Friday, December 15, 2017

Since Trump won't promote it


It is up to us to share this information with anyone and everyone who can use it. Please pass it on to someone.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Waiting For The Waiter


MonaLisa Twins with John Sebastian on harp


Just a couple of Dicks


Tom Tomorrow
gives us the amazing rationalizations of a couple of old goats

Just in case


From the pen of Steve Sack



Too busy to get any work done



Elections are supposed to be about Issues


But all too often they get side tracked by things that seem important and distract the voters from what will really affect them when the winner takes office. The special Senate election in Alabama has a doozy of a distraction and the issues being ignored will hurt a lot of people.
The hospital here, the only one in the county, is planning to close this month.

The 9,000 or so people who are seen in Lakeland Community’s emergency room each year will have to go dozens of miles to Jasper or Russellville or Winfield. Eighty-seven people will need new jobs. Businesses are worried about their workers’ compensation premiums rising, and how this city of about 4,100 people will attract anyone without a hospital to help them once they are here.

“It’s a dire situation if that hospital closes,” said Holly Watkins, a real estate agent who was shopping on a downtown block already dotted by empty storefronts. “The hospital closing is the No. 1 issue.”

But during the United States Senate race that will culminate on Tuesday, the sensational has overshadowed the myriad problems in one of the nation’s poorest states. And as voters prepare to cast their ballots, they often lament the issues that have fallen outside the spotlight’s glare during the nationally watched campaign between Doug Jones and Roy S. Moore.

Those issues are still haunting Alabama in a race that has revolved almost entirely around Mr. Moore’s extreme views and the allegations against him of improper behavior with young girls.

Polls suggest that about half of the voters believe that the accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Moore, the Republican nominee, are not the most important issue in the race. For every voter who calls the allegations crucial, there is another who worries more about education, health care, job creation, same-sex marriage, race relations or the state’s roads and bridges.

The state is so often stellar in football, residents say ruefully, and not much else, a consequence of generations of bitter fights, political turbulence and eternal divides over race and class.

About 17 percent of Alabamians live in poverty — the fifth-highest rate in the country — and the state’s violence-wracked prisons are jammed to 159 percent of their intended capacity. With budget troubles a chronic fact of life, spending on Medicaid, which has not been expanded, lags. Standardized test scores are among the nation’s lowest. Heart disease and diabetes are endemic.

Last year, Marion, a rural city in central Alabama, suffered a tuberculosis outbreak so severe that its incidence rate was worse than that of many developing countries.

The infant mortality rate for 2016 rose to 9.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, the highest rate the state has seen since 2008. (The national rate was 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, the most recent year for which federal data is available.) The mortality rate was more than twice as high for black infants as white ones, and in some parts of the state, like Perry or Pickens Counties, the rate was 25.6 and 30.3.

“I think we really don’t know why it’s going up,” said Grace Thomas, the assistant state health officer for family health services with the state’s Department of Public Health, who called the rates a “key indicator of a health care system’s effectiveness” and said black, Hispanic and poor women were less likely to get the care they need.

Paris Daves, 24, said it took her several months after she found out she was pregnant last year to get on Medicaid, although she has since drawn support from an organization called Gift of Life, which works to prevent infant mortality in Montgomery. But as a young, single parent, there are other problems, too, like unreliable public transportation and low wages.
Just some of the many problems in Alabama that need fixing and no one Senator can do it but with too little discussion of the problems comes too little action. And in Alabama about the only action in the state happens on the football fields.

Senator Shelby's remarks


Morning Joe


Here's your sign



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pull You Through


Maggie Rose


GOP's monumental plans


From the pen of Brian McFadden



What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander


And with Christmas coming, who doesn't want a nice plump roast gander on the table for the feast? Certainly 3 Democratic Senators do.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and two of his Democratic colleagues have suggested that President Trump should consider resigning, after a run of sexual-harassment scandals has driven out some members of Congress.

Sen. Al Franken “felt it proper for him to resign,” Sanders said in an interview with NBC's “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, referring to the Democrat from Minnesota. “Here you have a president who has been accused by many women of assault, who says on a tape that he assaulted women. He might want to think about doing the same.”

Sanders's comment, which built on a tweet he sent last week, came after Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) suggested that the "#MeToo moment” should prompt another look at the women who accused Trump of sexual harassment during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“The president should resign because he certainly has a track record with more than 17 women of horrific conduct,” Merkley said last week in an interview for the weekday version of “Meet the Press.”

On Saturday, during his campaign swing as part of Alabama's U.S. Senate race, Booker told Vice News that the standard that brought down Franken should be applied to the president.

“I just watched Sen. Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign from his office,” Booker said. “My question is, why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing — who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward. The fact pattern on him is far more damning than the fact pattern on Al Franken.”
The sentiments are good and proper but they only work with someone who has a sense of shame and knows he did something wrong. The Tangerine Shitgibbon has neither.

You don't have to repeal everything


Leaving EPA regulations in place
in the Trump maladministration does not mean they will be enforced. Infact the best way to reward your marginal friends in place is to keep the regulations with the threat of enforcement.
The City Council moved unanimously last month to send a protest letter to the Environmental Protection Agency about a hazardous waste incinerator near downtown. Since Mr. Trump took office, the E.P.A. has not moved to punish the plant’s owner, even after extensive evidence was assembled during the Obama administration that the plant had repeatedly, and illegally, released harmful pollutants into the air.

“I don’t know where we go,” Councilman William Hogue, a retired social studies teacher, said in frustration to his fellow council members. “They haven’t resolved anything.”

Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, has said the Trump administration’s high-profile regulatory rollback does not mean a free pass for violators of environmental laws. But as the Trump administration moves from one attention-grabbing headline to the next, it has taken a significant but less-noticed turn in the enforcement of federal pollution laws.

An analysis of enforcement data by The New York Times shows that the administration has adopted a more lenient approach than the previous two administrations — Democratic and Republican — toward polluters like those in East Liverpool.

The Times built a database of civil cases filed at the E.P.A. during the Trump, Obama and Bush administrations. During the first nine months under Mr. Pruitt’s leadership, the E.P.A. started about 1,900 cases, about one-third fewer than the number under President Barack Obama’s first E.P.A. director and about one-quarter fewer than under President George W. Bush’s over the same time period.

In addition, the agency sought civil penalties of about $50.4 million from polluters for cases initiated under Mr. Trump. Adjusted for inflation, that is about 39 percent of what the Obama administration sought and about 70 percent of what the Bush administration sought over the same time period.

The E.P.A., turning to one of its most powerful enforcement tools, also can force companies to retrofit their factories to cut pollution. Under Mr. Trump, those demands have dropped sharply. The agency has demanded about $1.2 billion worth of such fixes, known as injunctive relief, in cases initiated during the nine-month period, which, adjusted for inflation, is about 12 percent of what was sought under Mr. Obama and 48 percent under Mr. Bush.

Resolving complicated pollution cases can take time, and the E.P.A. said it remained committed to ensuring companies obeyed environmental laws.

“E.P.A. and states work together to find violators and bring them back into compliance, and to punish intentional polluters,” the agency said in a statement. Officials said Mr. Pruitt was less fixated on seeking large penalties than some of his predecessors were.

“We focus more on bringing people back into compliance than bean counting,” the statement said.

Confidential internal E.P.A. documents show that the enforcement slowdown coincides with major policy changes ordered by Mr. Pruitt’s team after pleas from oil and gas industry executives.
Under Pruitt the EPA is forgoing big payaout in favor of compliance. Just because that compliance is with polluters wishes does not make it wrong, in his eyes.

A flash of morality in Alabama


The polls are close so we know that not everyone in Alabama is dickish enough to support pedophile god botherer Roy Moore. The latest and maybe decisive Republican to reaffirm his opposition to Roy Boy is Alabama Senator Richard Shelby.
Senator Richard C. Shelby, a fixture of Republican politics in Alabama for a generation, sent a clear message to his home state on Sunday when he said on national television that the party could “do better” than elect Roy S. Moore to the state’s other Senate seat in two days.

Mr. Shelby, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” stopped short of endorsing Mr. Moore’s Democratic opponent in the special election, Doug Jones, noting that he had written in the name of a “distinguished Republican” on his absentee ballot.

But his decision to air his opposition to Mr. Moore on national television so close to the election added an exclamation point to an extraordinary break from the norms of modern party politics. Mr. Shelby pointedly declined to recommend that his fellow Republicans back their nominee in the tight race — a man Mr. Shelby would have to work with in the Senate if he is elected.

“I understand where the president is coming from. I understand we would like to retain that seat,” Mr. Shelby said, referring to President Trump’s endorsement of Mr. Moore despite accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenagers.

“But I tell you what, there’s a time, we call it a tipping point,” Mr. Shelby continued. “I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip. When it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me.”

The senator has long opposed Mr. Moore, saying a month ago that he would “absolutely not” vote for the embattled candidate. As for whether many other Republicans will follow Mr. Shelby and back a write-in candidate, he said that “I think a lot of people could do that,” but added: “Will they do that? I don’t know.”

Over the past month, Mr. Moore has been repeatedly accused of harassing and assaulting teenage girls when he was a state attorney in his 30s. One of the women told The Washington Post that Mr. Moore had touched her sexually when she was 14. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The comments by Mr. Shelby, a key party figure at age 83, underscore the degree to which voters in Alabama — both for and against Mr. Moore — are viewing Tuesday’s election as a referendum on the character of the Republican Party, which dominates there, and the state itself.
Richard Shelby has been a Senator so long he started out as a Democrat. And while he won't endorse Doug Jones, he will hopefully turn enough heads to save Alabama from a national embarassment.

Kids say the damndest things


SNL cold open


Roy Moore clogs up Weekend Update


SNL


It's ordained




Saturday, December 09, 2017

America Religious


Caroline Rose


ISP's rely on their Ajit Pai Pal


From the pen of Jeff Danziger



R.I.P. Tracy Stallard


Your one earned run on Oct 1 1961 was a homer to Roger Maris, his 61st.

Drug prices are a crap shoot


In the modern world of pharmaceutical dispensing, the price to the consumer may not be as good as he/she thinks it is. And this is the result of negotiations with manufacturers and determinations of profit levels by middlemen. The results can be shocking.
Patrik Swanljung found this out when he went to fill a prescription for a generic cholesterol drug. In May, Mr. Swanljung handed his Medicare prescription card to the pharmacist at his local Walgreens and was told that he owed $83.94 for a three-month supply.

Alarmed at that price, Mr. Swanljung went online and found Blink Health, a start-up, offering the same drug — generic Crestor — for $45.89.

It had struck a better deal than did his insurer, UnitedHealthcare. “It’s completely ridiculous,” said Mr. Swanljung, 72, who lives in Anacortes, Wash.

In an era when drug prices have ignited public outrage and insurers are requiring consumers to shoulder more of the costs, people are shocked to discover they can sometimes get better deals than their own insurers. Behind the seemingly simple act of buying a bottle of pills, a host of players — drug companies, pharmacies, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers — are taking a cut of the profits, even as consumers are left to fend for themselves, critics say.

Although there are no nationwide figures to track how often consumers could have gotten a better deal on their own, one industry expert estimated that up to 10 percent of drug transactions involve such situations. If true nationwide, that figure could total as many 400 million prescriptions a year. The system has become so complex that “there’s no chance that a consumer can figure it out without help,” said the expert, Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions, whose company is paid by employers to help them lower workers’ drug costs.

Pharmacy benefit managers, the companies that deal with drug benefits on behalf of insurers, often do negotiate better prices for consumers, particularly for brand-name medications, Mr. Rea said, but that’s not necessarily true for some generic drugs. Insurers’ clients are frequently employers overseeing large numbers of workers, and the companies are focused on overall costs. So when insurers seek deals for generic drugs, they do so in batches, reaching agreements for groups of different drugs rather than getting the lowest price on every drug.

As a result of these complicated layers of negotiation — which are not made public — different insurers end up paying different prices for individual drugs. Further compounding confusion for consumers, some insurers require a set co-payment for each prescription — say, $15 or $20 — even when the insurer reimburses the pharmacy at a much cheaper rate.

Several companies have emerged to capitalize on consumer anger over the confusing variations in price. The players include not only Blink Health and its better-known competitor GoodRx, but also veteran businesses like the benefit manager Express Scripts, which recently helped to start a subsidiary aimed at cash-paying consumers. Amazon, the online behemoth, is also said to be considering whether to join the fray.

Last Sunday, CVS Health announced plans to merge with health insurer Aetna, a move that would create a corporate behemoth that many have said would have little incentive to serve the needs of regular people. Some consumers say their experience with CVS already demonstrates how easy it is to fall through the cracks. In one case, a customer whose plan was managed by CVS Caremark, the drug benefit manager, would have had to pay more for a drug through her plan at a CVS than what she ended up paying at the same store, with a coupon from GoodRx.
The wild, wild free market among the dealers with precious little consideration for the consumer. And very little the consumer can do to find the best deal.

Yeah, about that North Korea


Samantha Bee takes a very interesting look at the northern half of The Hermit Kingdom.


A bit of Cicerone wisdom



Friday, December 08, 2017

I've Been Loving You Too Long


Etta James


Moore and Less


From the pen of Jack Ohman



A cruel number game


Since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, the official death toll according to the ineffective, bumbling Trump administration is 62. According to the Demographic Registry of Puerto Rico the number of dead was 1,062 above the normal numbers for the same period. And the final numbers for October have not yet been tallied.
A review by The New York Times of daily mortality data from Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau indicates a significantly higher death toll after Hurricane Maria than the government there has acknowledged.

The death toll continued to climb for weeks after the storm struck as the recovery dragged on. Hospitals struggled to keep clinics open. And officials still have not restored power across the island in the more than two months after Maria made landfall.

The Times’s analysis found that in the 42 days since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, 1,052 more people than usual died across the island. The analysis compared the number of deaths for each day in 2017 with the average of the number of deaths for the same days in 2015 and 2016.

Officially, just 62 people died as a result of the storm that ravaged the island with nearly 150-mile-an-hour winds, cutting off power to 3.4 million Puerto Ricans. The last four fatalities were added to the death toll on Dec. 2.

“Before the hurricane, I had an average of 82 deaths daily. That changes from Sept. 20 to 30th. Now I have an average of 118 deaths daily,” Wanda Llovet, the director of the Demographic Registry in Puerto Rico, said in a mid-November interview. Since then, she said on Thursday, both figures have increased by one.

Data for October are not yet complete, and the number of deaths recorded in that month is expected to rise. Record-keeping has been delayed because Puerto Rico’s power grid is operating at less than 70 percent of its capacity and swaths of the island still do not have power.

The Times estimates that in the three weeks after the storm, the toll was 739 deaths. If all those additional deaths were to be counted as related to the hurricane, it would make Maria the sixth deadliest hurricane since 1851.

The method used to count official storm deaths varies by state and locality. In some parts of the United States, medical examiners include only direct deaths, such as those caused by drowning in floodwaters. In Puerto Rico, however, Mr. Pesquera said, the medical examiner includes deaths caused indirectly by storms, such as suicides. That is why the gap between the official death toll and the hundreds of additional deaths is so striking.

A study, which has not been peer-reviewed, by a Pennsylvania State University professor and an independent researcher estimated that the death toll could be 10 times higher than the government’s official count.

The Center for Investigative Journalism reported on Thursday that another estimate, from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies of The City University of New York, found that 1,065 more people than usual died in the months of September and October.
Many of the deaths are not directly related to the storm, as in having your house collapse on you, but the lack of electricity and access after the storm had a profound negative effect on people like diabetics who could not keep their insulin safe or get more when their supply was used up.

The Congressional Cosby


Samantha looks at The Great GOP Tax Scam


Trevor Noah lets his inner New Yorker out


And praises an excellent TV journalist's response.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Give A Damn


Lacy Green


They couldn't take any more


From the pen of Kevin Siers



R.I.P. Jean-Philippe Smet


As Johnny Hallyday you ruled the musical roost in Europe for so many years.

Something you don't see every day


Michael Slager, the North Charleston police officer caught on video murdering an unarmed black man who was running away from him, has been sentenced to 20 years after a federal judge ruled his actions were murder.
Michael T. Slager, the white police officer whose video-recorded killing of an unarmed black motorist in North Charleston, S.C., starkly illustrated the turmoil over racial bias in American policing, was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison, after the judge in the case ruled that the shooting had been a murder.

The sentence was pronounced in Federal District Court in Charleston about seven months after Mr. Slager pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of Walter L. Scott when he shot and killed him in April 2015. It concluded one of the few cases in which a police officer has been prosecuted for an on-duty shooting.

Federal prosecutors had urged that Mr. Slager be sentenced to life in prison for a shooting that they contended amounted to second-degree murder. Mr. Slager’s defense lawyers, as well as the United States Probation Office, had recommended that the federal judge in the case, David C. Norton, treat the shooting as akin to voluntary manslaughter instead.

On Thursday, the fourth day of the sentencing proceedings, Judge Norton said he had concluded that the killing should be considered murder.

Although the sentence fell short of what prosecutors had sought, the fact that Mr. Slager was convicted of any crime at all in the case made it a milestone in the national debate about police conduct. Other killings by police officers, from Baltimore to Charlotte, N.C., and Ferguson, Mo., have prompted protests and some changes in police practice, but have not led to convictions.
Imagine that! 20 years despite the obvious fact that Walter Scott was a total threat to Officer Slager as he ran away. Will miracles never cease?

We could say Donny pulled one out of his ass


But the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of the rogue state of Israel and move our embassy there can be traced back to the products Shelly Adelson's morning squats. Everybody with more brains than a Trump son counseled against the move. One huge contributor, Shelly, had the Jerusalem wet dream in his head for years.
Ten days before Donald J. Trump took office, Sheldon G. Adelson went to Trump Tower for a private meeting. Afterward, Mr. Adelson, the casino billionaire and Republican donor, called an old friend, Morton A. Klein, to report that Mr. Trump told him that moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a major priority.

“He was very excited, as was I,” said Mr. Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, a hard-line pro-Israel group. “This is something that’s in his heart and soul.”

The two men had to wait nearly a year, but on Wednesday, Mr. Trump stood beneath a portrait of George Washington to announce that he was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and setting in motion a plan to move the embassy to the fiercely contested Holy City.

“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise,” he said, “they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

For Mr. Trump, the status of Jerusalem was always more a political imperative than a diplomatic dilemma. Faced with disappointing evangelical and pro-Israel backers like Mr. Adelson, or alarming allies and Arab leaders while jeopardizing his own peace initiative, the president sided with his key supporters.

In doing so, Mr. Trump invited opprobrium from foreign leaders, who said the move was reckless and self-defeating. He also acted against the counsel of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who worried about anti-American blowback, not least to diplomats and troops serving overseas.

Mr. Trump conceded the provocative nature of his decision. But as he has before, whether in pulling the United States from the Paris climate accord or disavowing the Iran nuclear deal, the president on Wednesday seemed to relish playing a familiar role: the political insurgent, defying foreign policy orthodoxy on behalf of the people who elected him.

“People are waking up to the fact that the president doesn’t see grays and doesn’t like pastels,” said Christopher Ruddy, a conservative news media executive and friend of Mr. Trump’s. “He is very proud that he’s fulfilled so many campaign promises, and the embassy decision is another notch on his belt.”

Mr. Trump’s handling of the embassy question was not unlike his handling of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he reluctantly certified the first time before disavowing it the second time the issue came up.

Under a 1995 law, the president is required to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless, citing national security concerns, he signs a waiver, which has to be renewed every six months. The first time he faced that decision, in June, Mr. Trump grudgingly signed it.
Donny will need lots of cash for his legal defense so he can run again in 2020. Shelly is now very happy and will probably give Donny lots of money.

It's all in the teeth


Trevor Noah comes down on the side of Donny's dentures


All you can do is you do what you have to do


Seth Meyers shows us what Trump means when he says crime.


Black shirts or leather trench coats?



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Will probably exceed his quota this month.


From the pen of Jim Morin



Let Me Stay


Heather Maloney


R.I.P. Christine Keeler


I still remember when you were unjustly proclaimed as the worst carpenter in England, one screw and the whole Cabinet fell apart. So unfair.

The Mick works quickly


And Mick Mulvaney is making The Tangerine Shitgibbon proud of appointing him. Already the first crucial steps to allowing the financial industry to escape any restraint on their various cheats and frauds are having an effect.
After a nearly three-year legal skirmish, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared to have been victorious. A judge agreed in September with the bureau that a financial company had misled more than 100,000 mortgage customers. As punishment, the judge ordered the Ohio company, Nationwide Biweekly Administration, to pay nearly $8 million in penalties.

All that was left was to collect the cash. Last week, lawyers from the consumer bureau filed an 11-page brief asking the judge to force Nationwide to post an $8 million bond while the proceedings wrapped up.

Then Mick Mulvaney was named the consumer bureau’s acting director.

Barely 48 hours later, the same lawyers filed a new two-sentence brief. Their request: to withdraw their earlier submission and no longer take a position on whether Nationwide should put up the cash.

It was a subtle but unmistakable sign that the consumer bureau under Mr. Mulvaney is headed in a new direction — one that takes a lighter touch to regulating the financial industry. The reversal is part of a broad push by the Trump administration to unfetter companies from Obama-era regulations.

Inside the agency, change has been swift. Mr. Mulvaney briefly stopped approval of payments to some victims of financial crime, halted hiring, froze all new rule-making and ordered a review of active investigations and lawsuits. Some, he has indicated, will be abandoned.

“This place will be different, under my leadership and under whoever follows me,” Mr. Mulvaney said Monday about an agency that he previously denounced as a “sad, sick” example of bureaucracy gone amok.

Mr. Mulvaney took over leadership of the bureau, created in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, less than two weeks ago. The abrupt resignation of Richard Cordray, the bureau’s longtime director, who had been appointed by President Barack Obama, set off an extraordinary public fight for control of the agency. The battle pitted Mr. Mulvaney, who was named acting director by President Trump, against Leandra English, the bureau’s deputy director under Mr. Cordray. While Mr. Trump can appoint his own director, confirmation could take months. Until then, the acting director is in charge.

Last week, a federal judge ruled in Mr. Mulvaney’s favor, denying an emergency motion that Ms. English had filed to stop the White House from selecting a temporary director. The lawsuit is continuing.

The bureau has been investigating Santander, the giant Spanish bank, for overcharging auto loan customers. Given the tenor of recent conversations inside the bureau, agency lawyers suspect the investigation could be shelved under Mr. Mulvaney, according to four people with knowledge of the case who requested anonymity to discuss an investigation.
It appears that financial crime will soon run rampant and unfettered across the land. There is still uncertainty as to whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be required to cheerlead for the financial criminals over the public.

GOP Chaos Theory


The major political parties pay good money to prepare long term plans for their future and provide a framework for political decisions to be made in a coherent fashion. And then along came Trump who, on the Republican side, knocked all that into a cocked hat.
President Trump’s sudden decision on Monday to endorse Roy S. Moore and direct the Republican National Committee to restore funding for the embattled Senate candidate in Alabama undercut party officials who have disavowed him.

But it did not surprise them.

Mr. Trump’s improvisational, and often impulsive, political decision making has become so routine that Republican leaders now accept that there will be days when he suddenly endorses and telephones candidates, including one accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.

On Tuesday, Senate leaders appeared dismayed about — but also resigned to — being linked to Mr. Moore’s candidacy. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, conceded that he could not stop Mr. Moore, a former state judge, from being seated if he won the special election next Tuesday. But in an illustration of how uneasy Senate Republicans are about Mr. Moore joining their ranks, Mr. McConnell pointedly said that if Mr. Moore was elected, “he would immediately have an issue with the Ethics Committee.”

As the party prepares for a midterm election that could bring a fierce backlash against a historically unpopular president, Republicans are growing more alarmed that a difficult race could be made worse without some semblance of planning to avert more discord.

Some top party officials say they are worried that the political environment may prove punishing enough to cost Republicans control of the House.

But an organization that can fend off such a landslide does not appear in the offing. In a departure from every modern White House, Mr. Trump himself largely dictates whom to back and how to support his preferred candidates. Even before tensions between the president and Senate Republicans flared back up over Mr. Moore’s candidacy, there was little regular communication between West Wing officials and Republicans overseeing the 2018 races, Republicans say.

The scheduled meetings between the White House, the Republican National Committee and the House and Senate campaign committees stopped months ago. Congressional officials find it difficult to get presidential signoffs for even small requests like using Mr. Trump’s name in direct-mail appeals, according to party officials. And less than a month until the election year begins, he has not scheduled a single fund-raiser for a candidate running for the House, Senate or governor.

Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, did not address the specifics of the relationship between the administration and the party, but said, “The president has led the R.N.C. toward record-breaking fund-raising, helped the party go 5-0 in special elections, and is leading the effort to elect Republican candidates running for office up and down the ballot.”

Some top strategists involved with the midterm elections, including officials with the pre-eminent Republican Senate “super PAC,” say they have yet to set foot in the White House for political planning sessions. A Trump adviser insisted that meetings were taking place, but said that for legal reasons, they were not happening at the White House.

“What’s lacking is a central hierarchy in any decision making, which is critical to candidates across country,” said Scott Reed, the senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a veteran of decades of campaigns. “You have this feeling that no one is fully in charge of Republican politics.”
One thing should be clear, when it comes to the immediate moment, The Tangeringe Shitgibbon is in charge. Just don't ask him to plan beyond the next bucket of KFC.

If you have to ask their Mother...


Stephen Colbert explains again what is wrong with Roy Moore


The Men Behind The Trump


Seth Meyers reviews one of Donny's bigger hires.


Roy was hard when he did it.



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