1. raven says

    Oregon standoff singer faces abuse charges after 5 of her children flee AP

    According to testimony from a 2½-hour hearing, five of Sharp’s children bolted from the home Friday after she climbed into the shower. They removed guns from the house before a neighbor gave them a ride to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

    A social worker testified that the Kansas Department of Children and Families had received three reports about the children this year. One was in February, alleging a lack of supervision, and one was in April, alleging emotional and physical abuse. Sharp would not let authorities see the children either time, she testified. The third report occurred Friday, when the children fled the home.

    Odalia Sharp was briefly at Malheur NWR. She has ten children. Five of them just ran to the Kansas Sheriff’s office and complained about mom.

    This is a very common pattern among the militias. They are often losers with criminal records for doing pointless stuff and have chaotic family lives. I’m sure CPS is right up there with the Federal government and Moslems as one of their fears.

  2. wzrd1 says

    There are precisely two militias that are valid in the United States, the unorganized militia and the organized militia, which is called the National Guard.
    The unorganized militia is every able bodied male between 18 and 45, as well as females in the National Guard and former service members to age 61. Activation of the unorganized militia is conducted via the selective service system.
    The private goofballs in militias aren’t in valid, lawful militias unless they submit to the authority of their governor and would then only lawfully be called up by their state’s governor.
    Elements of the 56th brigade, 28th infantry division were originally militias, reclassified in 1903 as the National Guard under the Militia Act of 1903. The parent chapters of the Norris City Rifles still exist today as a militia that performs reenactments of famous battles in the revolutionary war and civil war, when the unit saw combat service.
    The Norris City Rifles saw combat in every conflict this nation has had, having the dubious distinction of high casualty rates. That was one of the reasons that the militia was reorganized into the National Guard, to improve training and discipline.

  3. petesh says

    @2: Trump is not popular. He won the Republican primary, which means he has a majority of a minority. Don’t get bamboozled by his phony glitz and the media’s desire to see a close race. Not only is Trump (IMHO) an embarrassingly idiotic obnoxious asshole, huge majorities of women and a significant number of men see him as an obnoxious asshole. He may win the white male demographic, which again means he gets a majority of a minority. Don’t feed his fantasy, lest you risk it coming true. It’s not true now.

  4. says

    I see that Trump apparently said that taxes for the rich might go up. I thought I heard the rippling “pop” sound of republican brains popping. This would all be good fun if it didn’t actually matter.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @4:
    I agree that Adams conclusion about Trump winning with a landslide is in error, yet his list of reasons behind Trump’s popularity (among the Rethug primary voters) seem pretty valid.

  6. gijoel says

    @2. I think Adams (oh, how I detest him) is right about one thing about Trump. He’s running off emotions, and his language reflects it. However, his emotional appeal is directed at older, aggrieved, entitlement warriors who feel that the world doesn’t kiss their arses enough. Eating a taco bowl isn’t going to win him the Latino vote. Nor the women vote, or any other sub group that isn’t a racist, angry, old white dude.

  7. dianne says

    @2: There’s one problem I have with Adams’ analysis: I can’t imagine how Trump can induce any emotion in any human being besides repulsion and disgust. He’s not an attractive or charismatic man in any sense of the words. How is it that he got any votes at all if people vote their with their emotions?

  8. dianne says

    That was a serious question, BTW: If anyone has any clue what makes Trump popular, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me in on it because I can’t get past “WTF?” in my analysis of Trump’s popularity.

  9. blf says

    #ThanksObama: president’s greatest legacy may be Trumping of the GOP:

    Republicans worried about their electoral fortunes can look to the White House, whose occupant inspires the loathing that has fuelled the billionaire’s rise

    [… O]ne thing Trump supporters and Democrats agree on is the extent to which the party of Lincoln has been twisted out of recognition by its loathing for the current occupant of the White House.

    Also known as “Obama Derangement Syndrome”.

    Amid bitter recriminations over Trump’s successful exploitation of this mood, many are wondering if the president’s greatest legacy may be the desolation of the Republican party, which did so much to frustrate his own time in office but may take decades to recover once he leaves.

    [… discussion of various past predictions and future possibilities …]

    What figures like [Paul] Ryan worry more about, though, is that Trump will not only lose in a landslide to Clinton but bring down the Republican-controlled House and Senate with him.

    YES! Please, please, please make this happen. Do not vote thug. Not even for assistant apprentice dog-catcher. Vote, and vote for a viable candidate. But never for a thug.

    The queasiness of moderate Republican senators such as Kelly Ayotte and Susan Collins this week was a direct manifestation of this concern about Trump’s unpopularity among the general electorate, and also a sign of how wide the rift now is between different wings of the party.

    Even conservative senators such as Ben Sasse of Nebraska are calling for a third candidate to emerge [… Reality really is not their strong point, is it? –blf]

    Throughout this, Democrats have acted as if they cannot believe their luck. Clinton has issued attack ads against Trump that consist of little more than a string of Republicans voicing their concerns about the man. Unleashing this toxic maelstrom may prove to be Obama’s greatest gift to his party and most lasting legacy, especially if Clinton is able to win back Congress.


    “With respect to the Republican process and Mr Trump, there’s going to be plenty of time to talk about his positions on various issues,” said a relaxed-looking president [Obama].

    Any thanks offered by the Republicans were sure to be of the sarcastic variety.

  10. wzrd1 says

    Trump has long been after the angry white guy vote, a group that misses their ability to repress whoever they want to and is extremely bitter about that fact. That segment of our nation is disillusioned by the GOP candidates that have been trotted out and Trump’s popularity shows just how disillusioned that that segment is.
    The reality though is, Trump isn’t courting any other group and indeed, is actively alienating every other group in the land. That will bite him solidly in the ass in the general election, as the faithful to the GOP loathe him for the fascist that he is.

    The only thing that mystifies me is, why is Trump running at all? His entire life has been all about promoting himself and grabbing every penny that he could, screwing over investor after investor, POTUS would be a massive money losing proposition for him. I can only assume that his ego is now so large that he actually thinks that he’ll gain something by being POTUS, which he would gain one thing. A solid place in the history books as the biggest buffoon to ever run for POTUS.
    Seriously, he could be resoundingly defeated with a single commercial showing one of his characteristic buffoon moments, proof that he had no clue about what he was talking about and a question as to “Do you trust this man with our nuclear weapons?”.

  11. blf says

    dianne@11, Define “popular”. Teh trum-prat does not strike me as “popular”, and that’s even without using metrics like opinion polls. He is good at generating noise and discussions about his noise — e.g., this very thread — but that does not necessarily equate to “popular” — e.g., this very thread again, where it seems quite safe to assert he is anything but popular, except as a caricature of a tinfoil hat village idiot.

  12. dianne says

    @blf: Somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of people who voted in the Republican primary voted for him. Even assuming that no one else but those people would vote for him under any circumstances, that’s a heck of a lot of people to vote for someone who is, as far as I can see, a complete repulsive failure. He’s a failure as a businessperson, he’s ugly as sin, he can’t give a public speech, and I can’t imagine him having any charisma in a 1 on 1 interaction. What’s the appeal? Especially if the argument is that people vote for Trump on emotional appeal. I do not get it. I mean, if he and Clinton/Sanders completely switched political positions, I’d vote for him to stop the Clinton/Sanders plan for a wall, special IDs, and all, but I’d want to avert my eyes from the news for the next 4 years because he’s just like a repulsive slug and who thinks that that’s emotionally appealing?

  13. wzrd1 says

    @dianne #15, honestly, I think it’s a disgust protest vote for him. The GOP rank and file and sick and tired of what passes for candidates presented to them to vote for.
    Come the general election, they’ll have a choice, a fascist maniac or a democrat and as I mentioned above, who’d want a nuclear armed Trump?

  14. Nick Gotts says

    Thaks for the new thread, PZ!

    Current* London Mayor Boris Johnson [dunderhead], who is a Conservative – Lynna, quoting a thinkprogess article, @81 in previous thread

    Johnson recently insulted Obama in what I’d call “soft racist” terms, because Obama recommended Brits to vote to remain in the EU on 23rd June. (Johnson has joined the “Brexit” campaign to leave, not because he is deeply committed to the belief that it would be a good thing – he never called for it before, unlike many senior Tories – but because he thinks it gives him the best chance of becoming PM, since Cameron would almost certainly resign if the referendum vote is to leave and most of his plausible successors are also in favour of staying in.) The satirical magazine Private Eye had on its cover a photo of Cameron and Obama during Obama’s recent visit, with speech bubbles as follows:
    Cameron: You’ve been insulted by a buffoon with silly hair. [Find images of Johnson if you can’t picture him.]
    Obama: You’re making me feel right at home.

    In realted news, I see Trump has backed Brexit. This may be revenge for Cameron calling his proposal to exclude Muslims from the US “divisive, stupid and wrong”. I haven’t yet seen any of the Brexit campaigners denouncing Trump’s interference in our affairs, as they did when Obama expressed the contrary opinion. Nor, for that matter, any campaigners for us to stay in the EU denouncing it – although that may be because they reckon an endorsement by Trump can only hurt the Brexit campaign!

    *My note: Johnson is no longer the current London mayor – Lynna was reporting the election of his successor, Sadiq Khan (Labour), who has now been installed. Johnson was not running, as he is now an MP and hopes to oust Cameron – see main text of my comment.

  15. wzrd1 says

    @Nick, considering the confused environment in London, I was pleasantly surprised at the current new mayor. It sounds like the xenophobes are losing badly, likely due to a failure to address anything real world related in their campaigns and the elected, addressing some of those concerns.
    Rather akin to US GOP issues.
    When the powerbroker types address “I don’t have a job and there are no jobs here” with cutting social programs and repealing an insurance program you need, but have no money for, yeah, big rejection for an outside candidate.

  16. Jeff W says

    I think the appeal of Trump is both ideological and emotional. As for ideology, Trump is attacking neoliberalism from the right as a right nationalist. Benjamin Studebaker lays out the right nationalist argument this way:

    They accuse neoliberals of allowing foreign countries like China to exploit and expropriate our country in bad trade deals.
    They accuse neoliberals of allowing foreigners to pour into our country, taking jobs from Americans and undercutting their wages.
    They accuse neoliberals of wasting our country’s resources on humanitarian and foreign aid and interventions that do not advance the national interest.

    We can view aspects of those arguments as pretexts for racism or the arguments simply as bad ones but they apparently resonate with some portion of the electorate who have so far voted for Trump. (Sanders is attacking neoliberalism also—and he and Trump are aligned on a few issues such as opposing (some) humanitarian interventions, the TPP and outsourcing—but Sanders is coming at these issues as what Studebaker calls “a left egalitarian.”)

    Trump might be repulsive or lacking charisma but his emotional appeal is elsewhere. There is, first of all, an emotional appeal in the right nationalism as encapsulated in the Trump slogan “Make America great again.” And then there is the “unfiltered” way Trump communicates. Elizabeth Drew in this week’s NYRB says this:

    In a way, Trump’s fearless: he’s taken chances others wouldn’t have dared to—and several that weren’t to his credit.…it’s never clear what Trump will spring, and when: he doesn’t telegraph his punches, nor does he warm up. He goes all in; there’s nothing hesitant or nuanced or predictable about him.

    To some people that might seem a bit reckless or even nuts but to others it might appear to be a version of “authenticity”—i.e., he “says what he thinks” (even if what he thinks changes from day to day). That’s seemingly the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton, about whom Graydon Carter (who famously called Trump “a short-fingered vulgarian”) said “you’d need to apply the famous Turing Test to see if any authentic human ‘Hillary’ can be distinguished from the machine version that has been in development for more than three decades.”

  17. wzrd1 says

    @Jeff, if Trump actually wins the office, I’ll personally run against him next election, using a potted plant as much as is possible and creative enough.
    It’d drive him insane.
    As I’d enjoy the office as much as masturbating with a cheese grater for a month, that’s saying a *lot*.
    That I’d win in the end, say even more.
    I’d delegate the nuclear launch thingies to the first lady.
    OK, I’d have to create an executive order creating the First Lady rule, on top of the Two Man Rule, the First Lady has to agree.
    As for the release of thermonuclear weapons isn’t a democratic regulation, it’d be within the executive branch’s rights. As *I* don’t trust myself and my appointee enough with those damned things.
    Seriously, have a bad dream, get SecState or SecDef to checkmark, boom goes the world. Seriously?!
    If I don’t trust myself with them, that says a fucking lot!

  18. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I’m stuck. In my own delusion, as a coping mechanism to the Trump lunacy that is sweeping many Rethuglican voters. The delusion, (I’ll share), is that Trump is a performance artist. That he entered the race just spouting nonsense, expecting to get immediately shuffled off stage. He is as astounded as everyone else that people actually voted for him. That people are so angry and disillusioned with the current players that they would desperately grasp at his offensive nonsense. The response he has gotten has sucked him into his own bluster and is starting to take himself seriously. That maybe he actually got it right unintentionally, so why not ‘go with the flow’. The final part of my delusion that when [n.b.: delusion] Trump is declared winner of election, his acceptance speech will be “You fools, you $%^%, I am not the person you elected, he was a fantasy, pandering to your worst fantasies, I’m tired of playing that game. find somebody else, goodbye!!!!”
    that was a delusion, that I desperately cling to, in hope that Trump is not a real person, and the people that vote for him are doing so uselessly. sad thing is, I know it’s a fantasy, but it is all I have. I can only cast a single vote against Trump, as much as the paranoid Rethuglicans think that voter fraud is real and a single person could deviously sway an entire election. So while there is hope that Clinton (at least) will win the election, I still sad that even if Trump is faux, that he got the nomination.
    I guess I’m done for now. thank you for letting me share my sad.

  19. dianne says

    @slithey tove, 21: Your fantasy about Trump sounds remarkably like mine. In mine, Trump gets elected. His first move is to grant an amnesty for every undocumented person in the US and propose sweeping immigration reform along the lines of “You get here, you get in.”

    His erstwhile supporters are aghast and agog at this and say, “But…the wall? The special IDs? What happened?” (They’d never be so rude as to say WTF.)

    Trump laughs himself sick in response and says, “You mean you were really buying that fascist crap I was babbling on about. Come on, people. I’m a businessman. A real estate tycoon. I need people to build my buildings and people to move in. What’s more, I’m a New Yorker. I lived through New York in the 1970s and saw it improve. I don’t forget that the reason New York is no longer a cesspool is immigrants. Immigrants got the place cleaned up and allowed me to build all those beautiful buildings with MY name on them in Manhattan. They’re going to do the same for Detroit and Flint and Camden and every other failing city in the US. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go plan my new buildings in Detroit. I think Trump City will replace Motor City as a nickname nicely, don’t you?”

    With some luck, he’ll remember to appoint someone to do the actual governing of the country before he checks out to play with his buildings.

    Yeah, it’s a fantasy.

  20. says

    Re: Trump’s appeal.

    The segment of it that I have been sensitive to is essentially the language of a bombastic authoritarian demagogue with elements reminiscent of motivational speakers, to flesh out what Jeff W posted. I was raised in a right-wing, conservative pentecostal military family and the language is pretty familiar with economics-related additions. The guy may be a failure in what he does, but he always presents himself in a certain way that authoritarian personalities can pick up on. The guy knows how to work a receptive audience who really wants something to tie their problems to, and focus their fear and aggression on.

    Lots of nationalistic (or other group-based, he can get his followers to threaten republicans) aggressive and militant symbolism and posturing, group-based fear mongering, impassioned references to what “we are going to do” with little substance beyond non-literalisms (or when substance is present it’s symbolic value prevents introspection like the wall at the border which Mexico would never pay for and would be enormously costly on multiple levels). A good authoratative speaker is not just acting the “strongman” stereotype, they are also an effective cheerleader and in a country like the US plenty of people have been primed for that sort of language by the culture from religion to government to economics where competitive environments breed such.

    When it comes to opponents the attacks are often shallow but personal and visceral for example attacking the looks, tone and while I have no seen it probably the dress and personal tastes of people (this also includes inflating himself in these areas because it can’t be used as a weapon against others if it is not inflated in oneself). Or attacking the family members like the recent situation with Ted Cruz’s wife. Attacks are also made on the social popularity and connections of people in similar manner (“Nobody reads them”. Oh really? Is that why “nobody” is asking you about it?)

    An effort is actually made to keep the language at this level because when I try to actually get a Trump supporter to focus on substance and show me the reasoning, logic substance and behind these things they very quickly try to do anything but talk about what they were just impassioned about. Either they try to make it about me (with similar attacks, funny because it suggests what they just mentioned is really unimportant compared to me), or try to open a new attack on a group/person they think I am related to (which rarely works because I’ve been an Independent since college and tend to dislike both parties), or try to put the burden of proof for what they just asserted on me and similar things (since I’m an authoritarian too and take it seriously I can beat them at their own game).

    The bad news is that this is a human universal set of instincts with particular sensitivities and expression in Trump and followers (combined with pretty strong cognitive defenses preventing a fair social exchange with an opponent). The good news is that there are rational reasons to use the same forms of social combat as long as a person is able to clearly give the reasons and logic for them and I hope that whoever wins the D nomination meets Trump at his own game (minus the stuff about looks and similar). He has plenty of awful personal and social characteristics that matter in addition to that lack of substance.

  21. Holms says

    [This isn’t on topic here or in any thread, but… did the text size and line spacing of pharyngula change mysteriously for anyone, or just me? Both seem to have increased about 50% here and only here, and adjusting the size such that pharyngula is tolerable makes every other blog tiny.]
    /resume political madness

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Governor of North Carolina, has sued the Federal Government for telling him his oppression of transgender people will not be tolerated, and loss of Federal funds could result.

    North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration sued the federal government Monday in a fight for a state law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate.
    The lawsuit seeks to keep in place the law, which the U.S. Justice Department said last week violated the civil rights of transgender people against sex discrimination on the job and in education. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was scheduled to describe the launch of “law enforcement action” against North Carolina later Monday.
    The Justice Department had set a Monday deadline for McCrory to report whether he would refuse to enforce the law that took effect in March. McCrory’s defiance could risk funding for the state’s university system and lead to a protracted legal battle. The law also limits state anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and blocks local governments from establishing their own…
    The state’s public university system was expected to issue a separate response Monday to the Justice Department warning letter it received. The university’s governing board scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday to receive a private “legal briefing” from its top staff attorney.
    The UNC system risks losing more than $1.4 billion in federal funds if its observance of the law is found to violate federal sex discrimination protections in education and employment. Another $800 million in federally backed loans for students who attend the public universities also would be at risk.

    Hopefully, the University system will see the handwriting on the wall.

  23. Nick Gotts says

    I can only cast a single vote against Trump – slithey tove@21

    But you can campaign against him. Formally, if you can stomach Clinton, or informally, by telling everyone you know to be a basically decent person to register, if they haven’t, and to get out and vote against Trump on the day. And in case you’re wondering, yes I do get out and campaign. I’ve just spent maybe 50 hours, plus £200, over the past few weeks campaigning for the Scottish Green Party, which has increased its representation from 2 to 6 in the Scottish Parliament. My efforts, along with around 15 others in our “Mid-Scotland and Fife” region, probably made this 6 rather than 5 – the margin was around 325 votes. Obviously whether you can even hope to make a significant difference in the Presidential election depends a lot on where you are – but it’s just not true that you can’t increase your influence above a single vote.

  24. blf says

    A bit more on “I can only cast a single vote against Trump”: There are also the “down-ballot” positions, e.g., House and (depending where you are) Senate, plus state and local positions. In addition to marking your ballot for a viable candidate other than teh trum-prat, you can also mark your ballot for viable non-thug (that is, non-loon) candidates for the those other positions. Another four years of fruitcakes in the various States, and fruitcakes stalemating the feds, is not desirable.

  25. says

    I am of the opinion that having President Obama so thoroughly and humorously roast Trump (particularly in past White House Correspondents’ dinner settings) prompted Trump to take an “I’ll show you!” stance to running for president. It is an egomaniacal response.

    Here is an excerpt from President Obama’s speech at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ dinner (when Trump was actively marketing his Birther conspiracies and thinly-veiled racism against Obama):

    I know that he’s taken some flack lately—no one is prouder to put this birth-certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And—where are Biggie and Tupac? We all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example—no, seriously—just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice [Trump] didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf—you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night.

    There’s video of Trump being locked in place, no smile, as he sat stone-faced during the roasting. He was enraged, but claimed otherwise.

    Trump surrounds himself with people who agree with him and with people who feed him the kind of news he wants to hear. He always was delusional, but inside the Trump bubble his delusions grow. People encouraged him to run for president.

    Trump may have also taken on the presidential run as a self-marketing tool that can’t be beat. Best advertisement for eating taco bowls at Trump Tower ever. It makes his name, which is one of his main sources of income, more marketable.

    He’s afraid of dying. He’s going to make an ever bigger sans serif, all-gold, name for himself. He will increase his number of Twitter followers.

    From Obama’s 2016 White House Correspondents’ dinner speech:

    I am a little hurt [Donald Trump] is not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising. You’ve got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no. Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a Trump steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?

    There is one area where The Donald’s experience could be useful, and that is closing Guantanamo — Donald knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.

    From a New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik:

    the politics of populist nationalism are almost entirely the politics of felt humiliation—the politics of shame. And one can’t help but suspect that, on that night [2015], Trump’s own sense of public humiliation became so overwhelming that he decided, perhaps at first unconsciously, that he would, somehow, get his own back—perhaps even pursue the Presidency after all, no matter how nihilistically or absurdly, and redeem himself.

    Though he gave up the hunt for office in that campaign, it does not seem too far-fetched to imagine that the rage […] implanted in him that night has fuelled him ever since. It was already easy to sense at the time that something very strange had happened – that the usual American ritual of the “roast” and the roasted had been weirdly and uniquely disrupted. But the consequences were hard to imagine.

    The micro-history of that night yet to be written might be devoted largely to the double life of Barack Obama as cool comedian and quiet commander—or it might be devoted to the moment when new life was fed into an old ideology, when Trump’s ambitions suddenly turned over to the potent politics of shame and vengeance. […]

    The primacy of Trump’s raging response to humiliation may also help to explain why he simply can’t be bothered to come up with a coherent foreign policy speech, with a coherent tax plan, or with a response to Hillary Clinton that is not soaked in misogyny.

    Recently, Trump seemingly changed his stance on the minimum wage, on taxing the rich, and on being “presidential.” All lies, all subject to change (or subject, as he says, to negotiation).

  26. says

    New spacing and font rules that are applied to material with HTML blockquote tags is resulting in text that is not displayed properly. Please tell the techies.

  27. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 28:
    yes, definitely.
    I’ve been posting, here and elsewhere, that it must be remembered that the POTUS election should not overwhelm the Representative and local elections. That all the real action is with the lower offices. POTUS is just the manager, all the work is done by the Congress and locals.
    I was briefly focused on complaining about worst possible POTUS, momentarily. I too will certainly cast all my votes for candidates with a (D) suffix attached.

  28. says

    Trump’s vacillation on the question of raising the minimum wage is typical of his fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants style, and of his inability to adequately address the details and the nuances of any policy issue.

    Here’s what Trump said in a GOP debate held last fall:

    I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard, and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world, we just can’t do it. […] Should we increase the minimum wage? […] I’m saying that if we’re going to compete with other countries we can’t do that because the wages would be too high.

    Here’s what Trump said last week:

    [To CNN he said he is] open to doing something [about the minimum wage]. […] [To NBC’s Chuck Todd he said] I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don’t forget, the states have to compete with each other. […] I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they’re out there. They’re working. It is a very low number. You know, with what’s happened to the economy, with what’s happened to the cost. I mean, it’s just– I don’t know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.

    Translation of the Trumpian blather: No, the federal government should not set a minimum wage. $0 minimum federal wage is fine with Trump. He thinks $7.25 an hour is too low in the U.S.A. but he’s not going to do anything about that. He is worried about competing with other nations. He is against raising the federal minimum wage. But he is sorta kinda for raising the minimum wage.

  29. says

    A summary of Republican officials in Alabama who face court rulings:

    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley faces impeachment.

    Alabama state House Speaker Mike Hubbard is awaiting trial on 23 felony counts.

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces charges before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and potential removal from office. […]

    You would think that these doofuses would figure out that they are doing something wrong. Nope.

    Moore argues that Alabama’s ban on same-sex rulings is still in force. Why? He thinks the U.S. Supreme Court ruling doesn’t matter, doesn’t apply.

    Bentley is facing impeachment over a sex scandal. Bentley insists that his misconduct, which includes paying his mistress in unethical ways, does not merit removal from office. He also continues to say that he did not have sex with his mistress. The mistress stills holds her job, and is being paid.

    Hubbard was indicted on corruption charges. He used his office as Speaker of the Alabama House to solicit goods and services of value.

  30. says

    The Department of Justice is suing North Carolina over that state’s anti-transgender “bathroom” law.

    Excerpt from Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s announcement of the lawsuit:

    More to the point, they created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security—a right taken for granted by most of us.

    A summary of the DOJ suit:

    The complaint alleges that provisions in the law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms […] aligned with their gender identity violates various civil rights laws.

    In particular the Justice Department is focusing on North Carolina state government as an employer and alleges that enforcement of the law discriminates against transgender state employees.

    Chew on that for awhile Governor Pat McCrory.

  31. says

    Financial news:

    The “Panama Papers” database is now accessible. It “went live and searchable today, stripping the veil of secrecy from thousands of offshore shell companies and the people who have used them to launder money, hide evidence of crimes, and keep income from the taxman.” NBC News link.

    This is related to the “Panama Papers” story: “The Obama administration adopted a rule on Thursday that would require financial institutions to identify the true owners of companies they do business with, after leaks from a Panama law firm threw a spotlight on money hidden offshore.” Wall Street Journal link

  32. says

    What Trump said about Paul Ryan calling him:

    He called me three weeks ago, and he was so supportive. It was amazing. [… H]e spoke to me three weeks ago, and it was a very nice call, a very encouraging call. I was doing well. He called me, I think, to congratulate me about New York, ’cause I won by massive numbers. I won everything.

    What Paul Ryan’s office said about that phone call:

    […] a spokesman for Mr. Ryan said Saturday that such a call never took place.

  33. Jeff W says

    Two points:

    (1) Whatever Trump is, if Clinton is the Democratic nominee, the coming months till November will not be a cakewalk for her.

    Notwithstanding Trump’s record-high unfavorables, Clinton’s unfavorables are very high also and, unlike Sanders, the more people learn about Clinton, the more they dislike her. Trump will not be as “gentlemanly” as Sanders and he will not have to walk a tightrope in supporting President Obama’s neoliberal policies, as Sanders did—and he will mock Clinton mercilessly either for supporting them now or having once supported them and now not (such as her shift concerning the TPP). That Clinton has been “thoroughly vetted” is, more or less, irrelevant here—Trump will be going after who she is (whether she is actually that or not)—just as she will with him—not after what specific things she has done in the past. That will drive her unfavorables up even further. Does that mean I think Trump will win? Absolutely not. It just means that I would not view a Clinton win as a foregone conclusion because Trump is “obviously” a maniac. It will boil down, to an unprecedented degree, to which candidate the voters dislike or fear least.

    (2) There is the question of what Trump is. Again, I refer to Benjamin Studebaker’s take:

    Donald Trump is conning the Republican Party. He could very well be the most moderate republican candidate, and he may be to the left of Clinton on some issues, like regime change and trade deals. We can’t be sure what he would do, and any person who is confident that Donald Trump is definitely a crazy person or a fascist is making claims based only on the statements Trump has made after he decided to get involved in national politics–the very point at which he is most likely to have begun trying to deceive us about what he thinks. The things people say and do before they start running tell us much more about what they’re likely to do than what they say and do after.

    But while Donald Trump is not a right nationalist, he is marketing himself as if he is one and most people believe he is one. He’s choosing to do this for strategic reasons–he recognizes that the public increasingly holds the neoliberal consensus exemplified by the establishments of both parties in contempt. The anger they feel toward neoliberal establishment figures is so intense that they welcome it when Trump openly bullies members of the establishment on national television

    [Emphasis added.]

    I can’t state that Trump is not a right nationalist as categorically as Studebaker does but I find his argument at least plausible. And some things that Trump has said since he routed his opponents in the primaries is consistent with this view, for example: as noted in New York magazine, his “central economic proposal is an infrastructure plan that he explicitly likens to FDR’s programs” (which is absolute heresy in Republican circles); he’s open to the possibility of raising taxes on the rich and come out in favor of a minimum wage on a state-by-state basis (which is close to what I see Clinton’s position as).

    If, in fact, Trump is conning the Republican party, it’s a jujitsu move of major proportions—instead of Republican élites, as they have for decades, riling up their base with right nationalist themes to vote against their own economic interests, Trump might be riling them up to vote in favor (somewhat) of their own economic interests—which is one reason why the Republican establishment reviles him. He’s laying bare the right nationalism of the party at the same time he is calling their neoliberalism a sham. Does that mean that I think Trump is a crypto-liberal who is worth supporting? Not in a million years. But to view Trump only through the lens of his right nationalist rhetoric without taking into account his anti-neoliberal, anti-establishment positions—which precede his right nationalist rhetoric by decades and which contrast sharply with the prevailing neoliberalism—is to miss an aspect of his appeal.

  34. efedora says

    Since most polls are biased or unreliable, I like to take solace in the betting line as a true predictor of the outcome of the Presidential election. The current odds stand at:
    Clinton -275 (bet 275 win 100)
    Trump 275 (bet 100 win 275)

    Also interesting are the odds for Vice Presidential candidates. The current front runner is Julian Castro. This presents the interesting situation of Clinton becoming incapacitated or dying in office resulting in two President Castros in the Western hemisphere.

  35. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Jeff W wrote:

    That’s seemingly the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton, about whom Graydon Carter (who famously called Trump “a short-fingered vulgarian”) said …

    I feel I should point out that Carter credits Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison with that characterization of Hillary Clinton. Credit where it’s due.

  36. says

    @Jeff W 38
    Fair point on number 2. It’s possible that his actual politics is more complicated than the election is letting him appear. It would explain things like his comments about wanting people to use the bathroom they are associate with. But wow is his rhetoric compatible with so much awfulness. I would gamble that it’s worth taking as evidence that his actual presidency would be as compatible with awfulness.

  37. anchor says

    @37Lynna: I noticed that tidbit too. In other words, supporters of the Drumpf advocate a congenital Liar-in-President in order to preserve what’s left of a party that has finally imploded under the strategy of deceit by which they hope to acquire and sustain political power.

    Alas, they have actually succeeded by it to an alarming extent.

    When their main architects, uh, ‘retired’, towards the close of the Bush Jr. administration (I need not mention them since everyone here knows full well who they are) an immediate and stunningly stupid expression of their legacy – quite probably the most grotesque in the history of American politics to that time – emerged as the reigns of strategy were handed over to their younger lackeys: and they gave John McCain Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

    They had not the foggiest clue how to keep the lie intact. It boiled over directly into absurd territory where everyone – even their own party regulars – could see it.

    Yet there is no indication most of them have learned why it hasn’t worked out: eight long years later, all the time puffing on the decrepit horn of racial bigotry, they have preserved and precipitated the conditions for something even more crazy: Drumpf as their candidate.

    And they have the monumental jackassery to be outraged at an insidious outcome which is a direct consequence of their ‘strategy’. They are exposed as the cowardly liars they are,..but not all of them know it yet. Most of them merely feel embarrassement.

    The only other thing they’ve been able to manage in the last 8 years is obstructing the due course of government…and their deception and tantrum-throwing is slowly dawning on even those slow-on-the-take supporters within the most impervious precincts of insolation of their own party (including its insidious offshoot branch known as ‘The Tea Party’) who have followed their lead. Even they have begun to realize they’ve been had – conditioned and brainwashed to hate the very government that the Grand Old Liar Party (GOLP) has largely been responsible for.

    To be sure, the Democrats ought to take a big lesson from the kind of monumental hubris involved with such clever strategy, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Their stupidity is, after all, second only to that of the GOLP, which is not much of an endorsement. It doesn’t much elevate them to compare them to colossal fools.

    I despair over any real prospect that a genuine ethic of statesmanship with authentically smart and capable people recognizing actual issues will ever grace the halls of Congress before this country mindlessly snuffs itself out of existence.

    Ah, but as a stalwart ‘idealist’, I am ever engaged in the fight and aim my votes to those that I see can potentially buy my country much needed time to find its way out of its insanity – not because I love my country so much as I love the world and the natural reality we are all compelled to operate in with some sense of honesty. What other choice is there? Throwing away my vote on a Green Party candidate with whom I might agree but hasn’t a chance in hell of gratifying my hopes?

    Note: I will continue to support Sanders – if nothing else – just to send a message to Hillary to wake up. But if she and her handlers and followers continue to ignore the fact that general polls show Sanders better able to trounce the Drumpf than she is, I can only conclude that such built-in self-delusion will one day ultimately cost the Democratic Party establishment as much as it has the GOLP under the Drumpf, and for exactly the same fundamental reason.

    This country needs a way to arrive at qualified statespersons to important government positions requiring leadership and actual wherewithal in the smarts department. What we’ve got now – and have had for far too long – is nothing but a cheap farce of a popularity contest…and its gotten cheaper with every election round. That. Sucks.

    Not because its a national disgrace and internationally embarrassing, but because its just plain dishonest and we don’t have any excuse for lying to ourselves by playing these idiotic games with our future in the gamble.

    “Oh! What a tangled web we weave
    when first we practice to deceive.”

  38. says

    Jeff W @38:

    he’s [Trump’s] open to the possibility of raising taxes on the rich

    No. Not really.

    Trump’s rhetoric on taxes should not be taken at face value.

    […] Pundits marveled at Trump’s willingness to embrace economic populism and challenge some of his party’s cherished assumptions – but none of it was true.

    When the Trump campaign outlined the candidate’s actual tax plan, it was a ridiculous, multi-trillion-dollar scheme that would slash taxes for the wealthy. A Tax Policy Center found that a low-income taxpayer would get about $128 from Trump’s plan, while those in the top 0.1% would get $1.3 million.

    Everyone who took Trump’s rhetoric at face value was misled. What the GOP candidate said and what he actually proposed were practically opposites. […]

    A lot of observers appear to have been misled by deceptive [recent] rhetoric, which is the same thing that happened in August when Trump talked about raising the wealthy’s taxes shortly before he proposed cutting the wealthy’s taxes. […]

    To get to the bottom on this, consider this exchange yesterday between Trump and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, which is the basis for much of the confusion:
    STEPHANOPOULOS: But bottom line, do you want taxes on the wealthy to go up or down?

    TRUMP: They will go up a little bit. And they may go up, you know…

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But they’re going down in your plan.

    TRUMP: No, no, in my plan they’re going down, but by the time it’s negotiated, they’ll go up.

    But what does that mean, exactly? The presumptive Republican nominee clarified on CNN this morning that he’s not proposing a tax increase on the wealthy. […] “Now, if I increase it on the wealthy, they’re still going to pay less than they pay now. I’m not talking about increasing from this point. I’m talking about increasing from my tax proposal.”

    It’s not easy to summarize the tax plans of candidates, nor is it easy to summarize what Trump says, in part because he changes what he says so often. The article at the link does a better job of explaining the situation than the excerpts I presented here.

    [.. ] 1. Trump has proposed, in writing, a multi-trillion-dollar tax plan that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest of the wealthy.

    2. When Trump talks about being open to taxes “going up a little bit” for the rich, he’s talking about changes relative to his written proposal. It’s a reference to the negotiations he expects to have with Congress, not a change from the status quo.

    3. For Trump, the debate is about the size of the tax break for the wealthy. He believes it should be a massive tax cut, but he’s open to accepting a slightly less massive tax cut. […]

    […] to say Trump has endorsed higher taxes on the wealthy is simply incorrect. […]

  39. says

    Jeff W @38

    [Trump is] in favor of a minimum wage on a state-by-state basis (which is close to what I see Clinton’s position as).

    No. Not really. See comment 32.

    Clinton’s position clearly calls for a federal minimum wage of $12 per hour, with support for states and cities that want to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. She supported the recent legislation in NY that has a sort of tiered system that raises the minimum wage over time, and that raises it to higher levels more quickly in areas where the cost of living is higher. That’s too nuanced for most people. But the main point is that she supports the existence of a federally-mandated minimum wage, and that the minimum should be raised.

    Trump made noises during the fall debates about NO federal minimum wage, none at all. He also said the federally-mandated minimum wage we have now ($7.25) is too high because it makes it hard to compete with third world countries. After saying that utter economically unsound crap, Trump emphasized that it was up each state to set a minimum wage on a state-by-state basis. That is not Clinton’s position, not even close.

  40. says

    Anchor @42, I agree with most of what you wrote.

    I do see signs of Clinton’s team not ignoring the polls showing Sanders’ popularity, and of not taking a win over Trump for granted. They are advertising in contested states again, and more importantly, they are spending the money and time to set up permanent offices (more than they have already) to run the ground game during general election season. “Take nothing for granted” should be their motto.

    Primary voting is taking place in West Virginia today. Sanders is expected to win.

  41. says

    Oh, this is reassuring. Not.

    “He doesn’t want to waste time on policy and thinks it would make him less effective on the stump,” the Trump source said. “It won’t be until after he is elected but before he’s inaugurated that he will figure out exactly what he is going to do and who he is going to try to hire.”

    Politico link.

    Meanwhile, Clinton offers details on 31 different issues, with policy proposals for each. Even more specific information is provided on climate change. Bernie Sanders also has an “Issues” page with details on 34 issues. Sanders and Clinton are real candidates for president. I would say that Trump is an empty suit excerpt that he is really a suit filled with a “populist” message of discrimination against immigrants; vague, china-bashing trade pronouncements; and fucking ignorance about fighting terrorism.

    Trump wants you to vote for him now and he’ll tell you later about his policy details. What that really means is that Trump does not have a policy agenda, and he doesn’t really know how the federal government works.

  42. says

    About the latest Quinnipiac poll which shows Clinton leading Trump very narrowly in Florida, and which shows Trump leading in Ohio and Pennsylvania … don’t freak out.

    As Steve Benen put it:

    […] (a) Quinnipiac’s sample shows the populations in each of these states becoming whiter and less diverse since 2012, which is the opposite of reality; (b) Quinnipiac’s recent track record has been underwhelming; and (c) at roughly this point in 2012, Quinnipiac showed Mitt Romney ahead in — you guessed it — Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, each of which President Obama won in the fall.

  43. says

    So much for self-financing. Trump is throwing that out the window.

    Donald J. Trump took steps to appropriate much of the Republican National Committee’s financial and political infrastructure for his presidential campaign on Monday, amid signs that he and the party would lag dangerously behind the Democrats in raising money for the general election.

    Mr. Trump, who by the end of March had spent around $40 million of his fortune on the primaries, has said that he may need as much as $1.5 billion for the fall campaign, but that he will seek to raise it from donors rather than continue to self-finance.

    The text excerpt is from the New York Times.

  44. says

    London’s newly-elected Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, says he is not interested in being one of the “exceptions” to Trump’s proposed ban (his “total and complete shutdown”) on Muslims entering the USA.

    Here’s what Trump said:

    “There will always be exceptions,” Mr. Trump said when asked in an interview on Monday how his proposed ban would affect London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. “I was happy to see that,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Khan’s election. “I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good.”

    Asked why, Mr. Trump said, “Because I think if he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.”

    Here’s what Khan said in reply:

    “This isn’t just about me – it’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world,” Khan said.

    “Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe – it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists. Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam – London has proved him wrong.”

    The Guardian link

  45. says

    Health care news:

    At a campaign stop Monday in Northern Virginia, Hillary Clinton reiterated her support for a government-run health plan in the insurance market, possibly by letting let Americans buy into Medicare, to stem the rise of health-care costs.

    “I’m also in favor of what’s called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said during a roundtable with local residents at the Mug’N Muffin coffee shop. “Which will take a lot of pressure off the costs.”

    Bloomberg link

    This stance on the “public option” moves Clinton one step closer to proposals floated by Sanders.

  46. says

    Donald Trump is less popular than lice, as Rachel Maddow showed with her presentation on recent national polling from PPP.

    In another segment, Rachel Maddow sussed out the source of Donald Trump’s latest mudslinging extravaganza against Hillary Clinton. Spoiler alert, Trump used the book of a totally wacko rightwing doofus as his source material for the pseudo-fact that Clinton tortured the women with whom Bill Clinton had affairs. Oh, FFS. Really, Trump? Vet your freaking sources for once. Amazing.

    The video is 8:47 long. Robert Morrow is also a local Republican Party chairperson. Roger Stone has also been making the bogus claim that Hillary Clinton “bullied and intimidated” other women.

  47. says

    Ah, Republicans. They are sneaky as ever. If they can’t lower the federal minimum wage across the continental USA, they will selectively lower it in, say, Puerto Rico.

    Puerto Rico needs some financial help from Congress, so of course Republicans in Congress took the opportunity to sneak minimum-wage-lowering amendments into the bill meant to solve Puerto Rico’s financial crisis.

    […] the Governor of Puerto Rico, subject to the approval of the Financial Oversight and Management Board established pursuant to section 101 of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, may designate a time period not to exceed five years during which employers in Puerto Rico may pay employees who are initially employed after the date of enactment of such Act a wage which is not less than $4.25 an hour.” […]

    The rightwing dunderhead who introduced that amendment is Sean Duffy, a representative from Wisconsin who is semi-famous for his stint on MTV’s “Real World.”

    Screw the poor whenever and wherever you can = Republican motto.

  48. says

    Black comedy, courtesy of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Buddy is suing a lot of people, including Senator Harry Reid; Reid’s son, Rory; U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro and President Obama. Buddy is demanding $50 million in damages.

    […] In the complaint, Bundy alleges Reid deployed “the equivalent of federal storm-troopers” to meet Bundy’s “peaceful cowboys” defending their grazing rights on public lands. The suit states the “invasion and armed assault” was intended to remove Bundy so Reid and his son could profit off the sale of the land to buyer “reported to be communist Chinese.”

    The complaint also suggests Navarro should recuse herself from the Nevada case, in part because “she is a Latino activist.” […] Larry Klayman, the conservative attorney who filed the lawsuit on Bundy’s behalf, also represents Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio […]

  49. says

    On her show “Full Frontal,” Samantha Bee detailed how “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are full of toxic bullshit.
    Media Matters link
    Video is available at the link.

    Excerpts from the transcript:

    SAMANTHA BEE (HOST): […] You mean the fake controversy made up by people who have now been indicted? Woman, have you lost your fucking mind? Ok. Much like Renee Unterman, crisis pregnancy centers may look sweet and helpful, but they’re really full of toxic bullshit. […]

    VICKI SAPORTA: A crisis pregnancy center is a fake abortion clinic. They spread these lies, hoping to frighten women and to persuade them not to go ahead with obtaining the abortion that they want. They create the illusion that they’re an abortion clinic by adopting names that are similar to abortion clinics. Adopting the same logos and fonts. They try to have women come in to have a free pregnancy test or a free ultrasound, and then their goal is to detain them.

    CHERISSE SCOTT: So, I ended up at a crisis pregnancy center after looking in the Yellow Pages. I chose that listing because it was the largest ad.

    SAPORTA: They locate next to an abortion clinic, sometimes in the same building. They con women into thinking they provide the full range of reproductive health care services, when they absolutely do not.

    SCOTT: I did feel like, when I was in the facility for the ultrasound, that I was talking to a real nurse, giving me real medical information about my body.

    SAPORTA: Most of these fake clinics do not have licensed medical staff. Women are often given false ultrasound results to make it seem like they’re much further on in their pregnancies than they really are. […]

    SCOTT: They gained my trust. I thought I was somewhere to have a procedure done. […]

    SAPORTA: They want women to believe that there are long-term negative consequences, like they won’t be able to have children, like they will suffer from post-abortion stress syndrome, or that they would have an increased risk of breast cancer. They make them wait hours for the results of a pregnancy test, which are pretty instantaneous in order to make them listen to sermons and hear their propaganda and false medical information.

    SCOTT: They got me to watch the video by telling me, we want to inform you about what an abortion is. It was a mixture of real women and animation. With the animation, they show the doctor going in with clamps to latch onto the baby’s head and pull the baby out. It was the scariest Loony Toon cartoon I’ve ever seen in my life. […]

    SCOTT: I ultimately decided to go ahead and have the baby because I didn’t want to chance not ever being able to have a baby. […]

    SCOTT: When it was difficult to get food stamps or when it was difficult to get his father on child support, they weren’t there. My son deserved to have a situation where he didn’t have to worry about his mother struggling to make the ends meet until I was able to figure it out. He deserved to be able to come into a loving situation. Not in a situation where I was confused because of a lie. I love my son, absolutely, but I’ll be very honest with you. If I could do this all over again, I would have an abortion.

    SAPORTA: There are more than twice as many fake clinics as there are legitimate abortion providers in the United States.[…]

    SAPORTA: Crisis pregnancy centers are an illusion.

    SCOTT: Crisis pregnancy centers are a complete hustle.

  50. says

    More news that connects Donald Trump to white nationalists:

    […] California’s secretary of state published a list of delegates chosen by the Trump campaign for the upcoming Republican presidential primary in the state. Trump’s slate includes William Johnson, one of the country’s most prominent white nationalists.

    […] In order to be approved he had to sign this pledge sent to him by the campaign: “I, William Johnson, endorse Donald J. Trump for the office of President of the United States. I pledge to cast ALL of my ballots to elect Donald J. Trump on every round of balloting at the 2016 Republican National Convention so that we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” After he signed, the Trump campaign added his name to the list of 169 delegates it forwarded to the secretary of state. […]

    Johnson leads the American Freedom Party, a group that “exists to represent the political interests of White Americans” and aims to preserve “the customs and heritage of the European American people.” […] Johnson tells Mother Jones. “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.”

    […] the GOP front-runner would have a hard time claiming ignorance of Johnson’s extreme views: Johnson has gained notice during the presidential primary for funding pro-Trump robocalls that convey a white nationalist message. “The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,'” Johnson says in one robocall pushed out to residential landlines in Vermont and Minnesota. “Donald Trump is not racist, but Donald Trump is not afraid. […]

    On multiple occasions, Trump has failed to forcefully repudiate this sort of support. […]

    The SPLC’s [Southern Poverty Law Center] says Trump has “legitimized and mainstreamed hate” in ways we haven’t seen since the days of George Wallace. […]

    Mother Jones link

    In 1985, Johnson published a book that called for abolishing the 14th and 15th Amendments, while simultaneously deporting all non-whites from the USA.

    […] “For many, many years, when I would say these things, other white people would call me names: ‘Oh, you’re a hatemonger, you’re a Nazi, you’re like Hitler,'” he confessed. “Now they come in and say, ‘Oh, you’re like Donald Trump.'”

  51. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Trump/Clinton general race has tightened up to a near coin flip. And Trump has only just started going Trump on Hillary.

    Hillary Clinton leads Trump 42-38, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 4% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2%.

    Buckle up for the next six months: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are effectively tied in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday.

  52. dianne says

    So, no surprise, Trump has a white nationalist as a delegate. At least one. That we know of. So far.

    But the reason I wanted to link this article was because the delegate in question once proposed a constitutional amendment to deport anyone with “non-white” ancestry. The money quote: “…all those more than one-eighth “Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood”.” Just ignore the injustice, stupidity, and pure evil in this proposal for a second and answer this question for me: To WHERE should American Indians be deported? They’re, you know, as native to the Americas as any Homo sapien can be. What is the man thinking? Never mind, don’t answer that question. I think I know.

  53. Nick Gotts says


    It was entirely predictable that the Clinton/Trump matchup would move Trump’s way in the wake of him effectively winning the nomination. In fact, I saw it predicted – can’t recall where. There’s no particular reason to think this shift will last. Whenever Clinton is confirmed as Democratic nominee, expect an equally temporary shift in the opposite direction.

  54. Nick Gotts says


    I agree completely with your point, but it’s Homo sapiens, whether singular or plural. Technically (and you are using technical vocabulary), the italics (or IIRC, underlining if italics are unavailable) are mandatory too.


  55. Nick Gotts says

    …and now I see I’ve given you an upper-case “D” when your nym doesn’t have one. This is an example of someone-or-other’s law, isn’t it? Apologies!

  56. Nick Gotts says

    Using the excuse that Bianca Jagger is a human rights activist, I will record here that I dreamed last night she had been shot dead in the street, with a political motive suspected. I’d say I never think about Bianca Jagger unless she’s in the news, and not much then. I am of course not expecting, let alone hoping, that this event will occur – indeed, I’m hoping to have made a record of a falsified “precognitive” dream.

  57. dianne says

    Nick, I think that there’s a rule on the internet that if you correct someone’s grammar/usage you are required to make at least one mistake yourself. I don’t mind people correcting me, since I have my own areas of pedantry, specifically the “its”/”it’s” distinction. For some reason, I inevitably read “it’s” as “it is” and it makes a big mess of sentences where “it’s” is being misused as a possessive. Also, you’re entirely right about the species and genus name.

    That being said, I still want to know where Trump’s delegate thinks he can deport Amerind people to.

  58. dianne says

    I’m hoping to have made a record of a falsified “precognitive” dream.

    (Checks newspapers.) So far so good.

    Incidentally, I’m curious about what people use for news sources. I realized recently that my primary sources are non-US based (The Guardian, The Economist, Der Spiegel, al Jazeera) and that I only go to the NYT when I want to know what the US media wants us to think is going on.

  59. Saad says

    Not sure why people think finding new connections to white supremacists will decrease Trump’s support.

  60. Dunc says

    I still want to know where Trump’s delegate thinks he can deport Amerind people to.

    Amerindia, of course!

  61. dianne says

    @Saad: Unfortunately, I think it may be starting to make Trump more attractive to certain parties. He’s “saying what we’re afraid to” and all that. Some of it may be backlash against Obama who, after all, failed to…actually, I’m not sure what Obama is supposed to have failed to do. He got the economy out of the Bush recession, he built the health care system he promised, he didn’t take anyone’s guns away or illegalize whiteness or any of those other things the conservatives claimed he was going to. Okay, there are things he could have done better, IMHO, and I don’t think he ever earned that Nobel, but as presidents go, we’ve seen worse. Far worse. Recently.

    Perhaps the anger comes from the fact that he was successful and competent. That probably only makes the racists angrier.

  62. quotetheunquote says

    I agree completely with your point, but it’s Homo sapiens, whether singular or plural. Technically (and you are using technical vocabulary), the italics (or IIRC, underlining if italics are unavailable) are mandatory too.

    Along the same lines, the question @57 should really be “Whither should the American Indians be deported?”
    (smileyface smileyface smileyface please don’t hit me!)

    Agree with Saad’s point @64, I really do not think there is any way that more such connections can lose Trump any ground.

  63. dianne says

    (Reaches through the internet to slap quote the unquote.)

    Also, I’ve heard it claimed that ending a sentence with a preposition has been acceptable in English since Winston Churchill said, “That is a situation up with which I shall not put.” But, as Abe Lincoln pointed out, that’s probably one of the 84.37% of quotes on the internet that are made up on the spot and/or misattributed.

  64. says

    Here’s an update on primary election results from yesterday.

    Sanders won in West Virginia with 51.4% of the vote. Clinton got 35.8%. After proportional allocation of delegates, Sanders was awarded 18 delegates, and Clinton was awarded 11. Clinton now has 2,240 delegates and Sanders has 1,472.

    On the Republican side, Trump won in West Virginia with 77% of the vote (as expected since he is the only remaining Republican in the race). Trump now has 1,135 delegates of the 1,237 he needs for the nomination. West Virginia was a winner-take-all state for Republicans, so Trump got all 34 delegates.

    There was also a Republicans-only primary in Nebraska, which Trump won with 61.4% of the vote.

  65. says

    Another scary example of how Trump thinks:

    I don’t, you know—I like not to regret anything. You do things and you say things. And what I said, frankly, is what I said. And some people like what I said, if you want to know the truth. There are many people that like what I said. You know after I said that, my poll numbers went up seven points.

    He was referring to the time that he said he prefers people who don’t get caught when asked about John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war.

  66. says

    Saad @67, in reference to an NC school district prompting kids to carry pepper spray to use against transgender students in bathrooms: Yes, totally disgusting. As one wag noted: “”We need a moratorium on public bathrooms altogether until we get this figured out.”

    From Out of 600,000 students in 17 school districts with protection policies in place for transgender students, there have been 0 reported incidents of anything bad happening.

    As for the news about another white nationalist enlisting for Trump, I predict that Trump will get 100% of the white supremacist vote.

  67. says

    In other Trump news: he says he will not release his tax returns before the November election. Of course, he also says there is nothing to learn from them, and that voters don’t care about his tax returns.

    Trump did say that he gets audited “every year,” which is strange if there is nothing wrong or nothing to hide. The IRS does not audit people year after year without cause. Trump also said the audits are “unfair.”

    There’s nothing to learn from the tax returns of this yugely wealthy man campaigning for president on a platform of his own wealth and success? People aren’t interested to know how much money he has—is it as much as he claims, or a fraction of that as many observers suggest—or what tax rate he pays, or how much he gives to charity? But hey, The Donald has read the minds of the voters and found that their views are happily in line with what’s convenient for him, and who am I to question?


    Meanwhile, a few decades of Hillary Clinton’s tax returns are in the public domain.

    Sanders released his 2014 tax returns on April 15.

  68. says

    After Paul Ryan failed to immediately and enthusiastically endorse DonaldTrump, Trump said he might ask Ryan to step down as chairman of the Republican National Convention. But that was yesterday’s news. Today, Trump said he would be delighted if the House Speaker stayed on as chairman. Paul Ryan might have whiplash by now. He still has not endorsed Trump.

    As to the question of who will chair the RNC, I don’t care.

  69. says

    Trump’s plan for the Supreme Court:

    I will protect [life] and the biggest way you can protect it is through the Supreme Court and putting people in the court. And actually the biggest way you can protect it, I guess, is by electing me president. […] I will appoint judges that will be pro-life, yes.

    Trump was replying to a question from a Fox News viewer who asked him to “name one specific thing he would do to protect the sanctity of human life.”

    If you are planning to appoint “pro-life” judges, then you are partnering with rightwing forces that plan to interfere with, that plan to roll back, women’s reproductive rights.

  70. says

    Rachel Maddow made the point that resistance to Donald Trump from Republicans is largely a figment of beltway imagination.

    Rachel Maddow points out that contrary to dramatic reports about the Republican Party being conflicted about the nomination of Donald Trump for the presidency, and so-called party leaders objecting to Trump’s message and influence, Republican support for Trump, including from party leaders, remains robust.

    Video is 14 minutes long.

  71. says

    The Democratic Party in Nebraska is all kinds of messed up. If you follow this thread, you know that Sanders won the caucus in Nebraska in March. But now, Clinton is winning the primary. Daft!?

    Journalists who are trying to be kind, call the Nebraska arrangement “unusual”. Link to explanation. The video is two minutes long.

  72. says

    This is a correction to comment 73. Fifteen years of Hillary Clinton’s tax returns are online.

    This is a followup to comment 73:

    […] In January 2012, Trump told Greta Van Sustren that Romney “was hurt really very badly” by his initial refusal to release his tax returns. He advised Romney to “release them now.”

    Romney released his 2010 return and a summary of his 2011 return later that month. After Romney released his full 2011 tax return in September, Trump praised Romney for releasing his returns and said they were “very honorably done.” Although Trump now claims no one is interested in reviewing tax returns, he said he personally reviewed Romney’s, calling them “absolutely beautiful and perfect.” […]

    Think Progress link

    What’s driving Trump’s reluctance to release his returns? One possibility is that the underlying rationale for Trump’s candidacy is that he’s a highly successful businessman and he will make “great deals” for America. As proof, Trump mostly relies on a single page report listing his assets that he claims proves he’s worth over $10 billion.

    That document, however, is easily manipulated because it relies on Trump assigning values to nebulous assets — including his own “brand” at over $3 billion. (A subsequent financial disclosure Trump filed with the FEC only lists broad ranges of values for assets.)

    Tax returns, however, are not as easily manipulated. They could show that Trump is much less wealthy than he claims. One imagines that if Trump’s returns validated his business success he’d be eager to release them. […]

  73. says

    Yay! This is good news for a change, and it is good news for women’s reproductive rights:

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law Tuesday yielding the most expansive insurance coverage for contraception in the country. By eliminating most co-pays and all prescriptions for birth control, demanding coverage for up to 13 months of birth control at a time, and shedding costs for vasectomies, the law pushes Maryland to the forefront of the national movement to expand contraception access.

    “Family planning is essential for women’s rights and cost is a factor in family planning,” said state Delegate Ariana Kelly, who sponsored the House bill. […]

    Unlike insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which already covers co-pay costs for prescription birth control, the Maryland law also requires state health insurance plans to cover vasectomies, the morning-after pill, and non-generic birth control drugs that may offer less side effects.

    It’s the first law in the country to demand this kind of expansive coverage from insurers. […]

    Though Maryland’s law had bipartisan support in the state, some conservatives argued that contraception isn’t a health care priority, citing their religious beliefs.

    “The Catholic Church is not in favor of artificial birth control or in vitro fertilization,” said Republican Sen. Ed Reilly. “But health insurance is supposed to be designed to treat sickness or illness. Vasectomies and birth control aren’t either. You’re interrupting a normal healthy program that a person goes through.” […]


    Boy oh boy, the Catholic Church and some Republican senators are totally clueless. For one thing, birth control is a critical health issue.

  74. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    dianne @69,

    Don’t end a sentence with a preposition if you’re speaking Latin.

    It’s been done in English since before English was English (and it’s a common feature of Germanic languages in general).

  75. says

    This is a followup to comments 17 and 49.

    The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, offered to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump.
    Politico link.

    London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan Wednesday promised to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump in November’s presidential election — insisting the race for the White House was now “personal.” […]

  76. says

    Trump has decided that Bernie Sanders needs a Trumpian nickname, “Crazy Bernie.” Along with “Crooked Hillary,” Trump now has the Democratic field covered, playground bully style. Trump also recently gave Elizabeth Warren a nickname: “Goofy Elizabeth.”

    Warren called him out on his lack of imagination: “Really? That’s the best you could come up with? Come on. I thought Donald Trump said he was a guy who was good with words.”

    It made me laugh when The Donald claimed to have “the best words.”

  77. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    in reference to an NC school district prompting kids to carry pepper spray to use against transgender students in bathrooms:

    I was waiting for this to backfire spectacularly. Where someone takes the NC advice to take pepper spray with them to the ladies room, then sprays one of the vigilantes stalking women’s bathrooms to protect girls from TGs.
    I know that wouldn’t work out for the pepper sprayer, yet disgust at the vigilante rationale, momentarily took precedence.

  78. starfleetdude says

    If Sanders tries to convince super delegates to support him because he won in West Virginia, the exit polls there indicated that 35% of those who voted for him were planning to vote for Trump in the general election. Take those voters away and Clinton could have won. I hope Sanders isn’t banking on cross-over voters to win more primaries, because it would be seen as a very unfair tactic by Clinton’s supporters.

  79. says

    Many Republicans in Texas continue to push for that state to secede from the USA.

    […] On Wednesday, the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party voted to put a Texas independence resolution up for a vote at this week’s GOP convention, according to a press release from the pro-secession Texas Nationalist Movement. The resolution calls for allowing voters to decide whether the Lone Star State should become an independent nation. […]

    The Texas Nationalist Movement, once considered a quixotic fringe group, has added hundreds of members in the years since the election of Barack Obama. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Dylan Baddour, at least 10 county GOP chapters are coming to the convention supporting independence resolutions. But this will be the first time in the state’s 171-year history that they will actually vote on one. […]


  80. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Another CTR talking point bites the dust:

    Clinton and her team have made a point of not describing the FBI’s work as an “investigation,” but alternately as a “security review” or “security inquiry.” They’ve also noted that the issue was referred to the FBI not as a criminal matter but as an intelligence breach.

    However, in response to a question Wednesday, Comey said he wasn’t familiar with the term “security inquiry” that Clinton and her aides have used. The FBI chief said he considers the work agents are doing to be an “investigation.”

    “It’s in our name. I’m not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry’,'” the director said.

  81. MassMomentumEnergy says

    So this article an article about Trump, Grant, and fascism made me think of this quote:

    “I am a damned sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I’ll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn’t give a damn about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell.”

    William Tecumseh Sherman

    Which made me think deeper on the commonality between Grant and Trump.

    Now there are huge differences between the two: Grant won the freaking Civil War while Trump just slapped his name on crappy products, Grant has a bitchin’ beard while Trump wears a muskrat on his head, Grant was a lush and Trump is a teetotaler, etc.

    But there is an interesting parallel: both operated in the moment without a care for what happened in the past or the future repercussions of their current actions. For Grant that meant he was able to send thousands to their deaths even though he had already ground many more into the bloody field. For Trump it means that he doesn’t care what he has said before or how what he is currently saying will play in retrospect. He just rolls with the fight at hand and does a pretty damn good job of it (look to his recent tussle with Cuomo). Since this election has shown a significant chunk of the electorate has the attention span of a meth addled ferret and makes no effort to research candidates, Trump could do surprisingly well bullying his way from fight to fight. If all anyone sees of him is his smacking his opponents around, they will think he is a tough strongman that will get things done and change the system. Too bad that the reality is he will likely challenge Grant for worst president ever. But don’t underestimate his ability to fight the fight in front of him well enough and consistently enough to win the war through bloody attrition.

  82. MassMomentumEnergy says

    So this article:

    Made me think of this quote:

    “I am a damned sight smarter man than Grant. I know more about military history, strategy, and grand tactics than he does. I know more about supply, administration, and everything else than he does. I’ll tell you where he beats me though and where he beats the world. He doesn’t give a damn about what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell.”

    William Tecumseh Sherman

    Which made me think deeper on the commonality between Grant and Trump.

    Now there are huge differences between the two: Grant won the freaking Civil War while Trump just slapped his name on crappy products, Grant has a rockin’ beard while Trump wears a muskrat on his head, Grant was a lush and Trump is a teetotaler, etc.

    But there is an interesting parallel: both operated in the moment without a care for what happened in the past or the future repercussions of their current actions. For Grant that meant he was able to send thousands to their deaths even though he had already ground many more into the bloody field. For Trump it means that he doesn’t care what he has said before or how what he is currently saying will play in retrospect. He just rolls with the fight at hand and does a pretty damn good job of it (look to his recent tussle with Cuomo). Since this election has shown a significant chunk of the electorate has the attention span of a meth addled ferret and makes no effort to research candidates, Trump could do surprisingly well bullying his way from fight to fight. If all anyone sees of him is his smacking his opponents around, they will think he is a tough strongman that will get things done and change the system. Too bad that the reality is he will likely challenge Grant for worst president ever. But don’t underestimate his ability to fight the fight in front of him well enough and consistently enough to win the war through bloody attrition.

  83. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Former NSA director Hayden:

    I would lose respect for scores of foreign intelligence services around the world if they were not already thumbing through all the emails that were kept on that server.


  84. says

    Donald Trump is catching a lot of flak about his tax plan. His response is to hire “some of the best people” to fix it up.

    As Paul Krugman put it, Donald the Doofus resorted to a “send in the clowns” strategy instead, with the clowns being Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore.

    […] Kudlow is to economics what William Kristol is to political strategy: if he says something, you know it’s wrong. When he ridiculed “bubbleheads” who thought overvalued real estate could bring down the economy, you should have rushed for the bomb shelters […]

    And then there’s Moore, who has a similarly awesome forecasting record, and adds to it an impressive lack of even minimal technical competence. Seriously: read the CJR report on his mess-up over job numbers:

    Abouhalkah discovered that Moore’s numbers did not match those of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In fact, Moore later acknowledged, he was using BLS numbers not from “the last five years” but from an earlier five-year period: December 2007 to December 2012. […]

    In any case, Abouhalkah found, Moore’s numbers were wrong even for 2007-12, in ways that complicated the “low taxes = more jobs” message.

    Texas did not gain 1 million jobs in the 2007-2012 period Moore measured. The correct figure was a gain of 497,400 jobs.

    Florida did not add hundreds of thousands of jobs in that span. It actually lost 461,500 jobs.

    New York, with [its] very high income tax rates, did not lose jobs during that time. It gained 75,900 jobs. […]

    Of course, Moore remains the chief economist at Heritage. And maybe Trump believes that this is a certificate of quality, that anyone in that position must be a real expert.

    Truly, Donald Trump, you know nothing.

    To name just one problem with Trump’s tax plan: it added $10 trillion to the deficit.

    I don’t think Kudlow and Moore can fix it.

  85. says

    Rachel Maddow expertly skewered Trump for the tap dancing and squirming around Trump has engaged in when it comes to his infamous policies like banning Muslims from entering the USA.

    – the Muslim ban was “just a suggestion” (no it wasn’t, you wrote it down, published it online and in print, and repeated it hundreds of times)

    – self-funding his campaign (never was really true, and is certainly not true now)

    – lowering and/or raising taxes on rich people (really only lowering taxes for the rich, the question is just by how much)

    – Trump said last fall that releasing tax returns is a good thing, and in 2012 he said Romney screwed himself when he didn’t do that right away (oh, wait, Trump is not releasing tax returns at all)

    etc., etc.

    Now Trump is in Washington D.C. meeting with Paul Ryan and other Congress critters, followed by meetings with some Republican senators. So far, the news is that the Congress critters were pleasantly surprised that Trump did not swagger in and start lecturing and blustering. I smell a con job.

  86. wzrd1 says

    Not too many sites want to sponsor the auction of a known murder weapon, especially from such a notorious specimen of low life humanity as him.

  87. says

    This is a followup to comments 32 and 44.

    [On Tuesday May 10,] Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said that the presumptive GOP nominee believes there should be no federal minimum wage and that states should be allowed “to choose what the minimum wage should be in their respective states.” […]

    Trump himself has taken multiple and conflicting positions on the minimum wage.

    Back in August, Trump came out against an increase in the minimum wage because “having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country”

    Then, during a debate in November, Trump said he opposed efforts to raise the minimum wage because wages are “too high” and “we have to leave it the way it is.” One month later, he denied ever saying that wages are too high.

    On May 8, Trump said he would “like to see an increase of some magnitude” in the minimum wage but that he doesn’t want the federal government to set a minimum wage floor and instead wants to “let the states decide,” even though eliminating the federal standard would let the minimum wage fall in several states. […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  88. says

    Fox news and other rightwing media sources have decided to give Trump a pass when it comes to tax returns; they don’t seem to mind all that much that a presidential candidate will not release tax returns.

    Laura Ingraham blasted Romney for not releasing tax returns, but thinks its okay if Trump doesn’t release his.

    Lou Hobbs said, “Why Should [Trump] Turn Over His Tax Returns When He Is Being Audited?”

    Fox’s Lisa Kennedy Montgomery says, “I really don’t get the fetish with Trump’s tax returns.”

    Nixon was finally pressured into releasing his in the 70’s and we found out that he paid about 0.8% in taxes. That was the real origin of the “I am not a crook” statement for which we remember Nixon. The IRS audited him and then required him to pay about half a million in back taxes. After that, Ford released his tax returns. Every candidate for president since 1976 has released tax returns.

    Trump is currently suspected of dealing with the mob and with mob-connected people. He is suspected of wildly inflating both his wealth and his business success. Ditto for contributions he makes to charity. Let’s see those tax returns.

    Trump claims he doesn’t want to release tax returns because he is under audit. When Trump applied for a casino license, he was under audit. He nevertheless supplied all the tax returns requested at the time.

    CNN reported that “Trump has handed over tax returns in the midst of audits before — to state gambling officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as part of the process of seeking casino licenses in those states,” noting, “At least some of the federal and state tax returns he gave Pennsylvania were the subject of ongoing audits at the time.” CNN reported that though “Trump insists he won’t release his tax returns … because those returns are the subject of ongoing Internal Revenue Service audits … When he’s had casinos on the line, it’s been a different story.”

    Media Matters link

  89. says

    @93 and 94, Yeah, no one wants to help Zimmerman raise money by selling that gun. In fact the Smithsonian Institution took the trouble to debunk Zimmerman’s claim that they had expressed interest in buying the gun.

    We have never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums.

    Zimmerman’s auction page for the 9mm pistol claimed the D.C. museum was among several places that wanted to buy it, “but the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with.”

  90. says

    “It’s a fact that unemployment has gone down and the stock market has gone up during the Obama administration,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But GOP voters treat these things more as issues of opinion than issues of fact.”

    Oh, FFS. How are we ever going to dissuade Republicans to stop pushing trickle-down economics and tax breaks for the rich if they are so immune to facts?

    There continues to be a lot of misinformation about what has happened during Obama’s time in office. 43% of voters think the unemployment rate has increased while Obama has been President, to only 49% who correctly recognize that it has decreased. And 32% of voters think the stock market has gone down during the Obama administration, to only 52% who correctly recognize that it has gone up.

    In both cases Democrats and independents are correct in their understanding of how things have changed since Obama became President, but Republicans claim by a 64/27 spread that unemployment has increased and by a 57/27 spread that the stock market has gone down. […]

    Public Policy Polling link, PDF.

    […]The data from Public Policy Polling offers a great example. Respondents were asked, “Do you think the unemployment rate has increased or decreased since Barack Obama became president?” By more than a two-to-one margin, Republicans said the jobless rate has gone up. For Democrats, the results were a mirror image in the other direction. […]

    Steve Benen’s analysis.

  91. says

    Uh-oh. Bad news for health care. Some Republicans will just not give up when it comes to trying to damage or gut the Affordable Care Act. And now a federal judge has sided with one of the latest efforts.

    […] Judge Rosemary Collyer said a provision of the law provides money to insurance companies that was never appropriated by Congress, violating the Constitution’s declaration that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

    The provision at issue compensates insurance companies when they reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low income people covered under Obamacare. The government provides payments directly to Blue Cross, Aetna, and other companies. […]

    MSNBC News link to a story by Pete Williams.

    An appeal has been filed, so Judge Collyer’s ruling is on hold for now.

    Steve Benen analyzed to potential damaging effects if the ruling is upheld:

    […] Much of the federal spending associated with the ACA goes to subsidizing insurance, but some of the costs go towards “cost-sharing reductions” to help families with their deductibles and co-payments. The reform law caps how much low-income consumers have to pay for these health expenses, reimbursing part of the costs to the insurance companies.

    If Republicans succeed in scrapping these subsidies, struggling families will have a much tougher time paying for their medical care.

    House Republicans have argued that this is less about hurting Americans on purpose and more about the Obama administration using funds that weren’t explicitly allocated by Congress, which is illegal. The White House argues that the expenditures were “so tightly woven into the way Obamacare works that the appropriation was obvious, when the law is read as a whole.” […]

    Judge Collyer, a Bush/Cheney appointee, nevertheless accepted congressional Republicans’ argument.

  92. says

    Anthony Peter Senecal worked as Donald Trump’s butler for thirty years. Birds of a feather, I guess. Here Anthony Senecal’s latest Facebook post:

    To all my friends on FB, just a short note to you on our pus headed “president” !!!! This character who I refer to as zero (0) should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term !!!!! Instead he still remains in office doing every thing he can to gut the America we all know and love !!!!!

    Now comes Donald J Trump to put an end to the corruption in government !!!! The so called elite, who are nothing but common dog turds from your front lawn are shaking in their boots because there is a new Sheriff coming to town, and the end to their corruption of the American people (YOU) is at hand !!!!

    I cannot believe that a common murder is even allowed to run (killery clinton) OR that a commie like bernie is a also allowed to also run !!!!

    Come on America put your big boy pants on—this election you have a choice—GET YOUR ASS OUT AND VOTE !!!! Thank you !!!!

    Mother Jones link.

    There are no paragraph breaks in the original but I inserted a few to make it easier to read.

  93. says

    This is a followup to comment 100. The Secret Service is investigating Trump’s racist, misogynistic butler.

    […] the U.S. Secret Service announced that they would investigate Anthony Senecal, Donald Trump’s longtime butler and in-house “historian” who ranted that President Obama should be hanged for “treason!!!”

    “The U.S. Secret Service is aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation,” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback emailed The Daily Beast. (Threatening the life of the president is a federal crime.)

    Along with thinking Obama should be executed, Senecal thinks Hillary Clinton is a “LYING DECEIVING C**T !!!!!!!” and that Ferguson, Missouri, should be “carpet bombed.” His Facebook page also shows support for Confederate imagery, and that he often uses the term “negroes.” He also called on his boss (and prefered presidential candidate) to “arrest and charge Beyoncé and Jay Z for ‘Providing Material Support for Terrorism.’” […]

    The Daily Beast link

  94. says

    This a followup to comments 92, 93, 94, and 97.

    George Zimmerman’s gun auction is back online.

    George Zimmerman has moved the auction of the 9mm handgun he used to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin to another website after could not handle the web traffic.

    The 32-year-old Florida man told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday afternoon that the gun auction website was not “prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm. It has now been placed with another auction house.”

    The gun now appears for-sale on, with the original listing duplicated to include the $5,000 starting bid.

    Not going to link to United Gun Group.

  95. wzrd1 says

    He sure wants a lot of money for a used gun, usually, one gets well under retail value for a used firearm.

  96. komarov says

    Re: #97

    Zimmerman’s auction page for the 9mm pistol claimed the D.C. museum was among several places that wanted to buy it, “but the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with.”

    Emphasis mine. Unfortunately there is no indication as to what Zimmerman would be ‘uncomfortable with’, yet I simply must know! What, in Hades’ name, could that possibly be, given the history of this ‘American icon’ and its illustrious owner?

    Thanks for keeping track of it all, Lynna. Makes my blood boil but, nonetheless, thank you.

  97. MassMomentumEnergy says

    George Zimmerman has moved the auction of the 9mm handgun he used to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin to another website after could not handle the web traffic.

    George is a liar. Gunbroker is a much bigger site with much more bandwidth than whatever third rate knockoff he is at now.

    Oh, and Gunbroker says they canceled it because they didn’t want his stank on them.

    But the site shut the auction down promptly after it began. “Mr. Zimmerman never contacted anyone at prior to or after the listing was created and no one at has any relationship with Zimmerman,” said in a statement. “Our site rules state that we reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing. We want no part in the listing on our web site or in any of the publicity it is receiving.”

  98. wzrd1 says

    That anyone would bid such a high price for a cheap handgun is very telling about racism in this country.
    Personally, if I buy a handgun, I pay the fair market value for a used one or look for a good deal on a new one, I’m not interested in a firearm with any specific history behind it. As an example, if I’ve long been tempted to purchase a P-08 Luger, but I’m not interested if it ever saw battle or any specific battle, I’m tempted purely out of admiration of the design and workmanship put into that weapon. For other models, the desire to purchase them would be purely from a marksmanship perspective, so accuracy, tighter tolerances and reliability would be the perspective I’d be seeking.
    Having a firearm that was involved in taking a human life never enters into the equation, indeed, if anything, it’d likely deter me from purchasing it, as I’d be reminded each time I saw or fired it that it had been used to claim a human life.
    But then, I’ve had more than my fill of that in the wars.

    Honestly, I hope he gets precisely zero bidders and plenty of loathing e-mails. Alas, I doubt my hope would occur.

  99. says

    During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, Donald Trump would call various media outlets to publicize himself. He pretended to be “John Miller,” or “John Barron” who were, supposedly, public relations men for Trump. As a fake public relations man, Trump would brag about his money and his success with women.

    The Washington Post has a recording of one of those calls. When Trump was interviewed on the Today Show this morning he denied the whole thing:

    It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that. It was not me on the phone. Let’s go on to more current subjects.

    Oh, yeah, the “John Miller” voice sounds exactly like Trump. And, Trump testified in one court case that he used the name “John Miller” on occasion.

    Daily Kos link. Scroll down for the audio file of Trump pretending to be John Miller.

  100. says

    Donald Trump is mad at Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon. Bezos owns the Washington Post, the source of the recordings of Trump pretending to be “John Miller.” See comment 109.

    Trump is now threatening Bezos with vaguely-worded tax fraud accusations, and with an anti-trust suit.

    […] Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions and I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.

    He’s worried about me. He thinks I would go after him for antitrust because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much.

    Bezos bought the Washington Post for practically nothing and he’s using that as a tool for political power against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it.

    The whole system is rigged. He’s using The Washington Post, which is peanuts, he’s using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust.

    The quoted text is excerpted from an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

    The Washington Post denies the accusations:

    Martin Baron, the Washington Post’s executive editor, on Friday morning denied that the newsroom takes direction from Bezos.

    “As the individual who oversees The Washington Post’s news staff, I can say categorically that I have received no instructions from Jeff Bezos regarding our coverage of the presidential campaign — or, for that matter, any other subject,”[…]

    Not presidential, Mr. Trump, not presidential at all.

  101. says

    More coverage of Trump pretending to be John Miller.

    In other news, here’s a followup on the Zimmerman gun auction story. (Comments 92, 93, 94, 97, 102, 105, and 106.)

    Bidding in an online auction for the pistol former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin appeared to have been hijacked by fake accounts posting astronomically high bids.

    At one point early Friday, the bidding surpassed $65 million with the leading bidder using the screen name “Racist McShootFace.” […]

    Other screen names of bidders on the site included “Donald Trump,” ”shaniqua bonifa” and “Tamir Rice,” the name of a black 12-year-old who was shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2014 while playing with a pellet gun. […]

    Zimmerman’s listing said a portion of the proceeds would go toward fighting what Zimmerman calls violence by the Black Lives Matter movement against law enforcement officers, combatting anti-gun rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and ending the career of state attorney Angela Corey, who led Zimmerman’s prosecution. […]


  102. says

    The Koch brothers are using their money and their lawyers to back professors willing to spread rightwing policies.

    “Economic freedom centers” — or institutes with conservative, libertarian missions that are backed by the Charles Koch Foundation — are tightly controlled by the interests of the conservative foundation, according to remarks from Koch-backed professors and executives at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.

    The remarks were recorded by UnKoch My Campus, a group that focuses on the influence of powerful donors on research and coursework in universities, and shared by Greenpeace staff. At the event, Koch-backed professors and Charles Koch Foundation executives said that students act as “foot soldiers” for free enterprise ideals, deans will take money from anyone, and the slightest mention of the foundation’s legal team can bring universities back in line. […]

    Think Progress link

    More details at the link.

  103. says

    The LA Times endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

    In other news, the Obama administration sent a tough message to public schools that directs those schools to allow transgender students to go to the bathrooms that match their gender identity. Mother Jones link

  104. says

    Rightwing whackitude in full flower: Tony Perkins claims that government employees view porn because President Obama “has interjected sex into any and everything.”

    Uh … what now?

    Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, invited Rep. Mark Meadows to his “Washington Watch” program on Wednesday to discuss a recent report alleging that there are “unbelievable” amounts of child pornography on the computers of employees of U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, which gave Meadows an opportunity to discuss a bill he has introduced trying to block porn on government computers.

    Perkins, who has linked the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to everything from suicides to sexual assaults to the Secret Service prostitution scandal, was quick to draw a line between porn viewing by government employees and the Obama administration’s having “interjected sex into any and everything.”

    After Meadows told Perkins that along with harming the individuals involved, the porn “creates an unhealthy workplace” for everybody, Perkins responded:

    Well, and a good example of this is in the military, where I was just reading a story in the Army Times where they’re suggesting that upwards of 20 percent of those in the military are addicted to online pornography. But then, we’ve seen how this administration has interjected sex into any and everything and, in particular, the military, where sexual assaults are going through the roof. Now, there are a number of factors that come into play there, but certainly this has to be part of it.


  105. says

    More unsourced mud slinging is aimed at the Clintons:

    A New York Post cover story that has been highlighted on Fox News claimed that the Clinton Global Initiative “doled out” $2 million to a company partly owned by a woman the paper insinuated is “rumored” to be Bill Clinton’s mistress. The foundation did not actually give money to the firm, and the rumors in question come from a single anonymous source in the National Enquirer. […]

    From Fox and Friends:

    STEVE DOOCY: Donald Trump, Wall Street Journal did a story yesterday and it’s the cover of the New York Post today where it talks about a “blond bombshell.” Apparently the Clinton charity has committed $2 million to Energy Pioneer Solutions, a company owned in part by this woman right here, a woman by the name of Julie McMahon, who describes herself as “a close personal friend of Bill Clinton,” lives in Chappaqua, not far from the Clintons, and apparently she has denied repeatedly being romantically involved, but she is the woman who has been rumored to have been dubbed the “Energizer bunny” by the Secret Service in Ron Kessler’s book The First Family Detail. And he says, “You don’t stop her, you don’t approach her, you just let her go in” and apparently she has timed her arrivals and departures to Hillary’s schedule. I’m wondering if you’d like to weigh in on this blond bombshell story.

    DONALD TRUMP: Well, I know it’s a rough story, and a lot of people know about it. People have been talking about it for a couple of years. And, you know, that’s right next to my golf club, I have a great club up there, Trump national golf club, right literally a few minutes away. And people have been talking about that for years. I have no idea what went on. I certainly don’t.


    Much more at the link. The story is in heavy rotation on most rightwing media sources. Many of the details and the emphasis on the story come from Ron Kessler, a Trump proponent.

  106. says

    Officials in Mexico are fed up with Donald Trump.

    Mexican officials are pursuing a counteroffensive to Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, reaching out to U.S. business leaders, looking at ways to better use social media, and even encouraging qualified Mexicans to get U.S. citizenship. […]

    José Paulo Carreño King, Mexico’s new undersecretary for North America, said […] the decision that Mexico needs to boost its image came after the country, which was being pummeled by Trump but trying to stay restrained, commissioned a series of polls and focus groups in the U.S. late last year.

    “What we found out is, again, that the image in general terms of Mexico was quite undervalued or more specifically out of date,” he said. “The image of the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans was damaged and undervalued. And there was no clear image of the importance of the bilateral relationship. That’s when the Mexican government decided that, again, we need to do something.”

    There are several public signs of a shift in Mexico’s posture toward Trump, a man many in the Latin American country call “El Payaso” — “The Clown.”

    The Mexican embassy in Washington on Thursday issued a sharp statement announcing that Carlos Sada Solana had assumed his role as the country’s new ambassador to the United States and that his “clear and precise” mandate is to defend the interests of Mexico and Mexicans. […]

    Politico link

  107. says

    Rachel Maddow appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Scroll down to view the video on the Daily Beast site.

    […] I don’t understand why there’s so much focus on the Republicans like splitting over Donald Trump or being in crisis over Donald Trump,” Maddow said, referring to the presumptive nominee’s big meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. “A new record was just set for a Republican candidate for president receiving more votes than anybody else has ever received in a Republican primary, and it was Donald Trump who set that record and there are six more states to go.”

    “They’ve never voted more for a Republican candidate for president than they have voted for Donald Trump,” she added. “That’s not the sign of a party divided.” […]

  108. says

    MassMomentumEnergy @118, the Wall Street Journal article leads back to a single anonymous source reported by the National Enquirer. Some media sources cite a RadarOnline article, an article that aggregates the National Enquirer story.

    The National Enquirer story spread rumor[s] that were subsequently reported by the gossip site RadarOnline. The National Enquirer story originally came from Ronald Kessler’s book The First Family Detail.

    The Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets, picked the story up without adding additional, reliable sourcing. Here’s some background on Kessler, the well from which this bogus gossip was drawn:

    Kessler was the Chief Washington Correspondent for rightwing conspiracy website NewsMax. […] NewsMax was founded by the chief proponent of conspiracy theories related to the suicide of Clinton White House aide Vince Foster. (Kessler himself has blamed Hillary Clinton for driving Foster to suicide.) During his tenure, NewsMax frequently promoted a wide variety of conspiracy theories, including that there were questions about President Obama’s birth certificate.

    Kessler was a major proponent of a 2012 Donald Trump presidential run. Newsmax was an early and enthusiastic promoter of Trump’s presidential ambitions, with Kessler playing a leading role in that effort. In early 2011, as Trump sought to promote a potential run for office as well as his belief that President Obama’s birth certificate might be a forgery, Kessler produced articles with headlines including “Trump Says He Will Run For President,” “Don’t Underestimate Donald Trump for President,” and “Trump to Announce His Run for President” (Trump ultimately decided not to run for president).

    Garbage built on top of garbage.

    Reviewers of Kessler’s book called it “speculation-filled,” “gossip,” “innuendo,” and said that it was reliant on anonymous sources or secondary sources. It’s garbage.

  109. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Um, what part leads back to a single source?

    The owners of Energy Pioneer Solutions is public record as is their close friendship with the Clintons. The Clinton Initiative giving Energy Pioneer Solutions $2mil is public record. Energy Pioneer Solutions sucking as a business is public record. All cited by the WSJ.

    Or are you hung up on the sex angle and not the corruption angle?

  110. says

    This is good news. Contemptible Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been charged with contempt.

    A federal judge ruled Friday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was in civil contempt of federal court on three counts […]

    U.S. District Judge Murray Snow found that Arpaio and three of his top aides violated a federal order intended to stop racial profiling in his jurisdiction […]

    “The hearings were based on three alleged violations: that the Sheriff’s Office failed to turn over video evidence that was required[…]; that officials continued to enforce immigration law after Snow barred the practice; and that Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan failed to collect evidence after the trial, as Snow had ordered him to do,” […]

    The outspoken sheriff has been caught up in this case since 2013, when Snow first ruled that Arpaio and his officers systematically singled out Latinos during its immigration patrols.

    Arizona Central link
    Talking Points Memo link

  111. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Now if you want some nasty sexual innuendo that Trump will no doubt run with:

    Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by

  112. wzrd1 says

    It’s been illegal to view pornography on US government computers since pornography first became an existing thing on computers. There are laws that force US Government agencies to web filter out porn, graphic violence, weapons, hate speech, etc.
    I know, as the installation IA guy, I had to keep that filter working, licensed, updated and beg for renewed licenses each year. Even the MWR network is required to be filtered.
    Still, occasionally, child pornography is found on an officer’s computer and both the CID and FBI are called in. Talk about a spectacular end of a military career! Dummy could’ve gotten away with it by leaving that crap on his private computer, as those are never reviewed by anyone – it’s an invasion of privacy, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on a monitored government computer.

  113. says

    MassMomentumEnergy @120: No money from CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) went to the company.

    A $2 million “commitment” from Canadian businesswoman Kim Samuel to invest in Energy Pioneer Solutions was announced during the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2010 annual conference, where the foundation announces “monetary commitments from corporations, individuals or nonprofit organizations to address global challenges,” […] no money from CGI itself went to the company.

    Yeah, the commitment was announced at a conference hosted by CGI, along with many announcements of other commitments from non-CGI sources. If you want to look for corruption connected to donations made to Energy Pioneer Solutions, check with Canadian businesswoman Kim Samuel. Samuel is the director and owner of the Samuel Group of Companies.

    Most of the media sources I’ve read so far conflate the bogus sex angle with the misleading corruption handle. They do not separate the two. The New York Post reports the bogus “Energizer” story that traces back to the National Enquirer and to Kessler in order to claim that as a motive for CGI to give money to Energy Pioneer Solutions. NBC’s Today show did the same thing. Fox & Friends did the same thing. etc. etc.

  114. says

    Mass:MomentemEnergy @122: oh, FFS. I do not have time to chase down and debunk every bit of poorly-sourced, misleading, piece-of-shit journalism that you decide to heap on your anti-Clinton pile.

  115. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Kinda hard to debunk FAA logs, so you can probably save your efforts.

  116. says

    @126, not the FAA logs (though one would want a source other than Fox News for that), but the part where you repeat “even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights.”

    That’s the poorly sourced, misleading, piece-of-shit journalism part.

    Clinton rode on a plane owned by a sleazy guy. Questionable sources gave that plane a memorable name, “Lolita Express.” What the fuck is your point? What is Fox News’ point?

    Innuendo. Gossip.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    MME, please show us you can and will dish dirt on Trump, as the same rate you dish dirt on the Clintons. Otherwise, some inquiring minds might think you have a bias….

  118. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Exactly, innunendo and gossip, but innuendo and gossip that will be played for all it is worth and that also has enough meat on it to not go away easy.

    And how is what you quoted poorly sourced innunendo journalism? Fox News filed FOIA requests to get the FAA logs. Can’t get better sourced than that. Those logs show bill traveling with his SS detail on some flights and not others, so apparently he wasn’t traveling with his detail on some occasions. Sure the FAA or the pilots might be lying, but then you are accusing people of a crime with no evidence or motive.

  119. MassMomentumEnergy says

    I’ve made plenty of disparaging comments about Trump, but you have the posting of poorly sourced innuendo journalism attacking Trump covered, so there is little need for me to repost the same thing.

    As for bias, yeah, I think Hillary is such a bad candidate that she could do the impossible and lose to Trump, which would suck for America and the world. There is my bias.

  120. says

    Nine Republican chairpersons of House of Congress committees have endorsed Donald Trump. They are:
    Rep. Steve Chabot, small business
    Rep. Michael Conaway, agriculture
    Rep. Jeb Hensarling, financial services
    Rep. Candice Miller, house administration
    Rep. Jeff Miller, veterans’ affairs
    Rep. Tom Price, budget
    Rep. Pete Sessions, rules
    Rep. Bill Shuster, transportation and infrastructure
    Rep. Lamar Smith, science, space and technology

    That’s 9 out of 20 … so far.

  121. says

    The House Benghazi Select Committee has spent $6.9 million taxpayer dollars over two years. They are not done. What do they want to do now? They want to call more witnesses from rightwing media sources. Really.

    They are looking for anonymous people who called in to Fox News to make claims already debunked by then-House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, by the Senate Intelligence Committee report, and by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As for bias, yeah, I think Hillary is such a bad candidate that she could do the impossible and lose to Trump, which would suck for America and the world. There is my bias.

    Do you have a viable alternative??? The Greens are not viable….

  123. says

    Pfizer pharmaceutical company joined other companies in declaring that it will control distribution of its products so that none are used for lethal injections by the justice system in the USA. Pfizer was the last open-market source for lethal injection drugs in the U.S.

    It will be interesting to see how this affects the debate about capital punishment.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna, OM #134

    Pfizer pharmaceutical company joined other companies in declaring that it will control distribution of its products so that none are used for lethal injections by the justice system in the USA. Pfizer was the last open-market source for lethal injection drugs in the U.S.
    It will be interesting to see how this affects the debate about capital punishment.

    States are having problems with freedom of information regarding the drugs used for lethal injections.
    Why are the states having problems identifying your legitimate source of drugs used on your prison population??? Unless, you are dealing with rogue suppliers….

  125. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Do you have a viable alternative??? The Greens are not viable….

    It pretty much depends on Comey and the self destructiveness of the DNC as to who is viable, but time keeps on tickin. If the general comes and it is Trump/Clinton, she will lose, regardless of whether she is or is not the better option.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If the general comes and it is Trump/Clinton, she will lose, regardless of whether she is or is not the better option.

    You acknowledge in writing you have no viable alternative. My cynic/skeptical nature really is questioning if you are an ally, or a Drumpf concern troll. Why not, for a couple of weeks, offer criticisms only of Drumpf. Quit criticizing the only alternative to Drumpf during that period.

  127. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Until the convention, Hillary isn’t the only alternative.

    Even if she was, putting your head in the sand and ignoring the brewing shitstorm won’t do anything to help.

  128. says

    @139, riding in a jet owned by a sleazy guy is not the same as “partying with a pedophile.”

    In other news, the religious right movement is still putting out way-over-the-top reactions to guidelines for protecting transgender students. The guidelines were issued by the Obama administration.

    After claiming that the president is “sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda” and is intentionally causing “social chaos,” [Family Research Council President Tony Perkins] told Fox News’ Todd Starnes today that Congress should launch impeachment proceedings against the president in retaliation: […]

    “If the president chooses to go forward with this outrageous order — then congress should begin impeachment proceedings,” [the FRC president] said. Perkins said the decree should be “resisted with ever legal and moral instrument we have available to us in this country.”

    Right Wing Watch link

  129. says

    Rachel Maddow covered Donald Trump’s weird history of pretending to be someone else while speaking to the media about himself or on his own behalf, and the return of an embarrassing scandal with the publication of previously unheard audio tapes.

    This is excellent, in-depth coverage that presents the facts as well as showing why this “bizarre fakery scandal” is actually important when it comes to disqualifying a candidate for the presidency.

    See comments 109, 110, and 111 for previous discussion of this issue.

  130. says

    This is a followup to comment 141.

    Steven Ginsberg, senior politics editor for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about recorded audio of a 1991 phone call in which Donald Trump pretends to be a publicist for himself, a ruse Trump has admitted, but now denies.

    The video is 5:05 minutes long.

  131. says

    Some Republican mega donors, like the Koch brothers, are not putting money behind Trump, but Sheldon Adelson says he will support Trump to the tune of up to $100 million. Addison is planning to do so through one of the existing pro-Trump super PACs, but they haven’t said which one.

  132. says

    Media Matters posted a partial transcript and the video from an All In segment in which Chris Hayes and Alex Seitz-Wald talked about Trump’s use of conspiracy theorists as sources.

    CHRIS HAYES (HOST): There is a certain sector of the media Donald Trump appears to love,the ones willing to say the most outlandish things. Which may explain Trump’s lunch earlier this week with author Ed Klein, perhaps best known for his anti-Clinton smear books. Here’s how The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi describes the reporting in one of Klein’s recent books about the Clinton’s “blood feud,” quote, “Unless Klein wired his sources and his sources were Bill and Hillary Clinton, none of this is likely to be even kind of true. It’s possible Klein is a fabulist, or it’s possible he has terrible sources. It’s also possible he’s a looney tune and the multiple sources he’s interviewed upward of 70 times each are all in his head.” Joining me now, Alex Seitz-Wald, MSNBC political reporter. Alex, you’ve been reporting on the Clinton camp, and I just wonder how much they are thinking about, prepared for, the sort of, you know, vast right-wing conspiracy sorts of stories to start circulating that Hillary Clinton famously talked about back in the late ’90s. .

    ALEX SEITZ-WALD: Right, well Chris, it was Hillary Clinton who invented the term “vast right-wing conspiracy.” So, you know, this is the kind of environment that they’ve been operating in for decades. And a lot of these conspiracy theories that are being dredged back up again by Roger Stone and Robert Murrow and Ed Klein are stuff that’s been floating out there since the 1990s, since the Clinton White House. So, you know, they have a very large communications team, very large apparatus up in Brooklyn that is going to do a lot of swatting this down. They had some practice in 2014, 2015, with a couple of earlier Clinton books that came out from other conservative authors. But it’s just going to get cranked up to 11, as they say.

    And with Donald Trump, he’s willing to go out and say anything, do anything, and Clinton aides that I’ve talked to have acknowledged that that’s a challenge. You wake up every morning, have no idea what he’s going to throw out there and how you’re going to go after it. […]

  133. MassMomentumEnergy says

  134. says

    The Obama administration is using some new media marketing tools to fight opioid addiction.

    Rapper Macklemore appeared by President Obama’s side during the White House weekly address to help raise awareness about the nation’s opioid addiction problem. The Grammy-award winning artist thus became the first non-administration official to appear on the president’s weekly address. “I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally,” Macklemore said. “I have abused prescription drugs and battled addiction. If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did.”

    Obama once again called on Congress to approve $1.1 billion in funding for treatment and research into the issue as he pointed out that the number of opioid deaths have tripled since 2000. Macklemore said a friend of his was one of the victims. “I didn’t just know someone—I lost someone,” Macklemore said. “My friend Kevin overdosed on painkillers when he was just 21 years old.”

    Although the House of Representatives has recently approved several bills on the issue, “unless they also make actual investments in more treatment, it won’t get Americans the help they need,” Obama said. He also said it was time to discuss the issue more and bring it out of the shadows. “Another way our country can help those suffering in private is to make this conversation public,” he said. […]

    Slate link. Scroll down for the video. An extended version of the talk between Macklemore and Obama will be aired on MTV.

    Yep, President Obama is pressuring Congress about the lack of funding.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Until the convention, Hillary isn’t the only alternative.
    Even if she was, putting your head in the sand and ignoring the brewing shitstorm won’t do anything to help.

    And you are helping the shitstorm, not stopping it. That is my point.

    Donald Trump has his own problems with his treatment of women.

    Interviews with dozens of women who have worked for Donald Trump or interacted with him socially reveal a pattern of often unsettling personal behavior by the Republican presidential candidate, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
    The Times, which said it based the article on more than 50 interviews, quoted women who recounted episodes in which he treated women as sexual objects and made comments about their bodies. But some women said Trump had encouraged them in their careers and promoted them within his businesses, often in positions in which women tended to be excluded…
    Barbara Res, who oversaw construction of Trump’s Manhattan business headquarters, said he would sometimes interrupt meetings with comments about women’s figures.
    During a job interview for a Los Angeles project, for example, Trump made a random aside about Southern California women. “They take care of their asses,” Res recalled Trump saying.
    Years later, when Res says she had gained weight, she said Trump told her: “You like your candy.”…
    Trump also earned a reputation for being seen with beautiful women dating back to his days at a New York military-style boarding school where he was named “ladies’ man” in the yearbook, the Times reported.
    Barbara Fife, a deputy New York mayor in the 1990s, recalls Trump telling her at her City Hall office that he was in a hurry because he had “a great date tonight with a model for Victoria’s Secret,” she told the Times.
    “I saw it as immature, quite honestly,” Fife was quoted as saying.

    Yeah, the campaigning this year could get downright ugly.

    One thing I have admired about Obama, was when his opponent for the US senate, Jack Ryan, imploded due to a sex-scandal (taking his then wife to clubs that featured sex acts), Obama ignored the problem, and kept up his positive campaign. It was the rethugs who had a shit fit, and ended up forcing Ryan out and bringing in Alan Keyes as the True Conservative™. Obama won with 70% of the vote.

  136. says

    The Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, signed a bill that allows therapists to religiously object to treating some clients (basically an anti-LGBT and anti-atheist bill). How do the Republicans who came up with this bill expect it to work? How are the client’s best interest’s served?

    Tennessee’s law requires all counselors, no matter their personal beliefs, to treat people who are in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others. But because many such people aren’t readily identifiable, some wonder how counselors will know.

    The law also raises questions about timing.

    The therapeutic relationship takes time to build, said Art Terrazas, ACA’s director of government affairs. It’s not like going to a medical doctor, where patients can quickly describe a cough or a problem joint.

    “When you’ve gone to a few different sessions, and you’re getting help and they finally say, ‘OK, I don’t think I can help you,’ that is going to be devastating,” Terrazas said. “And they’re going to say, ‘Well then nobody can help me.'”

    This license-to-discriminate law could have tragic results. The story of a depressed 13-year-old boy is told at the link.

  137. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Evidently the “Brexit” discussion in England sunk to obeying Godwin’s Law.

    Boris Johnson, who is leading the “Out” campaign ahead of Britain’s European Union membership referendum, said in an interview that the bloc was following the path of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon by trying to create a European superstate.
    Johnson told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the EU lacked democracy and a unifying authority and was doomed to fail.
    “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically,” Johnson was quoted as saying in an interview.

    Hopefully it ends tragically for Johnson after that claim.

  138. wzrd1 says

    Apparently, some people in the eurozone, especially the UK, have difficulties comprehending the difference between building an empire and a confederation. A confederation doesn’t have a central government like an empire does, it has a council that decides common matters and each member rules themselves.
    Frankly, I fail to see how that is a difficult concept for someone to comprehend.

  139. MassMomentumEnergy says

    For some odd reason, the Hillary campaign feels it is worth playing dirty pool over a handful of delegates.

    They failed in getting a single delegate swing in the Democrats abroad:

    But they succeeded in shutting down democracy in Nevada:

    But hey, if nobody reports on the nasty shit going on, it is like it never happened. If we all play make believe then we can pretend Hillary is the candidate we want her to be instead of the candidate she is.

  140. blf says

    But hey, if nobody reports on the nasty shit going on, it is like it never happened.

    I have absolutely no idea why you claim that.
    EXPLAIN: In simple language, and using logic.

  141. says

    Nerd @147: that was an interesting article in the New York Times. One way to boil it down would be to go with Barbara Fife’s description of “immature” for Trump. That seems to apply to most of his words, actions, and style.

  142. says

    The people of Kansas are so screwed. Republican leaders in that state decided to use Kansas as an experiment in which they would create what Susan Grigsby called “the perfect Republican state.” The experiment included tax breaks for the wealthy, plus repealing taxes for approximately 100,000 businesses. In addition to the trickle-down economics, Republicans in Kansas found other ways to screw the poor and the middle class.

    They tightened welfare requirements, privatized the delivery of Medicaid, cut $200 million from the education budget, eliminated four state agencies and 2,000 government employees. […]

    after signing the largest tax cut in Kansas history, Brownback told the Wall Street Journal, “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.’ ”

    NY magazine link

    So, how did the experiment go? The state budget director recently announced that “[…] the new projections put Kansas nearly a quarter of a billion dollars short over the next two years.”

  143. says

    The Democratic Convention in Nevada was indeed a chaotic mess. It was not, as MassMomentumEnergy suggested in 152, a one-sided mess in which Clinton supporters tried to shut down democracy. It was a two-sided mess made worse by the lack of preparation on the part of state-level Democratic Party leaders.

    Nevada Democratic Party functions are a mess in part because the party leaders in that state do not have their shit together. For one thing, this is Nevada’s third convention. How many conventions to they need to select delegates? That’s a lack of organization right there.

    The numbers going into this latest fight were: Clinton delegates to the convention in Nevada were 1695, and Sanders had 1622, giving Clinton a 20-15 delegate advantage.

    In April, Sanders had turned out more of his supporters to the county conventions — even though Clinton had won the popular vote in the February caucuses — thus allowing him to send more delegates to the state convention.

    Based on the presidential preference of conventiongoers, Clinton won seven delegates Saturday, while Sanders won five […]

    What that means is out of the 35 pledged delegates Nevada will send to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer, 20 will support Clinton and 15 will support Sanders. (Based on the results of the Nevada caucuses, Clinton had been apportioned 13 district-level delegates, while Sanders had won 10.)

    Las Vegas Sun link.

    […] Sanders supporters booed speaker Barbara Boxer for asking to unite against Trump. Following a scuffle, one Clinton supporter had lost consciousness. Insults were hurled at speakers, and claims that the process was “rigged” and calls of “no confidence” were common. Clinton supporters demanded that certain Bernie supporters be arrested. […]

    Daily Kos link
    Sanders supporters shouted down other speakers as well. They also called Senator Boxer a “b*tch.” Link

    More from the Las Vegas Sun:

    According to state party representatives, six of those [Bernie delegates] were eventually allowed as delegates, and the rest were denied delegate or alternate status because either they or their records could not be located or they were not registered Democrats by the May 1 deadline. […] 8 Clinton supporters were denied delegate status for similar reasons.

    The explanation for the above silliness related to delegates:

    Yes, that’s right: a process that is easy and completely free was skipped over by a few dozen people, who are now kicking up a fuss because they are not democrats but want to participate in selecting the democratic nominee.

    Meanwhile, Sanders supporters put together a “minority report” alleging that only Bernie delegates were purged from the list. Not true.

    Yes, you do have to be a registered Democrat to participate in the Nevada Democratic delegate convention.

    Sanders had previously urged his supporters to remain respectful. Protestors did not remain respectful. They even resorted to getting physical.

    The final outcome after all the fracas, was good. The delegate total accurately reflects the votes cast during the February caucus. Democracy was preserved.

    I do not want to see Democratic conventions taking on a Trumpian level of violence. Not good. Both Democratic candidates should take a close look at what happened, as should leaders at the state level, and they should disavow the mess while working hard to clean it up.

  144. says

    Followup to comment 156: About 9,000 delegates were elected on caucus day in February in Nevada, but only 3,825 showed up at the state convention on Saturday.

    Sanders supporters expected to go to the State Convention with a majority of delegates thanks to their county-level ground work previously. However, a lot of those delegates didn’t show up. In addition to the emotionally-devastating smashing of expectations, the people running the state convention changed the rules more or less on the fly. That last part is what I meant when referring to state-level leaders fucking up.

    In addition to all that, some fake Democrats showed up to rile people up even more.

    A total snafu. It’s amazing that it all turned out fairly well in the end. The snafu gives the people who want to do away with the caucus system ammunition for their argument.

  145. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna #156

    Sanders supporters shouted down other speakers as well. They also called Senator Boxer a “b*tch.” Link

    I detect more than a whiff of Bernie Bros throwing a temper tantrum. They don’t exist? Think again.

  146. says

    Nerd @158, emotions were already running high when a state-level leader announced a rule change by voice vote instead of counted votes. It was a real mess.

    Senator Barbara Boxer did not deserve to be called misogynistic names, nor should delegates in attendance have given her the finger. What the heck was that?

    I didn’t quote them here, but there are original sources from wannabe delegates themselves who registered as Democrats in order to go to the convention and vote against Hillary Clinton. Some of them registered too late, and those people were purged from the delegate roles. I think this may show that some independents and Republicans hate Clinton more than they do Sanders, which is not surprising since rightwing media has been spreading pseudo-facts about Clinton for decades. My parents used to listen to Limbaugh on a daily basis in the 90s. I head his broadcast when I visited them and I was appalled at the hate he was spewing. Toxic. And endless.

    Nevertheless, Bernie Bros or not, Nevada Democratic leaders gave Bernie supporters plenty to complain about.

    The biggest failure, which very few people are discussing, is that the caucus system supposedly sent about 9,000 delegates to a statewide convention but only 3,825 of them showed up. That’s a failure, though I’m not sure who to blame.

    Immaturity and temper tantrums were evident in the videos I watched. It was not good.

    There’s is a growing meme going around that Clinton, as an establishment candidate is stealing the election. On the other side, sneaky and unfair tactics are being attributed to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Overly-simplified nonsense. That nonsense is going to prompt more physical violence before we’re done.

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just for the record, I voted for Sanders (not anti-Clinton) in the IL primary 3/15, as Sanders was polling better against all the rethug candidates. Clinton won the primary in a close vote. Whoever the Democratic candidate for President is in November, will get my vote then.

  148. says

    I voted for Sanders too. I will vote for Clinton in the general election. I think she has the nomination sewn up, and a few people just haven’t accepted that yet. Clinton currently has 94% of the delegates she needs to hit 2383 and win the nomination. To close the deal, she only needs to win 14% of all the remaining delegates.

    In other news, there’s a Democratic primary in Kentucky and in Oregon coming up on Tuesday. Polling is sparse to nonexistent, but it looks like the remaining contests will be close. Clinton will win more than 14% of the remaining delegates.

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have no problem with somebody who pro-Sanders, talking Sanders UP. Or comparing Sanders’ policies to those of H. Clinton. Legitimate political discourse.
    My problem come in when people complain about the policies of W. Clinton, and attribute them to H. Clinton, or as Sec. of State, Obama’s policies as those of H. Clinton.
    I also have a problem when people bring into the discussion the behavior of W. Clinton, J. Sanders, or any of D. Trump’s ex- or present wives. That should be left to the tabloids, who should never be cited.
    And if I were stupid enough to believe, say when the National Enquire publishes about the ALLEGED perversion of some the principals, I am simply gullible. Like Bigfoot and Elvis’ baby….

  150. says

    Nerd @163, I agree with what you said. Trump is heavily invested in attributing everything Bill Clinton did to Hillary Clinton. I hope that tactic comes back to bite him.

    In other news, President Obama gave a commencement speech at Rutgers University today. He had a big audience, estimated to be 50,000 people in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Here are some excerpts:

    In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about. And yet we’ve become confused about this […]

    The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it’s becoming more connected every day. Building walls won’t change that. Isolating or disparaging Muslims, suggesting they should be treated differently when they come to this country, that is not just a betrayal of our values—that’s not just a betrayal of who we are—we alienate the very communities at home or abroad who are our most important partners in the fight against violent extremism. […]

    when you hear someone longing for the good old days, take it with a grain of salt […] I guess it’s part of human nature—especially in times of change and uncertainty—to want to look backward and long for some imaginary past when everything worked, and the economy hummed and all politicians were wise and every child was well-mannered and America pretty much did whatever it wanted around the world. “Guess what? It ain’t so. The good old days weren’t all that good. […]

  151. says

    An entertaining account of the Nevada state convention from Wonkette writer Rebecca Schoenkopf:

    […] Hillary Clinton won Nevada’s caucuses by almost five points, and both candidates were awarded delegates to the county conventions. Bernie Sanders’s delegates out-appeared Hillary Clinton’s delegates at the county conventions, where delegates would be awarded for the state convention. (This process is so dumb you guys. So fucking dumb. JUST GIVE THEM THE DELEGATES BASED ON HOW MANY CAUCUS VOTES THEY GOT JESUS H FUCKING CHRIST.) But at the state convention, about an equal number of Hillary Clinton’s folks showed up as did Bernie Sanders’s. And of the Bernie folks who showed up, sixty had unregistered as Democrats. Whoops that meant they were not allowed to vote at the DEMOCRATIC convention! So fixed! Many corruptions! Oh god I hate everyone.

    So then they went insane. They screamed at Barbara Boxer that she was a sellout bitch and did their best to boo the four-foot-nothing liberal grandma lion off the stage. They did their goddamndest to shut the whole thing down, because how is it even kosher for Hillary Clinton to get more delegates just because she won, when they had stolen it fair and square?

    Afterwards, they posted the chair’s address online, called Barbara Boxer a “neolib witch” — when did we all become “neolib”? I think when Barack Obama forgot to put all of Congress in Guantanamo […]

    Take a moment, if you please, to imagine the opposite scenario: that Bernie wins the caucus, Hillary supporters show up when Bernie fans don’t at some secondary event, and she wins all the delegates. I think we might (rightfully!) have a lake-full of steaming pigshit on our hands. But in this scenario — the one where reality is happening — not being able to overturn the democratic results via machine chicanery is, in Bernie supporters’ fever dreams, the day democracy died.

    At the end of the night, the Paris hotel informed the Democrats they needed to wrap their shit up because there were too many fistfights […]

    Anyway, Hillary still only ended up with 20 delegates to Bernie’s 15. It’s not like he got vote-curb-stomped, […]

    […] At last week’s Missoula rally, he [Sanders] took a couple of shots at Hillary, but they were fair shots. We like almost all of his supporters, including our husband and our baby. (She finds him mesmerizing, mostly, and when we see him on the TV, we explain he is a good man) […]

    But the subset of his supporters who think they can get their way through aggression and intimidation is gross, fascist and downright Trumpy […]


  152. says

    Coverage of the Nevada Democratic convention on Wonkette.

    […] Hillary Clinton won Nevada’s caucuses by almost five points, and both candidates were awarded delegates to the county conventions. Bernie Sanders’s delegates out-appeared Hillary Clinton’s delegates at the county conventions, where delegates would be awarded for the state convention. (This process is so dumb you guys. […] JUST GIVE THEM THE DELEGATES BASED ON HOW MANY CAUCUS VOTES THEY GOT […]) But at the state convention, about an equal number of Hillary Clinton’s folks showed up as did Bernie Sanders’s. And of the Bernie folks who showed up, sixty had unregistered as Democrats. Whoops that meant they were not allowed to vote at the DEMOCRATIC convention! So fixed! Many corruptions! Oh god I hate everyone.

    So then they went insane. They screamed at Barbara Boxer that she was a sellout “b*tch” and did their best to boo the four-foot-nothing liberal grandma lion off the stage. They did their goddamndest to shut the whole thing down, because how is it even kosher for Hillary Clinton to get more delegates just because she won, when they had stolen it fair and square?

    Afterwards, they posted the chair’s address online, called Barbara Boxer a “neolib witch” — when did we all become “neolib”? I think when Barack Obama forgot to put all of Congress in Guantanamo […]

    Take a moment, if you please, to imagine the opposite scenario: that Bernie wins the caucus, Hillary supporters show up when Bernie fans don’t at some secondary event, and she wins all the delegates. I think we might (rightfully!) have a lake-full of steaming pigshit on our hands. But in this scenario — the one where reality is happening — not being able to overturn the democratic results via machine chicanery is, in Bernie supporters’ fever dreams, the day democracy died.

    At the end of the night, the Paris hotel informed the Democrats they needed to wrap their shit up because there were too many fistfights […]

    Anyway, Hillary still only ended up with 20 delegates to Bernie’s 15. […]

    We like Bernie. […] But the subset of his supporters who think they can get their way through aggression and intimidation is gross, fascist and downright Trumpy […]

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Interesting news, Oklahoma appears to nearing acceptance of Obama’s health care reforms due to their economy being in the dumpster.

    Despite bitter resistance in Oklahoma for years to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, Republican leaders in this conservative state are now confronting something that alarms them even more: a huge $1.3 billion hole in the budget that threatens to do widespread damage to the state’s health care system.
    So, in what would be the grandest about-face among rightward leaning states, Oklahoma is now moving toward a plan to expand its Medicaid program to bring in billions of federal dollars from Obama’s new health care system.
    What’s more, GOP leaders are considering a tax hike to cover the state’s share of the costs.
    “We’re to the point where the provider rates are going to be cut so much that providers won’t be able to survive, particularly the nursing homes,” said Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, referring to possible cuts in state funds for indigent care that could cause some hospitals and nursing homes to close.
    Despite furious opposition by conservative groups, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and some GOP legislative leaders are pushing the plan, and support appears to be growing in the overwhelmingly Republican Legislature. Details have not been ironed out but the proposal is based on an Indiana program that received federal approval…
    A bust in the oil patch has decimated state revenues, compounded by years of income tax cuts and growing corporate subsidies intended to make the state more business-friendly.
    Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency has warned doctors and other health care providers of cuts of up to 25 percent in what the state pays under Medicaid…
    In the poverty-wracked southeastern corner of the state, where 96 percent of babies in the McCurtain Memorial Hospital are born to Medicaid patients, most health care would end, said hospital CEO Jahni Tapley.
    “A 25 percent cut to Medicaid would not put my hospital in jeopardy, because we are already in jeopardy,” Tapley said. “A 25 percent cut would shutter our doors for good, leaving 33,000 people without access to health care.”…
    Under the proposal, which would be funded in part with a $1.50-per-pack tax on cigarettes, Oklahoma would shift 175,000 people from its Medicaid rolls onto the federal health exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. That would make room for adding to Medicaid roughly the same number of working poor who are currently uninsured. Participants would pay nominal premiums and co-pays.
    The move, by increasing the number of uninsured people covered, would allow the state to tap into the extra money offered under the federal law. Beginning in 2017, the federal government would cover 95 percent of the state’s Medicaid costs, decreasing to 90 percent of the share in 2020.
    Fallin, a former congresswoman who voted against Obama’s health plan when it came before the House, argues that the plan doesn’t amount to expanding Medicaid because the program’s rolls don’t grow. Rather, she said, it “transitions 175,000 Medicaid enrollees to the private insurance market.”
    No matter what state leaders call it, conservative groups aren’t happy about the idea of more government health spending.
    “They can call it Medicaid rebalancing, but there’s only one federal program that offers a 9-to-1 federal match, and that’s Obamacare,” said Johnathan Small, president of Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs, a free-market think-tank that opposes higher taxes. The opponents have called for covering health costs by cutting spending for less essential programs.
    Americans for Prosperity, another conservative think-tank backed by the billionaire philanthropist Koch brothers, David and Charles, also has launched a campaign against the proposal and is hosting a “NobamaCare” event at the state Capitol to voice their opposition.

  154. says

    Many Republican politicians continue to display an unreasoning, racially-inflected hatred for President Obama.

    Carlos Beruff, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida, repeatedly referred to President Barack Obama as an “animal” at a county GOP meeting on Thursday. […]

    “Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call president, because he’s an animal, OK — seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two, but three secretary of defenses,” he said. “And they’ve all written books about it.” […]

    Beruff is one of five Republicans vying to replace retiring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). A member of a South Florida water board with a real estate background, Beruff has been compared to both Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee earlier this year.

    Last month, Beruff called for a ban on travel that goes even further than Trump’s controversial proposal to block all Muslims from coming to the United States — banning all people from the Middle East from entering the country. […]

    U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (Fla.), the leading Democratic candidate in the race, denounced the comments in a statement sent to HuffPost on Sunday.

    “Mr. Beruff’s statement is not only offensive, but extremely disrespectful to President Obama’s incredible service to our nation,” the statement read. “I’m proud to stand by President Obama and his commitment to fighting for Florida families, and I call on Mr. Beruff to immediately apologize for his disrespectful comments. In the U.S. Senate, our diverse state deserves better than Mr. Beruff’s clear record of bigotry.” […]

    Huff Po link

  155. says

    Nerd @166, so the state of Oklahoma had to descend into the pit of healthcare hell before the Republican politicians who run the state decided they were heading in the wrong direction?

    Better late than never.

    Belatedly, they realized that closing nursing homes and hospitals is not a good option. Of course, that would advance the goal of smaller government.

    Tax cuts and corporate subsidies didn’t save them. Big oil didn’t save them. Nevertheless, as you posted, the Koch brothers (big extractive industry personified) are spending money to defeat reasonable proposals to rescue Oklahoma. Let’s have the Koch brothers pay the nursing homes and hospitals to stay open.

    Also, the counter proposal to going with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is “cutting spending for less essential programs.” FFS. You know what those “less essential programs” will be … anything that serves poor and middle class people.

  156. says

    “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to [Sen. Marco Rubio] because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet.” That’s what Donald Trump said in October.

    But, now, lo, the Trumpster has come into the mega donor light. He met with Sheldon Adelson last week and now Trump will be blessed by $100 million of Adelson donations. Trump told Adelson that he is “dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.”

    Trump the Puppet.


  157. says

    The reputation of the Benghazi Committee continues to slide downhill. You would think that Trey Gowdy and his fellow Republicans on that committee would already be lying in a heap at the bottom of a very big hole, but look at this, they are still digging. See comment 132.

    Yes, the $7 million taxpayer dollars they’ve already spent was not enough. This boondoggle is ongoing.

    […] As of a couple of weeks ago, the Defense Department started pushing back against the committee Republicans’ increasingly outlandish demands. In no uncertain terms, the Pentagon let Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) know the panel’s requests have become “unnecessary” and “unproductive.” Worse, the DoD believes the partisan committee is guilty of “encouraging speculation” from witnesses, rather than focusing on facts and evidence.

    Today, however, the beleaguered committee, whose very existence has become something of a joke, is facing a new round of embarrassing headlines.

    […] the committee’s own top lawyer admitted at least four times in interviews with military officials that there was no more they could have done on that tragic night. […]

    Remember, the whole point of the right-wing conspiracy theory is built around the idea that the military could’ve done more to intervene in Benghazi the night of the September 2012 attack, but it didn’t for political reasons. Military leaders, the State Department, and multiple congressional investigations all concluded that the conspiracy theory is wrong, but House Republicans don’t care, which is why they created a committee, led by Trey Gowdy, to tell conservatives what they want to hear.

    Now, however, there’s evidence that Gowdy’s former top committee staffer already concluded that the question has been answered truthfully. The Benghazi panel is investigating a conspiracy theory that the committee’s lawyer considers bogus. […]


  158. says

    David Cameron showed his dislike for Trump and for Trump’s proposed policies before. Now the British Prime Minister has renewed his attack against Trump. He called him “stupid” and “divisive and wrong.” Cameron singled out Trump’s plan to grant an “exception” to London Mayor Sadiq Khan so that a Muslim could enter the USA.

    Naturally, Trump responded in a way that showed David Cameron a thing or two (none of them good).

    Well, number one I’m not stupid, Okay. I can tell you that, right now – just the opposite. Number two, in terms of divisive: I don’t think I’m a divisive person. I’m a unifier, unlike our president now (referring to President Barack Obama), I’m a unifier.

    Right, well that’s settled then.

    Trump also said this about his relationship to the political leaders in the UK: “It looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship.”

  159. says

    Saad. What? You don’t believe Trump when he tells you he is not stupid? [joke — if you have to tell people you are not stupid …] Yes he is worse than Palin. A few people, Ben Carson included, have floated the idea that Palin would make a good VP choice for Trump.

    In other news, here is a followup to comments 100 and 101: even after a call from the Secret Service, Trump’s ex-butler and current “historian” at his Florida estate still wants someone to kill President Obama.

    […] “I think they (Secret Service) wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go there with a rifle,” Senecal [said]. “I told them it was too far to drive. I lived in Washington and hated it. I’m glad I got the hell out of there.” […]

    “I think it should have been done by the military in the first term—they still have a chance to do it,” […]

  160. says

    Donald Trump was caught in yet another lie. We’ve discussed Roger Stone and his part in Trump’s campaign quite a bit. Trump recently drew some of his anti-Hillary-Clinton smears from a book co-authored by Stone. Now Trump is claiming ignorance.

    Donald Trump dishonestly claimed he has “nothing to do with” his longtime ally Roger Stone and feigned ignorance of Stone’s anti-Clinton book The Clintons’ War on Women. But Trump and Stone have an ongoing, decades-long association, and Trump previously promoted and praised Stone’s book. […]

    Trump distanced himself from Stone’s book. “I have nothing to do with Roger Stone, he doesn’t work for me. What did he do? He did a book?” [quoted from a tweet] […]

    Does Trump have short-term memory loss? In October he tweeted a comment, link, and photo related to Stone’s book. “The latest book on Hillary—Wow, a really tough one!”

    Trump referenced the book again in January during a Fox News event:

    […] Sean Hannity asked Trump about calling Hillary Clinton an “enabler” for former President Bill Clinton, who Trump called “one of the great woman abusers of all time.” Trump replied that “a major book’s been written about it, and it’s a book that’s a very well respected book. And it was not a pretty picture, what she did.”

    Well-respected my ass! That book is almost universally dissed as presenting “fan fiction” for right-wingers; as presenting no real sources for lies and innuendos, etc.; and for being a conspiracy theorists wet dream.

    More proof that Trump is lying:

    Stone and Trump are longtime friends and associates. Stone said he’s known Trump for “almost 40 years” and that the business magnate “went to my wedding when I got married. I went to two out of three of his weddings.” Stone also spent many years working as a Trump lobbyist, chaired his 2000 presidential exploratory committee, and worked for Trump’s campaign last year. Stone also introduced and recommended top Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort to the candidate. Stone himself said he talks to Trump on a “semi-regular basis.”

    While speaking on the show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Trump said Stone is “a good guy” and “a patriot” and that “he’s been so loyal and so wonderful.” After Stone was banned from CNN for making disgusting remarks, Trump tweeted: “#RogerStone was just banned by @CNN – their loss! Tough, loyal guy.”

    Media Matters link

    And now Trump says, “I have nothing to do with Roger Stone, he doesn’t work for me. What did he do? He did a book?” Blatant lying, easily proven to be pants-on-fire lying by Trump’s own public statements.

  161. says

    Trump’s spokespeople do him no favors (or maybe they do, in a way, by being just like Trump). Check out this guy saying that Latinos oppose Trump because they are “highly emotional”:

    JORGE RAMOS (HOST): Mr. Limón, another question. You said during an interview on CNN that a lot of Hispanics oppose Donald Trump because we’re very emotive or emotional. What did you mean by that?

    JUAN CARLOS LIMÓN: Yes, because when — Latinos, we have that blood. We’re highly emotional. We may perceive different things in different ways. And when you get a person that is that abrupt, that direct, and maybe he says something that really doesn’t — says things the wrong way, we get easily offended […]

  162. says

    The editorial boards of the NY Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Boston Herald, Star-Ledger, La Opinión, Chicago Sun-Times, and the New York Daily News have called for Trump to release his tax returns. Link

  163. says

    […] “this film is based on the works of Harun Yahya.” OMG, that’s enough to tell you right there that the creationist video in question is just that, a creationist piece of junk. This particular piece of junk claims that the Cambrian Explosion “totally invalidates the theory of evolution.”

    And yet, a school district in Youngstown, Ohio is using “Cambrian Fossils and the Creation of Species” as part of required curriculum for students in public school.

    Harry Yahya is the pseudonym for Adnan Oktar, about whom PZ has commented in the past. Oktar is a creationist cult leader and an Islamic TV star. He’s also a Holocaust denier and a misogynist. A bunch of women who work for him call him “master” while he calls them “kittens.”


  164. says

    This is a followup to comment 164.

    Here’s is another excerpt from President Obama’s commencement speech at Rutgers:

    Look, our nation’s Founders – Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson – they were born of the Enlightenment. They sought to escape superstition, and sectarianism, and tribalism, and no-nothingness. They believed in rational thought and experimentation, and the capacity of informed citizens to master our own fates. That is embedded in our constitutional design. That spirit informed our inventors and our explorers, the Edisons and the Wright Brothers, and the George Washington Carvers and the Grace Hoppers, and the Norman Borlaugs and the Steve Jobses. That’s what built this country…. [W]hen our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they’re not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up, while actual experts are dismissed as elitists, then we’ve got a problem.

  165. says

    This is a followup to comments 141 and 142.

    Here is an excerpt from the phone conversation during which Donald Trump pretended to be John Miller when he called a journalist at People magazine. Trump now denies that this is him speaking:

    Interviewer: Do you think there’s any fear that Marla will spill everything at all or — ?

    John Miller: It doesn’t matter to him. He truly doesn’t care. I’ve never seen somebody that’s so immune, that he gets immune to, you know, some people would say you got bad press three or four months ago. Now, he’s starting to get good press where I don’t know what you call this but this is a big press.

    But I’ve never seen somebody so immune to — he actually thrived on the bad press initially. […]

    I can tell you there was never any talk of marriage from Donald’s point of view. I can also say that Marla would’ve liked to get married, obviously, but it was just something he didn’t want to do.

    Oh, yeah. That is supposedly “John Miller” who claimed during the same phone call that he was a new hire, and that he was only working temporarily as Trump’s publicist.

    What I want to know is this: Is Trump considering John Miller for Vice President?

  166. says

    This is a followup to comments 49, 81, and 171.

    Donald Trump has now challenged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to an IQ test. That should go over well.

    Trump is not going to let this go. Trump also said, “Tell him [Mayor Khan] I will remember those statements…they’re rude and ignorant.”

    In addition to dissing Trump, Khan also said:

    I want Donald Trump to come to London so I can introduce myself to him as a mainstream Muslim, very, very comfortable with Western liberal values, but also introduce him to hundreds of thousands, dare I say millions of Muslims in this country, who love being British, love being Western. Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays in to the hands of the extremists. […]

    [A spokesman for Khan added] Donald Trump’s views are ignorant, divisive and dangerous – it’s the politics of fear at its worst and will be rejected at the ballot box just as it was in London.

    Sadiq has spent his whole life fighting extremism, but Trump’s remarks make that fight much harder for us all – it plays straight into the extremists’ hands and makes both our countries less safe […]

    Trump replied today by saying, in part:

    When he won I wished him well. Now, I don’t care about him.

    Trump went on to challenge Khan to an IQ test. Trump speaks, according to linguists, with the grammar of an 11-year-old. Let’s go ahead and have an IQ cage match. Good idea.

    More to the point, Kahn’s spokesman correctly noted: “Ignorance is not the same thing as lack of intelligence.”

  167. says

    Political leaders for Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden met with President Obama on Friday. They also spent some time talking to reporters, using the White House as a backdrop. A state dinner was held in their honor. All of them seemed happy to be associated with Obama. One wonders if they would have been so pleased with an invitation from President Trump [shudder].

    Subjects discussed during the meeting with Obama included:
    – Russian aggression
    – refugees
    – climate change
    – fighting ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State)

  168. blf says

    [H]e’s worse at this than Palin.

    Which one? Cameron or trum-prat?
    Of the three, Cameron is probably the better speaker, and may have even heard of “reality”. He seems, however, largely unfamiliar with the version that does not use his own facts.

  169. says

    blf @184, I think the reference was to a Trump quote, with Trump being worse than Palin when he offers an explanation for either bad behavior or ignorance.

    In other news, Connecticut took a big step to improve voter registration in that state. Connecticut is now the fifth state to put in place a system that automatically registers people to vote when they visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. This improvement will add about 400,000 voters to the rolls.

    The state of California also made progressive news. More than 170,000 undocumented children in that state are now eligible to enroll in state-funded health insurance plans.

    […] The “Health4AllKids” health care expansion allows low-income children under the age of 19 to receive affordable care under Medi-Cal, the name for California’s Medicaid program, regardless of their immigration status. This will allow undocumented kids to access the full scope of Medi-Cal benefits — such as regular preventive and primary care, dental, and mental health services, as well as behavioral health treatment for children with autism.

    The aim of the expansion is to ensure health care for a population that “for the most part only had limited access to emergency-only services,” the children’s advocacy group First Focus said in a statement on its website.

    California’s Department of Health Care Services estimates that 114,981 undocumented children were previously eligible only for restricted-scope Medi-Cal benefits, while another 55,019 children couldn’t receive any Medi-Cal benefits at all. […]

    Think Progress link

  170. blf says

    Snickers, I can explain porn sites on my screenshot, says politician — really, I can:

    US congressional candidate Mike Webb offers supporters 2,000-word justification for video tabs visible in his Facebook post

    Mike Webb, Republican [how predictable! –blf] candidate for Virginia’s 8th district, posted to his Facebook page on Monday, discussing an odd phone call he had had with a staffing agency in Alexandria, Virginia (don’t ask). Accompanying the post was an even odder screenshot [image at the link –blf].

    Those tabs in the top left-hand corner, in case you can’t make them out, read “LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BO{OTY}” and “IVONE SEXY AMATEUR”.

    A lesser congressional candidate might have hastily removed the images and apologised. Not Webb, however. Despite taking down the original post, shortly after he reposted it to his page alongside an explanation of where the images came from.

    The explanation is 2,000 words long. It does not make a huge amount of sense, but apparently blames the pornographic images on an experiment Webb was performing to see whether or not someone was using malware embedded on porn sites to infect electoral candidates with malware that would prevent them from filing their candidacy before the deadline.

    Snort! Fortunately, I was not drinking anything when I read that…

    Maybe. It’s honestly hard to parse. Webb writes, in part: Curious by nature [… a LONG paragraph of gobbledygook –blf]

    Snort! Curious? Might actually be, albeit more about Layla and Ivone…

    Also, I love his assumption that other candidates would be visiting p0rn sites.

    (Malware infections at and from p0rn sites are problems, but that’s a very different story.)

  171. says

    Alex Jones, the rightwing guy who is an InfoWars broadcaster and good buddy of Donald Trump, has gone further off the rails.

    Jones claimed in the past that First Lady Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender woman, and the news is that he added another twist to his wild accusations:

    […] that Obama had comedienne Joan Rivers killed after she joked about the first lady being trans. […]

    “The national media takes it when I talk about this and acts like I’m crazy,” he said. “Listen, there’s hundreds of millions views on YouTube.” (There are also millions of views on videos claiming that Obama and other leaders are shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, another conspiracy promoted by Jones.)

    He went on to say that the first lady acts like she’s “god” and that the president wants schools to “teach five-year-olds how to be trannies.”

    “Don’t forget,” Jones said, “the famous comedienne Joan Rivers said, ‘Of course everyone knows she’s a tranny.’ She’s dead serious, ‘She’s a man.’ Deader than a doornail in a routine operation where basically she had fire poured down her throat and was a fire-breathing goblin. Dead on arrival. Shoot your mouth off, honey, you will die.” […]

    “I really think — her daughters don’t look like her — I really think this is some weird hoax they did again,” he said, “just like he didn’t get sworn in on the Bible, it was the Quran. All this weirdness, I mean, I used to laugh at this stuff, but man, it’s all about rubbing our noses in it. I think it’s all an arranged marriage, it’s all completely fake and it’s this big sick joke because he’s obsessed with transgender, just like some weird cult or something. I think Michelle Obama is a man. I really do. I really do. I believe it.”

    Right Wing Watch link

  172. says

    PZ created a separate thread for the Samantha Bee video about the religious right. I just want to add a few excerpts from the transcript, and another link to the video. (I had trouble getting the video PZ embedded to play.)

    Transcript excerpts:

    “For a generation, they’ve been like a wasp in an airplane. They’re small and outnumbered, but everyone still has to avoid pissing them off.” […]

    In 1972, the GOP platform didn’t contain a single reference to God or religious issues,” Bee explained. “But from 1980 onwards, the platform came to read like a Baptist dream journal.”

    Bee added, “the religious right has been losing ground for 15 years. Gay people can marry and serve in the military, and apart from a handful of bigoted bakers, most people are fine with it.”[…]

    Salon link. Scroll down for the video.

  173. blf says

    Mississippi city ordered to desegregate schools 60 years after landmark ruling:

    Federal court says Cleveland’s delay in desegregating its schools has ‘deprived generations of students’ of their constitutional rights

    Nearly 60 years after the landmark US supreme court ruling that ordered schools to integrate, the classrooms of Cleveland, Mississippi, are still divided by race.

    A federal court ordered the Cleveland school district to consolidate its schools entirely […], ruling that after so many decades of resistance, only dismantling and reforming the schools could bring the town’s two sides together.

    In a 96-page opinion, the US district court for the northern district of Mississippi wrote: “The delay in desegregation has deprived generations of students of the constitutionally guaranteed right of an integrated education. Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the District to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.”

    To say the town has two sides is no exaggeration; the population of 12,000 is split east and west by the old Illinois railroad tracks. Residents on the east side are black, and attend East Side high school. On the west, white children attend Cleveland high.

    The school district had come up with two plans of its own to mix the students, but US judge Debra Brown rejected them as unconstitutional.


    The fight to integrate Cleveland’s schools began in 1965, when a group of black parents sued the school district. They won the case four years later, and black students were allowed to enroll in the all-white Cleveland high. But about 1,000 white locals gathered in the streets to protest, and in the half century since little progress has been made.

    It should come quickly, now. In her ruling, Brown gave the school district three weeks to submit a timeline to implement the consolidation and abolish the district’s dual system. The court’s plan, developed by the Department of Justice, will consolidate the East Side high school with the Cleveland high school, as well as the middle schools that feed into them […]

  174. blf says

    No 10 [UK’s Prime Minister’s office] makes plans for potentially awkward UK visit by Donald Trump:

    British PM, who described Trump’s remarks about Muslims as ‘divisive, stupid and wrong’ may have to greet him at Downing Street

    The British government is preparing for a diplomatically awkward visit to the UK by Donald Trump, raising the possibility that David Cameron will have to greet him as the official Republican candidate in Downing Street after describing his remarks about Muslims as “divisive, stupid and wrong”.

    Traditionally presidential candidates go abroad during the campaign to underline their foreign policy credentials [to great comedic effect last time, in the case of the thugs –blf], but No 10 will be torn between the difficulties of a Trump-Cameron encounter, and the alternative of being left out in the cold by its most important ally.


    Diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic have been discussing the possibility of a Trump visit. Work is underway within the Foreign Office to make contact with some of Trump’s foreign policy team, but this has been complicated by the fact that even some of those named as foreign policy advisers by Trump have yet to meet the maverick politician.

    That sounds so wazzockian!

    The UK government is grateful that Sadiq Khan, the newly elected London mayor, is currently taking some of Trump’s flak, making the UK tensions with the likely Republican nominee more bipartisan. Khan said he regarded Trump’s comments on Islam as ignorant adding that he hopes the Republican loses the election.

    So do a LOT of people, Mayor Khan.

  175. says

    After the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee pledged that it would increase efforts to reach out to blacks, and especially the black Republicans.

    The Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.

    To that end, they created a committee.

    All of the D.C. members of the black outreach team have quit over the past few months. The staffers who quit have not been replaced. I think the Republicans have given up.

    […] Henry Childs, the president of the Black Republican Auxiliary for the Texas Republican Party, said he found the RNC’s shrinking black outreach staff deeply unfortunate.

    “I was very disappointed in the execution on the black outreach,” he said. “I always look at the money. You’ll know when a campaign or a party is interested when they spend money on an effort, so I look at money and staffers, and as far as I’m concerned, they didn’t invest enough money and they did not hire enough staffers to get the job done.

    “It’s cyclical that you hear that,” he added. “They’re going to do something different, they’re going to try to talk to blacks, women, young people. Every time we lose an election, we talk about what we’re going to do differently, then we don’t do it.”

    And he doesn’t take heart from the fact that there’s one person doing full-time black outreach from RNC headquarters in D.C.

    “It’s laughable,” he said. “It really is laughable. It is laughable.” […]

    The Daily Beast link.

  176. says

    Republicans in Delusion Land when it comes to Obamacare are still refuting the numbers:

    There’s just about as many people uninsured now as there were before the Affordable Care Act.

    That’s Representative Gary Palmer from Alaska demonstrating his ignorance.

    [The uninsured rate] has not plummeted.

    That’s Senator Judd Gregg demonstrating his ignorance.

    So, where are we really when it comes to the uninsured rate? The CDC says the uninsured rate has dropped below double digits. It is now 9.1%. CDC PDF link

    When was the last time 90% of Americans had health insurance? As Steve Benen pointed out, “Never.”

    If Republican governors in some states would implement the Medicaid expansion proposed by Obamacare, we’d see the uninsured rate drop even lower.

  177. says

    Protests against Target stores’ transgender bathroom policies continue.

    A woman dragged her family to their local Target to march through the store to protest the retail chain’s inclusive policy of allowing all people to use the bathroom without fear of violence or arrest.

    The unidentified woman screeches about “devil raping your children” and the “homosexual perverted agenda.” The hatred in her voice is unsettling. It sounds as if other shoppers begin shouting back to rebuke her, but they are drowned out when the man she’s with begins yelling at them. Numerous Target employees can be seen trying to usher them out after their lap around the store. […]

    Transcript of the bible-waving video:

    Attention Target customers! Do not be deceived, Target would have you believe with their Mother’s Day displays that they love mothers and children. This is a deception! This is not love and they prove it by opening their bathrooms to perverted men!

    I am a mother of twelve and I am disgusted by this wicked practice. Target does not protect mothers and children. Mothers, get your children out of this store! Mothers, have enough decency to get out of this store. It’s a dangerous place.

    This is not loving. What Target has done is very hateful. It’s hateful towards families. It’s hateful towards mothers. It’s hateful toward children! America, when are you going to wake up? When are you going to stand for the right things, America? Are you going to let the devil rape your children, America?

    It’s time to stand up and have a voice! Instead of bowing to the homosexual perverted agenda that is taking over this nation! You need to run and flee this place! I wouldn’t spend a penny of my money here! This is wicked! This is confusion! This is twisted! This is abominable in the sign of God.

    Daily Kos link

    Pity the children.

  178. blf says

    Alex Jones […] has gone further off the rails.

    For that to actually happen you’d first have to drill a hole to another universe. He is already so railless, not to meation clewless and a lot of other –lesses, you would need the Hubble Telescope to see the bottom of the pit he scuttles around in.

    Listen, there’s hundreds of millions views on YouTube.

    According to Forbes, that actually seems to be true (this figure / article is c.3 years old): “Jones also has a YouTube […] which has received more than 260 million views.”

    But, so what? Terry Pratchett has “more than 85 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages”, and I daresay his books are vastly more plausible than Jones’ burblings. Ergo, Jones’ viewing figures must be a conspiracy, a false flag operation to divert people from the trvth!!!1! (Wipe that spittle off your screen, and the tea off the keyboard.)

  179. says

    blf @195, it’s interesting that both Alex Jones and Donald Trump use the numbers of social media views and/or followers as proof of legitimacy.

    In other news, holy crap, Trey Gowdy actually conceded that additional military resources could not have gotten to Benghazi in time to save the people that died at the US diplomatic facility there. See comment 170 for more of the backstory.

    A central element of conservative conspiracy theories spread in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 attack on our diplomatic facility and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, has been the myth that the military could have responded to the attack more quickly and therefore saved lives.

    In the most outlandish version of this story, President Obama or Hillary Clinton ordered the military to “stand down” rather than come to the aid of the Americans who were under attack.

    Earlier this week, a letter from two House Democrats to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who is chairing the select committee investigating the Benghazi attack, revealed that the GOP’s own chief investigator acknowledged during the investigation that nothing “could have been done differently to affect the outcome in Benghazi.”

    In an interview on Fox News today, Gowdy responded to this newly released information by acknowledging, “Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that — they couldn’t.”


  180. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 191:
    yet another case of people thinking their imaginary boogie man is more common than actually.
    Risk assessment failure is another way to categorize it.
    if it is possible [non-zero probability of occurrence] then it will happen [100% chance of occurrence]. Not even attempting to realize that it has never actually happened in the past.
    Still, even less attempt at “thinking it through”.
    (1) if a pervert wanted to molest women in ‘ladies rooms’, why would he dress up?
    (2) if dressed to enter a ladies room to ogle at women in there, what’s the harm?
    (3) if a man walked into a ladies room, fully attired as male, would he ever be stopped, anyway?.
    (n) [so on]
    (n+1) nota bene: molesting is itself illegal, regardless of attire
    (n+2) everyone dressed as a woman is a molester? *

    to think that there only exists TG-in-name-only (ie, dress up to deceive others) is to deny the entire range of possible gender development. As in: locking gender to sex-at-birth permanently is a form of abusive behavior.
    if 1 out of 10,000 TG is a faux and will molest women in ladies room, it is okay to assume all of the 10,000 are molesters? *
    *: I guess it is my arrogance to think these questions are bloody obvious, and everyone asks them, and gives the same answers I would.

  181. says

    More misogynist and just plain weird stuff pops up in Trump’s dating life post Marla Maples: Trump Denied Dating Model, Called Her a ‘F**king Third-Rate Hooker’


    […] “First of all, he’s really arrogant,” Zdrok told Hayden. “He’s really into himself! On a date all he does is talk about himself. He loves himself! The first thing he says to me on our date is that he’s taller and better looking than what he looks like in pictures, and that people don’t realize it. He said, ‘People don’t realize how handsome I am!’ He actually loves himself! I never met a more narcissistic person than Donald. […]

    Zdrok also told Hayden that all Trump did on their dates was “talk about his ex-girlfriends. He couldn’t stop talking about Ivana [his first wife] and Marla [Maples, his second wife] and how skinny and horrible Marla looks now and that she looks like shit since she cut her hair off.

    “He just loves to talk about which women are in love with him and always calling him. He loves to talk about how women are chasing him all the time, which doesn’t make a girl feel special on a date. The other thing he talks about is what a great lover he is. He said to me, ‘Once you made love to me, you’ll never be able to make love to anybody else.’” […]

    Trump said he could not have possibly gone out with Zdrok because “she looks like a fucking third-rate hooker. Gimme a break. I never took her out. She’s full of shit. Chaunce, look, I have good taste in women. Take a look at her picture. It’s all bullshit. I never took her out.” […]

  182. says

    Examples of voicemails left for Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange:

    “I just wanted to let you know that I think people like you should be hung in a public execution to show this world that we won’t stand for this sort of corruption,” one man said in a voicemail for Lange. “You cowardliness b*tch, running off the stage! I hope people find you.”

    “Cowardliness” as an adjective?

    “You fucking stupid b*tch! What the hell are you doing? You’re a fucking corrupt b*tch!” another man said in a voicemail.

    “You’re a c*nt. Fuck you!” another man said […]

    Women also left voicemails, but they were less likely to call Lange a “c*nt” or a “b*tch.” […]

    Examples of text messages sent to Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange:

    You’re fired B*itch. Speak or else. Corrupt b*tch. Answer the phone you p*ussy.

    You will regret your actions. Shameful C*NT.

    B*tch answer me! How much did the Hillary campaign pay you for that shit?

    Biggest c*nt in politics next to Clinton.

  183. says

    Elizabeth Warren worked hard to prompt Republican Senators to get off their asses and do something about funding Zika virus research and prevention.

    Today, months after president Obama first requested nearly $2 billion to fight the Zika virus in the United States, the Republicans who control the Senate will finally, finally let us vote on options for funding the Zika response. Today the Senate will consider three proposals. The first proposal would completely fund the president’s response plan. It offers our best hope to fully protect Americans, and I will vote for that proposal. I plead with every senator to do the same because that’s what our nation’s experts have said it will cost to limit the sickness, death, and deformity caused by the Zika virus. […]

    I hope it passes the Senate. If it doesn’t, it will be because the majority of Senate Republicans vote against it. And if that happens, we will be forced to consider another proposal. The second proposal would give the president half of what is needed to fight the outbreak. […]

    Cutting the Zika funding requests in half might give Republicans a chance to tell people how tough they are on spending, and that may be how Republican politics works. But, boy, it’s sure not how science works. It is not possible to delay a response to a health emergency for month after month without consequences. It is not possible to nickel and dime a response to a health emergency without consequences. […]

    Now the final Republican proposal is even dumber.

    It would not only give the president about half of what is needed, but it would cover the cost by gutting the prevention and public health fund which provides significant support to local public health departments all across the country.

    You heard that right. Some Senate Republicans think the best way to fund America’s emergency response to the Zika virus is to rob from America’s front line responders who help identify and track infectious diseases like the Zika virus.

    On the other side of congress, House Republicans are kicking around an even more bizarre idea, funding only about a third of the president’s plan to fight Zika and doing it by cutting hundreds of millions of dollars out of our Ebola response. Gee, with the Ebola epidemic just passed and still no FDA-approved vaccine or treatment for Ebola, what could possibly go wrong with that plan? I simply do not understand the Republicans. […]

    The less money congress gives them, the more people will be hurt by the Zika virus. More babies with heartbreaking deformities, more adults with devastating illnesses. The Zika virus does not care what politicians in Washington decide is politically expedient. The virus is coming. And if Republicans block congress from protecting the people of this country, then Republicans must accept responsibility for the devastating consequences. […]

    You Tube link

    What finally passed was a bipartisan compromise that does not include cuts from other programs, but that only provides half the funding needed for prevention and research. Warren reluctantly voted for the compromise.

    Wait, there’s more: the compromise passed by the Senate now goes to the House where Republicans are certain to defeat it. A disaster is brewing.

  184. says

    Rick Scott, rightwing dunderheaded Governor of Florida and major Trump ass-kisser (he wants to be VP), pulled funding for chronically ill children.

    […] Rick Scott and his GOP allies targeted cuts in healthcare to literally over ten thousand chronically ill children. The children have been dropped by their specialists, denied treatment, and refused essential life-saving medical equipment. […]

    14,029 kids who were dropped from Florida’s specialty Medicaid plan for children with chronic health issues.

    The drop happened after new state law privatized the Medicaid system in Florida.

    Rick Scott and his rightwing friends in the GOP-dominated legislature moved Medicaid into so-called “managed care,” which carved up the state into 11 regions where private insurers could “compete” to serve Medicaid patients in those districts. A man named Mike Fernandez really pushed this concept of privatization, and Rick Scott thought it was a swell idea–right after he took a $125,000 campaign donation from him. […]


    Florida CBS12 link

  185. says

    With 99% of the vote counted, Hillary Clinton has 46.8% of the vote in Kentucky, and Bernie Sanders has 46.3%.

    The vote count:
    Clinton 212,549
    Sanders 210,626

    The delegates awarded:
    Clinton 25
    Sanders 25

    The current total delegate count:
    Clinton: 2, 265
    Sanders: 1,498

    With 60% of the vote counted in Oregon, the race has not yet been called, but Sanders is leading. The current status: Sanders 53%, Clinton 47%

    Of course, Trump won in Oregon, with 66.6% of the vote

  186. says

    Updated election results:

    Sanders won in Oregon. He has 28 Oregon delegates, Clinton has 24

    Updated total delegate count:
    Clinton 2,291
    Sanders 1,528

    With his win in Oregon, Trump now has 1,160 delegates.

  187. says

    Sanders gave a barn-burner of a speech tonight in Oregon. But that speech also edged toward off-the-wall. He’s still saying he can win the nomination. He needed blowout wins in both Kentucky and Oregon tonight to make that claim anywhere near a match with reality. He didn’t get blowout wins. He would also need to win California on June 7 by more than 50 points.

    I’m starting to worry about this ratcheting up of the “we must win” tension. And I’m not the only one.

    […] Sanders speech tonight was right in line with his statement out this afternoon. He identified the Democratic party as an essentially corrupt, moribund institution which is now on notice that it must let ‘the people’ in. What about the coalitions Barack Obama built in 2008 and 2012, the biggest and most diverse presidential coalitions ever constructed?

    Sanders narrative today has essentially been that he is political legitimacy. The Democratic party needs to realize that. This, as I said earlier, is the problem with lying to your supporters. Sanders is telling his supporters that he can still win, which he can’t. He’s suggesting that the win is being stolen by a corrupt establishment, an impression which will be validated when his phony prediction turns out not to be true. Lying like this sets you up for stuff like happened over the weekend in Nevada. […]

    Excerpt from the earlier “statement”:

    It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.

    The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy. […]

    This is all getting to sound too much like us-versus-them for me. Sanders campaign versus everyone. I don’t think that will work.

  188. dianne says

    @204: Well, he’s pretty much lost me at this point. First, the lack of understanding of his position: it’s too much like Romney’s campaign in 2012 and suggests that he’s living in a dream world, not reality. That’s not a good situation for someone who wants to be president. Second, it suggests that he has no interest in supporting the Democratic candidates down the ballot or otherwise working with the party. Which means that even if he somehow pulled off a win, he would be completely ineffectual as a president. Too bad. I love a lot of his ideas and think he’s right that there need to be major reforms, but it seems he’s not the one capable of doing them.

  189. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, I’ll put it this way, if I were a certain president named Putin, I’d stick a boomer off of the east coast on any Trump inauguration day and launch while the oath ceremony was in progress.
    Trump with the nuclear keys is too uncertain a prospect and I’m certain many a nuclear armed nation is actually considering such an option.
    The nuclear football is all well and good, but only used while traveling. When not traveling, the POTUS need only pick up a specific telephone and issue an order, echoed by a presidential chain secretary.
    A VP already being off site, to preserve our continuity of government.

    Case in point, I know precisely where Cheney was on 9/11, one of the primary secure sites, where it being destroyed is game over for the US DoD.
    No, not Cheyenne Mountain. Although, the facility isn’t all that different in some ways, it’s a bit more modernized.
    No, I’m not telling, NDA stuff.

  190. Ichthyic says

    Trump won in Oregon, with 66.6% of the vote

    but… he’s running unopposed.

    what, were people writing in “ANYONE BUT DRUMPF” as a candidate?

  191. wzrd1 says

    Apparently, there are only GOP or Democratic only primaries, like the general election.
    After all, Oregon has no democratic party winner, per Ichthyic and that individual’s news source.
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, there were two parties (and some independent candidates) running and each won their contest.

  192. Ichthyic says

    I assume that’s a roundabout way of saying that Oregon does not have closed primaries?

  193. Ichthyic says

    no.. really, I cannot fathom what the hell you are even saying. I assume nothing.


  194. dianne says

    if I were a certain president named Putin, I’d stick a boomer off of the east coast on any Trump inauguration day and launch while the oath ceremony was in progress.

    You might, but I’m pretty sure that Putin would be popping the champagne cork if Trump were elected. He would prefer Trump–weak, inexperienced, easily manipulated Trump–over experienced, stronger minded Clinton. At the very least, Putin, also an egotist, would be very certain that he could control Trump. So I’m not worried about Putin’s dropping the bomb right away. I’m worried about Trump doing so. Because he is inexperienced, egotistical, thin skinned, and has a tendency to retaliate disproportionately. And because he has said, in so many words, that he would use nukes against such diverse parties as Isis, North Korea, and Europe.

  195. says

    Ichthyic @208, 17% of the people voted for Ted Cruz and 16.3% of the people voted for John Kasich. This means that 3 Oregon delegates were awarded to each of those Republican candidates who had already dropped out.

    Ballots are printed earlier, so both names still appeared. I suppose you could think of it as an anyone-but-Trump vote. You could also think of it as an “I’m not really paying attention and I don’t know who is still in the race vote.” There may be some “Cruz is godly” votes in there.

    Bottom line: Trump needs 1,237 delegates to wrap up the nomination. He has 1,160.

    As a reminder, Clinton needs 2,383 delegates to wrap up the Democratic nomination. She has 2,291.

  196. says

    Oh, FFS. Really, New York Times? Do some more research and fact-checking before you publish drivel like this:

    On a range of issues, Mr. Trump seems to be taking a page from the Sanders playbook, expressing a willingness to increase the minimum wage, suggesting that the wealthy may pay higher taxes than under his original proposal, attacking Mrs. Clinton from the left on national security and Wall Street, and making clear that his opposition to free trade will be a centerpiece of his general election campaign.

    As Mr. Trump lays the groundwork for his likely showdown with Mrs. Clinton, he is staking out a series of populist positions that could help him woo working-class Democrats in November.

    See comment 32 for some background on Trump’s stance on the minimum wage. See comments 44 and 95 for a complete debunking of the claims that Trump is taking a more progressive stance on the minimum wage.

    See comments 43 and 90 for a complete debunking of the claim that Trump is open to raising taxes on the wealthy.

    Also, please stop equating Trump to Sanders. Just stop. It leads the NY Times to make shallow and/or incorrect comparisons, and I have damaged my forehead with all the head-desking.

    And, no, fuck no. Trump is not “attacking Mrs. Clinton from the left” on anything, let alone Wall Street. Trump has only a few consistent policy statements, but repealing Dodd-Frank reforms is one of them.

    Trump is not “staking out a series of populist positions”. Dafuq? Are you high or drunk, New York Times journalists? Trump’s actual stance includes massive tax breaks for the wealthy, breaks that he is willing to negotiate to be slightly less massive; repealing Wall Street regulations; opposition to increasing the federal minimum wage; and openly looking for ways to cut entitlements.

    FFS. If this inaccurate coverage in the NY Times helps to get Trump elected as President I hope all of the respectable journalists at the Times leave in protest.

  197. says

    I agree with dianne that Putin would love to see Trump elected. If Trump is elected, NATO will be weakened. Putin wants that.

    Leaders in China may not like to hear Trump’s endless string of insults, but they are not really fighting Trump. They would like to see him elected because that would weaken US trade agreements and defense alliances in East Asia and the Pacific. That’s what China wants.

  198. says

    Good news. Eric Fanning has been confirmed as Secretary of the Army. He is the first openly gay man to hold that office. The Senate finally confirmed him. Obama nominated him last September, but Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas blocked confirmation.

    Let me be very clear on this — as a veteran, a Marine — I support Mr. Eric Fanning for this post. If the White House calls and assures me that terrorists held at Guantanamo will not come to Fort Leavenworth, I will release the hold – immediately.

    A bullshit move for sure, but Senator Roberts got what he wanted.

  199. dianne says

    If this inaccurate coverage in the NY Times helps to get Trump elected as President I hope all of the respectable journalists at the Times leave in protest.

    Are there any respectable journalists left at the NYT? I’ve taken to reading the NYT only when I want to know what the establishment wants me to think. Anyway, if Trump gets elected, he’ll get the Trump libel law passed and respectable journalists will be in prison for “libel”.

  200. says

    Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly made nice with each other on prime time TV. I checked in to watch a few times but couldn’t really stomach the sleazy display. I will note that Trump started the interview with a lie. I caught it and thought “par for the course.” Now I see that a few other news sources also caught the lie. It’s a little one, but it is telling. This is Trump.

    Last August, during the first presidential debate, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly confronted Donald Trump about his history of sexist comments. For the next nine months, Trump has waged war against Kelly, calling her a bimbo and suggesting she asked him a tough question because she was menstruating.

    A truce was called tonight, just in time for Kelly to interview Trump for the launch of her new prime time interview show on Fox broadcast affiliates.

    How did Trump start the interview? With a blatant lie. […] it was indicative of how Trump operates.

    In March, Trump retweeted an unflattering picture of Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz. It was a nasty tweet that seemed to serve no particular purpose.

    Kelly started her interview by asking Trump if he had made any mistakes in the campaign. She noted that he had called the Heidi Cruz tweet a mistake.

    Trump objected to Kelly’s description. “I said I could have done without it, to be exact.”

    Kelly stuck to her guns, saying Trump called it “a mistake.”

    Trump stuck to his gun saying that he “actually didn’t it say it that way.” He added that “you could say [Heidi Cruz is] fair game because she’s very much involved with the campaign.”

    But Trump did call it “a mistake.” He did so in an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. “Yeah, it was a mistake,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.” […]

    this particular lie isn’t very important. But it also illustrates the difficulty of covering candidate Donald Trump. It’s not that he doesn’t tell the truth. It’s that he has total disregard for the truth.

    Confronted with his own words by Megyn Kelly, he stuck to his guns. Kelly knew she was right and Trump was lying. She called him on it and he repeated his lie again. But eventually she had to move on. […]


  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Donald has announced potential SCOTUS candidates to replace Scalia.

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia.
    Trump’s picks include Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri.
    Also on the list are: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas.
    Trump said in March he planned to release the list of potential nominees to ease concerns about his conservative credentials in the Republican primary.
    He said then the list would include judges “that everybody respects, likes and totally admires” and “great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”

    *snicker* Don’t want any conservative.

  202. says

    Nerd @219, yeah, I don’t want of any Trump’s “conservative judges” either.

    From NY Times coverage:

    […] Mr. Trump’s [list] includes the names of several judges who are regular favorites of conservative legal scholars and appointees of President George W. Bush. […]

    Nan Aron, the president of the liberal Alliance for Justice Action Council, deplored Mr. Trump’s choice of potential justices as “dangerous,” noting that her group had opposed several of the Bush appointees. Her group had not researched some of the state judges yet, she said.

    “The list includes some of the most extreme conservatives on the federal bench today,” she said. “Their opinions demonstrate open hostility to Americans’ rights and liberties, including reproductive justice and environmental, consumer and worker protections. They have ruled consistently in favor of the powerful over everyone else. They would move the needle even further to the right on the Supreme Court.”[…]

  203. says

    In a recent Fox News interview, Trump was asked what he thought were the most dangerous places in the world. Trump cited Ferguson and Oakland.

    In other news, the state of Kansas received a slap from a reasonable judge, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson.

    […] Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to disenfranchise anybody who isn’t old and white from voting in the state of Kansas took a step back yesterday, when a judge ruled that Kansas cannot require people to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote at DMVs. […]

    The state immediately said it would appeal. Unless a higher court halts Robinson’s order before the end of the month, it would take effect then, clearing the way for those residents to cast a ballot in the upcoming federal elections. […]


  204. dianne says

    In a recent Fox News interview, Trump was asked what he thought were the most dangerous places in the world. Trump cited Ferguson and Oakland.

    Geez. Trump’s an east coast boy. Couldn’t he at least have said Camden or Newark?

  205. says

    Yet another problem in coal country, executive pay packages:

    […] Most top executives for Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources got compensation increases worth in total millions of dollars as the companies went into massive debt often due to fruitless expansions, the report released Tuesday by Public Citizen, an advocacy organization, found. In conjunction with the report, Public Citizen also sent letters to Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources chief executive officers urging them to invest their multi-million dollar bonuses in a trust fund for laid off workers. […]

    As profits shrank, executives paid themselves more, laid off staff, and cut worker benefits. Public outcry over executives receiving multi-million compensation packages as business collapse has been a common recurrence in the past decade, particularly after the financial crisis of 2008. Then the spotlight fell on banks, which were awarding billions in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits despite the implosion or near-implosion of the companies. As happened then, it’s unlikely that executives will be asked to forgo any of the compensation. […]

  206. says

    Some Republicans in the House of Congress are refusing to pass this year’s National Defense Authorization bill unless the Democrats and moderate Republicans agree to keep an amendment unrelated to national defense. The amendment is a broad “religious liberty” provision to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees.

    […] “It is simply stunning that House Republicans have decided to make targeting LGBT Americans a priority in the Defense Authorization bill,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) said in a statement.

    Pelosi criticized Republican leaders for not allowing a vote on the bipartisan move to reverse the amendment. “Speaker Ryan’s pledges of regular order, transparency, and openness continue to ring more hollow each and every day,” she concluded. […]

    Speaker Ryan is probably afraid of losing his job if he doesn’t kneel before “Freedom Caucus” Republicans.

    The anti-LGBT amendment is also a way to show disrespect to President Obama. It would overturn his executive order protecting LGBT workers who work under federal contracts.

    [The amendment] makes every contract, subcontract, grant, cooperative agreement, and purchase order awarded by every federal agency eligible for a “religious exemption” from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. […]

  207. says

    Donald Trump is lying … again. This time he is lying about saying in a public/published online interview that women who seek abortions should be punished.

    Donald Trump is not sorry, but also, he didn’t say what you thought he said. You definitely heard wrong! You’re the one who should apologize.

    This is the tack the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is taking on the statement that riled Democrats and Republicans alike in March: that women who seek abortions should receive “some form of punishment.”

    In an interview with the New York Times Magazine’s Robert Draper published online on Wednesday, Trump—“rather unconvincingly,” according to Draper—argued that he was misunderstood yet again by the dopey media.

    “I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison,” he said. “I’m saying women punish themselves. I didn’t want people to think in terms of ‘prison’ punishment. And because of that I walked it back.” […]

    Trump’s latest semantic manipulation doesn’t just demonstrate his grade-school-level command of rhetoric and his inability to admit error. It’s also a decent encapsulation of how the core of the Republican Party handles the tricky issue of abortion. As Rewire’s Jodi Jacobson pointed out when Trump made his original comments, the idea that women should be punished for seeking abortion is pretty much the mainstream GOP position—but even hardcore anti-abortion activists are usually too savvy to own up to an ideology that plays so poorly with the general public. […]

    Slate link

  208. says

    Some of Bernie Sanders’ top officials running his campaign in California have quit. I’m not sure what this means, but it doesn’t look good.

    Meanwhile, other supporters are edging away from Sanders because of recent events.

    I’ve been an unapologetic shill for Bernie Sanders, writing articles, sending small donations and attending rallies, but after the recent debacle in my home state of Nevada, coupled with undeniable delegate math, it has became clear to me that Bernie cannot win the nomination. […] But what is more troubling is the heated, false and sometimes vile rage coming out of some Bernie supporters, as they grow ever more frustrated at the loss. I’ve worked hard in my own life to embrace progressive values, and the rhetoric coming from some parts of my own community reminds me of the Tea Party.

    […] He’s changed the conversation for a decade or more, but there is a fine line between supporting a candidate and adopting fact-denying, slanderous behavior that we rightfully condemn when it’s spewed from the right. […]

    Despite my warm, abiding love for Bernie, I can count. Hillary won Nevada, and she won the state convention. She has won more states and votes than my guy. It’s sad, but I’m not a poor loser. Nevada Bernie supporters are furious they weren’t able to wrest more delegates from a state that Sanders lost. We are better than this. Bernie and his movement have done great things, but all the hard work and his important message will be lost if our country ends up moving backwards because of this petty, intraparty battle.

    This sideshow has taken the attention away from the real crazy. In my own state, the GOP had its convention where they chastised a sitting Republican governor for daring to fund schools, called for a repeal of the minimum wage and pushed for a voter ID law. The only thing missing was a party plank to buy an orphanage, kick out the orphans and convert the building into a Chick-fil-A. The debacle at the Democratic Convention took the emphasis off where it should be—on real, honest lunatics. […]

    Salon link

  209. komarov says

    The BBC now reports Zimmerman has sold his gun. There is very little by the way of details, though.
    I’d like to think that the bright side is he won’t be able to hurt anyone else with it, but then, in the US, firearms seem to have the ubiquity of canned goods.

  210. says

    More evidence of tax probems for Donald Trump:

    Trump’s companies have been engaged in battles over taxes almost every year from the late 1980s until as recently as March, the analysis of court cases, property records, and other documents across the country shows. At least five Trump companies were issued warrants totaling more than $13,000 for late or unpaid taxes in New York state just since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015, according to state records.

    This spring, as Trump flew to campaign rallies around the country aboard his trademark private jet, the state of New York filed a tax warrant to try to collect $8,578 in unpaid taxes from the Trump-owned company that owns the Boeing 757. The company has since paid that tax bill.

    USA Today link

  211. says

    This is a followup to comment 200.

    Don’t expect Republicans in Congress to pass the funding needed to protect U.S. citizens from the Zika virus. The Senate and the House Republicans are fighting over just how far to underfund the effort. Some Republicans are suggesting that they’ll fund the response to the Zika virus if Democrats accept cuts to Obamacare.

    […] The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican-backed bill Wednesday night to combat the Zika virus that the White House has already threatened to veto as inadequate.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, would provide $622 million to fight the virus – less than a third of what President Barack Obama asked for three months ago.

    A Senate bill, which is already inadequate, plans to invest $1.1 billion, well short of the $1.9 billion the administration and public-health experts believe is necessary.

    Because the House and Senate passed a very different bill, there will now be a conference committee to work out the differences. By some accounts, it may be “well into the summer, or even longer” before Congress approves a final bill.

    I’m sure the virus will do us all a favor and wait while Republicans try to get their act together.

    The alternative approach, of course, was simply approving the package sent to Capitol Hill by the Obama administration – a package endorsed by the CDC and public-health experts – but Republicans refused. When the Senate considered the White House plan, it had bipartisan support, but not enough to pass.

    At one point yesterday, as the Huffington Post reported, GOP Senate leaders said they’re open to funding the Zika response, but only if Democrats accepted cuts to Obamacare.

    “Would the senator modify her request to include my language… which has the exact same funding levels… but includes a pay-for using the prevention fund in the Affordable Care Act?” [Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas)] said, referring a part of Obamacare that aims to boost public health through preventive means, but that Republicans often target as a slush fund.

    [Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)] objected to Cornyn’s counteroffer, noting that the prevention fund helps keep women and infants healthy – one of her same goals in pushing emergency Zika funding. […]

    Maddow Blog link

    Another useful link:

  212. says

    This is what Donald Trump said in early August of 2015:

    I don’t have pollsters, I don’t want to waste money on pollsters,” the Republican candidate told Chuck Todd. “I don’t want to be unreal. I want to be me. I have to be me. You know, we have enough of that in Washington with pollsters telling everybody what to say and everybody being controlled by the special interests, and the lobbyists, et cetera, and the donors.”

    This is the situation today: Lobbyists (Paul Manafort and his posse) run the Trump campaign; mega-donors (Sheldon Adelson for example) are financing Trump’s general election run; and Trump recently hired a pollster (Tony Fabrizio, a veteran Republican pollster). Trump also has made occasional use of a teleprompter, another thing he said he would never do. “When you’re really, really, really smart like me … I don’t need teleprompters.”

  213. says

    Members of the Republican Party in Texas often manage to be even more objectionable than their compatriots in other states. They made news again on Monday when an active Republican (since the Reagan administration), Syed Ali, was opposed for a leadership position simply because he is a Muslim.

    […] “During my prayer, this man did not bow his head. During the pledge of allegiance, he did not utter a word,” Gordon [Trebor Gordon, the chaplain for the Harris County Republican Party] said at the meeting, […] “He didn’t even try to fake it and move his lips. If you believe that a person can practice Islam and agree to the foundational principles of the Republican Party, it’s not right. It’s not true. It can’t happen. There are things on our platform that he and his beliefs are total opposite.”

    Mike Robertson, a precinct chair, also stood up during the debate that ensued to question Ali’s religion.

    “Can I have a point of information?” Robertson said, as quoted by the Post. “Has there been any factual information provided that Islam is a religion?”

    […] [Syed Ali’s] appointment was ultimately approved after Gordon’s motion to block him failed to pass.[…]

    There’s video at the link of the bigots mouthing off.

  214. says

    This is a followup to comment 224.

    The National Defense Authorization Act was passed in the house. Democrats were unsuccessful in their attempts to strip out amendments that will negatively affect LGBT workers, and that will exempt contractors from following the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Democrats were outnumbered by dunderheaded Republicans.

    Republicans are trying to keep taxpayer dollars flowing to companies that disregard employee safety and steal their workers’ wages.

    The House approved a more than $600 billion spending package for the Department of Defense on Wednesday night, […]

    The House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes policy riders that would roll back two of President Obama’s signature achievements in the multi-billion-dollar world of government contracting. A provision allowing contractors to fire workers over their sexual orientation or gender identity has received significant attention and criticism from LGBT groups and from Democrats in Washington.

    […] Those same contractors would be free to ignore U.S. labor law with impunity under the lower chamber’s version of the defense package.

    Language introduced by Rep. John Kline (R-MN) carves Department of Defense contracts out from the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, issued in 2014. Obama’s action tightens enforcement of a litany of wage, hour, safety, equal opportunity, and other workplace laws, and invokes nearly every piece of the legal code pertaining to jobs and work.

    Contractors have an abysmal record on basic labor law. They stole a combined $82 million in wages from their own workers from 2007 to 2012 alone. More than 40 workers died in connection to safety violations at these companies in that time period. […]

  215. says

    Why do rightwing pundits think that the crash of another Egyptian airliner “may be good politically for Donald Trump”? Stuart Varney said:

    It destabilizes the whole security position in Europe. This plane took off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. I don’t know where it was before then, I think it was in Brussels before then and Casablanca. But the whole idea of the secure European airport is thrown into doubt by incidents of this kind. I also think that this may be good politically for Donald Trump.

    He’s already tweeted out saying this is probably terrorism, I believe that’s the nature of his tweet. He’s the guy who’s saying, hands off, keep Muslims out, temporarily, whilst we figure out who comes in. An incident of this type is surely a plus for Donald Trump.


    Trump knows next to nothing about foreign policy, immigration policy or fighting terrorists. He already jumped the gun with the tweet about terrorism. “Loose cannon” is a good description of Trump.

    Trump plays a tough guy on TV, but he doesn’t have the chops to back that up.

    What a more responsible pundit said:

    […] We were talking earlier off air, wouldn’t it have been appropriate for him to tweet some condolences for the people killed? But he’s playing to an American audience and there were no Americans killed, as far as we know. If one had been on board that plane he probably would have called up the relatives. This is a very cynical ploy by Trump but we’ve gotten used to that I think.


    Here is Trump’s tweet:

    Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!

  216. says

    Bob Bennett was a former senator from Utah (Tea Partiers outed him in 2010). As a Republican and as a mormon, Bennett backed a lot of proposals with which I disagreed, but he was more moderate than the Tea Party doofuses who ousted him, and he was a man with a lot of integrity. He didn’t stoop to lying or bribing to get his agenda across.

    Bennett died on May 4th, but before he passed away he gave us one more example of integrity and compassion in action:

    Former GOP senator Bob Bennett lay partially paralyzed in his bed on the fourth floor of the George Washington University Hospital. He was dying.

    Not 48 hours had passed since a stroke had complicated his yearlong fight against pancreatic cancer. The cancer had begun to spread again, necessitating further chemotherapy. The stroke had dealt a further blow that threatened to finish him off.

    Between the hectic helter-skelter of nurses, doctors, and well wishes from a long-cultivated community of friends and former aides, Bennett faced a quiet moment with his son Jim and his wife Joyce.

    […] with a slight slurring in his words, Bennett drew them close to express a dying wish: “Are there any Muslims in the hospital?” he asked.

    “I’d love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump,” Bennett told his wife and son […]

    The Daily Beast link

  217. says

    Oklahoma legislators think that punishment for abortion should begin now:

    Oklahoma lawmakers have moved to effectively ban abortion in their state by making it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure, […]

    The bill , […] also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

    It passed 33-12 Thursday with no discussion or debate; a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, an anti-abortion Republican will withhold comment until her staff has time to review it, Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said.

    Dahm made it clear that he hopes his bill could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade.

    “Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception,” said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow.

    But abortion rights supporters — and the state’s medical association — have said the bill is unconstitutional. Sen. Ervin Yen, an Oklahoma City Republican and the only physician in the Senate, described the measure as “insane” and voted against it.

    “Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low,” Amanda Allen, an attorney for the New-York based center said in a statement. “The Center for Reproductive Rights is closely watching this bill and we strongly urge Governor Fallin to reject this cruel and unconstitutional ban.” […]

    Associated Press link

  218. says

    You may remember Senator Tom Cotton for his efforts to derail the Iran Nuclear deal by sending Iranian leaders a letter that advised them not to trust President Obama. The republican doofus has engaged in a lot of other questionable pursuits, but let’s take a look at just his latest exercise in stupidity.

    We know that we have an over-incarceration problem in the U.S, which is just one of the issues needing reform in our criminal justice system. Tom Cotton disagrees:

    [Cotton] slammed his colleagues’ efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms, saying the United States is actually suffering from an “under-incarceration problem.”

    Cotton, who has been an outspoken critic of the bill in Congress that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences, smacked down what he called “baseless” arguments that there are too many offenders locked up for relatively small crimes, that incarceration is too costly, or that “we should show more empathy toward those caught up in the criminal-justice system.”

    “[…] First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed,” Cotton […] “Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

    […] Cotton said releasing felons under reduced sentences serves only to destabilize the communities in which they are released. […]

    “Now, it’s true there were felon-disenfranchisement laws that deliberately targeted blacks after Reconstruction. Each of those laws has been justly struck down by the Supreme Court or amended to rid them of their original racial animus,” Cotton said. ” But that sad chapter in our history doesn’t undermine the logic behind modern felon disenfranchisement laws. Should murderers, rapists, and others whose behavior fall so far outside the norms of our society be immediately accommodated? […] Should felons be trusted to elect legislators who make the law, prosecutors who enforce it, and judges who apply it?”

    “Now let me make something clear: black lives do matter. The lives being lost to violence in America’s cities are predominantly those of young black men, with devastating consequences for their families and their communities,” he said. But the police aren’t the culprits. In nearly every case, the blood is on the hands of criminals, drug dealers, and gang members.” […]

    Politico link

  219. says

    Donald Trump has a new energy advisor. With this climate change skeptic, is Trump trying to convince us that he knows how to choose “the best people” to advise him?

    Donald Trump has a new energy adviser, Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. And that should worry us all. Cramer, who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is an avowed climate change skeptic. This should come as no surprise given Trump’s past comments (“it’s called weather”), but it’s still terrifying all the same.

    According to the campaign, Cramer will step into his role by preparing two papers on energy policy in the coming months. And after that, hypothetically, he would be a leading candidate for secretary of energy in a Trump administration. […]

  220. says

    There’s a lot more anti-semitism in the ranks of Trump supporters than you may have thought.

    […] New York Times Washington editor, Jonathan Weisman tweeted out a link to a Robert Kagan editorial in the Washington Post. Kagan’s editorial explained the relationship between what’s happening with Trump and fascism, […]

    The response that Jonathan Weisman received did nothing to dispel the connection between Trump supporters and those of earlier fascist movements.
    Poor @jonathanweisman is 4 open borders, sexual degeneracy, and turning the US into 3rd world shithole. Elite Jews went 2 far and have 2 go.
    @jonathanweisman get used to it you fucking kike. You people will be made to pay for the violence and fraud you’ve committed against us.
    @ajbarnett75 @jonathanweisman I’d like to see you in a work camp.
    after the Mexicans and Muslims you filth are next.
    Roughly 85% of #Jews consistently vote as #progressives, hence aren’t fit to be American citizens. #DeportThemAll #libtards […]

    The wash of anti-Semitism included not only cartoons of hook-nosed stereotypes rubbing their hands over ways to make money off illegal immigration and terrorism, but images of bodies in concentration camps being bulldozed into pits and quotes labeling Jews the world’s greatest mass murderers. There were selections from Mein Kampf, and boasting of how Trump was fulfilling a “Saxon uprising.”

    Here’s an excerpt from the article that caused the anti-semitics to convulse:

    That this tough-guy, get-mad-and-get-even approach has gained him an increasingly large and enthusiastic following has probably surprised Trump as much as anyone else. Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenon he has created and now leads has become something larger than him, and something far more dangerous.

    Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” …

    This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society.

    As journalist Mark Sumner put it:

    What they have is anger, militancy, and the cult following of a single strongman leader. What they have is racism, a simplistic nationalism, a concept of governing both domestically and internationally that is based on bullying and threats. What they have is the mindset of children pulling the wings from flies. The rest is window dressing.


  221. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Oklahoma Legislature, in true homo/transphobic fashion, wants to impeach President Obama. Of course this is due to the letter from the Justice Department reminding them of Title 9 protections.

    Oklahoma’s Republican-dominated legislature has filed a measure calling for President Barack Obama’s impeachment over his administration’s recommendations on accommodating transgender students, saying he overstepped his constitutional authority.
    Lawmakers in the socially conservative state are also expected to take up a measure as early as Friday that would allow students to claim a religious right to have separate but equal bathrooms and changing facilities to segregate them from transgender students.
    The bill introduced on Thursday night could force schools into costly construction, which would be difficult for them to complete after lawmakers significantly cut education funding to plug a $1.3 billion state budget shortfall.
    The impeachment resolution also introduced on Thursday night calls on the Oklahoma members of the U.S. House of Representatives to file articles of impeachment against Obama, the U.S. attorney general, the U.S. secretary of education and others over the letter.

    This from a group that just made it a crime to perform abortions, which is very likely unconstitutional.

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Update on the #241 abortion bill. The Governor of Oklahoma vetoed the bill.

    Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion, a measure that would have effectively outlawed the procedure in the state.
    In vetoing the measure, Fallin said it was vague and would not withstand a legal challenge.

    There is still the possibility of overriding the veto.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There was a shooting of an armed man near the White House.

    A U.S. Secret Service officer shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House on Friday afternoon and refused to drop his weapon, the Secret Service said.

    Meanwhile, the Donald is complaining about any gun restrictions at the NRA.

    Trump’s remarks came at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky. The gun rights organization endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee ahead of his remarks, despite Trump’s previous support for measures like an assault weapons ban that the NRA vigorously opposes.
    The businessman has taken a far less restrictive stance on guns during the Republican presidential primary. His call for ending “gun-free zones” across the country was enthusiastically welcomed by the NRA crowd.

    The Donald is incapable of understanding the more guns equals more incidents, even those where he could be the target.

  224. says

    Nerd @243, all good points regarding Trump’s stance(s) on gun control, and thanks for noting Trump’s great timing in saying that he wants guns everywhere right after an armed man approached the White House.

    Trump does not allow guns on his Florida estate/golf course, yet he says he doesn’t want any gun-free zones to exist anywhere.

    Trump reversed his previous position(s) on gun control.

    Trump claimed during his NRA speech that Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment, and that she wants to take everyone’s guns. He told a fiction about a single mom being defenseless in a bad neighborhood. Trump’s description of Clinton’s gun-control policy is completely bonkers. Lies, lies and more damned lies.

    Clinton’s policies include universal background checks, limits on the sale of cartridges that hold huge amounts of bullets, legislation to stop domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns, closing the “Charleston Loophole” (allows a gun sale to proceed if the background check has not been completed in three days), etc. No, she has never pushed for repealing the 2nd Amendment, and no, she does not want to do that now. During Trump’s speech, he repeated that canard multiple times. NRA Chief Doofuses were all smiles when they joined Trump on stage. It was sickening.

  225. says

    Following what the Pope says is like riding an emotional roller coaster. He’ll say some stupid Catholic stuff, and then he’ll follow that up by talking about some correct and laudable social justice goals.

    Pope Francis has blasted employers who do not provide health care as bloodsucking leeches and he also took aim at the popular “theology of prosperity” in a pointed sermon on the dangers of wealth. Referring to businesses that hire employees on part-time contracts so they don’t have to provide health and pension benefits, Francis said Thursday that was akin to sucking the blood from their workers’ veins, leaving them “to eat air.”

    Religion News link

  226. says

    New York Times link

    With an increasing number of Americans leaving religion behind, the University of Miami received a donation in late April from a wealthy atheist to endow what it says is the nation’s first academic chair “for the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics.”

    The chair has been established after years of discussion with a $2.2 million donation from Louis J. Appignani, a retired businessman and former president and chairman of the modeling school Barbizon International, who has given grants to many humanist and secular causes — though this is his largest so far. The university, which has not yet publicly announced the new chair, will appoint a committee of faculty members to conduct a search for a scholar to fill the position.

    “I’m trying to eliminate discrimination against atheists,” said Mr. Appignani, who is 83 and lives in Florida. “So this is a step in that direction, to make atheism legitimate.” […]

  227. says

    Paid family leave is a popular concept. It is supported by 72% of the people who were polled. Republican legislators stand in the way of making paid family leave a reality.

    An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Friday said 72 percent support paid family leave. Democrats were more likely to back it, but Republicans also expressed strong support. Overall, support was stronger among people age 40-64 and among women.

    A bill to make that leave paid was introduced in the Senate last year but has gone nowhere in Congress. Among the presidential candidates, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have voiced support for paid family leave. Donald Trump hasn’t offered a clear opinion. […]

    AP link

  228. says

    Excerpt from President Obama’s weekly address, during which he talked about overtime pay:

    Hi everybody. Last summer, I got a letter from a woman named Elizabeth Paredes from Tucson, Arizona. Elizabeth is the mom of a 3-year-old boy, and an assistant manager at a sandwich shop. She earns about $2,000 a month, and she routinely works some 50 hours a week, sometimes even more. But because of outdated overtime regulations, she doesn’t have to be paid a dime of overtime.

    She wrote: “It’s not easy work and requires a lot of time away from my son… at times I find [it’s] not worth it.”

    Things like the 40-hour workweek and overtime are two of the most basic pillars of a middle class life. But for all the changes we’ve seen in our economy, our overtime rules have only been updated once since the 1970s. Just once. In fact, forty years ago, more than 60 percent of workers were eligible for overtime based on their salaries. But today, that number is down to seven percent. Only seven percent of full-time salaried workers are eligible for overtime based on their income.

    That’s why this week, my Administration took a step to help more workers get the overtime pay they’ve earned. The Department of Labor finalized a rule to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million more Americans. It’s a move that will boost wages for working Americans by $12 billion over the next 10 years. We’re more than doubling the overtime salary threshold. And what that means is, most salaried workers who earn less than about $47,500 a year will qualify for overtime. Or, their employers can choose to give them a raise so that they earn more than $47,500. Or, if employers don’t want to raise wages, they can let them go home after 40 hours and see their families or train for new jobs. Any way you slice it, it’s a win for working families. And we’re making sure that every three years, there will be an automatic update to this threshold – so that working families won’t fall through the cracks for decades at a time ever again .[…]

  229. says

    Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow talked about Gary Johnson’s Libertarian ticket and the fact that the third party candidate is potentially viable for the general election. Link. The video is 11:31 minutes long.

    In other news, Republican politicians have goofed up before when talking about gay people, but this mistake is kind of funny. The 2016 Texas Republican platform written by the state-level chapter of the party contains this section:

    Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

    By using “has” instead of “have,” the Texans have declared that the behavior of LGBT people is “ordained by God.” Whoops. “Has” refers to “behaviors”. If they had used “have,” it would have referred to “unchanging truths.”

  230. says

    More coverage of Trump’s lies when he courted the National Rifle Association’s endorsement:

    BROOKE BALDWIN (CNN HOST): Angela Rye, we heard Mr. Trump say Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. Is that true?

    ANGELA RYE: Of course it’s not, Brooke. He repeated that lie three times today and, of course, has repeated it all throughout this month. It has been disproven by PolitiFact. They called the Trump campaign to respond to the claims that he’s made for some time now, and they couldn’t get a response.

    They’ve also talked to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and they made it abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton wants to do no such thing. What she has continued to say, as every other well meaning politician and human being in this country, is ensure that there is a proper balance between human beings — American’s right to bear arms and what actually happens here. […]

    I also want to draw your attention, Brooke, to a quote from Donald Trump […] from 2012 when he said, “President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in Newtown, Connecticut.” And of course, that was in December, 2012, after children lost their lives to gun violence.

    […] Hillary Clinton has touted the importance of background checks, and at one point Donald Trump in his right mind did the same thing. It is time for him to find himself, his conscience, and be honest about the detrimental impacts of gun violence in this country. […]

    Media Matters link

  231. says

    The Hardball With Chris Matthews show highlighted Trump’s Libya flip flop (or lie if you will) on Morning Joe.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): During a phone interview this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said he would have stayed out of Libya back in 2011.


    MATTHEWS: Well, but what Trump told Morning Joe this morning is the opposite of something he said in his own video blog back in February of 2011 itself. Right about the time the Obama administration was debating whether to intervene in that country. At that time, Trump said that the United States should go in and stop Muammar Gaddafi.


    MATTHEWS: Well, here he is now in the present time, a man that is the new Donald Trump, the new model this year, anyway, at the campaign trail he called for less intervention in the world but he also calls himself the most militaristic, catch this, even more militaristic than George W. Bush. So, another angle to the man.

  232. says

    James O’Keefe messes up again, apparently in an effort to prove that he is as sleazy as has been reported:

    Conservative media darling James O’Keefe accidentally detailed his plans to infiltrate and smear progressive organizations […] continuing a string of embarrassing missteps in his attempts at undercover stings.

    After leaving Geraghty [Dana Geraghty, an employee of liberal philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations] a voicemail claiming to be “Victor Kesh,” a “Hungarian-American who represents a, uh, foundation,” O’Keefe held “a meeting about how to perpetrate an elaborate sting on Soros,” unaware that his phone was still connected to Geraghty’s voicemail. During the call, O’Keefe outlined plans to send an “undercover” operative posing as a potential donor to the foundation in a project he named “Discover the Networks.” O’Keefe’s plot involved using an English orthopedic surgeon with “a real heavy British accent” to secretly film Soros-linked progressive organizations.

    From the New Yorker:

    The accidental recording reached farcical proportions when Kesh announced that he was opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page on his computer. He planned to check her résumé and leverage the information to penetrate the Soros “octopus.” Kesh said, “She’s probably going to call me back, and if she doesn’t I can create other points of entry.” Suddenly, Kesh realized that by opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page he had accidentally revealed his own LinkedIn identity to her. (LinkedIn can let users see who has looked at their pages.)

    “Whoa!” an accomplice warned. “Log out!” The men anxiously reassured one another that no one checks their LinkedIn account anyway. “It was a little chilling to hear this group of men talking about me as a ‘point of entry,’ ” Geraghty says. “But—not to sound ageist—it was clear that these people were not used to the technology.”



    […] O’Keefe previously targeted the Clinton campaign for legally selling a t-shirt, which he described as money laundering. O’Keefe also attempted to lure CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau onto a boat with “props” like a “condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, [and] fuzzy handcuffs” and previously pled guilty to “misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses in connection with an attempted video sting at the office of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.”

    O’Keefe is best known for his “sting” videos of ACORN, in which he claimed his highly edited tapes were a “nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation” that implicated ACORN employees. Three separate investigations cleared ACORN workers of criminal wrongdoing, and in 2013, O’Keefe and his video partner Hannah Giles agreed to pay an ACORN employee they had smeared a $150,000 settlement.

    And yet, to this day, rightwing media organizations portray ACORN as a liberal menace. ACORN no longer exists, and hasn’t existed for some time, but Republican legislators also regularly vote to defund ACORN.

  233. says

    The Zika virus has accomplished something that no amount of lobbying by mormon women was able to achieve: mormon leaders (all men, of course) have decreed that female missionaries for the LDS church can now wear pants. The goal is to help those young women ward off the Zika virus while they
    serve a two year term in South America, and to ward off other diseases in many countries.

    Some “sister” LDS missionaries will now be allowed to wear pants during their full-time proselytizing service — but only in areas affected by mosquito-borne viral diseases such as Zika, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya and only during the “wet seasons.”

    In those areas — which include 230 missions, or roughly half the Utah-based faith’s missions — female missionaries are “strongly encouraged to wear clothing that covers exposed skin, especially arms and legs … during [proselytizing] hours,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement Friday. “They will continue to wear skirts or dresses when attending the temple and during Sunday worship services, conferences and baptismal services.” […]

    The new missionary health-and-safety guidelines — announced by the governing First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles [bunch of geriatric white dudes] […]

    The affected areas, the statement said, include parts of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, the Pacific, Philippines and South America.

    In addition to the dress-code changes, the LDS Church will now cover the cost of permethrin insecticide solution and DEET-containing insect repellent for all of its 74,000-plus missionaries. […]

    Mormon writer and editor Emily Jensen welcomed the news about pants for women missionaries, but wondered why it wasn’t extended to all who ride bikes.

    “It does not have to be a uniform rule, but riding bikes with skirts takes experience and certain types of bike equipment (like fenders) so that the skirts do not get caught in the spokes, chains or rims,” Jensen said. “Also, windy days can make for both flashings and frustrations.” […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link

  234. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It appears that the Donald may be having some problems with women who normally vote rethuglican.

    For Donald Trump to win the White House in November, he’ll need the votes of women like lifelong Republican Wendy Emery.
    Yet the 52-year-old from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, is struggling with the idea of voting for her party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
    “I’m just disappointed, really disappointed,” she said while standing in her arts and crafts shop. She and her circle of friends are “still in shock” over Trump’s success and wonder who’s voting for him, “because we don’t know any of them.”
    Emery’s negative impression of Trump was shared by most of the dozens of white, suburban women from politically important states who were interviewed by The Associated Press this spring. Their views are reflected in opinion polls, such as a recent AP-GfK survey that found 70 percent of women have unfavorable opinions of Trump.
    Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign sees that staggering figure as a tantalizing general election opening.
    While white voters continue to abandon the Democratic Party, small gains with white women could help put likely nominee Clinton over the top if the November election is close. Democrats believe these women could open up opportunities for Clinton in North Carolina, where President Barack Obama struggled with white voters in his narrow loss in the state 2012, and even in Georgia, a Republican stronghold that Democrats hope to make competitive.
    Patty Funderburg of Charlotte, North Carolina, voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, but says she’s already convinced that Trump won’t get her vote.
    “He’s not who I’d want to represent our country,” said Funderburg, a 54-year-old mother of three./blockquote>If they won’t vote for Clinton, hopefully, they will not for Trump either. Which is indirectly a vote for Clinton.

  235. says

    This is a followup to comment 249.

    More campaign money news:

    Hillary Clinton, seeking a governing coalition if she wins the White House, is pumping millions of dollars into key battleground states at the heart of her presidential map and Democrats’ quest to regain control of the Senate.

    The Democratic National Committee and state parties are spending about $2 million initially to build coordinated campaigns in eight battleground states with competitive Senate races. The money is being raised by Clinton’s campaign through her Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that allows Clinton to raise large checks of more than $350,000 from wealthy donors. […]

    Associated Press link

    The first states where this new effort from the Democratic Party will be focused are:
    New Hampshire
    North Carolina

    Six of those state have Republican Senators running for reelection. Democrats are hoping to win those Senate seats.

  236. says

    Donald Trump’s latest foray into Ridiculous and Stupid Land is to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service detail disarm. He thinks Secret Service agents protecting Clinton should not have guns because Clinton is trying to get rid of all guns.

    Of course, Clinton is not trying to get rid of all guns. And why would anyone suggest that a Secret Service detail should be disarmed?

    Crooked Hillary wants to get rid of all guns and yet she is surrounded by bodyguards who are fully armed. No more guns to protect Hillary! […]

    Hillary wants to disarm vulnerable Americans in high-crime neighborhoods. Whether it’s a young single mom in Florida or a grandmother in Ohio, Hillary wants them to be defenseless, wants to take away any chance they have of survival. … And that’s why we’re going to call her”‘Heartless Hillary”’

    Washington Post link

  237. says

    “We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils,” Sanders said.

    For my tastes, that’s stepping over the line. I don’t think Hillary Clinton should be put in the category of “evil.” Sanders did clarify that he wasn’t speaking from his view of the other two candidates, but from the voters’ view. “Well, if you look – No, I wouldn’t describe it, but that’s what the American people are saying,” Sanders replied. “If you look at the favorability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables.”

    I still don’t think that puts Clinton in the “evil” category, even for most voters. Maybe Sanders just slipped into using a common phrase? Some Republicans view Clinton as evil, and that’s after they spent about three decades demonizing her and lying about her, but most Democrats rely on news sources other than rightwing media.

  238. says

    NBC News’ “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Clinton if she thought Sanders was helping presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by staying in the race.

    “Oh, I don’t think so. I think that Senator Sanders has every right to finish off his campaign however he chooses,” Clinton said.

  239. says

    This is a followup to comment 257.

    The executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, is backing up Donald Trump’s outlandish claims:

    If she could, Hillary would ban every gun, destroy every magazine, run an entire national security industry right into the ground, and put your name on a government registration list. If she gets her hands on the Supreme Court and stacks it with just one more justice, every total gun ban she dreams, every confiscation scheme that she craves, would stand up in her court and we’ll all be kissing our Second Amendment freedom goodbye.

    A look at the facts:

    In reality, Clinton does not want to ban all guns or take away people’s right to self-defense. Her campaign platform includes expanded background checks, taking military-grade weapons off of the streets, making it easier for victims to hold gun manufacturers and sellers accountable, and preventing domestic abusers from owning firearms — while acknowledging that “gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities.”

  240. says

    This is a followup to comments 257 and 260.

    Wayne LaPierre and the NRA definitely want ex-felons to be able to purchase firearms. When it comes to ex-felons having voting rights? Hell, no.

    There’s no limit as to how far the elites will go to put Hillary into the White House. They’re even allowing convicted felons the right to vote, including violent rapists and murderers. Sounds outrageous but it’s true. The Democratic-led Maryland General Assembly did it for 44,000 ex-cons. In Virginia, Democratic Governor Terry McAullife, Hillary’s longtime bag man, did it for 206,000 convicted felons. Tentacles of the Clinton machine are out registering those felons right now. They’re releasing them and then they’re registering them. Heck, when they sign their release papers, they might as well, at the prison door, be standing there giving them a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker. It’s unbelievable.


  241. says

    This is a followup to comments 257, 260 and 261.

    Donald Trump has already contradicted the statement he made about eliminating gun-free zones (part of a speech he made to NRA supporters). Trump went on to contradict himself in a different way within the same interview, within the same sentence:

    “I’m not advocating guns in classrooms,” Trump said on Sunday, “but remember in some cases — a lot of people made this case — teachers should have guns, trained teachers should have guns in classrooms.

    Trump’s tweet regarding Hillary Clinton’s objections to the gun policy points he made in his speech:

    Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!

    More background information related to this debate about gun rights and Trump’s comments:

    Trump’s claim that he is “not advocating guns in classrooms” is a stark reversal from the position he took during a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting Friday, where he told a crowd of roughly 80,000 NRA members that he would do away with gun-free zones.

    The presumptive nominee has criticized gun-free zones in the past, notably in the wake of the October mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, which left 10 dead.

    “It was a gun-free zone,” Trump said during a speech days after the incident. “I will tell you — if you had a couple of the teachers or somebody with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off.” (Umpqua Community College was not a gun-free zone.)

    Trump also criticized gun control laws in the wake of the November terrorist attacks in Paris, arguing that the country’s strict gun laws contributed to the attack. He said that if he had been in the attack, armed with a gun, “it would have been a much, much different result.”

    Gun’s rights advocates have seized upon the issue of gun-free zones, claiming that terrorists and shooters specifically target areas where guns are not permitted, and fewer violent incidents occur in areas where people are allowed to carry guns.

    The statistics, however, don’t support that theory. According to an FBI study of active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013, 21 active shooting incidents were stopped by unarmed civilians, while just one was stopped by an armed civilian.

  242. says

    Trinity Academy, a private Christian high school in Kansas, maintains a strict anti-LBGT stance. In fact, the school would even expel students who live in a household that promotes equality for LGBT people, or perhaps the school intends to deny admission to such students.

    Given the debate and confusion in our society about marriage and human sexuality it is vital that Trinity families agree with and support the school’s traditional, Christian understanding of those issues. Therefore, when the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to the school’s understanding of a biblical lifestyle, including the practice or promotion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lifestyle or alternative gender identity, the school should have the right, in its sole discretion, to deny the admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student.

    The quoted text is from Trinity Academy’s ” Statement of Understanding and Agreement for Parent and Student”.


  243. Nick Gotts says

    Grim indeed. Although postal votes remain to be counted, the far-right candidate, Norbert Hofer, has a 3.8% lead, and postal votes account for only around 12% of votes. Another stage in Europe’s slide toward fascism 2.0, fueled both by economic problems, the “migrant crisis” (the real crisis, of course, is that affecting the migrants), and Islamophobia. The Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) has close links with other crypto-fascist parties including the Front National in France, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the AfD in Germany, Wilders’ PVV in the Netherlands, the Sweden Democrats, etc. It is a component of the far-right “Europe of Nations and Freedom” group in the European Parliament,/A>.

    The Austrian constitution is an odd one: the President appoints the government, but the latter is effectively unable to act without the support of the lower house of Parliament, the “National Council”. The current government is a coalition of the two establishment parties (centre-right and centre-left) which have dominated Austrian politics since the end of WWII. Hofer has threatened to dismiss it, which looks to me like a recipe for political deadlock.

  244. Nick Gotts says

    Sorry, a link-closure failure @265. However, the first link works, and the second link works if you click toward the right end of it.

  245. Nick Gotts says

    According to the BBC, the Austrian President’s powers are somewhat different from those given by Wikipedia. I suspect there may be real ambiguities in the constitution – which could set the scene for a full-scale constitutional crisis. Also according to the BBC, Hofer wore a cornflower in his buttonhole when registering as a Presidential candidate. The cornflower was a Nazi symbol in the 1930s. It’s worth noting that Austria never went through the kind of de-Nazification programme West Germany did after WWII – the pretence was that it was a victim of Nazi aggression rather than a willing participant.

  246. starfleetdude says

    Minnesota switches from caucuses to a primary to pick presidential nominees.

    Minnesota to adopt presidential nominees

    ST. PAUL — Minnesota will move from a presidential caucus to a presidential primary for the 2020 election.

    Gov. Mark Dayton signed the switch into law on Sunday.

    Under the new system, voters would make their February partisan presidential picks in an election run by the state, rather than in caucuses run by parties.

    Whether individual voters picked a Republican ballot or a Democratic one would become public, under the new law. But voters would not be bound in any way to their partisan picks in future elections nor would they have to register with any party in advance of the presidential primary.

  247. dianne says

    @Giliell: As basically a Gastarbeiter (Gastarbeiterin?) in southern Germany, I would really appreciate it if you did. Those people are scary!

    OTOH, they went for the sane one in the end, but extremely close margin.

  248. wzrd1 says

    As far as I’m concerned, one more major misadventure from Austria, considering the last one, I’ll happily advocate for glassing the entire region from orbit.
    It’s the only way to be sure.

  249. says

    Donald Trump claimed, falsely, to have opposed invading Iraq. ISIS uses him as a recruiting tool. He has given two contradictory answers when questioned about Libya.

    Trump in 2016:

    On Libya? I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Qaddafi were in charge right now. … You look at Libya right now, ISIS as we speak is taking over their oil. We would have been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.

    Trump in 2011:

    Qaddafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is. And we’re sitting around, we have soldiers all over the Middle East, and we’re not bring them in to stop this horrible carnage. That’s what it is. Carnage. You talk about all the things that have happened in history, this could be one of the worst. Now, we should go in. We should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick.

    So what does this doofus say about Hillary Clinton?

    [she] “knows nothing about national security” […] “she’s incompetent.”

    “She is grossly incompetent when it comes to national security. And ISIS sits back and laughs at her.”

    A smarter,more politically adept candidate might criticize some of the policies supported by then-Secretary of State Clinton, but to say “knows nothing about national security” just highlights Trump’s know-nothing status.

  250. says

    Donald Trump has repeatedly dismissed global warming as a “hoax.” However, he wants to build a sea wall to protect one of the oceanfront golf courses he owns.
    Politico link

    Donald Trump says he is “not a big believer in global warming.” He has called it “a total hoax,” “bullshit” and “pseudoscience.”

    But he is also trying to build a sea wall designed to protect one of his golf courses from “global warming and its effects.”

    [He applied] for permission to erect coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare.

    A permit application for the wall, […] explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure. […]

  251. says

    The state of Virginia just lost a court case related to gerrymandering voting districts. Baby steps have been made toward ending aggressive gerrymandering: <blockquote<

    Nearly two years ago, a federal court struck down Virginia’s congressional maps, finding that state lawmakers engaged in an unconstitutional racial gerrymander when they packed tens of thousands of African-American voters into the already strongly Democratic district […] thus effectively diluting the impact of black voters in the state.

    In 2012, the year of the last presidential race, the state’s gerrymandered maps allowed Republicans to capture 8 of the state’s 11 congressional seats, despite the fact that President Obama won the state by 3 points.

    On Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal brought by three Republican members of Congress who hoped to maintain the old maps. […]

    That’s good news for Democrats, but also probably not earth-shattering news. In January, the lower court drew new maps for the state that corrects the racial gerrymander in Scott’s district by redrawing that district and a few that surround it. […] that almost certainly means an additional Democratic member of Congress under the new maps. […]
    Think Progress link

  252. blf says

    The Grauniad is reporting the Austrian fruitcake lost and has conceded defeat.

    (There are so many problems with comment at FtB at the moment I am not providing any links or excerpts, it’s too frustrating.)

  253. says

    With the softball, primetime interview of Trump conducted by Megyn Kelly, Fox News signaled that it is completely onboard the Trump endorsement train, no hard questions asked.

    To that end, Fox will continue to ask hard questions about Hillary Clinton, and more to the point, Fox will continue to smear Clinton relentlessly with debunked bull pucky.

    Fox & Friends hosted Peter Schweizer, executive producer of the film Clinton Cash — based on the error-riddled book of the same name — who relied on a number of debunked and baseless claims to attack former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Schweizer recycled the debunked claim that Clinton failed to block the Russian purchase of American uranium mines after the Russian government donated to the Clinton Foundation and alleged that the Clintons “cashed in” on Clinton’s role as secretary of state through speaking fees.

    An excerpt from a Fox News interview in which Peter Schweitzer spoke at length:

    […] the film really walks people through very real examples of how the Clintons have basically become wealthy by peddling government influence and power. And what’s interesting about the story is we’re not talking about Wall Street or large oil companies in the United States, we’re talking about foreign governments and foreign corporations. That’s, I think, what’s so shocking about what the Clintons have done that’s unprecedented with any other political figures in American history.[…]

    Media Matters link

  254. says

    blf @275, I am also encountering some problems posting comments. I make sure I copy the comment before I try to post, just in case things go wonky.

    Usually, I can post on the second try. The first try gives me a “timed out” error.

    Thanks for the update on the elections in Austria. That was troubling. Glad the fruitcake lost.

  255. says

    Lindsey Graham said this stuff over the past few months:

    [Donald Trump is a] “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”
    I think Donald Trump is all-over-the-board crazy.”
    I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.
    I cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative, nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as commander in chief.

    Graham is now telling donors to give money to Trump’s campaign, and to unite behind Trump.

    Graham urged GOP donors at a private fundraiser Saturday in Florida to unite behind Trump’s campaign and stressed the importance of keeping likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from the White House. The fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman who also co-chaired Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.

    CNN link

  256. says

    Here’s some interesting background on Frank Amedia of Touch Heaven Ministries. Since Trump has named Amedia as his “liaison for Christian policy” I think we should know what levels of goofiness to expect.

    Amedia is a self-proclaimed “apostle.” He claims that he can stop a tsunami:

    I stood at the edge of my bed and I said, “In the name of Jesus, I declare that tsunami to stop now.” And I specifically said, “I declare those waters to recede,” and I said, “Father, that is my child, I am your child, I’m coming to you now and asking you to preserve her.” Apostle, it was seen by 400 people on a cliff. It was on YouTube, it was actually on the news that that tsunami stopped 200 feet off of shore. Even after having sucked the waters in, it churned and it went on and did devastation in the next island.

    Right Wing Watch link

    I’m thinking that Trump should have this guy play another role, not just “liaison for Christian policy.” Amedia could stand watch over Donald Trump’s golf course in Ireland to protect it from sea levels rising due to global warming. (See comment 273.)

  257. says

    Donald Trump’s latest attack ad is not just stupid, it is really ugly.

    Trump posted an ominous video on Instagram that starts with a black-and-white photo of the White House as various women describe allegations against the former president. “No woman should be subjected to it—it was an assault,” one woman says. Then the image slowly fades into a cigar-smoking Bill Clinton.

    The video closes with a picture of Hillary and Bill sitting together, superimposed with text asking, “Here We Go Again?” There’s audio of Hillary cackling. […]

    Trump has his own history to deal with when it comes to women, including Ivana claiming that Trump “raped” her while they were married. (She has since withdrawn that claim.)

    Mother Jones posted the video.

  258. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Re 279,

    Frank Amedia gives a great example of Xian compassion. Hey, God, spare us and nail those heathens over there instead.

  259. says

    What a Maroon @282, exactly. God saved that dunderhead Amedia, but whoever lived on the next island was devastated. I know the god of christians is also a dunderhead, but I’m still not buying it. (/sarcasm) Amedia is a narcissistic dunderhead, just like Trump.

    In other news, temperatures in India hit 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit today.

    And in other other news, the World Health Organization issued a statement about the Zika virus:

    The Zika epidemic and the birth defects it’s causing are both the fault of governments that abandoned programs to control mosquitoes and to provide even the most basic family planning assistance to young women, the head of the World Health Organization said Monday.

  260. says

    This is a followup to comment 273.

    Former Representative Bob Inglis, who is a Republican from South Carolina, made some cogent comments about Trump’s proposed seawall to protect his golf course in Ireland:

    Donald Trump is working to ensure his at-risk properties and his company is trying to figure out how to deal with sea level rise. Meanwhile, he’s saying things to audiences that he must know are not true. You have a soft place in your heart for people who are honestly ignorant, but people who are deceitful, that’s a different thing.

  261. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna #284, your quote of Bob Inglis is exactly what would be the strategy to defeat Trump in November. He obviously knows better, but lies to convince people he is with them. That is known as flip-flop. Highlight all such lies, loudly and often, with the question “how can you trust him?”

  262. says

    Nerd @285, I agree. The same tactic can be taken with almost everything Trump has said.

    In other news, Donald Trump is just asking the question, “Was Vince Foster murdered by the Clintons?” Yeah, right. Just asking the question. Trump is throwing a thoroughly debunked rightwing conspiracy (another one!) into the presidential election because he wants to increase Hillary Clinton’s “not trustworthy” rating.

    In the 1990s, Republicans pushed for several independent counsel investigations into Vince Foster’s suicide. They all concluded that, yes, it was a suicide (as the original law enforcement investigation also concluded). More on the debunking of the conspiracy theory will be presented in a separate comment.

    Trump called the death of Foster “very fishy” and the allegations against the Clintons “very serious.” Trump went on to say:

    He had intimate knowledge of what was going on. He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.

    It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary.

    I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.

    This is disgusting. Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour waffled on the Vince Foster question saying that he didn’t know if the Clintons murdered Foster. So, yes, we can expect a resurrection of this conspiracy theory. Trump and various Republicans are wallowing in it.

  263. says

    This is a followup to comment 288.

    Vince Foster killed himself in 1993. According to rightwing conspiracy theorists, Hillary Clinton either killed him herself, or she had him killed. Trump has revived the conspiracy theory.

    Here is a presentation of just some of the thorough debunking of this conspiracy theory:

    The Office of the Independent Counsel — then headed by Kenneth Starr — completed its inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Foster’s death with a report issued on October 11, 1997, which concluded that “based on investigation and analysis of the evidentiary record, that Mr. Foster committed suicide by gunshot in Fort Marcy Park.” The Office of the Independent Counsel’s report also excerpted the findings of several other investigations into the death of Vince Foster, all of which conclusively determined that his death was a suicide. These investigations included:

    An August 10, 1993, joint report by the Department of Justice, FBI, and Park Police, in which Robert Langston, chief of the U.S. Park Police, asserted: “The condition of the scene, the medical examiner’s findings and the information gathered clearly indicate that Mr. Foster committed suicide. … Our investigation has found no evidence of foul play.”

    A June 30, 1994, report by special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske Jr., which concluded that “[t]he overwhelming weight of the evidence compels the conclusion … that Vincent Foster committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993.”

    An August 12, 1994, report by Congressman William F. Clinger Jr., then the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Government Operations, concluding that “all available facts lead to the undeniable conclusion that Vincent W. Foster, Jr. took his own life in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia on July 20, 1993.”

    A January 3, 1995, report by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs stating that “[t]he evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion of the Park Police that on July 20, 1993, Mr. Foster died in Fort Marcy Park from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the upper palate of his mouth.”

    On January 5, 2001, independent counsel Robert Ray released his final report into the Whitewater matter, which included his conclusions regarding the discovery and removal of documents from Foster’s office following his suicide. According to the report, Ray investigated “whether anyone obstructed the investigation of the U.S. Park Police and the FBI by removing or concealing relevant documents from Foster’s office,” and “whether, in the subsequent investigations, anyone committed perjury, made false statements, or obstructed justice.” Ray determined there was “insufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone had committed a federal crime,” and chose to pursue no criminal prosecutions. […]
    Media Matters link

    From Rational Wiki:

    […] A dedicated Democrat in life, Foster might have been either surprised or horrified to discover that, in death, he became a hero of the far-right.

    Numerous wingnut sources, including such luminaries as Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy, declared that Foster may have been murdered for some nefarious purpose by the White House. The absence of any such direct evidence only reinforced their belief that “something” was amiss.

    The cranky billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife also dumped a bunch of money into “journalistic investigations” (read: conspiracy-mongering) of the Foster case.

    Perhaps the clearest indication that Foster wasn’t murdered was the fact that Kenneth Starr, a man who obsessed over getting Bill Clinton impeached (be it for Whitewater, “Travelgate,” or the Lewinsky scandal), found nothing in Vince Foster’s death to suggest that it was anything other than a suicide. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some cranks from claiming that Starr himself was in on it. Because that’s how conspiracy theories work — any contradictory evidence is proof that They have been tampering with the investigation. […]

  264. says

    The leaders of the Democratic National Committee can appoint all 15 panel members of the party’s platform committee if they choose to do so.

    Instead of doing that, the DNC came up with an arrangement whereby Bernie Sanders can choose 5 members, Clinton can choose 6, and the remaining 4 will be picked by the DNC. Sounds fair. The split between Sanders and Clinton reflects Clinton’s lead in the number of voters (about a 3 million lead) and her lead in pledged delegates. This arrangement will give the Sanders campaign an opportunity to help write the platform. Sanders himself said he was “pleased.”

    After saying he was pleased with the DNC’s platform-writing arrangement, Sanders said the the convention in Philadelphia could be “messy.” He also said “democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle.” I don’t know what that means.

  265. says

    Back in January, Trump skipped a Republican debate. He held what he said was a fundraiser for military veterans instead.

    Yesterday, military veterans protested outside Trump Tower in New York City. They accused Trump of using former soldiers as campaign props; and they accused Trump of not honoring his pledges to charities.

    “We’re here as a group of veterans to reject Donald Trump,” said protest organizer Alexander McCoy, a 27-year-old former Marine. He said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee failed to follow through on a promise to raise and donate millions of dollars to veterans. […]

    In January, Trump claimed to have raised $6 million for vets. As the Wall Street Journal reported, far less than $6 million has been disbursed.

    “It is unacceptable for Donald Trump to try to take advantage of the goodwill that American voters feel for our men and women in uniform to try and get votes while failing to live up to his own commitments,” he said.

    Perry O’Brien, a 33-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, said Mr. Trump’s experience as a student in a private military academy doesn’t grant him any expertise on defense issues. “Donald Trump has never served,” Mr. O’Brien said. “Donald Trump only seems interested in serving himself.”

    Wall Street Journal link

  266. says

    House Republicans are pushing to impeach someone other than President Obama. They want to impeach impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Even by House Republican standards, this is remarkably stupid.

    House Republicans are carrying on with one of their stupidest, most vindictive moves yet, attempting to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen even though he wasn’t working at the IRS when the IRS supposedly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny. […] Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings [asked] why the impeachment effort doesn’t include testimony from the inspector general who Republicans had previously relied heavily on as they went after the IRS.

    Mr. George conducted an extensive investigation to determine whether IRS employees intentionally targeted conservative-leaning applicants for tax-exempt status for political reasons. His staff interviewed more than 100 witnesses, searched tens of thousands of documents, and even had emails restored from backup tapes. Mr. George spent more than $2 million on his investigation.

    What is so often missed in today’s coverage of this issue is that Mr. George—after his exhaustive multi-year investigation—identified absolutely no evidence that anyone at the IRS targeted any conservative groups for political reasons.


    I thought the IRS conspiracy theory would go away when it was shown that liberal-leaning organizations were also audited. I thought the IRS conspiracy theory would go away when Mr. George (inspector general) concluded his investigation.

    Rightwing conspiracy theories never die.

    As an aside, I’ll point out that our legislative representatives haven’t properly addressed funding to combat the Zika virus, but they have time for this folderol.

  267. says

    White Nationalists got together to pat themselves on the back and to sing Donald Trump’s praises:

    […] Tucked away in the woods of middle Tennessee’s Montgomery Bell State Park, 300 “white advocates” gathered over the weekend at the fourteenth American Renaissance conference to reflect on just how much fuel Trump has added to their movement this election cycle.

    “I’ve never felt this sense of energy in our movement,” the conference host, Jared Taylor, said in his opening remarks. “I’ve never been more optimistic.”

    For the conference, American Renaissance, a white nationalist publication, brought advocates for a white ethno-state together with Holocaust deniers, eugenicists and confederate sympathizers. […]

    At the conference, anti-immigrant, pro-Confederate old-timers rubbed shoulders with the young men of the “alt-right”—a loosely defined amalgam of isolationist white nationalists who crusade against political correctness and thrive on the Internet. […]

    A gangly oil-and-gas industry employee from Houston, who gave his name as Karl North, praised Trump for saying “the things that other people aren’t willing to say that are just true.”

    “We need a wall on our southern border. Mexico has a wall on its southern border. Israel has walls all over its border. […] America is just some smorgasboard of government handouts and business opportunities for whoever happens to come take them.” […]

    They laughed when Edwards [James Edwards, host of “The Political Cesspool” radio show] asked if they had a favorable opinion of the press; every hand in the room when up when he asked if they thought the media was “made up of liars.” […]

    “You could have a Trump do what Andrew Jackson did when he defied the U.S. Supreme Court and had the Trail of Tears,” Johnson said, pointing out that the president “controls the armies.”

  268. says

    Another small win for voting rights. This time the win is in Ohio.

    The U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio ruled Tuesday that the deep cuts to Ohio’s early voting days signed into law by Gov. John Kasich (R) are “unconstitutional and…accordingly unenforceable.”

    […] community organizing groups that sued the state for sharply curtailing the number of early voting days. Since President Obama won reelection in 2012, Ohio’s Republican lawmakers and Secretary of State have voted to eliminate the days and times of early voting that were most convenient for those working full time: the weekend before election day, weekday evenings, and what’s known as “Golden Week,” the time when voters can register to vote and cast an early ballot in a single visit.

    This change, the judge wrote, “results in less opportunity for African Americans to participate in the political process than other voters.” […]

    Multiple studies have found that voters of color disproportionately rely on early voting, especially weekend days. […]

    Republicans might appeal the ruling of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. They need their voter-restriction laws to win elections.

  269. says

    Trump is busily courting the religious right. He has planned a meeting with extremists who are some of the nastiest anti-LGBT and anti-abortion leaders. Here are some of the attendees:
    Tony Perkins
    James Dobson
    Penny Nance
    Jim Garlow
    Rick Scarborough
    Phil Burress
    Ken Cuccinelli
    Lila Rose
    E.W Jackson
    Harry Jackson
    Tim Weldon
    Ralph Reed
    Pat Robertson
    Cindy Jacobs

    Here are the sponsoring organizations and individuals:
    Ben Carson
    Family Research Council
    American Family Association
    Vision America


    All of them are prophets of hate. They want to reverse marriage equality, repeal abortion rights, defund Planned Parenthood, etc. One of the attendees, Pat Robertson, claimed that gay people wear dangerous rings that cut the hands of other people in order to spread AIDS.

    Cindy Jacobs claimed that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell led to the mass death of birds in Arkansas.

    Many of the attendees have claimed that gay people want to “recruit your kids,” that gay people are “pawns of satan,” and that gay people act like Nazis. Many of them claim that HIV/AIDS is “divine punishment.” Many have claimed that President Obama is the Antichrist, and/or that he is Muslim, and/or that he is gay, and/or that he was born in Kenya.

    Birtherism is still a big deal in this crowd.

    It will be interesting to see this religious right gathering being pandered to by Donald Trump. Somebody better film and/or get an audio recording.

  270. says

    This is a followup to comments 288 and 289.

    As part of a longer article, Steve Benen pointed out that:

    Trump’s affinity for absurd conspiracies isn’t some odd quirk to his personality. It’s the filter through which he sees the world – and it’s a quality that could be quite dangerous in the Oval Office where sound judgment and critical thinking skills are an absolute necessity. […]

    A few of Trump’s previous forays into conspiracy theory LaLa Land:
    – Ebola (all Obama’s fault for not banning flights from West Africa)
    – Antonin Scalia’s death (murder by suffocation with a pillow)
    – vaccinations (linked to autism)
    – 9/11 (claims 28 still-classified pages show “who really knocked down the WTC”)
    – Mexico deliberately sends rapists to the U.S.
    – crime statistics
    – President Obama’s birthplace
    – President Obama’s religion
    – Rafael Cruz involved in assassination of John F. Kennedy
    – Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks “by the thousands”
    – Black criminals disproportionately prey on whites
    – General Pershing dipped bullets in pigs blood before shooting Muslims

    Also worth reading:

  271. says

    The Sanders campaign requested a recanvass of the Kentucky primary vote. That vote took place last Tuesday, and the race was close. Clinton claimed victory with a lead of 1,924 votes (454,573 votes were cast).

    […] The Vermont senator’s campaign will ask Grimes’ office to review absentee ballots and the voting machines in all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
    Politico link

  272. says

    If someone had wanted to murder Vince Foster a faked mugging gone wrong would have been a better way to do it than trying to fake a suicide.

    If Trump is bringing up Foster’s death can bringing up Ron Brown’s be far behind?

  273. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    So I’m not 100% that this is the right thread for this, but it’s definitely divorced from reality, it was only a moment for me, and I think I can make an easy enough case for political.

    Falling asleep on the homeward bus this afternoon, I spotted a billboard between blinks:

    So… I looked it up.
    Aahhhh fuck. We appear to have developed an infestation of sovereign citizens in the run up to our big year in 2017 (UK city of culture, woo *waves flag with definitely non-cynical enthusiasm*).
    Do we need to bring a man in, or… do they go away on their own or… I mean… lions?

  274. Ichthyic says

    If Trump is bringing up Foster’s death can bringing up Ron Brown’s be far behind?

    of course. and whitewater too.

    I also predict….

    Five bucks says he uses the “Birther” argument as if it actually had traction and he was actually making Obama sweat with it (instead of Obama laughing at him… which is what actually happened) at some point during the general election period… if not sooner.

    but then, IS there any sleazy misinformed argument the man is not willing to make? he probably will end up doing every single sleazy swiftboating piece of crap pulled by the right for the last 30 years.

    it will be a Gish Gallop of crap.

  275. Ichthyic says

    Trump’s affinity for absurd conspiracies isn’t some odd quirk to his personality. It’s the filter through which he sees the world –

    even worse than Nixon… and that’s saying something.

  276. Ichthyic says

    It will be interesting to see this religious right gathering being pandered to by Donald Trump. Somebody better film and/or get an audio recording.

    or a large fuel-air explosive?

  277. says

    Rachel Maddow noted last night that ow the Trump campaign has tried to intimidate anyone who would question Donald Trump’s past conduct with women even as Trump himself makes aggressive attacks on Bill Clinton. The video is 7:45 minutes long.

    Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, sent the following response to a reporter at the The Daily Beast:

    I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in a courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting.

    You understand me? You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word “rape,” and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet …

    The Daily Beast had reported on comments Ivana Trump made in court and publicly during her divorce from Donald Trump. Ivana said that she felt “violated” during sex, and she used the word “rape.” The deposition was given in the early 1990s. Ivana later disavowed the claim of rape.

    Michael Cohen also told The Daily Beast Reporter:

    Of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse … you cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.

    I don’t know where Cohen got his law degree. He is still Trump’s lawyer after making that bullshit comment that “you cannot rape your spouse.”

    The main point here is that Trump is putting out ads, and actually repeating the word “rape” during TV interviews (on Fox News) in reference to Bill Clinton. Trump’s claim is that Hillary Clinton was an enabler of all the “rape” going on. Trump wants to be able to make those claims and to launch those attacks while simultaneously sending his attack-dog lawyer after anyone who looks into his past relationships.

    Cohen has been making appearances on CNN and other networks to make the claim that “Donald Trump is possibly the greatest negotiator in the history of this planet” and that Clinton hasn’t seen anything yet, that it’s going to get worse for her.

    Rightwing supporters of Trump established the RAPE PAC, (Rape Accountability Project for Education).

  278. says

    Rachel Maddow covered the fact that Trump is no longer a self-funding candidate. She digs into the cast of fundraisers that Trump has hired. Most of them have white collar criminal backgrounds, including ripping off state pension funds, playing a big role in unjustified foreclosing on people who default on mortgages, etc.

    Trump now has an unbelievable cast of criminals working on his fundraising scheme. One of them has even been indicted for a felony.

  279. says

    Trump has been caught in a $1 million lie. Chris Hayes covered this very well. The video

    Now, four months later, Trump, having been caught, scrambled on Monday night to make a $1 million donation to a vet’s group. Kind of hilarious in a way. Trump gets caught in the lie and only then does he make a donation. Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday that he “pledged the $1 million to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation … he notified the group’s chairman in a phone call at about 8 pm on Monday night. Trump then went on to call the reporter who caught his lie a “nasty, nasty reporter.”

    From Talking Points Memo:

    We now know that Donald Trump tried for four months not to contribute any of his own money for that vets group fundraiser he put on in January as an excuse to ditch that Fox debate. Only when the Post finally cornered him and basically proved that all his and his aides shifting explanations were false, did he finally agree to put in some of his own money. He was in essence trying to skim a million off the top of the fundraiser for the vets he used as a prop to skip out on the debate. This comes on top of the fact that he’s still leaving himself the option of having high-dollar GOP donors reimburse him for his primary campaign to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

    Remind me again why we think Trump is worth even a billion dollars let alone $10 billion?

  280. says

    A group of American writers wrote an open letter “To the American People” to express their disgust with Donald Trump.

    The full text of the letter is posted on Literary Hub. In the letter, the writers state that Trump “deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society” and “denigrates women and minorities.”

    Here are just a few of the writers who signed the letter:
    Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz, Tobias Wolff, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, Andrew Altschul, Mark Slouka.

    There are now 600 signatures that accompany the letter. Here’s a longer excerpt from the letter:

    […] Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;

    Because the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;

    Because the search for justice is predicated on a respect for the truth;

    Because we believe that knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in a leader;

    Because neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;

    Because the rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response; […]

  281. says

    Yep, it looks like Ken Starr, the guy who salivated over prosecuting Bill Clinton for years, is going to be fired from Baylor University over his inadequate and stupid handling of sex-abuse scandals.

    Baylor University’s Board of Regents voted to fire Ken Starr (yes, that guy) from his position as president and chancellor of the school. […]

  282. says

    Athywren@300 some of the UK equivalents of the US Sovereign Citizens crowd use the Freemen on the Land identifier like their equivalents do in Canada.

  283. says

    Fox News, being unfair and unbalanced, as always:

    Fox & Friends deceptively edited a 2007 video of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to claim that Clinton blamed homeowners for the housing market crash and that she is “flip flopping now” to blame Wall Street. But the speech transcript shows that Clinton indeed blamed Wall Street and a host of other financial actors, saying Wall Street “helped create the foreclosure crisis” and bears “responsibility” for the crash. Fox also downplayed Donald Trump’s expressed hope for a financial crisis in 2006, instead blaming former President Bill Clinton for a market crash and historic recession that occurred during the waning days of the Bush administration. […]

    Media Matters link

    Here’s the relevant part of Clinton’s speech, without the deceptive Fox News editing:

    […] Now, who’s exactly to blame for the housing crisis? Well, that’s always a question that the press and people ask and I think there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    Responsibility belongs to mortgage lenders and brokers, who irresponsibly lowered underwriting standards, pushed risky mortgages, and hid the details in the fine print.

    Responsibility belongs to the Administration and to regulators, who failed to provide adequate oversight, and who failed to respond to the chorus of reports that millions of families were being taken advantage of.

    Responsibility belongs to the rating agencies, who woefully underestimated the risks involved in mortgage securities.

    And certainly borrowers share responsibility as well. Homebuyers who paid extra fees to avoid documenting their income should have known they were getting in over their heads. Speculators who were busy buying two, three, four houses to sell for a quick buck don’t deserve our sympathy.

    But finally, responsibility also belongs to Wall Street, which not only enabled but often encouraged reckless mortgage lending. Mortgage lenders didn’t have balance sheets big enough to write millions of loans on their own. So Wall Street originated and packaged the loans that common sense warned might very well have ended in collapse and foreclosure. Some people might say Wall Street only helped to distribute risk. I believe Wall Street shifted risk away from people who knew what was going on onto the people who did not. […]

  284. says

    Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton, and every other Secretary of State failed to comply with the State Department’s policies on records. So says a State Department watchdog.

    […] The long-awaited findings from the agency’s inspector general, […] were shared with Capitol Hill Wednesday, […] It’s the latest turn in the headache-inducing saga that has dogged Clinton’s campaign.

    While the report concludes that the agency suffers from “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” with records that “go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email during her four years at the agency.

    “Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states.“ At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.” [She surrounded emails in 2014, two years late.]

    […] “According to the current [chief information officer] and assistant secretary for diplomatic security, Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs,” the report reads. “However, according to these officials, [the relevant people] did not — and would not — approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email.”

    Politico link

  285. says

    We all know about the Trump University scam, and the court battles still playing out (it is likely that Trump will have to reimburse some students). But did you know that Trump also ran a vitamin scam?

    […] For several years in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Donald Trump encouraged people to take part in a pseudo-scientific vitamin scheme—all without expressing any concern about how it might potentially endanger people’s health.

    Through a multi-level marketing project called The Trump Network, the business mogul encouraged people to take an expensive urine test, which would then be used to personally “tailor” a pricey monthly concoction of vitamins—something a Harvard doctor told The Daily Beast was a straight-up “scam.” […]

    The project is just another example of Trump’s questionable business practices, from his Trump University (accused by many students of fraud) to his casinos (which went bankrupt so often) to his “tasteless and mealy” signature steaks. And it highlights an essential contradiction in his campaign for the White House. While politician Trump says that he cares about average Joe or Jane, his past shows a shocking indifference.

    There was no indication Trump himself ever took the vitamins he promoted, and doctors associated with the project tell The Daily Beast he appeared to endorse the product without ever making any inquiries about its science or what it did to the body.

    Trump’s peddling of these products without regard for their safety is emblematic both of his often-incurious approach to business and politics—as well as the dangers of a loosely regulated supplement industry. Based on the The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, vitamins (like the ones sold by Trump) don’t require approval from the Federal Drug Administration.

    In this world, unbeknownst to most buyers, pseudoscience is as good as the real thing.

    Vitamin companies can claim to improve brain function, clear up skin, and increase energy without a single human study proving that the things they’re selling actually do. […]

    the former Trump Network doctor insists that it improves health, including his own. When questioned about proof of this, he says that only “11 percent of medicine is evidence-based” […]. “There is an inherent assumption that everything in the medical world is evidence-based, which it isn’t,” he said. […]

    He sent The Daily Beast what he called a “heavily referenced” monograph that proves the scientific validity of Privatest. The 12-page paper fails to mention a single experiment on humans and mostly reads like an advertisement written by scientists. Beyond the absence of actual data, it was not published in a peer-review journal, meaning the theory itself was never reviewed by experts. […]

    the paper, like the company itself, appears to be a marketing ploy masquerading as science. “There is zero evidence that is actually doing what they say it was,” he said. “This is a scam, it’s a bogus program to make profit for the people who are selling it. It’s fantasy.”[…]

    The Daily Beast link

  286. says

    Here is the response from Hillary Clinton’s team to the record-keeping report from the State Department watchdog:

    While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents show just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email.

    he report shows that problems with the State Department’s electronic recordkeeping systems were longstanding and that there was no precedent of someone in her position having a State Department email account until after the arrival of her successor.

    Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary’s server.

    We agree that steps ought to be taken to ensure the government can better maintain official records, and if she were still at the State Department, Secretary Clinton would embrace and implement any recommendations, including those in this report, to help do that. But as this report makes clear, Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email was not unique, and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.

    The State Department’s record keeping was a systemic mess, and Clinton didn’t help to solve that. My bet is that the State Department’s record keeping systems are still a mess.

  287. says

    Well, as Ichthyic noted in comment 302, Trump’s affinity for conspiracy theories is worse than Nixon’s.

    At least we know what Trump plans to do with Whitewater. One of his spokespeople accidentally sent a cc of a campaign email to a reporter (the email was supposed to go to insiders and to the RNC).

    […] Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo emailed a researcher at the Republican National Committee asking him to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible. This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.”

    Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who was cced on Caputo’s email, accidentally responded to Politico reporter Marc Caputo instead, making the entire email exchange visible. […]

    Trump has been strategically resurfacing 1990s-era scandals about Bill and Hillary Clinton this week, including conspiracy theories about the suicide of former Clinton aide Vince Foster and allegations about Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs.

    The Whitewater controversy originated as a failed real estate venture that Hillary and Bill Clinton were involved in during the late 1970s […] mushroomed during the Clinton presidency into a whole series of highly politicized and loosely connected scandals, subscandals, and pseudoscandals.

    The venture was investigated by both the Justice Department and Congress during Clinton’s tenure as president, and several members of the Clintons’ circle were convicted for various levels of involvement.

    Talking Points Memo link

    Background material on Whitewater:

    […] in 1978, Bill and Hillary formed the Whitewater Development Corporation with James and Susan McDougal, intending to buy up 230 acres of riverfront land and sell it as lots for vacation homes. Jim McDougal, a real estate entrepreneur, was an old friend of Bill’s and cut the Clintons into a deal where they wouldn’t pay any upfront investment — but could still stand to profit from the home sales. The land was purchased for $203,000, and paid for by a $180,000 loan on which the Clintons and McDougals were jointly liable, plus a second loan McDougal took out for the down payment.

    The Whitewater project was a failure. The location was bad; the land wasn’t even accessible after the frequent heavy storms that caused the river to flood. And amidst the stagflation of the late ’70s and early ’80s, interest rates were surging, rendering vacation homes unaffordable for many families.

    Investing in a bad land deal isn’t a crime. What Jim McDougal did after the initial deal, however, was.

    He bought a small savings and loan association, renamed it Madison Guaranty, and defrauded both it and the small-business investment firm Capital Management Services to the tune of $3 million; the bank’s failure wound up costing the federal government around $73 million. How this relates to the Whitewater investment — if at all — is disputed to this day, and the details are hazy and complicated. But the Clintons’ critics alleged they were involved in Madison’s wrongdoing. […]

    Investigations into Whitewater uncovered real wrongdoing. Fifteen people, in total, were convicted of various charges. The McDougals were convicted of fraud, as was Jim Guy Tucker, Clinton’s successor as governor of Arkansas. Webster Hubbell, a law partner of Hillary’s who served in the Clinton Justice Department, pleaded guilty to fraud charges. But ultimately, none of the many investigations into Whitewater — including, most famously, one by independent counsel Kenneth Starr — found that the Clintons did anything criminal. The conclusion was that it’s likelier they were victims of Jim McDougal’s malfeasance than that they were co-conspirators. […]

    Vox link

  288. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Some choice excerpts from the SoS IG report:

    For example, the Department and OIG both determined that the production included no email covering the first few months of Secretary Clinton’s tenure—from January 21, 2009, to March 17, 2009, for received messages; and from January 21, 2009, to April 12, 2009, for sent messages. OIG discovered multiple instances in which Secretary Clinton’s personal email account sent and received official business email during this period. For instance, the Department of Defense provided to OIG in September 2015 copies of 19 emails between Secretary Clinton and General David Petraeus on his official Department of Defense email account; these 19 emails were not in the Secretary’s 55,000-page production.

    Good thing the FBI has all those emails she thought she deleted.

    In April 2015, S/ES retired nine lots of electronic records containing approximately 16 gigabytes of data, consisting of emails, memoranda, travel records, and administrative documents from the tenures of former Secretaries Powell, Rice, and Clinton. However, the only email accounts included in this material were those of six of former Secretary Powell’s staff and two of former Secretary Rice’s staff. No email accounts from Secretary Clinton’s staff were in the retired material.

    “What emails? I never emailed anyone!”

    As previously noted, OIG found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system.

    According to the other S/ES-IRM staff member who raised concerns about the server, the Director stated that the mission of S/ES-IRM is to support the Secretary and instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again.

    In another incident occurring on May 13, 2011, two of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff discussed via email the Secretary’s concern that someone was “hacking into her email” after she received an email with a suspicious link. Several hours later, Secretary Clinton received an email from the personal account of then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs that also had a link to a suspect website. The next morning, Secretary Clinton replied to the email with the following message to the Under Secretary: “Is this really from you? I was worried about opening it!” Department policy requires employees to report cybersecurity incidents to IRM security officials when any improper cyber-security practice comes to their attention. 12 FAM 592.4 (January 10, 2007). Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information. 12 FAM 682.2-6 (August 4, 2008). However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department

    On January 9, 2011, the non-Departmental advisor to President Clinton who provided technical support to the Clinton email system notified the Secretary’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations that he had to shut down the server because he believed “someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to.” Later that day, the advisor again wrote to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min.” On January 10, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations emailed the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and instructed them not to email the Secretary “anything sensitive” and stated that she could “explain more in person.

    Yeah, she’s fucked. The criminal indictment is going to be a lovely read.

  289. says

    Eleven states have joined forces to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration. The issue is the federal government’s guidance to schools for accommodating transgender students.

    […] The lawsuit was filed in Texas, where state officials have been especially vocal in protesting the guidelines issued by the Education and Justice departments. […]

    Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia joined Texas in suing the Obama administration. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) in his capacity as governor, the Arizona Department of Education, and the Haber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona also joined the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also decries attempts by the administration to protect transgender people in the the workplace and challenges the Obama administration’s interpretation that Title VII and Title IX in the Civil Rights Act protect transgender people from discrimination. […]

  290. says

    Paul Ryan is still not endorsing Trump.

    […] “I have not made a decision, and nothing has changed,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday […]

    Reports surfaced Wednesday morning that senior Trump campaign officials were confident the endorsement was coming, but Ryan’s office quickly squashed those reports.

    “There’s no update and we’ve not told the Trump campaign to expect an endorsement,” Ryan’s spokesman said in a statement. […]

    Even as many Republicans have come around to endorse Trump, Ryan has held off. Ryan and Trump met earlier this month to discuss the campaign and some of their policy positions. Ryan described the meeting as courteous and productive, but still has not offered a formal endorsement.

  291. says

    Just for a little something different, here’s a humorous moment from Clinton’s latest rally in California:

    Hillary Clinton was a little distracted, she admitted Wednesday during a rally in Buena Park, California, when two men — one with a big “H” on his chest — took off their shirts.

    “Hillary, they’re kicking us out because we don’t have our shirts on,” one guy said. “They’re making us leave,” another said, as the first added, “because we don’t have shirts on.”

    Well, um, you know what, as long as they don’t take anything else off,” Clinton said in jest.

    “You know, you gotta make split decisions. That’s what leadership is about,” said the former secretary of state, […]

    “OK, where was I? I gotta admit, it is a little distracting standing up here looking at them. So I’m gonna look over this way, and I’m gonna look over that way,” Clinton continued, laughing and pointing to different sections of the crowd. “I’m gonna look back there.”


  292. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A possible reason SofS since Powell have used private e-mail.
    Feds spend billions to run museum-ready computer systems.

    he government is squandering its technology budget maintaining museum-ready computer systems in critical areas from nuclear weapons to Social Security. They’re still using floppy disks at the Pentagon.
    In a report released Wednesday, nonpartisan congressional investigators found that about three-fourths of the $80 billion budget goes to keep aging technology running, and the increasing cost is shortchanging modernization.
    The White House has been pushing to replace workhorse systems that date back more than 50 years in some cases. But the government is expected to spend $7 billion less on modernization in 2017 than in 2010, said the Government Accountability Office.
    “Clearly, there are billions wasted,” GAO information technology expert David Powner told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing.
    Although lawmakers of both parties say they are frustrated, it’s unclear whether Congress will act. Part of the problem is finding money to invest in a transition to new systems at agencies across the government.
    Among the vintage computing platforms highlighted in the report:
    — The Defense Department’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System, which is used to send and receive emergency action messages to U.S. nuclear forces. The system is running on a 1970s IBM computing platform, and still uses 8-inch floppy disks to store data. “Replacement parts for the system are difficult to find because they are now obsolete,” GAO said. The Pentagon told GAO it is initiating a full replacement and the floppy disks should be gone by the end of next year. The entire upgrade will take longer.
    — Treasury’s individual and business master files, the authoritative data sources for taxpayer information. The systems are about 56 years old and use an outdated computer language that is difficult to write and maintain. Treasury plans to replace the systems but has no firm dates.
    — Social Security systems that are used to determine eligibility and estimate benefits, about 31 years old. Some use a programming language called COBOL, dating to the late 1950s and early 1960s. “Most of the employees who developed these systems are ready to retire and the agency will lose their collective knowledge,” the report said. “Training new employees to maintain the older systems takes a lot of time.” Social Security has no plans to replace the entire system but is eliminating and upgrading older and costlier components. It is also rehiring retirees who know the technology.
    — Medicare’s Appeals System, which is only 11 years old, faces challenges keeping up with a growing number of appeals, as well as questions from congressional offices following up on constituent concerns. The report says the agency has general plans to keep updating the system, depending on the availability of funds.
    — The Transportation Department’s Hazardous Materials Information System, used to track incidents and keep information regulators rely on. The system is about 41 years old, and vendors no longer support some of its software, which can create security risks. The department plans to complete its modernization program in 2018.
    GAO says its estimate of at least $80 billion spent on information technology in 2015 is probably low. Not counted were certain Pentagon systems, as well as those run by independent agencies, among them the CIA. Major systems are known as “IT investments” in government jargon.
    “Legacy federal IT investments are becoming obsolete,” the report concluded. “The federal government runs the risk of continuing to maintain investments that have outlived their effectiveness and are consuming resources that outweigh their benefits.”

  293. MassMomentumEnergy says

    Neither Powell nor Rice exclusively used a private email for all SoS communications. Nor did they have their email hosted on unsecured home server set up by an incompetent lackey.

    And it’s not like the Department of State lacked email. Everyone else at the state department outside of Hillary’s inner circle didn’t have a problem doing their jobs with their email.

    Those are some sad Brockian talking points.

  294. wzrd1 says

    @MassMomentumEnergy, correct. There are official servers in daily usage and secure networks, such as for low level classified information (I’ll not bother with the higher level classified domains, suffice it to say, general unclassified/FOUO (For Official Use Only) network/server, Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRnet) and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) for top secret and SCI information/communications.
    Needless to say, none of the three networks permit private servers on them, all are government owned, configured and operated systems.

    For the entry on the suspicious URL e-mail, yes, she should have reported it, however the penalty for not doing so is usually retraining in end user information assurance and reporting to their supervisor for rank and file, for senior personnel/leaders, a gentle “Please report it next time”, as one has no HR pathway for appointees and elected officials.

  295. MassMomentumEnergy says

    At the very least, the OIG report proves Hillary committed perjury. But the FBI wouldn’t have taken this long if that was the only thing up their sleeve.

    I, Hillary Rodham Clinton, declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct:

    While I do not know what information may be “responsive” for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my e-mails on in my custody that were or potentially were federal records to be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.

    For example, the Department and OIG both determined that the production included no email covering the first few months of Secretary Clinton’s tenure—from January 21, 2009, to March 17, 2009, for received messages; and from January 21, 2009, to April 12, 2009, for sent messages. OIG discovered multiple instances in which Secretary Clinton’s personal email account sent and received official business email during this period. For instance, the Department of Defense provided to OIG in September 2015 copies of 19 emails between Secretary Clinton and General David Petraeus on his official Department of Defense email account; these 19 emails were not in the Secretary’s 55,000-page production. ”

  296. wzrd1 says

    “19 emails between Secretary Clinton and General David Petraeus on his official Department of Defense email account;”

    Sounds like they pulled NIPRnet, SIPRnet and JWICS, with most traffic for Patraeus being either SIPRnet or JWICS.
    At that rank, very little goes by commercial, if anything and for Generals, typically it’s either SIPRnet or more commonly, JWICS.

    For the record, I was an IA wonk in the CENTCOM AOR in the time in question.

  297. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Groups on both sides are complaining about the plans to protect the Rethug convention in Cleveland from protests.

    5:30 p.m.
    Organizers for two groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum are unhappy with a protest route designated for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, arguing it restricts their free-speech rights and creates the possibility of clashes.
    One group is a coalition of left-leaning organizations planning to protest social and economic inequality. The other is an amalgam of groups hoping to celebrate the nomination of Donald Trump as the GOP candidate for president. Organizers of both events expect to draw thousands of people from across the country.
    The groups say the city-designated route announced Wednesday is far from where they had hoped to hold rallies and marches.
    Police Chief Calvin Williams says police will try to accommodate those wanting to protest outside the designated area.
    12:30 p.m.
    Cleveland has designated a route for protest marches during the Republican National Convention while leaving open the possibility that marches would be allowed outside the event zone surrounding the arena where it’s being held.
    The announcement Wednesday comes after a civil rights organization warned it would sue if officials didn’t decide by June 1 whether to grant parade permit applications for two groups planning large rallies July 18, the first day of the four-day convention.
    One group plans to protest economic inequality while the other wants to celebrate presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
    The police chief says Cleveland will try to accommodate protesters outside the event zone surrounding Quicken Loans Arena like it has accommodated protesters the previous 18 months.
    The route for protest marches is about 1½ miles long.

  298. Saad says

    Nikki Haley has banned abortion past 20-weeks

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law on Wednesday that makes it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion after her pregnancy reaches 20 weeks, press secretary Chaney Adams said.
    The law takes effect immediately. Abortions may be performed after 20 weeks only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy, Adams said. The bill does not provide exceptions for rape or incest.

  299. says

    President Obama commented during a press conference in Japan on Trump’s candidacy, and on how the leaders of other countries view Trump:

    I think it’s fair to say they are surprised by the Republican nominee, they are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements, but they’re rattled by him, and for good reason. A lot of the proposals that he’s made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is that’s required to keep America safe, secure and prosperous, and what’s required to keep the world on an even keel.”

  300. says

    The e-mail report from the Inspector General illustrates the antiquated IT system, and the archaic archiving system that Hillary Clinton and others were supposed to follow. Here is Rachel Maddow’s take on the way that “whole swaths of the federal government are using super-antiquated systems.” The video is 7:42 minutes long. Details.

    From the GAO report:

    Commerce, Defense, Treasury, HHS, and VA reported using 1980s and 1990s Microsoft operating systems that stopped being supported by the vendor more than a decade ago.

    Maddow showed an 8-inch floppy disk that was still in use on some systems.

    Colin Powell also failed to preserve government documents.

  301. says

    Donald Trump hit the magic number for a Republican candidate today. Unbound delegates from North Dakota pledged their support to Trump, putting him over the 1,237 mark.

    He will remain the “presumptive nominee” until he is officially declared the nominee at the convention in July. He has the required number of pledged delegates, so the talk of a brokered convention is pretty much dead.

  302. starfleetdude says


    I’m not surprised by the 538 article that breaks down independent support for Sanders. People may not formally call themselves Democrats or Republicans, particularly in states where you don’t need to register as a member of a party to vote in the primaries. They do tend to align with one side or the other though, and much of Sanders’ support isn’t coming from actual independents who are somewhere in the mushy middle, but from those who are on the left but don’t see themselves as being, to use a currently fashionable term, “establishment” Democrats.

  303. says

    dianne @327, did you see the results from the Washington State primary? Sanders won the caucus held in March, and he won it by a landslide. But, here’s the rub, when more people vote, as they did in the state’s Democratic primary, Clinton won.

    I won’t get into why Washington State holds both a caucus and a primary, it’s stupid and messy, but the point is that the vote for Clinton during the primary is a reality check for the Sanders campaign. More voters, a much bigger turnout, spelled victory for Clinton and a loss for Sanders.

    […] Sanders has styled himself as a populist candidate intent on giving a voice to voters in a political system in which, as he describes it, party elites and wealthy special-interest groups exert too much control. […]

    As Sanders makes those arguments, he runs up against a few inconvenient realities. He trails Clinton in the popular-vote count and has performed well in caucuses, which consistently witness depressed voter turnout relative to primary elections. What happened in Washington is a painful reminder of this for the campaign: Far more voters took part in Washington’s Democratic primary than its state caucus, preliminary counts indicate. Roughly 230,000 people participated in the Democratic caucus, The Stranger reported in March. In contrast, more than 660,000 Democratic votes had been tallied in the primary as of Tuesday, according to The Seattle Times. That lopsided reality makes it more difficult for Sanders to argue that his candidacy represents the will of the people. […]

    Caucuses reward highly motivated and ideologically devoted voters, a dynamic which has tended to favor Sanders. […]

    The Atlantic link

  304. says

    The United Autoworkers union endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday.

    Polls show Clinton with a narrow lead over Sanders in California.

    Here are the primaries coming up on June 7:
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    North Dakota
    South Dakota

  305. says

    Bernie Sanders has accepted a challenge to debate Donald Trump:

    Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.

    Donald Trump does not seem to be serious:

    How much is he going to pay me? If I debated him, we would have such high ratings, I think I should take that money and give it to charity.

  306. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Interesting poll.

    In the latest Monmouth University poll, Gov. Gary Johnson is polling in the double-digits as a third party Libertarian candidate against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
    Johnson polls at 11 percent, while Clinton at 42 percent and Trump has 34 percent.
    The RealClearPolitics average — which excludes third party candidates — has Trump trailing Clinton by more than 10 percent. With poll numbers that bad and a divisive campaign, Trump is inviting a third party challenger if he becomes the nominee.

    Looks like the Libertarians might play spoiler for Trump’s chances.

  307. says

    Ted Nugent says that if you dislike him, it means you hate America.

    “There is nothing more anti-American than the freaks that hate me,” Nugent said, after going on a rant against Hillary Clinton and “Bernie Mao Zedong Sanders.” “As the freaks hate me, I go, ‘Man, I really am right all the time.”

    Nugent is an all around dunderhead, a Trump supporter, a National Rifle Association board member and musician.


  308. says

    More “real men” are telling us how to deal with transgender people:

    […] Ohio Religious Right activist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire suggested men today need to “man up” with “pitchforks and torches” to fight transgender people’s use of bathrooms that match their gender identity.

    “What would our forefathers have done?” Daubenmire asked. “What would they have done two generations ago if the president of the United States tried to tell them to let men walk into their kids’ bathrooms?” Daubenmire answered his own question: “There’d have been pitchforks and torches. They’d have gone downtown and they’d have gotten things straightened out.” […]

    “How is it that we’re so sissified that daddies are going to let perverts violate their daughters’ restrooms?” […] “Diversity, I’m telling you, it’s scary. You know, let America be America without any prejudice, and it should work perfectly.” […]


  309. opus says

    Please allow me a moment of quiet gloating in an otherwise dismal political year.
    Paul Broun, former US Representative from Georgia, famous for saying that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior, lost decisively on Tuesday. And our local coroner, currently suspended from office by the governor, lost his bid for re-election. The 47 pending felony charges for defrauding the taxpayers in his current term may have been just a little too much chain to swim with.

  310. says

    opus @338, that is awesome.

    This is a followup to comment 298. The Sanders campaign requested a recanvass of Kentucky primary results. That recanvass has been completed and it confirms Clinton as the winner in that state.

  311. says

    The Obama administration is looking for ways to prosecute the Islamic State for genocide.

    […] Early-stage discussions about international tribunals and other means of justice are taking place in the White House and the State Department, people familiar with the talks told POLITICO. Any genocide prosecution, however, could be years away, a task made all the more complicated by the unusual nature of the Islamic State and the high bar for evidence. […]

    Politico link

  312. says

    This is a followup to comments 109, 110, 111, 141, 142, and 179.

    Trump finally admitted that he used aliases during phone calls.

    Donald Trump appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night and was asked about the story that circulated last week about him using aliases.

    At first, he denied to host Jimmy Kimmel that he has ever done anything of the sort, and claimed that the person on the audio “sounded nothing like me.” When Kimmel informed him that no one thinks they sound like themselves on tape, Trump insisted that he knows what he sounds like, and that wasn’t him.

    “To me,” Kimmel said, “it sounded just like you — and if it was you, I think it was a very funny thing to do, to call a guy and take him through the wringer like that.”

    And with that acknowledgment of approval, Trump dropped the pretense and admitted that he loves using aliases, and over the years, has frequently used them.

    “Over the years,” he said, “I’ve used aliases — especially when I was in Brooklyn and wanted to buy. Nobody knew me, it wasn’t so much important — but I would never want to use my name because you had to pay more money.”

    When Kimmel asked him what aliases he used, Trump said “I actually used the name ‘Barron,’ and I ended up using my son. I made a good deal using that name. Many people in the real estate business do that, and you have to. Nobody wants to pay more money.”

    Full video is available at the link. Salon link.

    Kimmel also said, “This is something that I think is brilliant.”

  313. says

    Republican (and mostly mormon) politicians in Utah continue their efforts t seize all of the public lands in the state so that they can develop them and/or sell them. (Shades of Cliven Bundy and his sons.) But in a good sign, people who oppose that effort have decided to get organized. The “U-Turn Utah” campaign is fighting the anti-public-land forces.

    […] The campaign, called “U-turn Utah,” notes that the Utah Office of Tourism is spending millions of dollars on national television ads that call Utah’s five National Parks and other public lands an American “birthright.” Yet the state’s elected officials are also planning to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer funds in an attempt to seize many of those same lands from federal agencies so they can be sold and privatized. […]

    “The parks and public lands inside of Utah belong to all Americans, whether you live in Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, or Utah — these are your public lands. But Utah politicians have plans to sue the federal government in an irresponsible attempt to take over outdoor spaces that belong to all of us,” explained Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director at the Center for Western Priorities in a statement. […]

    Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), leader of what has been coined the congressional “Anti-Parks Caucus,” has been a vocal advocate for disposing of American public lands. He argues that national forests, national monuments, wildlife refuges, and other national public lands should be transferred to state and local interests. Critics argue that between fighting forest fires, maintaining infrastructure, and cleaning up abandoned mines, states won’t have the funds to manage these lands and will therefore have to auction them off. […]

    “To manage those lands at current service levels the state would need to employ more than 2,100 new land managers and spend an additional $280 million,” said Brad Petersen, former director of Utah’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, at the launch of the U-Turn Utah campaign. […]

    In March, the Utah state legislature — with the support of Governor Gary Herbert — set aside $14 million of taxpayer money to establish a legal fund to sue the federal government for control of nationally-owned public lands in the state. […]

    The outdoor recreation industry in Utah generates an estimated $12 billion of consumer spending in the state each year and $856 million in annual state and local tax revenue. […]

    Colorado is one state that stands in contrast. Last week, Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill creating the nation’s first “Public Lands Day” to […]

  314. says

    Donald Trump is still feuding with Elizabeth Warren.

    “I think she is as Native American as I am. OK? That I will tell you. But she’s a woman that’s been very ineffective other than she’s got a big mouth.” […]

    Trump referred to Warren as “Pocahontas” at least twice in the news conference [in North Dakota]. Someone in the crowd seemed to take issue with his name-calling which made him repeat the nickname.

    “Is it offensive? You tell me. Oh, I’m sorry about that,” Trump said to someone in the crowd as a reporter asked a question about Warren. “Pocahontas is that what you said?” […]

  315. says

    Extremist frothing-at-the-mouth from the religious right:

    Ohio Religious Right activist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire posted a video message this morning declaring that Satan is out to destroy white, heterosexual Christian males because they represent the only hope for saving America.

    “The attack that’s going on in America today is against the white, heterosexual male,” he said. “That’s the battle. If Satan can get control of the family, if they can get the white, heterosexual male removed from the scene, if they can get him ‘de-balled,’ if I will, if they can do that, there is nothing to hold back the forces of darkness in America.”

    “It’s not racist, it’s the truth,” he added. […]

    Daubenmire then asked why Syrian refugees are not being sent to Africa instead of the U.S. and determined that it is “because America, at one time, was a white, heterosexual Christian country, the greatest country the world has ever seen.” He concluded by reassuring viewers that “this battle is real.” […]


  316. says

    Rush Limbaugh is still a thing, even though he is a diminished thing. He has influence over the far right wing. Today, Limbaugh defined “real women” for us.

    I have theory folks. I think one of the reasons that real women, and let me define real women. I’m talking about the non-feminist, the non-victim feeling, just a woman happy with herself, happy being a woman, wants to be in a relationship. Just what we’ve always thought of women. Not activist, not angry.

    […] I mean, not left-wing activists, feminazi-type women. You know the type of women I’m talking about, don’t ya? The girl next door […] OK, wholesome American woman, beautiful in the eyes of someone.

    Yes, absolutely. I’m not talking about women that are angry, that feel like they’re victims of something […] the thing in common with the way women are portrayed and caricatured by mainstream media and Democrats is that they’re always constantly mad, and angry, and feeling victimized and blaming men for it. […]

    I think that the reason real women, […] the reason they like Trump is the same reason the media hate the guy. And that is he’s not PC-whipped. He’s not politically correct whipped. He stands up for himself, he’s not ashamed of himself, he’s not afraid, and he stands up and defends the women who work for him […]

    He’s so unbound. He’s so unpredictable. He’s so male. […]. Deep down, and I think you women will back me up on this out there, deep down no real woman respects any man who can be so easily PC-whipped, […] […]

    Text excerpts are quoted from a transcript of of the May 26th edition of “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”

  317. says

    Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort told a Huffington Post reporter that Trump basically wants to outsource being president to his vice president. That sounds like Trump.

    He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.

    As journalist Josh Voorhees put it:

    For those of you don’t speak MBA, the chief executive is a company’s top decision-maker while the chief operating officer or president typically handles the day-to-day operation. (POTUS is probably best thought of as a combination of the two, though his or her chief of staff also has some COO-like duties.) A company’s chairman of the board takes a significantly broader view of long-term strategy and stays out of the daily grind all together.


  318. says

    Say, what now? Rightwing dunderheads at Daily Caller published a story about where the Obama family plans to reside after President Obama leaves office. That, in itself, is fine, but the way Daily Caller reported this is offensive.

    The mammoth, multi-million-dollar mansion where President Barack Obama and his family will reportedly live after the first family exits the White House is located 1,096 feet from the Islamic Center of Washington — one of the largest mosques in the Western Hemisphere.

    Both Obama’s new digs and the Islamic Center are located in the fancypants northwest Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama. […]

    In addition to the Islamic Center of Washington, the embassy of Oman and the former embassy of Iran are very close to Obama’s new mansion.


    As a Daily Kos writer put it:

    […] This is an underused tool of journalism. I can envision an entire series of articles based on this premise—nay, an entire journalistic website. would provide the very latest breaking news on which things, in America, were near other things.

    For example, the above piece was published by the Daily Caller, whose Washington office is located approximately 1,096 feet away from Archibald’s Gentlemen’s Club, which is a club for gentlemen. Other suspicious influences within 1,096 feet include the AFL-CIO offices, La Raza, the Order of Malta, the Wilderness Society, Aljazeera, Victoria’s Secret and the American Islamic Congress.

    We cannot discern, from this, whether or not the Daily Caller offices are riddled with Muslim-Hispanic-environmentalists who alternate distributing their literature with partaking of unionized Roman Catholic lap dances. […]

  319. says

    Your schadenfreude moment for the day: Trump Hotels are suffering from decreased bookings.

    Bookings at Trump Hotels have plummeted by more than half since The Donald launched his controversial presidential campaign.

    While Trump’s own popularity among his voters did not waver as he strode towards the Republican nomination, the hotel arm of his empire has taken a hit, according to data from travel firm Hipmunk.

    Reservations at his hotel collection have fallen by 59 per cent year-on-year as their market share has crumbled. […]

    Trump Soho New York -74%
    Trump International Hotel Las Vegas -71%
    Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto -47%
    Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago -31%
    The Trump Taj Mahal (Atlantic City) -17%
    Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk +4% […]

    Daily Mail UK link

  320. says

    Regarding comment 349, wouldn’t it be nice if the Trump name became a detriment instead of a way to sell scams like vitamins (see comment 312) and fake university courses?

    Trump valued his name at $50 million.

  321. says

    Republicans in the House of Congress really, really can’t stand the idea of not discriminating on the basis on sexual orientation and gender identity. I mean it. They really want the right to discriminate. To that end, they rejected a huge spending bill because it included protections for LGBT people.

    The House rejected a sweeping $37.4 billion spending bill Thursday with conservative Republicans saying they opposed the inclusion of an amendment related to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The House voted 112-305 to defeat the bill that would provide fiscal year 2017 funding for the Energy Department, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation and several commissions. […]

    Roll Call link

    Here’s some of what Paul Ryan had to say:

    “What we learned today is that the Democrats were not looking to advance an issue but to sabotage the appropriations process,” the Wisconsin Republican said, noting that their voting against it proves that point.

    Asked about poison pills that Republicans added later — including amendments targeting the Iran nuclear deal and defending the North Carolina transgender bathroom law — Ryan said some of those items passed by voice vote.

  322. dianne says

    @349: Nice of Trump to put his name on his hotels so that we know which ones to avoid.

  323. says

    This is a followup to comments 334 and 346.

    Rachel Maddow covered the proposed Trump/Sanders debate. The possibility of this debate actually taking place thrills Republicans, and it is a win-win for Trump. The video is 20:31 minutes long.

    The video begins with a joke that President Obama told at a White House Correspondent’s dinner. That was the lead-in for coverage of Trump planning to outsource parts of the job of being president to his vice president, the parts of the job he “doesn’t want to do.” (See comment 347).

    Maddow also covered the Trump campaign’s (campaign chairman’s) announcement that they would probably not vet any women or minorities for V.P., because that would be pandering. White men only, I guess.

    At about 6:30 minutes in, Maddow switches to covering the current activities and status of the Sander’s campaign, and how the current status may have affected the plan to set up a Trump/Sanders debate.

    There’s no transcript for the Maddow video posted yet, so you’ll have to watch to see the analysis of how pro-Republican Party and how anti-Democratic Party this plan for a debate is.

    Josh Marshall of Talking Points memo covered the basics:

    […] it is an amazingly terrible idea for anyone who cares about preventing Trump from being the next President. Indeed, does anyone alive believe this helps elect a Democratic president? And if not, what is the rationale? […]

    It is only a spectacle by which both candidates, Trump and Sanders, can indulge their tacitly-agreed common interest in sidelining and diminishing Hillary Clinton, who of course will be the nominee. I don’t want to speculate about Sanders’ motives, other than that it is probably a good way to elevate himself into the appearance of an ersatz Democratic standard-bearer and to get media attention which has slackened as most of the attention has moved toward the general election. That would be perfectly understandable if we didn’t know for a certainty that he is not going to be the nominee and that this would be bad for the person who is. […]

    I think there’s a very good chance it would descend into a Hillary-bashing fest. Indeed, how could it not? That would obviously be Trump’s overriding interest and aim. And it would be at best awkward for Sanders to be in the position of aggressively defending Clinton.

    Great theater and spectacle. It would be great fun to watch – if we didn’t have a campaign going on in which the fight to keep Donald Trump out of the White House depends entirely on how much Hillary Clinton can unify Democratic support behind her candidacy. […] it would probably give Trump the ability to skim more money from a charity event. […]

  324. says

    The “Soldiers of Odin,” an anti-refugee hate group that originated in Finland is active in the U.S.A. The “soldiers” are finding fertile ground among neo-Nazis and anti-government extremists of all stripes.

    […] The group represents a backlash to the rising number of refugees being resettled throughout Europe. In Finland, the number of refugees quickly ballooned from just little more than 3,000 in 2014 to 32,000 in 2015. The group has already spread across Europe from France to the U.K.

    Now, the Soldiers of Odin are making moves in the U.S. […] there are at least 4,000 individuals linked to the U.S. group.

    In March, the Soldiers of Odin chapter in Denver, Colorado held its first patrol. And the ADL reported that in Montana–where there is not even a refugee resettlement office–the backlash against refugees was so strong that “more than 200 people tried to crowd into a [Flathead County] March 10 county commissioners meeting to express anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiments.” In March, a Soldiers of Odin group emerged to encourage individuals in the Flathead Valley to protest any Muslim refugee resettlement in the area.

    […] “We all know that many of the Muslim refugees are causing massive amounts of crime, in particular sexual assault and rape of women and children. Soldiers of Odin peacefully patrols the streets to protect citizens.” […]

    Talking Points Memo link

  325. says

    Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals “(Pharma Bro”), has endorsed Donald Trump.

    […] Shkreli, who is currently awaiting trial for securities fraud, said later that “all you people who don’t like trump are jealous, stupid and poor! don’t make me laugh!”

    NY Daily News link

  326. says

    Trump delivered a so-called “energy policy” speech in North Dakota yesterday. Reading from a teleprompter, he spouted a series of rightwing platitudes and slogans. He said he was going to revive the coal industry and bring back all the coal jobs, that he would approve a new proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline, that he would reduce regulations, that he would open more federal lands to drilling, etc. He would tear up the Paris climate agreement, and he would do away with regulations that ensure we have clean air and clean water, (while simultaneously promising, guaranteeing, that he will make sure we all have clean air and clean water).

    Unlike previous speeches, where Trump did not know the name of the Environmental Protection Agency (“Department of Environmental” and “DEP”), he now knows enough to decry the EPA’s “totalitarian tactics.”

    Trump also claimed that wind turbines are killing all the eagles. Cats and cell phone towers kill more birds than wind turbines.

    Teleprompter are fine, in my opinion. Reading energy policy speeches written by industry lobbyists is not fine. Just to note, on May 24 Trump said that he wanted a law banning politicians from using teleprompters. On May 26, he used a teleprompter.

    “When you’re really, really, really smart like me … I don’t need teleprompter,” Trump said last November.

    Just how smart is Trump? He knows nothing about the coal industry.

    […] Trump has pledged to reopen mines in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia — something experts say is unlikely given that the industry is in a long decline thanks to competition from cheaper alternatives like natural gas.

    “We’re going to save that coal industry, believe me, we’re going to save it,” Trump said on Thursday.

    Asked before his speech whether he was over-promising based on these obstacles, Trump said “market forces are beautiful,” and he wouldn’t interfere with competition. But he predicted he would be able to restore coal jobs by removing environmental regulations.

    Trump’s contempt for regulations did not seem to extend to renewable energy, though, where he complained that wind turbines were “killing all of the eagles” and predicted the industry would fail without subsidies. […]

    “As Big Polluters’ new best friend, Trump’s ‘plan’ is pro-drilling, anti-EPA and is dangerous to our clean air and water,” spokesman David Willett said. “It does nothing to arrest our rapidly changing climate and the extreme weather already impacting Americans.”

  327. says

    Many ainstream media outlets failed to get the facts right when they reported on the recent State Department Inspector General’s report about email use.

    Here are two of the media outlets that goofed up:
    Washington Post
    MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell

    What did they get wrong?

    [They said] that a recent State Department report proves that Hillary Clinton was the first secretary of state to exclusively use a private email account for government work, contradicting Clinton’s statements. In fact, the report states that former Secretary of State Colin Powell also used a personal email account “on an exclusive basis for day-to-day operations.” […]

    “During Secretary Powell’s tenure, the Department introduced for the first time unclassified desktop email and access to the Internet on a system known as OpenNet, which remains in use to this day. Secretary Powell did not employ a Department email account, even after OpenNet’s introduction.” […]

    “OIG [Office of Inspector General] identified many examples of staff using personal email accounts to conduct official business; however, OIG could only identify three cases where officials used non-Departmental systems on an exclusive basis for day-to-day operations. These include former Secretaries Powell and Clinton, as well as Jonathan Scott Gration, a former Ambassador to Kenya.”

    More details are available in the coverage from Media Matters.

    What the Washington Post printed:

    […] yes, previous secretaries of state have used personal email addresses while in office — Colin Powell most notably and extensively. But, and this is really important, Clinton is the first secretary of state to ever use a private email address exclusively to conduct her business. Period. That was and is unprecedented.

    Nope. Wrong.

  328. says

    Trump grubbed for money everywhere. Is this what he calls being a good businessman?

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic congressman representing parts of New York City, has condemned Donald Trump for allegedly accepting 9/11 recovery funds intended for small businesses.

    Trump reportedly received $150,000 in recovery fundings by classifying one of his companies—which had 28 employees and brought in $26.8 million annually—as a small business.

    “The federal definition of a small business as having less than $6 million in revenue,” Nadler writes in a letter calling on Trump to donate that $150,000 to a charity benefiting the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.


  329. says

    Here’s an update on the nuclear deal with Iran. It’s going according to plan so far.

    Iran held to its accord with world powers by keeping the amount of nuclear material it produces below agreed thresholds and continuing to allow monitors wide access to facilities, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday.

    “The agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used,” the IAEA wrote in a 5-page restricted report distributed to member governments and obtained by Bloomberg News. Iran has additionally taken steps required to allow more inspectors into the country, according to the IAEA. […]

    Bloomberg News link

  330. says

    This is a followup to comments 288, 289, 299, and 314.

    Vince Foster’s sister Sheila Foster Anthony has taken Trump to task for bringing up conspiracy theories related to Vince’s death:

    This is scurrilous enough coming from right-wing political operatives who have peddled conspiracy theories about Vince’s death for more than two decades. How could this be coming from the presumptive Republican nominee for president? […]

    These outrageous suggestions have caused our family untold pain because this issue went on for so long and these reports were so painful to read. For years, our family had to wage a court fight to prevent release of photographs of Vince’s dead body. My heartbroken mother was plagued by harassing phone calls from a reporter. […]

    For Trump to raise these theories again for political advantage is wrong. I cannot let such craven behavior pass without a response.


    For what it’s worth, Trump has repeated that he doesn’t really know anything about Vince Foster’s death, but that he felt obligated to answer questions about the tragedy when asked. In answering those questions, he didn’t say, “I don’t know.” He said there was something “fishy” about the whole thing and that some people still maintained that Foster was “murdered” (murdered by the Clintons).

    By repeating that he doesn’t know anything about Vince Foster, Trump is keeping the conspiracy theories behind Foster’s suicide in the news cycle.

  331. says

    Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has been dissing the Black Lives Matter movement for some time. O’Reilly’s theory is that BLM causes crime, and that it targets police for harm.

    Roland Martin has had enough of that shit. He produced an epic rant against O’Reilly. Excerpts:

    You know what this reminds me of? This reminds of people who blame women for rape because they decide to wear a skirt. […]

    How have you just ignored those stories [of police corruption], since you love talking about Chicago? […]

    Black Lives Matter has forced a level of accountability in America, dealing with police, that we have never seen. And the people to blame for crime going up are these sorry cops who don’t want to do their job but they want to draw their paychecks and they want to get their pension. […]

    I’ve said it before but when you’re wrong, I’m going to check you Bill, because in this case YOU’RE A FLAT OUT LIAR. And I’ll say it again, you want a debate? Call me! Pick the day. Pick the time. Pick the location. And I’ll be there. I’ll pay my own way. But the reality is, you don’t really want that conversation. You don’t want your viewers to be exposed to facts. […]

    YouTube link to a video of Roland Martin taking Bill O’Reilly to task.

  332. says

    Oh, FFS. Trump finally announced that, no, he will not be debating Bernie Sanders. And he announced it in the worst way possible, in true Trumpian fashion:

    Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher.

    Likewise the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case women’s health issues.

    Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders–and it would be an easy pay day–I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.

  333. says

    Trump made a few more misogynistic comments about Hillary Clinton today. Trump held a rally in California during which he said:

    Do you think Hillary looks presidential? I don’t think so.

    I’m not going to say it. I refuse to say that I cannot stand her screaming into the microphone all the time.

    (He said that he had to turn off the television on Thursday night when he heard Clinton speaking because he “just couldn’t stand it,” though he did not specify what he was watching.)

    But I won’t say it because we’re not allowed to say it, right?

  334. says

    This is how Marco Rubio announced that he will vote for Trump:

    In Florida only 2 legitimate candidates on ballot in Nov. I wont vote for Clinton & I after years of asking people to vote I wont abstain.

    Here are a few statements Rubio made about Trump in the past:

    […] con artist who is telling people one thing but has spent 40 years sticking it to working Americans and now claims to be their champion.
    How does this guy—not one tweet, but three tweets—misspell words so badly? And I only come to two conclusions. No. 1, that’s how they spell those words at the Wharton School of Business, where he went, and No. 2, just like Trump Tower, he must have hired a foreign worker to do his own tweets.
    rude and obnoxious and offensive—deliberately offensive for the purposes of driving media narrative

  335. says

    58 Donald Trump Conspiracy Theories (And Counting!): The Definitive Trump Conspiracy Guide

    Right Wing Watch link

    Here a few highlights:

    Birtherism, plus more: Hawaii Official Was Murdered In Birth Certificate Cover-up “How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived.”

    Obama never attended Columbia

    Obama may start a war to win re-election

    Obama is persecuting Trump: “There has been a systematic targeting of the Tea Party by the Obama administration. Now Schneiderman goes after me. No coincidence.”

    Obama doesn’t want to fight terrorism.

    Obama wears an Arabic ring: “Why does Barack Obama’s ring have an arabic inscription? Who is this guy?”

    Obama is aiding ISIS: “Obama sent weapons through Benghazi to ISIS yet he is holding up shipments to Israel. What is he thinking?”

    etc., etc.

  336. says

    This is a followup to comment 356.

    In his bogus “energy policy” speech Trump claimed that wind farms are “killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles.” Washington Post writer Philip Bump presented the facts:

    It’s true; turbines are often situated in places with good wind currents, which birds also like to use. The Audubon Society estimates that between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from turbines. Some of them are eagles — but not hundreds. One assessment published in 2013 counted 85 dead eagles over a span of 15 years.

    But context here is helpful. Windows, like those in the skyscrapers built by Donald Trump, are responsible for the deaths of between 365 million and 988 million birds a year all around the world. Each skyscraper kills an estimated 24 birds per year.

    Trump also claimed that producing power via windmills is very expensive. BuzzFeed’s Dan Vergano debunked that one:

    The strangest thing that Trump said in his speech was “wind is very expensive.” In reality, windmills on land are one of the cheapest sources of electrical power, according to the [U.S. Energy Information Administration].

    Trump also said that “the problem with solar is it’s very expensive, but solar prices have been dropping.

    Regarding Trump’s statements about global energy markets, Foreign Policy’s Keith Johnson reported:

    The presumptive nominee rattled off a litany of confusing or incorrect statements about U.S. and global energy. He said that federal regulations on oil producers make it “harder and harder to turn a profit,” overlooking a historic collapse in oil prices. He said he would legalize U.S. crude oil exports, which Congress already did last year. And he compared sanctions relief on Iran to the Obama administration’s hostile stance toward the Keystone pipeline, complaining that now more oil will flow through Iran’s “pipeline with no environmental review whatsoever.” Iran, of course, exports its crude oil by tankers.

  337. says

    Oh, FFS. Trump is campaigning in California. One of the points he keeps repeating is, “There is no drought.”

    At a Friday campaign rally in Fresno, California, Donald Trump denied that the state was currently in a drought, blaming water shortages on environmentalists. “We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” he said, adding that “there is no drought.”

    California is experiencing the effects of a severe, five-year drought that saw the implementation of new water conservation rules. If elected, Trump says he will lift these water-saving rules. “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” he said on Friday.

    Associated Press link

    […] Trump accused state officials of denying water to Central Valley farmers so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.” […]

    California last year marked the driest four-year period in its history, with record low rainfall and snow. […]

  338. says

    <a href="[…] the Sanders campaign has demanded that Governor Malloy of Connecticut and Barney Frank be removed from their positions as chairs of the Platform and Rules committees at the convention because they won’t be fair enough to Sanders. If the DNC does not give in to this demand, the Sanders campaign has announced that it will use all procedural means to grind the Convention to a halt. […]
    Daily Kos link

    Rachel Maddow covers the fact that lawyers for Sanders have threatened to disrupt the DNC convention over committee members. The video is 8:47 minutes long.

    The video begins with a discussion of presidential debates and the history thereof. A discussion of the Trump-Sanders debate/non-debate takes several minutes. At about 5:30 minutes, Maddow begins a discussion of the letter from Sanders’ lawyers, and of the threat mentioned at the beginning of this comment.

  339. says

    Donald Trump has decided that personal attacks against the judge overseeing the case against Trump University is the way to go. Sheesh.

    […] [Trump University] has been accused of scamming students who were misled into paying money for insight from business experts they thought were hand-picked by Trump, is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego federal court shortly after the presidential election. According to his lawyer, Trump is planning on testifying.

    In […] an “extended tirade,” Trump spent 12 minutes of his 58-minute speech focused on the case and the California judge who will hear it.

    “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Trump told the crowd. “I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself.”

    Trump told his supporters he believes Judge Curiel should be removed from the case, citing the fact that Curiel was appointed to the bench by President Obama. Trump also said he believes Curiel is “Mexican.” The crowd — which had previously shouted “build that wall” — booed loudly.

    In previous statements about the case, Trump has pointed to Curiel’s Hispanic heritage to insinuate that he won’t be able to approach the case impartially. Asked on Fox News what exactly Curiel’s ethnicity has to do with the case against him, Trump responded, “I think it has to do perhaps with the fact that I’m very, very strong on the border, very, very strong at the border, and he has been extremely hostile to me.”

    Trump University — which was not actually an accredited university and did not hand out degrees — has several fraud cases proceeding against it.

    […] many of the people affiliated with Trump University had dubious credentials. In Trump’s own depositions in the case this past December, he failed to recognize a single name of any of the instructors at his real estate seminars.

    Before they dropped out of the presidential race, several of Trump’s GOP opponents attacked him for running a “fake school” that scammed students. […]

    Think Progress link

  340. says

    Apologies for messing up the HTML tags in comment 368. I think the quoted text is obvious anyway. And the links work.

    In other news, Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters, appeared on Chris Hayes’s “All In” show to talk about Donald Trump’s penchant for lying. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

    ERIC BOEHLERT: There has been a complaint from the press that there’s sort of this avalanche of lies. How are we going to deal with this? Usually if we catch a nominee making one or two false statements a week, that’s a lot of news. We’re doing our job. How do you handle 18, 19 in a day, or something like that? So in one sense I’m sympathetic to that claim. On the other sense though, there has to be an overall coverage of treating him not seriously. Of just making this point over and over, he is congenital serial liar. He’s not a normal politician, as you say. He’s not an entertainer. He’s just sort of a narcissist who can’t speak the truth for any length of time.

    So a good example is he gave this joke climate speech yesterday, right? A couple of weeks [ago] he gave that joke foreign policy speech. A lot of newsrooms felt like, OK he’s the Republican nominee, we have to take this seriously, we have to do five, ten paragraphs regurgitating what he says, then we’ll get some quotes from people who say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    HAYES: You think that model is poorly applied.

    BOEHLERT: It does not apply. As we were talking earlier in the show, nothing applies to him. So why are we still pretending he’s Mitt Romney ,or John McCain, or Bob Dole? This is his policy statement? It’s not a policy statement. It’s incoherent. It doesn’t make any sense. And Republicans in his own party, the foreign policy speech, they’re like, what is this? So I don’t think the old model applies and they should get rid of it. I don’t necessarily know exactly what they should do but you can’t pretend someone is serious who is not serious […]


  341. says

    This is a followup to comment 368.

    Democratic Party officials have refused a request from Bernie Sanders’ lawyers to remove Connecticut Governor Malloy and former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank from their positions on committees. Malloy is the co-chairman of the Platform Committee; and Frank is the co-chairman of the Rules Committee.

    […] Democratic officials responded to Sanders’ request on Saturday, saying in a letter that Malloy and Frank were elected under party rules and that Sanders wasn’t alleging any violations of that process.

    Associated Press link

  342. says

    This is a followup to comment 369.

    […] Just hours after Trump used a campaign speech at a San Diego convention center to unleash a remarkable verbal fusillade against U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge — who also happens to be based in the same southern California city — acknowledged in a much more measured fashion the criticism Trump has aimed at the court.

    “Defendant became the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue,” Curiel said in an order unsealing a series of internal Trump University documents that Trump’s lawyers asked be kept from the public.

    The judge’s order didn’t make reference to Trump’s 12-minute tirade Friday afternoon in which the all-but-certain Republican nominee called Curiel a “hater” and again invoked his Latino heritage […]

    Curiel said in his order Friday that Trump’s presidential campaign and his criticism of the court were reasons to overrule his objections to the release of so-called “Playbooks” describing Trump University’s operations. […] “The entire 2010 Playbook has been posted online by Politico,” Curiel wrote.

    It’s unclear whether the judge knew of Trump’s latest volley of attacks when the judge issued the order Friday afternoon, but it seems possible. Curiously, the Republican candidate laid into the judge at about the same time the judge was holding a hearing less than a mile away on a motion by the Washington Post seeking unsealing of the Trump University-related files. The judge’s order was released a couple hours after the hearing.

    Trump suggested Friday, as he has before, that he might move to recuse Curiel from the suits. However, the real estate mogul’s lawyers have never brought such a motion.

    Politico link

  343. says

    Yikes. This is not good. Anti-abortion activists are invading women’s cellphones.

    A new investigation by Rewire, a reproductive health news service, shows that anti-abortion groups are moving beyond their time-honored approaches of picketing clinics and shouting at women: Now they’re going digital, thanks to a technology known as mobile geofencing that can be used to target women through smartphones.

    The technology is typically used by advertisers who want to hone in on a target audience in a specific location. Have you ever gotten an ad for Lyft or Uber right after landing at an airport in a new city? That’s an example of mobile geofencing in action.

    A Boston advertising executive named John Flynn realized the technology could be used to target women seeking an abortion, and to send information on crisis pregnancy centers and adoption agencies straight to their smartphones. […]

    Flynn began marketing his presentations on the technology to anti-abortion groups such as RealOptions, a Northern California crisis pregnancy center network, and Bethany Christian Services, an evangelical adoption agency, and they quickly saw the potential.

    Flynn’s technology allows a geofence to be built around Planned Parenthood clinics and other abortion facilities, so anti-abortion messages may be sent to smartphones in clinic waiting rooms. Flynn’s program for Bethany covered five cities: Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Virginia; St. Louis; and New York City. Flynn said he has targeted 140 clinics on Bethany’s behalf so far. […]

    Flynn said he could also reach abortion clinics, hospitals, doctors’ offices, colleges, and high schools in the United States and Canada, and then “[d]rill down to age and sex.” […]

    And it’s all perfectly legal. That’s because digital advertising technologies have grown so quickly that privacy law hasn’t been able to keep up. […]


  344. says

    Okay, now I have two comments “awaiting moderation.” I’m going to give up for today. Will try again tomorrow.

  345. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Libertarian Party, which might spoil The Donald’s chances, renominated Gary Johnson for president.

    The Libertarian Party again nominated former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as its presidential candidate Sunday, believing he can challenge presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton because of their poor showing in popularity polls.
    Johnson, 63, won the nomination on the second ballot at the party’s convention in Orlando, Florida, defeating Austin Petersen, the founder of The Libertarian Republic magazine; and anti-computer virus company founder John McAfee.
    Johnson told the delegates during his acceptance speech that his job will be to get the Libertarian platform before the voters at a level the party has not seen….
    For Johnson to make a serious run this year, he needs to qualify for the presidential debates. To do that, he must average 15 percent in five recognized polls.

    The Libertarian Party in 2012 got over twice the votes of the Greens at 0.99%. Given the antipathy of some rethugs for The Donald, I can easily see them in the high single digits on election day.

  346. says

    Perhaps this incident will help the Libertarian Party’s credibility?

    The Libertarian Party convention saw an unexpected striptease after a candidate for the party chair began dancing and stripping down to a thong during his two minute speech.

    The candidate began his routine by telling members of the convention at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida he thought the event could “use a little fun”.

    Some delegates at the Libertarian National Convention initially clapped and danced along, but the crowd became quiet once he began to remove his suit, The Washington Times reports.

  347. says

    Mother Jones posted an article that debunks 5 myths about women in combat.

    Still, some of the quotes from men serving in the military were disturbing:

    “Men act different around females,” a petty officer in the Navy SEALs wrote. “It’s not just being able to do the job, but [being] part of the group, the brotherhood. I don’t think it can work.”
    “If she gets pregnant, she’ll leave the team.”
    “I cannot stand my wife for about a week out of the month,” a petty officer in the Navy wrote. “I like that I can come to work and not have to deal with that.”
    “Women are very protective,” a sergeant in the Army’s Special Forces wrote. “They nurture kids. Will a woman return fire and kill a child insurgent fighter?”
    “It’s a slap in the face telling us that chicks can do our jobs,” one soldier wrote.

  348. says

    Robert Westbrook @380, the Libertarian candidate that danced in a thong said afterward that he did so to respond to a dare. The dance of the rotund libertarian doesn’t look any more offensive than some of the stupid stuff Trump has pulled. WTF moments to be sure.

    What an election year!

    Rachel Maddow produced a segment than rounded up some of the most awkward moment from the primary campaign. The video is 11:50 minutes long. It’s really a shame that she didn’t have the libertarian-in-a-thong dance to add that compilation.

  349. says

    Trump’s surrogates are having trouble defending the attack against the judge who is hearing the lawsuit against Trump University. (See comments 371 and 375 for a description of Trump’s attack.)

    A CNN host took Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman to task Monday for peddling the presumptive nominee’s claim that a judge handling a lawsuit against him has an axe to grind because he’s Mexican. […]

    After playing back footage of those remarks, host Alisyn Camerota asked, “So Katrina, ‘We believe he’s Mexican,’ what is that?”

    Pierson responded by going on the offensive about the former students suing Trump, saying “you just can’t guarantee an outcome” for graduates. She went on to say the judge is a member of La Raza’s lawyer association, a group she says has organized anti-Trump rallies with Mexican flags.

    “So Mr. Trump is just stating the obvious,” Pierson concluded.

    “But this judge isn’t Mexican,” Camerota countered. “He was born here. He’s American.”

    “I’m not saying he’s Mexican,” Pierson said.

    “But Mr. Trump is saying he’s Mexican,” Camerota pressed.

    “He says we ‘believe’,” Pierson interrupted.

    “But what’s the point of that? Why is he going after an ethnicity? What’s the point?” Camerota pressed.

    Pierson attacked “criminal” protesters with “their Mexican flags and La Raza,” saying, “this judge is connected to that.”

    “OK, but you recognize that Mr. Trump is wrong?” the CNN anchor asked.

    “I don’t know if he’s Mexican,” Pierson shot back. “I don’t know his heritage or his descent.”

    “Okay, for the record, he’s American, […]

  350. says

    Regardings the quotes @381 I may be being unfaire to those quoted, and if so I’m sorry. But their comments brought the following to mind:

    Commenter one is worried having women around will interfere with discussing such subjects crucial to team cohesion as porn and what women they want to “bang.”

    Commenter two apparently hasn’t considered that there are men that might leave the team because their wives get pregnant, and that not all women want to have kids.

    I wonder how much of commenter three’s problems with his wife for that supposed week a month are actually his fault.

    Commenter four seems to think all men will kill without hesitation, that none will balk at shooting a kid. That seems pretty unlikely.

    As for commenter five maybe he’s a wee bit worried he’ll lose out if he has to deal with even more competition than he does already.

  351. says

    timegueguen @384, I agree with your assessment of those quotes. Moreover, the report showed that all of those quotes were based on myths. None have a factual basis. I don’t if commenter five’s wife has difficulties during her menstrual cycle, but I do know that the report says that the menstrual cycles of females serving in the military are not a problem. Commenter five should not extrapolate from his personal experience with one woman. Also, he sound like an asshole.

    In other news, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    In other, other news, here’s a followup to comment 369.

    California suffered one of its driest years in 2015. And last year the state hit its driest four-year period on record.

    But Donald Trump isn’t sold. The presumptive GOP nominee told supporters in Fresno, Calif., on Friday night that no such dry spell exists.

    USA Today link

    Here’s an excerpt from what Trump said:

    When I just left, 50 or 60 farmers in the back and they can’t get water. And I say, “How tough is it; how bad is the drought?” “There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean.” And I said I’ve been hearing it and I spent a half an hour with them it’s hard to believe.

    And here is a response to Trump’s comments from Slate journalist and astronomer Phil Plait:

    Now it’s a little tough to parse that quotation [Trump’s statement above], because he talks as if periods between sentences are a liberal conspiracy. A lot of people are quoting him as if he is saying there is no drought, but it could be that the “There is no drought” line is him quoting the farmers he was talking to. However, given the context, it’s clear he thinks this as well. Also in the full speech you can hear him quoting a farmer saying, “There’s plenty of water”.

    Where to even start with something so bizarrely nonsensical? To believe there’s plenty of water in California you’d either have to be a cactus or completely, utterly oblivious to reality. Because that’s grossly wrong. Grotesquely wrong. […]

    California is suffering a massive drought, and has been for years. As that graphic [see Slate link for the graphic] shows, 95 percent of the state is at least abnormally dry, and over 20 percent is having an “exceptional drought”. That’s better than last year when over 40 percent of the state was exceptionally dry; a better snow pack in the Sierra Nevadas this year has helped in northern California somewhat.

    Still, many of the reservoirs are below average levels; some far below, and the southern part of the state is in dire straits (so to speak). Things are not good, and projections show the drought will persist through at least August. Probably far longer.

    So Trump’s claim that there’s plenty of water is just more of the lies he’s peddling.

    Part of what he’s talking about in that speech deals with water being diverted from farms to rivers to protect wildlife such as the delta smelt and salmon. That’s a very complicated and thorny issue, and I don’t pretend to have an answer here. But Trump certainly doesn’t either, and simply saying, “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” as Trump did in his speech, is ridiculous. The laws won’t let him do that, for one thing, and for another it’s unlikely to help in the long run. California simply doesn’t have an infinite supply of water.

    This is a situation that calls for a lot of political compromise, nuance, and long-term thinking. Trump has none of that.[…]

  352. says

    Donald Trump has been busy dissing the Libertarian party. And even though he threatened to run as a third party candidate for months, recently Trump has also been dissing the concept of a third party candidate running in the presidential election..

    In particular, Trump called the Libertarians out for being fringe, not serious, and stupid. The Libertarian candidates for president and vice president are both former two-term governors. Trump is a guy who never served in any elected office. And there’s that little problem of being ignorant about government, domestic policy, foreign policy, politics, or how any thing other than the New York real estate market works. Trump is a fringe candidate. He is serious about entertainment and not much else.

    Like Nerd mentioned up-thread, I hope the Libertarians swipe 10% of the votes for Trump. They may take a few votes from Clinton, but it is far more likely that they will damage Trump. You can tell he is worried by how vehemently he condemns the Libertarian candidates.

  353. says

    While Trump was lambasting the press for “making me look bad” when they insisted on details related to his claimed donations to veterans’ groups, Hillary Clinton issued a 23-point plan to improve the lives of military families:

    As commander-in-chief, Hillary Clinton will mandate more flexibility in service members’ family leave time, increased access to military child care, and more consideration of families’ preferences and needs in duty assignments, according to a policy paper being released by her campaign Monday.

    Her 23-point “Military Families Agenda” is unusual in its specificity about policies aimed at not just service members but their dependents, a topic that typically gets only passing mention at the national presidential campaign level. Clinton’s campaign provided Military Times with an advance copy of the document. […]

    For contrast, here are some excerpts from the press conference Trump held today:

    “What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he’s a sleaze in my book — you’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well,” said Trump. […]

    “The press should be ashamed of themselves,” he said, telling reporters, “You make me look very bad.”

    Trump said that he wanted the donations to veterans groups to be “private”

    Ha! “Private,” are you kidding me? He held a rally that was aired in full on several networks, and he bragged incessantly about the size and number of donations

    [Trump said] that he didn’t want “credit” for the money he raised, and said he was forced to reveal details about the fundraiser because of the press. He also said that it took time for him to send donations to veterans groups because he had to vet the groups.

    “The press is so dishonest and so unfair,” he lamented. […]

    CNN’s Jim Acosta told Trump, “You keep calling us the dishonest press, the disgusting press…”

    “Generally speaking that’s 100 percent true,” Trump jumped in to say.

    “I disagree with that, sir,” Acosta responded. “If I can ask you this question, it seems like you’re resistant to scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for President of the United States.”

    “I like scrutiny, but you know what?” Trump then said.

    When Acosta tried to cut in again, Trump said, “Excuse me. I have watched you on television. You’re a real beauty.”

    Trump added, “I don’t want the credit for it but I shouldn’t be lambasted.”

    “Why do you continue to attack the press though, Mr. Trump?” Acosta then asked, but Trump turned to another reporter without responding.

    Later, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron asked Trump, “Is a question an attack?”

    “I have been dealing with the press a long time. I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met,” Trump replied. “I have to tell you that, okay? Of course, you’re excluded, Carl.”

    Another reporter asked Trump if he needed a “thicker skin” given how much he is bothered by questions about his fundraising activities.

    “I think that it’s bothersome because I love the vets,” Trump said, noting that he worked hard to raise money for veterans. “I think when the press portrays it differently, the press is being very dishonest, so I don’t like that. I don’t like dishonesty.” […]

    Trump went on to promise that, if he is elected president, he will continue to have a contentious relationship with the press: “[…] I’m going to continue to attack the press,” Trump continued. “Look, I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest. I will say that.”

  354. says

    This is a followup to comments 371 and 375. Today, Trump continues to go after U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

    I should have easily won the Trump University case on summary judgement but have a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is totally biased against me.

    Trump pointed out a few days ago that Curiel is “a hater,” and that he is “we believe, Mexican.”

    Very presidential, Mr. Trump. Not.

    The judge is an American, a citizen of the U.S. who was also born in the U.S.

  355. says

    This is good news, of a sort.

    SiriusXM radio suspended Glenn Beck after one of Beck’s guests, Brad Thor, said this:

    With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if he oversteps his mandate as President, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as President.

    SiriusXM issued a statement, which said, in part that the comments made on Beck’s show:

    […] may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which SiriusXM cannot and will not condone.

    Beck is suspended for one week. I doubt that will slow him down.

  356. says

    More great (not) advice from the National Rifle Association: store guns in your children’s rooms:

    During a seminar on “home defense concepts” at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Louisville, an instructor encouraged gun owners to store firearms in their children’s bedrooms.

    Rob Pincus, who owns the popular firearm instruction company I.C.E. Training, paced across a conference room stage as he repeatedly warned against the threat of violent home invasions. After establishing that filling one’s home with weapons is the only solution, he then recommended that gun owners store firearms in their kids’ rooms for easy access.

    “Why would you consider staging a firearm inside a child’s room?” he told the few hundred NRA members in attendance. “It’s the first place I’m going to go! As I’ve said…many times, if your kid is going to break into the safe just because it’s in their room, you have a parenting issue, not a home defense issue.” […]

  357. says

    Hmmm, After Sarah Palin, Vladimir Putin, and Ted Nugent endorsed Donald Trump, I guess we should have known that the leader of North Korea would endorse Trump.

    Tyrant Kin Jong Un seems to have sent an unmistakeable signal (via an editorial in the official media outlet of North Korea), that Trump is the man:

    The president that U.S. citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary … but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversation with North Korea.

    Daily Mail link

    […] The piece called the crass billionaire a “wise politician” and a “far-sighted presidential candidate” — […]

  358. says

    The editor of Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall, stressed the importance of Trump’s attacks against Judge Curiel. (See comments 371, 375, and 388 background and previous discussions.)

    […] the Republican nominee for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, again used a campaign rally to launch into a racist tirade against the federal judge presiding over two of the three fraud lawsuits against Trump’s now defunct “Trump University.”

    Federal Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was born in 1953 in East Chicago, Indiana. He was a federal prosecutor from 1989 to 2006, primarily working in narcotics enforcement. He was a state judge from 2006 until 2012 when President Obama nominated him to serve as a Federal District Court Judge in the Southern District of California. While serving as US Attorney in 1997, Curiel was reportedly the targeted for assassination by members of the Arellano Felix drug cartel during his ultimately successful prosecution of the cartel. […]

    Trump’s first attack on Curiel came in late February just after Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney and others started calling attention to claims of fraud against “Trump University,” what I called at the time a “clownishly crooked scam that exploited people who didn’t have a lot of money but bet it all on Trump’s razzmatazz.” In that now notorious February 25th debate where Rubio went all in with often antic attacks on Trump, the one that really hit home was the one on what Rubio called Trump’s ‘fake school’.

    Two days later at a rally in Bentonville, Arkansas, Trump sought to minimize the on-going fraud suits as the product of a personal vendetta by Judge Curiel […]

    The judge should have thrown the case out on summary judgment. But because it was me and because there’s a hostility toward me by the judge, tremendous hostility, beyond belief––I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine, he’s Hispanic, which is fine, and we haven’t asked for a recusal, which we may do, but we have a judge who’s very hostile.

    The next day on Fox News Sunday, Trump told Chris Wallace …

    I think the judge has been extremely hostile to me. I think it has to do with the fact I’m very, very strong on the border, and he happens to be extremely hostile to me. We have a very hostile judge. He is Hispanic, and he is very hostile to me.

    Then on Friday Trump devoted roughly twelve minutes of a campaign speech in San Diego to an even more barbed racist tirade against Curiel.

    “Here’s what happens. We’re in front of a very hostile judge. The Judge was appointed by Barack Obama … Frankly he should recuse himself … This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily. Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel … The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine … You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK? … I’m telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK?” […]

    here we have Trump making an openly racist argument against a federal judge, arguing that Curiel is pursuing a vendetta against him because Trump is, he says, “I’m very, very strong on the border.”

    Today while taking questions after announcing belated donations to veterans groups, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed Trump on his criticisms of Judge Curiel. […] “Why mention that the judge is Mexican?” Trump answered: “Because I’m a man of principle. Most of the people who took those courses have letters saying they thought it was great, essentially.” […]

    Trump has shown himself over the course of the campaign to be an emotionally needy, pathological liar. […]

    Any reporter who gets a chance to ask Trump to justify his actions and doesn’t is not doing his or her job. Few cases show more vividly how dangerous a person Trump is.

  359. says

    Ugly Americans are going abroad to push anti-LGBT policies … again. By “ugly,” I mean having an ugly attitude—(not meant as a comment on physical appearance).

    Mormons started the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) back when they were fighting gay rights in California (Prop 8). The organization even had a mormon prophet as its head honcho. From the beginning, mormons collaborated with other religious right-wingers, especially Catholics. NOM now has less of a mormon flavor and more of an evangelical tone. The goals are the same.

    The National Organization for Marriage announced today that its president, Brian Brown, has been elected president of the World Congress of Families, a global network of organizations fighting LGBT rights and reproductive freedom.

    As Brown’s fight to stop marriage equality in the U.S. has become increasingly futile, he has taken a leading role in building international networks to stop the advance of LGBT rights around the world. […]

    As well as turning his attentions to the global anti-LGBT movement, Brown has increasingly focused on fighting LGBT nondiscrimination measures at home, including getting fully onboard with the Religious Right’s transgender bathroom panic.

    American anti-LGBT activists seem to be setting the tone for the global movement with their insistence that policies preventing discrimination against LGBT people threaten religious freedom and with the related scapegoating of transgender people […].


  360. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Donald may have more than just the pesky Libertarian party to drain votes away from His Greatness. Conservative commentator Bill Kristol is trying to get an independent, David French, to run for president.

    Conservative commentator Bill Kristol is considering choosing David French, a staff writer with National Review magazine and a constitutional lawyer, to run as an independent presidential candidate against Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
    Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, has expressed disappointment that Trump has likely secured the Republican nomination and said he has been searching for an alternative candidate.

    The more conservatives running, the merrier….

  361. dianne says

    The quotes @381 all seem to me to be saying one thing: Men are too fragile and unadaptable to be trusted in combat. Or, really, much of anything else. Perhaps they should concentrate on looking nice.

  362. says

    When he was asked about criticizing the federal judge overseeing the Trump University case, Trump replied, “Why antagonize? Because I don’t care.” He also said he was sure he would win the case.

    As far as “winning” goes, so far Trump’s comments about the judge being “Mexican” have not gone over well. The judge is an American, and his Latino heritage has nothing to do with his integrity as a judge. Trump’s thinly veiled and oft-repeated racial slur is intended to make his supporters think he will not get a fair trial in the court. Most media outlets are slamming Trump for that bit of stupidity.

    Now Trump is losing even more ground thanks to new documents released yesterday. MSNBC’s Alexandra Jaffe reported, “Trump University salespeople were instructed to play to peoples’ emotions and suggest that potential customers rely heavily on credit card debt or retirement funds to pay for the classes, according to documents unsealed by a federal judge Tuesday.” MSNBC Link

    From the Huffington Post:

    […] The playbooks instruct salespeople to mention Trump by name in order to intimidate potential customers who are hesitant to spend thousands of dollars on a Trump University product. “Mr. Trump will not listen to excuses,” the playbook tells salespeople to say, “and neither will we.”

    In another scenario, salespeople are instructed to berate potential customers, telling them, “You’ve had your entire adult life to accomplish your financial goals… and you’re not even close to where you need to be.” […]

    The playbook instructed Trump University employees on how to target potential customers with bad credit. “What most people do,” reads one prompt, “is handle the tuition by putting it on their credit cards because it gives them the ability to make very small monthly payments and maintain a low overhead to run their real estate project.” Later on, it says, they can “use their success in real estate to pay off the banks in a couple of months or so.”

    Huff Po link

    To add fuel to the fire, we learned that it is not just Trump University students that are suing because they were scammed, but that former employees made similar allegations. The New York Times reported:

    In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.

    One sales manager for Trump University, Ronald Schnackenberg, recounted how he was reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, despite his conclusion that it would endanger their economic future. He watched with disgust, he said, as a fellow Trump University salesman persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.

    “I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme,” Schnackenberg wrote in his testimony, “and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

  363. says

    Here’s just one example of Democrats using the Trump University con job to their advantage:

    Justin Barasky, a spokesperson for the Priorities USA super PAC, told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent this morning, “The predatory behavior demonstrated by Trump University against single parents who needed money to feed their children, young couples struggling to make ends meet, and other families down on their luck is beyond disgusting. Donald Trump is divisive, dangerous, and unquestionably a con-man who profited off the misery of others, and he should never be President of the United States.”

  364. says

    More followup on the scandal Trump caused by claiming in January to have raised $6 million for veteran’s organizations, and then failing to distribute most of that money:

    Here’s Trump’s whine:

    Instead of being like, “Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,” or “Trump did a good job,” everyone’s saying,”‘Who got it, who got it, who got it?” And you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.

    [tiny violins]

    Some of those same reporters who made poor Mr. Trump look bad, also reported that:

    Phone calls to all 41 of the groups by The Associated Press brought more than two-dozen responses Tuesday. About half reported checks from Trump within the past week, typically dated May 24, the day The Washington Post published a story questioning whether he had distributed all of the money.

    Here’s Steve Benen’s excellent summary:

    In other words, four months after his big fundraiser, where Trump touted a tally that turned out to be untrue, Trump only started cutting checks to a variety of groups after the Washington Post published a story that made the candidate look awful.

    Some irony thrown in for good measure: Trump demanded tax records from the charitable organizations while continuing to keep his own tax records out of the public eye. Also, one of the organizations he claimed to have vetted got a grade of “F” from an organization that vets charities. And there’s more … Trump claimed the four month delay was related to the vetting processes, but according to his campaign, the vet’s groups were chosen in advance in January.

    Referring to Steve Benen again for a summary:

    Trump said he’d raised $6 million for veterans, but that wasn’t true. He later claimed he never used the $6 million figure, but that wasn’t true. His campaign insisted Trump had contributed $1 million himself, but that wasn’t true. Trump said he “didn’t want to have credit” for the fundraising efforts, but that wasn’t true. He said he and his team were vetting groups they’d never heard of four months after the fact, but that wasn’t true.

    And as of yesterday, all of this, the Republican candidate insisted, is the media’s fault. Indeed, Trump thinks journalists should be “ashamed” of themselves for scrutinizing his claims that turned out to be wrong.

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but in a normal year, in a normal party, with a normal candidate, this is the sort of controversy that could end a campaign. Legitimate presidential hopefuls can get away with some dissembling and the occasional whopper, but Trump was caught telling obvious falsehoods about support for veterans’ charities.


  365. says

    Here is Chris Hayes’ coverage of The Rise and Fall of Trump University. In the interview portion of the segment, New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, who filed one of the lawsuits in 2013, responds to Trump’s attacks. The video is 6:13 minutes long.

    Here is Chris Hayes’ coverage of Trump blaming the media for the scandal over donations to vets. Catherine Rampell, Susan Del Percio, Glenn Thrush and Basil Smikle Jr. join the discussion panel.

  366. says

    From CNN Money’s reporting on Trump University:

    Addressing objections and doubts:

    Team members are given scripted rebuttals to address students and prospective students who express doubt about whether they should enroll or sign up for a more expensive package. For example:

    I don’t like using my credit cards and going into debt: “[D]o you like living paycheck to paycheck? … Do you enjoy seeing everyone else but yourself in their dream houses and driving their dreams cars with huge checking accounts? Those people saw an opportunity, and didn’t make excuses, like what you’re doing now.”

  367. Vivec says

    Well, my school just had a shooting, spent the last 3 hours barricaded in a lecture hall. Wonder if it will get a response from the candidates?

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Wonder if it will get a response from the candidates?

    *holds up envelope like The Great Carnac*
    “What is more guns are needed by the Donald….”

  369. says

    Ken Starr finally resigned from his post as chancellor of Baylor University. (See comment 310 for background.)

    In other news, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied today. He said, “The average person is about $3,000 or $4,000 a year worse off today than when President Obama came to office.” Nope, not true. McConnell also said, “There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America.” Nope. Not True. Mitch McConnell is hopeless.

    Your schadenfreude moment for today: The PGA Tour is leaving Trump National Doral Miami resort as far as hosting the World Golf Championship is concerned. The PGA is moving the tour to … wait for it … Mexico! Link

  370. says

    Some of the Trump University training materials for its sales people provide advice on how to emotionally bully people, and how to get married people to make decisions without a spouse present.

    A common excuse at the end of a […] presentation is to have the prospect tell the Program Director that he/she needs to check with their spouse. This may happen even after your prospect has told you that they can make a decision on their own. Say this at the very end of setting the appointment. “(name) I just want to make sure I did my job here. My Program Director is really counting on me to find those that are serious from the curious. I know you’ve already told me that you are able to make the decision about this advance training on your own and that your spouse won’t be involved with this. I just want to make sure that once you’ve got all the facts and have had all your questions answered, that you’ll be able to give him a simple yes or no answer. Yes is O.K. And No is O.K. It would make me look like I don’t know my job if you were to say to my Director, “Sounds great. I just need to check with my spouse.” I just want to make sure that there’s no chance of that happening, right?

    My advice is to always talk to your spouse first, especially is a Trump University salesperson is trying to up-sell you to the $35,000 package.

  371. says

    Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Josh Voorhies for Slate:

    Trump’s campaign is built on contradictions—his chief argument for why he can clean up Washington, for example, is that he has benefited so much by it being dirty—but he will have a difficult time explaining Trump U as a necessary evil for a real estate tycoon. This isn’t donating to a politician in the name of business, or seeking out tax breaks in the name of your bank account. This is taking advantage of the same type of people you’re promising to help. The “con man” label might not have stuck when Marco Rubio tried to pin it on Trump during the primary, but the release of these documents—and the lawsuit itself, which isn’t going away anytime soon—will give Democrats the chance to try again. […]


  372. opus says

    I don’t know if this should be filed under ‘Amazing coincidences’ or ‘Better than Nostradamus, with video backup,’ but MST3K did a truly prophetic take on the 2016 election in 1991, in Pod People. The evil alien is named ‘Trumpy’ and the dialog includes the classic line from Joel: “Trumpy, you can do stupid things!”

    Details here:

  373. dianne says

    Well, my school just had a shooting, spent the last 3 hours barricaded in a lecture hall. Wonder if it will get a response from the candidates?

    The UCLA shooting? That sounded nasty. But if politicians stopped to comment on every mass shooting in the US they’d never have time to do anything else. Good thing Bernie and Donald agree that more guns keep us safer and Hillary’s too much of a wimp to do anything about guns because imagine how dangerous the US would be if Good Guys didn’t have guns to protect themselves.

  374. wzrd1 says

    With respect, dianne, currently, there is little interest or political will to do anything about mass shootings and worse, the political reality of a century and spare change of case law against “doing anything” in an exceptionally violence accepting culture, where firearms violence is only one symptom.
    In one very real aspect, John Wayne really screwed this country up…
    Not that he was the beginning, as the Bath Schoolhouse Disaster proved.
    Firearms are a tool, explosives are a tool, chemicals to make explosives are a tool, I don’t see swimming pools as much of a tool, to dispose of a laughable attempt at deflection, violence as a means to the resolution of any problem is the primary problem, we’ve added a failed mental health care system and massive income disparity into an already unstable equation and have the predictable results.
    For the record, I’ve not looked up the shooting and it’s late for me, I’m hoping for the best and it’s past bedtime and have more than my share of bad dreams before researching this latest atrocity. I’ve had my unfair share of such things in the military, in time of war, I’d not inflict that upon my worst enemy. But, I volunteered, repeatedly.
    May your nightmare burden be lighter than my grandchildren, my the toll be far less than a handful, my the cause be a simple domestic dispute amongst teens, lest children become involved (although, I do consider teens children and even those into their early 30’s), I can wish for minimized harm upon nascent families in our horror shop of a society.

    Meanwhile, we have a simple reality present. Case in point, I personally own a half dozen firearms. These are not dedicated for some inane defense against the dark force nonsense, but some out of historical interest in an especially shameful period of our history (Saturday night specials in two cases), historic in other means (particularly accurate rifles), a common lever action hunting rifle and various precision marksmanship competition models, which exist only to compete and ear cash prizes that do add some significant level of income to my household.
    I have zero interest in harming another human being or non-meat animal (in season, with appropriate hunting license to ensure conservation) and my last case of physical violence outside of war was well over 30 years ago, much to my disgrace in not appropriately dealing with one drunken idiot, the previous case being two years before and was aborting a rape attempt.
    Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.
    Precision marksmanship, the refuge of the calculating. When you have to calculate your location on Earth, orbital velocity compensation and stray breezes, it gets really, really cool. For then, one is using the ultimate weapon, one’s mind. :)
    Where other weapons aren’t necessary in daily life.

    Just so that you have a small idea of where I’m coming from. I’m also the guy who can use edged weapons to the satisfaction of safety concerns of a disabled wife, who is quite the worrier, is also proficient with bow and arrow, crossbow (not that I own one), black powder firearms and assorted blunt instruments.
    I am retired SF. Hence, the attitude of negotiation and use of mind in preference to brute force.
    Minds and bodies and all were introduced and recalled later by a general, courtesy of my team. A team of mixed elders and youths. Hence, recalling to the youths, the mind is the primary weapon, not a firearms or aircraft.
    But, I’m now retired and back home in the US, where I can guide young minds in using their own minds first, violence absolutely last.
    Still, precision marksmanship occupies my mind on my off days, especially long range precision marksmanship. It also earns me somewhat easy money, in some markets.
    Are you so eager for a quick fix that doesn’t fix much, screw an older gentleman out of income, just to quick non-fix a major problem, rather than address the major problems?
    I’m not big on that, I’m bigger on letting my grandchildren, some still in diapers, enjoy a better fix we’ve all contributed to, in a lasting way.
    To the point of giving my life this very day to do so, if assured it’d happen.
    Anyone reading?

  375. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 408″
    I hope that was sarcasm, cuz every single line in that 408 was wrong.

  376. dianne says

    I had no idea that it could be read as anything other than sarcasm. Except the bit about there being too many mass shootings in the US for politicians to acknowledge all of them. That, alas, is true. According to this web site, there have been 121 mass shootings in the US so far in 2016. That’s more than one every 2 days. And the incident vivec was caught up in isn’t being counted because the definition they’re using requires at least 4 people to be shot, not including the shooter. Total number of shooting incidents is over 21K. No, the presidential candidates indeed do not have time to comment on each one.

  377. dianne says

    As for the specific politicians, Donald’s pandering his hardest to the NRA, Bernie’s been endorsed by them in the past, and Clinton’s likely, if elected, to do as much as Obama about gun violence. That is to say, she is likely to do all shit about it.

  378. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ohio has been purging occasional voters from their registrations lists.

    When Larry Harmon tried to vote on a marijuana initiative in November in his hometown of Kent, Ohio, the 59-year-old software engineer found his name had been struck from the voter rolls.
    Two hours south in Zanesville, restaurant worker Chris Conrad, 37, was also told he was no longer registered.
    Both men later found out why: they had not voted often enough.
    As the Nov. 8 elections loom, officials in Ohio have removed tens of thousands of voters from registration lists because they have not cast a ballot since 2008…
    Federal law prohibits states from removing voters solely because they haven’t voted, but it also requires them to keep voter lists up to date. Ohio residents who are removed from voting lists must re-register at least 30 days before an election.

    You know anybody who lives in Ohio, have them check the status of their voter registration.
    As expected, the practice hurts democrats more than republicans.

    In Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, 5 percent of voters in neighborhoods that backed Obama by more than 60 percent in 2012 were purged last year due to inactivity, according to the Reuters analysis of the voter lists. In neighborhoods where Obama got less than 40 percent of the vote, 2.5 percent of registered voters were removed for that reason.
    In Franklin County, home to the state capital Columbus, 11 percent of voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods have been purged since 2012 due to inactivity. Only 6 percent of voters in Republican-leaning neighborhoods have been purged.
    The disparity is especially stark in Hamilton County, where affluent Republican suburbs ring Cincinnati, which has one of the highest child-poverty rates in the country.
    In the heavily African-American neighborhoods near downtown, more than 10 percent of registered voters have been removed due to inactivity since 2012. In suburban Indian Hill, only 4 percent have been purged due to inactivity.
    Overall, 30,000 voters have been removed due to inactivity since 2012, a larger figure than Obama’s margin of victory that year.

    A good reason to vote in every election.

  379. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 411:

    I had no idea that it could be read as anything other than sarcasm.

    sorry I took it as not sarcasm, but I did doubt myself so added that fint disclaimer. Sorry to assume, provng the aphorism.

  380. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    piling on 413:

    As the Nov. 8 elections loom, officials in Ohio have removed tens of thousands of voters from registration lists because they have not cast a ballot since 2008

    ORLY? That was their “justification”? I can see removing registrants that haven’t voted since 1968, but missing one cycle is enough to be removed? They sure seem paranoid that all the registrants that didn’t vote is evidence of fraud to be immediately booted to clean up the files. They could at least mail registrants with a warning of removal if not re-enrolled in 90 days (or some such).
    ugh, I know I’m not saying anything useful, just expressing outrage.

  381. Saad says

    Americans’ favorite white supremacist’s sexist remarks resurface

    “I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. If you’re in business for yourself, I really think it’s a bad idea. I think that was the single greatest cause of what happened to my marriage with Ivana,” Trump said.

    [. . .]

    “A softness disappeared. There was a great softness to Ivana, and she still has that softness, but during this period of time she became an executive not a wife,” Trump had said.

    [. . .]

    “I have days where I think it’s great. And I have days where, if I come home — and I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist — but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof,” he said.

    “an executive not a wife”


  382. says

    Well, it has come to this: even Republican elected officials are attempting to tamp down the angst expressed over Trump by leaders of foreign countries. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Colorado’s Senator Cory Gardner, and Alaska’s Senator Dan Sullivan are visiting South Korea this week. According to news reports, the three Republican senators are telling the South Korea’s officials not to listen to Trump’s recent rhetoric about U.S. foreign policy in the region. Politico link

  383. says

    We can probably give Trump the “Most Litigious” award.

    From USA Today:

    [Trump and his businesses] have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the past three decades. The sheer volume of lawsuits is unprecedented for a presidential nominee. No candidate of a major party has had anything approaching the number of Trump’s courtroom entanglements.

  384. says

    Hewlett-Packard has joined a growing list of companies that will not be co-sponsoring the Republican Convention. HP contributed generously in the past.

    The list is long, but here are just a few of the heavy hitters that will not be sending wads of cash (some will still contribute technical support and/or very small donations) to the Republican National Committee in order to fund the convention:

  385. says

    Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Padilla endorsed Hillary Clinton. Puerto Rico holds its Democratic caucuses this sunday. 67 delegates are available.

    In other news, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson told reporters: “I bought underwear on Amazon the other day and I bought them too small. I’m dealing with that right now.”

  386. says

    The Obama administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working to reform the payday loan industry. New protections for consumers will be announced today.

    The payday loan industry, which is vilified for charging exorbitant interest rates on short-term loans that many Americans depend on, could soon be gutted by a set of rules that federal regulators plan to unveil on Thursday.

    People who borrow money against their paychecks are generally supposed to pay it back within two weeks, with substantial fees piled on: A customer who borrows $500 would typically owe around $575, at an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. But most borrowers routinely roll the loan over into a new one, becoming less likely to ever emerge from the debt.

    NY Times link

    CFPB Director Richard Cordray said:

    The very economics of the payday lending business model depend on a substantial percentage of borrowers being unable to repay the loan and borrowing again and again at high interest rates. It is much like getting into a taxi just to ride across town and finding yourself stuck in a ruinously expensive cross-country journey.

    Court challenges to the new rules are expected. However, and this is a bit of hopeful news, these are regulatory changes that do not require approval from the Republican-dominated House of Congress.

    It is worth noting that if Republicans dominate the elections in November, we can kiss the CFPB goodbye. Republicans tried to kill it when it was in the Elizabeth-Warren’s-idea stage. They failed. Next, they tried to block confirmation of the CFPB board members in order to cripple it. Now they are counting on Donald Trump to eliminate it.

  387. says

    Saad @416, Trump is so obviously a misogynist. I’m sure he thinks Hillary Clinton is not soft enough. He has also made multiple comments about her voice. Oddly, Trump has also said that Hillary Clinton is weak and does not have enough stamina, (all evidence is to the contrary).

    In other news, CDC Director Tom Frieden said that his “jaw dropped” when he looked again at how slow Congress is moving when it comes to addressing the Zika virus. “Three months in an epidemic is an eternity.” Yes, it has been 100 days since President Obama sent a $1.9 billion proposal to Congress to address the Zika virus threat. So far, Republicans in Congress have said they don’t like the request (what?), that they want to approve a series of smaller emergency bills, and that it may be “well into the summer, or longer” before they get around to approving a bill to address Zika.

    Where are the lawmakers now? They are on vacation, of course. The current 10-day vacation is not the only one they have planned for the height of the mosquito season. In July, they will work for only six days, and they have all of August off.

    As Steve Benen pointed out, this Republican-dominated Congress has the lightest work schedule of any Congress since 1956.

    Back in February, Mitch McConnell said, “We need to get out in front of the Zika Virus.” He said that on February 2nd, and then he and his fellow senators participated in a 10-day vacation in the middle of February.

  388. dianne says

    @414: If you can read it that way then it can be read that way and I should clarify and apologize for gaslighting you with the “how could you _not_ get that it’s sarcasm” thing. So, my apologies and I’ll try to be clearer in the future.

  389. dianne says

    Re Zika: This is pretty definitive proof that “pro-life” Republicans are all about punishing women, not “saving babies”. If they had any interest at all in protecting fetuses, they’d have passed the zika funding in a heartbeat.

  390. says

    This is a followup to comments 314, 371, 375, 383, 388, 392, 396, 397, 399, 400 and 405.

    In order to address questions about the legitimacy of Trump University, Trump’s campaign team released a video showing three former students praising the course(s) for which they had paid. (Trump’s earlier defense had been to go after the judge overseeing the lawsuit, including mentioning that he was “Mexican”.)

    There’s a big problem with that video featuring former students. It too is a sort of scam.

    […] two of the three former students shown in the video, Kent Moyer and Casey Hoban, do not appear to currently work in real estate, and at least one of the students, Hoban, may have “an ongoing business and personal relationship with the Trump family.” […]

    The third student, Michelle Gunn, is a real estate investor who has previously given a testimonial for an unrelated self-help workshop. As USA Today reported, Gunn also “manages her college-aged son, Houston, who wrote a book at 13, Schooled for Success: How I Plan to Graduate from High School a Millionaire. It was endorsed by Donald Trump.”

    […] in 2013 both Michelle and Houston appeared in yet another testimonial, which mentioned the release of the book and Trump’s endorsement. Houston Gunn’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter profile also feature photos of Gunn and Trump together. […]

    Media Matters link

    The Trump campaign described the students in the video as “representative of the many students who were overwhelmingly satisfied with Trump University.” That’s not quite a match with reality.

    The campaign ad does not mention the conflicts of interest.

  391. says

    dianne @424, good point about the Zika funding. Also, rightwing anti-abortion activists are making it more difficult for pregnant women carrying a fetus with microcephaly to opt for an abortion. As Zika spreads in the U.S. (there are already about 500 people in the U.S. with the virus, and some of them will be bitten my mosquitoes this summer, giving the virus another opportunity to spread), the option to choose an abortion will become more important.

    One baby with microcephaly has been born in the U.S., in New Jersey. The mother contracted Zika virus in Honduras. A doctor there told her she would be “fine.” He told her she had just had an allergic reaction of some kind. ABC News link.