Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hands Dirty

Delta Rae

Surprises Not Seen This October

From the pen of Brian McFadden

What do Republicans fear?

Anything that will throw them out including "Voting while black, brown or young". Leonard Pitts explains.

A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color:

The Republicans are scared of you.

Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you — or of anybody — given that it controls all three branches of the federal government and most of the nation’s state houses. You’re worried about paying your student loans, putting food on the table, getting home without becoming some cop’s mistake, and the GOP is scared of you?

In a word: Yes.

See, the party knows that if everybody votes, it can’t win. That’s simple math. The Republican electorate skews sharply older and white. Polling from The Roper Center at Cornell University says whites went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 57 to 37 percent, while people of color strongly supported her, African Americans giving her 89 percent of their vote. Trump also lost big among young voters, but won big among their elders.

This dependence on older whites is a problem for the GOP, given that the United States is fast moving toward a younger, non-white majority. The Census Bureau predicts that, well before mid-century, America will be a nation where no racial group enjoys a numerical advantage. And the authoritative FiveThirtyEight blog reports that the white median age in this country is 43, while for Asians it’s 36, for African Americans, 34 and for Hispanics, 29.

As the trend lines are clear, so is the party’s solution: keep you from voting. Thus, as we approach a critical midterm election, the GOP is embracing voter suppression with a brazenness not seen since Bloody Sunday in 1965.

In Bismarck, North Dakota, lawmakers have passed a photo ID law that requires residents to show a current street address. And surely it’s only unfortunate coincidence that many Native Americans live on reservations that don’t use street addresses, only P.O. boxes, which the law doesn’t recognize.

In Georgia, secretary of state and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is being sued over the state’s so-called “exact match” law, in which voter registration applications are flagged if the voter’s identifying information fails to match state records, down to such picayune matters as missing hyphens and transposed letters. Over 53,000 people are said to have been impacted, most of them people of color.

In Tallahassee in July, a federal judge decried “a stark pattern of discrimination” against young people in Florida’s blocking of early voting at colleges and universities. Across the country, nearly a thousand polling places have been shut down in recent years, many in Southern black communities. In Cuthbert, Georgia, in August, the elections board beat back a plan to close seven of the nine polling places in a county that just happens to be majority black. Meantime, Stacey Abrams just happens to be running to become Georgia’s — and the nation’s — first black woman governor.

If you are a young person, a person of color or a young person of color, then, you may well face long lines, paperwork and other headaches as you seek to exercise your constitutional rights next month. Please persevere. That’s the only way to elect people who understand that access to the ballot is a fundamental principle of democracy. It is the only way to rescue this country.

Don’t let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter. Ask yourself: If your ballot wasn’t important, would Republicans work so hard to keep you from casting it? Of course not. And I’ll say it again: They are scared of you.

Please show them that they have reason to be.
Voting, the easiest way to make your life better.

What's gotten into Andy ?

Normally NY Gov Andrew Cuomo, ostensibly a Democrat, couldn't give a rat's ass if the Republicans controlled the NY State Senate. Suddenly he is out and about spending money and in otherways helping Democratic candidates for the state Senate.
Mr. Cuomo, a centrist fond of touting his fiscal restraint, has long drawn the suspicion of some progressives who believe that he secretly opposes a Democrat-controlled Senate. Such a Senate, the theory goes, could push through long-stalled — and expensive — legislation that the governor, also a Democrat, publicly supports but privately might rather see languish.

Mr. Cuomo’s own remarks have done little to allay those suspicions. After an unsuccessful Democratic campaign to recapture the Senate in 2016, the governor reassured Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he had barely dipped into his own campaign coffers, telling them, “You can’t call that campaigning.” Last year, when asked if an entirely blue Legislature would be better for New York (the Assembly is dominated by Democrats), he offered that Democratic control of Albany in the past “wasn’t extraordinarily successful.”

This year seems different. Invoking the threat posed bMr. Cuomo’s support, both financial and rhetorical, could be enough to sway the outcome in some of the most closely watched races, especially on Long Island, where voters skew more moderate and split almost in half for Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump in 2016. The governor is popular among Democrats there, especially for his pledges to keep property taxes under control.

Mr. Cuomo’s prowess as a fund-raising juggernaut could prove especially pivotal, as both parties have flooded the suburbs with money. Senator Michael Gianaris, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said his group would likely spend more than $5 million this year, compared with $3 million in 2016. Historically, Senate Republicans have far outpaced Democrats in fund-raising — a trend likely to continue this year — and outside groups are expected to spend millions as well.y President Trump, Mr. Cuomo has rallied with several State Senate candidates on Long Island, where Democrats hope to flip at least three seats, and has headlined fund-raisers for others around the state. He announced a $2 million television and digital ad campaign for taking back the Senate, paid for by his campaign and the state Democratic Party, which he controls.

“This election has never been more important, and the choice has never been clearer,” the governor said in announcing the ad campaign.

Mr. Cuomo’s support, both financial and rhetorical, could be enough to sway the outcome in some of the most closely watched races, especially on Long Island, where voters skew more moderate and split almost in half for Hillary Clinton and Mr. Trump in 2016. The governor is popular among Democrats there, especially for his pledges to keep property taxes under control.

Mr. Cuomo’s prowess as a fund-raising juggernaut could prove especially pivotal, as both parties have flooded the suburbs with money. Senator Michael Gianaris, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said his group would likely spend more than $5 million this year, compared with $3 million in 2016. Historically, Senate Republicans have far outpaced Democrats in fund-raising — a trend likely to continue this year — and outside groups are expected to spend millions as well.
If I didn't know bwtter, and I don't, I might say that Andy is prepping for a 2020 presidential run. But one bonus is the control of both houses and the governor's chair would allow him to gerrymander the GOP out of existence.

A few stories missed

And Trevor Noah is on it

A plethora of State Slogans

From Stephen Colbert, Ohio has a winner

You can choose Country Over Trump - Vote Blue

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Weighted Mind

Sierra Hull

A Very Thorough Investigation

From the pen of Rick McKee

So many Bromances

From the pen of Steve Sack

The Pride of Frankenmitch

Frtom the pen of Bruce Plante

Keep your god to your self

In MIchigan today there is an uppity religious pharmacist who believed his invisible sky demon determined who he should dispense medications to and not his employer. In Michigan there is also an uppity unemployed pharmacist.
A Michigan woman said she was denied a medication for her miscarriage by a pharmacist at a supermarket who refused to fill the prescription because of his religious beliefs, then declined to help her obtain the drug elsewhere.

The pharmacist was no longer employed at the supermarket chain, Meijer, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

The woman, Rachel Peterson, 35, of Ionia, Mich., became pregnant earlier this year, but an ultrasound at the end of June revealed that the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. She and her husband headed to a family member’s home in northern Michigan, more than three hours away, to decompress.

Her doctor prescribed her misoprostol, a drug that would make the miscarriage process happen faster and could help her avoid an invasive surgical procedure.

“It was conveyed to me by my doctor that if things hadn’t progressed in the next couple of days, that I was instructed to start the medication,” Ms. Peterson said. The days came and went, and still nothing.

On July 1, she and her husband were about to leave to pick up the medication at the Meijer pharmacy in Petoskey, Mich., when she said she received a call from the pharmacist, who “stated that as a good Catholic male he could not in good conscience fill this medication.”

Ms. Peterson, who works in a hospital as a cardiovascular sonographer, said she was “baffled.” She has lived in Michigan her entire life, she said, and had never been denied a prescribed medication.

She explained to the pharmacist, whom she identified as Richard Kalkman, that her fetus was no longer viable and that she needed the medication to complete the miscarriage safely.

But “he didn’t believe me,” Ms. Peterson said, and told her that he “couldn’t support an abortion.”

He also refused her requests to speak to another pharmacist or to the manager, she said.

Christina Fecher, a spokeswoman for Meijer, said in a statement that Mr. Kalkman “has not been employed by Meijer since early July 2018.” The statement continued, “While we cannot comment on any pharmacy customer matter, we apologize for any customer experience that does not align with our core values.”

Ms. Fecher said that pharmacists at Meijer who decline to fill a prescription for religious reasons must either arrange for the prescription to be filled by another pharmacist in the store or transfer the prescription to another convenient pharmacy, and any failure to do so “is in violation of our process.”
For any who might object to his firing, consider this. This uppity pill picker refused mediction to complete God's Own Abortion, commonly called a miscarriage. He really should pay more attention to the words of Jesus and not some asshole bishop.

When everything is working against you

Republican candidates in a number of important states are finding out that winning a statewide election in most cases involves more than being selected by your party. If you don't have absolute control over voter rolls and paperless voting machines you may well find the majority of voters don't want you.
Republican leaders are increasingly worried that their candidates for governor and Senate are in political trouble across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and other states that the party prizes, and that the difficulties could spill into House races that the G.O.P. needs to win in November to keep control of the chamber.

Their concerns also extend to Democratic-leaning states like California, Illinois and Virginia, where top-of-the-ticket Republicans are running well behind in polls — allowing Democrats to focus millions of dollars of spending as well as campaign time and turnout efforts in hotly contested House districts in hopes of knocking off G.O.P. incumbents.

The Republican troubles in these states reflect a confluence of factors: outgoing governors with baggage and nominees with limited charisma and appeal; Democratic advantages in fund-raising and on the key issue of health care; voter intensity fueled by opposition to President Trump; and a rival slate of Democratic candidates, particularly for governor, who are closing the fall race in a strong position.

With polls showing the top Democratic candidates leading in these states, the favorable conditions are important to the party given the Republican edge at the top of the ticket in places like Arizona, Maryland and Massachusetts and their strong chances at winning Democratic-held Senate seats in Missouri and North Dakota, which could enable them to retain or even expand their majority in the Senate.

Republicans are also focusing on winning battlegrounds like Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio, where their nominees for governor are running more evenly against Democrats. But even in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker, the G.O.P. incumbent, is battling for a third term, President Trump is coming Wednesday to try to shore up the party’s ticket, including its struggling Senate candidate, Leah Vukmir.

“Governor’s races lead the off-year ticket so they work like a big snowplow, clearing the way for the party offices below them,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist. “If you have a weak snowplow, a lot less gets through behind you”

As the G.O.P. struggles particularly in the Midwest, which President Trump sees as perhaps the most crucial part of his base, Michigan offers a vivid illustration of a crucial political dynamic: While control of Congress and the midterm implications for Mr. Trump consume attention, it is the coattails of Democrats at the top of state tickets that could dramatically reshape American politics after 2018.

In Michigan, which the president narrowly carried in 2016, the Democratic nominee for governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has become one of the year’s breakout sensations after cruising in an easier-than-expected primary and establishing a commanding general election lead. On Friday night, she campaigned in this college town with Senator Bernie Sanders to rally young voters — not because she needed help, but because Michigan Democrats now think they could flip as many as four House seats in the state and win other races to loosen the Republicans’ grip on power here.

With a landslide vote, Democrats could also flip the state legislature; restock their bench with up-and-coming politicians; lock in congressional gains by undoing Republican-led gerrymandering; and pass an initiative making it significantly easier to vote by 2020 in a state that broke Democratic hearts two years ago.
Republican style politics thanks to The Orange Humperdoo are showing themselves to be a disaster in preactice, regardless of how good they may sound. And the standard GOP FUD is sounding more and more desperate and that doesn't work on desperate people.

Come To Canada

Stephen Colbert promotes the Land of the Laughing Beaver

GOP Culture FUD

Samantha Bee on Republican Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt shit

Trump + Women + Midterms

Stephen Colbert

And they say they didn't do it

Friday, October 19, 2018

She was a Doorman

Ana Popovic

The All Important Arms Deal

From the pen of John Cole

You know the kids love you when....

From the pen of Bob Englehart

Unrest in the Cookie Factory

And the head elf Jeff Sessions not only has done nothing to halt it, he is the major source of it. And his boss The Orange Humperdoo has added his to cents worth every chance he got.
During his 20 months in office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has swept in perhaps the most dramatic political shift in memory at the Justice Department, from the civil rights-centered agenda of the Obama era to one that favors his hard-line conservative views on immigration, civil rights and social issues.

Now, discontent and infighting have taken hold at the Justice Department, in part because Mr. Sessions was so determined to carry out that transformation that he ignored dissent, at times putting the Trump administration on track to lose in court and prompting high-level departures, according to interviews over several months with two dozen current and former career department lawyers who worked under Mr. Sessions. Most asked not to be named for fear of retribution.

President Trump has exacerbated the dynamic, they said, by repeatedly attacking Mr. Sessions and the Justice Department in baldly political and personal terms. And he has castigated rank-and-file employees, which career lawyers said further chilled dissent and debate within the department.

The people interviewed — many yearslong department veterans, and a third of whom worked under both the Bush and Obama administrations — said that their concerns extended beyond any political differences they might have had with Mr. Sessions, who is widely expected to leave his post after November’s midterm elections.

“Since I’ve been a lawyer, going back to the late 1970s, I can’t recall a time when morale has been as low as I have heard from some former colleagues,” said Robert Litt, a former Justice Department official during the Clinton administration.
Justice is just a word in the department name, but the department is a powerful tool to strike at those who have been designated political and ideological targets for the little man and his demented master.

Overseeing your own election

It is possible with a scrupulously honest candidate with integrity to run an honest election for governor while remaining Secretary of State and overseeing the honesty of that election. In the current mid term elections there are 3 men in that position, all are Republican and none are considered either honest or men of integrity.
In three states, the referee for the midterm elections is also on the field as a player.

Elected secretaries of state in Georgia and Kansas — who in their official capacities oversee the elections in their states — are running for governor. Ohio’s secretary of state is running for lieutenant governor. All are Republicans.

They have faced scattered calls to resign but have refused to do so. Election reformers say the situation underscores the conflict of interest when an official has responsibilities for an election while also running as a candidate.

“There is just too much of a temptation if a political party is in a position to run the mechanics of an election to try to tilt it, and it’s a temptation we ought not to encourage,” said former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, an Indiana Democrat who spent 34 years on Capitol Hill. “This is not nuclear physics.”

While the three secretaries of state are Republican, concerns about inappropriate actions by partisans who hold the office transcend parties. An independent counsel earlier this month began investigating Kentucky’s Democratic secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, over allegations that her office accessed voter registration data to check the party affiliation of job applicants. Grimes may seek higher office next year.

Grimes father was indicted in late August for trying to funnel money into his daughter’s failed 2014 bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp faces charges of voter suppression in his state, while Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has become an emblem of a political warrior. A former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Kobach organized the Prairie Fire political action committee to attack moderate Republican candidates while serving as secretary of state.

Issues about his dual hats swirled around Kobach during the Aug. 7 primary in Kansas when he was locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination with Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer. It marked one of the closest primary races in U.S. history and came down to counting provisional ballots.

After an uproar, Kobach stepped back and put his deputy, Eric Rucker, in charge.

For the latest updates on the 2018 midterms, sign up for news alerts here. To support more elections coverage like this, click here for a digital-only subscription.

Even the Republican seeking to succeed Kobach as secretary of state has distanced himself. “Whether you like it or not, Kris has been distracted with lawsuits. He was an early part of the president’s transition team and running for governor for several years,” Republican candidate Scott Schwab said in a forum earlier this week.

Political scientists say lawsuits and perceptions of favoritism are bound to arise as the post of secretary of state is seen as a stepping stone to higher office.

“You don’t want to have a misperception that you are placing a thumb on the scale of your own election,” said Michael P. McDonald, a University of Florida elections expert who heads the United States Elections Project, a nonpartisan research and information service.

In the case of Ohio, where Secretary of State John Husted is running for lieutenant governor, a spokesman said Husted’s office is not directly responsible for counting votes.

“That is done at the local level by the bipartisan boards of elections,” spokesman Sam Rossi said. “If any issues were to arise regarding Secretary Husted as a candidate, he would recuse himself and defer that decision to the deputy secretary of state who is a former election board director in Franklin County (Ohio).”

A fourth secretary of state, Shantel Krebs, a Republican in South Dakota, ran for a seat in the U.S. House earlier this year but lost in the primary.

The issue of electoral influence goes beyond what unfolds when votes are counted.

“Election officials have a lot of discretion,” said Daniel P. Tokaji, an authority on electoral law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, adding that a variety of legal questions inevitably arise during campaigns.

“Just to give you a few that have arisen in years past, in a state that has a voter ID law, what forms of voter ID are acceptable and unacceptable? Often the statute doesn’t spell that out with perfect clarity,” Tokaji said.

“Where and when should early voting and absentee voting be allowed? Under what circumstances should provisional ballots be counted? What should be the practice when it comes to removing voters from the rolls?”
The Secretary of State doesn't necessarily have to cheat on the counting and certification of election results, he has plenty of time to prepare the field and weigh the advantages heavily in favor of..... himself. But don't think for a moment these public servants would do such a thing. No keep that thought in your head forever and rejoice anytime they do not.

How important can one man's death be ?

Stephen Colbert

They just happened to be black

Trevor Noah on GOP Voter Suppression

Putin wins

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Jeannie Becomes A Mom

Caroline Rose

Nice work if you can get it

From the pen of Adam Zyglis

A popular spokesturd

From the pen of Bruce Plante

The military sees the threat in climate change

And it has long been studying ways to deal with it as Republicans and other troglodytes continue to deny is exists. Even after a prime example of what will happen destroyed a seaside airbase in Florida, including $5.2 Billion worth of planes left because they were unflyable due to maintenance.
When Hurricane Michael wrecked much of Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla., last week, the storm exposed a significant military vulnerability. The base’s F-22 stealth fighter jets may be unmatched in the skies, but they were all but defenseless on the ground, as the powerful storm ripped apart hangars, flooded buildings and scattered debris.

Most of Tyndall’s 55 F-22s were flown away to safety before the storm hit, but 17 of the aircraft had been grounded for maintenance and could not be made airworthy in time. Those jets, worth about $5.8 billion — more than three times what it would cost to rebuild the entire base from scratch — had to be left behind, and many were damaged.

The Air Force played down the harm this week, saying that all the aircraft could be repaired. But the military has more than a dozen air bases right on the coast in storm-prone southern states, where scientists predict that hurricanes will grow more intense and more frequent because of global warming. Michael’s devastation of Tyndall raises question about how well the bases are defended against the elements.

“This threat is not new to the military — they’ve been talking about climate change for decades — and they generally learn from the latest storm,” said Lt. Gen. Arlen D. Jameson, who is retired from the Air Force and was a former deputy commander of the United States Strategic Command. “The problem is, the lessons learned going forward may be almost too painful to wait for the next lesson.”

Several factors conspired to put a tenth of the nation’s F-22 fleet at risk in Hurricane Michael. The sophisticated jets are notoriously temperamental, and at any given time, only about half the them are mission-ready, according to a recent Air Force report. The storm appeared and developed swiftly, giving maintenance crews only a few days’ warning to get as many jets airworthy as they could. And though the 17 F-22s left behind were put in hangars built to weather tropical storms, the buildings were no match for a Category 4 monster whose winds were clocked at 130 miles an hour before they broke the base’s wind gauge.

Hurricanes have been pummeling air bases since the days when the damage was measured in blimps. Hurricane Hugo ripped through Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina in 1989; Hurricane Andrew all but destroyed Homestead Air Force Base near Miami in 1992; and flooding from Hurricane Katrina caused nearly $1 billion in damage at Keesler Air Force Base on the Mississippi coast. Naval air stations and other bases have also suffered extensive flooding and other storm damage.

With more than a dozen Air Force, Navy and Marine airfields dotting the coast from Texas to Virginia, military leaders know that another disaster is only a matter of time, General Jameson said, but they may run into trouble addressing the growing threat by name because of President Trump’s outspoken skepticism about climate change.
With The Orange Humperdoo and his GOP caucus religiously denying climate change, the military has to tread carefully in trying to deal with the actual threat they see coming. And until we can get rid of the GOP, we can only be glad that the base was not home to F-35 Flying Bricks with their YUGE price tags.

Bee on Voter Suppression

Samantha Bee on the GOP's only chance to win

Mister Bone Saw

Stephen Colbert

He no longer hides his stealing

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Nothing, Not Nearly

Laura Marling

Mitch serves a larger power

From the pen of Pat Bagley

Saudi show how it's done

From the pen of Joel Pett

You get what you pay for

And in an economically depressed region of Oregon the idea of paying more in taxes was not a winner. So when a modest tax increase was called for to support their local libraries it was voted down, and their libraries closed. Now they are finding out what it takes to run a library.
All the county libraries closed in this wooded corner of Oregon when the money ran out. But believers in the power of books rejected that fate, and in town after town they jumped back into the book-lending business on their own. Or tried to.

The tiny library in Drain, population 1,000, scheduled a grand reopening party this fall after more than 18 months of darkness, but party planners had a problem as the date loomed: The library didn’t own any books. Fifty miles away, Reedsport’s librarians couldn’t get access to the old list of library card holders, so may have to build a new system from scratch. And in the city of Roseburg, a new library is preparing to open with no plans to share materials with other libraries around the county, breaking a tradition of sharing that goes back generations.

“It’s every library for themselves, and you don’t know where it’s going to lead,” said Robert Leo Heilman, a volunteer at the town library in Myrtle Creek.

The long, steep decline of the timber industry in southwest Oregon starting in the 1990s brought lean times to local governments. Then came newcomers and retirees, who were just fine with that. Low taxes and skepticism about government became part of the culture, and in Douglas County, a majority of voters in 2016 rejected a modest property tax increase to keep the 11 county libraries alive.

But anti-tax sentiment has turned out to be a patchwork in this county, which is about the size of Connecticut, with just over 100,000 residents. In recent months, some communities voted to pay to reopen or support a town library, while others insisted that volunteers alone would suffice. The result has been more tumult: A split between rural parts of the county, which mostly rejected higher taxes, and urban parts; an us-versus-them battle over who now gets to borrow library books; and general chaos, as people try to figure out the mechanics of running an institution that had long been the purview of local government.
As the appeal of Republican anarchic tax policy continues, more people are finding out what they lose when they don't pay for services they have developed a liking for.

In the manner of Trump

Theoretically politicians who have substantial investment portfolios but those portfolios in a blind trust so they will not have their decisions influenced by what will advantage them. In practice, this varies in effectiveness. Some people like The Orange Humperdoo merely go through the motions without actually shielding anything. Others, like Red Tide Rick Scott Governor of Florida, create a shell that looks good but does nothing.
Rick Scott had been governor of Florida for barely three months when questions first mounted about conflicts of interest. Fabulously wealthy but a newcomer to politics, Mr. Scott mandated random drug testing for state workers in March 2011, and was pushing the legislature to require it for welfare recipients. The Republican governor, who had made his fortune as a health care executive and investor, also proposed reorienting the state’s Medicaid system toward managed care.

As it happened, those moves would have created vast potential markets for the chain of 32 urgent-care clinics that Mr. Scott had co-founded a decade earlier, after his forced resignation as chief executive of the hospital company Columbia/HCA. News reports about the governor’s personal stake in the Solantic clinics, which he transferred to his wife shortly before taking office, stifled the momentum of his first months in office.

To shield himself from future conflict charges, Mr. Scott, who is now running to unseat the incumbent senator Bill Nelson, created a $73.8 million investment account that he called a blind trust. But an examination of Mr. Scott’s finances shows that his trust has been blind in name only. There have been numerous ways for him to have knowledge about his holdings: Among other things, he transferred many assets to his wife and neither “blinded” nor disclosed them. And their investments have included corporations, partnerships and funds that stood to benefit from his administration’s actions.

Only in late July, when compelled by ethics rules for Senate candidates, did Mr. Scott disclose his wife’s holdings. That report revealed that his wife, Ann Scott, an interior decorator by trade, controlled accounts that might exceed the value of her husband’s. Their equity investments largely mirrored each other, meaning that Mr. Scott could, if he wanted, track his own holdings by following his wife’s.

The filing revealed that the Scotts together were worth between $254.3 million and $510 million. (The Senate requires that assets be valued only in ranges.) They own a beachfront mansion in Naples, Fla., valued at $14.1 million (along with a $147,000 boathouse) and a Montana residence on 61 acres worth $1.5 million. The governor, who has banked more than $200 million in investment income while in office, forgoes his $130,000 state salary and jets across Florida in his own plane.

If he wins a tight race for the Florida seat, which is central to control of the Senate, Mr. Scott could well become the richest member of the next Congress. His broad menu of investments might regularly present conflicts that require recusal. He has declined to say whether he would use a blind trust in the Senate, where the rules controlling them are far more stringent.
Red Tide Rick came to Florida because of the protection it provides from interstate legal actions. Having orchestrated the largest Medicare fraud ever and weaseled his way out of it, he needed it. But becoming governor did not mean he would change his ways. And neither will becoming Senator, if he wins

Saudis kill Khashoggi, The Daily Show is on it

Trevor Noah

Straight from the Horse's Ass

Stephen Colbert, including a gem of wisdom from Ivanka

An Election Day Guide

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Build A Levee

Natalie Merchant

Can't be said often enough

Dancing with some friends

From the pen of Pat Bagley

A strong denial works for him

From the pen of Kevin Siers

Donny admires the windy winds

In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael The Orange Humperdoo finally deigned to appear amid the wreckage to be photographed handing out bottled water, one bottle at a time, to people who have no potable water. Unlike the last hurricane, Donny was more amazed by the damage of the windy wind than that of the wet water.
In what has become a recurring ritual of the fall, President Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, traveled here on Monday to survey the destruction of another hurricane, this one named Michael, which last week laid waste to the Florida Panhandle.

“This was beyond any winds we’ve seen for — I guess — 50 years,” Mr. Trump said, before he and Mrs. Trump handed out plastic water bottles to storm victims at an aid distribution center in this hard-hit town. “They say that 50 years ago, there was one that had this kind of power.”

“Fifty years,” he added. “It’s a long time.”

Even for a president who has now seen five hurricanes — including Harvey, which swamped Houston; Maria, which destroyed Puerto Rico; and Florence, which inundated the Carolinas — Michael left a particularly spectacular trail of wreckage along the Florida Gulf Coast.

Pine trees were uprooted and splintered — one lying across a Chevrolet sedan, others bisecting houses. Roofs had been torn off row after row of houses, blue tarps strung across the yawning holes. Windows were shattered, and even the wood siding was peeled off.

Gas stations were ripped apart — their colorful awnings carried across highways and dropped in twisted shards. In a parking lot, truck trailers were scattered like a child’s toys.

A water tower lay on its side, while some roads completely disappeared beneath a jungle of fallen trees. Next to a demolished warehouse, someone had spray-painted “Live video feed. Trespassers shot.”

After witnessing so many storms, Mr. Trump has begun to sound like an amateur meteorologist. He emphasized, for example, the fine differences between Florence, which stalled in North Carolina, inundating the state with record-shattering rain, and Michael, which raced through Florida in a few hours but with deadly winds of 155 miles per hour.

“Somebody said it was like a very wide, extremely wide tornado,” Mr. Trump said, as he stood next to Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who have both become familiar figures on these tours.

“These are massive trees that have been just ripped out of the earth,” Mr. Trump said, pointing to a tangle of uprooted pines. “We’ve seen mostly water. And water can be very damaging and scary, when you see water rising 14 or 15 feet. But nobody’s ever seen anything like this. This is really incredible.”

Still, for someone whose presidency has been interrupted repeatedly by these freakish storms, Mr. Trump remains stubbornly unwilling to acknowledge the threat of climate change.
Of course he won't acknowledge climate change. Climate change is science and science is facts and facts are deadly to a creature like The Orange Humperdoo.

15 men and a bonesaw...

Stephen Colbert

The Daily Show take on Cornerstore Caroline

Trevor Noah

Watch the mouth not the hands

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Dimming Of The Day

Mary Black

The Science Cycle

The intrepid Tom Tomorrow illustrates for us the methods of the Trumpoon Troglodytes used to dismiss science and its pesky facts.

Trump's Legacy

From the pen of Monte Wolverton

Off to a slow start

From the pen of Bill Schorr

Donny invents a convenient excuse

And his fur faced BFF Mohammad bin Salmon must be pleased as punch that the old fool is proving to be a good investment for the Saudis.
President Trump said on Monday that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that the ruler denied any knowledge of what happened to a missing Saudi dissident journalist. After the call, Mr. Trump said it was possible that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr. Trump’s comments, in a morning Twitter post and later in brief remarks to reporters, come as the Saudis have given Turkish authorities permission to search the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, where local officials believe Mr. Khashoggi, was killed and dismembered earlier this month.

Mr. Trump said his conversation with King Salman lasted about 20 minutes, and the king “firmly denied any knowledge of it.”

“It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers — who knows,” Mr. Trump said.

In introducing the possibility that another party could have been involved in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, the president opened a window for King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to stand by their denials.

If the Saudi leaders are found to be behind what happened to Mr. Khashoggi, Mr. Trump would probably face more pressure from Congress and other countries to respond.
Nothing impresses The Orange Humperdoo more than a strong denial, all the more so if it comes from a ruthless dictator. He likes dictators. And the Saudis were so nice to him, they let him wave a sword and touch their ball.

He knows nothing

When you have spent your life golfing, bragging in front of cameras and signing your name to deals that other people put together, it stands to reason you would know nothing about a very different field you want to get into. Which brings us to Donald Trump, The Orange Humperdoo. Having entered politics, he moves from one disaster to another because he knows nothing about politics and how the world works. As a result he is unaware of the impending disaste of the upcoming election.
Republicans who support President Donald Trump have grown fearful that the White House is unprepared for the onslaught that may await them in January.

If a “blue wave” succeeds in giving the Democrats control at least of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections in November, Democrats will have the power to subpoena documents and force administration officials to testify about a slew of scandals, including aides using private email for government business, agencies spending taxpayer money at Trump resorts and sexual assault allegations involving his recent Supreme Court appointment, Brett Kavanaugh.

Five Republicans with close ties to the White House said that instead of preparing for what could be a years-long attack by a newly emboldened Democratic-run Congress, Trump aides are wasting time trying to respond to non-stop controversies, Trump tweets and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Most spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely.

“You have take it seriously. It’s going to be all-out warfare,” said Scott Jennings, who was subpoenaed by the Senate when he worked for Republican George W. Bush and the Democrats took control of Congress. “It grinds the administration to a halt.”

The White House should be hiring more staff to handle the congressional inquiries, advising administration officials to retain their own attorneys and researching potential areas of vulnerabilities, ranging from the death of four U.S. soldiers in Africa to the sluggish response to Hurricane Maria, according to people who worked for Presidents Bill Clinton, Bush and Barack Obama, all presidents who faced an opposition-party Congress after their midterm elections.

And the White House should warn individual agencies — which have engaged in lavish spending and contentious policies, such as separating immigrant children from their parents — to do the same.

The White House would not respond to an inquiry about how many staff it had working in the White House counsel’s office, in the press operation or in legislative affairs.

“It’s the beginning of a nightmare,” said a former Trump adviser who remains close to the White House and is familiar with the process. “The harassment, the hearings, the requests.”

One investigation will lead to another — and another, thrusting Trump into a new phase of his presidency. He will no longer be able to govern. He will just have to try to survive, according to the aides to former presidents.

That’s why Republicans had urged Trump to tap Emmet Flood, who served as Bush’s lead lawyer in responding to congressional investigations, as White House counsel after Don McGahn leaves. Flood, who returned to the White House in the spring to represent Trump in the Russia inquiry, would have been likely to attract other much-needed lawyers.

“They are having trouble getting lawyers in because Trump shoots his mouth off and expects personal loyalty,” said Richard Painter, who worked in Bush’s White House counsel’s office and ran unsuccessfully for Senate as a Democrat this year. “He’s an impossible client.”

But Trump may have taken the advice of others who wanted Flood to remain focused on the Russia investigation when he picked Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone, who worked in the Bush Justice Department, to replace McGahn.

As the midterm elections loom, the White House is short-staffed and unprepared.
And so OH approaches the upcoming election disaster as if it were just another Big Mac. This time it could be one that chokes him.

John Oliversplains MBS and the Trump grovel

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