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Published: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:30:30 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:30:30 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want

Google Doodle honors the late Mexican-American superstar Selena

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:19:19 +0000

Google is honoring the memory of the late Mexican-American superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez in her first-ever Doodle, which also launched on the 28th anniversary of her first solo album’s debut. Having sung almost exclusively in Spanish throughout her childhood and later youth, the 23-year-old was on the cusp of crossover stardom when she was shot and killed in 1995. Despite the fact that Selena has been gone for more than 22 years, her music and spirit have never left. Mexican-Americans, in particular, see her as one of their own, a hometown girl who never forgot or felt ashamed of her roots, and to honor her is to honor them:

"I grew up as the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mom living in a small (primarily white) town outside of Fort Worth, Texas," Perla Campos, Global Marketing Lead for Google Doodles and project manager for the Selena Quintanilla Google Doodle told Billboard in an exclusive interview. "There were always two women who taught me I could do anything and be anything I set my mind to: my mom and Selena. Selena has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember."

“She was the girl next door,” tweeted Mexican-American actor and comic Cristela Alonzo, who was the first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own U.S. television network show. “We knew and still know women like Selena.”


Senate Intelligence Committee comes for the stupidest man in the Trump–Russia investigation

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:31:13 +0000

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has a son who is also named Michael Flynn. Flynn the younger is best known for his outlandish statements in support of every possible conspiracy theory, such as a Russian bribery scandal involving President Obama, a secret group behind the Las Vegas shooting, and a fresh set of accusations against Hillary Clinton. And all that is just today. Which makes this a fairly typical day in the life of blowhard racist golf bro, Michael Flynn—whose biggest accomplishment in life is spreading the insane “Pizzagate” story.

But the scruffier, pudgier Flynn—whose only military experience is dodging duck hooks on the golf course—was employed for a bit packing his father’s briefcase, accompanying him on overseas trips, and possibly little things like helping poppa plan to kidnap people and hand them over to foreign dictators. Which has earned him some time with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and has now brought him to the attention of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The committee, which is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, is interested in Flynn’s work as his father’s aide and travel companion with Flynn Intel Group, the consulting firm retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn formed after he left government service, the sources said.

In particular, Junior Flynn was along for that trip.

The younger Flynn, 34, accompanied his father on a 2015 trip to Moscow, where the elder Flynn sat next to Vladimir Putin at a dinner to celebrate Russia’s state-funded media network, RT. The younger Flynn can be seen in video from an associated event.

The one person who is likely edging out Paul Manafort for “most likely to draw serious jail time” in the whole Trump-Russia affair is Michael Flynn. And we can only hope that’s another trip where Junior goes along.


Trump finally calls military widow, tells her 'he knew what he signed up for'

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:49:49 +0000

Good God:

U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ...but when it happens it hurts anyway," when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

"Yes, he said it," Wilson said. "It's so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn't have said it."

It took the Idiot-in-Chief almost two weeks to come up with those words of comfort? Maybe he needs to go back to ignoring military deaths and stick to (cheating at) golf. 


White House won't answer congressional questions over official business done on private emails

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:52:45 +0000

Trump golden boy son-in-law Jared Kushner and a number of other top Trump officials have been using private email addresses to do official business all along, we learned last month, despite that whole Trump campaign “lock her up” thing because Hillary Clinton used a private email server. And, of course, the White House is now rejecting congressional inquiries into the matter:

In a terse letter to Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — leaders of the House oversight committee — President Donald Trump's congressional liaison Marc Short declined to indicate whether any administration officials had used personal email accounts or messaging services, despite reports suggesting such communications were common in the West Wing.

"The White House and covered employees endeavor to comply with all relevant laws," Short wrote in a two-page reply delivered late last week and obtained Monday by POLITICO.

Do they “endeavor to comply” in the same way that Jared endeavored to fill out his security clearance questionnaire, only to revise it repeatedly because, whoops, he made more than 100 errors and omissions? While Short’s letter goes into slightly more detail about what the “relevant laws” are, this is the Trump White House. If there’s not a loophole, there’s a lie.


Good news: 'Trump's unpopularity has been massively underplayed in the media'

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:06:00 +0000

Campaign Action

If you're downright sick of the media narrative that no matter how ignorant and incompetent Donald Trump proves to be, his true believers just won't abandon him—here's some polling data to delight in taken from a grab bag of outlets.

At Bloomberg, Jonathan Bernstein writes that Trump has once again edged out every other modern-American president for last place in approval ratings at this juncture of their presidency. But it's Trump’s dismal net approval ratings where he really outpaces the competition.

His "net" approval (subtracting disapproval) has been the worst among those 13 presidents every day of his presidency, and it's never been particularly close. Currently he's within a single percentage point of same-day Gerald Ford in approval, but at -18.3, his net approval is 9 percentage points worse than Ford's, and every other president was in positive territory at this point.

Trump is not only dead last in net approval ratings, he's managed to do it at a time of relative peace and prosperity—the two factors that tend to serve as a drag on a president's approval.

To get this unpopular, this fast, and to do it in an era of relatively good times, is just breathtaking. [...] I've seen people claim he's winning his fight against the NFL, for example, but the numbers certainly don't suggest that's the case. [...] In fact, Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight estimates that Trump's net approval is a whopping 30 percentage points below where the economy suggests it should be. [...]

And yes, I think as a whole Trump's unpopularity has been massively underplayed in the media throughout his administration so far.

Now isn't that refreshing.

Trump’s net approval rating among rural voters has fallen from +16 percentage points to zero since the beginning of his presidency, according to Ipsos polling.


Schumer: Republicans 'own the health-care system in this country from top to bottom'

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:50:41 +0000

Campaign Action

Senate Democrats hold a lot of cards right now as Republicans are scrambling to clean up the mess popular vote loser Donald Trump has dumped on them with just about every action he's taken, but particularly with regards to the Affordable Care Act. His sabotage efforts have been both broad and deep but the latest, most extreme action of cutting off cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurers who are legally obligated to subsidize some lower-income customers’ costs has Republicans panicking. That leaves Democrats in a position to hold firm on protecting the law.

Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Patty Murray of Washington have been working in the Senate Finance Committee on legislation to make it abundantly clear to Trump that he has to pay the CSRs, clearing up any legislative language to the contrary. But Republicans being Republicans, they want to do what they can to undermine the law while they're doing that.

That means giving states more "flexibility," and when they say "flexibility" they mean making it easier for insurance companies to only cover healthy people, or as The Hill, a right-leaning D.C. paper puts it, "to expand a program that allows states to waive Affordable Care Act regulations." Democrats, however, are coming around to to the idea that they don't have to play any part in that

“Republicans in the House and Senate now own the health-care system in this country from top to bottom, and their destructive actions, and the actions of the president, are going to fall on their backs,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Friday.

Or as one senior Democratic aide says, "[Trump]  is taking hostages you can't shoot. […] Add his personal unpopularity and I promise you no Democrat is feeling the heat  […] to cave to what the president wants because he is asking for unpopular things and threatening things [that] are popular."

Health insurance that you can afford and that you can't lose because you get sick is one of those popular things, the thing that got so many people outraged that it meant the Senate couldn't pass Trumpcare to take it away. There's no reason on earth for Democrats to negotiate on that, not as we're inching closer and closer to an election year. Republicans, for the first time, are negotiating to make Obamacare better—that's how scared they are by this. Democrats really seem to get that, and really seem to have internalized the idea that they don't have to make concessions that will hurt people.


Scientists detect collision of neutron stars for the first time, sparking a new age in astronomy

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:36:50 +0000

In what is being described as a “transformational” moment in astronomy, scientists for the first time have verified the existence of an explosion known as a “kilonova” thanks to detectors across the globe that spotted gravitational waves triggered by a collision between the remnants of two dead stars.

The discovery announced Monday was made using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which has detectors in Louisiana and Washington, along with a third detector near Pisa, Italy, known as Virgo.

At 8:41 a.m. Eastern time on Aug. 17, a gravitational wave hit the Virgo detector in Italy and, 22 milliseconds later, set off the LIGO detector in Livingston, La. Three milliseconds after that, the distortion rippled through Hanford, Wash. 

LIGO detects black hole mergers as quick chirps that last a fraction of a second. This signal lasted for 100 seconds, and it vibrated at higher frequencies. From the smaller amplitude of the signal, the researchers could tell this event involved less mass than the previously observed black hole collisions.

Or described more eloquently

The collision rattled space-time and sent a wave of fireworks across the universe, setting off sensors in space and on Earth on Aug. 17 as well as producing a long loud chirp in antennas designed to study the Einsteinian ripples in the cosmic fabric known as gravitational waves. It set off a stampede around the world as astronomers scrambled to turn their telescopes in search of a mysterious and long-sought kind of explosion called a kilonova.

Einstein first predicted a century ago that waves could ripple through space and time as black holes and other massive objects moved around. But scientists hadn’t confirmed that these gravitational waves existed until 2016, when the merger of two black holes was detected by LIGO.

Now, with the discovery of kilonovas, scientists have taken another step in verifying something that up until now had been strictly theoretical.


Spicer's day-long interview with special counsel Mueller

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:41:15 +0000

Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly interviewed former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday, and Spicer appears to have had a lot to say. Politico writes:

President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer met with special counsel Robert Mueller's team on Monday for an interview that lasted much of the day, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting.

During his sitdown, Spicer was grilled about the firing of former FBI director James Comey and his statements regarding the firing, as well as about Trump’s meetings with Russians officials including one with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office, one person familiar with the meeting said.

Beyond providing some of the best comedic relief of Trump's early presidency, Spicer has also drawn attention for his compulsive documentation of events. Specifically, he took notes on almost everything that happened in his day-to-day life, which could provide investigators with a roadmap of inquiry not to mention an almost real-time recreation of key events involving team Trump.

As one White House official noted, a lot of people will wish they had been “nicer” to Spicer. Hmm, wonder who?

From Trump’s Surgey sandwich meeting in the Oval Office in May—man, those were the days!


With FEMA largely MIA, Chicago woman treks to Puerto Rico to aid her ailing parents

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:01:39 +0000

Donald Trump’s treatment of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (you’re president of that too, Donald) has been criminally negligent. As he’s golfed five times in nine days, it’s been civilians like chef José Andrés who are filling the vacuum to assist their fellow Americans. But while his efforts and others are no doubt saving lives, too many people remain in crisis.

The Wall Street Journal profiles Sonia Negrón Bell, who trekked from Chicago to Puerto Rico to aid her ailing parents after her father—normally a subdued man, she says—texted to say that “things are bad here.” Negrón Bell called airline after airline until she found one that would allow her to ship a new generator and supplies, and after arriving on the island, drove hours in treacherous conditions to her parents’ home:

She felt a pang when she saw her parents’ pitch-black two-story house. The homes on either side had light from generators. She feared she would find her parents starving or bedridden—or worse.

As soon as Ms. Negrón Bell pulled up, her father appeared in the driveway.

Mr. Bell got out and hugged him. Her mother shuffled slowly out to the porch. “I love you,” she said to Ms. Negrón Bell, who replied, “I love you too.”

Her parents appeared to be holding up—just. It was sweltering inside the house. Pedestal fans stood idle. The refrigerator door was open and inside, it was bare. On the floor were a few buckets partially filled with water.

Ms. Negrón Bell and her husband opened their luggage and began pulling out supplies. They turned on solar-powered lamps and several battery-operated fans. Ms. Negrón Bell made her mother a plate of Vienna sausages and crackers.

“Thank you, Sonia,” Ms. González said. “Thank you.”

According to the town’s mayor, Aguada didn’t see any regular truck shipments with supplies until 12 days after Maria hit.


Poultry lobbyists hope Trump will okay dangerous chicken processing speed-up Obama rejected

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:45:21 +0000

The poultry industry really, really wants to process the chickens you eat at rates of more than 140 per minute. Under former President Obama, the USDA considered and then backed off of an increase to 175 chickens per minute going down the line being eviscerated and inspected. Under Donald Trump, the National Chicken Council hopes that the sky’s the limit, asking for plants to be allowed to operate “at any line speed” if they adopt a new inspection system.

The Obama-era cap is an "arbitrary" limit that is holding back the industry's ability to compete in the global marketplace, the National Chicken Council stated in its petition.

Granting waivers would help the Trump administration achieve its goals of "reducing regulatory burdens on the industry," the council said, adding that it would help poultry plants cut costs and expand production to meet rising demand.

Because what you really want to hear about the meat you’re eating is that cutting costs was the producer’s primary goal, and that the government went right along with that.

Do chicken eaters trust the safety of that new inspection system? The jury is out on that and under Trump we can be sure of never getting trustworthy data. But one thing is for damn sure: if line speeds increase, the workers who process chickens will lose limbs.

Poultry workers are almost twice as likely to suffer from serious injuries as workers in private industry, and more than six times as likely to have a work-related illness. Two poultry and meat processing plants, Tyson Foods and JBS/Pilgrim's Pride, are among the 10 companies with the highest number of work-related amputations and hospitalizations, out of more than 14,000 companies reporting to the federal government, Berkowitz, a former Obama Labor Department official, discovered.

But what are the hands and arms of a heavily immigrant workforce when a bunch of big companies could profit? Nothing, in Trumpworld.


FCC Chair finally decides that he needs to declare support for the First Amendment

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:10:09 +0000

Good news. The head of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, understands that we have a First Amendment and how it works. That was kind of in question, because he was keeping his head down and refusing to answer questions after the short-fingered vulgarian fascist in the White House attacked the free press, threatening to "challenge their License." He was threatening NBC in particular. Which doesn't have a license. Because networks don't. Individual stations do. But Pai kind of cleared that up, too, when he was finally forced to respond Tuesday, speaking at a telecom law conference.

"I believe in the First Amendment," Pai said at a telecom law event in Washington, without mentioning Trump by name. "The FCC under my leadership will stand for the First Amendment, and under the law the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on content of a particular newscast."

Pai was looking more and more pathetic as his silence on the issue, particularly when his current and former fellow FCC members like current member Jessica Rosenworcel and former chair Tom Wheeler were calling him out.

Democrats have refused to let the issue die in recent days, with FCC Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel warning in a weekend television appearance that “history won't be kind to silence" on Trump's threats to the First Amendment. […]

"He is making himself complicit in the coercion that the president was engaging in," former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, said in a weekend interview on CNN, calling Pai's failure to address the issue "shocking."

Better late than never?


Sick Puerto Ricans suffer as naval hospital ship sits mostly empty—nobody knows how to get to it

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:57:30 +0000

Campaign Action This is just sad reporting from CNN: Sammy Rolon is living in a makeshift clinic set up at a school. He has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and is bedridden. He's waiting for surgery that was scheduled before Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico. Now, he can't even get the oxygen he needs. There is help available for the 18-year-old -- right offshore. A floating state-of-the-art hospital, the USNS Comfort, could provide critical care, his doctor says. But nobody knows how to get him there. And Sammy is not alone. The US Comfort hospital ship was deployed much later than it should have been but even though it's been in Puerto Rico about two weeks now, it's only at 13 percent capacity (33 of 250 beds being used). Unfortunately, that's just the tip of the iceberg for the challenges facing the U.S. territory. The AP reports that people are bathing in contaminated water and some are even drinking from contaminated streams. With hundreds of thousands of people still without running water, and 20 of the island’s 51 sewage treatment plants out of service, there are growing concerns about contamination and disease. “People in the U.S. can’t comprehend the scale and scope of what’s needed,” said Drew Koslow, an ecologist with the nonprofit Ridge to Reefs who recently spent a week in Puerto Rico working with a portable water purification system.  Meanwhile, thousands of Puerto Ricans are fleeing the island without plans to return. As of Friday, 83 percent of the island still lacked electricity. At night, most Puerto Ricans are living in the dark and the lights aren't expected to go back on for many until December. [...]

Without the DREAM Act, hometowns of anti-immigrant legislators will lose millions in revenue

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:58:47 +0000

The most anti-immigrant members of Congress and other political wannabes won’t even acknowledge the basic humanity of undocumented immigrant youth, but that doesn’t change the fact that immigrant youth are a part of their communities, making contributions as business owners and taxpayers. Immigrants are more than their taxes, but when the Trump regime is hellbent on smearing these families as “welfare queens” (so it’s immigrant youth taking taxpayer-funded golfing weekends?), we’re going to talk about the fact that immigrants help keep Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Steve King’s state and district running: When Sessions was senator, he accused then-President Barack Obama of executive overreach for enacting DACA. But as the CAP data shows, his home state of Alabama would lose $188 million in GDP annually from removing DACA workers. Sessions’ birth town of Selma, Alabama, which lies in the 7th congressional district, would see a drop of $21.8 million once it takes away DACA from the 500 current recipients and 700 DACA-eligible people. Overall, roughly 4,803 people are current DACA holders in the state of Alabama, the American Immigration Council reported, while another 4,000 residents could have aged into DACA had they been given the chance to proceed with the program. Rep. King has long led the charge to dismantle the DACA program, including introducing House bills to end the program during the Obama years. Earlier this year, King tweeted a controversial photo of him holding a beer out for federal immigration agents after they deported a DACA recipient. If DACA ends without a solution, the 4th district which he represents stands to lose $53.8 million once it strips away DACA from the district’s 800 DACA recipients, according to the report’s data. Sessions should already know that anti-immigrant platforms are a disaster for all Americans. When Alabama enacted what was at the time the most anti-immigrant law in the nation, crops rotted in the fields when immigrant and Latino workers fled the state. In King’s Iowa, Asian, African, and Latino workers “have filled jobs at pork, egg and turkey plants.” New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno—fresh off launching a racist Willie Horton-style ad attacking immigrants—is also from Iowa, and her home district stands to lose nearly $50 million without DACA recipients. Overall, the national GDP stands to lose an estimated $460 billion from Trump ending DACA, including $71 million from his home district. Meanwhile, gains from passing the bipartisan DREAM Act could be as high as a cumulative $1 trillion. Passing DREAM isn’t just morally the right thing to do, it also makes simple economic sense. [...]

Day 17: Still no progress on the Children's Health Insurance Program, Senate moves on to tax cuts

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:48:57 +0000

Campaign Action

The House of Representatives continues its week-long break, as states continue to panic about how they're going to continue providing health care to children without new congressional authorization of federal funds. That authorization expired on September 30. Everyone knew the deadline was coming, and yet here we are. Five states and some territories got an injection of leftover funds from the Trump administration this week, but that source is finite.

Arizona will receive $21.8 million, California $176.9 million, Minnesota $3.6 million, Washington $10.4 million and Oregon $14.2 million. The balance of the $230 million is going to the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.

The extra money will help those states keep their programs going a little longer. Minnesota, for example, said that the additional funds will keep its CHIP program running through the end of this month.

That means Minnesota only has enough until the end of the month. That's nine working days away, three of which the House isn't even in. The Senate could be speeding things along by passing their version of the bill this week, having it sitting in the House ready to go first thing next week. But no. Instead it's working on the budget resolution that's going to allow them to try to pass tax cuts for the 1 percent with only 51 votes.

Priorities, don't you know.


A student lunch fund in Philando Castile's name raises enough to wipe out lunch debt for a year

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:19:22 +0000

One of the beautiful things that often happens in communities facing struggle is how they come together in times of tragedy to support one another. Though this happens quite regularly, these are things that almost never make the mainstream news. It is much more preferable for the media and conservative political pundits to pathologize communities (specifically communities of color) than it is to acknowledge the work they may be doing internally to curb cycles of violence, poverty and oppression. Despite popular misconceptions, the very communities that are experiencing racialized police violence are working hard to support those in need and are turning tragedy into a reason to do good for others. In St. Paul, Minnesota, where Philando Castile was murdered last year, this is certainly the case. A memorial fund in Castile’s name was set up to help cover the cost of student lunch debt. The fund recently raised enough money to cover student lunch debt across St. Paul for an entire year.   The Philando Feeds The Children Fund was started by Pam Fergus, a local community college professor who was inspired by stories of Castile having helped pay for student’s lunches with his own money. “We just had this little idea that we were going to help do Mr. Phil’s job and make sure you guys have good lunch to eat every day,” Fergus told students, according to a WCCO report. In total, more than 2000 donors helped the fund raise over $72,000—well above the initial $5,000 goal—which was presented to officials at [J.J. Hill Montessori School where Castile worked] on Friday by Castile’s mother Valerie. This is an admirable thing but also critically important. Hunger is a huge problem among America’s public school children. Most public school teachers (around 75 percent) report that their students regularly come to school hungry and that this has a significant impact on student performance. While this should concern all of us, it doesn’t bother the political party in power one bit. Republicans have been trying to cut free and reduced school lunches for years under the guise of giving more flexibility and authority to states. All this really means is that they don’t care if poor students are going to school and unable to eat. That is shameful and inhumane. In a country with as many resources as this one, it should be impossible for poor families to actually go into debt for school lunches. We can pay for everything under the sun when we want to (especially military weaponry) but we have no desire to feed poor kids.  [...]

Another strikeout: Federal judge blocks Trump's Muslim ban 3.0

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:07:02 +0000

A federal district judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday on Donald Trump's third attempt at implementing a Muslim ban, which was set to take effect on Wednesday. Politico's Josh Gerstein writes:

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson granted a temporary restraining order, concluding that Trump appeared to run afoul of federal immigration law when he issued a proclamation last month restricting travel to the U.S. by citizens of eight countries.

Six of the eight nations are majority Muslim, but the judge's ruling does not focus on that issue.

Judge Watson wrote that the government failed to make the case for why allowing more people into the country would be "detrimental" to national interests. He also charged that the order "plainly discriminates based on nationality."

The federal government will almost certainly appeal the ruling and, ultimately, the case will likely head back to the Supreme Court.


Midday open thread: An idiot and living on the edge

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:11:31 +0000

Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Choose your own sexual harassment adventure:  Jackass: Republican candidate for Georgia governor Michael Williams said Monday he opposes any ban on bump stocks, and will give away one of the devices. [...] Williams said he will give away a bump stock "to one lucky winner" in a show of defiance as momentum grows for more restrictions in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Timeless: Google on Tuesday launched a new Doodle on its homepage celebrating the life and career of Selena Quintanilla, the Tejano singer known for hits like "Dreaming of You," "I Could Fall in Love," and "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." Quintanilla was shot and killed by the former president of her fan club in 1995. The new Doodle illustrates the story of Quintanilla's life through an animated video that shows her singing at home as a young girl, performing in cafes and at weddings, and finally in the center of a large stage and jamming on a tour bus. The brief video is set to one of Quintanilla's most recognizable songs, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." Google is launching the Doodle on the anniversary of Quintanilla's first studio album, "Selena," which debuted 28 years ago. In addition to the Doodle, Google will be rolling out a new exhibit for the late singer on its Arts & Culture website. This should prompt some angry tweets about “fake” news: The Forbes list of 400 richest Americans shows that the billionaire-in-chief's fortune fell by $600 million to $3.1 billion. As a result he dropped to #248 on the list, after coming in at #156 last year. Want to live dangerously? Jim Bakker has had it with his critics. The disgraced televangelist is demanding that “mean people in America” who make fun of him stop watching his show, which is essentially an infomercial for his doomsday food mixed with predictions about an impending apocalypse. He’s warning that there will be dire consequences for those who continue to watch and mock.   “If you don’t want to hear it, just shut me off,” he said in a clip from Friday’s show posted online by Right Wing Watch. “Especially you folks that monitor me every day to try to destroy me. Just go away. You don’t have to be there. You don’t have to hear it.” On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Trump’s new low: a rambling, goalpost-moving lie about how he & previous presidents expressed condolences to Gold Star families. Armando has budget questions; predicts more $$$ troubles for Kushner. Is Trump planting a mole to spy on Mueller? x Embedded Content YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash [...]

Senators reach bipartisan agreement on plan to try to stabilize Obamacare markets

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:36:01 +0000

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray have reached a deal to restore the funding for the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies that subsidize the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for lower-income Obamacare customers.

As one part of the deal, the subsidies would be funded for two years, a step that would provide at least short-term certainty to insurers. The subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers.

A Democratic aide tells Greg Sargent that it includes $106 million in restored outreach funding for open enrollment, in addition to that two years of CSR funding. Meanwhile, Alexander has told reporters that there is "meaningful flexibility." What that "flexibility" is, or what Murray agreed to in terms of loosening Obamacare regulations, is as of yet unclear. Axios is reporting that it includes a "’copper plan’ for people older than 30, which would be less comprehensive than other ACA plans but would have a lower premium,” and “shorter review time for states seeking waivers from some of the ACA's coverage requirements.” More details should be forthcoming.

In a simultaneous press conference, Trump seemed to endorse the Alexander-Murray deal, but also seemed awfully confused as to exactly what it was he was talking about. He might have just been endorsing the thing that he's not claiming as his own plan, the Graham-Cassidy block grants idea, which failed to get enough Republican votes in the Senate. He also said that it has enough votes to pass. It does not. So who knows what the hell is going on in that addled brain.

In the short term, this development isn't likely to have an effect on premiums for 2018, as the big hikes we've seen in a few states just happened this week. There really isn't enough time or certainty for insurers to count on this happening, and for the reimbursements to start flowing.


Republicans drop breathtakingly racist mail piece in Virginia House race, targeting Latina Democrat

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:01:52 +0000

Virginia Republicans are going all-in on some seriously racist rhetoric this election season. Gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s racist, fearmongering ads smearing the Latino community have been getting all the (deservedly negative) media attention, but the state GOP is taking its cues from the top of the ticket and deploying racist campaign tactics further down the ballot, too. The party paid for a mail piece that's dropped in Latina Democratic candidate (and Daily Kos endorsee) Hala Ayala’s district, and it’s not so much rife with racist dog whistles as it is full of racist bullhorns. Republicans are equating felons and “thugs, violent criminals, gang members, and child predators” with the person of color pictured next to the text on the mailer, which you can see at the top of this post. This breathtakingly white-supremacist piece of campaign literature further sets forth the systemically racist trope that those who have served their time don’t deserve to vote, sit on juries, or otherwise exercise their rights as citizens. These horrifying mail pieces are only the latest in a growing pattern of blatantly racist Republican campaign communications in Virginia. First, there was Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s fearmongering ad that was brimming with racist tropes and sought to target Democratic nominee Ralph Northam for allegedly supporting “sanctuary cities.” The ad claimed that Gillespie would keep us “safer” by “get[ting] tough on illegal immigration” and used racially incendiary language often used to denigrate Latinos. (Also, Virginia has no sanctuary cities.) Then there was the blatantly racist direct mail piece dropped by a Virginia Republican’s “leadership PAC” (read: political committee that does the dirty business so GOP candidates can keep their hands clean) against Elizabeth Guzman, another Latina House candidate. The mailer uses the term “illegal alien,” a dehumanizing phrase that’s so often used to cloak racism in a veneer of moral authority while perpetuating negative stereotypes. The mailers also were designed to evoke the racist claim that giving driver’s licenses to members of this community would lead to gun violence or voter fraud. (Take a gander for yourself right here.) Give Republicans a real reason to be afraid: Donate $1 to Hala Ayala and each of our other endorsed Democratic candidates running for the Virginia House! [...]

Busting the 'Obamacare is dead' and other Trump myths about the law

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:49:25 +0000

Campaign Action Congressional Democrats have two big jobs in the next two months when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. They have to hold tough to their commitment to not make damaging concessions that would weaken the law. That's key, but just as important is working now to strengthen the law by making sure it succeeds this year. That means getting the word out: Obamacare is not dead and enrollments open in two weeks; direct financial assistance for paying premiums is still available;   there is still a tax penalty for not having coverage. Trump's sabotage has been aimed as much at making people think Obamacare is dead as it has at actually trying to kill it. He lies about it at every opportunity, declaring that it's gone. He's stopped funding all the outreach and advertising the government is supposed to be doing to promote enrollments, reinforcing the idea that it just doesn't exist anymore. While good-sized majorities of people recognize that all the damage being done is of Trump's own doing, the problem is that many are confused about whether it will still be there in 2018 and whether they can still get financial help to get it. A new survey of uninsured people and enrollees in Obamacare conducted for Get America Covered by polling firm Hart Research Associates shows the damage: Just 15% of uninsured and only half (51%) of insured consumers are aware that they qualify for a tax credit that lowers the monthly cost and makes health insurance affordable. In fact, just 41% of individuals currently insured through the marketplace are aware that they currently receive a tax credit. This is important because those who are aware they are eligible for a tax credit are more likely to say they will purchase health insurance for 2018. […] Majorities of insured (54%) and uninsured consumers (59%) either believe that Obamacare will be cancelled and people will lose their health insurance coverage in 2018 or say that they are unsure; fewer than half in each group (46% of insured, 41% of uninsured) say that this is not true. Indeed, after costs, Obamacare being cancelled and people losing their health insurance is one of the top concerns that insured consumers have about purchasing health insurance for 2018. [...]

Sorry Mitch, Bannon ain't backing off one bit

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:11:34 +0000

Donald Trump may have toyed briefly with the idea of getting his old buddy Steve Bannon to back off his campaign to end Mitch McConnell's reign as Senate Leader, but as with all things Trump, it was just meaningless bluster. Bannon will be joining conservative radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday at a Scottsdale, Arizona, event to lift the candidacy of GOP Sen. Jeff Flake's primary challenger. The AP writes:

Bannon plans to appear with Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward on Tuesday as she announces another bid for the Senate, this time against freshman Flake. Ward lost last year to Republican Sen. John McCain, who went on to win a sixth term. [...]

The Bannon-backed group also announced Monday it was supporting retired Marine Kevin Nicholson in Wisconsin over state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the GOP primary to challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat seeking her second term.

Nicholson, a former Democrat, is among a list of outsiders Bannon is backing, including Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who lost his challenge to Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014.

Just how toxic is McConnell? Here's a little insight from a guy Senate Republicans handpicked to run against Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri.


Technically, that's not even Bannon's guy—that's McConnell's guy.


ICE's anti-immigrant smear campaign came straight from former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:26:33 +0000

It was then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly who ordered the internal ICE smear campaign to portray the immigrants they were sweeping up—many of whom had no criminal record—as dangerous, emails show. Publicly, the administration was claiming ICE was targeting so-called “bad hombres” during the initial raids following Donald Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration. But in reality, this was a lie. The batch of communications obtained through the Freedom of Information Act earlier this month show Kelly and his agents intentionally molding a false narrative in order to justify their cruel deportation sweeps:

On February 10, as the raids kicked off, an ICE executive in Washington sent a directive to the agency’s chiefs of staff around the country. “Please put together a white paper covering the three most egregious cases,” for each location, the acting chief of staff of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations wrote in the email. “If a location has only one egregious case — then include an extra egregious case from another city.”

As a reader of The Intercept pointed out, the email’s subject line — “Due Tonight for S1 – URGENT” — meant that the request had been made by the secretary of Homeland Security himself, referred to as “S1” in department shorthand.

But dozens of the undocumented immigrants arrested during these raids had no criminal record. In Texas, immigration officials moaned about difficulty finding “egregious cases” to exploit. “I have been pinged by HQ this morning indicating that we failed at this tasking,” stated one email from an agent at ICE’s San Antonio office. Among the more than 50 arrested there, the majority had no record. The Intercept reports that “DHS officials tried—and largely failed—to engineer a narrative that would substantiate the administration’s claims that the raids were motivated by public safety concerns.”

While Kelly spent only six months as the head of Homeland Security, he unshackled ICE in the most cruel ways during that short time.


McCain warns against 'half-baked, spurious nationalism'

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:22:45 +0000

John McCain has apparently decided that “brave truth teller” is going to be a more fun and rewarding role for him than his “fall in line as a good Republican for Trump” position of 2016 and the first half of 2017. Accepting an award at the National Constitution Center Monday night, McCain didn’t say Trump’s name, but if he’d been a teenage boy he would have been doing a Trump/Bannon version of the loser sneeze. Instead, he went with “half-baked, spurious nationalism” and “unpatriotic”:

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” McCain said to applause in the crowd, “is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t,” McCain went on to warn.

It’s hard to see how McCain redeems himself fully from his past complicity as a good Republican for Trump, but let’s hope he keeps trying.

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 · 4:12:33 PM +00:00 · Laura Clawson

Trump understood (or saw someone explain on TV) what McCain was talking about:

Trump said in a radio interview with WMAL in Washington that “people have to be careful because at some point I fight back.” The president added “I’m being very, very nice but at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

McCain’s answer a short time later was simply: “I have faced tougher adversaries.”


Conway tries to clean up Trump's lies about calls to Gold Star families with more lies

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:13:02 +0000

Clean-up needed in the Rose Garden. Will Kellyanne Conway report to Fox News, please?

After Donald Trump’s outrageous claim that he, unlike President Obama, calls the families of troops killed in action—a claim that came immediately after Trump admitted he hadn’t called or even sent letters to the families of four soldiers recently killed in Niger—Conway came out to do her usual task of trying to make it all sound reasonable and humane:

I think what the president was saying there is that there are many different ways to reach out to these families. Sometimes you call, sometimes you write, sometimes you actually meet them in person. And he doesn’t always make public when he’s doing that ...

Yes, what Trump was saying when he said that Obama didn’t make calls was that there are many different ways to reach out. That is exactly his implication, both on Monday and on Tuesday morning when he followed up by suggesting on a Fox News Radio show that “You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama? I don't know what Obama's policy was.” Because definitely the way to settle this question for once and for all is for the media to make Trump’s chief of staff spend a lot of time talking about the son whose death he has reportedly worked to keep private. 

What we have now is Trump on Monday saying Obama “didn’t make calls,” Trump on Tuesday saying both “I don’t know” and “ask one specific person about his own horrible experience,” and Conway on Tuesday saying that Trump meant something entirely different than the words he said. I’d ask why she would bother trying to clean up after Trump when he wasn’t done making messes, but after nine months we know the answer: they don’t care about the truth. They just care about saying something that feels like, in that one moment, it might sound good to Trump’s devoted base.


Activists deliver more than 325,000 signatures calling for clean DREAM Act vote to Pelosi's office

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:52:11 +0000

Campaign Action A petition delivery of more than 325,000 signatures in support of a clean DREAM Act is just one of the events kicking off a week of actions in support of legislation to protect undocumented immigrant youth. Activists from nearly a dozen groups delivered the signatures—many from the Daily Kos community—to the office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, “calling on her to continue to stand strong and do everything she can to pass a clean DREAM Act with no strings attached.” During a town hall earlier this month, Pelosi told an undocumented leader with United We Dream that she’s committed to passing a clean DREAM Act without Stephen Miller-led poison pills that will further ramp up Donald Trump’s deportation force and sweep up immigrant families and communities. “In California alone,” stated the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Raquel Ortega during the rally at Pelosi’s San Francisco office, “there are 222,795 of our neighbors who use their DACA status to give back to our country in innumerable ways. They are our neighbors, they our families, they are our friends. They are all human beings. The end of DACA meant a new urgency to pass a clean, stand-alone DREAM Act that addresses immigrant youths’ renewed vulnerability to deportation.” xIn front of @NancyPelosi office to deliver over 325,000 petitions demanding #CleanDreamAct— ASPIRE (@ASPIREJustice) October 16, 2017 [...]

Trump and McConnell make a show of friendship, but that doesn't mean they get anything done

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:36:24 +0000

On Monday, Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell conducted a joint press conference to showcase just how super sympatico they are on every subject you can imagine. That’s how the Senate passed Trump’s … and moved forward on his big plan for … okay, moving on. Behind the scenes, Trump, his administration and even some senators are increasingly worried that taxes will go the way of Obamacare repeal in the Senate: Months of bickering ending in extreme embarrassment. Trump’s tax plan consists of massively lowering taxes to corporations already wallowing in record wealth, sharply cut taxes for the wealthy, let the rich pretend to be companies if their personal taxes aren’t already low enough, and raise taxes for middle class families.  To sell this plan, both Trump and Republicans in the Senate are going back to the well they’ve pumped so many times before—trickle-down economics. Sure, corporations have record profits that aren’t translating into jobs or higher salaries, but give them even more, and it’s sure to work. Absolutely, the wealthy already control more of the economy than at any time since 1929, but if we just hand them even more, they’ll shower the country with … presumably something more than what Trump paid for in a Russian hotel room. It’s absolutely dead standard, done it before, and some more, supply side, Chicago-School, Gen-u-een Voodoo, and … there are a few Republicans who think perhaps they’ve taken just a few too many bites out of that apple. There are also, of course, senators who think Trump’s still vaguely defined plan doesn’t go half far enough in milking the last dime from those who didn’t have the sense to get themselves into the top one percent of the one percent. All of which looks to make Mitch and Donnie Superfriends the shortest running show of the season. The debate hasn’t even started on the GOP’s plan, yet some senators are pushing their own tax proposals, while others are increasingly emboldened to defy the Republican president. It’s a dangerous mix considering that McConnell can lose only two votes assuming Democrats band together in opposition. [...]

Trump's drug czar pick withdraws after report he blocked DEA from fighting opioids

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:01:53 +0000

Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar has withdrawn from consideration after a major Washington Post investigation showed that he sponsored a law stripping the Drug Enforcement Administration of a major tool to fight the opioid epidemic. Some Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, had called on Trump to withdraw Rep. Tom Marino’s nomination. And Tuesday morning:


So Marino will stay in the House, where presumably his colleagues will look a lot more closely at his future bills to be sure he’s not about to land them in the “got in the way of drug enforcement” category, and Trump will have to figure out who’s the next-worse person he could nominate.


Cartoon: Choose your own sexual harassment adventure

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:51:21 +0000

Of course, rape and sexual assault victims (as many of Weinstein’s accusers claim to be) don’t have a choice. The point here is that women are damned in workplace harassment situations no matter what they do.

Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen


Mississippi school district bans 'To Kill a Mockingbird' citing language that offends students

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:32:48 +0000

Nearly six decades after it was published, the book To Kill a Mockingbird remains a classic. While it has always provoked controversy, it has also been a wonderful tool for fostering dialogue, education and awareness among young people about racism and white supremacy in the United States. Thus, it is somewhat telling and most certainly ironic that so many school systems continue to ban the book because of the language used in it—the most recent being the public school system of Biloxi, Mississippi.  The public school district in Biloxi, Miss., did not specify which words, exactly, in “To Kill a Mockingbird” are so objectionable that the book was yanked from an eighth-grade reading list last week, 57 years after it published. “There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable,” school board vice president Kenny Holloway vaguely told the Sun Herald. Presumably, the language Holloway refers to is the n-word, which appears more than 50 times throughout the book. In 2017, that word may feel jarring to read but it is not without context. It is certainly a word that would have been commonplace at the time and illustrates the dehumanization and humiliation that is experienced by black people at the hands of racists. With the deep history of racism and inequality that still exists to this day in Mississippi, it is most definitely language that would have been used locally. Reading it in a book is not worse than the actual racism or consequences of racism that black people and people of color endure on a daily basis.  The novel won its author a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and “made the values of the civil rights movement — particularly a feeling for the god-awful unfairness of segregation — real for millions,” as Michael Gerson once wrote for The Washington Post. [...] Garvey Jackson, 13, sat at his desk in Hillsborough, N.C., one day in 2004 and listened to his classmates read “Mockingbird” aloud. N-word after n-word. “To put it simple, I felt uncomfortable,” Garvey told the Chapel Hill Herald. His mom did, too. So the boy made a shirt covered in words from the book — the n-word and its many 1930s-era derivatives — and wore it to English class. “If it’s good enough for the book, it’s good enough for the shirt,” Garvey told his teacher. He was promptly sent to the principal’s office, after which the boy declared that he wanted the book “out of the school system.” [...]

Donald Trump: Liar, hostage-taker, sucks as a deal-maker

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:46:02 +0000

Donald Trump reminded us who he is on Monday. In a pair of public appearances, Trump told his usual blizzard of lies, while his recent policy decisions lead CNN’s Ronald Brownstein to write that “Trump's go-to move has become to create what amounts to a political hostage situation.” In three separate cases—his repeated insistence he’ll walk away from NAFTA if it’s not renegotiated to his liking, his plan to kill the Iran nuclear deal, and his ending of cost-sharing reduction payments for Obamacare—Trump is “either terminating, or threatening to terminate, a series of domestic and international policies adopted by earlier administrations -- and insisting that others grant him concessions to change his mind.” He’s making all of us and the whole world into his hostages. And he’s doing it while revealing that he’s living in what Mike Allen describes as an alternative reality, listing a litany of Trump’s lies from his Monday Cabinet meeting and subsequent Rose Garden press conference: Trump says he and McConnell are "closer than ever before." Both men and their staffs have been trashing each other in public and private for months. Trump says other presidents "didn't make calls" to families of soldiers killed in duty. They did. Trump says Obamacare is "dead." His repeated efforts to repeal it failed. Trump says it's been established that "no collusion" took place with the Russians. Bob Mueller is interrogating the president's associates and advisers on this very point in real time. Trump says he's on a historic pace of accomplishment. He's not. Trump says he "already" has "the votes right now" for a bipartisan health care fix. He doesn't. Why did Trump make such a point of reminding us how delusional he is? Politico’s Josh Dawsey reports that: Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift. So this was Trump explaining his greatness, trying to counter his critics, and showing how totally not-adrift he is. By telling a series of obvious lies. It’ll work for the minority of people who already approve of the job he’s doing, cementing the alternative reality they live in along with Trump, but as his poll numbers show, he hasn’t been convincing anyone who isn’t a true believer to begin with. [...]

Morning Digest: Tennessee's former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen says he's considering a Senate bid

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:01:53 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● TN-Sen: Well, well, well... after ruling out a Senate campaign to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker in late September, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen reopened the door on Monday when he told the Associated Press that he is considering it after several people implored him to do so. A wealthy former mayor of Nashville, Bredesen would easily be the top choice of many state and national Democrats after ending his tenure with broad popularity in this conservative state. Indeed, in his 2006 re-election bid, Bredesen won a 69-30 landslide and carried every one of Tennessee's 95 counties. That campaign marked the last statewide race Democrats have won in Tennessee.​ Campaign Action ​Of course, even if Bredesen does run again, it will be dramatically harder for him to win next year. Tennessee has become increasingly hostile to Democrats up and down the ballot since 2006, with Donald Trump carrying it by a brutal 61-35 spread. Voters are also typically far more willing to split their tickets in state races than in federal ones, and Bredesen would face attacks tying him to unpopular national Democratic leaders. Republican ex-Gov. Linda Lingle tried this same move in Hawaii's 2012 Senate race, but she lost by a huge margin in that deep-blue state, even though she had won her 2006 re-election race in a landslide. The 73-year-old Bredesen would also be running his first campaign in 12 years, but he still brings a lot of advantages in a state where partisan realignment has devastated the Democratic bench in recent years. Bredesen would almost certainly start out with a powerful fundraising network and widespread name recognition, and he would immediately draw interest from national Democrats who are eager to put a third GOP-held seat into play in their longshot bid for a 51-seat Senate majority next year. Iraq War veteran James Mackler has been running for the Democratic nomination for months, and several notable Democrats have also expressed interest. However, Bredesen will likely weigh heavily on their decisions on whether or not to run. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, former Rep. Stephen Fincher has been conducting a statewide listening tour while he considers whether to join the primary. Fincher recently stated that he's "very optimistic" and expects to announce between Tuesday and Friday of this week whether or not he'll run. [...]

Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:15:31 +0000

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE… Energize An Ally Three Allies Tuesday A quick request for anyone who goes golfing with Trump today: could you please inform him that there are historically-awful wildfires raging in northern California right now, and he might want to take a moment between the 18th green and the time he starts shoving ice cream into his mouth hole and tweeting about the 2020 election or yanking NBC’s non-existent license to check and make sure the federal government is doing all it can to help out? That’d be great. Kthxbai. Unreal. So far 41 people are confirmed dead, hundreds still missing, and nearly 6,000 buildings have been vaporized by flameageddon. But the good news is that evacuation orders are being lifted as the blazes (14, down from 21 a week ago) are finally isolated and brought under control. But needless to say, things are still chaotic and a lot of people need a lot of immediate support. While jetpacking around the internet for relief organizations I found three that came up frequently. So we’re highlighting them as this week’s Tuesday allies in the hopes that you will help fund them so they can do their work: The Community Foundation of Sonoma County’s Resilience Fund That Napa Valley Community Foundation Fire Donation Page United Way’s Northern California Wildfire Relief and Recovery Fund C&J is giving $20 to each fund, and we hope you’ll help out in any amount you’re able. And if anyone sees Mother Nature walking around, please tackle her and call 911. She’s in serious need of rehab. Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [...]

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:01:56 +0000

Good news! There won’t be any construction or demolition going on during today’s show! It’s delayed until Wednesday! Not unlike Trump’s condolence calls to the soldiers killed in Niger. Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Podcasts! They’re hip! They’re hot! Everyone’s got one! But Daily Kos has had one since slightly after that point at which you would have been able to say that we had one before it was cool. Only we do ours over a live stream, every weekday morning from 9-11 ET. So the news is as fresh as the morning dew! Delivered and interpreted for you by David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. We think you’ll like it so much, you’ll even help support its continued production, with monthly donations via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. Not ready to face the world that early? Unsure whether you’re ready to donate your hard-earned cash? We’ve also got these handy-dandy record-o-matical things, like the one below, featuring our most recent LIVE show! At Daily Kos, it’s always free to try before you buy! (I think! Usually, anyway!) x YouTube Video YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash There is some sort of racket at KITM today. You can’t stop David Waldman that way—he’ll just crank the tunes and move on. Greg Dworkin plows through the chaos to bring us the pundit round-up. We are all buried in chaos. After all, chaos, turmoil and havoc is the Trump game plan. Also, for Trump to win, you have to lose, therefore millions will need to be hurt for him to feel victorious. For instance, Trump can’t revive coal, but he is allowing more pollution and death. Trump is emerging victorious over Republicans as their civil war takes its toll. Congress is barely functioning, its to-do list keeps getting longer, but its priority now is just to hold on so Donald Trump is not impeached. The insurgency against Mitch McConnell might fail because Mitch is probably the best they can do, and no one wants the job. Ed Gillespie says “Trump who?” Jerry Brown’s ethics save Donald Trump’s hide. As the White House becomes an adult day-care center, the enormously high cost of doing nothing becomes clear for everyone. Donald is given a subpoena for all documents relating to assault allegations. Trump Or Weinstein? Take The Quiz! The Weinstein company, Fox News, Steve Bannon’s apartment—well financed sex cults. Donald Trump knew all about Donald Trump. For Hollywood producers the hotel room is their office, but the couch is always the destination. Wilbur Ross shuffles billions so the right people think he’s rich, and the wrong people don’t. For Facebook, manipulating you is not a feature or a bug, it’s the whole point. (Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold. [...]

Abbreviated pundit roundup: The president blames everyone but himself for his failures

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:55:07 +0000

We begin today’s roundup with Paul Waldman at The Week and his thoughts on the GOP’s civil war:

Parties don't descend into vicious civil wars when things are going well for them. So the fact that it's happening now to the GOP tells you a lot about what Republicans are facing, even though they control the White House, Congress, and a majority of state houses and governorships. They are beginning to tear themselves apart over the question of who is to blame for their current difficulties, with one side saying it's the fault of a feckless establishment that is insufficiently loyal to President Trump, and the other side saying — mostly sotto voce, but occasionally out loud — that the responsibility lies with Trump himself.

Chris Riotta at Newsweek dives into Trump’s deflection of blame at his press conference yesterday:

As the president was about to host a joint press conference with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday afternoon, he suddenly declared himself free of all blame regarding a number of critical legislative issues, from the failure to overturn Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) to the fact his fledgling tax reform plan could lack the support it needs to pass through Congress.

David Graham at The Atlantic, meanwhile, explains how Trump loves to dodge criticism by blaming Obama:

This is classic Trump rhetoric. Any time he is challenged on any action, he promptly compares his own record to past presidents. He doesn’t require that the comparison be true. Having claimed that Obama didn’t call families of slain soldiers, Trump promptly backed down—he didn’t argue that Alexander was wrong, he just changed his claim.


Rex Tillerson not literally castrated—please, no film at 11

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:30:16 +0000

It turns out there is some good news in Washington.

Tapper also asked Tillerson to respond to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who said during his weeklong feud with the president that Trump had “publicly castrated” the secretary of state. ...

“I checked; I’m fully intact,” Tillerson responded.

Campaign Action

This highlight in American history brought to you by the Trump White House. The Trump White House, bringing you daily insanity since … can it only be nine months? Tillerson provided this anatomical reassurance during an interview in which he once again failed to refute calling Trump a moron … make that f#$&ing moron. 

And now that we know that Tillerson is “intact,” someone needs him to explain why he won’t stand up to Trump when he thinks Trump is putting the nation at risk.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday he believes staying in the Iran nuclear deal is in the best interest of the U.S.

Maybe it’s not the presence of all Tillerson’s parts that’s in question. It’s just the ownership.

“I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House.

And Tillerson is not the only person feeling the squeeze.


Republican senator: The big premium hikes caused by Trump's Obamacare sabotage 'helps the family'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:03:42 +0000

Campaign Action Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy teamed up with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to create the very worst of the still-standing "replacement" plans for Obamacare, and he's still trying to make it happen. That means Cassidy must keep popular vote loser Donald Trump on his side. That also means lying like a rug about the damage Trump is inflicting on innocent Americans with his sabotage efforts. "If you take the totality of what the president did, I think it actually helps the family," Cassidy said on "Fox News Sunday." The Republican said Trump created an opportunity for Congress to address an "unconstitutional" requirement, and he believes "Congress should pass that short-term extension" of the payments. "And that's exactly what the president is asking," he said. "But we absolutely have to think about that family around the kitchen table, which is why I think Congress should pass them. Republicans have been trying to do so, but with flexibility so that premiums go down." The "flexibility" Cassidy is referring to is the ability for states to decide that insurers might not have to provide insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, or maybe that they don't have to cover all the essential benefits one expects insurance to have. That's the demand Republicans are making of Democrats in passing a guarantee that the cost savings reduction payments Trump has ended will be paid. In other words, they expect Democrats to compromise to make the Trump administration uphold the law instead of flouting it. Premiums will not go down. The Congressional Budget Office has debunked that one repeatedly. It's a basic thing about how health insurance works that was the whole basis of our system before Obamacare. Not covering everyone equally causes premiums to skyrocket for people who have to use insurance. That's just what happens. But that's good for "the family," Cassidy says. He's lying. [...]

Trump campaign spent $1 million on lawyers in just three months

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:17:54 +0000

Donald Trump promised he’d create jobs as president. He didn’t mention they’d mostly be jobs for lawyers representing himself and his son in the investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia:

The $1.1 million the campaign spent on lawyers during the third quarter of the year is nearly double what the president's fundraising committee spent on legal fees during the previous three-month period, campaign reports filed Sunday show. They include more than $237,900 to Alan Futerfas, the New York lawyer representing Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, in the Russia probes.

Another $30,000 went to Williams & Jensen, which also has helped the younger Trump in the investigation.

Yes, it’s legal, because Junior was representing the campaign, so it’s a campaign expense.

While the Trump campaign is spending a ton of money on lawyers, it’s raising a whole lot more money, so if he’s still in office at that point he’ll be going to go into 2020 with a major financial advantage over his opponents.


Trump still silent about actual American soldiers who died on his watch

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:55:29 +0000

Donald Trump has his priorities.

One Week in Donald Trump's Twitter Feed
Attacking Promoting Bragging About
Free Press — 13 tweets Fox News — 4 tweets Himself — 8 tweets
Democrats — 8 tweets Other Trumps — 3 tweets Stock Market — 7 tweets
Healthcare — 6 tweets GOP candidates — 2 tweets
Puerto Rico — 4 tweets Tax cuts — 2 tweets
NFL — 4 tweets Las Vegas — 1 tweet
Iran Treaty — 4 tweets
Hillary Clinton — 1 tweet
North Korea — 1 tweet
Government — 1 tweet

While 69 tweets may seem like a lot, it clearly wasn’t enough to say anything about Puerto Rico other than how bad things were before the storms, or to say anything at all about the wildfires raging across California. 

Also missing in action on these tweets: any mention of American soldiers who were killed more than one week ago in Niger.

On Saturday October 7, the day the body of 25-year-old Army Sgt. La David Johnson was returned to Dover Air Force Base after he was killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger, President Donald Trump was golfing. It's not known if the President ever planned to attend the return of remains ceremony at Dover as he has in the past. But since the ambush on October 4 in Niger, he has not commented publicly on the deadliest combat incident involving US troops since he took office.

Trump has continued to carve out a slot between tee times for complaining about the NFL’s “disrespect” for soldiers. But he hasn’t freed up one second to discuss actual Green Berets actually dying on his watch.


Seven out of 10 Americans are telling Trump he's delusional on Obamacare sabotage

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:51:02 +0000

Campaign Action

Popular vote loser Donald Trump still seems to be operating under the assumption that no one is going to blame him when he destroys Obamacare. On this, as on most things, Trump is delusional.

Seven in ten Americans (71 percent) think President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the current health care law work while one in five (21 percent) say they should do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later. The vast majority of Democrats (93 percent) say the Trump administration should do what they can to make the law work, as do about three-fourths (74 percent) of independents. Republicans are more divided in their opinions of what the Trump administration should do next. About half of Republicans (48 percent) say President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the law work while 43 percent of Republicans say the administration should do what they can to make the law fail.

Now, the Kaiser Family Foundation didn't ask people whether they thought Democrats in Congress should do what they can to make the current health care law work, because Democrats in Congress can't do that. They can do everything in their power to try and force Trump to do the job a president is supposed to do—faithfully uphold the law—but that's about it. This is all on Trump and his fellow Republicans.

By the way, Obamacare gets majority support in this survey, again, with 51 percent of respondents in favor of the law.


College presidents call for DREAM Act vote: 'These young people belong here'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:16:52 +0000

The presidents of George Mason University, Georgetown University, Montgomery College, and Northern Virginia Community College have penned a joint op-ed calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect undocumented immigrant youth and students, writing that “we believe, as presidents of colleges and universities, it is imperative that we protect these young people through the passage of the DREAM Act...we cannot ignore the joy they bring to our communities and the degree to which we are strengthened by their presence”: They have grown up here in America. They’ve gone to grade school, middle school and high school with our children. They are student body presidents, medical students and doctoral candidates. Some serve in high school ROTC and volunteer in their churches. Others help single parents raising younger siblings and tutor their peers as they prepare for college. They are members of our communities.  They have done all the things we expect of our young people, and for their efforts so many have been able to earn places on our college campuses. They want — and deserve — the chance to continue learning and living in America without the constant fear of deportation. The Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area is home to approximately 23,000 DACA recipients, and “almost half of all DACA recipients are in school or pursuing a college degree,” according to the op-ed. Nationally, one survey estimates that 45 percent of DACA recipients are in school, with 72 percent of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher. “A robust 94 percent said that, because of DACA, ‘I pursued educational opportunities that I previously could not.’” Undocumented immigrant youth aren’t just tomorrow’s leaders, they’ve already been leading for years, and our nation should embrace them on paper, not kick them out of the only home they’ve ever known. [...]

Trump opened up a barrel of legal worms with his Obamacare sabotage

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:21:16 +0000

Campaign Action The attorneys general of eighteen states and the District of Columbia are now suing the Trump administration over his decision to suspend cost-sharing reduction payments, required by the Affordable Care Act, to health insurers to make health care more affordable for low-income people. "By refusing to make the CSR reimbursement payments mandated by the ACA and its permanent appropriation," the states argue in their filing, "the President and the Secretaries are deliberately seeking to undermine, rather than faithfully execute, the ACA." It's entirely possible that health insurers will also file suit, as they are still required by the law to provide the subsidies to customers and the government is withholding the funds they're supposed to use to do that. But there's another suit pending that could very well thwart Trump's sabotage of the CSR payments, ironically the suit that Trump is using as the excuse for his action. For years, Republicans have argued that Congress never properly authorized the payments when it passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, because it did not appropriate specific funds for them. The GOP-led House filed a lawsuit to that effect in 2014, and last year, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled in agreement, declaring the payments illegal but keeping them flowing pending an Obama administration appeal. In August, with the administration out of power, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Democratic attorneys general could instead defend the subsidies in court. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has indicated that he will continue to pursue that litigation, but that Friday’s filing, seeking the injunction, will take precedence. Given that Collyer's punitive ruling came as a surprise to many legal observers, it's likely that other judges will disagree with her interpretation of the law. [...]

Bannon rallies the GOP base against McConnell's establishment: 'This is our war'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:55:07 +0000

Heading into his big Monday meeting with Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a nice shout out from his nemesis Steve Bannon. The Associated Press writes:

Steve Bannon, back at Breitbart News after helping Trump win the presidency and serving in the West Wing, is committed to dumping McConnell, R-Ky. In a speech to religious conservatives Saturday, Bannon put on notice some of those incumbents who are at risk of a challenge from his flank of the party. He said the lawmakers possibly can avoid that wrath if they disavow McConnell and meet other conditions.

“This is our war,” Bannon said. “The establishment started it. ...You all are gonna finish it.”

The White House wasn't offering much pre-meeting love either.

The senators’ weeklong recess also drew criticism from the White House: “They’re on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations, and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished,” Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said.

Trump piled on the misery of Senate Republicans at a Monday morning cabinet meeting, saying pointedly, "They're not getting the job done." But by Monday afternoon, he gave a whiplash performance alongside McConnell in the Rose Garden, assuring reporters that he was totally lockstep with Senate Republicans.


Pruitt: If you want the EPA to enforce its own rules, you'll have to take us all the way to court

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:03:48 +0000

Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency head, Scott Pruitt, has found another way to gut the agency’s mission. Deriding the EPA’s practice of settling lawsuits brought by environmental groups trying to get it to enforce its own rules as “Sue & Settle,” Pruitt said the EPA wouldn’t be doing that anymore. 

The rule change could force environmental groups to spend much more time and effort on lawsuits aimed at making the EPA enforce its own rules and abide by agreed-upon timelines—spreading them thinner and making it harder for them to expend effort on other, more complicated cases. The EPA’s decision to refuse to reimburse lawyers’ fees also could be costly to environmental groups, as well as make it harder and less likely for average citizens and localities to undertake lawsuits to get the EPA to do what it’s legally required to do. [...]

The new memorandum formalizes a position of fighting every lawsuit tooth-and-nail that Pruitt had announced early in his tenure at the EPA. Back in February, he’d promised he wouldn’t allow “regulation through litigation.” The Justice Department also has stopped negotiating settlements that end up with payments to outside groups to cover attorneys’ or other fees.

In short, if you want the government to follow the rules, you had better have great lawyers and deep pockets, because you’re going to court. The Sierra Club fired back:

“Scott Pruitt and his polluter cronies continue to perpetrate lies about the law as an excuse for refusing enforcing it — but when it comes to the law, the truth has a way of catching up with you,” Sierra Club Environmental Law Program Director Pat Gallagher said in a statement. “If Pruitt thinks that by frivolously litigating deadline cases he will deter the Sierra Club or other citizen groups from holding him accountable in court, he should think again – we will not be deterred.”

But unless its donors step up in a big way—huge—even the Sierra Club is going to end up finding its resources strained in the fight to keep the Trump EPA from turning into the EDA (Environmental Destruction Agency).


In 'momentous victory,' California governor signs bill banning creation of 'Muslim registry'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:54:16 +0000

On the heels of signing the most sweeping anti-deportation bill in the nation, California Jerry Brown has signed legislation blocking ”the creation of any so-called Muslim registry should President Trump choose to act on a proposal he repeatedly suggested during his 2016 campaign.” The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) hailed the bill, authored by one of the state Senate’s most leading pro-immigrant voices, as a "momentous victory”: Senate Bill 31 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) bars state and local governments from releasing personal information to the federal government for the creation of any religious list, registry or database. It also prohibits them from using resources to create their own lists. Dubbed the California Religious Freedom Act, the bill coasted through the legislative process this year, the only proposal to gain bipartisan support from a package introduced by majority Democrats to counter Trump's policies. In authoring the bill, Lara cited an NBC News interview in which Trump, then a presidential candidate, said there "should be a lot of systems," beyond a database, that track Muslims in the country. As the Los Angeles Times notes, it was just a year ago “that Trump surrogates referenced Japanese internment camps from World War II as ‘precedent’ for a Muslim registry,” and since his poorly attended inauguration, Trump has stuck to his deplorable campaign promise by issuing three legally shaky bans so far on Muslims trying to enter the U.S. In a large rally earlier this year, CAIR and more than 700 Muslim-Americans gathered in Sacramento to urge legislators to prioritize the legislation, which was also supported by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) California, and others. As the numerous Muslim bans have shown, Trump is intent on furthering his anti-Muslim attacks, but this bill is an important first step.  "We applaud Governor Brown's commitment to preserving the civil liberties of all Californians," said CAIR-CA’s Yannina Casillas. "Today, California took a proactive stance in protecting the civil liberties and religious freedoms of all Californians. With the signing of SB 31, Californians know that our great state will stand up to any federal policy that targets vulnerable communities."  [...]

Day 16 since Children's Health funding expired, and 2 weeks until Nevada freezes enrollments

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:23:53 +0000

Campaign Action Unless the Children's Health Insurance Program is reauthorized in the next two weeks, Nevada is probably going to be forced to freeze enrollments in the program, meaning no more families will be able to get health care for their sick kids. The state is preparing to be completely out of federal funding for the program in about six weeks. The state budgeted for the money, so if it doesn't come, they will have to have a special legislative session to try to figure out how to continue coverage for kids. Nevada isn't the only state facing disaster. All of them are, just maybe not as immediately as Nevada. Meanwhile, the House is out on recess for a week. And House Republicans are continuing to hold CHIP hostage, demanding damaging and untenable cuts to public health and to Medicare in exchange. "It's clear that House Republicans want to use reauthorization of children's health insurance and Community Health Centers as a way to further undermine the Affordable Care Act and weaken Medicare," [Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) ranking member on Energy and Commerce] said. "Republicans remain fixated on sabotaging the ACA anyway they can. I reject the premise that we can only offer health care to children by taking it away from others, and, to date, Republicans refuse to budge in that regard." Republicans want to cut public health funding included in Obamacare and put more means-testing on Medicare premiums. Those are obscene negotiating demands. They are made even more obscene by the fact that the highest priority Republicans now have is giving the top 1 percent more than $200,00 average in tax cuts every year. Which don't have to be paid for. [...]

Trump and McConnell assure everyone things are copacetic: 'We are together totally'

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:11:45 +0000

There's no way to overstate what a show of desperation took place in the Rose Garden Monday afternoon during a joint press conference between Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

For his part, Trump touted how many tremendous successes he's had—including an "A+" rating from a former Clinton administration official on the administration's response to hurricane relief. But after bragging about his work on judicial nominations—which he boasted "will set records" then moments later said Democrats were "holding up beyond comprehension" (yes, one second, Trump was having tremendous success and, the next second, Democrats were blocking him at every turn)—Trump managed to finally say what they were really there for.

"Just so you understand, the Republican party is very very unified," he said, pointing the finger at Democrats for the GOP majority’s every failure. "When we get things approved, we have to go through hell because we have no Democrat support."

Oh, so perhaps Trump hasn't had quite as much success as he claimed, just a whole lot of “hell.” Anyway, after Trump was predictably all over the place—Puerto Rico, taxes, health care, Democrats—McConnell stepped to the mic to whittle Trump’s blunt instrument into a fine point.

"I think what the president and I would both like to say to you today, contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move America forward."

Okay, so Trump and McConnell are in it together today. It's only a matter of time, folks.

McConnell also conveniently made sure to tag Trump's appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch as "the single most significant thing this president has done to change America." In other words, forget all our failures, Trump's most important accomplishment is also the ONE thing we in the Senate have managed to do. He’s not wrong, in many ways. But touting your only major accomplishment as the most important accomplishment is like declaring that mud is mud.


Congressman Johnson: Pass the DREAM Act for future doctors like Cinthya

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:04:41 +0000

Campaign Action The dreams of Atlanta teen Cinthya Moran, who is dually enrolled in high school and college classes, stand to get derailed if Congress does not move on a passing the bipartisan DREAM Act, Congressman Hank Johnson writes. An estimated 100 DACA recipients are enrolled in medical schools around the country—including Denisse Rojas, who recently addressed Congress—and Cinthya is striving to join them: As an aspiring cardiovascular surgeon, Cinthya took her studies seriously – accumulating a 3.8 GPA by staying up nights and studying – pushing herself to work twice as hard. But now her dreams of becoming a doctor could be shattered forever. That’s because Cinthya is one of about 800,000 DREAMers nationwide – young children brought to this country by their parents. Thanks to President Trump’s craven decision to reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program or DACA, Cinthya’s contributions and those of hundreds of thousands of other DREAMers to our community and country could come to an end. Cinthya, 100 DACA medical students, and 800,000 others are at risk of being torn from the only country they’ve ever known as home following Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III announcing the end of the program. And despite Donald Trump’s claim, he can’t extend a program he’s already rescinded. Protecting undocumented immigrant youth like Cinthya is now in the hands of Congress. Johnson says: Cinthya isn’t alone. DREAMers are models of what we hope our citizens become. They go to school, join the armed forces and become productive members of society. In Georgia, the rescission of DACA could mean that 24,000 people would be deported. It is cruel to banish people to a strange land where oftentimes they don’t know the language or culture. It’s for constituents like Cinthya that I’m proud to join my Democratic colleagues in fighting to pass the DREAM Act. ”Cinthya has the potential, vision and dedication to become a cardiovascular surgeon,” Johnson writes, “but she wonders how she will be able to apply the knowledge and skills she has acquired ‘if I’m hiding away in fear of being taken back to a country I have no memory of?’” Cinthya and 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth like her need our help. Make a call to your member of Congress today and urge a clean vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act. [...]

'Deranged animal' Trump lies about calling families of troops killed in action

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:04:28 +0000

Donald Trump showed just how much he honors America’s troops on Monday when asked about the four U.S. soldiers killed in an ISIS ambush in Niger a week ago. Trump said he had written letters to the soldiers’ families which would go out … soon. And he’d get around to calling the families “at some point during the period of time.” But according to Trump, Trump is way ahead of the presidential curve, because “the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I’m able to do it.” That’s right, folks, Donald Trump is The Most Empathetic President Ever who has broken with tradition by calling the families of troops killed in action. Or, as a former White House deputy chief of staff put it: xthat's a fucking lie. to say president obama (or past presidents) didn't call the family members of soldiers KIA - he's a deranged animal.— Alyssa Mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) October 16, 2017 When reporters followed up on Trump’s claim that Obama never made those difficult phone calls, Trump responded “President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't, I don't know, that's what I was told.” Okay, sure, you deranged animal. Sign if you agree: Enough is enough. Trump must be impeached. [...]

Trump has nominated at least six 'explicitly anti-LGBTQ activists' to federal judgeships

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:18:03 +0000

This is a profoundly anti-LGBT administration through and through, and what should scare us even more is that Donald Trump is attempting to stack federal judgeships with hate mongers who will continue to issue decisions harmful to LGBT communities long after he’s hopefully sent packing from office:

A transgender first grade student is part of “Satan’s plan,” according to Jeff Mateer, a lawyer that Donald Trump wants to put on the federal bench. Mateer also defended “conversion therapy,” which claims to reduce same-sex attraction, and warned that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, bestiality, and whatever the word is for a person marrying a plant.

If a same-sex couple is allowed to marry, Mateer claimed in a 2015 speech, “why couldn’t four people wanna get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?” Then his speech got weirder. “There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.”

Why is it that anti-LGBT extremists always jump to the most grotesque and twisted conclusions? If you want to talk threats to the sanctity of marriage, perhaps start with a president who has five children from three women. And Mateer isn’t even the most rotten apple in the barrel, with Think Progress identifying “at least half-a-dozen Trump judicial nominees with explicitly anti-LGBTQ records.”