1. says

    John Oliver produced a segment about debt collection companies that buy up debt cheaply and then harass the people who owe the debt. Humiliation and intimidation are the tactics. Collectors will even harass people for debts that were already paid. The collectors often work from inaccurate information. Some of them adopt tactics like calling the debtor and threatening to kill his/her dog. Collectors also call people’s bosses, coworkers and family members. Nuisance lawsuits are filed.

    Oliver started his own company, “Central Asset Recovery Professionals,” or CARP (bottom-feeding fish). He bought up $15 million in medical debt and then paid the debt off. He bought the $15 million in medical debt for $60,000.

    There’s a video at the link.

  2. says

    No need to wonder why a large segment of the population in the U.S. is misinformed about abortion: they watch Fox News.

    Two journalists for Media Matters analyzed Fox News segments from January 1, 2015 to March 6, 2016. Here’s what they found out concerning abortion rights coverage:

    […] Fox News had the most strongly anti-abortion sentiment in its coverage. Researchers found that the network broadcast 705 inaccurate statements about abortion and only 158 statements that contained accurate information. For example, Fox aired 339 statements that classified David Daleiden’s discredited viral Planned Parenthood sting videos as “undercover journalism” and 336 statements claiming that Planned Parenthood “sells” or “harvests” or “profits” from fetal tissue. There has been no substantiated evidence that Planned Parenthood has been involved in any wrongdoing in its fetal tissue donation program.

    CNN didn’t fare much better—it featured three times more anti-abortion commentators than pro-choice speakers. […]

    Mother Jones link

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Another of The Donalds “moments of political madness” coming back to haunt the loudmouthed bully.

    The super political action committee backing likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is debuting its first television ad against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
    It’s an emotional appeal made by Chris and Lauren Glaros, the Columbus, Ohio, parents of a girl with spina bifida. The ad blasts Trump for an incident in November in which he appeared to ridicule a reporter with a disability.
    Lauren Glaros says even her child’s schoolmates know better than to make fun of her like that.
    Chris Glaros says: “When I saw Donald Trump mock somebody with a disability, it showed me his soul. It showed me his heart. And I didn’t like what I saw.”
    The minute-long spot will air soon in presidential battleground states such as Ohio. It is part of a $20 million summertime ad plan by Priorities USA.

    As somebody with a physically challenged wife, just another reason to not vote for the bigot.

  4. says

    The Associated Press and NBC have declared that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. NBC is just following the AP’s lead.

    Hillary Clinton has commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president, and will be first woman to top the ticket of a major U.S. political party. An Associated Press count of pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses and a survey of party insiders known as superdelegates shows Clinton with the overall support of the required 2,383 delegates. Now the presumptive nominee, she will formally accept her party’s nomination in July at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

    This feels premature coming right before the big-delegate-rich primaries in New Jersey and California. No doubt, the announcement will make Bernie Sanders’ supporters angry.

    Clinton herself had nothing to do with the timing of the announcement, nor did he ask Associated Press journalists to poll the superdelegates.

  5. says

    I got one thing wrong in comment 499.

    NBC did their own independent analysis of the delegate count, and they did their own interviews of superdelegates to confirm the call made by the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. “Presumptive” is the term the media uses until the delegates vote at the convention and turn “presumptive” into “official.”

    NBC is pushing back against the charge that this call is a “rush to judgement.” They say it’s just the math, just the facts.

    For your convenience, here’s the text from comment 499:
    The Associated Press and NBC have declared that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. NBC is just following the AP’s lead.

    Hillary Clinton has commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president, and will be first woman to top the ticket of a major U.S. political party. An Associated Press count of pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses and a survey of party insiders known as superdelegates shows Clinton with the overall support of the required 2,383 delegates. Now the presumptive nominee, she will formally accept her party’s nomination in July at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

    This feels premature coming right before the big-delegate-rich primaries in New Jersey and California. No doubt, the announcement will make Bernie Sanders’ supporters angry.

    Clinton herself had nothing to do with the timing of the announcement, nor did he ask Associated Press journalists to poll the superdelegates.

  6. says

    Ah, phooey. I started off a new chapter of the Moments of Political Madness thread by failing to properly close a blockquote tag. The last two paragraphs of comment 1 are mine, and they should not be included as part of the quoted text.

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I wish AP hadn’t done that. We’ve got other important races on the ballot in California, and now I’m afraid some Democrats won’t bother to vote tomorrow.

    I agree with you. Tomorrow night would have been soon enough to make the call.
    My congressional district turned republican in 2014 as some democrats couldn’t be bothered to vote.

  8. says

    Anne @3, I agree. Some people will stay home, and others will vote out of anger. It’s rather stupid and unnecessary.

    Hillary Clinton is on Rachel Maddow saying that it is important to let people vote. Tomorrow night, after the votes have been counted, would have been soon enough to announce the presumptive nominee.

    Clinton also said that she is still in California, fighting for every vote.

    We’ll see what tomorrow brings. The AP threw a wrench in the works, but we will still enjoy the historic moment when the USA has its first nominee for president that is a woman.

  9. says

    More detail from the AP:

    Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.

    The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted.

    While superdelegates will not formally cast their votes for Clinton until the party’s July convention in Philadelphia, all those counted in her tally have unequivocally told the AP they will do so.


    Clinton’s personal response on Twitter:

    We’re flattered, @AP, but we’ve got primaries to win. CA, MT, NM, ND, NJ, SD, vote tomorrow!

  10. says

    If Republicans wanted fewer Democrats to turn out to vote tomorrow in the down-ballot race for the Senate in California (which is very important), they could hardly have done better than to have the AP announce prematurely that Clinton has clinched the nomination.

    How is Clinton supposed to turn out her voters now?

  11. says

    In the older comments of this thread, we posted lots of examples of people deploring Trump’s focus on the “Mexican” heritage of Judge Curiel, and that included examples of prominent Republicans deploring Trump’s comments. Newt Gingrich, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, etc. etc. all criticized Trump sharply.

    So who is backing Trump up? Whacky rightwing radio host Alex Jones and … wait for it, white supremacists.

    William Daniel Johnson, the leader of the white-nationalist American Freedom Party, told The Daily Beast he stands behind Trump, even after getting dumped as a delegate in California.

    “Judge Curiel is a member of La Raza Lawyers of California. This organization, by its very name, supports the ‘Latino race,’” Johnson told The Daily Beast. “When I ran for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge in 2008, the establishment bar associations and the media called me unfit for office because I supported the interest of white Americans.

    “If I cannot stand for judicial office because I support white issues, Judge Curiel should be removed from the Trump University case because of his appearance of bias towards the man who has sworn to deport illegal Mexican aliens and to build a wall along our southern border.”

    Jared Taylor, a spokesman for the Council of Conservative Citizens—the far-right group often cited as the inspiration for Charleston black-church shooter Dylann Roof—echoed Johnson’s sentiments. […]

    Young white-nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who heads up the National Policy Institute, agrees.

    “Race and ethnicity—and ideology—inform how one understands and interprets the law,” said Spencer, who has called for a “white homeland” via “peaceful ethnic cleansing” in the past. […]


  12. dianne says

    Semi-cross posted from the “I’m building a wall” thread because I think this is a question we need to think about:

    Suppose Trump gets elected. Trump then goes about doing what he has promised to do. One of the crazier things. Not just building a wall with Mexico–we’ve got a wall already and no one’s going to care or indeed notice if he makes it larger unless he manages to blow the US’s supply of concrete on it. No, I mean something like withdraw from NATO or implement a religious test for entering the US or defaulting on US debt and threatening to send the country into hyperinflation or nuking Germany because Böhmermann dissed him.

    Here’s my question: Who can stop him? Not who has the legal right to stop him, because Trump has already declared that legal rights mean all squat to him and he intends to ignore them. No, I mean who has the power and will to stop him? Congress? They’ll be Republican. The US people? How and why, when most of them agree? Foreign governments? Who and how? I suppose France could nuke Washington, but apart from that I don’t see a credible threat from an interested party there either. The US military? Um…I guess there might be situations where a military coup isn’t the worst thing and this might be one of them, but…anyway, why would the military stop him? What’s their motivation?

    Maybe I’m missing something. Anyone?

  13. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, “Suppose Trump gets elected. Trump then goes about doing what he has promised to do.”

    Yeah, which is why Obama succeeded in closing GITMO, right? Trainloads of Executive Orders, little effect, some Congress thingie got in the way.

    Might I suggest reading the US Constitution fully, then research major case law, then perhaps, we can consult successfully.
    There are *major*, as in calling oneself Emperor barrier problems with what you suggest.
    Executive privilege is precisely what? Oh wait, it’s a privilege, fully revocable by Congress.
    Which is why Nixon resigned, rather than be impeached.
    Rate of address to a problem, lousy, success at addressing the problem, middling, but so far, somewhat successful.

  14. dianne says

    Yeah, which is why Obama succeeded in closing GITMO, right? Trainloads of Executive Orders, little effect, some Congress thingie got in the way.

    The Republican Congress got in the way. Why would a Republican Congress want to get in Trump’s way? The power may be there, the will is not.

    Might I suggest reading the US Constitution fully, then research major case law, then perhaps, we can consult successfully.

    Enforced by whom? The justices Trump puts in the Supreme Court? Again, where’s the will? Or even the power?

    Executive privilege is precisely what? Oh wait, it’s a privilege, fully revocable by Congress.

    REPUBLICAN CONGRESS! There is no reason to believe that Trump won’t have coattails, if he is elected. Congress is already Republican and will probably become moreso if Trump is elected. Why would they revoke any privilege he has?

    Which is why Nixon resigned, rather than be impeached.

    By a Democratic Congress. Even then, if he’d chosen to stay, who can say what would have happened? Clinton laughed off an impeachment attempt by a hostile Congress and won.

  15. says

    Regarding dianne’s questions in comment 11, and in subsequent comments: I think Paul Ryan is more of a danger if Trump is elected than Trump. Maybe.

    Ryan is more organized, more capable. He runs the House of Congress, which is likely to remain in Republican hands. He has already said that he is voting for Trump because he has a better chance of getting his proposals turned into law with Trump as president than he does with Clinton as president. Ryan has plans to screw poor and lower middle class people while claiming that he is addressing poverty. He believes in trickle-down economics. He has already drawn up budget plans that will create a wider gap between haves and have-nots.

    With Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan slated to release a new proposal to “reform” American anti-poverty programs on June 7, media should be aware of his long history of promoting “far-right” and “backward-looking” policies that would enact draconian cuts to vital programs for families in need and actually “exacerbate poverty, inequality, and wage stagnation.” […]

    Ryan has said he is confident Trump will embrace the agenda. That’s probably part of what Ryan got from Trump in exchange for his endorsement.

  16. says

    I think that one of the reasons Trump is going after Judge Curiel so relentlessly is that he needs to offer a distraction from the content of the lawsuit against Trump University, and he is seeing a loss on the horizon. He wants to delegitimize that loss by painting the judge as “unfair.”

    Meanwhile, the Trump University scandal is getting worse. We discussed in the previous chapter of this thread the questionable way a lawsuit in Texas was dropped, and now we see something similar, but even more unethical, occurred in Florida.

    The Orlando Sentinel presented the details showing that in a “wildly unethical” move, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (a Republican), took money from Trump in an apparent bribe for dropping a lawsuit against Trump University. As the Sentinel put it, Bondi took “money from a potential target.”

    The Associated Press provided more details:

    Florida’s attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates. […]

    The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities. A political group backing Bondi’s re-election, called And Justice for All, reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 — four days after Bondi’s office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities, according to a 2013 report in the Orlando Sentinel. […]

    More from the Orlando Sentinel:

    Even if you’re a hard-core Trump or Bondi supporter, you should care about this case if you also care about justice.

    In fact, if you want to try to defend Bondi’s actions, try finishing this sentence for me: “I think it is perfectly appropriate for a prosecutor to take big chunks of money from someone she has been asked to investigate because ….”

    If you can finish that sentence with a straight face, OK. I can’t. And you know what? I don’t think Pam Bondi can either.

    Bondi’s office claims she did not know about the Trump University complaint when she took the money.

  17. says

    […] Eight years ago this week, Sanders endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy after the Illinois Democrat clinched a majority thanks to a combination of pledged delegates and commitments from party super-delegates.

    It didn’t matter, Sanders said at the time, that super-delegates wouldn’t literally vote until the convention – because the outcome was obvious and the results were clear. Obama, Sanders said eight years ago, had won fair and square. […]


    That was then. Sanders has a different take on the situation now:

    MADDOW: I have to ask you about when you would consider it to be over because in 2008 Senator Sanders stayed out of the race, stayed out of the primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama until the very end. He told the Free Press in Burlington in 2008 that he had held off supporting either of the Democratic candidates because he had made it a custom not to support any Democrat for the presidential nomination until the party had chosen its nominee. But then he endorsed Barack Obama when Barack Obama was at the position that Hillary Clinton is right now. Not when he had secured the nomination with pledged delegates alone, not even actually, Senator Sanders didn’t wait for Hillary Clinton to get out of the race in 2008. He endorsed Barack Obama saying the race was over between Obama and Clinton once Obama had the right number of delegates with both pledged delegates and super delegates combined. So if that standard ended the race for him fair and square in 2008 why wouldn’t that end the race for him fair and square tonight?

    BRIGGS: Well, it’s because, there are differences between then and now, he’s led a dramatic revolutionary insurgency in the party and we are trying our darndest to give those people the voice that they have earned and deserved in the Democratic Party process.

    Michael Briggs is a Sanders’ campaign spokesperson. He gave that awkward defense during the Rachel Maddow show last night. I think the defense is awkward because, at this point, it doesn’t really make sense. Yes, every voter should have a voice. Everyone gets a chance to weigh in. The situation is now obvious, and it is delusional to think it will change at the convention.

    I think this is the last big “revolution” of Bernie Sanders’ life. It’s been a good one, an inspiring one, and he can’t let it go in a way that is graceful. Things are getting ugly.

  18. Chris J says

    Ugh… Briggs is perpetuating the rhetorical nonsense that people only have a “voice” if their candidate was chosen. Your “voice” in politics is your ability to have your vote added to the tallies (and publicly speak about policy). We Bernie Voters had our voices heard. Hillary voters simply spoke a bit louder.

    But even then, we now know that there is a huge bed of support for Bernie’s policies on a national scale in the Democratic party. We know a large chunk of us support things like universal healthcare and publicly-funded education. That will have an impact on policy moving forward.

    And even if our candidate didn’t win this time around, what’s going to stop us from continuing to voice support for those policies in the coming years?

    This nonsense that people are silenced if the revolutionary candidate didn’t win is just that; nonsense. And it leaves a stain on the true revolution; the dramatic reveal of exactly how left-leaning large chunks of the Democratic base really are, even if that chunk isn’t the strict majority.

  19. says

    Chris J @19, well said. Thanks for that.

    In other news, but related news, Rachel Maddow interviewed Hillary Clinton last night. In the last segment, Maddow asked clinton why it took 240 years of United states history before a woman was nominated for the presidency. Last segment link. Very short video. Clinton kind of skipped around the question.

    Here’s another segment of the Maddow interview with Clinton. In this one, Maddow asked Clinton about Trump’s racist attack on the judge hearing his fraud case. Clinton commented on Trump’s lack of fitness for the presidency. The video is 3:52 minutes long. Segment link. Clinton did well in this segment.

    Another segment of the Maddow interview with Clinton, one in which Maddow and Clinton discuss unifying the Democrats, and how important it is to fight Trump. Link. The video is 1:37 minutes long.

    Here’s the last link for this series. Link. In this segment Clinton and Maddow discuss the Sanders’ campaign and its superdelegate strategy. The video is 4:11 minutes long. Clinton was right to the point in answering Maddow’s questions.

    We get a better idea of how the candidates actually think when Maddow questions them.

  20. says

    In the interview with Maddow last night, one of the things Hillary Clinton said in regard to Trump complaining about the bias of a “Mexican” judge was: “I imagine he’ll move on to women judges because he’s been insulting women so regularly.” That comment turned out to be prescient.

    […] Trump’s spokesperson told a national television audience that it might also be acceptable to accuse a woman on the bench of bias on the basis of her gender. The Huffington Post reported last night:

    “Well, it would depend on her past and decisions she made as a judge,” Trump’s national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said.

    Noting that Trump’s sister is also a federal judge, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Pierson if it would be “awful” to accuse her of bias “in regard to some case because she’s a woman.”

    But Pierson would not rule it out, adding that “there is no question that there are activist judges in this country.”

    Remember, Senate Republicans think so highly of the Trump campaign that they’re leaving a Supreme Court vacancy in place, in the hopes that he’ll be elected president and pick a justice he approves of. […]


  21. says

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Hillary Clinton today.

    Senator Lindsey Graham is urging his Republican colleagues to rescind their support for Trump.

    Donald Trump is taking credit for breaking the glass ceiling for women. Women really needed Donald Trump, I guess. /sarcasm.

    Paul Ryan spoke more forcefully about Trump’s disparagement of Judge Curiel:

    Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed.

    I’m not going to defend these kinds of comments because they’re indefensible,” Ryan said. “I’m going to defend our ideas. I’m going to defend our majority. [a reference to the Republican majority in the House of Congress]

    […] I think it’s wrong. The way I look at this is if you say something that’s wrong, I think the mature and responsible thing is to acknowledge it was wrong.


  22. says

    Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Trump supporter, defended Trump by claiming that President Obama is racist too.

    […] “You can easily argue that the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and his rhetoric,” Zeldin told CNN […]

    “Being a little racist or very racist is not okay, but, quite frankly, the agenda that I see and all the microtargeting to blacks and Hispanics from a policy standpoint, you know, that’s more offensive to me,” Zeldin said in reference to what he called the “Democratic” agenda.

    Zeldin said that he thought Trump’s attacks on Curiel, who was born Indiana, were a part of a legal strategy rather than a campaign move.

    “It’s a regrettable legal strategy. I don’t think it’s going to help his case,” Zeldin said. “I also don’t think it helps his politics. So it was an unfortunate statement that was made.” […]

    If Trump’s attacks are part of a legal strategy in a personal lawsuit, as Zeldin claims, a strategy that has nothing to do with national policy, then why did Trump bring the issue up repeatedly at his political rallies and in all of his interviews with media personnel? Trump can’t separate his personal stuff from political stuff. To him, everything is personal.

    Zeldin went on to claim that lots of Democrats running for office are racists. That reminds me of Carl Paladino defending Trump by saying:

    This is incredible that you want to pull this word [“racist”] out and use it because it always pushes back on the white guy. That’s not fair. And it’s not a fair description of Donald Trump. Donald Trump might have some anxiety about this particular judge because he lives in the same real world that I do where this type of thing does go on, where the ethnicity means something, OK?

  23. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is The Donald aware that it is customary for rich presidents to put their assets into a blind trust for the duration of their term(s) to avoid any potential conflicts of interest? Inquiring minds want to know….

  24. says

    Nerd @25, good point. I haven’t heard anyone ask Trump that question.

    This is a followup to comment 24. More details regarding the people who are calling Paul Ryan “racist” for calling out Trump’s racism:

    “Speaker Ryan is wrong and Speaker Ryan has apparently switched positions and is supporting identity politics, which is racist,” Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord, a member of the Reagan administration, said on CNN Tuesday when asked about Ryan’s concerns.

    These people are following Trump’s orders:

    Donald Trump held a conference call with his surrogates in which he demanded those surrogates attack questioners of his racist remarks, telling them that the people questioning him “are the racists. I would go at ’em.”

  25. says

    Former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, weighed in:

    “Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels. I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov.”

    Conservative Commentator Erick Erickson weighed in:

    Damn the GOP for its unwillingness to speak up on this. The leaders of the party, confronted by Todd Akin, abandoned ship for his stupid statements on rape and abortion. But the Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist. Damn them for that.

  26. says

    Donald Trump issued a long statement in which he tried to dance away from the worst of his comments about the “Mexican” judge, and from his simplistic “I’m building a wall” statement. Trump’s explanation is not entirely successful.


    It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent.

    The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.

    Many legal experts have noted that Judge Curiel ruled in The Donald’s favor many times, and that acceding to delaying the trial until after the election may be a step too far in Trump’s favor.

    Over the past few weeks, I have watched as the media has reported one inaccuracy after another concerning the ongoing litigation involving Trump University. There are several important facts the public should know and that the media has failed to report. [Bullshit]

    Throughout the litigation my attorneys have continually demonstrated that students who participated in Trump University were provided a substantive, valuable education based upon a curriculum developed by professors from Northwestern University, Columbia Business School, Stanford University and other respected institutions.

    More bullshit. Many of the “instructors” who actually taught the seminars had no experience in real estate, and some came from a fast-food background.

    And, the response from students was overwhelming. Over a five year period, more than 10,000 paying students filled out surveys giving the courses high marks and expressing their overwhelming satisfaction with Trump University’s programs. For example:

    I snipped three statements that included two former students, and a lawyer-led survey. For one thing, as has been pointed out many times, students who filled out positive surveys did so under the supervision of Trump University instructors, and often did so before they knew what they were getting into.

    Normally, legal issues in a civil case would be heard in a neutral environment. However, given my unique circumstances as nominee of the Republican Party and the core issues of my campaign that focus on illegal immigration, jobs and unfair trade, I have concerns as to my ability to receive a fair trial.

    I am fighting hard to bring jobs back to the United States. Many companies – like Ford, General Motors, Nabisco, Carrier – are moving production to Mexico. Drugs and illegal immigrants are also pouring across our border. This is bad for all Americans, regardless of their heritage.

    Due to what I believe are unfair and mistaken rulings in this case and the Judge’s reported associations with certain professional organizations, questions were raised regarding the Obama appointed Judge’s impartiality. It is a fair question. I hope it is not the case.

    While this lawsuit should have been dismissed, it is now scheduled for trial in November. I do not intend to comment on this matter any further. With all of the thousands of people who have given the courses such high marks and accolades, we will win this case!

    Talking Points Memo link.

    This last part of Trump’s statement is really just a reiteration of the fact that he thinks Judge Curiel is biased, and that the bias stems from Curiel’s Mexican heritage. Trump is also buying into a twisted, inaccurate version of any professional organizations to which Curiel might belong. And Arnold Schwarzenegger preceded President Obama in appointing Curiel to a higher position in the justice system.

    From the older comments, you can read some of Trump’s previous comments here, in comment 371, 375, 392 and 448.

  27. says

    This is a followup to comment 16.

    Yes, Paul Ryan is a dangerous man. Here are some of the things that he expects a President Trump to let him do:

    […] Ryan has become the leading voice in Republican lawmakers’ crusade against welfare programs. In the past, he’s blamed poverty on a “culture problem” in “inner cities,” where he says black men are “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

    He has also argued that marriage is the cure for poverty, not government programs, and refused to allow any actual poor people testify at his hearings on poverty. […]

    Ryan’s previous poverty plans have targeted the federal safety net, and the new proposal seems just as fixated on the idea that people are abusing benefits. The proposal asserts that “for low-income families, it may not always pay to work,” echoing a longtime conservative theory that poor people choose not to get jobs because it’s more lucrative to rely on government benefits. [Myth!]

    […] the plan includes a bevy of policies designed to make it much harder for people in need to access federal programs: tougher work requirements for food stamps, housing aid, or cash welfare; […] cutting Social Security; eliminating funding for early childhood education […] sealing off tax credits from some low-income families; and further allowing states to cut certain programs as they see fit. [Yikes!]

    […] The centerpiece of A Better Way is to “reward work” and get people off benefits and back to work as soon as possible. While that’s a generally popular idea, imposing stiffer work requirements on welfare recipients tends to backfire.

    Under the current system, food stamp recipients are still obligated to accept any job offers that they may get. But Ryan wants to reinstate a system that forces people to spend 20 hours a week looking for work or lose their benefits by an arbitrary deadline. The work requirements Ryan espouses do little to further motivate people in desperate situations to find stable jobs; instead, they tend to punish people who are genuinely struggling to find jobs and education.

    Many types of education and job training don’t qualify under the requirements, and even unstable low-paying jobs can kick people off welfare before they’re actually self-sufficient, which then restarts the cycle of poverty. […]

    Think Progress link

  28. says

    Sounds like a planned leak and not a “mistake” to me. Republicans in Congress are putting the lives of Planned Parenthood employees in danger.

    […] Democratic members of the House have sent five letters to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for him to disband the so-called Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, […]

    Despite revelations that the videos were deceptively and selectively edited, the felony indictment of the videos’ creator, and 4 congressional and 12 state-level investigations that have found no wrongdoing and no evidence of illegal fetal tissue sales by Planned Parenthood, this committee has pressed on, […]

    Last week, committee chair Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) sent two letters to the Obama administration, […] The identities of several researchers and clinic staffers were unredacted in the documents that were made public in attachments forwarded to the Obama administration along with Blackburn’s letters, and that were also posted on the select panel’s website.

    The unredacted names included university and hospital researchers and employees of both StemExpress and Planned Parenthood, […]

    Democrats have repeatedly raised the issue of researcher and clinic staff safety, particularly after the November 2015 shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, where a gunman killed three people and injured nine others. The select panel has issued dozens of subpoenas that could compel various labs to release the names of graduate students, lab technicians, and more, leading to widespread security concerns in the medical community. In May, the committee subpoenaed and published the name of an abortion provider who has long been a target of threats and attacks.

    […] Mike Reynard, a spokesman for Blackburn’s office, told Rewire that the release of names had simply been an accident. “The chairman has been very clear about redacting the names and staff just made a mistake,” […]

    “The Select Panel is becoming more reckless and irresponsible by the day,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) a senior Democratic member of the select panel, in an emailed statement to Mother Jones. “It should have been disbanded long ago. Now this disclosure, deliberate or not, is further endangering the lives of women, researchers and health workers. […]

    Mother Jones link

  29. says

    Hillary Clinton won in New Jersey with about 64% of the vote. The “about” will apply to this and all of the other stats I post tonight because, although most of the votes are counted, some votes are still coming in.

    Clinton’s delegate count is now 2,452 (2,383 were needed for the nomination). Sanders has 1,622 delegates.

    Bernie Sanders won in North Dakota. He added 13 North Dakota delegates to Clinton’s 5. North Dakota was the only state in this group that ran a caucus instead of primary. The turnout was minuscule: Sanders won with 253 votes to Clinton’s 101. In South Dakota, Clinton is in the lead and the race has not been called.

    Clinton also won in New Mexico, but we’ll have to wait for delegate counts.

    Donald Trump won in New Jersey with 80.9%; Kasich earned 13%; Cruz got 6.1%. People know that only Trump is left on the Republican side, but apparently some of them can’t stand to vote for him.

    Trump won in New Mexico with 72.8%; Cruz took 12.2%; Kasich got 7.4%.

    Trump won in South Dakota with 67% of the vote; Cruz got 17%; and Kasich took 16%.

    Results from California are not in yet. In fact, it may be a couple of days before 100% of the California vote is counted.

    Hillary Clinton gave a great victory speech. I’ll look for links to that tomorrow.

    Trump gave a boring speech, reading words that didn’t sound like his words from a teleprompter. At least he mostly avoided insulting more people.

  30. dianne says

    North Dakota was the only state in this group that ran a caucus instead of primary.

    Ah. I was wondering why there was such a large difference in the results in North versus South Dakota. Like most people not from the Dakotas, I fear I can barely tell them apart and was wondering whether I was missing major cultural differences. Which might still be true, but the vote doesn’t prove it.

  31. dianne says

    Also, no one seems to be able or willing to answer my question in #11. Lynna pointed out that it’s worse than I originally thought because there will also be no brake on the tea party Republicans, but I still don’t see any institution or group with the power and will to stop trump should he want to implement one of his crazier schemes.

  32. dianne says

    @25: If it’s only customary and not legally required, I would expect Trump would simply shrug and say he’s not going to follow that custom. If I were him, I’d try to invoke something like FDR’s not following the custom of stepping down after 2 terms and saving the country, but I doubt he’s either that historically literate or willing to say anything good about a Democrat.

  33. says

    This is an update to comment 36.

    Current Democratic delegate count:
    Clinton total 2,755 (2,184 pledged delegates)
    Sanders total 1,852 (1,804 pledged delegates)

    Hillary Clinton won in California, and by a bigger margin than polls predicted. Clinton 56%, Sanders 43.1%. Clinton added 257 delegates to her total, Sanders added 188.

    Sanders won in Montana with 51.1% to Clinton’s 44.6%. Sanders added 11 delegates, Clinton 10.

    Clinton won in New Jersey with 63.3% to Sanders 36.7%. Clinton added 73 delegates, Sanders added 47 delegates.

    Clinton won in New Mexico with 51.5% to Sanders 48.5%. Clinton added 17 delegates, Sanders added 14 delegates.

    Clinton won in South Dakota with 51% to Sanders 49%. Each candidate added 10 delegates.

    No need to pay much attention to Republican results. Trump won everywhere and took all of the available delegates. In most of the states, people continued to vote for John Kasich and Ted Cruz, but to little effect. Kasich got 11.3% of the vote in California, for example. Trump now has 1,536 delegates. 1,237 are all that is needed for the nomination. Republicans are screwed.

  34. says

    Hillary Clinton’s victory speech is posted here:

    and here:

    […] Before she spoke, the campaign debuted a new video focusing on women’s rights and the role Clinton has played in breaking through this particular gender barrier. Entitled “History Made,” the ad hammers home the significance of the moment and features many prominent female voices. […]

  35. says

    In his exceedingly boring and disingenuous speech last night, Trump said:

    To all those Bernie Sanders supporters left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms.

    Mark Sumner of Daily Kos had a perfect rejoinder:

    Everyone who was in the Sanders campaign only because you like to hate minorities and punch people, please exit stage right. No one? Okay then.

  36. says

    More election news from California. The voters are sending two Democrats (no Republicans) to the November runoff for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

    Both of the Democrats running for the Senate seat are minority women.

    […] The matchup between state Attorney General Kamala Harris and 10-term Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez marks the first time since voters started electing senators a century ago that Republicans will be absent from California’s general election ballot for the Senate. The outcome reaffirms the GOP’s diminished stature in the nation’s most populous state.

    The two were among 34 candidates seeking the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal favorite first elected a generation ago, in 1992.

    Under California election rules, only two candidates — the top vote-getters — advance to the November election. […]


  37. says

    This is good news from Washington D.C.:

    On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. city council voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020 — a bill that Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) says she’ll sign into law. That makes the nation’s capital the latest place to embrace the wage floor that has been championed by a growing movement of fast food and other low-wage workers. […]


  38. says

    Conservative media responded to Hillary Clinton making history when she became the first woman nominated (presumptively) for president by a major political party. Spoiler alert, they downplayed Clinton’s achievement.

    From Fox News:

    GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): Can I question the historical value of this? It comes off to me as really drab. When you think back to 2007, with Barack Obama and you know, this was the historic event, but with Hillary, it doesn’t feel that great. It doesn’t have the glory. It’s like you won a trip on Wheel of Fortune and it’s to Venezuela. […]

    It’s funny, there isn’t the joy of this moment because she’s — if you took away that one thing, the historical, you don’t have anything.
    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Last night certainly historic for Hillary Clinton, and yet I guess because she was pretty much coronated by the DNC half a year ago, it seemed a little anti-climactic. Also she’s been running for president for over a decade.

    BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Steve, I agree with you in that the drama wasn’t there like it was with Barack Obama, which was a slow build from no chance, to oh my goodness is this guy a good orator, to let’s see what we can do here. I want not a red America, not a blue America, United States of America. He wants to bring everyone together, didn’t really happen. With Hillary Clinton, when Elizabeth Warren said she wasn’t running and Joe Biden said he wasn’t running, we knew this day was inevitable.

    Blather from other conservative sources:

    HERMAN CAIN: She wants to make a big deal about how historic this is, the American people, most of them care more about prosperity than history.

    NEW YORK POST: Congratulations, Democrats: With Tuesday’s voting, you’re making history — the first major US political party to nominate a woman for president.

    Too bad it had to be Hillary Clinton.

  39. says

    If you want to have some idea of how bad Trump’s speech was last night, listen to über Republican Hugh Hewitt:

    […] He’s gotten race wrong three times with his down the Trump tower speech on Mexican illegal immigrants being rapists, with the David Duke KKK comment, and then with the worst 72 hours of his campaign in over the last three days.

    In this speech, he wasn’t just tin-eared, it was cobalt eared at the end when he said, “We will take care of our African-Americans.” I actually cringed when I heard that.

    There was a great three lines in there about Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy failures. But I was at the end of this saying, Paul Ryan is still thinking about that cover that said, “I’m with racist,” perhaps the most bludgeoning cover I’ve seen since the “Drop dead” cover for Gerald Ford.

    I don’t think he did anything to stop the panic. I’m with James Carville. I think a lot of people are still looking at, the plane is headed towards the mountain. […] they began to realize over the last 48 hours, he could lose the House, the Senate, governorships, state legislatures, it’s a panic mode. And that speech […] did not take it away. […]

    And the writing in the speech, Chris Matthews is a former ghost writer, so am I, it was just pedestrian. Tell me what we take away from that other than the cringe-worthy moments and the fact that he didn’t insult anybody, and he got “PPP” wrong when it was shouted out to him, “TPP,” he said, “PPP.” And I think every Republican that is on the ballot across the country is wondering, do I get my resume better? Do I start calling around and finding a job?


  40. says

    Edward-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti wrote a pretty damning piece on the Sanders campaign. The article is difficult to summarize, so I’ll provide the Politico link and a few excerpts.

    The article comes off as one-sided to me, but I don’t really have another, insider point of view to present. There are probably disagreements and difficulties inside every campaign, but this article makes Sanders look vindictive at times, and at other times delusional.

    There’s no strategist pulling the strings, and no collection of burn-it-all-down aides egging him on. At the heart of the rage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the campaign aides closest to him say, is Bernie Sanders.

    It was the Vermont senator who personally rewrote his campaign manager’s shorter statement after the chaos at the Nevada state party convention and blamed the political establishment for inciting the violence.

    He was the one who made the choice to go after Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz […]

    He chose the knife fight over calling Clinton unqualified, which aides blame for pulling the bottom out of any hopes they had of winning in New York and their last real chance of turning a losing primary run around. […]

    Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect — all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention. […]

    Convinced as Sanders is that he’s realizing his lifelong dream of being the catalyst for remaking American politics—aides say he takes credit for a Harvard Kennedy School study in April showing young people getting more liberal, and he takes personal offense every time Clinton just dismisses the possibility of picking him as her running mate—his guiding principle under attack has basically boiled down to a feeling that multiple aides sum up as: “Screw me? No, screw you.” […]

    Sanders and aides laugh at the idea that he’s damaging the party and hurting Clinton. They think they don’t get enough gratitude for how much they held back, […]

    Aides say Sanders thinks that progressives who picked Clinton are cynical, power-chasing chickens — like Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of his most consistent allies in the Senate before endorsing Clinton and campaigning hard for her ahead of the Ohio primary. Sanders is so bitter about it that he’d be ready to nix Brown as an acceptable VP choice, if Clinton ever asked his advice on who’d be a good progressive champion. […]

  41. says

    Since he first began his weird and troubling trek to the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump has endorsed exactly one other Republican candidate, Renee Ellmers. He even recorded a supportive message to be used in robocalls. Ellmers lost. Hmmm, is this what an association with Trump gets you?

    GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina was the chosen one. She was the first Congressional representative to endorse Donald Trump, and he returned the favor several days before her Tuesday primary against two other candidates.

    Ellmers, who had fallen into disfavor with her tea party base, thought it was a score, touting Trump’s support in emails and rolling out a robocall he recorded for her. “Together, we will make American great again,” he declared. […]


    Ellmers lost in a mostly-red state, North Carolina. She irked anti-abortion activists, and then tried to make up for that by backing an odious anti-transgender law. Trump couldn’t save her. In fact, his endorsement may have helped to sink her.

  42. says

    This is a followup to comments 21 and 34.

    Elizabeth Warren and others ripped into Paul Ryan’s new plan, which he is calling an anti-poverty plan.

    “It looks more like an agenda for creating poverty than reducing it,” Warren wrote. “In fact, if you look closely, Paul Ryan’s new plan is just a shiny repackaging of Paul Ryan’s old plan: Keep huge tax breaks and special loopholes open for billionaires and giant corporations, gut the rules on Wall Street, then say there’s no money for Social Security, for Medicare, for education, or anything else that will help struggling working families.” […]

    The left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities noted that it’s nice to hear Republicans focused on poverty but blasted Ryan’s proposal. “In several areas,” CBPP’s Robert Greenstein wrote, “the plan repeats standard congressional Republican positions in bashing a series of federal laws and regulations designed to protect low- and middle-income families.”

    Slate’s Jordan Weissmann highlighted the absurdity of the fact that Ryan’s plan to help poor people includes repealing the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule, a regulation that forces financial advisers to offer retirement advice in the best interests of their clients. “The basic consumer protections offered by the fiduciary rule aren’t going to deprive anybody of essential financial advice,” Weissmann wrote, “and fighting it is an obvious sop to a powerful industry. Trying to cloak it in the language of an anti-poverty effort is as sad as it is hilarious.”

    Mother Jones link

  43. blf says

    Oh for feck’s sake. Who could and/or will stop a generalissimo wazzock?
    Besides mostly everyone worldwide (exceptions such as Putin…) — e.g., Mexico is patently obviously not going to paid for that wall — most obviously himself and his lackeys. He and they are incompetent and teh trum-prat’s “ideas” have no grounding in reality. Plus the collapse of the world economy. Not any one specific “institution” or “group” per se — albeit many will be involved, including ones which don’t exist now but are formed as a result of the postulated disaster — but the simple fact the wazzock’s damage and destruction is not limited to the wazzock.

    The world won’t be the same (e.g., in some scenarios the USA will cease to exist), but wazzockianism has no future in its current state. It would have to evolve, and stop trying to “defy gravity”. I will not speculate on whether it would or could evolve, nor on what it might evolve into.

  44. dianne says

    Besides mostly everyone worldwide


    Mexico is patently obviously not going to paid for that wall

    No? The US is Mexico’s largest trading partner. And there are lots of people sending money home to Mexico from the US. Confiscate some of that money, threaten to shut off trade…it wouldn’t be pretty, but it might work.

    Plus the collapse of the world economy.

    Which is essentially guaranteed if Trump goes through with his campaign promise to default on the debt. China, Japan, and the EU hold trillions of dollars/Euros of US debt. If the US defaults on that, their economies are going under. Now, what can they do to force him to not default on the debt?

    Yes, it would all be very bad, but “we can’t do this or it would be very bad” has stopped approximately zero narcissistic world leaders in the past. Why would it work here?

  45. says

    Among the dead-enders in Bernieworld, Sanders is still the next president and Clinton is a fate worse than Trump.

    Uh-oh. That is not an attitude we want to see. Furthermore, a lot of the animus aimed at Clinton seems to derive from debunked conspiracy theories.

    […] “Without all this rigging he would have won already,” said Heather Kim, a schoolteacher […] “We all know, she’s stolen the vote, her and the media,” Linda Bassett chimed in.

    When confronted with the shear unlikelihood of fraud being perpetrated on that scale and with the margin of victory, which had climbed to about 3.5 million votes by the end of the night, the women remained credulous. “I don’t put it past them,” Bassett said. “When it goes to be counted, they’ve got all those computerized machines. We know that there’s algorithms.” A third member of this crew—all in their late 50s or early 60s—concurred. “I was there in 2004 in Ohio, I know the shit they pull,” Margie Hoyt said, […]

    The trio spoke in this way, in what we will call the Trumpish vague, all sinister they and techno-conspiracies, […]. The view hasn’t exactly been discouraged by the candidate, who likes to describe the process by which he’s lost the nomination as “rigged.” Kim cited a popular theory that the exit polls were off by suspiciously wide margins in several states, which to her indicated foul play. The Nation has repeatedly picked apart this view but it still has significant cachet in Bernieworld, and has even been endorsed by top celebrity surrogate Tim Robbins.

    Rachel Brookhart, a 25-year-old […] said she believed the election had been stolen. “It seems that there’s been a lot of voter disenfranchisement and maybe some unsavory numbers,” she told me. Brookhart cited the 125,000 voters who were purged in New York. This was a disgrace, but there is no evidence that Clinton benefited from it or was responsible for it. […] and she would never vote for Clinton. “I honestly believe a President Clinton would be more destructive than a President Trump,” she said. […]

    On the other hand, here’s what Clinton had to say about Sanders last night:

    “Let there be no mistake: Sen. Sanders, his campaign, and the vigorous debates that we’ve had about how to raise incomes, reduce inequality, and increase upward mobility have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America,” she told the crowd of supporters at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard as she celebrated becoming the first woman to head a major party ticket in American history.

    The Clinton crowd cheered the comments about Sanders. The Sanders crowd at his rally in California booed loudly at every mention of Clinton’s name, even when Sanders was offering praise.

  46. says

    Oh, FFS! And, what the ever-loving …?!

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol began using a new device they have begun using called ERAD—Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine. The device allows a law enforcement officer to scan any credit or ATM cards and seize any money connected with that card. […]

    “I know that a lot of people are just going to focus on the seizing money. That’s a very small thing that’ s happening now. The largest part that we have found … the biggest benefit has been the identity theft,” Vincent said. […]

    Well, yes, I would be worried about you seizing my money. We have ample evidence of law enforcement seizing money without good cause. A judge says that two men can sue police who seized $100k poker winnings in civil forfeiture case.

    And there’s this:

    Civil forfeiture laws and practices are out of control in the United States. As more and more ludicrous examples of law enforcement stealing from the citizens of this country are shared around the internet and shown on the news, the beginnings of action for reform have taken hold and things are starting to move forward. […]


    Without due process, cops in Oklahoma are assuming a “right” to access a citizen’s bank account and/or credit card funds?

  47. dianne says

    Every time someone goes on about how Trump won’t really build a wall or really require special IDs for Muslims or whatever other bigoted thing comes to his mind, I think of this article from the NYT in 1922.

    He means it. He will do it. Who will be able to stop him?

  48. says

    A “Students for Trump” organization should be okay, that is, it’s a student organization focused on politics and that fits within Portland State University guidelines for student groups.

    However, “Students for Trump” have been sending death threats, racist comments and other forms of harassment to other students.

    When Portland State University student Alyssa Pagan woke up on Friday, April 8, she found that she had 500 updates on her phone. Ranging from death threats to racist, transphobic harassment, the messages she received through social media came directly from the “alt-right,” a marginal overlapping sector of men’s rights activism, libertarianism, and white nationalism.

    The previous day, Pagan had helped organize a successful demonstration against a meeting of a campus group called Portland State Students for Trump. Led by self-proclaimed “moderate fascist,” Volodymyr Kolychev, members of Students for Trump had found a useful umbrella in the candidate’s politics to spread a range of neo-reactionary and alt-right ideas, as well as obvious racism, on the Portland campus.

    Pagan and over 100 other protesters engaged in open debate with the 12 Trump supporters at the PSU student union that day. […]

    On social media, Trump supporters generated pseudonymous profiles, or “sock puppet” accounts, to anonymously spread transphobic and openly racist messages against Pagan and others. Various Twitter handles heaped racist, transphobic, and anti-Semitic abuse on the demonstrators –- and in some cases, even threatened them with rape and death. Members of Students for Trump also participated in and encouraged the harassment and doxxing of the activists. On sites like 4Chan and 8Chan, Trump supporters publicly exposed their places of residence and business, deepening the harassment and threats of physical assault.

    “Much of the online alt-right’s assessment about my lot in capitalist hierarchy is correct,” Pagan told ThinkProgress. “A person like me should be too timid and mired in shame to dare challenge such open chauvinism. Black, Latina, Trans, poor, survivor, etc.”

    “But their read of my feminist praxis as fragile is way off,” she continued. “I don’t get triggered, I don’t yearn for safe space, and I don’t have anything to lose.” […]

    The right-wing libertarian conspiracy theory website Infowars decided to make the “free speech” of Students for Trump their cause célèbre.

    I snipped “free speech” blather and details of support from other, multiple rightwing media sources. Rightwing media and organizations also sent non-students to Students for Trump rallies.

    Ayme Ueda, an organizer with the Portland Solidarity Network who was attending the counter-demonstration, told ThinkProgress that in an attempt to drown out the noise being made by protesters, one of the leaders of the Trump coalition yelled, “Does anyone have any bullets so we can make America great again on these steps?”

    […] “Trump’s campaign has become a platform in the U.S. for bigotry, racism and sexism to be seen as legitimate. Trump rallies and events are being used as recruiting grounds for white supremacist and white nationalist groups.”

    Infowars later ran over a half dozen videos from the event, putting the faces of counter-protesters on internet memes and referring to one in particular as a “communist tranny.” […]

    Kolychev did admit to us that courts have approved a no-contact order against him due to rape threats sent to campus organizers.

    […] For their third official meeting on June 10, they are planning on building a replica wall, based on the wall Trump has said he would construct between Mexico and the United States. […]

    The leader of “Students for Trump” posted “scientific” evidence that blacks have lower I.Q.s, participated in “Thug Lives Don’t Matter” demonstrations, etc.

  49. says

    From the Donald Trump history files:

    I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented. Millions of truckloads of this incredible fire-proofing material were taken to special “dump sites” and asbestos was replaced by materials that were supposedly safe but couldn’t hold a candle to asbestos in limiting the ravages of fire.

    Okay, in 1997 Trump was promoting unsafe work conditions.

    Polish construction workers who worked on the construction of Trump Tower sued Trump, with some telling the New York Times that “they often worked in choking clouds of asbestos dust without protective equipment.”


    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that asbestos used for fireproofing does “readily release airborne fibers if disturbed.” OSHA also says there is “no safe love of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.”

  50. says

    Rightwing religious nutjob, James Dobson, claims that bathroom policies that allow transgender people to use the restroom facilities that match their gender identity violate a prohibition in Leviticus against prostituting one’s daughter. Well, that’s a different twist on all the excuses right-wingers are using to discriminate against transgender people.

    […] “Let me share a Scripture with you all that I came across that speaks to this issue,” he said. “It’s addressed directly to parents, I think. It’s Leviticus 19:29. Listen to this: ‘Do not degrade your daughters by making them a prostitute or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.’ That comes right to the heart of this. It sort of feels like that’s where we are. We’re taking our little, vulnerable kids and we’re saying in the name of political correctness, ‘Here are our children. Do with them what you want.’ And I’m here to say that I’m going to fight that as long as I have breath in my body.”

    He added that he was worried not only about children but also about his wife, Shirley, “being in a bathroom where some grungy guy comes in there and zips down the zipper and does things that she will remember the rest of her life.”

    “I mean, where is manhood that we don’t stand up and defend our own families?” he asked. “And I think that we’re going to be responsible before the Lord if we don’t do it.” […]


  51. Saad says

    diane, #54

    Every time someone goes on about how Trump won’t really build a wall or really require special IDs for Muslims or whatever other bigoted thing comes to his mind, I think of this article from the NYT in 1922.

    And even if he doesn’t, him saying it is enough. It’s a disgusting display of privilege for people to say Trump is just saying these things.

    I have Muslim family all over America. Sorry, I don’t want my future president promising that he wants to ban them or make them wear symbols.

  52. says

    Bernie Sanders met with President Obama this morning for about 45 minutes. My summary:
    – Bernie will continue to campaign through the Washington D.C. primary on Tuesday.
    – Bernie sort of recognizes Clinton as the presumptive nominee, but not yet clearly.
    – President Obama will not endorse Clinton until next Wednesday, at the earliest.
    – Bernie also met with Harry Reid.
    – Bernie gave a prepared speech on the White House lawn afterward, so he already knew what he was going to say. He gave what was almost an exact replica of his stump speech.
    – Bernie and Obama seemed happy to see each other and to spend time together.

    It’s time to wait and then wait some more for resolution of the Democratic race.

  53. says

    I think Trump will try to build a wall, to ban Muslims, and to deport undocumented immigrants. Even if he is prevented from fully completing those goals, his efforts toward them will be bad enough to be called a disaster.

    Watch this interview with self-described white nationalist William Johnson. In the 4:10-minute video, a Pew Research survey is discussed that shows Trump supporters have racist and negative opinions about Jews, Mexicans, African Americans, Asians … and, well, all non-whites. There is significant support for Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-minority views.

    The interview with the white nationalist is the most telling/damning part of the video.

  54. says

    Well, well, well! I got one thing really wrong in comment 59. President Obama is endorsing Hillary Clinton as I write this.

    Moreover, his endorsement was full-throated and hopeful. He said that is “fired up” and that he “can’t wait to campaign for her.”

  55. says

    More details from President Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton:

    […] “I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” Obama said in the video. […]

    “I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary,” Obama said in the video. […]

    Obama said that Clinton had the “courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done.” […]

    You can watch the video of the endorsement here, on NBC News.

    Hillary Clinton also posted the endorsement video to her official website, It looks like the video may have been taped as early as Tuesday, but they held off on releasing it until after the President had met with Sanders.

  56. says

    Here is the Daily Kos coverage of Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton. The Daily Kos also posted the endorsement video.

    “I spoke with Secretary Clinton yesterday and look forward to meeting with her in coming days to work together to beat Trump.”

  57. Chris J says

    Following some links, it looks like Bernie is on board with Clinton’s win (after meeting with Obama in the White House). At least, he didn’t mention a contested convention, and he said he was looking forward to working with Hillary in order to beat Trump.

    If that’s true… Hooray!

  58. Chris J says

    Oh, Lynna, I think that quote on the end is tagged as “Sanders, after speaking with Obama” rather than “Obama, on … ,” so I thought it was Sanders that said it.

  59. says

    Thanks for the correction, Chris J.

    The White House press secretary just said that we can interpret the endorsement video from Obama as a joint endorsement, that is, it includes an implicit endorsement from Michelle Obama.

  60. says

    Another quote from Obama’s endorsement:

    I’ve seen her determination to give every American a fair shot at opportunity, no matter how tough the fight was. That’s what has always driven her and it still does. So I want those of you who have been with me from the beginning of this incredible journey to be the first to know that I’m with her, I am fired up, and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary.

  61. says

    Donald Trump’s reaction to Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton:

    Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!

    Obama’s approval rating is way higher than Trump’s, so The Donald may be wrong … again.

  62. says

    Rachel Maddow looks back at some past American female presidential candidacies and notes that while many other countries broke that barrier long ago, Hillary Clinton’s nomination will be the closest any American woman has made it so far.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A ruling by the ninth US Circuit Court confirms there is no constitutional right to concealed carry.

    Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.
    In a dispute that could ultimately wind up before the Supreme Court, a divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said local law enforcement officials can place significant restrictions on who is allowed to carry concealed guns.
    By a vote of 7-4, the court upheld a California law that says applicants must supply a “good cause” to obtain a concealed-carry permit. People who are being stalked or threatened, celebrities who fear for their safety, and those who routinely carry large amounts of cash or other valuables are often given permits.
    The ruling overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court that said applicants need only express a desire for personal safety.
    The 9th Circuit’s rulings are binding in nine Western states. Only two other federal appeals courts have taken up the issue — in cases out of New York and Maryland — and both ruled the way the 9th Circuit did.

    Three courts agreeing….

  64. says

    Rumor has it that Elizabeth Warren will endorse Hillary Clinton tonight, during an interview on The Rachel Maddow show. We’ll see.

    In Trump news, Sara Jerde of Talking Points Memo covered an article in USA Today that provided a detailed list of some of the instances in which Trump has stiffed workers, (refusing to pay them and/or shortchanging them).

    Here are some excerpts from Jerde’s summary:

    […] There were 60 lawsuits […] where workers alleged Trump and his companies shortchanged them. Those included lawsuits from a dishwasher, a plumber, a painter and various other workers who were once employed by his businesses.

    At least one business, the Edward J. Friel Co., declared bankruptcy and chalked up at least some of its downward spiral to the $83,600 Trump owed it for building slot machine bases and doing other carpentry work at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in 1984.

    The report also noted that since 2005, Trump’s companies have been cited for at least 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act due to unpaid wages.[…]

    Here’s Trump’s take on the issue:

    Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely. That’s what the country should be doing.

    Here is link to the USA Today full report.

    […] In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.

    The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether. […]

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It appears that the Kochroach strategy for the election may be appearing.

    Billionaire Charles Koch, one of America’s most influential conservative donors, said he is fed up with the vitriol of the presidential race and will air national TV ads that call on citizens to work together to fix a “rigged” economy that leaves behind the poor.

    The first sentence set my skeptical senses tingling. Later shown right.

    They’re plowing ahead with recommendations from a study the Republican Party made after its 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, lost to President Barack Obama. It found the party has been harmed by a perception “that the GOP does not care about people.”
    Also offering a kinder, gentler Republican counterweight to Trump: House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Tuesday, he held forth at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Washington to outline House Republicans’ plan to reduce poverty.

    Ryan’s plan kind and gentle to the poor? *snicker* Read with a strong drink.

  66. raven says

    Dianne:Every time someone goes on about how Trump won’t really build a wall …

    A small part of me wishes Trump does build The Great Mexican Wall. It would be like the pyramids, completely useless but impressive anyway.

    Walls don’t work.
    1. Since humans invented ladders and shovel, people just go around them. Or they can be knocked down.
    2. You have to patrol and maintain them. A huge ongoing expense.
    3. It fixes a problem that doesn’t exist. Mexican immigration went negative 6 years ago. It would trap Mexicans trying to go back, on this side of the border.

  67. raven says

    No? The US is Mexico’s largest trading partner. And there are lots of people sending money home to Mexico from the US.

    We do have some leverage with Mexico. They also have leverage though.
    Trying to extort billions from Mexico would be a lose-lose game.

    The biggest problem with Trump’s extortion is how self destructive it is. You should be nice to your friends and allies. Or you won’t have any. This is what they teach in…Kindergarten.

    Building The Great Mexican Wall is probably one of the more minor disasters Trump is capable of.

  68. says

    Nerd, re the “Kochroach strategy,” I think that is a more general strategy to change the image of the Koch brothers. They are getting tired of being painted as evil. But, I think that, like Paul Ryan, they talk about helping the poor and then they try to use more and more trickle-down economics to “help” the poor.

    Anyway, right now they are running a PR campaign to make themselves look better before they die.

  69. dianne says

    A small part of me wishes Trump does build The Great Mexican Wall. It would be like the pyramids, completely useless but impressive anyway.

    I think it would be more like the Westwall. A completely useless bit of security theater that would draw resources (labor, concrete, money, etc) away from actually useful projects and result in issues like not enough housing being built because the country’s entire supply of concrete is being used on this useless project. Which, come to think of it, probably makes it like the pyramids. But there’s already several examples of useless walls around, so I doubt its use even as a future tourist attraction. Oh, well, maybe it will stand as a museum to the US’s fascist period some day.

    Trying to extort billions from Mexico would be a lose-lose game.

    I agree. I just don’t think that fact would slow Trump down in the least.

    Building The Great Mexican Wall is probably one of the more minor disasters Trump is capable of.

    Probably. It would only devastate the US and Mexican economies and divert resources from useful projects. It wouldn’t actually, say, destroy democracy or the biosphere.

  70. wzrd1 says

    @dianne #77, actually, a good thing would come out of it. Concrete sumps CO2 from the atmosphere, significant amounts of CO2.
    Alas, not enough to offset the CO2 produced in creating cement in kilns.

    As for using all of the concrete in the land, totally unrealistic, as concrete is mixed and won’t travel far before setting. One can create cement and that will travel well, the mix wouldn’t make sense to mix, as sand aggregate and stone can be found a lot closer to any proposed building site. Of course, finding water at the border, now that’s a real bear, not to mention transporting tons of water, equipment and supplies along remote border regions that have no roads.

  71. dianne says

    @78: I wouldn’t expect it to be transported to the site mixed. Resources for making concrete are finite, whether you mean the basic ingredients (where ARE they planning to get the water in that desert anyway?) to the equipment, not to mention the labor, needed. The Westwall diverted resources from building housing resulting in increased homelessness in 1930s Germany. How will the US magically avoid having the same problem if it throws its resources into building a ridiculous wall? (Note that there already is a wall between the US and Mexico and it’s working…about as well as expected.)

  72. says

    PZ posted threads that covered Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement, and her recent speech excoriating Donald Trump, so I won’t repeat that information here.

    In other, related, news, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dissed Trump … again. McConnell commented on the need for Trump to pick a Vice President with some experience:

    He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues. You see that in the debates in which he’s participated.

    It’s a little late to be telling your fellow Republicans that Trump is obviously ignorant. You should have done that long ago.

  73. says

    An excerpt from Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement of Clinton:

    Hillary Clinton won. And she won because she’s a fighter, she’s out there, she’s tough, and I think this is what we need. Look at who she is. For 25 years, she’s been taking the incomings, right? The right wing has thrown everything they possibly can at her.

    And what does she do? A lot of people would just hang up their spurs. They’d say, “You know, I’ve had enough of this.” And she doesn’t. What she’s done is she gets back up and she gets back in the fight.

    Warren and Clinton had a private meeting at Clinton’s house in D.C. this morning. We don’t results from that meeting yet.

  74. says

    Good. More journalists are taking the time to debunk Trump’s smears about the Latino lawyers group to which U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel belongs.

    Trump’s latest tactic is to pretend that he didn’t think ill of the judge because he is “Mexican,” (though Trump obviously did attack with that in mind), but that he is concerned because the judge belongs to a racist organization. Trump instructed his minions to spread that lie, and they have. Rightwing media picked up the lie and is still running hard with it.

    […] San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association is a pretty typical professional group that promotes diversity and Latino empowerment in the legal community. You can find similar organizations for African American lawyers, Asian lawyers, female lawyers and so forth, as well as parallel organizations in almost every other industry.

    Now, thanks to a smear campaign by Trump and his supporters, who have used Curiel’s connections to the group to justify the presumptive GOP nominee’s attacks on him, the attorneys group has had to defend itself against claims of having a “radical” agenda, being racist, and of unduly influencing Curiel. […]

    La Raza San Diego is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade organization and an affiliate of the California La Raza Lawyers Association. According to Osuna, it mainly serves as a professional resource for its Latino and non-Latino members that include lawyers, judges, and law students. The group organizes seminars, networking events, and a scholarship fund. […]

    “They have principles related to diversity issues. But these are lawyer professional organizations, they’re not political parties,” Bird said.

    However, if you live in the fever swamps of conservative media, La Raza San Diego is a “leftist race-driven,” “pro-illegal immigrant,” “radical” group. […]

    When Trump first started attacking Curiel back in February over his rulings in a class action lawsuit against Trump over Trump University, La Raza didn’t even come up, nor was it mentioned in his lengthy campaign stump rant about Curiel last month that kicked the controversy into high gear. […]

    His national spokesperson Katrina Pierson accused the group of organizing anti-Trump protests, apparently confusing La Raza San Diego with the advocacy group National Council of La Raza […]

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called the group “radical” and said Trump’s complaints about it were “legitimate.” Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord penned a lengthy screed about La Raza San Diego that essentially said that the group — and not Trump — was the real racist. […]

    Trump got caught with his racist pants down, and when he tried to recover by making up some other excuse for his behavior, he messed that up too.

  75. says

    Elizabeth Warren wasn’t the only speaker who delivered a blistering critique of Donald Trump last night. Joe Biden got in on the act too. He blasted Trump for making racist comments and “literally undermining and threatening and potentially doing damage to an independent judiciary that the American people can have faith in.”

    […] Biden delivered the remarks at a conference of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal group. He also knocked Republicans for blocking consideration of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

    “It’s not the racism that frightens me, we’ve dealt with racists before. It’s the potential impact on the court,” Biden said. “And I might add a friendly note to my Republican friends, many of them longtime colleagues in the Senate, they assail Trump’s unacceptable and wrong censure of the judiciary, yet they refuse to confirm a judge of unquestionable credentials to the Supreme Court so that Mr. Trump can nominate, fill that vacancy.” […]

    “It’s my view that a presidential candidate who publicly attacks a sitting federal judge who ruled in a way against his own economic interests cannot be trusted to respect the independence of the judiciary as a president,” Biden, a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.

    He called Trump’s comments about the judge “reprehensible” and “racist” and said they should be considered a “direct threat” to the judge, U.S. District Court judge Gonzalo Curiel. Among other things, Trump said he “will come back in November” and “do a civil case” if he is president.

    “These are words of someone who sees our federal judiciary not as an independent branch of government but as a tool for him to manipulate so he can do what he calls ‘deal with the laws of our country,’” Biden said. “These are the words in my view of one who would defy the courts if they ruled against him as president, not just in a business case, but a case challenging government abuse of power.”

    He urged the legal community to condemn Trump’s “pernicious and unprecedented” behavior.

    “Either Mr. Trump … doesn’t understand because this is in a realm he’s never dealt with before, or he doesn’t care that would it border on an impeachable offense for a president actually to use the great powers of the office to attempt undermine a federal judge by placing pressure on that judge in any case,” Biden said.

    Biden’s speech began in a rambling, story-telling way that is common for him, but he soon got into the meat of his argument.

  76. says

    Oh, FFS. Conservatives are now praying for the death of President Obama?

    […] “In his role as President, I think we should pray for Barack Obama. But I think we need to be very specific about how we pray,” Perdue [Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia) told the audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C. “We should pray like Psalm 109:8 says, that says, ‘let his days be few.’”

    After waiting a beat, Perdue said, “And let another have his office,’” drawing laughter from the audience. […]

    If you look at the rest of that section of Psalm 109, you will see, “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!”

    What classless bullshit.

    A spokesperson for Perdue tried to walk back the Senator’s prayer by saying that he “in no way wishes harm towards our president.” Ummm, the Senator just prayed for Obama’s death. He was “very specific.” You can’t walk that back.

  77. says

    More highlights from Warren’s endorsement of Clinton:

    I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States.

    NOBODY says that she (Hillary) doesn’t know how to throw a punch.

    This is about what we need to survive…This is about a country that really is building an economic future for all of us. And, YES, I think having a fighter in the lead, a FEMALE FIGHTER in the in the lead, is EXACTLY what this country needs.

    We can line up, we can be part of Hillary Clinton’s effort to be the President of the United States, and to help do the things we care about in this country, to really help build a future.

  78. says

    Clinton got an endorsement from The Sierra Club yesterday. Clinton has other endorsements from “green” or environmental groups, NRDC Action Fund and the League of Conservation Voters.

    Friends of the Earth, and some other environmental groups are holding on their endorsements for Sanders, and looking forward to affecting the Democratic Party platform at the convention.

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

    A spokesperson for Perdue tried to walk back the Senator’s prayer by saying that he “in no way wishes harm towards our president.” Ummm, the Senator just prayed for Obama’s death.

    of course, Gawd taking Obama with a painless death is not harm. donchano. So praying for “few days” is not advocating pain, just asking gawd to scoop him up in his ethereal arms and take him away. And not asking for anyone to take any real action, just to pray, to get Gawd to do the task.
    still quite offensive, as a passive-aggressive attack.

  80. says

    slithey tove @87, the senator saying the prayer may not have meant actual harm, but this is the kind of thing that other whacky right-wingers take to heart when they unlock the gun cabinet. It is an especially foolish thing for an elected official to say. The senator should be held to a higher standard.

    And I’m not buying the “meant no harm” line. The guy was smiling and playing to a crowd that knew the rest of that bible verse. They said he meant no harm because they have to say that. Doesn’t make it true.

    We’re will be hearing a lot of whacky folderol from the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference. The Faith and Freedom Coalition is always good for some eyebrow-raising, flea-brained pronouncements.

    Here’s another example:

    Speaking today at the Road to Majority conference, […] Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a fierce immigration opponent in Congress who helped craft Donald Trump’s immigration policy, referred to a handful of Bible stories to declare that immigration reform advocates’ position […] is “not biblical.”

    Sessions spoke of the biblical figure of Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls in Jerusalem after obtaining traveling papers from the king of Persia, and referred to another story, which although Sessions seems to have gotten the details mixed up, seems to be the tale of the Israelites being barred by the king of Edom from crossing his land.

    “So the idea that nations don’t set laws, establish who can and can’t enter, is not biblical in my opinion. Nations do that and they’ve done it since time immemorial and there’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.


    Biblical excuses to block immigration reform.

  81. says

    Here’s another example of whackitude coming from the Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Washington, D.C. This is Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas who is often called the dumbest guy in Congress, speaking:

    “Now this administration says, ‘We’re going to have the V.A. do sex change operations.’ Really?!” he asked. “Do we not have enough veterans committing suicide without you increasing that 20 times? Enough is enough! We have to stand up for our veterans. We’re the adults. We have to stand up for our children.”

    Sneaky excuse to oppose transgender rights, and, as it happens, completely wrong.

  82. says

    Mitt Romney said something intelligent and memorable:

    I don’t want to see trickle-down racism. I don’t want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following. Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism and bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America. I’m not looking for Mr. Trump to change to a policy that more aligns with my own.

    I wish everybody in the Republican Party had rejected Mr. Trump and chosen someone else.

  83. HappyNat says

    Trickle-down racism, which is what the republicans have been peddling for years, is a lot more effective than trickle-down economics.

  84. says

    This is a followup to comment 91.

    Trump responded to Romney with a tweet: “Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog. Now he calls me racist-but I am least racist person there is.”

  85. says

    Jesse Jackson endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    “We trust her to work on health care, to fight for the poor … for the willingness to fight for civil rights,” Jackson said.

    On matters of human & voting rights, racial&gender equality & affordable healthcare you can trust her.

  86. says

    Here are a few excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s recent speech about women’s reproductive rights. She gave the speech at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in Washington D.C.

    […] Clinton opened her speech with a tribute to Planned Parenthood, which kept its health care facilities open in the face of rising harassment and last fall’s lethal terrorist attack. “Thank you for being there for women, no matter their race, sexual orientation, or immigration status … [and] the transgender teens who come for an appointment and find the first place where they can truly be themselves,” Clinton said, commending the organization for handing out clean water to the residents of Flint, Michigan, and providing some of the most reliable, affordable contraception services in the country. “I’ve been proud to stand with Planned Parenthood for a long time, and as president, I will always have your back.” […]

    When she was a law professor teaching Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that made birth control legal for married couples in the U.S., Clinton said, “a look of total bewilderment would come across my students’ faces.” She explained that the country’s maternal mortality rate “dropped dramatically” after Roe v. Wade, and that it played an important role in women’s capacity to pursue an education and career. What’s more, accurate sex education and affordable contraception have contributed to an all-time low rate of teen births.

    Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said the organization trusts Clinton to quash the Hyde Amendment—the longtime ban on Medicaid funding for abortions, which Clinton condemned earlier this year—and Clinton nodded to the importance of breaking down systemic racism and keeping immigrant families together as part of the fight for reproductive justice. This is a small but significant pivot from the “choice” framework, which limited the scope of reproductive rights advocacy to abortion and contraception while ignoring forced sterilization of women of color and significant cultural and socioeconomic barriers to health care access. […]

    Slate link.

  87. says

    Bernie Sanders said at his most recent rally in Washington D.C. that he looked forward, “[…] to the full counting of the votes in California which I suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally.”

    Now that “full counting of votes” is nearly complete. Here’s what we have: Clinton’s lead grew by 36,241 votes to 474,778 more votes than Sanders. So far, Clinton is holding on to a 10-11 point vote margin, and she is holding on to her pledged delegate count.

  88. says

    Oh, FFS. More anti-transgender nonsense from Georgia.

    Rowan Elijah Feldhaus submitted a name change petition which Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejected. Rowan’s previous name had been Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus.

    The question presented is whether a female has the salutatory right to change her name to a traditionally and obviously male name. The court concludes that she does not have such right. –Judge Roper

    Lambda Legal submitted a filing to the Georgia Court of Appeals challenging the denial yesterday.

    Feldhaus is 24, a sergeant in the US Army Reserve and works at an Augusta-area hotel. He is being treated for gender dysphoria, receiving hormone treatments…and lives his life as a man. […]


  89. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As Lynna has shown before, Kansas is a hot-bed of voter suppression.
    A Federal Appeals Court has ruled that they are out of line.

    Thousands of Kansas residents who signed up to vote at motor vehicle offices but were kept off the rolls by a state law requiring proof of citizenship could be allowed to cast ballots in the November general election, under a ruling on Friday by a U.S. appeals court.

    Kansas’ secretary of state, Kris Kobach, a Republican who has become a national leader in pushing for voting changes, had asked the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to place on hold a decision last month by a lower-court judge ordering the state to begin registering 18,000 residents affected by the law.
    In requesting the stay, the state said the order to begin to register voters would “result in extraordinary confusion on November 8, 2016.”
    The Denver-based federal appeals court, however, rejected the argument.
    “We conclude that defendant-appellant has not made the requisite showing for a stay pending appeal so we deny that motion,” a panel of the appeals court said in its ruling….
    The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the plaintiffs, argued in their lawsuit that the statute conflicts with a federal law designed to make it easier to register to vote while getting a driver’s license.
    U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson, in her May 17 ruling ordering Kansas to begin to register more than 18,000 applicants at Division of Motor Vehicle offices who were kept off the rolls, noted that Kansas could identify only three non-citizens who voted between 2003 and 2013.
    Under Robinson’s ruling, Kansas residents placed on the rolls can vote in federal but not state elections.

    It’s a start.

  90. says

    PZ posted a separate thread for comments about the mass shooting in Orlando, so I will not followup much here. I am so appalled that I hardly know what to say.

    The latest reports are that at least 50 people died inside the club. About 53 more are hospitalized.

  91. says

    Some despicable “blame the victims” rhetoric is coming from rightwing sources.

    Dan Patrick, the anti-LGBT lieutenant governor of Texas, tweeted “man reaps what he sows” hours after an attack on a gay nightclub in Florida killed at least 50 people.

    Patrick, a Republican, introduced legislation to force transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificates. “The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction,” the passage continues.


  92. dianne says

    Re the Orlando shootings, I can’t help wondering how they will affect the polls. If people were logical, the shootings would lead to an increase in support for Clinton and both candidates feeling obliged to at least talk about what they’re going to do to keep assault rifles out of the streets. That would probably look like Clinton releasing a 25 point plan for banning assault rifles and reducing other guns with extensive footnotes and references to the experiences of Australia and Canada and Trump issuing a tweet saying that he’s got all the ability to get rid of guns, trust him. And also to massive condemnations of homophobia and public reflection on how things like the NC “bathroom laws” encouraged the shootings.

    But I fear that what will happen instead is that people will decide that it was all due to those evil Muslims and their homophobia and increase support for Trump’s craziest anti-Islamic policies. Never mind that the shooter was a US citizen, that he was enabled more by the NRA than by ISIS, that no ever tried to talk him out of his homophobia or educate him on tolerance, that in fact politicians encouraged that hate…no, it will all be blamed on his religion. His religion that he didn’t, apparently, either believe in or practice much. Because…um, why? Because that’s easier? Because no one wants to think that they contributed to 50 deaths, even though US homophobia clearly did? Whatever. I’m just afraid that there will be more of these incidences and they’ll get Trump elected. Which will, of course, lead to even more incidents of killing of LGBT and other marginalized people.

  93. Saad says

    dianne, #103

    It’s America. Hysteria, fear and hate will beat reasoned response. Trump will bring his conspiracies, lies and fear-mongering in full blast and the same people who got him this far will take him even further.

    (yes, I’m very pessimistic about this)

    We know for sure Mateen is seen as “the other”. No way will all the GOP voters see themselves in him.

  94. dianne says

    Saad @104: To be fair, the US isn’t the only country in the world with this problem.

    But you’re right: The Trumpets will never see Mateen as one of “them”, despite the fact that he was a US born US citizen, pro-gun, and anti-gay. Just like them. Was he really inspired by IS or by all the good Christians mumbling about how they were going to shoot any “perverts” they found in the restroom with them?

  95. dianne says

    On a completely different topic, I have a question: What would it do to the EU if Britain did leave? Apart from the “OMG, we’re falling apart, it’s all over!” concern, I haven’t heard much. Assuming that the EU survives the exit of Britain, would it actually do any other harm? Britain’s already non-Euro and is probably hell to try to bring into compliance with respect to following health and safety regulations. Might the EU be better off without them? I expect that I’m missing something here, but I don’t know what.

  96. says

    Donald Trump is continuing his response to the murders in Orlando by insinuating that President Obama is a terrorist sympathizer.

    […] Trump again implied that the president was not a trustworthy leader when it comes to fighting terrorism. “We’re led by a man who is a very — look, we’re led by a man that either is, is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said. “And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot — they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”

    Later, Trump added this:

    Well there are a lot of people that think maybe [the president] doesn’t want to get it.

    Trump is a dangerous crackpot.

    I haven’t seen any of Trump’s fellow Republicans disavowing that crackpot rhetoric.

  97. says

    More from Trump:

    What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough

    That “I called it” is actually a repetition of a boast he made earlier, the boast that mentioned “congrats” that he had got it right. Donald, 50 people dying is not primarily an opportunity for you to say, “I told you so.” Asshat.

    First of all, a totally inappropriate response to a mass shooting. And, more importantly, anybody can claim that more people in the USA will attack innocent people with guns. Not exactly a prescient comment, Donald, and not presidential.

    To the dismay of others, including some Republicans, Trump also revived his idea of a ban on Muslims entering the USA. Some of his fellow Republicans were really hoping Trump would just let that bit of madness slowly fade into the background after he was forced to walk the ban back to “just a suggestion” a few weeks ago.

    The Trump ban would have nothing to do with the Orlando shooter, who was born in New York.

    Later, Trump made the whole thing worse by retweeting a plagiarized tweet that claimed the shooter shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.

    It looks like Trump flagrantly copy & pasted @SebGorka’s unsourced 2:03pm tweet, tweaked it, and posted at 2:52pm [from Brian Stelter]

  98. says

    John Oliver’s cold open addressed the events in Orlando, and the fact that one “terrorist dipshit” is vastly outnumbered by tolerant, good people. Scroll down for the 1:42 minute video.

  99. says

    An excerpt from comments Hillary Clinton made this morning:

    In this particular case, he was interviewed more than once because of reports of what he was saying, yet he had absolutely no trouble walking in and buying an assault weapon.

    Wall Street Journal link.

    It bears repeating that the assault weapons ban was in place for ten years, from 1994 to 2004. It banned some automatic weapons, including some AR-15 models, and it set a limit on high-capacity magazines.

    Congress critters voted not to renew the ban when it expired. The disaster in Orlando may not have been prevented by such a ban, but the scope of that disaster may have been limited. Fewer people would have been killed. That may not sound like much of a plus, but is it a big plus to the 50 people that died.

    Congress critters have also refused to pass a law that would make it so that people unable to board a plane in the USA also cannot buy a gun.

  100. says

    Here’s what the National Rifle Association said in December, 2015:

    Politicians pushing “assault” weapons ban want to ban some of the most popular rifles in America – like the AR15

    Here’s what the NRA is saying today: [crickets]

  101. says

    Without naming him, Hillary Clinton more or less responds to Trump’s comments (see 107).

    […] “I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people,” the former Secretary of State said on MSNBC. “We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it. It’s the same.”

    She continued: “But we cannot demonize, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That is just dangerous. And it plays into the hands of ISIS and other jihadist terrorists.” […]

    “It matters that we got bin Laden, not what name we called him,” she said, as quoted by Politico. Clinton went on to say the terms “mean the same thing.”

    “To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point,” she said. […]

    “It doesn’t do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people,” she said.

    Obama has said referring to the terrorists the “Islamic State” lends them legitimacy and propagates a notion that the West is at war with Islam, rather than “with people who have perverted Islam.”

    Talking Points Memo link.

  102. Saad says

    But Lynna, she’ll be just as bad as Trump. There’s just no way to be able to decide between the two.

    /s as fuck

  103. says

    Trump’s long-time friend and surrogate, Roger Stone, said some stupid stuff:

    I also think that now that Islamic terrorism is going to be front and center, there’s going to be a new focus on whether this administration, the administration of Hillary Clinton at State, was permeated at the highest levels by Saudi intelligence and others who are not loyal Americans. I speak specifically of Huma Abedin, the right-hand woman, now vice-chairman or co-chairman of vice—of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. […]

    She has a very troubling past. She comes out of nowhere. She seems to have an enormous amount of cash, even prior to the time that she goes to work for Hillary. So we have to ask: Do we have a Saudi spy in our midst? Do we have a terrorist agent?

    The quoted text above is an excerpt from an interview on Sirius XM’s “Breitbart News Daily” today.

  104. says

    Saad @113, I appreciate the sarcasm.

    Without going into other policy differences, just look at Hillary Clinton’s response to the murders in Orlando, compared to Trump’s responses.

    An excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s comments:

    This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly, and without fear […]

    This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place in our streets.

    See 107 and 108 for some of Trump’s worst comments.

    Here are some of Trump’s tweets:

    Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

    Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!

    What I get from this is that Donald trump makes a mass murder all about him. (Cross posted from the “Gun control now” thread.)

  105. says

    Another religious rightwing whacko celebrated the murders in Orlando:

    In a video message posted yesterday, virulently anti-LGBT pastor Steven Anderson reacted to the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by happily announcing that “there’s fifty less pedophiles in this world.”

    “These homosexuals are a bunch of perverts and pedophiles, that’s who was a victim here, a bunch of disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar,” he said. He later added: “The good news is that at least fifty of these pedophiles are not going to be harming children anymore. The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re going to continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle.”

    Anderson explained that he didn’t approve of the shooter’s actions… but only because he thinks the victims should have been put to death by the government. “These people all should have been killed anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in, they should’ve been executed by a righteous government,” he said.

    Anderson said that gun owners and pastors are the real victims of the tragedy, predicting that the government will use the massacre as an opportunity to confiscate firearms, demonize Christians and outlaw hateful speech.

    At the end of the day, Anderson said, the victims were on their way to an early death from AIDS and syphilis anyway.

    Right Wing Watch link.

    Update: The video has been removed from YouTube.

  106. says

    Here’s a summary of some more stupid stuff Donald Trump said today. His intention to ask the NRA for tips to prevent terrorism is hilarious, … and mind-numbingly stupid.

    Today in New Hampshire, Donald Trump defended his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country and blamed the massacre in Orlando on America’s immigration system, despite the fact that the shooter was born in the U.S.

    Trump repeated the bogus claim that Hillary Clinton will not only “ban guns” and begin “abolishing the Second Amendment,” but will also “bring vastly more radical Islamic immigration into this country,” asserting: “She wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country, we don’t have guns, let them come in, let them have all the fun they want.”

    He then added that he “will be meeting with the NRA” to “discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect them self in this age of terror.”


  107. says

    On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera tried to shame the victims for not fighting back:

    When you’re in that situation and you have no weapons, you have two choices. If you can’t hide and you can’t run, you have two choices. You stay and die, or you fight. For God’s sakes, fight back. Fight back. There’s 100 people that he murdered with one weapon that he reloaded. When he reloaded they must, people must, America must understand, we are at war with Islamic terror, with these terrorists. We’ve got to stop them in Raqqa, we’ve got to stop them in Mosul, and we’ve got to stop them in the Pulse, Orlando.

    Media Matters link

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would like to see some democrats call out The Donalds rhetoric about needed to take the fight to ISIS as being a tool of ISIS, as they want the conflict to be Muslim vs. Xian, rather than what it is at the moment, them against other Muslims.
    Donald Trump, friend of ISIS.

  109. says

    CaitieCat @118, right. When your next-door neighbor is a Christofascist, you are in more danger.

    Writing for the Maddow Blog, Steve Benen made some very good points about the conservative take on “Islamic Terrorism” going off the rails.

    […] it’s incredibly difficult to satirize the far-right line on counter-terrorism […]

    President Obama has launched strikes that have killed the head of al Qaeda, the head of the Taliban, the head of ISIS in Libya, a senior leader of al-Shabaab in Somalia, the al Qaeda operative in charge of suicide bombings and operations involving explosives, among many, many others. In The Atlantic, in which Jeffrey Goldberg, hardly a liberal, wrote, “Obama has become the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency.”

    It’s against this backdrop, the joke goes, that Republicans say, “Sure, but Obama doesn’t call it ‘Islamic terrorism.’ Counter-terrorism successes are fine, but what really matters is word choice.”

    Except, the joke has become real. Here was Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential candidate, on Twitter yesterday:

    “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

    […] Trump wasn’t alone. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) whined, “As a matter of rigid ideology, far too many Democrats – from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton – will refuse to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’” Republican media personalities echoed the same line.

    The preoccupation with word choice – as opposed to, say, actual counter-terrorism successes – is almost hard to believe. […]

    A close adviser to the president conceded, “We ought to avoid the language of religion. Whenever they hear ‘Islamic extremism, Islamic jihad, Islamic fundamentalism,’ they perceive it as a sort of an attack on their faith.”

    For Republicans and conservative media, all of this probably sounds like a mamby-pamby approach to national security and one more reason not to trust President Obama to be tough on national security. But there’s a catch: the White House that issued the “Counterterrorism Communication” guidelines wasn’t the Obama White House – it was the Bush/Cheney White House. The document was released in April 2008 – seven months before Obama’s inauguration. […]

    If anyone can point to any examples of Republicans complaining incessantly about George W. Bush’s counter-terrorism word choice – or better yet, suggesting he should resign from the presidency because of his phrasing – I’ll gladly update this piece accordingly. But I’m reasonably confident no such evidence exists.

  110. says

    Donald Trump lied … again:

    Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump claimed in a speech Monday that “hundreds of thousands of refugees” are flowing into the United States, with “no system” in place to vet them – a claim that’s repeatedly been dispelled as false. […]

    “We are not screening people. So why don’t we have an effective screening system? We don’t. We’re being laughed at all over the world,” the billionaire businessman continued. […]


    One source for debunking the lie: Politifact’s fact check.

  111. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If anyone can point to any examples of Republicans complaining incessantly about George W. Bush’s counter-terrorism word choice – or better yet, suggesting he should resign from the presidency because of his phrasing – I’ll gladly update this piece accordingly. But I’m reasonably confident no such evidence exists.

    The one thing I can admire about the Shrub, is that he didn’t demonize Muslims after 9/11, nor during his administration. Otherwise, a total disaster.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thinned Skinned Bully Temper Tantrum: Drumpf will ban Washington Post from press conferences.

    Republican Donald Trump said on Monday he will no longer issue press credentials to the Washington Post, stopping the publication from gaining access to press areas at his presidential campaign events.
    “Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” Trump wrote on Facebook.
    The Washington Post, one of the nation’s largest newspapers, has assigned a team of reporters to produce a book about Trump that is scheduled to be released later this year.

    In other words, he can’t control what they say. Very presidential move…..*snicker*

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll let the article speak for itself:
    Murders of gays, lesbians in U.S. increased last year, group says

    The number of murders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people jumped 20 percent in the United States last year, activists said on Monday, releasing their findings a day after a mass shooting at a Florida gay nightclub left 49 people dead.
    The violence in 2015 was the highest since 2012, according to the report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).
    It said 24 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and people with HIV were murdered in the United States, a 20 percent increase from 2014.
    The advocacy group released its findings a day ahead of their scheduled publication after the Orlando, Florida shooting, the worst mass murder in U.S. history.
    A gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub called the Pulse early on Sunday morning. He was shot and killed by police who stormed the club with armored cars after a three-hour siege.
    Beverly Tillery, who heads the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates the NCAVP, called for public discussion on LGBTQ people and violence.
    “This is … a tragedy that belongs to LGBTQ communities, but a tragedy that belongs to the entire nation as well,” she said.
    The NCAVP said it compiled its figures by monitoring media reports, through notifications from associated programs and from individual contributions.
    Among the victims listed was Shade Schuler, a 22-year-old transgender woman found dead in a field in Dallas, Texas, the NCAVP report said.
    Media and police listed Schuler as a man until local LGBTQ activists intervened to insure she was listed as a transgender woman, the NCAVP said.
    The report also said that in 11 U.S. states there were 1,253 incidents of violence against LGBTQ people and those with HIV in 2015, an 8 percent drop from 2014.
    The NCAVP said it has reported on violence for nearly 20 years.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is definitely a moment of political madness. A House panel in considering censuring the head of the IRS.

    – A Republican-controlled oversight committee in the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Monday that it will consider a measure censuring the head of the Internal Revenue Service on allegations related to scrutiny of conservative groups.
    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who is already facing a Republican-led impeachment effort, would be condemned for conduct inconsistent with “trust and confidence” under a measure due to come before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.
    Republicans, including the committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, allege that Koskinen failed to comply with a House subpoena as lawmakers sought evidence that the agency targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny. IRS actions came to light in early 2013, months before Koskinen arrived at the agency.

    Cue the Twilight Zone Theme Song.

  115. Nick Gotts says


    The effects of a UK vote to leave the EU (which is looking increasingly likely*) are very hard to predict, but I’ll have a go, dividing them into three: on the UK, on the EU, on the world.

    UK: Such a vote would undoubtedly be a major victory for the xenophobic and racist right: the right wing of the Conservative party, and UKIP. There are some leftists favouring a vote to leave, on the grounds that the EU is an undemocratic big-business club, dominated by neoliberal “austerity” economics (claims that admittedly have a lot of truth to them), but the central theme of the “Brexit” campaign can be summarised as: “Keep/throw the dirty foreigners out”. Cameron will, despite blather to the contrary, have to resign almost immediately, and will probably be succeeded by Boris Johnson. The Conservative party will probably reunify fairly quickly, as there will be no politically viable alternative to negotiating withdrawal terms, despite some claims that because the majority of MPs as a whole undoubtedly oppose leaving and could therefore block it. The economy will weaken – although by how much is unclear – and this will be treated as an excuse for further cuts to welfare. It’s worth noting that the process of leaving is likely to take years, so the issue will dominate UK politics for a considerable period. It’s practically certain that both Scotland and northern Ireland will vote by clear majorities against leaving; down the line this may lead to a second Scottish campaign to leave the UK, and a revival of that for Irish unification, even possibly to renewed violence in northern Ireland, but these are not likely to be short-term effects: in the short term, the devolved authorities in Scotland, northern Ireland and Wales (Wales could vote either way) are likely to campaign for representation at the negotiations. Much of the above depends on there still being an EU to leave (see below).

    EU: The EU is already in crisis, both economically – because of the disastrous austerity policies being imposed by Germany and the European Central Bank, and because of the flow of refugees** from war, persecution and poverty in the Middle East and Africa; and anti-EU sentiment has been growing in numerous EU countries. A UK vote to leave would greatly strengthen other campaigns to leave both directly, and probably by exacerbating economic problems. In particular, France has a Presidential election nnext year, and it would greatly increase the chances of Marine Le Pen of the Front National (who has promised to hold a referendum on leaving the EU) winning. So in its current crisis-ridden state (which has of course boosted the UK campaign to leave), it’s by no means clear the EU would survive a UK vote to leave. If it does not, expect a swift and chaotic renewal of barriers to trade and the movement of people, a rise in militarism and further rise in racism and fascism, and quite possibly, wars in eastern Europe at least.

    World: The immediate effect would be considerable economic and political uncertainty, which could possibly trigger a renewed financial crisis: London is still a financial centre second only to New York, and currency instability would be inevitable. However, it is very hard to predict how big the financial storms would be, and how quickly they would arrive. But if a renewed financial crisis does follow, then a Trump victory in November will become much more likely. Trump would also be able to point to the UK as an example of a country deciding to halt the flow of immigrants. In the medium term, if the EU does not survive, the economic and political shockwaves will affect the entire world (the EEA economy – EU plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland – is after all slightly larger than that of the USA. Putin of course would be strengthened, and NATO might follow the EU. (In other circumstances, I’d favour the end of NATO, which is after all the world’s premier imperialist force, but without the EU to keep the peace in Europe…)

    *The most recent polls put “leave” several percentage points ahead. Moreover, the initiative is definitely with the “leave” side. The “remain” campaign has been weak and almost entirely negative, dominated by establishment figures warning of the dire consequences of leaving, while the right-wing press has fed their readers a diet of anti-immigrant lies for years. However, the result is certainly not a foregone conclusion: referendums tend to favour the status quo side in general, often in contradiction to opinion polls – apparently a lot of people “bottle it” in the polling booth, deciding to “keep a hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse”.

    **A distinction is generally made between “genuine refugees” fleeing war or persecution, and “economic migrants” – but I think if you have near-zero chances of a decent living where you are, it’s quite reasonable to call you a refugee from poverty if you try to move elsewhere.

  116. dianne says

    @Nick: Thanks for the info. I’ve seen a fair amount on the issue recently, but almost all from British friends who, naturally, concentrated on the effects the Brexit would have on Britain. Sounds like a disaster all around.

    The world seems to be in an isolationist phase with people nearly everywhere freaking out about “foreigners”. Which means, of course, that we’re all freaked out about each other.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    House Speaker Ryan is not agreeing with the Donald on pronouncements to ban Muslims from entering the US.

    Ryan, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was peppered with questions about Trump’s proposal at his weekly news conference.
    Ryan endorsed Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, two weeks ago but subsequently blasted him for calling a federal judge biased because of the U.S.-born judge’s Mexican heritage.
    “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interests,” said Ryan, who last year criticized Trump’s original proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.
    Ryan and like-minded establishment Republicans have struggled to reconcile their desire to unify the party in advance of a tough fight against Democrat Hillary Clinton while at the same time separating themselves from some of the positions and rhetoric of Trump, who defeated 16 rivals to win the presidential nomination battle.
    Ryan said “the smarter way to go” would be to have a “security test” for Middle Eastern immigrants to ensure proper security screening. He noted that the House passed legislation to tighten visa restrictions that President Barack Obama signed into law, but that the Senate had blocked another measure that would provide greater security screening.
    “This is a war with radical Islam. It’s not a war with Islam. Muslims are our partners,” Ryan said. “The vast, vast majority of Muslims in this country and around the world are moderate, they’re peaceful, they’re tolerant. So they are among our best allies, among our best resources, in this fight against radical Islamic terrorism.”

    But Ryan still says radical Islamic terrorism.

  118. Saad says

    Nerd, #129

    Even then, notice how he refers to Muslims in terms of what they can do for “our country’s interests”. The “our” there being white Americans of course. We must be nice to Muslims because they’ll help us in this fight. Nothing in there about it being an awful human rights violation or the religious discrimination being unconstitutional.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Responses to The Donalds irrational ranting:

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday delivered a scathing rebuke of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, blasting the Republican presidential nominee’s immigration proposals as dangerous and “not the America we want.”
    Speaking to reporters after a briefing on the Orlando shooting, Obama said Trump’s call for tougher talk on terrorism and a strict ban on Muslim immigration would make Muslim Americans feel betrayed by their government and would undermine American values.
    “If we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect.” Obama said. “And then the terrorists would have won and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”
    The president’s remarks were his first reaction to Trump’s speech Monday after Sunday’s mass shooting — and perhaps his strongest yet on the threat he sees the businessman candidate poses to the U.S. politics and security.
    Obama said Trump’s plan to bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. ignored America’s history of targeting ethnic and religious groups amid period of anxiety.
    “We’ve gone through moments in our history before when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it,” Obama told reporters. “We’ve seen our government mistreat our fellow citizens and it has been a shameful part of our history.”
    “Where does this stop?” he said.
    Obama directly addressed a specific critique lodged not only by Trump, but by other top Republicans, that his counterterrorism efforts have been hampered by his refusal to use phrase “radical Islam” when describing the forces urging attacks like the one in Orlando.
    Obama called that criticism a “political talking point.”
    “There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam,'” he said. “If someone seriously thinks we don’t know who we’re fighting, if there’s anyone out there who thinks we’re confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists we’ve taken off the battlefield.”


    Hillary Clinton fired back at Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee is offering voters little more than “outright lies,” ”bizarre rants” and “nonsensical” words in the wake of the country’s most deadly mass shootings.
    “He is the Republican nominee for president,” she said, almost incredulously. “We don’t need conspiracy theories and pathological self-congratulations. We need leadership and concrete plans because we are facing a brutal enemy.”
    Clinton called on “responsible Republicans” to denounce Trump’s accusations about President Barack Obama’s loyalties, noting that “history will remember what we do in this moment.” She went after Trump for criticizing Democrats refusal to call the attacks “radical Islamic extremism.”
    “Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us?” she asked union members at a campaign event in Pittsburgh, echoing comments being delivered by Obama in Washington at virtually the same moment.
    Her nearly point-by-point rebuttal to Trump’s speech a day earlier underscores the balancing act Clinton faces, as she tries to both take on Trump’s bombastic attacks and while maintaining focus on the high-minded policy prescriptions that have been the backbone of her campaign…
    On Tuesday, Clinton lashed back, calling his comments “shameful” and “disrespectful.”
    “It is yet more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander in chief,” she said.

  120. Rob Grigjanis says

    Nick @127:

    apparently a lot of people “bottle it” in the polling booth

    Certainly looked that way in the Scottish referendum, as I think you pointed out at the time. A 5% polling lead for “No” in the couple of days before turned into 10.6% difference for “No” in the referendum. It will be a damned nice thing anyway.

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Although the race has essentially been decided, Washington DC held their democratic primary tonight, won by Clinton. Clinton and Sanders are meeting tonight to discuss what role Sander’s ideas will have with Clinton and the party platform. Hopefully, olive branches are exchanged.

  122. says

    This is a followup to Nerd’s comment 134.

    The Democratic race, by the numbers.

    Total votes won: Clinton 16.0 million, Sanders 12.3 million

    Total states and territories won: Clinton 34, Sanders 22

    Total number of primaries won: Clinton 28, Sanders 10

    Total number of caucuses won: Sanders 12, Clinton 6

    Total spent by campaign: Sanders $202 million, Clinton $174 million

  123. says

    Donald Trump gave a speech today that was peppered with lies, but one of those lies stood out for me. He said:

    I will tell you the LGBT community, the gay community, the lesbian community, they are so much in favor of what I’ve been saying over the last three or four days.

    No, no, no. Not true.

    As Kerry Eleveld put it:



    Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S. voters with a negative view of Trump has gone up to 70%. Trump has opened up a double digit lead over Clinton when it comes to negative views. Hillary Clinton is now beating Trump by double digits in nationwide polls for the presidential race.

    Trump seems to be shooting himself in the foot so often that it is finally having a negative effect on his campaign.

  124. says

    Oh, FFS! Trump is now tweeting “proof” that President Obama has been actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    The tweet from Trump, referring to himself in the third person:

    Media fell all over themselves criticizing what DonaldTrump “may have insinuated about @POTUS.” But he’s right:

    No, he is not right. Trump is linking to/reading/and believing whacko conspiracy theories again.

    He linked to a Breitbart article claiming that Hillary Clinton “received a classified intelligence report stating that the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.”

    Breitbart writer Patrick Howley’s reading of the report was debunked over and over again as an “unfounded conspiracy theory”.
    Think Progress link.

    […] In this case, Trump is stating that the President of The United States is complicit in the murdering of 49 people because of a secret alliance with a terrorist group. Does this cross the line? If not, it’s the clearest evidence left that there are no lines left to cross.

  125. says

    This is a followup to comment 139.

    This is what happens when people with little understanding of policy or context choose to willfully misinterpret documents. This is a relatively unimportant memo, with little information not in newspapers at the time. Rather than showing that the Obama administration is supporting terror groups, the information in the memo demonstrates why the administration was so reluctant to back rebel groups in Syria, often to the annoyance of Republican hawks. [quoted from Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post]

    From Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog:

    A presumptive major-party nominee for the world’s most powerful job accused the president of treason. That’s bonkers. Facing criticism, he pointed to evidence that actually proved the opposite of his intended point. That, too, is plainly outrageous. […]

    We’ve effectively reached the point at which Trump has difficulty differentiating between fact and fiction, and when pressed, his clouded mind leads him to evidence that doesn’t exist in reality. […]

    From Ezra Klein of Vox:

    Among the most important tasks the president has is knowing what to believe, whom to listen to, which facts to trust, and which theories to explore. Trump’s terrible judgment in this regard is one of the many reasons he’s not qualified for the office.

  126. says

    Rachel Maddow covered the story of how two groups of Russian hackers stole files from the Democratic National Committee. Lo and behold (/sarcasm) the opposition files on Donald Trump were leaked to Gawker and other sources the day after the hack was announced and the security leak was plugged. The video is 5:31 minutes long.

    Trump’s response:

    This is all information that has been out there for many years. Much of it is false and/or entirely inaccurate. We believe it was the DNC that did the “hacking” as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and party.

  127. says

    Yeah, so Donald Trump just had a birthday. He is now 70 years old. If he were elected to the office, Trump would be the oldest person to be sworn in. (Ronald Reagan was 69.)

    One of the hilarious bits of Rachel Maddow’s Happy Birthday wishes to Trump was a reading from a summary of a medical examination written, supposedly, by Jacob and Harold Bornstein, both M.D.s. The letter sounds very much like it was written by Trump. Excerpts:

    Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. […]

    Actually, his blood pressure, 110/65, and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent. […]

    His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary. […]

    If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.

    The video is 4:33 minutes long.

  128. says

    Democratic Senators held a 15-hour filibuster to win one small concession from Republicans: they won the right to vote on two gun control measures.

    […] a proposal to provide universal background checks, and another to prevent those on the no-fly list from obtaining weapons. The second bill apparently addresses the no-fly list, not the much larger terrorist watch list. These are both positions that have wide, bipartisan support in the public, but which Republicans have either blocked from a vote or voted down in the past.

    Some 40 Senators took part in the talking filibuster before it was completed. Unlike the highly publicized Republican filibuster in which Ted Cruz recited Green Eggs and Ham, the content of this 14+ hour filibuster stayed on topic, with statistics, studies, and stories of other shootings filling the time. […]


  129. says

    Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston has come up with evidence of Trump not paying taxes, and of his having lost court battles over unpaid taxes.

    The Daily Beast link

    Johnston’s research also shows that in 1984 Trump may have even scammed his own lawyer and accountant Jack Mitnick, apparently forging Mitnick’s signature on bogus tax returns.

    The article is difficult to summarize, and worth reading in its entirety.

    […] The facts in the two appeals could arguably be construed as evidence of calculated tax fraud, a felony. They certainly cry out for disclosure because, as Richard Nixon told us, Americans should know to a certainty that their president is no crook.

  130. says

    The Trump Foundation, a supposedly non-profit charitable organization, is being used by Trump as a political slush fund. This breaking of FEC and IRS rules is being examined afresh.

    From past reporting, we know that Trump himself has not contributed to his own foundation for years. He is spending the contributions of others to make political points.

    The Daily Beast link

    The Trump Foundation sounds like a front for money laundering and other financial malfeasance:

    […] attempts to contact the Trump Foundation suggest that the charity exists largely on paper. A phone call to the number listed on the Trump Foundation’s annual disclosures led to a staffer for the Trump Organization, the umbrella group for Trump’s business dealings. Multiple phone calls to the organization failed to yield contact with a foundation staffer.

    Details of nefarious doings can be found at the link.

  131. says

    One wonders if Donald Trump will persist in citing poll numbers at his campaign rallies. Maybe not.

    Polling from Bloomberg Politics and Fox News show Trump’s support dipping below 40% (national poll). It is worth noting that Romney’s lowest poll number was 41.5%, McCain never dipped below 40%, and George W. Bush never polled below 42.7%.

    Another poll found that 32% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably. That’s a miserable showing.

    Huff Po link for more details.

  132. says

    Thanks for the update in comment 146, SC. So sorry to hear that she died.

    Jo Cox, 41, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was left bleeding on the ground by her attacker. A 52-year-old man was arrested nearby.

    Her husband Brendan Cox said she would want people “to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her”. […]

  133. says

    Some Republicans know how bad Trump is, and they are still fighting him:

    Veteran Republican consultant Rick Wilson has been at the vanguard of the #NeverTrump movement. As other anti-Trump Republicans have fallen in line for the sake of party unity, Wilson has continued to launch fiery (and profanity-laced) tirades against the presumptive GOP nominee and the party poobahs backing him. On Wednesday night, he unleashed an epic tweetstorm, denouncing Republican National Committee staffers for working to get Trump elected. “You own this,” he warned. “You’re covered in his stench.” In the course of his Twitter rant, Wilson coined a new nickname for Trump, “Cheeto Jesus,” which fast became a meme. […]

    Mother Jones link

    Here are few excerpts from the tweet storm:

    How the actual fuck does anyone at the RNC have standing to act shocked that Trump is not doing the basics of campaigning?

    You can’t elide over his utter dipshittery. No matter how much you try to act surprised, you own this. You’re covered in his stench. […]

    Go public. Man up. Show courage. Say what’s in your hearts; he’s insane. He’s poison. He’s doomed. He’s killing the Party.

    None of you are good enough to spin the unspinnable ratfuck that is Trump. None of you can say, “I was just following orders.”

    This weekend, people were lined up hundreds deep to give blood to the victims of Orlando. Your Cheeto Jesus was praising himself.

    There is no better Trump. There is not Presidential Trump. He is a vile stain on the this Republic.

    Your resumes will always read “Worked for a batshit crazy crypto-fascist who destroyed the GOP”

    There. That was good.

  134. says

    Hillary Clinton just got her biggest labor union endorsement:

    As Hillary Clinton racked up labor endorsements over the course of the Democratic primary contest, the biggest labor federation in the country was conspicuously absent from her list of backers, having decided to remain neutral throughout the Democratic primary even as its member organizations largely flocked to the front-runner. But on Thursday, with the final votes in the Democratic primary contest now cast, the AFL-CIO’s board voted to endorse Clinton, in an effort that could help unite the party’s factions and try to win over disaffected blue-collar voters who might be attracted to Donald Trump’s protectionist message.

    “The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement, “and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward.” […]


    12.5 million members.

  135. Saad says

    Pro-ISIS warmonger John McCain said Obama is “directly responsible” for the Orlando attack

    Sen. John McCain said Thursday that President Barack Obama was “directly responsible” for the massacre at the gay nightclub in Orlando, though McCain later said he “misspoke.”
    “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures — utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq, thinking that conflicts end just because you leave. So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies,” McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This will come to surprise of nobody here. Few, if any, minority Sr. execs in Trump’s Empire.

    There are few, if any, black executives in the upper ranks of the Trump Organization, a review by The Associated Press has found. Other minorities are also scarce at that level though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has employed scores of executives…
    “The Trump Organization employs both females and minorities in positions of authority across the entire company and in recent years has made great progress in expanding an already diverse workforce,” Trump’s son, Eric, said in a statement to the AP. “As the company continues to expand, both domestically and internationally, we will continue to recruit the very best and brightest regardless of gender and ethnicity.”
    The AP’s review found two Trump executives whose surnames could potentially indicate Hispanic or Middle Eastern backgrounds but did not draw any conclusions given the lack of cooperation by the Trump Organization.
    Some black former employees said the absence of minorities among Trump’s top lieutenants was striking.
    “It was quite commonplace for me to be the only person of color in the room for meetings at the executive level,” said Randal Pinkett, who in December 2005 won on “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality show competition. That earned Pinkett a temporary vice president title within Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., not the Trump Organization directly.
    “And when I had the opportunity to meet with the heads of affiliate companies, as I did often, not once did I encounter a person of color,” Pinkett said.

    Nope, not surprised at all.

  137. says

    Saad @152, so, yeah, McCain finds himself in a tough reelection contest. He doesn’t want to really ride Trump’s coattails to a win in Arizona, and yet, he sort of does need to ride those coattails. He came up with a cowardly method: blame Obama for Orlando. That stinks.

    We could just as well blame George W. Bush for Orlando because Bush invaded Iraq, thus setting the stage.

    The whole story is more complex than that. Events following events following events; decisions following decisions following decisions; human being on planet earth subjected to stresses related to global warming, to stresses related to anti-tolerance politics, etc. etc.

    Blaming Obama for Orlando is a cheap, stupid shot.

  138. says

    Trump insulted former (and possibly present0 active duty service men while he was talking about Iraq:

    […] On Tuesday, Donald Trump held a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. The stump speech was of the usual fare—“Crooked Hillary,” the border wall, the lyrics to Al Wilson’s “The Snake.” Some of the invective was framed around the tragic events in Orlando last weekend, but for the most part Trump stuck to his usual themes. Then, while discussing the war in Iraq, Trump remarked, “How about bringing baskets of money, millions of millions of dollars, and handing it out? I wanna know, who are the soldiers that had that job? Because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”

    Numb as I have admittedly become to Trump’s usual rhetoric, it was tough not to take offense at the suggestion that soldiers stole reconstruction money. I served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, among other duties, I was responsible for handing out those “baskets of money” under the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, also known as CERP.

    The program started out using money seized from Saddam Hussein’s coffers, but it later became federally funded and was overseen by Congress. The money was invested in schools, public roads, and medical clinics.

    The marines I fought alongside navigated ambushes and I.E.D.s—and, on several occasions, were wounded and killed—trying to secure the reconstruction programs this money supported. Nobody got rich. The average rank among us was lance corporal. The average annual base pay was sixteen thousand eight hundred and eighty-four dollars. […]

    New Yorker link

    More telling details are in the New Yorker article.

    Trump went off the rails again. Maybe he was thinking of what he would do if he were a marine in charge of handing out CERP funds. Trump later tried to claim that he was talking about Iraqi soldiers, but that makes no sense.

  139. says

    The CDC says that three women in the U.S. who had Zika virus delivered infants with birth defects.

    […] Despite dire warnings from public health officials and experts about the spread of the virus this summer, Congress has balked at approving the Obama administration’s $1.9 billion request for Zika funding. The Senate approved $1.1 billion in funding in May. The House passed legislation that would provide $622 million, which would be drawn from money already set aside for Ebola programs.

    In April, the administration redirected more than $500 million from Ebola funds to get geared up for Zika, but CDC Director Tom Frieden and other experts say Congress needs to act immediately so expanded measures can be put into place and be most effective when cases surface.

    In particular, Frieden has said the funds are needed to allow more people, especially pregnant women, to more easily get tested and get a prompt result, and to conduct ongoing studies about Zika’s long-term developmental impact on children.

    Washington Post link.

  140. Nick Gotts says

    Despite the no doubt irrelevant facts that Thomas Mair, the suspect in Jo Cox MP’s killing, has known far right connections, is reported to have shouted “Britain first!” or “put Britain first” while attacking Cox, and that Cox has been prominent in the “Remain” campaign, there has – as far as I have seen – quite rightly been no mention of the word “terrorism” in the UK media in connection with the killing. After all, that would be completely uncalled-for. The suspect was, apparently, a “loner” with a “history of mental health problems”, so that accounts for the unfortunate incident – loners with such histories are forever shooting and stabbing MPs in the street these days. I’m sure we’d have seen similar reticence if the suspect had been called, say, Hamid Khan, had visited jihadi websites, and had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” while killing her.

    And of course, there’s always the possibility – nay, the likelihood, given the deviousness of lefties and Muslims – that this was a false flag attack.

  141. Nick Gotts says

    We could just as well blame George W. Bush for Orlando because Bush invaded Iraq, thus setting the stage. – Lynna, OM@154

    Bush also signed the agreement with the Iraqi government under which American combat troops were withdrawn: they could only stay if the Iraqi Parliament agreed to an extension, which it refused to do.

  142. dianne says

    @154: Bush’s invasion of Iraq was almost certainly instrumental in, if not key to, the formation of ISIL. So, yeah, I blame him, among others, for the mess in Iraq and Syria. However, I seriously doubt that that was the deciding factor in Orlando. To me, it sounded more like the shooter was looking for an ideology to justify his desire to commit this crime rather than having an ideology that led him to it.

  143. dianne says

    The Economist now considers a Trump election the third greatest threat to the world economy. Global jihadist terrorism rates 6th. Note that this takes into account only the effect on the economy, not any effect on human rights in the US or elsewhere. Congratulations, Mr. Trump, you are a worse threat to the world than ISIL.

  144. says

    Bernie Sanders gave a long address via an online streaming service last night. You can read the transcript here:

    He described the progressive national platform he would like to see. He did not concede that he is the second-place finisher in the Democratic race, and he did not endorse Hillary Clinton. He gave no indication that he is dropping out of the race.

    In other news, Donald Trump said that he would be glad to host Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the USA, but that he would stop short of setting up a state dinner to honor him.

  145. says

    Republicans have taken a particularly nasty position on the Orlando shooting: they are trying to convince voters in the LGBT community that the Democratic Party is choosing Muslims over gays, and that, therefore, the Democrats want gays to be killed.

    […] “Democrats are in a perplexing position. On the one hand, they’re trying to appeal to the gay community, but, on the other hand, they’re trying to also appeal to the Muslim community, which, if it had its way, would kill every homosexual in the United States of America,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said […]

    The logic that Dems favor Muslims/terrorists over gays is coming down from the very top of the GOP 2016 ticket. Donald Trump, in his first major speech after the weekend’s tragedy suggested that Hillary Clinton “can never claim to be a friend of the gay community.”

    “She can’t have it both ways,” Trump said. “She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.” […]

    Trump’s former primary rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), hit similar notes but twisted the argument and used it against President Obama to bash him for, of all things, the Iran deal.

    “I would note one aspect of the attack on Sunday morning widely reported was it was at a gay bar. And there are great many Democrats who are fond of calling themselves champions of the LGBT community,” Cruz said on the Senate floor Thursday, before alluding to a “vicious ideology that systematically murders homosexuals, that throws them off buildings, that buries them under rocks.”

    “The regime in Iran now supported by billions of dollars of American taxpayer dollars at the behest of President Obama murders homosexuals regularly,” he said. […]

    “They’re seeking a block vote from the Muslim community in the United States and that’s a community that is increasing in political power, as it’s doing in Europe. More and more votes are there,” Brooks said.

    Pat Robertson — the conservative preacher and Christian media executive who has said gay people are “demonic” and will eventually die out — said the “left” had “a dilemma of major proportions.”

    “We’re looking at a favored group by the left, the homosexuals, and that in Islam is punishable by death or imprisonment or some sanction, so what are the left going to do?” he said […]

  146. says

    A former Ms. Universe has come out swinging against Donald Trump:

    Venezuelan model and actress Alicia Machado says it took her many years to get over get over the abuse she suffered at the hands of Donald Trump when she was crowned Ms. Universe in 1996.

    “He made me feel small,” she told ThinkProgress in Spanish. “He threatened me, treated me rudely. He called me ‘Ms. Housekeeping’ in front of his friends.” […]

    Machado has lived in the U.S. for nearly 20 years now, and has a seven-year-old daughter who is a U.S. citizen. But she didn’t consider becoming a citizen herself until a few months ago, when Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. […]

    “Is he saying that if my daughter wanted to be a judge when she grew up, she couldn’t do it fairly because her mom is Venezuelan and her dad is Mexican?” Machado asked. “Would he not see her as American, even though she was born here? It’s absurd.”

    Machado, who has passed her citizenship test and is now waiting for her passport to arrive in the mail, is one of hundreds of thousands to do so since Trump’s candidacy began. […]

    Though applications for citizenship always increase during a presidential election year, this year is uniquely high.

    If the trend continues, as many as one million new citizens will be casting ballots this November, and they could tip the balance of power in close swing states like Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio.

    These new citizens are registering to vote at a higher rate than most Americans. New polling suggests as well that Trump’s rhetoric about Latinos is motivating those who are already citizens to become more politically active. […]

    “We are a free country, and we can’t give that up for a crazy, ignorant, ambitious, misogynistic despot who just wants to slake his thirst for power,” she said of Trump.

  147. says

    This is a followup to comments 139, 140, 152, 154, 158, and 159.

    Former CIA director Michael Morell more thoroughly debunked Trump’s claim that President Obama supported terrorist groups, and he debunked the claims of others that President Obama is responsible for the murders in Orlando.

    Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, seeking to make the case following the Orlando shootings that the Obama administration was somehow sympathetic to terrorists, resurrected an old conspiracy theory Thursday about the Islamic State, one that has no place in our public discourse. In a tweet, Trump pointed his followers to an article about the 2012 memo titled “Hillary Clinton Received Secret Memo Stating Obama Admin ‘Support’ for ISIS.”

    This is, of course, quite a charge against President Obama and his administration at a time when Clinton was still serving as secretary of state. The problem with the charge is that it is simply not true. I know this, since in my role as deputy director and acting director of the CIA, I participated in nearly every meeting in the Situation Room at the time of the supposed memo regarding the deteriorating situation in Syria. […]

    At no time in any of these meetings did the administration make a policy decision—either explicitly or implicitly—to support the Islamic State or its predecessor, Al Qaeda, in Iraq. In fact, the policy focus was quite the opposite. The administration went to great lengths to ensure that any aid provided by the United States to the opposition would not fall into the hands of extremists, including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. […]

    [H]ere is the truth about the DIA report and the Flynn interview. The report was written by a DIA official in Iraq. It was his take on the early days of the insurgency in Syria. It was just one person’s view. It was written by an individual who was far from the policy discussion in the Situation Room. And, it was simply wrong in its facts when it indicated that the West was supporting extremists in Syria.

    Most important, when the cable was written in early August 2012, the United States was not yet providing any tangible assistance to the Syrian opposition, and when it began to do so later that fall, the assistance went only to the opposition deemed by the United States to be “moderate.”

    What about the Flynn interview? It is actually worth watching the interview, as opposed to reading the commentary of others about it. When I watched it, I did not see Flynn agree with the interviewer’s assertion that the United States was deliberately supporting extremists. Flynn was critical of the Obama administration on a number of issues, but he did not accuse it of willfully supporting the rise of ISIS.

    The threat posed by the Islamic State to the United States and to our interests is a serious one. But we should not let our understanding of that threat be hijacked by inaccurate renditions of history.

    Media Matters link

  148. Saad says

    “[Trump] made me feel small,” she told ThinkProgress in Spanish. “He threatened me, treated me rudely. He called me ‘Ms. Housekeeping’ in front of his friends.” […]

    Hillary would have done the same.

  149. says

    More coverage of Trump’s tax fraud: Daily Beast link

    […] Trump deducted $626,264 as expenses on his 1984 federal income tax return, and $619,227 on his New York City return. On both forms, he claimed no income. […]

    Young Trump wasn’t shy about talking up his income, either.

    In a GQ profile that May, written by Graydon Carter, Trump plugged a hotel deal in which he partnered with Hyatt to build a new Manhattan hotel on land Trump just leased—with the help of Equitable Life Assurance Society.

    “He and Equitable had split their first round of profits before any of the tenants had even moved in,” Carter wrote.

    “So we have about a $277 million sellout,” says Trump, “just for the upper half of the building. And then we own the lower half for nothing.” The partnership, unencumbered by mortgages, now collects the rents from thirteen floors of office space at $50 a square foot and the six levels of retail space at $150 to $450 a square foot. “It’s a crazy deal,” says Trump. “It’s better than working.”

    […] William Geist wrote in a 1984 New York Times profile. “[…] He controls a company with assets estimated—some say conservatively estimated—$1 billion, and casino-industry analysts say his half interest in Harrah’s may provide him with $40 million to $50 million more in annual income.” […]

    One more, remarkable source of income for Trump that year: New York Giants great Lawrence Taylor.
    The linebacker had struck a secret deal with Trump, banking a million-dollar interest-free loan in exchange for agreeing to join the Generals when his contract with the Giants expired. But after the Giants extended and upgraded Taylor’s deal, he had to repay the million, the interest he’d collected on it and $750,000 more on top to the mogul to get Trump to agree to return Taylor’s option to the Giants. […]

    “Trump, meanwhile, was described by an associate as “delighted” to have been able to keep his team’s name in the public eye while also getting a substantial profit.”

    Again, this in a year where Trump appears to have claimed no income. […]

  150. says

    Well, now we know the answer to what Trump will do when he starts losing in the polls: he’ll just pretend that he is still winning. That’s remarkably similar to what Anne, Cranky Cat Lady prophesied in comment 149.

    Trump also made a statement that indicated people are embarrassed to admit they are voting for him, so some of them lie to pollsters. Link.

    Here is Wonkette’s great coverage of the fact that Trump even retweeted a tweet from One America News Network that showed Clinton beating him. Trump appended, “THANK YOU!” to that tweet. He’s so grateful! Also, the original tweet showed data from May, when Trump was losing by less; and the original tweet falsely identified the May data as June data. Fuckery all around.

    The RCP average of eight current polls shows Clinton beating Trump by 5.8 points. A Bloomberg poll shows her ahead by 12 points.

    […] Why he is celebrating this, we are not sure! Maybe he thinks if he keeps saying he’s winning it will be made true, by magic? OR, maybe he’s decided that he now believes that the best way to put #AmericaFirst is to elect Hillary Clinton instead of a buffoonish reality star? […]

  151. says

    TV Preacher Pat Robertson said some stupid, intolerant, offensive stuff when he was talking about the mass-shooting in Orlando: <blockquote

    […] on "The 700 Club," televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the massacre at an Orlando gay club by making the absurd claim that liberal LGBT rights advocates have aligned themselves with radical Islamists and are now reaping what they have sowed.

    Robertson said that liberals are facing a "dilemma" because they love both LGBT equality and Islamic extremism, and that it is better for conservatives like himself not to get involved but to instead just watch the two groups kill each other.
    Right Wing Watch link

  152. says

    Republicans in the House of Congress refused to hold a hearing to take a closer look at the takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, and more broadly, at groups breaking laws on public land. Let them refuse, the Democrats will take up the issue:

    Democrats from the House committees on Natural Resources and Homeland Security this week held a joint forum that focused on the steps that need to be taken to confront violent extremism on America’s public lands. The forum comes five months after Ammon Bundy and a group of anti-government extremists took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon and held it for 41 days.

    […] This forum was the first time Congress has addressed extremism on public lands or the dangerous situations created by the Bundy family and their supporters.

    At least 10 Democrats from both committees attended the hearing, which included five expert witnesses. The witness panelists included: Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center; J.J. MacNab of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the George Washington University; […]

    The fact that this was an informal forum and not a full bi-partisan committee hearing did not go unnoticed. Panelists and members of Congress alike expressed disappointment in the issue’s lack of bipartisan attention. […]

    In addition to sweeping the issue under the rug, committee members blamed the rhetoric and actions of Rob Bishop and other anti-park politicians for fanning the flames of these anti-government extremists. […]

    Think Progress link

  153. says

    Bernie Sanders got 6,700 people to sign up, to say, “yes,” to running as a progressive for public office. Sanders made the plea during his speech on Thursday. Yeah, it’s true that not all of those people will follow through on the pledge, but some of them will, and that’s such a good thing.

    Here’s the wording of the request Sanders made:

    We need to start engaging at the local and state level in an unprecedented way. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers helped us make political history during this last year. These are people deeply concerned about the future of our country, and about their own communities. Now, we need many of them to start running for school boards, city councils, county commissions, state legislatures, and Governorships. State and local governments make enormously important decisions and we cannot allow right-wing Republicans to increasingly control them.

    I hope very much that many of you watching tonight are prepared to engage at that level. Please go to my website at to learn more about how you can effectively run for office or get involved in politics at the local or state level. I have no doubt that with the energy, and enthusiasm, our campaign has shown that we can win significant numbers of local and state elections if people are prepared to become involved. I also hope that people will give serious thought to running for statewide offices and the United States Congress. We need new blood in the political process, and you are that new blood.


  154. says

    You can be sued if you talk about Donald Trump’s hair.

    Peter Thiel, the billionaire who funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media, is now funding another lawsuit against Gawker. The honor and glory of Donald Trump’s hair has been besmirched, so Thiel (who has a long running revenge fantasy going) has added the architect of Trump’s hair, Ivari International, to five other lawsuits Thiel is financing against Gawker.

    The bottom line is that a billionaire is buying the kind of press coverage he wants by blocking the kind of press coverage he does not like.

    […] Last week, Thiel’s lawyer-for-hire, Charles J. Harder, sent Gawker a letter on behalf of Ivari International’s owner and namesake, Edward Ivari, in which Harder claims that Feinberg’s story was “false and defamatory,” invaded Ivari’s privacy, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and committed “tortious interference” with Ivari’s business relations.

    Gawker link

    Charles J. Harder also handled the Hulk Hogan lawsuit.

    […] It’s not precisely clear what basis Ivari’s new lawyer has for claiming the Gawker story was false, given that the outlet was in this case seemingly on solid ground in sourcing each of the referenced claims. […]

    Thiel himself has declared that he’s spent roughly $10 million in funding for multiple anti-Gawker lawsuits.

    From the sidelines, it certainly appears that Thiel is using his wallet to not just retaliate against, but fully obliterate a news outlet whose coverage of him he didn’t like. […] Merely owning your very own press outlets isn’t good enough—now it’s time to bury the others.

    As to what additional motivation there might be for someone to spend actual money trying to bury speculation that Donald Trump’s famously improbable hair scaffolding is the product of a hair restoration clinic that was based on the same exclusive floor of the Trump Tower reserved for Trump’s own personal office? Well, there’s the fact that billionaire Peter Thiel is a pledged delegate for … Donald Trump. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  155. says

    Elizabeth Warren attacked Donald Trump again yesterday. She spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic party’s convention:

    […] “Now Trump University failed, and that’s no surprise,” Warren said, according to NBC News. “Think about all the other Trump failures. Trump casinos. Trump Airlines. Trump steaks. Trump magazines. Trump vodka. Trump Mortgage. Trump Games. Trump Travel. Trump Ice. Trump Network. Donald Trump is a proven businessman — a proven failure.”

    Warren said that Trump should be shaking “in his high-priced Italian loafers, begging the court to protect him, terrified about what happens if those videos go public and he is held accountable.”

    “Are you scared Donald? Well, you should be! We’re coming,” she said, […]

  156. says

    Trump’s lawyers are trying for the third time to get the Trump University lawsuit thrown out. One of their reasons is that:

    […] claims that students would be told Trump’s “secrets” or that he was personally involved in selecting teachers were, at worst, marketing “puffery” not intended to be taken literally. […]

    Politico link

    As I understand this, Trump’s lawyers are making the claim that it is okay for him to lie.

  157. says

    Donald Trump is adding racial profiling to his long list of anti-civil-rights proposals.

    During an apperance on Face the Nation on Sunday, Donald Trump said that in the wake of the Orlando shooting, racial profiling in the United States may not be a bad idea. “Well I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump said. “Other countries do it, you look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads.”

    “It’s not the worst thing to do,” he added.


  158. says

    Weather predictions for Phoenix, Arizona predict that temperatures will hit 120 degrees today and tomorrow. I’m having a hard time imagining that.
    WKYT link

    In other news, the United States Supreme Court may hear a challenge to assault weapon bans put in place by two states: Connecticut and New York.
    Reuters link

    […] The Supreme Court will announce as soon as Monday whether it will hear the challenge brought by gun rights groups and individual firearms owners asserting that the laws violate the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms.

    The court has not decided a major gun case since 2010.

    If they take up the matter, the justices would hear arguments in their next term, which begins in October. A decision not to hear the challenge would leave in place lower-court rulings upholding the laws. […]

  159. says

    Trump said something stupid, obnoxious and narcissistic:

    […] “I feel like a supermodel, except like times 10,” Trump said during a rally Saturday in Arizona.

    “It’s true. I’m a supermodel. I’m on the cover of these magazines — I’m on the cover of the biggest magazines. I don’t even know about it. I can’t even read the story, because if I did, I wouldn’t get any work done.”

    Trump said he had never seen anything like it. […]

    The Hill link

  160. says

    Oh, FFS. One of the survivors of the Orlando massacre is having to fight against conspiracy theorists who claim she is an actor hired to pretend she was injured:

    As if surviving the Orlando mass shooting wasn’t bad enough, Patience Carter now has to fend off conspiracy theorists who insist the Philadelphia native is a “crisis actor” who was part of a staged event.

    As in most mass shootings, it didn’t take long after 49 people were killed at Pulse nightclub for the keyboard warriors with way too much time on their hands to cook up conspiracy theories about how this marked yet another made-up tragedy. They quickly pounced on Carter in part because she was an intern for a local Fox affiliate WTFX.

    First a YouTube video was posted that focused on the fact that the New York University student is a Fox intern. Then someone photoshopped the time stamps on pictures from her Instagram profile to make it seem as though she had posted photos of herself uninjured after the shooting.

    Carter, whose friend Akyra Murray was killed in the attack, posted a photo of her right leg in a cast on Instagram on Friday as she was discharged from the hospital, thanking hospital staff and supporters.

    She also expressed thanks to the nutjobs. “Thank you to all the skeptics that believe my pain isn’t real, it’s your outrageous insensitivity that makes me want to heal even faster, and grow even stronger,” Carter wrote.

    Slate link

    President Obama visited her in the hospital.

  161. Saad says

    American white supremacist choice for Commander in Chief and American child murder supporter offer viewpoints on Orlando shooting and carrying guns

    Trump had said Friday at a rally that armed club-goers shooting Omar Mateen “would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight.”

    “If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac,” Trump said, gesturing between his eyes. “And this son of a b—- comes out and starts shooting and one of the people in that room happened to have (a gun) and goes boom. You know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks.”

    [. . .]

    “I don’t think you should have firearms where people are drinking,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive officer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I will tell you this. Everybody, every American starts to have — needs to start having a security plan. We need to be able to protect ourselves, because they’re coming. And they’re going for vulnerable spots, and this country needs to realize it.”

    LaPierre later tweeted: “I want to clarify my comment: if you’re going to carry, don’t drink. OK to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol.”

  162. HappyNat says

    President Obama visited her in the hospital.

    That just proves the cover-up goes all the way to the top!

  163. says

    HappyNat @180, spoken like a true conspiracy theorist. [laughs] Well done.

    Saad @179, Trump is really into unrealistic, macho, John Wayne fantasies. Did he not listen to the audio of that attack? Did he not hear the rapid fire of the AR-15? Trump even suggested that a guy could enter Pulse with a weapon concealed by strapping it to his ankle. Does he think that the size and type of weapon strapped to a guy’s ankle would be as deadly as an AR-15? Trump is in adolescent fantasy mode. He will never grow up. He will never be an adult.

  164. Saad says

    Lynna, #181

    Trump even suggested that a guy could enter Pulse with a weapon concealed by strapping it to his ankle.

    I’m thinking Thursdays are movie night at the Trumps and that week’s pick was Casino Royale.

  165. says

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign is currently responsible for 100% of the ad money being spent in battleground states. Trump’s campaign is responsible for 0%.

    Clinton actually has a 50-state strategy. Her campaign will maintain staff in all 50 states.

    Trump’s campaign also just fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

    Lewandowski has been with Trump since the beginning of his unexpected political rise to the top of the presidential election process. He has also been at odds with other factions within the campaign on the direction forward, especially as Trump has struggled to gain his footing in the general election.

    In what appears to be a surprise move, Lewandowski was with Trump at campaign events and fundraisers as recently as this weekend.

    NBC News link

    One source, speaking to Ali Vitali of NBC News, said that it is “bedlam in the Trump campaign. No one knows what is happening.” Sounds good to me.

    Meanwhile, more people are quitting the Republican Party. They are throwing up their hands in dismay and walking out the door.

    Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, who has been a Republican for 45 years and has been elected mayor four times as a Republican, has left the party.

    Jones announced Friday that he has switched his party registration to “unaffiliated.” He pointed to multiple factors, specifically the social conservative bent of the West Virginia House of Delegates and the rise of Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

    Charleston Gazette-Mail link.

    From Steve Benen at Maddow Blog:

    In addition to his opposition to Trump’s candidacy, Jones noted the “obsession” among West Virginia Republicans to allow private-sector discrimination again LGBT Americans as one of the reasons he’s walking away from the party.

  166. says

    This is a followup to Saad @182.

    Quite right. And, OMG, even whacko Wayne LaPierre disagrees with Trump: “I don’t think you should have firearms where people are drinking,” said NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre on CBS’s Face the Nation.

  167. says

    Additional followup to 179, 182, etc.

    Saad and I both noted that Trump has gone further than the NRA in suggesting that people partying at a nightclub should be armed. It’s hard to be to the right of the NRA on gun issues. Trump belatedly realized he had gone too far, so he lied about what he had said:

    Early this morning, Trump said via Twitter, “When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees.” Actually, the opposite is what’s “obvious.”

  168. says

    Pastor Donnie romero of Texas wants you to know that he praying for the “sodomites” who were wounded in Orlando, who are not dead, and who are in the hospital … he is praying for them to die and go straight to Hell.

    These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now,” Romero said in his sermon. “And I’ll take it a step further, because I heard on the news today, that there are still several dozen of these queers in ICU and intensive care. And I will pray to God like I did this morning, I will do it tonight, I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children.

    “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; […]” [Second Timothy 1, verse 8]

    YouTube link.

  169. says

    This is a followup to comments 110 and 176 (emphasis on 176).

    The Supreme Court heard the case, and they have decided to leave the Connecticut and New York assault weapons bans in place.

    The Court rejected challenges to those bans by simply deciding not to hear two cases: Shew v. Malloy for Connecticut and Kampfer v. Cuomo for New York.

  170. says

    Apple officially backs out:

    Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it’s done in the past, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. […]

    Apple’s political stand against Trump, communicated privately to Republicans, is a sign of the widening schism between Silicon Valley and the GOP’s bombastic presumptive nominee.

    Politico link

  171. says

    Teaching climate science based on facts, based on science? Good idea, Senator Markey.

    In a push to improve climate education across the country, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill to create the Climate Change Education Program on Friday. The program would help educate the public on climate change solutions, the dangers caused by climate change, and small changes people can make in their daily lives to help combat the environmental problem.

    “The focus of the content would be the basics of climate change, how it works, the impacts it has, as well as the solutions to climate change — which include clean energy,” Giselle Barry, the spokesperson for Markey’s office, told ThinkProgress.

    […] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would establish the program.

    Using the latest science in a national education program could help overcome the problem of inaccurate science being taught in U.S. classrooms. One survey earlier this year found that 30 percent of teachers teach their students that climate change is “likely due to natural causes,” while another 31 percent teaches climate change as unsettled science. The same survey found that many teachers were unaware of the undeniable consensus on climate change.

    Think Progress link

  172. says

    There are places throughout the southeastern U.S. where the Confederate flag is still flown. That flag offends a lot of people. What, according to some residents of southern states is more offensive? Flying the rainbow flag in remembrance of the shooting victims in Orlando. Who is offended? Christians.

    A pride flag waving outside the Hillsborough County center [in Florida] was meant to be a sign of respect and remembrance for the victims of the shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

    But just a day after it was raised, Commissioner Stacy White said it may be offending Christian employees and questioned whether it should be taken down.

    In an email sent to the the county human relations director Peggy Rowe on Thursday, White said he received an anonymous complaint from a county employee that the presence of the flag was “nearly unbearable” for her to pass on her way to work and created a “hostile work environment.”

    Calling the rainbow flag a “divisive, politically-charged symbol,” White asked Rowe if it could become an HR problem for the county. If it does, then White said he wanted a special meeting of the county commission to consider removing it. […]

    Tampa Bay Times link

  173. says

    Speaking of holy books (Anne, Cranky Cat Lady @191), Trump made a special effort to pander to evangelical Christians again today.

    Today, Donald Trump met with Religious Right leaders in New York, and one of those far-right activists, E.W. Jackson, posted video from the meeting of Trump mocking the request — rooted in the Bible — of praying for those in authority.

    […] about Hillary in terms of religion. She’s been in the public eye for years and years and yet there’s nothing out there, there’s, like, nothing out there. She’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse because with Obama, you had your guard up, with Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse. So, I think people were saying, some of the people were saying, ‘Let’s pray for our leaders.’ Well, you can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone, but what you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote, and for one specific person. We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.

    Trump called himself a “tremendous believer” and reiterated his pledge to make department stores like Macy’s post signs saying “Merry Christmas.”


    Trump recently told us that he is the best friend of the LGBT community, better than anyone else. He followed that up by setting up an advisory board headed by some of the most virulent anti-gay people in the U.S.

    The choice of these activists as campaign advisers would further undermine Trump’s attempts — bolstered by some in the media — to portray himself as either supportive of gay rights or at least distanced from the GOP’s anti-LGBT politics.

    Jeffress, as we’ve noted, “believes that gays and lesbians are ‘perverse’ people who are either pedophiles or likely to abuse children in the future; compared homosexuality to bestiality and called it ‘a miserable lifestyle’; accused gay people of using ‘brainwashing techniques’ to have homosexuality ‘crammed down our throats’; said that gay people ‘are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine’; predicted that the gay rights movement ‘will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist’; and labeled homosexuality a ‘filthy practice’ that will lead to the ‘implosion of our country.’”

    Floyd, the SBC president, once said that Satan is using the “gay lifestyle” to destroy cultural values and labeled the adoption of children by same-sex couples a “tragedy” […]


    Others involved in the advisory board: televangelist Paula White, and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.

  174. says

    Another excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s speech on economics:

    […] A few days ago, he [Trump] said, and I quote,”‘I’m going to do for the country what I did for my business”’ So let’s take a look at what he did for his business: […] Over the years, he intentionally ran up huge amounts of debt on his companies and then he defaulted. He bankrupted his companies not once, not twice, but four times. Hundreds of people lost their jobs; shareholders were wiped out; contractors, many of them small businesses, took heavy losses; many went bust. But Donald Trump, he came out fine. […]

  175. says

    More details regarding Donald Trump’s miserable campaign finances:

    But something else stuck out in the FEC paperwork. The Trump campaign paid $35,000 for “web advertising” to something or someone called “Draper Sterling.” The apparently Mad Men–inspired company name lists an address that appears to be a home in a residential neighborhood in Londonderry, New Hampshire. […]

    Here’s where things get sticky. Draper Sterling was registered with the state in March to a guy named Jon Adkins. Adkins co-founded a medical device company called XenoTherapeutics with Paul Holzer, a Dartmouth medical student. Holzer used Adkins’ home address for another payment from the Trump campaign in May. Londonderry is next to Windham, where Trump’s freshly fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is based.[…]

    I drove to Draper Sterling on Tuesday to see what was going on at this plucky local advertising firm doing well-remunerated work for a national presidential campaign. The address took me down a winding residential street. Near the end of a dead-end road was a two-story home with a tidy yard. A little girl peeked out the window as I approached, and a woman who appeared to be in her 50s answered the door, opening it just a crack.

    This was Sharon, Jon Adkins’ mother-in-law. “I don’t know what he does,” she told me. “All I do is I watch his kids.” […] “He’s in the medical field,” Sharon finally told me warily, eventually naming XenoTherapeutics, another company that Adkins and Holzer have been involved with. “I know that he does a lot of business out of Boston. Whatever he does, I don’t know.” […]

    >Slate link

  176. says

    There’s a new book out on Hillary Clinton. It is full of lies. Of all the critics who have panned the book, the most interesting critique comes from Secret Service veterans.

    […] Those current and former secret service members argue Byrne “was too low-ranking” to have witnessed the gossipy events he details in the book and suggest he is lying for political and financial benefit.

    Byrne’s Crisis of Character, […] has received widespread promotion from conservative media outlets. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has plugged the book several times on Twitter, claiming it shows Clinton does not have the temperament to be president. Trump also referenced the book during a June 21 Fox & Friends appearance, saying “her secret service agent” claims “she’s a total mess.”

    Yes, once again, Trump proves that he does not know how to vet the sources that he uses.

    […] In contrast to the widespread praise from Trump and right-wing media outlets, Secret Service veterans think Byrne’s book is not credible. […] Politico reports complaints about the book from “several high-level members of Secret Service presidential details,” who say Byrne is “inflating his role,” relaying unverified gossip, and making “security harder by eroding the trust between agents and the people they protect.” […]

    […] AFAUSSS, [Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service] which is strictly nonpartisan, is set to release a statement blasting Gary Byrne author of “Crisis in Character,” saying members “strongly denounce” the book […]

    “There is no place for any self-moralizing narratives, particularly those with an underlying motive,” reads the statement from the group’s board of directors, which says Byrne has politics and profit on his mind.

    […] Byrne was a uniformed officer in Bill Clinton’s White House. But that’s the lowest level of protection within the White House and around the president.

    People familiar with West Wing security laugh at the idea that Byrne or any uniformed officer ever would have walked in on Bill Clinton anywhere, whether in a meeting or, as a New York Post article over the weekend claims, in the middle of a make-out session in the Map Room with the late daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale. The Secret Service presidential detail would have stopped him. (That affair was a well-worn rumor during the Clinton years, though strongly denied by Eleanor Mondale, who died of brain cancer in 2011.) […]

    “One must question the veracity and content of any book which implies that its author played such an integral part of so many [claimed] incidents. Any critique of management by one who has never managed personnel or programs resounds hollow. […]


  177. says

    Some Twitter users are having fun with #TrumpSoPoor.

    David Shorr tweeted: #TrumpSoPoor gonna make Mexico pay for his campaign.

  178. says

    Representative Steve King of Iowa proposed legislation to block the U.S. Treasury Department from putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. His reason: he said that adding Tubman “racist” and “sexist,” and he added: “Here’s what’s really happening: This is liberal activism on the part of the president that’s trying to identify people by categories, and he’s divided us on the lines of groups. This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president, and mine’s unifying. It says just don’t change anything.”

    Politico link.

    Luckily, the Rules Committee decided not to include King’s amendment.whacko.

    King is not a fringe whacko. He is a mainstream Republican.

  179. says

    House Democrats led by Civil Rights veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, are in the midst of a sit-in on the chamber floor to try and force a vote on gun control.

    “Now is the time for us to find a way to dramatize it, to make it real,” Lewis said. “We have to occupy the floor of the House until there is action.”

    Then Lewis and roughly 40 House Democrats sat. They stood briefly to say the Pledge of Allegiance as a couple dozen visitors in the gallery looked on.

    Photos here:

  180. says

    A congressional candidate who supports Trump decided to make his feelings/policies clear by erecting a billboard.

    Rick Tyler’s “MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN” billboard was put up in Tennessee’s 3rd District.

    Cooler heads must have prevailed because the sign has since been taken down. You can see a photo of the sign in all of its disgusting bigotry on the Daily Kos page reporting the story.

  181. Saad says

    House Democrats led by Civil Rights veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, are in the midst of a sit-in on the chamber floor to try and force a vote on gun control.

    “Now is the time for us to find a way to dramatize it, to make it real,” Lewis said. “We have to occupy the floor of the House until there is action.”

    That’s a badass right there. Beaten and arrested over and over for standing up for what’s right and still at it. Proud to have him as a representative and it gives me some hope.

  182. says

    This is a followup to comment 198.

    After promising to do so for seven years, Republicans have published a so-called plan to replace Obamacare. It is not a plan. It is a mission-statement-ish document with no figures related to costs, and containing a rehash of all the bad ideas they’ve had for more than seven years.

    […] His [Paul Ryan’s] document, which is a 37-page white paper rather than a piece of legislation, is still thin on details. It doesn’t include information about exactly how many people would be covered, exactly how much the proposal would cost, or exactly how much assistance Americans would receive in the form of tax credits to help them buy insurance.

    Instead, the paper cobbles together a collection of well-worn GOP proposals — like establishing high-risk pools for Americans with pre-existing conditions [but with no funding to support that], allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines [with no regulation or safeguards], offering insurance to people with pre-existing conditions only if they’ve maintained continuous coverage [WTF?], block granting the Medicaid program, and expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) — that Republicans have been floating for the past two presidential election cycles. […]

    Without more detail, it’s hard to say exactly how Ryan’s vague plan would impact the American public. But it includes proposals that policy experts have long criticized — saying they won’t do enough to help the uninsured and would make health care too costly for sick Americans.

    And of course, every GOP health policy proposal begins with the assumption that Obamacare would be repealed. Rolling back that law, which has been in effect for the past six years and has reshaped the insurance landscape of the country, would result in an estimated 20 million people losing access to health care. […]

  183. says

    Donald Trump gave a speech today. It was a Hillary-Clinton-is-bad-bad-bad speech. Trump’s speech included a lot of lies and a lot of claims that have been previously debunked.

    […] Presumptive Republican presidential Donald Trump keeps selling the myth that he was against Iraq War even before the war started.

    In a policy speech June 22, 2016, in New York, Trump tried to contrast himself with his likely fall opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    “In short, Hillary Clinton’s tryout for the presidency has produced one deadly foreign policy disaster after another,” Trump said. […]

    “Though I was not in government service, I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war, and yes, even before the war ever started,” Trump said.

    […] But Trump is wrong to suggest he opposed the war before it started.

    We searched newspaper articles and television transcripts from 2002 and 2003 amid the debate leading up to the Iraq War. We didn’t find any examples of Trump unequivocally denouncing the war until a year after the war began.

    Most damning to Trump’s claim is a September 2002 interview in which Trump said he supported the Iraq invasion.

    Shock jock Howard Stern asked Trump if he supported the looming invasion.

    Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so.”

    This goes directly against Trump’s claims that he criticized the rush to war before the war began.

    On Jan. 28, 2003, just under three months before the invasion, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto asked Trump whether President George W. Bush should be more focused on Iraq or the economy.

    Speaking of Iraq, Trump said, “Well, he has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know. He’s under a lot of pressure. I think he’s doing a very good job. But, of course, if you look at the polls, a lot of people are getting a little tired. I think the Iraqi situation is a problem. And I think the economy is a much bigger problem as far as the president is concerned.”

    Trump’s comment here suggests he was skeptical of the mission in Iraq, and he said the economy should be a higher priority.

    But does this prove Trump prove was “among the earliest to criticize the rush to war”?


    A week after the United States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, Trump gave differing takes. At an Academy Awards after-party, Trump said that “the war’s a mess,” according to the Washington Post. He told Fox News that because of the war, “The market’s going to go up like a rocket.”

    Trump’s harshest criticism came more than a year into the war, in an August 2004 article in Esquire:

    “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the country? C’mon. Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have.

    “What was the purpose of this whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who’ve been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing!”

    He told CNN’s Larry King in November 2004, “I do not believe that we made the right decision going into Iraq, but, you know, hopefully, we’ll be getting out.”

    Clearly Trump opposed the Iraq War in its early years. There’s no evidence, though, that he advocated against the war in the first place, or that he was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war.

    On the Iraq War, Trump said, “I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war, and yes, even before the war ever started.”

    The record just doesn’t support this. […]

    This claim rates False.


  184. says

    The link provides a better fact-checking of Trump’s speech. Excerpt:

    […] CLAIM: “Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments – perhaps even by her financial backers in Communist China – putting all of America in danger.”

    The facts: U.S. officials have told NBC News that there is no evidence of penetration of the servers by hackers, although there is evidence of phishing attempts. Clinton’s campaign says that there is no evidence that her private server was ever hacked.

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    AP FACT CHECK of The Donald’s speech.

    A look at some of his assertions and how they stack up with the facts:

    TRUMP: “In just four years, Secretary Clinton managed to almost single-handedly destabilize the entire Middle East.” He blamed her for an invasion of Libya that “handed the country over to ISIS,” for making Iran the dominant Islamic power in the region and for supporting regime change in Syria that led to a bloody civil war. He charged that her “disastrous strategy” of announcing a departure date from Iraq created another opening for ISIS there.

    THE FACTS: These statements make only passing acquaintance with reality.
    There was no U.S. invasion of Libya. Clinton initially opposed but then sought credit for the NATO-led air campaign to help rebels overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. (Trump spoke in support of U.S. intervention at the time.) While the violence destabilized Libya, Islamic State inroads there have been more recent and are largely limited to a small coastal area of the country.
    Arguments about Iranian domination of the Middle East predate Clinton’s tenure, going back a decade to the George W. Bush administration’s deposing of Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq.
    While secretary of state, Clinton supported arming Syria’s moderate rebels, but the Islamic State group only arrived later. It’s unclear what effect such a policy would have had as President Barack Obama rejected the advice at the time.
    And she had nothing to do with the “disastrous strategy” of giving a departure date from Iraq. It was the George W. Bush administration that announced the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2008.

    This is simply the first of many such misfires, which includes this idiocy:

    TRUMP: “We are the highest-taxed nation in the world.”

    THE FACTS: Closer to the opposite is true.
    The U.S. tax burden is actually one of the lowest among the 34 developed and large emerging-market economies that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    Taxes made up 26 percent of the total U.S. economy in 2014, according to the OECD. That’s far below Sweden’s tax burden of 42.7 percent, Britain’s 32.6 percent or Germany’s 36.1 percent. Only three OECD members had a lower figure: Chile, South Korea and Mexico.

    Donald, meet reality, you’ve never met him before now.

  186. says

    Let’s take a look at a few more lies Donald Trump told in his teleprompter-guided speech today. This was the speech in which he laid out all of his lines of attack against Hillary Clinton.

    1. The U.S. has the highest tax rate in the world.
    Trump said that “we are, by the way, the highest taxed nation in the world.”

    […] Data on tax rates from the 34 industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the U.S. was somewhere near the middle of the pack in 2014, trailing far behind countries such as Norway, New Zealand and Luxembourg.

    2. Clinton has no plan to screen millions of new Syrian refugees.

    […] Trump has used this alleged lack of screening refugees to justify his proposal to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. […] there is already a stringent vetting process in place for refugees coming from Syria and other war-torn Middle Eastern countries. Individuals who the United Nations must first determine to be refugees are referred to the U.S., then face several levels of screening from federal intelligence and security agencies in a process that can take two years or longer to complete.

    While Clinton has said that she would call for the U.S. to accept 65,000 Syrian refugees […] she also said she would “immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in.”

    I’m not sure what additional “mechanisms” Clinton meant, but there is a vetting process. Trump’s insistence that we know nothing about immigrants from Syria, etc. is such a big lie.

    3. Hundreds of recent immigrants have been convicted of terror charges.

    […] “hundreds of recent immigrants and their children have been convicted of terrorist activity inside the U.S.”

    [From Politico]: “most domestic terrorists were either born in the United States (like the Fort Hood, San Bernardino and Orlando shooters), or came here at a very young age (like the Boston Marathon bombers and Chattanooga shooter).”

    […] 139 immigrants were implicated in jihad-inspired terrorist activity in the U.S., this number is far lower than the number of attacks carried out by anti-government activists, white supremacist and other non-Muslim extremists.

    4. Clinton slept through a 3 a.m. phone call the night of the Benghazi attacks.

    According to Trump, Clinton “soundly slept in her bed” through a 3 a.m. phone call warning that the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was under attack in 2012. Trump said Clinton left Ambassador Chris Stevens “helpless to die” and that she “refused” his requests for security.

    During her eleven-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Clinton explained that the news of the attack broke at around 9 p.m. on the East Coast, where she was working from home.

    5. U.S. trade deficit with China soared during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

    […] America’s “trade deficit with China soared 40 percent during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.”

    [Trump’s] estimate overshoots the mark by more than double. The deficit stood at $268 billion when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and was at $315 billion when Clinton left the State Department in 2012. That $47 billion change translates to a 17.5 percent increase.

    6. Clinton accepted $58,000 in jewelry from the leaders of Brunei.

    Trump cited conservative author Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” as the source for his claim that the former secretary of state accepted a gift of jewelry worth $58,000 from the leaders of Brunei.

    While Clinton did receive gold, sapphire and diamond jewelry amounting to that sum from Brunei’s queen, she did not keep the goods as all of the gifts were turned over to the U.S. government as required by federal law.

    Regarding lie number 6, Trump loves that book. He mentioned it several times. Trump cannot separate dunderheaded conspiracy theorists from credible sources. The book is full of errors, distortions and illogical conclusions.

    Republican activist and consultant Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash, […] is a trainwreck of sloppy research and shoddy reporting that contains over twenty errors, fabrications, and distortions. Schweizer pushes conspiracies “based on little evidence” that are “inconsistent with the facts” and “false”; takes quotes “badly out of context”; excludes exculpatory information that undermines his claims; and falls for a fake press release.


  187. says

    Paul Ryan ordered C-SPAN to shut off their cameras after Democrats staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Congress. The sit-in was an attempt to force another vote on gun control. It is still going on. Some Democratic senators have joined the sit-in.

    Ryan has the right to order the C-SPAN cameras to be shut down, but technicians found a good way around the ban. Some Democrats were streaming video to Periscope and to Facebook Live, so C-SPAN just started airing the live video being streamed by Democratic House members.

    A C-SPAN spokesperson said it was the first time the network has streamed video from the House floor via Periscope.

    The Hill link.

  188. says

    This is a followup to comment 209.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren joined the sit-in on the floor of the House of Congress.

    […] Democrats, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), began their sit-in on the House floor late Wednesday morning. They say they will continue their protest until GOP leaders allow some sort of action on legislation to prevent terror suspects from buying guns.
    Warren, who’s reportedly on the shortlist to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, briefly sat down on the floor with other lawmakers. She later moved to a chair.

    She noted in a Twitter post showing a photo of the House floor that it is also her birthday.

    “Nowhere I’d rather spend my bday than the House floor w/ @repjohnlewis for gun control. #NoBillNoBreak #goodtrouble” Warren, a favorite of the liberal left, tweeted.


  189. says

    This is a followup to comment 208.

    Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog also covered Trump’s “crooked Hillary” speech.

    […] the most striking thing about this morning’s scripted address was its breathtaking dishonesty. In theory, if Clinton were as awful as Trump and Republicans claim, it should be fairly easy to deliver a speech condemning her using facts and real-world evidence.

    Instead, as Slate’s Jamelle Bouie put it, Trump leaned on “an avalanche of falsehoods.”

    It’s hard to even know where to start; the lie-to-sentence ratio approached one to one. Trump said he opposed the war in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, which isn’t true. He said Clinton’s email server was hacked, which isn’t true. Trump said Clinton wants “totally open borders” and an end to “virtually all immigration enforcement,” which isn’t even close to being true.

    Trump lied about Syrian refugees. He lied about the loan he received to start his business. He lied about U.S. tax rates. He lied about Benghazi (more than once). He lied about the Clinton Foundation. He lied about gifts Clinton received during her tenure as Secretary of State.

    And really, this is just a sampling. If there had been a machine in the room that buzzed every time Trump said something untrue, the thing would have caught fire by the time the candidate wrapped up his remarks.

    Remember, if Trump had been speaking off the cuff, it might be easier to defend some of these obvious and demonstrable falsehoods; he and his allies might be able to say he got confused or lost his train of thought. But this was Trump reading on a teleprompter from a prepared text. In other words, Trump deliberately made a whole lot of claims that weren’t in any way true – all while accusing his rival of being a “liar.”

    I’ve seen some punditry this afternoon suggesting Trump seemed like an improved candidate this morning, at least compared to some of his other recent speeches. But I’d recommend not grading on a curve: presidential candidates who accuse rivals of lying while simultaneously delivering one brazen falsehood after another are not deserving of praise. By some measures, this morning’s ridiculous tirade should have been a disqualifying moment for Trump: it served as powerful evidence that the candidate is so disconnected from reality, he hardly understands what the truth is. […]

  190. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna, #209.
    Ah, nowadays you can’t shut down the [bad] publicity, as there are too many ways, and too many personal devices, that connect to the internet, that keep that from happening. Go Sit-In.

    Even the Bungling Bundy Militant Terrorists were able to get their message out. They can still get it out now from their trials.

    But arresting a sitting House Member for being (literally) on the House Floor? Fascist is the only word that comes to mind who would even think about that.

  191. says

    But arresting a sitting House Member for being (literally) on the House Floor? Fascist is the only word that comes to mind who would even think about that.

    Somebody would videotape that for sure. Paul Ryan would never live it down.

  192. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jebus, sometimes being “age privileged” can be pain in the Kiester. The same insurance company that offers supplemental policies for those, like the Redhead and myself, who are over a certain age, don’t offer separate policies for dental coverage to us mature citizens. They just lost a potential customer, because of agism. Makes me reconsider my initial decision….

  193. wzrd1 says

    @Nerd, you’re not alone. My wife is 55 and diabetic, when the option for life insurance upgrades from my employer became available, I tried to increase the insurance amount for both of us.
    She was rejected, the reason given was diabetes.
    I’ll be mentioning that quite loudly, with great dissatisfaction with our current insurer, at our next all hands benefits meeting with HR. I’ll also be certain to use inflammatory speech that will spur other workers to also vociferously complain.
    One upside in our situation is, we have the leverage of a situation where the company has a lot of uncleared interns and a bunch of older, cleared and experienced workers. Lose those with a clearance and experience, they’d lose all of their most profitable government contracts.
    I learned a long time ago, when fighting with corporate HR, fight dirty. :)

  194. says

    Elizabeth Warren is awesome. She delivered Dunkin’ Donuts to the Democrats still holding a sit-in on the floor of the House of Congress.

    Meanwhile, some dunderheaded Republicans have had the gall to lecture civil rights hero Representative John Lewis on how to hold a sit-in, and on when a sit-in is appropriate. “Calling this a sit-in is a disgrace to Woolworth’s. They sat-in for rights. Dems are “sitting-in” to strip them away.” That’s from Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina.

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dems are “sitting-in” to strip them away.” That’s from Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina.

    Sounds exactly like the segregationists during the nineteensixties. It was all about their perceived rights, not the equal treatment of all US citizens….

  196. says

    More details regarding the sit-in by Democratic members of the House of Congress:

    […] Around 10 p.m. (ET), the Speaker had apparently seen enough – the sit-in began about 11 hours earlier – and he brought up an unrelated measure for a vote. But not just any unrelated measure: Ryan pushed a bill that would have blocked the Obama administration’s “fiduciary rule,” which improves investment safeguards for consumers.

    Let that sink in for a moment. In the face of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, House Democrats demanded a debate on possible gun reforms, to which House Republicans responded with a favor for Wall Street lobbyists.

    Historian Kevin Kruse joked last night, “House Dems stage a sit-in for gun control and the GOP pushes it aside to repeal Wall Street regulations? Even [Aaron] Sorkin would think that was too much. […]

    The vote also had the unintended effect of undermining the principal Republican talking point: that Democrats were wasting time on a “stunt” that detracted from real work the House would have otherwise tackled. NBC News’ Luke Russert, for example, talked to Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) yesterday afternoon, and the far-right congressman complained that the sit-in meant members of Congress were “blocking the important legislative work that we do here.”

    Soon after, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) added, “There’s important legislation to move,” and Dems were preventing that from happening.

    Ordinarily, I might be sympathetic to the argument that lawmakers should focus on constructive policymaking, but the day before the sit-in, House Republicans spent time debating “Obamaphones.” Last night, the GOP majority, unwilling to consider any changes to gun laws, devoted time to weakening investment safeguards for consumers (the bill failed). […]

  197. says

    Trump’s big anti-Hillary speech was bumped off the news by the Democratic sit-in, but I think we should still take a close look at Trump’s yuge ability to tell lies. 30 gigantic lies in 40 minutes.


    Trump: “Then she let China steal hundreds of billions of dollars in our intellectual property – a crime which is continuing to this day.” [Donald Trump, 6/22/16]

    The Truth:

    Hillary Clinton’s State Department worked with the White House to apply diplomatic and public pressure on China to stop hacking. “The State Department is not responsible for stopping Chinese hacking. The Treasury Department ultimately decides on sanctions, the Justice Department brings legal actions, and the White House and State Department work together to apply diplomatic and public pressure. Clinton engaged in this process as secretary of state, issuing a statement after a hack of Google in 2010 that they suspected originated in China, saying, ‘We look to the Chinese government for an explanation.’ And the Chinese behavior also started before the Obama administration and has vexed the U.S. government for years. For these reasons, we rate Trump’s claim that Clinton let China steal intellectual property as false.” [CNN, 6/22/16]

  198. says

    Update on the Dem’s sit-in. It is still ongoing, more than 24 hours now. What about the Republicans? They adjourned and most of them left Washington. They are beginning their Fourth of July vacation on June 23. #NoBillNoBreak

  199. says

    This is good news. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Affirmative Action in college admissions.

    The Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold University of Texas-Austin’s affirmative action program. The majority opinion released Monday was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Clarence Thomas filed a dissenting opinion as did Justice Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Thomas joined Alito’s dissent.

    Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself from the case because she worked on it on behalf of the government when it was at the lower court level. […]

  200. says

    President Obama was interviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek. Here are some excerpts:

    […] “There’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump,” Obama said. “I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.”

    The President also cautioned against the presumptive GOP nominee’s ardent opposition to globalization, arguing that Trump’s isolationist, anti-immigrant outlook unfairly romanticizes America’s economic history.

    “I think that the temptation in that circumstance is to resort to nativism and nostalgia […]”

    In a Wednesday speech lambasting Hillary Clinton, Trump argued that Democrats helped move the U.S. from a policy of “Americanism” to one of “globalism.” […]

    Obama suggested that this backwards-looking view ignored the inequities in who had access to America’s post-World War II economic boom.

    “I always tell interns and young people who I talk to that as tough as things seem right now, do not believe people when they tell you they wish they could go back to the good old days,” he said. “Because the good old days aren’t—I’m now old enough where I remember some of those good old days.
    “The ‘Anti-Business’ President Who’s Been Good for Business”

  201. says

    We also received bad news from the Supreme Court today. A 4-4 deadlock on a challenge to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration leaves a lower court’s block of those executive actions in place.

    Hillary Clinton commented:

    Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election. As I have consistently said, I believe that President Obama acted well within his constitutional and legal authority in issuing the DAPA and DACA executive actions.

    These are our friends and family members; neighbors and classmates; DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents. They enrich our communities and contribute to our economy every day. We should be doing everything possible under the law to provide them relief from the specter of deportation.

    Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is purely procedural and casts no doubt on the fact that DAPA and DACA are entirely within the President’s legal authority. But in addition to throwing millions of families across our country into a state of uncertainty, this decision reminds us how much damage Senate Republicans are doing by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Our families and our country need and deserve a full bench, and Senate Republicans need to stop playing political games with our democracy and give Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and vote.

    This decision is also a stark reminder of the harm Donald Trump would do to our families, our communities, and our country. Trump has pledged to repeal President Obama’s executive actions on his first day in office. He has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers.” He has called for creating a “deportation force” to tear 11 million people away from their families and their homes.

  202. says

    Donald Trump will be visiting Scotland this weekend. Michael Daly of The Daily Beast covered the history of Trump’s mother’s ancestors in Scotland, and more to the point, he wrote about Trump’s despicable behavior in Scotland. Most of the bad behavior is related to bullying various people while he was building a golf course.

    […] What is Trump going to say, that the nice white immigrants like his mother are fine, but we have to build a huge wall to keep out those other ones? And how would that jibe with the end of his mother’s tale, when she was mugged by a white teen who was then caught by a black Good Samaritan?

    Whatever he might choose to say, the Mexican flags announce displeasure not only with Trump’s race baiting, but also with his behavior in Scotland while building the course in Aberdeen.

    Here enters another kind of tale, one of gross exaggeration and strong-arm tactics by a man who described himself as being “Scotch.” He got past environmental concerns by promising thousands of jobs, but fewer than 150 materialized. He described people living around the course as “living like pigs” and pressured them to sell out at the price he offered and to move. He built walls around the home of one resistant resident.

    And then there is the wind farm that Trump knew was already being planned for some distance away when he acquired the property. Trump announced what he described as an “international campaign” to “save Scotland” by convincing the government to kill the project.

    […] A pre-tweet happy Trump informed Salmond by letter, “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.” […]

    Trump filed suit and fought the wind farm all the way to the highest court in Britain, only to lose. […] Trump reported to British authorities that the Aberdeen course has lost nearly $7 million in the past four years. He apparently hoped the number would bolster his argument that what he describes as “the greatest golf course in the world” is already in financial trouble and might shut down if its view is marred by huge turbines.

    The sticky bit for Trump is that the financial disclosure forms he filed with U.S. authorities as a presidential candidate report that Aberdeen made more than $4 million in 2015 and the first two quarters of 2014. He apparently hoped that this number would contribute to his assertion that he is “really, really rich.”

    […] Trump proved anew that he is a liar in a class all his own when he explained to Bloomberg News the discrepancy between the claim to the Brits that he had lost millions and the claim to the U.S. that he had made millions on the very same property.

    “Projected future income,” he said of the U.S. number. […]

  203. says

    The Democratic sit-in is winding down. It’s likely that the Dems will pledge to restart the sit-in when Republican majority leaders gavel the House back into session on July 5.

    Twitter, Periscope, Facebook and other social media pushed the Democratic sit-in to the top of the news cycle.

  204. says

    Donald Trump is not a neutral party in the disputes between Israel and Palestine, as he has told us many times. Now, one of his senior advisors makes Trump’s extreme stance clearer, and in doing so, advocates for an unlimited expansion of Israeli settlements.

    […] Donald Trump would support Israel annexing parts of the West Bank, says his senior official on such policy matters.

    In an interview with Haaretz, senior adviser David Friedman said a President Trump would retreat from the two-state solution policy goals set by predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush, in favor of unlimited expansion of Israeli settlements and deference to Jewish state on whether Palestine may govern itself.

    “If the Israelis don’t want to do it, he doesn’t think they should do it,” Friedman said of Trump’s view on whether Israel should cede land to the Palestinians. “He does not think it is an American imperative for it to be an independent Palestinian state.”

    Friedman also said that Trump would support the Israeli annexation of portions of the West Bank: “I think there are parts of the West Bank that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal. I am sure he wouldn’t have any problem with that at all. Regarding the entire West Bank I think that’s a legal issue. I don’t think he will have a problem with that but he would expect Israel to continue seeking peace. He has no doubt that Israel wants peace.”


  205. says

    To punish Democrats for the sit-in on the floor, Paul Ryan brought to a vote the nastiest, most partisan bills he could offer.

    See comments 49 and 218 for a description of the legislation to end the fiduciary rule.

    Another bill Ryan brought to the floor was funding to combat the Zika virus. That funding bill was poisoned by Republicans in the following ways:
    – it included cutting funds for Obamacare
    – taking $100 million from the Ebola emergency fund
    – blocking funds “from going to Planned Parenthood for birth control services for women at risk of becoming infected with the virus.” Women who may have been exposed to Zika infection would not be able get birth control to prevent getting pregnant.
    – weaker pesticide regulations
    – removal of a ban on Confederate flags in national cemeteries

    Yes, Democrats felt they had to vote against all those poison pills. Republicans got what they wanted, which was a delay in funding the fight against Zika. They just didn’t want to spend the money.

  206. dianne says

    Republicans got what they wanted, which was a delay in funding the fight against Zika.

    Which makes it pretty definitive in case anyone had any doubts: The Republicans are not pro-life. They’re not even pro-fetus. They’re simply trying to control women.

  207. says

    Bernie Sanders says he will vote for Clinton:

    […] During an MSNBC appearance, Nicolle Wallace asked Sanders a straightforward question: “Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November?” The senator replied, in a matter-of-fact sort of way, “Yes.”

    Sanders added, “I think the issue right here is I’m gonna do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.”

    Sanders also said that he is not going to withdraw from the Democratic race:

    Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can?

  208. Moggie says

    Wait, wait, wait: Trump described himself as “Scotch”? Who says that? I think this is one of those rare occasions where one can legitimately say “no true Scotsman”.

  209. says

    Oh, no, he said it. He’s yours now. Shall we wrap him up in a bow for you? Where shall we send him: Edinburgh, Glasgow, or some isolated peat bog in the far north?

  210. raven says

    Trump’s mother was a UK citizen from Scotland.
    For someone who is anti-immigrant he has a Scottish mother and his current wife is from Slovenia.

    I guess he makes exceptions for hot foreign women. And mom.

  211. Moggie says

    If he’d described himself as “a Scot” or “Scots”, I’d say fine, drop him in one of Glasgow’s rougher pubs on a Saturday night. But “Scotch” comes from a bottle.

  212. says

    Trump’s campaign spokespeople said yesterday that Trump filed the papers to “forgive” the approximately $50 million of his own money he had loaned the campaign. In other words, Trump is turning the loan into a donation.

    This looks like a move he was forced to make more or less against his will. Potential donors were kicking up a fuss, saying they did not want to make donations that would end up in Trump’s pocket when he had the campaign repay him.

    The facts on the ground: so few campaign staff, no TV ads in battleground states, the dismal FEC report of cash on hand … all of this points to a campaign in financial trouble.

  213. says

    Trump in Scotland:

    Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!

    James Cook of the BBC replies:

    I cannot begin to explain how catastrophically this misunderstands and misjudges the majority mood in Scotland.

  214. says

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been putting out various proposals that he says make up his “Better Way” to govern. Ryan’s plans are supposed to show that Republicans are serious about governing. So far, he and his cohorts have proven the opposite.

    See comment 204 for a takedown of Ryan’s healthcare plan.

    Here is Steve Benen’s analysis of Ryan’s “Better Way” plans, with a highlight on the newly unveiled tax plan:

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) deserves just a little credit for acknowledging the basic idea that congressional Republicans should have a policy agenda. […]

    […] “What you will see with these [proposals] are detailed policy papers,” Ryan declared a month ago. “We’re not talking about principles here. This is substance.”

    If only that were true. Part One was Ryan’s plan to address poverty, which turned out to be laughable.

    See comment 34 for a takedown of the plan to address poverty.

    Part Two was a national-security vision, which was not only ignored, it was contradicted by his party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Part Three in the Speaker’s agenda was a deregulation plan that was just a warmed over version of stale GOP demands. [snipped part 4 on healthcare]

    All of which leads to today’s tax-reform plan, which might actually be the worst plank yet. The Washington Post reported:

    The tax plan would slash rates across the board – by 20 percent for businesses and 33 percent for individuals, simplify the tax filing process and restructure the international tax code. […]

    Though the GOP proposal leaves out details – such as which specific deductions would be eliminated and how much the plan would cost – it offers a fuller alternative to the deep rate cuts pitched by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    Yeah, better than Trump — really not saying much!

    […] No, seriously. Here’s the plan. It includes trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthy, including the total elimination of the estate tax, but it doesn’t include any meaningful accounting. House Republicans spent months putting together a “substantive” tax-reform plan that’s little more than a wish list of all the taxes the GOP would like to cut, without so much as a hint of thought about how to pay for the package.

    […] It’s a policy problem that Republicans support a plan to redistribute wealth from the bottom up, but there’s a broader political problem with a major party that doesn’t take its own proposals seriously enough to do its homework. […]

    The problem, obviously, is that the agenda is hollow and meaningless.

  215. says

    Well that didn’t take long.

    White nationalists in Texas have a “TEXIT” campaign going on. They want to imitate the UK and secede from the union.

    From the looks of it, the British people have chosen to take control of their political and economic destiny. The forces of fear have lost. It is now important for Texas to look to #‎Brexit as an inspiration and an example that Texans can also take control of our destiny. It is time for Texans to rally with us and fight for the right to become a self-governing nation.

    Texas is not alone.

    Other American secessionist movements also took heart from the Brexit results. The Foundation for New Hampshire Independence wished Great Britain a happy “Independence Day” while calling for #NHexit. Another group, Yes California, released a statement applauding the referendum as “a shining example of the right of peoples to self-determination.” Yes California further declared its intention “to mimic that process here in California by putting an independence referendum on the ballot.”

    Joe My God link

  216. says

    More coverage of Trump’s surreal press conference/sales pitch in Scotland.

    One detail I missed earlier: He gave the entire speech surrounded by red golf balls decorated with the Nazi swastika logo. That even more surreal touch somehow matched Trump’s insane advertorial.

    JOHN AVALON: This is insane. The presumptive Republican nominee has the world watching on a historic day and he is doing a five minute advertorial for his golf course in great detail, talking about the beauty of the suites, how great the pars are on certain holes, not talking about Brexit. This is a summation in some ways of his campaign. He is in the right place at the right time for his message, and he blows it because at the end of the day, it’s all about him. He seems to be trying to profit off a presidential run and not taking it seriously. This is trump steaks all over again after winning the primaries. It’s completely insane.

  217. says

    Here is just some of what Donald Trump said in 2013 about the global economy:

    The future of Europe, as well as the United States, depends on a cohesive global economy. All of us must work together toward that very significant common goal.

    Here are a few more Trumpian pronouncements from 2013, all of which sound favorable to having a successful European Union, open borders, no walls, etc:

    We are now closer to having an economic community in the best sense of the term — we work with each other for the benefit of all.

    I think we’ve all become aware of the fact that our cultures and economics are intertwined… It’s a time for working together for the best of all involved. Never before has the phrase “we’re all in this together” had more resonance or relevance.

    We will have to leave borders behind and go for global unity when it comes to financial stability.

    Europe is a tapestry that is dense, colorful and deserving of continued longevity and prosperity. There are many pieces that must be carefully fitted together in order to thrive.

    Our challenge is to acknowledge those pieces and to see how they can form a whole that works together well without losing any cultural flavor in the process. It’s a combination of preservation along with forward thinking.

    I heard a pundit describe the Brexit vote as the U.K.’s version of building a wall.

  218. says

    “Leave” voters who regret their vote:

    Leave voter on BBC: “I’m shocked & worried. I voted Leave but didn’t think my vote would count – I never thought it would actually happen.”
    I voted leave to help our economy. However the £ has plummeted and I immediately regret my decision ?. Plus Farage is a lying tosser! ?
    With leave voters in Manchester for BBCNews -most told us they woke up thinking “what have I done?” & didn’t actually expect the uk to leave.

  219. says

    Here are some comments from people who applaud the Brexit vote:

    Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, one of the most extreme movements in Europe, applauded “the brave decision of the British people.”

    “A direct consequence of Brexit will be the empowerment of patriotic and nationalist forces across Europe,” said a spokesperson for Golden Dawn, which admires Adolf Hitler and uses a modified swastika on its flag.

    Marine Le Pen, head of France’s far-right National Front party, described the vote as a “victory for freedom.” […]

    Le Pen has pledged to hold a Frexit referendum if she is elected president in the 2017 election.

    The Netherlands
    Geert Wilders, the leader of the Netherlands’ far-right Party for Freedom, congratulated Britain and Nigel Farage, the head of the far-right U.K. Independence Party, which helped lead the Brexit campaign.
    […] Wilders called for a referendum for the Netherlands to leave the E.U. as well — a “Nexit.” Like Le Pen, he pledged to hold a vote if he is elected prime minister in 2017. […]

    The far-right leader said exiting the E.U. would allow countries to stop “the Islamization of Europe, immigration, the threat of Islamic terrorism that we see growing, the emergence of asylum seekers,” […]

    In Denmark, the far-right Danish People’s Party similarly called for its own referendum. […]

    […] Jimme Akesson, leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, vowed to “increase our pressure on the government” to have a “Swexit” referendum on E.U. membership.

    Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s far-right Lega Nord party, wrote, “Hurrah for the courage of free citizens!”

    “Now it’s our turn,” he tweeted, accompanied by photos of Salvini with other far-right European leaders, including Le Pen, Wilders and more.

    Belgium’s Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang was ecstatic about Brexit. At a meeting of far-right anti-E.U. politicians before the vote, member Gerolf Annemans excitedly predicted that it “would be the start of a process that cannot be turned back anymore.”

    Alternative for Germany, a far-right German party, likewise expressed enthusiasm about Britain’s vote.

    Frauke Petry, the leader of the anti-immigrant party, insisted that “the time is ripe for a new Europe.” […]

    Salon link

  220. says

    Brace yourself. Sarah Palin has weighed in on Brexit:

    When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

    The UK knew – it was that time. And now is that time in the USA.

    The Brexit referendum is akin to our own Declaration of Independence. May that refreshed spirit of sovereignty spread over the pond to America’s shores!

    Congratulations, smart Brits. Good on you for ignoring all the fear mongering from special interest globalists who tend to aim for that apocalyptic One World Government that dissolves a nation’s self-determination and sovereignty… the EU being a One World Government mini-me.

    America can learn an encouraging lesson from this.

    It is time to dissolve political bands that connect us to agendas not in our best interest. May UN shackles be next on the chopping block.

    Wonkette link

    Sarah Palin used a photo of Margaret Thatcher and the quote “Liberty is fundamental” to accompany her screed.

  221. says

    Ted Cruz weighed in on Brexit:

    The results of the ‪#‎Brexit‬ referendum should serve as a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington, D.C. that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty.

  222. says

    A bunch of real business leaders, (as opposed to scam artist Trump), endorsed Hillary Clinton:

    A group of major business leaders endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday in the wake of back-to-back speeches extolling her economic vision and slamming that of her opponent, Donald Trump.

    The list includes current and former executives from General Motors, Delta Air Lines, Costco, Airbnb and Alphabet, the parent company for online search giant Google.

    Among the highest-profile names on the list are Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson, a businessman and part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other sports team owners on the list include Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, as well as Laura Ricketts, the lone liberal in the famously conservative Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs.

    “Trump would destroy much of what is great about America,” Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings said in a statement released by Clinton’s campaign. “Hillary Clinton is the strong leader we need, and it’s important that Trump lose by a landslide to reject what he stands for.” […]

    Politico link

    I’m not granting executives from Delta, General Motors, etc. the title of “Wise,” but I am amused to see business leaders not being fooled by Trump. These business leaders are pointedly rejecting Trump’s economic/financial/tax proposals.

    A few others who endorsed Clinton (not a complete list):
    · Miki Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Thinx
    · James Bell, Former Interim CEO of Boeing; Former Corporate President and CFO of Boeing
    · Jeff Brotman, Co-Founder and Chairman of Costco Wholesale Corporation
    · Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President, AT&T Services, Inc.
    · David Crane, Former CEO of NRG Energy, Inc.
    · Erroll Davis, Retired Chancellor, University System of Georgia
    · Margot Dorfman, President and CEO of U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
    · Drew Houston, Founder and CEO of Dropbox
    · Robert Johnson, Chairman, The RLJ Companies and Founder of Black Entertainment Television
    · David Karp, Founder and CEO of Tumblr
    · Ellen Kullman, Former Chair and CEO of DuPont
    · Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television
    · Monica Lozano, Former Chairman and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Media
    · Rob Marcus, Former Chairman and CEO Time Warner Cable Inc.
    · Mark Pincus, Co-Founder of Zynga
    · Walter Ulloa, Chairman and CEO, Entravision Communications Corporation
    · Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, Corning Incorporated
    · Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder, 23andme

  223. says

    Some Republicans, (well, one Republican), are resorting to the courts to be absolved of the requirement to vote for Trump at the convention. Carroll Boston Correll is hoping to turn his suit into a class action suit that a lot of Republican delegates can join.

    A delegate to the Republican national convention from Virginia filed a federal lawsuit Friday to avoid being bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland.

    […] Correll alleges in the lawsuit that state law which binds him to vote for Trump on the first ballot at the convention violates his constitutional right to free speech. Correll is seeking class action status for the suit on behalf of other bound delegates in Virginia, where Trump won 17 delegates in March. […]

    “Correll believes that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as President of the United States and that voting for Donald Trump would therefore violate Correll’s conscience,” the complaint said. “Accordingly, Correll will not vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot, or any other ballot, at the national convention. He will cast his vote on the first ballot, and on any additional ballots, for a candidate whom he believes is fit to serve as President, thereby violating Section 545(D).”

    Correll is seeking an injunction that would relieve him of any criminal penalties under state law for voting for someone other than the primary winner on the first ballot at a national convention. […]

  224. says

    We the taxpayers are paying for immigrant shelters that violate the reproductive rights of the women in their care. Federal dollars go to Catholic organizations and to other faith-based shelters that will not allow women who have been raped to get an abortion.

    Maria, a 14-year-old Central American immigrant who fled to the United States in 2014, was raped in her home country and again on her journey. After she was detained by federal immigration authorities at the border, she was placed in a Texas-area government shelter — run by a Catholic organization — where she found out that she was pregnant. She asked for an abortion but was denied. Federal authorities looked into transferring her from Texas to a Florida shelter to be closer to her family, but couldn’t because both shelters are faith-based and would not permit Maria to terminate her pregnancy.

    […] according to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit filed on Friday […] Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Latin America have crossed the southern border since the end of 2013. Almost half of the children apprehended by border patrol agents were girls in 2014. Rape and sexual assault are “major motivating factors” for why girls flee their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, according to a Women’s Refugee Commission report.

    “When a teen has endured unthinkable tragedy — violence, rape, a terrifying journey to an unfamiliar place — and she arrives here afraid and alone, the last thing we should do is deny her the care she needs,” ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Brigitte Amiri said in a press statement. “Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to authorize organizations to violate the law and impose their religious beliefs on these young women and deny them care they desperately need.”

    The ACLU lawsuit charged that the U.S. government routinely funds faith-based organizations that serve unaccompanied minors and denied contraceptive and abortion access, thereby violating the First Amendment prohibition on establishment of religion.

    […] The ACLU also asserts that allowing government-funded organizations to “impose religiously based restrictions on young women’s access to reproductive health care — care that they are entitled to receive by law — the government has violated the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state. […] ”

    Think Progress link

  225. says

    This is a followup to comment 239.

    When asked if he would support Texas’ secession from the U.S., Trump said, “Texas will never do that because Texas loves me.”

  226. says

    One more high-profile Republican who will not be voting for Trump:

    Hank Paulson, chairman of the Paulson Institute and a former Treasury Secretary in George W. Bush’s administration, will neither vote for Donald Trump in November nor abstain, he wrote in an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post. […]

    With Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, “we are witnessing a populist hijacking of one of the United States’ great political parties. The GOP, in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American. Enough is enough. It’s time to put country before party and say it together: Never Trump.” […]

    Politico link

  227. says

    Yet another poll shows that Republicans are xenophobic and racist, with Trump’s supporters being even more xenophobic and racist than Republicans in general.

    […] When it comes to whether a person is bothered by immigrants who speak little to no English, Republicans in general are significantly more bothered (66 percent) than Democrats (35 percent). But Trump backers are significantly more bothered still, at 77 percent. […]

    72 percent of Republicans believe that discrimination against whites has become as bad as discrimination against blacks and other minority groups, among Trump supporters the number is 81 percent. […]

    74 percent of Republicans say the American way of life should be protected against foreign influence, while 83 percent of Trump supporters say this […]

    Washington Post link

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The title of the news article says it all:
    Conservative writer George Will drops out of GOP over Trump.

    Conservative columnist George Will has parted ways with the Republican Party, changing his voter registration to “unaffiliated” because of the GOP’s support of Donald Trump.
    Will tells The Washington Post that he made the change several weeks ago. The news site PJ Media reports that Will discussed his decision during an event Friday for the conservative group the Federalist Society.
    Will isn’t saying whom he will support for president. He has been criticizing the billionaire businessman for months in his column for the Post and, in doing so, has drawn Trump’s scorn.
    Recently, Will wrote a column in which he urged Republican donors to “save their party by not aiding its nominee.”

  229. says

    Nerd @252, George Will can spell. He writes coherently. He is therefore a respected “intellectual” conservative. He has always been dim or self-blinded about certain issues. Now he is starting to wise up. He’s only halfway there.

    He’s been paraphrasing Ronald Reagan in order to explain his departure from the Republican Party. I don’t think George Will has what it takes to wise up all the way.

    In other news, a new ABC News/WAPO poll shows more people agree that Trump should be rejected. In the poll, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51 to 39 percent. That’s a 12 point lead. And there’s this:

    […] A whopping 64 percent of respondents, including nearly one-third of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, said Trump is unqualified to serve as president. […]

    Maybe people are finally getting to know Trump for what he really is, a numpty.

  230. Nick Gotts says

    Lynna @225, 237,

    I was among about 150 people who went out into rural Ayrshire to tell Trump he is not welcome in Scotland, on the morning after the referendum – the date meaning his visit was hardly big news. Mexican flags, shouts of “Viva Mexico!”, and a “Mariachi band”, (the singer, I think, was Spanish, the rest Scots) were featured alongside the more usual lefty banners and chanted slogans.

    The general Scottish mood over the referendum (there was a 62% vote for Remain in Scotland), far from being one of wild celebration as Trump lied, is one of depression and anger. A couple of polls since the result show a majority for independence, although of course this may not last. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said the Scottish Parliament will try to block Brexit – but it seems clear that while it could refuse consent, it does not have the legal power to stop it. Assuming this is true, Sturgeon may try for a second independence referendum – but the UK Parliament has to pass a bill to allow this, or at least to make it binding. So the (still remote) possibility appears of a unilateral Scottish declaration of independence.

    The UK as a whole is in political turmoil unmatched at least since the 1980s, possibly since the start of WW2, with the contest for Conservative Party leader starting (there’s a “Stop Boris” movement among the Parliamentary party), open revolt against the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn*, and talk of an autumn general election**. And there are many anecdotal reports of “Bregret” – people who voted for Brexit having second thoughts, and even asking if they can change their vote, because they either didn’t think “Leave” would win and just wanted to kick the political class, or because they didn’t realize the possible consequences – irresponsible fools. A petition for a second referendum has gathered over 3 million signatures, but there is zero chance of this happening, nor justification for it. I suppose it’s just possible a further referendum could be called on the divorce terms arrived at, or if these cannot be agreed at all***. The only UK-wide party to come out of this strengthened is UKIP. Sturgeon is the only leader of a government or devolved administration to be strengthened – the populations of Wales and northern Ireland both voted in the opposite direction to that advised by the leader of their devolved administration.

    *Labour is in a far worse state of division than the Conservatives – which is saying a good deal. Corbyn was overwhelmingly elected by the membership, but has never had the trust of the Parliamentary party, many of whom are now trying to oust him on the grounds that he was half-hearted in campaigning for Remain (he was for long an opponent of EU membership), and even claims he deliberately sabotaged the campaign. 50 Labour MPs can trigger a new leadership election, but it does not seem clear whether Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot if he wants to be. If he is, he would probably win again. If not, he probably could not muster enough MPs support to get on the ballot. The party could actually split over this issue.

    **Because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, the Prime Minister can no longer ask the monarch for the dissolution of Parliament at will – it requires either a vote of no confidence in “Her Majesty’s Government” not followed by new vote expressing confidence in “Her Majesty’s Government” – i.e., possibly a different one – within 14 days; or a 2/3 majority of all MPs (with vacant seats in effect counted as votes against). So if the new Tory PM wants a general election, they would either have to engineer a vote of no confidence from their own party – which would clearly go against the spirit of the 2011 Act, in effect restoring the PM’s power to call an election – or it would require the support of the Labour Party, which holds more than 1/3 of the seats. It would be highly embarrassing for Labour to refuse the chance of a general election – but probably less embarrassing than losing many of its seats to UKIP.

    ***Under the terms of the Treaty of Lisbon, in force since 1 December 2009, withdrawal from the EU requires the withdrawing state to inform the European Council (the heads of government of the member states) of its intention. This sets off a 2-year period of negotiation. If terms are not agreed within that time, and unless all states agree to an extension, membership ends automatically. There is some dispute about what constitutes informing the European Council – is it enough if Cameron says “Sorry guys – I fucked up and lost the referendum.”? AFAIK, there is no provision for the withdrawing state changing its mind during the 2-year period – but I suppose the Council of Ministers might be able to authorise this if they wanted to, which, in my opinion, is very unlikely.

  231. says

    Nick @254, thanks for all of the additional information, and for your personal take (on the scene).

    For another, very personal view, I recommend Why Brexit is devastating to thousands of married couples like us by Joseph Pearson & Fiona Zublin.

    […] Even when we try to explain to British people how difficult it is for two relatively privileged white, straight married people to deal with UK regulations, they’re boggled. Presumably, a country exists to serve and protects its citizens’ rights, and even if the UK makes life nigh on impossible for immigrants, surely the wife of a Brit should be able to stay — right? Yeah, no.

    If you want to bring a spouse into the country, you have to make a certain amount of money, well above the minimum wage and even well above decent earnings in many parts of the country. If you have kids, you need more money. Even if your spouse has a job offer, their income doesn’t count toward the total. For Brits marrying outside the fold, a family life is no longer a human right — it’s a privilege of the wealthy.

    But we had the European Union, where free movement rules mean any European citizen can live and work in another member state with their family, no matter how much money they make or where that family member was born. So instead of paying thousands of pounds per easily-denied visa application every year or two, we flew to Paris and installed ourselves in a small orange flat with a small orange cat. […]

    We might be allowed to maintain Joe’s rights as an EU citizen, since we exercised our free movement in another EU country before British membership was nullified, or renegotiations with Brussels might force the UK to accept the same free movement rules it has now (shocker: Most surveyed Brits think they should have the right to live and work in the EU while restricting those rights for EU citizens from other countries).

    It could be that Britain will be completely cut off. In that case, could we stay in France? If not, a move to England, or even the US, will likely mean months or potentially years of separation: waiting on visas and paperwork; proving again and again that we’re wealthy enough to deserve to live together; knowing that at any time the rules could change or a run-in with the wrong immigration officer at Heathrow could mean Fiona is sent away, or detained, or banned from the country. […]

  232. Nick Gotts says


    Nicola Sturgeon has made a point of saying all EU citizens resident in Scotland are welcome:

    One particular group we are anxious to reassure is the community of EU citizens living here in Scotland. People from other EU countries who have done us the honour of choosing to make Scotland their home are welcome here.

    I want to make sure that is a message we get across strongly in the weeks and months ahead.

    Of course that wouldn’t protect Joseph and Fiona legally unless Scotland becomes independent and can set its own policies, which would be unlikely to include the grossly unfair rules currently applied to non-EU spouses by the UK, but they might prefer coming to Scotland – where the majority did not vote for them to be forced apart – rather than England, from an emotional point of view.

  233. says

    (shocker: Most surveyed Brits think they should have the right to live and work in the EU while restricting those rights for EU citizens from other countries)

    Well this speaks volumes. This is assholism of highest degree. It is nigh impossible not to be angry at those snobby, stuck-up Brits as a whole. Special snowflakes dreaming of an empire long gone, where they could shamelesly exploit others and still feeling smug about how “noble and civilised” they are.

  234. Nick Gotts says

    Actually, the claim quoted is not justified by the survey figures: 52% think Brits should be able to work anywhere in the EU, 26″ say not (so presumably 22% don’t know); 36% think other EU citizens should be able to work without restriction in the UK, 46% say not, presumably 18% don’t know. So in fact, from those figures, there need not have been anyone who said simultaneously that Brits should be able to work anywhere in the EU and that EU citizens should not be able to work without restriction in the UK, since 52%+46% < 100%, so these subsets could be disjoint. Some must have said at least that Brits should be able to work anywhere in the EU, but not said EU citizens should be able to work without restriction in the EU, so there is still clear inconsistency, but not quite as blatant as Huffington Post claims. At least 12% of UKIP supporters, however, must take the more baldly inconsistent stance.

  235. says

    Another contrast between the Trump and the Clinton campaigns: Hillary marched alongside Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio in the NYC Gay PrideParade today. She did not hold a press conference extolling the amenities of any property that she owns.

    NY Daily News link

  236. says

    This is a followup to comment 253.

    Clinton’s lead is smaller, 5 points, in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Clinton has led in the past eleven polls that were conducted by telephone interviewers.

    Trump’s favorable rating is now 28%, while Clinton’s is 36%. Neither is good.

    Remarkably, some voters still think Trump would do a better job with the economy. Yikes. Maybe they did not read and understand his statements about taxes and debt.

  237. quotetheunquote says

    Boris Johnson trying to put his “best Trump” on – or perhaps I should call it his “best Rob Ford” – by lying through his teeth: “… the pound is stable, the markets are stable…”


    To paraphrase D. Adams, “Ah! This must be some new definition of the word “stable” that I had not previously encountered.”

    Financial Times story.

  238. dianne says

    Remarkably, some voters still think Trump would do a better job with the economy. Yikes. Maybe they did not read and understand his statements about taxes and debt.

    They probably didn’t. They keep hearing Trump called a “businessman” and they know he’s a billionaire, so they think he must be a successful businessman, right? Therefore he must be good with economic decisions and would be better for the economy.

    Never mind that Trump inherited his money and didn’t actually increase his wealth and that Clinton started out middle class and is now, through her own efforts, like it or not, a multi-millionaire. She’s thought of as a “politician” and therefore someone who is not trustworthy and probably bad with finances.

  239. dianne says

    @262: But that’s not just untrue, it’s trivially easy to verify its untruth. The pound is at its lowest since the 1980s versus the dollar–including its nadir on Friday, meaning that it’s still dropping. The markets, likewise, have fallen further from Friday. The British economy dropped from 5th to 6th largest in the world and looks at risk of dropping to 7th–behind former colony India. How is that stable? Or, rather, how can anyone be convinced that that is stable?

  240. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    SCOTUS overturns Texas’ restrictive abortion law.

    The Supreme Court has struck down Texas’ widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court’s biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.
    The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation’s second-most populous state.
    Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.
    Texas had argued that its 2013 law and subsequent regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.
    Breyer wrote that “the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”
    Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer.
    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

    Now, if the rethugs in the state legislatures would only listen.

  241. quotetheunquote says

    dianne @ 264:

    I know, right? Why does he get away with this? (I suppose because he’s surrounded by a pharynx of True Believers…)

    This is the aspect of his behaviour that led me to the comparison with late Toronto mayor Ford. I had a very good friend, a resident of Toronto, who once said a very canny thing – “Rob Ford lies [he was still in office at the time] just like a little child.” This was in reference to his serious drug and alcohol problem, which he lied about constantly, something like this:
    “Mr Mayor, are you trying to steal a cookie?”
    “No! I never did!”
    “But sir, your hand is in the cookie jar, right now”
    [withdraws hand, hides it behind back] “No it isn’t!”

    Bojo is turning into that … no doubt, if confronted with the actual facts, he would claim that that by “stable” he meant “declining, but at a constant rate” (the first derivative of the value is stable!), or something.

    We’re entering Lewis Carroll territory, here.

  242. says

    Regarding comments 262 and 264, Boris is not the only one who has a troubled relationship with the facts. Of course, Trump takes another step into ridiculous mode by claiming that not caring about facts is a virtue. Even Trump’s campaign staff buys this “ignorance is a virtue” (or “willful stupidity is a virtue) line.

    Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort said yesterday, “The good thing is, we have a candidate who doesn’t need to figure out what’s going on in order to say what he wants to do.”

  243. says

    Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren addressed a rally in Ohio yesterday.

    MSNBC link. The video is 1:34 minutes long. The video featuring Warren is next in the lineup on the same page.

    Daily Kos coverage of the same event. Excerpts below.

    [Warren said]: This election is about values … Donald Trump believes poor sad little Wall Street bankers need to be free to defraud anyone they want. Hillary Clinton believes we need strong rules to prevent another financial crisis. […]

    [Clinton said] Why do the richest pay lower tax rates than you do? Why is Congress giving hedge fund millionaires tax breaks rather than investing in infrastructure? […]

    Let’s set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone. And let’s provide debt relief as soon as we can. […]

    Rewrite the rules so more companies share profits with their employees, not just their executives. […]

  244. says

    This is a followup to Nerd’s comment 265.

    President Obama’s statement about today’s supreme court ruling against a Texas anti-abortion law.

    I am pleased to see the Supreme Court protect women’s rights and health today. As the brief filed by the Solicitor General makes clear and as the Court affirmed today, these restrictions harm women’s health and place an unconstitutional obstacle in the path of a woman’s reproductive freedom.

    We remain strongly committed to the protection of women’s health, including protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to determine her own future. Women’s opportunities are expanded and our nation is stronger when all of our citizens have accessible, affordable health care.

    Former Democratic Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis commented:

    I’m overjoyed. I have to tell you, I was fighting back tears a moment ago, as I was reading the SCOTUSblog, and the first line that came out saying that the Fifth Circuit opinion or decision had been reversed. It’s incredible news for the women of Texas. It’s incredible news for women throughout this country.

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the guy who lost at the Supreme Court hearing, said this:

    HB2 was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for Texas women. It’s exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women’s health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly-elected representatives,

    Bullshitting liar.

  245. says

    The State of Michigan spent some money to drug test people applying for welfare and people already receiving benefits from welfare programs. The results: zero. Not a single person tested positive.

    […] Michigan’s results aren’t abnormal for these kinds of programs. Ten states have implemented them, typically requiring applicants and beneficiaries to undergo a screening questionnaire and submit to a drug test if the answers raise suspicions. But few tests have come back positive. In 2015, Arizona uncovered zero positive tests. All told, the 10 states spent a collective $850,909.25 to dig up just 321 positive tests. The ratio of positive results to the population on welfare is below the share of Americans who use illegal drugs in the general population, but states have still spent nearly $2 million on the efforts.

    Many of the programs aim to cut drug users off of benefits, which proponents claim should result in savings. In Michigan’s pilot program, if someone had tested positive for illegal drugs he or she would have been referred to treatment while continuing to receive benefits. But a second positive test would get a person dropped from the roles until he or she can test negative.

    Some states kick a person off welfare if a single positive drug test is recorded.

    But experts warn that if states don’t increase resources for drug treatment programs, people with actual substance abuse issues won’t necessarily be able to access help. And getting cut off from assistance will do little to help them with any harmful habits. […]

    Think Progress link

    So, the drug testing was a bad idea at all levels. Rather than saying that cutting them off from assistance will do little to help them, I would say that it would make it more likely that they will sink or die under the weight of harmful habits.

  246. says

    Some people speak the truth, and they do it well.

    Actor Jesse Williams, best known for his role on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy, accepted the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET awards on Sunday for his work raising awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. After receiving the award, Williams gave a profound speech on black lives and human rights that brought the audience to its feet.


    […] And let’s get a couple things straight. Just a little sidenote. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright. Stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression… If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

    […] we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called ‘whiteness’ uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. […]

    Video at the link, Think Progress link.

  247. says

    This is a followup to comments 265 and 269.

    Here are few rightwing reactions to the Supreme Court ruling on Whole Woman’s Heath.

    [from Todd Starnes of Fox News]: Supreme Court sides with the killers of unborn babies.

    [from Laura Ingraham]: Justice Kennedy once again joins the liberals to side w/ the butchers ag innocent life. But as Pope Francis says “who are we to judge?”

    [ from RedState’s Ben Howe]: I’m still confused why abortion clinics should have lower standards than doctors offices & hospitals.

    [from The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro]: it’s a victory for those who celebrate baby killing as a sacrament.

  248. says

    Thin-skinned man-boy Donald Trump is really hurt because Elizabeth Warren is still picking on him. His response is to call Warren a “fraud” and a “racist.”

    I hope that she’s selected as the vice-presidential running mate. I will speak very openly about her if she is. She is one of the least productive senators in the United States Senate. We call her Pocahontas for a reason. […]

    She said she’s 5 percent Native American. She was unable to prove it. She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud. I know it. Other people who work with her know it. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud.

    She made up her heritage which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist actually, because what she did was very racist.

    I don’t know where he gets that “one of the least productive senators” bit. He never backs that up with any facts.

    Warren did claim, and did think, that she had more Native American heritage than has since been found. However, she did not fraudulently make the claim. She was going by her family’s history, and it’s an odd thing on which to base Trump’s dismissal of her. As usual, Trump does not engage on the substance of Warren’s policies, like the many efforts to protect consumers.

    Here is the backstory concerning Warren’s ancestors:

    “Everyone on our mother’s side — aunts, uncles, and grandparents — talked openly about their Native American ancestry,” Warren wrote in her 2014 memoir “A Fighting Chance.” “My brothers and I grew up on stories about our grandfather building one-room schoolhouses and about our grandparents’ courtship and their early lives together in Indian Territory.”

    In that same book Warren acknowledged being somewhat blindsided by the personal nature of the Brown [Scott Brown, the rightwing doofus who is a former Senator from Massachusetts. Warren defeated him.] of campaign’s attacks. “He attacked my dead parents,” she wrote. “I was hurt, and I was angry.”

    Fairly exhaustive research on Warren’s background by several publications in 2012 determined that, at most, the woman behind the Consumer Protection Bureau was 1/32 Cherokee, which would be “sufficient for tribal citizenship” according to the New York Times, but not “eligible to become a member of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes,” according to The Atlantic.

    And although Warren has never backed down from her assertion that she believes she has Cherokee ancestry, investigations have yet to turn up any definitive proof that she does […] Some experts have suggested that, like significant portions of the African-American community, Warren simply incorrectly believed she was a descendant of Cherokee Indians, but her critics have pointed out that she identified as white for most of her life in academia and could have done proper research into her genealogy before aligning herself with native culture. […]

    Meanwhile, Trump might want to take a closer look at his own interactions with Native Americans:

    […] Last fall, he pledged to reverse an Obama administration decision to rename Mount McKinley in Alaska after its original native name Denali, calling it a “great insult” to former President William McKinley’s home state of Ohio. He has also vehemently defended the controversial name of the Washington Redskins NFL franchise. […] Trump said, “I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name.”

    […] Trump has used controversial rhetoric in the past when competing with tribes in the casino business.

    In 2000, Trump offended Mohawk Indians in upstate New York by financing a series of newspaper ads suggesting that a planned Catskills casino run by members of the tribe would bring drugs and violence into the community. “Are these the kind of neighbors we want?” one of the ads asked. […]

    In 1993, Trump questioned the authenticity of some of his Native American business rivals during a congressional hearing in which he tried to convince lawmakers that casinos on Native American lands were both unconstitutional and hotbeds of organized crime.

    “They don’t look like Indians to me,” he said of the Pequot Indians, who were running a very profitable casino in Connecticut at the time, […]

    “Organized crime is rampant on Indian reservations,” Trump added. “People know it; people talk about it. […]”

    A witness from the FBI later rebutted Trump’s insinuations, arguing that “the gaming industry is a relatively closed industry,” and that “the vast majority are run as legitimate legal businesses.” Trump’s testimony also inspired a strong rebuke from then Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.).

    “In the 19 years I have been on this committee, I have never seen such irresponsible remarks,” he told Trump. “You have cast on the Indians in this country a blanket indictment that organized crime is rampant. You don’t know this; […].” […]

    MSNBC link

  249. says

    Trump’s spokespeople are having a really hard time defending Trump’s comment that he would profit from Brexit. In fact, they are not really defending the comment. They adopt instead the tactic of changing the subject, including changing the subject to Benghazi. Benghazi!

    [..] Asked on CNN’s “Legal View” to answer for Trump’s comments, spokeswoman Katrina Pierson denied that the presumptive GOP nominee’s response was “a tough thing to navigate.”

    “Perhaps Mr. Trump could have gone out and blamed Brexit on a video that never existed and maybe the media would have been okay with that,” Pierson said. “He answered like a businessman.”

    “When the attack on the consulate of Benghazi occurred, Hillary Clinton went out and lied to the American public and blamed it on the video,” she added. […]

    CNN host Ashleigh Banfield cut in to ask Pierson what the video had to do with Trump celebrating how a weak pound could mean more tourists visiting his Turnberry golf course.

    “Mr. Trump answered the question as a businessman,” Pierson deflected. […]

    Banfield said that as a presidential candidate, “you have to represent the people of America, not just your business.”

    Pierson countered that Trump was in Scotland on the day of the Brexit vote to “support his family” and that it just happened to occur on the day that U.K. voters decided they were “tired of globalism.”

  250. says

    One of the other decisions the Supreme Court handed down today was a decision in a gun rights case. People with convictions for “reckless” domestic assault fall under a federal law prohibiting people convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from possessing a firearm.

    Justice Thomas disagreed.

    “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he asked, later suggesting that the particular domestic abusers in this case shouldn’t lose their ability to carry guns because they’ve never actually “use[d] a weapon against a family member.” […]

    It imposes a lifetime ban on gun ownership for a single intentional nonconsensual touching of a family member…the majority seeks to expand that already broad rule to any reckless physical injury or nonconsensual touch. I would not extend the statute into that constitutionally problematic territory.”

    […] the law Thomas is referencing is most often used against perpetrators of domestic violence such as spousal battery and abuse, for which it’s often difficult to obtain a felony conviction, and which are well-documented precursors to deadly violence. […]

    Many high-profile mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. In just a few, recent examples: The man who shot up the Pulse nightclub earlier this month, killing 49 and wounding 53, allegedly violently abused his first wife during their brief marriage. The man who attacked the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood last year, killing three and wounding nine, had previously been charged with sexually assaulting a woman at knifepoint, and had reports and orders of protection filed against him for physically assaulting his wife and stalking his neighbor. A similar trend bears out in the story of the man who opened fire on a packed movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana in July 2015: In 2008, his wife and daughter had filed orders of protection against him for “acts of family violence,” […]

    Think Progress link

  251. says

    This might be our schadenfreude moment of the day.

    Remember when Mike Huckabee welcomed Kim Davis out of the Rowan County, Kentucky jail with “Eye of the Tiger” playing loudly?

    […] Mike Huckabee gave an enthusiastic introduction to the embroiled county clerk and the song “Eye of the Tiger” was blaring from the loud speakers as she made her way to the stage. The band Survivor was not happy and they sued Mike Huckabee for copyright infringement. They settled out of court, but Huckabee tried to pass the $25,000 off to his failed presidential campaign. […]


    Not so fast, Mr. Huckabee. You can’t wiggle out of this one.

    In court, Huckabee argued that the anti-gay-rights rally was a “religious assembly… signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis” from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as “noncommercial” and allow him to cite “fair use” — letting him play part of the song without paying for it.

    But that argument fell apart when the songwriter’s lawyer pointed out that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense.

    CNN Money link

    […] the Federal Elections commission ruled that he had to use his own personal funds, not campaign funds to pay the $25,00 settlement. […]

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Related to yesterday’s SCOTUS decision on abortion, SCOTUS declined to hear an appeal of a ruling that required the pharmacy to dispense plan B birth control medication despite their religious objections.

    The Supreme Court is allowing Washington state to require pharmacies to dispense Plan B or other emergency contraceptives, rejecting an appeal from pharmacists who said they have religious objections to providing the drugs.
    The justices’ order on Tuesday leaves in place rules first adopted in 2007 following reports that some women had been denied access to emergency contraceptives that are effective when taken within a few days of unprotected sex. Pharmacies must fill lawful prescriptions, but individual pharmacists with moral objections can refer patients to another pharmacist at the same store.
    A Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia, Washington, and two pharmacists sued, saying the rules required them to violate their religious beliefs.
    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the appeal.
    Calling the court’s action an “ominous sign,” Alito wrote a stinging 15-page dissent for the three dissenting justices. “If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern,” he wrote.
    A trial judge twice ruled for the pharmacists in the long-running lawsuit, but was twice overturned by the federal appeals court in San Francisco.
    The case is Stormans Inc. v. Wiesman, 15-862.

    Evidently Alito is unable to understand the concept of the pharmacy imposing its religious views on the public, which is forbidden by the first amendment.

  253. says

    Two years and seven million dollars later, House Republicans released a report from the Select Committee on Benghazi. Spoiler alert: not much has changed. Trey Gowdy still can’t put Hillary Clinton in jail.

    The good news: though he tried and tried, Gowdy (Republican doofus who chaired the committee) did not manage to slow-walk the investigation all the way into October, hoping to have a more deleterious effect on the elections in November.

    From the New York Times:

    Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

    In the 800-page report, we do see the usual legitimate concerns: inadequate security resources for embassies, breakdowns in coordination between agencies, general stupidity over the video that caused a riot in Cairo earlier. As Steve Benen put it:

    […] the Select Committee on Benghazi came to the same conclusions all of the other investigations reached quite a while ago, raising questions anew about why in the world this committee was necessary in the first place. […]

    Given the panel’s abuses, the inescapable fact is clear: the Republicans’ Benghazi Committee didn’t investigate a scandal; the Republicans’ Benghazi Committee was the scandal.

    Democrats on the committee released their own report. Their 339-page report was followed up by a statement to the press: “Decades in the future, historians will look back on this investigation as a case study in how not to conduct a credible investigation.”

    More from Steve Benen:

    […] did House Republicans spend two years and $7 million to effectively exonerate Hillary Clinton as part of the GOP’s favorite conspiracy theory?

    Yes. Yes they did.

    […] seven separate congressional committees investigated the Benghazi attack before the Select Committee was even created. This was already one of the most scrutinized events in American history. Republican lawmakers, however, didn’t quite care for what the evidence told them, so they effectively concluded, “Seven committees didn’t tell us what we wanted to hear, so maybe the eighth committee will.”

    Except, it appears this one came up short, too.

    The Select Committee on Benghazi lasted longer than the investigations into the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Iran-Contra scandal, Church Committee, the Watergate probe, and the 9/11 attacks. In fact, it’s of interest that the 9/11 Commission, investigating every possible angle to the worst terrorist attack in the history of the country, worked for 604 days and created a bipartisan report endorsed by each of the commission’s members.

    The Benghazi committee, meanwhile, worked for over 700 days to create a partisan, election-year document, rehashing revelations that have been known and documented for years.

    History will not be kind.

    I was listening to news hosts interview some of the Republicans involved, and they were spinning the release of the report hard. Trey Gowdy refused to answer a question about exonerating Hillary Clinton. He claimed “new facts” but couldn’t really explain what those were. In general, all of the Republicans withdrew to the “let the American people read the report and decided for themselves” copout. Weak.

  254. says

    Trump gave a speech on trade. For the most part, he read poorly from teleprompters. Here is an excrpt:

    […] “Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization, moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas. Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy. I used to be one of them. The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything and say anything to keep things exactly the way they are.

    Under a Trump presidency, the American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them. We will stand up to trade cheating. Cheating. Cheaters, that’s what they are—Cheaters [the Chinese]. We will stand up to trade cheating. […]

    Okay. so Trump was one of the elites who rigged the system and/or took advantage of a rigged system to make himself wealthy. But now he is all for the workers. Not buying that BS.

  255. says

    This is a followup to comment 279.

    Brian Fallon from the Clinton campaign issued a statement:

    The Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee are finishing their work in the same, partisan way that we’ve seen from them since the beginning. In refusing to issue its report on a bipartisan basis, the Committee is breaking from the precedent set by other Congressional inquiries into the Benghazi attacks. And in leaking out select portions from their report in the middle of the night, without even allowing some of the committee’s own members to see it, the Republican members are clearly seeking to avoid any fact-checking of their discredited, conspiracy theories. […]

  256. says

    After the Trump campaign’s miserable fund-raising stats for last month were revealed, and after it became increasingly obvious that Trump cannot or will not fund his general election campaign, his staff started an actual fundraising effort. It is not going well.

    Poor management from the top? Ignorance? Trump hired Paul Manafort, so he should know what he’s doing. But for pity’s sake, this is pathetic.

    Numerous members of the British parliament have complained that they have received multiple emails from the Trump campaign asking for a donation.

    From Natalie McGarry MP:

    May be Donald Trump bought lists – bizarre for grassroots campaign – but how does he opt out of foreign donations? […]

    Natalie McGarry also rebuked Trump’s son:

    Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me,” she wrote in the email. “Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror […].

    From Stuart McDonald MP from Scotland:

    Dear @nytimes, could you pass a message to @realDonaldTrump for me? Please stop sending campaign begging letters to MPs. It’s pathetic!

    “Members of Parliament are being bombarded by electronic communications from Team Trump on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump,” Sir Roger Gale said on Tuesday, according to Politics Home. “Mr Speaker, I’m all in favour of free speech but I don’t see why colleagues on either side of the House should be subjected to intemperate spam.”

    Sir Roger seemed to have trouble even deleting the Trump emails.

    “Efforts to try to have these deleted have failed. I wonder if you’d be kind enough to intercede with the Digital Services Department to see if they may be blocked,” he lamented.

  257. says

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing Donald Trump how things should be done. Canada will soon drop visa requirements for Mexican citizens (December 1, 2016).

    […] The Government of Canada has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen our relationship with one of our most important partners, Mexico. Lifting the visa requirement will deepen ties between Canada and Mexico and will increase the flow of travellers, ideas, and businesses between both countries. […]

    I’m not going to pick a fight with Donald Trump right now. I’m not going to support him either, obviously. But I am watching very, very carefully to see this, I think, important moment in the United States, in the greatest democracy in the world, to see how it deals with what is obviously a very real set of issues around frustration towards the body politic that we’ve seen in various iterations around the world.

    Politico link

  258. Chris J says

    Somehow it’s extra hilarious to see Trump’s campaign inundating British MPs with campaign e-mails just after the Brexit vote. The nation votes to leave the EU against the apparent wishes of most of Parliament at the behest of a campaign of xenophobia and extreme nationalism, and Trump of all people shows up in their inbox.

    “Now is NOT the time, Mr. Trump,” said through gritted teeth. XD

  259. says

    Fact-checking Trump’s speech on trade:

    CLAIM: “When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing.”

    The facts: When China subsidized anti-corrosive steel, the U.S. Government slapped a 226% tariff on them to correspond with the subsidies. […]

    CLAIM: “Hillary Clinton was totally for the TPP just a short while ago, but when she saw my stance, which is totally against, she was shamed into saying she would be against it too ­ but have no doubt, she will immediately approve it if it is put before her, guaranteed.”

    The facts: Clinton supported the policy during its negotiation. Days after its final release, she said she did not support how it turned out. While Trump has adamantly opposed TPP since before his campaign began and before the final deal was released, there’s no indication that his remarks changed her mind.

    CLAIM: “Many people think that these regulations are an even greater impediment than the fact that we are one of the highest taxed nations in the world.”

    The facts: […] As Politifact wrote earlier this year: “Taxation accounted for 26 percent of GDP, which ranks America 27th out of 30 countries (the OECD average was more than 34 percent). […] The U.S. measures up to other countries differently depending on what yardstick you use, but in no calculation is it “the highest” taxed nation in the world.

    CLAIM: “It was also Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, who shoved us into a job-killing deal with South Korea in 2012.”

    The facts: George W. Bush signed the U.S.—Korea free trade agreement in 2007, but the implementation of the agreement stalled when Congress failed to ratify it before the 2008 election. It was endorsed by an array of constituencies Trump claims to want to defend — Ford Motor Co. and the United Autoworkers union both backed it, as well as Sen. John McCain on the campaign trail in 2008. Then-Sen. Barack Obama initially criticized the deal, but eventually engaged in negotiations himself to broker a final agreement in December of 2010. Hillary Clinton was indeed serving as Secretary of State, but she far from “shoved” the U.S. into the agreement.

    NBC News link

  260. says

    Trump has been trying for some time to explain and/or to walk back his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Here’s a timeline of his pronouncements. Trigger warning for confusion and potential head-meet-desk injuries:

    A ‘total and complete shutdown’, December 2015 (after the murders in San Bernardino, California.
    As spokeswoman Hope Hicks said at the time, “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’”

    Trump’s friends, vets, U.S. citizens would be exempt. (An explanation Trump gave to Fox News’ Greta van Susteren the same night that he proposed the ban.) December 2015.

    Muslim world leaders and athletes would be exempt. Trump explained the exemptions the day after he proposed the ban, during a round of morning show interviews. December 2015.

    Trump renews call for ban after Brussels attacks. March 2016. Trump said the U.S. had “no choice” but to bar Muslim immigration.

    Trump stands by ban after becoming presumptive nominee. May 3 and May 4, 2016.

    London’s new Muslim mayor would be exempted. May 7, 2016.

    Trump says the proposed ban was “just a suggestion.” May 12, 2016. “It’s a temporary ban. It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

    Top advisor says Trump will soften his stance on the ban. May 26, 2016. “He’s already started moderating on that. He operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges and then brings it back towards the middle. Within his comfort zone, he’ll soften it some more.”

    Trump champions ban again after Orlando attack. June 13, 2016. “What happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough.”

    Ban applies to parts of world with “history of terrorism.” June 14, 2016. “When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats.”

    Christie argues the proposal isn’t actually a”‘Muslim ban.” “You all continue to call it a Muslim ban. That’s not what it is and never has been. So I’ve urged him to continue to speak in detail about this, so that it prevents the media from short-handing something and making him look like something that he’s not.”

    Trump only wants to ban Muslims from ‘terrorist countries” June 25, 2016, in Scotland. “I want terrorists out. I want people that have bad thoughts out. I would limit specific terrorist countries and we know who those terrorist countries are.”

    Spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said on June 27, 2016: “We’ve said this a number of times throughout the few months. Mr. Trump is going to be refining his policy — putting out more specific details, which everyone’s been asking for, but there has been no change. He still does not want to allow individuals to come into this country who cannot be vetted.”

    The timeline and facts above are a summary of reporting by Allegra Kirkland.

  261. says

    Trump is promising to indict Hillary Clinton. That’s his headline in his latest fundraising email. Actually, he is calling on voters to indict Clinton by sending Trump wads of cash now, and by electing him President. After that election, Trump is apparently promising to indict Clinton for the following:

    – TravelGate
    – Whitewater
    – the personal destruction of Monica Lewinsky
    – Rose Law firm scandal
    – Sidney Blumenthal
    – Benghazi
    – the private email server
    – accepting donations from terrorist nations

    Summarized from a Mother Jones report.

  262. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Donald is getting some feedback from the US Chamber of Commerce on his economic policies. Thumbs down.

    3:25 p.m.
    A traditional Republican ally is blasting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s economic proposals, saying it would lead to a weaker economy.
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is rebutting Trump’s Pennsylvania speech on trade, saying his policies would lead to millions of job losses and an economic recession.
    The Chamber says in a blog post that Trump’s proposals to place tariffs on imports from Mexico and China would spark a trade war. Even if China and Mexico don’t retaliate, the Chamber says the U.S. would still lose a minimum of 2 million jobs.
    The Chamber is also pushing back against Trump on Twitter, saying, “Under Trump’s trade plans, we would see higher prices, fewer jobs, a weaker economy.”

    I bet DeeTee is deaf….

  263. says

    President Obama will join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail on Tuesday, July 5. that should be fun.

    In other news, the latest Benghazi report from Republicans really puts that subject in the garbage as an anti-Hillary tactic … or so you would think. If Trey Gowdy and his ilk couldn’t find a smoking gun or any reason at all to indict Hillary Clinton, why would Republican supporters revert back to this issue? The NRA’s Political Victory Fund just made a $2 million ad buy to support Donald Trump. The subject of the ad? Benghazi. Sheesh.

  264. says

    Oh, FFS. A highly successful expansion of Medicaid (under Obamacare) provided about 440,000 people in Kentucky with health insurance. Kentucky did so well that it was used as an example for other states (see Louisiana).

    Then Matt Bevin was elected governor. Part of his campaign platform included a promise to eliminate Medicaid expansion.

    A thunderstorm rumbled through Frankfort Wednesday as Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin laid out his sweeping proposal to reshape the state’s Medicaid plan into one he predicts will encourage responsible health choices and teach Kentuckians the basics of paying for health care.

    As he spoke in the crowded Capitol Rotunda, a crack of lightning and boom of thunder reverberated through the marble corridors, prompting Bevin to pause.

    “God’s weighing in on this,” the governor, a conservative Christian, joked. “He agrees with everything I just said.”

    Courier-Journal link.
    That joke about God is not really a joke. Governor Bevin believes that God backs him up.

    As Steve Benen noted:

    The governor’s plan includes premium hikes on people who can least afford it and new work requirements.

    Bevin’s proposal would need approval from the Obama administration, and the governor has already said it’s a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: if federal officials balk at his “reforms,” Bevin says he’s prepared to scrap Medicaid expansion altogether, leaving 440,000 of his constituents with nothing. […]

    Owsley County Judge-Executive Cale Turner said at the time [of the election], “To be honest with you, a lot of folks in Owsley County went to the polls and voted against gay marriage and abortion, and as a result, I’m afraid they voted away their health insurance.”

    More from the Courier-Journal:

    Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s Medicaid program ran into a buzz saw of criticism at its first public hearing since the governor announced it last week.

    Of the parade of people who spoke at the two-hour hearing at Western Kentucky University, almost no one spoke in favor of the plan aimed largely at those added to the state’s Medicaid program since 2014 under an expansion authorized by the federal Affordable Care Act. […]

  265. says

    In reference to Benghazi and to the Benghazi report, Donald Trump tweeted:

    If you want to know about Hillary Clinton’s honesty & judgment, ask the family of Ambassador Stevens.

    Ambassador Steven’s family responded. His sister, Dr. Anne Stevens, said:

    It is clear, in hindsight, that the facility was not sufficiently protected by the State Department and the Defense Department. But what was the underlying cause? Perhaps if Congress had provided a budget to increase security for all missions around the world, then some of the requests for more security in Libya would have been granted. Certainly the State Department is under-budgeted.

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

    New Yorker link.

    Anne Stevens went on to say that she disliked the way that her brother’s death was politicized.

    With the many issues in the current election, to use that incident—and to use Chris’s death as a political point — is not appropriate…. I know he had a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton. He admired her ability to intensely read the issues and understand the whole picture.

    Donald Trump will probably never hear that, nor read it. I think he lives in a Trump Bubble to some extent.

  266. says

    Trump really really really wants to torture people. This is what he said after the attack in Turkey at the Ataturk Airport:

    We have laws; they don’t have laws. Their laws say you can do anything you want and the more vicious you are the better.

    You have to fight fire with fire. We have to be so strong. We have to fight so viciously. And violently because we’re dealing with violent people viciously.

    Can you imagine [ISIS members] sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire.

    The quoted material is from a speech Trump gave in Ohio. In an interview on CNN, he added that he intends to:

    […] change our law on, you know, the waterboarding thing.

  267. says

    Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her disgust over the poison-pill-laden bill that Mitch McConnell offered to fund a fight against the Zika virus:

    I didn’t think the GOP could write 1 bill to hurt women, vets, Obamacare, PP [Planned Parenthood], AND clean water all at once – but they did it. #Zika

    As Mark Sumner of Daily Kos put it:

    […] Republicans have ignored the problem, dragged their feet, scorned calls from states, dodged responsibility, overlooked a growing number of children with horrible birth defects, tried to use Zika as an excuse to wreck the EPA, and purposely planted poison pills to make sure bills don’t pass.

  268. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Discussion with RWA volunteer today. He stated that, if Hillary Clinton becomes President, the United States Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force will be disbanded as it is illegal for a serviceman to take orders from a girl. I told him that, during my (admittedly brief) service in the US Army, I obeyed the orders of women who were non-commissioned officers and officers. He then explained that this was acceptable because there is always a man further up the line who is actually issuing the orders the girls give. If the POTUS is a girl (yes, he kept using girl, not woman (and THAT brought back some unpleasant memories)), there is no man ultimately in charge so no orders can be issued. This one is, I admit, new to me. Anyone else heard this argument?

    He also tried to bring up Benghazi. I pointed out that the State Department, under Clinton, had requested more funding for security and the GOP never let it get out of committee. I have printed out the statements of Dr. Anne Stevens and have dropped it in his mailbox. Thanks, Lynna.

  269. says

    This is a followup to comments 282 and 285.

    Trump has expanded his offensive fundraising emails to include every member of the parliament of Iceland.

    “I have no idea why he emailed me the letter,” said MP Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, a member of Independence Party. “This whole matter is very perplexing. The letter left me speechless,” said MP Katrín Jakobsdóttir, head of the Left Green Party.

    If you’re wondering if this is as bizarre as it sounds, Yes, it totally is.Trump and his wastrel sons appear to be developing a new composite literary form – the hybrid campaign money ask/Nigerian email scam email. ‘Dearly Beloved in Christ, I am former billionaire Donald Trump, now fighting to regain my fortune from Crooked Hillary …”

    […] I’ve now confirmed that Trump and sons have also been sending emails to all the MPs in Australia and Denmark. I have unconfirmed reports that MPs in Canada also received them. Indeed, Labor MP Tim Watts of Australia tells me he’s gotten a flood of emails from the Trump’s asking for money to defeat Crooked Hillary.

    […] Obviously, it is strictly against US election law to receive campaign contributions from foreign nationals. I suspect knowingly soliciting them is likely also illegal. And when you’re soliciting money from foreign parliamentarians it’s probably a pretty good bet they’re not US citizens. But obviously, as big as a buffoon as Trump is, and as crooked as he is, there’s no possible way his campaign is intentionally soliciting small donor contributions from members of foreign parliaments. Somehow this must be incompetence in how they bought their email solicitation lists. But how?

    Now a few people suggested that maybe someone was just pranking Trump […] You’d need to collect each email and then manually add them in on the Trump website, somehow get them to confirm the opt-in confirmation email. It’s too complicated. These are lists that were almost certainly added from within the campaign. […]

    To give another example, I heard this morning from a Democratic Senate Chief of Staff who also got the emails. Folks like that get fundraising emails from everyone under the sun. No surprise. But he told me he never gets them at his email. And it’s obvious why. You’re not allowed to do that and it’s the easiest thing in the world to scrub a list of all the .gov addresses.

    For right now, we’re scouring the world to find all the other parliaments the Trumps are currently spamming. And they do seem to be hitting these people with multiple emails. Like a lot.

    So again, how can they be this incompetent, raining shame down on America by bombarding the descendants of Vikings with perplexing emails about his battle with Crooked Hillary?

  270. blf says

    If the POTUS is a girl […], there is no man ultimately in charge so no orders can be issued. This one is, I admit, new to me. Anyone else heard this argument?

    That vaguely reminds me of some fundie babble, albeit I cannot specifically point to another example of the claim cited. However, quite coincidentally, I did stumble across a related-ish claim earlier today (my emboldening):

    #1586: Gordon Epperly

    There has been a number of birther lawsuits — all of them deranged — but Gordon Epperly of Alaska may have the distinction of filing the (two) craziest of them all […]


    The [first] challenge was rejected, so he filed another one claiming that Obama is not a natural born citizen and that, by taking office, he has committed treason — and that Nancy Pelosi has no right to be hold public office because she’s a woman: “There are no provisions in the Constitution of the United States that grants Women ‘Political Rights’ of Suffrage to hold any Political Office of the United States Government,” said the lawsuit. […]

    Note quite the same thing, but seemingly from the same vat of batshite nutty fruitcakeism.

  271. quotetheunquote says

    @ 297

    Dare I ask what this RWA you have is? Should I be very very very afraid of an organization that attracts volunteers like this?

  272. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    quotetheunquote @300:

    The volunteer is a Vox Dei-style Catholic. He is a retired public school teacher from New Jersey where he taught physics, calculus and pre-calc, health (sex education) and special ed. He went to college on the GI bill and state aid. He was in the New Jersey State Teachers Union for 30 odd years. And he insists that, since he pulled himself up by the bootstraps without any help from anyone, from a poor farming family that got by on food stamps during the spring and into the early summer, attended public school, nobody today should expect any aid for education or anything else and we should privatize education so it will work properly and we should defund all schools that are below the national average so that every school will work to become above average (no, he really doesn’t understand statistics). He is a birther, a flat-taxer, a misogynistic asshole, a victim-blamer, anti-women’s health care (he doesn’t want insurance to pay for prenatal care as it that encourages the welfare leeches to have more babies), and is so disconnected from reality that I dread seeing him.

    That said, he can interact well with visitors and gives pretty good tours. It is only with staff that he is an insufferable asshat.

  273. says

    Brother Ogvorbis @ 301, thanks for that. Such a good comment, with an excellent summary:

    He is a birther, a flat-taxer, a misogynistic asshole, a victim-blamer, anti-women’s health care (he doesn’t want insurance to pay for prenatal care as it that encourages the welfare leeches to have more babies), and is so disconnected from reality that I dread seeing him.

    It’s a pity that the guy is there to hassle staff members.

    In other news, in good news, New Hampshire restored funding to Planned Parenthood in that state. Yay!

    In an unexpected development, New Hampshire’s Executive Council, a special five-member body that has veto power over state contracts, voted to restore over half a million dollars in funding to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday. […]

    Sununu [Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, a Republican who is running for governor] claimed that he voted against Planned Parenthood in 2015 because of the discredited videos that right-wing critics circulated to try to claim PP was involved in the illegal sale of fetal tissue. Sununu now admits that those allegations turned out to be utterly bogus (well, not exactly in those words), and so, he says, Planned Parenthood “should be treated like any other organization that comes before the council.” […]

    Republicans (like Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey) who insist on bashing the group to the very end do so at their own peril.


  274. says

    An international survey shows Trump’s ratings in Europe and Asia are miserably low.

    In seven of 15 countries outside of the U.S. polled by Pew Research Center, Trump’s ratings are in the single digits. Large majorities in 11 of the countries have little or no confidence in the prospective Republican presidential nominee ability to manage international affairs. That includes 92 percent of Swedes, 89 percent of Germans and 82 percent of Japanese.

    […] Trump, who has advocated trade protectionism and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States, records his highest ratings in Europe among supporters of political parties that are anti-immigration or oppose European integration. But even among those poll respondents, his confidence ratings remains below one-third. […]

    Hillary Clinton fares much better. A median of 59 percent in Europe have confidence in the Democratic contender — compared with just 9 percent for Trump. She also gets positive marks in Canada, Australia and Japan, […]

  275. blf says

    High lead levels force workers in Congress building to drink bottled water:

    Cannon House Office Building cited as having high lead levels amid investigations into lead contamination of water systems across US

    Concerns about dangerous lead in drinking water have reached Congress — quite literally. It’s been discovered that a key congressional office building has high lead levels in its water supply, with workers being provided with bottled water to consume instead.

    A recent routine test found the elevated lead levels in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington DC, according to an email sent out by William Weidemeyer, the House office buildings superintendent.

    According to Politico, Weidemeyer’s memo to lawmakers and their staff states that the lead levels are “slightly above the EPA standard”.

    “Although the cause of the increase remains under investigation, in an abundance of caution all drinking water sources and office-provided water filtration units in the building will be turned off beginning at 10pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016,” the email reads.


    Congress still hasn’t finalized an aid package for Flint, Michigan, which has been gripped by a toxic water crisis for the past two years. Around 8,000 children in Flint may experience developmental and behavioral problems due to the lead exposure […]

  276. says

    Remember when Trump promised to donate $6 million dollars to veterans, and then didn’t bother to do so until after reporting by the Washington Post revealed that he had broken his promises?

    Remember when Trump said he would forgive the loans he had made to his campaign (see comment 236)? The problem with the loans, (variously reported as $44 million, $45 million and $55 million), was that donors balked at the idea of giving money to the Trump campaign knowing that it could go straight into Trump’s pocket as loan repayment. The other problem: he has been touting his self-funded status as a big plus since day one. “I can’t be bought.” That’s often the first reason his supporters give when asked why they are voting for him.

    Guess what … you don’t really have to guess do you. Trump seems to be holding open the option of repaying himself because, no, the papers changing the loans to donations have not been filed.

    […] When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage. Many even reported Trump’s statement as if the deal was done.

    But it’s not.

    A week later, NBC News has learned the FEC has posted no record of Trump converting his loans to donations. The Trump Campaign has also declined requests to share the legal paperwork required to execute the transaction, though they suggest it has been submitted.

    Last week, campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said Trump was submitting formal paperwork forgiving the loan on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Reached by NBC this week, she said the paperwork “will be filed with the next regularly scheduled FEC report,” and declined to provide any documentation.

    NBC News link.

  277. says

    This is a followup to comments 208 (point #4), 275, 279 (main Benghazi Report summary), 281 (Democratic Party comments), 283, 292 (NRA paying for false Benghazi-related attacks on Clinton), 294 (Ambassador Steven’s family responds), and 297 (Ogvorbis fighting ignorance).

    We thought the Benghazi hearings were over. The report was issued. All of the GOP’s conspiracy theories were proven wrong. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was not undermined. Instead, the report exonerated her. So what is going on with this extension of interviews of rightwing whackos? The Benghazi Select Committee is still active. Trey Gowdy is not giving up.

    A day after releasing an 800-page report that failed to pin any fresh blame on Hillary Clinton, the House Select Committee on Benghazi was back to work Wednesday, interviewing a man who allegedly used the hashtag “#ifyouvoteforhillaryyouarebeyondstupid.”

    The report the committee released Tuesday was not necessarily the final product, as it has a working session and a vote on whether to adopt it set for July 8.

    That means there is still time for the committee to get in another interview, and Wednesday it has one with an Air Force mechanic who posted material about the Benghazi, Libya, attacks on his Facebook page, arguing that planes from his base in Europe could have intervened in time. […]

    Huff Po link

    Benghazi Committee Ranking Democratic Member Elijah Cummings said, “Republicans are addicted to Benghazi and to exploiting this tragedy for political reasons. If we needed any more evidence that this investigation was a partisan charade, now we have it.”

    Flying this doofus-headed Air Force mechanic to Washington and funding the meetings necessary to interview him will cost additional taxpayer money.

    The Benghazi report, the partisan Republican Benghazi report, already concluded (like every other investigation before, all 7 of them) that, no, U.S. military forces could not have reached Benghazi, Libya in time to make a difference. All the legitimate military testimony said the same thing.

    In addition to that part of the ongoing farce, Chairman Trey Gowdy has issued subpoenas to DOD officials.

  278. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Obama takes the media to task for calling Trump’s rhetoric “populist”.

    U.S. President Barack Obama is tired of hearing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump described as a populist.
    The Democratic leader, who has made no secret of his dislike for the wealthy businessman’s rhetoric, closed a news conference in Canada on Wednesday with a long riff on what makes a leader qualified for the “populist” mantra.
    Trump did not meet the criteria, Obama said, without mentioning the Republican by name.
    “Somebody … who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues or making sure that poor kids are getting a decent shot at life or have health care,” does not meet the definition, Obama said.
    “They don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes. That’s not the measure of populism. That’s nativism, or xenophobia. Or worse. Or it’s just cynicism,” he said…
    He made a point of saying U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton’s opponent in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, genuinely deserved the title of populist…
    “Sorry,” Obama said after his more-than-six-minute monologue. “It’s the prerogative of an outgoing president to go on an occasional rant, he said.

    Nice rant.

  279. says

    Jihadists for Trump:

    […] “Trump’s governance will be the destroyer of America and its traitor Arab allies.”

    According to Alkhouri [Laith Alkhouri, a counterterrorism analyst and co-founder of the threat intelligence firm FlashPoint], the jihadist supporters’ desire to see Trump become president is two prong. One one hand, they think he will weaken the United States — politically, economically and internationally […]. On the other, Trump has also made promises to be more aggressive with the Islamic State — such as “I would hit ISIS so hard you wouldn’t believe it” — that they believe will drive home their us-against-the-West messaging.

    “They believe that while Trump is running for the highest office in the world potentially, he is somebody that they can mock, they can joke about, and in some manner they believe that this guy who, if anything, if anything, is advancing their agenda, instead of going against their agenda,” Alkhouri said. “That is pretty disconcerting. People talk about ISIS not releasing anything about Trump, well clearly ISIS followers, or at least many of them, believe that Trump is the guy they would want to see in the White House.”

    Dov Zakheim, a conservative foreign policy adviser, asserts that Trump’s rhetoric would be used as a recruiting tool.

    “If he gets elected it could be a rallying cry for ISIS and al Qaeda and all these extremist groups,” Zakheim said. “They could say ‘see they really do hate you, and if you are Muslim and you think you can get along in the West, you are kidding yourself. “

    Zakheim said that Trump “didn’t create ISIS but he’s a racist,” and ISIS “will exploit any vehicle they can exploit.“ […]

  280. says

    How Trump brushes off accurate descriptions of him and of his policies: “Hillary’s called me a ‘xenophobe’ a few times. How many people even know what the word means? Same with ‘nativist.’ ”

    How does Trump pump up conspiracy theories about the Justice Department refusing to indict Hillary Clinton? Here he is speaking about the meeting former President Bill Clinton had with Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

    “I think it’s so terrible, I think it’s so horrible,” Trump told conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher. “I think it’s the biggest story, one of the big stories of this week, of this month, of this year.”

    Trump, who said the meeting “was really a sneak,” went on to say it was evidence of “the rigged system” and showed poor judgment.

    “You see a thing like this and, even in terms of judgment, how bad of judgment is it for him or for her to do this? Who would do this?”

    Talking Points Memo link.

    Uh, about that meeting. It was not planned. The meeting occurred after the two found themselves on the same tarmac in Phoenix. No laws were broken. No leverage was applied to keep Hillary out of jail. There were no charges pending that would have resulted in an indictment of Hillary. The two reportedly stuck to personal and non-controversial topics.

  281. says

    This is good news for students who have been scammed by for-profit colleges. In some cases, it is also good news for taxpayers, since we finance some of the loans taken out by students who attend for-profit colleges.

    Students who attended colleges at Everest, Heald and Wyotech — part of the for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges — were granted debt relief to the tune of $171 million this week.

    […] the Department of Education announced it has granted relief to 11,173 students from those schools who owed $15,280 on average, most of whom live in California. […]

    Corinthian is one of the worst actors in the for-profit college industry. Last May, it was fined $30 million from the U.S. Department of Education for misleading job placement claims. […] Recently unsealed documents show the chain’s recruiters were also paid by how many students they convinced to attend the school.

    After the rest of Corinthian’s campuses shut down, that still left the not-so-small matter of figuring out how to help the students who were scammed by the chain. Many for-profit college students are already economically disadvantaged before attending these schools — so as their student debt piles on and they’re unable to find an employer who respects their degree, they may be even worse off than they were before enrolling. […]

    There may be more good news coming down the pike … slowly:

    The department is working on helping other students who attended other for-profit colleges, but it’s happening slowly. The department is currently moving toward creating a process for borrower defense to repayment, which would allow borrowers to seek relief if their institution of higher education violated the law. The final version of this rule is expected to be released to the public in November and would become effective next summer. […]

    The rule would also create a process for group-wide loan discharges, which would allow the department to grant discharges to students who attended a college that violated state law without receiving individual claims from each student. […]

  282. says

    When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage.

    It’s worse than that. He said in an official statement that he’d already forgiven them. There’s no way to read “Mr. Trump has fully extinguished (terminated) this loan per his commitment” (my emphasis) other than that he’d already done it, and Hope Hicks said the paperwork would be available by the end of that day. I have to wonder whether he can actually do it financially.

  283. says

    Trump consistently demonstrates that he cannot count to five when it comes to discussing Supreme Court decisions. Here’s Steve Benen’s take on Trump’s math failure:

    […] On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down arguably the most important abortion-rights ruling in a generation, prompting [Trump] to say … literally nothing. To the consternation of some of his social-conservative allies, Trump acted as if the court’s decision didn’t exist, offering no response in speeches, interviews, or social media.

    It took a few days, but this morning the presumptive GOP nominee broke his unexpected silence in an interview with conservative radio host Mike Gallagher.

    “Now if we had Scalia was living, or if Scalia was replaced by me, you wouldn’t have had that, OK? It would’ve been the opposite.”

    Actually, no, it wouldn’t have. This week’s ruling was actually a 5-3 decision. Yes, Antonin Scalia’s passing meant the Supreme Court was down one justice, but it doesn’t take a mathematician to know 3 +1 does not equal 5.

    […] Trump and his team had three days to come up with the candidate’s response to a major court ruling, and this is what they came up with.

    In the same interview, the New York Republican complained about Chief Justice John Roberts, telling the host, “He could’ve killed [the Affordable Care Act] twice and he didn’t. That was terrible. And that was a Bush appointment. That was so bad, what happened. And you know, to me, you know, almost not recoverable from his standpoint. Very, very sad situation.”

    Actually, the second time the justices considered the constitutionality of “Obamacare,” the law was upheld in a 6-3 ruling. When Trump said today Roberts “could’ve killed” the ACA, his math is still wrong — because 6 – 1 does not equal four.

    Do you ever get the impression that Trump hasn’t really thought this issue through? Ever wonder if there’s an issue he has thought through? […]

  284. says

    Trump doubled down this morning on his a math problem when he discussed the recent Supreme Court ruling that said that Texas’ anti-abortion tactics were unconstitutional.

    So just to confirm, under a Donald, a President Donald Trump-appointed Supreme Court, you wouldn’t see a majority ruling like the one we had with the Texas abortion law this week.

    Trump simultaneously confirmed that he wants to restrict the reproductive rights of women.

  285. dianne says

    So, how about that Democratic platform? I’m going to agree with The Vicar here and say that supporting the TPP is a really, really bad plan*. If I understand correctly, it’s not actually finalized, though, until the 8th-9th. It’s a long shot, but perhaps there’s a chance to get that bit changed still?

    *Just not as bad as, say, voting Trump because he promises to block the TPP. Which he likely would do, but he’d also destroy the world economy which would negate the advantages of blocking it.

  286. says

    SC @313, thanks for the additional info. Trump also came out and declared the forgiving of the loans a done deal. If it is a done deal, why doesn’t the FEC show it as such?

    I have forgiven my $50 million loan to my campaign. Done deal!

    I like the exclamation mark. It makes me laugh. It reminds me of the way he peppers his speeches with “believe me!” Oh, yeah, adding exclamation marks and saying “believe me” wipes away all doubt in my mind.

    As Chris Hayes said, “If it’s a done deal, then just release the form you filed with the FEC. Easy!”

  287. says

    Rachel Maddow took careful aim at another of Trump’s scummy get-rich-quick schemes, The Trump Institute, which is not the same as Trump University. Different scam.

    The Maddow segment begins with coverage of a connection to John McCain’s senate race in 2010. He won that challenge thanks in part to one of his opponents, J.D. Hayworth, having close connections to a previous scam run by the same scam artists, Mike and Irene Milin, who ran The Trump Institute.

    Prosecutors brought more than thirty cases against Mike and Irene Milin, (deceptive trade practices, consumer fraud). McCain won the senate race by pointing out that J.D. Hayworth is a huckster. “Character matters.”

    As with Trump University, The Trump Institute was fronted by Donald Trump himself. He appeared in all kinds of promotional videos, etc. “People are loving it. People are really doing well with it.” Super sleazy.

    The Maddow video is 13:28 minutes long.

    The New York Times also reported on The Trump Institute as a scam. The Better Business Bureau gave The Trump Institute an “F.” To make the endeavor even sleazier, the lesson plans were plagiarized from an older real estate handbook.

  288. says

    This is a followup to comment 298.

    It is now a national news story that the Trump campaign has been sending fundraising letters to foreign parliamentarians. So, you would assume the error would be corrected, right? The email list or database would be scrubbed of those foreign, governmental email addresses, right? No, oh no.

    More fundraising email spam is still going from Trumpdumb to, for example, Tim watts, MP (Australian federal parliament.

    […] even apart from it being illegal for Trump to solicit funds from Tim (remember, Tim’s not an American citizen, being from Australia), their politics likely don’t line up. So as we’ve been researching Trump’s top foreign countries for fundraising, I’ve been curious whether the Trump campaign has now taken the actually quite simple steps required to purge its list of at least foreign government officials at their government email addresses.

    The answer is: no. As recently as last night (US time) Tim was getting emails from Trump begging for more money ahead of the critical June FEC deadline […]

    […] he said he’d gotten two more Trump emails in the last 7 hours hours. But when he showed me the emails, something pretty weird was immediately apparent.

    They weren’t actually just from Trump. One was from the Trump campaign. The other was from a pro-Trump Super Pac called Crippled America PAC. […]

    The more we’ve looked into it, it seems increasingly implausible that he got this list from a list vendor. Not impossible just not likely at all. It now seems more probable that the Trump Organization simply had these emails in some business related database and decided to dump them into the email hopper for the fundraising blitz […] But we know for a fact that he […] continues to spam members of Parliament in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland and Iceland and possibly others. […]

    the existence of this list almost has to originate in Trump Derpland. A virtual certainty. So how did the same list end up in the hands of a Trump SuperPac? I looked up Crippled America PAC and as of their last filing just a couple weeks ago, they’re total budget was $40. No m or b after that $ sign, forty bucks, […] So obviously CAP was just stood up and actually started operating just now. And now they’re showing up in Tim’s inbox.

    […] let’s be honest, does any of this look like its done by anyone who has the slightest clue about fundraising or campaign finance law? Of course, not.

    […] there’s nothing about this operation that gives any reason to believe they did this in a way to even try to make it pass legal muster.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to check in with Tim and find out what Trump SuperPACs are hitting him up for cash today.

  289. says

    Some veterans’ groups are saying how wrong the NRA was to produce and disseminate a pro-Trump ad that implied Hillary Clinton was responsible for the deaths in Benghazi, and that used what appeared to be a national cemetery as a backdrop.

    […] filmed at a national cemetery in violation of government policy, [vets are] calling for the ad to be taken down and accusing the gun group of “using our dead to score political points.”

    The ad, launched Thursday by the NRA Political Victory Fund, features veteran Mark Geist –- a survivor of the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks — as he walks in and stands in front of a national cemetery; the graves of military personnel are featured prominently.

    During the ad, Geist attacks the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, saying, “Hillary as President? No thanks. I served in Benghazi. My friends didn’t make it. They did their part. Do yours.” The ad ends with a graphic supporting Trump.

    As ABC News reported, the ad is in apparent violation of Department of Veterans Affairs’ “strict prohibition of filming campaign ads on national cemetery property that contains the graves of military personnel, veterans and their spouses.” […]

    Media Matters link
    Geist co-authored the book “13 Hours,” which was made into a movie. Trump’s son, Eric recently cited the movie as showing the truth about Benghazi. Um, no, Eric. That was a movie that ventured into propaganda land.

  290. says

    Oh, FFS. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, claimed on CNN that the Trump campaign’s solicitations of funds from foreign nationals are “perfectly legal.”

    No, not right. What an extraordinary display of ignorance.

    Two watchdog groups, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, said they will file Wednesday a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, arguing that the Donald Trump campaign has broken federal law by sending fundraising emails to foreign elected officials.

    “Donald Trump should have known better,” Paul S. Ryan, the deputy executive director at the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement. “It is a no-brainer that it violates the law to send fundraising emails to members of a foreign government on their official foreign government email accounts, and yet, that’s exactly what Trump has done repeatedly.” […]

    Campaign finance law prohibits campaigns from knowingly accepting or soliciting contributions from foreign nationals. […]

    Talking Points Memo link

  291. says

    This is a followup to comment 321.

    We now know where the NRA filmed their pro-Trump ad, at Alexandria National Cemetery.

  292. says

    In June, Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised more than $68.5 million for Hillary for America, for the Democratic National Committee, and for state parties. $40.5 million goes to her campaign. She begins July with more than $44 million on hand, having received a lot of small donations averaging $48 each.

    Maybe we should start calling Clinton the prime example of a good business person in the presidential race.

  293. says

    Jessica Williams is leaving the “Daily Show,” but first, we got to enjoy seeing her rip Trump supporters to shreds.

    Salon link

    Scroll down to view the two-part video.

  294. says

    It’s not my ultimate goal, but at least it’s a start. Will Gov. Brown actually sign them?

    California lawmakers pass unprecedented package of gun control bills

    The bills sent to the governor include:

    Ammunition sales: Requires an ID and background check to purchase ammunition and creates a new state database of ammunition owners

    Large ammunition clips: Bans possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

    Bullet buttons: Two proposals would strengthen California’s assault weapon law by outlawing a small buttonhole used for quickly swapping out ammunition magazines

    Limit on gun loans: A new restriction on loaning guns without background checks.

    Stolen gun reporting: Stolen or lost guns would have to reported within five days.

    False gun reporting: A new punishment for falsely reporting guns as stolen

    Ghost guns: Homemade “ghost guns” would need to be registered and there would be new limits on selling them

    Long gun limits: Only one rifle or shotgun could be purchased per month

    Gun research: Urges Congress to lift the prohibition against publicly funded scientific research on the causes of gun violence and its effects on public health

    Gun restraining orders: Bans a person subject to a “gun violence restraining order” from having any firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect

    Gun theft: Clarifies that theft of a firearm is grand theft and is punishable as a felony

  295. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The draft of the Democratic Platform has been released. Cross posted with the Crooked Donald thread.

    The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):
    3:20 p.m.
    Democrats are releasing the draft of their party’s platform, calling it the “most progressive” potential platform in the party’s history.
    The platform is a statement of the party’s values. Highlights include saying that American workers should earn at least $15 an hour, the death penalty should be abolished and that no bank can be too big to fail.
    It was developed by representatives of the campaigns of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Democratic National Committee.
    Sanders has said he will push for stronger language that what’s in the draft opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, seeking a $15 an hour minimum wage and a ban on fracking.
    The full 187-member platform committee will meet in Orlando, Florida, next week to review and adopt the draft.
    It then will be considered later this month at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

  296. says

    Good news:

    A federal judge struck down Mississippi’s controversial ‘religious freedom’ law late Thursday, hours before it was slated to take effect. If allowed to go forward, the law — known as House Bill 1523 — would have made it easier for individuals, organizations and private associations to deny services based on religious objections to one of three things: same-sex marriage, transgender rights and even extramarital sexual relationships

  297. says

    More good news:

    A federal judge late Thursday night blocked parts of Florida’s controversial abortion law within hours of its going into effect.

    The injunction, written by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle, orders the state to maintain contracts for preventive care with abortion clinics including Planned Parenthood and prevents a new rule that would require 50 percent of all abortion clinic records to be reviewed by the state each year. […]

    Miami Herald link

  298. says

    Bad news, gun violence and a mass shooting in Nevada:

    A good Samaritan could not save a Las Vegas woman screaming for help as her gun-wielding estranged husband chased her from their home to two drug store parking lots in a chaotic murder-suicide that left a family of five dead, authorities said Thursday.

    The man gunned down his wife outside a business and killed their children, ages 9 to 15, at their apartment before shooting himself at the residence, police said. Homicide detectives are investigating what drove him to kill his family. […].

    Associated Press link

    The woman had filed for divorce in May.

  299. says

    Sarah Palin is going to bat for Trump, and she is doing so in her inimitable way. She defined Republicans against Trump as “RAT.” She added:

    The ‘splodey heads keep ‘sploding over this movement because it seems so obvious. […] Trump wins, America will win because voters are so sick and tired of being betrayed.

    At such a time as this, you cannot be lukewarm. We’re going to take our country back, and you are either with us or against us. […]

    Palin also said some untrue stuff about Democrats giving Americans “free stuff,” and about the Obama administration being responsible for “trillion-dollar deficits.”

    We saw the deficit shrink by $1 trillion during the Obama era. Palin has a talent for being 180 degrees out of phase with the facts. Link for deficit shrinkage data.

  300. says

    Trevor Noah of The Daily Show took on sexism in the media response to Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren appearing on stage together for a campaign rally. He did a great job of skewering sexism.

    Scroll down for the video.

    Daily Kos link.

  301. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Heard another argument last evening as to why Hillary Clinton cannot be President: “The Bill of Rights limits Presidents to two terms. Bill Clinton has had two terms. God places man over woman as God is over man. Therefore, if Hillary Clinton is elected President, she will, as God intended, obey her husband, which means that Bill Clinton would get a third term.”

    No, not kidding. This was an overheard discussion while I was at a cigar store (a bargain bag of Foundry Chillin’ Moose cigars).

    Got pulled over for running a stop sign. I did it. No question. I admitted I did it. But I, middle aged, white, and all my papers in order, just got a verbal warning. Wife and Boy both agree that, had I been black or Hispanic, ticket guaranteed.

  302. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Hell, maybe I should start a blog and repeat all these absurdities. And make up more. I could just make ’em all up. Nothing could possibly be so absurd that someone on the radical right would not pick it up and run with it.

    Shit. That already happened. Pre-internet, though.

  303. Menyambal says

    Here in Missouri, the TV ads for candidates for governor are all from conservatives. They seem to focus on who is most conservative, and they all mention guns. (The gun ads were gone for a few days after the Orlando shooting, though.) In one ad, somebody even says there were riots in Ferguson.

  304. says

    Brother Ogvorbis @334, I like the way you present the absurdities. As for the “God places man over woman” argument, long may those people writhe in dismay when the U.S. finally joins other nations who have had women as leaders.

    In other news, Donald Trump tweeted out a photo of Hillary Clinton that was accompanied by a six-pointed star (Star of David symbol) bearing the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!.”

  305. says

    Here is the coverage from Vox on Trump’s photoshop collage of Clinton, piles of money, and the Star of David symbol.

    […] The idea that politicians are controlled by Jewish money is one of the defining tropes of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The apparent subtext of the graphic is that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, and that the source of the corruption is the Jews.

    Did Trump intend to convey an anti-Semitic message with this graphic? I’m honestly not sure. On the one hand, his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism several years ago. She and her Jewish husband Jared Kushner reportedly wield some influence inside the Trump campaign, so you’d think they would steer him away from overt anti-Semitism. Indeed, about two hours after the first tweet, he sent out a new version of the graphic which replaced the six-pointed star with a circle. He deleted the six-pointed star tweet about an hour later.

    On the other hand, the campaign hasn’t yet apologized. Trump has clearly and publicly demonstrated his own blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism.

    In December, he gave a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition which was filled with anti-Semitic stereotypes. A few examples of what he said:

    “Stupidly, you want to give money. …You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”

    “I’m a negotiator, like you folks.”

    “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”

    It’s also been well documented that Trump has a vocal fanbase among anti-Semites on the internet, particularly on the avowedly anti-Semitic “alt right” subculture. “We haven’t seen this kind of kind of mainstreaming of intolerance at this level,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a May interview with The Forward.

    When journalist Julia Ioffe wrote a critical profile of Melania Trump in GQ, she was inundated with anti-Semitic invective, including photoshops of her face onto concentration camp inmates. […]

  306. says

    Donald Trump seems to be adding more and more pro-worker rhetoric to this speeches. He is definitely a hypocrite in this regard. He paid union-busters half a million in a failed effort to prevent maids at one of his hotels from unionizing.

    […] GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump fashions himself a friend of union workers. He has bragged about having good relationships with labor unions. When the AFL-CIO recently endorsed his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed it was he who deserved the labor federation’s coveted backing. […]

    Before entering the voting booth, those union members might want to know how much money one of Trump’s businesses has spent in an effort to persuade low-wage workers not to unionize. […]

    Donald Trump and his business partners have lost the latest round of their Las Vegas labor fight.

    For months, the owners of the Trump International Hotel have been tangling with the powerful Culinary Workers Union, the Las Vegas-based local union of Unite Here. The union won an election to represent workers at the hotel in December, and the hotel has been challenging the vote’s results ever since.

    But a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that referees elections, has thrown out the Trump team’s objections and certified the election results, the union announced Monday. […]

    Hotel management still has a couple of cards to play. It can appeal the regional director’s decision to the full board in Washington, but there’s a good chance the President Barack Obama-nominated board members will simply affirm the regional director’s ruling. Trump’s team could then refuse to bargain with the union, kicking the dispute to federal court. But so far, it has lost legally at every step of the way. […]

    It’s common for employers to drag out or obstruct the unionization process, often in an effort to delay or quash a first union contract. What makes the Trump International Hotel case novel is that one of the main parties in the dispute is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. […]

    Trump, for his own part, has boasted in the past about getting along with unions in his real estate dealings in New York. “I have great relationships with unions,” he told Newsweek last year.

    […] the culinary union has accused Trump and his team of playing dirty. It has filed a raft of what are known as unfair labor practice charges against management, claiming they illegally threatened and punished workers who were union supporters. Last month, the labor board’s general counsel, who acts more or less as a prosecutor, accused the hotel of illegally firing one worker and promising opportunities to others if they dropped their union support.

    […] The union claims housekeepers there on average earn an hourly wage that’s $3.30 less than what comparable housekeepers make at other hotels. […]

  307. says

    Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel died. He was 87 years old.

    […] Wiesel is likely best known for his memoir Night, which detailed his time in the Auschwitz concentration camp while a teenager.

    He was later known for pushing for education that focused on the Holocaust, as well as his activism on issues of genocide around the world.

    Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Romania. In 1944 when Hungary agreed to allow the deportation of Jews from Romania to concentration camps, Wiesel was sent with his father to Auschwitz. His father would die from a beating by a German soldier. His mother and sister also died in the Holocaust. In 1969 Wiesel married Austrian Holocaust survivor Marion Rose in New York. She would be the English translator for his books.

    In 1986 Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for his work against violence around the world.


  308. says

    This is a followup to comment 337.

    Here are a few more details regarding the origin of the Hillary Clinton/Star of David image that Trump distributed on Twitter.

    On Sunday, Mic discovered that Donald Trump’s Twitter wasn’t the first place the meme appeared. The image was previously featured on /pol/ — an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Donald Trump’s rhetoric — as early as June 22, 2016, over a week before Donald Trump’s team tweeted it. […]

    Of note is the file name of the photo, HillHistory.jpg, potentially a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for “HH,” or “Heil Hitler,” which the alt-right is fond of hiding in plain sight. […]

    Last November, Trump previously retweeted a meme perpetuating the racist lie explicitly that black people committed more violent crimes against white people than any other race. That was found to have originated from the alt-right internet as well.

  309. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

  310. blf says

    In a sort-of follow-up of @338, unionized staff at another of hotel associated with teh trum-prat is now on strike, Trump Taj Mahal casino workers’ strike enters third day in Atlantic City (however, as the article points out, teh trum-prat has very little to do with this particular situation, involving a tale of at least two bankruptcies):

    Union members walked off the job after not reaching a contract that restores health insurance and pension plans — which were canceled in 2014

    Just after midnight on a typical Sunday, John McLaughlin would be preparing for a shift bartending at a lounge at Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal casino.

    Instead, the lights were on at the closed club on the casino floor and the stage was empty except for a silent drum kit. McLaughlin was with a group of about 30 union members marching on the boardwalk outside, as a strike entered its third day.

    Local 54 of the Unite-Here union walked off the job against the Taj Mahal on Friday, unable to reach a contract that restores its members’ health insurance and pension plans. The former owners of the casino got a bankruptcy judge to cancel those benefits in 2014.

    “I don’t mind it because it’s for a good cause,” said McLaughlin, who said he has worked as a bartender at the Taj since it was opened by Donald Trump in 1990.

    “When somebody steals health benefits from young families with kids for 22 months, I think that’s horrendous and outrageous.”

    The casino now belongs to Trump’s friend and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn.
    While the Trump Taj Mahal still bears his name, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has not owned it for years. The bankruptcy filing and the benefit terminations happened five years after Trump relinquished control of the casino and its parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, to bondholders in a previous bankruptcy.

    Aside from a 10% stake in the company for the use of his name that was wiped out in bankruptcy when Icahn took over in March, Trump has had no involvement with the company since 2009.

    The last time Local 54 waged a strike, in 2004, the walkout lasted 34 days.

  311. Pierce R. Butler says

    Lynna, OM @ # 294 – That “New Yorker link” somehow got a stray “t” appended to the end, and doesn’t work unless you trim that off & reload.

    Btw, thanks very much for all the well-organized work you put into this page!

  312. says

    Pierce @343, thank you for the link correction … and for the words of appreciation.

    blf @342, at some point I think the Trump name has to become a liability. I don’t see that the name is worth a 10% stake in any company.

  313. dianne says

    Well, no way this could possibly go wrong. Apparently, the British finance minister wants to decrease corporate taxes in order to keep Britain competitive after they leave the EU. Never mind that Britain’s corporate taxes are already ridiculously low or that it doesn’t address the basic problem that you can’t have your EU headquarters outside the EU, lowering taxes will fix everything!

  314. dianne says

    Random thought: The Democratic convention is in Philadelphia. Unless things have changed considerably recently, Philadelphia has inadequate hotel availability for a major convention like this and some people will undoubtedly end up in hotels in New Jersey. Will some of the delegates end up in Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City?

  315. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, Philadelphai itself has has a supertanker load of hotel rooms. Add in the suburbs, which is configured into their systems, the entire hotel system of systems can accommodate an entire doubling of the populace for the entire region. With some effort, the system can expand to the tristate area.
    Theoretically, Philly, my home city, could accept three times its populace
    That was so, back in 1976, a bicentennial year, of quite significant personal acquaintance.
    Despite a carbon monoxide poisoning event, courtesy of an uncle’s drive into the city with a leaking muffler.

  316. dianne says

    @wzrd: My only experience with Philly hotel rooms is finding them booked up solid on the weekend of the American Hematology Society annual conference and ending up in NJ. Which could, easily be described as the suburbs of Philly, but so could, with more imagination, Atlantic City.

  317. dianne says

    Brexit politics claims another victim. It seems now that Farage has resigned. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy, but it makes me wonder all the more: Who benefited from this decision?

  318. says

    The number of terrorist attacks in saudi Arabia has now risen to three.

    One of those attacks was near the U.S. consulate.

    An apparent suicide bomber died and two security officers were injured in an attack Monday morning near the U.S. consulate in the coastal Saudi city of Jeddah apparently timed to coincide with July 4th celebrations, the State Department confirmed.

    The security forces suspected there was something wrong when they saw the man around 2:15 a.m. local time, a spokesman for the interior ministry said in a statement.

    “When they attempted to stop him and verify and deal with the situation accordingly he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing.”

    The Hill link.

    NY Times link

  319. says

    Here is more information on the bombings in Saudi Arabia:

    Hours after a bomb was detonated outside of a U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, another explosion hit the holy city of Medina. A suicide bombing was reportedly close to the Prophet’s Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites and the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad. At least four people were killed in the Medina explosion. Footage circulating on social media showed a vehicle on fire in what appeared to be a parking lot. Another explosion also hit the eastern city of Qatif, local media reported. Witnesses said at least one suicide bomber may have targeted a Shia mosque.


    BBC link for coverage of the bombings in Saudi Arabia.

  320. says

    Fox News and other rightwing media outlets are defending Trump after he tweeted out a photo of Hillary Clinton along with a collection of anti-Semitic tropes. (See comment 337.)

    Fox News and others are protecting Trump by failing, failing in every report, to mention that the graphic originated on a white supremacist twitter account. Also, none of the rightwing coverage mentioned that Trump used his Twitter account to post white supremacist memes several times in the past.

    No wonder crazy rightwing whacko Uncle Joe, who only watches Faux News, has no clear idea what the heck all the fuss is about.

    Think Progress coverage with video snippets from Fox News’ deceptive presentations.

  321. says

    FBI Director James Comey stated this morning that the FBI will not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. This statement should allow both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns to move on from this issue … but you know that’s not going to happen.

    […] she and her staff engaged in no “intentional misconduct” and should face no charges.

    Noting that the FBI does not typically publicize its recommendations to Department of Justice prosecutors, Comey said at a surprise press conference that the high visibility of the probe required “unusual transparency.”

    “[…] no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said.

    Comey is a Republican appointment, and Republicans in general have said all kinds of good things about him in the past. That will probably change.

    […] While Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have said that Clinton should face criminal charges for her use of private email servers, which was uncovered by the investigation by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, national security and legal experts have maintained throughout that such charges were extremely unlikely.

    Comey did make some statements you can prepare to hear repeated forever on Fox News, and which will probably appear in attack ads against Clinton:

    […] Comey emphasized, however, that Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” with their handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.” Notably the FBI investigation did uncover emails from Clinton’s private servers that contained information that was classified at the time they were sent or received by her, Comey said. Clinton had long maintained that she did not send or receive any classified information via her private emails at the time they were sent or received.

    Though the FBI director said there was no “direct evidence” that “hostile actors” managed to hack into her email, he noted that it would be difficult to definitively confirm such covert hacking. […]

    He revealed that the exhaustive multi-year investigation was complicated by the fact that Clinton used “several different servers” and “numerous mobile devices” during her four-year tenure as secretary of state.

    The FBI combed through 30,000 emails provided by Clinton to the State Department in 2014, and also dug up several thousand additional work-related emails not included in this mass turnover. They also interviewed top members of her staff and, on Saturday, conducted a three-hour long voluntary interview with the Democratic presidential candidate about her email use. […]

  322. says

    Looking again at FBI Director James Comey’s press conference statement, it seems to me that he took every opportunity he could to damn Hillary Clinton without actually charging her or anyone else. Some other people have noticed this:

    Absolutely outrageous presser by Comey. DOJ/FBI is supposed to speak in court. If it won’t make statements in court, it shouldn’t make them. (from Matthew Miller)

    Comey’s statement appears to violate DOJ rules for comments about ongoing matters.

  323. says

    Yep. Right on cue, here are some comments from the rightwing:

    The findings of the @FBI are a clear indictment of @HillaryClinton’s judgement and fitness to be President (from Sean Spicer, RNC spokesman)

    “Any other employee that works at the State Department that did what she did would have their security clearance pulled and would be facing charges,” Spicer said. “This is absolutely ridiculous.”

    “If she followed the law like everybody else and used a State Department account or used even a private system like the director pointed out like Gmail, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Spicer said. “She chose to set up a system for herself around the rules that were established for everybody else for a reason, and that reason is because she didn’t want people to know what she was doing.”


    Donald Trump tweeted that the system is “rigged.”

  324. says

    Here’s the Trump response:

    The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.

    FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem

    Maybe Trump did not actually listen to Comey’s statement, which included an explanation of why the David Petraeus case was different. For one thing, Petraeus gave information he knew was classified to his biographer, which whom he was also having an affair.

  325. says

    More detail from FBI Director Comey’s statement:

    […] In 30,000 emails Clinton turned over, 110 emails contained information that was classified at the time, while 2,000 were up-classified. [Classified after the fact, later] The FBI also recovered further emails, of which three have been determined to have been classified at the time. “We found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted.” […]

  326. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Trump doesn’t mind a rigged system if it favors him. Like with his failure to publish his latest income tax filing.

  327. says

    More explanation of the classified emails:

    […] Clinton says that the emails she received at her non-classified address “were not marked classified,” although she acknowledges that “there are disagreements among agencies on what should have been perhaps classified retroactively.” Government officials also confirm that “none of the emails the State Department redacted, or any other emails made public, contained classification markings at the time they were sent.” Although the FBI determined that 110 emails did contain classified information. […]

    there’s no apparent evidence that Clinton had reason to believe that her use of a private server would cause information to be obtained that advantaged a foreign nation or that would have caused injury to the United States. […]

    as Comey noted in his announcement, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts” as “all the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice.”

    “We do not see those things here,” he added.

    […] The security applied to classified email systems is simply absurd. For this reason, a former CIA general counsel told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, “’it’s common’ that people end up using unclassified systems to transmit classified information.” “’It’s inevitable, because the classified systems are often cumbersome and lots of people have access to the classified e-mails or cables.’ People who need quick guidance about a sensitive matter often pick up the phone or send a message on an open system. They shouldn’t, but they do.”

    Indicting Clinton would require the Justice Department to apply a legal standard that would endanger countless officials throughout the government, and that would make it impossible for many government offices to function effectively.

    Think Progress link

  328. says

    Nerd @360, I agree. Trump is currently on a Twitter tear. Maybe he’ll stay up for days to tweet about this:

    Crooked Hillary Clinton knew that her husband wanted to meet with the U.S.A.G. to work out a deal. The system is totally rigged & corrupt!

    Crooked Hillary will NEVER be able to handle the complexities and danger of ISIS – it will just go on forever. We need change!

    Crooked Hillary Clinton is “guilty as hell” but the system is totally rigged and corrupt! Where are the 33,000 missing e-mails?

  329. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Crooked Hillary will NEVER be able to handle the complexities and danger of ISIS – it will just go on forever. We need change!

    This from someone who through their own ignorance, paranoia, and arrogance, is playing by ISIS rules; essentially is a unwitting tool for ISIS.

  330. says

    Trump and his team continue to deny that the image they distributed of Hillary Clinton, stacks of money, and a Star of David was anti-Semitic.

    Meanwhile, white nationalist leaders know better:

    White nationalist leaders are praising Donald Trump for tweeting an anti-Semitic image attacking Hillary Clinton. The pro-Trump racists wrote that the tweet represented “dog-whistling by The Leader” about “filthy Jew terrorists,” proof that “Trump is not backing down,” and that it’s “Nice to see Mr. Trump slipping some ‘Red Pills’ to the American people.”

    Media Matters link

    David Duke responded to Trump’s tweet again (saying more than his “Red Pills” remark):

    That’s ok, we welcome the hidden hand exposing itself. [Accompanied by a headline “Meet the Jewish Billionaires Shaping the 2016 Presidential Election”.]

    From the Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer:

    This is, yet again, dog-whistling by The Leader. It comes just after he made some offensive comments about Israel being our friend – he says this for the evangelicals, then he signals to us – his real supporters – that we need not worry, he is just shilling a bit to get into power at which point he will shut down the entire Jew agenda.


    Also, by pushing this into the media, the Jews bring to the public the fact that yes, the majority of Hilary’s donors are filthy Jew terrorists.

  331. says

    So Donald Trump, someone who has

    – repeatedly expressed his intention to order war crimes and to make generals to carry out illegal orders

    – suggested his administration would reject First Amendment protections for journalists and turn regulatory agencies on his critics

    – openly said that he will expand executive power generally

    – campaigned on barring Muslims, members of a religious minority, from the country and proposed surveilling mosques and profiling Muslims

    – proposed unilaterally canceling, withdrawing from, or refusing to abide by signed international treaties and agreements

    – implicitly threatened a federal judge who made a ruling against him in a civil matter: “This court system, the 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? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case? Where everybody likes it.”

    – said (ignorantly) that he’d nominate Supreme Court justices who “would look very seriously” at the Clinton email matter

    is now the voice of justice, legality, and fair play. Sure. The only comparable figure is Nixon, who relatively speaking had a better sense of the basics of the law so as at least to know when he was breaking it.

  332. says

    SC @365: Yes, all good points. Trump cannot win on the “judgement” or “character” issue. Unfortunately, many of his supporters think that he can. And the fact that FBI Director Comey bothered to come out and make a public statement that included characterizing Clinton as “extremely careless” guarantees that Trump supporters have a hook on which to hang their conspiracy hat.

    Comey has no proof, none whatsoever, that Clinton’s private email server was hacked, and yet he made to sure to make a public state intimating that it may have been hacked:

    Even if her own address wasn’t hacked, he said, “it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s email account.”

    Politico link.

    WTF is that? It comes across as unprofessional and as a sneaky way to condemn someone even when you don’t have enough proof to prosecute. Comey also said:

    To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

    Umm, dude, why are you saying that?

    He was saying that, and other stuff, just so Republicans could say this:

    “Just because Hillary Clinton is not going to jail doesn’t mean she should go to the White House. What the FBI confirmed today is that every material statement Hillary Clinton has made about the email scandal has been proven false,” added American Crossroads president Steven Law in a statement. “Clinton recklessly exposed national security information and assets to hostile powers, and that disqualifies her from having the integrity and judgement to be our nation’s Commander-in-Chief.”

  333. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    House Speaker Paul Ryan criticizes Trump’s Clinton/Star tweet.

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday slammed a tweet posted to likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s account over the weekend that critics denounced as anti-Semitic, saying Mr. Trump’s social media team has to start cleaning up its act.
    “Anti-semitic images — they’ve got no place in [a] presidential campaign,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said on WTMJ radio. “Candidates should know that.”
    “The tweet’s been deleted,” Mr. Ryan said. “I don’t know what flunky put this up there — they obviously [have] got to fix that. We got to get back to the issues that matter to the public.”
    The original tweet, posted Saturday, put an image of likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton next to a six-point star — which critics said evoked the Jewish Star of David — and the words “most corrupt candidate ever,” with a backdrop of money. The tweet was later deleted and replaced with a similar image, only with a circle instead of a star.

    Trump is too much of a bully to listen to reason from highest elected republican person in Congress.

  334. says

    Here is FBI Director Comey’s additional attempt to use a public statement to the press to condemn Clinton even though he could not find a reason to charge her:

    Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

    What small number? Be specific sir. And what are “markings indicating the presence of classified information”? Is that a label? It should be, but the carefully worded statement makes me think Comey was indicating some other criteria to determine what is classified. Is he indicating that one should recognize classified information even when it is not labeled as classified. If so, that’s a bit shaky.

  335. says

    As Steve Benen said:

    […] there’s a case to be made that Comey’s statement wasn’t altogether fair to Clinton. As a rule, when federal law enforcement announces the end of an investigation, and a recommendation not to file charges, the director of the FBI doesn’t take the extra step of publicly chastising the accused.

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

    [tinfoil hat inplace]

    how do we know that the antisemitic tweet was not done by a Hillary infiltrator to point out just how bad Drumph is and we all should pity-vote for Hill?

    such an obvious clusterfuck of a tweet that even orange marmalade toupee dunderhead would see that it was completely offensive and liable to drive away his Bernie-traitors.

    This whole campaign is a clusterfuck of a clusterfuck; both sides are foking bigly.

  337. says

    Remember those “investigators” Trump sent to Hawaii in 2011 to ferret out the “truth” about President Obama’s birth certificate. As it turns out, they never existed. Also, the “findings” Trump trumpeted also never existed. It was a “scam wrapped in a con.”

    […] “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” he [Trump] asked […] “I want to see his birth certificate,” […] “I’m starting to think that [the president] was not born here.”

    The ridiculous campaign helped Trump cultivate ties to racist activists on the right-wing fringe, which years later, helped boost his GOP presidential candidacy. […]

    Mr. Trump also said repeatedly that he had sent a team of investigators to Hawaii to unearth information about Mr. Obama’s birth records. “They cannot believe what they are finding,” Mr. Trump told ABC’s “The View.” […]

    But for all of his fascination with the president’s birth certificate, Mr. Trump apparently never dispatched investigators or made much of an effort to find the documents.

    Dr. Alvin Onaka, the Hawaii state registrar who handled queries about Mr. Obama, said recently through a spokeswoman that he had no evidence or recollection of Mr. Trump or any of his representatives ever requesting the records from the Hawaii State Department of Health. […]

    Let’s revisit precisely what Trump said and did in 2011:
    “I have people that have been studying [Obama’s origins] and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” the would-be presidential candidate told NBC’s “Today.”

    “You have people now out there searching – I mean, in Hawaii?” asked host Meredith Vieira.

    “Absolutely,” Trump replied. “And they cannot believe what they’re finding.”

    He added at the time that the president may be responsible for pulling off “one of the greatest scams in the history of politics.” […]

    But not only was Trump peddling racist garbage, he appears to have also been lying about his own efforts. While he told a national television audience that he’d “absolutely” dispatched investigators to Hawaii, and those investigators had turned up extraordinary evidence, the Times’ latest reporting suggests Trump made up the whole thing: the investigators and the findings existed solely in Trump’s mind.

    I can appreciate why this seems like old news – even he doesn’t push this particular nonsense anymore – but the revelation from the weekend nevertheless sheds new light on the 2016 candidate. Trump’s willingness to peddle a racist conspiracy theory told us something important about his character, but his willingness to lie to his own supporters about his efforts adds insult to injury.

    Maddow Blog link, story by Steve Benen, with references to research done by NY Times journalists.

  338. says

    Excerpt from President Obama’s speech at Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally in North Carolina today:

    […] It wasn’t just what happened in the limelight that made me grow more and more to admire and respect Hillary. I saw how she treated everybody with respect, even the folks who aren’t, quote-unquote, important. That’s how you judge somebody—is how do they treat somebody when the cameras are off and they can’t do anything for you. Do you still treat ’em right? Do you still treat ’em with respect? Do you still listen to ’em? Are you still fighting for ’em? […]

    But if your concern is who is going to look out for working families, if you are voting your pocketbook, if you are asking who is actually going to stand up for the guy on the construction site or the guy in the factory or the woman who is cleaning a hotel room or somebody who is really working hard, the working family — if that’s your concern, this isn’t even a choice. Because the other side has nothing to offer you. The other side’s got nothing to offer you.

    If you’re voting for the other team, it’s not because of the economy—it’s not because of the economy—you’ve gotta be clear about that. I mean, even, even the Republicans on the other side don’t really know what the guy’s talking about. They really don’t. They really don’t. You ask ’em, they are all like, I don’t know. […]

    I’m going a little off script here but I just want to repeat this. If your concern is working people, then this is not a choice. I don’t care whether you are white, black, Hispanic, Native American, polka dot, male, female — I don’t care. If what you care is who is going to be fighting for ordinary folks who are fighting for a better life for themselves and their children, then I don’t know how you vote for the guy whose against a minimum wage, against unions, against making sure that everybody gets a fair shot, against legislation for equal pay, against sick leave and family leave, and against all the things that working families care about. […]

    Remember when the other team was promising they were going to get gas prices down in like 10 years? We did it. We did it. […]

    Let me just say, I know the other guy talks about making America great again. America is really great. And just the other day somebody was writing about, when you look at surveys in the world, turns out that when Obama came into office the world didn’t think we were that great. But now they think we’re the greatest. They think we’re the strongest, they think we’re in the best position. We were in a hole before I came into office, but right now the rest of the world thinks we are pretty darn great. And by the way, you can look that up. That’s a fact. That’s not like just something I just made up and tweeted. So there’s surveys done. They poll people so you actually know what people think. […]

  339. says

    Oh, man, I don’t think this will fly at all: Trump accused Hillary Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

    […] “It’s a bribe!” Trump declared at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday, hours after the FBI said it wouldn’t recommend charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

    Trump was referring to a story in The New York Times that quoted “Democrats close to” Clinton saying she may decide to rehire Lynch.

    Trump says Lynch may have believed that, if she let Clinton off the hook, she’d have four more years on the job.

    “It’s a disgrace,” said Trump. “It’s a disgrace!”

  340. says

    More on Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton bribed Loretta Lynch:

    Tonight Donald Trump accused Attorney General Loretta Lynch of accepting a “bribe” from Hillary Clinton to clear her in the email probe.

    Meanwhile, right now I’m watching CNN and the anchor is asking Jeff Toobin if it’s possible Trump is right and that Hillary Clinton did bribe Lynch and get Comey to recommend against prosecution.–6

  341. says

    Oh, FFS. Now that the Benghazi Select Committee is winding down, I guess Republicans need to feed their addiction.

    […] Some Republican lawmakers are now calling for an independent counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server while secretary of state following a public recommendation Tuesday from the FBI director that Clinton not be charged criminally, according to The Washington Post.

    Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) said the FBI was “steeped in political bias” and brought up a new favorite conservative talking point: the tarmac meeting In Phoenix last week between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, according to the Post. […]

    FBI Director James Comey is a registered Republican who donated to John McCain and Mitt Romney’s campaigns, according to voting records.

    Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) echoed the call for an independent counsel shortly after, according to the Post.

    “I’m calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to look into the charges and determine the appropriateness of prosecution for these crimes,” Salmon told the Post. “Americans deserve accountability from their government officials, especially when they would be harshly prosecuted or imprisoned for performing the very same actions.” […]

  342. says

    This is a followup to comment 373.

    More excerpts from President Obama’s speech today:

    [In reference to Clinton’s plans to improve the economy] Now, the fact that we haven’t gotten all these ideas done, it’s not the fault of immigrants or unions or some liberal, socialist scheme. It’s very simple! Republicans in Congress and Republican governors have been blocking these ideas for the last eight years. It’s that simple. […]

    [In reference to the Bin Laden mission] I have had a front-row seat to her judgment and her toughness and her commitment to diplomacy. […]

    [Closing statement] And I know she can run that race, the race to create good jobs and better schools and safer streets and a safer world and that’s why I’m fired up. And that’s why I’m ready to go. And that’s why I’m with her. And that’s why I need you to work just as hard to make sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the next President of the United States of America.

  343. says

    FBI Director Comey may come to regret that public statement he made today:

    House Republicans are gearing up to grill FBI Director James Comey about why the agency chose not to recommend charges for Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified material.

    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced late Tuesday night that he would green-light the chamber’s top watchdog, the Oversight Committee, to ask Comey to testify — a significant departure from leadership’s previous stance on the issue.

    “Comey should give us all the publicly available information to see how and why they reached these conclusions,” he told Megyn Kelly on Fox News’ “Kelly File.”

    “Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Oversight Committee, is going to be calling up James Comey to ask questions. He didn’t answer any questions with the press. And our judiciary committee has sent a number of questions. There are a lot of unanswered questions here, Megyn. ” […]


  344. says

    Donald Trump decided to heap some praise on another dictator today:

    Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. Really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorists – it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.

    We need somebody with a tough temperament.

    Slate link

  345. says

    Hillary Clinton announced that she is adopting part of a Sanders’ education plan. She proposes to make in-state public colleges and universities free for students from families who make less than $125,000 a year.

    […] “I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education. This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns,” Sanders said.

    Both campaigns had assigned staff to work on the joint plan. Clinton said:

    […] American families are drowning in debt caused by ever-rising college costs, and it is imperative that the next president put forward a bold plan to make debt-free college available to all. My New College Compact will do just that.

    NBC News link

    Meanwhile, Sanders met with House Democrats today, but would not answer a question about endorsing Clinton. Politico link.

    […] Sanders also stunned some of the Democrats in attendance when he told them that winning elections wasn’t the only thing they should focus on. While they wanted to hear about how to beat Donald Trump — and how Sanders might help them win the House back — he was talking about remaking the country.

    “The goal isn’t to win elections, the goal is to transform America,” Sanders said at one point, according to multiple lawmakers and aides in the room.

    Some Democrats booed Sanders for that line, which plays better on the campaign trail than in front of a roomful of elected officials.

    […] frustration with Sanders was also evident. Rank-and-file House Democrats want Sanders to officially drop out of the race and throw his support behind the presumptive nominee, and they can’t understand why he hasn’t so far.

    “It was frustrating because he’s squandering the movement he built with a self-obsession that was totally on display,” said a senior Democrat, speaking on the condition of anonymity. […]

  346. says

    The Libertarian Party lost its “minor party” status in Ohio today. They missed the deadline to submit 30,600 signatures from registered Ohio voters. Their plan B is to run Gary Johnson in the state as an independent candidate, which requires only 5,000 signatures.

  347. says

    Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Atlantic City today. Excerpts:

    […] As the people of Atlantic City know better than anyone, Donald Trump cannot get the job done for American workers.

    […] What he did for his businesses and his workers is nothing to brag about. In fact, it’s shameful. And every single voter in America needs to hear about it.

    Clinton provided details, names, figures. It was a barn burner of a speech.

    Press of Atlantic City link to a video of the speech. It begins with a lot of local speakers. Clinton comes on stage later.

    YouTube link to the Atlantic City speech.

    Coverage from the Star Ledger of New Jersey:

    […] There is still a lingering misperception that Donald Trump is some kind of business wizard, but it’s actually easy to identify one of his key strategies for success: He excels at ripping people off.

    The Associated Press pulled back the curtain on his ruined casino empire in Atlantic City last week and exposed a gold-plated scam, on in which survivors from the Taj Mahal disaster — a long parade of naïve artisans who still have Trump’s skid marks on their backs — all told similar stories, cautionary tales that make you wonder how anyone would consider him trustworthy enough to hold elected office.

    Their consensus: Trump is a master grifter, who uses bullying and arrogance as negotiating methods, before ending the relationship by withholding payments and making contractors settle for far less by threatening them with litigation — knowing the cost of litigation would eat up most of the money in the dispute.

    USA Today coverage included this:

    […] Donald Trump often boasts he made a lot of money in Atlantic City, despite the repeated failures of his casinos there, but what he does not mention is his casino empire’s repeated run-ins with government regulators over broken promises and violating casino rules.

    From Vox coverage:

    […] Trump made money in Atlantic City through two primary means. First, he extracted management fees from companies he was involved with, and second, he transferred personal debts to companies he controlled:

    The pattern started with his very first Atlantic City venture, a partnership with Harrah’s for which he was paid a $24 million construction management fee. […]

    In 1993 the Trump Plaza casino sold more than $100 million in junk bonds, and “more than half of the new money went to pay off Mr. Trump’s unrelated personal loans.”

    In 1995 the company staged an IPO, and then a week later “the new company began using some of the almost $300 million it had raised to clear Mr. Trump’s personal debts.”

    Trump’s casinos paid $300,000 a year for the right to use Trump’s jet to transport celebrities to gigs.

    Trump appears to have bilked the shareholders of Trump casinos and resorts out of the opportunity to share in a $1 million profit related to the sale of shares in Riviera Hotel and Casino, keeping the money for himself instead.

    What Trump did not do, according to the Times, was run successful casinos:

    “Revenues at other Atlantic City casinos rose 18 percent from 1997 through 2002; Mr. Trump’s fell by 1 percent.”

    “Had Mr. Trump’s revenues grown at the rate of other Atlantic City casinos, his company could have made its interest payments and possibly registered a profit.” […]

  348. says

    Republicans are starting to hit FBI Director Jame Comey hard. He used to be in the good graces of the rightwing. Now he is not.

    First, some background:

    […] Comey, in case anyone’s forgotten, is a lifelong Republican who served as a top official in the Bush/Cheney Justice Department. He cut his teeth as a public-sector attorney in the 1990s, when Comey signed on “as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee,” where he went after, of all people, Hillary Clinton.

    I’m not aware of anyone on the right questioning Comey’s abilities or professionalism ahead of yesterday’s announcement in the email matter. On the contrary, Republicans gave Comey a vote of confidence as recently as June. Politico published this report one month ago today:

    Should the FBI not recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton following its investigation of the setup of her private email server, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Monday said he and his Republican colleagues would “probably” accept the outcome.

    “Oh, probably, because we do believe in [FBI Director] James Comey,” the Utah Republican said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Outnumbered.” “I do think that in all of the government, he is a man of integrity and honesty.”

    And now for an update on attacks against Comey today:

    Yesterday, however, Chaffetz said the exact opposite, and accused Comey of failing to carry out his duties. Other GOP members of Congress made related arguments, while some Republican pundits adopted an even harsher posture. (FBI Director James Comey and AG Loretta Lynch have betrayed their oath of office, and I think they have betrayed the country.)

    The pattern matters. John Roberts was an excellent justice, Republicans said, right up until he strayed from the partisan script. Trey Gowdy was the perfect person to lead the GOP’s Benghazi Committee, they said, right up until he failed to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    And Jim Comey was a fine FBI director, right up until he left his party dejected by exercising independent judgment.

    In reality, Roberts, Gowdy, and Comey aren’t guilty of corruption or partisan betrayals – their “failures” exist solely in the minds of lazy ideologues. What their Republican critics don’t seem to appreciate is that their ostensible allies asked them to go too far, ignore their responsibilities, abuse an otherwise legitimate process, and look out for the “team,” whether the facts warranted it or not.

  349. says

    I know the sacrifices our military makes. My father was a fighter pilot who went missing over Laos during the Vietnam war. For 30 years I served everywhere, from Iraq to Somalia, where I have been responsible for the lives of our sons and daughters. For all of them and for our country, I cannot support Donald Trump. Donald Trump doesn’t have the temperament or judgement to be our commander in chief. That’s why I’m speaking out. For America.

    That’s Retired United States Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton speaking in a new ad released today. created the ad. You can watch the 30-second ad here.

  350. says

    Two Senators recently courted by the Trump campaign as possible VP picks have refused the offer. Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Bob Corker are both out of the running.

    In other news, here is another in a long line of government-by-Christians-only statements:

    On former Missouri state legislator Cynthia Davis’ show last Tuesday, David Whitney of the Institute on the Constitution claimed that President Obama and the Supreme Court justices who struck down anti-gay state marriage amendments are going to hell and that those who hold public office should be “Christians who have a biblical understanding of law and government.”

    Whitney urged Christians to “be in prayer for those in civil government. Be in prayer for those running for office, even those who you know have the wrong point of view, pray for their repentance. Pray that somebody like Barack Obama, who began violating his oath of office from the day he took his oath of office, that he would repent, because as I read his life, he’s headed on the road to hell and he’s gonna be eternally damned if he does not repent of his sins.” […]

    “We know that until people understand the worldview of our founders, a biblical worldview of law and government, they are really not qualified to hold office in any position, even down to the dogcatcher at the county level,” Whitney said. “We need Christians who have a biblical understanding of law and government, an understanding of our founders, they are the ones that need to take every position of leadership in our country at every level, county level, state level, and indeed, the federal level as well.” […]

    “I think of the Supreme Court justices, who, I probably shouldn’t call them justices, even, but anyway, who redefined God’s holy institution of marriage, I can’t imagine what deep pit in hell awaits those justices unless they repent,” Whitney said. “They think they’re higher than God. They put themselves above the Almighty, and believe me, there’s a comeuppance coming for every one of them where they’re gonna be dragged down off their high and mighty position on that bench with their black robes, and they’re gonna be cast into the pit of hell unless they repent.”

    Right Wing Watch link

  351. says

    Good news: a federal judge says that the Kansas plan to take Medicaid funding away from Planned Parenthood is against federal law.

    […] U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued the 54-page order for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, ruling the state could not cancel Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, or PPKM, and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, or PPSLR.

    “It is uncontroverted that PPKM and PPSLR serve hundreds of underprivileged women in the State of Kansas,” Robinson said in the order. “It is in the public interest to allow these individuals to be treated by the qualified provider of their choice, and to have that provider reimbursed under Medicaid pending a trial on the merits in this case.”

    Yahoo News link

    Bad news: Governor San Brownback promises to go forward with litigation. That will cost Kansas taxpayers lots more money, money they can ill afford since Brownback’s economic policies have bankrupted the state.

  352. says

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch made it official: the Hillary Clinton email investigation was closed without any criminal charges.

    […] Lynch announced the Justice Department decision Wednesday, one day after FBI Director James Comey recommended against any prosecution.

    In related news, House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed that Hillary Clinton be barred from receiving classified briefings on the campaign trail.

    […] “The DNI Clapper should deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information during this campaign given how she so recklessly handled classified information,” Ryan said […]. Ryan was referring to the classified briefings that candidates begin receiving after the conventions.

    Ryan […] said that there were still questions to be answered and that the House would continue to press further for information about why the FBI declined to recommend criminal charges against Clinton in the matter. The FBI director was invited to testify before the House Thursday.

    Ryan said he was still looking to see if Congress could do anything to keep Clinton from classified information. […]


  353. says

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is tied to the Trump University scandal. Things just got worse for her. Simultaneously, things got worse for Trump, with an IRS investigation requested.

    […] The trouble started in June, when the Associated Press reported that Bondi “personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump” in 2013 — right around the time she was deciding whether or not to investigate alleged fraud at Trump University. […]

    It was only four days after Bondi announced she might join an investigation into Trump University when a Trump family foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Bondi’s re-election. After that money came in, Bondi said she would not pursue a lawsuit against Trump University. […]

    On Wednesday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed two complaints against Bondi — one with the Florida Inspector General’s office and another with the Florida Commission on Ethics. Both complaints request investigations into Bondi, saying more information is needed to see whether Bondi violated Florida ethics law for public officials. […]

    Since the AP’s story broke, the editorial boards of the Orlando Sentinel, the Miami Herald, and the Tampa Bay Times have all called for independent investigations of the gift. Three ethics complaints were also filed against Bondi with the Florida Commission on Ethics, Florida Elections Commission, and Florida Bar. Boston attorney J. Whitfield Larrabee, who filed the ethics complaints, is also seeking a federal criminal bribery charge against Bondi, accusing her of taking the money in exchange for ditching the investigation into Trump University. […]

    Alleged bribery aside, there were problems with the donation itself as well. In March, CREW filed a complaint with the IRS over Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi’s group, noting that the money came from the Trump Foundation, a tax-exempt charity. Under federal law, tax-exempt charities are not allowed to make political donations. The Trump Foundation also apparently failed to list the Bondi donation in its filings to the IRS, according to the Washington Post.

    The Trump Organization issued a rare apology, saying the discrepancies were due to multiple clerical errors. […]

    “It appears [Trump University] gave an illegal political donation, told the IRS they didn’t give a political donation, claimed it was made to a similarly named permissible group instead — and now they’re saying it’s an error?” Jordan Libowitz, a CREW spokesperson, told the Post. […]

    Think Progress link

  354. says

    A Republican representative from California, Darrell Issa, is super mad about the fact that Hillary Clinton will not be indicted for using a private server for her email. He is so outraged that he thinks shutting the government down might be an appropriate response.

    What is it with Republicans and government shutdowns?

    […] He proposed that now might be a good time for the Republican leadership to shut down the federal government, in protest of what he called “an imperial president” who will not “enforce criminal charges against a criminal.” […]

    “We should be willing to shut down the government if the president won’t limit his power,” he said, noting that his party had repeatedly been “willing to shut down the government over ending Obamacare and these other things.” Those things, according to Issa, are “small points compared to the actual balance of our republic.”

    Issa said the leadership would agree to a shutdown only if there was a clear example, like this, where “we cannot enforce criminal charges against a criminal… because the people responsible are simply choosing to ignore a law.”

    While he said it is “not about Hillary Clinton,” he suggested that because “we can’t get to the courts,” in this case and others, “only have one piece of power, and that’s an imperial president.” He suggested that Congress should expand the power of independent counsels because, “otherwise Lois Lerner gets a free pass, Eric Holder gets a free pass, and yes, Hillary Clinton gets a free pass.” […]

    Think Progress link

    Hmm, sure sounds like this is all about Hillary Clinton.

  355. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hmm, sure sounds like this is all about Hillary Clinton.

    Or about something like this, Clinton has 13 point over Trump in latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton widened her lead over likely Republican nominee Donald Trump to 13 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
    The July 1-5 poll included responses gathered mostly over the holiday weekend, before the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommended on Tuesday that no criminal charges be filed against Clinton over her use of private email servers and what it called her “extremely careless” handling of classified information while she was U.S. secretary of state.
    The presumptive Democratic nominee led Trump, a New York businessman, by 9 percentage points in a previous Reuters/Ipsos poll that ran from June 27 to July 1.
    Tuesday’s poll showed that 46 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, while 33 percent backed Trump. Twenty-two percent said they would not support either candidate for the Nov. 8 election.

    The Donald is having negatives problems….Must tarnish the opponent, because Trump tarnishes himself.

  356. says

    Marco Rubio changes his mind … a lot. He reversed his decision to leave the Senate.

    Now, Marco has changed his mind about going to the Republican Convention. Nope. He is not going to attend.

    Maybe Trump will be talking to an audience comprised solely of people who have to be there.

  357. Nick Gotts says

    A couple of updates on the repercussions of the Brexit vote.

    Theresa May, the leading candidate to become Troy leader and hence Prime Minister, is refusing to guarantee that EU citizens already resident in the UK can stay. She wants to use their status as a bargaining chip in negotiations. The other two remaining candidates (Michael Gove and Andrea LoathsomeLeadsom) have said they should be allowed to stay. And in stark contrast to May, the German Deputy Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel of the SDP, has raised the possibility of allowing UK citizens to hold joint citizenship, normally not permitted for non-EU citizens.

    More amusingly, the two candidates who got fewest votes in the first round of Tory MP’s selection of two candidates for leader (the party members decide between the two MPs choose) were Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb. Fox was eliminated by the rules, and Crabb dropped out. The well-known commentator A.E. Sopp later reported that Fox had told him he hadn’t really wanted to be Prime Minister anyway, it was a rotten job. Crabb, meanwhile, admitted he had hoped to claw his way to the top, but was now expecting to move sideways from his current government post.

    A thought that’s struck me about Brexit: for centuries, the primary aim of British foreign policy was to prevent the emergence of a continental Europe wholly or mainly united under a single power, for fear it might be both hostile to British interests, and powerful enough to threaten them – hence wars against Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV and Napoleon of France, Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler of Germany, and the Cold War against the USSR. The Brexiters have now brought this prospect much closer. Of course no-one currently expects a military confrontation between the UK and the EU – but how many people expected the collapse of the USSR until very shortly before it happened? And economic conflict could be damaging enough on its own. The geostrategic logic of Brexit, assuming the EU survives, is a British alliance with Russia.

  358. Nick Gotts says

    Corrections and addition to #392:

    Troy -> Tory, of course.

    The war with Spain took place while England and Scotland were still entirely separate and hence had different, often opposed, foreign policies.

    A notable example of these different policies is the “Auld Alliance” of Scotland with France, aimed at England:

    But there’s a saying very old and true:
    “If that you will France win,
    Then with Scotland first begin.”
    For once the eagle England being in prey,
    To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
    Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs, – William ShakespeareHenry V, Act 1, Scene 2

    I doubt if this saying has escaped the attention of the British military and Ministry of Defence, which suggests there may be considerable reluctance to allow a second Scottish independence referendum.

  359. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Lynna @391:

    Maybe Trump will be talking to an audience comprised solely of people who have to be there.

    And the ones who really love him.

  360. says

    Having documents that contain classified portions marked only with a “(C)” at the beginning of the classified paragraphs is just stupid, even if it’s for the lowest level of classification.

  361. Moggie says

    In the Tory leadership contest, the odious Michael Gove is out. It’s now down to Theresa May versus Andrea Leadsom. So the UK will have a female PM again.

    Leadsom is coming across as really flaky. Inexperienced, dishonest, and there’s the whole anti-gay thing. Buzzfeed has a story on her ties to a Ugandan anti-gay group involved in “gay cure” treatments. Ugly stuff. Hilariously, that article shows that she doesn’t appear to know what “civil partnerships” are.

  362. says

    FBI Director Comey is on Capitol Hill this morning. He is testifying before Congress, and he is not really giving the über right-wingers what they want … not consistently anyway. He shot them down when it comes to comparisons of Hillary Clinton to David Petraeus, for example.

    […] While Republican critics and outside observers have widely compared the cases of Clinton and Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges arising from sharing classified info with his mistress/biographer, Comey was having none of it, saying the Petraeus case was one that was appropriate to recommend for charges, and Clinton’s was not.

    “The Petraeus case, to my mind, illustrates perfectly the kind of cases the Department of Justice is willing to prosecute,” he said. “Even there, they prosecuted him for a misdemeanor. In that case, you had had vast quantities of highly classified information, including special sensitive compartmented information. That’s the reference to code words. Vast quantity, not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but hidden in the insulation in his attic and then he lied about it during the investigation.” […]

    “His conduct to me illustrates the categories of behavior that mark the prosecutions that are actually brought,” he said. “Clearly, intentional conduct. Knew what he was doing was a violation of the law. Huge amounts of information that even if you couldn’t prove he knew it, raises the inference he did it. An effort to obstruct justice. That combination of things makes it worthy of a prosecution. A misdemeanor prosecution, but a prosecution, nonetheless.”

    Comey said that he does not believe that Petraeus “got in trouble for less,” a reference to a tweet by Donald Trump.

    Nice to see the dig at Donald Trump thrown in for good measure.

    I still think Comey’s public scolding of Clinton was unprofessional.

  363. says

    SC @395, do you have a link to source material?

    I agree with you.

    I’ll also note that the State Department said that at least two of the emails that Comey said contained classified material did not contain classified material. They think there may be more. Mistakes were made.

  364. says

    Lynna – it was discussed a little while ago in the Comey hearing, so should be available when it’s over and a transcript is produced. The State Department’s remarks were read aloud in the hearing about a half-hour ago. Comey had been unaware of that statement.

    The official guide to classifications was also entered into evidence before that (but after I posted above), and it was noted – and confirmed by Comey – that the “(C)” designation in the body of the document wasn’t a correct marking. I believe Comey said that you’re required to have the designation in the subject line (or at least at the top), which makes much more sense.

  365. says

    SC @399, thanks. I listened to some of Comey’s testimony. For one thing, the “small number” of emails with some marking indicating that they were classified was 3. Yes, three. (See comment 368.) Of those three, all had been marked with “(c)” somewhere within the body of the email. None contained classification markers in the header, nor did they comply with several other classification marking guidelines, as later testimony elucidated.

    In fact, under questioning, Comey agreed that the lack of proper classification markings would lead Hillary Clinton to reasonably think that the emails did NOT contain classified material. Furthermore, the State Department says the “(c)” in the body of the email could be tracked to human error. A mistake. Even that “confidential” mark should not have been there.

    Nonetheless, every Republican on the committee has repeated that Hillary Clinton lied about sending or receiving classified material.

  366. says

    A few other things that Republicans tried to get Comey to agree to, but he resisted:

    “We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI,” Comey told Chaffetz.

    Comey also said Clinton did not lie under oath to the FBI.

    Democrats on the committee did manage to make a few things clear:

    Even as she prefaced her question by calling it “ridiculous,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked Comey whether Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI’s recommendation against charges came as a result of a promise made to Attorney General Loretta Lynch could stay on if Clinton is elected president was true.

    “No,” Comey responded.

    More on the conclusion of Republicans that Hillary Clinton certainly knew what (c) meant in the body of an email: Comey said,

    “I think it’s possible — possible — that she didn’t understand what a ‘(c)’ meant went she saw it in the body of an email like that.” […]

    We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information beyond a reasonable doubt to meet the intent standard,” Comey explained.

  367. says

    I can’t imagine this will help the Republicans with anyone beyond their base. They actually brought out more information that complicates or invalidates some of the talking points they would have had if they’d just stuck with statements from Comey’s press conference. They brought him to answer questions which would have lingered in people’s minds had Comey not been called on to elaborate. Even though several tried to point to Comey’s and the FBI’s integrity, others insinuated bias and corruption; for any Republicans to continue to claim that the system/FBI was rigged won’t go well.* Some came across as dim, willfully or otherwise. They inadvertently elicited and then left Comey’s suggestion that she was just technologically unsophisticated at the time out there, which could muddy their claims about intent and conspiracy without making her appear grossly incompetent or dishonest. And then there was Mulvaney’s comment…

    * I have no love for the FBI, but Republicans especially typically claim great respect for it.

  368. says

    To correct a comment I posted earlier, Comey said in later testimony that Petraeus did not hide classified material in his attic. He stashed it in his desk.

    One other telling fact, a thousand other people participated in email threads that were later up-classified. The FBI Director confirmed that they only investigated the actions of “four or five” of Clinton’s top aides. They do not expect to charge any of the 1000 people with misdemeanors. They have already recommended that none of Clinton’s aides be charged.

  369. says

    From SC @ 403:

    They actually brought out more information that complicates or invalidates some of the talking points they would have had if they’d just stuck with statements from Comey’s press conference.

    Yes. Exactly.

    Congressman Chaffetz did manage to point out that if the Congress sent a request to the FBI to investigate Clinton for perjury during her 11-hour testimony before Congress, the FBI would do so. Republicans could then, gleefully, continue to investigate Hillary Clinton. We would then be back to the sort-of non-issue of her sending and receiving classified information that was not properly marked as such, or that contained discussions of drone strikes which she should have known was a classified topic even without proper markings. Weak tea.

  370. says

    It’s interesting that they kept pushing him about her congressional testimony as potential evidence of intent, and even suggested that they’ll request that the FBI look into perjury. It actually cuts both ways. Her statements could be explained per his testimony as evidence of her lack of awareness that her server was insecure or that some of the emails contained classified information. Again, this could be seen as technologically/technically unsophisticated, but that’s very different from intentionally lying. So they probably undercut their own attempt to push the perjury line, and elicited an alternate theory that wouldn’t be especially damaging to her public image.

    Some of the moments at which they sounded most willfully dumb were when they were trying to get him to agree that the “contradictions” between her statements that she didn’t receive or send classified materials or that her server was safe and the fact that she did and it wasn’t had to be evidence of lying. He kept pointing out that while her statements weren’t “in fact” correct they didn’t necessarily suggest dishonesty because there were other explanations, like that she was unsophisticated in some relevant ways. True or not, it offers a plausible alternative, especially given that they didn’t find evidence of dishonesty.

  371. says

    Republicans seem to have decided on a new tactic to punish Hillary Clinton. They want to prevent her from receiving high-level intelligence briefings which are normally shared with presidential nominees after the two major-party conventions conclude.

    […] House Speaker Paul Ryan says Hillary Clinton can’t be trusted with classified information and is formally asking federal intelligence officials to deny the former secretary of State briefings during the fall campaign, a typical practice for both party’s nominees.

    In a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper dated Wednesday and released on Thursday, Ryan wrote that the FBI’s admonishment of Clinton this week over her lax email practices as secretary of state needs to carry repercussions.

    Politico link.

    Senate Republicans are making the same request.

    So, Republicans want to bar Clinton from intelligence briefings, but they want to allow Donald Trump to be briefed on classified information. The mind boggles.

    We’ve found a hole in Clinton’s formidable all-subjects-all-the-time knowledge and competence, she is not totally up to speed on technology that would prevent hacking. Well, that’s a lack all right. She could get smarter when it comes to hiring experts who do know that stuff.

    One thing she didn’t do was compromise national security.

    […] Seven of the eight email chains dealt with CIA drone strikes, which are classified top secret/special access program….Everyone in the world knows about these strikes; nongovernment organizations, such as New America, tabulate them; newspapers around the world—including the New York Times, where some of the same reporters are now writing so breathlessly about Clinton’s careless handling of classified information—cover these strikes routinely.

    The other top secret email chain described a conversation with the president of Malawi. Conversations with foreign leaders are inherently classified.

    Slate link

    From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

    […] If you choose to believe that top secret is top secret, and it doesn’t matter if the classification was ridiculous, that’s fine. Knock yourself out. The rest of us can examine Emailgate in a real-world sense and try to decide if Hillary Clinton actually did anything that might have compromised national security. The answer, pretty clearly, is no. We’ve seen virtually all the emails. We know what the top secret emails were about. We know that Russia could have hacked into her server and read every word and learned nothing of interest.

    Hillary was still careless, and she still shouldn’t have done it. But for anyone interested in actual national security, it’s pretty clear that she never came close to compromising anything even remotely important. We’ve known this for many months. We still know it. And all the faux outrage from Republicans in Congress won’t change it.

  372. says

    And to add to #404: They gave Democrats the opportunity to read into the record their own previous statements about Comey’s integrity and impartiality. And Comey the chance to defend his decision and address the comparisons with other cases that are being made. And themselves the opportunity to put their ignorance of both the investigation and the law on display.

  373. says

    An excerpt from what Representative Elijah Cummings said during the questioning of FBI Director Comey today:

    First, the director testified that his entire team of 15 to 20 FBI investigators and analysts unanimously agreed on the recommendation not to prosecute Secretary Clinton.

    Second, Director Comey made crystal clear that Republican claims, some of the talking heads’ claims of bias are completely false. He testified that he would treat John Doe the same way he would treat Hillary Clinton, that he was very forceful on that point.

    Third, on the claim that Secretary Clinton sent or received e-mails that were marked as classified, that claim has now been significantly undercut. Those documents were not classified, and those markings were not proper.

    Finally, Republicans have repeatedly cried foul about a double standard when it comes to secretary Clinton’s e-mails. But director Comey testified that the real double standard would have been to prosecute her with this completely inadequate — with this completely inadequate evidence.

    Media Matters link

  374. says

    Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s explanation of why Comey did not recommend that Clinton be prosecuted:

    […] I don’t think Comey wanted to be the guy known for torpedoing the candidacy of the first woman nominated by her party to seek the presidency of the United States. So, race/gender, media, history.

    Look at the IRS scandals, Comey was the FBI scandals, well, he was running the FBI during all of that, and nobody paid a price for any of that either because that’s still Obama. Nobody wants to go anywhere near it. I mean, the evidence is abundant, it is everywhere that race has paralyzed all serious opposition and policy to Barack Obama. You know as well as I do that if it were anybody but Obama and Hillary Clinton the exact opposite would be happening here. And I’ll tell you this, when Obama is gone, when he’s no longer in the White House, and particularly if the Republicans win the White House, if it’s Trump you watch how quickly our laws once again revert to their former status and importance.

    The media and the Democrats will easily hold Donald Trump accountable to the law for his agenda and do everything they can to stop it, everything they can to railroad it, everything they can to torpedo it.

    But when it comes to, my gosh, what kind of secret information do they have on Comey that would turn him into this quivering mess, that will not proceed — that question is asked so much and offered up so often as an explanation for the inexplicable, and I think it’s not that complicated.


  375. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have to respect my Senator Mark Kirk (R), even though I will be voting against him in the fall election. He calls out The Donald.

    2:47 p.m.
    Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says Donald Trump is an “Eastern, privileged, wealthy bully.”
    Trump called Kirk, one of the more vulnerable GOP incumbents, a loser at the closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Kirk did not attend the meeting, but The Washington Post described the presidential candidate’s comments.
    Asked about them later, Kirk told The Associated Press: “I’ve run for election six times in Illinois. Really tough races for the Congress and for the Senate and won every race. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”
    On why Trump would say Kirk would lose: “I guess the bully side of him. We haven’t seen a personality like his too much in the Midwest. Eastern, privileged, wealthy bully. Our bullies are made of better stuff in Illinois. We’re much more practical and polite.”
    Kirk joked that he’s not on Trump’s Christmas card list anymore.

  376. says

    And another Republican talking point about Clinton’s email server dies:

    […] The hacker “Guccifer,” whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, hacked the email account of longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal — and claimed he broke into the server Clinton used when she was secretary of State.

    But those claims were bogus, Comey told the House Oversight Committee during his testimony on the investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email server.

    “He did not [gain access to Clinton’s server], he admitted that was a lie,” Comey said in response to questions from Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). […]


  377. wzrd1 says

    To be pedantic at SC’s remark that (C), Confidential is the lowest classification, that is incorrect.
    Unclassified is the lowest security classification, Confidential is the next lowest and in between is Unclassified, For Official Use Only is in between those two lowest levels.
    But, to make life annoying and risk filled, one can have multiple Unclassified documents, which in aggregate, create a risk to the nation, then become classified.
    A more subjective system fails to exist, but it’s what we’ve got.
    Laughable is, I’ve personally penned reports, which in aggregate, I was not allowed to read. Wrong bigot list and all.
    Yeah, things get weird in national security land.

  378. says

    To be pedantic at SC’s remark that (C), Confidential is the lowest classification, that is incorrect.

    That wasn’t my remark. I meant that the marking was stupid even if it wasn’t used for the most highly classified materials. I didn’t know which level documents they were referring to in the hearing.

  379. says

    Nerd @411, Trump also told Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona that he was going to lose in the next election if he continued to question The Great and Powerful Trump about the statements Trump made about the other Senator from Arizona, John McCain.

    Flake informed The Donald that he was not up for election in the next cycle. (He will be in 2018.)

    So, picture this: Trump goes to Washington D.C. to woo Republican members of the House of Congress and the Senate. This is supposed to be a charm offensive. Trump turned out to be just offensive. He called fellow Republicans “losers.” He threatened them with losing elections if they didn’t sing his praises.

    He even reprised his much-derided praise for Saddam Hussein.

    He made some numerical mistakes when questioned about upholding Articles of the Constitution.

    He claimed that Hispanics love him.

    In post-meeting photos, Paul Ryan looks like a guy smiling through a lot of pain.

    Trump tweeted:

    Just leaving D.C. Had great meetings with Republicans in the House and Senate. Very interesting day! These are people who love our country!

    “There wasn’t a lot of substance, and I think at some point we got to get to substance in the most significant political position in the world,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) said.

    Reference link for some of the above: Talking Points Memo.

  380. wzrd1 says

    For classified documents, the header and footer is to contain the highest classification level of the document. Each paragraph should also have a classification label.

    That said, the practice varies depending upon the agency involved, level of workers (executive, clerical, etc) and even what level of document that it is. An initial report may be at a different classification level than a final report. Aggregated information can and is reclassified at a higher level.

    That said, actual classified documents and correspondence is conducted on segregated networks, isolated from the internet completely.
    So, the entire Clinton mail server business is just another case of determining when republicans lie – when their lips move.

  381. says

    Another aspect of Comey’s testimony, one that hasn’t been mentioned yet in this thread: Hillary Clinton did not send any of the retroactively up-classified emails to anyone who was not allowed to receive classified material. So, classified, up-classified, unclassified, or inadequately labeled emails … all were sent to people with security clearances that allowed them to receive that material.

    Republicans are now trying to make the point that by giving her emails to her lawyers for sorting in order to comply with a request from the State Department indicates that Clinton gave classified information to lawyers who did not have the clearance to receive that material. Comey made the point that the lawyers sorted the emails by using the headers and by searching for keywords. He said he didn’t think they had read them. Representative Cummings said he thought the lawyers did have a security clearance. We’ll see.

    Republican question to Comey (paraphrasing): What do you think Secretary Clinton’s motive was in giving classified material to her lawyers?

    Comey’s reply (paraphrasing again): I think she wanted good legal representation, and that she wanted to comply with the State Department’s request.

  382. says

    More detail from Trump’s “unity” visit to the capitol today:

    Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack [Jeff] Flake [R-AZ] hard but threatened to begin doing so….

    Characterizing [Mark] Kirk [R-IL] as a loser, Trump vowed that he would carry Illinois in the general election even though the state traditionally has been solidly Democratic in presidential contests. …

    Trump also singled out Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who has refused to support Trump and has emerged as perhaps the most vocal advocate for a third-party candidate.

    Washington Post link

  383. says

    Detail regarding the inadequate marking of confidential and/or classified email:

    MATT CARTWRIGHT: You were asked about markings on a few documents, I have the manual here, marking national classified security information. And I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little c’s on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual?

    JAMES COMEY: No. […]

    MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, if you’re going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document? Right?

    JAMES COMEY: Correct.

    MATT CARTWRIGHT: Was there a header on the three documents that we’ve discussed today that had the little c in the text someplace?

    JAMES COMEY: No. There were three e-mails, the c was in the body, in the text, but there was no header on the email or in the text.

    MATT CARTWRIGHT: So if Secretary Clinton really were an expert about what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

    JAMES COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

  384. Nick Gotts says

    I can’t imagine this will help the Republicans with anyone beyond their base. – SC@403

    Yes, it will. The whole point of it is to keep the “issue” alive, and hence increase the salience of “Hillary is untrustworthy”. It doesn’t matter that looking at the details of who did and said what when would show that the Republicans’ “outrage” is unfounded and dishonest: the vast majority of voters won’t look at the detail at all.

  385. dianne says

    Nick@422: It’ll also give people who don’t really want a woman to be president but can’t quite bring themselves to say that an excuse. People, even Democrats or “liberals” keep saying things like, “I don’t trust Hilary.” When asked for details they generally get very vague. Interestingly, I’ve had people say both that Clinton changes her position too often and that she hasn’t responded to the Sanders movement. I’m not sure how she can both move left to respond to the Sanders voters and not “flip flop”. Schrödinger’s candidate.

  386. says

    Yes, it will. The whole point of it is to keep the “issue” alive, and hence increase the salience of “Hillary is untrustworthy”.

    But they could easily have kept the issue alive – and even pursued the perjury angle – without this specific hearing, with its assorted downsides (add to the several I listed above: the increased attention to their own security lapses, the weakness of existing security systems, and the comparable actions of Republican secretaries of state; feeding the (true) narrative that this is yet another Whitewater spiral, which even some Republicans find tiresome and reckless, especially when it starts to include the FBI; and more showcasing the stupid, whether it’s real or theater – see, for example, Buddy Carter).

    The State Department has reopened its investigation now that the FBI has closed its own, so between that and the perjury nonsense it will stay in the news. And as I said above, they had some useful soundbites for ads from Comey’s press conference with which this to some extent interferes without providing any substantially new ammunition.

    It doesn’t matter that looking at the details of who did and said what when would show that the Republicans’ “outrage” is unfounded and dishonest: the vast majority of voters won’t look at the detail at all.

    But since a nonzero number will look at or come across what came out in the hearing who wouldn’t have bothered to investigate on their own, it’s a net negative for the Republicans.

    OK – I’m leaving for vacation so won’t be able to continue to respond.

  387. says

    Since 5 police officers were gunned down sniper-style in Dallas last night, way too many media outlets and right-wingers have pushed the “Civil War”! button. Tone down your stupid rhetoric, dunderheads.

    In particular, take a look at the cover of the New York Post, as presented by Daily Kos.

    How many ways can the New York Post go to hell on this one?

    It’s hard not to feel that that “civil war” headline is wishful thinking, considering the source and the level of hyperbole there.

    And the implication that the police were killed as part of the protest, rather than by an outside sniper? Again, go to hell, Murdoch Post.

  388. says

    Former Tea Party congress critter, Joe Walsh, is a terrible person:

    3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.

    Apparently, Walsh got some feedback he didn’t like. He took that offensive tweet down, but he left up another that read:

    10 Cops shot.

    You did this Obama.

    You did this liberals.

    You did this #BLM.

    Time to defend our Cops. Wake up.


  389. says

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch addressed the shootings that occurred this week:

    […] To all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward. Let us support one another, let us help heal one another. I urge you to remember today and every day, we are one nation.

    To our brothers and sisters that wear the badge, I am deeply grateful for the difficult and dangerous work you do every day to keep our streets safe and our nation secure. Our hearts are broken by this loss.

    Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness of uncertainty and of fear. These feelings are understandable and they are justified. The answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence. Rather, the answer, our answer, all our answers must be action. Calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law.

    The Attorney General also assured protestors that their voices and opinions mattered, and that the Justice Department would continue to protect their right to protest.

  390. says

    Here is some information related to Micah Xavier Johnson, the suspect killed by police in Dallas.

    Dallas gunman is ID’ed as Micah X. Johnson, 25. No known criminal history or ties to terror groups.

    Los Angeles Times story/

    The Los Angeles Times reported that law enforcement said that the suspect does not have a criminal history or any known ties to terrorist groups. Investigators also told the LA Times that the suspect may have belonged to a gun club and practiced target shooting.

    Reuters and CNN reported that Johnson was a member of the U.S. Army reserve.

    Army says Micah Xavier Johnson, named as #Dallas shooting suspect, had served as enlisted soldier; served tour in Afghanistan.

    Associated Press tweet.

    Other supsects are in custody.