Tag Archives: Politics

Political Roundup for January 10th, 2018…The National Look…RRH Elections

National

The GOP’s Death Wish: Parallels between 2010 and 2018 have inspired The Economist to look into a scenario in which blue state and suburban Republicans were to be wiped out. What did they find? 1) The Republican caucus would be even more beholden to the Freedom Caucus, and 2) Should the Democrats take control, the 111th Congress would look like a CPAC meeting in comparison. Sad!

Putting the Bully Back in Bully Pulpit: In the past two years, many Republican voters’ political opinions have changed at an astoundingly rapid rate. Accordingly, The Economist analyzed how the president’s screeds tweets and rhetorical pushes have affeted public opinions. Unsurprisingly, many Republicans simply adopted whatever position POTUS advocated at the time, including conspiracy theories (for example: miyins and miyins of illegals who cast ballots cost Trump the popular vote).

Doom!: In light of the cascade of recent GOP House retirements, the failing New York Times looked at whether the increasing talks of a coming Democratic wave have any merit. Its findings? Yes, the Donald’s approval numbers are low, and a large number of Republican retirements point in that direction. Yet, the Democrats may underpform because, unlike the Republicans of 1994, team blue presents no coherent agenda to offer voters other than the #resistance to the Donald.

Ideological Diversity: Alarmed at the possibility of Republicans becoming the Breitbart Party, the Governator has allied with some prominent moderate Republicans to keep the big tent, uh, big.

Oprah 2020: Longtime Oprah friend and CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King told colleagues yesterday that Oprah is “intrigued” by the idea of a presidential campaign. King did, however, hedge; she claimed she was merely “expressing a hunch.”

Super Zips: According to Dallas’ PBS affiliate (it has one of those?), suburbs in the Metroplex are among the nation’s most prosperous. What makes this worthy of mentioning in a roundup, however, is the inclusion of a map that shows the relative prosperity of each ZIP code. You might recognize a pattern; the Donald struggled in places that know of America’s greatness.

Trading Places: Despite some theses to the contrary, we have a sign that the urban revival in America has not reversed. For the first time ever, Chicago has a higher percentage of college grads than its suburbs.

It’s the Voters, Stupid: Harry Enten looked at the partisan turnout disparity in each midterm cycle going back to 1978. What did he find? Overall, Republicans have averaged a three-point turnout advantage (and even led during Republican administrations). This shouldn’t be cause for celebration, however; Enten found that, during the 2006 cycle, there was essentially no turnout advantage for either party…

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Oligarch Callista Gingrich and the Pope

by  @ The Oligarch Kings….

VATICAN-POPE-USA

Gosh I’m so gauche…

Browsing round the papers this morning I was struck by two connected items.  First the entrenched quality of Oligarchy with its attendant cronyism in the United States, and the sclerotic reactionary conservatism of the Holy Catholic Church.

It combined with Callista Gingrich the third wife of Newt Gingrich taking up her appointment as Ambassador to the Holy See or Vatican as most of us call it..  The picture above is from her delivering her credentials on 22ndDecember.

In America people who give money to winning campaigns get to be Ambassadors. In this America is all but unique.  It is a practice only used by her, and a few burned-out basket cases of countries also riddled with debt and corruption.  In this America is right up there with such luminaries as Kazakhstan.

And not surprisingly they are not necessarily good at what they do.  Who can forget the cringe-making Christmas Cards from Bruce Oreck’s time in Finland?  Bruce seemed only interested in showing off his body building prowess to the bemused Finns rather than knuckling down to promoting the interests of the country that had sent him there (and which paid him sweetly as well).  Or how about the toe-curling embarrassment of Cynthia Stroum, one-time Ambassador to Luxembourg who required to be withdrawn following a damaging internal report about the wreckage of her office.  If Wikileaks showed us anything positive it was the complex and intricate nature of the work of the US Diplomatic corps. But hey these gauche newbies get a whole two week “How-To-Be-An-Ambassador” course at the State Department Foreign Service institute – whether they need it or not….

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Trump sounds ignorant of history. But racist ideas often masquerade as ignorance….

…from the Washington Post….


A sign with a Confederate flag touts President Trump’s 2016 campaign in North Carolina in May 2017. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The racial story is often told from assuming lips.

All year, that story has been told from the prevailing assumption that President Trump, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other allies of the Trump administration who have rhetorically rewrote the Civil War are “startlingly ignorant” about American history — not to mention the American present.

The latest backlash and accusations of ignorance came in response to Kelly saying on Fox News last month that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” There were “men and women of good faith on both sides,” including the “honorable” Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Kelly said. The next day, Sanders gave her defense of Kelly during a news briefing. “There’s pretty strong consensus” that “a failure of compromise” sparked the Civil War. Defenders of Confederates and their statues rallied all year long from Charlottesville to Knoxville, from the White House to the defeated gubernatorial campaign of Ed Gillespie.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man” and said that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the Civil War(Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

“Not a good day for Sarah Huckabee Sanders or the places that taught her history (looking at you Central High and Ouachita Baptist),” an Arkansas editor mourned in her home state. “Kelly’s understanding of American history and the Civil War is piss-poor and willfully ignorant,” a Salon writer raged.

Historians have been no less troubled about “this profound ignorance,” as Yale historian David Blight termed it. Likewise politicians. Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Kelly “needs a history lesson.”

But what if they are not the ignorant ones? What if we are the ignorant ones, for assuming they are ignorant? What if the real “national crisis” is not Trump’s ignorance, but rather our own ignorance of how racist ideas propagate themselves in American society?….

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Following Trump’s wishes…AG Session talks about a Hillary Clinton Special Prosecutor….

With Robert Mueller breathing down Donald Trump’s neck?

He has resorted to going back to bring up Hillary Clinton and her time at the Obama State Department and James Comey the ex-FBI Diirector that Trump fired….

It isd now reported that Attorney General Jeff Session MAYBE trying to push back against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats by going after her….

This is something American politicans do NOT do up to now…

But with Sessions?

Who knows?

This would be a dark turn in American politics and the American Presidency….

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering naming a special counsel to lead an investigation into a list of matters involving Hillary Clinton, according to a Monday letter the Justice Department sent to the House Judiciary Committee.

President Trump’s top prosecutor is interested in further probing a wide range of topics including the Obama-era Uranium One deal that gave a Russian-owned company partial control of U.S. atomic energy resources.

Officials told The Hill that the Justice Department is also currently investigating several issues related to Clinton Foundation donations, the unmasking of American identities by the intelligence community and former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s private email server, all of which could lead to the appointment of a second special prosecutor if the facts warrant.

The letter comes in response to the repeated appeal of Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the Judiciary panel, who called on Sessions twice this year to appoint a second special counsel who could independently investigate these concerns…..

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Trump hire’s and send’s people to work without Congressional confirmation…

He’s Donald Trump….

The King….

He doesn’t need Congress to ok his hires, right?…That just the Law….

The Trump administration is pushing the limits of an obscure federal law that restricts nominees from serving in federal positions before they’re approved by the Senate.

A POLITICO review has identified four officials at three different agencies doing substantially similar work to the position for which they have been nominated – despite not yet getting a green-light from the Senate.

The hires reflect increasing impatience in federal agencies that key jobs remain unfilled nine months into the new administration.

President Donald Trump has complained repeatedly that Democrats are moving too slowly to confirm his nominees, though he’s also said he intends to leave many jobs empty. Democrats counter that the onus is on Trump, who has not yet announced nominees for a slew of key positions across the government.

Either way, lawyers and other experts said the moves – including by the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget – to have unconfirmed nominees show up for work appears to skirt the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which prohibits most people who have been nominated to fill a vacant government position from performing that office’s duties in an acting capacity.

It’s unclear whether the officials in question are in direct violation of the law, but some experts said the administration appears to be defying its intent…..

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Trump Drug Head pick won’t get the job….

Due to a CBS ’60 Minutes’ and Washington Post focus on Rep. Tom Marino’s past actions ?

He will Not get the White House Drug Czar job….

In addition, the media focus pieces has moved Trump announce soon a push to deal with the opioid crises…..

Trump said “that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic and declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations [joint WashPost/’60 Minutes’] that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies,” reports the Post lead story.

Why it matters: The report “detailed how a targeted lobbying effort helped weaken the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise.”…

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There was an attempted terror attack last Friday on a U.S. airport, and no one is talking about it.

By RETIII  @ Daily Kos
The North Florida Survival Group teaches “patriots” of all ages to handle weapons and survive in the wild.

This is pretty amazing.  As explained by Shaun King at the Intercept, a terror attack on a U.S. airport was narrowly foiled just this past Friday:

On past Friday morning, at 12:39 a.m., security footage from the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina showed a man walking through the front doors wearing black clothing and a black cap, while carrying a bag. “Based on a review of the video, the individual walked near the entrance to the terminal, went out of sight momentarily, and was then seen departing the area without the bag,” according to the criminal complaint.

Following the Transportation Security Administration’s protocols, airport security allowed a bomb dog to sniff the bag for explosives and the dog signaled to the team the presence of dangerous materials in the bag. The concourse was then shut down. The street leading to the airport was shut down. And Asheville Regional Airport officials found themselves in a dangerous emergency situation.

What investigators eventually found in the bag was AN/FO (Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil) explosives that, according to the criminal complaint, have been used “in a number of terrorist-related incidents around the world. When AN/FO comes into contact with a flame or other ignition source it explodes violently. Nails or ball bearings are often items added to the device so as to increase the devastation inflicted by the explosion.”

This bomb was meant to cause multiple deaths:

In fact, sharp nails and bullets were found in this improvised explosive device. Whoever built it designed the bomb to cause horrific bodily harm. Before disarming it, authorities discovered that the alarm attached to it was scheduled to go off at 6:00 a.m. that morning just as a fresh round of travelers was scheduled to arrive at the airport.

The man who planted it, it turns out, openly admitted to authorities that he was “preparing to fight a war on U.S. soil” and that this bomb was but one part of that war.

Holy cow!  Where is the wall-to-wall media coverage?  Why hasn’t President Trump been tweeting about this?  How is this story uncovered?

Well, as Shaun King points out, the answer appears to be because the bomber — who has been arrested — is not Muslim.  No, he is a White guy.  A militia type who wanted to kill Americans and start a war on U.S soil….

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image..Brian Blanco/Reuters

Political Roundup for October 11th, 2017…RRH Elections…

Last night, Republicans held FL-LD-44, while the following combinations advanced in mayoral elections in North Carolina:
Raleigh: Nancy McFarlane (I) 49 – Charles Francis (D) 37
Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan (D) 61 – Diane Moffett (D) 22
Durham: Steve Schewel (D) 51 – Farad Ali (D) 29
Fayetteville: Mitch Colvin (D) 45 – Nat Robertson (R) 32

President/Miscellaneous

Duh: The failing New York Times shares the obvious: ultra mature President Donald Trump’s super not petty and totally provoked fight with outgoing US Senator and Liddle Man Bob Corker (R) isn’t endangering his legislative agenda.

Big, Beautiful Wall: Speaking of the American Great Wall… According to the very dishonest AP, many people are saying that they don’t like the Donald’s proposed wall. They also disapprove of his plan to deport the “dreamers.”

Chicago Demographics: According to The Economist, without the Big, Beautiful Wall soon to Make America Great Again, Hispanics have eclipsed African-Americans to become Chicago’s second-largest ethnic group. Until recently, they were long ignored by the C[r]ook County Democratic machine.

God’s Waiting Room: The Wall Street Journal reports that real estate developers are looking to shake Boca Raton, Florida’s reputation as “God’s waiting room.” Given the perennial swing state’s very troubling age gap, these sorts of things are always worth keeping an eye on, especially when they reflect potential larger trends.

Russians and Fake News: The New York Times highlights the ingenious method by which clever, Russian-run accounts fanned the flames of controversy on both sides in 2016: anger. This quote really says it best: “One of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion, and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.”….

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Arnold Schwarzenegger at 70…Rich, Having fun…And Going after Donald Trump….

The Terminator is living the ‘Life’!

Image result for arnold schwarzenegger

Welcome to the strange and wondrous political afterlife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a rural Austrian kid who parlayed his success as perhaps the greatest bodybuilder of all time into a lucrative career as Hollywood’s top action hero, then parlayed that into becoming the improbable Republican governor of California for two terms.

Now, six years after leaving Sacramento, he’s still reinventing himself—as a kind of globetrotting do-gooder, promoting a handful of causes like fighting climate change and gerrymandering. But mostly, he’s having a hell of a good time. Wherever he goes, everybody knows him. Everybody loves him. With a net worth estimated at $300 million, he zips around the world in private jets and has restaurant owners pick up his tab because they’re just so honored he chose to eat there. Constant selfies. He sounds off on whatever he wants, but has no actual responsibility. His perfect day is waking up and not knowing what country he’ll eat dinner in.

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image….money.cnn.com

‘Sleeping Giant’ is getting companies to delist ads on Breitbart….

They are invisible but up to now pretty effecive in notifing companies that their ads go to the conservative Breitbart blog site which has championed views that some find racially and relgiously ‘insensitive’…..

Over 1,000 of those companies have pulled their ads from the sites rotation, which has caused alarm for the site which Steve Bannon has retreared to after leaviong the Trump White House….

The Breitbart site looks at the actions as going against it’s ‘free speech rights’….But I guess you could turn that around also….

Sleeping Giants is a mysterious group that has no address, no organizational structure and no officers. At least none that are publicly known. All of its leaders are anonymous, and much of what it claims is difficult to independently verify. A spokesman for the group wouldn’t identify himself in interviews for this story.

But the group does have a singular purpose, pursued as relentlessly as Ahab chasing a whale: It aims to drive advertisers away from Breitbart. “We’re trying to defund bigotry,” the spokesman says.

Sleeping Giants’ basic approach is to make Breitbart’s advertisers aware that they are, in fact, Breitbart advertisers. Many apparently don’t know this, given that Web ads are often bought through third-party brokers, such as Google and Facebook. The brokers then distribute them to a network of websites according to algorithms that seek a specific target audience (say, young men) or a set number of impressions.

As a result of such “programmatic” buying, advertisers often are in the dark about where their ads end up. Advertisers can opt out of certain sites, of course, but only if they affirmatively place them on a blacklist of sites.

So when an ad appears on Breitbart, Sleeping Giants or one of its 109,000 Twitter followers and 35,000 Facebook followers flag the advertiser, often accompanied by an image of the sponsors’ ad next to a Breitbart story…..

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Hillary Clinton regrets not going ‘BIG”….

Never mind that the stuff wouldn’t work….

Obama and Trump and others ALWAYS throw out BIG crazy shit that they KNOW won’t work , but that people want to hear….

Clinton was NEVER THAT person….

She now relializes that she made a mistake….

Policy papers don’t get ya to the White House….

Dreams DO….(It is what defines candidates running for office)

(Like Single Payer Health Insurance?)

Image result for hillary Clinton

A cash payment to guarantee a basic income for every American. A nationwide “carbon-dividend program” to tax fossil fuels and redirect the revenue to citizens. Taxing an individual’s net worth instead of their annual income as a way to reduce income inequality.

Hillary Clinton considered proposing each of these transformative ideas during her ill-fated presidential campaign last year, she writes in What Happened, the memoir she is releasing Tuesday. The former secretary of state discarded all of them, however. They were too costly, she writes. Her campaign “couldn’t make the numbers work.”

“We decided it was exciting but not realistic, and left it on the shelf. That was the responsible decision,” Clinton writes about the cash-payment proposal, which was based on Alaska’s program of distributing the state’s oil royalties in dividends to its residents. She is now having second thoughts. “I wonder now whether we should have thrown caution to the wind and embraced ‘Alaska for America’ as a long-term goal and figured out the details later.”

Another reason Clinton does not list, but that is left in the reader’s mind, is this: She didn’t need to go big to defeat either Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary or Donald Trump in the general election. She didn’t need to mimic their embrace of bold but unachievable ideas, to risk making promises she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep. Clinton, both she and seemingly everyone else knew, was going to win the presidency anyway….

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Note….

Running for office and telling people what you can actually DO in office are TWO DISTICTLY different things ….

Hillary Clinton has just figured that out….

It has cost her….

image…cnn.com

We have never let Hillary Clinton speak for herself….

Amen….

By DiesIrae  @Daily Kos…..

Hillary-Clinton-What-Happened.jpg

Say what you want about her politics — love her, hate her, oranything in between — throughout her career one thing is constant. No one has ever accepted Hillary Clinton’s right to speak for herself.

In the early 90s, it was all about how she was too liberal. It was the conventional wisdom that she was far more liberal than her husband. I still remember all the attacks on her for being an outspoken feminist, and the refusal to accept her desire to work for the public interest.

In the late 90s, she was attacked relentlessly for choosing to stay with her husband despite his affair. Never mind that being her personal choice. Then when she got into politics, she was smeared with all the usual tropes against strong women in politics: ambitious, calculating, ruthless.

(Is it any wonder that she reacted by forming a shell? The media, led by certain outlets we all know and love, spent a decade tearing her to shreds not just as a politician, but as a person. She emerged with a siege mentality which arguably handicapped her for the rest of her political career).

In 2008, she lost a heartbreaking primary. She dealt with defeat in an incredibly graceful way, endorsing her opponent unambiguously, with passion, and working her heart out to get him elected. After the election, she accepted an offer to serve as his Secretary of State.

What did she get in return? She became a lightning rod for grievances against the president from the left. All of Obama’s deviations from perfection — not to mention her husband’s — became her responsibility. In late 2015 and early 2016, she was accused at every turn of being a secret Republican. Of being against universal health care despite having proposed it and fought for it in the early 1990s. Of being singlehandedly responsible for Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other foreign policy mistake over the last 25 years (say what you want about her decisions, some of the criticism was far over the top). Of being a tool of Wall Street. Hell, she was accused of being anti-choice.

The fact that these criticisms were the exact opposite of the criticisms thrown at her in the 1990s was irrelevant. Neither narrative really matched reality. Clinton has been a fairly mainstream Democrat for her entire political life…..

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