Wednesday, February 21, 2018

NRA claims they will participate in tonight's town hall discussion on gun control. Really? Update!

Courtesy of TPM: 

The National Rifle Association will participate in a town hall discussion on gun laws and last week’s Florida school shooting, which will be hosted by CNN on Wednesday evening. 

The NRA’s national spokeswoman Dana Loesch will represent the organization at the discussion with parents and students, CNN reported. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), have also told CNN they will be in attendance. The discussion will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday. 

Loesch said she decided to attend because she’s “always been about more discussion, not less” and she hopes to be able to “offer some solutions as to what people can actually do to prevent these things from happening in the future.” 

“I just hope that people are respectful and that it’s a civil discussion,” she told NRA TV. “We’re not going to get anywhere in this country by screaming at people and impugning their characters simply because they believe as they do. … I hope we can be respectful and have a civil debate without anyone screaming murderer at me.”

Wait, they're sending Dana Loesch?

THIS Dana Loesch?

Is that really the MOST rational person the NRA can find to represent them?

Well she better pack a lunch because this is who she will be facing off against.
As I a rule I do not bet, but if I did I would be putting the whole pile on that young lady.

Maybe she is not armed with military style weapons or armor piercing bullets, but she clearly has a conceal carry permit for the truth.

Update: My favorite part so far.
Rubio is getting filleted out there. 

Update 2: Changed my mind, THIS my favorite part so far.
I think Rubio peed a little at that question.

Conservatives freakout as Twitter purges Russian bots and they suddenly lose hundreds, and even thousands of followers.

Courtesy of Metro: 

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the #MAGA brigade, as they howl in despair after half their Twitter followers vanished overnight. 

The reason? Those ‘cruel leftist libs’ at Twitter just purged a load of Russian bots, it seems – leading (hilariously) to right-wing Tweeters losing their sh*t. 

They think it’s some kind of left-wing conspiracy, whereas in fact, Twitter appears to have just deleted a bunch of non-existent fascists controlled from St Petersburg. 

Not seeming to realise the irony, many are sharing their agony online with the hashtag #TwitterLockout.

It's not polite to point and laugh at the stupid, but come on this is almost too good to be true.

However as we LOL at their expense, let's also take a moment to realize just how big this Russian operation truly was.

I mean some of these are just regular idiots on Twitter, NOT celebrities or big name politicians.

If they lost hundreds and even thousands of Twitter followers, what does that tell us about just how many fake accounts the Russians actually created, not just on Twitter, but on ALL social media platforms?

Here was how one Trump supporter reacted to learning that she had been manipulated by the Russians.
Can you say "cognitive dissonance?"

Sarah Palin loses it over fact that daughter's soon to be ex-husband is sticking her with the attorney fees.

Courtesy of Radar Online:  

Mama grizzly Sarah Palin is roaring mad over her estranged son-in-law’s bid to get her daughter, Bristol, to pay his legal fees in the couple’s bitter divorce, has learned exclusively! 

In papers filed in Texas’ Travis County, Bristol’s baby daddy — Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer — asked the judge to force Bristol to cover his “attorney fees, expenses and costs through the trial.” 

“Sarah is furious!” dished a source close to the former GOP vice presidential candidate.

“What’s really beyond any reasonable expectation is Dakota’s belief that Bristol would EVER give him any money for this divorce!” said an insider.

Man I knew this was going to be entertaining! 

Clearly Dakota knows that the Palins simply do NOT pay for things, so attempting to get them to pay the legal bills will force them to shell out thousands of dollars to fight that, or convince them to settle things quickly to keep the costs low.

If the Palins choose to fight, Dakota can simply air their dirty laundry on gossip sites for thousands of dollars to pay his own legal fees.

Come on, we KNOW that Dakota knows all about what was really going on with Track, and with other Palin family members.

He must have hundreds of embarrassing stories to tell.

Ka-ching, Ka-ching.

Donald Trump attacks (And misspells the name of) his Attorney General while ranting about "Dem crimes."

So did you notice that Trump left the final "s" off of Jeff Sessions' name?

Well so did he, about ten minutes later, so he simply removed it and then reposted the same unhinged tweet with a correction. 
Yeah, nothing seems insane about that.

So if I understand this correctly Trump wants to know why the Justice Department is not investigating the Obama Administration, who started these investigations in the first place, for not doing more to stop the interference that helped him to win the White House?

Well, perhaps he should ask Mitch McConnell that last question.

Courtesy of Politico:  

Joe Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation. 

That moment, the former Democratic vice president said, made him think “the die had been cast ... this was all about the political play.”

Now if Trump thinks the Justice Department should investigate why Mitch McConnell obstructed Obama's efforts to warn the American people, well I think we are all on board with that. 

Not only has Donald Trump failed to save the coal industry, but more plants have closed during his first year in office than in the entire first term of the Obama presidency.

Courtesy of Green Tech Media: 

In his first State of the Union address, Trump declared that “we have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” 

According to the Sierra Club, though, more coal capacity closed in the first 45 days of 2018 than in Obama’s entire first term. 

The organization, which has made it part of its mission to shutter coal plants, said it's on track to close the country’s 262 remaining plants over the next decade. So far, the Sierra Club says efforts to close coal plants have prevented over 7,000 premature deaths and stopped over 120,000 asthma attacks, largely in marginalized communities overburdened by pollution. 

Blair Zimmerman, a former coal miner and current county commissioner in Greene County, Pennsylvania, where the 4 West Mine closed in January, said the Trump administration hasn’t made any measurable impacts in that rural area. 

"There's not been any significant change in the industry since he's taken over,” he told CNN.

Obviously I think that anybody who voted for Donald Trump is a fucking moron.

But there is perhaps no group of idiots as ignorant as the coal mining folk who really believed that Trump had any interest in saving a dying industry.

Trump lies, that's what he does.

How is it that people had such difficulty understanding that?

According to the most recent poll of social science experts Donald Trump is deemed the worst president in history, while Barack Obama climbs into the top ten.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

James Buchanan, who was at the helm as the United States careened into civil war, was dislodged from his position as our nation’s worst president by our current president, Trump. 

His Oval Office predecessor, Barack Obama, shot into the Top 10, up from 18th in the previous survey. 

The biggest declines were for Bill Clinton, arguably the result of contemporary scorn for his treatment of women, and Andrew Jackson, for evolving attitudes on his treatment of Native Americans.

This poll is quite prestigious, as it elicits opinions from scholars who specialize in presidential history. 

Barack Obama is now ranked as the 8th greatest president in American history, which is a rank I always knew he would attain, but certainly thought it would take longer than one year.

The only Presidents ranked higher than Obama are Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Jefferson, Truman, and Eisenhower. (Bill Clinton sits at 13 currently.)

Hard to argue with those rankings, and Obama even beat out Reagan for that eighth spot, which you just KNOW is going to drive the conservatives out of their minds.

As will the fact that their current party leader is ranked dead last.

And not by a little bit either, Trump is behind former last place holder James Buchanan by three whole points.

Hell even George W. Bush is in the top 30. Well actually to be honest he's number 30.

But still a hell of a lot better than sitting dead last. 

Idaho Senator Dan Foreman yells "Abortion is murder" at his constituents and then threatens to have them arrested. Yes, he's a Republican.

Well he seems nice.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Conservatives attack credibility of students who survived the school shooting in Florida. Seriously? Update!

Courtesy of Think Progress:

David Hogg, a senior at the school, was one of the first to appear on national television and demand action. “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done,” Hogg said, looking directly into the camera. 

Hogg is now being targeted by Gateway Pundit, a far-right blog that has press credentials from the Trump White House. A post published on Monday by the site’s White House correspondent, Lucian Wintrich, features Hogg’s photo with the word “EXPOSED” stamped in red.

Wintrich says Hogg and other students throw up some “red flags.” The first “red flag” is that Hogg’s father is a retired FBI agent. (Hogg freely admitted this on national television.) The insinuation is that Hogg’s father, who does not even work for the FBI, has tasked his son with talking about gun control to take the heat off the agency. 

Wintrich also uses an edited YouTube video of Hogg having some difficulty answering questions for a taped interview as evidence that Hogg is “heavily coached on lines and is merely reciting a script.” There is no evidence, in the video or elsewhere in the article, supporting this claim. 

Wintrich then drops all pretenses and fully embraces the conspiracy: 

Why would the child of an FBI agent be used as a pawn for anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation? Because the FBI is only looking to curb YOUR Constitutional rights and INCREASE their power. We’ve seen similar moves by them many times over. This is just another disgusting example of it.

Is anybody else having a Sandy Hook deja vu?

Some version of this conspiracy theory has now spread across social media.
It has even been embraced by Donald Trump Jr.:
And Hogg is not their only target.

Trust me when I say that I have seen the conservatives go low before, but to attack these kids, or suggest that they are "milking the deaths of their peers for careers," is so incredibly disgusting that it literally makes me sick to my stomach.

I understand the fear that the Right is feeling right now, if I saw these kids coming after me and my party I might be wetting my tighty whiteys as well, but all that attacking them accomplishes is to make them even more determined and erase ANY hope of convincing them that the conservatives and Republican party are not their enemies.

To use perhaps too apt of a metaphor the conservatives are essentially shooting themselves in the foot right now.

And while all this is going on a critically clueless conservative journalist is suggesting that the gun control debate needs to wait until people start showing respect to gun owners:

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war. 

You know I have heard of "tone deaf" before, but this David Brooks guy is just "deaf deaf."

(Buzzfeed by the way has a rather expansive article on the student's grass roots activism, that essentially drives a stake through the heart of the whole "manipulated by the Left Wing" narrative.)

Update: People are starting to lose their jobs over these smear campaigns.
Nice to see a little justice served. 

The Mayor of Dallas wants the NRA to keep their convention out of his city.

Courtesy of ABC News: 

One of Dallas' top leaders has urged the National Rifle Association on Monday to find another city to host its annual convention, taking a stand against gun violence in the wake of last week's deadly mass shooting in Florida. 

Dwaine Caraway, mayor pro tem of Dallas, said that the NRA, the nation's largest gun lobby, would be met with "marches and demonstrations" if it went ahead with plans to host the three-day meeting scheduled for May 4-6. 

"It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas, but it is putting all citizens first, and getting them to come to the table and elected officials to come to the table and to address this madness now," Caraway told reporters on Monday. "At the end of the day, we need to connect the dots. The NRA needs to step up to the plate, and they need to show leadership." 

"I am saddened the fact that every time that we turn around is some type of gun violence," he added.

If the NRA moved its event, that could cost Dallas as much as $40 million, according to some estimates. 

Caraway, a self-proclaimed strong "believer" in the second amendment, said the NRA has a national responsibility "to address this madness now" as he called on the group to help establish better gun laws. 

"We should not allow people to possess assault rifles and weapons," he said. "While we are worrying about terrorists, we're living in a terrorist society amongst us Americans today."

A city in Texas asking the NRA to stay the hell away from them?

I am not a Biblical scholar but I am pretty sure that is a sign of the End of Days.

Well for gun owners at least. 

Go ahead, somebody tell me again that these students in Florida are just kids, and that they will never have a real impact on the gun debate.

Donald Trump rigged the Miss universe contest so that the winners were from countries where he had business deals. Go ahead, act surprised.

Trump at the 2013 Miss universe contest in Moscow.
Courtesy of the New Yorker:  

From 1996 to 2015, Donald Trump co-owned the Miss Universe Organization, which also included the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Teen U.S.A. pageants. A day or two before a pageant began, Trump would casually visit the contestants while they conducted their final rehearsals. Former contestants told me that Trump would circulate among the young women, shaking hands and chatting with each of them, periodically turning to speak with Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, who followed him at a discreet distance. (Paula Shugart declined to comment.) Adwoa Yamoah, who competed as Miss Canada in 2012, told me, “He made comments about every girl: ‘I’ve been to that country.’ ‘We’re building a Trump Tower there.’ It was clear the countries that he liked did well. He’d whisper to Paula about the girls, and she’d write it down. He basically told us he picked nine of the top fifteen.” Kerrie Baylis, who was Miss Jamaica in 2013, described a similar scene and added that, when the finalists were announced, “the list looked like the countries that Donald Trump did business with, or wanted to do business with.” Shi Lim, who competed that year as Miss Singapore, told me, “The finalists were picked by Trump. He was really in charge. We called it the Trump card.” (A Miss Universe spokeswoman said that the pageant rules allowed the company’s staff, including Trump, to participate in naming the finalists.) 

Trump has long viewed his businesses as mutually reinforcing, with all the products—from hotels to steak, vodka to golf resorts—complementing one another. As he said in the introduction to the first episode of “The Apprentice,” the reality-television show that made him a global celebrity, “I’ve mastered the art of the deal and have turned the name Trump into the highest-quality brand.” Trump often staged the Miss Universe pageant in cities where he had other business interests, and finalists usually came from countries where Miss Universe had strong television ratings. Under Trump, the pageant was held twice in Las Vegas, twice in Florida, and twice in Puerto Rico. In the other years, Trump kept the pageant true to its origins as a swimsuit competition by setting the ceremony in warm-weather locations like Panama City, São Paulo, Quito, and Mexico City. (Although interest in beauty pageants has faded in the United States, it remains high in Latin America.) Only once did Trump steer the pageant away from temperate environments—in November, 2013, when Miss Universe took place in Russia. 

Today, the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow looks like a harbinger of the Trump campaign and Presidency, featuring some of the same themes and characters. Miss Universe represents a paradigmatic example of Trump’s business style in action—the exaggerations that teeter into lies, the willingness to embrace dubious partners, the hunger for glamour and recognition. Trump got away with this kind of behavior for decades, and he played by the same rules during his run for the Presidency.

So it appears that rigging contests is kind of in Trump's blood.

After all you did not think the winners of "The Apprentice" won due to their ability did you? 

So riddle me this Batman. Would a man used to always getting the winner he wants balk at a little help in winning his own race?

I think not.

White House officials saw the Florida school shooting as a "reprieve" from their constant concern about the Russia investigations and talk about Trump's extramarital affairs.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

The White House was under siege. 

Domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide were ignored, pointing to a potential high-level coverup. Two Cabinet secretaries were caught charging taxpayers for luxury travel. A Playboy centerfold alleged an extramarital affair with the president. And the special counsel’s Russia investigation was intensifying. The tumult was so intense that there was fervent speculation that President Trump might fire his chief of staff. 

But a gun massacre at a Florida high school last Wednesday, which left 17 dead, seemed to shift the media glare away from the Trump scandals and gave embattled aides an opportunity to re­focus on handling a crisis not of their own making. While the White House mourned the loss of life in Parkland, Fla., some aides privately acknowledged that the tragedy offered a breather from the political storm. 

A tentative plan for White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly to address the news media from the briefing room Wednesday — where he would have faced intense scrutiny over his role in the mishandling of the domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter — was scuttled. 

One White House official said the shooting forced the White House to focus on critical and serious issues — like consoling the victims and trying to heal the nation — rather than getting bogged down in what they view as more trivial West Wing drama.

“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal conversations. “A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”

The official compared this media change of focus to the one that happened after the Las Vegas shooting which claimed 58 lives.

Isn't it nice that all of these innocent Americans keep laying down their lives so that the White House can take a break from talking about Trump stream of infidelities and his possible collusion with Russia?

What kind of scumbags are we allowing to occupy the People's House?

Okay this is just insane.

President Obama pushed for sanctions against Russia, evicted a number of their diplomats, and made sure to protect the data needed for an investigation.

Donald Trump denied Russian interference until just recently, tried to set up a cyber security program WITH Russia, and refuses to implement the newest Russian sanctions that were overwhelmingly agreed upon by Congress.

This is the tweet of an insane person. 

The Dutch have created a parody of gun violence in America. It's actually pretty good.

Courtesy of Vox: 

Sunday with Lubach, which is sort of like the Dutch version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, looked at guns — specifically, the US’s love of firearms. And it’s very telling. 

For one, the satirical Dutch video describes America’s love of guns as so bad that it is an illness: Nonsensical Rifle Addiction, or NRA — a reference to the biggest gun lobby group in the country. 

“Dear fellow Europeans,” the video’s narrator begins, “a devastating humanitarian crisis is threatening a small country on the coast of North America: the United States of America.” 

The video goes on to list some of the statistics related to America’s gun homicides and accidents from Gun Violence Archive: 24,000 injuries and 11,000 deaths so far this year, culminating to roughly 40 deaths a day. The video pins this on “a terrible epidemic.” 

“NRA is a constitutional disorder caused by a dysfunction of the prefrontal Second Amendment in the nonsensical cortex, causing patients to shoot people,” the narrator explains. “It starts with an innocent Colt, but soon patients will show signs of shotguns, sniper rifles, and M16s even. Often, patients use silencers to hide their condition.”

This is certainly not the first time that Americans have been mocked for our ridiculous obsession with guns, but it is one of the more creative attempts.

The take away for us is the realization that the whole world sees our problem, as well as its solution, but we remain incapable of doing anything about it.

Watch the Secretary of State admit that he called Donald Trump a moron, by refusing to admit that he called Donald Trump a moron.

Oh man, I could watch that all day.