Friday, August 31, 2018

Own Side


Caitlin Rose


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Losing My Religion


Applewood Road


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Emerald Eyes


Terra Lightfoot


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Home


Melissa Ferrick


Why Trump likes Kavanaugh


From the pen of Bill Schorr



A difference in shoe size


From the pen of Kevin Siers


What's a president to do ?


If you are an orange, semi-literate narcissist like Mango Mussolini you proclaim how mean the media is to you and members of your crime family. The you threaten to regulate them so they say things more to your liking, like Putin does in Russia.
The Trump administration is “taking a look” at whether Google and its search engine should be regulated by the government, Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s economic adviser, said Tuesday outside the White House.

“We’ll let you know,” Kudlow said. “We’re taking a look at it.”

The announcement puts the search giant squarely in the White House’s crosshairs amid wider allegations against the tech industry that it systematically discriminates against conservatives on social media and other platforms.

Kudlow’s remark to reporters came hours after Trump fired off a series of predawn tweets complaining about Google search results for “Trump News.”

In a pair of tweets posted before 6 a.m., the president said the results included only “the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media.”

Google, in a statement, said its searches aren’t politically biased: “When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds. Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.

“Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries,” Google said. “We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

The White House has not responded to requests for further comment.

Trump’s tweets came the morning after Fox Business host Lou Dobbs aired an interview Monday night with the pro-Trump commentators Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, popularly known as Diamond and Silk, who have long claimed that their online videos are being suppressed by tech companies.

“I am not for big government, but I really do believe that the government should step in and really check this out,” Hardaway told Dobbs in the interview.

Google search results are affected not only by region but also by personal search history. It was unclear whether the president had Googled himself, or whether he was referring to a recent piece in PJ Media, a conservative blog, alleging that 96 percent of Google search results for news about Trump were from “left-leaning news outlets.” His accusations appeared to mirror those in the Aug. 25 piece.
So Mango is stimulated to action by the whiny babbling of Zircon and Shit. And to confirm it has any legitimate national policy concern, he has everybody's Uncle Asshole, Larry Kudlow, announce his plans. Hopefully his staff has enough energy left to deflect him to another tatget with a lesser impact.

Ever taken a DNA test ?


As far as the current laws of the land are concerned, all your familiy DNA are belong to the cops, if they ask for it. And there are no guidelines or retraints on what they cna get and how thry can use it.
Familial searches led California authorities to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo in the Golden State Killer probe in April, and investigators have since used it to make breakthroughs in several other unsolved murder cases, including four in Washington state, Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina.

But as these searches proliferate, they are raising concerns about police engagement in “DNA dragnets” and “genetic stop and frisk” techniques. And as public DNA databases grow and are accessed by law enforcement, investigators may soon have the ability to track down nearly anyone, even people who never submitted their genetic material for analysis.

“If you are a privacy zealot, this is super alarming. It means you don’t have any privacy,” said Malia Fullerton, a bioethics specialist and professor at the University of Washington. “On the other hand, if you have no problem with police using your family information to solve these cold cases, you might see this as a good thing.”

Part of the concern stems from law enforcement’s rapid embrace of familial searches to investigate crimes, aided by open-access DNA databases that did not exist a decade ago.

One of these is Florida-based GEDmatch, founded in 2010. GEDmatch allows genealogy enthusiasts to upload and share their DNA profiles, created from commercial services such as Ancestry and 23andMe. The site offers special tools to help find people find relatives, and since it is free of charge, it has rapidly grown — to more than 920,000 profiles by May.

It’s also proven to be a gold mine for law enforcement.

In California’s Golden State Killer probe, investigator Paul Holes turned to GEDMatch after trying to find a match for DNA the killer left at a Ventura County crime scene. Holes initially looked through the FBI’s DNA database, which includes genetic profiles of people arrested or convicted of crimes, but he came up empty.

To broaden his search, Holes registered with GEDmatch using an alias, uploaded the unknown suspect’s DNA profile. Several distant relatives of the suspect came up. Investigators then spent months building family trees and tracking down relatives using basic genealogical reserach, to narrow their list of possible suspects.

Ultimately they arrested DeAngelo, a former police officer living outside of Sacramento.

Investigators were lucky that at least one of DeAngelo’s distant relatives had shared their DNA profile on GEDmatch. But the methods police employed in their search are coming under scrutiny.

Before identifying DeAngelo, investigators reportedly assembled and examined 25 different family trees, possibly involving up to 1,000 people. Only one of these family trees ended up containing the alleged serial rapist and murderer. But now investigators had information on all those other people.

Investigators initially zeroed in on two suspects other than DeAngelo, and even went so far as to gain a court warrant to sample DNA from one of them, a 73-year-old man in an Oregon nursing home, by force if necessary. But neither he nor another man had DNA that matched the crime scene sample.

In a recent commentary, Fullerton and collaborator Rori Rohlfs argued that the Golden State Killer probe demonstrated how innocent bystanders can be ensnared through familial searches.

“These details, many of which only came to light after intense press coverage, raise a host of concerns about the methods employed (by police) and the degree to which they exposed otherwise innocent individuals to harms associated with unjustified privacy intrusions,” they wrote in Leapsmag, an online magazine focused on the life sciences.
All Ur DNA Я Belong To Us. And remember, to the police there are no innocent people, just ones that haven't been arrested yet.

Small Hand Puke



Don't even send flowers



Monday, August 27, 2018

Not Fair


Lily Allen


A familiar plot


Tom Tomorrow looks at the week that was or is it the week that will be? With this bunch of bozos it is getting hard to say if they have done it before or yet.

Wired


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



Trump squeezes out his last respects


From the pen of Daryl Cagle



Which way does he go?


The Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey
has the responsibility of appointing a replacement for the late Senator John McCain until the 2020 election. And he faces an interesting dilemma. Does he appoint a McCain style conservative Republican or does he go for Trumpian Flaming Asshole? Whoever he chooses will have a distinct advantage in 2020.
Senator John McCain’s death this weekend laid bare the long-simmering Republican tensions over who will be appointed to fill his Arizona seat, pitting the pragmatic wing of the party that Mr. McCain represented against the ascendant, hard-line forces loyal to President Trump — and hostile to the late senator.

On Sunday, a day after the senator and former prisoner of war succumbed to brain cancer, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona issued a statement through an aide indicating he will not appoint a successor to Mr. McCain until after what is expected to be nearly a weeklong series of services in his honor — in Arizona, Washington and Annapolis, Md.

“Out of respect for the life and legacy of Senator John McCain and his family, Governor Ducey will not be making any announcements about an appointment until after the senator is laid to rest,” said Daniel Ruiz II, an adviser to Mr. Ducey.

With Republicans clinging to a 50-49 Senate majority, hearings on the Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh looming and Mr. Trump under intensifying legal scrutiny, Gov. Ducey’s choice carries enormous implications in Washington.

And it is coming at a moment, in Arizona and beyond, when the Republican Party has rallied to the sort of nationalist and at-times nativist politics that Mr. Trump embodies and Mr. McCain scorned.

The governor’s appointee will represent the state through most of 2020, when there will be a special election to fill the rest of Mr. McCain’s term, and Republicans close to Mr. Ducey indicated he is likely to pick a replacement who intends to run again rather than a caretaker to temporarily fill the seat. Among the names under consideration, according to Arizona Republicans, are Mr. McCain’s widow, Cindy; a former Arizona senator, Jon Kyl; and two former Arizona House members, John Shadegg and Matt Salmon.

Other possibilities include Kirk Adams, Mr. Ducey’s top aide and a former state legislator; the state treasurer, Eileen Klein; a member of the state Board of Regents, Karrin Taylor Robson; and Barbara Barrett, a business executive and former United States ambassador to Finland.
A choice that should be easy if Doug Ducey were not running for re-election this year. Whoever he does select will offend one side or the other ot if he is lucky, both.

The Seven Deadly Trumps



1 was born on 3rd base & thinks he scored a touchdown



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tracks Of My Tears


Linda Ronstadt


Some of what he is hiding


From the pen of Brian McFadden



Someone is happy


From the pen of Sean Delonas



A president at war with the law


Among his many manic attempts to prevent his impending impeachment and conviction on many counts of malfeasance, Mango Mussolini has been attacking the court system and the public perception of its fairness and legitimacy.
It is a once-unimaginable scenario: Sometime soon in an American courtroom, a criminal defense lawyer may argue that the prosecution of an MS-13 gang member is a politically motivated “witch hunt” built around a witness who has “flipped” and taken what the lawyer calls a plea deal of dubious legality.

He will be quoting the president of the United States.

That is potentially the gravest danger of President Trump’s sustained verbal assault on the country’s justice system, legal experts say. In his attempt at self-defense amid the swirl of legal cases and investigations involving himself, his aides and his associates, Mr. Trump is directly undermining the people and processes that are the foundation of the nation’s administration of justice.

The result is a president at war with the law.

“You are dealing with a potentially indelible smearing of our law enforcement institutions,” said Neal K. Katyal, who was acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama. “If Trump’s views were actually accepted, there would be thousands of criminals who are out on the streets right now.”

The president’s public judgments about the country’s top law enforcement agencies revolve largely around how their actions affect him personally — a vision that would recast the traditionally independent justice system as a guardian of the president and an attack dog against his adversaries. For more than a year, he has criticized the Justice Department, questioned the integrity of the prosecutors leading the Russia investigation, and mercilessly mocked Jeff Sessions, his own attorney general.

Mr. Trump continued that pattern on Twitter on Saturday morning, seizing on disputed reports in the conservative news media that the F.B.I. had ignored “thousands of Crooked Hillary Emails” and vowing to get “to the bottom of all of this corruption.”

“At some point I may have to get involved!” he warned.

But this past week’s stunning legal developments — a conviction for his former campaign manager, a guilty plea by a longtime lawyer for him who implicated Mr. Trump himself in illegal acts, and immunity agreements for two of his closest business associates — appear to have broadened the president’s hostility toward the legal system.

In the wake of those developments, the president assailed federal prosecutors for their attempts to “break” Paul Manafort, the former campaign chief who was convicted on eight felony counts, and the president’s lawyers hinted that he might eventually wipe away the case with a pardon. And he lashed out at Mr. Sessions for not taking “control of the Justice Department” and pursuing enemies like Hillary Clinton, prompting a rare rebuke from the attorney general.

The most remarkable moment came when Mr. Trump attacked the very notion that prosecutors should try to “flip” witnesses by reaching plea agreements. In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” the president questioned that tool, which has long been considered lawful and essential for prosecutions.

“I have had many friends involved in this stuff,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal.”
In fact what is illegal are so many of the actions of Mango from his attempts to obstruct justice and subborn perjury to his treasonous actions at the behest of his 'owner' Papa Putin. Many hard working people are involved in the effort to bring him to justice and his tweets and 'speeches' are all aimed at making people think this is wrong. Don't be fooled, a crook is still a crook whether he is wearing a blue suit or an orange jumpsuit.

R.I.P. Marvin Neil Simon


You had your characters kvetch and kvell and the world laughing until it hurt.

R.I.P. John Sidney McCain III


Your fighting days are over.

Former CIA Director John Brennan


He speaks with Bill Maher


Do elves have balls?


Bill Maher monlogue


The Devil has many names



John McCain did not want Trump at his funeral



Saturday, August 25, 2018

Busted


Dustbowl Revival


In the shadow of his predecessor


From the pen of Milt Priggee



His self-image


From the pen of John Darkow



Judge invalidates an Imperial Decree


The Tangerine Shitgibbon seems to have believed the shit thrown at Obama about his changing the law with Executive Orders. Ever since Shitgibbon was sworn in he has been writing up a shitstorm of Executive Orders, mainly because he knows even a GOP controlled Congress won't do what he wants as fast as he wants it. And now a federal judge has put a crimp in his Imperial EOs.
A federal district judge in Washington struck down most of the key provisions of three executive orders that President Trump signed in late May that would have made it easier to fire federal employees.

The ruling, issued early Saturday, is a blow to Republican efforts to rein in public-sector labor unions, which states like Wisconsin have aggressively curtailed in recent years. In June, the Supreme Court dealt public-sector unions a major blow by ending mandatory union fees for government workers nationwide. (Federal workers were already exempt from paying such fees.)

The ruling is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the administration, which has suffered losses in court in its efforts to wield executive authority to press its agenda on immigration, voting and the environment.

The executive orders, which also rolled back the power of the unions that represent federal workers, had instructed agencies to seek to reduce the amount of time in which underperforming employees are allowed to demonstrate improvement before facing termination, from a maximum of up to 120 days to a maximum of 30 days, and to seek to limit workers’ avenues for appealing performance evaluations. The orders also sought to significantly reduce the amount of so-called official time that federal employees in union positions can spend on union business during work hours.

“We are very pleased that the court agreed that the president far exceeded his authority, and that the apolitical career federal work force shall be protected from these illegal, politically motivated executive orders,” Sarah Suszczyk, the co-chair of a coalition of government-workers unions, said in a statement.

In their legal complaint, the unions argued that the executive orders were illegal because federal law requires these rules to be negotiated between government agencies and the unions that represent their workers.

The complaint said that the president lacks the authority to override federal law on these questions, and the judge in the case, Ketanji Brown Jackson, agreed, writing that most of the key provisions of the executive orders “conflict with congressional intent in a manner that cannot be sustained.”

The White House had implicitly sought to pre-empt this critique in the text of the executive orders, styling the provisions as mere goals that the federal agencies should try to bring about through bargaining with the unions rather than unilateral mandates.

But Judge Jackson flatly rejected this maneuver, arguing that the law requires agencies to negotiate in “good faith” and that the executive orders “impair the ability of agency officials to keep an open mind, and to participate fully in give-and-take discussions, during collective bargaining negotiations.”
Not knowing how a real president is supposed to act, Shitgibbon continues to act the fool and continues to be slapped down for it. Imagine what a disaster this country would be if Shitgibbon had any idea what he was doing ??

They merged with a big oil company


Bill Maher looks at Merger Madness with political parties.


Hope it's not renewed



Wait until he works for prison wages.



Friday, August 24, 2018

When the Moon Fell In Love With the Sun


Dear Lemon Trees


Credit Rudy


From the pen of Nick Anderson



Anyone else think its getting warm ??


From the pen of Kevin Siers



Talking like a Man of Respect


Now that Cheeto Mussolini finds his nuts in a salad shooter he is more and more using the language of his old New York friends who also found their nuts in a salad shooter when the Law came knocking.
For much of the 1980s and 1990s, “the Dapper Don” and “the Donald” vied for supremacy on the front pages of New York’s tabloids. The don, John J. Gotti, died in a federal prison in 2002, while Donald J. Trump went on to be president of the United States.

Now, as Mr. Trump faces his own mushrooming legal troubles, he has taken to using a vocabulary that sounds uncannily like that of Mr. Gotti and his fellow mobsters in the waning days of organized crime, when ambitious prosecutors like Rudolph W. Giuliani tried to turn witnesses against their bosses to win racketeering convictions.

“I know all about flipping,” Mr. Trump told Fox News this week. “For 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers. Everything’s wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go.”

Mr. Trump was referring to the decision by his former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, to take a plea deal on fraud charges and admit to prosecutors that he paid off two women to clam up about the sexual affairs that they claimed to have had with Mr. Trump.

But the president was also evoking a bygone world — the outer boroughs of New York City, where he grew up — a place of leafy neighborhoods and working-class families, as well as its share of shady businessmen and mob-linked politicians. From an early age, Mr. Trump encountered these raffish types with their unscrupulous methods, unsavory connections and uncertain loyalties.

Mr. Trump is comfortable with the wiseguys-argot of that time and place, and he defaults to it whether he is describing his faithless lawyer or his fruitless efforts to discourage the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, from investigating one of his senior advisers, Michael T. Flynn, over his connections to Russia.

“When I first heard that Trump said to Comey, ‘Let this go,’ it just rang such a bell with me,” said Nicholas Pileggi, an author who has chronicled the Mafia in books and films like “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” “Trump was surrounded by these people. Being raised in that environment, it was normalized to him.”

Mr. Pileggi traced the president’s language to the Madison Club, a Democratic Party machine in Brooklyn that helped his father, Fred Trump, win his first real estate deals in the 1930s. In those smoke-filled circles, favors were traded like cases of whiskey and loyalty mattered above all.

Mr. Trump honed his vocabulary over decades through his association with the lawyer Roy Cohn, who besides working for Senator Joseph McCarthy also represented Mafia bosses like Mr. Gotti, Tony Salerno and Carmine Galante. He also gravitated to colorful characters like Roger J. Stone Jr., the pinkie-ring-wearing political consultant, and Mr. Stone’s onetime partner, Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was convicted on Tuesday of eight counts of tax and bank fraud.

“It’s the kind of subculture that most people avoid,” said Michael D’Antonio, one of Mr. Trump’s biographers. “You cross the street to get away from people like that. Donald brings them close. He’s most comfortable with them.”
He's comfortable with them but he will be one of them even when he goes to prison. He isn't tough enough the be a 'Gaspipe'. He isn't well dressed enough to be a 'Dapper Don'. He might be a 'Fat Tony' being just a front man for the real boss.

What did Trump reveal in Helsinki ?


Until Trump confesses or Putin releases his tapes of the meeting we will never know. What we do know is that important intelligence sources close to Putin and the Kremlin have gone silent.
In 2016, American intelligence agencies delivered urgent and explicit warnings about Russia’s intentions to try to tip the American presidential election — and a detailed assessment of the operation afterward — thanks in large part to informants close to President Vladimir V. Putin and in the Kremlin who provided crucial details.

But two years later, the vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent, leaving the C.I.A. and other spy agencies in the dark about precisely what Mr. Putin’s intentions are for November’s midterm elections, according to American officials familiar with the intelligence.

The officials do not believe the sources have been compromised or killed. Instead, they have concluded they have gone to ground amid more aggressive counterintelligence by Moscow, including efforts to kill spies, like the poisoning in March in Britain of a former Russian intelligence officer that utilized a rare Russian-made nerve agent.

Current and former officials also said the expulsion of American intelligence officers from Moscow has hurt collection efforts. And officials also raised the possibility that the outing of an F.B.I. informant under scrutiny by the House intelligence committee — an examination encouraged by President Trump — has had a chilling effect on intelligence collection.

Technology companies and political campaigns in recent weeks have detected a plethora of political interference efforts originating overseas, including hacks of Republican think tanks and fake liberal grass-roots organizations created on Facebook. Senior intelligence officials, including Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, have warned that Russians are intent on subverting American democratic institutions.

But American intelligence agencies have not been able to say precisely what are Mr. Putin’s intentions: He could be trying to tilt the midterm elections, simply sow chaos or generally undermine trust in the democratic process.

The officials, seeking to protect methods of collection from Russia, would not provide details about lost sources, but acknowledged the degradation in the information collected from Russia. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal classified information. A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to comment.

To determine what the Russian government is up to, the United States employs multiple forms of intelligence, including intercepted communications and penetrated computer networks.

The United States continues to intercept Russian communication, and the flow of that intelligence remains strong, said current and former officials. And Russian informants could still meet their C.I.A. handlers outside Russia, further from Moscow’s counterintelligence apparatus.

Because clandestine meetings can take months to set up and complete, a lengthy lag can pass before the C.I.A. realizes a key source has gone silent, according to former officials. It is rare for the agency to discover immediately that informants have eroded or are running scared. Only after several missed meetings might C.I.A. officers and analysts conclude that a source has decided it is too dangerous to pass information.
Espionage is a long game and if Trump helped Putin cut to the end by giving him a list of sources in the Kremlin, it will still be a long time before that can be confirmed. Until then we can only hope the Intelligence Community never let Trump anywhere near that vital information.

They always have something to hide



Can a dishonest man pick an honest judge ?



Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hold Out Your Hand


Brandi Carlile


One more store to visit



He definitely has enough rope


From the pen of Sean Delonas



The jury is out.....until payday


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



Running scared


And there is no greater proof of the Republican fear than the party leadership encouraging congressional incumbents to dump on Trump if they need a campaign boost.
Senior Republican Party leaders began urging their most imperiled incumbents on Wednesday to speak out about the wrongdoing surrounding President Trump, with Representative Tom Cole, a former House Republican campaign chairman, warning, “Where there’s smoke, and there’s a lot of smoke, there may well be fire.”

Democrats face their own pressure to shed their cautious midterm strategy and hammer the opposition for fostering what Democratic leaders are labeling “a culture of corruption” that starts at Mr. Trump and cascades through two indicted House Republicans to a series of smaller scandals breaking out in the party’s backbenches.

One day after Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, implicated Mr. Trump in payoffs to two women before the 2016 election, and the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight felonies, Republicans were concerned that the worst may be to come in the House, although the party’s senators expressed few worries.

By urging some candidates to speak out or at least stay silent, Republican leaders who gravely fear losing control of the House risked opening the first significant rift between the Trump White House and the Republican-controlled Capitol.

“Anybody who says this is not disturbing is not being honest,” said Mr. Cole, an Oklahoman and the former head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, adding, “so my advice to any candidate would be: Keep your powder dry and don’t rush to attack or defend anybody because you just don’t know enough to have a reaction that you can still defend three months from now.”

On cue, Representative Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida, called the accumulation of Trump-related scandals a “sad chapter in our country’s politics” and said that “no one is above the law.” Mr. Curbelo, in a tough re-election fight, also reproached the president for his caustic attacks on the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

“He’s making a major mistake by attacking the Mueller probe in such a personal way,” said Mr. Curbelo, who represents a district that Hillary Clinton won handily in 2016. “The best thing for everyone, especially if the White House is so confident that the president will be absolved in this process, is to let the process continue.”

Nearly as alarming to House Republicans were the mushrooming scandals in their own chamber, misdeeds that may dampen turnout among conservative voters.

Only hours after the convictions of Mr. Cohen and Mr. Manafort, Representative Duncan D. Hunter of California was indicted on a charge of using campaign money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including the alleged purchase of golf shorts masked as a charitable veterans contribution.

Those charges came only weeks after Representative Chris Collins of New York was arrested on charges of insider trading, something that has also tarnished a handful of his colleagues, including Representative John Culberson, an endangered Texas Republican. Mr. Collins and Mr. Hunter were Mr. Trump’s two earliest congressional supporters.

In Virginia, Representative Scott Taylor is accused of forging signatures to get an independent on the ballot this fall to help save his seat. And in Florida, Representative Vern Buchanan is accused of accepting a seven-figure yacht loan from a bank lobbying for last year’s tax cut, then purchasing the 73-foot vessel on the same day he voted for the measure he helped write.

“It has been a really bad August,” as Mr. Cole put it.

Mr. Hunter’s Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, released a video declaring, “The division, chaos and corruption in Washington has gone too far.”
It would appear that the Republicans have their nuts in a salad shooter right now. They are going to need all the gerrymandering, vote suppression, fraud and Russian hacking they can get to keep from being swamped in November.

No need yet


Just because there is a loose cannon in the White House there is no need yet for any legislation protecting the special counsel conducting the investigation into his crimes. At least that is what the Republican Senators who co-sponsored the bill last spring now say.
Republicans who co-authored an effort to bar President Donald Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller now say they don’t see the need right now for their initiative — even after the convictions of Trump’s former campaign manager and personal lawyer.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Wednesday that they won’t push for passage of their the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.

“I’ll let you know if I feel like I need to” move to have that bill considered, Graham said.

“If I felt it needed to be, I would do it. I am firmly in the camp of, let Mueller do his job,” he said.

The bill won approval in the Republican-led judiciary committee in April, but top GOP leaders are not considering bringing the legislation and it does not have the support of 60 senators, a Tillis spokesman said.

Graham and Tillis authored legislation with Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

After the convictions of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, and Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney, in separate cases, Coons called on the Senate to take up the measure which would bar the president from dismissing Mueller without cause.

“It is past time for the full Senate to vote on it,” Coons said.

Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign for part of his 2016 presidential run, was convicted of eight felony charges related to tax evasion and bank fraud. Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight counts. He implicated Trump as directing payments to two women before the election to keep them from going public with stories about affairs.

“That is a striking level of criminality by individuals close to the President,” Coons said in a statement. “Both prosecutions arose from the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and President Trump continues to criticize Mueller and his team and to threaten their ongoing investigation.”

Under the bill, a fired special counsel could request a judicial review of his firing, and a judicial panel could reinstate the special counsel if his firing was not done for just cause. The bill includes a retroactive clause, which would apply to any special counsel appointed after Jan. 1, 2017 and removed before the bill was enacted.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., voted for the measure in committee. Despite some constitutional questions about the bill, Flake said he’d like to see if get a vote on the Senate floor. He doesn’t expect that to happen.

“Doubt it, but I’d like to see it,” Flake said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has repeatedly said he does not see a need for the bill.

“I don’t think he should fire Mueller and I don’t think he is going to. This is a piece of legislation that’s not necessary in my judgment,” McConnell told Fox’s Neil Cavuto in April. His staff pointed to the statement when asked Wednesday about McConnell’s current thinking on the issue.

Democrats, though, saw a new, pressing need to protect Mueller.

“The Congress of the United States has to protect the special counsel,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a Senate Judiciary Committee member, told CNN.
Some say that Putin has managed to turn key Senators like Lindsey Graham to keep his boy Donald in the White House. Certainly they are getting discrete financial assistance from Russia but I believe they are in the thrall of a more intoxicating drug, Power. If the impeach Trump they wil surely lose power and office and likely end up being prosecuted themselves. They stand to lose too much to let go of Dannemora Donny's Big Red Tie.

And their record shows it



He was right one time



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fear Is Like a Forest


Jen Cloher and Band


With a wall around it


From the pen of Bill Schorr



Trump is the New Orange


From the pen of Kevin Siers



Nice and chewy like the old days


From the pen of Jim Morin



The 2nd Congressman to support Trump


Has now become the second Republican congressman to be indicted for a federal felony. Duncan Hunter Jr has been charged with converting more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses and filing false campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission.
Representative Duncan Hunter was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego on Tuesday after a monthslong criminal investigation into allegations that he spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds on family trips to Hawaii and Italy, private school tuition for his children and even a $600 airline ticket for a pet rabbit.

In a 48-page indictment released by the Justice Department, Mr. Hunter, Republican of California, and his wife, Margaret, are charged with converting more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses and filing false campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission.

Mr. Hunter, 41, becomes the second Republican congressman to be indicted this month. Representative Chris Collins, Republican of New York, was indicted on insider trading charges, and announced days later that he had suspended his re-election campaign. The two were the earliest congressional supporters of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Collins, who is accused of passing insider information to his son about a drug company on whose board he served, has said he expects to be “fully vindicated and exonerated.”

A spokesman for Mr. Hunter, Michael Harrison, said Tuesday that the congressman “believes this action is purely politically motivated,” and referred a reporter to a letter that Mr. Hunter’s lawyer, Gregory A. Vega, sent this month to Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. Mr. Vega, anticipating an indictment, asserted in the letter that two prosecutors involved in the investigation had attended a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton, and complained that bringing charges so close to the election would effectively deliver a “solidly Republican” House seat into Democratic hands.

The back-to-back indictments are all but certain to give ammunition to Democrats, who have been promising to clean up corruption in Washington if voters give them control of the House.

And for California Republicans, it has immediate implications, expanding from seven to eight the field of Republican-held seats being seriously targeted by Democrats. Mr. Hunter cannot take his name off the ballot, according to a spokesman for the California secretary of state, and California does not allow write-in candidates.

Mr. Hunter easily won California’s nonpartisan primary with 48 percent of the vote; the next highest vote-getter, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat, took only 17 percent. Despite that, Democrats have long thought they could make a play for Mr. Hunter’s seat, especially if he were indicted. At the very least, the indictment will require Republicans to spend money to defend the seat.
His daddy Duncan Hunter Sr passed on the traditional family seat in Congress to his son but obviously failed to give him enough brains to stay our=t of jail. And just for shits and giggles, who was the third Republican in Congress to support Donald Trump?

When is a farmer not a farmer?


Maybe when he is merely a landlord renting his land to others who do the actual work? Whatever your position is, the Democrats want the 'farmer' designation removed from the ballot description for Republicans Jeff Denham and Devin Nunes.
Before the state’s June primary, more than a half-dozen congressional and statewide candidates were forced to amend their designation after being denied their first choice by California’s secretary of state or because of an opponent’s court challenge.

Red to Blue, a Democratic program designed to flip Republican House seats, filed a lawsuit against Denham Tuesday, saying he isn’t truly a farmer because he leases his 20 acres of almond orchards in Atwater. The income he earns from the land, valued at minimum $500,000, is in rent and not listed as farm income on his 2018 financial disclosure report.

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, calls for Democratic California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who approved the “Businessman/Farmer/Representative” designation in March, to remove the description on the November ballot.

The majority of Denham’s overall income, besides his congressional salary, comes from renting a property in Turlock and from his plastics company based in Salinas, California.

Denham said the plastics company also makes farming equipment, adding to the income that comes from his involvement in agriculture.

Calling the lawsuit “ridiculous” and “an attempted distraction to not talk about water issues,” he said he grew up farming a wide variety of produce, from corn to watermelon. He also bought the farmland 15 years ago and worked on it personally with his children, he said.

“I bought the land as a sweet potato farm, and my kids helped me pull it out and plant almond trees,” Denham told McClatchy. “They grew up on it.”

He said he leased it seven years ago when he started coming to Washington.

It’s not the first time Denham has been criticized over the issue. A former congressional opponent, Michael Eggman, put “Real Local Farmer” atop many of his campaign signs, to contrast himself with Denham. More recently, at a public appearance last week, some protesters chanted “fake farmer” at Denham.

Nunes is facing a similar challenge, with Democratic Super PAC Fight Back California funding a challenge in court that would force the congressman to remove the farmer designation. While Nunes’ most recent financial disclosure reports less than $5,000 in income from Alpha Omega Winery and less than $200 from a Bank of America Savings Account, his family owns a farm in Tulare.

The lawsuit says Nunes has not “earned income from farming or agriculture operations in at least 10 years.”
If they want to be accurate Devin Nunes should be listed as 'Russian Asset' but that would take up 2 of his 3 allowed words.

Is that the Mueller Overpass ?



Orange is the new blue suit




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mahbootay


Laura Love


There's the sign post up ahead


From the pen of Jim Morin



In Trumplandia


From the pen of Jack Ohman



Will Wells Fargo ever get it right?


Their first failures involved efforts to enrich the bank at the expense of ordinary people, customers and non-customers alike. Now Wells Fargo just seems to be fucking up for the sake of fucking up.
Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for agriculture commissioner in Florida, has made no secret of her support for medical marijuana.

Further expansion of the state’s program is the highest priority on her campaign website. Before entering the race, she ran a lobbying firm, Igniting Florida, and described herself as “one of most visible faces and key activists in Florida’s burgeoning medical cannabis industry.”

Even so, employees at Wells Fargo, where her campaign held an account, had questions about her platform.

The bank, which says it has a policy against serving marijuana-related businesses, had noticed that Ms. Fried was “advocating for expanded patient access to medical marijuana.” It asked the campaign in July whether it would be receiving money from “lobbyists from the medical marijuana industry in any capacity.”

The campaign replied that, yes, Ms. Fried would be receiving donations from lobbyists as well as “executives, employees and corporations in the medical marijuana industry.”

Last week, the campaign said it had received written notice that Wells Fargo was closing its account.

On Monday, Ms. Fried urged her supporters to consider pulling their money from the bank.

“This is absolutely unprecedented,” she said in a telephone interview. “I’ve been in this campaign since the beginning of June. Everybody in Florida knows that I’m one of the main proponents of the expansion of medical marijuana.”

Wells Fargo isn’t the first bank to close a customer’s account over money that could be related to the sale of marijuana, which is legal in some form in states including Florida but still prohibited by federal law.

That conflict has had banks large and small walking a line for more than a decade, since the first states began changing their cannabis laws. Marijuana growers have struggled to open and maintain bank accounts, and dispensaries have relied on cash to do business instead of credit cards. Businesses like construction companies and electricians that provide services to the growers and distributors have also had problems.

The biggest banks are traditionally the most cautious. But Wells Fargo’s scrutiny of Ms. Fried’s political beliefs set its decision apart.

“If a bank is going to start drawing a line based on a candidate’s particular advocacy, where does a bank draw that line?” asked Christian Bax, who until Aug. 10 was Florida’s medical marijuana director. “Is it going to extend to every candidate in Florida who advocates for medical marijuana?”
This would be a good time to use the phrase, "slippery slope" in relation to the banks actions except for one thing. Wells Fargo has been 'riding shotgun down the avalanche' for a long time now.

Tarheels Topple Shitheel Statue


The good students at University of North Carolina
showed us that they are in favor of the United States and not in thrall to the state's treasonous bastards.
Protesters toppled the towering Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday night, perhaps ending — or perhaps only intensifying — a debate over the propriety of a divisive symbol at a renowned public institution.

The statue, erected in 1913 and known as Silent Sam, fell after nightfall on the campus, brought down by demonstrators who condemned it as an enduring tribute to white supremacy. Although university officials had signaled their misgivings about the statue’s continued presence on their campus, they had argued that state law forbade them from moving the monument without a panel’s approval. It was not clear on Tuesday what would ultimately become of the damaged statue.

Critics of the monument celebrated its downing on the night before classes began, and some tried to bury the soldier’s head in the North Carolina dirt. But officials soon secured and removed the fallen statue from the area where it had stood, and by midday Tuesday, university leaders were criticizing the protesters’ actions.

Carol L. Folt, the university chancellor, acknowledged in an open letter on Tuesday that the statue “has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community.” Still, in a possible signal of repercussions to come, the chancellor said Monday night’s events were “unlawful and dangerous.”
The times they are a-changin' and it is good to see a positive step towards removal of these monuments to treason and slavery.

Having waited too long, it's now too late


That is the excuse given by Georgia officials as Secretary of State Brian Kemp, in charge of state elections, tries to elect Brian Kemp governor in November.
County election officials across Georgia say it’s too late to switch to paper ballots in the upcoming elections, despite warnings that hackers could easily penetrate the state’s antiquated electronic voting system and that Russia could unleash a new wave of disruptive cyberattacks.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg is expected to rule any day on whether the state must switch to old-fashioned paper ballots. Her ruling would come in response to a year-old lawsuit by citizen activists. They argue that the state’s current system of relying on electronic voting machines that lack a paper backup is “hopelessly compromised” and paper ballots are necessary to ensure public confidence in the results.

Georgia is just one of many states dealing with the fallout of the U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia worked to influence the 2016 campaign and has compromised — or tried to compromise — state election systems across the country to disrupt the 2018 midterms elections.

But interviews and court statements from Republican and Democratic county officials and from state election officials drew the same response: It’s just too late to make the switch.

Lawyers for Secretary of State Brian Kemp say things will get chaotic if Totenberg orders a statewide shift to paper. Kemp is the Republican nominee for governor.

“It’s impossible,” said Rinda Wilson, the Republican chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections. Anyone who says otherwise, she said, “doesn’t have the faintest idea how the whole system works. You have deadlines, you have early voting ... It would throw the entire election into chaos.”

Such a shift at this stage would cause “significant administrative and financial burden” on Muscogee County, which borders Alabama in central Georgia, said Nancy Boren, its election director.

The county would want more time to train poll workers and educate the public and currently lacks enough scanners to handle all ballots, Boren said.

Last week, Democrats on the elections board in Morgan County, a Republican bastion in central Georgia, sought to capitalize on a vacant seat that briefly gave them the majority. But even as they proposed to dump the electronic voting machines and push the county toward paper ballots that would be read by optical scanners, Republicans filled the vacancy and defeated the motion.

In court statements filed in the suit against Kemp and other state officials, elections directors from several counties said switching to hand-marked paper ballots so late could be prohibitively costly or complex.

Activists’ push for paper has been propelled by security concerns stemming both from a breach in Georgia’s elections system and worries that Russia’ will repeat cyberattacks that interfered with the 2016 elections.
And why shouldn't they have to work overtime to fix the problem since they waited 6this long to fix it? An honest and fair election is worth whatever cost and effort it takes.

Help a senior to understand



Do you get what matters ?



Monday, August 20, 2018

Your Move


Amy Fradon & Leslie Ritter


Right Wing Morality


It is and has always been a slippery little booger as Tom Tomorrow makes clear this week.

Trump's Great Void


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



How Dare They !!


From the pen of Jim Morin



They play lawyers on TV


But when it comes to actually representing a client and giving him good legal advice, Donald Trump's lawyers are astoundingly stupid.
President Trump’s lawyers do not know just how much the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, told the special counsel’s investigators during months of interviews, a lapse that has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake.

The president’s lawyers said on Sunday that they were confident that Mr. McGahn had said nothing injurious to the president during the 30 hours of interviews. But Mr. McGahn’s lawyer has offered only a limited accounting of what Mr. McGahn told the investigators, according to two people close to the president.

That has prompted concern among Mr. Trump’s advisers that Mr. McGahn’s statements could help serve as a key component for a damning report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which the Justice Department could send to Congress, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers realized on Saturday that they had not been provided a full accounting after The New York Times published an article describing Mr. McGahn’s extensive cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s office. After Mr. McGahn was initially interviewed by the special counsel’s office in November, Mr. Trump’s lawyers never asked for a complete description of what Mr. McGahn had said, according to a person close to the president.

Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck, gave the president’s lawyers a short overview of the interview but few details, and he did not inform them of what Mr. McGahn said in subsequent interactions with the investigators, according to a person close to Mr. Trump. Mr. McGahn and Mr. Burck feared that Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible wrongdoing, so they embraced the opening to cooperate fully with Mr. Mueller in an effort to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn had done nothing wrong.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump’s lead lawyer dealing with the special counsel, Rudolph W. Giuliani, appeared to acknowledge that he had only a partial understanding of what Mr. McGahn had revealed. Mr. Giuliani said his knowledge was secondhand, given to him by a former Trump lawyer, John Dowd, who was one of the primary forces behind the initial strategy of full cooperation.

“I’ll use his words rather than mine, that McGahn was a strong witness for the president, so I don’t need to know much more about that,” Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. Dowd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But Mr. McGahn, who as White House counsel is not the president’s personal lawyer, has repeatedly made clear to the president that his role is as a protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump personally.
So in his testimony McGahn may well have torpedoed Trump because it was the best thing to do for the Office of the President. As for Cheeto Mussolini's personal lawyers, they look like they could be outfoxed by "Night Court's" Dan Fielding.

Oliver explains what Trump doesn't know


And this week it is Trade (Long but worth it)


Rudy does it again


John Oliver and the Moment Of "Truth Isn't Truth"


They asked for it, they got it



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Palm Tree


The Chapin Sisters


Crucifix won't ward this off


From the pen of Adam Zyglis



In the beginning


From the pen of Rob Rogers



Trump administration hates the air we breathe


And as part of their overall campaign to damage the United States beyond repair, the Environmental Protection Agency has been effectively re-missioned as the Environmental Pollution Agency.
As a corporate lawyer, William L. Wehrum worked for the better part of a decade to weaken air pollution rules by fighting the Environmental Protection Agency in court on behalf of chemical manufacturers, refineries, oil drillers and coal-burning power plants.

Now, Mr. Wehrum is about to deliver one of the biggest victories yet for his industry clients — this time from inside the Trump administration as the government’s top air pollution official.

On Tuesday, President Trump is expected to propose a vast rollback of regulations on emissions from coal plants, including many owned by members of a coal-burning trade association that had retained Mr. Wehrum and his firm as recently as last year to push for the changes.

The proposal strikes at the heart of climate-change regulations adopted by the Obama administration to force change among polluting industries, and follows the relaxation of separate rules governing when power plants must upgrade air pollution equipment. Mr. Wehrum, who has led the E.P.A.’s clean air office since November, also helped deliver the changes in several of those rules.

The rollbacks are part of the administration’s effort to bring regulatory relief to the coal industry, and other major sources of air pollution. But to proponents of a tougher stance on industries that contribute to global warming, Mr. Wehrum is regarded as the single biggest threat inside the E.P.A., with Tuesday’s expected announcement to weaken what is known as the Clean Power Plan the most recent evidence of his handiwork.

“They basically found the most aggressive and knowledgeable fox and said, ‘Here are the keys to the hen house,’” said Bruce Buckheit, an air pollution expert who worked for the Justice Department’s Environmental Enforcement Section and as director of the E.P.A.’s air enforcement office under Democratic and Republican presidents.

Mr. Wehrum has been able to push his deregulatory agenda without running into ethics troubles because of a quirk in federal ethics rules. The rules limit the activities of officials who join the government from industry — but they are less restrictive for lawyers than for officials who had worked as registered lobbyists.

The end result is that the ethics rules generally allow Mr. Wehrum to help oversee the drafting of policies that broadly benefit the industries or clients he represented in recent years.
Trump himself won't live long enough to suffer from the damage he is doing, but the next several generations will. And it will take that long to re-clean the air after the destructors are gone.

The value of torture


In the September 11 trials at Guantanamo the judge has thrown a monkey wrench into prosecution plans by refusing to allow post CIA torture FBI interrogations to be used in court.
The judge in the death-penalty trial of those accused of carrying out the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S. has ruled that prosecutors may not use key FBI interrogations conducted at the Guantánamo detention center soon after years of CIA black site abuse ended.

Under the war court system, confessions must be voluntary. So prosecutors had already pledged not to use what the captives told their CIA interrogators during their years of secret spy agency custody that included torture. Instead, as a substitute, prosecutors had planned to have FBI agents describe what the suspects told them soon after their September 2006 transfers to Guantánamo in supposedly consensual interviews.

But the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, excluded the FBI interviews, known as “clean team statements,” from trial in a 36-page ruling.

“Protective Order #4 will not allow the defense to develop the particularity and nuance necessary to present a rich and vivid account of the 3-4 year period in CIA custody the defense alleges constituted coercion,” Pohl wrote in the ruling issued Friday and obtained by McClatchy.

“In order to provide the defense with substantially the same ability to make a defense as would discovery of or access to the specific classified information, the government will not be permitted introduce any FBI Clean Team Statement from any of the accused for any purpose.”

Defense attorneys, who have top-secret security clearances, argued that the prosecutors’ cascading restrictions and threats over trying to find and question potential witnesses of their clients’ torture, notably CIA agents, deprived the accused 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged accomplices of a fair trial.

Prosecutors countered that restrictions on defense attorneys were a national security necessity — and that the U.S. government had given defense lawyers enough CIA-screened and redacted documents or court-approved substitutions of actual evidence about the black sites, to let them try to get the Guantánamo interrogations excluded.

To defend prohibitions on defense investigations, chief prosecutor Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins told the judge in a Jan. 11 hearing: “The mere seeking of interviews with people — and wandering up and ambushing people at the Piggly Wiggly — is a serious thing.”

The accused plotters were brought to Guantánamo after three and four years of secret detention in the CIA’s secret overseas prison network. There, to get them to spill al-Qaida secrets, CIA agents subjected them to a program of “learned helplessness.” They slammed their captives’ heads into walls, strung them up in painful shackled positions, deprived them of sleep, kept them nude or in diapers, subjected them to dietary manipulation and rectal abuse. Mohammed was water boarded 183 times.

FBI agents, taking some directive by the CIA, questioned the five men in their first months at Guantánamo before they were allowed to see lawyers.

Defense lawyers had begun to argue that the alleged 9/11 plotters were so systematically broken, that what they told the FBI agents were programmed responses, lacking free will to say anything else.

But Pohl did not specifically rule on the issue of whether the FBI interviews were contaminated by the CIA abuse.

Instead, he found that the screened evidence Martins and his prosecutors gave defense lawyers did not provide enough details about the CIA period to let the defense effectively argue for suppression of the FBI interviews. So Pohl suppressed them.

In the same ruling, however, Pohl he agreed with prosecutors that the defense attorneys could be deprived of some graphic details of what went on in the black sites. So he found that, if the men are eventually convicted, prosecutors have given the defense attorneys enough information about what the CIA did to the alleged terrorists to argue against the death penalty.
Torture doesn't work, even after you stop doing it. It just taints everything that follows. And it's illegal.

Reading from Trump's Daily Schedule


Trevor Noah


He has the body of a Greek Diner


Bill Maher monologue


Another Sunday




Saturday, August 18, 2018

July Flame


Laura Viers


What a Snowflake!


From the pen of Adam Zyglis



Development


From the pen of Pat Bagley


Big Pharma fights to keep its gravy train


When the president doesn't give a damn how much your prescription costs despite pretending to do so and Congress is too busy passing laws to help pharma companies and then trading pharma stocks before announcing those laws, some states try to step in with their own laws to help the consumer. And Big Pharma is willing to spend a big chunk of their profits fighting those laws tooth and nail.
States around the country are clamping down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to disclose and justify price increases, but the drug manufacturers are fighting back, challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights.

Even more states are, for the first time, trying to regulate middlemen who play a crucial role by managing drug benefits for employers and insurers, while taking payments from drug companies in return for giving preferential treatment to their drugs.

The bipartisan efforts by states come as President Trump and his administration put pressure on drug companies to freeze prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers struggling to pay for drugs that often cost thousands of dollars a month.

Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs, according to Trish Riley, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, a nonpartisan forum of policymakers, and several state legislatures are still in session.

The burst of state activity on drug costs recalls the way states acted on their own to pass laws to expand health insurance coverage in the years before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

“In the absence of federal action, states are taking the lead in combating high drug prices,” said State Representative Sean Scanlon of Connecticut, a Democrat.

A bill passed unanimously this year by the Connecticut General Assembly illustrates a popular tactic: States are shining a spotlight on drug price increases as a first step toward controlling costs.

Under the Connecticut law, drug companies must justify price increases for certain drugs if the price rises by at least 20 percent in one year or 50 percent over three years. Insurers must identify their 25 highest-cost drugs and the 25 with the greatest cost increases when they file their annual rate requests with the state Insurance Department.

In addition, the middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers, must disclose the amount of rebates and other price concessions they receive from drug companies.

California has adopted a law requiring drug companies to provide advance notice of price increases, together with a detailed statement of the reasons for the increases. In addition, insurers must file annual reports showing the percentage of premiums attributable to drug costs.

“Californians have a right to know why their medication costs are out of control, especially when pharmaceutical profits are soaring,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.

Drug companies have filed suit to block the California law, which they describe as “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”

The law “exports California’s policy choices” to the rest of the country and violates the First Amendment by compelling drug manufacturers to explain their price increases, said the lawsuit, filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

PhRMA, along with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, also went to court to challenge a law signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, a Republican.
You make get a break on your prescriptions but at what cost ?? If these laws are allowed to exist, pharmaceutical CEOs will have to subsist on ordinary CEO compensation and only afford yachts under 100 ft. Can you have that on your conscience ?

He speaks what's left of his mind


Bill Maher New Rules


You like to eat


Sam Bee examines where it comes from


Why would Kavanaugh be any better?



Friday, August 17, 2018

Woman


Cat Power


Appropriate


From the pen of Tom Toles



Woodsman Beware!


From the pen of Milt Priggee



President WATB won't get his parade


At least not this year
. The vainglorious highlight of Cheeto Mussolini's maladministration was to be his vanity military parade on Veterans Day. It has now been cancelled because its high cost has been revealed and roundly condemned.
President Trump on Friday canceled plans for a military parade this fall in Washington, blaming local officials for inflating the costs and saying they “know a windfall when they see it.”

Washington’s mayor, Muriel E. Bowser, pushed back on Twitter, saying that she had “finally got thru” to the president to convey the “realities” of what it costs to stage events like military parades in the city.

Ms. Bowser put the number at $21.6 million, though the city’s costs are just a fraction of the total, with federal agencies also kicking in millions of dollars. A day earlier, the Pentagon said Mr. Trump’s parade to celebrate the military could be postponed to 2019, as officials acknowledged that the event could cost more than $90 million.

The parade, which was never widely embraced, was initially scheduled for Nov. 10 — Veterans Day weekend — of this year.

While the District of Columbia would incur only about a quarter of the parade’s estimated cost, the city, a Democratic bastion where Mr. Trump is nearly universally unpopular, is an easy target for him.

In a pair of tweets, Mr. Trump allowed for the possibility of a parade in 2019. He said that this year he would instead attend another parade planned at Joint Base Andrews and a military parade in Paris.

The president also took a jab at the local government in Washington, saying the city is “poorly” run. Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, hit back, mocking the president by ending her tweet with a parenthetical “sad” — a word Mr. Trump often uses in his own tweets — and calling him “the reality star in the White House.”
Whiny Donny Dumbass has to wait until next year for his mighty parade. In the meantime he will go to France to see a real parade to celebrate the end of the War to End All Wars 100 years ago on Nov 11, 1918. I can't wait to hear how he will make that all about himself.

But Lying will get you the Electoral College


Stephen Colbert


A Closer Look at TrumpOmarosa


Seth Meyers


Trump's Vanity Parade




Thursday, August 16, 2018

Maigret Theme


The London Film Orchestra Feat.Olive Simpson


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