Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rep. Blake Farenthold is a naughty naughty boy.

The New York Times has done a rather extensive expose on the goings on in the office of Blake Farenthold and why this guy has not yet been forced out of office is a complete mystery to me.

Here are a few examples: 

As allegations of sexual misconduct rock Capitol Hill — three lawmakers announced their resignations last week alone — Mr. Farenthold, Republican of Texas, stands out as the survivor. He was sued over accusations of sexual harassment three years ago, paid out an $84,000 settlement, financed by taxpayers, and has an open Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior. Yet only a few Republicans have called for his resignation. 

A peek into the inner workings of his office reveals the kind of hostile work environment, rife with sexual innuendo, that prompted Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, to call Congress “the worst” place for women to work.

He's a bully: Former employees also said that Mr. Farenthold had an explosive temper and often bullied his aides, prompting a high turnover.

.........

Ms. Peace and another former aide to Mr. Farenthold, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of harming that aide’s reputation, described an atmosphere in his Washington office that was freewheeling, yet also filled with anxiety. 

The congressman, they said, was volatile. When he was angry, they added, Mr. Farenthold would berate them, sometimes sweeping his arm across his desk, knocking its contents to the floor, and threatening to fire people. Ms. Daniels, who has worked for Mr. Farenthold since March, said she had never witnessed such behavior, adding, “All the staff get along here very well.”

The work atmosphere was sexually charged and Farenthold was a drunk:  

The refrigerator in the “bullpen” — the open area where aides worked — was filled with beer, and sometimes happy hour would begin at 4:30 p.m., which his aides called “beer-thirty.” Ms. Peace said women would discuss which male lobbyists had texted them pictures of their genitals, and both men and women would talk about strip clubs and whether certain Fox News anchors had breast implants. 

“There were numerous lewd comments that were made either about female reporters’ breast size, or other reporters’ breast size as well as female lobbyists and their appearance that would go on,” the other former aide said. “On any given week you were prone to either ridicule, rude comments, acts of aggression or rage.”

 In the office, the congressman was known to like redheads. In her complaint, Ms. Greene said Mr. Farenthold “regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘redhead patrol’ to keep him out of trouble.”

There was a "redhead patrol?"

Okay if freaking Al Franken had to give up his job because of the relatively mild by comparison  misconduct he was accused of, it would seem that Farenthold should be run out of town on a rail for his various indiscretions.

I thought that Donald Trump was probably the biggest pervert in Washington, but I may have to reevaluate that assumption.

Men accused of plotting to blow up a mosque in Kansas want to make sure that there are trump voters on the jury.

Courtesy of TPM: 

Three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali refugees asked a federal judge Friday to include prospective jurors from rural western Kansas because they are twice as likely to have voted for President Donald Trump.

A defense motion argues that plans to only summon citizens in the more urban counties closest to the federal courthouse in Wichita is a discriminatory practice that excludes rural and conservative jurors. The trial begins March 19.

Gavin Wright, Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights for allegedly planning to detonate truck bombs in the meatpacking town of Garden City the day after the November 2016 election. Wright also faces a charge of lying to the FBI. 

The three men, who were indicted in October 2016, have pleaded not guilty.“This case is uniquely political because much of the anticipated evidence will center around, and was in reaction to, the 2016 Presidential election,” defense attorneys wrote. 

They also argued the case will require jurors to weigh whether the alleged conduct constitutes a crime or whether it is constitutionally protected speech and assembly and the right to bear arms.

So to be clear the argument here seems to be that they want Trump voters on the jury because they believe that they are more likely to see a plan to blow up a mosque full of innocent Muslims as not so much an act of terrorism, as a simple use of their 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.

And the truly troubling part is that they are probably not wrong about how those Trump voters will see this.

P.S. Yes you have read about this case before.

Best cover ever!

That is worthy of framing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alabama Election Open Thread. Update!

Courtesy of the New York Times:

The results of a special Senate election in Alabama on Tuesday will carry immense national implications for President Trump and both parties, after a strange and ugly campaign left voters exhausted by the politicking and confused at the polls. 

A victory by the Republican candidate, Roy S. Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, would illustrate the enduring limitations of Democrats in the deeply conservative South. A win by his Democratic rival, Doug Jones, to fill the seat left vacant when the president appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, would shrink Republicans’ Senate advantage to a single seat, putting their majority in play. 

Mr. Trump, who ultimately gave Mr. Moore his full-throated endorsement, tweeted his support on Tuesday morning: “Roy Moore will always vote with us.” 

Mr. Jones, who cast his ballot early, will need strong turnout from black, urban and suburban white voters. Mr. Moore, who rode his horse to the polls, will need support from rural white voters.

This of course should be a slam dunk for the Republicans, as Alabama is a deeply red state.

However that was before Trump forever damaged the brand, and before they nominated an accused pedophile to run for the Senate.

Now the outcome of the election is anybody's guess.

But one thing for sure is that a win by a Democrat could indicate a progressive revolution that could sweep through Washington in 2018.

And for that matter even a close race in which Moore barely ekes out a victory could also indicate a progressive revolution that could sweep through Washington in 2018.

Both Jones and Moore already voted of course, though Moore's arrival at the polling station was somewhat more theatrical.
You know it takes more than a tiny pistol and a Brokeback Mountain sexy leather vest to be a real cowboy, and this guy certainly does not ride like a real cowboy.

It appears he is as real of a cowboy as he is a Christian.

For polling results online you can click here.

Update: The Associated Press just called the race for Jones.
This seems a little premature, and I don't think any other news outlet has joined them, but they seem confident. 

Russian hacker admitted in court that his team hacked the DNC under direction from the Kremlin.

Courtesy of Business Insider: 

A Russian hacker believed to be a member of a hacking collective called Lurk said in court over the summer that he was ordered by Russia's security services, known as the FSB, to hack the Democratic National Committee. 

The hacker, Konstantin Kozlovsky, told a Moscow court in August of this year that his nine-member hacking group — which has been accused of stealing over $17 million from Russia's largest financial institutions since 2013 — has been cooperating with the FSB for several years, according to the independent Russian news outlet The Bell. Part of that cooperation included hacking the DNC, he said. 

Kozlovsky said during a hearing on August 15 that he "performed various tasks under the supervision of FSB officers," including a DNC hack and cyberattacks on "very serious military enterprises of the United States and other organizations." Minutes from the hearing, as well as an audio recording, were posted on Kozlovsky's Facebook page. 

The Bell said it confirmed their authenticity with two sources, including a person who was present at the hearing. Kozlovsky also posted a letter that he wrote on November 1, 2016. The letter outlined what he said was his work for the FSB, which he said had spanned nearly a decade and, most recently, involved attacking the DNC servers.

Well so much for this story about Russians hacking our election being "fake news."

On that last point Politifact has now determined the denial that Russia interfered in our election to be the "Lie of the Year."

Well isn't that adorable, now Donald Trump and Sarah Palin have yet another thing in common.

Trump's legal team wants to appoint a second Special Counsel to investigate the investigators.

Jay Sekulow.
Courtesy of HuffPo: 

President Donald Trump’s legal team says it’s fed up with the Justice Department and FBI “witch hunt” into whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government. 

One of Trump’s lawyers said the president’s legal team wants a second special counsel ― one to investigate the investigators ― after a Fox News report unearthed what the lawyer called a conflict of interest in the Department of Justice. 

Fox News reported late Monday that Nellie H. Ohr, the wife of a senior Justice Department official who was demoted last week for not being forthcoming about meetings with Fusion GPS, the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier, worked for Fusion for a part of last year. The dossier reportedly contains salacious but unverified allegations against Trump. 

″The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Axios on Monday night after the Fox report. “These new revelations require the appointment of a special counsel to investigate.” 

Trump has repeatedly complained Mueller’s probe into Russia and Trump’s campaign is a “witch hunt” and reportedly has considered firing the special counsel. 

Nevertheless, the president’s legal team said they trust Mueller and want to “get to the finish line” with him. They said they plan to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, confident that Trump will be cleared of wrongdoing. 

Yeah this has nothing to do with undermining the Mueller investigation just like Trump's tweet this morning had nothing to do with suggesting that Kirsten Gillibrand was willing to trade sexual favors for  campaign contributions.

Can you say "deflection?" I knew that you could.

A pro-Trump SuperPAC thought it was a good idea to have a 12 year old girl interview accused pedophile Roy Moore, and other Alabama election news.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

A pro-Trump super PAC arranged for a 12-year-old girl to interview Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) as he faces mounting allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls. 

The America First Project brought Millie March, a girl whose interviews during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) went viral, to Alabama to interview Moore. 

“We decided that we were going to bring Millie to Alabama, after everything that’s happened in this Alabama Senate race up until this point,” America First Project’s Jennifer Lawrence said in the video, adding that the group wanted "to show there is a wide range of people who support Roy Moore."

I was trying to think of a metaphor for what a bad idea this was, but what idea is actually worse than dangling a twelve year old girl in front of a known sexual predator?

Really can't imagine one.

In other news we learn that the same Russian troll army that supported Donald Trump is now all in for Roy Moore as well.

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

In the run-up to Alabama’s special election, Kremlin-linked news sites and trolls have battled vigorously on behalf of Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for US senator accused of sexual misconduct against multiple women, including teenage girls. Since allegations against Moore were first reported by The Washington Post on Nov. 9, Russian-linked Twitter accounts—including some operated by Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik—have attacked the credibility of the women accusing Moore as well as US news media reporting the allegations. During a week in mid-November, when sexual misconduct scandals were a top focus of these Kremlin-linked accounts, a majority of the content they pushed on the topic was in defense of Moore, according to the cyber security research project Hamilton 68: “Among pro-Moore articles, close to 70% attacked the credibility of the accuser(s), 38% attacked the media in general or the Washington Post in particular, and one story attacked Lindsey Graham for not defending Moore.”

The Kremlin’s ongoing “active measures” campaign on social media has aimed to sow confusion and chaos by supporting both far-right and far-left interests in American politics. The Alabama election presented a ripe opportunity, according to former senior CIA official John Sipher, now an expert with the national security group Cipher Brief. “In the case of Moore, the Russians certainly assess that the hyper-partisan and heated campaign is pitting Americans against each other and they want to do all they can to add fuel to the fire,” he says. “They likely assess that a Moore victory will bring the fight to Washington and further weaken the strained US political system.”

You know if you consider yourself a patriotic American, and find that you are voting the way that Vladimir Putin wants you to vote, you might want to reassess your patriotism.

Speaking of Russian meddling as it turns out Alabama's top election official was sent to monitor the elections in Russia, and found them "free and fair."

Well that should certainly put the minds of Alabama voters at ease.

At least one Alabama judge is concerned about a little election day hanky panky.

Courtesy of AL.com: 

A judge directed Alabama election officials Monday afternoon to preserve all digital ballot images in Tuesday's hotly contested U.S. Senate special election. 

An order granting a preliminary injunction was filed at 1:36 p.m. Monday - less than 24 hours before voting is to begin. The order came in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of four Alabama voters who argued that the state is required to maintain the images under state and federal law.

That's a good idea. I would be very surprised if there were not some GOP hi jinks going on today. 

Donald Trump is now making insulting sexual insinuations about a female Senator via Twitter. Update!

Well I think we all know what "and would do anything for them" means in this case, just like we all knew what he meant by "“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever" when he was talking about Megyn Kelly.

This man is a pig, and he continues to degrade and insult women even while sitting in the most powerful political position on the planet.

He simply cannot be removed from office fast enough in my opinion.

Update: Senator Gillibrand responds.
Apparently the Senator is also about to make a public statement any minute now.

Update 2: Elizabeth Warren has weighed in.
It appears that the battle lines have now been drawn. 

Women, progressives, and feminists on one side.

And pedophiles, misogynists, and perverts on the other.

So what the fuckity fuck is going on with Senator Lindsey Graham?

So now Graham, a former never Trumper, is joining Sean Hannity, and Alex Jones, on the "DOJ conspired with the DNC to sabotage the Trump campaign" bandwagon?

WTF?

And then just yesterday there was this.
I swear that somewhere in Graham's house is a pod lying next to a web covered body which looks suspiciously like a decomposing Lindsey Graham.

Who wouldn't take a shot?

You know when I first saw this I thought it looked a little silly, but the more I thought about it the more I wish I had an opportunity to work off a little of my rage by kicking that huge flabby ass.

By the way I understand that was fashioned on Trump's actual derriere.