Monday, May 21, 2018
Greg Sargent writes about the lazy and false pundit/ media narrative emerging about how Democrats are running in 2018:
There’s a narrative about our politics right now that you constantly encounter on social and political media. It goes like this: Democrats are too obsessed with the Russia investigation, or with Stormy Daniels, or they’re just too focused on “not being President Trump,” and as a result, they aren’t articulating an affirmative agenda and risk getting caught flat-footed by Trump’s supposedly rising popularity.
But this narrative is entirely wrong, and two new pieces this morning help set the record straight. Taken together, they point to a much more accurate version of what’s happening: Trump’s unpopularity does in fact remain historically abysmal. This and Trump’s many scandals are in fact helping Democrats — but not in a way that is immediately apparent and not in a manner that betrays any unhealthy Democratic obsession with those things.We've seen this movie before: lazy, closed- loop media picks narrative based on desired outcome, obsesses on shiny object, hello "President" Trump. Don't count on them "saving" us when it comes to the Trump- Russia scandal, either.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., on "putative Christians":
Today, we will discuss one of the most pressing threats to American Christianity. Meaning, of course, American Christians.
Yes, that’s an overly broad statement. All those Christians whose faith requires them to live the Good News, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, speak for the voiceless and welcome the stranger, surely do not threaten the faith. To the contrary, they empower it. They are what Christianity is supposed to be.
But we’re here to contend with what Christianity too often is. Having seen putative Christians excuse the liar, rationalize the alleged pedophile, justify the sexual assaulter and cheer as walls are raised against the most vulnerable, it’s obvious that many of those who claim that name embody a niggardly, cowardly, selfish and situational “faith” that has little to do with Jesus.Pitts provides the case of North Bend High School in rural Oregon as a prime example of how this "religion" is practiced by its faithful pharisees.
Charles Blow on what we must do in every election until we weed out the coin- operated Republican gun fondler caucus:
People seeking common sense gun control must become single-issue voters on gun control. Support for more restrictions may not be the only reason to vote for a candidate, but it must be sufficient to vote against one.
We have to stop waiting for politicians to display courage and instead start to instill fear in them.
As an individual voter, you don’t need to have a slate of reforms in mind, you only have to vote consistently for candidates who are committed to reviewing the issue and advancing smart, effective policy.
Silver Spring Bureau Chief Brian clued us in on a fascinating website, livingnewdeal.org, that tracks the thousands of ongoing projects begun in FDR's New Deal, and how those projects are living all around us today. From high schools to national parks to libraries to dams to the National Institutes of Health, find examples in your state and across the nation of how progressive government yields fruits for the benefit of generations to come.
Lastly, please check out Infidel 753's link round-up of "various interesting stuff [he] ran across on the net over the last week." Lots of humor and serious stuff, too, as usual.
Sunday, May 20, 2018
(click on image to enlarge)
From NASA/ ESA, May 17, 2018: This image shows the galaxy NGC 6744, about 30 million light-years away. It is one of 50 galaxies observed as part of the Hubble Space Telescope’s Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS), the sharpest, most comprehensive ultraviolet-light survey of star-forming galaxies in the nearby Universe, offering an extensive resource for understanding the complexities of star formation and galaxy evolution.
The image is a composite using both ultraviolet light and visible light, gathered with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the LEGUS team
A clearly unhinged and raging Donald "Rump" Trump, displaying increasing signs of "consciousness of guilt," issued a "demand" to the Justice Department this afternoon to "investigate" whether his corrupt campaign was "infiltrated" by the DOJ/FBI, i.e. investigate the investigation:
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
This is beyond Nixonian, who was devious enough to get others to do his dirty work. This is banana republic territory. What apparently set him off was the story in the New York Times that linked his con-man son, Donald Jr., to meetings with the Saudis and Emirates, who offered to "help" his campaign.
The counterintelligence investigation that began during the 2016 campaign is getting closer to Rump himself. He's reached a level of desperation to stop it at all costs, including this latest attempt at obstruction of justice.
UPDATE: DOJ has asked its Inspector General to add this matter to their ongoing investigation regarding FISA warrants aimed at Rump campaign associates.
Admittedly, we had some mixed feelings when convicted felon and bigot Don "Big Shit" Blankenship lost the West Virginia Rethuglican nomination for Senate a couple of weeks ago. On the one hand, he likely would have been the weakest Rethuglican to face endangered incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin. On the other hand, it's always good to see a transparent demagogue get crushed.
Now, we're cheering on reports that an angry Blankenship is prepared to undermine the Rethuglican nominee, Patrick Morrissey, whom Blankenship describes as a "corrupt carpetbagger." A New Jersey native, Morrissey is a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies < cough opioids cough > who moved to West Virginia in 2006.
As someone who has deep pockets, Big Shit may decide to run ads in the state opposing Morrissey. Though he can't run as a third party candidate due to the State's "sore loser" law*, if he could manage to persuade the 27,000 voters that cast their ballots for him to stay home or write in his name, that may be enough to swing the election to Manchin in a blue wave year. It's much too early to forecast that, but Big Shit has his sights set on the Rethugs that brought him down in the primary. That's something we can get behind.
*UPDATE: Looks like Big Shit IS going to run a third party campaign and dare the courts to stop him.
(photo: Bad taste in your mouth? It's you.)
The corrupt links between the Trump crime family and foreign governments extends beyond Russia and China. In recent weeks, we've learned about pay-to-play schemes involving financial leverage exerted by slippery Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner over the rulers of Qatar, who offered, then reneged, on loans to Kushner's real estate company, a decision that the Qataris apparently reversed again.
Now, the New York Times reports that Saudi and United Arab Emirates royal family members approached greasy con-man-in-training Donald Trump, Jr. with offers to "help" his father's election bid three months before the 2016 election:
"The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.
Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump. [snip]
The meetings, which have not been reported previously, are the first indication that countries other than Russia may have offered assistance to the Trump campaign in the months before the presidential election." (emphasis added)Far-right mercenary mogul and Trump cultist Prince (who is also execrable "Education" Secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) has also been connected with back-channel dealings with Russian officials, using Arab intermediaries and a Seychelles location.
While Russia was busy hacking our elections and providing other support to their agent Donald "Rump" Trump, other shady deals were being worked by Arab potentates. Bribery is endemic in the Middle East, between businesses and government officials at all levels. They apparently found a willing recipient of their corruption in Rump's crime family. Follow the money.
BONUS: Given this reporting, Prince may have perjured himself in testimony to Congress. Surprised?
He largely ignored her while she was at Walter Reed hospital, which she was undoubtedly thankful for. Also, her stay was unusually long for the type of procedure she had. A little R & R from the orange shitgibbon?
Saturday, May 19, 2018
(click on images to enlarge)
(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)
(Darrin Bell, Washington Post Writers Group)
(Matt Wuerker, Politico)
(Stuart Carlson, via gocomics.com)
(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)
We know that nothing related to the Mueller investigation has rattled unindicted co-conspirator and Russian supporter Donald "Rump" Trump more than the FBI's search and seizure of documents, telephone and electronic records from his fixer and thug Michael Cohen last month. But that may be about to change. Reports indicate that long-time dirty trickster and Rump confidant Roger Stone, for decades one of the most evil and scurrilous figures in Rethuglican politics, is a major focus of the Special Counsel. A second assistant to Stone, John Kakanis, has been subpoenaed by Mueller's team ostensibly to gain information about Stone's ties to Russian cutout organization WikiLeaks and its founder, the despicable fugitive Julian Assange. From the Reuters report:
"The subpoena handed to Kakanis is the latest development suggesting that Stone, an early Trump backer whose reputation as an aggressive political operative dates back to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, is being looked at by Mueller. [snip]Stone is on tape during the run up to the 2016 election as predicting damaging information on Hillary Clinton would be released by Assange's group, which was released shortly thereafter. The link goes directly from Russia's military intelligence arm GRU which hacked the DNC, to WikiLeaks/Assange which received the hacked e-mails, to Stone and the Rump campaign conspiring with them. It's more than smoke, it's fire.
Some of Stone’s comments during the elections have prompted questions from investigators in Congress, and others, about whether he had advance knowledge of the Democratic Party material allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published it." (emphasis added)
There would be nothing more satisfying, save the removal of the Rump crime family from the White (Supremacist) House, than Stone's indictment and conviction on conspiracy and other charges. He's a cancer on not only politics, but on the things this nation is supposed to stand for.
(photo: A picture's worth a thousand words; swingers Stone and wife.)
Our British friends at BBC Three couldn't resist having some fun at the expense of malignant narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump. Well played.
just saying ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/1zoOGFKeU3— BBC Three (@bbcthree) May 19, 2018
The royal wedding itself was an unusually successful mix of contemporary and traditional, of informality and formality, of British and American cultures. American Episcopalian Bishop Michael Curry delivered an address that spoke of redemptive love with a passion that stood out in the ceremony. The crowds were joyous and loud. Memorable morning even for us cynics.
Jimmy Kimmel delivers a passionate rebuke to malignant moron Donald "Rump" Trump, the gun humpers and coin- operated Republican politicians for the latest school massacre in Santa Fe, Texas, yesterday.
Friday, May 18, 2018
New poll from Germany: 14% of Germans consider the United States to be a reliable partner. In comparison, 36% of Germans think Russia is a reliable partner. Tough to overstate how bad this is. pic.twitter.com/zvZpz4CI4d— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) May 18, 2018
We bet you'd see not dissimilar results in Great Britain, France, etc.
After today's shooting at a Texas high school, it's worth noting that events on a smaller scale like this happen with sickening frequency. For example, an Oregon man is facing attempted murder charges after he became enraged at noisy kids in the apartment above him, shooting and wounding two men with his AK-47 assault-style rifle. The men are expected to survive. The shooter, 59 year-old nut Franklin Tomes, fired roughly 12 rounds from his rifle, wounding the two men in their leg, foot and shoulder:
"Tomes was angry about the noise Gaeta's kids were making, and after an argument with the father in the apartment parking lot, Tomes grabbed the rifle from his car, chambered a round and pointed it at Gaeta and Smith.
Tomes put the firearm back inside, then later retrieved it and opened fire as the two men ran away, the affidavit said. [snip]
Tomes went back into his apartment after the shooting. He remained there until he surrendered to police about five hours later, police said. The assault rifle was found inside his unit."There are thousands upon thousands of these raging nutjobs with semi-automatic assault rifles and loads of ammunition in practically every community with blatant anger issues, waiting for someone to cross them. This guy is a walking advertisement for stricter background checks and gun safety laws.
(photo: Lincoln Co. Oregon jail)
Heartbreaking moment as Santa Fe High School student is asked if she thought a shooting 'would not happen' at her school:— ABC News (@ABC) May 18, 2018
"It's been happening everywhere. I've always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too." https://t.co/kymFDSH6D5 pic.twitter.com/0akC5liZn4
It's being said everywhere: We've failed our children. Badly. Irredeemably so.
Damn the NRA and all the spineless shitheels who allow gun manufacturers to merchandise mass death year after year after year. To change the laws, we have to change the people making the laws. This has to be a top voter priority in November.