Friday, December 09, 2016

You knew it was coming, Bristol Palin pregnant with her first child conceived in wedlock. Update!

Courtesy of E Online:

The 26-year-old daughter of 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant with her third child, which will be her second with new husband Dakota Meyer, 28. 

"We are so excited to announce that our family is expanding!" the couple told ET in a statement. "God has blessed us so much; we are thankful for His grace and new beginnings. A springtime baby in the Meyer home and we can't wait!"

Well it looks like some of you were right when you mentioned that Bristol looked like she might be pregnant in her recent Instagram pics.

And look she is finally having a baby in the right order this time, AFTER she is married to its father.

That's what they say, practice eventually makes perfect.

So much for Dakota making a clean break now, because I think this time he knows this child is his.

Update: Here is the picture that they clearly got paid to pose for.

Leading Senate Republicans are preparing a wide ranging probe into Russia's interference with our election. Oh Comrade Trump will NOT like this!

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

Leading Senate Republicans are preparing to launch a coordinated and wide-ranging probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. elections and its potential cyberthreats to the military, digging deep into what they view as corrosive interference in the nation’s institutions. 

Such an aggressive approach puts them on a direct collision course with President-elect Donald Trump, who downplays the possibility Russia had any role in the November elections — arguing that a hack of the Democratic National Committee emails may have been perpetrated by “some guy in his home in New Jersey.” The fracture could become more prominent after Trump is inaugurated and begins setting foreign policy. He has already indicated that the country should “get along” with Russia since the two nations have many common strategic goals. 

But some of Trump’s would-be Republican allies on Capitol Hill disagree. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (Ariz.) is readying a probe of possible Russian cyber-incursions into U.S. weapons systems, and he said he has been discussing the issue with Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (N.C.), with whom he will be “working closely” to investigate Russia’s suspected interference in the U.S. elections and cyberthreats to the military and other institutions. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been apprised of the discussions. Burr did not respond to requests for comment. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) also said he intends to hold hearings next year into alleged Russian hacking. Corker is on Trump’s shortlist for secretary of state, according to the Trump transition team.

If, and I have some doubts about this, but IF these Republicans are serious about investigating this meddling by Russia, that may signify that they are growing a backbone and will not roll over for all of Trump's lunatic policy ideas.

However I am also quite aware that these guys are almost solely motivated by the possibility of winning or losing reelection, so unless they get a significant amount of support from the American people, and more importantly their constituents, I am not very confident that they will pursue this as aggressively as it deserves.

But I am willing to maintain an open mind.

Because let's face it, SOMEBODY needs to do something about this and make sure it never happens again.

Rachel Maddow reveals what we kind of already knew, Trump voters are really, REALLY stupid!

If you visit the Maddow Blog you will also find these fun facts: 

Voter Fraud: Even Trump’s lawyers concede there was no voter fraud in the presidential election, but PPP found that 60% of Trump voters apparently believe “millions” of illegal ballots were cast for Clinton in 2016 – which isn’t even close to resembling reality. (A slight correction here. While the vast majority of people do not think there was voter fraud, there is a growing number of us who suspect election fraud.)

Soros Conspiracy Theory: A whopping 73% of Trump voters believe George Soros is paying anti-Trump protesters – though in reality, George Soros is not paying anti-Trump protesters.

All of this data was based on a PPP poll that Rachel shared last night.

Which of course means it is made up of those facts and figures that Trump supporters find so confusing and mistrust completely.

And that is part of the problem, because as Rachel pointed out in her show last night it is ONLY Trump supporters who misunderstood the facts this completely.

Even third party voters, or those who did not vote at all, had a better grasp of the facts.

But Trump supporters are in almost a completely fact free bubble which makes it virtually impossible for their minds to be changed, and also seems to make them highly suggestible to anything that Trump says, tweets, or has a surrogate say on his behalf.

In other words for them the only truth is the "Trump truth."

And you thought you were frightened of these people before. 

Asking President Obama if he faced racism during his presidency is kind of like asking a man on fire if he feels a little too warm.

Courtesy of HuffPo:  

President Barack Obama opened up about racism he faced throughout his presidency in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday. 

“Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign ― the other? Are those who champion the birther movement feeding off of bias?” Obama asked rhetorically. “Absolutely.”

Along with interviewing Obama, Zakaria narrated segments of the CNN special. He pointed out that the president “doesn’t see racism in mainstream opposition to him, but he does see it on the fringes.” 

”I think there’s a reason attitudes about my presidency among whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states,” Obama told Zakaria.

The way this great man was treated through both his terms in office, simply because of the color of his skin, is something for which every American should feel shame.

And the fact that the man who most vocally attacked him, undermined his legitimacy to be President, and essentially labeled him as un-American, is the man who will now replace him in the White House, is a stain on our nation that no amount of white washing will ever get out.

History is going to treat President Obama extremely well, and I think that in a very short amount of time even his critics are going to wish that they had treated him with more respect, especially when they compare his presidency to the one that is now looming before us.

Holocaust attorney files lawsuit to learn what justification the FBI used for interfering in the 2016 election.

James Comey
Courtesy of Raw Story: 

E. Randol Schoenberg, an attorney renowned for recovering artworks stolen by Nazis during the Holocaust, filed a lawsuit against the FBI this week to get answers about why Director James Comey falsely suggested that Hillary Clinton committed a crime just days before the 2016 election. 

“I filed a lawsuit today against the US Department of Justice seeking immediate disclosure of the FBI search warrant for the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Anthony Weiner’s laptop,” Schoenberg wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday. “I think we need to see what ‘probable cause’ was shown for obtaining the search warrant, because whoever thought there was going to be evidence of a crime was obviously mistaken. And that mistake probably changed the outcome of the election.” 

In a blog post late last month, Schoenberg explained that it would be very unusual for a judge to grant the FBI a search warrant “[s]imply because someone has the ability to commit the crime of intentionally violating laws governing the handling of classified information.” 

“To obtain a warrant it had to establish probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime would be found. 

Since we now know that no such evidence was found on the laptop, it is time to investigate why the FBI believed it had probable cause.” 

One possible theory, Schoenberg said, is that “the new allegations came from people associated with the Trump campaign.”

You know what, I'd like to learn the answer to this as well.

Schoenberg implicated Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani as possibly being involved, and suggested that if this does lead back to Donald Trump that he could face impeachment.  

I have serious doubts about that last part, but I would still like to know what kind of behind the scenes manipulations were used to convince James Comey to risk his reputation and his future to undermine Hillary Clinton and throw the race to Donald Trump.

I think as Americans we all deserve an answer to that.

Breitbart loses German advertisers as the site makes plans to impact the elections in that country.

Courtesy of the LA Times: 

After recent decisions by companies such as the Kellogg Co. and Allstate to pull their ads, a number of German companies have followed suit, including BMW, Deutsche Telekom and the restaurant chain Vapiano. 

Deutsche Telekom is the parent company of wireless carrier T-Mobile. 

A spokesman for BMW of North America said that the carmaker doesn’t advertise on Breitbart directly and only individuals who specifically expressed an interest in the brand and then visited the Breitbart site would have received an ad from BMW. 

“We continuously review sites where individually targeted ads are available and Breitbart is no longer among them,” the company said in a statement. 

Deutsche Telekom said in a separate statement that “we have had our advertising removed from [Breitbart] and have block listed them, to ensure that no further Deutsche Telekom ads appear there. Deutsche Telekom stands for values such as tolerance and openness and we do not condone any discriminatory acts or comments.”

Breitbart has recently suggested that they will be expanding into Germany, and have already written multiple posts critical of Chancellor Merkel.

However good this news might seem, I recently learned that Breitbart is actually supported by some wealthy right wing donors, and does not rely solely on advertising dollars:  

Breitbart refuses to release revenue figures, although pundits suspect that its advertising streams are not big enough to sustain its current operations in America and Britain. It is financed by private backers, notably Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire and a big donor to Mr Trump’s campaign, who reportedly invested $10m in the site a few years ago. Yet compared with traditional media, its overheads are small: a few opinionated journalists, some interns and readers who fill up the comments page at no extra cost. 

Breitbart’s ad revenues, such as they are, could prove volatile. Its content is frequently toxic: its comment section is a platform for members of far-right hate groups to rail against immigration and Jews.

This means that Breitbart is not hampered by any potential financial concerns as they spread hate, racism, and Islamophobia at will.

So long as they please their wealthy benefactors there is no down side to attacking liberals in this country or others, and despite their new ties to the president elect there are no signs that they intend to change their tactics one little bit.

In fact there is every indication that they plan to become even more aggressive in attacking politicians like Angela Merkel, and promoting politicians more in line with their world view.

Is anybody else having flashes from "The Boys From Brazil?"

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pizzagate gunman says "intel on this was not 100 percent." Gee, ya think?

Courtesy of ABC News: 

Three days after Edgar Maddison Welch allegedly opened fire in a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant, he spoke to The New York Times about the conspiracy known as “Pizzagate” and his intentions this past weekend. 

On Sunday, Welch told the Times, he drove 350 miles from his home in North Carolina to Washington, D.C., in order to look into claims -- proven to be fictitious -- that Comet Ping Pong, a restaurant in the capital, housed a child slavery ring. 

After entering the restaurant with an AR-15-style rifle and a .38 caliber handgun, firing at least one shot, and finding no evidence to corroborate the allegations he came to investigate, Welch surrendered to police, according to court documents.

Welch claims that he came armed to "to help rescue" the children he was sure were being held captive based on conspiracy theories he read online.

When he arrived and found no captive children I guess he just fired his gun out of.....frustration?

(I mean he brought it 350 miles. What is he going to do, not shoot it?)

Welch also had this to say:

“The intel on this wasn’t 100 percent,” Welch told the Times. “I regret how I handled the situation.”

Well there's an understatement for ya.

The gunman also added that he recently became very religious (Aha!) and that he still did not dismiss the claims made against the pizza joint and the DNC completely.

That is the real danger of fake news sites, and those who purposeful spread conspiracy theories, it is quite easy to plant a false narrative, much more difficult to correct it.

The RNC will be holding their annual Christmas party at the Trump hotel in DC. When asked for a response Donald Trump replied "Ka-Ching!" Update!

Courtesy of HuffPo:

The Republican National Committee will host its Christmas Party this year at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the newest property of its newfound leader. 

The event, which two GOP sources confirmed to The Huffington Post, is said to be a more exclusive and celebratory affair this year owing to the unexpected election victories enjoyed by the party this November. But in moving the proceedings to Donald Trump’s downtown D.C. hotel, which only opened this past fall, the committee risks furthering the perception that the president-elect is leveraging his newfound political power for private gains.

You know perhaps I misunderstood the definition for "crony capitalism," because if this ain't it then I don't know what is.

Remember that Trump is also making money for housing his Secret Service detail in New York, and using his new leverage to help his daughter close deals with foreign manufacturers.

Essentially Trump is using the presidency as a sort of can never be denied credit card for making purchases that benefit his businesses.

And since he apparently has no intention of putting his financial holdings in a blind trust (Though he now claims to have sold his stock portfolio. I believe that as much as I believe that he sent private investigators to Hawaii to check on President Obama's birth certificate.), he will continue to make policy decisions that fill his coffers and enrich his family, while leaving the American people to impotently protest in the streets.

Well this would seem to be the actual thing that Sarah Palin has been railing against for years, so surely she will soon come out with an epic rant on Facebook attacking Donald Trump for being a loathsome opportunist.

Yep, any day now.



Update: We are now learning that Trump has another source of income he can rely on during his part time job as president.

Courtesy of Variety: 

Donald Trump will remain an exec producer on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is returning Jan. 2 after a two-year hiatus with new host Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The larger issue for MGM, NBC, and the White House is the payment that Trump will receive for the series. It’s unclear what his per-episode fee is, but it is likely to be in the low five-figures, at minimum. NBC has ordered eight episodes of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump’s fees will be paid through MGM, the production entity on the show, not NBC. MGM declined to comment on the financial terms of Trump’s deal. A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NBC declined to comment. 

Trump is also a profit participant on the “Apprentice” franchise, which has been sold as a format in various markets around the world since it first became a hit on NBC in 2004. 

A five figure paycheck for each episode, PLUS a piece of the action on franchises, and NONE of this has been placed in a blind trust as of yet?

Does that mean that during the SOTU speech Trump will talk about his successful TV series?

Will The Apprentice be advertised in commercial breaks during televised interviews with a president Trump?

Will he make guest appearances on the program to increase ratings?

I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but I then again, maybe I do.

Donald Trump does "not believe" that Russia interfered in election. Also does not believe water is wet.

Courtesy of Politico: 

President-elect Donald Trump is freshly casting doubt on the idea that Russia was behind the election-related hacks into Democratic entities, and said the conclusion by U.S. agencies that the Kremlin played a role was politically driven. 

“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump said in an interview with Time magazine, which named him person of the year.

Trump has steadfastly refused to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin or his agencies played any role in the hack of the Democratic National Committee and the private email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. 

When asked by Time if the conclusion reached by U.S. officials was motivated by politics, Trump responded, “I think so.”

It should be noted that this is the same man who claimed that the election was rigged right up until he "won" it.

Trump has also expressed his belief that global warming is a Chinese hoax and that vaccinations cause Autism, and yet THIS one he simply cannot wrap his mind around.

Do you know who CAN wrap their mind around it?

Lindsey freaking Graham, that's who.
As if we needed anymore evidence that reality has changed irreparably, here I am on the same side of an issue with Senator Lindsey Graham.

Up is down, black is white, and the Republican president is clearly the puppet of a Russian dictator.

If this were a script for a James Bond movie, it would be discarded for being too far fetched and unbelievable.

Meet Donald Trump's Small Business Administrator. So dignified.

Courtesy of CNN: 

President-elect Donald Trump picked Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration, his transition announced Wednesday. 

"Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country's top female executives advising businesses around the globe," Trump said in a statement. "She helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide." 

He continued, "Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country." 

McMahon is the co-founder of the professional wrestling franchise WWE along with her husband, Vince McMahon, and twice a former Republican Senate candidate from Connecticut. She stepped down from her duties at WWE in 2009 and ran two failed bids for the Senate in 2010 and 2012.

Hey do you remember back when presidents would surround themselves with qualified cabinet members and an administration which brought dignity to the office?

You know it seems like just yesterday to me.

Of course this is guaranteed to thrill the slack jawed Trump supporters.

I mean let's face it the Trump voters are most definitely the same kind of folks who think pro-wrestling is real.

You know, like this guy.

They are going to be over the moon at the prospect of Linda McMahon doing for small business the same as she did for a fake sport featuring steroid abusing, heavily lubricated neanderthals.

Aren't we just the luckiest America?

Ohio Senate passes bill to criminalize abortions once fetus has heart beat. Around six weeks.

Courtesy of HuffPo:  

Ohio’s Republican-led House and Senate passed legislation Tuesday night that would ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected― as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. 

The measure was attached at the last minute as an amendment to an unrelated child abuse bill. It has no exceptions for rape or incest. 

If it’s passed into law, physicians could face a year in prison if they perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected or if they fail to check for one before a procedure. 

The measure is the most extreme abortion restriction in the country, effectively banning the procedure before most women even realize they’re pregnant, pro-abortion rights advocates said. 

“After years of passing anti-abortion laws under the guise of protecting women’s health and safety, they lay bare their true motives: to ban abortion in the state of Ohio,” said Dawn Laguens, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Let's face it a lot of women will not even know they are pregnant by six weeks, which means that for all intents and purposes some of them will already be denied access to an abortion before they realize they might need one.

A similar thing had been tried in Arkansas, only in that case it was a 12 week old fetus, and the courts rejected it. However this definitely shows that conservatives are still focused on taking a woman's right to choose away from them, and once Trump starts appointing judges it might provide the tools for them to do just that.

I fear that Roe vs Wade will not survive the Trump administration intact.

Republicans announces that repealing Obamacare is their first order of business in 2017.

You elected our presidential candidate, so no health insurance for you.
Courtesy of Yahoo News:  

Repealing Obamacare will be the first order of business in the U.S. Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said on Tuesday. 

Republicans will replace President Barack Obama's signature health insurance program that provides coverage to millions of Americans "step by step," said Senator John Thune, another member of the Republican leadership. 

McConnell did not say when the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known, would go into effect. Senator John Barrasso said it might be effective in two or three years, and that the timeframe was still being debated.

I think a lot of folks believed that the Republicans would simply leave Obamacare in place until they had something to replace it, but if they are planning to repeal it right away that is clearly not the case.

Which is really bad news as there are now estimates as to how many people could die directly as a result of the repeal of Obamacare.

Courtesy of Think Progress:

Nearly 36,000 people could die every year, year after year, if the incoming president signs legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act. 

This figure is based on new data from the Urban Institute examining how many people will become uninsured if the law is repealed, as well as a study of mortality rates both before and after the state of Massachusetts enacted health reforms similar to Obamacare. 

In fairness, 36,000 is a high estimate of the number of deaths that will result if Obamacare is repealed, as there is some uncertainty about how congressional Republicans will repeal the law. Even in the best case scenario, however, a wholesale repeal of Obamacare may cause about 27,000 people to die every year who otherwise would have lived.

36,000 or 27,000 no matter which is correct that is far too many thousands dying.

The thing is that a large number of Republicans are among those 25 million newly insured Americans, and are certainly among the thousands that will die. Which kind of makes you wonder how the GOP will spin this to lay the blame on Obama?

It is also worth noting that the Affordable Care Act was modeled after Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts, which of course borrowed heavily from the conservatives 1989 plan.

So if President Obama essentially used their playbook for his own health insurance program, and they rejected it, just what do they have left to replace it with?

Keeping history alive.

It's always nice when the old gods give a shout out to the new kids on the block, don't you think?

And just imagine if their worshipers had never existed Christians would have had to invent all of their celebrations from scratch.

So much easier to steal other people's hard work than to do it all yourself.