He supports equality, sure, but not for everybody.
Senator Joe Manchin (D? -- West Virginia) announced yesterday he just can't bring himself to support national anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people because by gosh, it's got too much equality in it. That makes Manchin the sole Democrat in the Senate refusing to cosponsor the Equality Act, which would add protections for gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act. All other 46 Dems in the Senate signed on when the bill was introduced last week, but Joe Manchin says he just can't because what if trans kids in high school pee in a restroom bigots think they shouldn't pee in?
She's so fucking awesome.
Elizabeth Warren held a town hall at Jackson State University last night, and one member of the audience at the historically black university wanted to know about voting: What would Warren do to protect voting rights? Warren went one better than calling for laws protecting the right to vote; she'd like to see a constitutional amendment. That's good! And then she went a step further and said it's time to get rid of the Electoral College, which got one of her biggest ovations of the night.
Here, have some video:
Elizabeth Warren: Get rid of the Electoral College www.youtube.com
Warren's ideas went beyond the suite of voting protections in House Democrats' "For the People Act," a blueprint for voting reforms that can be enacted if Dems retake the Senate and presidency in 2020. To prevent fuckery, let's ensure voting rights through a constitutional amendment:
What part of ILLEGAL doesn't he understand? Probably lots.
Another day, another dispatch from the New Cruelty: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been holding Noé de la Cruz, an old man who has Alzheimer's disease and diabetes (and is in remission from cancer) in a detention center in Texas, pending the outcome of his request for asylum. His family -- his wife and daughter are citizens -- has requested he be released to their care, but nothing doing! ICE doesn't let dangerous old men loose into the community, because what if he disappears and takes some American's job, or tapes a bunch of women's mouths shut and drives them across the border, or starts a caravan and murders all of us in our sleep? We need a wall -- An anti-ALZHEIMER'S wall!
His daughter, Sandra de la Cruz, says she's worried her father, 72, isn't getting any treatment where he's imprisoned, ICE's Port Isabel "Service Processing Center" in Los Fresnos, Texas.
"He's going to get lost, and we don't have family over there who can take care of him," Sandra said. Speaking through tears, Sandra recounted instances where her father called "three, five, ten times a day" from the Port Isabel detention facility near Los Fresnos, Texas, asking the same questions over and over.
"He also says that he's getting into fights, but when we go to see him, he doesn't have bruises," Sandra said. "We think that the fights are happening in his mind."
(Some idiot somewhere: "So he's also violent, you say? Good thing he's in jail!")
Terrorism plus trolling. O brave new world that has such people in 't.
Guys, I hate to defend Candace Owens, a garbage human being who loves riling up low-information idiots, but no, she did not "inspire" the racist who murdered 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand. Yes, even though he almost certainly agrees with her about immigration. He's trolling us, and while hatred should always be taken seriously and studied, the things said by racists, especially when they're repeating all their favorite little inside jokes, shouldn't necessarily be taken at face value, because sarcasm and shitposting are part of the online fascist's toolkit. Apart from the obvious commitment to racism and the desire to eradicate nonwhite immigrants, statements in the shooter's online manifesto should be considered skeptically. Let's do some unpacking.
We're not going to link to the copy of the manifesto we're working from, both because it'e evil and because hosts are scraping copies of it off their servers quickly enough that no links are likely to last. Believe me, you can find it without much effort if you want to see the filth.
Instead, take a look at this smart analysis of the manifesto's trolling by journalist Robert Evans, who knows a thing or two about terrorists and their recruiting methods. This manifesto has several audiences: potential future white nationalists, but also unwary journalists seeking to comb through it for easy answers to why someone would murder people in a house of worship. The title is straightforward enough: "The Great Replacement" partakes of the same white paranoia that motivated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and the marchers who chanted "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville: There's a shadowy conspiracy by very bad people to destroy the beautiful white race through immigration and high minority birth rates.
But as Evans puts it, the manifesto is also full of rhetorical booby traps:
A new series chronicling the media's bullshit narratives of the Democratic Primary in real time, whenever we remember to write them!
Wonkers, it is time for a new series as we head into the Democratic primary season, a series we will hopefully remember to do all the time and not mysteriously quit in three days because we forgot, like usual. It is called That's Not What She Said -- or sometimes it will be That's Not What He Said -- and it will be a quick-time factchecking of the media doing its little DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY thing, which you know is going to get stupid, like Chuck Todd and Chris Cillizza 69-ing Each Other Inside A House Of Mirrors level stupid, as we get further and further into the primary season.
Today, we made fun of Vanity Fair for taking a quote from Beto O'Rourke about how he "was born" to be a part of the current fight to save America from Donald Trump and set us on a course to save ourselves, and turning it into a headline where it sure sounded like they were saying he was born to run for president or to be president. And the choir sang, "THAT'S NOT WHAT HE SAID."
And now we have this tweet from CNBC about an interview Kamala Harris did with MSNBC's Peter Alexander this afternoon, where he asked Harris to react to Beto's candidacy.
She is not moving on.
Conservatives like to dismiss Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a former "waitress and bartender," because liberals are the coastal "elites" who have no respect for working people. They've even negatively compared her to Sarah Palin, an intellectual lightweight from their own party. Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez complicates this narrative because she's actually competent. During recent congressional hearings, she's proven deft, serving up lethal inquiries that leave witnesses asking for their mommies.
Tuesday Ocasio-Cortez publicly spanked Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan during his appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. The committee is examining the company's "pattern of consumer abuses," a benign description of its reported "practices of predatory lending, misleading and defrauding customers."
No, Lisa Page said NOTHING LIKE THAT.
This time it's gonna work! This time the GOP will shout GOTCHA while dumping House testimony from another FBI witness, and we'll all realize that the Deep State was in the tank for Hillary this whole time. Then the Grand Marshall of the Supreme Court will do LOCK HER UPS to Secretary Clinton, and it will prove there was NO COLLUSION because Donald Trump is pure as the driven snow.
Just kidding! On Tuesday, Ranking Member Doug Collins released the second half of Lisa Page's testimony in July before the House Judiciary Committee. And just like last week when he yelled HEE HAW HAM AND BISCUITS and released Bruce Ohr's transcript, he has once again succeeded in proving ... that the FBI worked very hard to protect the country from foreign threats. You're doin' great, sweetie!
PLEASE, YOUR HONOR, CAN HE COOPERATE SOME MORE?
Remember that hilarious hearing in December when Michael Flynn was supposed to be sentenced, after finishing his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, for which they had recommended he serve no time in prison, but then he didn't get sentenced because Judge Emmet Sullivan was pissed off and had other ideas? Throughout the hearing, Sullivan stared Flynn down and said (slight paraphrase), "YOU SOLD OUT YOUR COUNTRY, YOU TREASON LIAR! WHY SHOULDN'T I LOCK YOU UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY? LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO COOPERATE WITH ROBERT MUELLER A WHOLE LOT MORE IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO LOCK HER UP FOR A VERY LONG TIME! NOW GIT OUT OF MY COURTROOM AND NEVER COME BACK!"
Sullivan was not amused by Flynn's little PR campaign about how "HE WUZ FRAMED!" by the FBI and tricked into lying to them, because Flynn had no idea it was bad to do that; he was not amused by how Flynn had lied to the FBI while he was in the White House; and he was not amused by how Flynn's Turkish foreign agent buddies had just been indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) for committing the same foreign agent crimes Flynn had committed, and yet Flynn himself was getting to skate on those crimes because of his allegedly very good cooperation. He was pissed about ALL OF IT. After a long back and forth, he finally inveighed upon Flynn to consult with his lawyers about going back and seeing if he could cooperate more in order to avoid having a very heavy book thrown at him. At the end of the hearing, Sullivan said "Happy holidays!" (not a paraphrase) and adjourned until March 13, when a status report was due on whether Flynn has found a way to cooperate a whole bunch more. And today is March 13!
(Sidenote: Not only has the Trump era made us feel like we are going to law school in a very unofficial way, we also are learning exactly what our lawyer friends mean when they say that each judge has his or her own very special unique personality!)
Last night, lawyers for the prosecution and the defense filed their joint status report, because forfuckingonce these ding-dongs got their homework done early. Flynn's lawyers say please give them another 90-day extension, so Flynn can cooperate SO MUCH MORE, because he is a very good boy who knows how to cooperate, and also knows how to share and is just really respectful during playtime. Mueller's lawyers, meanwhile, don't really take a position on that, but note that honestly, he is kinda pretty much done cooperating. BUT THEY NEED TO COOPERATE MORE, say Flynn's lawyers! "OK sure whatever," says Mueller.
In other words, Michael Flynn is so fucking scared of what Emmet Sullivan is going to do to him, and oh my God it's delicious.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson is not amused with Paul Manafort.
Justice has been done, at least little bit more than it was last week in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), where Judge T.S. Ellis gave Paul Manafort a slap on the wrist and a visit from the tickle monster as a sentence for an eight-count jury conviction -- five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to report a foreign bank account on an IRS form, and two charges of bank fraud. On top of that, Manafort willfully blew up his plea agreement, by constantly lying to prosecutors and the grand jury, and also provided the Robert Mueller investigation pretty much zero useful information.
Today in front of DC Judge Amy Berman Jackson, things were a bit different! Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to 73 months (six years and a month) on two counts, with credit for time served. For the first count, conspiracy against the United States, Manafort received 60 months, 30 months of which will run concurrently with the dumb sentence he got in EDVA. For the second count, witness tampering, Manafort got an additional 13 months.
It wasn't the harshest sentence Berman Jackson could have given, but rather a fair sentence that took into account all the facts and guidelines.
So ... an extra 43 months, minus the nine months he's been in jail ... carry the two ... we weren't told we had to do math ...
LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!
Or at least he wants to. But budgets are more of a letter to Santa anyway.
Donald Trump's new budget is out, and it has some very smart ideas about spending more on the military and slashing Medicare and Medicaid, two programs he said would never be cut when he was running. Haha, we like to mention that as if any of his supporters would care he lied, because we are old and crotchety that way. Remember how he said all Americans would get better healthcare than Obamacare, too? And now that has happened, just like Big Brother's glorious victory on the Malabar Front and the generous increase in the chocolate ration.
Here, remember all the times Donald Trump promised the only cuts you'd ever see to Medicare were in "waste, fraud, and abuse"? He would be different from other Republicans that way!
Trump promised over and over to 'save' Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Will he? www.youtube.com
He even said Hillary Clinton would "destroy" Social Security and Medicare, because that's exactly what she said she'd do, never.
So in his new genius "Budget for a Better America" -- aides had to keep correcting it from "gooder" in drafts -- Trump wants to cut just a teensy bit from the budget for Medicare: about $845 billion over the next decade. As Mother Jones points out, that's a 10 percent cut, and nobody thinks the rate of "waste and fraud" in Medicare is that high. Except maybe if anyone asks him, Trump will say it is, and that will make it so. The cuts would mostly come through paying hospitals less for Medicare patients, so we can't see anyone minding that. Except for how the Washington Post notes the pushback was immediate:
Well, they are tenacious, we'll give 'em that!
Okay, everybody grab some Goldfish, choose a bus buddy, and lace up your boots. We're going on a little field trip to Wingnutistan. It's time to visit the people who see the Justice Department getting caught lying under oath, followed by Meatball Whitaker's immediate exit and think, "YEAH, BOOOOOY! HILLARY'S ABOUT TO GO DOWN!"
But first, the back story. In 2017, when Republicans still controlled the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte wrote to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Uranium One conspiracy, AGAIN. There has never been any indication that Hillary Clinton knew about the deal at all, much less that she greenlighted it as a favor to donors to the Clinton Foundation. The deal was approved by the State, Treasury, Justice, Energy, Defense, Commerce and Homeland Security departments, as well as the Office of the US Trade Representative. Nevertheless, Trump's posse in Congress was sure that the key to beating back the Mueller investigation was to distract the country with a competing investigation into Hillary Clinton.
At the same time, the Senate Judiciary Committee was showing its great support for law enforcement by shitting all over the FBI and accusing James Comey of having been a secret Hillary lover. Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham -- both of whom KNOW BETTER -- also demanded a special prosecutor be appointed to reinvestigate charges that the FBI did illegal FISA's to Carter Page's stupid red bucket hat.
Think of all the people guaranteed a good time now after they dropped a mountain of cash on the Grifter in Chief.
How many live investigations are there of the Trump inauguration fuckery funtimes? Couple few!
- Manhattan US Attorney's Office, aka SDNY: They got the ball rolling after seizing Michael Cohen's tapes and finding a recording of the head party planner worrying about the Trump Hotels gouging on the room rentals;
- Brooklyn US Attorney's Office, aka EDNY: These guys are wondering if illegal foreign donors used strawmen to funnel cash to the inauguration. More on that in a hot second;
- Special Counsel's Office: Having already indicted and gotten a plea from Manafort's associate Sam Patten for acting as a straw purchaser to buy inauguration tickets for Ukrainian billionaire Pavel Fuchs, Mr. Mueller would like to know why there were so many other shady Ukrainians at the inauguration festivities;
- House Judiciary Committee: Chairman Nadler has questions for the Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen about the inauguration;
- New Jersey Attorney General: Gurbir Grewal is making Trump's people an offer they can't refuse to hand over financial documents; and
- DC Attorney General: Karl Racine would like an accounting of money paid by the inaugural committee to Trump hotels and the Trump Organization.
For any of these investigators looking into foreign entities using straw purchasers to illegally donate money to the Trump inaugural gravy train, The Guardian is here to help:
It's as if he's constructed a fake enemy. But out of what?
Great Freedom Fighter Devin Nunes, the cow-romancing congressman from California, briefly amused Twitter Sunday with yet another example of just how far down the road to socialist dictatorship America has traveled: A waitress, he claimed, asked him if he wanted a straw with his drink. Does anyone still remember when we used to be a free country?
We think his brain computer is crashing. No, more than usual.
Donald Trump was leaving the White House this morning on the way to, we dunno, probably spin class, and he decided to stop and share some of his very good brain thought words with reporters. It went as well as it usually does.
Ilhan Omar, you get back here right now!
The House voted yesterday on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds, like anti-Muslim hatred and white supremacy. The measure passed overwhelmingly, but was opposed by 23 Republicans because of their very deep principles, most of which amounted to the principle that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) needed to be the sole focus of condemnation because she's the only source of hatred in America today. Oh, yes, and one brave R, white nationalist Steve King of Iowa, bravely voted "present," because darned if you're going to trap him into supporting a condemnation of hatred. Let's take a tour of the very good reasons some Republicans gave for opposing a resolution opposing hatred, shall we?
Several of those who opposed the resolution were quite clear about their reason: This was supposed to be a chance to accuse Ilhan Omar of hating all Jews because she said some really clumsy stupid things about how she was being required to vow "allegiance to a foreign country" -- which is true, in that we are literally outlawing a boycott of Israel, Texas is literally requiring anyone who contracts with it to vow allegiance to Israel, etc. -- but with words that evoke a stereotype (that Jews have a "dual allegiance") that was directly addressed in the text of the resolution. But that doesn't count because the resolution didn't specifically condemn Omar. Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney called the resolution a "sham" for not censuring Omar by name, and claimed it proves the entire party is now "controlled by far-left extremists who can't even muster the courage to stand up to blatant anti-Semitism." You know, as long as you ignore the multiple parts of the resolution condemning anti-Semitism in very specific terms.
Cohen is suing the Trump Organization for unpaid legal fees -- even the ones from AFTER he flipped on Trump. LOL!
MICHAEL COHEN, WERE YOU WORRIED YOU WERE NOT IN THE NEWS ENOUGH RIGHT NOW? Jesus, this is worse than when Michael Avenatti was vaingloriously going on TV every day and pretending like maybe he might run for president, because OBVIOUSLY America was just crying out for that.
Cohen, who is currently very busy testifying for Congress and going through the WHAR BOXES of Trump crime evidence in his basement and trying to decide what outfit to wear on the day he reports for prison, decided he needed to do another thing, so he is suing the Trump Organization in the New York State Supreme Court for failing to pay his legal fees -- including unpaid fees from before he started cooperating with all the various investigations into his personal crimes, the crimes he committed at the direction of and for the benefit of Individual-1, and the crimes committed by Individual-1 and other people in the Trump orbit, and also fees from after Cohen started cooperating, all the way up to the present day.
In other words, Cohen is fucking Trump, and he's demanding Trump pay for the fucking Cohen is giving him, as per the terms of the indemnification agreement they signed, what said the "Trump Organization agreed to indemnify Mr. Cohen and to pay attorneys' fees and costs incurred by Mr. Cohen in connection with the Matters," and by "matters" he means all matters arising from his MANY YEARS of work for Trump and the company. Therefore, #PAYTHEFUCKUP.
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