Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today's Cartoon Threefer - Benghazi Fishing Expedition Sinks

(click on images to enlarge)

(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.)

Brexit Boris Bugs Out

One of the main Conservative leaders of the vote to leave the European Union, former London mayor and Trump doppelgänger Boris "Buh Bye" Johnson, has decided not to run for UK prime minister after the severe economic consequences of the "Brexit" vote became apparent, and following the defection of key supporters. In his announcement earlier today, Buh Bye said, “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me." Riiiight, now run and hide. Earlier, one of Buh Bye's allies and erstwhile campaign manager, justice secretary Michael Gove*, announced his interest in the prime ministership, an astounding act of treachery even for a Tory. He would become the main rival to leading candidate home secretary Theresa May.

The reaction was immediate and harsh toward the flamboyant and often incendiary politician who was the most prominent face of the "vote leave" movement, including this colorful one from Scottish actor Ewan McGregor:

More reactions can be read here, but the common gist is that Buh Bye pooped his pants and wants someone else to clean it up. He'd do well in the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooters Party here.

*BONUS:  This is the twit Michael Gove, international man of treachery:

The Trump Institute Scam And The Media's Complicity

Yesterday's New York Times had an expose of yet another scam fronted by neo- fascist Republican bankruptcy expert Donald "Rump" Trump.  Behold "Trump Institute:"
As with Trump University, the Trump Institute promised falsely that its teachers would be handpicked by Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump did little, interviews show, besides appear in an infomercial — one that promised customers access to his vast accumulated knowledge. “I put all of my concepts that have worked so well for me, new and old, into our seminar,” he said in the 2005 video, adding, “I’m teaching what I’ve learned.” 
Reality fell far short. In fact, the institute was run by a couple who had run afoul of regulators in dozens of states and had been dogged by accusations of deceptive business practices and fraud for decades. Similar complaints soon emerged about the Trump Institute. 
Yet there was an even more fundamental deceit to the business, unreported until now: Extensive portions of the materials that students received after paying their seminar fees, supposedly containing Mr. Trump’s special wisdom, had been plagiarized from an obscure real estate manual published a decade earlier.  (our emphasis)
The common denominator in these Rump- branded enterprises is the conscience- free defrauding of rubes looking to get rich quick.  By trading on his supposed vast expertise in real estate speculation =cough= four bankruptcies =cough=,  Rump was able to convince the gullible that he could make them rich just like him -- for a modest fee.  Now that Rump is one election away from installing his ugly brand of know- nothing neo- fascism in the White House, the media is suddenly taking a more critical look at what he bases his reputation on -- his business dealings, i.e., his trafficking in shady schemes like Trump "University" and, now, Trump "Institute."

Even though this kind of Rump- as- charlatan business dealing has been going on for decades, the media has largely played along with Rump's well- cultivated image as an expert to be sought out and consulted. David A. Hopkins (h/t Daily Kos) traces the phenomenon of Rump as the uncritical media's creature back several decades:
... For decades, Trump has benefited from media coverage that not only has made him a household name, but has also portrayed him as having skills that would be generally considered assets in the world of politics. Trump managed to build a national reputation as an exceptionally shrewd businessman and negotiator through popular media accounts, and his years of appearances on morning shows, newsmagazines, and interview programs like Larry King Live often invited him to comment on current events under the assumption that his business success naturally gave him valuable insight on the political topics of the day.
The volume and generally deferential character of this media attention encouraged Trump to flirt with a political career as early as the late 1990s. His later phase as an outspoken critic of Barack Obama was similarly given substantial amplification by national media outlets; Trump made regular appearances on Fox News Channel (including a weekly "Monday Mornings with Trump" feature on Fox and Friends) and CNBC during much of Obama's presidency, treated once again as a captain of industry who could boast substantial expertise on the subject of politics.
The many Rump scams and pathologies over the years -- from Trump "University" and Trump "Institute" to Rump's noxious spreading of conspiracy theories in major media outlets -- were never seriously vetted in the media.  Now we're all paying for this long term media willingness to play along with this dangerous, narcissistic demagogue.

BONUS:  Melissa McEwan sees the gender bias in the treatment of Rump over the years.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Goodbye, Dr. Chaps!

In yesterday's primary (who knew?), the voters of Colorado bid a fond (?) farewell to ultra- homophobic State Rep. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt  Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt.  Don't remember him?  He's the former Navy chaplain (hence "Chaps") who was court-martialed for wearing his uniform to a political event (following years of insubordination), who then became a fixture on the right- wing Bible- thumping rube- shearing circuit.  Sensing the need to break down the wall between church and state, Dr. Chaps served one term in the Colorado legislature before giving up a run for reelection to go for a State Senate seat. As we may have mentioned, he lost (he only got 38% of the Republican vote).  Sad!

Wonkette runs down some of Herr Klingenschmitt's loonnuggets:
He knows why animals turn gay: Gay demons leaking from gay humans. 
He’s said that allowing a transgender kid to use the locker rooms of her choice amounts to visual rape of other girls (and of course that demons are at work there, too). 
He wants to exorcise the demons from atheist kids who objected to attending high school graduation in a church. 
He has a real, practical solution to the problem of wedding photographers who are oppressed by antidiscrimination laws: if you’re forced to take pictures of a homowedding, just let your customers know that you stamp the text of Romans 1:32 on the back of all your photos, to remind them that homosexxicans are “worthy of death.” That should be a real hit with the straight couples, too! 
He knows why the NSA is even a thing: Obama’s possessed by demons, and he wants to watch us all the time. 
He’s warned that Sen. Al Franken “wants to require pedophilia in all public schools, in the form of mandatory pro-gay lectures to all public school children.”
Don't feel sorry for Dr. Chaps.  No doubt he'll be back on the rube- shearing circuit soon, blaming his defeat on gay demons!  We think you're projecting again, Dr. Chaps!

BONUS:  Go ahead, laugh:

(Photo:  "Dr. Chaps" - leather? - Klingenschmitt recoiling from the gay demons in his head.)

"Horribly Tragic" Quote of the Day

It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that’s exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns.” (emphasis added) -- a recent Facebook post by Christy Sheats of Houston, TX, who shot and killed her two daughters, ages 17 and 22, as they pleaded for their lives and ran from her.  Sheats was later shot by police responding to multiple 911 calls from neighbors and from one of the daughters.

Durn ol' Democrats, trying to stand in the way of your filicide.

Twit Asked And Answered (UPDATED)



Ambassador Stevens' sister Anne Stevens yesterday:
I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.
What else ya got, f*cktrumpet*?

* Long live Scotland!  (Long live Scotland, Part Deux)

Mid-Week Beginning Song

With brother Hackwhacker on jury duty (Sad!), the onerous task of putting up a mid- week song has fallen to...  me.  Since you can't go wrong with the great Portland- based band The Decemberists, here's Colin Meloy's lovely anthem "A Beginning Song," from last year's album, "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World."

Shocking! Money-Grubbing Trump Not So Charitable After All

The once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle has a look at the claims by neo- fascist shitgibbon* Donald "Rump" Trump that he's given away millions to charity.  As with the vast majority of what comes out of Rump's pie- hole, the pathological liar does what pathological liars do:
In May, under pressure from the news media, Donald Trump made good on a pledge he made four months earlier: He gave $1 million to a nonprofit group helping veterans’ families. 
Before that, however, when was the last time that Trump had given any of his own money to a charity? [snip]
 ...[I]n the 15 years prior to the veterans’ gift, public records show that Trump donated about $2.8 million through a foundation set up to give his money away — less than a third of the pledged amount — and nothing since 2009. Records show Trump has given nothing to his foundation since 2008 [snip]
In recent weeks, The Post tried to answer the question by digging up records going back to the late 1980s and canvassing a wide swath of nonprofits with some connection to Trump. 
That research showed that Trump has a long-standing habit of promising to give to charity. But Trump’s follow-through on those promises was middling — even at the beginning, in his early days as a national celebrity. [snip]
In recent years, Trump’s ­follow-through on his promises has been seemingly nonexistent. 
The Post contacted 188 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation’s money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly. 
The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.  (our emphasis)
One donation.  One, for less than $10,000, since 2009.  When he did open his wallet, Rump gave much more to the tony schools his spawn attended than to worthy charities like AIDS research and helping the homeless. We think we'd be on very safe ground to say the average middle- class American gave much more to charity in that timeframe than did this purported billionaire.

The entire article is worth a read because it shows, as if the point needed amplifying, what a lying narcissist Rump is and why he's refusing to release his tax returns.  His paltry non- existent "charitable" giving is just one more of the "bombshells" =cough= paid no taxes =cough= he's eager to hide from public view.

*Long live Scotland!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Photo Of The Day - Garbage In, Garbage Out

That's neo- fascist cocksplat* Donald "Rump" Trump speaking today on "economic independence" in front of a pile of garbage. Well, that's truly product placement, isn't it.  After all, here's Rump, who invests in outsourcing companies and in offshore companies that make his "branded" merchandise, talking, um, trash about Economic Independence!  (h/t Crooks and Liars)

BONUS:  Steve Benen weighs in.

* Long live Scotland!

Investigations Tweet of the Day

But that wouldn't bring Hillary's poll numbers down....

The Benghazi! Benghazi!! BENGHAZI!! Boondoggle Bust

Here's all you need to know about the Benghazi! report issued by House Republicans today:
Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.
Two years and $7 million, to be exact, following eight previous reports and investigations by, for example, the State Department, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Oversight Committee, all coming to essentially the same conclusion long ago.

House Democrats on the Benghazi! committee issued their report yesterday.  As they point out, this partisan witch hunt (you know who their "witch" is) took longer than the investigations of the Kennedy assassination, Hurricane Katrina, Iran Contra, or Pearl Harbor.

When faced with the reality that his efforts had come a-cropper, we like to imagine this was the reaction of head (heh) Republican inquisitor Rep. Trey "Deuce" Gowdy (R- Hair Cuttery) and his puppetmaster behind the chair:

Today's Cartoon - How Could You See That Coming?

(click on image to enlarge)

Right- wing columnist and Fox "News" talking head George "Effing"Will recently announced that he had left the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party as a result of its takeover by neo- fascist racist Donald "Rump" Trump.  Jen Sorensen has this cartoon and an accompanying piece showing how Will has spent his entire career sloughing over Republican- sponsored racism and bigotry that he suddenly finds offensive in the person of Rump. (Will, of course, is not alone in having to deal with the fruits of his labors;  a number of fellow Republican hacks are also expressing "Tregrets" at the ascendence of the beast they've fed for decades.)

Roast Of The Day

“Even though some of tonight’s jokes will be cruel and sexist and racist, they in no way constitute an endorsement of Donald Trump.”  Comedian Bob Saget, emceeing a roast of Democratic advisor James Carville last Thursday night.  Rimshot!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Photo Of The Day

The ticket?  Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) campaigning together for the first (and hopefully not the last =wink=wink=) time in front of a raucous crowd in Cincinnati, OH.

(Photo: Associated Press)

The UK's Donald Trump: A Foreshadowing

(click to enlarge)

Presumed Rethuglican Presidential nominee and neo-fascist bigot Donald "Rump" Trump offered one more example of his unfitness for the Presidency this past week in his ludicrous appearance in Scotland as the Brexit vote was being announced. Touting his Turnberry golf resort's amenities (sprinkler systems, suites) in his press conference rather than discussing the seismic shift in Europe, Rump then praised the vote to exit the EU in Scotland, which had voted decisively to stay in. Since he's a stone-cold narcissist, he also opined that the UK's exit from the EU would weaken the British pound and help bring people to his golf course. Big picturePresidential!

Sadly for the UK, Rump has a doppelgänger in the form of former London Mayor and buffoon Boris Johnson.  They even bear a resemblance to one another.  As a member of the Conservative Party, Johnson was one of the leaders of the "Leave" movement, opposing his Party's leadership on the issue. He shares many of his American counterpart's nativist and anti-immigration sentiments. (In an ironic twist,  Johnson was born to British parents in New York City, ironically not far from Rump's and Omar Mateen's birthplaces, and has Turkish ancestry -- his grandfather was named Osman Kemal). As with most petty demagogues, after the Brexit vote and as the damaging consequences were apparent, Johnson and other "Leavers" have been ducking questions about the terrible ripple effects on the UK's economy, not to mention questions about the movement's backtracking on promises made during the election. It appears that they had no plan, since they apparently didn't believe British voters were foolish enough to actually vote to leave the EU.

This is the outcome and the side that Rump praised, using a version of his taking-your-country-back rhetoric. It shows starkly not only that he has no grasp on international economic issues, but that his judgement is too flawed and dangerous to be anywhere near the White House.

(cartoon: Darren Bell, via

Court Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law

The Supreme Court today ruled that the restrictions placed by Texas on clinics providing health services for women, including abortion, were medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limited a woman's access to abortion. The 5 to 3 ruling is the most significant in years on the issue of abortion, and will affect the status of other states' laws that have attempted to circumvent Roe v. Wade by placing hospital-style architectural and medical requirements on clinics, forcing them to close or incur significant, unnecessary costs to comply. In Texas, up to 75% of clinics providing abortion would have been forced to close under the state's restrictions.  The restrictions were crafted by right-wing anti-choice groups and have been passed by other states with Republican state legislatures hoping to make legal abortions nearly impossible to obtain. Think Progress has a detailed article on just how big a blow to the anti-choice forces this is.

The stakes in the 2016 elections at state and Federal levels are high, but perhaps none higher than determining the President who will make the next appointments to the Supreme Court. But there are Senate and House seats, and state-wide races for Governor and legislators which if they go Republican, will continue to hold back progress on this and so many other issues.


(image: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque. Pro-choice demonstrators celebrate today's Court ruling.)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Across The Universe, Cont.

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, June 23, 2016: "Pancake-shaped clouds not only appear in the children's book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," but also 3 billion miles away on the gaseous planet Neptune. When they appeared in July 2015, witnessed by amateur astronomers and the largest telescopes, scientists suspected that these clouds were bright companions to an unseen, dark vortex. The dark vortex is a high-pressure system where the flow of ambient air is perturbed and diverted upward over the vortex. This forms huge, lens-shaped clouds, that resemble clouds that sometimes form over mountains on Earth.

When NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune in 1989, astronomers were surprised to see such a gaping, dark hole at southern latitudes in the giant planet's cyan-colored atmosphere. The dark spot later disappeared. But the Hubble Space Telescope captured a new northern dark spot of comparable size in 1994. Hubble captured the appearance of a new dark spot on May 16, 2016. The spot would span the width of the continental United States."

A Very Bad Poll For Hillary Clinton

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has a bad number for Hillary Clinton vs. orange codpiece Donald "Rump" Trump (our emphasis):
... [I]n a head-to-head general election matchup, Clinton leads Trump 51 percent to 39 percent among registered voters nationwide, the poll found.
"Bad," you say?  Twelve points!? With that kind of a lead, she has it in the bag!  With new energy and new Millennial voters coming into the Democratic Party, not to mention Rump's toxicity, this will be a cakewalk!  People can relax, stay home or purity vote for Jill Stein even!

Let's see if there are any recent examples of how this thinking might go disastrously wrong...
When you look at the [Brexit] numbers, it’s quite fascinating. The youngest voters wanted to stay in wide margins, and the oldest voters wanted to leave. 
And that’s the exact opposite of who turned out to vote. Older voters turned out, younger voters did not. So it didn’t matter if the overwhelming majority of millennials preferred to remain in the EU, they simply didn’t vote to express that opinion.  [snip]
... You might think your vote doesn’t matter — and that is what’s going on if you’re voting for a third party, in your heart of hearts you “know” that your vote won’t really get Trump elected. Well, you might want to talk to some British millennials right about now.
That, unfortunately, fits a pattern in this country of the most progressive cohort (today, the Millennials) simply not bothering to show up to vote.  If this historic trend continues in the 2016 election, it could spell disaster for us.  (We're not picking on Millennials here;  the youngest voting generation has always shown a reluctance to get into the voting booth.)  Here's a chart that's been on the Internetz that illustrates what not exercising your voting franchise means, again in terms of the Brexit voters:

No matter what the polls tell us, no matter the margins between now and election day, no matter who else is on the ballot, every American who values liberal democracy, equality, tolerance, and human decency has to get themselves to the polls and vote for Clinton and every other Democrat on the ballot.  Just a reminder what happens when you "assume:"
(h/t americablog)

Sunday Reflection

Clearly, that would explain the Donald "Rump" Trump phenomenon.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Will Says "Buh Bye" To Rethugs

Long-time right wing columnist George F. "Effing" Will announced today that he has left the Republican Party because of the Party's presumptive nominee, neo-fascist bully Donald "Rump" Trump.  Saying that the Party of Trump was "not his party" (riiiiight!), Will said that a President Trump with a Rethug Senate and House would be worse than a President Clinton with a Rethug Senate and House, but didn't endorse or say he would vote for Clinton (or the Libertarian ticket).

Never forget, though, that Will was one of St. Ronnie of Hollywood's most ardent propagandists, and if anyone is the grandfather of the Rump movement, it's St. Ronnie, the only difference being that he used a dog whistle (e.g. "states' rights") where Rump uses a bullhorn. Will says it's not his Party. Why no, it's that party waaaaaaayyyy over there (as Driftglass might say).

Picture of the Day

Michael Forbes, a neighbor of the Trump golf resort near Aberdeen, Scotland, flies a Mexican flag in solidarity with Mexico within sight of the golf coursse, and in defiance of neo-fascist racist Donald "Rump" Trump. Several of the resort's neighbors followed Forbes' example.

BONUS:  The Scots are wonderfully descriptive when it comes to Rump.

(photo: Michal Wachucik, AFP/Getty Images)

Brexit And Bregret: The Jane Austen Edition

Funny (and true) Brexit analysis by Bill Maher (h/t P.E.C.):

Brexit in haste, Bregret at leisure.

Weekend Spirit Song

Canada's alternative/indie rock group The Strumbellas, who've won Canada's coveted Juno music award,  released their single "Spirits" a few months ago.  The song is about someone struggling with their inner demons, and trying to overcome them so they can live in a better world. It topped the U.S. alternative singles charts, and is a compelling song, lyrically and musically, that has a way of sticking with you, especially after Orlando.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Today's Cartoon Twofer: Republicans' Un-Civil Rights

Never has a political party been so deserving of extinction.

(click on images to enlarge)

(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

(Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle)

Tex-ass Secessionists "Inspired" By Brexit

We had to laugh when we read about the secessionist clowns in Texas that are wanking dreaming about replicating the UK's unfortunate vote to leave the European Union here in the U.S., if Der Trumpenfuhrer loses in November. Of course, they miss the fact that the UK's a nation pulling out of an international organization, not a British county pulling out of the UK. Also, what do you do with all of those Federal facilities, e.g. military bases, space flight facilities, national parks, buildings, etc.? We non-Texans want to be compensated for their loss...heavily. And not with Confederate money, please. Oh, and that's not counting all those toxic Superfund sites that we'll gladly leave in your grubby hands.

No doubt if they stage a takeover of a Post Office, they'll be joined by other misfits and loons on the far right à la the Malheur preserve in Oregon last winter. So, to the Alamo, lads! Make sure you stock up on Ding Dongs, beef jerky and French Vanilla creamer while you await the invading forces of Mess'co Yankee oppression. But first, you might want to sit your treasonous asses down and recall how the last seccession attempt for your State worked out.

(image: Oh, and don't forget to stock up on porn vids for the long siege, boys!)

We'll Take The High Road, and Rump Takes The Low Road

We noted at the end of the post below no-fascist doofus Donald "Rump" Trump expressed his strong approval of the vote in Britain to withdraw from the European Union, an outcome that was pushed by the racist nationalist UK Independence Party.  His views were expressed as he took a break from being the presumptive nominee for the Rethuglican Party to attend the more important business of opening his golf resort in Scotland. Sadly for him, he knows British politics about as well as he knows the Bible:  Scotland voted strongly to remain in the EU, and they weren't shy about pointing that out to Rump, most pointedly by British pop star Lily Allen:


The Rump disease mirrors a trend in some European countries -- the UK, France and Belgium are examples -- of nativism, xenophobia and racism in the person of an authoritarian political leader and movement; in Britain, as noted below, it's the tax-avoiding demagogue who leads the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, whose political positions look remarkably like Rump's on immigration, trade, gun control, even his admiration of Vladimir Putin.

The siren call of "taking our country back" appeals to those who haven't adapted, or don't want to adapt, to a global economy and multicultural society, and who believe that walls instead of roads and bridges are the way to a brighter future.

BONUS:  Please read Steve Benen's take on Rump's risible "it's all about me" appearance in Scotland.  Sad!

Little Britain

As Yanks, we've kept our blog away from the run-up to yesterday's Brexit vote, quietly hoping that British voters would do the smart, right thing:  vote to remain in the European Union.  Now that voters have opted for Britain to leave, we must sadly observe that, apparently, there are more self- destructive, racist, clueless  meatheads in Britain than we were accounting for.

Among the results in just the last 12 hours:

- the pound dropped overnight to a 31- year low;
- in fact, the pound dropped so far, Britain is no longer the 5th largest economy in the world;
- the London market is in "free fall" and markets around the world started a deep nose-dive this morning;
- Britain's credit rating will drop;
- Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain, is considering anew an independence referendum;
- and, most unfortunately, the vote hands the racist leader of the UK Independence party, Nigel "Nigel" Farage (a.k.a., "Little Trump") a huge victory.

British Tory PM David Cameron announced his resignation after the vote, a fitting political end to the person  dimwit who brought this calamity on his country by fulfilling what he thought was a self- preserving campaign pledge to hold the vote.

Much will be written in the days and months ahead about this decision, including the ominous potential for a fractured, Balkanized Europe engaged first in trade wars, then in hot wars.  But the economic and political fallout from this vote is already pointing to a poorer, weaker, smaller Britain -- a Little Britain -- that, in opting to go it alone, will soon find that no country is an island, even theirs.

(An aside:  as a measure for Brits and Americans as to how foolish this decision was, it has received the blessing of none other than neo- fascist ignoramus and bankruptcy expert Donald "Rump" Trump.)

BONUS:  If it's possible to laugh at this moment, Andy Borowitz does it with "British Lose Right To Claim Americans Are Dumber."

BONUS II:  True  --

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tweet Of The Day - Lewandowski's New Gig

It's all about ratings.  Not a scruple among the lot of them.  Perfect match.  Oh, and the next time a reporter gets manhandled at a Rump event, don't look to us for sympathy.

BONUS: We suppose that the clowns at CNN did due diligence and know that Lewandowski is bound by a confidentiality agreement with Rump not to discuss him or his campaign. D'oh!

Today's Cartoon Twofer- "Little Marco" Rubio's Bad Reviews

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Nick Anderson, via

Record- setting Senate no- show Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio's (a.k.a., "Little Marco") announcement that's he's gone back on his word and is now running for re- election has received some harsh reviews in some of Florida's biggest newspapers.

Tampa Bay Times:
... Rubio's decision gives Florida voters an opportunity to judge his thin record in the Senate, his tortured policy on immigration and his out-of-step positions on Cuba, guns, climate change and other major issues. And where has Rubio been for the past six years? Many communities would need to form a search party to discover that Florida has two members in the Senate. This race should be a reminder that this office cannot be taken for granted.
Miami Herald:
... The sudden switch puts his honesty into question. How can he persuade voters that he will be an effective champion for Florida after he’s said that the Senate is no place for anyone who wants to get things done? The famously impatient senator told one interviewer during the campaign that he couldn’t stay there because he was too “frustrated.”
Glug Glug doesn't want to be "an effective champion for Florida." On the contrary, he's calculated that his tormenter, neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump will lose the election, leaving 2020 open for his overarching Presidential ambitions. The Senate seat is just a cushy rest stop for him until he can run again.

Rarely, in our judgement, has a politician so lacking in character and accomplishment been as exalted as Glug Glug. What a fraud.  What a liar.  What an empty suit.

Read more here:

Why The 2016 Election Matters - Supreme Court Edition

The Supreme Court has thwarted President Barack Obama’s drive to expand his executive actions on immigration by making as many as five million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally eligible for quasi-legal status and work permits. 
By dividing 4-4, the justices left in place a lower court order forbidding the president from launching a new program to grant “deferred action” status to illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders.
So, the four Republicans on the Court were able to thwart President Obama's humane action to allow special status for undocumented alien parents of children who are citizens.  How white nice of them.  You can add this to the long list of anti- democratic rulings by the Republican Roberts Court.

If the President's highly qualified nominee to the Court had been treated fairly and confirmed by party- before- country Republican nihilists, is there any doubt the President's action would have been upheld?  Can there be any question why it is so important -- if only for this reason -- to have a President and Senate who will fill the vacancy on the Court with a progressive with humane values rather than a bigoted, small- bore reactionary Republican?

Elections matter.

BONUS:  Once again, our go- to guy Charles Pierce --
Tell me again how this upcoming election doesn't matter. Tell me again how there's no real difference between the two major candidates. Tell me again why you would risk having a vulgar talking yam appoint the tie-breaking justice, and likely at least two others besides. Tell me again why you're voting for Gary Johnson or Jill freaking Stein. Then tell the four million people whose lives just got tossed into the MixMaster.

I'll hold your coat, and call the ambulance when they're done with you.
BONUS II:  Here's the text of the President's remarks on this decision and on the affirmative action ruling.

Now More Than Ever: Turn The Senate Blue

Given the cowardly, amoral Republican obstruction of even minimal gun control legislation (some measures gaining the support of 90 percent of Americans), right now the best chance we have of seeing any movement on this is to elect a Democratic Senate. Once again, we're asking, if you have the time and/ or resources, let's help these Democratic Senate candidates running against Republican incumbents turn the Senate blue:

Russ Feingold (WI)

Maggie Hassan (NH)

Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Ted Strickland (OH)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)

Jason Kander (MO)

Katie McGinty (PA)

Thank you.

Dem Sit-In On House Floor Continues (UPDATED)

Democratic House members continued their sit-in on the House floor overnight, despite Rethuglican attempts to roll them by shutting off cameras in the House chamber and adjourning without voting on gun safety legislation.  Led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the Dems angrily denounced the failure of the Rethugs to allow a vote on several measures, including expanded background checks and a "no fly, no buy" restriction on gun sales. Looking at the failure of the Senate last Monday to pass gun safety legislation, it's clear who commands the attention of the 56 Senators who voted the background check legislation down:  Think Progress reports that the gun lobby's National Rifle Rampage Association pumped $36 million into their campaign coffers. Some of the NRA's most egregious political prostitutes are John McCain (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), and Roy Blunt (MO).

Given the redistricting that occurred after the 2010 census by Rethuglican-controlled state legislatures, Congressional districts have been redrawn in those states to favor Rethuglicans, meaning that it's going to be difficult, but not impossible, to vote many of them out of office.  Not so in the Senate, where 23 Rethug Senators are up for reelection, with several in states that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Dems only need four seats to flip the Senate. We're hoping the election cuts far deeper than that into that roster of 23 Rethugs.

UPDATE:  Charles Pierce says it:
But at the heart of these actions is more than a protest against inaction on the issue of guns. It's a protest against inaction, period, against the repulsive and cowardly vandalism-by-inaction that has been the hallmark of the Congress almost from the second the president's hand came off the Bible in 2009. Politicians should vote and then explain their reasons why to the people that elect them. The government should function. Period. That's an issue worth fighting over.  (our emphasis)
UPDATE II:  Republican priorities --

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Video Of The Day: Elizabeth Warren On Donald Trump's Tax Returns


BONUS:  Sen. Warren will be going on the road soon with a friend:
It might have taken Elizabeth Warren a bit longer than most of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate to endorse Hillary Clinton, but she's making up for lost time to boost the party's presumptive presidential nominee. The Clinton campaign announced Wednesday that Clinton and the liberal senator from Massachusetts are headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, to share the stage on Monday at their first public event together this election.
Be still, our hearts!

Surprise! "Little Marco" Rubio's Running For Senate

Let's dispel with this fiction that Republican gusano Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (Liar- FL) isn't an ambitious lightweight in high heels. Glug Glug has announced that, contrary to his pledge upon running for the Republican presidential nomination, he's going to run for re- election after all.  The proximate reasons:  the Senate needs him after the Orlando massacre (because of his anti- LGBT record or his vote against assault weapon restrictions?); also, must save Senate seat for Republicans!

Glug Glug, who lost the Florida Republican primary by 20 points to neo- fascist Donald "Rump" Trump (a.k.a., Cheeto Jesus), has a 49% disapproval rating in the State, perhaps a reflection of his worst voting record in the Senate and professed hatred of his job as a Senator.

His likely Democratic rival, Rep. Patrick Murphy, issued this statement in response to Glug Glug's flip flop:
“Marco Rubio abandoned his constituents, and now he’s treating them like a consolation prize. Unlike Marco Rubio, I love working hard every single day for the people of Florida,” said Rep. Murphy. “From missing the most votes of any Florida Senator in nearly 50 years, to seeking to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest, to repeatedly voting against closing the terrorist gun loophole, Rubio is proving he is only out for himself. 
“Florida is ready for another Senator like Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, who is committed to doing this job and who will work with people to fight for progressive values.”
As Bob Schooley previews, the negative ads are writing themselves:

And, it's a good bet this will still come true:

(Image:  musical accompaniment here.)

"Who Voted For This Guy?" -- An In-Depth On Trump Supporters

(click on image to enlarge)

(David Horsey, Los Angeles Times, via Crooks and Liars)

Benjy Sarlin has a long, well- researched article on who the "new" voters were that enabled neo- fascist con artist Donald "Rump" Trump to take over the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party. (Spoiler alert: "Today, a description of who supports Trump is simple enough: Republicans.")

But, once again, we're struck by the incoherence of the "typical" Rump voter's world view, and their gullibility regarding their hero.  Here's one quote from the Sarlin piece that had us scratching our heads:
“I’m tired of people promising the moon and not giving us anything,” Jeff Marshaus, 53, of Shreve, Ohio, said. “I’m a lifelong Republican and I got tired of the same old, same old.”
As far as Republicans "promising the moon and not giving us anything," this fellow clearly believes the cons Rump has been touting regarding rounding up millions of undocumented aliens, building a yooge wall on the Mexican border, profiling Muslim Americans and stopping ISIS cold in its tracks. In other words, he's willing to believe a guy promising not only the moon, but the entire solar system out to the Kuiper belt.  This is the Trump University demographic.

Sic transit gloria, America.

BONUS:  Here's another fine example of the Rump supporter.

Mid-Week "By Bonds" Song

Celebrating his 77th birthday this month is singer Gary "U.S." Bonds, who had a handful of good-time hits in the early '60s, including "Quarter To Three," "Dear Lady Twist,"and "New Orleans." He wrote a wry autobiography, "By U.S. Bonds," in which he recounts a tour with the Beatles and performances with Springsteen among other sagas. Fifty-five years ago, he had this top 10 song, which captures the joy felt by generations of students when school is out for the summer (except for the line, "I can root for the Yankees from the bleachers." Not here.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today's Cartoon Twofer - Pick Your Metaphor

(click on images to enlarge)

(Matt Davies, via

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Donald Trump ... Rapist?

From the New York Daily News:
A bizarre lawsuit involving a California woman’s charge that Donald Trump raped her when she was an underage teen have resurfaced, this time in a Manhattan Federal Court. 
Trump, the Republicans’ presumptive presidential candidate, has already denounced the allegations once as “categorically false” and “disgusting.” 
But the lawsuit — dismissed by a Los Angeles Federal Court judge last month — has new life and the backing of a new lawyer, although some of the salacious charges have been dropped. 
Gone from the new lawsuit is an allegation that Trump threw money at the plaintiff for an abortion when she expressed fear about getting pregnant after being raped. Gone, too, is the allegation that Trump called co-defendant and accused pedophile and sex party host Jeffrey Epstein a “Jew bastard,” and her request for $100 million in damages. 
But the complaint’s core allegations remain unchanged, that Trump and Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at a series of Manhattan sex parties Epstein hosted in 1994. 
“Immediately following this rape, Defendant Trump threatened me that, were I ever to reveal any of the details of Defendant Trump’s sexual and physical abuse of me, my family and I would be physically harmed if not killed,” the plaintiff said in an affidavit. (our emphasis)
The complainant was 13 at the time of the alleged assault.

Sound implausible?  Remember, here's Creepy Rump with his own then- 15- year- old daughter Ivanka in 1996 (whom he said he'd date if she weren't his daughter, and whose breasts he commented on when she was a 1 year old):

Tweets Of The Day - Trump Just Grifting Along

How godawful clueless do you have to be to run a campaign like Donald "Rump" Trump (h/t Balloon Juice)?

Need. More. Hats!

And, yes, it's all about him:
Here's a good summary of just what a con job Rump's campaign is (surprise!).  Also, Charles Pierce on the farcical Rump.

"The Biggest Threat To The Economy" (UPDATED)

In a speech to be given later today in Columbus, Ohio, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to flay what passes for the economic "policies" of neo- fascist dimwit Donald "Rump" Trump.  It's a particularly well- timed speech, in that those "policies" have come under scrutiny from a respected economic analysis firm, Moody's Analytics, and what they have to say is devastating [pdf]:
... [W]hat he is asking for is fiscally unsound. His tax and spending proposals will result in very large deficits and a much higher debt load. A future Congress may be able to rein in this profligacy, but it will not be easy, as there is a gulf between what he says he wants on taxes and spending and what it will take to make the budget arithmetic work. 
He is also very suspicious of globalization. His willingness to threaten higher tariffs on U.S. trading partners and his sharp criticism of major trade deals signal a reversal on the long-running expansion of U.S. trade and foreign investment. Requiring millions of undocumented immigrants to leave the country also signals less openness to the rest of the world. 
The upshot of Mr. Trump’s economic policy positions under almost any scenario is that the U.S. economy will be more isolated and diminished.  (our emphasis)
Not that this should be surprising to anyone who follows Rump's hare- brained "policy" prescriptions on any topic.  After all, he's the epitome of post- policy Republicanism. Nor is the warning likely to penetrate the skulls of a large portion of Rump's frothing base: endlessly aggrieved white working- class Americans.  After all, contrary to corporate media myth- making, it's not "economic anxiety" that's driving these voters;  it's racial/ cultural anxiety.  So, what would be the reward for these folks in a Rump presidency?  Catherine Rampell puts it like this:
Overall, the picture painted by these forecasts is terrifying. It suggests voters here — not so unlike our friends across the Atlantic who favor Brexit — may voluntarily bring a Category 5 economic hurricane upon themselves. And for what? To “shake things up”? To give the middle finger to “the establishment?” To make Washington a little more entertaining, or a little less politically correct?

Are 9.4 million fewer jobs and the longest recession since the Great Depression really worth those meager rewards?
Moody's isn't the only voice warning of Rump's catastrophic plans.  As Rampell goes on to note:
... A Trump presidency is considered one of the top 10 risks facing the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It’s rated above an armed clash in the South China Sea, a fracturing of the European Union and even the rising threat of jihadist terrorism. 
And with Rump's proposed $10 trillion in tax cuts skewed to upper income brackets, who do you think would be the "winner" while the majority of us would be "losers" in a Rump Recession?  Why, none other than Donald "Rump" Trump!  Shocking, we know.

The Shameful Response to Orlando

As out-of-touch with U.S. public opinion as ever, the Republican-led Senate rejected a series of gun safety measures proposed after the latest mass shooting at an Orlando gay and lesbian club last week. Despite 71 percent of Americans wanting some moderate gun safety regulations, the Senate voted down amendments along party lines that would have banned sales of weapons to people on the "no-fly" list, and that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers. Two of the four proposals offered by Rethugs would have made no impact on the proliferation of military assault-style rifles in the hands of dangerous individuals, and were offered to provide cover for them with the voters, who have become increasingly supportive of efforts to restrict sales of highly lethal, military-style weapons.

Dems are promising to make Rethuglican opposition to common-sense gun safety legislation a major issue for November. As long as the NRA's coin-operated legislators don't feel threatened at the ballot box, the NRA will continue to pull their strings. The 2016 election needs to cut some of those strings.

UPDATE: The front page of this morning's New York Daily News says it all:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tweets Of The Day - "You're Fired" Cont.

Re the Corey Lewandowski fiasco:

And for the final salvo:

Trump's Supporters: Three Profiles

Since neo- fascist bigot Donald "Rump" Trump is a believer in "profiling," let's profile what Rump supporters look like, starting with these two Stormtrumpers:
When police raided a home occupied by two Trump supporting neo-Nazi brothers in Mt. Sinai, New York on Thursday, it wasn't long before they realized they may have stopped another shooting like the one that happened a week ago in Orlando, Florida. 
In the 6:00 a.m. raid, officers recovered six assault rifles, four rifles, a handgun, 25 high-capacity magazines, a shotgun, and some 3,000 to 5,000 rounds of ammunition. [snip]
Brothers Edward Perkowski, 29, and Sean Perkowski, 25, also had a copious supply of neo-Nazi and white power paraphernalia in their single-story suburban home, police said. And Edward Perkowski is a supporter of Donald Trump. Considering Trump's racist rhetoric, this should come as no surprise.
How about this psychopath:
A disgraced police officer called on militia members and “lone wolf patriots” to bring their guns to Cleveland to do battle with black protesters at the Republican National Convention. 
“I am encouraging patriots and Trump supporters and those that support liberty and freedom to come lawfully armed with lethal and non-lethal weaponry,” said Jim Stachowiak, a right-wing activist and former police officer, in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
And this opiate entrepreneur:
A Tea Party activist who frequently argues against anti-drug measures at government meetings has been arrested for illegally selling prescription drugs. 
John “J.R.” Roth was arrested Thursday night in Highland Heights, Kentucky, and charged with felony trafficking in a controlled substance after police said he sold 10 oxycodone pills to an informant, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer. 
The 60-year-old Roth, who is a Donald Trump supporter and promotes “birther” conspiracy theories, is a fixture at local government meetings in Campbell County, where he complains about government spending for almost anything.  [snip]
Roth, who has been previously cited for animal cruelty and accused of domestic violence, was released from jail on bond. 
If convicted, the Tea Party activist faces up to five years in jail.
We know we focus a lot on these right- wing Trump lowlifes.  That's only because there's a lot of right- wing Trump lowlifes.  (So many lowlifes, so little time.)  We should never be surprised by the ignorance, racism and hypocrisy of these people - perhaps only to the degree.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

"Firearm Americans" is a new hyphenated term for one-issue voters, a group that exercises far more influence than their numbers. And the obsession with the "second-half-of-the-Second Amendment?" That's because the first half states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State," referencing State militias that evolved into the National Guard, an organization that the likes of the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, and shooters Omar Mateen, Adam Lanza, and James Holmes never belonged to.

(cartoon: Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

"You're Fired!" -- Trump Campaign's Lewandowski Out, "Conscience Clause" In? (UPDATED)

Say buh-bye to the journalist jostling campaign manager for neo- fascist incompetent Donald "Rump" Trump, Corey Lewandowski:
Donald J. Trump is parting ways with his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a move that comes as the presumptive Republican nominee faces challenges as it moves toward the general election. 
“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes [Ed.: had to get in a little self- promotion, eh?], has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”
Rump's sputtering, chaotic "campaign" apparatus has been embroiled in a power struggle between Lewandowski and Rump's eminence greasy Paul Manafort for months, with Lewandowski disappearing further into the weeds in recent weeks.  Another rival to Manafort, national political director Paul Wiley, was canned less than a month ago.

The "Conscience Clause" Last Resort

Completing the picture of a Republican sh*tstorm blowing up around Rump's "campaign" are the rifts between the "campaign" and the Republican National Committee and, the perhaps quixotic "Anybody- But- Trump" movement's desperation plan to enact a "conscience clause" in the convention rules that would allow delegates to abandon Rump:
There will be 2,472 Republican delegates going to Cleveland for the national convention, with 1,237 needed for a candidate to secure the nomination — but those intent on blocking Donald Trump are focused on a much more manageable number: 57 
That figure is 50 percent plus one of the 112-member Convention Rules Committee, the group with the power to end Trump’s grip on the GOP nomination. A victory there, said the leader of the “Free the Delegates” group on a Sunday night conference call, and it would be all downhill. 
“Once it passes Rules … it’s just kind of an easy sell,” said Kendal Unruh, a delegate from Colorado, who predicted that with the committee’s approval, winning over a majority of the full convention would be easy. “They’re not going to be putting up strong resistance to this.” [snip]
Unruh specifically will be asking the Convention Rules Committee, of which she is a member, to pass a “conscience” clause to let delegates out of their obligation to vote for the winner of their state or congressional district. She said that because many Republicans are by their nature “rule-followers,” they would be grateful for “a permission slip” to let them off the hook. She said she was heartened by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s remarks to NBC on Sunday that he wouldn’t be telling delegates what to do. (our emphasis)
The fact that spineless convention chair Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan has signaled he won't oppose whatever rules the committee approves doesn't mean he's capable of standing up to Rump;  that he isn't has already been demonstrated.  It also relies on enough of these hardcore Republicans having a "conscience" when it comes to Rump;  that they don't has also already been demonstrated.

It should make for an entertaining four days in July, though.

BONUS:  Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a good perspective.

UPDATE:  Apparently the firing did not go smoothly:
Earlier Monday morning, Donald Trump and his adult children gathered for a regular strategy meeting at Trump Tower. Also present was Corey Lewandowski, the campaign's embattled manager. According to one senior Trump staffer briefed on the meeting, "things went south for Lewandowski, and he was fired." Shortly after, he was escorted out by security. Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, is now fully in charge. (our emphasis)
UPDATE II:  Another incompetent goes for mocking Lewandowski (glad we don't have that problem).