Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Call: Vote "No" On The Motion To Proceed

If you are reading this and live in West Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky, Utah or Alaska, please call these Republican Senators immediately and tell them to vote No on today's Motion to Proceed to a debate on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (h/t Daily Kos):

Senator Dean Heller (NV)

Heller DC: 202-224-6244

Heller Las Vegas: 702-388-6605

Heller Reno: 775-686-5770

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (West Virginia)

Capito DC: 202-224-6472

Capito Charleston: 304-347-5372

Capito Martinsburg: 304-262-9285

Capito Morgantown: 304-292-2310

Capito Beckely: 304-347-5372

Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)

Portman DC: 202-224-3353

Portman Columbus:  614-469-6774

Portman Cincinnati: 513-684-3265

Portman Cleveland: 216-522-7095

Portman Toledo: 419-259-3895

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah)

Lee D.C.: 202-224-5444

Lee Salt Lake City: 801-524-5933

Lee St. George: 435-628-5514

Lee Ogden: 801-392-9633

Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky)

Paul D.C.: 202-224-4343

Paul Bowling Green: 270-782-8303

Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Murkowski DC: (202)-224-6665

Murkowski Anchorage: (907) 271-3735

Murkowski Fairbanks: (907) 456-0233

Murkowski Juneau: (907) 586-7277

Murkowski Mat-Su Valley: (907) 376-7665

Murkowski Kenai:  (907) 262-4220

Murkowsi Ketchikan: (907) 225-6880

Jam their phone lines now!

Colbert Takes On The Mooch

We stopped laughing just long enough to post this clip from Steven Colbert's send- up of new White (Supremacist) House Communications Director and official ass- kisser to the "president," Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Trump's Assault On Science In The Public Interest

The Union of Concerned Scientists has published an important  report on the first six months of the malignant administration of con man and pathological liar Donald "Rump" Trump, showing how destructive he and his appointees have been to the role of science in preserving our environment for us and future generations. The report, "Sidelining Science From Day One," presents a well-documented case of the historic anti-science rampage by the Trumpists (with the assistance of coin-operated Rethuglicans in Congress):
"Since President Trump took office in January 2017, his administration (aided and abetted by Congress) has waged a war on science—undermining the role of science in public policy, giving industry undue influence on decisionmaking processes, creating a hostile environment for federal scientists, and reducing public access to scientific information."
The report details the actions that have been used by the Trumpists to turn our national resources and scientific endeavors over to the predators for profit, including:
  • Sidelining independent science advice;
  • Appointing conflicted individuals to scientific leadership positions;
  • Revoking science-based safeguards;
  • Misrepresenting climate science and rolling back climate change safeguards;
  • Weakening science-based pollution standards without scientific justification.;
  • Altering scientific content on federal websites., and
  • Restricting communication of scientists
By putting foxes to guard the hen houses of science, climate policy and environmental protection, Rump is looking to protect the industries that the public needs to be protected from, industries that have contributed handsomely to his campaign and to those of other Rethuglican nihilists. The stakes are high for the nation to be served by science in the public interest:
"In coming decades, the United States will face some of the most difficult challenges in its history. Science and technology will play a crucial role in helping us meet these challenges. The public deserves independent, impartial scientific information, even—or perhaps especially—when that information indicates the need for politically unpopular or inconvenient action."
You can support the work of the Union of Concerned Scientists here, and, of course, Resist.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: Colluding To Serve Man*

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

* For those of you who aren't Twilight Zone fans.

Portrait Of A Villain: Jason Chaffetz Update

There. Are. No. Words.
Jason Chaffetz, who recently stepped down from the House of Representatives and into a Fox News gig, wondered why congressional investigators are focusing on Jared Kushner instead of Chelsea Clinton. [snip]

“Republicans need to get a backbone,” Chaffetz said. “Every time the Democrats say they need to call up Jared Kushner or Don Jr. — call up Chelsea Clinton, call up the Clintons.” 
The president tweeted over the weekend that Republicans had not done enough to protect him from the Russia investigation, and suggested Hillary Clinton should instead be the target — which Chaffetz endorsed.
Good to see un- indicted co- conspirator Donald "Rump" Trump is getting his tweet material from the likes of this shitheel!

On second thought, there are words:  sleaze, liar, traitor, hypocrite, nihilist, flunky, weasel. That's just for starters.

See also.

On The Voter Suppression Commission

Unfit sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Voter Suppression Commission had its first meeting on July 19, and the evil intent was apparent right from the get- go.  

E.J. Dionne, Jr., writes about the transparent nonsense at the heart of this sham effort:
Lest anyone believe Vice President Pence’s claim that “this commission has no preconceived notions or preordained results,” Trump was on hand last week to state clearly what its agenda is. [snip] 
Trump would not let the commissioners forget their reason for being there, his belief that those phantom votes really exist, although he put his own words into the mouths of unnamed “people,” who — surprise! — came to the same conclusions he did. 
“Throughout the campaign and even after it,” Trump said, “people would come up to me and express their concerns about voter inconsistencies and irregularities, which they saw. In some cases, having to do with very large numbers of people in certain states.(our emphasis)
The Washington Post editorial board noted that the Commission's vice chair, vote suppressor par excellence Kris "KKK" Kobach, was echoing Rump's unhinged tune to justify the Commission's efforts to disenfranchise Democratic voters nationwide:
In an appearance on MSNBC, Mr. Kobach, a Republican titan of voter suppression who has been repeatedly sued for his relentless efforts to cull voters from the rolls of his home state, was asked if he believed that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, as the official tally indicates. “You know,” said Mr. Kobach, “we may never know the answer to that question.” 
In fact, not a speck of evidence exists to cast doubt on the official tally of the popular vote, nor, for that matter, on the electoral vote. Still, the offhand remark was in keeping with Mr. Kobach’s years-long effort, along with that of other Republicans, to erode public confidence in American elections to provide a pretext for tough state laws whose real goal is to obstruct voting by minorities and young people, who tend to support Democrats.
Formed by Mr. Trump after he falsely asserted that 3 to 5 million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election, the commission includes members, in addition to Mr. Kobach, known for their histories of voter obstruction. One, former Ohio secretary of state J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican, is notorious for trying to reject registration forms submitted on paper that was too thin, and for trying to impede voter registration drives. Another, Hans Von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official, led a failed attempt to purge voter rolls in Missouri. (our emphasis)
The New York Times editorial board also weighs in on the crackpots, kooks and party- before- country Republicans manning the Commission:
The truth can’t be repeated often enough: The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which held its first meeting last week, is a sham and a scam. 
It was born out of a marriage of convenience between conservative anti-voter-fraud crusaders, who refuse to accept actual data, and a president who refuses to accept that he lost the popular vote fair and square. 
It is run by some of the nation’s most determined vote suppressors, the kind who try to throw out voter registrations for being printed on insufficiently thick paper or who release reports on noncitizen voting that are titled “Alien Invasion” and illustrated with images of U.F.O.s. 
Its purpose is not to restore integrity to elections but to undermine the public’s confidence enough to push through policies and practices that make registration and voting harder, if not impossible, for certain groups of people who tend to vote Democratic. (our emphasis)
The "marriage of convenience" is more precisely between a deranged, narcissistic dolt and ultra right- wing activists who know perfectly well what the "facts" and "data" are; that's why they're doing what they're doing!  Simply put, they're engaging in a systemic effort to achieve a permanent Republican oligarchy regardless of demographic changes that would otherwise threaten their vision of an ultra- right white people's republic.

Seven lawsuits have already been filed in Federal courts (and more in State courts) against this anti- American Commission. That's our first line of defense for now, but any success the vote suppressors have in limiting the franchise will only lead to more suppression. Getting these dangerous cranks out of office before they can permanently change our country is the only true defense we have against this relentless cancer.

(Photo: Kobach, Trump, Pence at their Voter Suppression Commission meeting)

Twit-In-Chief Wants Distractions and Protection

Unhinged sociopath and would-be dictator Donald "Rump" Trump continues to let his guilt show in his barrage of tweets, and he's blaming his Attorney General and evil elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for not "investigating" Hillary Clinton to distract from his corruption:
Of course, Rethuglicans in Congress spent almost 2 years "investigating" her e-mails and Benghazi BENGHAZI !! in an attempt to damage her, and came up with bupkis. Asking why his own Attorney General (a "beleaguered" one at that) isn't conducting a show trial of Clinton is the clearest signal that Beauregard's days are numbered, as well as the lawlessness of the orange shitgibbon. He and his legal team know he's in ever-deepening legal trouble, some of which is because he can't keep his paranoid and enraged fingers off of Twitter. He also believes that his cowardly cohort of Rethugs in Congress is there to protect his royal ass, rather than be a check on his corruption:
The cynical party-before-country Rethugs in Congress may well continue to "protect" him, but as the prosecutorial evidence mounts that his "special relationship" with the Kremlin is based on criminality, the protection he seeks may be too little too late.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Across The Universe, Cont. - Fuzzy Galaxy

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, July 17, 2014:  Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us. At this distance from Earth, actually not all that far on a cosmic scale, NGC 4242 is visible to anyone armed with even a basic telescope (as British astronomer William Herschel found when he discovered the galaxy in 1788).

This image shows the galaxy’s bright centre and the surrounding dimmer and more diffuse “fuzz”. Despite appearing to be relatively bright in this image, studies have found that NGC 4242 is actually relatively dim (it has a moderate-to-low surface brightness and low luminosity) and also supports a low rate of star formation. The galaxy also seems to have a weak bar of stars cutting through its asymmetric centre, and a very faint and poorly-defined spiral structure throughout its disc. But if NGC 4242 is not all that remarkable, as with much of the Universe, it is still a beautiful and ethereal sight.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Trump Effect? Macron Popularity Dives

French President Emmanuel Macron, hyper handshaker and host of big parades for neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump, has an approval rating problem. His approval numbers have dropped 10% in one month, the largest drop in 22 years in a similar timeframe. While the linked article indicates fights over military spending and tax issues were the factor, how hard is it to believe that Macron's oddly submissive, overly solicitous posture toward Rump offended many people in France, where Rump was unpopular to begin with?

Today's Cartoon Twofer

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(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Nick Anderson, via gocomics.com)

Sen. Franken Dismantles Trump's Efforts To Discredit Special Counsel's Team

Why we love Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), part infinity. Watch how he dismantles the emerging Trumpian attack on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's hiring of people who contributed to Democrats (h/t Crooks & Liars):

Sunday Reflection

"Nothing is more wretched than the mind of a man conscious of guilt." Roman playwright Plautus (c. 254 - 184 BC).

At the core of every malignant narcissist like Donald "Rump" Trump is denial, which makes them incapable of feeling guilt; rather they feel themselves the good "victim," and transfer guilt onto others. Rump is a pure textbook case of this. However, there are obvious "tells" that, while Rump may not be conscious of or feel guilt in a psychological sense, he instinctively knows there are things that need to be hidden, and he's reacting to that impulse (eg., his refusal to release his tax returns, his constant deflections and distractions, his efforts to co- opt law enforcement, his fawning attitude towards Putin, his dangling of pardons in front of potential witnesses against him - the latter being as close to a definition of obstruction of justice as you can get). That conflict is what's causing the anxiety that's showing itself in his unhinged tweets and bizarre behavior. Wretched indeed.

Love That "Transparency" (UPDATED)

From the White (Supremacist) House's new "communications" capo director, some world-class, Orwellian doublespeak:
Slick opportunist and future hair product endorser Anthony "So Mooch Love" Scaramucci is fresh off last Friday's sycophantic love nuzzle with crime boss and narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump, looking like someone from a casting call for "The Sopranos," to tell us he's being "transparent" when deleting his old tweets which criticized Rump, praised Hillary, and diverged from Rump cult beliefs. Sad!

UPDATE: The Mooch has been making the rounds of the Sunday shows, tripping over himself and the Trumpian party line of the moment --

See also here and here for more of the Mooch's ill- fated forays into the big time today. Luckily, Rump is prone to pick incompetents (loyal, though!) to defend him. Water seeking its own level.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Russia Sanctions Deal Reached in Congress

The Senate and House have reached a deal on the legislative package that will impose tighter sanctions on Russia, and eliminate Putin puppet and con man Donald "Rump" Trump's power to alter the sanctions without Congressional hearings and approval. The House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday. The Senate passed a similar version of the legislation by a vote of 98-2 on June 29. The legislation also includes sanctions on Iran and North Korea. The bill also makes it clear that the Russian properties in Maryland and New York that were being used for espionage will not be returned, as Moscow (and Rump) wanted.

The limitations posed on Rump are a sign of bipartisan mistrust of his motivations and plans toward Russia, which Rump has shown an almost treasonous regard for in his statements and actions. Indeed, Rump was lobbying the House to weaken the bill to give him "flexibility" on the sanctions. Moscow's assistance to Rump in the last election is being probed by Congressional committees and more significantly by Special Counsel Mueller with the assistance of the FBI, along with potential money laundering by Russian government oligarchs using Rump's companies and properties.

Today's Cartoon Twofer

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)