Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trump's Titanic Numbers

Check out Donald "Rump" Trump's yooge Titanic unfavorables -- in every demographic category (click on image to enlarge):

Today's Cartoon - Crashing The Party

We can only hope...

(click on image to enlarge)


(Tim Eagan, via

The Media, The Republican Party, And Trump

With the reality of an amoral, avaricious media salivating over record ratings and revenue as a result of the on-going Donald "Rump" Trump- led freak show that is the race for the Republican Party "presidential" nomination (=cough= Jeff "Moneypucker" Zucker =cough=), some are beginning to call them out for their "coverage."  Here's just a recent sampling (as always, follow the links for more detail).

From Bernie Sanders' interview last night with Rachel Maddow:
[T]he Republican Party today now is a joke, maintained by a media which really does not force them to discuss their issues.
E.J. Dionne, Jr., on how a phony media narrative is distorting what's really going on in the country:
... [I]n the wall-to-wall coverage of Trump, the backlash around race and how he is courting it deserve far more scrutiny — even if this means The Donald might turn down a television network’s offer to do yet another telephone interview, in his pajamas, if he wishes.
At the least, the media might start asking whether the president’s popularity and Trump’s relative lack of it tell us something very important about what is happening in our nation that is being utterly lost in the clamor of Trumpism. We are allowing a wildly and destructively inaccurate portrait of us as a people to dominate our imaginations and debase our thinking.
President Obama at the Toner Prize ceremony earlier this week on media accountability:
... Because while fairness is the hallmark of good journalism, false equivalency all too often these days can be a fatal flaw.  If I say that the world is round and someone else says it's flat, that's worth reporting, but you might also want to report on a bunch of scientific evidence that seems to support the notion that the world is round.  And that shouldn’t be buried in paragraph five or six of the article.  (Applause.) 
A job well done is about more than just handing someone a microphone.  It is to probe and to question, and to dig deeper, and to demand more.  The electorate would be better served if that happened.  It would be better served if billions of dollars in free media came with serious accountability, especially when politicians issue unworkable plans or make promises they can’t keep. 
In the real world, we'd wager corporate media will choose shekels over scrutiny every time.  But it's good to see this discussion finally rising to this level.

BONUSDriftglass shows us how the media plays the false equivalency game, even while it wonders how we got to Trump.

BONUS II:   A good example of how the clickbait- obsessed media =cough= Washington Post =cough= willfully gets played by Republican trolls.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Republican War On Women - Trump, Abortion Avenger

Noted lover of women Donald "Rump" Trump:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday that there “has to be some form of punishment” for abortion if it were banned in the U.S. — as he says it should be — and that punishment should fall on the woman(our emphasis)
Further reading on Rump and women.

Our sentiments, exactly:

Tweet Of The Day - Invidious Comparisons Edition

Yes, we're happy to see you, AND there's a poll in our pocket:

Here are the numbers:
Gallup has Obama at 53-44 percent approval in its daily tracking—three points higher than when the polling company sent out a headline earlier this month stating his approval rating was at its "Highest Level Since May 2013." Yeah, we know... Gallup. But the trend holds in other recent polls.

Obama now rates just slightly better than Ronald Reagan did in March of 1988, just before Republicans took a third turn in the White House.

But the question is, what's at play? Though Obama has drawn some positive headlines lately—like looking very presidential during his Cuba trip—I would argue that his jump in popularity is inversely proportional to that of Republicans who have simply dominated 2016 headlines. In January, for instance, when people really started paying attention to the presidential race, they got a look at the GOP "dream team" and, guess what? Obama started looking pretty good.  (our emphasis)
See also Luckovich, Mike, below.

Today's Cartoon Twofer - The Reckoning Comes Nearer

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Mid-Week Song

Earlier this month, Japan's popular Wagakki Band headlined at the SxSW festival in Austin, Texas, having come from a dynamic, colorful concert appearance in New York City.  Their mix of traditional Japanese instruments and folk music with rock has won them a large following in Japan, and good reviews in the U.S. Here is their video, "Hangekino Yaiba."

Trump Withdraws Pledge To Support Republican Nominee

With Donald "Rump" Trump, a man is only as good as his word:
Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t plan to honor his pledge to support the party’s nominee for president if it’s not him.

“No, not anymore,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a town hall event in Wisconsin, when Cooper asked if Trump still planned to adhere to the pledge he signed last fall.

“I have been treated very unfairly” by the Republican National Committee, Trump said without elaborating.
That sound you just heard was Republican National Chairsquirt Reince "Prepuce" Priebus sharting.

BONUS:  Speaking of Priebus, here's an excellent read on how his "loyalty pledge" gambit helped Rump neuter his rivals and eventually led to the debacle known as today's Republican party.  Nice work, Prepuce!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Today's Cartoon - Republican Elevator To Hell

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Trump Campaign Manager Charged With Misdemeanor Battery (UPDATED)

Here's your "Making America Great Again" Republican "presidential" campaign in a nutshell:
Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery Tuesday following an incident in which he allegedly grabbed a reporter, Michelle Fields, at a campaign event earlier this month. 
Lewandowski turned himself in to police Tuesday morning in Jupiter, Florida, where he was charged with misdemeanor battery.
After lying repeatedly about the incident, both Rump and his ruff 'n' tuff bully boy now have the visual evidence shoved right in their smug faces in the form of this new videotape released by the local police (that's Lewandowski with his arm outstretched walking behind Rump and Fields is in the pale yellow jacket being yanked away):

UPDATE:  Here's where you can see the interview with Lewandowski's lawyer, Bradford Cohen, that Gene references in comments.

SCOTUS Lets Stand Unions' Right To Collect Fees From Non-Union Workers

In a major victory for public sector unions, a divided Supreme Court has let a lower court ruling stand in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday split 4-4 on a conservative legal challenge to a vital source of funds for organized labor, affirming a lower-court ruling that allowed California to force non-union workers to pay fees to public-employee unions. [snip]
A ruling allowing non-union workers to stop paying so-called "agency fees" equivalent to union dues, currently mandatory under laws in about half the 50 states including California, would have deprived public sector unions of millions of dollars a year, reducing their income and political power.

The decision means the status quo remains, with the unions able to collect fees from non-union workers.
Once again, the death of "Justice" Scalia deprived the right- wing of a majority, frustrating decades- long Republican efforts to undercut public sector unions and their collective bargaining and political power, at least for now. 

Trump's Trade Plan's A Loser

Here's the key takeaway from a report by Moody's Analytics, commissioned by the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle on the effects of the trade proposals by the Republican front- runner, neo- fascist hot air balloon Donald "Rump" Trump (spoiler alert #2: it's a loser!):
Trade has been one of Donald Trump's great selling points on the campaign trail. China and Mexico are killing us, he has told crowds on his way to the lead position for the Republican presidential nomination, and if Trump wins the White House, he will fight back. The implication is that getting tough with our trading partners -- by taxing their exports as they cross America's borders -- will bring jobs and prosperity to the United States.
An economic model of Trump's proposals, prepared by Moody's Analytics at the request of The Washington Post, suggests Trump is half-right about his plans. They would, in fact, sock it to China and Mexico. Both would fall into recession, the model suggests, if Trump levied his proposed tariffs and those countries retaliated with tariffs of their own.
Unfortunately, the United States would fall into recession, too. Up to 4 million American workers would lose their jobs. Another 3 million jobs would not be created that otherwise would have been, had the country not fallen into a trade-induced downturn(our emphasis)
Quite likely, a good percentage of those lost jobs would be white working class supporters of Rump, who like the furriner- bashing without thinking too much about the consequences.  It's somewhat reminiscent of low- income, recently insured voters in the 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial election who, even though Republican mossback Matt Bevin promised to kill that state's Obamacare program, voted for him anyway, even though they risked losing their health insurance (because Kim Davis "religious freedumb"!).  (Bevin is still doing his damnedest to muck up Kentucky's previously smooth- running systems.)

Also, triggering a recession in China, the world's second largest economy, might pose a wee problem for the rest of the world.

Making a case against Rump with his supporters on this and many other issues runs up against what really is motivating most of them: bigotry and xenophobia.  That prejudice and deep- seated, misdirected rage overwhelms rational arguments in favor voting ones' economic self- interest, because to Rump's supporters, bashing China or Mexico (or Muslims or gays or women, for that matter) makes them feel empowered;  it's what they feel is most lacking in their lives, and it's what Rump's bluster and empty promises give them.

In the unlikely event of Rump's election, we could only repeat for Rump supporters what Charles Pierce said on the occasion of Matt Bevin's election last year:  "Good luck and enjoy your freedom."

Monday, March 28, 2016

Gunfire At U.S. Capitol

Gunfire broke out at mid-afternoon at the U.S. Capitol's Visitor Center as a man, identified as Larry Dawson from Tennessee, set off a magnetometer at the Center and then drew a weapon (it later turned out to be a pellet gun). Dawson was hit by gunfire from the U.S. Capitol Police and taken to the Washington Hospital Center. It's not known whether his wounds are life-threatening.

Dawson is apparently known to the police from an incident the House of Representatives last fall, when he disrupted proceedings there saying that he was a "prophet of God." Again, we have an example of an unbalanced person walking around with a weapon, likely obtained legally, causing mayhem and potentially death for innocent bystanders. Fortunately, in this instance, only the shooter was seriously injured.

Twit, Counter Tweet - Late Easter Edition

It's Not Principles, It's Posturing

Two writers (among many) look at some of the worst of the "Bernie- or -bust" rationales.  To get the context, please read the entire articles.

How privileged do you need to be to imagine that it’s a good idea to risk the actual lives of vulnerable Americans because you “hate” Clinton so much that you vow to stay home if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination? How protected from the consequences of a Trump presidency do you need to be to think your hatred of Clinton constitutes, as I saw someone say earlier this week, an “inviolable principle,” meaning that it’s more important than the lives of vulnerable Americans? That all applies equally to any Clinton supporters saying the same about Sanders. (We have yet to see the full weight of American anti-Semitism aimed at Sanders, and if he wins the nomination, we most certainly will.)

Vote for whoever you like in the primary. But let’s step away from vicious attacks and hatred. Let’s step away from buying into debunked conservative propaganda about Clinton’s trustworthiness. Let’s look at the candidates’ actual proposals and weigh those proposals’ actual strengths and weaknesses. Let’s respect each other’s choices in the primaries.
Scott Lemieux at LGM:
Another thing with the taking your toys and going home flounce is that it understates what Sanders has already accomplished. He was always a massive longshot to win the nomination. Clinton was one of the strongest frontrunners in the history of the contemporary primary process, and a 74-year-old white guy from a small, unrepresentative rural state isn’t the ideal candidate on paper to make a challenge from the left. And yet, he’s been more successful than anyone could imagined, and successful in a way that will make a real difference in the party. This is a long game, not a short one. Forget heighten-the-contradictions nonsense — keep up the fight for Bernie and ensure that he shows strength through June. And then think of how the political energies he’s unleashed can effect political change at every level. The 2016 Democratic primaries aren’t the end of the struggle (and wouldn’t be even if Sanders won.) 
As with the pro- Clinton PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) folks in 2008, "Bernie or bust" folks are deluding themselves if they think sitting out this election will bring them an aura of nobility or a victory for their "principles."  Regardless of what they say, regardless of how they label themselves, they're not "progressives" if their actions would in any way visit a presidency of Donald "Rump" Trump or "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz upon us, especially our most vulnerable citizens.  (In the case of a few =cough= former Rand Paul supporter HA (ha) Goodman =cough= the odeur of Republican ratf*cking lurks in the background.)  For all the rest of us who live in a world of real consequences for our actions -- both Bernie and Hillary supporters -- we would like to offer this moment of truth, spoken by the man himself:

BONUS:  Or, as Charles Pierce says in relation to one of those "Bernie or bust" characters pooh-poohing who might be filling the Supreme Court vacancy, "Get glib about your own life, fool."

A Laughing Matter

Check out the item that's sold out on this page at Urban Outfitters.

It's only going to get worse for the Republicans as the fight in the playpen continues. Lol.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 1916 / Easter 2016

One hundred years ago on an Easter Sunday, thousands of Irish men and women rose in armed insurrection against the British colonial government.  The rebellion was poorly planned and executed, and was brutally put down by British forces. The leaders of the rebellion were later executed for treason.  Although the "Easter Rising" was unsuccessful, it marked the turning point in Ireland's fight for independence, which was achieved in 1922.  William Butler Yeats' famous poem "Easter, 1916" captures the mood of that time:
I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
"A terrible beauty is born" repeats throughout the poem (which is here in its entirety), alluding to the transformation of ordinary Irish citizens -- the "vivid faces" --  into revolutionaries.

For this Easter Sunday, pray for peace and justice.

"It's My Party, And I'll Shoot If I Want To"*

This summer's Republican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooter's Party convention in Cleveland will almost certainly be a wild and nasty affair, if the primary season on the Rethug side is any preview. There's a very good chance that the convention will be unable to nominate a candidate on the first ballot, thus making for a bitterly contested nomination and a lot of very angry people, regardless of who's nominated.

Perhaps this scenario and the often violent and hateful rhetoric coming from the leading Republican candidates has prompted the Party's poobahs to affirm a ban on firearms at the convention. Here's a Party that actively promotes whatever the National Rampage Rifle Association tells them to promote -- including arming teachers in schools, pushing open carry legislation, and doing away with "gun-free zones" -- having to tell their nuttiest followers to leave their guns at home. Not surprisingly, a petition is being circulated by some gun fetishists to allow the open carry of firearms at the convention, and it already has close to 30,000 signatures. Of course, the candidates are under Secret Service protection, so there's no way they're allowing guns in the convention, a fact that will provide a fig leaf to the Rethuglican leadership for not allowing their base to exercise their Second Amendment remedies.
*apologies to the late Leslie Gore.

Photo Of The Day - Donald "Judas" Trump

A Donald Trump effigy stands on the street before it is burned as part of the annual burning of the Judas festival on March 26, 2016 in in the Merced neighborhood of Mexico City, Mexico. Every year Mexicans burn a Judas effigy representing Jesus’s victory over evil but they often choose a reviled political character to stand in Judas’s place. (Jonathan Levinson/For the Washington Post)

Now we know what the "J" in Donald J. Trump stands for.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Today's Cartoon Twofer - The Sh*theel State

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Darrin Bell, via

See below.

Backlash Against Anti-LGBT Law In NC Grows

North Carolina's a odd mix of the old South, with its Bible-belt culture and prejudices, and the new South, with respected universities, research and relatively moderate politics. It's a state that can elect a Kay Hagan, John Edwards or Terry Sanford, and turn around and elect a Jesse Helms or its current Rethug Governor Pat "McCrock" McCrory. McCrory, whose earlier brush with fame as Governor was his intervention on behalf of his former employer Duke Energy after the disastrous Dan River coal ash spill, has also been actively undermining voting rights for people that have historically supported Democrats.

Lately, a major right-wing mission (particularly for those in the talibangelist wing of the movement) has been the reversal of gains of the LGBT community in marriage equality, and equal treatment. So last week, a bill passed by the Republican General Assembly landed on McCrory's desk that overturned a local Charlotte, NC anti-discrimination ordinance, and he immediately signed it into law. While a provision allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms associated with their identity received wide publicity, the law goes further in prohibiting any municipality in North Carolina from expanding anti-discrimination laws.

Now, the State of North Carolina is facing a significant backlash from some major corporate employers in the state, who don't share the Rethugs' enthusiasm for discrimination. Companies like American Airlines, Apple, Dow Chemical, Wells Fargo and some Silicon Valley investors have objected to the new law as a violation of their practices and values.  The National Basketball Association also condemned the new law.

After the phony "religious freedom" justifications for anti-LGBT discrimination were legalized in Indiana last year, that state and its Republican Governor Mike "Sex Pence" Pence faced withering blowback from corporations trying to do business in the 21st century. The talibangelist forces on the right in states like Indiana and North Carolina (and potentially Georgia) are increasingly at war not only with the LGBT community, but with the normally conservative corporate world that sees this kind of discrimination as bad for business.

BONUSAndy Borowitz mocks the Tarheels Shitheels.

Bernie "Put A Bird On It"

A wonderful moment at a Bernie Sanders rally in Portland, Oregon, yesterday when Bernie "put a bird on it":

Make that "Birdie Sanders!"

Quite a contrast to the ugly slimefest going on between Donald "Rump" Trump and "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz!

Tweet Of The Day

Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekend Long Time Waiting Song

The Rolling Stones have been waiting for over 50 years to perform in Havana, Cuba.  They even were forced to wait an extra few days to put on their free concert tonight in Havana, because of the historic visit of President Obama and family earlier this week.  So, yeah, they've been waiting.  That, and the fact that their landmark album "Aftermath" was released nearly 50 years ago in the UK (a slightly different version was released several months later in the US), means we just have to have this specific cut from that album: "I Am Waiting" (of course).

UPDATE:  Here's a picture of the scene in Havana --


(Dave J. Hogan via Getty Images)

Picture Of The Day

(Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of 12 refugees in a Maundy Thursday ceremony at a refugee center near Rome, Italy; the refugees were Muslim, Christian and Hindu. Osservatore Romano/ Reuters)
We don't see any yooge walls or police patrolling and conducting surveillance, do you?

Ladies' Man Quote of the Day

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Obama, but God made me a man, and as such I can't help noticing a woman who I think is attractive. And I'll be damned if I'm going to shut up and not tell her so." -- Hate radio's porcine sack of bile Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh, ranting on his show about he should feel free to comment on a woman's appearance, because, as Limpballs said in a vast overstatement, "God made me a man*." If you can decipher the rant, it's largely his fantasy about how Michelle Obama's destroying 'Murica by condemning sexual harassment, because as we all know, Limpballs' overtures to women are always welcomed. Particularly the underage girls he allegedly paid for sex in third world countries after consuming quantities of Viagra and Oxycontin.

(photo: *God got the wires crossed when he made Limpballs)

Jimmy Kimmel Mansplains What Hillary Clinton's Doing Wrong

Jimmy Kimmel and Hillary Clinton had a little fun with the "mansplaining" double standard that's been cropping up in the commentary about Clinton's campaign style (e.g., "liberal" MSNBC's Joe "Squint" Scarborough's suggestion that she "smile" more, and Lawrence O'Donnell's observation that she's "loud"):

Republican Gutter Campaign - Ted Cruz "Sex Scandal" Edition

The stink wasn't off the misogynist, childish back- and- forth between Republican "presidential" candidates neo- fascist buffoon Donald "Rump" Trump and Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz over their wives when the sleazy tabloid National Enquirer published a "Ted Cruz Sex Scandal" story:
The National Enquirer reported this week that private investigators were gathering evidence of the [five!] alleged affairs, and the tabloid claims to know the identities of the women — whose blurred photos are published in the print edition.
An unobscured photo of Donald Trump’s spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, appears in the published report, suggesting she may be one of the alleged mistresses.
First reaction:  Ewwww.  We need a shower, stat!  Multiple affairs... with Tailgunner Ted?  God- bothering, Jesus- endorsed, smarmy weasel Tailgunner Ted?  Seems unpossible!  There couldn't be that many soulless, power- hungry climbers willing to bump uglies with Tailgunner Ted (and with Cruz, we do mean ugly)!

Second reaction:  The National Enquirer?  Really?  (Though, they were right about John Edwards' affair, so... )

"Some say" this smells like a plant from the Rump campaign, and there seems to be a strange silence from that quarter that could suggest they knew this was coming out and want the story to develop legs on its own.  As expected, Twitter is going nuts (the #CruzSexScandal hashtag is trending), and some are also wondering "Where's that foul- mouthed Rump, and why isn't he weighing in?"

BONUSCharles Pierce puts it correctly: "Nobody wants to think about Ted Cruz having sex," and then points to a possible ratf*cker in the Legion of Trump as the "inside source"  (spoiler alert: Roger Stone).

BONUS III:  Now a Stormtrumper and one of Tailgunner's alleged mistresses are going at it - live on CNN!  More popcorn!

BONUS IVBlowback from Tailgunner Ted!  Keep the popcorn coming! Here's part of what the Tailgunner actually said about Roger Stone and Rump, if you can believe it:
"I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well let me be clear, Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him." (emphasis added)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Today's Cartoon - Republican Horror Show

(click on image to enlarge)

(Ruben Bolling, via Daily Kos)

BONUS:  Be sure to catch the latest in the puerile Rump/ Tailgunner Ted feud here (updated).

Koch Brothers, Fat Cat Republicans Focusing On Congressional Races

With the prospect of their "presidential" nominee being neo- fascist hot air balloon Donald "Rump" Trump in November, Republican fat cats are scrambling to protect their puppets in the Senate and House.  The Koch brothers political network, in conjunction with the Karl Rove "Crossroads" operation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are planning a massive cash onslaught to shore up the fortunes of endangered right- wing cranks:
The behemoth Koch operation — which aims to spend almost $900 million before the November elections — is now considering abandoning Trump as a nominee and focusing its resources on behalf of GOP congressional candidates.  [snip]
In New Hampshire, Law’s advocacy group One Nation began a $1 million ad campaign this week praising Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) for seeking “bipartisan solutions” to fight the heroin crisis in her state. In Ohio, the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC financed by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and other conservative donors, is running a TV spot attacking Democratic candidate and former governor Ted Strickland for tax increases during his administration.
The groups are being bolstered by some of the party’s biggest donors and fundraisers, many of whom have turned their funds toward congressional Republicans after seeing their favored candidates forced out of the White House race.
Progressives will never be able to match plutocrat money now expected to flow into the Senate and House races.  But we know the arc of history bends in our direction (!) and we're in reach of reclaiming the Senate (and thereby a progressive seat on the U.S. Supreme Court!).  If you can, it's important to please give these worthy folks some help in their Senate races:

Russ Feingold (WI)

Maggie Hassan (NH)

Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Ted Strickland (OH)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) 

Jason Kander (MO) 

Thank you!

Rethuglican Family Values, Dixie Edition

When Alabammy's Republican Governor Robert Bentley ran for office, he ran on a specific message of family values. His campaign ads were wall-to-wall full of his religion, and his family, including his wife of some 50 years (who has since filed for divorce;  read on). He's defiantly anti-same sex marriage, tweeting on June 26 of last year, "Regardless of today's ruling by the Supreme Court, I still believe in a one man one woman definition of marriage." He's even a deacon in his Southern Baptist church, who infamously declared on his inauguration day that, “anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." A piece of work.

Since hypocrisy seems to be in the DNA of the most conservative Republican politicians, it's not a huge surprise that Bentley was involved in an affair with one of his (much younger) female staff members, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. In a press conference yesterday, Bentley vaguely apologized for his actions, which he said stopped short of a sexual affair.  Sadly for God-bothering Bentley, recording equipment has already been invented, and he was caught in an explicit conversation with the female staff member, who is married with three children. Law enforcement is investigating whether the Governor broke state or Federal laws in conducting, facilitating or covering up the affair in using state resources. Few if any people are buying the Governor's "it was just sexting" claim, given the recordings which are now public (warning: you may have to shower after hearing them).

Watch for Bentley, who is in serious legal if not political trouble, to return in a few days with words of repentance and moist eyes, calling on the voters to forgive him his sins as Jeebus already has. His estranged wife and the husband and family of his mistress, probably not so much.

BONUS:  Here are pictures of the old goat and of  Ms. Mason and the family he likely broke up:


Report On Flint Water Crisis Blames Republican State Officials

Forget the Republican posturing and attempts at blame- shifting at the recent Congressional hearings on the Flint, MI, water contamination crisis.  Republican Gov. Rick "You Make Me Sick"Snyder's own appointed task force has issued its report on responsibility for the debacle:
A task force appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to investigate the water-contamination crisis in Flint issued a blistering report Wednesday, laying blame squarely on state officials in what it called “a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction and environmental injustice.
The 116-page report details a widespread lack of responsibility and leadership that contributed to the catastrophe, which potentially exposed more than 95,000 residents in the beleaguered city — including about 9,000 children under age 6 — to water tainted with lead.
The Flint Water Advisory Task Force said the state Department of Environmental Quality “failed in its fundamental responsibility” to enforce drinking-water regulations and assured the governor’s office that Flint’s water was safe when it wasn’t. The independent group faulted Snyder and his administration for failing to act even after “suggestions to do so by senior staff members in the Governor’s office.

As we've noted in the past, this sorry episode is just one example of the social Darwinist philosophy of "e coli" (a.k.a., "bridge collapse") conservatives playing out in the real world, where the ultimate goal is the shrinking of government to the point it can be drowned in a bathtub (h/t Grover Norquist), public health and safety be damned.

The other part of this story is the inattention of the media.  Once the lights go off and the cameras are gone, the story gets bottom- of- the- fold, page 16 treatment (as this article did in the print once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle today).   That's been the "story" from the earliest days of this human catastrophe - that is, it isn't a story.  Shame on our puerile, shiny- object obsessed media for coming late to Flint, then opting to bury its lessons on the back pages.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Judge Goofy

Apparently there's no dance that grifter extraordinaire and former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah "Winky" Palin won't do for a few bucks tucked in her metaphorical g-string. Earlier, it was an Alaska huntin' and shootin' series that failed to register in the Nielsons.  Now, it's a proposed series featuring the notorious quitter as a "judge" in a reality series, modeled on Duck Dynasty Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader Judge Judy. The snowbilly grifter and Donald "Rump" Trump fan will apparently be the mediator in small-bore cases (man bites dog comes to mind), if she and the production company can convince enough stations to carry it (they will;  see H.L. Mencken).

If the latest grift flies, we suspect that the griftin' gal will tire of the rigors of a part-time job mediatin' and decidin'. Give her a couple of months, max.

BONUS:  Charles P. Pierce adds his invaluable perspective.

Happy Birthday Obamacare!

Today marks the 6th birthday of Obamacare (the signing of the Affordable Care Act).  Dan Diamond shows us in a few charts what that's meant (click on images to enlarge):

Please feel free to refer to these charts the next time you hear a lying Republican say that Obamacare is a disastrous failure and job-killer, and how much they want to repeal it.

Oh, we almost forgot:  thanks a lot, Obama!

BONUSHere's more about Obamacare to be happy about.

A Response To Tailgunner Ted's Police State Idea

As we noted yesterday, theocrat-with-a-God-complex Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (Wingnut- Canada) said it would be a great idea to set up "security" patrols in Muslim neighborhoods here in the U.S. (you know, sort of like the Nazis did in the Jewish Warsaw ghetto). Well, New York City's tough police chief Bill Bratton was having none of that unconstitutional demagoguery from the Tailgunner:
“I would remind the senator that he lives in the United States of America, and the statements he made today is why he’s not gonna become the president of this country. We don’t need a president that doesn’t respect the values that form the foundation of this country.” (emphasis added)
Indeed, it's one reason why Tailgunner Ted is unfit for the Presidency, and remains a very dangerous and deceitful man.

(photo: The sociopath who says President Obama consistently exceeds his Constitutional authority)

Mid-Week Stare Song

Jazz combo The JT Project has been producing quality contemporary jazz with a distinctive soul component for several years.  Keyboardist Jacob Webb and saxophonist Todd Schefflin often combine with other New York City-based jazz artists to record, and have toured with such notables as Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle.  Here's their single, "Don't Blink."

Twit, Counter Twit (UPDATED)

Getting down and dirty with the front running Republican "presidential" candidates today!

An anti- Donald "Rump" Trump PAC ran an ad in heavily- Mormon Utah that included images of Rump's third wife, Melania, when she posed nude for GQ magazine.  Rump, being the cool- headed type of guy you want with his finger on the nuclear button, mistakenly assumed it was the work of  Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz and fired off a threatening tweet.  Of course, Tailgunner Ted retaliated.  Here's the image the ad used, followed by a war of tweets (twits?):

Today's Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party, ladies and gentlemen!

UPDATE:  Ooooh, even stiff-necked moral paragon Willard "Mittens" Romney is talking trash:
“Donald Trump has had several foreign wives. It turns out that there really are jobs Americans won’t do.”
UPDATE II:   Tailgunner Ted in Wisconsin calls Rump "a sniveling coward."

UPDATE III:  When asked repeatedly if he'd support that "sniveling coward" Rump if he was nominated, Tailgunner Ted refused to say yes or no.  Conclusion:  It takes a sniveling coward to know a sniveling coward!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Photo Of The Day

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, illuminated tonight in solidarity with the Belgian people in the colors of Belgium's flag: red, gold and black.

(photo: Reuters, Philippe Wojazer)

Shocking: Trump And Cruz Spout And Ooze Nonsense On Terror Attacks (UPDATED)

As we noted below, the reaction of the leading Republican candidates to the terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium this morning demonstrated, shall we say, a low bar of intelligence, common sense, tolerance and humanity.  Who knew, right?

Said "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz, defender of religious freedom against jackbooted progressives:
We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized. We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration.  (our emphasis)
Police occupying Muslim American neighborhoods is a surefire way to deter radicalization, "Tailgunner Ted!"

In addition to his knee- jerk close the border! and commence the torturing! remarks noted below, geopolitical mastermind Donald "Rump" Trump apparently thinks Belgium is a city:
Belgium is not the Belgium that you and I knew, Matt [Lauer], from 20 years ago, which was one of the most beautiful cities and one of the safest cities in the world. Belgium is a horror show right now.  (our emphasis)
Bob Schooley sums up the, well, nonsense:

UPDATE:  Here's Wonkette's roundup of the usual (asshat) suspects.

Attacks In Brussels Kill At Least 26 (UPDATED)

Three separate bombings at the Brussels airport and at a subway station in that capital city earlier this morning have killed 26 people, with many dozens more injured. The airport attack occurred in the departure lounge, and witnesses say that they heard two large explosions around 8 a.m. local time. Government officials have shut down all public transportation in Brussels, including buses, and all flights in and out of Brussels have been cancelled, as the nation of 11 million goes on high alert.

The attacks follow the raid of a terrorist cell connected with ISIS this past weekend which resulted in the arrest of one of the key figures in the attacks in Paris last fall, Salah Abdeslam.

UPDATE: Belgian authorities have released a picture of the suspects in the bombings at the Brussels airport. The death toll has risen to at least thirty, with a reported 100 injured at the airport and 130 injured at the subway station. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

BONUS:  Once again, many in the Beltway media are not covering themselves in glory with this tragedy: who do they turn to for expert analysis and opinion?  Why, neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump, that's who. Rump gives his "close the borders / we have a problem with Muslims" sound bite on NBC, for example, and minutes later actual counterterrorism experts say Rump's just giving ISIS and the like a recruitment tool with his statements, not to mention endangering our agents and soldiers in the field.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon - "The Incredible Trump"

With special appearances by Sen. John McCain, Willard "Mittens" Romney and Gov. Chris "Krispycreme" Christie.

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via

Tweet Of The Day - Sen. Warren Nails Trump As "A Loser"

While some are saying Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Tweetstorm today on the subject of Donald "Rump" Trump is at least as much about preparing Sanders supporters to unify behind Clinton as it is to bait Rump, we just like it for what it is.  Here's a sample:

Quote Of The Day - When You've Lost The Goldwaters...

The widow and son of conservative icon Barry Goldwater are weighing in on the state of the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party, and particularly its neo- fascist frontrunner Donald "Rump" Trump:
“Barry would just go absolutely go crazy if he were watching this today,” Susan Goldwater (now Levine) told MSNBC by phone. “He would be yelling at the television. He would think it’s embarrassing this situation we have with Donald Trump. It’s not the Republican Party or the country that we knew 25 or 30 years ago.”
She plans to vote for Hillary Clinton and, she continued, a lot of her friends from the Goldwater era are too. They think the Republican field has come unhinged and drifted hard-right, and, yes, she knows that’s what they used to say about her late husband, the so-called father of modern conservatism.
Says son Barry, Jr.:
“I don’t think there’s any comparison at all with Barry Goldwater,” he said. “Donald Trump is an authoritarian. Barry Goldwater had principles and he was a gentleman. Donald Trump is a cowboy.”
Can't argue much with that.

Missy's Master (UPDATED)

As the clearest evidence of who pulls the strings of Senate Republicans, Senate Majority Leader and human / turtle hybrid Mitch "Missy" McConnell indicated on Fux "News" yesterday that the National Rampage Rifle Association would have veto power over any Supreme Court nominee offered by the President, even in a lame-duck session after the elections. Missy said he couldn't imagine any Rethug Senator considering someone whom the NRA opposed (that must be somewhere in the Second Amendment that we missed).  Here's the video.

In 2014, when Missy was faced with a serious re-election challenge from Dem Alison Grimes, he showed up at CPAC nervously waving a musket over his head. Mockery ensued. Reporters were unsuccessful in determining whether the chinless one even owned a firearm, and when he was challenged by Grimes to target practice, Missy ducked in his shell and refused to come out. Your Republican establishment's leader in a turtle nut shell.

UPDATE:  Another in a line of polls shows how deeply unpopular Missy's position is:
The American public feels that a president’s Supreme Court nominations should be taken up by the U.S. Senate no matter when they occur, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.  Specifically, two-thirds say that Pres. Obama’s recent nomination deserves a hearing and 3-in-4 Americans think Senate Republicans are playing politics by refusing to consider to it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Era In U.S.-Cuba Relations

President Obama and his family arrived in Havana, Cuba today for a 2-day visit. His visit marks the first since 1928 that a U.S. president has visited Cuba.

Obama's visit comes after some 55 years of mutual hostility with the Cuban regime, beginning with the establishment of a Communist government Cuba in the years following their 1959 revolution. The U.S. currently maintains a trade embargo for Cuba, something that will certainly be on the table in the bilateral discussions between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro. A number of business leaders traveled with the President to begin talks to open Cuba to investment and trade. Obama intends to meet with Cuban dissidents and to press human rights issues with the Castro government.  In addition, he will be attending an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national baseball team while in Cuba. Obama will also speak to the Cuban people about the challenges and opportunities ahead with improved relations.

Upon arriving in Havana, the President tweeted:

Here's hoping the visit produces benefits not only for the U.S., but for the people of Cuba.

(photo: Associated Press. President Obama and family arrive in a rainy Havana for their historic visit)

"The Brainwashing Of My Dad"

A propos of the post below, this film by director Jen Senko and producer Matthew Modine released on Friday is a study of the effect of years of right- wing media brainwashing on Ms. Senko's father, turning him from a "Kennedy Democrat" into a hater.  When the film was looking for Kickstarter funds, we previewed a longer trailer in April 2014;  but now the full movie is available for screening in various locations and for sale via You Tube ($3.99) and other media.  Please support the film in any way you can.  In the meantime, here's the official trailer (h/t P.E.C.):

"Who Is The Trump Voter?" Cont.

It's not the economy, stupid!

Kevin Drum:
I've been periodically making the case that Americans aren't really all that angry about the economy, which naturally implies that the economy isn't the reason for Donald Trump's success. This argument has taken several forms. First, in objective terms, the economy is in decent shape. Second, the number of people affected by globalization (lost jobs, reduced wages) isn't that large in absolute terms. Third, polls indicate that concern about the economy isn't especially high by historical standards. And fourth, polls also indicate that overall personal financial comfort is fairly strong.  [snip]
Trump actually does slightly worse with voters who are concerned with the economy than he does overall. This is yet more evidence that economic anxiety just isn't a big factor driving Trump's success. The bigger factor, by far, is immigration, and Winship argues persuasively that this is not primarily an economic concern. It's a cultural concern...
That's right... "cultural," as in "Make America Great White Again" cultural.

Sunday Cartoon Twofer - SCOTUS And Trump

(click on images to enlarge)

(Robert Ariail, Spartanburg S.C. Herald-Journal)

(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Dispatch)

Sunday Reflection - Tolerance And Hypocrisy

Weasel/ human hybrid Sen. Tailgunner Ted" Cruz, yesterday:
"It was sad yesterday to see Donald Trump stand up in Utah and call into question Mitt Romney's faith," the Texas senator told reporters on Saturday after a rally in Draper ahead of the state's Republican nominating contest on March 22.

"That has no place in politics; that is wrong. It's disgraceful to call into question the faith of another, and that is an attack that I think doesn't belong in Utah and it doesn't belong in politics."  (our emphasis)
Sad and disgraceful, yes.

Now, let's go to September 2015 when "Tailgunner Ted" was asked to respond directly if he thought President Obama was a Christian::
“The president’s faith is between him and God. I’m not going to speculate on the president’s faith."   (our emphasis)
Finally, let us quote from holy roller "Tailgunner Ted's" favorite book, specifically Matthew 7:5:
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. 
Situational tolerance is not tolerance at all;  it's hypocrisy. And it's sad and disgraceful.

(Image:  "Who, me?")

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Today's Cartoon - Trump's Bully Pulpit

(click on image to enlarge)

(Darrin Bell, via

Any wonder why more and more Americans are seeing fascist undertones in the campaign of Donald "Rump" Trump?

Headline of the Day

From The Guardian:

Who can stop Trump? Republicans may have little choice but to vote Clinton

Even if the Republicans could decide on an anti-Trump candidate to ram down the Stormtrumpers' throats at the convention, it would be a futile and suicidal exercise. As we've noted, the majority of Rethugs will ultimately revert to their tribal mentality and vote for their inevitable candidate, neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump because he'll have an "R" by his name on the ballot. But there will be a minority in that party that will either 1) vote down-ballot only and decline to vote for Rump at the top of the ticket, or, less likely, 2) split the ticket and vote for (presumed nominee) Hillary Clinton and every down-ballot Republican. (Better still if they would stay home fuming).

Oooh, the schadenfreude!

Trumpesque Tournament Tweets

Michael Tomasky adopts a "Trump Twitter voice" in amusing tweets about the ongoing NCAA basketball tournament.  Here's a sample:

Republican Nihilism And The Rise Of Trump

Paul Waldman:
...[T]he Republican willingness — indeed, eagerness — to abandon traditional norms of governing has crippled our political system.
While others might locate a different starting point, I'd argue that the seminal moment of this trend was the "Brooks Brothers riot" that occurred on November 19, 2000, during the counting of the disputed votes in Florida. Worried that election officials recounting votes in Miami-Dade county might produce a result favorable to Al Gore, Republicans sent congressional staffers posing as ordinary Floridians to the offices where the counting was taking place. They proceeded to shout, pound on doors, and generally intimidate the election officials, who eventually became so frightened for their safety that they stopped the counting.
That was just one particularly vivid incident in a remarkable story, in which the election came down to a state governed by the Republican candidate's brother, where the Republican candidate's state co-chair was also the state's chief election official, where the two of them had engineered a "purge" of voter rolls that had disenfranchised thousands of legitimate voters, and where the counting was eventually stopped by five Republican members of the Supreme Court, in what was one of the most absurd and shameful decisions in its history.  [snip]
...[T]he people who have come to dominate the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate arrived in Washington not to make laws, but to tear the institutions of government down. So it's quite alright with them if nothing in Washington works — after all, that only validates their argument to voters that government can't do anything right, and what we should do is continue to undermine it and strip away its protections wherever we can. [snip]
Where does this all lead? To Donald Trump.

When your party proves again and again that it treats governing like a joke, you wind up picking a joke of a candidate to be your nominee for president.
We've left plenty of meat out.  The entire article deserves a read.