Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

November 13, 2018

Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

After firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump appointed right-wing political hack Matthew Whitaker, a man the president doesn’t know (except when he does) as acting attorney general. There are a few issues with Mr. Whitaker’s appointment, chief among them the fact that it’s against the law. The Constitution, Which Donald Trump swore to defend, requires principal federal cabinet officers to be confirmed by the senate, and Matt Whitaker wasn’t. His appointment was illegal. Even Kellyanne Conway’s husband says so. So does Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano.

But there’s more. As acting AG, Matt Whitaker oversees the Mueller investigation, and he is already on record criticizing it, suggesting he would choke off Mueller’s funding. Mr. Whitaker has also opined that judges should be Christian, and the courts are an inferior branch of government, an interesting stance for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

And Matt Whitaker has some distinctly unchristian episodes in his past. He was on the board of World Patent Marketing, which paid a judgment of $25,987,192 to the FTC for defrauding inventors. Mr. Whitaker used his reputation as a former federal prosecutor to threaten inventors who complained. A perfect AG pick for a president with fraud judgments of his own.

More:

“Acting attorney general reportedly interviewed to be a ‘legal attack dog’ for Trump against Mueller,” Bonnie Kristian, The Week

“Trump’s acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings,” Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“Whitaker abandoned taxpayer-funded project in Iowa in 2016,” Ryan J. Foley and David Pitt, Associated Press

“Who Is Matt Whitaker And Why Is He Illegally Pretending To Be The Attorney General?” Elie Mystal, Above the Law

“Trump pick Whitaker rose through ranks as partisan targeting Democrats,” Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“The rules are clear: Whitaker can’t supervise Mueller’s investigation,”Neal Katyal, Washington Post

“A Quick Primer on the Legality of Appointing Matthew Whitaker as ‘Acting’ Attorney General, and Whitaker’s Power to Influence the Russia Investigation,” Marty Lederman, Just Security

Update:

“Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge,” Charlie Savage, Washington Post

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Jimmy Carter’s Letter to Brian Kemp

October 31, 2018

Jimmy Carter's Letter to Brian Kemp

Former president and Georgia resident Jimmy Carter wrote to his state’s Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp, asking him to resign as Georgia secretary of state. The secretary of state oversees elections.

October 22, 2018

To Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

I have officially observed scores of doubtful elections in many countries, and one of the key requirements for a fair and trusted process is that there be nonbiased supervision of the electoral process.

In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and … serious questions … about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority. Other secretaries of state have stepped down while running for election within their jurisdiction, to ensure that officials without a direct stake in the process can take charge and eliminate concerns about a conflict of interest.

In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election, which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election. This would not address every concern, but it would be a sign that you recognize the importance of this key democratic principle and want to ensure the confidence of our citizens in the outcome.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Carter

Emphasis added. The full text of the letter is here

In case you forgot, before he monitored elections across the world, before he served as president, Jimmy Carter was Governor of Georgia, the position Brian Kemp is attempting to procure by questionable means.

More:

“Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea,” Colin Dwyer, NPR News

“Watch the Georgia Minority Vote Disappear Before Your Eyes,” Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone

“Stealing an election in Georgia: everything you need to know about voter suppression,” Sophie McBain, New Statesman

“Where Voter Suppression Hits Hardest in Georgia,” Brentin Mock, CityLab

Updates:

“Judge orders Georgia to allow new U.S. citizens to vote,” Shannon Vavra, Axios

“How Voting Became a Central Issue in the Georgia Governor’s Race,” Richard Fausset, New York Times

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Beto’s Beefed-Up Texas Campaign

October 19, 2018

Beto's Beefed-Up Texas Campaign

Back in August, Ted Cruz spokesperson Emily Miller called his Democratic political opponent Beto O’Rourke “a Triple Meat Whataburger liberal who is out of touch with Texas values.” The beef (ahem) started when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram claimed the O’Rouke logo looks like a Whataburger Spicy Ketchup packet.

Unlike Emily Miller (Baltimore) and Ted Cruz (Canada!), Whataburger and Beto O’Rourke were both born in Texas. So was film director Richard Linklater (BoyhoodDazed and ConfusedSlacker), who calls out Mr. Cruz for his distinctly un-Texan affection for White Castle sliders:

(more…)

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Lock Up Your Daughter’s iPad! Carlos Danger Is On the Loose.

October 10, 2018

Lock Up Your Daughter's iPad! Carlos Danger Is On the Loose

Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) will exit prison early, leaving his fellow sex offenders behind (what an awkward last phrase).

More:

“Anthony Weiner to be released early from federal prison,” Matthew Choi, Politico

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Protesters Outside Mitch McConnell’s House: ‘I Like Beer!’

October 5, 2018
Protesters Outside Mitch McConnell's House: 'I Like Beer!'

Beer-swilling protesters … oh wait, it’s a beer festival near DC’s Navy Yard. Great timing.

Demonstrators protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s house in DC this morning, chanting “I Like Beer!” and singing “What do you do with a drunken justice, what do you do with a drunken justice, what do you do with a confirmation early in the morning? Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!” In case you were blacked-out or in a drunken stupor last week, this refers to Judge Kavanaugh’s spirited “I like beer” defense during his Judicial Committee testimony.

MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt followed-up, sounding a bit disappointed:  “The promised keg did not materialize.”

In a related development last week, the conservative Federalist Society hosted an “I Still Like Beer” party.

More:

“PBR-Drinking Kavanaugh Protesters Chant Outside McConnell’s Home ‘I Like Beer,'” David Rutz, Washington Free Beacon

“Brett Kavanaugh Protesters Bring Beer, Chant ‘Chug’ Outside Mitch McConnell’s House,” Jenna Amatulli, Huffington Post

“Kavanaugh protesters bring beer, chant ‘chug’ outside McConnell’s home,” Aris Folley, The Hill

Update:

“Kavanaugh supporters drink beer to celebrate his confirmation,” Aris Folley, The Hill

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Georgetown Prep’s New Motto: ‘Amo Cerevisiam’ (‘I Like Beer’)

September 28, 2018

During his sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh affirmed one thing as true: He really likes beer, and he liked it while he was a student at Georgetown Prep, the pricey Jesuit high school in the DC suburbs. Young Brett even listed himself as “Treasurer of the Keg City Club” in his high school yearbook. Surely Bill Shine, the former Fox News exec who is now White House Communications Director, advised him to declare his love of suds whenever those wine-sipping Democrats questioned him about his heavy drinking, since America’s Joe Sixpacks are Trump’s core voters.

One thing wrong with Brett Kavanaugh’s high school beer drinking: It wasn’t legal. As AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer points out, Maryland’s drinking age was raised to 21 in July 1982, when Brett Kavanaugh was a 17-year-old high school junior. He danced around this fact during committee testimony to avoid perjury, saying senior classmates could drink legally, but all this does is implicate the Georgetown Prep upperclassmen who bought him beer when he was 17.

Mr. Kavanaugh may have technically avoided perjuring himself about this one fact, if not several others, but he clearly has a rather distant relationship with the truth. Hey, we almost wrote this without using the phrase “sober as a judge.”

More:

“Brett Kavanaugh likes beer, but not questions about his drinking habits,” By Allyson Chiu, Washington Post

“Kavanaugh wrongly claims he could drink legally in Maryland,” Alanna Durkin Richer, Associated Press

“Brett Kavanaugh’s slippery answers about high school partying matter,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

“At the Center of the Kavanaugh Accusations: Heavy Drinking,” Mike McIntire and Ben Protess, New York Times

“Many teens drink. Rich ones like Kavanaugh are more likely to abuse alcohol.” Suniya S. Luthar, Washington Post

“Trump on Kavanaugh: ‘I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer,'” Caitlin Oprysko, Politico

“Kavanaugh’s High School, Georgetown Prep, Warned Parents in 1990 of ‘Sexual or Violent Behavior’ at Parties,” Jon Schwarz and Camille Baker, The Intercept

(more…)

Trump Praises Congressman Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

September 12, 2018

Trump Praises Congressman Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

Remember when Montana GOP congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed a reporter to the ground and punched him, was convicted of a misdemeanor and won his special election? He’s campaigning for a full term in Congress, so naturally Donald Trump endorses him:

“I’ll tell you what: This man has fought — in more ways than one — for your state. He has fought for your state. Greg Gianforte. He is a fighter and a winner.”

More:

“President Trump celebrates the body-slam of a reporter in Montana,” Eric Wemple, Washington Post

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Donald Trump, Banana Republican

September 4, 2018

Donald Trump, Banana Republican

On Monday President Trump attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Federal indictments of two sitting Republican congressmen, both strong Trump supporters:

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded: to the President’s partisan attack on the rule of law:

“The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice – one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”

“This is not the conduct of a President committed to defending and upholding the constitution,” tweeted Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, “but rather a President looking to use the Department of Justice to settle political scores.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s tweet, at least one of the investigations began during his own administration. Rep. Christopher Collins (R, NY-27) is charged with participating in an insider trading scheme, and phoned insider stock tips while picnicking on the White House lawn in June 2017. He has denied wrongdoing but is not seeking re-election. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50) and his wife were indicted for allegedly using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Mr. Hunter is still on the midterm ballot.

More:

“Trump Twitter attack on Sessions and Justice is most serious impeachment fodder yet,” Chris Truax, USA Today

“Trump’s Attacks on Jeff Sessions and the DOJ Are Reaching Absurd New Levels,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Trump sets up rule-of-law crisis,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“The Proud Corruption of Donald Trump,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Sorry, Mr. Trump, the Attorney General Is America’s Lawyer,” New York Times editors

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Cruz vs. Beto: The Beef

August 13, 2018

Cruz vs. Beto: The Beef

In what may be the most Texan comment in this year’s Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, Cruz spokesperson Emily Miller called Beto “a Triple Meat Whataburger liberal who is out of touch with Texas values.” The beef (ahem) started when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram claimed the O’Rouke logo looks like a Whataburger Spicy Ketchup packet.

Note: Unlike Emily Miller (Baltimore) and Ted Cruz (Canada!), Whataburger and Beto O’Rourke were both born in Texas.

More:

“What Could Ted Cruz’s Campaign Have Meant When It Called Beto O’Rourke a ‘Triple Meat Whataburger Liberal’?”  Dan Solomon, Texas Monthly

Updates:

“Beto O’Rourke Could Be The Democrat Texas Has Been Waiting For,” Anne Helen Petersen, BuzzFeed News

“Beto O’Rourke: can the upstart Texas Democrat eject Ted Cruz?” Tom Dart, The Guardian

“Beto O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz and the Fight for America,” Christopher Hooks, GQ

 

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