Wednesday, July 26, 2017

During Senate hearing Al Franken calls Donald Trump out for spreading Russian propaganda.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

The Minnesota Democrat questioned FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap and Justice Department national security official Adam Hickey about whether they had reason to doubt the intelligence assessment that Russia attempted to influence the election, and they agreed there was no evidence to question that finding. 

“Just last week, the newly minted White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci appeared on CNN and said, quote, ‘Somebody said to me yesterday — I won’t tell you who — that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those ­e-mails, you would have never seen it,’ Franken said.

As I mentioned yesterday Scaramucci identified that source as Donald Trump, and then of course the New York Times reported that Trump got that propaganda straight from Vladimir Putin. 

“The president of the United States is taking the word of Vladimir Putin over that of the U.S. intelligence agencies, which demonstrates a stunning lack of confidence in the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Franken said. “The president of the United States then goes on to repeat that Russian lie to the American press and to Mr. Scaramucci, effectively spreading Russia’s misinformation for them.”

Franken followed that up by  quoting from testimony by James Comey which stated that the Russian hacking was "unusually loud" as if they not only wanted to be identified as the hackers but that they wanted it to be reported in the media that they had successfully penetrated the American election process.

Both Priestap and Hickey agreed with that assessment.

So to be clear not only is Donald Trump spreading Russian propaganda, but it is propaganda which completely contradicts the findings of the FBI and other security agencies who state clearly that Russia was not even attempting to be sneaky.

And the fact that Donald Trump is a tool of the Kremlin is now part of the Senate record.

In case you missed it, yesterday Donald Trump brought up the idea that he might someday be on Mt. Rushmore while mocking the media that would report that he brought it up.

This is like a guy who stabs a homeless man if front of the police, and then bitches that they will probably arrest him for murder because that is what those stupid police always do.

By the way if you look at Trump's face you can see that he REALLY believes that he should be in contention for a place on Rushmore.

He only attempts to shape it as a joke in order to deflect criticism.

However I think we should all feel free to criticize and mock him mercilessly for this.

Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, falls victim to Russian pranksters.

Dammit! I thought these glasses made me too smart to fall for shit like that?
Courtesy of The Daily Beast:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was duped by Russian pranksters in a phone call he believed was conducted with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. In the 22-minute phone call confirmed by an Energy Department spokesperson Tuesday, Perry discussed everything from the oil and gas industry to coal exports and Russian cyberhacking with a person he believed to be the Ukrainian PM, but who was actually a Russian comedian. At one point, the man claiming to be Hroisman announced that the Ukrainian president had personally developed a “new kind of fuel” made from alcohol and manure, the distribution of which Perry said he’d be willing to discuss at a later date. Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, two Russian comedians known for similar prank calls, took credit for the stunt. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry was “the latest target of two Russian pranksters” who often target “those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their government’s.”

Nice explanation there Ms. Hynes, but we all know that the Trump Administration is not doing ANYTHING that is not in line with the Russian government.

Perry was pranked because simpletons are easy to take advantage of, and that is why we typically choose intelligent people to run the government.

I am sure that the first thought that went through most of your minds was that this seems eerily familiar, and you would be right.

Yet another bespectacled moron that pranksters found to be an easy target. 

Today's Trump Twitter tirade targets Lisa Murkowski, the transgendered, and the Acting FBI Director. Update!

Actually Murkowski sat down for an interview in which she explains why she voted against Trumpcare: 

"I voted no on the motion to proceed today because I didn't think that we were ready for the debate. And I have said pretty consistently that process really does matter, particularly when you're dealing with something that is as direct and personal as health care, something that has an impact on one-sixth of the nation's economy," Murkowski said in an interview Tuesday evening after the vote. "This is big, and then you throw in major Medicaid reform on top of that," she said. 

Murkowski argued that revisions to the Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare," are necessary, but that the Senate process has not been conducive to crafting good policy, "enduring policy." 

"And so my vote today was one that said, 'We're not ready to go to the floor to wrap this up,' " she said.

Of course Murkowski has been pilloried by many Republicans for her vote, both here at home and in Washington.

However there was one GOP Senator who was not disappointed: 

Of course, McCain came to a different conclusion, and flew in from Arizona just for the vote. A long, stitched-up gash covered one eye, and his complexion was pale, a man facing down potentially deadly brain cancer. 

"He did tell me, though … 'You did the right thing,' which made me feel good," Murkowski said of a conversation with the veteran senator right after the vote.

Trump also decided to go back on Obama's promise, and block transgendered folks from serving in the military.


According to Newsweek there are approximately 15,000 transgendered soldiers already serving this country's military, and that any medical costs have been greatly exaggerated by opponents.

Then a little later this morning Trump turned his attention back to Jeff Sessions and the Acting Director of the FBI.

It would appear that Trump is still pressuring Sessions to quit so he can replace him with an AG that will shut down the Russia investigation.

However Trump's charges that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe's wife directly received money from Hillary Clinton, or that it would have influenced the investigation into Clinton's email server, is bullshit according to Newsweek.

This is every day now that we have to address the rantings of a mad man.

When will enough be enough?

Update: Here is what is behind Trump dumping on the transgendered military members.
"This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of this issue. How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaigns?"  

Jesus Christ! They are using tactics from Karl Rove's playbook during the first George W. Bush campaign!

Alt-Right brags that Trump Administration is "giving them space to destroy."

Courtesy of Daily Kos.
Courtesy of Salon: 

“He’s going to give us space to destroy,” Michael Peinovich, the creator of The Right Stuff, an alt-right podcast network said during a Sunday guest appearance on “Fash the Nation,” the movement’s most popular web radio show.

“He’s going to give us space to operate, and frankly, it is space to destroy,” Peinovich continued. 

“Now is the time that we have to make hay while the sun shines . . . while these investigations of ‘domestic terrorist groups’ are not being funded by the government, they’re not being pushed by the Department of Homeland Security” argued one of the co-hosts of the program, an anonymous former Republican political staffer who calls himself Jazzhands McFeels. 

“We’d probably be facing fucking [racketeering] charges or some shit like that,” Peinovich said, discussing what he believed might have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election. 

“We have to use these four years to grow into something that can’t be defeated,” Peinovich said, referring to possible future investigations of neo-fascist groups. 

Some parts of the Trump administration actively want to encourage the growth of the alt-right, the former Hill staffer “Jazzhands McFeels” said, claiming that Trump’s top strategist Steve Bannon secretly was trying to enable the fringe movement. 

“They kind of expect us to be doing this. I’m not saying he’s our guy, but they want — at least Bannon, I would think — wants us to be able to operate in that space. So we should and we are,” he said. 

Both podcasters’ statements were met with agreement by guest Richard Spencer, an alt-right editor who operates a series of niche web publications and conferences catering to self-styled racist intellectuals who has since tried to rebrand himself as more of an activist.

You might remember Richard Spencer as a big Trump supporter who claimed that Trump was a white nationalist, whether he admitted it or not.

Whether Trump is as big of a racist as this Alt-Right crowd or not, the fact that he refuses to recognize any terrorism that does not come with a brown face and an Islamic background means it is open season for these clowns.

And that is very dangerous indeed.

FBI wants Alaskans to be on the lookout for human traffickers. I know just where to start.

Courtesy of the Peninsula Clarion:

“Even though this may be something that you say you don’t have in your community, you do have it in your community,” Special Agent Jolene Goeden of the Federal Beureau of Investigation said to a crowded room of hospital staff, local police officers and emergency medical services personnel on Wednesday at the Central Peninsula Hospital. 

“Traffickers know that they can make a lot of money in Alaska. … Many of the traffickers that we’re working cases on, that we know about, they move around Alaska,” Goeden said. “They don’t just work in Anchorage. They’re going to send girls down here to the Kenai area.” 

And it’s not just traffickers from Alaska. Goeden said that during busier seasons, traffickers from the Lower 48 move to Alaska.

“We have a number of traffickers that bring girls up for the weekends or weeks in order to work during periods of times that they know it’s more lucrative … during PFD times or the summer months when they know there are more tourists here,” Goeden said. “Big supply and demand.”

Well I don't have any personal knowledge of any current human trafficking for the purposes of sex, but I certainly know in which direction I would direct the FBI.

Might want to start somewhere around here.

I've heard some stories.

Thanks to Donald Trump a growing number of scientists are now entering politics.

Courtesy of Politico:  

The lab-coat liberals are marching on Washington. 

Dismayed by President Donald Trump’s perceived hostility to climate science and other areas of research, a surge of scientists is entering the public arena and running for political office for the first time.

They represent an evolving brand of Democrat that has been gaining steam for months. What began with rogue Twitter accounts and protest marches has graduated into candidacies in House races in places as varied as California, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York. 

The handful of scientists who have formally announced their candidacies so far — and the others who are preparing to join them — have cast themselves as a counterforce to the Trump administration’s dismissal of climate science and de-prioritization of innovation funding.

Well that ought to make the debates over climate change more interesting on the House floor.

What's more Trump's election has also inspired a rather large number of women to also enter politics.

I guess this can be seen as a sort of accidental positive side effect of Trump winning the presidency.

And at this point I will take any positive news that I can find.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Senators Jack Reed and Susan Collins caught on hot mic discussing Trump's sanity, his lack of understanding about the budget, and whether Collins could "beat the shit" out of Rep. Blake Farenthold.

Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Jack Reed.
Courtesy of WaPo: 

After Reed praises Collins’s leadership of the hearing, she laments the administration’s handling of spending. 

“I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out,” Collins says. “With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible.” 

“Yes,” Reed replies. “I think — I think he’s crazy,” apparently referring to the president. “I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.” “I’m worried,” Collins replies. 

“Oof,” Reed continues. “You know, this thing — if we don’t get a budget deal, we’re going to be paralyzed.” 

“I know,” Collins replies. 

“[Department of Defense] is going to be paralyzed, everybody is going to be paralyzed,” Reed says. 

“I don’t think he knows there is a [Budget Control Act] or anything,” Collins says, referring to a 2011 law that defines the budget process. 

“He was down at the Ford commissioning,” Reed says, referring to President Trump’s weekend event launching a new aircraft carrier, “saying, ‘I want them to pass my budget.’ Okay, so we give him $54 billion and then we take it away across the board which would cause chaos.”

“Right,” Collins replies.

Collins then went on to bring up  remarks made by Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold suggesting that if she were a man he would challenge her to "step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”

“Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?” Collins asks. 

“I know,” Reed replies. “Trust me. Do you know why he challenged you to a duel? ‘Cause you could beat the s— out of him.” 

“Well, he’s huge,” Collins replies. “And he — I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.” 

“Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this Playboy bunny?” she continues, referring to an infamous photo of Farenthold.

This by the way is the picture Collins is referring to:

So yes, Susan Colins COULD easily beat the shit out of him.

Here is the audio of the above remarks.

Just so you know Farenthold and Collins have already apologized to each other for their remarks, but let's face it the toothpaste is out of the tube concerning what they really think about each.

And we also know what some in the Senate secretly think about the guy now occupying the Oval Office. 

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.