Friday, November 30, 2018

Politically Unacceptable No Matter What

What the hell is this?

One idea considered for the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow was to offer Russian President Vladimir Putin the penthouse, according to Felix Sater, who was working on the project with Michael Cohen.

Sater, a Russian-born onetime business associate of Trump's, described the concept as a "marketing ploy" and explained that the idea was to try to enhance the value and attraction for buyers by having Putin in the building.

BuzzFeed, which first reported on the plan, reported that Cohen, who was then-candidate Donald Trump's attorney, had discussed the idea with a representative of Putin's press secretary, citing two law enforcement sources. The penthouse was planned to be valued at $50 million but gifted to Putin, BuzzFeed reported.

I realize we have moved well past the idea that you could expect any self-identifying Republican in this country to express even a minuscule amount of outrage over something that Trump has done, but, wow.

From a distant, overhead perspective, how in the hell is this politically viable and acceptable to any American citizen, regardless of their party affiliation? You would have to be completely naive and willfully obtuse not to see how this is so far outside the realm of normal behavior. I guess you would have to already by a sick, damaged individual with no self-awareness to think this was fine.

Only a Republican - only Trump - could get away with this.

Good grief.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Control Your Own Fate Because No One is Going to Save Us

America’s elites have failed us, full stop.

American democracy won’t be saved by anyone but you.

America is in the hands of a criminal regime run by fascists and boobs.

I voted. I did my part. You, of course, have either already voted or will vote.

No one knows what is going to happen. Polling, sampling, and guessing is the work of fools at this point. If a pollster calls ten thousand young people, and a mere 100 answer questions, what does that tell you about what’s going to happen on Tuesday, November 6th?

Anyone who says they know what will happen is lying to you. I hope you read this site because I am trying my best to level with you and tell you what I think is going on and what I think will happen. I’ve been at this fool’s errand since Hurricane Katrina. The truth is, I don’t know for sure, all I have is the evidence in front of me, and all I know is what I’ve seen before. That does not make me an expert. The best comment I’ve ever gotten is “who the hell are you?”

Have I told you lately that America’s elites—the so-called experts—have all failed us? So why not me since they’re all liars and charlatans? Why not you? You know more than anyone.

See you on the other side.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Brian Kemp is a Liar

At some point, we as a nation are going to have to come to terms with the idea that the person in charge of elections in a state cannot run for higher office without resigning or recusing him or herself from overseeing everything. What’s happening in Georgia is beyond normal and sets a dangerous precedent. If there’s a recount, nothing will be done fairly. If Brian Kemp wins, then the entire election will be considered illegitimate. If Stacey Abrams wins, it will be in spite of some of the worst voter suppression tactics in America. Free and fair elections are not run like the Georgia’s governor race.

And now we have this:

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office said Sunday that it is investigating the Georgia Democratic Party over what it described as an attempted hack of the state's voter registration system on Saturday evening.

Democrats in the state vehemently denied the claim, and Kemp's office has not provided any evidence or indicated why the Democratic Party is being investigated as part of its probe. 

The move comes just two days before Election Day, when voters will choose between Kemp, a Republican, and Democrat Stacey Abrams in the state's high-profile race for governor. 

Democrats and advocacy groups have previously argued that Kemp has a conflict of interest in overseeing an election he is also running in, and some have called on him to resign. The Sunday morning news release indicating his office will now investigate the Georgia Democratic Party as part of the probe will only heighten those concerns. 

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes," said press secretary Candice Broce in the release. "We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure."

Nothing was done, but the Democrats are maybe guilty of something that didn’t happen? How does that work in the real world? Imagine if the roles were reversed and Abrams was overseeing her own election and then pulled something like this. You can’t because Abrams is too ethical and too professional to do anything like this.

Today’s GOP. Same shit, different day, and always accuse your enemies of doing what you’re doing, just like they do in Russia.

The Minutemen Are Headed to the Border

The natural consequence of spreading lies about what’s happening on the U.S. border is that people will start reacting and taking matters into their own hands. If you think this is troubling, good for you. U.S. troops won’t just have to worry about snakes, scorpions and boredom. Now they’ll have to worry about militia-types stealing their gear. Given the fact that the troops being deployed are going to have to bring everything with them, this is going to lead to a lot of Article 32 hearings. But, more importantly, Trump has unleashed what promises to be months and months of confusion and chaos:

Gun-carrying civilian groups and border vigilantes have heard a call to arms in President Trump’s warnings about threats to American security posed by caravans of Central American migrants moving through Mexico. They’re packing coolers and tents, oiling rifles and tuning up aerial drones, with plans to form caravans of their own and trail American troops to the border.

“We’ll observe and report, and offer aid in any way we can,” said Shannon McGauley, a bail bondsman in the Dallas suburbs who is president of the Texas Minutemen. McGauley said he was preparing to head for the Rio Grande in coming days.

“We’ve proved ourselves before, and we’ll prove ourselves again,” he said.

McGauley and others have been roused by the president’s call to restore order and defend the country against what Trump has called “an invasion,” as thousands of Central American migrants advance slowly through southern Mexico toward the U.S. border. Trump has insisted that “unknown Middle Easterners,” “very tough fighters,” and large numbers of violent criminals are traveling among the women, children and families heading north on foot.

The Texas Minutemen, according to McGauley, have 100 volunteers en route to the Rio Grande who want to help stop the migrants, with more likely on the way.

“I can’t put a number on it,” McGauley said. “My phone’s been ringing nonstop for the last seven days. You got other militias, and husbands and wives, people coming from Oregon, Indiana. We’ve even got two from Canada.”

Emphasis here on Oregon, kids.

Remember what happened in that part of the country when anti-government militia types decided to challenge the Federal government? And remember what happened when this president decided to start pardoning people?

Those pardons sent a clear message—from now on, you can run around and do whatever you want and the Republican Party will bail you out of whatever problems you have with the Department of Justice.

McGauley sure sounds nice, doesn’t he?

This thing is about to get out of hand, and fast.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

There Are No Republican Centrists or Moderates

Tom MacArthur is a Republican from New Jersey who gained notoriety when one of his constituents yelled at him for lying about how he was going to protect the health insurance of the people in his district. You can be rest assured—he’s no moderate. He’s like every other Republican who has served in Congress for the last few years. Over and over again, he has voted to gut Obamacare and replace it with shrugs and empty promises.

This story tries to position him as a “centrist.” These people don’t exist anymore in the Republican Party. There isn’t a single GOPer holding office who can claim to be a centrist on the issue of health care.

Now, more than any other issue, preexisting conditions have dominated the airwaves in House and Senate races. Almost 55 percent of all Democratic ads from mid-September to mid-October mention health care, broadly speaking, according to a study by the Wesleyan Media Project, and almost every single one mentions the threat to preexisting conditions.

Republicans are just beginning the recriminations over that decision 18 months ago, particularly among those now facing the barrage of ads focusing on that move.

“The members who were calling for those changes really don’t care. And they’re very selfish, they always have been,” Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who voted for the bill, said in an interview last week outside his campaign headquarters in Miami.

Meadows, through a spokesman, declined to comment about the internal GOP debate in early 2017.

The fallout blasted far and wide, well beyond the few dozen members of the moderate Tuesday Group caucus who had been supportive of Walden’s original stance. Prominent centrist Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) [emphasis mine] and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who negotiated the final details of the language on preexisting conditions, now find themselves in the fight of their political lives, under constant attack for their work with Meadows.

Meadows’s own Freedom Caucus colleagues, particularly Reps. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), find themselves in toss-up races and on the defensive about that May 2017 vote.

Perhaps worst of all, the Senate choked on its own ACA repeal bill and Obamacare is still the law of the land. House Republicans walked a political plank that got sawed off behind them, leading to false hope that the issue would fade away by Tuesday’s election.

Centrist? Really?

How can you be a centrist if your voting record doesn’t contain any evidence of actually being in the middle of the road?

MacArthur is a go-along to get-along kind of a guy. He is surrounded by people exactly like him. They don’t care about you and they never will. Every one of these members voted to take away health insurance for things like pre-existing conditions, again and again. For the last few months, they’ve been hiding and ducking from their own records. They were solidly against protecting pre-existing conditions and now they’re telling you it was all a dream.

Members like MacArthur can’t defend their votes. They can’t hold themselves up as champions of anything other than voting for what Paul Ryan (who is conveniently skipping town) told them to vote for. They won’t hold town hall meetings anymore. And they damned sure don’t want you to remember how they voted to end, eliminate, de-fund, kill, repeal, and destroy Obamacare:

Here’s MacArthur being reamed out, but the way. This should run on a permanent loop inside of his mind for all eternity.

Geoff Ginter, a certified medical assistant from Pine Beach and whose wife had cancer, took to the microphone to angrily confront MacArthur at a Willingoboro, N.J. town hall meeting.

Hell, Geoff Ginter should have run against MacArthur this year. He would have won.

There are no centrists. No moderates. No one in the middle. No one on the fence. They are all complicit in the destruction of our health care and they have enabled Trump to destroy our democracy.

Vote all of them out. Never vote another one of them in. We can do this. We only have a few more days. We can win. We can win this for the people that aren’t here anymore. We have to do this.

UPDATE: I re-wrote this post because, in my anger, I used too many cuss words. For the last decade, I have watched this fight unfold, and I have read countless stories about the people affected by losing their healthcare insurance after getting it under the ACA. It infuriates me to see these lies being trotted out in the mid-terms. Hopefully, it reads a little better. If not, blame my inability to be articulate about how Republicans will gleefully hurt people up until it’s time for them to beg for their jobs back.

Can You Hear That Racist Dogwhistle Now?

The son of the president is pretty much racist garbage and this is more proof of that:

Yeah, that whole family Trump has there seems nice, doesn’t it? What a bag of trash.

There simply aren’t any norms left for us to observe, are there? The son of the president is an unaccomplished exotic animal murderer and a potential witness against his own father in terms of what might happen in the weeks ahead. The mere fact that any words need to be wasted on this wastrel and scumbag is proof the elites failed us long ago. In no reasonable society would anyone like this be able to speak to millions of people and communicate such ideas. This young man is so bigoted and so completely and utterly useless that it’s a wonder we haven’t already been occupied by our own allies in NATO.

Seriously, if nobody votes on Tuesday, someone is going to have to invade the United States and free an oppressed majority of Americans from the grips of a tyrannical mob populated with greasy-haired Trump offspring.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Don't Believe The Polls

Enthusiasm among Democratic voters is high and every election since 2016 has shown that polling is problematic at best. But this really caught my eye:

Some surveys, like those attention-grabbing live polls from The New York Times and Siena College, are working overtime to compensate for their pitfalls—and still coming up short. Nate Cohn, who runs the poll, has written admirably about the difficulty of reaching low propensity voters in competitive House and Senate races. For instance, his team employs bilingual interviewers who do callbacks to make sure they have enough Hispanic voters in their data. Cell-phone calls, he notes, are “notably less likely to yield a response”—impeding their ability to collect responses from young people. That’s led to a risky compromise: in some states, the N.Y.T./Siena poll is defining “young people” as 18-39. Ask any 39-year-old “young person” if they know anything about XXXTentacion or Snapchat lenses, and you’ll figure out pretty quickly that the perspective of someone approaching middle age differs wildly from someone in college.

In their poll of the Texas Senate race, N.Y.T./Siena called 51,983 people around the state, and just 800 people responded. Among 18-29 year olds, they contacted 7,219 voters, and just 66 responded. That’s a grim 0.9 percent response rate among young voters, a critical voting bloc in this election, especially for Democratic candidates like O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, and Stacey Abrams, who are depending on even just a marginal boost in youth turnout. Pollsters like Cohn adjust for these low response rates by “weighting,” adjusting the results to give more weight to respondents from under-representing groups. “But,” Cohn writes, “weighting works only if you weight by the right categories and you know what the composition of the electorate will be.”

Holy shit, if this bears out.

They’re. Not. Counting. Cellphone. Only. Households.

This has been a consistent problem for measuring who is going to vote and who is going to vote for the first time; they are over-counting older people who are more likely to answer their phones and gab at someone who is willing to listen to their beliefs about who should be president.

Sampling massive numbers of people and getting almost no response means that, within that population, you have no idea what they’re going to do. Except, you already know that the polls have consistently under-counted and failed to measure how many Democrats have been turning out to vote.

But don’t take my word for it:

Not only did Northam win the Virginia race, he won by 9 points, a polling error more substantial than anything we saw in 2016. Gillespie, it turns out, actually won more votes than any previous statewide Republican candidate; he had enthusiasm at his back. It’s just that Democrats had more—and they blew the doors off on Election Day. The whole spectacle was yet another blow to polling and to punditry, two industries sullied by Trump’s victory in 2016.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen on November 6. Vote like your life depends on it.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

There Are No Moderate Republicans

This is hilarious and ridiculous at the same time. There is no way that any Republican trying to get re-elected can claim that there is a sliver of daylight between themselves and Donald Trump. They have spent the last two years pushing his agenda and voting for whatever he wants. They celebrated when they took away your health care and they were ecstatic when they passed tax cuts.

They laughed when they thought they were owning the libs. They were greeted to day after day of Trump’s racist insanity all throughout their most recent term in Congress. They cannot claim to be horrified—we’ve been horrified since before the last presidential election.

Oh, and whatever dumbass is editing news stories at CNN needs to issue a correction—there are no moderate Republicans:

Moderate Republican lawmakers distanced themselves on Thursday from the racist video shared by President Donald Trump's campaign, with at least one House member saying the video is endangering vulnerable GOP candidates fighting to keep the party's House majority. 

The video, which was tweeted by Trump six days before the midterm elections, accuses Democrats, without evidence, of plotting to help people it depicts as Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers.

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who has opposed parts of Trump's agenda in the past, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "Newsroom" that the ad is politically divisive.

"It's definitely part of a divide and conquer strategy that a lot of politicians, including the President, have used successfully in the past," he told Sciutto. "I hope this doesn't work. I hope that type of strategy starts failing in our country, but that's up to the American people."

"If we continue getting divided, if our politics continues growing more and more violent, our democracy is going to be at real risk," he added.

Hey, that’s nice, but go fuck yourself, dude. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that you didn’t vote to end Obamacare 70 times, right?


Go. Fuck. Yourself.

You own this shit, and your legacy as a human being is forever tied to the fact that you served in Congress during Trump’s term as “president” and enabled him to destroy our democracy and turn this country into a cesspool of racist intolerance.

This is Trump's Willie Horton Moment

Tonight, President Trump went there.

In the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party accuse Democrats of plotting to help Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers.

The new spot, tweeted by the President five days before the midterm elections, is the most extreme step yet in the most inflammatory closing argument of any campaign in recent memory.

The new Trump campaign ad was the latest example of the President's willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign.

The ad -- produced for the Trump campaign -- features Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican man who had previously been deported but returned to the United States and was convicted in February in the slaying to two California deputies.

"I'm going to kill more cops soon," a grinning Bracamontes is shown saying in court as captions flash across the screen reading "Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay."

The ad recalls the notorious "Willie Horton" campaign ad financed by supporters of the George H.W. Bush campaign in the 1988 presidential election.

Horton was a man and convicted murderer who committed rape while furloughed under a program in Massachusetts where Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis was governor.

Trump went there with a despicable act of racism, intolerance, and bigotry. He did this to hold on to power. He did this to steal another election. He did it to scare white people into voting for him.

It must not work.

It shouldn’t work in our democracy, but I’m not much of an optimist these days.

Ads like this have no place in our politics, but neither does Trump. And ads like this are certainly nothing new for America’s home-grown white supremacy party, which used to be the party of Lincoln but is now so full of swine that you can’t imagine it being anything decent any time soon.

You know, now would be a good time for the media to point out how much of a sleazy, lying racist Trump really is.

UPDATE - of course, all Trump’s claims and everything in the ad are easily refuted: