Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tweets Of The Day -- Grading On The Curve


QOTD -- Coronavirus Crash And Burn

"...The system was primed to act, but the person at the top of the system had to say, 'Go.' And that person was Donald Trump.

“'Here is the way I would put it,'” a person who has been involved with the President’s Daily Brief process told me, referring to Trump. “'The person behind the desk is the same person you see on TV'”—emotional, opinionated, fixed on his own few hobbyhorses and distorted views of reality, unwilling or unable to absorb new information. “'In a normal administration, the president would have seen the warnings unfolding from January onward. But this president hadn’t absorbed any of it.'” [snip]

"The United States still possesses the strongest economy in the world, its military is by far the most powerful, its culture is diverse, and, confronted with the vicissitudes of history, the country has proved resilient. But a veteran of the intelligence world emphasized that the coronavirus era revealed a sobering reality. “'Our system has a single point-of-failure: an irrational president.'” At least in an airplane cockpit, the first officer can grab the controls from a captain who is steering the aircraft toward doom."--  James Fallows in The Atlantic, using the analogy of an investigation into the cause of an airplane crash to describe the epic failure of Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.  It's a long, fascinating read.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Kevin Necessary, gocomics.com)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Michael de Adder, Halifax Herald, Canada)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Marc Murphy, Louisville Courier-Journal)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Inquirer/ Daily News)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Rob Rogers, Counterpoint)

Carl Reiner, A Comedic Legend, Passes Away

If one wrote a complete history of American comedy, a chapter and more would have to be devoted to the contribution of Carl Reiner, who passed away last night at the age of 98. Those of a certain age can remember the beloved Reiner as a character on the 1950s ground breaking "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar at the dawn of TV, to his role in the creation of the "Dick Van Dyke Show" of the 1960s and as the straight man to Mel Brooks' "2000 Year Old Man." But his contribution to American humor isn't confined to those golden decades of TV. Variety remembers Reiner's other contributions to theatre and film:
"Reiner’s 1958 novel 'Enter Laughing,' loosely based on his own experiences, was optioned for the stage by producer David Merrick. Reiner did a legit adaptation in 1963 and then directed the film version in 1967, marking his motion picture directing debut.

For Broadway he wrote and directed the farce 'Something Different,' which ran for a few months in 1967-68; helmed 'Tough to Get Help' in 1972; penned the book for the musical 'So Long, 174th Street,' which had a very brief run in 1976; and directed 'The Roast' in 1980."
The tireless Reiner's work continued into his 80 and 90s in both acting and directing:
"While the last film he directed was the 1997 romantic comedy 'That Old Feeling,' starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina, Reiner was an active presence in guest roles on television and in supporting roles in films during the 1990s and 2000s, even as he neared and then surpassed his 90th birthday.

He guested on 'Frasier' in 1993; reprised the role of Alan Brady on an episode of 'Mad About You' in 1995 and won an Emmy for it; and guested on 'Ally McBeal,' 'Boston Legal', and 'House.'"
An outspoken progressive for his entire life, and active on social media, two of his last postings on Twitter reflected his chagrin over the regime in the White (Supremacist) House:

So, RIP Carl Reiner, you gave us a lifetime's worth of laughs, while being passionate about the country you loved and wanted to be better.



(photo: Getty Images)

Ad: Trump Endangering "Greatest Generation"

Draft-dodging demagogue and coronavirus spreader Donald "Cadet Bone Spurs" Trump likes to use our military and our veterans as a prop, but the recent disclosures on the Russian bounty scandal (see post below) should once and for all explode that charade. Taking another angle, The Lincoln Project has a new ad that smartly links disrespect for our veterans, especially our "greatest generation" veterans, with Bone Spurs' disastrous handling of the pandemic and his push to reopen the economy, endangering their lives. It's playing in key battleground states. Watch.

Trump Regime Knew Of Russian Bounties In Early 2019

Bombshells bursting in air:
Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.
The assessment was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time, according to the officials. Then-national security adviser John Bolton also told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.
The White House didn’t respond to questions about Trump or other officials’ awareness of Russia’s provocations in 2019. The White House has said Trump wasn’t — and still hasn’t been — briefed on the intelligence assessments because they haven’t been fully verified. However, it’s rare for intelligence to be confirmed without a shadow of a doubt before it is presented to top officials. [snip]
The administration’s earlier awareness of the Russian efforts raises additional questions about why Trump didn’t take punitive action against Moscow for efforts that put the lives of American service members at risk. Trump has sought throughout his time in office to improve relations with Russia and President Vladimir Putin, moving this year to try to reinstate Russia as part of a group of world leaders it had been kicked out of.  (our emphasis)
(You probably noted the name "John Bolton" in the above account.  This latest bombshell has "To DJT with love from JB" chalked all over it.)

The longer time line makes White (Supremacist) House denials that Putin's puppet wasn't made aware of the Russian bounties even more risible than it was previously, especially the fact that it was included in at least one presidential daily briefing, as well as in Bolton's March 2019 briefing.

It will all come out, as these things always do.  But, it's highly unfortunate (to say the least) that it took more than a year for people to finally leak the fact that Putin was paying the Taliban to kill American troops and Putin's puppet and his rotted- out regime did nothing to push back.  Especially one person.  Something something book deal?


Monday, June 29, 2020

Van Jones Sees Another Time Trump Became Presidential

We're getting very tired of CNN's Van "In Crowd" Jones, would- be interlocutor (via princeling Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner) and occasional fluffer of the Trump regime:
Jones went on CNN’s Inside Politics with John King and Anderson Cooper 360 to enthusiastically commend Trump’s executive order—even as it was being criticized as cynical and unproductive by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and “delusional” by the Color of Change, an influential racial justice organization that Jones himself co-founded in 2005.
CNN viewers weren’t informed that he had actually attended secret White House meetings with his new friend Jared Kushner, discussing ways to frame the presidential project. [snip]
Hours later, Jones doubled down on Anderson Cooper 360—again without disclosing his role advising the Trump White House. “What do you make of this executive order?” Cooper asked him.
“I think it’s pushing in the right direction,” Jones told the CNN anchor. “What you got today is, I think, a sign that we are winning,” he added. “Donald Trump has put himself on record saying we need to reform the police department… We are winning! Donald Trump had no plan a month ago to work on this issue at all. The fact that we are now in the direction of moving forward, I think, is good.”
During a Rose Garden ceremony that was actually a Trump campaign event—at which the president defended the police, touted his commitment to “law and order,” boasted about the stock market and the pre-coronavirus economy, and attacked Joe Biden—Trump was flanked by uniformed officers and police union officials as he signed the executive order in response to the pandemic of unjustified killings of unarmed Black Americans by white cops.
Wonkette's Stephen Robinson adds more texture:
The Jones/Kushner relationship is something out of a Jordan Peele movie. In early 2017, Jones was dragging Trump like any Black man who's alive and conscious would. He (correctly) noted that Trump was "one of the worst people ever born." Then CNN's Washington Bureau Chief, Sam Feist, introduced Jones to Trump's creepy Ken doll son-in-law and a week later Jones is claiming Trump “became president" when he said something nice about the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens during his first address to Congress:
JONES: [T]hat was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics. Period…For people who had been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment.
Owens was the first American to die in combat during Trump's administration, but the squatter-in-chief still tried to pin the blame on Barack Obama. That moment during Trump's address to Congress wasn't “extraordinary" or “unifying."
Kushner and Jones became “fast friends" and the undercover brother even has dinner sometimes with Jared and Ivanka Trump. He comes in through the front door and everything! The couple has also introduced Jones to the mid-tier celebrities willing to socialize with them.
How very sweet.  As Robinson notes, the Jones- Kushner alliance has roots, and Jones has been helping Kushner out of media scrapes before.  His appearances from now on need to be vetted better by his employer or at least a warning should appear in the chyron: "Opinion may be influenced by unethical considerations."

Access is a powerful drug, but the side effects include loss of dignity, credibility and sense of smell.

(Photo: "Undercover brother" Van Jones, second from left, shares giggles with BFFs Mr. Ivanka, Ivanka, and former AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, at a Trump event in May 2018 on prison reform/ Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

"Karens" In The Wild, Cont'd.

It's hardly the most important thing facing us, but the daily spectacle of angry white wingnut women (i.e., Karens) acting out on Black Lives Matter protests, engaging in racial profiling, and not wearing face coverings is instructive. It's a reminder that, especially under stress, succumbing to racism and anti-social, tribal behavior is more common than not.

One especially nasty, bigoted Karen popped up in Watsontown, PA, a burg in central Pennsylvania (a.k.a. Pennabama). She was videoed screaming obscenities at Black Lives Matter marchers, while flanked by right-wing militia types and bikers.

Then there's this redneck piece of work who was asked at a Dallas-area food store to put her mask on, resulting in this profane tantrum:

Another day of Karens in the wild in Trumpworld.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: More Stupidity

(click to enlarge)

From masks, to Confederate statues, to testing and more, the Trumpist "stupidverse" is all around us....like a virus.

SCOTUS Strikes Down Restrictive Abortion Law

The ultra- reactionaries lose another attempt to control women's bodies:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals violates the abortion right the court first announced in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
In two previous abortion cases, Roberts had favored restrictions.
The Louisiana law is virtually identical to one in Texas that the court struck down in 2016.
“The result in this case is controlled by our decision four years ago invalidating a nearly identical Texas law,” Roberts wrote, although he did not join the opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer for the other liberals.
The attempts to erode Roe will continue, and with the lower courts now packed with 200 more of Moscow Mitch McConnell's troglodyte judges, the outcomes will rest on the ever- unpredictable John Roberts.

But let's savor this victory for now.

Monday Reading

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

This front page article in the Washington Post doesn't pull many punches in describing the disastrous, deadly failure of moron vector Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump and his weakling toadies to protect our country from the coronavirus pandemic:

Five months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, a record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the country’s historic failure to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.
President Trump — who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, sidelined experts and misled Americans about its dangers and potential cures — now finds his presidency wracked by an inability to shepherd the country through its worst public health calamity in a century. The dysfunction that has long characterized Trump’s White House has been particularly ill-suited for a viral outbreak that requires precision, focus and steady leadership, according to public health experts, administration officials and lawmakers from both parties.
As case numbers began rising again, Trump has held rallies defying public health guidelines, mused about slowing down testing for the virus, criticized people wearing masks and embraced the racially offensive “kung flu” nickname for a disease that has killed at least 123,000 Americans.
A similarly garbled message for the country has also been put forward by the president’s top aides and other senior administration officials, who contradict one another on a daily basis. On Friday, Vice President Pence used the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in almost two months to praise Trump’s handling of the virus and cast aside concerns about a record spike in new infections.
“We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward,” Pence said, a few minutes after announcing that more than 2.5 million Americans had contracted the coronavirus. “We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”
Later Friday, the United States recorded more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases — its largest one-day total.
The deeply- sourced article is well worth a read, even if you're up on the topic.

That "truly remarkable progress" that soulless Trump ass- kisser Dense Pence is referring to? Couldn't be this:

The Russian- bounties- for- American- troops scandal continues to unfold as the White (Supremacist) House scrambles to protect Putin's puppet:
...[O]ne American official had told The Times that the intelligence finding that the Russians had offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants and criminals had been briefed at the highest levels of the White House.
Another said it was included in the President’s Daily Brief, a written document which draws from spywork to make analytic predictions about longstanding adversaries, unfolding plots and emerging crises around the world. The briefing document is given to the president to read and they serve as the basis for oral briefings to him several times a week.
Asked on Saturday evening how the president could not have known about the report if it had been in his daily brief, a National Security Council spokesman did not immediately respond.
Ms. McEnany notably did not question the substance of the intelligence assessment, saying only that her statement “did not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence.” She also did not challenge the Times’s reporting that the National Security Council had convened an interagency meeting about what to do about the report in late March.
Ms. McEnany did not explain why such an important report would have been withheld from Mr. Trump. Nor did she indicate whether Mr. Trump was upset at his subordinates for purportedly withholding the information from him.
As Speaker Pelosi said, "This is as bad as it gets, and yet the President will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed."

Meanwhile, VoteVets has a stinging video out:

With the election so near and yet so far, Greg Fallis has a good explainer about why Trump's scare tactics about fraudulent mail- in balloting don't hold water:
... That level of voting security — signature verification, ballot barcode verification — is only the beginning. The ballot itself has been tested to insure the ballot scanners will read ONLY authentic ballots, and only authentic ballots for that particular election cycle. The scanners aren’t able to read ballots from previous election cycles, even if those ballots were created to use the same scanning system.
But wait, there’s more. There are 3,007 counties in the United States. There are another 236 first-order administrative divisions, which are basically counties by other names (for example, Louisiana has parishes instead of counties, Alaska has boroughs, and the District of Columbia has…well, the District of Columbia). Why is that important? Because there is NO national ballot.
That’s right. Every voting jurisdiction designs and creates its own unique ballot. We’re talking the typeface, the weight of the paper used for the ballot, the size of the ballot, the phrasing of the text instructing the voter on how to vote by mail, the envelope in which the ballot is mailed to the voter, the security envelope containing the marked ballot to be returned, and the actual return envelope. These designs are deliberately changed from election to election.
So in order for Comrade Trump’s claim that “millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others” to be true, those foreign countries (and ‘others’ — I have no idea WTF he could possibly mean by ‘others’) would have to exactly duplicate thousands of distinctly different ballot packets unique to every voting jurisdiction in the United States for the 2020 election cycle PLUS be able to match the signatures on file of the individual voters they were attempting to impersonate.
But, of course, Trump's only interested in planting seeds for contesting the election, so the inanity of his lies is beside the point.

Infidel 753's link round- up is, as usual, a fine place to check out for a much more comprehensive picture of Our Times.  Politics, culture, religion, etc.  We always find plenty of stimulating topics, and this week is no exception.  (The piece above on mail- in ballots was found there.)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Knife Edge

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, June 22, 2020The galaxy known as NGC 5907 stretches wide across this image. Appearing as an elongated line of stars and dark dust, the galaxy is categorised as a spiral galaxy just like our own Milky Way. In this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, we don’t see the beautiful spiral arms because we are viewing it edge-on, like looking at the rim of a plate. It is for this reason that NGC 5907 is also known as the Knife Edge Galaxy.

The Knife Edge Galaxy is about 50 million light-years from Earth, lying in the northern constellation of Draco. Although not visible in this image, ghostly streams of stars on large arching loops extend into space, circling around the galaxy; they are believed to be remnants of a small dwarf galaxy, torn apart by the Knife Edge Galaxy and merged with it over four billion years ago.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. de Jong/ Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

Tweets Of The Day -- Bounties And Betrayal

There's no distraction so shiny that it should displace the story of treason in the White House:


Finally, please follow this thread from someone who knows about PDB's --


Stones To Trump: Stop Playing Our Music

At demagogue and race-baiter Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump's poorly attended super-spreader rally in Tulsa recently, the campaign cranked up the late Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" over the arena's loudspeakers. That prompted a "cease and desist" letter from Petty's family, who wrote that the Trump campaign "was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind." As lawless as their cult leader, the campaign will likely continue to thumb their noses at the Petty family and fans and continue to play the song.

Now, after repeatedly hearing their song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" played at Trump rallies, including the Tulsa fiasco, the Rolling Stones have warned the Trump campaign to stop using their songs or face a lawsuit. They're working with their music publishing company, BMI, to stop what they call the campaign's "breach of its licensing agreement":
The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,” the Stones said. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.’’
The Stones join a growing list of artists that have objected to Trump's use of their songs as a campaign backdrop, including Neil Young, Axl Rose, Rihanna, and many others.

To throw the Trump campaign a bone, perhaps the Stones' could restrict the Trump campaign to playing their 1968 hit, "Sympathy For The Devil."

(photo: Rex / Media Punch / Shutterstock)

Fox "News'" Malign Role In Spreading The Pandemic

In 2010 over dinner, the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, told right-wing publisher and festering boil on the world's ass Rupert Murdoch that his Fox "News" "was an incredibly destructive force in our society."  That was over a year into President Obama's first term, when he faced the headwinds of a wounded but powerful right-wing movement coalescing behind the "Tea Party," a concoction of the reactionary Koch empire. Cheering on and fueling the right-wingers was their go-to media outlet, Fox "News." At the time, Jobs had no idea what lay ahead: intense Rethuglican obstruction, racism / birtherism, and right-wing grievance politics that led to the rise of demagogue and pathological liar Donald "Impeached Forever" Trump.

Fast forward to 2020, and Trump's incompetence, narcissism and unfitness for office have resulted in a totally botched response from the outset to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S.'s greatest health crisis in history. Researchers have looked at the impact of the media in helping the public to be informed and to properly prepare themselves, and, no real surprise, they found that the Fox "News" channel has contributed to the spread of the virus. From the Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan:
"Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread.

Dangerously duped.

The studies 'paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others,' wrote my colleague Christopher Ingraham in an analysis last week.
Here’s the reality, now backed by numbers:

Those who relied on mainstream sources — the network evening newscasts or national newspapers that President Trump constantly blasts as 'fake news' — got an accurate assessment of the pandemic’s risks. Those were the news consumers who were more likely to respond accordingly, protecting themselves and others against the disease that has now killed more than 123,000 in the United States with no end in sight.

Those who relied on Fox or, say, radio personality Rush Limbaugh, came to believe that vitamin C was a possible remedy, that the Chinese government created the virus in a lab, and that government health agencies were exaggerating the dangers in the hopes of damaging Trump politically, a survey showed." (our emphasis)
Fox's role in disseminating false ("fake") information, dangerous "cures", and a view that the coronavirus was just "a flu" that would disappear, just like their cult leader said, contributed to their viewers' exposure to the virus, something we're dealing with now in its resurgence.

Steve Jobs's view of Murdoch's Fox propaganda operation was prescient. Ten years later, it's a matter of the nation's health and security, of life and death.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)

(R.J. Matson, CQ/Roll Call)

(Brendan Loper, The New Yorker)

(Ed Hall, Artizans.com)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post Writers Group)

Sunday Reflection: War And Peace

June 28 marks two related, world-changing events that occurred exactly five years apart. In 1914, while riding in an open carriage in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Austria-Hungary's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, the spark that ignited World War I a few weeks later. After fighting a bloody war that claimed 40 million military and civilian casualties, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, ending the war.

The treaty was between the allies and Germany, since Germany's Central Powers allies had concluded separate peace treaties, and created the ultimately doomed League of Nations in an effort to keep the peace. Germany was punished severely by the treaty's terms, a factor helping to fuel the rise of Hitler. Little more than 20 years later, on September 1, 1939, World War II began with the Nazi invasion of Poland.

(photo: l. to r., England's Lloyd George, Italy's Emanuele Orlando, France's Georges Clemenceau, and the U.S.'s Woodrow Wilson at Versailles in 1919)

Saturday, June 27, 2020


The Lincoln Project folks are on it:

Sharing is caring!

Vid Of The Day -- Florida Man

This clip from a month ago of dimbulb Trumpy Florida Gov. Ron "One Glove" DeSantis smugly boasting about that state's success in fighting coronavirus has "karma" written all over it:

Princess Nepotism's Rehab Campaign For Daddy

As her lustful and degenerate daddy flounders in the polls, especially with women, count on poster child for nepotism Ivanka "Complicit" Trump to step forward to help her old pervy daddy. Her latest attempt falls flat. The hashtag #ByeIvanka is going viral, though. The inimitable MeidasTouch takes down Princess Nepotism's latest rehab efforts on behalf of daddy. Watch.

(photo: "Do you like what you see, daddy?")

Tweets Of The Day

(See our post on this.)

Meanwhile, ICYMI the invaluable Sarah Cooper re-lives a moment of the "interview" Trump bootlick Sean "Heil" Hannity did with the Lord of the Ramp:

Pence"s "Truly Remarkable Progress"

(click to enlarge)

The White (Supremacist) House's COVID-19 Task Force was back on stage yesterday after many weeks' absence to respond to the upsurge in coronavirus cases, setting new highs. Plaster mannequin and servile Trumpist VP Mike "Dense" Pence was given the embarrassing task of delivering absurd happy talk for his cult leader (who was likely in his bunker watching). Numerous red state governors have been forced to reinstate restrictions due to the new COVID-19 wave after they followed their cult leader's urging to prematurely open up their states' economies. Nonetheless, Pence declared that "truly remarkable progress" had been made in fighting the virus:
"Vice President Pence held the first public briefing of the coronavirus task force in nearly two months and sought to deliver an upbeat message that was at odds with warnings from public health experts. The vice president dodged the question of whether people should wear masks in public, as his own administration recommends, and said campaign rallies that pack people together, in violation of public health guidance, will continue. 
Pence offered no new strategies to combat the rapidly spreading virus and minimized record daily case counts in several states as 'outbreaks in specific counties'.” (our emphasis)
Pence has a ways to go to catch up to his cult leader's phenomenal record of lying, but at this rate, Pence is making "truly remarkable progress."


(chart: New York Times)

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(J.D. Crowe, Alabama Media Group)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(John Branch, branchtoon.com)

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

(Chris Britt, gocomics.com)

(Stuart Carlson, gocomics.com)

(Ingrid Rice, caglecartoons.com)

(Rob Rogers, robrogers.com)

(Christopher Weyant, Boston Globe)

(Mike Thompson, USA Today)

 (John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, PA)

Trump Silent As Russia Pays Afghans To Kill Our Troops

The story that broke last night in the New York Times that Russian military intelligence have been paying Afghan militants bounties to kill American soldiers, and that the Kremlin's asset in the Oval Office hasn't done anything about it, is yet another example of Donald "Tovarich" Trump's compromised position with the Russians. The failure to protect U.S. service personnel in a war zone easily falls under the category of treason, as defined by the Constitution"s "aid and comfort" to an enemy phrase. From the report:
"The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said." (our emphasis)
This particular unit of Russian military intelligence is thought to be responsible for the attempted poisoning of Russian dissident Sergei Skripal in England in 2018, and other acts of international terrorism.
"Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations." (our emphasis)
Trump's been sitting on this intelligence since March, doing nothing. It's clear that he doesn't want to confront his Russian benefactors, even if it involves betraying our forces in Afghanistan.  It took this report to again show the extent of his treasonous behavior and where his loyalties lie.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Trump Regime SCOTUS Brief: Kill Obamacare!

The Lord of the Ramp and his malignant Party of Life afflict- the- afflicted party are trying to kill the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) (again), now in the midst of a resurgent pandemic:
The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late on Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act, telling the court that “the entire ACA must fall.” The administration’s argument comes as hundreds of thousands of Americans have turned to the government program for health care as they’ve lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to the brief by saying there is “no moral excuse for the Trump Administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care." Dismantling the ACA would leave more than 23 million people without healthcare plans, according to a recent analysis by the liberal-leaning think tank Center for American Progress.
“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” Pelosi, who on Wednesday filed a bill to expand the ACA, said in a statement.
The administration’s brief was filed in support of a challenge to the ACA by a coalition of Republican attorneys general, following through on Trump’s pledge last month to overturn President Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation.
The Trump brief is about what you'd expect -- pure chewy, malicious wingnut.  But don't just take our word for it:




Regardless of when and however the Court eventually decides, this will be the main issue for the November election, much as it was in 2018.  The lines have been drawn and this issue alone is enough to make clear which party is trying to protect the general health and welfare of our country, and which one is not.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Walt Handelsman, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)
(Kevin Kallaugher, The Economist, London)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Jeff Stahler, gocomics.com)

(Andy Marlette, Pensacola News-Journal, FL)

(Matt Wuerker, Politico)

(Ed Hall, Artizans.com)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

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

(Nick Anderson, Counterpoint)