center and drives for Uber to make ends meet. “He behaves so unpresidential. The words he uses. The tweeting. I mean, he dresses nice. And Melania is looking good. When he was away (in Asia), he was great at being a president. He’s the showman. But here at home, I can’t imagine how they let him build a country club-- let alone be in one. Because adults don’t behave that way. I’ve been surprised that a billionaire would behave the way he has…

“I don’t have a problem with him tweeting,” she continued. “I follow him because I want to see what he’s saying myself and not have someone interpret it for me. But I think that his language is unprofessional. He uses words like ‘sad’ and ‘bad.’ That’s first grade language. We’re an intelligent population who elected you. Represent us!”

Anthony, a registered Republican, remains hopeful that Congress will soon pass tax cuts, but she’s nervous that they’ll take away the deduction for charitable donations. She’s also worried that, if her health insurance rates continue to go up, she won’t be able to afford to go see the doctor any more. (She makes less than $50,000 a year.)

Looking ahead to the midterms, she offered an ominous warning for the GOP: “I think the swamp is still full. I might be voting to drain that swamp some more.”

...When Hart asked for one word or phrase to describe Trump, the group initially erupted in laughter. Only two of 12 said something positive (“bold” and “fights back”). The others called him incompetent, a baffling fool, childlike, a loose cannon, an immature narcissist and ignorant.

Emily Bell, a 32-year-old occupational therapist who voted for Trump, described him as rude and stressful. “I feel like he told people that he had all these big ideas and big plans, and it just seems to kind of roll to something else. It’s like nothing is ever accomplished,” said Bell, who is married and has a postgraduate degree. “I’m going to stay optimistic, but I lean more toward being independent. Really it will come down (in 2020) to who I can trust more.”

Melissa Hight, a 62-year-old married retiree who has a postgraduate degree and voted for Trump, used the word “antagonistic” to describe him. “I had high hopes, but he just goes about things in a way that gets everybody’s back up against the wall,” she lamented. “He doesn’t facilitate working together. He comes out with these grandiose ideas, and there’s no follow through. It’s a lot of talk. … He hasn’t acted presidential at all. The tweets bother me. They may be enlightening to some people. I’m not a tweeter. But to me, firing off these tweets is just childish. … He should be above that… I will call a spade a spade because I’m a conservative more than a Republican.”

Only one of the 12 participants emerged as an unapologetic defender of the president. Cynthia Layton, a 64-year-old nurse, said she loves Trump’s tweets. “I like him because he talks like my neighbor talks to me,” she explained. “I don’t need an elitist person talking down to me. The media does not give an honest opinion. That’s why I turned off cable 10 years ago. I read my sites. I listen to his tweets. … That’s how I hear from him. The media doesn’t tell you what’s going on, so you have to find out what’s going on on your own. … To me, I think his tweets are simply what he honestly feels because he uses white and black language and doesn’t give you all these flowery descriptions about everything. I appreciate that he’s direct and tells it like it is.”
Is this going to flip any congressional seats in 2018? North Carolina is one of the most meticulously gerrymandered states in the union, with congressional districts drawn precisely to prevent anything like that. However, after the startling Isley-Freeman win in an Oklahoma state senate district that Trump won by nearly 40 points... all bets are off.

Goal ThermometerIf quality of candidates count, the most flippable seat in North Carolina is the 5th district in the northwest of the state-- from Forsyth County (Winston-Salem) through Mount Airy and Boone to the Tennessee border. The odious Virginia Foxx is the incumbent and Jenny Marshall in the challenger. She's as good as Foxx is bad. This morning she told us that "Over the past months we have been meeting more and more Republicans who are willing to talk to us about our campaign. They are not happy with Representative Virginia Foxx and have been very vocal about their dissatisfaction. They recounted meetings in which she berated people who dared to ask her questions, lectured a mother of a medically fragile child on the cost of health care, and refused to attend a town hall hosted for her as she sat in her office just a few blocks away to name just a few. They are tired of her dodging them and only appearing where she can control the narrative. Unlike Donald Trump, Virginia Foxx is not a mindless tweeting fool, but her dismissive behavior has made their own waves across the district. Her unwavering support of Trump's policies and executive orders coupled with her own lack of care has made her unpopular even among those who vote Republican."


If that Oklahoma state Senate seat can turn blue, so can NC-05. And Jenny is working with every intention of doing just that. If you'd like to give her a shot, in terms of a contribution... see that thermometer up above on the right? Give it a little click.


Labels: ,

Republicans Choking On Ryan's Tax Scam?

>


Ryan got his Republican tax scam through the House yesterday 227-205. No one doubted it would pass the House. Only 13 Republicans dared to stand up for their constituents instead of the multimillionaires and billionaires who will benefit from this travesty. Most were from New York, New Jersey and California. All the Republicans in New Jersey voted "NO" except the richest and most crooked of the lot: Tom MacArthur. In New York most of the Republicans stood with their constituents instead of Trump, including Elise Stefanik, Dan Donovan, Peter King, Lee Zeldin and John Faso. Katko stuck it to his constituents badly--afer announcing he's retiring. The ones who need to be defeated by their constituents in 2018 are Tom Reed, Claudia Tenney and Chris Collins, all crackpot wing-nuts. And then California-- only 3 of the House's 14 Republicans stood with their constituents: Issa, Rohrabacher and McClintock. So, the signatories to the California GOP Suicide Pact:
Goal Thermometer Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mimi Walters (CA-45)
Steve Knight (CA-25)
Jeff Denham (CA-10)
David Valadao (CA-21)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Kevin Calvert (CA-42)
Paul Cook (CA-08)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-02)
Ted Lieu is the only good regional vice chair the DCCC has. He's not just "good;" he's great. notice when the DCCC endorsed 11conservative shit-heads in primaries this week, not one was in California. That wasn't by coincidence. Yesterday after Ryan's tax scam vote, Ted told me that "Many California Republicans just voted to increase taxes on their own constituents, explode the federal deficit, increase the federal debt, hurt people with student loans, whack folks with medical bills, and potentially crash the housing market in California. Oh, they also voted to name a post office today. One of these two votes will cause many of them not to get re-elected. Can you guess which one?"

Sam Jammal can. Sam's the top candidate in CA-39 (mostly northeast Orange County, represented by Ed Royce since 1992) how he reads what happened. "Ed voted to retire today," he stated flatly. "It will either be by force or choice, but one thing is clear-- Ed is done. By voting against homeowners, students, seniors and working families to help his donors and out of district millionaires, Ed told our community he no longer wants to work for us."

Ricardo Franco is the progressive running for the seat Putin/Trump lover Devin Nunes holds. It's a pretty red seat but Nunes' vote to raise his own constituents taxes will make it easier to beat him next year. "Constituents here have repeatedly told Nunes and the GOP that we don't want our SALT deductions taken away, we don't want our ACA benefits taken away and we don't want our taxes to go up to line the pockets of the wealthy," Ricardo told us after the vote. "Regardless, they continue to stick it to us behind our backs. This Central Valley is the land that gave birth to the Civil Rights and Labor Rights movement in California a generation ago and it will be the land that gives us the Working Class Rights movement of today."

There are two great progressives running for the Mimi Walters seat in inland Orange County (where she doesn't live), Kia Hamadanchy and Katie Porter. Kia: "In voting for this outrageous tax increase, Mimi Walters showed her true colors again. She is more interested in making her billionaire donors, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan happy than serving the people of our district. Over and over, Mimi votes against the interested of her constituents and it’s going to put her out of a job come November 2018." And Katie: "The tax reform bill Mimi Walters voted YES on delivers a huge blow to California taxpayers. It raises taxes on California families by cutting deductions for working families, adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, and giving giant tax breaks to corporations. Orange County families were already struggling to make ends meet before Donald Trump and Paul Ryan rammed this bill through Congress. But Mimi Walters isn’t interested in fighting for working families-- she only cares about keeping Donald Trump and her mega-donors happy so they continue to bankroll her campaign."

Not that political leaders from other states weren't noticing what Trump and Ryan were up to. I liked the way Pramila Jayapal explained it to her constituents in Seattle within an hour of passage:
Republicans just moved forward with their scam on the American people that takes from working families to give trillions of dollars to the rich. The GOP tax scam will line the pockets of large corporations and the wealthy, while middle-class households will see their taxes go up. It is unconscionable.

Instead of closing corporate loopholes, Republicans are slashing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, the student loan interest deduction, medical expense deductions – everything on which working families rely for tax relief. These deductions allow millions of families to make ends meet. And, though Republicans claim to care about exploding our deficit, this tax scam would do exactly that. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the bill would trigger $136 billion in automatic spending cuts in 2018 alone – this includes a $25 billion hit to Medicare.

The American people see the Republican party has turned its back on the middle-class. Students, seniors, veterans, everyone except for the top 1 percent will suffer under the GOP tax scam. Just as we protected the Affordable Care Act and health care for millions, we cannot allow Republicans to rig the economy to favor the wealthy.
Before yesterday's vote, it was big news this week when ultra-conservative Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (AKA- RonJon) announced that he's a no vote on the Senate tax travesty. He said "that he does not support the current versions of the Senate and House GOP’s tax bills-- becoming the first Republican senator to outright oppose the party’s plan to overhaul the tax system. Johnson said in a statement that he objects to the bills' treatment of businesses known as pass-throughs, whose owners pay taxes on their companies through the individual side of the tax code.
“These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions," Johnson said.
Remember, McConnell can only afford to lose 3 Republican senators-- 2 if Moore loses in Alabama-- to prevent the whole thing from falling apart. RonJon says he's the first but he's not dependable and just bitches and kvetches all the time but in the end almost never stays from leadership on votes. His Trumpanzee adhesion score is 92.3% and there are 13 Senate Republicans less tied to Trump-- including Trumpian golfing partners Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul.

There are all kind of little nooks and crannies-- and some really big ones (like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate)-- that are landmines for some of the Republican members. What about retiring Republicans Jeff Flake (AZ) and Bob Corker (TN)? They're hardcore deficit hawks and this bill isn't the kind of legislation they would have ever approved in the past. And they both loathe Trump and voting NO could be a win-win for them. Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS) and kind of in the same boat, except not retiring. Utah is very anti-Trump though and Kansas Republicans understand-- through experience-- what this kind of smoke-and-mirrors tax plan does to destroy a polity. I'd watch both these guys.

And, of course there are the 3 who cratered the Obamacare repeal, Lisa Murkowski (AK), John McCain (AZ)-- the "regular order" guy-- and Susan Collins (ME). Susan Collins has a lot in the bill she objects to. Back in Maine, the Bangor Daily News speculates that she may well me a NO vote.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate have altered their tax reform plan to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all Americans have health coverage or face a penalty. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins doesn’t like that.

The Maine Republican isn’t saying that’ll make her vote against tax reform (yet), but it makes the path toward “yes” harder. The moderate Collins already has helped kill two of her party’s efforts to repeal the health care law this year... On Wednesday, Collins told MSNBC that she didn’t think linking tax reform with the so-called individual mandate is “a good idea from either the political or policy perspective,” though she supports lower taxes and hasn’t made a decision on the ever-changing Senate tax proposal.

... Collins told MSNBC that the impact on premiums from scrapping the mandate would outweigh the current penalties. She said it also endangers a bipartisan Affordable Care Act stabilization bill that she supports.

However, she also opposes a Senate provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes and a provision in the House tax reform bill that would eliminate a deduction for medical expenses.
Maddow has an interesting point about Collins Wednesday night too. One of the groups Ryan and Trump are targeting are school teachers. In 2002 Collins wrote a bill allowing already badly paid school teachers to take a small deductions for out-of-pocket money they spend on supplies for students. The tax bill wipes that out and Collins is quietly flipping out over it. As Trump says, we shall see. I'd also watch James Lankford (R-OK) closely. He seems to have been undergoing a sea-change in the way he's looking at things lately-- as though he's asking Jesus what to do. I could be wrong but... we shall see.

One more metric to look at. Not counting Republicans who are leaving the House to run for the Senate or for governor jobs, there were an even dozen announced retirements by the time the vote came Thursday. Only one voted against the bill, Frank LoBiondo. Ryan and McCarthy prevailed on all the rest to vote for the tax scam and betray the voters who kept them in office all these years with the threat of them not being effective lobbyists if they didn't. These 11:
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Charlie Dent (PA)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Dave Trott (MI)
Lynn Jenkins (KS)
Sam Johnson (TX)
Ted Poe (TX)
Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Lamar Smith (TX)
Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Jimmy Duncan (TN)


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

>


-by Noah

The scandal of Republican Senate Candidate Judge Roy Moore didn't happen in a vacuum. Politicians of all stripes have all too often felt entitled when it comes to depravity. But, one party, the Republican Party, has perfected it. That Moore has openly acted as he has for decades and been continually rewarded with the backing of his party is no mistake. Nothing about Moore slipped through the cracks. That, sooner or later, a high profile Republican would implode in a scandal of sexual deviance before our eyes was inevitable. The general Republican attitude towards rape provided the environmental conditions that gave us Judge Roy Moore. Call it what it is: Republican Rape Culture. When Republicans say "If True," that's their new "Thoughts & Prayers,"  "Fake News," and "Legitimate Rape;" all of which are tools of avoidance used by depraved sleazebags and cowards as cover.

As today's meme points out, there is no shortage when it comes to Republican apologists for rape. Just as Alabama's Republicans today are loudly defending their candidate, and today's Republican National Committee supports him with on the ground operatives and money, national Republicans had no problem with rape during the Iraq war. No, I'm not talking about soldiers raping women; I'm talking about what happened when employees of Dick Cheney's Halliburton/KBR gang raped a fellow female employee and then locked her in a shipping container to cover up their crime and, probably, in hopes that she would just die. The reaction to the news of this was swift. Decent Americans wanted justice for the victim. The problem was that she had no rights when it came to filing charges against her assailants and her employer. The perps needn't have worried about the consequences of their heinous actions. Why? Because a republican president, George W. Bush had signed an order prohibiting such charges being filed against war contractors like Halliburton/KBR. I'll let you wonder just whose idea that might have been but, it being a Republican administration, it could have been lots of people.

I wrote about this back in 2009 as part of my annual year end review. I did so to throw a spotlight on what I called the Senate's Republican Pro-Rape Caucus of 30 beyond despicable senators. The 30 senators, listed below, voted against a bill put forward by Democratic Senator Al Franken. The bill was designed to give people such as the Halliburton/KBR rape victim the right to justice. The 30 member pro-rape caucus voted against it but it passed anyway when a minority of remaining Republican senators voted along with the Democrats to pass it. Not surprisingly, both Alabama senators of the time voted in favor of rapists. One of them was KKK boy Jeff Sessions who is now the Attorney General. Scum rises to the top. Here's the complete list, many of whom are still in office. As I said at the time, if I had a daughter working for one of these knuckle-draggers, she'd be carrying a Glock and starting to look for a better job.

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson R-ID)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rich Cordray Leaving The CFPB Isn't Good-- But I Hope He'll Make A Good Ohio Governor

>


Governor John Kasich (R-OH) is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Former Senator and current Attorney General Mike DeWine, current Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and multimillionaire backbencher Rep. Jim Renacci are all competing in a fiery Republican primary. Kasich is backing his Lt. Governor but virtually every poll shows her in third place behind DeWine and Husted. (Renacci is a non-factor, never even getting into double digits. The most recent poll (August) has DeWine at 36%m Husted at 20%, Taylor at 17% and Renacci at 8%.

The Democrats also have a crowded field-- State Supreme Court Judge Bill O'Neill, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, current state Senator Joe Schiavoni (once Senate Minority Leader), former Rep. Betty Sutton, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and, as of yesterday, CFPB Director (and former state Attorney General) Rich Cordray.

All the never-right professional prognosticators have announced the race "leans Republican." None of them seems to understand what a giant anti-Trump/anti-GOP wave means.

Yesterday Cordray sent his staff at the CFPB an e-mail telling them he's stepping down as director by the end of the month.
“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here,” he wrote.

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Eckart, a Cleveland Democrat, said “several prominent Democrats have told me this morning they expect Cordray to run for governor.”

He added, “Cordray has a very compelling story and is motivated by convictions that will resonate well in Ohio and especially for those voters in Ohio who believe they have been left behind, ripped off, or ignored.”

...Ohio Republican Chairman Jane Timken came up with this withering put-down: “Ohio voters know a swamp creature when they see one, and just like Hillary, Crooked Cordray can’t be trusted.”

Cordray also was blasted by his Democratic rivals for governor.

“The CFPB has done good work to protect consumers, but by resigning Cordray is finally doing what Trump couldn’t-- undoing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Faith Oltman, a spokeswoman for Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“It’s disheartening and disappointing that my friend, Richard Cordray, would abandon his role of protecting our nation’s consumers by turning over this critical agency to Donald Trump,” said Democratic candidate Connie Pillich.

...Joe Schiavoni, a Boardman state senator who also is seeking the Democratic nomination, said he’s not worried about Cordray’s prospective entry into the race.

“I think Cordray represents the same old recycled politician and if that’s what people are going to want, then they’ll have that opportunity,” he said. “But they’ll also have the opportunity to pick somebody that’s new, that has some new ideas and is just trying to represent the best interests of all Ohioans and trying to build a stronger Ohio.”

...[A]t a news conference on Capitol Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who designed the bureau and recruited Cordray seven years ago to help set it up, vigorously defended Cordray, saying “he has stayed for seven years and devoted his life to making this agency work on behalf of the American people. I feel nothing but gratitude to Rich.”


Labels: , , , ,

The Wall: Cards Against Humanity Takes On Don the Con Trump's Biggest, Best, And Most Tremendous Con!

>




-by Noah
"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I build them very inexpensively."
-Señor Trumpanzee
From the day he announced his candidacy, Senor Trumpanzee played on the paranoid prejudices and fears of republican and conservative independent voters. Like any master of the conman craft, he knew how to motivate them into voting for him. He knew where the buttons were and he pressed them. "They're rapists." "The drugs." "Mexico isn't sending their best." "They're stealing our jobs." He pressed and he pressed those reactionary emotional buttons over and over again. He's still doing it and his hate-filled and gullible supporters are still eating it up like dogs raiding the cat's litter box.

The wall was always a con. Remember "And Mexico will pay for it?" Now that's "There are other ways they'll be made to pay for it." That's all 3-Card Monte stuff. At the end of the dark days of Trump, the people paying for it will be us, the American taxpayers, one way or the other. It's another trickle down. Meanwhile, you can be damn well sure that the Trump Crime Family will make a profit on whatever work gets done. The only question is which contractors will he try to stiff in our name?

There are a lot of problems in the way of constructing The Wall. Money isn't the only one. Sure, we can produce the billions of dollars it will take. America is the biggest license to print money the world has ever seen, but why even start when 1) the dwindling numbers of people coming across from Mexico make the cost and effort of building The Wall a highly inefficient way of spending our hard-earned tax dollars, and, 2) Washington lacks both the smarts and the honesty to be able to tell us what we would end up paying for this monument to stupidity. Much better things could be done for us all with the kind of money The Wall would cost. Already, Trump has estimated a cost of 10-12 Billion dollars, while fellow psychopathic loons, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are saying 12-15 Billion. You have to know that the next figure rolling off their forked tongues will be 24 Billion dollars and climbing. "Inexpensively" my ass. Go ahead. Name the last time a government project of any size came in on budget! We're talking about people who charge us $2000 for a wrench and then go to lunch on our dime.



Before Trump moved into the White House, 650 miles of our southern border already had a fence and those 650 miles cost us 7 Billion dollars. The total border is 1900 miles. As they say; you do the math. Senor Trumpanzee likes to try to finesse this when pressed by saying that we don't really need a complete fence because there are natural barriers. He's referring to the Rio Grande River and some rough terrain. Yeah right; the same Rio Grande River that offers parts you can wade across during droughts. Believe it or not, there are even some places where you can swim when the currents aren't too bad. Just pick your place and time. People have been crossing the river since there were people there to cross it; wildlife before that, which leads to other concerns. As for rocky terrain; it's rough, but it's not mountain ranges and people walk over some of the world's mountain ranges all the time and they're doing it just for recreation. When people feel the need to get somewhere, they get there. Bottom line: Billions spent and no additional security. Bottom Bottom line: Security has nothing to do with building The Wall but getting a piece of the action does, and for that, there will be lots of hands out; little tiny Trump hands.



Another problem is: How do you think various Texas ranchers will feel when Trump's minions come to seize some of their land in order to build his sick joke of a wall? Remember how they felt in Texas when FOX "News" and Alex Jones convinced them that the military's "Operation Jade Helm" wasn't military practice at all but an evil Obama commie plot to steal their land? Plus, there is the general attitude of hardcore Texans towards the big bad federal government anyway that may test their warm and fuzzy feelings for the Big Orange Fascist. You can expect more than one rancher to tie up any government eminent domain claims on his or her land in the courts for years, at additional cost to the taxpayer, of course.

All of this brings us to a very practical way to fight The Wall. A company named Cards Against Humanity, known for a party game in which contestants are forced to answer a question on a black card chosen by an opponent with the funniest, most awkward, and often most politically incorrect white card that they hold in their hands. It's well beyond truth or dare and the game proudly bills itself as "a game for horrible people." Cards Against Humanity also views itself as a kind of political watchdog group. Who better to take on Trump and do it so simply. To market its game, Cards Against Humanity decided to sabotage Trump's inane, astronomically useless and costless wall by buying plots of border land, with help from the public, of course. As Cards Against Humaity sez:
Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. So we've purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.
Cards Against Humanity made its fans an offer they found hard to refuse. They sold land shares. The deal was this: Those who bought (150,000 subdivided plots reportedly sold out in less than a day) for just an investment of $15.00, get to own a small piece of the land, and as Trump well knows, there's money in real estate! How ironic! In return, investors also get some trinkets in the mail this holiday season, Now, this is a better use of taxpayer dollars! It's cheaper to all of us if it prevents Trump's boondoggle from going any further. Or, at least, if it puts a literal hole in Don the Con's plan, at least something positive has been accomplished. Think of that $15.00 as a wall against The Wall. It's beautiful. It's better. All those people who sent in their $15.00 took advantage of a chance to throw a wrench into the corrupt system, and this wrench cost but a small fraction of a $2000 wrench. Why it's almost as good as getting to throw a real wrench right at Señor Trumpanzee himself. It's the best. It's tremendous. It's inexpensive. Believe me! Chalk up a victory for the forces of creative chaos over mass stupidity!

Labels: ,

Closet Cases In High Places Are Terrible Role Models For Children-- They Teach Deception And Cowardice

>


Do you read the Style Section of the NY Times? Me neither, but there was a piece yesterday about gossip columnist Liz Smith, who died Sunday. I didn't know she had died and didn't know she had lived her life in the closet. In fact, I probably wouldn't have even known she existed at all except that when I worked at Warner Bros, she would, every so often, be part of a marketing plan for an artist's record release-- mostly Madonna, but she was friends with our East Coast head of publicity and she always felt getting an artist or record mentioned by Liz Smith was a big coup. Yesterday the Times asserted that "the grande dame of New York's gossip pages" had come "under fire for keeping her attraction to women quiet. But for her generation, coming out can be especially fraught."

Oh, please... it's fraught if you make it fraught. When I figured out I was gay in 1973 I was living in Amsterdam. I flew home for a meeting with my family to tell them, not to ask their permission, just to let them know. They never thought of inviting me to anything again without including my boyfriend and never talked to me on the phone without asking how he was. In the corporate business world there was some residual homophobia-- but it didn't prevent me-- not for one second-- to rise to become president of a division of TimeWarner. Fraught, schmaught. It's fraught if you play the bullshit patriarchal game of showing fear or shame.

Today, as I was getting dressed I had an eye on the TV. Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA) were droning on-- filled with self-serving rage-- that there are serving members of Congress they know who approach women in the workplace in a way that is both sexual and comes from a place of power and entitlement. So... who the hell are they? Why keep it in the closet? what are you afraid of?



When Mark Foley (R-FL) was finally outed publicly for molesting underage male congressional pages, Pelosi immediately backed up Speaker Denny Hastert (a life long boy rapist who eventually went to prison) in insisting Foley had just sent naughty e-mails to the boys. Everyone knew that was as truthful as every statement Trump has ever made. But Hastert and Pelosi (and the whole congressional leadership) decided keeping Congress' dirty little secret in the closet was the way to go. (If you're wondering how I know Foley was fucking the boys, that's easy. I talked to the boys and I talked to Foley and they all admitted it. Imagine what a congressional investigation like the one Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Mark Hatfield was subjected to before he retired (on the day the investigation's report was released). Foley eventually asked me if I thought he could move to West Hollywood (a gay-dominated city), switch parties and get elected to Congress. He gave up on the plan when I explained that "gay" and "pedophile" are separate entities and that gay voters would never vote for a pedophile, not even one who shuttled his boys from state to state to take advantage of age of consent laws.



Speaking of which-- closets, not child molesting-- it's 2017 and we still have a Congress that tolerates closet cases, even notorious ones like Lindsey Graham (R-SC), David Young (R-IA), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who John Boehner predicts will be Speaker one day, and DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). Yes, closetry isn't just "too fraught" for Republicans but even some Democrats are too cowardly to accept themselves. When Blue Dog Mike Michaud was finally outed, it melted down his whole career. Blue Dog and "ex"-Republican Charlie Crist, who jettisoned his beard as soon as he was safely elected to Congress, still pretends to be "straight," even if there isn't a sentient Floridian who doesn't know he's as queer as... I am.

Tuesday, Allison Ikley-Freeman, an upfront lesbian-- and an upfront progressive-- won a blood-red Republican state senate district southwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. That's a district Trump had won by nearly 40 points. It's the kind of district where closet case Ben Ray Lujan and his DCCC routinely recruits conservative, Republican-lite candidates because, they say, real Democrats can't win in districts like that. Lujan even went so far this year-- with Nancy Pelosi's approval-- to say they are recruiting anti-Choice candidates for these kinds of districts. And Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. As we pointed out earlier, of the 11 candidates that DCCC just put on their Red to Blue list of favored candidates-- the ones they'll spend millions dollars on-- 8 are Blue Dogs or New Dems from the Republican wing of the party.

One more thing. There are 6 proud LGBT members of Congress today not hiding in closets and turning their lives into hells of deceptions and practiced lies: Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Mark Takano (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI). Every gay Republican and every gay "ex"-Republican is a very tragic and very pathetic closet case. Sad.

UPDATE: Another GOP Closet Case Bites The... Pillow?

Today the Columbus Dispatch reported that a right-wing "familiy values" phony, state Rep. Wes Goodman , a married man, resigned after being confronted with evidence of "inappropriate conduct with another man" in his office. He represents all of Crawford, Morrow and Wyandot counties, Trump country. Trump beat Hillary in Crawford Co. 71-24%, took Morrow Co. 74-23%, and won in Wyandot Co. 71-24%. Now that's one red hellhole! And poor Goodman doesn't seem to have done anything career-ending-- except among Republican hypocrites.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, met Tuesday afternoon with the Cardington Republican soon after the speaker became aware of an incident from weeks ago in the lawmaker’s office that, sources said, involved a male in a consensual situation.

No harassment complaint, sexual or otherwise, was filed against Goodman. But someone, reportedly not a staffer, who knew of or witnessed the incident informed House Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe of the situation early Tuesday afternoon.

“I was alerted to details yesterday afternoon regarding his involvement in inappropriate behavior related to his state office,” Rosenberger said in a statement on Wednesday. “I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations. It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”

The speaker’s office is not releasing additional details of the conduct, though Brad Miller, spokesman for Rosenberger, said it did not involve Statehouse staffers or other legislative members. Rumors about Goodman’s questionable conduct, including his use of social media, have been swirling at the Statehouse in the past few weeks and include stories dating back years to when he worked in Washington. His Facebook account was taken offline.

Rosenberger and Goodman agreed, Miller said, “that it was activity unbecoming of a state representative.”

...On his Twitter page, Goodman described himself as “Christian. American. Conservative. Republican.”

Previously, Goodman was an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, developing “pro-family and pro-liberty” policies. Later he served as managing director for the Conservative Action Project, where he says he “led the fight for conservative principles like a balanced budget, lower taxes, repealing Obamacare, life, and religious liberty...”

Jordan endorsed Goodman in 2016, saying he had “the character, experience and passion to serve the families and taxpayers of our part of Ohio in the Statehouse.”

A Jordan spokeswoman said he heard “no allegations of wrongdoing and received no accusations of misconduct” during Goodman’s nearly six years working for him.

“Congressman Jordan is deeply disappointed by this troubling news, and believes Mr. Goodman’s resignation was the best course of action,” said spokeswoman Melika Willoughby.

A Republican with close ties to the conservative movement, speaking about politically sensitive matters only on the condition of not being named, said reports about inappropriate behavior surfaced after Goodman returned to Ohio in 2015.

Goodman declared himself “proud” to carry on the tradition of the Caveman Caucus, the colorful moniker attached to a group of highly conservative lawmakers several years ago. He was co-sponsor of the Ohio Campus Free Speech Act, and worked on issues including the Medicaid expansion freeze.



Labels: , , , , , ,

New Study: "Natural Gas" Has No Climate Benefit, Will Make Things Worse

>

Your methane bridge to nowhere (source)

by Gaius Publius

I've seen this report referenced several times, but none of those mentions is getting traction. So time to repeat. The idea that methane, so-called "clean natural gas" or "clean energy," is a bridge fuel that can make our climate problem better — is a lie.

Not only that, it's an obvious lie. If you want to eliminate dust and grit, say, from blowing through an open window into your home, you don't half-close the window that lets it in. You close it all the way. If you want to eliminate all carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel, you don't start burning a different fossil fuel. You stop burning all fossil fuels, including methane.

That's just common sense. It makes even more sense when you consider that the Big Oil barons who own the oil companies also own many of the methane companies. Of the ten top drillers of fracked gas in the U.S., the largest by far is:
1. Exxon Mobil

The biggest natural gas producer is also the country's biggest oil company and one of the most profitable corporations in the world. Exxon has operations in every continent but Antarctica. Its oil and gas operations range across several states, from Pennsylvania to Colorado, and it also has wells in the Gulf of Mexico and off the California coast.

With the purchase of XTO, Exxon produces nearly 50 percent more gas than its closest competitor. Earlier this year, Exxon began running ads touting natural gas as a safe, clean source of domestic energy. About two-thirds of the company's domestic reserves are now in natural gas, with the rest in oil.
Others on the top ten list include BP, ConocoPhillips and Chevron. So call the promotion of "clean natural gas" a profit protection plan for Big Oil as well.

Do we want Big Oil companies to be profitable? Only if they abandon carbon fuel extraction and go into an entirely different, entirely anodyne business, as makers of party balloons perhaps. Otherwise, they need to die and disappear as companies, the sooner the better.

(I suspect that most people don't realize this — that if we don't kill off the fossil fuel companies, they will kill us off. That's literally true. Exxon and its like really do have to fail and disappear, or be taken down, before anything resembling our smart-phone civilization can survive.)

The Bridge to Nowhere

The common sense wisdom that says "switching to methane fuel won't help" is backed by data. The latest report is nicely summarized by Joe Romm at ThinkProgress (h/t the smart climate site Faster Than Expected):
Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse
Methane leaks in New Mexico's oil and gas industry equal 12 coal-fired power plants.

The evidence is overwhelming that natural gas has no net climate benefit in any timescale that matters to humanity.

In fact, a shocking new study concludes that just the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are “equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.” If the goal is to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, a recent report [pdf] by U.K. climate researchers finds “categorically no role” to play for new natural gas production.
Of course, the carbon lords get their say, even at the U.N. Note that the source is the IEA, which represents the prospects for the industry, not for the humans affected:
Sadly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published a “Commentary” on “the environmental case for natural gas,” that ignores or downplays key reasons that greater use of natural gas is bad for the climate.
As the note in the Commentary says, "With concerns about air quality and climate change looming large, natural gas offers many potential benefits if it displaces more polluting fuels." Directly contradicted by the data, but when there's money on the table, seems even the U.N. helps its owners bend to pick it up.

The Problem With Methane

Part of the problem is that methane is subject to leaks all along its supply and production chain, and while short-lived in the atmosphere, it's incredibly potent as a greenhouse gas.

Atmospheric methane decays to carbon dioxide and water vapor in about 12 years, but note, carbon dioxide is itself a greenhouse gas, and also, prior to decay — that is, when first emitted — methane is more than a hundred times more potent that CO2. Over a 20-year span, the IPCC considers methane to be 84 times more powerful than CO2. If we keep refreshing the atmospheric supply of methane, as we're doing, we renew its global warming power each year, year after year.

In 15 years or less, global temperature will already have surpassed the dangerously generous "two degrees warming" the world is trying to avoid:
“The 2017 emissions data make it crystal clear that urgent and very serious emissions reductions are needed to stop global warming below 2° C, as was unanimously agreed in Paris,” Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said in an email. ...

Rahmstorf said there are currently about 600 billion remaining tons of carbon dioxide that can be emitted if the world is to have a good chance of keeping warming considerably below 2 degrees Celsius, and with some 40 billion tons of emissions each year, that leaves just 15 years.
Those fifteen years will shorten every year we keep increasing emissions, as we already know we will do in 2017. In 15 years, most of us will still be alive — and the world will be completely different in ways few can imagine.

The second problem with methane is that it doesn't just replace some coal, it replaces renewable energy sources as well. Call it the magic of the market. Romm:
Indeed, researchers confirmed in 2014 that  —  even if methane leakage were zero percent  — “increased natural gas use for electricity will not substantially reduce US GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, and by delaying deployment of renewable energy technologies, may actually exacerbate the climate change problem in the long term.” Exactly. In fact, a 2016 study found that natural gas and renewables are competing directly with each other to replace coal plants in this country.
Joe Romm's data comes from a study published in 2014 in the journal Science, which has just been reinforced by a new study (pdf) at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Among its conclusions are these (emphasis added):
By 2035 the substantial use of fossil fuels, including natural gas, within the EU’s energy system will be incompatible with the temperature commitments enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

1) The Paris commitment will be exceeded in under 18 years of current greenhouse gas emissions [actually, in 15 years or less according to the latest 2017 emissions data]

2) Non-OECD nations will “fairly” use up to 98% of the 2°C global carbon budget

3) It is highly unlikely that the Paris 1.5°C commitment is a viable mitigation objective

4) Current levels of emissions will use up the EU’s 2°C carbon budget in under nine years

5) To meet its Paris 2°C commitment the EU needs over 12% p.a. [per annum] mitigation, starting immediately

6) To deliver on the Paris commitments, policy makers need a balanced portfolio of CO2 mitigation scenarios with ‘negative emissions technologies’ only included in the exotic minority [i.e., no "Bill Gates and technology will save us" scenario]

7) Methane emissions and atmospheric concentrations are observed at the top end [i.e., worst case] of IPCC scenarios.

9) Carbon dioxide from combustion is the dominant contributor to the long-term climate change impact of natural gas. Methane has a much greater warming effect than carbon dioxide per unit of emissions released but its atmospheric lifetime is short, only about a decade. However, persistently high emissions [meaning leaks] of methane would replenish this loss and maintain this initial warming effect

9a) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport increases the climate change impact of natural gas supply chains [consider that as both parties tout LNG sales — and transport — to Europe]

10) For stabilising at 2°C, reductions in methane emissions must be accompanied by CO2 reductions
And finally:
11) Fossil fuels (including natural gas) have no substantial role in an EU 2°C energy system beyond 2035
The study concludes that "there is categorically no role for bringing additional fossil fuel reserves, including gas, into production."

What to Note About This Report

Readers of these pages know by now what the rest of the country is just starting to discover — that climate change is already affecting American lives in large and tragic ways, and that the madness of burning fossil fuels to satisfy the greed and, yes, pathology of a small handful of billionaires (plus those they control), that madness must end before it ends us.

What seems new here is the absolute finality of statements in the latest climate reports. These are black-and-white conclusions. Again — "there is categorically no role for bringing additional fossil fuel reserves, including gas, into production." No wiggle room in a statement like that; no sugar at all to coat it with.

Once categorical statement like these make it into the insurance company estimates and reports (to name just one industry affected) — that is, once global warming start to affect billionaire money — you'll see a sudden increase in public awareness, to add to the gradual shifts in awareness we're seeing right now.

Not only will it be a wake-up call; it will look and act like a wake-up call.

Will wake-up call change the course of U.S. carbon emissions? Not while money buys politics and policy in the U.S. But it will introduce Sanders-like political chaos into the system. At that point the political battle will be visible, out in the open, with participants from all quarters joining in. Even the corporate news will report on it.

What will be the effect of a wide and visible public battle over fossil fuel use, as the billionaires dig in?


Complete chaos.

GP
 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Good Candidates Don't Accept DCCC Endorsements In Primaries

>

Worth 10 DCCC Red to Blue Endorsements

The DCCC claims to be neutral in primaries but always puts its fingers on the scale for corrupt conservatives from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Blue Dogs and New Dems, never for progressives. The DCCC favors wealthy self-funders and "ex"-Republicans. They recruit them and back them and help them disadvantage candidates from working class backgrounds. Is the DCCC anti-union? They probably don't even realize it, but, of course they are. Let's take a look at a DCCC press release masquerading as reporting in yesterday's Roll Call: DCCC Names First 11 Candidates In 'Red To Blue' Program."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday to the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive GOP-held seats and in one open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

Washington Rep. Denny Heck, the chair of recruitment, and Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, the vice chair of recruitment, will co-chair this cycle's Red to Blue program.

Being named to Red to Blue opens doors for candidates who can tout their inclusion on the list to donors. Candidates also benefit from guidance and staff resources from the DCCC, which has been in contact with all Democratic House candidates who have been willing to collaborate and communicate with the committee this year.

The DCCC evaluates candidates’ fundraising, grassroots engagement, local support, ties to the community and campaign infrastructure when deciding who makes the cut for Red to Blue.

This cycle’s first round is earlier than last cycle’s when the first 16 candidates were named in early February of the on-year. Additional rounds of Red to Blue candidates for 2018 will be rolled out more frequently and in more targeted batches than in previous election cycles.

“The House is in play in 2018 and incredible Democratic challengers are stepping up to run across the largest offensive battlefield in a decade,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján said in a statement. The DCCC expanded its target list last week, for a total of 91 GOP-held seats.

“These candidates have their own unique experiences rooted in these districts, but what they all have in common are records of service to their communities and our country,” Luján added.

The DCCC on Wednesday is also naming certain districts to two additional lists-- Majority Makers and True Blue.
Then they named the 11 crap candidates along with how much money they ended the third quarter with. They didn't bother to mention that most of the candidate are from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, either Blue Dog or New Dem recruits-- or in several cases-- both. Another couple are EMILY's List recruits.
New Dem Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)- $269,000
Jason Crow (CO-06)- $393,000
Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)- $169,000
Blue Dog Brendan Kelly (IL-12)- $305,000
Blue Dog Paul Davis (KS-02)- $344,000
New Dem Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)- $377,000
New Dem Angie Craig (MN-02)- wealthy self-funder
Blue Dog Dan McCready (NC-09)- $700,000
Susie Lee (NV-03)- multimillionaire self-funder
Blue Dog Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)- $399,000
Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)- $662,000
Kirkpatrick is a loser and a carpetbagger from up north who the DCCC is trying to shove down the throats of southern Arizonans. She has shown in the past that she can get swept into office in a wave election-- but her GOP voting record always guarantees she's defeated in midterms when Democrats refuse to come out and vote for her. She's an NRA poster child (literally) and an all-around conservative Democrat. The DCCC is always touting fundraising as an indication of viability but two other candidates, Matt Heinz and Mary Matiella are also raising the kind of money that proves viability. We reached Mary yesterday and she told us that ""The DCCC is right about AZ-02 being a great pickup opportunity but they're wrong if they think an establishment/corporate Dem is the way to win. Southern Arizonans are a fiercely independent bunch and ultimately it's the voters, not the establishment who will decide who best represents their values." A week ago she said something similar, namely that "Polls show that voters want an authentic, relatable candidate-- someone who understands them. The DCCC wants a candidate who can raise funds. This disconnect in candidate vetting disenfranchises the voter."



There's a similar dynamic in Colorado's 6th district, where the progressive candidate, Levi Tillemann is also raising 6 figuresand inspiring grassroots woke Democrats while the aggressively UNWOKE DCCC is pushing a the same kind of candidate they see when they look in the mirror, someone who represents rich people.

Wealthy Vegas socialite-- the candidate of the casino magnates-- Susie Lee ran a terrible campaign against Ruben Kihuen last cycle. This time she moved to the open seat on the other side of town, having as little in common with the people there as she did in the 2016 campaign. That's when she spent around a million and a half dollars and got just 6,407 votes, coming in third against two grassroots candidates. But Pelosi just cannot resist those multimillionaire candidates. There are more multimillionaires claiming to be Democrats in Congress than ever before. who would have ever guessed that would be Nancy Pelosi's legacy!

We reached out to Jeff Erdmann, the non-multimillionaire in the Minnesota race where the DCCC is trying to tip the scales for Angie Craig, the candidate supported by Big Pharma lobbyists. "In a time where all the polls tell us that people think the Democratic party is for the ultra-rich," Jeff told us, "it’s disappointing that the DCCC would back an ultra-rich candidate who lobbied to suspend the medical device tax as the medical device company Medtronic was sending its headquarters overseas. This is especially troubling as they are backing a corporate elite in a primary against a teacher who’s lived in the district and south-eastern Minnesota his entire life and is running to lift up the community. It seems as if the Democratic leadership has yet to learn it’s lessons from 2016. We the people need to rise up and take back the party and that starts with supporting candidates that are working class."

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

>


-by Noah

I suppose that some may say that today's meme is, maybe, a bit harsh, or at least crass. So what. The other night, I was watching Bill Maher's show. He only had two panelists this time. Usually, there are three and at least one is of the Republican variety. Sometimes, that republican is able to pass as a somewhat sane or decent person, almost. Notice that I didn't use the word 'individual'. Republicans tend to not be individuals in my book. They march to their hateful, paranoid, greedy, holier-than-thou creed in lock step. Permutations in republicans are rare, very rare. If you don't like that I lump all Republicans together, you can bite me. We all go by our personal experiences and I go by my 60+ years of personal experience.

On this particular night, Maher's panelists were MSNBC's Chris Matthews and film maker Michael Moore. Maher then brought out comedian Sarah Silverman. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a fan of both Moore and Silverman. As for Chris Matthews, I'm sure I'd like his new book on Bobby Kennedy and I respect the experience he brings to the table but he's too old-fartish and guilty of narrow establishment thinking for me. Also, his contempt for progressives is obvious. My first impression of Matthews was when I saw him do an interview with then House Speaker Newt Gingrich back in the 1990s. There are softball questions and there are nerfball questions. Matthews was practically blowing him. How's that for an image you can't unsee?

During the course of Maher's show, the conversation turned to the idea of civility when dealing with republicans. That got my hairs up immediately. Let me put it this way: Civility is what got us to the point where we are today. The media was far, far to civil in its treatment of Trump and now look where we are. We have a president who is, by any sane definition, a clear and present danger to our country's place in the world, and our lives and very existence as human beings on this planet. For Trump, it's all about Trump. Ditto Ryan. It's all "I got mine jack and I'm taking more". When you encounter a snake, all it wants is a mouse to squeeze the life out of and then swallow whole. It wants a sacrificial mouse every few days and democrats just keep handing over the mouse. If you had three black belts in various forms of martial arts, would you just hand over your wallet to a mugger?

Silverman's show "I Love You America," apparently, deals with her going to places inhabited (infested) with Trump supporters and engaging them in polite conversation about issues. What a nice idea. The idea is that, when she leaves, the Trumpies will at least think she's a nice person, there was a civil dialog between two sides, blah, blah. Were any "minds" changed? Nope. The polls show by now that that isn't going to happen. In fact, 10 to 1, the Trumpies are sitting in their local bar right now laughing at that "little jew girl" who came to interview them. "She sure was nice, kinda strange, though. But, hey, the whole time she was here, I just wanted to grab her by the pussy." Good thing for Sarah that she brought cameras.

Goal ThermometerI saw Micheal Moore's show on TV where he sat at a table on a stage and spoke to an auditorium full of republicans about their support of Trump. These weren't politicians. They were what politicians like to reduce to "ordinary Americans." Moore was very civil. So was the audience. When the topic of race came up, he made sure to say that he didn't think those in the audience were racists. Really? The people who voted for a candidate who began his candidacy as the leading spokesman for birtherism and threw his hat into the ring by calling all Mexicans rapists are not, at least at some level, racists? The people who sided with the candidate of a party whose foundation has been built on racism for the last 49 years aren't racists? The people who say nothing and still offer their undying support to a man who has openly emboldened every white supremacy group in the land, even employing white supremacists in the White House, aren't racists? The people who dutifully tune in to Hannity every damn night so they can watch him defend racists and pedophiles (accused and recorded alike) and nod their heads in agreement? This was Moore trying to be civil. Like Silverman, he was naively trying to engage them. He was giving them a mouse. We are at war for the soul of the United States of America. Civility has no place here and now anymore than it did in Okinawa in 1945.

So, I come to today's meme. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, but, it's no joke. Paul Ryan is an American Terrorist. He dedicates his life to the financial and physical ill health of Americans every hour of every day, while living off of us. He's the ultimate parasitical hypocrite, having "sponged off welfare" to get where he is today: third in the line of succession, and now wanting to end, not just the Social Security program but the very idea of social security itself. He supports feeding our water supplies with lead, carcinogens, and any other toxins he and his party can think of; the very air that we breath, too. It's all to appease the bigger snakes who are his masters. He is giving them mice, and just like with democrats, we are the mice. The only difference is Democrats do it for free. Paul Ryan is that mugger who just wants you to hand over your wallet. He will then give the contents to his gang boss and get his cut. We should treat this man with civility? That's just what he wants. He's the snake who demands a mouse and civil people just keep on giving him that mouse to the point where there are no more mouses to give and the snakes get fatter and fatter.

There is a civil way to hurt Paul Ryan, though. Support real Americans for office; people who actually believe in what this country is suppose to be about.


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

You Think All Those Republicans Who Are Just Fine With Pedophile Roy Moore Are Going To Care What Mueller Finds About Putin-Gate?

>


This Putin-Gate scandal is getting really complicated and harder to follow. Thank Heavens for Team Maddow! Last night's biggest piece of the puzzle wire transfers amounting to at least $380,000 from a Putin-controlled bank to Putin spymasters in DC (Sergei Kislyak at the Russian embassy) and other embassies earmarked for the "election campaign of 2016." Investigative journalist Jason Leopold, writing for BuzzFeed, reported that the FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers. In fact, almost all of them contained a memo line referencing the financing of the 2016 election. But a far bigger puzzle piece-- at least I think it's bigger-- is the secret correspondence between Fredo Trump and Russian Intelligence's WikiLeaks arm. Julia Ioffe's blockbuster report is actually shocking.
Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.)

The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”

The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are part of a long-- and largely one-sided-- correspondence between WikiLeaks and the president’s son that continued until at least July 2017. The messages show WikiLeaks, a radical transparency organization that the American intelligence community believes was chosen by the Russian government to disseminate the information it had hacked, actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation. WikiLeaks made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump’s tax returns, urging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States.

[Althoigh likely leaked by a high-level intelligence operative, t]he messages were turned over to Congress as part of that body’s various ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. American intelligence services have accused the Kremlin of engaging in a deliberate effort to boost President Donald Trump’s chances while bringing down his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. That effort-- and the president’s response to it-- has spawned multiple congressional investigations, and a special counsel inquiry that has led to the indictment of Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, for financial crimes.

It’s not clear what investigators will make of the correspondence, which represents a small portion of the thousands of documents Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer says he turned over to them. The stakes for the Trump family, however, are high. Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with connections to Russia’s powerful prosecutor general, is already reportedly a subject of interest in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as is the White House statement defending him. (Trump Jr. was emailed an offer of “information that would incriminate Hillary,” and responded in part, “If it’s what you say I love it.”) The messages exchanged with WikiLeaks add a second instance in which Trump Jr. appears eager to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton, despite its provenance.


Though Trump Jr. mostly ignored the frequent messages from WikiLeaks, he at times appears to have acted on its requests. When WikiLeaks first reached out to Trump Jr. about putintrump.org, for instance, Trump Jr. followed up on his promise to “ask around.” According to a source familiar with the congressional investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 campaign, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, on the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from WikiLeaks, he emailed other senior officials with the Trump campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, telling them WikiLeaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the email to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks. At no point during the 10-month correspondence does Trump Jr. rebuff WikiLeaks, which had published stolen documents and was already observed to be releasing information that benefited Russian interests.

...On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks wrote again. “Hiya, it’d be great if you guys could comment on/push this story,” WikiLeaks suggested, attaching a quote from then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton about wanting to “just drone” WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

“Already did that earlier today,” Trump Jr. responded an hour-and-a-half later. “It’s amazing what she can get away with.”

Two minutes later, Trump Jr. wrote again, asking, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?” The day before, Roger Stone, an informal advisor to Donald Trump, had tweeted, “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.”

WikiLeaks didn’t respond to that message, but on October 12, 2016, the account again messaged Trump Jr. “Hey Donald, great to see you and your dad talking about our publications,” WikiLeaks wrote. (At a rally on October 10, Donald Trump had proclaimed, “I love WikiLeaks!”)

“Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us,” WikiLeaks went on, pointing Trump Jr. to the link wlsearch.tk, which it said would help Trump’s followers dig through the trove of stolen documents and find stories. “There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it,” WikiLeaks went on. “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”

Trump Jr. did not respond to this message. But just 15 minutes after it was sent, as the Wall Street Journal's Byron Tau pointed out, Donald Trump himself tweeted, “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”

Two days later, on October 14, 2016, Trump Jr. tweeted out the link WikiLeaks had provided him. “For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/,” he wrote.

After this point, Trump Jr. ceased to respond to WikiLeaks’s direct messages, but WikiLeaks escalated its requests.

“Hey Don. We have an unusual idea,” WikiLeaks wrote on October 21, 2016. “Leak us one or more of your father’s tax returns.” WikiLeaks then laid out three reasons why this would benefit both the Trumps and WikiLeaks. One, the New York Times had already published a fragment of Trump’s tax returns on October 1; two, the rest could come out any time “through the most biased source (e.g. NYT/MSNBC).”

It is the third reason, though, WikiLeaks wrote, that “is the real kicker.” “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks explained. “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.” It then provided an email address and link where the Trump campaign could send the tax returns, and adds, “The same for any other negative stuff (documents, recordings) that you think has a decent chance of coming out. Let us put it out.”

Trump Jr. did not respond to this message.

WikiLeaks didn’t write again until Election Day, November 8, 2016. “Hi Don if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred-- as he has implied that he might do,” WikiLeaks wrote at 6:35pm, when the idea that Clinton would win was still the prevailing conventional wisdom. (As late as 7:00pm that night, FiveThirtyEight, a trusted prognosticator of the election, gave Clinton a 71 percent chance of winning the presidency.) WikiLeaks insisted that contesting the election results would be good for Trump’s rumored plans to start a media network should he lose the presidency. “The discussion can be transformative as it exposes media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption, etc.,” WikiLeaks wrote.

Shortly after midnight that day, when it was clear that Trump had beaten all expectations and won the presidency, WikiLeaks sent him a simple message: “Wow.”

Trump Jr. did not respond to these messages either, but WikiLeaks was undeterred. “Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well!” WikiLeaks wrote on December 16 to Trump Jr., who was by then the son of the president-elect. “In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange. It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to [Washington,] DC.”


Trump Jr. did not respond to these messages either, but WikiLeaks was undeterred. “Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well!” WikiLeaks wrote on December 16 to Trump Jr., who was by then the son of the president-elect. “In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange. It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to [Washington,] DC.”

WikiLeaks even imagined how Trump might put it: “‘That’s a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!’ or something similar,” WikiLeaks wrote. “They won’t do it but it will send the right signals to Australia, UK + Sweden to start following the law and stop bending it to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.” (On December 7, Assange, proclaiming his innocence, had released his testimony in front of London investigators looking into accusations that he had committed alleged sexual assault.)

In the winter and spring, WikiLeaks went largely silent, only occasionally sending Trump Jr. links. But on July 11, 2017, three days after the New York Times broke the story about Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with connections to Russia’s powerful prosecutor general, WikiLeaks got in touch again.

“Hi Don. Sorry to hear about your problems,” WikiLeaks wrote. “We have an idea that may help a little. We are VERY interested in confidentially obtaining and publishing a copy of the email(s) cited in the New York Times today,” citing a reference in the paper to emails Trump Jr had exchanged with Rob Goldstone, a publicist who had helped set up the meeting. “We think this is strongly in your interest,” WikiLeaks went on. It then reprised many of the same arguments it made in trying to convince Trump Jr. to turn over his father’s tax returns, including the argument that Trump’s enemies in the press were using the emails to spin an unfavorable narrative of the meeting. “Us publishing not only deprives them of this ability but is beautifully confounding.”

The message was sent at 9:29 am on July 11. Trump Jr. did not respond, but just hours later, he posted the emails himself, on his own Twitter feed.



Oh, and by the way-- since I did mention Republicans who support pedophiles in the title-- I should probably give equal time to these Alabamans. Have you seen this Doug Jones For Senate ad yet? Good one, don't you think? Earlier today the NRSC announced a poll that they ran Sunday and Monday shows Democrat Doug Jones beating GOP pedophile Roy Moore 51-39%. The poll also tested how Jeff Sessions would fare as a write-in candidate for his old seat... and "the results were not favorable."



Other news from GOP Pedophilia World today:
Rush Limbaugh isn't saying Roy Moore ISN'T a pedophile, just that when he was raping and molesting young girls he was a Democrat. Strange defense!

The neo-fascist wing of the Republican Party isn't giving up on Moore. A Bannon spokesperson said Bannon "is standing with Judge Moore through thick and through thin... Mitch McConnell and his failed pack of liars that surround him like Josh Holmes, Steven Law, and Karl Rove will fail in their effort to steal the election from the people of Alabama. It’s time for new Republican leadership in the United States Senate."

Señor Trumpanzee "believes the allegations of child sexual abuse and sexual assault against Moore are bad for the Republican brand, but has decided to wait and see how the situation shakes out before publicly commenting. That silence is in large part rooted in his own history of facing sexual misconduct allegations, a Republican close to the White House told CNN... Trump said he had not been following the issue closely and declined to go beyond press secretary Sarah Sanders' earlier statement... But a drumbeat is rising among Republicans on Capitol Hill who are urging the President to weigh in." Trump is worried that if Hannity opposes Moore, he has to as well.

As you probably guessed, "allegations are surfacing about Roy Moore’s conduct at the Gadsden Mall while he was in his early 30’s working at the Etowah County district attorney’s office." One woman who worked there before Moore was banned said "We knew, what Roy was, we considered him as teenagers the creepy old man that roamed the mall, trying to talk to the young girls."

And we'll leave off with David Gonnella, the pastor of Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore: "It's funny how the Republican Party is. What a bunch of sissies! The Democrats rally around their candidate even when they're guilty, Republicans want to throw them under the bus on a minor accusation without knowing whether they're guilty or not."
Oh yeah, and another accuser are forward today... one who says Moore was more of an ass grabber than a pincher-- and that he had bad breath.


Labels: , , ,