Thursday, January 23, 2020

Another GOP Rep Hangs It Up, Due To Trump’s ‘Petty Childish Bull$**t’ and Because...

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) has officially thrown in the towel because he can’t handle Donald Trump’s divisive, to put it mildly, tactics. He became alarmed at the time of Trump’s “Send Her Back!” nonsense and then decided to retire after he implored Mike Pence and his chief of staff Marc Short to get him an audience with Trump, so that he could explain his views. Needless to say, Pence and Short did nothing. They’re in the sycophancy business, not the bridge building. Washington Post: Mitchell is among a growing list of House Republicans — 18 to date — who have announced plans to resign, retire or run for another office, part of a snowballing exodus that many Republicans fear is imperiling their chances of regaining control of the House in the 2020 elections. […] The vast turnover is a reminder of just how much Trump has remade the GOP — and of the purge of those who dare to oppose him. Former congressman Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) lost his June 2018 primary after challenging Trump; he’s now a Republican presidential candidate. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), the only Republican to accuse Trump of impeachable acts, quit the GOP in July citing the “partisan death spiral.” His political future is uncertain. […] “Did any member of this conference expect that their job would start out every morning trying to go through the list of what’s happening in tweets of the day?” Mitchell asked, referring to Trump’s Twitter habits. “We’re not moving forward right now. We are simply thrashing around.” Governance by tweet is certainly not the way to go. We’ve been saying that since the fall of 2016, when it became apparent that the Great Tweeter, launching his tirade of policy and piffle daily into the ethernet, was the new normal. Mitchell actually sounds rational and it’s a shame that this kind of Republican is resigning, leaving us the Marco Rubios, Kevin McCarthys, Mike Pences and the lot of them. Trump is absolutely changing the face of the GOP for the worse. After the loss of the 2012 election, the GOP made a concerted effort to elect minorities and women. Trump has blasted all of that away. …[Carlos] Curbelo, who lost in the Democratic wave last year along with [Mia] Love, said Trump “hijacked everything,” effectively erasing all the progress they’ve made with minorities. “He’s turned [the GOP] into a personal vessel for his brand,” Curbelo said. “The president seems to be doubling down on an all-base strategy, perhaps that can work for him . . . but it certainly makes it very difficult for Republicans to win a majority of seats in the House.” Rep. Mitchell started contemplating resignation at the right time, and for the right reasons. Trump’s tweet telling Omar, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna S. Pressley (D-Mass.) to “fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” upset him. Three were born in the United States; Omar, a Somali refu­gee, became a U.S. citizen as a teenager. Mitchell said he always taught his children that “you don’t stare at people that look different; you don’t assume bad things because people look different than you.” “The personal diminishing of someone else is destructive to a country,” he said. As Mitchell headed home that July weekend, he asked himself: Would the […]

Trump Posts Historic 69% Disapproval In NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll — Most Hatred President...

This certainly comes as no surprise, and is not news so much as it is confirmation of what is already known and obvious about Donald Trump: a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump’s approval numbers as not only the worst of any president, but the worst by quite a long shot — and he’s earned them. Here’s a link to 15 pages of data in this poll. Some of the simple numbers first: Obama pulled a 33% in the “very negative” column, Dubya pulled 46%, Bill Clinton pulled a 38% — and Trump is twice Obama’s worst number and almost twice Clinton’s, after Clinton was impeached. It almost makes you wonder what he could achieve if he was deliberately trying to piss people off. Here they are, the worst numbers in history. NBC News: A combined 69 percent of registered voters say they don’t like Trump personally, regardless of their feelings about his policy agenda. A record 50 percent say they dislike him personally and dislike his policies, while another 19 percent say that they dislike him but approve of his policies. Just 29 percent say they like Trump personally, with 25 percent saying they also approve of his policy agenda and 4 percent saying they disapprove. On this measure, the high degree of personal dislike for Trump differentiates him from his five most recent predecessors. Majorities of voters said they personally liked Obama, Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, even though they might disagree vigorously with their political agenda. In fact, prior to Trump’s presidency, the highest share of voters saying they disliked the president personally — regardless of their views on his policies — was 42 percent for George W. Bush in March 2006, after Hurricane Katrina. One fan that Trump has is Dubya. As reviled as he was for the Katrina fiasco and for driving the country off an economic cliff, next to Trump, Dubya looks like Thomas Jefferson. And almost half of voters express trepidation over Trump’s reelection. Voters also have higher levels of discomfort about Trump’s re-election than about his main Democratic rivals. Half of voters — 49 percent — say they’re very uncomfortable with his 2020 candidacy. That’s compared to 41 percent who say the same for Sanders and 33 percent apiece who say the same for Biden or Warren. So, what do you think Trump will do with this information, when he gets it? After the obligatory fake-news-enemy-of-the-people rant? You know he’s not going to take the high road, that’s not in his lexicon.  Raw Story: Political analysts have warned that Trump will likely fight his lack of favorability not by being a nicer or better person, but by dragging everyone else down to his level. Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake explained in July that the Trump campaign knows how to do this because it has already mastered it. “Given Trump’s long-standing unpopularity, a big question has always been whether he will be able to take the eventual Democratic nominee and drag them down to his level,” Blake wrote. “He showed he could do it in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, who ended the campaign as unpopular as Trump was, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be able to do it again.” I can only reiterate a conclusion already stated here many times. 2020 […]
Rob Bluey / Flickr Mitt Romney at CPAC...

Mitt Romney showed us the GOP’s soul. And we laughed at him.

Corporations are people too, my friends.   Mitt Romney Anybody remember that old line from the Mittster? I sure as hell do. It was pundit gold, and along with his imbecilic “47%” comment from a closed fund raiser, sealed Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign as being conducted by a hopelessly out of touch 1%er with no regard for the rest of us. I don’t have to remember that moment with crystal clarity, because I just saw a tape replay of it yesterday. Mitt Romney died on that particular hill that day, and he fought all the way to the end, continuing to try to explain why corporations were actually people, even while he was being jeered off of the stage. And when I saw that replay, and Romney’s passionate, logical, fervid defense of his statement, while boo’s cascaded down around him, it struck me. Mitt Romney was dead serious when he said that corporations were people too. And in his mind he was right. Because, as Romney was trying so desperately to explain to the scoffing crowd, when you think about it, all of the benefits that actually accrue to a corporation are ultimately passed down the line to living, breathing human beings. Basically those “little people” make the corporation a viable, living, breathing organism. And nothing that George Orwell put into 1984 even comes close in the chill of its implication. Long before Mitt Romney was a presidential candidate, and long before he was the Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Romney was a businessman, a venture capitalist. Or, considering the business practices of his Bain Capital, he was more accurately a vulture capitalist. He made his money by taking what belonged to others, mainly the failing companies he bought, and selling it off to keep the money for himself, nothing went back to the people who built the original company in the first place, except pink slips. And he was good enough at it to become one of the top-tenth-of-one-percent himself. The man knows of what he speaks. When Romney told us that corporations were people too, he wasn’t just committing a gaffe, he was telling us the ruling philosophy of the Republican party. How do we know this? Because, while the Democrats love to tout themselves as the party of the “working man,” the GOP has more and more steadily become over the years the “business friendly” party. The GOP itself no longer even bothers trying to deny that it a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, mainly because nobody would believe them. And Mitt Romney’s ill advised statement is exactly how corporate America thinks. This explains so much about Donald Trump, it’s not even funny. In Donald Trump, the oligarchs of corporate America have their dream president. Donald Trump is the real life political equivalent of Governor William J. LePetomain, Mel Brooks zany character from Blazing Saddles, who famously stumbled out from behind a curtain in his office, his pants around his ankles, because his Attorney General, Hedley Lamar, had interrupted him fondling his secretary back there. If you can’t see that for yourself, there’s nothing that I can say that would convince you. Trump is the perfect ventriloquist dummy for corporate America in the White House for two reasons. First of all, like LePetomain, he is a totally compliant idiot. Just like in the movie, you stick […]

Vanity Fair: ‘Trump and Giuliani Appear Quite-to-Very-F**ked’

Bess Levin at Vanity Fair has the most articulate and insightful synopsis so far of what the House Impeachment Report says about what Donald Trump and Rudy “butt dialer” Giuliani actually achieved when they decided to play Spy v. Spy in Ukraine. Bottom line? They couldn’t have been more blatant about what they were doing short of wearing reflective clothing and blowing on kazoos. If this is their idea of clandestine, heaven save us from their notion of overt. Bill Barr is going to have to hold the DOJ upside down and shake it to come up with some distraction that can match this in intensity — and expect him to try. Levin Report: On Tuesday, House Democrats released the Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report, which concludes, based on over two months of private and public testimony from career diplomats and other administration officials, that Donald Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States,” sought to undermine American democracy, and, in doing so, endangered national security. For a guy who has insisted that he acted with the utmost integrity when he attempted to extort Ukraine to smear his political rivals, it isn’t a good look! But Trump isn’t the only one for whom the report should be causing some gastrointestinal distress right about now; his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has also emerged from the account looking like a full-on crook, a portrayal that probably would’ve been of concern to him had his brain not started atrophying when he left the New York City mayor’s office in 2001. Much of the damning information comes in the form of phone records. According to logs obtained by the committee from AT&T, Giuliani was in extremely frequent communication with the White House, specifically the Office of Management and Budget, where acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, of Ukraine “drug deal” fame, is still director. For instance, Giuliani spoke with unidentified individuals at OMB and the White House on April 12, 23, and 24. An OMB call on the latter date lasted over 13 minutes and occurred just one day before Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was told to return from Kiev. Following many of these communications, the Week notes, Giuliani placed calls to or received calls from his indicted associate Lev Parnas, whom Giuliani allegedly dispatched to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son. Another call of particular interest was the 13-minute one between Giuliani and OMB on August 8, which occurred just one day after Ambassador Kurt Volker messaged Giuliani about a meeting with Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak and a “visit” the two had discussed. Last month the Washington Post reported that a confidential White House review of Trump’s decision to put a hold on aid to Ukraine “has turned up hundreds of documents that reveal extensive efforts to generate an after-the-fact justification for the decision and a debate over whether the delay was legal,” on which OMB led the charge. In early August, for instance, Mulvaney asking acting OMB director Russell Vought to provide an update on the legal rationale for holding up the aid and how much longer it could be delayed. According to the justification from the OMB lawyers—which the State Department and National Security Council disputed—withholding the aid was legal so long as they referred to it as a “temporary” hold. Was Giuliani strategizing with someone at OMB re: the delayed aid? Who’s to say! […]

William Weld nailed it, but will the GOP listen?

For nigh on a year and a half now I have been saying that Donald Trump is literally killing the Republicans as a viable national party going forward. As a result, I have taken my fair share of incoming slings and arrows, telling me what a fool I am, and recounting how many times that the GOP has been left for dead before. But I never predicted the death of the entire GOP, only their demise as a consistent force in national politics. And so it was with great pleasure that I suddenly found someone, anyone else who agrees with me, and a card carrying Republican to boot. And not just a card carrying Republican, but one with some serious GOP street creds. That being said, William Weld is rather the pariah in GOP circles right now. A former GOP Massachusetts governor, Weld left the party in 2016 to run as Gary Johnson’s VP candidate on the Libertarian ticket. And now he’s bucking the odds to run against His Lowness in the Republican primaries for President. I was elated when Weld announced his run, not only because it would force Trump to actually campaign, where he can make a frequent fool of himself, but also because, as Lawrence O’Donnell loves to point out, no incumbent President has ever lost a primary battle, but no incumbent President has been reelected when his primary went beyond South Carolina either. And at least some parts of Trumpmenistan are worried, including the aforementioned South Carolina, which is considering skipping a GOP primary in 2020 if Weld qualifies for the ballot. After announcing his run, Weld had restricted his appearances largely to network talk shows, including MSNBC. But yesterday he spoke to the annual NAACP convention, something Trump has steadfastly refused to do. And he led his speech off with a bang; Trump is a raging racist, Okay? He’s a complete and thoroughgoing racist. And he made that choice, a choice a long time ago, when he was engaged in the housing business in New York with his father This is not going to go over well with The Mango Messiah, I can tell you that. As far as my memory serves, no Republican of any import has come right out and called Glorious Bleater a racist. Even that turncoat Justin Amash split with Trump not over racism, but over the criminality outlined in the Mueller report. But then Weld took it to the next level; The national Republican Party, has a choice. And a lot of them like to think that it’s a political choice. But it’s not a political choice. It’s a moral choice. Weld went on to appear on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night, when he put the icing on the cake, telling O’Donnell that if the GOP as a party did not repudiate Trump in 2020, it would essentially cease to exist as a party that could win a national election. He stated that sure, the GOP could still capture the “Dixiecrat states,” as he put it, but those would not be enough to win a presidential election in the electoral college. This could end up working out true either way. Racism works for Trump, but it’s a one trick pony. People who love Trump tolerate racism from him that they would not tolerate from anyone […]
Guardian News / YouTube Five times Donald Trump refused to...

National Slampoon’s “Trumper Vacation”

I swear, I’m not really that big of a dumb ass. But can I help it if every time I reach a totally logical conclusion, some paddlefoot comes clomping in and demolishes the whole thing, like it’s a six-year-old’s sand castle? Although it seems like forever ago in the Land of the Misfit Mango, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote that the battle lines for the 2020 August recess seemed drawn. 2020 would be the Democratic equivalent of the GOP 2009 ACA town hall hijackings. In 2009, activists took over incumbent town halls with screams of “socialized medicine,” and “death panels for Granny!” And that’s the way I saw 2020 shaping up, only this time with Democrats at the helm, storming their own incumbent’s town halls to loudly demand that impeachment hearings begin for Donald Juan Trump just as soon as Congress could reconvene. And early reporting was confirming that premise, with activists charting town halls on calendars, and making sure that activists would be there, GOP town halls as well as Democratic ones, making their feelings on impeachment known. Well, there goes another perfectly good plan, shot to shit. Did you ever notice how hard it is to catch a fly, with the way they keep changing direction on a dime, and never ending up quite where you and the fly swatter thought they’d be? Well, welcome to activism in Trumpmenistan, you gotta be quick on your feet, and you’ve got to be adaptable, because the best laid plans are subject to change without notice. It all began about a month ago. Trump started out with a perfectly sane political strategy of painting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of The Squad as far left ideologues, and trying to make them the face of the “new” Democratic party ahead of 2020. But of course, having the social skills of a honey badger, Trump couldn’t contain himself. He had to make it personal, he had to make it racial, and he had to make it sexist. And when His Lowness told the whole damn bunch of ’em to “go back where they came from,” the racism pot went to simmer. But with Trump, racism is like eating one salted peanut. Next, he had to haul off on House Oversight chair Elijah Cummings, as well as the entire city of Baltimore. And since he was on a roll, he threw in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. All places, you’ll notice, where he won’t bother campaigning. If it were possible, Trump would have signed executive orders making them independent nations, just so he could refer to them as “shithole countries.” And the racism pot hit boil. And then last Saturday, one week ago today: A white supremacist piece of shit drives 10 hours to El Paso, fuels up with breakfast to make sure his aim is good, an then strolls into a Walmart like he owns the place, and kills 22 innocent people and injures 24 more. His reason? As a retaliation for the immigrant “invasion” turning Texas into a vassal state of Mexico, and as a warning to future invaders. You know, the ones that President Bone Spurs has been bitching about constantly? He referred specifically to it in some racist dung he posted online, […]

Trump Campaign Attempts Powerful Pop Culture Reference, Falls Right On It’s Face

Team Trump is not made up of rocket scientists and apparently it’s not made up of cultural mavens, either. They tweeted this in a fundraising effort, and unfortunately, the message that is being transmitted is not one of ultimate power, but of imminent doom. Could it be that nobody in Trumpworld saw the movie? Or, maybe they don’t know the difference between winning and obliteration? With this crowd it’s hard to know. House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want. President Trump's re-election is 𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲. pic.twitter.com/O7o02S26nS — Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 10, 2019 So you're arguing that Trump is Thanos ("The Mad Titan") who wants to kill half of all living things, but in the end winds up defeated and dying, taking all of his sycophantic followers down with him? Great work, everyone. https://t.co/gFLPVch2An — Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 10, 2019 So the character Trump is being compared to here is Thanos, a super villain psycho with dreams of mass murder who then is defeated by the good guys. Is there a mole at Team Trump with a wild sense of humor? Or Trumpers are just too stupid to understand how the movie ends, but thought the image was cool, in any event? Who knows? If you’re looking for a gig as a social media director, Team Trump probably has an opening — in the walls, where Brad Parscale is throwing people through.

Rudy Giuliani Reveals His ‘Insurance’ Policy Isn’t Trump, It’s Biden

Poor Joe Biden. Every nut case with an R behind his name is after him these days, Lindsey Graham, Devin Nunes, and now none other than Rudy Giuliani. TRUTH ALERT: The statement I’ve made several times of having an insurance policy, if thrown under bus, is sarcastic & relates to the files in my safe about the Biden Family’s 4 decade monetizing of his office. If I disappear, it will appear immediately along with my RICO chart. — Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 23, 2019 Rudy sounds exactly like the mob bosses he used to prosecute. I honestly can’t decide who has fallen from a greater height, Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz. Right now I’d say it’s even money.  

Cory Gardner Calls Democratic Challenger ‘Insane’ Over Disturbingly Powerful Political Ad

Andrew Romanoff is set to do a run-off with John Hickenlooper, for the Democratic ticket in Colorado, running against incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner. Hickenlooper is pro-fracking, Gardner is a rabid climate denier, and Romanoff has produced one of the most moving political ads I’ve ever seen in my life. It puts me in mind of “Daisy” a :30 spot in the 60’s which warned about nuclear war. Watch the piece in it’s entirety. It’s only 4:16 long. To say it’s food for thought is an understatement as extreme as the threat of undealt with climate change itself. This spot must have pushed Cory Gardner’s buttons, because this was his reaction. GOP Sen. @CoryGardner is a climate change denier — so he’s now responding to @Romanoff2020’s new ad with a personal insult. It’s a VERY good sign that the ad is extremely effective. #copolitics #cosen https://t.co/1O9zFvDsdn — David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 16, 2019 There are none so blind as he who will not see. I just love these Republicans who deny proven facts and regard science as a matter of opinion. Sweet Jesus. Wonder if Gardner thinks the earth is flat, too, or round, but just 6,000 years old? Ya spose? Or he doesn’t think about it at all, he just cashes the checks from the oil companies? It will be interesting to see if Colorado stays blue and votes out Gardner and against Trump in 2020. Very interesting. A race to watch, to be sure.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Ronna McDaniel...

Good Lord. They really ARE eating their young!

If there’s one advantage to running on a party ticket, especially if you’re a fledgling candidate, it’s that the party has resources. I’ve written in the past that parties offer support for candidates, especially newbie congressional candidates in the form of things like a monetary hand when campaign donations run low, expert guidance in setting up and running a campaign office and campaign, and temporary staffing. All of this can keep a candidate competitive, and give them a fighting chance. But if there is one advantage that a national party can give a candidate that rises above all others, it is polling data. Polling is expensive to do, and a campaign that isn’t awash in special interest donations can have trouble in keeping up with how their message is resonating with voters, and what issues they need to key in on, and refine their message. Well, national parties do a shitload of polling, especially in presidential election years. And considering that the presidential candidate is running nationally, they run national polling, broken down into districts, showing where a candidate is strong, and where he needs to spend more time. And it is intricate polling, with plenty of cross tabs, dealing with things like specific issues, and candidate popularity. All of this data is like manna from heaven for a congressional candidate. It offers them specific, quality polling data on a range of issues, and it doesn’t cost them a dime, the party is happy to make it available to them to assist them in their quest for political “fortune and glory.” Congressional campaigns most likely use the party’s internal polling data for their district more than any other party resource. But maybe not so much this year, at least not on the GOP side. Because Propublica is reporting that this time around, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, bidding fair to replace Reince Priebus as the most pathetic excuse for a party chair in the history of politics, is throwing a monkey wrench into the works, and in so doing, is literally endangering the chances for GOP congressional districts in key races. While the RNC is still making the party’s internal polling data available to congressional campaigns across the country, the RNC is withholding one critical cross tab of polling information from congressional campaigns. And that critical cross tab is President Donald Trump’s personal and job approval ratings in the district. I have written a couple of different articles over the last few days, dealing with Romney McDaniel’s, the RNC’s, and local state party organs doing everything in their power to spare the delicate snowflake fee-fee’s of Trump from negative information, such as a state primary in which he fails to garner at least 95% of the vote, Putin style, by simply eliminating presidential primaries in their states this year. This damages not only the party, by making it look weak and feckless, but also Trump himself, by giving him a delusional impression of his actual popularity. But this is ten times worse, especially for the party as a whole. Donald Trump is one man, and if he goes down, then he goes down. In the midterms of 2006, and the presidential election of 2008, incumbent President George W Bush largely sat out the elections, rarely campaigning with individual candidates, unwilling to tar their electoral chances […]

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