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Open Thread: When Mom Lets You Have A Party

Tue, 2018-02-20 23:44

Wow thank you so much for letting me host tonight

— hannah (@TribalSpaceCat) February 16, 2018

Thanks, Mom!

Open thread below...

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C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Fatal Figures

Tue, 2018-02-20 23:00

February 20th marks the day that the Queen of Rock-n-Roll was born. Yep! It's Poison Ivy Rorschach of the Cramps birthday.

At first, I pondered which song by the band to post. Then I remembered that I recently posted a Cramps video here and, with so much music available at our fingertips these days, figured to take a different angle. What about a group that their sound spawned? Something creepy, swampy, freaky and groovy.

Such a one has been spending a lot of time on my turntable lately. Outta Buffalo, New York here's Fatal Figures. Their new LP, You Are Monster, is overloaded with those kind of punk rock haunted house and B-movie vibes.

What are you listening to tonight?

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Some New Ideas On How To Regulate Guns

Tue, 2018-02-20 22:00

Axios morning email thingie has an intriguing storyline from Andrew Ross Sorkin at the NYTimes:

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Escalating Right-Wing Smear Campaign Against Parkland Kids Seems To Be Organized And Coordinated

Tue, 2018-02-20 18:59

As you probably know, the right is attacking the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived last week's massacre and are now calling for legislative action on guns.

Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich [is] claiming that Hogg is a plant because he is the child of an FBI agent.

Right-wing cable news channel One America News Networkshared Wintrich’s post....

Hyperpartisan site True Pundit also ran with it....

Donald Trump Jr. liked tweets sharing the conspiracy theory.

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Parkland Kids Travel To Tallahassee To See Legislators Refuse To Consider Assault Weapons Ban

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:33

One hundred students from Parkland traveled to Florida's capital today in the hopes that the state legislature would act on an assault weapons ban in the wake of the school shooting last week.

They were disappointed, as the vote to open debate -- not even a vote on the actual ban -- was voted down with 71 nays, 36 yeas, and 13 not voting.

Every nay vote came from a Republican. Every one. And they did it in the full view of students who just last week saw their friends and classmates gunned down with an AR-15, which is also what the people in Las Vegas saw, which is also what the people in Sandy Hook saw, which is also what the people in Aurora saw, and so forth.

The common thread is always the AR-15, and Florida Republicans just told those students that their lives matter less than the sweet, sweet freedom of NRA dollars.

Reaction was swift. I do not think this time is like other times. I believe that these kids and their allies are going to change the politics of guns in Florida.

Republicans can keep carrying the NRA's water and take their sweet dollars, but kids like Emma González are going to defeat them.

Expect them, Florida Republicans.

Huckabee Sanders Lies In Briefing: 'This President Has Been Tougher On Russia Than Obama!'

Tue, 2018-02-20 17:19

The White House truly doesn't know what to do about the Russia story, because it's spiraling out of control and so fast they can't do much besides lie a lot, which is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders did today during her press conference, first to ABC's Jonathan Karl and then to NBC's Hallie Jackson.

Jackson asked a question we're all curious about: "Why hasn't the president implemented the sanctions which Congress passed last year?"

Blank stare. Hem. Haw. You know how to tell when a provable lie is about to come out of Huckabee's mouth? The word "look" is the giveaway, just as it is here.

And also, the unintelligible reply where she makes things up on the fly, like the idea that there is some kind of ongoing process that has to take place (there isn't) or that they're going through that process (they're not), or, when that fails, there's always SQUIRREL!

"But what i can tell you is that the president has been extremely tough on Russia," she insisted.

Point 1: "He helped push through $700 billion to rebuild our military. I can assure you Russia is not excited about that."

(I don't think Russia really cares, to be honest.)

Point 2: "He's helped export energy to Eastern Europe. I can assure you Russia is not excited about that."

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John Roberts Hammers Trump's Cluelessness: 'He Has No Ideas' On Gun Policy

Tue, 2018-02-20 16:44

No matter how much Sarah Huckabee Sanders ducked and squirmed, John Roberts was not in the mood to let her off the hook when it came to what he planned to do policy-wise to prevent and stop tragic mass shootings.

He started with a list of all the terrible shootings, reminding Sanders that Trump had promised action on bump stocks after the Las Vegas shooting, a thing that just fell off radar after the furor died down.

He moved on to recount other mass shootings where breasts are beaten and promises made that never comes to pass before trying to pin her down.

"Other than supporting a bill that would encourage state and federal agencies to do what they're supposed to do, does the president have any ideas, any ideas at all on how to address this?," Roberts asked. "Or is he starting from scratch?"

You know what would have been nice here? Sarah Huckabee Sanders just being human enough to admit that it's a horror and a disgrace that our kids are being gunned down like paper targets while they're in school. But no. We can't even get that much out of her.

"I can tell you that the president supports not having the use of bump stocks," she replied. And that we expect further action on that in the coming days."

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David Brooks: Moral Idiocy Incarnate

Tue, 2018-02-20 15:26

And here is David Brooks' "How To Negotiate With Monsters" as it works in the real world.
(Caution: This is a violent clip that contains a major Breaking Bad spoiler.)

[embed eid="28191" /]

As America's Leading Brooksologist, after 13 years and the hundreds of thousands of words I have published on the subject, I take it as my job to tell you true things about Mr. David Brooks and, by extension, the mainstream media power structure which created Mr. Brooks and protects him like a glutton protecting his lunch.

So here is a true thing: The Sulzberger family has been paying Mr. Brooks to write slight variations of the same, ridiculous Both Siderist claptrap for 15 years. This has made Mr. Brooks a wealthy and influential Washington D.C. power player. It has brought him professional respectability and a life of extraordinary privilege which Mr. Brooks has lived exactly where Mr. Brooks has always wanted to live -- detached from human concerns and floating dirigibly as far above the Real World as humanly possible.

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The Worst News For Trump Yet - Mueller Researching Manafort's Russia Ties

Tue, 2018-02-20 14:30

It's all about "Follow the Money." And Paul Manafort has plenty.

The latest indictment from the Mueller Probe involves a lawyer named Alex van der Zwaan, who allegedly lied to the FBI about text messages.

But the bombshell in today's indictment is that it pertains to Paul Manafort, and his work against a pro-West woman politician named Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko campaigned for office in the Ukraine on a platform of getting Russian money, Putin money, out of Ukrainian elections. Manafort worked for Tymoshenko's opponent, using the catch-phrase, get this:

"Lock Her Up."

Alex Van Der Zwaan has been charged with making false statements to federal authorities about conversations related to a report he helped prepare for the "Lock Her Up" trial of Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko.


— Richard Hine (@richardhine) February 20, 2018

And watch the video above at the 41-second-mark, as MSNBC's Ken Delaney reads off Tymoshenko's name from the indictment information.

Was that a "Whoa!" or a "Wow!" from Malcolm Nance?

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Don Jr. Applauds Poor People's 'Spirit' While Promoting Million Dollar 'Trump' Condos In India

Tue, 2018-02-20 13:20

I have three questions:

What is Don Jr. doing in India?

What the hell?

And why is Saturday Night Live on hiatus for the Olympics? Because this is gold medal comedy right here.

According to reports, Donald Trump Jr. is in India to promote Trump Tower Delhi, a condo development featuring 254 apartments ranging from $850,000 to $1.7 million, along with three other similar condo projects across India. Individuals who make a commitment to buy a a Trump (tm) condo (this week only!) can dine with Don Jr. Don Jr. has secret service protection for the trip and is also meeting with Prime Minister Modi during his visit, so no appearance of corruption there, amirite?

Wrong it's totally the appearance of corruption.

He also took time out to appear on a panel on Indian TV, where he praised the poor in India for smiling.

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Open Thread - Republicans Love Russians

Mon, 2018-02-19 23:30

On topic: See Steve M.'s post, "Of Course Republicans Aren't Upset About Russian Interference In Our Elections" from earlier today.

Open Thread below...

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C&L's Late Nite Music Club With James Brown

Mon, 2018-02-19 23:00

How did you celebrate President's Day today?

Unlike our current president, I am sure most of us did what we always do. Y'know, Going to work and doing the actual job I get paid to do.

James Brown and the JB's went into the studio to record this in 1974 just as Gerald R. Ford was taking office. Who knew that James had a crystal ball to see farther into the future where it's not a good kind of musical funk coming out of DC but a rancid one that smells like a landfill on fire.

What are you listening to tonight?

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Lyin' Ryan Blames Social Security And Medicare For Deficit

Mon, 2018-02-19 23:00

Lyin' Paul Ryan went on Faux News' Sunday Morning Futures and proudly declared that, if he gets his way, the poor, the elderly and the disabled will have no future.

Somehow doing it with a straight face, Ryan stated that the only way - the ooooonnnnnnllllllyyyyy way! - to deal with the ballooning defecit is to attack the root cause - the Republican tax cut giveaways to the rich.

Not really.

He tried to blame the trillions of deficit that he and his fellow Republicans caused with their extremely lavish tax cut giveaways on "entitlements."

Yeah, right. The fact that the Kochs alone were going to get $1.5 billion from Ryan's giveaway had absolutely nothing to do with it.

And never mind that the military - already bigger than most other countries combined - is getting even more money.

No, the problem is grandma and grandpa, who put their money into Social Security and Medicaid so that they would have it in their golden years. Those parasites need to be cut off immediately!

Now, the cynical person might say that Ryan is simply trying to cash in on his last year as Speaker of the House, if not in Congress altogether (Go Randy IronStache Bryce!).

But Ryan said himself that cutting off grandma's income and health insurance is good for her and will set her free.

Free to die.

Of Course Republicans Aren't Upset About Russian Interference In Our Elections

Mon, 2018-02-19 22:00

David Frum wonders whether the White House is doing nothing about Russian interference in the 2016 election because the president and others in his party want more of the same this year:

To what extent does President Trump—to what extent do congressional Republicans—look to Russian interference to help their party in the 2018 cycle?

Most observers predict a grim year for the GOP in 2018.... A little extra help could make a big difference to Republican hopes—and to Trump’s political survival.

Nothing has been done in the past 15 months to prevent that help from flowing. You have to wonder whether the president does not privately welcome that help, as he publicly welcomed help from WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016.

Trump’s own tweets reveal that among the things he most fears is the prospect of Representative Adam Schiff gaining the gavel of the House Intelligence Committee from the clownish present chairman, Devin Nunes. How far would Trump go to stop a dreaded political opponent, inside the law and outside?

Digby says she finds this puzzling:

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'Harvest Box'? On SNAP, Trump Delivers An Empty Promise

Mon, 2018-02-19 21:00

“America’s Harvest Box.”

That’s what the Trump administration called its plan to substitute prepackaged, low-quality processed foods for some of the food assistance currently being received by an estimated 46 million people (based on numbers for 2015, the last year for which data are available).

The term “harvest box” has been used by benign programs that distribute local produce like this one, and for USDA pilot programs in Maryland and Virginia designed to offer “seamless access to locally produced food and products” and to “boost rural economic development.”

That’s not the kind of “harvest box” Trump has in mind. People would not receive freshly harvested food under his administration’s proposal. In fact, as farmers’ groups have pointed out, it would hamper recipients’ ability to buy fresh farm products at farmers’ markets.

Kind of Blue

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House Republicans Just Voted To Eliminate The Agency That Makes Sure Voting Machines Can’t Be Hacked

Mon, 2018-02-19 20:00

The Republicans aren't even hiding it anymore: They just don't care if elections are stolen or hacked. Period. They flat out don't care. The Nation is reporting that the House Administration Committee voted 6-3 (party lines) to flat out eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. So why is this a big deal? Well, the EAC helps state run their elections and it is the ONLY agency that it in charge of ensuring that voting machine's can't be hacked. The EAC was created after the 2000 election to help work on that "hanging chad" issue that may have sealed the deal for George W. Bush in Florida.

The Republican's hate it, plain and simple. They don't wait fair elections. They wantgerrymandering, voter suppression (see Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity) and Voter ID Laws. They do not want anything to help keep elections fair, because it would almost certainly mean that Democratic candidates would start winning.

Case in point: Committee chair Gregg Harper (R-MS) said: “It is my firm belief that the EAC has outlived its usefulness and purpose.”

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Fox Is Only Calming Trump As Ken Starr Gives Him A Pass

Mon, 2018-02-19 19:00

Ken Starr went full lifeboat for Donald Trump on Fox News yesterday. It's not Trump's fault it's just the Russians. Why can't Americans get along?

We’re now aiming our guns so to speak where they should be aiming. I think we should stop pointing fingers at one another in this country and realize who the real enemy is. The real enemy here is not within, it is without... These were spies It was an effort to pit us against one another and Vladimir Putin has succeeded.

Starr also sided with Trump against the FISA court while ignoring the amount of evidence presented to that court to get a warrant:

The FISA court was developed and created to be a safeguard to protect American liberty against executive branch excess. But there’s an assumption there. That is the government—the Justice Department, or the FBI or whomever—is being honest and transparent. And there was a real breakdown there.

Of course Trump was watching and had to tweet his approval.

Thank you to KenStarr, former Independent Counsel, Whitewater, for your insight and powerful words on FISA abuse, Russian meddling etc. Really great interview with @MariaBartiromo

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018

Ironstache Slams Ryan For His Worse Than Nothing Gun Stance

Mon, 2018-02-19 15:00

After yet another avoidable mass shooting at a school, this time killing 17 students and teachers in Florida, Lyin' Paul Ryan, gave his standard cliche responses:

Amid renewed debate over gun control after Wednesday's school shooting in Florida, House Speaker Paul Ryan is arguing that now is not the time to wage political battles.

"This is one of those moments where we just need to step back and count our blessings," he told reporters Thursday at a news conference at the Capitol. "We need to think less about taking sides and fighting each other politically, and just pulling together. This House, and the whole country, stands with the Parkland community."


Pressed on whether he'd consider a select committee on combating gun violence -- a request that Democrats have made repeatedly -- Ryan said "I think Congress should do its job" and referred to mental health reform legislation the House passed in 2016.

"That legislation is now just taking place, that legislation is now being implemented," he said.

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ESPN Host Gives Lesson On White Privilege After Laura Ingraham Tells LeBron To 'Shut Up And Dribble'

Mon, 2018-02-19 14:29

Conservative ESPN host Stephen A. Smith, who has repeatedly told African-Americans to vote Republican, on Monday called out Fox News host Laura Ingraham after she said that LeBron James should "shut up and dribble" instead of talking about President Donald Trump.

After James asserted that Trump does not "give a [expletive] about the people," Ingraham blasted him on her Fox News program.

"This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school early to join the NBA," Ingraham told her viewers. "It's always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball."

For his part, James is on record saying that he will not be silenced by the Fox News host.

Speaking on ESPN's First Take program on Monday, Smith explained why he felt compelled to speak out against Ingraham on behalf of other American-Americans.

"People from different ethnic backgrounds may take it differently," Smith said to conservative ESPN host Will Cain. "She has an obligation to be sensitive to that because if they hear it differently than you or I heard it, she holds some culpability in that regard."

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Ted Lieu: 'I Expect To See A Lot More Indictments Come Forward'

Mon, 2018-02-19 14:00

Congressman Ted Lieu joined Alex Witt on Sunday to discuss the latest news about the Mueller investigation and what it means for Donald Trump. Lieu pulled no punches, laying into Trump for his refusal to implement Russian sanctions, his unhinged tweets and what he thinks the Mueller investigation is leading to.

WITT: Congressman, I know you were listening to both Richard Engel there and Kelly O'Donnell. What is your takeaway from the 37-page indictment from Robert Mueller?

LIEU: Well, my takeaway is that the Kremlin interfered in our elections, that this is serious, and the best way to respond is to first of all impose a bipartisan congressional sanctions that Congress passed last year. President Trump has yet to do that. Instead, he's launched a series of unhinged tweets this morning. To me, that's not only wildly inappropriate, it shows consciousness of guilt, which is what would a person who's guilty do. That's what a person would do, mislead, lie, and not take action against the Kremlin.

WITT: What do you think the likelihood is that these sanctions will be imposed now? There's so much publicity around it. We're all talking about it. In terms of the timeliness, must it happen now? Will it happen now?

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