Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tweets Of The Day - Prioritays!

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Quote Of The Day - The Mall Rat

 “If you can’t go to a mall in Alabama, maybe you shouldn’t go to the Senate.” -- Republican Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham, yesterday.  Alabama Republican pedophile peckerwood Roy Moore was reportedly banned from his hometown Gadsden Mall due to his repeated harassment of teenage girls. "Maybe," ya think?!

Tribal Rage

Adam Serwer looks at a deeply embedded delusion in the media, in parts of the broader society, but especially at the core of the Republican base that supports neo- fascist nitwit Donald "Rump" Trump:
... What I found was that Trump embodied his supporters’ most profound beliefs—combining an insistence that discriminatory policies were necessary with vehement denials that his policies would discriminate and absolute outrage that the question would even be asked. 
It was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face. The frequent postelection media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump’s most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.  (our emphasis)
You need look no further to understand what fuels the supporters for Republican pedophile peckerwood Roy Moore. Their rage is directed against everyone and anything standing up for a diverse, tolerant society that defends the separation of church and state. Get a load of this, from Moore supporter "pastor" Mike Allison:
"He has staunchly defended the Constitution of the United States, he has stood for the word of God ... he is against the murder of the unborn by abortion. He is for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. He is against a redefinition of marriage and believes firmly that it is only between a man and a woman. And he is against all threats against the traditional family," Allison said. "He is a fighter and a champion for right ...."
See if you can spot magic dog whistle words in this Moore supporter's rationalization:
"Every election cycle there's this tendency among the electorate to say 'Let's get rid of these rascals. They say one thing and govern another way,'" said [John] Giles, who runs a super PAC that supports Moore. "The one thing about this man is what he says he means, and at all cost." 
Did you catch that?  "... what he says he means..."  If we had a nickel for every Republican voter who rationalized their vote for Rump by saying some variation of "he says what he means," we could get a big Republican tax cut.  As Serwer and others have pointed out, that's Republican- speak for, "He hates/ fears the same people I do and he's not afraid to say it. So I'm validated!"

People who support Rump and Moore and all the rest of that rotted out party are, of course, not unique to our times.  Getting back to Serwer's article (please take time to read it in its entirety), he frames what we're seeing as, unfortunately, profoundly American:
Trumpism emerged from a haze of delusion, denial, pride and cruelty—not as a historical anomaly, but as a profoundly American phenomenon. This explains both how tens of millions of white Americans could pull the lever for a candidate running on a racist platform and justify doing so, and why a predominantly white political class would search so desperately for an alternative explanation for what it had just seen. To acknowledge the centrality of racial inequality to American democracy is to question its legitimacy—so it must be denied.
Think about that the next time you read or hear another "safari into Trump Country" story by our broken media.

Monday, November 20, 2017

WTF Al Franken?!

A woman says Sen. Al Franken inappropriately touched her in 2010, telling CNN that he grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo at the Minnesota State Fair. 
It is the first allegation of improper touching by Franken, who is a Democrat, while he was in office. It comes just days after Leeann Tweeden, a local radio news anchor in California, said that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, when Franken was a comedian.
Sen. Franken's response Sunday was, to our ears, damning:
"I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture," Franken said. "I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."
"... came away from our interaction feeling disrespected." Wow. That's not a denial, folks.

Meanwhile, Republicans are already using Franken's actions to distract from the Roy Moore scandal. Christmas came early in Alabama.

Associates Agree: Trump's An Idiot

The latest senior Administration official to weigh in on lying sociopathic buffoon Donald "Rump" Trump's fitness is National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who according to multiple sources, referred to Rump as an "idiot" and a "dope," with the intelligence of a kindergartner (apologies to kindergartners!) in a July 18, 2017 dinner with Oracle executive Safra Catz. McMaster also reportedly disparaged other Administration officials, including Rump son-in-law and jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner, saying he had no business being in the White (Supremacist) House.

Earlier this year, former oil baron and Secretary of State Rex "Rexxon" Tillerson was reported to have called Rump a "f*cking moron" in the presence of other Government officials at a Pentagon meeting. Does anyone really think this assessment is rare among his staff and Cabinet?

Tweet Of The Day - Hammer Time

Brought to you by the coin- operated sociopaths in the Republican Party:

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The place to stop this assault on health care, combined with a radical redistribution of wealth to corporations and the 1 percent, is in the Senate.  Whether you're represented by Democrat(s) or Republican(s), please make your calls; the Senate is in recess for Thanksgiving, but calls will still be tabulated. Say no to the Republican "wealthfare"/ health care sabotage bill.

BONUS: A private sector expert on the Federal budget warns about the wealthfare bill:
"If it's enacted, the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history."

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon -- Parallel Earth

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(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Monday Morning Reading (UPDATED)

As always, please go to the links for the full articles!

We'll start this Monday morning with the State of Alabama. The three main Alabama news papers owned by Advanced Publications (The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press- Register of Mobile) have a recommendation:
By the various misdeeds, miscalculations and mistakes of its voters and leaders, Alabama has left itself with few options. Alabamians must show themselves to be people of principle, reject Roy Moore and all that he stands for. 
There is only one candidate left in this race who has proven worthy of the task of representing Alabama. He is Doug Jones. 
The voters must make their voices heard.
The editorial is accompanied by this (click on image to enlarge):

(J.D. Crowe, AL.com)

UPDATE:  NBC's Today show had an interview this morning with Leigh Corfman, the first woman to tell her Roy Moore sexual assault story.  If there's a more credible person than her on this planet, we'd like to know about them. Here's the interview:

We believe the wide- ranging investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is focusing more and more on "what do the Russians have on Trump?" Politico has some pieces of the puzzle:
It was around this time that Donald Trump appears to have attracted the attention of Soviet intelligence. How that happened, and where that relationship began, is an answer hidden somewhere in the KGB's secret archives. Assuming, that is, that the documents still exist. 
Trump's first visit to Soviet Moscow in 1987 looks, with hindsight, to be part of a pattern. The dossier by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele asserts that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years” before his stunning victory in the 2016 US presidential election. This would take us back to around 2011 or 2012.
As they say in intelligence circles, he's dirty. Mueller will get the goods on him and his crime family.

UPDATE II: But wait, there's more:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned. 
In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it. 
Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel's first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.
We're betting Mueller already has some of these documents in hand and is waiting to see what's turned over -- or at least he wants the Trumpkins to think that way.

Finally, we would again like to recommend the link round- up assembled by Infidel 753. You're going to find something there to inform, amuse, and possibly enrage -- always worth a look.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Across The Universe, Cont. - A Missing Arm

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From NASA/ ESA, November 13, 2017: This new Picture of the Week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two?

Astronomers looked at NGC 4625 in different wavelengths in the hope of solving this cosmic mystery. Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disc of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot — hence mainly visible in the ultraviolet — stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy. These young stars are only around one billion years old, about 10 times younger than the stars seen in the optical centre. At first astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy called NGC 4618.

They speculated that NGC 4618 may be the culprit “harassing” NGC 4625, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim: The gas in the outermost regions of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4618 has been strongly affected by NGC 4625.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Trump's Nonexistent Billions

Several prestigious business publications have looked into the actual wealth of neo-fascist blowhard Donald "Rump" Trump and, not surprisingly, have found that the pathological liar's boasts of being worth in excess of $10 billion are a yooge lie. Moreover, they find that Rump's "brand" has taken a big tumble, as real estate prices in New York City fall and as his vile campaign and Presidency, along with the growing Russiagate treason scandal, have turned many potential customers away.

Speaking to WNYC News, Crain's New York Business reporter Aaron Einstein says that this year, Rump's #3 ranking of New York's privately-held companies plummeted to #40. While Rump's organization reported $9.5 billion in sales last year, public filings paint a different picture: his organization's sales were less than one-tenth that, somewhere between $600 million and $700 million. According to Einstein:
“It was obviously very important to Donald to have his company on the top of the list ... but the numbers that he presented are just flagrantly untrue."
That follows on a report from Forbes last week that Rump's position as the 156th richest American in 2016 nosedived to 248th, after failures in the New York City real estate market where he's heavily invested. They disclosed that his net worth is nowhere near $10 billion, but more like $3.1 billion. Earlier this year, Bloomberg estimated his net worth at $2.9 billion, and added a little zinger as to the difference in Rump's "estimate" of his wealth and theirs:
"One difference between Trump’s estimates and Bloomberg’s is the value of his personal brand. The 2015 document released by Trump’s campaign said his ability to license his name and likeness to everything from international hotels to mattresses is worth $3.3 billion. Bloomberg assigns it a value of $35 million, or one times sales from ongoing licensing deals."(emphasis added)
One could say that his "brand" has been severely marked down. It looks like the Rethuglican wealthfare tax bill is just the mechanism that "populist" Rump feels will make him whole.

Sunday Reflection - Cosmetic Faith

"A cultural Christianity that reveres religious trappings and neglects their requirements is exactly the sort that props up figures such as Ten Commandments-toting, allegedly teen-molesting Senate candidate Roy Moore. (The Gospel of Luke warns that it’s better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around one’s neck than to cause a child to stumble; the museum has a millstone replica Moore might want to investigate.) Cosmetic faith is the sort that displays charming engravings from Leviticus 19:34 — “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself” — while celebrating its achievements at Trump International Hotel." -- Christine Emba on the recently opened "Museum of the Bible" in Washington, DC. The Hobby Lobby's Green family is the "museum's" primary benefactor, a project that cost approximately $500 million (what good works could have been accomplished with that - at a minimum providing contraception coverage for their employees!). Of course, this "cosmetic faith" is in evidence every day (the loathsome Roy "Teen Spirit" Moore and his evangelical supporters are just the most recent, high profile examples). Their cosmetic faith is no more than right- wing political ideology with a facade of piety.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Today's Cartoon Threefer

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(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald)

Trump's 16 Accusers In Their Own Words

Whether he comprehends it or not, serial sexual predator and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump has placed a spotlight on himself, through his refusal to believe the growing number of women accusing peckerwood pedophile Roy "Teen Spirit" Moore of abuse, as well as his hypocritical attack on Sen. Al Franken for his sexual misconduct. Sixteen women have come forward to accuse Rump of sexual assault on the record, and one is suing him for defamation after he called her (and the rest of his accusers) a liar.

Moore's accusers are absolutely credible. So are Rump's. Here they are in their own words.

This video should be part of every discussion about exposing and shaming men who abuse women as a reminder that the fish stinks from the head down. It's but one reminder of what this country lost on November 8, 2016.

"Creating The Never-Ending Bloom"

Start your Saturday off with something beautiful and fascinating (h/t P.E.C. and Bulent A.):

Friday, November 17, 2017

Today's Cartoon Twofer

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(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)