Tuesday, July 25, 2017

John McCain victoriously returns from fighting cancer to help steal healthcare away from millions of Americans.

I'll bet you thought I would do the right thing. Sucker!
Courtesy of CNN: 

Senate Republicans voted to advance to floor debate on their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote. 

In a dramatic moment, Sen. John McCain returned from Arizona to applause from fellow senators. He cast a necessary Republican vote for the motion after two GOP senators -- Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -- sided with all Democrats in opposition. 

As the vote began, protesters in the Senate gallery shouted "kill the bill" and "shame, shame, shame!" 

The vote came as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump dared their fellow Republicans to block their seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

You might have hoped that having this fresh new cancer diagnosis would have helped John McCain find his humanity, but apparently any ethics or morals he may once have possessed are now gone forever. 

John McCain has essentially been dead to me since he plucked that lunatic from the wilds of Wasilla, Alaska and inflicted her on the American people.

There is simply no coming back from a fuck up that bad. 

I will say I felt a little tinge of pride that my Senator Lisa Murkowski refused to help push this death sentence for millions of Americans forward. She has let me down time and time again, but at least this time, for whatever reason, she did the right thing.

It should be noted that this is not yet a done deal, it is only a vote to advance this to a floor debate so there is still plenty of time for opponents to make their case and for the American people to flood the phone lines of these Republican assholes and make them feel our rage over a bill that will cost 22 million more Americans there health care coverage.

If I were a betting man I would bet that this thing will die, but in a world where up is down, black is white, and facts no longer matter, it is hard to have confidence in much of anything. 

Fox News is no longer the most watched cable news network. That honor goes to MSNBC.

Courtesy of The Independent: 

Fox News was knocked off the number one slot as the most-watched primetime cable television network in America, after being overtaken by MSNBC. 

According to figures from global research company Nielsen, the network was the most-watched station during the weekday prime evening slot from 7pm to midnight between 17 and 21 July. 

During this time the more centrist network gained 2.34 million viewers, while Fox News had 2.25 million.

The sought-after evening slots include shows from Fox presenters Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, and the network previously gained the highest number of viewers. 

The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the first television show to expose two pages of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns, also gained more viewers than Fox News and CNN for the fourth consecutive week in the prime slot between 9 to 10pm.

Man you know that Roger Ailes is spinning is his grave like a rotisserie chicken right about now.

This is really great news, and so well deserved.

MSNBC needs to recognize why this is happening, and the hunger people have for good journalism, and stop bringing on those Fox News castoffs for "balance."

MSNBC is what it is and people love it.

Currently I do not have too many must watch shows.

But the Rachel Maddow Show is at the top of my must see TV list every single day.

The only other show that attracts that kind of allegiance from me is "Game of Thrones." And Rachel Maddow does not even have to use dragons.

The Trump White House is now an official outlet for Russian propaganda.

So in case you were a little confused by the Mooch's double speak, this is the new White House Communications Director outing Donald Trump as the source for his secret information that the Russian hackers are way too awesome to be caught by American Intelligence agencies.

So at this point you may be asking, "But where did Trump get an idea like that?"

Well funny you should ask.

Courtesy of the New York Times:  

But when Mr. Trump met Mr. Putin in Hamburg, Germany, two weeks ago, he did not utter similar suspicions, at least in public. In fact, he emerged to tell his aides that the Russian president had offered a compelling rejoinder: Moscow’s cyberoperators are so good at covert computer-network operations that if they had dipped into the Democratic National Committee’s systems, they would not have been caught.

So to be clear, this is the new White House Communications Director receiving Russian propaganda from a US president, that HE received straight from Vladimir Putin, and then distributing it to the American people via an interview on the American cable news outlet CNN.

Now gee, if only we could find some evidence of collusion.

Twitler attacks Jeff Sessions again, defends Jared Kushner, and tries to start an investigation directed at Hillary Clinton.

This accusation about the Ukrainians helping the Clinton campaign is hogwash.

There is NO comparison between the information about Paul Manafort, and the Russians hacking our election.  (You can read more about it here.)
To be clear this is the president directing his justice department to restart an investigation for purely political reasons.
And this is him accusing the acting head of the FBI of accepting bribes.

Minutes later Trump turned his attention to Obamacare.


Yes the man who is fighting brain cancer with the help of some of the best medical coverage on the planet, is coming back to deny similar care for millions of Americans.

What a hero.

Now on to Jared Kushner.
It appears that Trump is also convinced that his trust fund son-in-law was able to talk his way out of further investigation. Really don't think that is the case.

And you know what, maybe Barron should start getting his paperwork in order.

I don't trust ANYBODY in this family.

So to sum up, this morning Donald Trump accused the Clinton campaign of colluding with Ukraine, accused Jeff Sessions of being ineffectual at his job, accused an acting FBI director of accepting bribes, and tried to restart an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

What did the leader of your country do today? 

One of Alaska's greatest politicians has passed away.

Courtesy of KTUU: 

Sad news to report from Talkeetna, Stubbs the cat has passed away. 

According to a release from Nagley's store, the unofficial Mayor of Talkeetna, Stubbs the cat passed away in his sleep Thursday night. 

The release states Stubbs was 20-years-old. 

As Stubbs grew older his public appearances at the store became less frequent. "The last time Stubbs was in the store; he got to snuggle with the employees and relax after a good long days’ work," the release reports. 

Stubbs served as the town’s unofficial mayor since 1997.

It should be noted that Stubbs was NEVER ONCE accused of any corruption, and this is Alaska!

What's more he was accessible to ALL citizens of his town, and did not only hang out with the big donors or those who had fresh fish for him to eat.

And he was by far the best mayoral mouser in the entire state.

Take that Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz!

Yep, it's always the great ones that leave this earth too early, while the likes of Don Young and Sarah Palin continue on leaving a trail of corruption and malfeasance in their wake.

Winning!

Look I know we give Trump shit all of the time for not being able to make good on any of his campaign promises, but you have to admit this IS pretty damn impressive.

And remember it has only been six months. Just imagine how many more title he might be able to steal from his predecessors.

Watch out William Howard Taft, you might be the next one to lose your title.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jared Kushner: "I did not collude with Russia."

So that was Jared "Screech" Kushner claiming that all of this talk is a mistake and he is innocent of any wrong doing. Because you know if he was guilty he would totally tell us.

 Here is more courtesy of WaPo:

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, spent about two hours Monday answering questions from Senate investigators about his contacts with Russian officials, insisting he had not colluded with foreign agents before or after the 2016 presidential campaign. 

After his closed-door questioning, Kushner spoke briefly to reporters outside the White House. 

“Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said. “I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.” 

“Since the first questions were raised in March, I have been consistent in saying I was eager to share whatever information I have with investigating bodies and I have done so today,’’ he said. “All of my actions were proper.’’ 

He dismissed outright the idea that Russia could be responsible for his father in law’s election victory. 

“Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign and that is why he won. Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him,’’ Kushner said. 

Actually, ridiculing those who voted for Trump is kinda my thing.

As for Trump having a better message, and running a smarter campaign, that is only true if you believe that a better message was pandering to the racists and xenophobes and if you think a smarter campaign means working with Russia to steal our election.

I am sure that this pampered little shit thinks that he has managed to get the investigative hounds off his scent, but I would be willing to bet that his dog and pony show has only revealed even more inconsistencies for them to follow up on, and that this whole thing is just now revving up.

Donald Trump accused the New York Times of allowing a terrorist to escape. The New York Times corrects the record.

You may remember seeing this tweet Saturday:
I remember reading that and having no damn idea what Trump was talking about, but realizing that he was essentially accusing the NYT or treason.

I also thought that it was most likely bullshit.

And I was right.

Courtesy of the New York Times:  

Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be based on a report by Fox News; he is known to be an avid viewer, and a version of the story was broadcast about 25 minutes before he posted. The report said that The Times had disclosed intelligence in an article on June 8, 2015, about an American military raid in Syria that led to the death of one of Mr. Baghdadi’s key lieutenants, Abu Sayyaf, and the capture of his wife, who played an important role in the group. 

That Fox News report cited comments by Gen. Tony Thomas, the head of the United States Special Operations Command, in an interview conducted Friday by the network’s intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. 

General Thomas said that a valuable lead on Mr. Baghdadi’s whereabouts “was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead.” He did not name The Times.

But a review of the record shows that information made public in a Pentagon news release more than three weeks before the Times article, and extensively covered at the time by numerous news media outlets, would have tipped off Mr. Baghdadi that the United States was questioning an important Islamic State operative who knew of his recent whereabouts and some of his methods of communication. Further, the information in the Times article on June 8 came from United States government officials who were aware that the details would be published.

So Trump essentially attacked the New York Times for accurately reporting news, based on fake news that he heard on Fox and Friends. 

Now I don't know if the Times has a legal case against Trump for essentially accusing them of interfering in America's war on terrorism, and helping an enemy to escape, but the reason that I don't know is because NOTHING like this has ever happened before.

Ever!

All I know is that we are in very, very dangerous waters here, and if Trump remains in office much longer there is no telling the amount of damage he might cause.

Trump's morning tweets smell of desperation.


Man he can never leave this Hillary thing alone.

At this point it seems pathological.

It's almost like he wishes he had lost the election so that he could spend all of his time trolling Hillary and the Democrats. 
Oh yeah, he's losing it.

Even Joe Scarborough senses it.
Well, he could always just resign.

Jared Kushner releases statement hoping to put an end to questions about Russian contacts. Fat chance.

The entire statement can be read here at CNN.

In it Kushner calls into question news reports of contacts he had with the Russian ambassador, which he claims he cannot remember and has no records of ever making.

Kushner also claims that of course he had multiple contacts with representatives of foreign governments during the campaign since that was the job assigned to him by his father-in-law: 

My father-in-law asked me to be a point of contact with these foreign countries. These were not contacts that I initiated, but, over the course of the campaign, I had incoming contacts with people from approximately 15 countries. To put these requests in context, I must have received thousands of calls, letters and emails from people looking to talk or meet on a variety of issues and topics, including hundreds from outside the United States. While I could not be responsive to everyone, I tried to be respectful of any foreign government contacts with whom it would be important to maintain an ongoing, productive working relationship were the candidate to prevail. To that end, I called on a variety of people with deep experience, such as Dr. Henry Kissinger, for advice on policy for the candidate, which countries/representatives with which the campaign should engage, and what messaging would resonate. In addition, it was typical for me to receive 200 or more emails a day during the campaign. I did not have the time to read every one, especially long emails from unknown senders or email chains to which I was added at some later point in the exchange.

Kushner also claims that when he submitted his initial paperwork for his security clearance that it was submitted prematurely by his assistant and did not include his contacts with ANYBODY from a foreign government, not just the Russians.

He further denies working to establish a back channel to communicate with the Russians, and claims that was a misrepresentation of a meeting he had with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. (At least this is one contact he admits to.)

As for that infamous meeting with Junior and the Russian attorney, this is how Kushner characterized it:

In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on June 9 at 3:00 p.m. The campaign was headquartered in the same building as his office in Trump Tower, and it was common for each of us to swing by the other's meetings when requested. He eventually sent me his own email changing the time of the meeting to 4:00 p.m. That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time. As I did with most emails when I was working remotely, I quickly reviewed on my iPhone the relevant message that the meeting would occur at 4:00 PM at his office. Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as "Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner." No one else was mentioned.

So essentially Kushner's claim is that he and Junior invited each other to meetings all of the time, and that he did not know what this was about, and did not read the top of the email with said  "Russia-Clinton-private and confidential."

Uh huh.

Kushner then claims that the Russian attorney started talking about "adoptions," which we now know is code for "sanctions," and that he was uninterested and secretly emailed his secretary to call his cell phone in order to give him an excuse to leave the meeting early.

He then forgot all about this meeting until he was reminded about it by his attorneys.

One interesting side note is that Kushner claims that he received an email from someone referring to themselves as "Guccifer400" who claimed to have Trump's tax returns and tried to blackmail him into paying 52 bitcoins.

Kushner characterized this as a hoax. 

At the end of the statement Kushner writes:

I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government. I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest. 

Actually I seriously doubt this puts anything to rest. And I would suggest that once the various investigative bodies get a look at some of this Kushner paperwork they will have even more questions for him to answer.

Also keep in mind that Mr. Transparent is refusing to testify to any of this under oath.

Even though doing so is typically how people with nothing to hide, prove they have nothing to hide.

Judge demands that Kentucky pay the legal fees for the couples who were denied marriage licenses by county clerk Kim Davis.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:  

Two years after Kim Davis first made national headlines, her anti-marriage equality case is closed, at least for now ― but it will come at a cost to local taxpayers. 

Davis, who is the county clerk for Kentucky’s Rowan County, steadfastly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage equality, citing her religious beliefs. Though Davis was briefly jailed for contempt of court, she went on to become the darling of right-wing conservatives, including former Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. 

On Friday, a federal judge awarded $222,695 in legal fees to the attorneys of four couples ― two same-sex, two opposite-sex ― who were denied marriage licenses by Davis. (The clerk briefly refused to issue licenses to all couples in 2015 as her legal troubles began to mount.) However, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered the state, as opposed to Davis herself, to pay the fees. 

His reasoning was simple. “Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally eligible couples,” he said, according to The New York Times. “The buck stops there.”

Well that's awesome.

And it certainly sends a strong message any other religious wing nuts who feel their personal prejudices are more important than the rights of American citizens.

You know I was just thinking how long it has been since we have heard anything about this Kentucky Fried Lunatic.

Here's hoping this is the final time we ever do.

Russia to Alaska, "We just can't quit you." Well there must be some reason they keep sending military planes close to our airspace.

Courtesy of ABC News: 

American and Canadian fighters jets intercepted two Russian military aircraft that flew north of Alaska and Canada on Thursday night, U.S. Air Force officials said today. 

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) also confirmed there was another incident on Wednesday night with another pair of Russian aircraft that did not require an intercept, bringing the total number of sightings to four in as many days. 

"Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 Raptors and Royal Canadian CF-18 Hornets intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 bomber aircraft" flying around the north coast of Alaska and Canada, said Mary Ann Clemons a NORAD spokesperson. 

The Russian bombers did not enter American sovereign or Canadian airspace, Clemons said.

Okay I was going to ignore this since it does happen.

But I do not remember it ever happening with this frequency.

We know they are not preparing an invasion or attack, because they already own the guy in the White House. There is simply no need to use anything as crude as military might.

Besides they'd lose.

So maybe they are simply doing it in order to pretend there is still friction between Washington and the Kremlin in order to provide cover for their puppet.

Quite possibly.

Or, and this one seems more likely every day, maybe Trump is planning to simply allow Russians the opportunity to annex part of the state for for their own needs and they are scouting out potential locations with a nice view of the Bering Straight.

Who knows? All I know for sure is that they are definitely up to something.

Elections have consequences.

Courtesy of Axios: 

From 2015 to 2017, Pew Research tracked global confidence in the U.S. president "to do the right thing" regarding world affairs. While almost all the countries surveyed have lost confidence over the years, Russia's significant increase stands out — jumping from 11% in 2011 under Obama to 53% under Trump. 

Other takeaways from the report: Merkel, Xi or Putin have more positive ratings globally than Trump. Arrogant was the most common word globally associated with Trump's characteristics. There is global disapproval across all of Trump's major policy proposals.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that this only took six months.

Though the data is from 2015 and 2017, I can guarantee that the numbers from 2016 would have lined up almost perfectly with the data from 2015.

That means that in only a six month period of time Donald Trump has completely trashed the reputation of the presidency of the United States.

I cannot even begin to imagine how much worse it will be in another six months.