Gillibrand Talks Immigration, Education, That Other Thing You Won't Shut Up About At MSNBC Town Hall
The junior senator from NY crushed it.
We have a special place in our heart for Kirsten Gillibrand, who was our home state senator during our last few years in New York. She's smart, gutsy, and knows her stuff. MSNBC hosted a town hall last night for the now official presidential candidate, who came out swinging against Donald Trump.
GILLIBRAND: One of the reasons why I'm running for president is because of what Donald Trump has done to this country. He's made her family afraid to worship. He has spread fear and hate and degradation across this country. He has spewed hate, racism, anti-Semitism and has inspired more.
A Muslim woman in the audience expressed concern for her community after the New Zealand mass shooting. She found no comfort in Trump's general "could give a crap" response to violence against Americans who worship differently than he pretends. Gillibrand vowed to "stand up to white nationalism." This truly goes the extra mile, because the current president won't even acknowledge white nationalism exists. We assume he passes by a mirror at least once or twice a day so that's pretty willful denial.
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!")
And what did your husband say about YOUR boss today?
Uh oh, looks like George Conway, husband of Kellyanne, is going to be sleeping on the couch for another week, because they are having That Fight They Always Have, the one where he says her boss (the president) is certifiably mentally unstable, and she's like "nuh uh," and we guess she reminds him that if that so-called certifiably mentally unstable person wasn't president, then she wouldn't be making a government salary for going on Fox News and lying to the American people.
It started this weekend with Donald Trump's latest Twitter rampage, which is still going on, and which avid watchers of Trump's Twitter habits agree seems to suggest that he is real upset about something. Like, more than usual. The sort of upset he gets when Robert Mueller is about to arrest his son, maybe. You know, ALLEGEDLY.
The rent is too damn high!
Hey, while every media outlet is doing exactly the same stupid horse-race political coverage they said nobody should be doing, the actual candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are busily putting forward policy proposals -- the things pundits and voters keep saying they want to know about, at least in between discussions of "likeability" and whether Chuck Todd thinks candidates are bipartisan enough. So hey, here is a cool housing policy idea from Elizabeth Warren, who's trying to out-nerd everyone else with a proposal to make housing more affordable and even redress some of the nation's terrible legacy of housing discrimination. What a weirdo!
Warren outlines her housing proposals here, and we like 'em. There are even linkies to studies supporting her proposals, yay for info geeks! She notes that, for grownup adults, where you live (more precisely, where you can afford to live) has enormous consequences.
Housing is not just the biggest expense for most American families — or the biggest purchase most Americans will make in their lifetimes. It also affects the jobs you can get, the schools your children can go to, and the kinds of communities you can live in. That's why it's so important that government gets housing policy right.
Problem is, the federal government has spent decades getting housing policy very very wrong, from building racial discrimination into housing policy for much of the 20th century, to letting the big banks screw over homeowners and taxpayers as well. And of course, not doing much of anything to address the crunch in affordable housing for low and middle-income people. How's this for some real class warfare, via the supposedly invisible hand of the market:
That's how much they fear The Beto.
In a possible new twist on outreach to black voters, the GOP seems to be trying to prove they treat everyone equally, by showing us they are not just racist against us and the Latinos, and the Asians, and the Middle Easterners, and the Native Americans, and they "Gypsies," and the Shithole Countries, and ... well, damn. I guess white people were all they had left to oppress. Why is the GOP suddenly remembering that it is perfectly fine to show ethnic bias against "some" white people? That damn Beto O'Rourke made them do it. They fear him, and they should; Beto is nice, fun, charismatic, was in a band, and he broke first day fundraising records LIKE A BOSS!
Beto O'Rourke is continuing to break records.
In the first day of his presidential campaign the former congressman from Texas raised over $6.1 million, according to NBC News. This is the largest first-day fundraising total of any 2020 Democratic contender to date, including Bernie Sanders.
Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day, Beto O'Rourke jumped into the race for the Democratic nomination. Saint Patrick's Day isn't one of the holidays where the GOP can offend dark people, so some genius Photoshop MacGyver decided it was "stereotype the Irish O'Clock," and went to work.
Donald Trump's feud with the ghost of John McCain continues.
If you are a normal American, you might have spent your Sunday celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Or maybe you just had brunch or maybe you cleaned your house or maybe you just lay around and watched Netflix. But if you were the president of the United States, you were celebrating the Day Of The Dead (Guy Who Refuses To Stop Hurting Your Feelings Even Though He Is Dead), which means you telegraphed your insecurities by tweeting insults at John McCain, who is, again, a dead person.
We feel like we say this a lot, but this is not normal.
He was KIDDING about forcing all Missourians to buy semiautomatic weapons, SHEESH!
There's been another massacre with a semiautomatic rifle, so naturally, gun sales will likely boom again, as every American gun humper worries Barack Obama is coming to take their precious precious guns away. And how will they prevent tyranny then, huh? Especially because in New Zealand, Barack Obama, or his puppet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, announced New Zealand will tighten restrictions on guns and move to ban military-style semiauto rifles altogether. Fortunately, some Americans are speaking out, since they know Liberty rests on a solid base of owning a larger personal arsenal and trolling the libs.
For starters, there's weekend "Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth, who proclaimed yesterday that since Beto O'Rourke is calling for renewing the assault weapons ban, now is the time to get out there and start stockpiling weapons:
And Missouri state Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-NRA) has found himself getting all sorts of attention for a pair of pro-gun bills he introduced last month, well before the massacre. One, the "McDaniel Second Amendment Act," would mandate that everyone in Missouri over the age of 21 purchase at least one handgun, and the other, the "McDaniel Militia Act," would require everyone between 18 and 35 buy an AR-15, because duh they are in the militia! McDaniel's Militia, apparently. It is a very smart law!
Any person who qualifies as a resident on August 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15. Any resident qualifies as a resident after August 28, 2019, and does not own an AR-15 shall purchase an AR-15 no later than one year after qualifying as a resident.
The bill would only allow you to sell your AR-15 if you have or purchase a spare, so you always have an AR-15. And yes, it specifies that particular type of gun, because that is the most Americanest gun and an AK-47 or other semiautomatic rifle would not count.
Barack Obama find common ground with GOP, but then Beto IS white.
Presidential candidate and blogger Beto O'Rourke is currently selling "post-partisanship" as the answer to our dysfunctional politics. We hope he gets more takers than we did recently for our gently used Betamax. Look, there are a thousand Democrats running for the 2020 nomination and if O'Rourke thinks he can distinguish himself with a "hope and change" remix platform, who are we to remind him that Republicans exist? As Rodney King once asked, "Can't we all just get along?" Although, in fairness, King had recently suffered traumatic head injuries from a vicious police beating. It's uncertain why any politician fully in possession of their faculties would think they can find common cause with scumbags who pull shit like this:
Beto spoke with Chuck Todd while campaigning Sunday in Waterloo, Iowa. Todd couldn't zing him about being "over-prepared" like he did Hillary Clinton, so he instead asked how O'Rourke planned to make good on his promises of a big bipartisan orgy in DC and who'd have to oil down Mitch McConnell?
It's your Sunday Show Rundown!
New Zealand is still mourning after the horrific attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. As news and social media deal with their influence on the shooter, there were plenty of comments on CNN's "State of the Union." Let's begin with the US Ambassador to New Zealand, former Massachusetts senator and part-time male model Scott Brown. Jake Tapper pressed Ambassador Brown about New Zealand's prime minister's request that Trump show support for the Muslim community. After Brown affirmed HIS stance & support for the Muslim community, Tapper asked a very illuminating question:
TAPPER: Have you spoken with President Trump about this attack?
BROWN: I speak to the, obviously, the White House, the Situation Room and all parties to be on a very regular basis. There's no need for me to specifically speak to the president because I'm here as his representative and do what I have been doing, which is making sure that whatever the new Zealand government needs, including the prime minister or any of the other agencies, we make sure it's available.
So the answer is "NO," Ambassador Brown. Apparently while Trump hasn't had time to speak with his own ambassador to New Zealand, he's had time to feign ignorance that white supremacy is on the rise and trash the late Senator John McCain. Tapper continued:
We have a cussing botany guy, and we love him.
It's been another hell week, so how about we have some Nice Things? We'll all get back to the quotidian parade of horrors soon enough, that's for sure. For now, let's have a little break, with stuff that will make your brain feel better. (This is not a medical treatment. Side effects may include cat videos and glorious strings of obscenities. Actual brain health not guaranteed. Ask your doctor.)
We told you she'd be fine.
Need something to be happy about today? It is Ruth Bader Ginsburg's birthday, and she is 86 years old, and she's been back at work for WEEKS now, ever since her most recent bout of having to tell cancer to kiss her ass.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RBG!
If you are wondering how to celebrate RBG's birthday, a good way would be to write a very good legal opinion about how Brett Kavanaugh needs to be deleted from the Court. Another way would be to engage in RBG's favorite pastime, which is called Going Planking, and it is an Exercise Thing she does! If you are in DC, a group is doing a Plank-In on the Supreme Court steps this very afternoon, and here is why:
We could use a little hope today.
The kids are at it again, and it's beautiful. All over the world, young people today are marching and giving speeches and demanding political leaders show some leadership, please, as part of the World Climate Strike. The idea started last summer with a 16-year-old girl in Sweden after that country's hottest summer on record; Greta Thunberg protested outside the Parliament building for months, and it kind of caught on with the hashtag (and later a website) called "FridaysForFuture." So here we are on the Ides of March, and in the USA, the action (centered in DC but with related marches nationwide) was organized by three young women, Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and 16-year-old Isra Hirsi, who's the daughter of Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. (Get ready for rightwing trolls to condemn the climate movement as anti-Semitic.) Over a million young people in 123 countries are expected to participate by the end of the day.
This truly is a global thing -- though not a globalist thing -- reports Gizmodo's Earther:
The sun rose first on [the] Pacific where students in Australia, New Zealand, and small island nations walked out of school. Since then, mass walkouts have spread from South Korea to India to Nigeria to major European capitals. In Stockholm, an estimated 10,000 students pressed against barricades like a rock concert to see Thunberg, a far cry from her solitary strike that began seven months ago. In Torino, thousands sang "We Will Rock You." In Dakar, students gathered in the shade under the blistering sun. In Zurich, they huddled under umbrellas in the rain.
There was even a demonstrator in Antarctica.
It was hard to pick just 174!
Another sad day for the world, as Muslim worshippers in New Zealand have been murdered and terrorized in a way that feels all too familiar for Americans. We could spend a thousand hours talking about the online culture that radicalizes white supremacist terrorists, how it's spreading worldwide, and how the anti-immigrant/anti-Islamic hatred that motivated the killer in New Zealand is much the same as the hatred spread by the types of people in America who say there were many fine people on both sides in Charlottesville.
But other writers will do that, some of them at Wonkette. In this post, let's just look at some of the immediate terrible reactions, because "how are right-wing assholes responding" is kind of one of our traditions when there is a hate-fueled massacre.
Let's start with just fucking gross and weird, from one of the American congressmen who specializes in both gross and weird, Louie Gohmert of Texas.
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:
WHAT THEY GOT ON HIM?
Shocking news, friends! Congress agreed on something. Well, at least the House did. And they agreed on something important too, not some resolution agreeing that Big Lots is running a really good sale right now on microwaves or something. They voted yesterday 420-zip on a nonbinding resolution saying that the report put together by Robert Mueller should be made public. Now, set aside your curiosity about exactly what Republicans are up to, because we are sure they are up to something and have some sort of ulterior and misguided reason why they all -- even Devin Nunes -- have agreed that the Mueller report should be public. We are sure that will reveal itself in the coming days.
Four Republicans voted present, including two wingnuts -- Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz -- and two other Republicans, Thomas Massie and Justin Amash, who the New York Times says "routinely" oppose resolutions like this, because you know how liberatarians are, always full of REASONS. (Amash did a Twitter thread explaining REASONS. We'll get to it in a minute.)
So, of course Lindsey Graham blocked a similar nonbinding resolution in the Senate, because of course he did, because seriously Lindsey Graham, what the fuck do Trump, his buddies at the National Enquirer, and/or the Russians have on you? Is it super-gross, like knock us off our chair gross? Or are you just scared you're in Mueller's report in some significant way, and you're trying to hide that? WHAT, LINDSEY, WHAT?
It's not that Lindsey Graham doesn't want the findings public -- he totally does! -- it's just that he's "trying to find balance here," and by "balance" he means we need a second special counsel to investigate BUT HER EMAILS AND ALSO PETER STRZOK AND LISA PAGE AND CARTER PAGE (NO RELATION) AND DID THEY HAVE A SECRET SOCIETY AND AN INSURANCE POLICY TO STOP TRUMP FROM GETTING ELECTED AND ALSO LORETTA LYNCH AND BILL CLINTON ON THE TARMAC AND AIYEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
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