Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Pin A Rose


Kim Richey


Staunch defenders of .........


From the pen of R J Matson



Evolution before our eyes


From the pen of Kevin Siers



Congress doesn't do anything


So it makes sense for Cheeto Mussolini to usurp the congressional power to levy or cut taxes. It also makes his wealth base very happy when they get another $100 Billion that the proles have to pay for.
The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The Treasury Department could change the definition of “cost” for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells.

“If it can’t get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we’ll consider that,” Mr. Mnuchin said, emphasizing that he had not concluded whether the Treasury Department had the authority to act alone. “We are studying that internally, and we are also studying the economic costs and the impact on growth.”

Currently, capital gains taxes are determined by subtracting the original price of an asset from the price at which it was sold and taxing the difference, usually at 20 percent. If a high earner spent $100,000 on stock in 1980, then sold it for $1 million today, she would owe taxes on $900,000. But if her original purchase price was adjusted for inflation, it would be about $300,000, reducing her taxable “gain” to $700,000. That would save the investor $40,000.

The move would face a near-certain court challenge. It could also reinforce a liberal critique of Republican tax policy at a time when Republicans are struggling to sell middle-class voters on the benefits of the tax cuts that President Trump signed into law late last year.

“At a time when the deficit is out of control, wages are flat and the wealthiest are doing better than ever, to give the top 1 percent another advantage is an outrage and shows the Republicans’ true colors,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Furthermore, Mr. Mnuchin thinks he can do it on his own, but everyone knows this must be done by legislation.”

Capital gains taxes are overwhelmingly paid by high earners, and they were untouched in the $1.5 trillion tax law that Mr. Trump signed last year. Independent analyses suggest that more than 97 percent of the benefits of indexing capital gains for inflation would go to the top 10 percent of income earners in America. Nearly two-thirds of the benefits would go to the super wealthy — the top 0.1 percent of American income earners.

Making the change by fiat would be a bold use of executive power — one that President George Bush’s administration considered and rejected in 1992, after concluding that the Treasury Department did not have the power to make the change on its own. Larry Kudlow, the chairman of the National Economic Council, has long advocated it.

Conservative advocates for the plan say that even if it is challenged in court, it could still goose the economy by unleashing a wave of asset sales. “No matter what the courts do, you’ll get the main economic benefit the day, the month after Treasury does this,” said Ryan Ellis, a tax lobbyist in Washington and former tax policy director at Americans for Tax Reform.
To paraphrase that paragon of executive virtue, Richard Nixon, 'If Trump does it, it must be legal'.

Make him swear on his phone


Trevor Noah (with book plug)


Information of any kind makes Trump mad


Stephen Colbert reveals Giuliani has sex with underage goats


Don't forget Donny's backup



Monday, July 30, 2018

Peaceful Easy Feeling


Kate Wolf


Tom Tomorrow Today



One word he can spell by himself


From the pen of Ed WExler



3 are known to still exist


From the pen of Rob Rogers



Parading in style


Queen Elizabeth may have her gilded carriage for those fancy state processions, but when New York throws a parade for you, you get to ride in imperial splendor, 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton splendor to be exact.
It is not built for speed. It burns through gas. And it is too big to park on any street.

But none of that matters when it is a 1952 Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton.

The open-air car in glossy black with red leather seats is New York City’s official parade car and the grande dame of the 30,000 vehicles in the nation’s largest municipal fleet. It stretches 20 feet from front to back to seat up to eight passengers, and it comes with its very own red-carpet floor. It has only one job: ushering V.I.P.s through blizzards of ticker tape on Broadway.

For more than six decades, its back seat has been filled with a who’s who of world leaders and celebrities. It gave rides to the Apollo 11 astronauts, the American hostages freed from Iran and the Yankees fresh off a World Series win — and another and another. It introduced the city to Van Cliburn, escorted John Glenn twice and ferried the kings and queens of Greece, Denmark, Thailand and Nepal through the streets.

“It’s really a piece of city history,” said Lisette Camilo, the commissioner of the Citywide Administrative Services Department, the official caretaker of the parade car. “It’s a touchpoint. It puts New York City at the heart of world events.”

The 1952 Phaeton was one of only three that Chrysler made — part of a tradition of custom-made parade cars that once carried the newsmakers of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s in grand style, all while showing off Chrysler’s latest design in the ultimate bit of product placement. No need to advertise with Queen Elizabeth II, John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and Joe DiMaggio in the car.

“Cars are artifacts, just like pre-Columbian pottery and Impressionist paintings, but we understand that they have a functional component — which is the reason they were built to begin with,” Mr. Kendall said.

New York’s Phaeton is so prized that it is housed in its own shed in Brooklyn and has its own entourage. It is escorted at all times by a car in front and in back, to ensure no one runs into it. A flatbed truck is sent along when it goes to other boroughs and beyond, in case of a breakdown.
That beautiful Phaeton has seen its share of celebrities and it has broken down on duty only once, when Rudy Giuliani was in it. 'Nuff said.

Roy Moore & The Pedophile Detector


Sacha Cohen hits a home run


Fuck You Facebook


John Oliver


And about that parade



Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hannah Hunt


I'm With Her


And he helped


From the pen of Jim Morin



Works for Bibi Works for Donny


From the pen of Avi Katz



See how long this lasts


The new head of Veterans Affairs has a plan to improve the Dept. It involves getting rid of Trumpoons currently poisoning the department.
In one of his first acts as President Trump’s Veterans Affairs secretary, Robert Wilkie intends to reassign several high-ranking political appointees at the center of the agency’s ongoing morale crisis and staffing exodus, according to three people familiar with his plans.

Wilkie, who will be sworn in Monday, wants to form his own leadership team, these people say, and to ease lawmakers’ continued concern that VA, historically a nonpartisan corner of the government, has become highly politicized. He discussed the proposed personnel moves with Trump in recent days aboard Air Force One, while en route to a veterans convention in Kansas City, Mo., said an official close to the White House who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Announcements could come as soon as this week, pending approval from the White House Personnel Office.

Carla Gleason, a spokeswoman for Wilkie, declined to comment on specific reassignments, saying in an email this past week that “any leadership changes will be announced next week.” VA officials referred a request for comment to the White House press office, which did not respond.

John Hoellwarth, communications director for AMVETS, an advocacy group with more than 250,000 members, praised Wilkie for acting quickly to ensure that VA “is driven by a desire to serve veterans first.”

“Over the last year at VA, widely publicized internal political turmoil among senior officials has gotten in the way of serving veterans,” Hoellwarth said, “and it seems like Wilkie is acting decisively to stamp that out on his watch.”

The changes would sideline much of VA’s interim leadership team under acting secretary Peter O’Rourke, who drew unfavorable reviews from lawmakers in both political parties following a dispute with the agency’s inspector general and a Washington Post report that highlighted O’Rourke’s efforts to purge civil servants and some political appointees whom he and others installed by Trump deemed unsupportive of the president’s agenda.
It all sounds good but will it be allowed to stand?

Another fox watching the hen house


It does make sense to have someone familiar with everything involved in Superfund clean up to run the program. It might not be a good idea to select someone intimately connected with one of the Superfunds biggest customers. All the more so as he will probably return to defending those who would dump their filth wherever they please and walk away.
The lawyer nominated to run the Superfund toxic cleanup program is steeped in the complexities of restoring polluted rivers and chemical dumps. He spent more than a decade on one of the nation’s most extensive cleanups, one involving Dow Chemical’s sprawling headquarters in Midland, Mich.

But while he led Dow’s legal strategy there, the chemical giant was accused by regulators, and in one case a Dow engineer, of submitting disputed data, misrepresenting scientific evidence and delaying cleanup, according to internal documents and court records as well as interviews with more than a dozen people involved in the project.

The lawyer, Peter C. Wright, was nominated in March by President Trump to be assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency overseeing the Superfund program, which was created decades ago to clean up the nation’s most hazardous toxic waste sites. He is already working at the agency in an advisory role as he awaits congressional approval. If confirmed, Mr. Wright would also oversee the emergency response to chemical spills and other hazardous releases nationwide.

E.P.A. officials pointed to Mr. Wright’s expertise in environmental law and his tenure at Dow as valuable qualifications. The White House on Saturday referred questions to the E.P.A.

He spent 19 years at Dow, one of the world’s largest chemical makers, and once described himself in a court deposition as “the company’s dioxin lawyer.” He was assigned to the Midland cleanup in 2003, and later became a lead negotiator in talks with the E.P.A. It was during his work on the cleanup that the agency criticized Dow for the cleanup delays, testing lapses and other missteps.

For more than a century, the Dow complex manufactured a range of products including Saran wrap, Styrofoam, Agent Orange and mustard gas. Over time, Dow released effluents into the Tittabawassee River, leading to dioxin contamination stretching more than 50 miles along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers and into Lake Huron.

Dow, which merged with rival DuPont last year, is among the companies most affected by Superfund cleanups nationwide, E.P.A. data shows. The combined company is listed as potentially having responsibility in almost 14 percent of sites on the E.P.A.’s list of priority Superfund cleanups, or 171 locations nationwide.
It is nice that he has said he will recuse himself from any Dow related issues but let's get real, he can make what he wants known without any official involvement. And anyone who wants to advance would do well to please the boss. And anything he does as head of Superfund will be as much to impress future employers after his government work is done and I doubt he will work for anyone wanting a clean environment.

She is a Winner!


Trevor Noah with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


If cheeseburgers had tits


Samantha Bee compares Watergate with Trump's many scandals


Let us pretend to pray




Saturday, July 28, 2018

Look Away


Larkin Poe
Music starts around 1:23


Trump is building a wall


From the pen of Monte Wolvereton



Nothing but nice allowed


From the pen of Joel Pett



And Jared too


From the pen of Jack Ohman



They own our electricity


And unlike days gone by, the Russian hackers seeking control over our power grid are not seeking to steal the power, merely to remind Agent Orange whose puppet he is.
tate-sponsored Russian hackers appear far more interested this year in demonstrating that they can disrupt the American electric utility grid than the midterm elections, according to United States intelligence officials and technology company executives.

Despite attempts to infiltrate the online accounts of two Senate Democrats up for re-election, intelligence officials said they have seen little activity by Russian military hackers aimed at either major American political figures or state voter registration systems.

By comparison, according to intelligence officials and executives of the companies that oversee the world’s computer networks, there is surprisingly far more effort directed at implanting malware in the electrical grid.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence findings, but their conclusions were confirmed by several executives of technology and technology security firms.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security reported that over the last year, Russia’s military intelligence agency had infiltrated the control rooms of power plants across the United States. In theory, that could enable it to take control of parts of the grid by remote control.

While the department cited “hundreds of victims” of the attacks, far more than they had previously acknowledged, there is no evidence that the hackers tried to take over the plants, as Russian actors did in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.

In interviews, American intelligence officials said that the department had understated the scope of the threat. So far the White House has said little about the intrusions other than raise the fear of such breaches to maintain old coal plants in case they are needed to recover from a major attack.

On Friday, President Trump was briefed on government efforts to protect the coming midterm elections from what a White House statement described as “malign foreign actors.” It said it was giving cybersecurity support to state and local governments to protect their election systems.

“The president has made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation state to other malicious actors,” the statement said.
In days gone by a real American President would have put considerable effort into protecting the power grid. As President, all Agent Orange's venues have reliable backuo power, more than enough to keep his golf carts charged up so what does he care.

New plan same as the old plan


And when you resurrerect old plans they have a habit of working the second time around about as well as they did the first time. Such is the fate of our Imperial War Junket in Shitholeistan.
The Trump administration is urging American-backed Afghan troops to retreat from sparsely populated areas of the country, officials said, all but ensuring the Taliban will remain in control of vast stretches of the country.

The approach is outlined in a previously undisclosed part of the war strategy that President Trump announced last year, according to three officials who described the documents to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. It is meant to protect military forces from attacks at isolated and vulnerable outposts, and focuses on protecting cities such as Kabul, the capital, and other population centers.

The withdrawal resembles strategies embraced by both the Bush and Obama administrations that have started and stuttered over the nearly 17-year war. It will effectively ensure that the Taliban and other insurgent groups will hold on to territory that they have already seized, leaving the government in Kabul to safeguard the capital and cities such as Kandahar, Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif and Jalalabad.

The retreat to the cities is a searing acknowledgment that the American-installed government in Afghanistan remains unable to lead and protect the country’s sprawling rural population. Over the years, as waves of American and NATO troops have come and left in repeated cycles, the government has slowly retrenched and ceded chunks of territory to the Taliban, cleaving Afghanistan into disparate parts and ensuring a conflict with no end in sight.

When he announced his new war strategy last year, Mr. Trump declared that Taliban and Islamic State insurgents in Afghanistan “need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms.”

After the declared end of combat operations in 2014, most American troops withdrew to major population areas in the country, leaving Afghan forces to defend remote outposts. Many of those bases fell in the following months.

During a news conference last month in Brussels, Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of the American-led coalition in Afghanistan, said remote outposts were being overrun by the Taliban, which was seizing local forces’ vehicles and equipment.

“There is a tension there between what is the best tactic militarily and what are the needs of the society,” General Nicholson said.

The strategy depends on the Afghan government’s willingness to pull back its own forces. A Defense Department official said some Afghan commanders have resisted the American effort to do so, fearing local populations would feel betrayed.
And local populations believe that the Americans drop fewer bombs on government forces than on the Taliban. This belief has yet to be proven.

When you make Comcast look good


Stephen Colbert on the usual Trump shit


Luck of the Orange



Friday, July 27, 2018

Come Through


The Regrettes


The Olde Cheshire Cat Fakement Revisited


From the pen of Kevin Siers



The con continues


From the pen og Steve Sack



Prayer or politics ?


The National Prayer Breakfast
was always nothing more than a political schmooze fest for sky pilots and politicians looking for some cred with their local cults back home. Lately the schmoozing has taken on something of an international flavor.
With a lineup of prayer meetings, humanitarian forums and religious panels, the National Prayer Breakfast has long brought together people from all over the world for an agenda built around the teachings of Jesus.

But there on the guest list in recent years was Maria Butina, looking to meet high-level American officials and advance the interests of the Russian state, and Yulia Tymoshenko, a Ukranian opposition leader, seeking a few minutes with President Trump to burnish her credentials as a presidential prospect back home.

Their presence at the breakfast illuminates the way the annual event has become an international influence-peddling bazaar, where foreign dignitaries, religious leaders, diplomats and lobbyists jockey for access to the highest reaches of American power.

The subculture around the breakfast was thrust into the spotlight last week with the indictment of Ms. Butina, who was charged with conspiring to act as a Russian agent. Her goals, prosecutors said, included gaining access to the breakfast “to establish a back channel of communication” between influential Russians and Americans “to promote the political interests of the Russian Federation.”

Ms. Butina’s spy-thriller-like tactics hint at the more widespread, if less sensational, international maneuvering that pervades the prayer breakfast, and the lucrative opportunities it creates for Washington’s corps of lobbyists and fixers, according to more than half a dozen people who have been involved in peddling access around the event.

Ahead of Mr. Trump’s first appearance at the breakfast last year, some of the people said, foreign politicians clamored for tickets, with some offering to pay steep fees to get into the event and the myriad gatherings on its sidelines.

One lobbyist, Herman J. Cohen, offered what he billed as an exclusive invitation to last year’s breakfast, and three days of meetings around it, to an African leader for $220,000.

“Several contacts will be made with American authorities for official meetings with you as President of Chad and President in office of the African Union,” Mr. Cohen promised in a proposal, calling the breakfast “a special occasion to get to know and converse directly with the President of the U.S.” The letter, written in French, was sent to President Idriss Déby of Chad in December of 2016, and later obtained by The New York Times.

“It’s an opportunity,” Mr. Cohen said of the event. “If I go to the prayer breakfast, I have a good chance of maybe shaking the president’s hand or talking to him for two minutes.”

“In a way, it bypasses protocols,” he added, “but in a way, it is taking advantage of people being present in the same venue.” Such invitations to foreign leaders, he said, are “very useful to them back home.”
Praise Jesus and Pass The Influence. Another reason to tax the churches.

One Trump appointee cares about the air he breathes


And it is symbolic of the abysmal thinking of the Trump administration that there was such a rule to overturn.
Andrew R. Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has reversed the final policy act of his predecessor, Scott Pruitt: granting a loophole that would have allowed more highly polluting trucks on the nation’s roads.

Mr. Wheeler’s decision, outlined in a memo to his top air policy staff, formally vacates the move Mr. Pruitt made on his last day in office, earlier this month, before resigning amid a host of ethics investigations. Mr. Pruitt had told manufacturers that the agency would not enforce a cap on what are known as “glider” trucks — vehicles with older and less efficient engines installed.

“I have concluded that the application of current regulations to the glider industry does not represent the kind of extremely unusual circumstances that support the E.P.A.’s exercise of enforcement discretion,” Mr. Wheeler wrote.

Mr. Wheeler has worked during his first three weeks as the E.P.A.’s acting chief to put distance between himself and Mr. Pruitt stylistically by addressing his staff, issuing a public schedule of his activities and taking questions from journalists. The about-face on gliders represents the first sign that Mr. Wheeler may seek to distinguish himself from Mr. Pruitt on policy as well.
The battle is not over but for this time, the casual acceptance of filthy air by the Trump administration has been stayed.

How do you seperate over 3000 kids from their parents


And then have the gall to say any of those families ripped apart by fascist thugs are not eligible for reunification? I frankly do not know but it is the basis of the federal border thugocracy's claim that they met a court ordered reunification mandate after less that half the families were reunited.
The federal government reported Thursday that it would meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite the last “eligible” migrant families separated at the Southwest border, but hundreds of children remained in federal custody as a result of a contentious immigration policy that has drawn international condemnation.

Officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reunited 1,442 of the last group of children with their families and said they expected to complete all “eligible” reunifications by midnight Thursday, Pacific time.

“By the court deadline this evening, we are on track to reunite all eligible parents within ICE custody,” said Chris Meekins, chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services.

But in a day that saw government officials and community volunteers scrambling to bring families together, multiple reports of failed reunifications raised questions about whether the deadline had in fact been met. Further confusing the issue was a change in the way the government tallied its progress, with the latest report counting children rather than parents, a reversal from prior reports.

“The data is dynamic,” a government official said of the discrepancy in a conference call with reporters.

Even if Thursday’s deadline was met, the government’s work to address the effects of the family separation policy was far from over. The parents who were deemed eligible for reunification represent only about a third of all those who were separated from their children after crossing the border, a practice that began last summer and escalated in May.

At least 711 other parents of children older than 5 were not cleared to recover their children this week because they failed criminal background or parental verification checks. The parents of 46 children under 5 years of age were similarly excluded.

The parents of about 431 children appeared to have been deported without them, and the government has yet to find the parents. Their futures, along with those of at least 94 other children whose parents’ locations were ”under case file review,” according to court records, remain uncertain.

“The only deadline they are meeting is the one they have set for themselves,” said Lee Gelernt, lead counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a federal lawsuit challenging the family separations. “The government should not be getting applause for cleaning up their own mess, but moreover, they’re still not meeting the deadline for all the families.”

The reunifications have unfolded in chaotic scenes across the country. Many have been concentrated in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where families have been funneled into federal offices that were designated as “staging facilities,” overwhelming local resources to the extent that some parents have had to wait days after arriving to rejoin their children.

At one such facility in South Texas, the Port Isabel Detention Center, the government has been labeling some parents as “released” while they are still in custody, according to Bethany Carson, who works for Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit advocacy group in Austin.

Ms. Carson said that hundreds of parents were sent to Port Isabel in recent weeks. After receiving word in the middle of the night from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials that their children had arrived, the parents quickly changed into street clothes and were broken into groups of about 70 to wait to be reconnected.

Some waited up to a week, Ms. Carson said, and were not allowed access to showers, phones or religious services, while efforts stalled to return their children.
Given the incompetence involved with the process from beginning to end, it is a miracle that any children have been returned to the families they were stolen from but that in no way excuses the reprehensible policy that made it possible or the disguting creatures that oversaw it.

Samantha Bee challenges the NRA


In words that even Dana Loasch can understand


Trevor Noah comes to praise a great man


And ends up talking about Trump


Tale of a President Who Wasn't Embarassingly Humiliating


Stephen Colbert tells the tale




For those who like org. charts



Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ask Me No Questions


Wendy McNeill


Wherever did he get that idea?


From the pen of Joel Pett



Cadet Bone Spurs addresses the troops


From the pen of Jim Morin


Just like his mouth


Donald Trump's Twitter thumbs are not very well controlled. And just as his recorded uterances are being considered as evidence against him, so are his tweets. And now we know that Mueller has been collecting and scrutinizing those tweets for evidence of obstruction.
For years, President Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself.

Those concerns now turn out to be well founded. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. His interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he is investigating as a possible obstruction case: private interactions with Mr. Comey, Mr. Sessions and other senior administration officials about the Russia inquiry; misleading White House statements; public attacks; and possible pardon offers to potential witnesses.

None of what Mr. Mueller has homed in on constitutes obstruction, Mr. Trump’s lawyers said. They argued that most of the presidential acts under scrutiny, including the firing of Mr. Comey, fall under Mr. Trump’s authority as the head of the executive branch and insisted that he should not even have to answer Mr. Mueller’s questions about obstruction.

But privately, some of the lawyers have expressed concern that Mr. Mueller will stitch together several episodes, encounters and pieces of evidence, like the tweets, to build a case that the president embarked on a broad effort to interfere with the investigation. Prosecutors who lack one slam-dunk piece of evidence in obstruction cases often search for a larger pattern of behavior, legal experts said.

The special counsel’s investigators have told Mr. Trump’s lawyers they are examining the tweets under a wide-ranging obstruction-of-justice law beefed up after the Enron accounting scandal, according to the three people. The investigators did not explicitly say they were examining possible witness tampering, but the nature of the questions they want to ask the president, and the fact that they are scrutinizing his actions under a section of the United States Code titled “Tampering With a Witness, Victim, or an Informant,” raised concerns for his lawyers about Mr. Trump’s exposure in the investigation.
And it needs to be remembered that his tweets are only a portion of the evidence against him. The Trumpoons didn't want a professional politician when they voted. Instead they got a man who was very able to give himself enough rope.

Which Hunt .... is it this time?


Trevor Noah


About those tapes


Stephen Colbert explains it all


Very entertaining for some



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Queen of Hearts/Royal Tea


Sierra Hull


New Security Level


From the pen of R J Matson



New Dept of Industrial Interior


From the pen of Adam Zyglis



Where never is heard a discouraging word


Agent Orange apparently has an 'inviolable' rule, that TVs in his Imperial presence shall be set to Fox Fake News. Childe Donald needs his ass kissed wherever he is. So it is fun to report that the First Lady had her TV set to CNN and it sent the Tangerine Shitgibbon into one of his childish tantrums.
On the first couple’s recent trip overseas, Melania Trump’s television aboard Air Force One was tuned to CNN. President Trump was not pleased.

He raged at his staff for violating a rule that the White House entourage should begin each trip tuned to Fox — his preferred network over what he considers the “fake news” CNN — and caused “a bit of a stir” aboard Air Force One, according to an email obtained by The New York Times. The email, an internal exchange between officials in the White House Military Office and the White House Communications Agency last Thursday, also called for the ordering of two additional televisions to support Beam, a TiVo-like streaming device, to make sure the president and first lady could both watch TV in their separate hotel rooms when they travel.

At the end of the email chain, officials confirmed that tuning the TVs to Fox would be standard operating procedure going forward.

The channel-flipping flap was the latest example of how Mr. Trump, at a pivotal moment in his presidency, is increasingly living in a world of selected information and bending the truth to his own narrative. As his aides work to keep him insulated from the outside world, Mr. Trump is doubling down in his efforts to tell supporters to trust him over the words of critics and news reports.

For now, his approach is working: His standing with Republicans continues to rise, according to a series of new polls.

“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Mo.

And then: “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Similarly, as the negative headlines continue after Mr. Trump’s meeting in Finland last week with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Trump has shifted from blaming American institutions for a bad relationship with Russia to telling people not to believe the facts of what they have seen or heard.

On Tuesday, the president effectively said black was white when he claimed without evidence that Russians would be helping Democrats — but not him — in the coming midterm elections. In January 2017, American intelligence agencies assessed that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Mr. Trump.

“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”

In his tweet, Mr. Trump made no mention of the fact that he has been told repeatedly that Russia ordered a series of attacks to sway the 2016 election. Nor did he say that he has struck a conciliatory view toward Mr. Putin even as his administration and Congress have moved to impose harsher relations.
Tangerine works hard to spread his Fake News knowing that his base prefers shit to reality so the sight of his own wife seeking a small taste of reality would understandably send the ignorant ape into a fury. And give the rest of us great joy.

"Let the sweet darkness cover me"


Stephen Colbert


Who doesn't love a nice adorable pipeline?


Trevor Noah on Trump's War on the Environment


More Welfare



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Poor Man's Melody


Bonnie Bishop


Trumpspeak translated


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



After he repaints Air Force 1 ......


From the pen of Jim Morin



But like the wall, they will pay for it


Having slashed taxes for the 1% and their corporations, one has to ask where Cheeto Mussolini will get the $12 Billion to pay his Bribe To Farmers for going along with his destructive tariff. Some will come from most farmers who don't get tax breaks and the rest will be paid by the next generation who are already looking at the massive debt load Donny and His GOP Stooges are using to fatally weaken the US for his boss Putin.
The Trump administration on Tuesday will announce up to $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers hurt by the president’s trade war, according to two people familiar with the plans, in an effort to insulate food producers from looming financial losses that would be a direct result of President Trump’s policies.

The aid to farmers, to be announced by the United States Department of Agriculture, would come through a direct assistance program, one designed to help with food purchase and distribution, and one specifically geared toward promoting trade, according to one of the people. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have authorization to pre-empt a planned announcement later Tuesday.

The move is an indication that Mr. Trump — ignoring the concerns of farmers, their representatives in Congress, and even some of his own aides about the adverse consequences of a trade war he says he relishes — plans to plow forward in escalating his tariff tit-for-tat around the world. The approach could cost American producers billions of dollars, and potentially inflict political pain on Republicans in farm states who would be forced to answer for the policies of a president who has shown little regard for the consequences of his trade agenda.

Mr. Trump and his advisers have argued that while American producers may feel short-term pain from his protectionist stance, ultimately they will benefit from it. In the meantime, the administration has sought ways for the Agriculture Department to help farmers sustain the negative consequences. As part of the program to be announced on Tuesday, the department is expected to draw on the financial resources of a program known as the Commodity Credit Corporation, which helps shore up American farmers by buying their crops.

The initiative, which would not authorize any new money and thus not need approval from Congress, was a way for Mr. Trump to tamp down on criticism of his trade policies. But it was also an unmistakable signal that the president has no plans to lift his tariffs any time soon, as senators from across the Farm Belt have pleaded with him to do.

“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches,” Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “This administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again.”
Golden Crutches. What an elegant way to describe a disastrous short term solution to a self created long term problem. Will Trump put his name on the next farm depression?

Obsessed with tapes


Seth Meyers on The Tangerine Shitgibbon's major phobia


Stormy Daniels and Finorah


Stephen Colbert


Shared goals



Monday, July 23, 2018

Running Up That Hill


Kate Bush


A review of Trump's last week


With translations from Trump/GOP speak for those who use real English when they communicate. Brought to you by Tom Tomorrow.

For once I agree with him


From the pen of Nick Anderson



They should be scared of both


From the pen of Ed Wexler



They would clear cut their own mother


If it meant they could make an extra dollar. And the businessmen who lust after more and more public land have in Washington an administration for than will to let them fill in the Grand Canyon with mining spoil if they wish.
In a quest to shrink national monuments last year, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence these public lands boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released this month and retracted a day later.

The thousands of pages of email correspondence chart how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead tailored their survey of protected sites to emphasize the value of logging, ranching and energy development that would be unlocked if they were not designated as national monuments.

Comments the department’s Freedom of Information Act officers made in the documents show they sought to keep some of the references out of public view because they were “revealing [the] strategy” behind the review.

Presidents can establish national monuments in federal land or waters if they determine cultural, historical or natural resources are imperiled. In April, President Trump signed an executive order instructing Zinke to review 27 national monuments established over a period of 21 years, arguing his predecessors had overstepped their authority in placing these large sites off-limits to development.

Trump has already massively reduced two of Utah’s largest national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, and has not ruled out altering others.

The new documents show that as Zinke conducted his four-month review, Interior officials rejected material that would justify keeping protections in place and sought out evidence that could buttress the case for unraveling them.

On July 3, 2017, Bureau of Land Management official Nikki Moore wrote colleagues about five draft economic reports on sites under scrutiny, noting there is a paragraph within each on “our ability to estimate the value of energy and/or minerals forgone as a result of the designations.” That reference was redacted on the grounds it could “reveal strategy about the [national monument] review process.”

Officials also singled out BLM acting deputy director John Ruhs’s July 28 response to questions from Katherine MacGregor, acting assistant secretary of lands and minerals management, as eligible to be redacted. MacGregor had asked about the logging potential of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument if Trump reversed the expansion former president Barack Obama carried out at the end of his second term.

“Previous timber sale planning and development in the [expansion area] can be immediately resumed,” Ruhs wrote.

Zinke proposed removing some of the forested areas within Cascade-Siskiyou, where three mountain ranges and several distinct ecosystems intersect, to “allow sustained-yield timber production.” Trump has yet to alter the site, which was established by former president Bill Clinton as a 65,000-acre monument and then enlarged by nearly 48,000 acres days before Obama left office.
And why would a 72 year old dotard care about what he leaves behind? "Hinky" Zinke, on the other hand is probably getting a lucrative piece of the action on all the public lands he opens up to rape and pillage. And the public is again left poorer for the venal decisions of vile men.

They pixelated his brain


Sacha Baron Cohen gets another Republican to reveal his true self


Can You ?



History



Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Wayward Wind


Gogi Grant


But probably not necessary


From the pen of Tom Toles



When you are guilty


And you know the prosecution has you dead to rights with the evidence piling up, you do what any self respecting mob boss would do, you lie your saggy orange ass off. And Donald Trump is doing that following the release of papers regarding the FISA warrants on Carter Page. In total defiance of reality, Agent Orange says they vindicate him. They do nothing of the sort.
President Trump claimed without evidence on Sunday that his administration’s release of top-secret documents related to the surveillance of a former campaign aide had confirmed that the Justice Department and the F.B.I. “misled the courts” in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

“Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the Democratic National Committee.

In a series of early-morning tweets, Mr. Trump left unmentioned how the documents laid out in stark detail why the F.B.I. was interested in the former campaign adviser, Carter Page: “The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.” The documents also said Mr. Page had “established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers,” and had been “collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

Those assessments were included in an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Mr. Page. The New York Times and other news outlets obtained the application and several renewals through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. The president had declassified their existence last year.
A reading of the documents released makes it clear that Carter Page was actively working with the Russians and was justifiabbly a wiretap target.
The documents made public on Saturday were heavily redacted in places, and some of the substance of the applications had already become public in February, via the Republican and Democratic Intelligence Committee memos.

Visible portions showed that the F.B.I. in stark terms had told the intelligence court that Mr. Page “has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers”; that the bureau believed “the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Mr. Trump’s campaign; and that Mr. Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

The fight over the surveillance of Mr. Page centered on the fact that the F.B.I., in making the case to judges that he might be a Russian agent, had used some claims drawn from a notorious Democratic-funded dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent.

The application cited claims from the dossier that Mr. Page, while on a trip to Moscow in July 2016, had met with two senior Russian representatives and discussed matters like lifting sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine and a purported file of compromising information about Mr. Trump that the Russian government had. (Mr. Page has denied those allegations, although he later contradicted his claims that he had not met any Russian government officials on that trip.)

Republicans portrayed the Steele dossier — which also contained salacious claims about Mr. Trump apparently not included in the wiretap application — as dubious, and blasted the F.B.I. for using material from it while not telling the court that the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign had funded the research.

But Democrats noted that the application also contained evidence against Mr. Page unrelated to the dossier, and an unredacted portion of the application discussed efforts by Russian agents in 2013 to recruit Americans as assets. It has previously been reported that Mr. Page was one of their targets, although any discussion of Mr. Page’s interactions with them in the application is still censored.
The level of desperation in Agent Orange's denials may well indicate how close the public evidence is coming to him and how much harder the Republican Congress and it Fux Nooz affiliates will have to work to keep his saggy orange ass out of jail.

Leonard Pitts was not shocked


And his column explains why so well I am posting it in full
“Lawmakers in both major parties and former intelligence officials appeared shocked …”

The Chicago Tribune

“U.S. lawmakers of both political parties reacted with shock …”

Voice of America

“Some of Mr. Trump’s own advisers privately said they were shocked …”

The New York Times

Shocked? Really?

After almost two years of unending chaos, the only shocking thing about Donald Trump’s disastrous Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin is that some people were apparently shocked. That suggests they expected better, which, in turn, suggests they still don’t understand what we’re dealing with.

They don’t get that there’s no pivot coming, no magic moment when Trump becomes thoughtful, intelligent, presidential. He will not grow into the job, or change, or improve. What you see is what you get. What you see is what there is.

That should be obvious by now to anyone with eyes. And if it was disappointing to hear that some observers were “shocked,” it was downright gag-inducing to see certain members of his party line up to condemn him and the Trump whisperers at Fox blanch and gulp at his behavior. As if they had not long enabled, rationalized and defended with specious reasoning and strategic outrage this amateur-hour presidency.

They — along with 63 million voters — sold America out on a promise of white primacy restored and tax cuts for billionaires. That was made glaringly clear — again — on an international stage this week as Trump abased himself, and by extension, us, cozying up to an autocratic thug whose regime has strangled democracy, stolen land and murdered dissenters. Faced with such unalloyed evil, Trump did everything except roll over to have his tummy scratched.

Strained relations? He said “both countries” were to blame. Russian misbehavior? He failed to name any.

Asked about the U.S..intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, he touted Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial.

Asked directly if he believes Putin over his own intelligence chiefs, he declared his “confidence in both parties,” an act of moral spinelessness reminiscent of last year when he equated neo-Nazis with those who protested against them. Like a squid squirting ink to cover its escape, he ducked the issue of Russian meddling by renewing his obsession with Hillary Clinton’s email servers (“Where are they?”) and Robert Mueller’s investigation (“witch hunt”).

His nation under attack and the head of the attacking regime standing next to him, Trump was everything he professes to despise. Weak. Feeble. Impotent.

The man who thought Colin Kaepernick unpatriotic for kneeling could not bring himself to stand up for his country.

The man who insults, berates and belittles our allies could not bring himself to rebuke one of our greatest adversaries.

The man who sees threats in the eyes of Honduran children could see no threat in a murderous tyrant with nuclear arms.

It was appalling, yes. But it was also predictable. And that’s an important point, because if we are to survive this existential emergency, it starts with being clear-eyed about the clear and present danger we face. This is not a good man, not a patriotic man, not a moral, smart or brave man. All of us should know that by now.

So yes, let us be angry, be determined, be resilient, but let us not be shocked by Trump. That's a waste of time. November is coming.

Let him be shocked by us.

"I get real nervous for my pussy"


Samantha Bee on Kavanaugh and so-called Right to Life shit


A record setter



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ghost In My Bed


Suzanne Santo


He tries too hard to please Putin


From the pen of Milt Priggee



If Donny ever told the truth


From the pen of Jim Morin



The Road Never Traveled


Donald Trump is absolutely ecstatic
at the thought of getting Putin into the White House where they can share all secrets BFFs have. The military and intelligence agencies charged with protecting the US are working hard to keep Russia in its place and they don't think it is anywhere near the WHite House.
When President Trump directed aides to ask President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to the White House this fall, the invitation was his latest attempt to use personal diplomacy in the pursuit of better relations with the Kremlin.

But it was also at odds with moves by the rest of the Trump administration that served as blunt reminders that the national security establishment appears to be following a radically different Russia policy than the commander in chief.

The Pentagon declared on Friday that it would provide $200 million in assistance to Ukraine to help fight the Russian-controlled separatists in the country’s east. “Russia should suffer consequences for its aggressive, destabilizing behavior and its illegal occupation of Ukraine,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement.

And a day earlier, the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, pledged to offer Mr. Trump a candid assessment of the vast risks of inviting Mr. Putin to the White House.

The disconnect between the policies aimed at curbing Russia and the president’s position has never been wider, a gap that presents serious risks, current and former American officials said.

“If you are not clear about what the policy is, you are going to have an ineffective government,” said John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the C.I.A. who served in Moscow in the 1990s and later ran the agency’s Russia program for three years. “It is worse than that. Parts of the government are working at cross-purposes to each other.”

In administration strategy documents, NATO communiqués and other official orders, Russia is called a growing threat, a potential or actual adversary intent on undermining democratic institutions of the United States and its allies. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Russia’s elite, and the special counsel has indicted about two dozen Russians on charges of interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

But in recent days, as Mr. Trump sustained his attacks on European allies, declared his meeting in Finland with Mr. Putin a success and signaled that he wanted a more constructive relationship with Moscow, following a policy of isolating Russia has grown more difficult, officials said.

“The combination of the president’s repeated attacks on NATO, his repeated failure to hold Putin accountable for the 2016 assault on our elections and his refusal to call Putin out regarding the current efforts to subvert the midterms all raise legitimate questions about what is going on with the president,” said David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section.

Adding to the difficulty of deciphering American policy toward Moscow is the fact that Mr. Trump seems to have told relatively few people about what he and Mr. Putin discussed at their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki on Monday.

Mr. Coats said he did not know what went on in the summit meeting, and other national security officials said they were in the dark as well. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that he had spoken to the president about the meeting, but Mr. Trump has not shared his thoughts widely with the government.
Donny may be blissfully ignorant but his ignorance contributes nothing to the national bliss. But there has never before been an agent of a foreign power sitting in the Oval Office. And if he is not trying hard to destroy the government of the US, he is perfectly willing to give Putin all the information he needs to do it for him.

ICE IS IT


Michelle Wolf onthe New Gestapo


"I am ready for further orders"


Stephen Colbert on La Butina


Sad



Friday, July 20, 2018

Brokedown Luck


Nicole Atkins


A balloon for Putin's visit


From the pen of R J Matson



He's already helping TrumPutin


One of the Russian companies caught up in the Mueller probe of Russian election interference is using a judicial ruling by Brett Kavanaugh to try to get the case against it dismissed.
A Russian company accused by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of being part of an online operation to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign is leaning in part on a decision by Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh to argue that the charge against it should be thrown out.

The 2011 decision by Kavanaugh, writing for a three-judge panel, concerned the role that foreign nationals may play in U.S. elections. It upheld a federal law that said foreigners temporarily in the country may not donate money to candidates, contribute to political parties and groups or spend money advocating for or against candidates. But it did not rule out letting foreigners spend money on independent advocacy campaigns.

Kavanaugh “went out of his way to limit the decision,” said Daniel A. Petalas, a Washington lawyer and former interim general counsel for the Federal Election Commission.

A motion filed by the Russian company this week repeatedly cites Kavanaugh’s decision, bringing new attention to his rulings on campaign finance laws and regulations during his tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Legal experts who have analyzed his work say he appears to fit comfortably within the high court’s current conservative majority, which has found that restrictions on campaign-related spending conflict with the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. That argument underpinned the seminal 2010 Citizens United case, which allowed corporations and other organizations to spend unlimited sums on independent political activity.

In the case of the foreign national decision, Kavanaugh said the government would have to prove that foreign nationals had knowledge of the law’s restrictions before seeking criminal charges. And he said the ban did not include foreign spending on “issue advocacy and speaking out on issues of public policy.”
This should give Brett the proper amount of Russia cred with the Republican Senators.

Family of 14 killed in US air strike


Actually now that they are dead they can properly be classified as terrorists as the US does not kill innocent civilians. At least that is the official line from American officials.
Fourteen members of a family, including three small children, were killed in northern Afghanistan when an American airstrike destroyed their home, several Afghan officials confirmed on Friday.

In what has become a familiar litany, particularly in Taliban-dominated Kunduz Province, Afghan and American officials had initially denied that any civilians had been killed in the strike on Thursday, claiming the victims were Taliban fighters.

Then 11 bodies belonging to women and children appeared at the hospital in Kunduz City, about four miles from the site of the attack in Chardara District. The Taliban do not have women fighters and the children were very young.

Soon after the attack, district officials described the incident as an airstrike that went wrong, in which only civilians were killed. “There were 12 killed and one wounded by American jets in Chardara District, and all casualties are civilians,” said Abdul Karim, the local police chief. Two other children were later counted as dead because they were known to have been in the house, although their remains could not be found in the rubble, residents and relatives said.

Residents and local officials said 20 people had lived in the house, all members of an extended family. Of the 14 family members killed, eight were women and three children, officials said. Two other children from the family were hospitalized with serious wounds, a girl, 3; and a boy, 5.

Three other children escaped from the house when the attack began, and one man, the father of the wounded children, was not home at the time of the attack.

Farther from the scene, however, military officials dismissed the possibility of civilian fatalities.

The executive officer of an Afghan Army unit on the front line in Chardara did not mince words. “It is propaganda by the enemy,” the officer, Maj. Saifuddin Azizi of the 10th commando battalion, said.“We deny there were any civilian casualties. Foreign troops are our friends and we don’t target civilians. When the foreign troops decide to attack somewhere, first of all they check everything and then they launch the operation.”
Ah! The classic we weren't there but we know they weren't innocent ploy. Works all the time. Seriously, if they weren't bad guys why did they let themselves get blown up?

No one should be shocked after the 50th time


Samantha Bee


The NRA & The Spy Lady


Trevor Noah


it worked so well the first time...


Stephen Colbert on Trump's invitation to his boss.


Ask a man who knows



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Take It Back


Liza Anne


In need of correction


From the pen of Jack Ohman



He believed what they told him


But having been intimately involved in the Russian intervention, The Tangerine Shitgibbon a/k/a Agent Orange used the office of the president to obsure and muddy the waters after the Intelligence Community told him.
Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

The shifting narrative underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump regularly picks and chooses intelligence to suit his political purposes. That has never been more clear than this week.

On Monday, standing next to the Russian president in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump said he accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of Russian election intrusions. By Tuesday, faced with a bipartisan political outcry, Mr. Trump sought to walk back his words and sided with his intelligence agencies.

On Wednesday, when a reporter asked, “Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” Mr. Trump shot back, “No” — directly contradicting statements made only days earlier by his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, who was sitting a few chairs away in the Cabinet Room. (The White House later said he was responding to a different question.)

In the run-up to this week’s ducking and weaving, Mr. Trump has done all he can to suggest other possible explanations for the hacks into the American political system. His fear, according to one of his closest aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is that any admission of even an unsuccessful Russian attempt to influence the 2016 vote raises questions about the legitimacy of his presidency.
Now that Agent Orange has seen that public admissions of his work for Putin does not affect his followers, he can get down to the real work of revealing the highly placed source so Putin can eliminate this problem. Who said Donny was a useless shit ?

Devin Nunes has a Slush Fund


For the younger set, a slush fund is so named because the funds in it are available for any purpose those in control may choose. In politics slush funds are severely frowned upon and rules are supposedly set up to limit the fungibility of money. Devin Nunes, Trump's favorite running dog in Congress, has just been shown to have a fairly slushy Leadership PAC.
Rep. Devin Nunes used political donations to pay for nearly $15,000 in tickets to Boston Celtics basketball games as well as winery tours and lavish trips to Las Vegas, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission and two nonpartisan watchdog groups.

Nunes, R-Calif., has reportedly been a Celtics fan since high school, though he grew up in Tulare, California. He used the money from his political action committee last year on three occasions to buy tickets.

His PAC also spent about $42,741 since 2013 on catering, site rentals, hotels and meals in Las Vegas. The most recent instance was March 9, when the PAC spent $7,229 at seven different restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas.

On June 19, the PAC’s expenditures included nearly $5,000 spent at six wineries in Paso Robles and Santa Margarita, both outside his district in California, and about $5,000 to Gold Coast Limousine the same day.

Also listed was a hotel charge for $4,409 at Sea Venture, a hotel about 20 miles from Santa Margarita and located right on the beach.

All Boston, Vegas and winery charges were listed as fundraising expenses.

Nunes responded, “I wish I could help you,” when McClatchy approached him Wednesday with questions about his PAC spending. His office would not respond to requests for comment.

Leadership PACs such as the one Nunes runs are supposed to be used to allow members of Congress to donate money to other political campaigns, but using them for other expenses in connection with fundraising is common among members of Congress.

Nunes’ fame has grown enormously due to his position as House Intelligence Committee chairman, his friendly relationship with President Donald Trump and his controversial views about Department of Justice investigations.

Many Democrats and some Republicans see his efforts as attempts to discredit the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

As he became better known, Nunes’ fundraising ability has grown.

Nunes has raised more than $7 million for his own 2018 re-election, compared to past years when he typically collected between $1 million and $2.5 million. The PAC, called New PAC, has also seen its fundraising climb year after year, and is currently on track to raise and spend more money over the 2017-18 cycle than it did in years past.

A report by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center and Issue One, released Thursday, spotlighted the various ways members of Congress use leadership PACs to “subsidize lavish lifestyles on their donors’ dimes.”
Easy to understand. There is a lot of money there, why waste it all on politics when [your Congress Rep] wants to enjoy the finer things in life. Of course they are found out but the beauty of modern Conservatism is that they are all for welfare for those they like so as long as he doesn't use it all for himself they will keep on giving.

Gangrene on the Body Politic


Stephen Colbert mocks Trump mercilessly


Metaphors are becoming reality


Seth Meyers gives A Closer Look at the GOP once again succumbing to Trump Derangement Syndrome


Easy to say but....




Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Barricade


Tina and the B-Sides


For 30 pieces of chicken


From the pen of John Darkow



The Emperor's New Skivvies


From the pen of Jim Morin



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