Saturday, February 04, 2017

Starring Conway as Goebbels

The trouble with documenting the atrocities in TrumpWorld is that if you skip a day, he's already on to the next one.   Same goes for his propagandists.

#BowlingGreenMassacre trended all day and into the night, spawning a "We Are All Bowling Green" vigil for victims and a spoof website, courtesy the ACLU (which had previously shattered donation records).  Bowling Green Massacre survivors are now marking themselves safe on Facebook.  So with all of that snark in full bloom, it's no longer timely -- and maybe a little Godwin-esque -- to point out the disturbing similarities between Kellyanne Conjob and the original Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels ...

... but we may not have to wait long for her next alternate fact.  Tomorrow is Sunday, the a.m. talking heads can't stop putting her on despite her whining about not getting any sleep for months, and even with some big football game happening, she -- or some other needy attention-grabber in the two-week-old administration -- isn't going to be able to tolerate having the spotlight shining elsewhere besides on them.

Hat tip to a fatigued Field Negro, who worked in a mention of Trump's doctor and his reference to President Hair Furor's male baldness pills, and their being implicated in sexual dysfunction and depression, along with Howard Stern's worry that Trump is, you know, appearing mentally unstable.

So if we can get him out of office before Steve Bannon convinces him to start a war with China ...

Thursday, February 02, 2017

"Fascism Forever"

This is going to confuse those Republicans who've insisted that fascism is leftist.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at his elite high school, can reveal.

The club was set up to rally against the ‘left-wing tendencies’ of his professors while attending a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school near Washington D.C.

Although it's explainable as youthful impetuousness, this may help pull Senate Democrats out of whatever quagmire it is that they've gotten themselves into.

Gorsuch founded the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ during his freshman year at Georgetown Preparatory, a now-$30,000-a-year private Jesuit school that is one of the most selective in the United States.


The yearbook described the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ as an anti-faculty student group that battled against the 'liberal' views of the school administration.

‘In political circles, our tireless President Gorsuch’s “Fascism Forever Club” happily jerked its knees against the increasingly “left-wing” tendencies of the faculty,’ said the yearbook.

The sort of undergraduate objection long in the running.  Shades of Ted Cruz, in fact.  But it looks the same when you hold it up to a mirror, too.  Why, I'm so old I remember when a wee neoliberal attending Brandeis University couldn't abide living in the Democratic People's Republic of Boston, and had to scurry back home to Texas so that he could wear his cowboy boots to class without being laughed at.  (Cringing duopolists on both sides of the aisle, as we know, are a-skeered uh soshulism.)

Alas, and paraphrasing Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the Democrats you have, not the Democrats you want or might wish to have at a later time.  So the battle to confirm or reject GorsuchaScalia is joined.  Let's see if something interesting happens.

Update: Can the Senate Dems successfully filibuster the fascist club founder?  Magic 8-Ball says "better not tell you now".

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

These nominees and this process, tho...

-- I blogged about SCOTUS potentials this time last week, and except for Trump's "Apprentice"-like charade, there's nothing new to report.  Except for this.

"The reality is that to the best of my knowledge (Judge Thomas Hardiman) never left the state of Pennsylvania," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday night after the announcement. "He never was in DC, nor did he ever leave the commonwealth."

The Trump administration was taking extraordinary measures to build suspense and keep the final selection for its Supreme Court nominee under wraps for as close to the announcement as possible. Hardiman and Neil Gorsuch, both federal appellate judges, were the established favorites.


White House sources acknowledged Tuesday night they left the impression with reporters that he was coming to Washington. Hardiman appeared to play along. One source said Hardiman was given the sense that there could be a spot for him should another vacancy open up.

Sources inside the White House and close to Hardiman said earlier Tuesday that Hardiman was asked to come to Washington. Other news outlets reported before the announcement that Hardiman was going to be at the White House event, though CNN was never told that was the intent.

After he was seen leaving his Pittsburgh home, a CNN producer last saw Hardiman again at a highway gas station more than 100 miles east of Pittsburgh in the direction of Washington.

But earlier in the day, sources told CNN that both finalists were being brought to Washington ahead of Tuesday's White House announcement.

One source said that Gorsuch was told it was likely him. Those close to the process warned that until it was announced, Trump could change his mind.

"He likes a contest," one person close to the process said of Trump.

Two packets of briefing materials were being prepared to give senators Tuesday night: Gorsuch and Hardiman. But one person said the "Gorsuch packet" was full and complete, while Hardiman's was little more than biographical.

One person close to the process said Trump doesn't view runner-up as a bad thing. "There will be other openings on the court, so the person not picked will be runner-up," this person said.

I didn't ride along with the farce by watching the teevee, and Tweeted once just a few minutes prior to the announcement.  Homie ain't gonna play like that in the future, either.

-- I'll just keep looking ahead, now with the latest on the Treasury nominee's foreign money...

Senate Democrats are raising questions about whether Steve Mnuchin, President Donald Trump's treasury secretary nominee, deliberately misled lawmakers at his confirmation hearing. The concerns center on the extent of foreign investment in a series of finance entities Mnuchin helped manage, including one based offshore in the Cayman Islands ...

The focus has trained on a series of finance entities, all offshoots of the hedge fund run by Mnuchin up until he was selected as Trump's pick to be the country's economic point person.

Asked specifically about the investment makeup of the offshore entity during his hearing, Mnuchin repeatedly said it was created to provide opportunities for pension funds and non-profits to invest. There were also "a small number of foreign investors," Mnuchin told lawmakers.

But the offshore entity and a series of other finance vehicles, some of which weren't originally disclosed by Mnuchin during the financial disclosure process, hold gross assets of more than $240 million, according to an SEC filing reviewed by CNN. Significant percentages of each were held by foreign investors, according to the filing, and one was 100 percent owned by foreign investors.

Mnuchin's failure to initially disclose his relationship with the funds, along with his minimizing the scope of foreign investment in them during the hearing, has Democrats questioning whether it was part of a deliberate effort to steer them away.

"Misleading -- and that's the most charitable way you could say it," Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said of Mnuchin's explanation during an interview. "You walked away thinking that almost the only people were churches and pensions (investing in those entities.)"

There's also evidence that Mnuchin has lied to the Senate committee about one of his company's robo-signing on mortgage contracts.  Does perjury count as a crime in Trumpland?  Can Democrats stop -- or God forbid, delay -- this nominee?  How they stand up to Jeff Sessions is probably key.

-- How about Betsy DeVos and her plagiarism?

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's Education Secretary nominee, appears to have lifted quotes in at least two instances in written answers submitted to the Senate committee tasked with approving her nomination.

After DeVos' confirmation hearing was limited to one round of questions by Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Democrats submitted hundreds of questions to the nominee. In response to a question from Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, on bullying of LGBT students, DeVos almost directly -- and uncited -- quoted Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of Obama's Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.

Looks like Obama's team was good for something after all.

Trump education adviser Rob Goad described the plagiarism allegations as "character assassination."

"To level an accusation against her about these words included in responses to nearly 1,400 questions -- 139 alone from the ranking member -- is simply a desperate attempt to discredit Betsy DeVos, who will serve the Department of Education and our nation's children with distinction if confirmed," said Goad, who sits on the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Sen. Patty Murray said Tuesday she is reviewing written answers the Michigan billionaire provided to the Senate that may include plagiarized material.

In another instance, DeVos' appears to have lifted language from the Department of Education website.

Do they still discipline kids for copying their homework from someone else?  How about you just report to the assistant principal's office, lady.  Oh wait ...

(DeVos) is also not the first Trump staffing pick to face plagiarism allegations since the President's election.

Conservative author Monica Crowley stepped away from her appointment to a senior communications role in Trump's then-incoming administration after CNN's KFile uncovered multiple instances of plagiarism.

Examples of plagiarism were found in her 2012 book, multiple columns for The Washington Times and her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation for Columbia University. The former Fox New contributor was chosen to be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

So it looks like somebody in DeVos' family is going to have to write larger checks to more Republican incumbents in order to keep this con going.

Brave new world!  How's everybody adjusting so far?  Got your shelter built and your fire going?  Ready to go scavenge for food?  Or would you rather keep whining about the Russians, James Comey, Bernie Sanders, and/or everybody who voted for Jill Stein?

You gonna march again this weekend?  Sign a petition to John Cornyn and Ted Cruz DEMANDING they vote against Sessions, or DeVos, or Tom Price or Scott Pruitt (here's your chance, Schumer) or any of the rest of these clowns?  Make a few phone calls to full voice mailboxes?

Maybe you could, I don't know, start thinking about how you might assist in organizing your precinct or something.  Just a suggestion.