I’ll be truly outraged on the same level as Fox News and the GOP about Hillary Clinton’s e-mails when they get just as outraged over the deletion of 22 million e-mails by the Bush administration from an RNC e-mail server.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Multiple deaths reported in suicide attack at Istanbul airport.
Deadly train crash in Texas.
Senate Democrats block G.O.P Zika “poison pill” bill.
Trump promises to confront China over trade pacts.
NASA’s Juno probe approaches Jupiter.
R.I.P. Pat Summitt, winningest coach in Division 1 basketball.
The Tigers beat the Marlins 7-5.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The Republicans carry on about “government waste, fraud, and abuse.” And to prove it, they throw $7 million down the shitter.
Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.
The 800-page report, however, included some new details about the night of the attacks, and the context in which it occurred, and it delivered a broad rebuke of government agencies like the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in the Libyan city, and especially for maintaining outposts in Benghazi that they could not protect.
The committee, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, also harshly criticized an internal State Department investigation that it said had allowed officials like Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, to effectively choose who would investigate their actions. In addition, it reiterated Republicans’ complaints that the Obama administration had sought to thwart the investigation by withholding witnesses and evidence.
Maybe they should send the bill to Fox News and the RNC.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
House Democrats sit-in for a vote on gun control.
North Korea fires off two ballistic missiles.
Bernie Sanders: “It doesn’t appear I’ll be the nominee.”
Colombia and rebels agree to a cease-fire in 50-year conflict.
Michigan A.G. sues two companies over Flint water crisis.
The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-1.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
All hail the brave soldiers of the United States Senate who bravely withstood the will of 92% of the people and voted down not one but four attempts to keep assault rifles out of the hands of murderers.
A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando’s mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists.
In largely party-line votes, senators rejected one proposal from each side to keep extremists from acquiring guns and a second shoring up the government’s system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.
With the chamber’s visitors’ galleries unusually crowded for a Monday evening — including relatives of victims of past mass shootings and people wearing orange T-shirts saying #ENOUGH gun violence — each measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to progress. Democrats called the GOP proposals unacceptably weak while Republicans said the Democratic plans were too restrictive.
The stalemate underscored the pressure on each party to stand firm on the emotional gun issue going into November’s presidential and congressional elections. It also highlighted the potency of the National Rifle Association, which urged its huge and fiercely loyal membership to lobby senators to oppose the Democratic bills.
“Republicans say, ‘Hey look, we tried,'” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “And all the time, their cheerleaders, the bosses at the NRA, are cheering them.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Orlando shootings — in which the FBI says the American-born gunman swore allegiance to a Islamic State group leader — show the best way to prevent extremists’ attacks here is to defeat them overseas.
“No one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns,” McConnell said. He suggested that Democrats used the day’s votes “to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad.”
Well, Mitch, it’s about damn time we made it a partisan issue because the NRA has been doing that for the last forty years, and it won’t be just one 30-second campaign ad; this is going to be plastered all over: THE REPUBLICANS WANT TERRORISTS TO BUY GUNS THE WAY YOU BUY CHEWING GUM with your reptilian smirk underneath it all.
General LaPierre and his ranks are very proud of you, though.
Friday, May 27, 2016
American special forces along with Syrian and Kurdish fighters are moving closer to Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold.
House rejected $37 billion defense bill because it included LGBT protection.
Baylor University fired their football coach and demoted President Kenneth Starr over sexual assault scandal.
Gas prices hit eleven-year low just in time for the holiday weekend.
Tropical Update: Invest 91L looks like it’s getting stronger.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
The New York Times is oh so amused that former Speaker John Boehner is calling them like he sees them now.
John A. Boehner never minced words as House speaker, but he usually leveled his insults behind closed doors. Now a private citizen, Mr. Boehner is going public, and the results can be spectacular.
On Wednesday, the former speaker gleefully unloaded on Senator Ted Cruz before a crowd at Stanford University, colorfully describing the Republican presidential contender from Texas as “Lucifer in the flesh.”
“I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” said Mr. Boehner, who has made previous disparaging remarks about Mr. Cruz in both public and private, though without comparing him directly to Satan.
To anyone who knew Mr. Boehner in Washington, the comments, first reported by The Stanford Daily, were no surprise. With a glass of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other, Mr. Boehner would often hold forth, offering his rather spirited views of individuals and ideas, though not always for publication. And when he was in exile from the leadership from 1998 to 2006, he was a go-to quote for commentary on the poor conduct of those who were in charge.
But when he took over as speaker, Mr. Boehner clammed up a bit, so the surprise is how freely flowing the comments are these days.
Yes, and that’s exactly what we need in this campaign now; more name-calling and chortle-inducing epithets because up to now it’s been a model of decorum and restraint.
No, I’m not some prude who faints at the utterance of an F-bomb. I enjoy a good insult as much as the next guy, but in the case of Boehner v. Cruz, it’s not exactly news that nobody likes the junior senator from Texas. As he himself noted, it’s why he’s running in the first place; being an obnoxious and self-aggrandizing jerk is a feature, not a bug.
What would really be news — and would really torpedo the Cruz campaign — is if John Boehner came out and praised Ted Cruz as the most accommodating and and obsequious brown-noser on Capitol Hill and that this son-of-a-bitch persona was all an act.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
One Of The Greats — Jim Nelson in GQ on the legacy of Barack Obama.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Charlie Pierce on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and the Republicans reaction to it:
They’re in a tough spot. Merrick Garland is an almost universally respected jurist who no less than Orrin Hatch has praised fulsomely on a number of different occasions. In fact, it can be argued that the president flipped the script on Hatch. Oh, Merrick Garland is somebody for whom you could vote? Cool beans, O.H. I happen to have Merrick Garland right here.
Mr. Obama demanded a fair hearing for Judge Garland and said that refusing to even consider his nomination would provoke “an endless cycle of more tit for tat” that would undermine the democratic process for years to come. “I simply ask Republicans in the Senate to give him a fair hearing, and then an up or down vote,” Mr. Obama said. “If you don’t, then it will not only be an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional duty, it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair.”
So it’s a masterpiece of trolling from a guy who’s become very, very good at that. I understand the frustration of the president’s progressive supporters at the idea of a 60-ish white guy replacing a 70-ish dead white guy on the Supreme Court. (I would’ve preferred Jane Kelly from the Eighth Circuit, who already had heads exploding.) I’m sure there were several dozen more diverse, and clearly no-more-fcks-to-give, choices he could’ve made. But Garland’s work as a supervising DOJ attorney in the Oklahoma City bombing case intrigues me, and it is likely to light up the far distant precincts of wingnuttia as well. At the very least, he’s aware of the wildness loose in the country. He seems moderate and judicious and very unlikely to stray too far out of bounds from what this president and his supporters think a Supreme Court justice should be. His opinions on the appellate rights of criminal defendants could use some work, but he’s not likely to join with the likes of Samuel Alito to take an ax to things like the Miranda decision. He’s not a law’n’order guy. Tom Goldstein of the invaluable SCOTUSBlog put together a solid compendium of Garland’s record the last time his name arose to fill a vacancy on the Court, when Garland was passed over in favor of Justice Elena Kagan.
All of which is, for the moment, anyway, moot. This is a purely tactical move, and it’s an awfully good one. Right now, Republican senators are saying that they won’t even take one-on-one meetings with the guy, let alone give him a committee vote, let alone give him a confirmation vote in the Senate. This was precisely the reaction the president was hoping for, although he didn’t exactly have to be Nostradamus to make this play. But I want to know more about this comic book collection.
“[SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland] put himself through Harvard Law School by working as a tutor, by stocking shoes in a shoe store, and in what is always a painful moment for any young man, by selling his comic book collection,” Obama said. “It’s tough. [I’ve] been there.”
Hey, at least Garland cashed in. My mother threw all of mine out when I went away to college. I coulda been somebody. I coulda had class. I coulda had a cool robe and a lifetime job.
I am sure that Judge Garland knew from the moment he picked up the phone from the White House that he was being nominated as part of a Jedi mind trick on behalf of the president. Now that Mitch McConnell has backed himself into the corner and tucked his head under his carapace, getting confirmed by this Senate is problematic at best.
The GOP is already dragging Robert Bork out of this crypt to say “Hey, you Democrats did the same thing to him!” No, actually Judge Bork got a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee where he was able to elaborate on his 18th century views of women and minority rights. The committee voted 9-5 against him, but they let the nomination go to the full Senate where he was rejected. But he got a vote. If the Republicans want to bork Judge Garland, they have to let him at least get to a hearing.
Judge Garland doesn’t appear to be the icon of a campaign on the part of the DNC, the DNSCC, or any of the other lobbying groups that are already inundating my in-box with appeals to sign the petitions to get the Senate Republicans to confirm him (oh, and toss some coin in the hat while you’re at it), but if they and the Senate Democrats follow the lead of the president and act as if there’s a snowball’s chance that they can slip in through the cracks that are already appearing in the Republicans’ wall of No. There are at least five senators who are up for re-election in the fall who are already on shaky ground at home and who could be vulnerable to an ad campaign featuring an ominous chorus of “O Fortuna” and the image of a slamming door. Let’s see how long this laugh-line about “let the voters decide” lasts when it looks like the voters could vote those senators into their next gig as a lobbyist or talking head on Fox.
Merrick Garland is President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court.
American ISIS fighter is a “gold mine” for U.S. intelligence.
U.S. hits North Korea with new sanctions for nuclear tests.
Denmark regains its standing as the “happiest nation.”
What if Fox had a debate and nobody came?
R.I.P. Frank Sinatra, Jr., 72.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Oh, look, the Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to do something.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said the Senate Judiciary Committee will have a “full-blown debate” Thursday on whether to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nomination.
“If you want to hear a full-blown debate on this issue, I think we’ll probably have one before our committee tomorrow while we’re also considering three of four judges and a piece of legislation as well,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said the debate is expected to take place during the committee’s regularly scheduled business meeting in the morning. The judges being considered are to fill vacancies on the United States Court of International Trade and the United States District Court of Hawaii.
Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chair, made the announcement during an oversight hearing of the U.S. Department of Justice at which Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified on Wednesday morning.
Grassley was responding to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who criticized Republicans for meeting behind closed doors and voting to block any Obama nominee without any input from Democrats.
In other words, they’re going to have a “full-blown debate” about whether or not they’re going to do their job.
I used to work with a guy who made elaborate plans to arrange meetings to decide if we should have a meeting to discuss meeting about getting right on a particular task. The boss eventually got around to firing him.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
The more the Senate Republicans talk like there’s absolutely no way they will consider confirming a Supreme Court nomination from President Obama, the more they sound truly desperate. They may be able to control the actual nomination, but it could blow up in their faces if they don’t put an end to the debate now.
If the Democrats are smart about this, this is a far more potent electoral cudgel in Senate elections than most folks realize. Start with the given that this battle is life and death for partisan Democrats and partisan Republicans. But those people seldom determine statewide elections, certainly not in swing states. Lightly affiliated Democrats and Republicans and actual swing voters are highly attuned to charges about political dysfunction, refusal to do your job and so forth.
So let’s start with this. Republican senators won’t meet with the nominee. We get it. But I’m pretty sure Democratic senators will meet with him or her and make quite a show of it. I’m also fairly sure the White House will keep trying to set up meetings with Republican Senators and make a show of the on-going refusals. Senate challengers will press it in their campaigns too. And I have little doubt the White House will be sure to arrange meetings with the couple Republican senators who’ve so far bucked the unified front.
As I noted earlier, the necessity of the “three nos” is tied to a very evident slippery slope Republicans are desperately trying to avoid. If you meet with a nominee and then get asked how it went, what do you say? “It was a good meeting, a very qualified individual. But we definitely won’t hold a confirmation hearing?” That doesn’t make sense. The whole thing doesn’t make a lot of sense. But that’s okay if you put the whole story to bed in February or March. There’s a big difference between just announcing it and getting past it and having a death of a thousand messaging cuts over the course of an election year. As the people managing the opposition on the Republican side have made clear, they need to do everything they can to avoid any discussion which focuses on the qualifications of the nominee – an amazingly cynical statement but accurate in terms of strategy.
As I said, partisans on both sides are immovable on this. And loosely affiliated or swing voters, by definition, aren’t terribly knowledgeable or concerned about the differences over judicial philosophy which undergird this fight. But these voters are extremely focused on gridlock, doing your job or not doing your job, people who refuse to do their job or just do what makes sense for seemingly arbitrary reasons. What is more, there’s no ideological commitment required in this case. The issue is readily understandable. This is your job. Do your job. Especially if you’re asking to be hired again!
I fully expect you’ll see Democrats standing up DoYourJob.com type websites across the swath of states from the Atlantic to the Mississippi Valley and using various methods to continue pressing those half a dozen senators on whether they’ll meet with the nominee, whether they’ll vote and why if they will do those things they won’t or can’t convince their colleagues to do the same. I strongly suspect that those endangered senators can’t hold up under six months of that onslaught, not without sustaining a measure of reputational damage which may not be vast but is more than enough to lose them their seats.
The only real challenge I see here for the White House is that the person President Obama likely wants is one of those brainiac, hyper-credentialed judicial minds whose made his or her life in the law schools and the federal bench. Those tend not to be the sort of people who are temperamentally cut out for this kind of political drama. To the extent these folks are political – and they definitely are, just in a different way – they may not see it as in their longterm interests to become such a politically charged figure. Still, I’m sure Obama can find someone.
The smarter Democrats must see this. And I suspect the Republicans do too. That’s why they are doing everything they possibly can to shut this process down before it starts. That’s the key. It is entirely within their power not to hold a vote. The public spectacle of nine months of stonewalling, the political fallout and the narrative it creates is not. That’s what’s behind the almost maniacal blood oath drama of the “three nos”. This is not close to over unless the Democrats agree to make it over. And I doubt they will.
The only question remaining is how would the GOP climb off this ledge without it looking like they’re caving in to President Obama and the Democrats. The short answer is that they can’t without looking even more craven than they already do.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The gauntlet has been thrown down.
Senate Republican leaders said Tuesday that there would be no confirmation hearings, no vote, not even a courtesy meeting with President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, all but slamming shut any prospects for an election-year Supreme Court confirmation.
Together with a written vow from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee that they would not hold any confirmation hearings, the pledge was the clearest statement yet from the Senate’s majority party that it would do everything it can to prevent Mr. Obama from shifting the ideological balance of the nation’s high court. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, urged Mr. Obama to reconsider even submitting a name.
“This nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the polls,” Mr. McConnell said. “I agree with the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that we not have hearings. In short, there will not be action taken.”
John Cole explains why they’re doing this.
They aren’t just doing this because they can, they are doing it because they are scared, and they are afraid, and they are losing, and they know it. They are doing this because they hate Obama. This is the same kind of impotent rage they had towards Clinton, who just whipped them every single time and smiled all the way through it, but this time it is worse because Obama is a black man and the country has changed. They are losing the demographic war, so all they have is the courts and the hope that their jury-rigged voting process can keep things in place just a little bit longer. They are doing this because they know they are weak going into the 2016 election, and have convinced themselves that if they all stand together, the American people aren’t going to be able to pick out Kirk in Illinois or Toomey in PA or Johnson in Wisconsin or Portman in Ohio or Ayotte in NH and so on.
Just as serial killers ramp up the frequency and violence as their condition progresses, so do the sociopaths in Congress. It wasn’t too long ago we were all shocked at someone yelling “You lie” during the State of the Union, but here we are. They are weak and they are desperate and things are only going to get worse. It’s up to us to stop them.
If the Democrats can’t parlay this into a win in both the presidency and the re-taking of the Senate next November, they deserve to lose.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Yesterday was Tuesday. Yesterday was Groundhog Day. So it must be time once again to try to repeal Obamacare.
Asked about today’s events, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “Republicans are poised to host another vote in the United States Congress today for the 60th time to repeal Obamacare. It’s almost like it’s Groundhog Day, except today it is actually Groundhog Day and they’re doing it again.”
The definition of insanity… oh, you know.
We actually pay them to do that shit. So who’s the insane here?
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
President Obama: “We are hitting ISIL harder than ever.”
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for five years by the Taliban, faces court martial for desertion.
Congress works to avoid a government shutdown.
The Fed looks to raise interest rates, but not by much.
No Dice: Pete Rose kept on the permanent ban list of major league baseball.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Veto Bait — Senate passes repeal of Obamacare and defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Pentagon opens all combat roles to women.
Massey Energy executive gets convicted on minor charges.
Putin accuses Turkish leaders of being on the take from ISIS oil sales.
Oy: Republican candidates pander to Jewish supporters.