Thursday, December 28, 2017

You Know What Really Makes a Country Look Bad?

Having an incompetent and corrupt president really makes this country look bad:

In an interview with The New York Times, President Donald Trump complained that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election “makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” although he noted 16 times that the investigation had unearthed no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia.

The investigation doesn't need to prove anything. Testimony before Congress has already revealed that there was collusion. Has anyone told Trump that there were over a dozen different Russians in regular contact with people working to get him elected president? If that's not collusion, what the hell is?

I think we'll discover it was really the money laundering, the corrupt real estate deals, and the loans Trump and his shit kids took out all over the world. If the Russians weren't in bed with Trump, there were a dozen other tin pot dictators trying to curry favor with him and with his worthless offspring.

If any Democrat were a tenth as shady, greedy, and venal as Trump and his kids, they would have been buried under a prison somewhere by now. Everyone knows it. The hypocrisy is incredible. I swear to God, if I ever, in this lifetime or the next, hear a Republican complain about the ethics and values of a Democrat, I'm going to blow a fucking gasket posting links to what Trump has done to this country, which looks bad entirely because of what he's done to it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

If You're Against Bernie Sanders, You Will be Banned on Facebook

Facebook has me in jail now, so that got me thinking about what keeps putting me there.

Is it because I'm pro-Hillary Clinton? Probably.

Is it because I'm anti-Trump? Well, there are millions of us, so I doubt it.

Is it because I post anti-Bernie Sanders articles? Yep!

Much of what I post to groups is almost instantly liked and re-shared. I have a post that I put up about a month ago about Al Franken. It has over 2,000 likes. How many "Spammers" get that many? I have no idea. It's a strange metric. I don't think it has anything to do with me because it's about an idea that other people may have had and it's something they agree with. I got the likes because they agreed with me. That's because there are great people out there who like the kind of stuff I do. I'm not particularly good at it, but, because people like my take on things, they reward me with likes and re-shares. I post a lot of stuff they don't care about, too. But, every time I think about what's happening, I keep coming back to the fact that I've been doing this for over ten years and I enjoy it. Over that decade, I have stayed small and that's okay. I prefer doing things my way and, apparently, there are plenty of people who agree. I work for them, and I want to reach out to share things with people who are looking for this material, but Facebook thwarts me again and again.

Oh well. 

When I go back through my feed, each and every time I've been banned came not long after an anti-Bernie Sanders post. The pro-Bernie people are savvy enough to know that if they mark your stuff as Spam, they'll get it taken down. That's what I'm seeing in my feed and that's why I'm in Facebook jail so much. I was livid when Sanders took credit for what happened in Alabama, and a lot of people responded favorably to my post on that. Somehow, they were just as mad as I was and were kind enough to like what I had to say.

Not soon after, I was in Facebook jail again. Not because I was posting Spam or because I was wrong or because I was citing fake news stories. 

It was because we--you and I--have been right about Sanders since day one.

Do you know what? Fuck Bernie Sanders and fuck his followers in the ear. You're the reason why millions are going to go without jobs and healthcare and why people are going to die. You're the reason why kids don't have health insurance. Americans are going to starve without SNAP benefits, and that's going to be gone by the time Election Day 2018 rolls around. You're the reason why we are less safe. You're the reason why our National Parks are going to shrink and become toxic wastelands, mined and pillaged by the same people who rent houses to the Trump family.

This. Is. Your. Fault.

So, thanks again, Bernie Bitches, and your childish grasp of American politics. I'll be back in less than a week with more anti-Bernie Sanders stories and more stuff for good people to like and comment on. It's the holidays--I always come back with great stuff after a short break anyway.

Fuck. Y'all.

I have always been here before.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Trump's First Christmas

Trump phones it in, as usual, while sitting on his fat ass, doing nothing:

All was not calm and bright on President Donald Trump's Twitter feed this Christmas.

Trump, marking his first Christmas as President from his private club here, balanced the traditional presidential holiday tasks -- teleconferencing with the troops, speaking with young kids looking for Santa Claus and attending a late-night church service -- with the fire-breathing tweets that helped turn him from boisterous businessman to an unconventional commander in chief.

It was a characteristic end to an often tumultuous year, where the President regularly found himself exactly where he wanted to be: at the center of attention.

    Trump celebrated the holiday with his family around him at Mar-a-Lago, the private estate that Trump has warmed to calling the "Winter White House." Joined by most of his children and grandchildren, along with first lady Melania Trump and her parents, the Trump brood sat at the center of the club's dining room on Sunday night, kept at arm's length with rope-and-stanchion around their tables.

    Feasting on turkey, beef tenderloin and creamy kale, Trump was said to be in good spirits and surrounded by the friends and informal advisers that make up the group of men and women who help steer the President from outside the White House.

    I don't remember him campaigning on a promise to make his $200,000 a year country club the 'Winter White House,' but okay. And what kind of a weirdo eats with his family surrounded by a rope-and-stanchion security fence? How is that Christmasy at all?

    How is "teleconferencing with the troops" not enough to make you want to throw up? If you're too lazy to go to where the troops are, don't bother them with a phone call. Trump can't even talk to them standing up.

    This is a do-nothing president whose sole purpose is to say horrible things about people. He won't lift a finger for anyone but himself. Every single thing he does is for the benefit of his companies and the people who gave him money to run for President. The people who waited on him and his family today are barely making a living wage. The fact that this isn't a huge issue--a self-dealing president vacations on his own property, forcing the government to spend millions to protect him while he charges them back for petty expenses--shows you where we are today. 

    Every time President Obama went to Hawaii, the right wing cringed and howled in outrage. Welcome to Trump's latest trip to Mar-a-Lago. Might as well give up pointing out the hypocrisy, right?


    Sunday, December 24, 2017

    You Must Resist

    Happy Holidays from the President of the United States of America.

    This is not normal. It should never become normal in America. If you're wondering what to do, find out who's running for Congress where you live. Are they a Democrat? Then support that person as best you can. Make sure you vote in the primaries this year after you check and make sure you are registered to vote.

    In November, idiots like me are going to be screaming at people to go vote. Please help us, please join us, please resist along with us, and please vote to throw the Republicans out of Congress.

    You All Just Got a Lot Richer


    President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, "You all just got a lot richer," referencing the sweeping tax overhaul he signed into law hours earlier. Mr. Trump directed those comments to friends dining nearby at the exclusive club — including to two friends at a table near the president's who described the remark to CBS News — as he began his final days of his first year in office in what has become known as the "Winter White House." 

    The president has spent many weekends of his presidency so far at the "Winter White House," where initiation fees cost $200,000, annual dues cost $14,000, and some of the most affluent members of society have the opportunity to interact with the president in a setting while many Americans cannot. This weekend, the president arrived after signing the most consequential legislation, and arguably, the greatest achievement, of his presidency thus far. 

    For months, the White House and congressional Republicans have looked to tackle tax reform, a feat some critics deemed too challenging after Republicans' failure to find a compromise on health care. But on Wednesday, the Senate and House, in that order, passed what Mr. Trump has deemed the "biggest in history" tax cut and reform bill. 

    The president and White House have emphasized repeatedly that the tax legislation is targeted as a tax break for the middle class. And, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 80 percent of Americans will pay less in taxes next year, and less than 5 percent will see their taxes go up less than $10. CBS News had a tax professional assess the taxes of three families, and found they will all go down under the new law

    Earlier this week, Charlie Pierce had to take down a piece that may have been slightly unkind to the steelworkers who are going to be out of a job next year because Trump doesn't give a shit about what happens to anyone who is poor in this country. I'm of the opposite opinion. I don't think we have done enough to shame the people who voted against their economic self-interest in 2016 and put the Republicans in charge of all three branches of the Federal Government. 

    I say that they should be shamed. Shamed for what they did to this country. They should feel the hot sting of shame on both cheeks for what Trump has done to decent people in this country. They should feel awful because good people are in for years and years of suffering because they wanted to keep people of color from being treated the way reasonable Western countries deal with economic uncertainty. They should use this opportunity to learn something about the next candidate that runs for office.

    I'm not optimistic. They will vote to hurt black people and to keep women from having abortions every single time. Maybe we can reach a handful of them so that they never hand this country over to the fat cats ever again. If there's anything I'm hoping for, it is that we can convince a small percentage of people in the middle of the road to look to the left for the next couple of election cycles.

    Saturday, December 23, 2017

    Trump: Haitians All Have AIDS

    What racist jerkwad would say something this awful?

    The White House strongly pushed back on a report that President Donald Trump spoke about immigrants in a dismissive and demeaning fashion during a June meeting with top administration officials.

    The denial came in response to explosive reporting from the New York Times, which wrote that, according to two unnamed officials, Trump said during a meeting in June that people coming from Haiti "all have AIDS," that recent Nigerian immigrants would never "go back to their huts" in Africa and that Afghanistan is a terrorist haven.

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement blasting the paper and denying that Trump had made the comments.

      "General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen, and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it's both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous 'sources' anyway," Sanders said.

      The report said the Oval Office meeting during the summer included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and senior officials, including White House adviser Stephen Miller, who the Times said had provided Trump with a list of how many immigrants received visas to enter the United States in 2017.

      In this middle of the junta listed above, we find the name H.R. McMaster. He was the author of a book that went into scholarly detail about how the uniformed military officers serving during the Johnson Administration failed to tell the truth about Vietnam to the president. He said they were "derelict" in their duty to speak truth to power about American foreign policy.

      Well, the ball is in your court, General McMaster. This blanket denial of what was said isn't going to cut it. Admit that Trump said that people from Haiti "all have AIDS" and that Nigerians would never "go back to their huts." 

      Admit it, or admit you are complicit in another crime against history. And if you won't do it, then let Generals Mattis and Kelly feel the shame of knowing that they are no longer men of honor. Hell, all three of them have bent the knee so much that, by this point, what are their oaths and promises even worth anymore?

      Trump is a racist and an outright white supremacist, and today we even get a little homophobia thrown in as a bonus. Everything he has ever said on the subject of race in America backs up the bigotry of his alleged remarks. Anyone who covers for him is just as guilty as he is. No one expects a Stephen Miller to be a decent human being. He is just another weasel who has survived another day of horror and chaos. You'd think three men who have been raised to the rank of general would have some dignity left. You would be wrong.

      Come on, Generals. Speak truth to power. 

      There's a Club and You're Not In It

      I've given up on the notion that Mika Brzezinksi is ever going to be held accountable for any of the horrible things she says on television:

      MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski apologized Friday evening after she angered some of the women who had accused veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment or assault with comments she made earlier in the day on "Morning Joe."

      "We have been trying our best on Morning Joe to have an honest conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault," Brzezinski said in a statement. "The issue has hit close to home given that Mark Halperin was on our show. I have spent a lot of time talking to some of his accusers and to Mark himself. Often I bring up the issue on our show because I think it would be less than genuine to talk about the growing number of cases without recognizing that a former member of our team acted very badly." 

      "In our discussion about sexual harassment this morning, I said some things that hurt people," she added. "In the case of Mark, my goal today was to start a conversation about hearing from the men whenever we can, but I realize that it is not my place. It isn't my call to make, and for that I am truly sorry. As a victim of sexual assault, I understand that each individual's case is different. This is up to the victims, some of whom I've been in contact with. My hope is for all of us to come together to support the brave women who speak out and help make workplaces safer as we continue this difficult conversation in the months and years ahead."

      Really, what she's lamenting is the absence of Halperin because he used his elite status to share political beliefs that helped people like Brzezinski feel superior to everyone. She and whatever Joe Scarborough thinks he is these days are desperate to be perceived as the elite of political thought in this country. No one watches their show but their show exists because someone at MSNBC thinks they have to occupy this space in the discussion. None of these people are influential or talented.

      They're hypocrites.

      a few days later on Morning Joe, after more women started to come and say Trump had done those things to them, Halperin remained “skeptical.” At the second general election debate, Anderson Cooper repeatedly asked Trump if he had actually done the things he boasted about in the video, ultimately getting a denial out of the candidate. 

      While Halperin acknowledged that “a lot of the women who have coming forward now are coming forward in reaction to what he said to Anderson Cooper,” he added, “we should be skeptical and question the timing,” given that the election was only a few weeks away. 

      And whereas Halperin always seemed eager to let Trump off the hook for his history of sexual misconduct, he did not extend the same courtesy to former President Bill Clinton. He practically predicted the “stunt” that Trump pulled on the eve of that October debate when he trotted out a group of Clinton accusers in front of the press.

      For months, Halperin used their show to cast doubt on charges that Trump was a serial sexual harasser while knowing full well that he, himself was sexually harassing women. Brzezinski claims to be someone who cares about that subject and, yet, she defends Halperin, even after everything that has come out?

      Morning Joe isn't a show. It's one big circle jerk. They all belong to an elite club and old pal Halperin can't show up for the meetings anymore. It's a vicious cycle--our elites want to be assured that what they're telling us is right and they require the presence of individuals like Halperin to reinforce their horrible opinions about how things should be. Never mind no one tunes in. Never mind that the groundbreaking shows are being hosted by the likes of Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow. MSNBC's conservative executives want to have a show on that reminds them of what it feels like to be an insider. Halperin was the insider's insider, and he was an absolute shitheel of a human being. How inconvenient for those who sought his approval.

      In her comments, Mika was pretty clear about what she thought of the women who took Halperin away. They should have imagined themselves as wealthy and powerful individuals who couldn't be fired (like her!) and they should have had a chummy talk about how they didn't want to be sexually assaulted. That would have solved everything and it would have meant that Halperin could keep coming on TV to say ridiculous things about American politics.

      Here's how we can "start a conversation." For all men, remember that no woman needs to tolerate you being creepy. Keep your Goddamned hands to yourself. If you feel the need to use your position to pressure someone below you in the organizational chart to have sex with you, go ahead and resign now so no one has to go through the motions of firing you. Be a decent human being for a change. Deal with your crippling sex issues. Get some help. Quit thinking the world owes you anything because you can't stop being a pervert.

      UPDATE: This is one hell of a condemnation:

      STATEMENT from ten victims of Mark Halperi, including Dianna Pierce Burgess, Katie GlennDianna MayElla Spektor McManusEmily Millerand Lara Setrakian

      "As journalists and as victims of sexual assault we vehemently disagree with Mika Brzezinski’s inappropriate comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today. 

      Ms. Brzezinski suggested that women who were assaulted by Mark Halperin owe him an opportunity to meet with him in person so that he can 'apologize face-to-face.'

      Sexual harassment and assault is illegal in the workplace, and represents a violation of the policies and standards of NBC News. It is an unethical and harmful request to ask that sexual assault victims confront their accusers in person. 

      Ms. Brzezinski pointed out that Mark Halperin should have a chance to “validate the truth.” If Mr. Halperin feels genuine remorse and wants to apologize, or otherwise try to repair the substantial damage he has done he can do so in the public domain, through the full acknowledgement of his wrongdoing and an honest account of his departure from ABC News.

      To unveil Mr. Halperin’s transgressions over three decades required the hard work and professionalism of the same press that holds politicians and world leaders to account. Each one of the cases that have surfaced in the press has been fact-checked and backed up by contemporaneous sources.

      We would ask for Ms. Brzezinski for higher standards of editorial judgment, compassion and human decency. 

      Ms. Brezinski and her cohost, Joe Scarborough, have a long-standing personal friendship with Mark Halperin which appears to be shaping their position on his case. 

      MSNBC’s air time should not be used as a platform for the one-sided rehabilitation of Mr. Halperin’s reputation or career.

      Through his well-documented actions Mr. Halperin has demonstrated that he is unfit for the senior roles he held in our profession and in the public discourse. 

      We applaud NBC’s decision to terminate its professional relationship with him as a result."

      Friday, December 22, 2017

      Joe Biden

      If you're looking for someone to believe in, why the hell not Joe Biden?

      Almost 6 in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion about Joe Biden in a new CNN national poll, a finding sure to give the Democratic former vice president a boost as he considers whether to run for president in 2020.

      The 57% favorable rating is Biden's best in CNN polling since February 2009 -- when he was sworn in as Barack Obama's vice president. Just over 1 in 4 (27%) have an unfavorable view of Biden.

      What's remarkable about those numbers is how Biden's favorability has surged since he (and Obama) left office. As recently as March 2015, CNN polling showed more people viewed Biden unfavorably (46%) than regarded him favorably (43%).

        The recovery of Biden's numbers stands in stark contrast to the ongoing negative view that Americans hold of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nominee; in Gallup polling released earlier this week, Clinton's favorable rating dipped to 36%.

        I love the picture and I am looking for something hopeful that doesn't immediately remind me of the situation we're in. That's all.

        White Nationalism From the White House Itself

        This is sickening and horrific. The White House issued this tweet on Monday, and I don't follow them. I didn't see it. When I saw it this evening, I assumed it was satirical and fake. This is what happens when you normalize white supremacy. You end up with these very blunt reminders that the President of the United States is at the top of an organization that is willing to use the same race baiting tactics as the Goddamned Nazis. This sort of thing just passes through our lives now, and it's absolutely essential that we hit back at it and call it what it is. This advocacy is not fake.

        It. Is. Real.

        How is it, at this point in American history, that something this shockingly racist, nationalistic, and offensive can be issued from the official accounts of the White House and barely anyone notices it or remarks upon it?

        You expect that this would have been less nationalistic in the original German; you would be wrong.

        I know the media is sleepwalking through endless distractions and mountains of bullshit, but people really need to wake up. This is profoundly ignorant and horrible. This is not what we are as a nation and this is not who we are as a people. 


        Other people are getting it, too.



        Thursday, December 21, 2017

        Confused Hobo Prepares His Run For President

        Steve Bannon is here to say some things:

         In October, Bannon called an adviser and said he would consider running for president if Trump doesn’t run for re-election in 2020. Which Bannon has told people is a realistic possibility. In private conversations since leaving the White House, Bannon said Trump only has a 30 percent chance of serving out his term, whether he’s impeached or removed by the Cabinet invoking the 25th amendment. That prospect seemed to become more likely in early December when special counsel Robert Mueller secured a plea deal from former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Bannon has also remarked on the toll the office has taken on Trump, telling advisers his former boss has “lost a step.” “He’s like an 11-year-old child,” Bannon joked to a friend in November.

        This made me laugh. Political genius, indeed:

        Bannon huddled over his BlackBerry firing off e-mails to Breitbart reporters he’d dispatched to Alabama to discredit the Post story. “I got my two best guys down there,” he said while waiting for Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead to call. Bannon’s orders: deny, deny, deny. “One of the things I realized during the campaign is that, like in the military, it all comes down to one or two decisions in the heat of battle,” he said. “You have to double down.” In Moore, he knew he had a less capable candidate. (His first choice had been Alabama congressman Mo Brooks.) “I’m gonna tell Judge Moore to do his thing,” Bannon said. “They’re not cut out for this, though.”

        Who still has a BlackBerry? Jeeeeeezus. And I've heard of this Roy Moore fellow. Wasn't he the pedophile who couldn't win as a Republican in Alabama? Clearly, his "two best guys" didn't really accomplish much and doubling down didn't yield the results he wanted to see.

        The article goes on to demonstrate that Bannon is here to show people that he isn't afraid to be unloved:

        Not surprisingly, the idea of Bannon as a political figure, let alone a presidential candidate, inspires ridicule and venom from the Republican establishment. The Wall Street Journal editorial page called Bannon’s roster of candidates a bunch of “cranks and outliers.” Former McConnell chief of staff Josh Holmes said Bannon is a “white supremacist.” Stuart Stevens, a veteran of five Republican presidential campaigns, told me that Bannon is “an odd, strangely repulsive figure who is trying to use the political process to work through personal issues of anger and frustration.” He added, “like many people in their first campaign, he confused his candidate winning with the fantasy voters supported him.”

        A prominent Republican described Bannon’s crusade as a vanity exercise doomed to fail. “I think there was a lot of rage when he was in the White House,” the Republican said. “Steve had to subsume his ego to Donald, who Steve thinks is dumb and crazy. With Steve, it’s not about building new things—it’s about destroying the old. I’m not sure he knows what he wants.” As evidence, he pointed out the recent Virginia governor’s race, where Republican Ed Gillespie got crushed by nine points running on a Bannon-esque platform defending Confederate monuments and inciting fear over illegal immigrant crime. “The issues didn’t just fail, they failed miserably,” the Republican said.

        Bannon’s response to all this criticism is a variation on his personal motto: Honey badger don’t give a shit. “I don’t give a fuck,” he told me when I visited him one morning at the Bryant Park Hotel. “You can call me anything you want. Do you think I give a shit? I literally don’t care.”

        Clearly, he does care. Otherwise, why would he go out of his way to tell someone that in public? If you really don't care, you don't make it the centerpiece of every conversation you have on-the-record with the working media.

        How did we let a man like this get to where he was? How does a white supremacist get to work in the White House in the first place? Yeah, Bannon is gone, but he still has Trump's ear. They're all sickening freaks and they're all traitors to the very idea of America. Hell, Bannon isn't even fit to compare to a hobo.

        At least with hobos, there's an ethos, right?

        AARP is Speaking Out Against the Tax Bill

        Instead of sitting on their hands and giving up, AARP is warning Americans that their entitlements are next on the chopping block:

        AARP says the Republican tax plan puts Medicare and Medicaid in jeopardy.

        And that's not the only problem the group has with the bill, which is on its way to the President's desk. 

        Several of the provisions "may result in little if any tax benefit for many older tax filers, and for others, a tax increase," AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins wrote in a letter sent to lawmakers this week. 

        First, it criticizes the bill for making individual tax benefits temporary. While many Americans are expected to pay less in taxes over the next eight years, those provisions are set to expire by the end of 2025. (The cut to the corporate tax rate, however, is permanent.) 

        Second, the letter takes issue with the bill for changing the inflation index, which could slow future increases to income ranges that apply to each tax rates, the Tax Policy Center has said. 

        Third, the bill limits the state and local tax deduction -- which could hurt those in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California.

        Republicans in what are referred to as "high-tax states" tried to stop this thing but they couldn't. They know that they're going to be the first to be thrown out of Congress next year because their constituents are going to feel significant pain because of what the Republicans did to everyone's taxes.

        If Democrats are going to save all other entitlements from brutal cuts in the years ahead, they're going to need AARP's help to rally older Americans--who are typically supportive of the Republican Party--to stop these bastards from hurting us all even worse.

        Wednesday, December 20, 2017

        Mark Warner Taunts the President's Advisors

        The conventional wisdom probably says that Senator Mark Warner was speaking to Trump this afternoon when he spoke about the rule of law and preserving the sanctity of a government investigation. I happen to think that what he says here is more or less a direct threat to the incompetent boobs who have to flatter the president every time he stumbles into view:

        Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that the firing of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller would be a "gross abuse of power" and called for Congress to respond with "significant consequences" if President Donald Trump took that step.

        Warner, a Virginia Democrat, took to the Senate floor for a speech, in which, he said the firing of Mueller or the pardoning of those charged in the special counsel's investigation would represent crossing his "red line."

        "Any attempt by this President to remove special counsel Mueller from his position or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability or shut down the investigation would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of executive branch responsibilities and authorities," Warner said. "These truly are red lines and simply cannot allow them to be crossed."

        "Congress must make clear to the President that firing the special counsel or interfering with his investigation by issuing pardons of essential witnesses is unacceptable and would have immediate and significant consequences," he added.

        Never draw a red line unless you're willing to actually do something when it is crossed and never underestimate the ability of someone like Robert Mueller to plan for his own firing. If Mueller is fired, so what? If his entire team is fired, the reaction should be "how could Trump be this stupid?"

        Warner's shot was directed at the people around him--the junta of Kelly, Mattis and McMaster. If Trump pulls the switch on this, Warner is telling these men that they will be guilty as sin of tolerating "executive bank responsibilities and authorities" of the sort that will land them in prison when properly investigated by a Democratically-controlled Congress that understands the role of oversight and compliance. 

        Let Trump burn, or all of you will burn. Warner should have just said that and walked away from the podium.

        The intelligence community has all of the information on Trump that is needed for impeachment. Mueller is the person tasked with taking everything and tying it to a prosecutorial strategy. On day one, he probably sat everyone down and talked them through a process that would kick in if he were to be gotten rid of like James Comey was. If the prosecutor is fired, the evidence remains. That evidence is backed up and triple-copied and isn't going anywhere. Let Trump fire Mueller after Mueller--it only obstructs justice and makes him look guilty. It buys him a little time, but, once these holidays are over, we enter the most critical political year of all--the year where Trumpism can be defeated and rolled back.

        I suspect that Warner already knows that Trump will fire Rosenstein and then whoever refuses to fire Mueller. Trump is inherently stupid, impulsive, and cannot stick to a plan or strategy. Someone somewhere is scuffling with old orange meat bag Trump right now, trying to keep him away from the telephone. Shouts of "I'll show him," are ringing through the halls. 

        Firing Mueller is a foregone conclusion. Trump understands one thing--remove all existential threats. He has the dictator's mindset for self-preservation. When Mueller goes, the contingency plan will kick in and Trump will be made to look like the Russian asset that he is (thank you, James Clapper, for your shot across the bow). Americans will either cheer or howl with outrage. The subject will be Trump, and Trump will see his image everywhere.

        When is anyone going to realize that we will not be rid of this man until we elect a new Congress and throw him out of office? Mueller isn't going to save us--the American voter is the only remedy for Trumpism. If allowed to do so, Mueller will do a thorough, professional job that half of this country won't accept anyway. He's just lining up the paperwork that Trump refuses to sign.

        The best president of my lifetime said it best: "Don't boo, vote."

        Here's What the Bush Tax Cuts Did to America

        As much as I want to laugh at any picture that has Dennis Hastert in it, this post is really about the Bush Tax cuts and what they did to the American economy. Somehow, it seems appropriate to talk about what really happened with we cut taxes in this country in the early 2000s.

        Policymakers enacted the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts with the promise that they would “pay for themselves” by delivering increased economic growth, which would generate higher tax revenues.[11]  But even President Bush’s Treasury Department estimated that under the most optimistic scenario, the tax cuts would at best pay for less than 10 percent of their long-term cost with increased growth.[12]

        Evidence suggests that the tax cuts — particularly those for high-income households — did not improve economic growth or pay for themselves, but instead ballooned deficits and debt and contributed to a rise in income inequality.[13] 

        In fact, the economic expansion that lasted from 2001 to 2007 was weaker than average.  A review of economic evidence on the tax cuts by Brookings Institution economist William Gale and Dartmouth professor Andrew Samwick, former chief economist on George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, found that “a cursory look at growth between 2001 and 2007 (before the onset of the Great Recession) suggests that overall growth rate was … mediocre” and that “there is, in short, no first-order evidence in the aggregate data that these tax cuts generated growth.”[14]

        In comparison, the economic expansion of the early 1990s — which followed considerable tax increases — produced a much faster rate of job growth and somewhat faster GDP growth than the expansion of the early 2000s.[15]  An analysis of business activity between 1996 and 2008 found that even the sharp cut in dividend tax rates in 2003, which proponents claimed would spur immediate business growth, had no significant impact on business investment or employee compensation after 2003.[16] 

        And, when the tax cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, extending the high-income tax cuts in particular was projected to have almost no effect on economic growth.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in 2012 that extending the high-income tax cuts would have boosted GDP by just 0.1 percent in 2013.[17]  Indeed, allowing the high-income tax cuts to expire after 2012 does not appear to have had any substantial negative impacts on economic growth, as proponents of the tax cuts had claimed, and the economy has continued to grow steadily since then.[18]  This is consistent with the broader empirical literature about taxes on high-income people and economic growth.  As one comprehensive review of the empirical literature by three leading tax economists found, “there is no compelling evidence to date of real responses of upper income taxpayers to changes in tax rates.”[19]

        That's the long an short of it. The Bush tax cuts did not pay for themselves. America's crippling needs went begging for relief.

        You can blame income inequality, our massive debt, and the near-collapse of the economy in 2008 squarely on the Bush tax cuts. By handing the top one percent all that extra cash, they turned Wall Street into a casino and nearly took down Western civilization. By handing them massive tax cuts, they pocketed their winnings and didn't create jobs or growth. By ignoring our infrastructure and our health care needs, we doomed untold numbers of Americans to a decade of misery until Obamacare eased their burdens.

        We now stand on the precipice of another completely stupid fucking act, and Trump is president. Compared to Trump, Bush looks like an actual president, doesn't he? And that's the answer to today's big question. How fucked are we? We are temporarily fucked until we can get rid of Trump and his regime. And, somehow, Trump makes the craven insanity and greed of the Bush years look quaint.

        Tuesday, December 19, 2017

        Remember the Days of Tax and Spend Liberals?

        Here's why they're going to 'cut' taxes even though that's not what the bill really does:

        Their long-sought political goal within grasp, Republicans in Congress are set to catapult sweeping $1.5 trillion tax legislation through the House, rolling over a dozen GOP defectors from high-tax states.

        The Republicans' final drive to deliver the tax package to an eager President Donald Trump begins Tuesday with a vote in the House. Quickly following, a vote later in the day or on Wednesday in the Senate is expected to seal the deal. Both tallies likely will cling along party lines.

        The Senate result was in doubt in recent weeks. Only on Friday did Republican leaders cement the needed support for the legislation, securing endorsements from wavering GOP senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Bob Corker of Tennessee. More holdout GOP senators— moderate Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Lee of Utah — came into the fold on Monday.

        Everyone knows this is temporary. This will not be American tax policy when there is a Democratically-controlled Congress. It won't be policy when a Democrat takes the White House because she'll throw this shit onto the ash heap of history. Everyone knows that the wealthy will get a year or two, maybe three, of lower tax rates while everyone else gets the shaft. It's a con. It's a set-up. It's a flim-flam. And it'll never work. It won't do good things for the economy and it will blow up in their faces.

        They should have called it "The Republican Big Money Donor Temporary Relief Act."

        Everyone knows that a there will be a completely different Congress in 2018 and that Trump will be driven from office in 2020 if he isn't impeached or forced to resign. There's a road map for the next three years, and we're all being played for suckers. In other words, there's a club and we're not in it.

        Back in the day, Republicans ran against Democrats under the mantra of "tax and spend liberals." Everything a liberal wanted to do was a wasteful, useless government program that would take money from beautiful, wonderful, honest, hard-working people so it could be wasted on minorities (yeah, racism is endemic to the American political experience, who knew?). Republicans won office based on the phony assumption that they were for fiscal responsibility and Democrats were for giving your money to welfare mothers driving Caddies. It was all bullshit. It came to a head with the Tea Party. Oh, where are you now, tri-corner hatted patriots of yore?

        The only party that ever does anything about deficits and spending is the Democratic Party. The only party that does oversight and compliance? The Democratic Party is the only one that can adequately balance the separation of powers and maintain the integrity of our democracy. And the only people interested in infrastructure, health care, and taking care of the American people are the Democrats.

        When they're back in power and forced to fix everything, they'll restore tax rates to sane levels and fund healthcare. Nothing in this new tax bill is going to survive past the Spring of 2021 if it makes it that far. It's a scam. The Republicans are being brought into line because the only chance they have is to position themselves as the party that can complain about how the Democrats raised taxes. That's their whole gimmick.

        Monday, December 18, 2017

        Were They Stupid Enough to Betray America's Secrets?

        At the core of everything is the fact that the Russia investigation is an FBI counterintelligence operation. It's a spy hunt. And another piece of the puzzle just dropped into place. We found out today that the Trump campaign was warned about Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, and here's why this is important:

        In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter. 

        The warning came in the form of a high-level counterintelligence briefing by senior FBI officials, the officials said. A similar briefing was given to Hillary Clinton, they added. They said the briefings, which are commonly provided to presidential nominees, were designed to educate the candidates and their top aides about potential threats from foreign spies. 

        The candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns, the officials said.

        The FBI is after spies! That's what they're doing--they're telling everyone, we're looking for spies! And almost one month later, Trump gets his first intelligence briefing. Pay attention to this key piece of information:

        When Donald Trump received his classified intelligence briefing last month [August 17, 2016], one of his foreign policy advisers repeatedly interrupted the session, NBC News reported Thursday.

        Former Defense Intelligence Agency director and retired general Mike Flynn reportedly peppered the briefers with questions during the Aug. 17 meeting, according to three sources.

        New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Trump adviser, touched Flynn’s arm to get him to stop interrupting the briefing.

        Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, said during an NBC candidate forum Wednesday night that he could tell, based on their body language, that the briefing officials did not like President Obama’s handling of foreign policy.

        Michael Morell, a former acting director of the CIA who supports Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, blasted Trump for discussing the classified briefing in public.

        "This is first time that I can remember a candidate for president doing a readout from an intelligence briefing, and it's the first time a candidate has politicized their intelligence briefing. Both of those are highly inappropriate and crossed a long-standing red line respected by both parties," Morell told NBC.

        Classified material! That's what spies want! The reason why Flynn is cooperating with the Russians is probably because of his presence at that meeting. By the time August, 2016 rolls around, Trump is a laughingstock. No one thinks he's going to win. He's surrounded by clowns who give him terrible advice. But, there's already an FBI counterintelligence operation in full swing. How do we know this?

        Manafort became Trump’s campaign manager in June 2016 but was forced to resign two months later amid reports of his business relationship with the Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovich. 

        Manafort’s attorney and the White House did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the stories. 

        The secret court that oversees warrant requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act initially authorized monitoring of Manafort but discontinued it at some point in 2016 for lack of evidence, CNN said, citing one of its sources. 

        The FBI resumed surveillance under a new FISA warrant at some point last year and continued to monitor him into 2017, CNN said. The second warrant was obtained as part of the FBI’s investigation into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives, it said.

        If you're going to hunt for spies, you need a FISA warrant. Who'd they go after? The guy at the top of the campaign organization. Paul Manafort was campaign chairman from May until August. He was in charge from May 19 until August 19--two days after Trump received his national security briefing. He was there through the June, 2016 meeting with the Russians, the July warning from the FBI, and up until Trump is first exposed to classified material. The FISA warrant drops off at one point, but is reinstated. Why? 

        We know that Manafort didn't flip when approached by Mueller's team. He had to be indicted, along with his business associate. But Flynn did flip, and Flynn likely knows everything that Manafort was exposed to. He knows where the bodies are buried, in other words, and all of this has me wondering.

        Did Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort pass classified information to the Russians after receiving the August 17 briefing? Is that at the heart of this massive spy hunt? Was this enough to justify the FISA warrant? We know Flynn blundered and lied to the FBI. We know that he had no clue that the Russian Ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, was being monitored by the FBI. 

        How much of a stretch is it to surmise that Flynn and Manafort were stupid enough to share classified information with a foreign government or governments (don't forget the Turks!) and that's what Mueller has on them?

        This is just my speculation, but I think a lot of people know this and they're just waiting for events to unfold. I can't stress this enough--anyone who says they know doesn't know, unless they're working for Mueller. Far too many irresponsible people are spinning these massive theories. It's a simple tale of incompetence and stupidity and greed, in my opinion. The Mueller team has everything they need and they're letting Trump and his people obstruct justice and blunder their way into a massive trap. They have a massive surveillance operation well underway and they're watching what Trump and his team do. They're reading every E-mail and listening in on every call (assuming they have the proper warrants) and they're days or weeks away from laying this all at the feet of the American people.

        Is this what happened? Will  buy it? I have no idea.

        Jared Kushner Can't Run From His Tenants Anymore

        Why do I get the feeling that everything is crashing down around this rotten regime?

        The apartment company owned by Jared Kushner, senior advisor and son-in-law of President Donald J. Trump, has asked a federal judge in Maryland to hide the names of the firm’s investors to protect them from what it says has been unfair media coverage of a lawsuit filed by Baltimore-area tenants.

        “Given the tenor of the media’s reporting of this case, including politically-motivated innuendo no doubt intended to disparage the First Family, there is foreseeable risk of prejudice to the privacy rights and reputations of innocent private investors,” Westminster Management wrote in court papers filed last week.

        Two tenants filed a class-action lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court in late September saying the firm has charged them improper fees and threatened eviction to force payment.

        A judge moved the case to the U.S. District Court of Maryland this month after Westminster invoked a rule that allows such a transfer if the defendants are not residents of or companies in Maryland.

        Of course, this is no big deal because Kushner is the son-in-law of a Republican president. If Trump were a Democrat, this would be a full-on scandal of Biblical proportions. 

        It's worth noting that Kushner is, in effect, just another slumlord who isn't going to get away with nickel-and-diming people anymore:

        The president of Sage Management said the claims against it were “without merit,” but the company paid tenants in Baltimore nearly $1 million in compensation and debt forgiveness.

        Tenants alleged that the company routinely charged late-paying tenants not only the permitted 5 percent penalty but also illegal fees, charges and penalties. They also alleged that the landlord hid “agent fees” by combining them with legitimate court costs.

        A Sage representative said at the time the company charged fees to tenants to cover expenses it incurred as a result of tenant delinquencies. The company agreed to forgo such fees in the future.

        The Public Justice Center labeled such actions by landlords “fee-churning schemes” that “keep renting families constantly guessing at what they owe in any given month, constantly falling farther ‘behind’ on the landlord’s ledger and constantly facing eviction.”

        When tenants fall behind, Kushner's people get rough:

        Tenant advocates have accused Kushner’s affiliates in Maryland of being overly aggressive in collection tactics when pursuing allegedly unpaid debts through state courts.

        The Baltimore Sun reported in August that Kushner’s affiliates in Maryland have filed at least 1,250 legal actions in the state since 2013 against tenants accused of owing money. Judges have awarded a total of $5.4 million in judgments against tenants who owed an average of $4,400, The Sun’s analysis showed. That includes the alleged original debts, plus lawyers' fees, court costs and interest.

        In most of those cases, judges have approved the garnishment of tenants’ wages and property, actions that have helped the Kushner-controlled companies collect $1 million so far, the data showed.

        The Sun analyzed data from a searchable database of district court cases compiled by the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

        The Sun also found that the company has been the most aggressive in Maryland in getting judges to order the arrest of people who allegedly owe it money for failing to appear in court.

        Since 2013, the first full year in which the Kushner Cos. operated in Maryland, corporate entities affiliated with the firm's 17 apartment complexes in the state have sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants for failing to appear in court to face allegations of unpaid debt, The Sun found.

        That’s more than any other landlord in the state over that time, an analysis of Maryland District Court data shows. Court records show that 20 former Kushner tenants have been detained.

        The same amount of mercy is due to Kushner when he begins to "fall behind" on payments on his own properties.

        We cannot continue to look the other way when it comes to this stuff. The blatant corruption of Kushner and the rest of this crime syndicate is enough to make your stomach churn.



        Sunday, December 17, 2017

        Mark Hamill Responds

        This is not going to end well for Ted Cruz:

        Mark Hamill struck back at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after Cruz tried to use the actor’s “Star Wars” movies to defend net neutrality.

        “Luke, I know Hollywood can be confusing, but it was Vader who supported govt power over everything said & done on the Internet. That's why giant corps (Google, Facebook, Netflix) supported the FCC power grab of net neutrality,” Cruz tweeted at Hamill earlier Sunday, using the incorrect Twitter handle to direct the tweet at the actor.

        “Reject the dark side:  Free the net!”

        The actor quickly hit back, telling Cruz, “Thanks for smarm-spaining it to me.”

        “I know politics can be confusing, but you'd have more credibility if you spelled my name correctly. I mean IT'S RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU! Maybe you're just distracted from watching porn at the office again.”

        Ted Cruz is probably the second most unlikeable politician in America, right after Donald Trump. Cruz is the Roy Moore of 2018, but the difference is very telling. Moore goes after teenage girls and Cruz goes after show tunes. How this guy holds on to a Senate seat in 2018 is really going to challenge all of my beliefs in decency.

        Notice that Cruz appropriates the idea of "freedom" when it comes to net neutrality. If you're in the process of dismantling net neutrality, you're not on the side of freedom. You're on the side of corporations who want to jack up costs for consumers and drive out competitors. Imagine having to pay an extra $10 or $20 a month just to be able to keep Netflix or some other streaming service. Imagine a world where everything is throttled and controlled by a handful of companies.

        That would suck. That would suck as bad as waking up to find out Cruz can stay in the Senate another 6 years.

        This is How You Take a Senate Seat Away From the GOP

        One of the things I love to do is watch how hard Representative Beto O'Rourke is working to turn Texas blue. A United States Senate without Ted Cruz would be a major improvement for everyone in this country who cares about families and common decency.

        Today, O'Rourke was on the road, visiting Columbus County, Texas, and visiting with folks who have no memory of ever seeing a candidate for the U.S. Senate visit their area. 

        After a stunning win by Doug Jones, please support Beto O'Rourke's efforts to fight for working families and send Cruz into an early retirement.


        Gregg Jarrett is Probably Not the Guy to Take Out Robert Mueller

        I would be willing to bet you that Gregg Jarrett does not scare Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

        Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accused of acting in complete disregard for the law and must be removed.  And so, too, must his entire team.  

        There is devastating new evidence to suggest that Mueller and his staff of lawyers improperly, if not illegally, obtained tens of thousands of private documents belonging to President-elect Trump's Presidential Transition Team (PTT).  The material includes emails, laptops and cell phones used by 13 PTT members.   

        Critically, a "significant volume of privileged material" was taken by Mueller, according to the Trump transition lawyer, and then used by the special counsel team in its investigation. Mueller's staff apparently admits this egregious violation, which the law strictly forbids.

        Under the law, the only remedy is Mueller's dismissal from the case.

        How can anyone take that seriously?


        Under the law, the remedy for what ails this country is the impeachment and removal of Trump and Pence for colluding with Russia. How do so many conservatives with resumes like this end up with the ability to make public statements against someone like Mueller? 

        It's as if there are no standards for conduct anymore. You don't have to have expertise or experience. Anyone can be a Federal judge. Anyone can run the Department of so-and-so. Trump has brought such massive deviancy to our society that all of the norms that used to exist--like the one where a pill-popping drunk probably just goes away and gets help as opposed to national exposure on a network news channel--have been destroyed.

        Trump's Lawyers Are Freaking Out

        This is how Trump's lawyers are going to "defend" him--they're going to claim that the Special Counsel overstepped his bounds and obtained information from the Trump transition team. This is the pretext that Trump will use to fire Mueller, and their thinking is, "that will end all of this."

        Of course, they will fail.

        Never mind the fact that it was perfectly okay for the Democratic National Committee's E-mails to end up in the hands of Wikileaks. Never mind the fact that Trump asked the Russians to steal Hillary Clinton's E-mails. Never mind the hypocrisy of it all. No, don't pay any attention to the most glaring aspect of all of this: the Trump people are actually mad that some of their E-mails might be read after winning an election that was all about demanding that they be allowed to read Hillary's E-mails.

        This is how the media narrative is shaping up. It's late on Saturday night and the story has started to reverberate through Washington. This narrative centers around how Robert Mueller and his team ended up with a treasure trove of transition documents that Trump's lawyers were planning on "sifting" through in order to only release what they wanted to release to investigators.  

        I am speculating, but they likely include evidence that will show that Trump, Pence, et al, knew that General Flynn was corrupt and did nothing about it. These E-mails might show other facts, such as open coordination with Russian officials, promises about lifting sanctions, and how they were going to undermine President Barack Obama. I want to emphasize what Axios reporter Mike Allen put in his story. NO ONE WAS SUPPOSED TO SEE THESE E-MAILS. Instead, Mueller ended up with everything because that's how this works, baby.

        If you use a government computer, never EVER expect your communications to be private.

        Imagine the setting. Trump's people go and sit down for interviews with the Special Counsel and his team. They ask a lot of questions. They press for details. But, what Trump's people don't know is that Mueller has all of their E-mails. All they have to do is tell the truth, and they're okay.

        What do you want to bet on that? Would you bet that someone working for Trump would actually tell the truth?

        Of course not.

        Now, note the emphasis on the words "improperly" and "unlawfully" in two frantic stories that were created after Allen was given the original scoop. This is a ridiculous gambit for any number of reasons.

        Do you really think that Mueller would tolerate anything "improper" or "unlawful" in any way, shape or form? That's what doesn't make sense here. Mueller has two indictments and two guilty pleas that have yielded him a pair of singing canaries. There are no leaks from his organization. They are conducting one of the most professional and thorough counterintelligence operations in American history. 

        Do you really think there wasn't a solid basis for obtaining that information? Do you really think there weren't already warrants in place and a justification ready for anyone who might want to know? If, for some unprecedented reason, Mueller's team really did blunder here, it would be completely out of character. Mueller's legal team has been detail-oriented and cautious up to this point. The don't leak, and they don't do thinks like this.

        Contrast this with a legal team that can't seem to do anything right. And with a president who goes out and commits obstruction of justice on a regular basis because he can't control his emotions or his tweets. Mix in a bumbler like Donald Junior and what do you have? The most corrupt and fraudulent regime we have ever seen.

        I want you to remember this phrase:

        "Therefore, no expectation of privacy can be assumed."

        Trump's people did business the way they have always done business. They did this business on a computer system maintained by the Federal Government. They had no idea what they were doing, and that's where we are right now. The realization of what they did has hit them.

        Hold on--the ride's about to get bumpy.

        Saturday, December 16, 2017

        Robert Mueller is Lucky That Trump's Lawyers Are Awful

        This is why Donald Trump is going to try and fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

        Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained “many tens of thousands" of Trump transition emails, including emails of Jared Kushner, transition team sources tell Axios.

        • Trump officials discovered Mueller had the emails when his prosecutors used them as the basis for questions to witnesses, the sources said. 
        • The emails include 12 accounts, one of which contains about 7,000 emails, the sources said.
        • The accounts include the team's political leadership and the foreign-policy team, the sources said. 

        Why it matters: The transition emails are said to include sensitive exchanges on matters that include potential appointments, gossip about the views of particular senators involved in the confirmation process, speculation about vulnerabilities of Trump nominees, strategizing about press statements, and policy planning on everything from war to taxes.

        Let's look at that word "strategizing" in the proper context. They were "strategizing" how to use Russia's help and steal the presidency. They were using everything at their disposal to undermine our democratic process and collude with Russia. Mueller and his team do not care about E-mails where one Trump official is talking to another Trump official about how to bring back coal mining jobs. They care about the E-mails that prove that the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia and where they were breaking the law.

        And that's what they have, and that's why Trump's lawyers are panicking.

        “Mueller is using the emails to confirm things, and get new leads," a transition source told me.

        How it happened: The sources say Mueller obtained the emails from the General Services Administration, the government agency that hosted the transition email system, which had addresses ending in “," for Presidential Transition Team.

        Taking fight public: Charging "unlawful conduct," Kory Langhofer, counsel for the transition team, wrote in a letter to congressional committees Saturday that "career staff at the General Services Administration ... have unlawfully produced [transition team] private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel's Office."

        This letter is now the gold standard in phony outrage. The Trump people were so fucking incompetent that they wrote it all down. They wrote it down in E-mails passed through systems under U.S. government administrative control. All of their lawbreaking and colluding was done while using the GSA's E-mail system. They were too stupid to use another E-mail system (but, if they did, and if there are E-mails that go back and forth between two systems, they're even more fucked than they realize). They were so incompetent, they had no idea what they were even doing to themselves.

        The seven-page later, obtained by Axios, says: "We understand that the Special Counsel's Office has subsequently made extensive use of the materials it obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims."

        The letter says this was a violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

        "Additionally, certain portions of the [transition] materials the Special Counsel's Office obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims, have been leaked to the press by unknown persons."

        How can you violate their Fourth Amendment protections? When they agreed to use the GSA-provided E-mail, they gave up their right to privacy and agreed to subject themselves to the government's E-mail retention policies.

        The Special Counsel's office said: "We will decline to comment."

        The transition sources said they were surprised about the emails because they have been in touch with Mueller's team and have cooperated.

        The twist: The sources say that transition officials assumed that Mueller would come calling, and had sifted through the emails and separated the ones they considered privileged. But the sources said that was for naught, since Mueller has the complete cache from the dozen accounts.

        Oh, they "sifted" through them, did they? Well, I sure as hell hope they didn't try to delete anything because that would be obstruction of justice.

        Robert Mueller has everything. He has all their E-mails. He has a Grand Jury at his disposal. He has a team in place that is competent and professional. Trump has a limousine full of jackasses who just woke up to a nightmare.

        This is why Trump has to move against Mueller.

        Friday, December 15, 2017

        They're Spending Millions and Millions of Dollars

        America's butt-hurt President expresses outrage that someone is spending money to convict the people he thought were going to help him steal from the American people:

        Even presidents aren't immune to some holiday stress. With a bruising week nearly over, President Donald Trump sought to let off steam Friday.

        US President Donald Trump sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on December 15, 2017 in Quantico, Virginia, before participating in the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony.

        From the moment he stepped onto the frozen White House South Lawn with a frown just after 9 a.m., Trump maintained a steady flow of indignation, lashing out at the Russia investigation, urban violence, unchecked immigration, the news media and decisions made by his predecessor Barack Obama, all within a single two-hour span.

        "It's a shame what happened with the FBI," Trump told reporters gathered in scattered flurries to watch him depart aboard Marine One. "It is very sad."

          "They're spending millions and millions of dollars," he bemoaned of the special counsel's Russia investigators, which have been steadily interviewing members of his staff over the past several months. "There is absolutely no collusion."

          The man whose inability to stop spending taxpayer dollars to go to his own properties to play round after round of golf is lamenting the fact that "millions" are being spent to catch the incompetent thieves he elevated to the national stage. This president cannot be shamed by anything. He is so detached from reality that it's a wonder he didn't flap his arms and fly off to torment those poor FBI graduates like some demented bird made out of fake feathers and bullshit.

          Unlike the phony-baloney Benghazi investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has two people who have pled guilty to crimes in the bag and two others indicted; he has two cooperating witnesses in his investigation. He's running the table. He has warrants, sealed indictments, and everything Michael Flynn can deliver.

          Trump has what? Trump has nothing. No legitimacy, no political capital, and no chance of escaping.

          Can you see the panic in his eyes? How can you miss it?

          Brad Parscale is a Major Player in the Russia Scandal

          Is Brad Parscale covering up collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government?

          The ranking members of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees want to subpoena two of the data firms hired by President Donald Trump's campaign team for documents related to their potential engagement with foreign actors like Russia and WikiLeaks during the election.

          Reps. Elijah Cummings and Jerry Nadler sent a letter to Cambridge Analytica's CEO Alexander Nix and Giles-Parscale cofounder Brad Parscale — who also served as the Trump campaign's digital director — in October. The letter asked whether their firms received "information from a foreign government or foreign actor" at any point during the election.

          The letter was also sent to the heads of Deep Root Analytics, TargetPoint Consulting, and The Data Trust, which were among the outfits hired by the Republican National Committee to bolster the Trump campaign's data operation.

          Whereas Deep Root, TargetPoint, and The Data Trust responded to the documents request, Cambridge Analytica did not. Parscale's response, moreover, was insufficient, the Democrats said.

          "As I made clear in the 60 Minutes interview cited in your letter, I share your concerns and would not want foreign governments meddling in our elections," Parscale wrote, referring to his interview with CBS earlier this year about Russia's election interference. "But as I stated in that same interview, I do not have any firsthand knowledge of foreign interference in the 2016 election."

          Remember, Special Counsel Robert Mueller can likely get any kind of a warrant he wants. He can get FISA warrants and he can get warrants that allow him access to social media, digital information, and physical information. 

          The part about "information from a foreign government or foreign actor" is the part we need to be concerned about. This would be collected information transferred to Parscale's company in the form of things like .csv files full of voter information. One key indicator would be if those files were formatted in a way to suggest that they were being exchanged as part of a concerted effort to target Americans with fake news.

          Parscale could be another guy looking to flip and hand over key information as to how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. And, don't forget, he's the guy who was brought in by Donald Trump Jr. to handle these matters. Parscale is a big deal because he could deliver Trump Jr. to the Feds if he wanted to.



          Marco Rubio is Running For President

          This is how you know that Senator Marco Rubio is going to run for President in 2020:

          Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, told congressional leadership that he will not support the latest version of the GOP tax bill if the legislation doesn't make the child tax credit more generous. 

          "I've been pretty consistent in my communications on this issue and that is I want us to see the refundable portion of the child tax credit increased from its current number," Rubio told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday. "If it stays at $1,100, I'm a 'no.' Let's hope it doesn't."

          First reported by The Washington Post on Thursday, Rubio is a potential problem as the Senate GOP prepares to bring a tax bill to the floor for a vote next week.

          Rubio is positioning himself to be the GOP's acceptable alternative to all things Trump-related. It's a smart play. Break with Trump now and hope people have a short memory or ride the lightning all the way into electoral oblivion. Someone has to run in 2020, so why not Rubio?

          It's not like there are any other options. Rubio doesn't care about children. If he did, would he really be a Republican in the first place?

          Come on.