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"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis



Last Build Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:01:21 +0000

 



Midnight Meme Of TheDay!

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:01:00 +0000

-by NoahOK, let's talk about Stormy Daniels. For those of you who have been vacationing in Siberia or fishing for the rare Arapaima in the headwaters of the Amazon, Stormy is the porn star who slept with Señor Trumpanzee and got $130,000 for her troubles. Not only that, she slept with this sweaty, orange ball of slimy follicle-challenged ectoplasm for a year, a whole eff-ing year! Really, can you imagine 5 minutes? 2 minutes? 30 seconds? 5 seconds? The later is what it would be anyway, but, no matter what, $130,000 isn't enough. Talk about selling yourself cheap! $130 Billion wouldn't be enough. She's an idiot and so is the assclown who paid her to keep her silence. But, maybe he actually does know something about The Art Of The Deal. Nah, Stormy is the proverbial $10 whore that you can find on any afternoon on any street that runs from the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal to the Lincoln Tunnel. She's enjoying her 15 minuets of fame. It is, however a second 15 minutes. She once explored running for the Senate in Louisiana against none other than Senator David "Diapers" Vitter. Her candidacy never got off the ground.Stormy did earn her money of course. You'd have to pay me $130,000 just to be in the same room with Trump but it would have to be The Thunderdome, you know, that "2 go in 1 man leaves" place from one of the Road Warrior movies. One night, about 25 years ago, I was almost in the same room as Trumpanzee. I was sent to the wrong room at a famous New York recording studio, opened the door, and there was Trump on the control room couch, sitting there listening to something, a blonde on either side. I guess some actress, model, whatever thought she could sing, or someone told her she could. Anyway, nice guy that I am, I said excuse me, closed the door, and went and found the right room, the room, very ironically, where a fine band named Spread Eagle was recording their second album. To think, I could have changed history simply by going into that first room and jamming a live cable into Señor Trumpanzee's ear. I often think of that night. It haunts me. I think about what a service I could have performed for all humankind and every creature that walks, swims, or flies on this planet. Then, I stop myself when I realize, that all I would have done would have been to pave the way for Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, or some other total jerkoff to take his place.So what is it that Stormy did for her $130,000? Did she use his tiny dick for dental floss? Did she "Oh baby, baby, you're the best I ever had!" Or, did she just smile and then run to the bathroom to throw up? Well, the details are coming out. Stormy says that one of the services she performed was that the man that is now the President Of The United States had her spank him with a rolled up copy of an issue of Forbes Magazine. I think it was the one from 2006 that had him and a couple of his insipid kids on the cover. Given his love of fake magazines with him on the cover, who knows whether the magazine of choice was all real or not, but just think of having to look at that blotchy orange cellulite farm of an ass as you beat it with a magazine. It makes me wonder what other magazines did Stormy have to bring to her "job." I've composed a list: 1. Any one of a number of fake Time Magazine issues with Trump's face on the cover.2. That issue of Time from the 1930s that had Hitler on the cover.3. Guns and Ammo.4. A male gay porn magazine that caters strictly to overly chubby men?5. A Miss Universe pageant program?6. Better yet, a Teen Miss Universe pageant program?7. A copy of the defunct Trump Magazine?8. A copy of a New Jersey Generals yearbook, his failed pro football team?9. Loser?10. The American Journal of Proctology?So, was it all "Donnie, you're a bad, bad boy!" Did he make her address him or his penis as "Mr. President?" Were there dirty emails? Let's see the emails! Calling wiki-leaks!What if this news had come out before the election? Would it have made a difference? I seriously doubt it. His supporters hear stuff like this and say "That Trump, he's the[...]



How Do Members Of Congress Get So Rich While They're In Congress (A Full Time Job)?

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

Ken CalvertThere are some really, really wealthy members of Congress, most of them-- though not all-- crooks. 7 House members are ungodly rich: • Darrell Issa (R-CA)- stealing cars & the starting a car alarm company-- $330,050,015• Jared Polis (D-CO)- internet entrepreneur-- $313,556,22• John Delaney (New Dem-MD)- bankster-- $232,816,089• David Trott (R-MI)- foreclosure and eviction king-- $177,149,145• Vernon Buchanan (R-FL)- used car salesman, offshore insurance and charter jets-- $115,534,558• Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)- married an investment banker-- $100,643,521• Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- says he was a humble pigeon cage cleaner before he married an heiress-- $95,569,028They were rich before they got to Congress and some may have used their offices to increase their wealth, none of them are in the Open Secrets list of members of Congress with the mega-increases of wealth for the decade from 2005-2015. That list indicates that 8 House members became very wealthy while they were in Congress, each of them increasing their net worth by over a 1,000%. The worst is a notorious crook, Ken Calvert from California's Inland Empire. His district is one of the reddest in the state and he's likely to be one of the last Republicans left in the California congressional delegation, which will probably shrink by half this year. Calvert knows there's no accountability headed his way. The district (CA-42) starts in the suburbs west of Riverside and goes from Eastvale, Norco and Corona. south past Lake Elsinore through Menifee and Murrieta to the suburbs north of Temecula. Obama lost the district both times he ran, 55-44% against McCain and 57-41% to Romney. Trump beat Hillary 53.4% to 41.4% and the PVI stands at R+9. Calvert has never been in a competitive reelection. His opponents have never raised, if anything, more than a fraction of what he has and the best they do, generally, is just over 40% of the vote. This cycle there are 3 Democrats vying to take him on, Julia Peacock, Norman Quintero and Thomas Price. As of the Sept. 30 FEC reporting deadline Peacock had raised $23,060 and neither Quintero nor Price had raised the $5,000 that triggers a report. Calvert has a $962,663 warchest. Hde isn't worried.Calvert had a 4900% increase in net worth since he 2005. At that time he was in debt (around $100,000) and now his net worth is $4,800,003. So how did he get so rich? Well, Calvert graduated from San Diego State in 1975 and managed his family's restaurant, the Jolly Fox, in Corona before becoming a real estate agent and starting his own realty company, Ken Calvert Real Properties. He was elected to Congress in 1992. He is thought to use his perch on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment to enrich himself. He is notorious for frequently using taxpayer money to build highways to worthless land he owned to increase its value. That's why he's a multimillionaire today.There are at least 4 other congressional criminals who became millionaires while in Congress. You can see their net worth in 2005 followed by their net worth in 2015 • Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)-- $267,511--> $12,193,002• David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)-- $81,537--> $2,523,001• Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)-- $83,001--> $1,687,509• Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)-- $175,505--> $3,547,506 In 2015, CNN made the point that "the typical American family is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, but Congress is getting wealthier every year. The median net worth of lawmakers was just over $1 million in 2013, or 18 times the wealth of the typical American household, according to new research released Monday by the Center for Responsive Politics. And while Americans' median wealth is down 43% since 2007, Congress members' net worth has jumped 28%."[...]



The NRA-Kremlin-Trump Triangle-- Will Mueller Sort That One Out?

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 01:00:00 +0000

Thursday, McClatchy ran a pretty eye-popping piece by Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump. The jist of it was that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank-- a Putin crony-- was illegally funneling cash to the Trump campaign via the NRA. [T]he NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump-- triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.Two people with close connections to the powerful gun lobby said its total election spending actually approached or exceeded $70 million. The reporting gap could be explained by the fact that independent groups are not required to reveal how much they spend on Internet ads or field operations, including get-out-the-vote efforts.
...Torshin, a leading figure in Putin’s party, has been implicated in money laundering by judicial authorities in Spain, as Bloomberg News first revealed in 2016. Spanish investigators alleged in an almost 500-page internal report that Torshin, who was then a senator, capitalized on his government role to assist mobsters laundering funds through Spanish properties and banks, Bloomberg reported.A summary obtained by McClatchy of the still-secret report links Torshin to Russian money laundering and describes him as a godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya.Investigators for three congressional committees probing Russia’s 2016 operations also have shown interest in Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions. At the group’s meeting in Kentucky in May 2016, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. during a gala event at the group’s national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement.I bet Maddow wishes she could get Torshin for an interview on her show! Yesterday, Bob Bauer, reporting for JustSecurity.org wrote that "recent commentaries and press reports have tended to downgrade the prospects for a special counsel prosecution of campaign finance charges. Moving ahead of them in the Mueller speculation sweepstakes are obstruction of justice and, in some accounts, business crimes. No one knows, of course, what the special counsel, or the congressional investigating committees, have learned that has not appeared in the press. Steven Bannon’s outburst about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting may have stoked fresh interest in the 'collusion' issues. But it is useful to ask, and to question, why-- knowing what we know and could reasonably expect to discover-- the campaign finance dimension has generally encountered skepticism."He writes about why it is so difficult to prove that all the help Russia gave Trump-- other than the NRA money-laundering cash into Trump's campaign, which he didn't cover-- has Mueller's investigation probably looking in different directions. Obviously, the Torshin-NRA connection could change all that. A former senior DOJ attorney recently offered me one theory for why the special counsel may hesitate to bring campaign finance charges. Mueller may fear that case is insufficiently concrete or direct to win over a jury. While the law bars contributions of any kind, including providing campaigns with “things of value,” a jury may struggle with the extraordinary circumstances of Russia’ support for the Trump campaign. Rather than make the more familiar cash contribution, the Russian government generated “things of value” in the form of hacked Clinton and DNC material that WikiLeaks then made public. There is no evidence that Trump or his campaign arranged in advance for the hacking, though they were plainly pleased and eager to have the support and conveyed their receptivity to the Russians.This experienced attorney suggests that both factors-- the nature of the “things of [...]



Can One Family Of Psychotic, Fascist Billionaires Turn 250 Years Of American History On Its Head? Meet The Mercers

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:00:00 +0000

Because I was asked to share a dais honoring us both, I've been covering the Mercer family-- dangerous American fascists-- longer than most. I persuaded our hosts to have two seperate ceremonies so I never got a chance to meet Mercer in person, probably a mistake. At the time he was the biggest single donor to the Ted Cruz presidential campaign-- bad enough-- although he soon took over the Trumpanzee circus and started calling all the shots at his campaign through family vassals Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Patrick Caddell, Jeff Sessions and David Bossie, as well three nefarious far right firms he controls-- Breitbart News, Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center, and, most importantly, the dark data firm Cambridge Analytica.American mainstream media hasn't given the Mercers nearly the exposure they deserve, primarily because the Mercers are media phobic and refuse to do interviews. This week, Keith Boag, for Canada's biggest media outlet, the CBC, asked the question about Mercer's ultimate goal in helping to place Trump in the White House. David Magerman is a former employee of Mercer’s hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, and he's suing Mercer. He told Boag that "If the world knew what [Mercer] was trying to do, they wouldn’t stand for it." Seen from a distance, Mercer can appear like a Bond movie villain. A computer scientist-turned hedge fund billionaire, he is reclusive and taciturn. He does not do interviews. He stays out of sight sailing the world in his luxurious, high-tech super yacht, Sea Owl, or holed up in his Long Island estate, Owl’s Nest, while plotting the political transformation of America.But when he backed Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and helped install Bannon to run it, people began asking more seriously, “Who is this man?”Mercer barely talks to anyone. Trump once joked at a party that the longest conversation he’s ever had with “Bob” was just “two words.” That’s an anecdote from Jane Mayer’s 2017 profile of Mercer in the New Yorker, which, like most of what’s been written about him, was based on evidence from people such as Magerman.Magerman is a multi-millionaire-- the lower nine-figure range, he said-- who, like many employees at Renaissance Technologies, became rich through his relationship with Mercer. Unlike most of them, Magerman is not afraid to be publicly critical of how Mercer has used his money in politics.“People weren’t aware of what was going on [in 2016]. It looked like some eccentric billionaire was giving money to political causes the way people normally do,” Magerman said. “I knew that he was actually trying to do something different than that.”Mercer’s fortune and Bannon’s media instincts combined with a shared ideology to produce the anti-liberal, anti-Clinton ecosystem that includes Breitbart, the conservative non-profit Citizens United, the book Clinton Cash and much more. Together, they oversaw the data analysis company Cambridge Analytica, whose impact on the UK’s Brexit referendum and the 2016 U.S. election remain troublesomely murky.For a long time, even Magerman didn’t know about Mercer’s political interests or his ultra-libertarian, minimalist-government goals.“When I read all that, I felt not only did I have to do something,” Magerman said, “but I’d been negligent in not doing something earlier.”...Magerman thinks Mercer has bought special access to impose “extra-societal” views on the Trump administration.Magerman, who now spends much of his time at his sprawling estate in the wealthy Philadelphia suburb of Merion Station, is uncommonly thoughtful about the impact on U.S. political life of rich people like himself, and especially the ones he calls “the instant billionaires,” like Mercer.“The ultra-wealthy of today differ from the ultra-wealthy in past eras in that they have, a lot of them, no stake in the infrastructure of society,” Magerman said. He’s seen that their wealth does not depend on the health a[...]



The House Says NO To Impeachment Again

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

On Friday, while the Senate was trying too figure out how to not shut down the government, the House voted to table-- like in kill-- another impeachment resolution. Just so we're all on the same page here, a vote to impeach Trumpanzee is not the same as removing him from office. It just begins the process with hearings and an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee. Why would anyone deny that is warranted. And yet, yesterday every Republican and 121 Democrats voted to kill the whole idea of it by supporting the resolution to table the bill. 66 Democrats-- see graphic below-- voted against the motion (in other words to proceed with beginning the impeachment process).click on this and you'll see the names more clearlyAll of our favorite members voted to get the show on the road: Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin, Raul Grijalva...Alan Grayson certainly would have led the clamour for impeachment had he still been in Congress. I noticed that none of the 3 conservative Democrats representing Orlando-- Val Demings, Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy-- backs impeachment. I asked Grayson what he thinks about istarting the process. He told me that "the Constitutional standard for impeachment is "high crimes and misdemeanors."  Mis- means "badly."  Demeanor, from the Latin word minari, means how you conduct yourself.  Is there anyone left, in the entire world, who doubts that Donald Trump conducts himself badly?"Although the establishment candidate in IN-09 is mouthing some progressive phrases she thinks will "work," Dan Canon is the progressive candidate in the flippable district that goes from the suburbs of north of Louisville to the suburbs through Salem, Bloomington and Martinsville into the suburbs south of Indianapolis. One thing Dan is not is a GOP-lite establishment shill. "The Republicans in Congress," he told us, "wouldn't vote to impeach Donald Trump if he unhinged his jaw and swallowed a child on live television. The integrity of American institutions, including the office of the president, matters far less to these oligarchs than retaining power. It's been that way for a while, but standards of decency in the age of Trump have been visibly and unmistakably discarded. I think that American voters are starting to see that, and they don't like it."Good point and not that different from the one NC-05 progressive Jenny Marshall made: "The process of impeachment is established by our constitution as a remedy for those government officials who commit offenses deemed treasonous, for bribery or other crimes.  If President Trump has met the requirements for impeachment then it is the sworn duty of Congress to file the articles and proceed with the process. Period. Congress should and must do its job of upholding the constitution. Virginia Foxx has shown once again that she will put party before the people of this country."But not every Blue America candidate is in accord on the strategy of when and how to impeach Trump. One member we respect and who delivers is Ro Khanna, the Silicon Valley Democrat who voted to table the motion yesterday. He told us that "We need to let the process play out and let Mueller do his job. If the Republicans were to say that they don’t care about the evidence and will vote against impeach even if Mueller finds that Trump collided with Russia, we would say that’s irresponsible and a dereliction of duty. How then can we vote to impeach before considering the evidence Mueller presents? We have to remain the party of facts, of reason, and of evidence based decision making. As abhorrent as Trump’s statements have been, our highest responsibility is to our nation’s institutions and democratic process."Some of our candidates agreed with Ro's approach. One said that "My guess is that Mueller’s report will shock the conscience of the nation and lead to 45’s impeachment, conviction, and removal from office." Another sa[...]



A Miserable First Anniversary For Señor Trumpanzee, The Fake TV President

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000

by Richard SerraTonight, Señor T has planned a gala celebration for multimillionaires only at his palatial Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Pikers will have to cough up $100,000 a couple but the ones who really want to kiss TRump's lard ass have to pay a quarter million dollars for a pair of tickets, which entitles them to participate in a "roundtable." Everybody who buys a ticket gets a notoriously shitty Mar-a-Lago dinner plus a picture of themselves with Trumpanzee and an opportunity to laugh at the working class suckers who voted for Trump in 2016. Members of Congress-- from both parties-- have noted that the optics of Trumpanzee taking off on Air Force One for his estate while the government is preparing to shut down-- something 32% of voters blame of congressional Republicans and 21% blame on Trump himself-- is less than ideal.North Carolina congressional candidate Jenny Marshall noted that her opponent, Trump rubber stamp Virginia Foxx said she " hadn't given much thought to" Trump’s performance in his first year in office and that she "wasn’t sure if there was anything Trump hadn’t done well." Marshall reminded her Piedmont supporters that Foxx "sides with him on nearly everything, from his discriminatory travel ban to his attempt to repeal Obamacare to his appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education (the worst Secretary of Education in our nation’s history!) She’s made it clear, time and again, that she would rather toe party lines and cozy up to GOP leadership than stand for the people of the 5th district... [What] really angers me about Virginia Foxx’s recent interview is the fact that she didn’t even think about the performance of the leader of our country. As a representative of the people, it is her job to serve them and their communities, not ignore their needs by refusing to think critically about the policies being put in place by the leader of the free world. The bottom line? Rep. Foxx needs to be removed from office in November. More than that, she needs to be replaced by someone who actually does care about the people of this district and is willing to do the hard work needed to make sure they all enjoy economic, racial, social, and environmental equity-- no exceptions." Democratic candidates across the country are hanging Trump around the necks of incumbents like the albatross he has become.Meanwhile, the L.A. Times reported Friday morning that As Trump's first year in office ends, his support base has eroded and the opposition is energized. They noted that he started his Oval Office occupancy as a polarizing figure and "ends his first year a beleaguered one." They cite a new poll to back up their assertion.Just under one-third of those polled, 32%, approved of Trump’s job performance, compared with 55% who disapproved and 12% who were neutral. That 23-point deficit represents a significant decline since April and the last USC/L.A. Times national poll, which found Trump with a 7-point approval deficit, 40% to 47%.Looking just at residents of 11 key swing states, Trump’s standing is virtually the same-- 33% approve, 54% disapprove-- evidence that his problem goes far beyond the big, Democratic coastal states.Moreover, opposition to him has intensified-- 42% in the poll said they disapproved strongly of Trump’s job performance, up from 35% in April. A much smaller group, 15%, voiced strong approval, down slightly from April.The 55% disapproval closely matches the average of other recent, nonpartisan polls; the 32% approval is several points lower than the average, most likely because the USC/L.A. Times poll explicitly gives people the option of saying they neither approve nor disapprove, which not all polls do.Widespread disapproval of Trump’s performance has also dragged down his party’s standing. Asked which party’s candidates they would favor if the congressional elections were being held today, those polled sided with the Democrat[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 08:01:00 +0000

-by NoahFirst, let me, as Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon liked to say, make something perfectly clear: By posting this meme as a Midnight Meme Of The Day!, I am not fat-shaming Señor Trumpanzee. Definitely not. No way. Instead, I am, as I always do, Asshole Shaming him. Got it?Trump, a fat-shamer himself, knows he is obese. What's more, he is ashamed of his obsesity. If he wasn't ashamed of it, he would not go to such absurd lengths to, at least technically, hide the fact that he is obese. Lots of people have a weight issue. Some on the plus side. Some are anorexic. None of that speaks to one's value or character. What's interesting to me about Trump running from his reality (and I'm not solely talking about his obesity here), is that his reaction to his obesity is a reflection of his character. He is using it as just one more opportunity to be a compulsive liar, a fake, a fraud, an asshole of maximum proportions.When the story of the results of Señor Trumpanzee's physical exam were released earlier this week, the looney bin known as the White House took great pains to "adjust" both Trump's height and weight so as to make it appear that he is not obese. They reported him as being 6'3" tall and weighing 239 pounds. At 6'3", 240 pounds would mean Trump is officially obese. Hmmm. Maybe we can call him "nearly obese?" Now, consider this: After dinner on the day of his physical, Trump undoubtedly weighed 240 pounds, or more. So, Señor Trumpanzee went to bed obese that night. Whatever. If Trump was weighed at 239, somebody please get me one of of those "magic scales!"When the White House issued Dr. Ronny Jackson's statement about the physical, Dr. Jackson managed to spell his own name wrong, spelling it Ronnie. This means that either Dr. Jackson didn't write or sign the statement, or, that he did but he is so dumb, brain damaged, or whatever that he should not have been selected to give Trump a physical in the first place. When Dr. Jackson got pulled in to address the press, ostensibly to lend some emergency credibility to the mis-signed health report, the whole thing came off just like a Saturday Night Live skit. Jackson even claimed that Trump passed a test of his cognitive abilities and is "mentally sharp." This is all right out of the Kim Jong-un playbook of grandiosity when it comes to lying.There's also another possibility about the report: Maybe, the White house has something on Dr. Jackson and is blackmailing him into giving a somewhat positive report. Certainly, other people have been way too willing to sell what integrity they ever had in the service of our shithole president; talking 'bout you Gen. Kelly, $enator Cotton, $enator Perdue... Could we soon be hearing that Dr. Jackson will be replacing Sarah Huckabee Sanders? He fits the part. Dr. Jackson would make a perfect Baghdad Bob.In any event, since Señor Trumpanzee's alleged physical and the cavalcade of alternative facts that came spewing from the White House about it, a seemingly endless amount of memes and tweets dealing with the subject have surfaced. There's even now a Girther movement of people wanting to see his "Girth Certificate" and offering money if Trump will step on an accurate scale in public. Most of the memes depict comparisons of Trump's 239 pounds to other well known men of similar weight. Most tellingly, some show Trump standing next to men who are known to be 6'1" and appearing to be the exact same height as Trump, thus, at 239 pounds, making him officially obese for his real height. Anyway, enough about all this. Imagine how Trump feels when he stands in front of a mirror and all that ever-ballooning weight keeps making his hands look smaller and smaller.[...]



The Physical

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CTEy6Y9MYoc" width="420">-by Helen KleinIt is rather surprising that “The Physical” is not getting more attention in the media. The lack of mention in the New York Times is particularly troubling and disappointing.Trump recently had his first annual physical by Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, Navy Rear Admiral. When I saw a brief clip of the doctor’s presentation of his findings on MSNBC, I was surprised and struck by his manner and wording, which seemed weird and veered off toward inappropriate and unprofessional. He was gushing with praise and positivity for Trump and he was rather loose with his words. This is not what Americans expect of their doctors. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i3uSCWslWMc" width="420">Clearly, I was not the only one with this reaction. In yesterday’s editorial in the Washington Post, “Is Trump’s Doctor Okay?” Dana Milbank was “alarmed, not about the president’s health, but the doctor’s.”Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson was so effusive in extolling the totally amazing, surpassingly marvelous, superbly stupendous and extremely awesome health of the president that the doctor sounded almost Trumpian. “The president’s overall health is excellent,” he said, repeating “excellent” eight times: “Hands down, there’s no question that he is in the excellent range... I put out in the statement that the president’s health is excellent, because his overall health is excellent... Overall, he has very, very good health. Excellent health.”And just how excellent is His Excellency’s excellent health, doctor? “Incredible cardiac fitness,” was Dr. Jackson’s professional opinion. “He has incredible genes... He has incredibly good genes, and it’s just the way God made him.”Really? Some of this sounds much like Trump’s own doctor, the disheveled hippie one who claimed that Trump’s health was better than any President ever. And Johnson’s comment about “his incredibly good genes” is virtually a direct quote from Trump. Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN, making a rare house call to the White House briefing room, offered a second opinion. “He is taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, he has evidence of heart disease, and he’s borderline obese,” Gupta pointed out, citing Jackson’s own findings. “Can you characterize that as excellent health?”Milbank further noted: And not just his heart! The doctor rhapsodized about Trump’s vision, his stamina (“more energy than just about anybody”) and above all his mental acuity, which, Jackson made sure to note, he examined only “because the president asked me to.” Trump is “very sharp, and he’s very articulate... Very, very sharp, very intact... Absolutely no cognitive or mental issues whatsoever... The president did exceedingly well.”There is definitely something not quite right here. In fact, Howard Dean, also a physician, questioned Johnson’s last statement, “absolutely no cognitive or mental issues whatsoever” when he was interviewed about his impressions on MSNBC.Dean stated that the physical did not indicate that Trump was mentally fit for office and it was evident that Dean did not think so. He described Trump as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which has been zeroed in on by many professionals along with other possible categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, the bible for psychiatrists. In fact, while not a bona fide diagnostic category, Malignant Narcissism has often been described as fitting Trump to a T. Surely it is becoming increasingly obvious that Trump is “malignant” for our country.What is important to emphasize is that Jackson did not actually assess[...]



Major Political Explosion In Chicago!

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:00:00 +0000

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has a great voting record-- pretty much as good as it comes. ProgressivePunch rates her record a strong "A" and she's one of only 6 members of Congress this cycle with 100% scores (along with people like Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern and Jamie Raskin). When it comes to politics, though... she's on a different path, more often than not backing crappy DCCC/EMILY's List candidates who aren't nearly as good as she is on issues. One of the best grassroots activists in Illinois described her to me like this yesterday: "Schakowsky is a progressive on policy and establishment politically" and when I asked him why, he said "She is part of the good ol boy network... Pork for the district, her legislation moves forward, etc. All of these clowns are there for their own survival." Example: in IL-14, Randy Hultgren's Chicagoland seat primarily in McHenry, Kane and Lake counties she-- along with New Dem Bill Foster-- endorsed Matt Browley, a Republican pretending to be a Democrat. He's the establishment pick running against the grassroots progressive in the race, Jim Walz.But how about an opposite example-- one that shows Schakowsky as the most amazing progressive fighter in Congress? This week, she and Luis Gutiérrez (who is retiring) did something no one ever does in Congress-- they endorsed a challenger and reformer against one of their own colleagues in a primary. No one does that. Pelosi and Hoyer come down on anyone who even thinks of doing that like 2 tons of bricks. But Schakowsky and Gutiérrez both announced they are backing progressive reformer Marie Newman in her tight primary race against reactionary and bigoted Chicagoland Blue Dog Dan Lipinski.In Marie's own words: "It’s hard to overstate how big a deal this is. These two leaders know Dan Lipinski better than anyone, and they’re tired of seeing one of their fellow Democrats vote with President Trump and against the values of the Third District’s voters. They’re saying Marie Newman can do better. And they’re saying she can win.Just look at the fight playing out on Capitol Hill right now. The vast majority of Democrats are banding together to stand with Dreamers, innocent young people who were brought to this country as children—many of whom know no other home.This fall, President Trump announced he would end DACA, which President Obama put in place to protect Dreamers from deportation. Just this weekend, he rejected a bipartisan deal that writes these protections into the law.We can’t count on Dan Lipinski to do what's right for Dreamers. After all, he voted against the DREAM Act and holds positions on immigration that look a lot like Trump’s.This is why Reps. Schakowsky and Gutiérrez are eager for a new voice-- someone who will stand up for Dreamers and fight discrimination of all kinds.Voters in IL-03 want change, not more status quo politics. In the presidential primary they backed Bernie who beat Hillary." Chicago's most credible political journalist, Lynn Sweet, wrote in Wednesday's Sun-Times that the move by Schakowsky and Gutiérrez "a rare break from the usual tradition of House incumbents either backing each other or staying neutral in a primary." Gutiérrez pointed out that "It’s not easy to endorse a challenger over a colleague in the House of Representatives, especially when that colleague is a member of your party... “Primaries are about definition of a party. I want to define myself with Marie Newman, and I hope the Democratic Party does too."Schakowsky made it clear the move wasn't personal but about issues. Lipinski has been wrong on almost everything important to Democrats and has been especially egregious on Choice, health care, immigration and LGBT issues, where he virtually always votes with the Republicans.The DCCC and its corrupt conservative allies, like the Blue Dogs, New Dems, EMILY's List a[...]



Señor Trumpanzee's Shithole Shutdown

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:00:00 +0000

Congress will be seen as "a bunch of Washington bozos" if a shutdown occurs-Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)Last night the House passed HR 195, the Federal Register Printing Savings Act, the name meant to obscure what it really is and make it hard for voters to find a record of who voted for and who opposed the latest Republican short term CR (continuing resolution). It funds the government through Feb. 16 without dealing with DACA if the Senate passes it and Trump signs it. It passed 230-197. 11 Republicans voted NO and 6 fake-Democrats voted YES. The 6 Democraps who broke ranks and threw the DREAMers under the bus: • Salud Carbajal (New Dem-CA)• Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)• Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)• Vicente Gonzalez (Blue Dog-TX)• Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)• Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) Union activist Randy Bryce, the progressive Democrat who is driving Paul Ryan out of Congress, saw the vote last night in terms of solidarity: "There are times," he told us right after the vote, "when like-minded people need to stick together in order to stand up for the most vulnerable among us. This was one of those times. Disappointed in those who turned their backs."Two of the Republicans who opposed it-- Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both from overwhelmingly Hispanic districts in South Florida-- did so because Ryan refused to deal with DACA. That was the overwhelming reason behind the nearly universal Democratic opposition in the House as well-- although that wasn't the only reason. Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), for example, told her constituents she opposed it because it failed to increase resources directed at the opioid epidemic fight, failed to provide redictable funding for our military and veterans’ access to health care, failed to help disaster-stricken communities and failed to extend funding for community health centers. She told New Hampshire residents that she was refusing "join House Republicans in abandoning the fundamental tasks of governing by kicking the can down the road yet again on the most basic responsibility we have, funding the government. In a hearing this afternoon, Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, said, ‘I can’t in good conscience testify before Congress about naval power without mentioning the toxic and corrosive effect of nine years of continuing resolutions and years under the Budget Control Act…The absence of stable and adequate funding for defense makes everything that our sailors and their commanders do harder. On a scale of one to ten, the importance of stable and adequate funding scores an 11.’ This is now the fourth extension, and it is time to end the harmful cycle of lurching between short-term funding bills with the now monthly threat of a government shutdown. These monthly failures to govern are simply unacceptable, and they need to end. I will continue to stand up for Granite Staters, who are sick and tired of the constant dysfunction and excuses. We need to work together to find long-term solutions to the critical issues facing our nation, instead of kicking the can down the road one month at a time."Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) pointed out to her constituents in Seattle that "the majority has made a mockery of our legislative process. We just voted on the fourth continuing resolution in nearly four months. This makes no sense. It is no way to govern. Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, and-- still-- they’re scrambling at the last minute to piece together a patchwork budget that does nothing for the American people. It does nothing but kick the can down the road for another month. It ignores the real challenges we face. Once again, we watched Republicans put in the bare minimum. They denied relief for the 1.5 million Dreamers whose future hangs in the balance. They squashed the ho[...]



Republicans Are In A State Of Denial About What's Headed Their Way In November

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

Trygve Olson-- sounds like a Norwegian name-- is a national Republican strategist who is from Wisconsin’s 10th senatorial district, the site of the GOP donnybrook Tuesday. "If Republicans are losing districts like this," he said after the counting was done, "they should be in complete panic mode about the tsunami heading their way." In fact, Tuesday saw 4 special elections in very red districts that had gone to Trump in 2016 by very wide margins. Although just one flipped from red to blue, all 4 swung heavily towards the Democrats. These were the results: • WI- SD-10-- a 26 point swing towards the Democrat• WI- AD-58-- a 25 point swing towards the Democrat• SC- HD-99-- a 15 point swing towards the Democrat• IA- HD-6-- an 18 point swing towards the Democrat So that's an unweighted average swing of about 20 points towards the Democrat in very Republican territory. Veteran GOP strategist Curt Anderson told The Hill that he's "not advising my clients to panic, but if it’s a choice between panic and complacency, I suggest panic. Every Republican candidate should approach this election as if we start 5 points behind." Really? 5 points? That sounds delusional. What will it look like if what happened on Tuesday happens on a federal level in November? The simple answer: the GOP will be wiped out. Let's take, for example, the 15 races where Blue America has endorsed candidates (or is in the final stage of vetting candidates) in districts held by a Republican incumbents that Trump won. So not included are the DCCC theory-of-the-cycle districts where Hillary beat Trump. Below you will see by what percentage Trump won the district. • IA-03 (Austin Frerick)- 4 points• KS-04 (James Thompson)- 27 points• IL-13 (David Gill)- 6 points• PA-16 (Jess King)- 7 points• IN-09 (Dan Canon)- 27 points• NC-05 (Jenny Marshall)- 18 points• MI-06 (Paul Clements)- 8 points• TX-21 (Derrick Crowe)- 10 points• NY-02 (DuWayne Gregory)- 9 points• ME-02 (Jared Golden)- 10 points• OK-05 (Tom Guild)- 13 points• WI-01 (Randy Bryce)- 10 points• WA-05 (Lisa Brown)- 13 points• NE-02 (Kara Eastman)- 2 points• IA-04 (J.D. Scholten)- 23 points As you can see, a 20 point nationwide swing would sweep away 12 of the 15 Republican incumbents in the Trump districts. That means the hardest work is needed in KS-04, IN-09 and IA-04. Be my guest, please. National GOP leaders met at the Salamander Resort in Virginia over the weekend to discuss the 2018 campaign.Sources familiar with the meeting say leaders left the resort acknowledging they would lose House seats in November.Still, many were hopeful that economic growth and the tax cuts that haven’t yet made their way to voters’ paychecks will boost the party between now and Election Day.House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), the fourth-ranking Republican in leadership, said the discussion at the retreat reinforced how important it will be for Republicans to “win hearts and minds on the tax package.”“People in this country need to realize what is driving economic growth and job creation and opportunity,” she said.Democrats need to flip 24 seats to gain control of the House.McMorris Rodgers told The Hill she believes Republicans would maintain their majority in the House through 2018.McMorris Rodgers is wrong-- and not just about the delusional assertion that the GOP is going to hold onto the majority in Congress. It's not likely she'll even be in Congress herself in 2019. As we saw on Tuesday, it's very likely that Eastern Washington voters are going to replace her with the state's former House Majority Leader, Lisa Brown. And Brown is doing all she can to reach out to those voters as directly as she can. Today she told us that "although Paul Ryan’s SuperPAC is opening a[...]



Señor Trumpanzee-- Working Class Hero?

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000

Trump makes a big deal about keeping his campaign promises. And, unfortunately, the ones he wants to keep, he does try to keep. Sometimes the courts and occasionally, even Congress, keeps him from keeping the worst of them. His excuse for torpedoing the bipartisan DACA fix was that it flew in the face of one of his ugly outbursts of bigotry during the campaign. Now Ryan and McConnell are using his bizarre and incoherent approach as an excuse for not bringing popular DACA fixes to the floor of each house for a vote.But on promise that was very specific, consistent, loud and very public during the campaign was his promise to the workers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis. Looks like that's one he didn't really care much about-- or at least not enough about to do anything proactive once he had lost Marion County (Indianapolis) in 2016. Primary day was interesting there: • Hillary- 59,649• Bernie- 58,799• Trumpanzee- 49,835• Lyin' Ted- 39,557• Kasich- 9,633 And, despite Mike Pence's presence on the ticket-- or maybe because of it-- Hillary kicked his ass in the county. She beat him 212,676 (58.9%) to 130,228 (36.1%). Maybe he thought he shaped have won the state's biggest county. He did do better than Romney had though. And he certainly won the state-- and the Carrier workers-- who are unionized-- helped. I bet they're sorry now. It was raining in Indiana's capital city on the day Renee Elliott and millions of other blue collar Americans stunned the world by helping to elect a Manhattan real estate mogul the 45th president of the United States.But all Elliott saw that day was sunshine.As she waited patiently in line to cast her vote, Elliott said she was buoyed by the belief that Donald Trump would make good on his campaign pledge and prevent her job at the Carrier plant-- the job that she said allowed her to escape an abusive marriage and live a modest but comfortable life-- from being sent to Mexico.Now, very soon, Elliott will be standing in another line-- the unemployment line.Elliott, 44, was one of the 215 workers at the Indianapolis plant who were given pink slips on Thursday. And to say she is disappointed by Trump would be an understatement.“We all voted for him,” she said of herself and her Carrier co-workers. “We just thought he was going to protect our jobs. It sounded really good. And then, boom.”Elliott doesn't know what she is going to do next. She has only a high school diploma to go along with the hairdresser license she earned before she got the job five years ago at Carrier, when she was studying to be a nurse.“My five-year plan was to finish out nursing school and work on the line and take classes at night,” she said.What Elliott does know is that it will be hard to find anything that will match the $18-an-hour she made as a press operator at Carrier-- and that whatever savings she had were eaten up raising two now-grown kids. Her 73-year-old mother, who had also been living with her, has moved in with her brother, who still has a job at Carrier.“Being a paycheck away from being homeless is terrifying,” she said....Elliott’s fate was sealed long before she voted for Trump. The Carrier Company announced on Feb. 10, 2016, that it was closing its plants in Indianapolis and Huntington, Indiana, and moving the operations to Monterrey, Mexico.It was during the first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton that Trump gave Elliott and her co-workers some hope that their lives and livelihood would be spared.“We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people,” Trump declared. “All you have to do is take a look at Carrier air-conditioning in Indianapolis. They left-- fired 1,400 people. They’re going to Mexico.”The exact details [...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

Decisions, Decisions!

Damn! I'm not sure what the rules of this game are, but, the bottom line is Hell!




Nazis In Unpop Culture

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zw4LlFhy7kk" width="420">A month or so ago, rock journalist Steve Knopper called me to discuss how punk music pushed back against Nazis who tried infiltrating the early anarchistic punk music scene. Fascists in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York seemed drawn to the scene's iconography, rowdiness and anti-establishment perspective. Soon after I went off to Thailand-- the Land of Smiles-- and forgot all about it. This week Steve's story, Nazi Punks F**k Off: How Black Flag, Bad Brains, and More Took Back Their Scene from White Supremacists was published by GQ. First paragraph: Every hardcore band you loved in the '80s and beyond, from Black Flag to Minutemen to Fugazi, had one unfortunate thing in common: Nazi skinheads occasionally stormed their concerts, stomped their fans, gave Hitler salutes in lieu of applauding, and generally turned a communal experience into one full of hatred and conflict. Punk rockers had flirted with fascist imagery for shock value, with the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and Siouxsie Sioux wearing swastikas in public, but, as early San Francisco scenester Howie Klein, later president of Reprise Records, recalls: “Suddenly, you had people who were part of the scene who didn’t understand ‘fascist bad.’”I watched in horror as bands, and their supporters, tried to out-do each other in outrageousness in the mid to late '70s. The idea is that if you could piss off your parents and other authority figures, you were succeeding (at something). At the time I had a punk label in San Francisco and our first signing was the most popular local band, The Nuns. Our very first release, a 3-song 7" EP-- looked vaguely Nazi-ish:There were 3 singers-- one was Jewish, one was gay and one was an art school woman and the guitar player was from a prominent socially conscious Latino family. The song was "Decadent Jew," a live version of which from 1978 is posted above. The Jewish singer uses the N-word. At one point Bill Graham said he would manage the band if they stopped performing the song; they refused. The two other songs on the record were "Suicide Child" and "Savage." They got a lot of attention, which was the whole idea and the way to compete. The fans picked up on the vibe and were soon out-of-control, especially when the scene went from an ironic art school in-crowd joke, to a way for suburbanites to blow off some steam. By 1980, a more violent strain of punk fans was infecting punk shows. “Pogoing became slam-dancing, now known as moshing, and some of ’em didn’t seem like they were there to enjoy the music, as much as they were there to beat up on people-- sometimes in a really chickenshit way,” says Jello Biafra, whose band, Dead Kennedys, put out a classic song about it in 1981: "Nazi Punks Fuck Off." allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-MkRuV0aCcI" width="420">Many of the more conscious scene leaders, like Joe Strummer and Mick Jones (from The Clash), Jello Biafra (from the Dead Kennedys), Joey and Tommy Ramone (though not Johnny or Dee Dee) were having misgivings and feeling some responsibility very early on. The bands that didn't give a shit-- or even encouraged and exploited the worst aspects (like the Sex Pistols)-- were cooler, at least in some circles. Knopper then puts the 3 decade old movement into the context of "the era of Trump and the alt-right, Charlottesville, and 'very fine people on both sides,' [when] fighting Nazis is sadly newly relevant, and veterans of the hardcore-vs.-skinheads battles of yore are happy to help with[...]



People Like Oprah-- But Not As A Presidential Candidate... Although Better Her Than Trumpanzee

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:00:00 +0000

Last Friday we looked at how sick voters have become of celebrities and CEOs and celebrity CEOs running for office-- and not just of Trumpanzee. One utterly clueless foreign betting firm was giving odds that Oprah Winfrey would win the Democratic presidential nomination. I should have bet! Democrats aren't going to be nominating the likes of Oprah, Mark Zuckenberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban, Tom Steyer, Carly Fiorina or Mike Bloomberg anytime soon. And that was confirmed by a new Morning Consult poll that found that "most voters do not think Oprah Winfrey should run for president in 2020" even though she'd "hold a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head 2020 matchup." After her Golden Globe moment of grandeur, Morning Consult found that just 24% of respondents thought she should run-- as opposed to 59% who said she shouldn't. Although Democratic voters would prefer her over the odious Kirsten Gillibrand-- 44-23%-- most voters would prefer Bernie or Biden to Oprah.Quinnipiac also released a new poll that may have some relevance for the 2020 election. [They also asked who they would vote for between Trumpanzee and Oprah and found Oprah ahead 52-39%-- "But American voters say 66 - 14 percent that electing a celebrity to the office of president is a bad idea."] But mostly Quinnipiac was trying to figure out how many voters have figured out that Señor Trumpanzee is batshitcrazy. The nation is split. Crazy people (45%) think Trump is just fine. Sane people (47%) recognize we have an insane "president." Most men think he's sane; most women have figured out that he's not. Regardless of his mental state, most voters, by a wide margin (57-38%) disapprove of how he's handling his job. Trump is doing more to divide the nation than to unite the nation, voters say 64 - 31 percent. Every listed party, gender, education, age and racial group says the president is dividing the nation except Republicans, who say 70 - 24 percent that he is doing more to unite the nation, and white voters with no college degree, who are divided 48 - 46 percent.Trump does not respect people of color as much as he respects white people, voters say 59 - 38 percent. Republicans, white voters with no college degree and white men are the only listed groups who say he respects people of color as much as white people."President Donald Trump can't seem to improve his approval rating, perhaps because of the troubling fact that half of the voters we spoke to think he is mentally unstable," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll."The president is a divider, not a uniter, say an overwhelming number of voters, an assessment made even more disturbing by his perceived lack of respect for people of color."American voters say 58 - 35 percent the comments President Trump allegedly made about immigrants from certain countries are racist.Of course, people of color aren't the only targets of Trump's vicious bigotry and grotesque ignorance. The Committee to Protect Journalists released a list of the world’s worst press oppressors. Señor Trumpanzee took home the top honor, beating out, for example outright fascists like: • Vladimir Putin• Tayyip Erdoğan• Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.John McCain: "Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used it to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world. President Donald Trump does not seem to understand that his rhetoric and actions reverberate in the same way. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing 'fake news awards' upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he[...]



Trump And Ryan Can't Even Keep The Government Open, Though The GOP Controls Every Aspect Of Government

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:00:00 +0000

Wednesday, the editors of the Boston Globe reminded their readers who are thinking about the government shutdown Trump seems to be engineering for tomorrow-- and pre-blaming on Democrats-- that "the Republican Party controls both houses of Congress and the presidency. If its leaders can’t keep the government’s lights on, despite unified control of Washington, it would be an unnerving commentary on the GOP’s ability to handle the most basic tasks of governing... Anticipating the public backlash, Trump and some other Republicans are trying to divert blame to the minority Democrats. It’s an odd tactic. It’s true that many Democrats want no part of any deal unless it includes a separate proposal to protect the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation. But the Democrats don’t run Congress."Tuesday night Ryan and his team decided to start waving the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under the noses of Democrats-- 6 years worth of renewal funds-- to try to get their support after the far right extremists of their own party, primarily members of the neo-fascist Freedom Caucus, said they won't back keeping the government open. The Democrats, however, want a DACA fix in the bill, something in-house White house fascist Stephen Miller has persuaded Trump to oppose.North Carolina Nazi Mark Meadows bragged this week that "based on the number of noes and undecideds in the Freedom Caucus, there’s not enough support to pass it with just GOP support in the House." In the kind of deep, deep red district that Meadows and other Nazis represent, primarily in the South, where no independents are needed for elections, no one cares who gets blamed for a shutdown in swing districts held by Republicans top north. And new polling shows that Trump and the GOP will be blamed, despite all the Trump tweets and despite Fox-- all preaching to the neo-fascist choir. The Hart Research poll found that "even before hearing any specific policy disagreements," 42% of Americans would blame Señor Trumpanzee and congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with just 31% instinctively laying the blame at the feet of the Democrats, a significant 11-point margin.Among independents and undecided voters, the margin is even wider, as independents would blame Republicans over Democrats by a 16-point margin and self-described undecided 2018 voters would blame the GOP over Democrats by a 19-point margin.The poll included interviews with adults in 12 Senate battleground states: Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Of the respondents, 52 percent reported having voted for the president and 41 percent for Hillary Clinton, a margin crafted intentionally to closely mirror the combined average results from those 12 states in the 2016 election.Republicans headed into the new year hoping to spend much of 2018 touting the passage of Trump's signature tax bill. Further, many Republicans up for election in November hoped to use its passage as a main campaign tool. But a government shutdown would likely draw the focus of voters away from the tax legislation and instead toward Washington dysfunction and a blame game over who is responsible for the government shutdown.Paul Ryan's opponent in WI-01, Randy "IronStache" Bryce is a common sense kind of guy. "Basic math," he told me today, "would normally be used to show who has a majority in every branch of the U.S. government. It’s one of the few things left that can’t be considered 'fake.' Funniest part about this entire finger pointing session h[...]



Much "Consensual" Sex is Non-Consensual — #MeToo and the Muddy Middle Ground of Social Communication

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="236" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OU9AlUIH2xQ" width="420">Comedian Aziz Ansari on women who don't go out with nice geeky guys like him. Listen to this brief excerpt, then read below what this "nice geeky guy" is really like on a date. by Gaius PubliusTo understand my headline, read the following short excerpts from Elizabeth Bruenig on the problem women have when men occupy the "social signals" middle ground between rape and "taking no for an answer," then read how that works in practice via an account of a date between "Grace" (not her real name) with comedian Aziz Ansari.That middle ground is where much of the #MeToo action is, and it gives the lie to our black-and-white thinking about "Just say No" when it comes to sexual assault.Note: This is not primarily about whether or not Aziz Ansari is a bad person, nor about the degree to which Grace caused her own problem. It's about what happens on dates when people are unfamiliar with each other, how much of the communication between them is social and non-verbal, why painful aggressions aren't always escalated to police reports, and how all of this plays into the #MeToo movement. This is also not about "these modern times" and "kids today." Using social signals to communicate is broadly characteristic of our species, has been for millennia, and is not just an aspect of "these times." The only thing that's new to us now is that sexual interaction is much less rigidly constrained — and much more a social activity, as well as a personal one — than it was through most of the last century. Cultures in which sex was similarly social — and patriarchy was similarly constrained (cultures without droit du seigneur practices, for example) — would have evidenced these same species-specific problems.The "Social Signals" Middle GroundElizabeth Bruenig, writing in the Washington Post, says this about sex as an intimate social act:One of the principal outcomes of the sexual revolution was to establish that sex is just like any other social interaction — nothing taboo or sacred about it, no big deal. [Atlantic writer Caitlin] Flanagan points out [here] that, in her day, women were advised to slap men or jump out of cars or scream and shout in order to bring an encounter verging on nonconsent to an end: Sex [...] didn’t need to be treated with ordinary manners. Yet in most other social interactions, one doesn't move immediately from "I'm kind of interested in doing this with you" to slapping and screaming "Get out!" Which means that, contrary to what Flanagan says, sex is often treated with "ordinary manners." That's just the way it works with social interactions — they're treated with "manners" long before they escalate into fights — and most would say that's a good thing.In the real world, sexual activity, especially with a new partner, starts with signals and its communication can continue that way for quite some time. This places much of our sexual communication in a "social signals" middle ground, well between between the extremes of saying explicitly No or giving explicit consent.This places much of our sexual communication and interaction in the field of etiquette. Bruenig again (emphasis added):Yet, while becoming just another social interaction stripped sex of much taboo, it’s still subject to the everyday pressures of etiquette, which can be just as binding. If a guest were lingering too late after a party, or a lunch partner boring you, or an acquaintance pestering you to borrow your umbrella, you wouldn’t scream or shout or slap them, and you likely wouldn’t abruptly leave. You [...]



Making Bannon Snitch On Trumpanzee

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000

Tuesday I was in a hospital waiting room with a TV tuned to CNN when Bannon waddled into a closed door congressional hearing. I noticed that "Sloppy Steve" was wearing a coat and tie. I didn't know he owned a tie. Maybe he borrowed one. That night it was all over the news that he refused-- for 10 hours-- to answer any substantive questions from members of the House Intelligence Committee, even after they served him with a subpoena. Democrat Adam Schiff described the escapade as "a gag order by the White House." Even after the subpoena was served, according to Schiff, Bannon "was instructed by the White House to refuse again to answer any questions concerning the time during the transition and his time in the administration... The scope of this assertion of privilege-- if that’s what it is-- is breathtaking. It goes well beyond anything we’ve seen in this investigation." The White House once again claimed it is “fully cooperative” with the Putin-Gate investigation.Bannon confirmed that last week he had been served with a subpoena by Mueller and that he would cooperate with that investigation, further infuriating members of the Intelligence Committee, including Republicans. With Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes recused from participating, acting head Mike Conaway (R-TX) adjourned the hearing with the proviso it would be back in session-- with Bannon-- today.So what do Mueller the congressional investigators want from Bannon? He was part of the regime when Trump decided to fire Comey. They want him to help them prove the very likely obstruction of justice charges in the impeachment process. The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff reported that "executive privilege-- the president’s right to keep certain information from the public so he can have frank conversations with aides-- will not keep Steve Bannon from sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team," since Mueller is part of the Executive branch.A report from Kyle Cheney in Politico late Tuesday had silly members of Congress claiming they will force Bannon to disgorge the information he has. They didn't specify how. Water boarding? The iron maiden? The rack? The brazen bull? The garrote? Brown rats? Pear of anguish? Boiling in oil? No dinner? I guess they could lock him in the congressional basement and play Nickelback, Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers really loud all night 'til he stops stonewalling. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T3rXdeOvhNE" width="420">"We’re going to get answers from Mr. Bannon," said Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, the top Republican on the committee's probe of Russian interference in the presidential election.Tensions flared early in the proceedings after Bannon informed the committee that he was refusing to answer any questions about his time in the White House or on the post-election transition, infuriating Democrats and Republicans on the panel, who subpoenaed him on the spot, according to a source familiar with the interview....Bannon was behind closed doors with committee members and staff for more than 10 hours. Schiff said much of the time was spent negotiating the parameters of his testimony. Conaway recessed the interview after 8 p.m., and he declined to say whether he would pursue additional steps, such as holding Bannon in contempt or issuing a further subpoena for documents.Schiff and Conaway confirmed that Bannon and the White House didn't specifically assert executive privilege to avoid answering questions, but rather suggested that some of the answers could potenti[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:01:00 +0000

-by NoahThe picture for this meme has been used for several memes, but, after Señor Trumpanzee's "Shithole Explosion," I had to take another look at it and add my own caption to it.Having worked in the music business, I couldn't help remembering a similar pose by another group of Germans, and I don't mean German-Americans. In this case, I'm talking about real Germans, Kraftwerk, the pioneering innovators of the electronic music. Kraftwerk, as you can see, liked to play with very germanic imagery. If you google the band, you can see a lot more. They did it with a kind of tongue in cheek attitude. Apparently, the Trumps are playing with the same style, but, most likely, for different reasons.There was also the album cover of the classic Meet The Beatles album with its dramatic cover photo by the band's German friend, photographer Astrid Kirschnerr who they had met in their Hamburg days.So, you see, what the Trumps were going for with this photo didn't just pop out of thin air. No, they chose a specific historical style. Would it shock you if someone in the Trump family was inspired not by the dramatic artistic statements of rock bands, but by something darker, from an something that matches their political dreams? Can't you see Eric or Don Jr. growing up with the poster below on the wall of their room? Maybe it was a Christmas gift form dad; his way of saying Merry Christmas.Sadly, The Trumps isn't the name of a ground-breaking rock band but the name of a country-breaking family.[...]



Are Republican House Candidates Allowed To Be Gay For Pay? Let's watch This One Play Out In CA-26

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/m_jfpgCcN2k" width="420">Last year CA-26-- a Southern California congressional district that includes Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village at the upper end of the San Fernando Valley plus most of Ventura County, including a bit of Simi Valley, plus Moorpark, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Oxnard and Fillmore-- gave Hillary a landslide victory over Trumpanzee: 57.9% to 36.0%. Obama had beaten McCain there, 56-41% and beaten Romney 54-44%. The PVI went from D+4 in 2015 to D+7 after the election. The district has a lousy congresswoman, pointless New Dem careerist Julia Brownley. ProgressivePunch rates her crappy voting record a very solid "F." Despite being an utter waste of a blue seat, she's expected to easily win reelection. As of the September 30 reporting deadline she already had $2,447,043 in her warchest. There are 4 Republicans wasting their time running against her-- Antonio Sabato Jr., Shane Skelton, Jeffrey Burum and Rafael Dagnesses, with Sabato, a Trumpist former porn star, underwear model and low-grade actor leading the pack.Conservatives feel uncomfortable with Sabato, who more a fascist than an actual conservative and... well, he used to have sex with men on film for money-- and conservatives feel funny about that. Yesterday, the L.A. Times gave Sabato his moment of glory with a story by Seema Mehta. "Antonio Sabato Jr.," she wrote, "is best known as a soap opera star and Calvin Klein underwear model. But parts of his acting career are raising eyebrows among some conservatives as the Republican and early supporter of President Trump runs for Congress in California." Local Republicans "are saying movie roles in which Sabato simulated sex with a man and appeared nude disqualify him from representing the GOP." Republicans prefer gay sex in the closet, not on the silver screen. Sabato was born in Rome but his family moved to the U.S. when he was 13. He likes to call himself an immigrant who supports the wall and he's proud of his ugly bigotry, having insisted that Obama was a Muslim. To make upper his gay pornography he's dated loads of women and knocked up as many as possible and has children with several unmarried women. He's generally considered a filthy pig by anyone who knows him. Ret. Air Force Maj. Jeffrey Burum, another Republican in the race, deemed the movies “pornography” and called on Sabato to end his campaign.“His behavior is inconsistent with anything I would want from a congressional leader. It’s also inconsistent with a party which has always favored traditional family values, which do not include porn,” Burum said.Sabato and his campaign disputed the description of his work as pornographic.Charles Moran, a Sabato advisor and the former president of California Log Cabin Republicans, said that while Ventura County may be more conservative than neighboring Los Angeles County, many people in the entertainment industry live there and are unlikely to care about Sabato’s previous roles.“They know what it takes to be a successful actor in the industry, and anybody trying to make Antonio Sabato Jr.’s career and job choices salacious does so without really knowing the value of the craft,” he said, predicting the controversy would have no impact on the race. “For a long time, gays have played straight, straights have played gay. A good actor can do this, and many do. Antonio Sabato Jr. is no different.”Sabato noted the movies Testosterone and Deadly Skies, which were[...]



Does Net Neutrality Mean Much To You?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:00:00 +0000

If more congressional candidates did this, many of the country's problems would vanishI was listening to NPR yesterday on a long drive and they were interviewing two dullard Beltway operatives, a dumb Dem and an even dumber Republican. The dumb Dem, when asked about Net Neutrality's salience as an issue said no one cared much about it. And the dumber Republican went one further to say no one even knows what it is. These two fools and the idiots they work for may be in for a big surprise. Spectrum seems to already be slowing down website loading and is running frequent TV cable ads hawking speedier service if you pay a monthly fee. Anyone who thinks there's no salience in that as an issue is just so, so clueless.Lisa Brown, the Democrat running for Congress in eastern Washington state, has a a net neutrality video as her pinned tweet. It's an important issue for her. She told us that her opponent, "4th- ranked Republican leader, Rep. McMorris Rodgers, actually 'applauded' the FCC for taking on the reversal of net neutrality, demonstrating how out of touch she is with the real needs of most Americans, especially the rural parts of eastern Washington. Not only will 'pay to play' internet hurt all consumers in the wallet, it will widen the digital divide, as ISPs compete by investing in big city technology upgrades and marketing, letting the rest of us languish."John Culberson is one of the only members of Congress left in office who voted against the Martin Luther King holiday. Hopefully this will be his last year in Congress, replaced one of the best successful cancer doctores and researcher Jason Westin. Unlike Culberson, Westin is a proponent of new neutrality. " John Culberson has many flaws, but the gift of gab isn't one. The quote often attributed to Mark Twain may apply to Mr. Culberson: 'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.' On Net Neutrality, he couldn't stay silent. On March 25, 2017 Culberson held his most recent town hall. It was a raucous affair and one of the questions was about if he'd support Net Neutrality. He tried 4 times to answer, and it was clear he'd never heard of Net Neutrality. But when I reviewed his voting record, he voted AGAINST Net Neutrality on April 15, 2016 (H.R. 2666, 114th Congress). This is an excellent example of why we need new leadership-- to have representatives who actually know what they are voting on."Senate Democrats seem to understand how much net neutrality resonates and they're trying to force McConnell to allow a vote. Cecilia Kang reported yesterday in the NY Times that even if the Democrats win in the Senate-- and they're close-- the Republican-controlled House is unlikely to go along and Trump would veto it anyway. Senate Democrats said on Tuesday that all 49 members of their caucus had agreed to sign on to a resolution that would overturn the F.C.C. repeal of net neutrality rules. They are using a tool of the Senate, the Congressional Review Act, which requires a simple majority to overturn a recent order by a federal agency.The Democrats also have the support of at least one Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine. So that leaves them searching for one more Republican to join their effort to get the necessary 51 votes....Many Democrats would like to turn net neutrality into a bigger political issue ahead of the 2018 midterms. The efforts to overturn the F.C.C. order are aimed to raise awareness about an issue that has broad interest, particularly among younger voters, Democratic lawma[...]



How Many House Races Will The DCCC F-Up In Illinois?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:00:00 +0000

The change this primary represents frightens the establishment jackoffs at the DCCCMonday we looked at another reason the Democratic Party needs to dismantle the DCCC and start over again. But at the same time one of the credibility-free Beltway trade magazines was running an unsigned story, Illinois House Primaries Will Be Early Testing Ground For Democrats, that I thought might be about two of the more interesting primaries, Marie Newman's and Chuey Garcia's very credible challenges to the corrupt Democratic machine in Chicago. as it turned out, neither of those races was even mentioned. That's especially odd in the case of IL-03 where Newman is on the verge of beating execrable Blue Dog Dan Lipinski. Instead the article appears to have been a p.r. piece written at the direction Steny Hoyer or by whomever writes press releases for Ben Ray Lujan. The subtitle "Democrats have several pickup opportunities, but they need viable candidates first," should have been a warning, since "viable" inside the Beltway is the world they use to describe corrupt conservatives. Pure DCCC-talk: "With early voting starting in less than a month [not really-- the primary is March 20], Illinois will be a testing ground for Democrats’ ability to nominate general election candidates they think can win out of crowded primaries." The DCCC theory, proven catastrophic for Democrats over and over and over is still the committee's top operating strategy-- force the election of Republican-lite conservatives who will play ball with Hoyer's K Street lobbyists. (If you didn't read that post Monday about how Hoyer is rigging the CO-06 primary in favor of a sleazy pay-day lending lawyer, you really should.)In Illinois the DCCC has 4 crap candidates in targeted districts. The problem here is that what Roll Call refers to as "Democratic campaign veterans" describe the precise reason the Democratic Party has lost dozens and dozens of House seats since the DCCC strategy was put in place by Rahm Emanuel: In two competitive districts-- the 6th and the 13th-- Democratic candidates who have won the primary before but fallen short in the general election are running again. Even though they’re not raising much money, there’s still fear among Democratic campaign veterans that they could sneak by in the primary.In the 13th, the corrupt DCCC operatives are petrified that heroic progressive Doctor David Gill will win-- you can contribute to his campaign here-- over their garbage candidate who could only win in a massive anti-Trump tsunami and would then lose the seat in a non-wave year. Let's start by going back to 2012. The DCCC conservative candidate, Matt Goetten, lost the primary (despite outspending Gill with over $300,000 in establishment cash). In the general election Republican Rodney Davis edged Gill 137,034 (46.5%) to 136,032 (46.2%). Why did Gill fall short by 1,000 votes? A left-wing independent, John Hartman acted as a spoiler and took 21,319 votes in the general (7.2%). That year was the only time the Democrats came close to beating Davis.In 2014 the establishment persuaded Gill not to run again, appointing him assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and they slipped in one of their really dreadful crap candidates, a conservative EMILY's List Republican-lite nothing burger, Ann Callis, who lost 59% to 41%. In 2016 it was the same story: uninspiring candidate loses to Davis in a 60-40 landslide. This cycle the DCCC and EMILY's List are working towards replicating 20[...]



Another Step Forward On Marijuana Legalization

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

Today, two of California's best members of Congress, Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna will introduce the Marijuana Justice Act, the companion bill for Cory Booker’s Senate bill, S. 1689 (which so far has one co-sponsor Ron Wyden of Oregon). The idea behind the Marijuana Justice Act is to help correct decades of injustice surrounding the discriminatory enforcement of marijuana criminalization laws in the United States.Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna will be joined by Senator Booker, on a press call to talk about the bill at 4:15 p.m. ET.Tim Canova isn't a member of Congress yet and can't vote on the bill-- at least not this year. Next year, he hopefully will be voting for it in the House. First he has to defeat corrupt conservative Debbie Wasserman Schulz, an old school antidote fanatic. Yesterday, Canova told his south Florida supporters that "the failed 'War on Drugs' is not going away-- thanks to drug warriors like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on marijuana. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions-- a marijuana prohibitionist-- announced a crackdown on the 29 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use." Wasserman Schultz has called marijuana a 'gateway drug' and she has consistently opposed efforts to end the war on marijuana. She even opposed a statewide referendum to approve medical marijuana-- a referendum that was approved by more than 70 percent of Florida voters in 2016. All while Wasserman Schultz takes thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Big Pharma and private prisons!This is what Wasserman Schultz and Jeff Sessions have in common. They both believe in the drug war and mass incarceration. The recent policy announced by Sessions could have a chilling effect on millions of responsible citizens, subjecting them to FBI raids of their homes and businesses, seizure of their property, arrests and prosecutions by the Justice Department for nonviolent drug offenses. And it would also cripple the ability of states to regulate the industry.Canova's campaign does not take a cent from any corporate interests-- especially not Wasserman Schultz allies in the private prison and pharmaceutical industries. He relies solely on small donations from grassroots supporters. Please click on the ActBlue Green Wave thermometer on the right and help Tim defeat Wasserman Schultz once and for all. "We need," he said, "representatives who will fight for education, jobs, and public health programs as alternatives to the drug trade and prisons. I have opposed the misguided drug war for many years. We should recognize that cannabis has medically therapeutic value and is not harmful to individuals and communities the way that alcohol, nicotine, and opioids are. When elected, I will work to change cannabis from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance-- the most restrictive category in U.S. drug law. The federal government has a legitimate role to play in preventing criminal enterprises from infiltrating legal markets, including the market for cannabis. But beyond this, we should respect principles of federalism and allow the states to serve as “laboratories of reform” and experiment with their own approaches to medical and recreational cannabis, consistent with the will of the voters and regulating for public health and safety."By the way, for anyone not following this debate, this is a partial list of the known medical mariju[...]



Democrats Won Big In Wisconsin Last Night

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:00:00 +0000

The best shot for a Democratic win last night was in an open state Senate district in the far west of Wisconsin. The Republicans had held the district for nearly two decades and Trump beat Hillary in the rural district massively in 2016. But Trump's popularity-- as well as Governor Scott Walker's-- have plummeted. And Democrat Patty Schachtner upset Republican state Rep. Adam Jarchow in the special-election to replace Republican Sheila Harsdorf who stepped down in November to take a job as Walker's agriculture secretary. The swing towards Democrats since Trump's victory was massive-- around 26 points.-- as she won by a stunning 9 points (UPDATE: 55-44%) in a deep red district.Patrick Marley, reporting for Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel wrote that "the focus Tuesday was on the 10th Senate District, which consists of parts of Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce and Dunn counties along Minnesota's border. Schachtner's win gives Democrats momentum, but they remain deep in the minority. Once she is seated, Republicans will hold an 18-14 advantage, with one district vacant. That seat belonged to Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), who joined Walker's administration last month, and won't be decided until November, when 17 of the state's 33 Senate districts are up for election.  Schachtner said once she joins the Senate she hopes to focus on improving access to health care and helping drug addicts get treatment....The district has not been good to Democrats in the past. Mitt Romney won the district in 2012 even though he lost the presidential race in Wisconsin and nationally to Barack Obama. Trump crushed Hillary Clinton in the district in the 2016 presidential election and John McCain almost won the district in 2008, despite Obama's easy statewide victory.Democrats saw Tuesday's victory as a sign they were taking hold of the energy that benefited their party in special elections last year in Alabama, Virginia and Oklahoma....In 2014, Jarchow easily beat Travis Schachtner, Patty Schachtner's son, to win his Assembly seat, which covers the northern portion of the Senate district dominated by Burnett and Polk counties.Jarchow will continue to represent that district in the state's lower house.As a sitting lawmaker Jarchow raised money all year and his campaign brought in $271,000 in 2017-- including a $50,000 loan he made to his campaign-- and had $81,000 in cash at the end of the year, according to his campaign finance report. In her short time available to raise money as a candidate, Schachtner brought in $183,000 and had $53,000 in the bank at the end of the year.Also Tuesday, Republican Rick Gundrum beat Democrat Dennis Degenhardt 57% to 43% in the heavily GOP 58th Assembly District, according to unofficial results. The district covers West Bend, Slinger and Jackson.Gundrum is the chairman of the Washington County Board, a member of the Slinger Village Board and the owner of audio-visual company McKay Enterprises. Degenhardt is the president and chief executive officer of Glacier Hills Credit Union.Gundrum will replace state Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend), who died in October.In the 66th Assembly District that covers Racine, Democrat Greta Neubauer faced no Republican challenger. She will replace Democratic Rep. Cory Mason, who stepped down after winning the race for Racine mayor in October.Neu[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

Well, here's an un-fab four: House Speaker Ryan, CIA Director Pompeo, $enate Majority Leader McConnell, and V.P. Pence. This picture was taken recently at Camp David when the Republican Party's highest ranking psychotic and sociopathic assholes got together with der Leader Señor Trumpanzee to discuss what to do about the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. There was no news as to whether or not any representatives of Vladimir Putin or CEOs of computer voting machines were in attendance, but, of course Skype and other video conferencing options were possible. It's ominous enough that the head of the CIA was present.

I'm especially pleased to see how ridiculous and miserable the $enate Majority Leader appears. Just look at him in his mom jeans and his ill-fitting jacket. Maybe he arrived dressed too casually and Señor Trumpanzee made him wear a jacket someone found in a closet. Come to think of it, he probably thought they were all going to change into their sheets and hoods as soon as they arrived.

This picture was sent to me by a friend who was asking her friends to caption it for her. My immediate thought was "Where is Pence's ever-present wife?" The job of "Mrs. Pence" has always been reported as being the person responsible for keeping our Vice President away from any "temptations." Then I realized exactly why McConnell looks so unhappy. Pence had obviously just pinched his ass in a semi-public setting. Look at Pence acting as though he did nothing and knows nothing. Ah, but, Speaker Ryan, there on the left saw the whole thing! We will never know what exactly happened, but, I'm sure that if Ryan was asked about it, he would say that Pence pinching McConnell's ass was "unfortunate" and "not helpful," the same words he used when he was asked about Señor Trumpanzee's racist "shithole" comments.

As Bill Maher would say. "I don't know it for a fact. I just know it's true."