Sunday, August 9, 2020
John Brian Silverio / Flickr Rudy Guiliani...

Giuliani’s Contact Who Claims To Have Dirt On Bidens Arrested In Germany

Rudy Giuliani is in Kyiv, as we speak, for the purpose of meeting with people who allegedly have information on Burisma and Hunter Biden, for the purpose of smearing Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Such overt subterfuge is part and parcel of the new normal in American politics since our fall down the Trump rabbit hole in 2016. To that end, a former Ukrainian member of parliament, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who fled Ukraine after being accused of embezzlement, and who claims all kinds of insider information about Burisma and the Bidens, was arrested in Germany Friday — which is sure to put a crimp in his appearing in Rudy Giuliani’s OAN documentary. Onyshchenko is quite the piece of work. He’s anti-Obama and and George Soros, and pro Yuriy Lutsenko and Vicktor Shokin, both of whom are known to have worked with Giuliani on his Burisma conspiracy theory. He also has accused the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv of working against Trump in the 2016 election, and claims that Paul Manafort was framed. Perfect candidate for a starring role in a Giuliani smear campaign, so sad that he’s in the House of Many Doors and unavailable. Better luck next time, Rudy. Daily Beast: Onyshchenko’s arrest comes as efforts by Trump’s American allies to find information about Burisma Group—where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son was once a board member—have reached a fever pitch. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, is currently in Kyiv, Ukraine, holding meetings on the subject. Efforts by Giuliani and other Trump administration officials to win political goodies from Ukrainian government officials—including an announcement of an investigation into Burisma—are a central focus of Democrats’ impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. Democrats’ next impeachment hearing is scheduled for Dec. 9. German authorities arrested Onyshchenko based on a request from Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO). According to a report from the UNIAN news agency, Ukrainian officials are awaiting a ruling from a German court on whether or not to extradite Onyshchenko. After fleeing Ukraine in 2016, Onyshchenko claimed to have evidence of widespread corruption by then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and he said he’d contacted the FBI with his claims. Two sources familiar with the events confirmed that he did meet with U.S. law enforcement officials in 2016 in an effort to build goodwill. The sources said Onyshchenko appeared to want to share information in hopes of obtaining a visa to travel to the U.S. The U.S. Justice Department confirmed meeting with him at the time but said it had “no plans to have further meetings or communications” with him after that, according to RFE/RL. His allegations were widely seen in Ukraine as part of a Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation campaign meant to undermine the Ukrainian government as it sought to strengthen ties with the West. As the impeachment proceedings against President Trump took hold in October, Onyshchenko claimed to have inside information about Hunter Biden and his work for Burisma. He told Reuters that his friend Mykola Zlochevsky, who founded Burisma, had placed the vice president’s son on Burisma’s board as insurance against criminal investigations. The claim echoes those made by Rudy Giuliani and former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. “It was to protect (the company),” he said. This guy is exactly the sort of grifting con man that you would expect to be spouting this insanity. Onyschchenko is accused of […]

Donald Trump Jr. Worried Coronavirus Could Wreck Stock Market and There Goes the Election

if even Donald Trump Jr. is awake for this, you know it’s something to worry about. The plus 1,000 plunge that the stock market took Monday is not something to be taken lightly, at least not by Republicans who are counting on Trump’s riding Obama’s economic coat tails to take them to reelection in November. Politico: “The view in the White House is that this is one of those classic black swan events, and all we can do is control the health issues in the U.S.,” said Stephen Moore, an informal economic adviser to the Trump team. […] With the possibility of a U.S. outbreak growing by the day, Trump allies and advisers have grown increasingly worried that a botched coronavirus response will hit the U.S. economy. Even Donald Trump Jr. has mused to associates he hopes the White House does not screw up the response and put the president’s best reelection message at risk, said two individuals with knowledge of his comments. “Trump’s reelection effort is so closely tied to the strength of the stock market and the economy,” said Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and 2016 Trump campaign adviser. “Anything that shakes us off of that pro-growth track is a concern, but I think the view of officials in the White House is that this will be contained.” It may be their “view” but it is not a view based upon anything solid. Trump has cut funding to CCD and he’s done nothing but lie about the coronavirus the past few days in India saying it’s “under control” and “we’re close to a vaccine.” A vaccine is at least 18 months away, if that, in the estimate of anybody who actually knows what’s going on or follows these things, which emphatically is not Trump. The last time he spoke out on the coronavirus, a few weeks ago, was to share disinformation that warm weather would kill the virus. All he’s doing is stalling and hoping for the best and that scarcely constitutes a plan.

Trump’s Vision For 2020 Is Straight Outta Fox News, Tucker Carlson To Be Precise

Poor Donald Trump. All he ever wanted to do was be president. He sought the title, not the actual job. He wants the good stuff, the cheers and the crowds, being photographed with celebrities, cameras and flashbulbs and glory. And of course it’s cool to have a bullet proof limo and a luxurious bunker, because you never know, and to be able to send Marine 1 out for pizza. But the job beyond that sucks. You know it, and I know it, and he knows that we know it. Donald hates the gig but Vladimir says he can’t quit, or else. And if that isn’t bad enough, the rest of the GOP won’t stop bugging him. Lindsey didn’t talk about anything else on the golf course. He kept demanding that Donald actually get up in front of people and say something about the state of the country and what he intends to do about it, because — well, because that’s what a president does. So, okay, fine, Donald will read off the teleprompter, and he’s doing it for you, you guys, Lindsey, Mitch, all of youse. And since there is no plan and never has been one for this administration other than Fox News talking points, well by golly, that’s what the GOP platform for 2020 is going to be. Plain and simple. Roger Ailes was just given his own forge and bellows in Hell, because his vision has manifested, and Satan is mightily pleased. Trump’s Mt. Rushmore address was pure Tucker Carlson talking points, with a light rewrite by Stephen Miller and that isn’t coincidental. Where Trump and Fox News are concerned, the past is prologue, no matter how hard he might rage tweet at them. Trump and Fox News are symbiotically joined at the hip and will remain so until surgically separated by the electorate, at which time Trump will probably slink off to OANN and Fox will regroup. But until then, here’s what it was July 3, and this is what it’s going to be until November 3. Axios: Trump vs. Carlson: Below are grabs from Carlson monologues over the past month, followed by quotes from Trump’s July 3 speech. Carlson: “For more than a month, mobs of violent crazy people have roamed this country, terrorizing citizens and destroying things.” Trump: “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.” Carlson: “The education cartel, enforced on your children, enforces their demands.” Trump: “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.” Carlson: “Few people ever could have imagined that Teddy Roosevelt would be canceled. Roosevelt was the most popular president in American history.” Trump: “One of their political weapons is ‘Cancel Culture.'” And in a separate part of the speech, “Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. … The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful, and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.” Carlson: “For weeks we’ve asked, ‘Who will stand up for this country?’ And the answer we’re learning is Americans. Americans will. It’s up to them. Small groups of citizens are beginning to come forward to defend their laws, defend their history and their culture.” Trump: “They think the American people are weak and soft and […]

Memo to Democrats: It’s the healthcare, stupid. And it’s personal.

Look we all get it, everybody hates Donald Trump. Hell, when Trump leaves the house in the morning, even Melania says “Have a nice day dah-link. And don’t forget to cross against the lights!” But Donald Trump doesn’t just survive by diversion, Donald Trump himself is the ultimate diversion, and we can neither forget that, or fall for it. As hard as he tried, Donald Trump wasn’t even on the ballot in 2018, and we more than doubled the national vote margin of victory. And most successful candidates treated His Lowness like the kid in class with cooties, they avoided the hell out of him. They talked about “kitchen table” issues, healthcare topping the list. With the Trump DOJ arguing in court to dismantle the ACA permanently, healthcare will top the list again in 2020, likely with guns right alongside it. Every Democrat running for President has at least a fairly detailed healthcare policy that they’re touting. basically, they fall into three buckets. There’s Medicare for all with no private insurance option, Medicare for all with a private insurance option, and strengthening the Affordable Care Act along with a public Medicare buy in, which basically means near or total universal coverage. every plan has its own strengths and weaknesses, but when you look at the bottom line, they all end up in the same place, universal healthcare as a right, and not a privilege. But there is one thing that people who already have healthcare tend to lose sight of. And that is just how important healthcare is to people who don’t have it. That is both perfectly normal, as well as perfectly understandable. After all, how do you describe to a person what an orange tastes like if they’ve never eaten an orange. It’s one of those things that has to be experienced. Let me tell you a little story. Most of you may already know that I suffer from degenerative glaucoma, and that I’m legally blind. The fact that you’re reading this is because my good friend Ursula Faw proofreads this stuff before it’s published, otherwise you’d be trying to decipher the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those of you who know me also know I’m not looking for an invitation to a pity party. I already know what my wife and kids look like, and I’ve already seen my Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Cubs win world championships. Seeing any more of Donald Trump I can live without. For the last four years, my wife and I have lived solely on her retail sales paycheck, along with a puny monthly payment from my defaulted on UAL pension program. Teri gets health insurance through her work, at a cost of $41 a week, but to cover me would mean paying twice as much for my coverage as she pays, which is not feasible. So, I am uninsured, and have been for four years. Late last November, I embarked on the Ring Quest of trying to get disability due to my legally blind status. After a rather lengthy but orderly process, I was approved for disability, and in late September, for the first time in five long years, in one day we will go from the working poor to the middle class again. I was also notified that due to my disability, I also qualified for early entry into the Medicare program. But! And all of you should know by now that when […]

Bernie Leads w/Popular Vote In Iowa, Buttigieg Leads w/Delegates as 62% Of Precincts Report

This certainly heightens the suspense but overall there are very few surprises from Iowa. Sanders was rumored to be leading and Mayor Pete was always favored to do well in Iowa because of it’s proximity to Indiana and his popularity there. Both Sanders and Buttigieg were elbowing each other last night, claiming victory, while Warren and Biden said little. At least we see how Amy Klobuchar has fared — but then again, in politics, it ain’t over until it’s over. Axios: Where it stands: The results showed that Pete Buttigieg earned the highest percentage of delegates thus far at 26.9%, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders at 25.1%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 18.3% and Joe Biden at 15.6%. Sanders is leading the popular vote with 28,220 votes, followed by Buttigieg at 27,030, Warren at 22,254 and Biden at 14,176. The big picture: IDP Chairman Troy Price apologized for the reporting failures, calling the delay “unacceptable” and assuring that there will be a thorough, independent review. He explained that the party was seeking to release more data than ever before during this year’s caucuses, and that a coding error with a new reporting app caused much of the dysfunction. Between the lines: The Iowa caucuses do not end in a winner-take-all situation for the 41 delegates up for grabs. Candidates will carry their delegate totals into New Hampshire, and will likely market them as victories for their respective campaigns. The good news is that after the major software eff up in Iowa, other states are going to be toeing the line and making sure that everything is in order. At least, that is the declared strategy at this moment and certainly one which is greatly to be desired. The Trump campaign has already seized on Iowa’s issues and has spun it into a conspiracy theory about election fraud, which the attorney general of Iowa went out of his way to refute last night. Hold onto your hats, because this is what we’re going to be looking at all year.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump pence...

The Ultimate Humiliation?

Just think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider than that!   George Carlin I just started thinking about this recently, in the last day or so, brought on by an almost flyby news report, and it’s reaching the point where I’m starting to worry about having nocturnal emissions. But the way I look at is that, hell, if I tell all of you about it, then maybe I won’t be the only one making a mess of the sheets. I’ve already covered in depth a lot of the various complexities in the vast chasm of difference between the way that GOP states are going about their designs for a grand reopening of their states, which basically amounts to Fuck it, let’s give it a shot, and the way that the Democratic governors are approaching reopening their states, which basically amounts to, We’ve done good so far, let’s not fuck it up now. But tucked in there is an incredibly fascinating subplot, and depending on how it actually plays out, it could turn out to be an absolutely monumental cluster fuck for the GOP, and the source of endless mirth and merriment for the rest of us. Let me explain. Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. Being Democrats, and therefore actually interested in the health and well being of not only their voters, but all citizens, and understanding fully the complexities that the coronavirus will bring to the 2020 campaign, the Democrats are already well along in their planning to execute a virtual convention for safety’s sake. El Pendejo Presidente has already snidely attacked the Democrats for being total wusses on Twitter. Business as usual. But the GOP, solely at Trump’s direction and insistence, is locked into a different path. Trump has mandated that red states immediately reopen for business for one reason and one reason only. And that reason is that Emperor Gluteus Maximus poor, frail, shattered ego cannot go another day without the sugar high of 15,000 drooling retards screaming and licking their nuts while IL Douche bellows word salad at them from behind a podium on a stage somewhere. And the crown jewel of this national insanity is scheduled to be the Republican National Convention, to be held in Charlotte. North Carolina. But here’s where the wicket gets sticky. It turns out that there are actually some cooler, sane heads in Charlotte, and they’re starting to have a little buyers remorse.  The numbers in North Carolina are not where they would like them to be, and in a state with considerable coastal beaches, this rush to reopen is going to increase the risk brought about by a collapse in social distancing and the public wearing of masks. This is not a comfortable position for either the state of North Carolina, nor the city of Charlotte to be in. Let’s just say that the projection I’ve been putting forward comes to fruition, mainly that the states that reopened the earliest and hardest by Memorial Day weekend get absolutely hammered in the last two weeks of June. Confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all on the rise. And just think, the 4th of July is only a week or two away, and how the hell are you going to pull the plug on that? Allowing the normal gestation period, you’re now talking about a new, possibly […]

House Votes Along Tribal Lines, Steve Scalise Calls Rules ‘Soviet Style’

The ball has dropped and it’s an historical day in the House, as it voted formally on a resolution governing the public portions of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. The resolution passed 232-196, with two Democrats voting no, no Republicans voting yes, and only Justin Amash, now an Independent but formerly a Republican voting yes. Roll Call: Two Democrats, Reps. Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, voted “no.” Van Drew has said that while Trump’s behavior has been “distasteful” and makes him “feel uncomfortable,” he doesn’t believe the president has committed any impeachable offenses. It’s unfortunate that this issue has to be a partisan, i.e., “tribal” one, but that is the way that it’s shaking down. And true to form, even though the Republicans have been screaming for a more public impeachment process, now they find fault with the way things are to go forward. House Republicans, to different degrees, have objected to the process run by their Democratic counterparts. Some, like Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Rules Committee, want Trump to be allowed to have counsel representing him before the Intelligence Committee. Democrats, though, object to that request saying that the panel is gathering facts and that the president will be represented once the probe reaches the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over articles of impeachment. Ahead of the vote, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana ripped into the resolution. “It gives veto authority by the chair to literally reject any witness that is brought forward by the minority,” Scalise said, standing next to a sign held by a staffer that said “37 days of Soviet-Style impeachment proceedings.” “This is Soviet-Style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like this where only you make the rules, where you reject the ability for the person you’re accusing to even be in the room, to question what’s going on. It’s noteworthy that when the Benghazi investigation was going on, Trey Gowdy and other Republicans defended private depositions to the hilt. Gowdy even reiterated his defense of the procedure the other day. However, now that it’s a Republican president who is the object of the investigation, all the other Republicans seem to have forgotten why it’s such a good idea.

Clint Eastwood Dumps Trump says He’ll Support Bloomberg

If there’s one group that Donald Trump hates worse than the Never Trumpers, its the Once Trumpers, people who were at one time among his admirers and who have since woken up. Nope, Trump can’t stand being ditched. And by a famous Hollywood devotee like Clint Eastwood, no less? Oh, heavens. When Trump gets wind of this, look out television sets and coffee pots, it’s going to be a Category 5 tantrum.  Variety: “The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he said. After endorsing Mitt Romney and famously delivering a speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention to an empty chair that represented Barack Obama, Eastwood never officially backed Trump. In a 2016 interview, he expressed displeasure with Trump and Hillary Clinton, saying there’s “much funny business on both sides of the aisle.” He praised Trump at the time because he was “onto something” and “secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up.” “We’re really in a p—y generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist,” he said. Now, he’s changed his tune a bit on Trump. While he approves of “certain things” the president has done, he wishes that he would act “in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names. I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” he said. It would be interesting to know just what pushed Eastwood too far and caused this change of heart. Eastwood not only was calling the rest of us “pussies” he was telling us to “get over it,” back in the day. Apparently he got over it, first. Trumpty Dumpty is not going to take this lying down, I guarantee. I hope Bloomberg trolls Trump with this, and on Twitter, too. Just watch, Trump will call Eastwood a has-been. Wait and see.

Reagan Foundation Tells Trump Campaign To Cool It On Sales Of Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coins

It’s another swell day at Trump reelection headquarters. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute got wind of a new grifting scheme on the part of Donald Trump and the RNC involving commercializing the 40th president’s likeness on a coin along with Trump, and they called a halt to it, jimmy pronto. To quote their marketing official, “within seconds.” Somebody’s head will roll for this — and it won’t be Brad Parscale’s. He went to the guillotine last week. Washington Post: The solicitation offered, for a donation of $45 or more, a “limited edition” commemorative set featuring two gold-colored coins, one each with an image of Reagan and Trump. The coins were mounted with a 1987 photograph of Reagan and Trump shaking hands in a White House receiving line — the type of fleeting contact that presidents have with thousands of people a year. You need a little back story on this to fully appreciate it. Trump claimed Reagan was really impressed with him when he met him. In fact, Trump used to love to broadcast a fake quote attributed to Reagan. This isn’t the first time the 45th president has traded on the name or likeness of the 40th, who is revered among conservatives, for his own purposes. In July 2019, he shared as “Cute!” a fake quote by Reagan that was making its way around social media. According to the apocryphal story, Reagan upon meeting Trump supposedly said: “For the life of me, and I’ll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with the president.” Trump continued to spread the made-up quote, even though Joanne Drake, the chief administrative officer of the Reagan Foundation, had already told the fact-checking website PolitiFact that Reagan “did not ever say that about Donald Trump.” So this, plus the fact that Reagan’s son, Michael, said in 2016, “My father would never have put up with this and Nancy would have voted for Hillary,” indicates that the Reagans and the Reagan Foundation are not exactly sweet on Trump. So that, and who knows what else, quashed the commemorative coin set. This was the Trump campaign’s endeavor to impress the classy conservatives and maybe expand the base with them. Unfortunately, there is no desire by the parties responsible for Ronald Reagan’s legacy to see it sullied with an association with Donald Trump and that certainly makes sense. Here’s Trump’s smarmy sales pitch, which apparently the Reagan Foundation found tasteless. “Friend,” the fundraising email purportedly from Trump said, “I just saw our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets and WOW, these coins are beautiful – I took one look and immediately knew that I wanted YOU to have a set. These aren’t any ordinary coins. They symbolize an important time in our Nation. This year, in addition to being re-elected as YOUR President, it also marks the 40th anniversary of our Nation’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, we already sold out of the first batch we had in stock. But I liked these coins so much that I asked my team to rush order another batch for my TOP SUPPORTERS ONLY.” It cautioned: “I’ve authorized a very limited production of these iconic coins, which is why I’m ONLY offering them to our top supporters, like YOU. This offer is NOT available to […]

‘Trump Is Using Us’ New Ad Shows Evangelicals Waking Up, ‘We cannot elect this...

A lot of the heavy lifting in this campaign is being done by the Lincoln Project, Republicans For the Rule Of Law and Republican Voters against Trump, all groups who are Republicans savaging Trump — as well he deserves.  RVAT’s latest contribution is an ad targeted at waking up the evangelicals, and it is about time. It is past time, actually. Graham, Falwell, Jeffress and the lot of them will flip when they see this. NEW AD: Six Republican voters on how @RealDonaldTrump is using Christians to promote the type of hatred that Jesus would never justify. Airing on TV this week in North Carolina. — Republican Voters Against Trump (@RVAT2020) July 14, 2020

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