Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

NRA speaks 7 Days After Florida School Shooting

February 21, 2018

NRA to speak 7 Days After Florida School Shooting
The National Rifle Association has been silent on Twitter since the Parkland school shooting, but NRA VP Wayne LaPierre is listed as a speaker at this week’s Comic-Con for Conservatives, the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC is being held at the Gaylord Convention Center at National Harbor, near DC but closer to a casino. While Mr. LaPierre is a staunch foe of gun-free zones, the Gaylord is one.

Wayne LaPierre isn’t on the CPAC agenda, but since the NRA is CPAC’s biggest sponsor and the biggest donor to GOP campaigns, he’s certain to deliver his usual demagoguery. There’s a half-hour slot on Thursday’s agenda at 10 AM marked “Special Programming,” so that’s our bet. Mike Pence will bless the gathered wingnuts afterwards, at 10:30.

The rest of the 2018 CPAC is a cavalcade of conservative celebs, not just The Apprentice‘s Donald Trump, but disgraced former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., talk radio ranters Dana Loesch and Mark Levin, Fox flakes Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and Sebastian Gorka, and that guy from Pawn Stars.

But CPAC 2018 is not all “America First.” France’s holocaust denier and National Front pin-up person Mademoiselle Marion Maréchal-Le Pen and the UK Independence Party spokesmodel, and Brexiteer Nigel Farage will add European élan to the conservative conclave.

More:

“Less Intellectual and More Salacious”: Commercialized, Trumpified, CPAC Is Adrift.” Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

Related:

“Five types of gun laws the Founding Fathers loved,” Saul Cornell, The Conversation

“The NRA’s step-by-step playbook for responding to a mass shooting,” Heather Timmons, Quartz

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Trump Lawyer Says He Paid Off Porn Star Before Election

February 16, 2018

Trump Lawyer Admits Paying Off Porn Star Right Before Election

Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen admitted on Tuesday that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money in 2016, right before the election, so she wouldn’t blab about her 2011 extramarital affair with the married Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen says the payoff came out of his own pocket, and not from Mr. Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump businesses.

That doesn’t mean it’s legal. Even if Mr. Cohen didn’t coordinate his pre-election payoff with the candidate or the campaign, it could be considered an unreported in-kind campaign contribution in excess of the $2,700 individual cap. Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission to that effect. The FEC has a Republican majority and reports violations to Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice for enforcement, though, so that dog won’t hunt.

That doesn’t mean Mr. Trump is out of the woods. Stormy Daniels claims that Michael Cohen’s payoff revelations invalidate their nondisclosure agreement, so she’s free to talk about the president’s adulterous romps.

More:

“The Coming Storm? Hush Money and the Federal Election Campaign Act,” Thomas Frampton, Harvard Law Review blog

Related:

“Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity,” Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker

“The latest alleged Trump affair coverup is a damningly familiar tale,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Alleged Ex-Trump Paramour Says ‘Catch And Kill’ Practice Kept Her Quiet,” Amy Held, NPR

“Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids,” Jim Rutenberg, Megan Twohey, Rebecca R. Ruiz, Mike McIntire and Maggie Haberman, New York Times

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Trump Wants His Own Parade

February 8, 2018

Trump Wants His Own Parade

President Donald Trump (Capt., New York Military Academy High School, retired), who calls the U.S. military leadership “my generals,” has given those leaders their “marching orders.” He wants a parade. A big, magnificent military parade, bigger than the one in Paris on Bastille Day, with thousands of marching troops, flags and bands and military pomp, cannons and missiles and fighter jet overflights, with humvees and tanks and stuff. The parade would go down Pennsylvania Avenue, right past the Trump International Hotel (reserve your room now!), on July 4th. Or Memorial Day. Or maybe Veteran’s Day. It would honor our troops, our president, U.S. military might, our president, America’s proud military tradition, and our brilliant commander-in chief.

A Big League parade. Bigger than Macron’s. Bigger than Eisenhower’s. Bigger than Kim Jong-Un’s. Bigger than Putin’s, or Erdogan’s, or Mao’s, or Mussolini’s or that other guy’s. Oh sure, it would take U.S. troops out of training and take equipment off-line and cost tens of millions of dollars, and the tank treads would chew up DC pavement, but what a grand spectacle!

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Your Brain On Drug Policy

February 7, 2018

“Your Brain On Drug Policy,” featuring Rachael Leigh Cook. A video from the Drug Policy Alliance. Any questions?

Ms. Cook was in the original 1997 “Brain on Drugs” commercial of the “War on Drugs” era.

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Trump Defines Treason

February 6, 2018

Trump Defines Treason

President Trump re-defined Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution on Monday, during a speech in Blue Ash, Ohio. He accused congressional Democrats of treason for not applauding enough during last week’s State of the Union Address.

“You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country. And you have the other side even on positive news, really positive news, they were like death and un-American, un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? [They] certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

 

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Trump Porn Partner Response to the State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018

Trump Porn Partner Response to the State of the Union Address

President Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. The event will be carried live on every TV channel and Web platform in the known universe. We can expect the same kind of dubious, vacuous, self-aggrandizing sales pitch Mr. Trump recently delivered to real world leaders and business titans in Davos, with a dab of “Build the Wall” (billed as “security”) added to appease his base supporters.

Things will get more interesting after the speech, during the inevitable GOP spin sessions and Democratic responses by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D, MA-4), Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA-43), and Virginia State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William). But more Americans will be watching the response of adult film star Stormy Daniels, who will be a guest on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live following the State of the Union. Ms. Daniels received $130,000 in hush money from Trump in 2016, one month before the election, for staying silent about her affair with Mr. Trump. For the record, Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) is a Republican and a working Mom.

Related:

“Why Trump and the porn star is newsworthy,” Carl M. Cannon, O.C. Register

“State of the Union guests to highlight sexual harassment, assault debate,” Elise Viebeck, Washington Post

“Alleged payment to porn star was illegal donation to Trump campaign, watchdog says,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Wrestling With the Truth

January 25, 2018

Trump Strategy Revealed
“In elementary school, Donny impressed classmates with his athleticism, shenanigans and refusal to acknowledge mistakes, even one so trivial as misidentifying a popular professional wrestler. No matter his pals’ ridicule, one recalled, he doubled down, insisting wrestler Antonino Rocca’s name was ‘Rocky Antonino.’”

— Paul Schwartzman and Michael E. Miller, Washington Post

Mr. Trump has grown even more unapologetic and truculent with age. Maybe it’s because he’s in pro wrestling’s Hall of Fame, right up there with “Rocky Antonino.”

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Invite Stormy Daniels to the State of the Union Address

January 24, 2018

Invite Stormy Daniels to the State of the Union Address
On January 30, 2018 at 8 PM Eastern, President Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address to a joint session of the United States Congress. Senators and Members of Congress are inviting special guests to observe from the visitors’ balcony, a SOTU tradition. Someone needs to invite Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels), a Republican and a working Mom, to this great national event. She even knows the guy who will be talking. Hey, maybe he’ll invite her — he’s done it before.

On the other hand, if Ms. Daniels can’t get invited to the State of the Union as a guest, maybe Forbes can get her press credentials.

More:

“Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump’s alleged porn star affair and hush money scandal explained,” Dylan Matthew, Vox

“8 wild details from the Stormy Daniels Trump interview,” Louis Nelson, Politico

“Get Caught Up: Trump’s Alleged Affair With Adult Film Star Stormy Daniels,” Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR

Related:

“State of the Union guests to highlight sexual harassment, assault debate,” Elise Viebeck, Washington Post

“Alleged payment to porn star was illegal donation to Trump campaign, watchdog says,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

UPDATE:

“Stormy Daniels to appear on Kimmel after Trump’s State of the Union address,” Dan Snierson, EW

“Kimmel to interview Stormy Daniels after Trump SOTU,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Trump State of the Union Risks Being Upstaged by Stormy Daniels Interview on Jimmy Kimmel,” Maria Perez, Newsweek

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Obsequious Factotum Stephen Miller

January 10, 2018

Obsequious Factotum Stephen Miller

Right-Wing ideologue and Trump staffer Stephen Miller took umbrage last weekend  when CNN’s Jake Tapper wouldn’t let him hijack an interview to give a big, televised, wet kiss to a single viewer, Donald Trump. Mr. Tapper cut him off and called him “obsequious,” a “factotum.” Millions reached for Merriam-Webster. After years as a fawning neo-fascist toady, Stephen Miller (Steve Bannon’s typist) was recently promoted to obsequious factotum after writing the sulfurous Trump Convention speech.

Mr. Miller denied being escorted out of the CNN studios by security after the aborted interview,, despite evidence suggesting otherwise.

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How Much Is That In Pesos?

January 9, 2018

How Much Is That In Pesos?

President Donald Trump, the great deal maker, wants U.S. taxpayers to pony up $18 billion to pay for the first leg of his border wall, saying “in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall.”

If you’re counting on this, US $18 billion is 345,295,800,000.00 Mexican Pesos. No aguantes la respiración (don’t hold your breath).

Related:

“Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Four things Trump could spend $18 billion on instead of a border wall,” Oliver Staley, Quartz

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