Thursday, March 21, 2019

Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

Sure, I'd prefer a Drag Him Out In Chains party but I bet there will be lots of trays and trays, tremendous trays, the best trays, chock full of hamberders and cold soggy fries we can all pelt him with. Make the big orange obese baby man cry, cry, and cry until he drowns himself in his own tears. Lordy, I hope Kellyanne and Stephen Miller are there, too!


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What Does Kushner-In-Law Do In The Regime?


Hopefully, one day all of them will be tried, convicted and hung (think Nuremberg). But what is it that Jared Kushner, a mental midget, is supposed to be doing?He has more jobs than anyone else in the history of the presidency. Officially he's Senior Advisor to the fake "president." He's been tasked with the following 10 big jobs:
brokering peace between Israel and Palestine
leading the White House office of innovation
solving the opioid crisis
overseeing information technology contracting
overseeing Veterans' Affairs (at least, it is said, in terms of politics)
sucking up to Saudi Arabia so that they buy US weapons
overseeing U.S. relations with Mexico
overseeing U.S. relations with China
reforming the criminal justice system
getting super-rich people to finance Trump's reelection campaign
I wonder how much time he's had to put into reading Vicky Ward's brand new (out yesterday) book, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. In his review for the Washington Post, Michael Kranish noted that "There are no blockbuster revelations here regarding Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker or his involvement in a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, two issues that have drawn the interest of investigators. Ward is, however, particularly critical of Trump’s decision to hand over Middle East policy to Kushner, which led to clashes with then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others."
Ward delves into questions about whether Kushner misused his role as a way to find financing to rescue a Fifth Avenue property in Manhattan and suggests that Kushner dim-wittedly nearly dragged the United States into a war in the Middle East. It is a dark and mostly one-sided portrait, one with which the Kushner and Trump families no doubt will disagree.

In the text, while Ward hammers the couple on page after page, she doesn’t explicitly accuse them of corruption as defined by legal statutes. Perhaps the closest she comes is when she writes that “it’s been reported” that Ivanka Trump oversaw her family’s project in Azerbaijan in which a partner’s brother had been described in a U.S. diplomatic cable as corrupt.

“As a result, it’s possible that the Trump Organization violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Ward writes, providing a notable hedge.

To be sure, Trump and his family have thrown around such concepts loosely, and without hedging. During the 2016 campaign, he called Hillary Clinton the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” retweeting an image that encased the words in a Jewish star against a backdrop of U.S. currency, a tweet widely criticized as anti-Semitic. (Trump said he thought it was a sheriff’s star.) Clinton, like Jared and Ivanka, has not been charged by prosecutors with corruption.

Ward, who relies heavily on the reporting of others (noted in endnotes), as well as her own sources, has a tendency, particularly in the first half of the book, to make sweeping statements and repeat rumors, some of which she then bats down. She writes that one man “was rumored to sleep with men and hired prostitutes,” and says another was “not one to be troubled by ethics.”

Ward paints a sordid portrait of Kushner’s coming of age, retelling tales of how his father’s contributions to Harvard University may have greased his way into the college. A war within the Kushner family led his father, Charles Kushner, to arrange for a prostitute to entrap a relative with whom he had feuded. Charles Kushner went to prison for his part in the scheme and for other matters. Jared later told New York magazine that his father’s viewpoint was: “You’re trying to make my life miserable? Well, I’m doing the same.”

To rehabilitate the family image, Ward writes, the elder Kushner adopted a plan that called for transitioning from owning garden apartments in New Jersey to acquiring a Fifth Avenue office tower, a “trophy” that would dazzle the doubters. In addition, Jared would buy the New York Observer to get friendly media treatment, and he would “date someone prominent.” While the father pulled the strings, the son got the credit-- and later the blame-- for buying the nation’s most expensive office property just before the Great Recession, leaving him with staggering debt. As for the prominent woman, Kushner dated Ivanka Trump.

Donald Trump was not pleased at first, according to Ward. “Why couldn’t she have married Tom Brady?” he said, referring to the New England Patriots quarterback, Ward writes. “Have you seen how he throws a football?”

Who would you rather marry?

In the rather cynical portrait Ward draws, Ivanka, too, was strategic. Ward quotes her as saying in her own book, “The Trump Card”: “If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true.”

When Trump said there were “very fine people, on both sides” of a Charlottesville, Virginia, clash during which white supremacists shouted “Jews will not replace us,” Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn threatened to resign, noting that some of his family members had been killed in the Holocaust. Ivanka urged him to stay, telling him: “My dad’s not a racist. He didn’t mean any of it; he’s not anti-Semitic,” according to Ward. Cohn remained in his post.

At first, Jared and Ivanka didn’t plan to work in the White House, but after Trump brought them in as advisers, they frequently clashed with chief strategist Stephen Bannon and others. An “epic” and profane fight took place between Bannon and Ivanka over who was leaking stories, Ward writes.

“Everybody knows you leak,” Bannon is reported to have told Ivanka.

“You’re a fucking liar,” she is said to have responded. “Everything that comes out of your mouth is a fucking lie.”

“Go fuck yourself.... You are nothing,” Bannon reportedly said.

The president, according to Ward, eventually wanted to send Jared and Ivanka back to New York, but after so many firings and resignations in the White House, he needed them more than ever.

Labels: ,

GOP Rapist Finally Resigns From His Butler County House Seat


Rapist Rep. Brian Ellis (R) with Annie Rosellini, Miss Pennsylvania 2013

After months of lies claiming he didn't rape anyone, Republican rapist Brian Ellis resigned from the Pennsylvania state House Monday. Ellis had represented part of Butler County (HD-11) since 2005. The 97% caucasian district is so red that the Democrats haven't put up an opponent there in over a decade.

Ellis, who was chair of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, also served on the House Ethics Committee and was, predictably, the Pennsylvania State Leader for ALEC. He wrote a series of crackpot anti-Choice, anti-regulatory and pro-gun bills-- and lots of bills about alcohol. Which is as ironic as him serving on the Ethics Committee since a couple of years ago he slipped a knockout drug into a state legislative aide's drunk, dragged her back to his home and raped her while she was incapacitated-- and then refused to resign for almost 3 months after a formal investigation had begun. Governor Tom Wolf and the legislative leaders of both parties had demanded he resign after it became apparent that he is a rapist and posed a danger to the other women working for the state government.

A little about Butler County, which is just north of Pittsburgh. In the 2016 primary, Trump got more votes than Hilly and Bernie combined. In the general election, Trump swamped Hillary 61,388 (66.7%) to 26,834 (29.2%). In the Senate race that year, Republican incumbent Pat Toomey beat Democrat Katie McGinty by about the same margin. In last year's Senate race, far right Republican challenger Lou Barletta beat centrist Democrat Bob Casey (who won the state handily) 59-39%. And Governor Wolf, who was reelected with an even bigger margin than Casey, also lost Butler County-- 56.8% to 41.3%. Butler County is part of PA-15, PA-16 and PA-17 and solidly supported Republicans Glenn Thompson, Mike Kelly and Keith Rothfus this past cycle.

In his delusional resignation statement to the House Speaker, Ellis wrote "It is with immense gratitude to the sacrifices made by my family, the support of my constituents, and the friendship of my colleagues that I have concluded that it is in the best interests of my family, the residents of the 11th House District, and my own health that I resign from the General Assembly." His legal team insists that the charges are "just plain false" and an effort to "generate sensational press coverage." No comment from Trump so far. But Ellis' wife of twenty years has filed for divorce.

Labels: , , ,

It's Good If We Have A President Who Is Grounded In The Current Century... Unlike You-Know-Who


John Oliver: "The truth is, from employers' point of view, a big selling point for automation is that it increases productivity and it maximizes profits. And, for displaced workers, that has caused immense main throughout history-- and not just in factories. For instance, in the 90s, as voice recognition technology improved, phone company operators were rightly worried for their jobs... A job automated is not necessarily a job lost. Frequently, machines don;'t replace jobs so much as tasks... Fear of [ATM-related] job losses turned out to be completely overblown; bankteller employment actually increased over the next 30 years. What happened was, ATMs took over the job of dispensing cash and tellers were then freed up to do sales or other work. Jobs didn't go; they changed. And when automation does lead to job loss in certain sectors, historically, it also actually created jobs... Fifty years from now, people will be doing jobs that we can't imagine right now..."

But he also warns that "it might not be easy for displaced workers to transition into them. For instance, right now our economy is creating lots of jobs in the tech sector. At the same time, we have 3 and a half million truckers possibly facing unemployment due to driverless technology... So the big question is, how do you harness what is good about automation while minimizing the damage to those hurt by it? Well, the best thing would be, if America were in the hands of someone nimble and forward-thinking."

That, of course brings us back to Trump, who is neither nimble nor forward thinking. Oliver goes on to discuss what a luddite Trump is and how he's doing none of the things he could and should be doing to help displaced workers. He obviously doesn't understand what's going on around him, nor, more fundamentally, does he or the people around him understand the role of government in these kinds of upheavals.

Just yesterday, Jonathan Swan wrote for Axios that Trump hates "crazy" driverless cars. In his view, "self-driving cars are a menace to society. A skeptic of cutting-edge technology-- as his tweets about Boeing's 'complex' planes emphasized-- Trump has privately said he thinks the autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution is 'crazy' and that he'd never let a computer drive him around.

Why it matters: Most Americans share Trump's view: 71% of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, per AAA. Yet his own administration is encouraging AV development by removing barriers and issuing voluntary guidance instead of regulations. And we see no evidence Trump has imposed his personal views on the policy process... In conversations on Air Force One and in the White House, Trump has acted out scenes of self-driving cars veering out of control and crashing into walls. He's said he doesn't think autonomous vehicles make sense, according to four sources who've heard him discuss the subject. 'You know when he's telling a story, and he does the hand motions,' said a source who has heard Trump talk about hypothetical accidents involving self-driving cars. 'He says, Can you imagine, you're sitting in the back seat and all of a sudden this car is zig-zagging around the corner and you can't stop the f---ing thing? He's definitely an automated car skeptic,' the source said. Another source said Trump told him self-driving cars 'will never work.'"
In one of the early 2017 meetings with CEOs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Elon Musk and Trump shared a lighthearted exchange about Tesla's "Autopilot" technology. Trump told Musk he preferred traditional cars, according to a source who was in the room.

And in the summer of 2017, at his Bedminster golf club, Trump was chatting with club members when one raised the subject of AV technology. The club member was "excited" about a new Tesla he bought, recalled a source who was part of the conversation. "And [Trump] was like, 'Yeah that's cool but I would never get in a self-driving car. ... I don't trust some computer to drive me around.'"
The world is moving forward, even if Trump isn't. Relatively saner elements inside his administration are trying to keep up, even if Trump is gumming top the works wherever he can. Swan wrote that "A source who has discussed autonomous vehicles with Trump says he thinks it wouldn't take much for the president to rapidly reverse his administration's hands-off approach to hands-free vehicles. Trump already calls self-driving cars out-of-control death traps, so any news fueling that fear could jolt him into action."

So which candidates are way, way, way more forward-thinking and nimble than Trump? The obvious ones are Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Beto, Tulsi, Kamala, Cory Booker, Mayor Pete, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, Marianne Williamson, Jay Inslee... In fact, most anyone other than Status Quo Joe-- who might be a little less of a luddite than Trump... but not enough to qualify as a 21st Century president.

Labels: , , ,

As Long As Trump Is In The White House, Our Nation Is Not Safe


Tweeter by Nancy Ohanian

A new CNN poll was released yesterday afternoon and the dip in favorable ratings for Trump-- from 42% to 41%-- was too small to be significant. It will have to be consistently below 33% before Senate Republicans give Pelosi the go ahead to start impeachment-- and by that time she may feel Democrats will be better off with him on top of the ticket than off it.

The mid-March poll showed most of the half dozen Democrats they polled either below water or unknown by the general electorate. Only Bernie had more people liking him than disliking him:
Cory Booker- minus 1 favorability with 48% either not knowing who he is or having no opinion
John Hickenlooper- minus 2 favorability with 82% either not knowing who he is or having no opinion
Jay Inslee- equal favorable/unfavorable (7%), with 86% either not knowing who he is or having no opinion
Amy Klobuchar- minus 4 favorability, with 68% either not knowing who she is or having no opinion
Bernie- plus 3 favorability, with just 11% either not knowing who he is or having no opinion
Beto- minus 2 favorability, with 46% either not knowing who he is or having no opinion
This is for Democrats and for independents who lean blue only:

This question stands out: "How enthusiastic would you say you are about voting for president in next year’s election-- extremely enthusiastic, very enthusiastic, somewhat enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not at all enthusiastic?" Look at that big spike between this cycle and... any other cycle!

Measuring enthusiasm for the various Democratic candidates between early October and now:
Biden- dropped from 33% to 28%
Bernie- rose from 13% to 20%
Kamala- rose from 9% two 12%
Beto- rose from 4% to 11%
Elizabeth Warren- dropped from 8% to 6%
Cory Booker- dropped from 5% to 3%
Klobuchar- rose from 1% to 3%
Castro- rose from zero to 1%
Gillibrand- flat at 1%
Inslee- rose from zero to 1%
Mayor Pete- rose from zero to 1%
Hickenlooper- rose from zero to 1%
Tulsi- flat at zero
John Delaney- flat at zero
Terry McAuliffe- flat at zero
Biden is carefully planning a grand announcement of a fourth or fifth or sixth presidential campaign-- who can keep count?-- but, according to today's Wall Street Journal, he has, of course, already reached out to the wealthy bundlers who have helped fund his very long anti-working family career. At least a half-dozen supporters got calls from him yesterday "to tell them he intends to run for president and to ask for their help in lining up contributions from major donors so he can quickly raise several million dollars... [He] has expressed concern to these people that he wouldn’t be able to raise millions of dollars in online donations immediately the way some other Democratic candidates have." Do you ever wonder why he can't?

Trump loves that good ole tabloid drama and he spent the last couple of days fighting with Kellyanne Conway's husband and John McCain's corpse. George Conway certainly got the better of him but corpses can't punch back. I don't expect that Peter Wehner-- who served in the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations and is now a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think-- was thinking his Atlantic piece this week, A Damaged Soul and a Disordered Personality would help Trump's chances at reelection. His first sentence is simple: "Donald Trump is not well." Wehner is weirded out by Trump's "weird obsession with a dead war hero."

For Wehner these "grotesque attacks once again force us to grapple with a perennial question of the Trump era." For him it's the danger that if we "allow Trump to succeed in keeping us in a state of constant agitation and moral consternation, in ways that are unhealthy and even play to Trump’s advantage, allowing him to control the nation’s conversation. But that view, which might apply in some circumstances, shouldn’t apply in all circumstances. The real danger in so desensitizing ourselves to Trump’s tweets is that we normalize deviant behavior and begin to accept what is unacceptable."
A culture lives or dies based on its allegiance to unwritten rules of conduct and unstated norms, on the signals sent about what kind of conduct constitutes good character and honor and what kind of conduct constitutes dishonor and corruption. Like each of us, our leaders are all too human, flawed and imperfect. But that reality can’t make us indifferent or cynical when it comes to holding those in authority to reasonable moral standards. After all, cultures are shaped by the words and deeds that leaders, including political leaders, validate or invalidate

“To his equals he was condescending; to his inferiors kind; and to the dear object of his affections exemplarily tender,” Henry Lee said in his eulogy of George Washington. “Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand; the purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.”

But the other reason we should pay attention to the tweets and other comments by the president is that they are shafts of light that illuminate not only his damaged soul, but his disordered personality.

It doesn’t take a person with an advanced degree in psychology to see Trump’s narcissism and lack of empathy, his vindictiveness and pathological lying, his impulsivity and callousness, his inability to be guided by norms, or his shamelessness and dehumanization of those who do not abide his wishes. His condition is getting worse, not better—and there are now fewer people in the administration able to contain the president and act as a check on his worst impulses.

This constellation of characteristics would be worrisome in a banker or a high-school teacher, in an aircraft machinist or a warehouse manager, in a gas-station attendant or a truck driver. To have them define the personality of an American president is downright alarming.

Whether the worst scenarios come to pass or not is right now unknowable. But what we do know is that the president is a person who seems to draw energy and purpose from maliciousness and transgressive acts, from creating enmity among people of different races, religions, and backgrounds, and from attacking the weak, the honorable, and even the dead.

Donald Trump is not well, and as long as he is president, our nation is not safe.
I wonder if Pelosi and Nadler get that-- grok it. It looks like House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) does. Yesterday he told NBC News that Trump and his family of predatory grifters are "the greatest threats to democracy in my lifetime"-- and then compared Trump to Hitler. And Pelosi is playing games with impeachment? Hitler! Meanwhile, Yahoo News reported this morning that Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, told them that her father would be "horrified" by the state of the U.S. and the Republican Party under Trump. "I think he would be horrified. I think he would be heartbroken-- because he loved this country a lot and he believed in this country."

Labels: , , , ,

Are Americans Ready For A Transformative Presidency?


The woman in the video is Disney heiress, Abigail Disney, a member of Patriotic Millionaires, which released the video yesterday to advocate for the inclusion of an ultra-millionaires tax in the New York state budget (which is going to be wrapped up in 2 weeks... and the villains here are Governor Cuomo and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, of course + The Long Island 6: Todd Kaminsky, Monica Martinez, Kevin Thomas, James Gaughran, John Brooks and Anna Kaplan). The tax only affects individuals with annual income over $5 million. It's meant to help bail out cash-strapped public schools that are facing further budget cuts, and the long-neglected subway system which just continues to decline.

I'm glad New York is trying to solve these problems on a local level. As for addressing these kinds of problems across the country-- on the national level-- obviously nothing's going to happen while Trump and McConnell have a choke-hold on the political system. But a transformative presidency would. Not a Status Quo Joe bullshit presidency or that of any other pick-me, pick-me candidate with nothing to offer the American people-- but a really transformative presidency, the likes of which we haven't seen since FDR passed away. I guess I gave it away, right? Bernie.

You've probably noticed that many of his once-shocking policy ideas have lately moved from the fringe to the mainstream of the Democratic Party-- from Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal to putting working families interests before Wall Street's interests. Most of the potential nominees-- despite their own histories and records-- are now trying to offer some version of Bernie's populist economic message.

Faiz Shakir, Bernie campaign manager, reminds the media that all Trump offered to woo working class voters was a ripped-off, hollow version of what Bernie has been advocating for decades-- almost making himself sound like what Shakir calls a "faux-Bernie Sanders."

Yesterday the AP reported that the case for Bernie being able to beat Trump is now front-and-center in discussions of the Democratic nomination.
“The polls have been pretty consistent that Democratic primary voters are very focused on which candidate has the best chance to beat Trump, so I expect all the candidates to argue why they are uniquely positioned to win,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama.

“Bernie Sanders has a strong case that his economic message works in the states that delivered Trump the presidency in 2016, but his challenge is going to be articulating how he can defend himself against attacks that he is a socialist,” Pfeiffer said.

Goal ThermometerKarine Jean-Pierre, a Democratic strategist and senior adviser at MoveOn, argued against the notion that a more centrist candidate is inherently more electable. “Often you’ll hear arguments from centrist, or more corporate-aligned, Democrats that a candidate needs to run as a centrist to win-- but those comments say more about the commenters’ interests and ideology. They don’t actually tell you much useful about political outcomes,” she said.

“This year’s primary is obviously a different dynamic than 2016, when there were only two Democrats, and much of that debate centered on electability-- and then the candidate presumed by the Democratic establishment to be most ‘electable’ lost,” Jean-Pierre said.

So far, Sanders has been focused on Democrats’ shared goal of defeating Trump, whom he’s called the most dangerous president in American history. But he’s also placed himself as a standard-bearer in today’s political environment.

“In 2016, this is where the political revolution took off,” Sanders said during a recent trip to New Hampshire, a state that he won by 22 percentage points. He said that he began the race far behind Clinton, campaigning on ideas “considered by establishment politicians and mainstream media to be ‘radical’ and ‘extreme.’”

Sanders says that now his ideas are supported by a majority of Americans, particularly Democrats and independents, as well as his rivals in the race.

Labels: , ,

Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

President Trump's blatant encouragement of white supremacists is working. They are increasingly emboldened, They even have prime time FOX "News" goons like Tucker Carlson pushing their sicko agenda, catapulting the propaganda, which, of course, Trump regularly relays to his Republican followers via twitter.

Knowing what we know about Trump and his lifetime of openly demonstrated bigotry, there can be no reasonable doubt that his biggest disappointment last week was that the New Zealand shooter didn't live here in America. Trump is all about manifesting hate and mayhem. When asked to comment on the Mosque attack which left 50 dead, he mouthed some words about it being horrible and quickly reverted to uttering words and phrases that could have come from the Daily Stormer or any other Nazi website. The way he spoke, the words he emphasized, gave a clear indication that he was more comfortable using the language of white supremacists than saying the event was a horror. The shooter had already received the Trump message loudly and clearly. Like any good Nazi, he already knew he had a compadre in the White House before he pulled the trigger.

Trump's current Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney facetiously claimed, on FOX, of course, that he doesn't know why people keep calling his boss a white nationalist or white supremacist even though he's been so open about it. I guess it can be zero surprise that Mulvaney is no different than his predecessor Gen. John Kelly, Stephen Miller or any of the rest of the Trump White House Grand Wizards.

Meanwhile, half of Congress sleeps, half of Congress nods its collective head in approval, and the public does next to nothing to push them into action. As I've pointed out before, FDR used to say that it's up to the public to make politicians act the way they want. Apparently, the voters are happy with the status quo, happy to let fascist corporate boards and CEOs lead them by the nose to their doom and the doom of the U.S.A. It can happen here and it is. Goebbels is laughing.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The GOP Has Rigged North Carolina's Electoral System Against Democracy-- So A District Will Have No Representation In DC For Almost A Year


Hogg likely to face Blue Dog

On Friday, the Charlotte Observer reported that the vacant congressional seat for the 9th district, which starts in Charlotte's suburbs and works its way south and east, had just passed its filing deadline for the May 14th primary. As expected, just one Democrat is in the race, Blue Dog Dan McCready. The Republicans, on the other hand, has a huge field of candidates-- 10, all looking for the magic 30% that will preclude having to fight in a primary runoff. They list the occupants of the GOP clown car:
Chris Anglin, a Raleigh attorney, who switched from D to R last year to run, unsuccessfully for the state Supreme Court. The GOP establishment hates his guts.
Dan Bishop, the right-wing crackpot sate senator who's only issue is that he wrote the state's most hateful legislation of the cycle-- the bathroom bill.
Leigh Brown, a realtor who bills herself as a "sassy southern woman."
Kathy Day, an unknown person.
Gary Dunn, a perennial candidate who runs unsuccessfully for whatever on whichever party he can.
Stevie Rivenbark Hull, a 32 year old single mother of two from Fayetteville making her first run for office.
Matthew Ridenhour, a former Mecklenburg County commissioner who lost his seat to a Democrat last year but who's still running against socialism.
Stony Rushing (see: Boss Hogg)-- the hand=picked candidate of Mark Harris, the guy caught trying to steal the election which is why the district still has no representation in DC.
Fern Shubert, a former state legislator, who ran for governor and has big name-ID.
Albert Lee Wiley Jr., another perennial candidate.
That's some roster of candidates! Monday, Politico speculated that "North Carolina Republicans are suffering from a lack of credibility, a crowded field and a cash deficit as they head into the primary for the 9th Congressional District redo election." Why a lack of credibility? Well, let's ask our friends at PolitiFact. It all stems from Harris' attempt to steal the election. The state GOP insists that "the irregularities" didn’t affect enough votes to make a difference in the outcome of the race and that he should have been allowed to take the seat anyway. The bipartisan state Board of Elections ruled otherwise-- unanimously-- and the GOP now claims Democrats forced the special election. The state Republican Party "is misleading donors about the history of the race" and is now fundraising off their lies. PolitiFact:
The GOP says Democrats "forced" a special election-- which gives the impression that support for a new election was purely partisan.

It wasn’t.


The NC elections board has jurisdiction over races for federal office across the state.

In November, the board was made up of nine members-- four Republicans, four Democrats and a left-leaning unaffiliated member-- when it voted 7-2 against certifying the 9th district race results.

In January, a court decision reconstituted the board with five members: three Democrats and two Republicans.

In February, after a four-day hearing on the findings of the fraud investigation, the reconstituted board voted unanimously (5-0) to nullify November’s results and launch a new election. The board acted shortly after Harris, in a surprise move, expressed his support for a new election.

"It’s become clear to me that the public’s confidence in the Ninth District’s general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted," Harris said, and the New York Times reported.


Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the NC GOP, pointed out that Democrats controlled the elections board.

"Republicans could not force a special election, and could not certify alone," Woodhouse said.

It’s true that the Democrats could’ve called for a new election without Republican votes-- but they didn’t. The two Republican members of the board voted for a new election shortly after Harris (the Republican candidate) said he also supported it.

Furthermore, on the day Harris called for a new election, Woodhouse said he supported Harris’ decision.

"Today I ask for everyone’s prayers for @MarkHarrisNC9 Today is a tremendously difficult day for his family, supporters and the entire @NCGOP We support our candidates decision in this matter. We will do everything we can to help the process and system improve in the future," Woodhouse tweeted on Feb. 21.

In a statement released the same day, the NC GOP said "we respect Dr. Harris’ decision" and thanked the elections board. And on Feb. 26, after Harris dropped out of contention for the seat, the GOP put out another statement saying, "This has been a grueling process for all involved, and we unequivocally support his call for a new election."


An NC GOP fundraising email said "Democrats have forced a special election" in the 9th Congressional District. Democrats held a majority on the NC elections board, but the vote to order a new election was supported by the board’s two Republican members and the Republican candidate. We rate this claim False.

Labels: , , ,

The Joe Biden Contest


House of Cards by Nancy Ohanian

When I worked at Warner Bros, we would spend immense energy on rolling out new releases, especially for superstar artists like Madonna, Prince, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Depeche Mode, Green Day... Every department in the company would pull together to create an atmosphere that would drive radio airtime, TV appearances, advance music sales, advance ticket sales, press, word of mouth, etc. Sometimes we would plan half a year in advance to lock up scarce opportunities everyone else was competing for.

Even if you were rolling your eyes about the exploratory committee silliness followed by the "big announcements" that some of the campaigns engaged in, set-up can make a huge difference of how a candidate is perceived by the public. Howard Schultz's rollout was so lame that he managed to spend massive amounts of money to turn the public completely against him. Gillibrand didn't do that much better and is going in for a do-over. Beto had a mixed response-- confusion on the one hand, gigantic first-day "sales" and lots and lots of press for someone who isn't very well-known outside of Texas. Next up: Biden.

CNN reported over the weekend that his team is readying major endorsements and a message of strength ahead of his imminent announcement. He stumbled in a pre-announcement in Delaware last week, barking "It can't go on like this, folks. I know I get criticized and told I get criticized by the new left. I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United States-- anybody who would run!" 3 problems:
he let the cat out of the bag by lumping himself in with everyone running.
did no one in his campaign know that there hasn't been a "new left" since the '70s?
progressive record? not even close.
Since Biden has no real reason to be running other than careerism and ego, CNN reports that Biden is hoping to seize command of the highly-fluid contest through major endorsements and by pounding away that the most important thing for Democrats is to defeat Trump-- rather than to defeat Trump and replace him with a transformative agenda. It was Biden-like politicians for decades that tilled the soil for Wall Street and the plutocracy, making a Trump even possible. Elect Biden and create the environment for another Trump or... worse.
As he prepares for a possible run, Biden has hunkered down for strategy sessions with a tight knit group of advisers and held meetings with top Democrats and elected officials. One subject of discussion has been the early selection of a running mate, which one aide said would help keep the focus of the primary fight on the ultimate goal of unseating Trump.

Last week, Biden stirred speculation as he met privately with Stacey Abrams, a Democratic rising star who ran for governor in Georgia last fall and is weighing another run for office-- potentially even the presidency. Biden requested the meeting, according to a person familiar with the sit-down, which comes as the two mull their own respective political futures. Abrams also huddled with a half-dozen other Democratic presidential hopefuls, but her meeting with Biden takes on added weight because of his attempts to shore up support among black leaders amid lingering questions about his treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and his support for a sweeping crime bill two decades ago.

Biden's team has started gaming out scenarios for what a campaign launch could look like with Wilmington, Delaware, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Biden was born, among several potential locations floated for an announcement rally, a source with knowledge of the discussions said. While the rest of the Democratic field settles into place, Biden's allies say the former vice president is keenly aware of the attention any announcement will draw.

"His launch will be watched by many, many eyeballs to see how he pulls it off, how much he raises," one Democratic donor in touch with Biden and his advisers said. "That's always been the question mark with him-- his discipline and his capability to execute a campaign."

One lingering question for Biden is his ability to fundraise, particularly on the small dollar, grassroots level. Other Democratic contenders like former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Bernie Sanders have relied on massive online fundraising lists to churn out impressive fundraising figures of about $6 million.

"I think he in certain ways has been wise to string this out because the shorter the race, the better for him. He doesn't have the same demands that others have except for one that's going to be a challenge perhaps for him and that's raising money," said David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama and a senior CNN political commentator. "Joe Biden's not by generation and nature a social media candidate. So he can't delay this much longer. He has to get around to the business of raising the resources that he needs."

Biden has already said he won't rely on a super PAC and as he teased a possible presidential run last week. "Our elections are drowning in money, and every dark dollar chips away at our faith in the system. You're going to hear a lot about this before it's all over, I'm not in a position to tell you now," he said.

...For as long as he can, Biden hopes to focus on the imperative to defeat Trump, aides said, rather than dwelling on what distinguishes him from his Democratic rivals.

Biden, who has been carefully watching the field of Democratic hopefuls grow, will try to quickly seize command of the race. Democrats familiar with his plans say he intends to unveil a roster of prominent supporters, including black leaders whose endorsements are seen as critical to his candidacy, as the race moves beyond Iowa and New Hampshire.
One of my favorite card images

And that brings us to our contest. Who is this "roster of prominent supporters" his campaign is boasting about? Can you guess? Wait, before you guess, let me tell you who he's not getting. The most obvious is another version of himself, Ed Rendell, an old style, middle-of-the-road corporate Dem from Pennsylvania. But he's already given his heart to another centrist, Amy Klobuchar. Same problem with another Biden-type establishment Dem, Ohio's Ted Strickland, who's riding with Jay Inslee.

And scratch virtually anyone from New Jersey; Cory Booker wrapped up the whole political class, from the right (Josh Gottheimer, Jeff Van Drew and Mikie Sherrill) all the way to the mushy middle (Senator Menendez, Governor Phil Murphy) and even a couple on the left, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Was Baraka. And-- in New Jersey-- even more important: the machine bosses (Joe DiVincenzo, Donald Norcross, Stephen Sweeney, Nicholas Scutari. LeRoy Jones...).

Beto has already started picking up the kinds of politicians from the Republican wing of the party who Biden might have been counting on: head Blue Dog Stephanie Murphy, New York New Dems Sean Patrick Maloney and Kathleen Rice. Beto also nabbed Martin O'Malley. Colorado and Hawaii are wide open since the local politicians there are not thrilled about favorite son John Hickenlooper or favorite daughter Tulsi Gabbard (although her right-wing father did endorse her). And Elizabeth Warren already wrapped up Joe Kennedy III.

So... who's the big roster of prominent supporters? I don't know. But if you're good at guessing games, you can win two different gorgeous collectible decks of cards by award-winning artist Nancy Ohanian. Each card has a drawing of a different political figure's caricature, although many of them are unflattering drawings of Trump and the cast of characters he's brought onto the national stage from Putin and Flynn to Jared, Ivanka and Pence. There are also pictures of some of your favorite anti-Trump leaders, like Mueller, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, John McCain, Hillary, to name a few. The shell of each deck was autographed by Nancy.

So here are the rules: name the Biden endorsers he'll roll out on the first day (or two days, if he waits a day to announce them). You get a point for every name you get right and lose a point for every name you get wrong. The person with the highest "score" wins the two decks of cards. Easy-- and you don't have to contribute anything-- although you can if you want to (here). Just e-mail your list to Since it's a big mystery when the "big day" is, all lists have to be received by noon (PT) on April 2 or before Biden announces if he announces before April 2. If two people get the same number of points, the list that was sent first wins the prize.

Labels: , , , ,

Everyone knows He's Certifiably Insane-- But The Media Feels Uncomfortable Using The "C" Word


The new Emerson Poll of Wisconsin voters shows only three Democrats into double-digits in their primary:
Bernie- 39%
Biden- 24%
Elizabeth Warren- 14%
But it also shows that any of that trio (as well as Beto) would beat Trump in a general election matchup. Kamala and Klobuchar would both tie him in a head to head if the election were held today. In other words, Wisconsin, a state he eon in 2016 looks bad for Trump going into 2020. A fully 40% of Trump voters in the state said they voted for him primarily because they didn't like Hillary. Hopefully, the Democrats won't nominate another Wall Street mushy centrist.

If Roy Blunt's experience in Missouri after he voted against Trump's phony state of emergency, Trump's party is cracking and splintering. McClatchy reported yesterday that Blunt was "disinvited from a local GOP gathering in Christian County, Missouri, next month amid a backlash over his vote... [which] angered ardent Trump supporters across Missouri, who saw it as a betrayal."
“I am so disappointed in you now that I can hardly speak,” wrote Wanda Martens, a member of the Christian County Republican Central Committee, in an email to Blunt’s office. “Why could you not support my president in the emergency declaration? President Trump tried every available means to work the Senate to resolve the border issue and build the much needed wall. He is well within his presidential powers to do this.”

Martens serves as the local party committee’s events chair. She told the senator in her email, which was obtained by The Kansas City Star, that she did not want to see him when the local party holds its Lincoln/Trump Day Dinner on April 6 in Ozark, Missouri, one of the most conservative areas in the state.

“Please don’t try to tell me that I don’t understand. I understand completely,” Martens wrote. “I hate it when someone calls you the establishment and that you are part of the swamp, but maybe they were right.”

...John Adams, a 74-year-old retiree who lives in south Kansas City, said he’s voted for Blunt in every election he has run for elected office. He’ll never vote for him again.

“I used to support Blunt. I just can’t do it anymore,” Adams said. “I’m sorry. He’s not supporting my president in the way that I anticipated.”

Adams said he’d support another Republican in the primary if Blunt runs again in 2022. And if Blunt wins the GOP nomination, Adams said he’d sit out Election Day rather than cast a ballot for Blunt again, even against a Democrat.

“I absolutely felt betrayed.”

The Republicans have cultivated these ignorant crackpots and allowed them to take over the party. They are reaping what they have sown-- all the garbage from Trump straight down to Wanda Martens. At least Trump can blame it on his bad brain. Early the morning, attorney George Conway, the highly respected and universally admired husband of one of Trump's top lieutenants, Kellyanne Conman, started tweeting out passages from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. No one could read them and claim they don't describe Trump to a "t." Here's one; what do you think?

Conway has been poking where the corporate media has pretty much just plain refused to go-- into Trump's obvious mental illnesses, which sometimes-- more and more frequently-- seem to spiral out of control. He's been asking if the country needs a "serious inquiry" into Trump's drastically deteriorating mental state. Everyone seems to agree... except some of the people on the Christian County, Missouri Republican Central Committee. And Kellyanne. Yesterday she told reporters that she doesn't share her husband's concerns.
 It's been more than apparent for quite a few years now that she certainly doesn't share the country's concerns either.

Labels: , , , , ,

Nunes Claims He "Endured An Orchestrated Defamation Campaign... That No Human Being Should Ever Have To Bear And Suffer In Their Whole Life"


Yesterday, Fox News broke the story that reviled Central Valley Republican, Devin Nunes, a Trump/Putin appendage is suing... suing... suing. The doesn't like being mocked and he's probably one of the most-mocked members of Congress-- after Gym Jordan. Who knew he was such an advocate for political correctness though?

Nunes, who has 390,000 Twitter followers (a lot for a Republican), wants a quarter billion dollars in compensatory damages-- and another $350,000 in punitive damages-- from Twitter, several parody accounts, like DevinNunesCow and DevinNunesMom and from Republican strategist Liz Mair, for what amounts to... making him feel badly and upsetting his days. This has got to be the silliest lawsuit ever filed.

He accused Twitter of "of 'shadow-banning conservatives' to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, and totally 'ignoring' lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

In a complaint filed in Virginia state court on Monday, obtained by Fox News, Nunes claimed Twitter wanted to derail his work on the House Intelligence Committee, which he chaired until 2019, as he looked into alleged and apparent surveillance abuses by the government. Nunes said Twitter was guilty of "knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory-- providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers-- thereby facilitating defamation on its platform."

The lawsuit alleged defamation, conspiracy and negligence, as well as violations of the state's prohibition against "insulting words"-- effectively fighting words that tend towards "violence and breach of the peace." The complaint sought not only damages, but also an injunction compelling Twitter to turn over the identities behind numerous accounts he said harassed and defamed him.

“Twitter is a machine," Nunes' personal attorney, Steven S. Biss, told Fox News. "It is a modern-day Tammany Hall. Congressman Nunes intends to hold Twitter fully accountable for its abusive behavior and misconduct.”

Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability at all levels, Nunes' suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content-- as opposed to merely hosting it-- that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.

"Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon," Nunes' legal team wrote. "Twitter is 'responsible' for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content."

Additionally, as the complaint stated, Twitter has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid hosting outwardly defamatory content because of its increasingly important role in current affairs.

"Access to Twitter is essential for meaningful participation in modern-day American Democracy," the complaint stated. "A candidate without Twitter is a losing candidate. The ability to use Twitter is a vital part of modern citizenship. A presence on Twitter is essential for an individual to run for office or engage in any level of political organizing in modern America. That is because Twitter is not merely a website: it is the modern town square. Twitter is equivalent to the private owner of a public forum who has fully opened its property to the general public for purposes of permitting the public’s free expression and debate. That is, in fact, what Twitter has always claimed to be."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has testified previously before Congress that his platform is a kind of "digital public square," although he has insisted that Twitter, as a private company, retains the right to censor speech.

In large part because of Twitter's actions, Nunes "endured an orchestrated defamation campaign of stunning breadth and scope, one that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life" in the past year, according to the complaint.

The complaint also named specific Twitter accounts that spread allegedly defamatory material about Nunes. One defendant, identified as "Liz" Mair, purportedly published tweets that "implied that Nunes colluded with prostitutes and cocaine addicts, that Nunes does cocaine, and that Nunes was involved in a 'Russian money laundering front,'" according to Nunes' lawyers.

The complaint quoted a June 22, 2018 tweet from Mair that implied Nunes invested in a winery that "allegedly used underage hookers to solicit investment."

Mair did not respond to Fox News' request for comment. Fox News has also reached out to Twitter for comment on the lawsuit, and was told only that "we're not commenting at this time." (The lawsuit seeks joint and several liability, which permits plaintiffs to recover from one defendant, and then leaves the defendants to sort out what each owes.)

The complaint also named "Devin Nunes’ Mom," "a person who, with Twitter’s consent, hijacked Nunes’ name, falsely impersonated Nunes’ mother, and created and maintained an account on Twitter (@DevinNunesMom) for the sole purpose of attacking, defaming, disparaging and demeaning Nunes."

Nunes lawyers' wrote, "In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman."

One tweet from the account, cited by the complaint, contained a crude drawing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump, and Nunes in a physically linked, symbiotic arrangement like the characters in the horror film "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)."

The complaint goes to allege that the account gave factually false and defamatory information, mixed in with impermissibly "insulting" fighting words.

"Devin Nunes’ Mom," the complaint alleges, "stated that Nunes had turned out worse than Jacob Wohl; falsely accused Nunes of being a racist, having 'white supremist friends' and distributing 'disturbing inflammatory racial propaganda'; falsely accused Nunes of putting up a 'Fake News MAGA' sign outside a Texas Holocaust museum; falsely stated that Nunes would probably join the 'Proud Boys', if it weren’t for that unfortunate 'nomasturbating’ rule'; disparagingly called him a 'presidential fluffer and swamp rat'; falsely stated that Nunes had brought 'shame' to his family; repeatedly accused Nunes of the crime of treason, compared him to Benedict Arnold, and called him a 'traitor.'"

As of Monday afternoon, the @DevinNunesMom account was suspended by Twitter when Fox News tried to access it. The complaint stated that "Twitter only suspended the account in 2019 after Nunes’ real mother, Toni Dian Nunes, complained. ... Twitter permitted @DevinNunesMom, for instance, to tweet and retweet with impunity throughout 2018."

However, according to the complaint, "Twitter did nothing to investigate or review the defamation that appeared in plain view on its platform. Twitter consciously allowed the defamation of Nunes to continue" despite reports and purported reviews by Twitter's content moderators.

"As part of its agenda to squelch Nunes’ voice, cause him extreme pain and suffering, influence the 2018 Congressional election, and distract, intimidate and interfere with Nunes’ investigation into corruption and Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election, Twitter did absolutely nothing," the complaint stated.

Another account named as a defendant was "Devin Nunes' Cow," or @DevinCow, which purportedly called Nunes a "treasonous cowpoke" and an "udder-ly worthless" criminal.

The timing and substance of the tweets, according to Nunes' team, suggested that Mair was working jointly with @DevinCow and @DevinNunesMom accounts. Mair's LinkedIn profile, the complaint notes, contains the boast: "What do I do for [my] clients? Anonymously smear their opposition on the Internet."

In response to the lawsuit, the @DevinCow account-- which was still active as of Monday evening-- posted numerous tweets mocking Nunes. "I’m not quitting my day job," one read.
Nunes of Napa by Chip Prosser of

I suspect what triggered Nunes was how close he came to losing his congressional seat last year. A third rate Democratic opponent-- in an R+8 district-- came incredibly close to beating him: 117,243 (52.7%) to 105,136 (47.3%). No one has officially declared for 2020 yet, but this suit will make Nunes look like an even better target than he was last year when he had beclouded himself as an apologist for Trump and Putin.

Labels: , , , , ,