Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Girls! Roy Moore Is Back.

June 21, 2019

Girls! Roy Moore Is Back.

He’s back! Shopping mall romeo, twice-defrocked Alabama judge and gun-slinging theocratic racist homophobe Roy Moore wants to be Alabama’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020. Sure, he lost his 2017 bid due to some pesky talk about hitting on teenyboppers, but Mr. Moore reasons that if Brett Kavanaugh could get through his Supreme Court hearing last year, he can get to the Senate this time.

More:

“Roy Moore, Accused Child Molester, Announces Second Senate Run,” Scott Bixby, Daily Beast

“Roy Moore announces 2020 Senate run, vows to ‘make more personal contact with people,'” The Week

“‘This place has enough creepy old men’: GOP vows to crush Roy Moore,” Burgess Everett, Politico

“Roy Moore is running for Senate again, and there’s nothing Washington Republicans can do about it,” Amber Phillips, Washington Post

“Donald Trump Jr. mocks Roy Moore after campaign announcement, reigniting criticism,” Sam Dorman, Fox News

“How Roy Moore Could Actually Win Alabama’s Republican Senate Primary,” Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight

Related:

“Roy Moore’s lawyer Trenton Garmon arrested on drug charges,” Ivana Hrynkiw, AI.com

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

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Ivanka Trump Earns Millions From a Rented Government Building

June 18, 2019

Ivanka Trump Earns Millions From a Rented Government Building

Presidential Advisor, sweatshop shmata merchant, and former runway model Ivanka Trump is also an hôtelièr, renting out rooms in a publicly-owned building her Dad’s company leases in Washington. Last year Ms. Trump earned $4 million from her hotel side-hustle.

More:

“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m last year,” Bernard Condon, AP, via The Guardian

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Top image (Ivanka’s book-like object) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

June 13, 2019
Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

   GUILTY OF SERIAL HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to the White House on Thursday recommending that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway “be removed from federal service” for repeatedly using her official position for political purposes, violations of the Hatch Act:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” responded Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves. The OSC does not have legal authority to remove a presidential appointee like Ms. Conway, but would have booted a career federal official long before this point. OSC had reprimanded Ms. Kelly over ethics concerns starting in 2017, and for multiple Hatch Act violations in 2018 and 2019. The Special Counsel of OSC is Trump-nominated investigator Henry Kerner. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Hatch Act violation compliants to the OSC rose 30 percent.

Attention lawyers: How many public ethics violations does an attorney need to commit before she’s disbarred?

More:

“Special counsel: Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, should be removed,” Nicholas Sakelaris, UPI

“Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

“Federal agency recommends that Kellyanne Conway be removed from service,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act,” Felicia Sonmez, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations,” John Wagner and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Nobody Will Need To Respect The Rule Of Law After The Trump Administration,” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

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Santorum Sells Catholic Cryptocurrency

June 13, 2019

Santorum Sells Catholic Cryptocurrency

CNN Political Commentator Rick Santorum, former Republican Senator and erstwhile Pope of Pennsylvania, is now on the board of a blockchain-y digital coin called Cathio, “a new payment, remittance and funding platform which provides efficient, secure, and transparent movement of funds within the Catholic world,” promising to provide a “turnkey solution for Catholic organizations to bring their financial transactions into alignment with their beliefs.” “Turnkey”? Wouldn’t that be St. Peter?

How did a Pennsylvania politico get involved with Vatican Venmo? Maybe it’s because his son-in-law is the firm’s CEO.

More:

“Rick Santorum Is a Cryptocurrency Guy Now, Apparently,” Tom Mckay, Gizmodo

“Santorum, Schlapp Shill For Catholic Crypto Coin Whose Founder Has Sketchy Past,” Josh Kovensky, TPM Muckraker

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Ted Cruz and the Space Pirates!

May 17, 2019

Ted Cruz and the Space Pirates!

Shiver me timbers, matey! Senator Ted Cruz says we need a Space Force to protect us from space pirates:

“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors. Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”

The CBO says the initial bill to launch the Trump Space Force is $2 billion of your tax dollars, but independent estimates rocket start-up costs closer to $5 billion. Maybe we could defray the expense by licencing the film rights to Netflix. After all, the Cruz space pirate plot treatment is sure getting lots of buzz on Twitter.

More:

“Cruz warns ‘Space Force’ needed to prevent space pirates,” Owen Daugherty, The Hill

“Space Genius Ted Cruz Is Super Worried About Space Pirates Stealing our Space Booty,”
Jason Torchinsky, Foxtrot Alpha

“US Senator Ted Cruz irked by ‘space pirate’ ridicule,” BBC News

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Image: (“Ted Cruz & the Space Pirates, after Louis S. Glanzman”) by Mike Licht.  Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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GOP Family Values: Baby Snatching

April 30, 2019

GOP Family Values: Baby Snatching

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw has given the Trump administration six months, until October 25th, to identify the thousands of children it has separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border:

“It is important for all government actors to have a timeframe, a deadline,” he said. “You tend to stand on it.”

— “Judge gives US 6 months to identify children split at border,” Elliot Spagat, Associated Press

 

More:

“Judge gives U.S. six months to identify separated migrant children,” Tom Hals, Reuters

Update:

“Leaked Emails Show Trump Admin Couldn’t Reunite Separated Migrant Kids With Parents,” Daily Beast

Related:

“New Poll: Despite Partisan Divides on Immigration, Americans Oppose Family Separation,” Shibley Telhami and Stella M. Rouse, Lawfare

“Trump says ending family separation practice was a ‘disaster’ that led to surge in border crossings,” Kimberly Kindy, Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post

“Homeland Security Used a Private Intelligence Firm to Monitor Family Separation Protests,” Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

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Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2019

Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

On  Friday, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced admitted Russian spy Maria Butina to 18 months in prison. “I am deeply embarrassed,” said Ms. Butina.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association.It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchsRepublicanslobbyistsTreasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota. Her older American lover, Paul Erickson, a GOP fundraiser and NRA supporter, is charged with fraud and money laundering in a separate case.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she will be able to continue with her Tai Chi in prison.

More:

“Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, sentenced to 18 months,” Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Russian Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison: ‘I Destroyed My Own Life,’” Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast

“Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a ‘spotter’: DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist,” Kristine Phillips, USA Today

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Hey GOP, why aren’t we filing taxes on a postcard?

April 10, 2019

Remember all those times Republicans promised you’d be filing your Federal Income Taxes on postcard? The 1040 may be physically smaller, but it’s 2-sided, and you’ll have to attach a bunch of other new forms to it. Instructions for the 1040 total 117 pages. After all, it’s not like they shrank the tax code, just the tax rates for the 1 Percent.

A Vox video by Madeline Marshall and Matthew Yglesias.

Related:

“Only 17 Percent of Americans Think They’re Benefiting From Trump’s 2017 Tax Cut,” Daily Beast

“Survey: Few people think they’re getting a tax cut under Trump’s law,” Naomi Jagoda, The Hill

“Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.” Justin Elliott, ProPublica

“The Tax Law’s Big Winner Is the Millionaire CEO,” Joe Light, Bloomberg

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Trump Will Take 2 Years to Reunite Separated Families

April 9, 2019

Trump Will Take 2 Years to Reunite Separated Families

The Justice Department has told a judge it will take at least two years to find out how many of the 47,000 children DHS locked up at the Mexican border were separated from their families by the government. The kids were jailed between July 1, 2017 and June 25, 2018 before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the Trump Administration to stop the “Zero Tolerance” practice of baby snatching and reunite the families.

The plaintiff in the case, the ACLU, is understandably upset with the timeline, as are psychologists who treat separated children. Or anyone, really, except Stephen Miller.

More:

“U.S. Says It Could Take 2 Years to Identify Up to Thousands of Separated Immigrant Families,” Victor J. Blue, New York Times

“It may take 2 years to identify thousands of separated families, government says,” Catherine E. Shoichet and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

“The Long-Term Damage of Trump’s War on Immigrants,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

Updates:

“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen leaving Trump administration amid surge of migrants,” Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim, and Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post

“Kirstjen Nielsen Was Heartless, but Not Heartless Enough for Trump,” Michael Tomasky,
Daily Beast

“Stephen Miller pressuring Trump officials amid immigration shakeups,” Anita Kumar, Gabby Orr, and Daniel Lippman, Politico

“Inside Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s grand plan to ‘clean house’ at the DHS,” Brendan Morrow, The Week

Related:

“Trump’s possibly illegal designation of a new acting homeland security secretary, explained,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

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Health Care Fraudster Leads Trump Health Care Push

April 3, 2019

Health Care Fraudster Leads Trump Health Care Push

Florida Senator (and former Governor) Rick Scott is leading the charge to develop President Trump’s ObamaCare (ACA) replacement. Mr. Scott certainly has plenty of health care experience. He was President and CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital system when the corporation committed at least 14 federal felonies for defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. The firm later admitted guilt and paid the government $1.7 billion in criminal fines, civil damages, and penalties.

Senator Scott is, without doubt, the ideal person to spearhead a Trump Administration health care initiative.

More:

“Rick Scott’s Company Committed Historic Medicare Fraud. He Will Now Lead Trump’s Health-Care Push.” Matt Stieb, New York Magazine

“Trump’s Choice of Rick Scott to Build a Republican Healthcare Plan Shows the Henhouse Is Full of Foxes,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

“The worst possible choice to craft a Senate health-care plan? Rick Scott.” Editorial, Orlando Sentinel

“Trump putting Rick Scott in charge of his healthcare push is a sick joke,” Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Updates:

Even Rick Scott won’t carry this hot potato for him, so President Trump now says he’ll run for re-election on a GOP Healthcare Plan to replace the ACA in 2020.

“Trump’s health care brain trust says no thanks,” Adam Cancryn and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico

Related:

“Trump’s Health-Care Policy Goes From Misguided to Reckless,” Max Nisen, Bloomberg

“Trump just realized his mistake on health care. But it’s too late.” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“Democrats welcome fight as Trump tees up 2020 healthcare battle,” Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell, Reuters

“Republican Health Care Lying Syndrome,” Paul Krugman, New York Times

“Americans are much more worried about health care than illegal immigration, poll shows,” Tim O’Donnell, The Week

“The GOP’s capitulation to Obamacare,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Trump now promises a Republican health-care bill in [checks notes] 2021,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

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