Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cain Unable

As an emblem of neo-fascist sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump 's commitment to hire "only the best" people, former pizza boss and clueless sexual harasser Herman Cain was seen at the White (Supremacist) House earlier today, apparently under consideration for a position on the Federal Reserve Board. Recall that in the 2012 Presidential race, Cain was the token African-American Rethug who had big problems discussing foreign policy issues, and who came up with the ridiculed and regressive "9-9-9" tax plan. He had to drop out after several women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment. In other words, he'd fit right in with the Rump regime.

We believe a far more appropriate appointment would be as Rump's ambassador to Uzbekistan.

(photo: Chip Somodevilla)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

Pelosi Says No Wall Money....Again

As if dealing with a child throwing a tantrum, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again told Russian asset and bigot Donald "Rump" Trump that there will be no money for a wall in the House-Senate negotiations regarding border security:

Rump is now back to calling his vanity, manhood project a wall -- which Mexico was supposed to pay for -- after apparently being chastised by the extreme right for waffling on "barriers," "fencing," "steel slats," etc. While his Rethuglican enablers in the Senate outnumber the "dissidents," there seems to be little appetite among them for another Rump Government shutdown that tanked theirs and Rump's approval numbers. As for an "emergency" on the southern border, the intelligence community begs to differ, so his threat to declare a "national emergency" is hollow and foolish, much like its promoter.

Curbing Trump On Tariffs

Bungling Russian asset and Very Stable Genius Donald "Rump" Trump has thrown some U.S. and foreign markets into turmoil over his destructive tariffs, which he sold to the rubes he's now hurting as "America First."  Soybean and grain farmers, steel and aluminum producers, pork and whiskey producers, and even the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle company have all taken a hit as a result of Rump's misguided policies.

However, Rump's ability to impose tariffs may be curtailed, if a bipartisan group in Congress succeeds in legislation that would limit his trade / tariff powers when it comes to national security:
"Two bipartisan groups of lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation known as the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The bills would require Trump to have congressional approval before taking trade actions like tariffs and quotas under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The law currently allows the president to impose such tariffs without approval from Capitol Hill.

'The imposition of these taxes, under the false pretense of national security (Section 232), is weakening our economy, threatening American jobs, and eroding our credibility with other nations,' said Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, co-sponsor of the Senate bill."
(our emphasis)
Former Wall Street banker Toomey's co-sponsorship is telling. He's a taxophobic, Club for Growth Rethuglican who won his election in 2016 with less than 50% of the vote in a generally blue state. He's seeing the damage caused by Rump's policies and broken promises on reviving coal and bringing jobs back to the U.S. and he's running scared.

But with the sinister and amoral Senate majority leader Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell serving as Rump's loyal employee in the Senate, the bill may not make it to a floor vote if Rump has his way.

(image: Rump displays Executive Order declaring his hair is beautiful and his hands are big.)

QOTD -- Threat Assessment

The only reason for the director of National Intelligence or the director of the CIA or the director of the FBI or the director of the National Security Agency to stay in their jobs after being publicly insulted by the president of the United States today is that they all recognize that the unstated threat to this country that did not appear in their written report is actually the president of the United States himself... And they are staying in those jobs to defend this country against the threat of the Donald Trump presidency.” -- Lawrence O'Donnell last night, after discussing Putin asset Donald "Rump" Trump's hostile reaction to the intelligence community's testimony yesterday on global threats to national security. O'Donnell also called out the effing New York Times for its pusillanimous treatment of Rump's reaction as "unusual." Our brave, truth- telling corporate media!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Rethugs Oppose Election Day As National Holiday

Human /  turtle hybrid and sinister enabler of corrupt plutocrats Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell (R- Obstruction) uses his inside voice in public about making election day a national holiday, which would drive up Dem turnout:
“The only common motivation running through the whole proposal seems to be this — Democrats searching for ways to give Washington politicians more control over what Americans say about them and how they get people elected...It’s an attempt to rewrite the order to benefit one over the other."
Said Missy, before realizing he was talking into a live mic.....Imagine, legitimate voters having a day off from work to exercise their Constitutional right to vote: can't have that!

The Rethuglican strategy for decades has been to suppress the Dem vote in order to ensure their electoral victories.  Making it easier -- and legal -- for voters to register and vote means disaster for Rethugs, who count on a highly motivated core of wingnuts to turn out and vote for them, while suppressing Dem voting. This is an issue that the Dems need to win.


We found many more reactions here.

Today's Cartoons/ Tweets -- The Social Injustice Warrior

(We hereby promise ourselves to devote as little attention as possible to this ego- driven putz going forward. He'll be getting more than enough attention from the click bait and corporate media and from Trump/ Republican operatives.)

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jeff Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

A clueless putz who'll never be ready for prime time:

Damon Linker has a good read on Schultz, if you want to stoke your anger further.  We're beyond sick of this asshole already.

Foxconn Con Imploding

Remember in 2017 when business dolt Donald "Rump" Trump ("The Shart of the Deal") made the big announcement with skeevy former Wisconsin Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker that Taiwan- based Foxconn would be opening a major manufacturing plant in Wisconsin (after giving the company $4 billion in tax breaks)?  You know, the plant that was going to bring 13,000 mostly blue collar jobs to the state, and serve as an example of Rump's dealmaking skillz?  Now, it sounds like something quite different than what the hucksters were selling back then:
Rather than a focus on LCD manufacturing, Foxconn wants to create a “technology hub” in Wisconsin that would largely consist of research facilities along with packaging and assembly operations, Woo said. It would also produce specialized tech products for industrial, healthcare, and professional applications, he added. 
“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory. You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment,” Woo said. 
Earlier this month, Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple Inc., reiterated its intention to create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, but said it had slowed its pace of hiring. The company initially said it expected to employ about 5,200 people by the end of 2020; a company source said that figure now looks likely to be closer to 1,000 workers. 
It is unclear when the full 13,000 workers will be hired. [Ed. note: humming "until the twelfth of never, and that's a long, long time."]
But Woo, in the interview, said about three-quarters of Foxconn’s eventual jobs will be in R&D and design - what he described as “knowledge” positions - rather than blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Foxconn is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.  
Rather than manufacturing LCD panels in the United States, Woo said it would be more profitable to make them in greater China and Japan, ship them to Mexico for final assembly, and import the finished product to the United States.  
Wisconsin is taking other hits resulting from Rump's business acumen, in the form of Harley-Davidson's fourth quarter profits taking a huge loss and its dairy/ hog/ soybean farmers reeling, all thanks to Rump's tariff war.  It's two years too late there, but at least some are catching on now.

Of course, it's not just Wisconsin that's seeing what a fraud Rump is as a trade"dealmaker." So, it's always wise to remember (as Rick Wilson wrote): "everything Trump touches dies."

(Photo:  Con artists Walker, Rump, Foxconn's CEO Terry Gou, then- Squeaker of the House Paul "Lyin'" Ryan ready to shovel horse manure).

Mid-Week Twofer Songs

Today marks a big anniversary in rock music: the last time the Beatles performed in public was fifty years ago today. They serenaded a crowd from the rooftop of Apple on Savile Row on January 30, 1969. Here's one of the three songs they played (the other two being "Get Back" and "I've Got A Feeling"), "Don't Let Me Down".

The extraordinarily talented Jason Isbell is known not only for his great musicianship, but also his social conscience. We wanted to share his recent performance of "White Man's World" with brilliant mandolinist Chris Thile. We're hearing echoes of Neil Young in Isbell's voice, too.
"I’m a white man living on a white man’s street
I’ve got the bones of the red man under my feet
The highway runs through their burial grounds
Past the oceans of cotton
I’m a white man looking in a black man’s eyes
Wishing I’d never been one of the guys
Who pretended not to hear another white man’s joke
Oh, the times ain’t forgotten"

Idiot Son Wants Daddy To Declare An Emergency And Build That Wall!

I want him to declare an emergency... Honestly, if they don’t, declare the emergency and build the wall with the United States military because that’s what people in this country want.” Chip off the ol' Very Stable Genius block, Eric "Qusay" Trump on Sean "Heil" Hannity's shitshow last night, declaring that if negotiations in Congress don't go his Daddy's way, Daddy should (as Daddy would babble) "do emergency."

Actually, it's only Daddy's white nationalist moron base that wants it, which is all Daddy's playing to at this point:
... Only 31 percent of voters support shutting the government down again to force Congress to appropriate money for the wall, while nearly twice that many, 58 percent, oppose another shutdown. If the government does shut down again, a combined 54 percent would blame Trump and congressional Republicans, while just 33 percent would blame Democrats in Congress. 
Trump has suggested that he could declare a “national emergency” to avert a shutdown but still build the wall — but that, too, is unpopular. A narrow, 51 percent majority opposes declaring an emergency, which is supported by 38 percent(our emphasis)

Daddy never loved you, and he never will, Eric.

Trump's Continuing War With U.S. Intelligence (UPDATED)

Russian asset and Very Stable Genius Donald "Rump" Trump was embarrassed by his intelligence chiefs yesterday when they -- to a person -- contradicted his views on everything from Iran to ISIS to North Korea. Interestingly, not one chief took the opportunity to declare a national security crisis on the border with Mexico.

This morning, Rump lashed back at his own intelligence appointees in a petulant tweet, stating in part that they were "passive" and "naive" with regard to Iran's supposed threat. He also declared that there's a "decent chance of denuclearization" for North Korea, despite his own Director of National Intelligence and CIA Director saying the opposite:
"Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel, however, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that North Korea was committed to developing a nuclear missile capable of threatening the United States.  
North Korea is 'unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival,' Coats said."
The Very Stable Genius apparently has intelligence sources that differ from ours (Russia?), and he's not about to have actual intelligence interfere with his comical photo ops with Kim, his fantasy "emergency" at the southern border, or his private talks with thug Vladimir Putin.

BONUS: Maybe he'd listen if the briefings were given with a Russian accent:


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pic Of The Day: "Dirty Traitor"

Degenerate political saboteur and Batman villain cosplayer Roger Stone enters Federal court in Washington, DC this morning to be arraigned on 7 felony charges. There were traitor signs, Russian flags, and shouts of "lock him up" as Stone entered the court to plead not guilty to the charges. Some right-wing loser "Proud Boys" thugs were there to counter-protest, but were outnumbered by Resistance demonstrators.

(photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Bruce Plante, Tulsa World)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Jimmy Margulies, New York Daily News)

(Steve Breen, The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Poll: 27% of Republicans Want Another 2020 Nominee

In a poll conducted by ABC News / Washington Post, a surprising 27% of Rethuglicans want to see their party nominate someone other than Kremlin asset and buffoon Donald "Rump" Trump in 2020. That number grows to 32% when Rethug-leaning independents are factored in. His problem with women voters apparently crosses party lines:
"Opposition to Trump runs as high as 41 percent of women, 42 percent of independents and 49 percent of moderates within the ranks of Republicans and GOP leaners."
The overall picture for him is equally grim, despite a core cult within his party supporting him:
"Sixty-five percent of leaned Republicans and 71 percent of mainline Republicans stick with Trump, plenty enough for him to secure the nomination. But the level of potential defections is high enough to raise concerns in his camp. So is the broader finding in which 56 percent of Americans said they definitely wouldn’t vote to re-elect Trump. That’s twice as many who said they’d definitely vote for him, 28 percent. A smaller share said they’d consider it, 14 percent. Results are identical among registered voters." (emphasis added)
The "definitely wouldn't vote to re-elect Trump" figure is striking, and indicates whatever benefit of the doubt some voters gave him has evaporated over two years of his tax cuts for the wealthy, separating families at the border, undercutting our alliances and coddling our adversaries, and corruption / collusion galore.

As with any poll, particularly ones this far from the 2020 election, caution is advised. The certainty with which people have already made up their minds about the unfit and erratic Rump gives us hope, but not complacence. The true poll is held on election day.

Vid And QOTD -- The People Have Spoken

Well said, sir (notwithstanding the murmuring, disapproving assholes in the crowd who no doubt removed their MAGA hats for the event)!

BONUS: Schultz's problem with Dems seems to revolve around his greed and AOC's message. Perhaps a slogan for his campaign could be "Leave Billionaires Alone."

Monday, January 28, 2019

Graph Of The Day: Earth Temps Visualized

(click to enlarge)

From the scientists at Berkeley Earth, a non-profit organization of earth scientists, a representation of the Earth's temperature starting from 1850 to the present year. The steady morphing from blue/cool to orange/hot is clear to see, as the industrial age and reliance on fossil fuels worldwide have steadily warmed the Earth to alarming proportions.

BONUS: As if on cue, teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg speaks at Davos to plutocrats:

(image: Berkley Earth)

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Howard Schultz: The Next Ralph Nader/Jill Stein?

Former Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz told CBS' 60 Minutes last night that he's seriously considering a run for President as an "independent" centrist, demonstrating that millions in personal wealth has only heightened his self-regard. Schultz, who described himself as a "lifelong Democrat," is apparently clueless to the fact that a vanity candidacy like his would inevitably siphon more votes from Dems and most likely result in neo-fascist Kremlin asset Donald "Rump" Trump's re-election, something that would destroy our democracy.

Prior to the show's airing, Schultz tweeted:

Which prompted angry responses from a cross section of people:

Even Rump got in his twit-tweet, trying to egg Schultz on in an obvious way (and threatening the Starbucks in Trump Tower). Tells you all you need to know about how he'd love Schultz to run and split the Dems.

BONUSSteve M. identifies Schultz' true constituency.

BONUS II: Dem gazillionaire Michael Bloomberg also warns against a third party candidate: "We must remain united and not let any candidate to divide or fracture us."

BONUS III LGM quickly uncovered some, uh, inconsistencies in the autobiography Schultz has peddled.  Another self- centered rich guy who has a problem telling the truth.  Got it.

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

Vox's Dara Lind writes about the very specific, odd reference demagogue racist Donald "Rump" Trump has been making about women being smuggled into the US:
Donald Trump’s rhetoric about the border is built on a lie: the idea that the US-Mexico border is a lawless place where American citizens are constantly in grave danger, and where criminals are able to smuggle drugs and people without any risk of apprehension. That big picture — as Vox and the rest of the media has made clear again and again — bears very little resemblance to the truth. 
But the claim about women gagged with tape and packed into vans has attracted particular attention because it’s quickly become a centerpiece of Trump’s rhetoric — according to the Post, as of Friday he’d made 10 references to it in 22 days — without anyone knowing exactly where Trump got it from. 
Border experts have told the Post and other reporters that they’ve never heard anything like what Trump’s talking about.
The Border Patrol has now been on a mission to find out what Rump is talking about, hustling to find "evidence" to back up the moron's fever dream.

(Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a plausible explanation as to how this particular bug entered the big brain of the Very Stable Genius:  "I wonder if someone at the White House is showing Trump stock footage and insisting to Trump that it's real."  Steve provides a clip that could've been used to fool the fool.)

Michael Tomasky writes about the prospect of "Nancy and Chuck" owning Rump for the duration, and looks back briefly on the Rump manhood wall debacle:
It’s worth chortling again for a few paragraphs over how ridiculous and weak they made Trump look. Remember, this is a man who spent years, going way back before he started campaigning in 2015, saying over and over and over how easy being president would be. Bring the Chinese to heel? Very easy. Make Middle East peace? Please. Get Mexico to pay for the wall? Piece of cake. He’s been saying these things in books and television appearances for years. 
I can’t imagine who believed him—and if anyone out there was a big enough idiot to do so, that’s their problem. But the point is that he believed it. He actually thought being president would be easy (and the way he does it, watching TV for hours a day and calling Sean Hannity and ignoring 95 percent of what the government under him does, it sort of is, but that’s another matter). 
For two years, it was kind of easy. But in January, he met reality.
And as we all know, reality bites (if you're Rump).

Steve Benen wonders if Republicans have learned anything about Rump as a result of the Trump shutdown fiasco:
[W]hat’s of interest at this point is what, if anything, Republicans have learned from their recent experience. Both Senate Republicans offered specific and unambiguous predictions based on what they assumed to be true about the president, his plans, and his capacity for following through. 
Do they now know better? Shouldn’t they?

With that in mind, consider some of what Trump’s GOP should understand now, even if they were unclear before the president’s surrender on Friday afternoon.
Benen goes on to list 5 things about Rump that they should realize by now. "Should."

Meanwhile, on the keeping- Putin- happy front:
The U.S. Treasury Department on Sunday officially lifted sanctions on businesses tied to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. 
The department said in a news release that the Office of Foreign Assets Control lifted sanctions on EN+ Group Plc and EuroSibEnergo JSC, noting that each company has reduced Deripaska's "direct and indirect shareholding stake in these companies and severed his control." [snip]
Democrats in Congress attempted to block the move. But Senate Republicans were able to defeat the measure and prevent it from advancing to a floor vote earlier this month.  
The agreement the Treasury Department reached with Deripaska included having him cut his direct and indirect share ownership for each company below 50 percent.  
But The New York Times reported last week that Deripaska and his allies are set to retain majority ownership the energy company EN+. 
There is no way -- none -- that this is not a cave to Putin, fully supported by the rotted out Republican Party.

Finally, please do yourselves a favor and check out Infidel 753's link round- up for much more than we have the energy to dig up here.  It's the best round up of "interesting stuff" on the planet.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Across The Universe, Cont.

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ESA, January 21, 2019This picture showcases a gravitational lensing system called SDSS J0928+2031. Quite a few images of this type of lensing have been featured as Pictures of the Week in past months, as NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope data is currently being used to research how stars form and evolve in distant galaxies.

Gravitational lensing can help astronomers study objects that would otherwise be too faint or appear too small for us to view. When a massive object — such as a massive cluster of galaxies, as seen here — distorts space with its immense gravitational field, it causes light from more distant galaxies to travel along altered and warped paths. It also amplifies the light, making it possible for us to observe and study its source.

In this image, we see two dominant elliptical galaxies near the centre of the image. The gravity from the galaxy cluster that is the home of these galaxies is acting as the aforementioned gravitational lens, allowing us to view the more distant  galaxies sitting behind them. We see the effects of this lensing as narrow, curved streaks of light surrounding both of the large galaxies.

This image was observed by Hubble as part of the Sloan Giant Arcs Survey programme.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Gladders et al.
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Trump's Devastating Toll On Our Health

We're becoming more aware every day of Russian asset and sociopathic narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump's destructive impact on people's lives, from his Federal government shutdown and its ripple effects, to the immigrant children separated at the border from their parents and languishing in "detention camp" cages. That's not even taking into account the disastrous, authoritarian impact he's had on the institutions of Government and civil society, ripping up the social compact and treaties, and shredding norms that keeps our society functioning.

Observers of his criminal administration have long noted that his regime serves as the handmaiden of corporate interests and especially predators and polluters. Looking at Rump's harmful impact on the environment that we all share, AP examined 11 major rules impacting fossil fuel industries (and by extension, the environment) and concluded that his policies of relaxing pollution standards would result in increased deaths and social costs, while fossil fuel industries reap billions in profits by taking short cuts on safety and health regulations. Some of the costs to society from their analysis:
— Up to 1,400 additional premature deaths annually due to the pending repeal of a rule to cut coal plant pollution.

— An increase in greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion tons (907 million metric tons) from vehicles produced over the next decade — a figure equivalent to annual emissions of almost 200 million vehicles.

— Increased risk of water contamination from a drilling technique known as “fracking.”

— Fewer safety checks to prevent offshore oil spills.
Of course, these impacts will be felt most on those least able to mitigate them: the middle and working class. Dr. Michael Greenstone, University of Chicago economics professor and former chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama, sees the Rump regime deliberately downplaying these costs in order to sell them to the public, while they overwhelmingly benefit the corporate predators and polluters:
“When you start fudging the numbers, it’s not that the costs just evaporate into thin air. We will pay. They are reducing the costs for industries where pollution is a byproduct.”
There's much more at the link above that indicates that Americans will suffer from Rump's relaxed pollution and safety regulations on industry giants. If any Trumpists still believe in Rump's "populism," they should (but won't) read and absorb this example of predatory plutocrats running wild under Rump's regime.

(photo illustration: Yahoo News. photos by Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images, and Bruce Forster/Stone/Getty Images)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(David Horsey, Seattle Times)

(Darrin Bell, Washington Post Writers Group)

(John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Tim Campbell, Washington Post Writers Group)

SNL On The Shutdown, Wilbur Ross And Roger Stone

Here's last night's Saturday Night Live cold open, with a special appearance by "Roger Stone."

QOTD: Case Against Stone A "Slam Dunk"

Batman villain cosplayer and degenerate political slime machine Roger Stone is facing 7 felony counts for his role as a Trump campaign go-between with Russian intelligence in the Russiagate scandal. Stone may feel cocky about beating the charges, but Peter Zeidenberg, a former Federal prosecutor, thinks not:
"As someone who prosecuted Scooter Libby and others on similar charges and defended white-collar cases involving similar charges as those alleged here—false statements, obstruction of justice and witness tampering—my takeaway is that Stone should begin getting his affairs in order. Barring a presidential pardon (always the wild-card possibility with a POTUS like Trump) Stone will be convicted and receive a very substantial prison sentence. This is as close to a slam-dunk case as a prosecutor will ever bring. " (our emphasis)
Whether he'll serve that "substantial prison sentence" depends on whether Russian asset and crime family head Donald "Rump" Trump wants to add another article of impeachment, abuse of power, to the growing list. In the meantime, it will be great to see Stone squirm.

(photo: "Tell The Joker that I've found Batman's cave.")

Let's Play "Not An Immigrant!"

Contrary to the racist lies used by vicious demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump (a.k.a., Individual 1), undocumented immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.  Studies going back 25 years bear this outA study in Texas by the libertarian right- wing Cato Institute bore this out.  But, of course, the truth wouldn't be of use to the demagogue or his rotted out party!

So, just looking at stories in the national news in the last 5 days, let's play "Not an immigrant!"

The loathsome crony of Individual 1 arrested on 7 felony counts Friday?  Not an immigrant!

The Florida bank shooter who killed 5 people last Wednesday?  Not an immigrant!

The Louisiana man who killed his parents and 3 others on Saturday?  Not an immigrant!

The Georgia man who killed 4 people Thursday night?  Not an immigrant!

The California teacher arrested for molesting two 14-year-old students?  Not an immigrant!

The Pennsylvania State Representative under investigation for sexual assault? Hey, it's a good, upstanding white Republican -- not an immigrant!

We're not saying undocumented immigrants don't commit crimes, just that the facts don't support the ugly narrative being stoked by likely the greatest criminal ever to occupy the Oval Office.

BONUS:  However, undocumented immigrants can apparently be trusted for certain things, like maintaining the luxury golf property of one lying, fat ass shitgibbon.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Wingnuttery Continues: Comet Ping Pong

Last week, Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in northwest Washington, DC, was the victim of a small fire set by a white male. The establishment gained national attention when loony far-right conspiracy mongers claimed that Secretary Clinton operated a child pedophile ring (i.e., "Pizzagate") in its basement (when it has no basement). In 2016, a man from North Carolina showed up at Comet with an AR-15 to "investigate" the conspiracy and fire off a few rounds. He was arrested and he's now serving a 4-year prison sentence.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the DC Metropolitan Police are investigating and are looking for the suspect. While there's no direct evidence of a connection between this incident and the one in 2016, we would bet a hamberder that it's an alt-right cultist they'll find.

BONUSWonkette looks under some rocks to get reactions from the loons.

(photo: Did he leave his MAGA cap at home? ATF photo)


The reality is finally sinking in:
According to the [Politico/ Morning Consult] poll, 57 percent believe it’s likely that Russia “has compromising information“ on Trump, compared to 31 percent who don't think it's likely.
Following her curb stomping of Individual 1, Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned immediately to the question at hand:

Some of the kompromat is already in plain view (Putin knowing Individual 1 lied about his continuing to pursue a hotel deal in Moscow during the campaign, for example), some is just waiting to be exposed (his shady financial dealings with Russians going back decades), and some is only hinted at by the fact the FBI smelled enough smoke to open a counterintelligence operation on a sitting President in 2017.

Since Individual 1 is a) a moron and b) has never been held to account in his entire bottom- feeding life, he often hasn't bothered to cover his tracks.  The indictments so far have been telling a story.  The Special Counsel team's focus has largely been on the "what" of the connections between Individual 1 and Russia.  The Southern District of New York team's parallel investigations have been focused largely on the "why" of Individual 1's affinity for Russia.  Keep an eye on the investigations ripening quickly and for the actions of both teams to be coordinated in a flurry of indictments that will be the political equivalent of "shock and awe."

BONUS:  Here's the Speaker's full statement on the arrest of Individual 1 partner in crime Roger Stone, and the question of Individual 1's being compromised by Putin.

Ingraham: "Throw Me Off TV"

Despite the firestorm of news the past few days, we didn't want to let this one pass without comment. Hate shrieker and proto-fascist Laura Ingraham's TV abomination has suffered from multiple advertisers fleeing since she attacked Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting activist David Hogg last spring. She, and undoubtedly the Fux Channel, have noticed the revenue loss, so she's launched a pre-emptive attack. Media Matters was listening to her podcast so you won't have to:
"I'm going to get hammered, hammered, hammered, you know something? I don't care anymore. I really don't. [snip]

You want to throw me off TV? Throw me off TV because guess what, I'll speak in another way, I'll do the podcast. I'm kind of beyond, beyond, we're here for a really short period of time, make it matter. What's the point of this otherwise, money? Money is not the point, it's nice to have money but that's not the point."
We suspect that Ingraham's exceptionally vile schtick and especially her loss of advertisers may mean Fux is re-evaluating her value to them, and she's striking first. Or she's off her meds, again. Either way, she's long overdue for decline and oblivion.

(photo: Ingraham gives the "salute" to Trump's image at the Rethug convention in 2016)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

Paper Mocks Trump's Cave On Wall

This morning's edition:

New York Daily News

There's a trending hashtag, too: #TrumpCaved.

Schadenfreude, how sweet it is!

Tweets Of The Day -- Shutting Down Trump

Now furiously backpedalling--

And, the final word --

Friday, January 25, 2019

As Pressure Builds, Trump Caves

Using the venue of the Rose Garden, Kremlin asset and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump, perhaps rattled by his confidante Roger Stone's arrest this morning, announced that he would sign a clean continuing resolution for 3 weeks WITH NO BORDER WALL FUNDING, opening the government that he "proudly" closed in December. While he tried to pitch it as the result of "negotiations," it's apparent that the situation with air travel and other public safety concerns had reached a critical point and Rethuglican Senators were slowly jumping ship. Rump suggested that he might invoke "emergency powers" to construct the wall if Congress still fails to give him money for his manhood wall, the one that Mexico was supposed to pay for. That's a non-starter with most legislators, who see it as an infringement on their Constitutional role, and with Courts, who would likely see that as an unjustified power grab lacking a true "emergency." The Dems, united and led by a powerful Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stood strong against the hostage- taking and humiliated the buffoon.

With everything he does, Rump lies and changes his mind in a nanosecond, depending on how he's being received by his radical xenophobic base, represented by the likes of (M)Ann Coulter, Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh and the Fux network bigots. He needs to get instructions from them first.

BONUSWell, here's the initial take from the Fuxers --
“If the president agrees to a three week continuing resolution with no funding for border security, but there’s an agreement to negotiate, that’s something that Nancy Pelosi has been floating for a couple of weeks now,” Fox News reporter John Roberts said. “That’s something Lindsey Graham floated a couple of weeks ago that the president rejected out of hand.” 
“So if that’s what he agrees to, it’s difficult to see this as anything but the president giving in to Democrats on Capitol Hill,” Roberts concluded. “Because he has been so insistent about the fact that any deal to reopen government needed to include money. Not just for border security, but for a border wall as well. If he gives up that significant piece of it, I would say that’s a big victory Democrats.”
Someone better keep the remote away from Smallfingers McLoser!

BONUS II:  And here's raging goblin (M)Ann Coulter's burn --



(photo: Sad!)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Jeff Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

Weekend Music

You may have caught Better Oblivion Community Center (Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers) on Stephen Colbert's show a few nights ago.  This is the song they performed, "Dylan Thomas," from their just- released album... "Better Oblivion Community Center."  Hope you enjoy.

Flights Into LaGuardia Halted Over Shutdown

We'll see if this is the beginning of the crisis that causes Rethug Senators to break from shutdown-owner and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump:
Just two days ago, the Air Traffic Controllers, Pilots and Flight Attendants associations released a joint statement saying in part:
"In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented."
It appears to be breaking now.

QOTD -- Government By Clueless Sociopaths

"Ordinarily, one might expect a presidential administration’s leading economic figures to understand something of these financial realities. But if they cared about people who aren’t rich, they wouldn’t be working for Trump in the first place. The shocking thing isn’t their indifference to the misery they’re causing. It’s that they can barely be bothered to hide it."-- Michelle Goldberg in "Who Needs a Paycheck Anyway?", following comments by the owner and namesake of the Trump Shutdown that grocery stores would "work along" with furloughed Federal workers who can't pay for food; comments by economic adviser Larry "Wrong Way" Kudlow that furloughed employees were "volunteering" for unpaid work out of "love of country" and "allegiance" to Trump; and comments by desiccated grifter and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that those workers should just go out and get a bank loan to tide them over. 

Roger Stone Arrested: "FBI! Open The Door!"

Here's the feed from CNN showing the moment FBI agents raided the Fort Lauderdale residence of longtime Trump crime family associate Roger Stone early this morning.  Listen for the beautiful sound of "FBI! Open the door! FBI warrant!"

Stone was indicted on 1 count of obstruction of an official proceeding, 1 count of witness tampering, and 5 counts of false statements.  You can read the 24- page indictment here.  Marcy Wheeler has a good dissection of the indictment here.





Who indeed but "Individual 1"?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Pence Reamed As Rethugs Defect

As expected, today's dual vote on the Trump shutdown was unsuccessful in ending the nation's longest government shutdown. The Rethug version was nothing more than a capitulation to demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump's demand that he get funding for his manhood wall. The Dem version would have opened the government immediately, with no mention of border wall funding. Interestingly, more Rethugs voted for the Dem proposal than for their own.

As reported in The Hill, apparently empty suit and fundamentalist hypocrite Vice President Mike "Dense" Pence was at the Senate Rethug luncheon today, and he may have gotten a bad case of indigestion from what his frustrated Senators told him:
"Lawmakers vented their irritation to Pence shortly before six GOP senators defected to vote for a Democratic-backed bill that would open the government without funding Trump’s proposed border wall.

One GOP senator said lawmakers told Pence 'the shutdown needs to come to an end, this is not a strategy that works [and] we never should have had a shutdown in the first place.'”
Pence reportedly asked the Senators to stay with Rump's losing gambit, which is cratering Rump's poll numbers as well as theirs.

Pence was present, sitting stone-like with a deer in the headlights look, when Rump proudly embraced the shutdown as his own on December 11 in front of Speaker Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Schumer and the nation. The next time he has lunch with the Rethuglican Senators, he may be the one on the menu.

(photo: Pence practicing the loving look he gives Rump)

Vatican's Role In Risky Birth Control Pill

It's the long-standing position of the Catholic Church, as well as right-wing Protestant denominations, to stand against any form of artificial contraception. Many believe keeping the birth rate up so that their flock doesn't diminish over time is the fundamental driver, much like tobacco companies long focused on marketing cigarettes to young people. While religious texts exhort people to "go forth and multiply," there's no specific sanction in the Bible preventing contraception.

One of the Catholic Church's biggest impacts was on the development of the combined oral contraceptive pills taken by women for 21 days, with 7 days off for menstruation. When that pharmaceutical was developed, the 7-day window was intended as a concession to the Catholic Church, which rejected the pill anyway. Writing in The Conversation, Dr. Susan Walker explains the problem with the combined oral contraceptive that was developed in the hope of receiving some dispensation from the Vatican:
"The seven-day break is a hazard that may increase the risk of pregnancy while taking the pill. This is because the level of contraceptive hormones in the body is the crucial factor in turning off ovulation, without which pregnancy cannot occur. It takes approximately seven daily doses of contraceptive pill to reach sufficient levels to turn the ovaries off. But the seven-day break allows these levels to fall again. If pill-taking is not resumed by the ninth day after stopping, ovulation will occur. [snip]  
The seven-day break is therefore an inbuilt hazard. Many women accidentally prolong their pill free week by forgetting to restart the next packet on time, or by missing pills in the first or last week of the packet. The reduction of hormones in these circumstances can lead to unexpected ovulation, and, if intercourse has taken place, to pregnancy."
Which, of course, would please the Church, even if a pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted.

With the more common use of  extended continuous pill practices, and shorter pill-free intervals, women are far less likely to conceive by accident. However, for 70 years the Church's negative influence over the type of birth control pill manufactured has caused innumerable problems, with women, not the elderly male "princes of the church," bearing the brunt of them.

(photo: "What's another little mouth to feed?")