Long before the White House, George Bush waged two Senate bids. Here's a look at his campaigns

Daily Kos - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 18:22

Former President George H.W. Bush died at the age of 94 on Friday, but as is our wont at Daily Kos Elections, we'll devote ourselves to taking stock of his early political career, which featured two unsuccessful Senate bids that bookended a brief tenure in the House in the 1960s.

Bush was the son of wealthy Connecticut Sen. Prescott Bush, a progressive Republican who notably spoke out against fellow Sen. Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunt. After serving in World War II as a combat pilot, the younger Bush relocated to West Texas and got a job with a family friend in the oil industry. In 1951, Bush co-founded an oil company of his own, and he became wealthy in his own right two years later when it merged with another firm.

In 1963, the same year that his father left the Senate, Bush turned his eye to politics for the first time. Bush, who was now living in Houston, successfully ran to lead the Harris County GOP, saying that local Republicans encouraged him to get in to stop members of the far-right John Birch Society from taking over.

Bush’s election as county chair came at a time when Democrats were still in firm control of Texas, but there were already signs that Republicans were gaining strength. In 1961, John Tower won a special election for Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s former Senate seat, becoming the first Republican to win a direct election to the Senate in any of the 11 former Confederate states since the passage of the 17th Amendment half a century earlier. The next year, Democrat John Connally only modestly defeated oil executive Jack Cox 54-46 in the race for governor (Connally would switch to the GOP in 1973), while Republicans flipped a House seat in Midland (though they still only held only two of the state’s 23 congressional districts at the time).

In late July of 1963, Bush published an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle laying out the party’s pitch heading into the next election year, which also gives us a window into the local political state of affairs at this early point in his career. Bush lamented that his party had “the problem of the downtown businessman who thinks Republican, votes Republican, occasionally gives quietly Republican, but for ‘political’ reasons won't identify as a Republican.” To overcome this problem, Bush argued, required electing Republicans to local and statewide office to make rank-and-file voters feel comfortable describing themselves as Republicans.

Bush also defended his county party from what he called attempts by “liberals” to portray them as racists, writing that the GOP’s “failure to attract the Negro voter has not been because of a racist philosophy; rather it has been a product of our not having had the organization to tackle all parts of the county.”

While Bush turned out to be wrong in his twin predictions that, with Republicans in power, Houston “would become and would remain a great Republican stronghold,” and that black voters would be “highly receptive” to the GOP’s message, he was right in one regard. Bush correctly foresaw that, while some believed there was no real difference between the two parties, that would change. Bush predicted that conservatives would flock to the GOP as the distinctions between the two parties became more stark, writing, “As conservative Democrats in the South seek vainly for the now-extinct party of their ancestors, the ideological lines become much more clear.”

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Climate change

Daily Kos - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 17:50

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Categories: Politics

Two Interesting Things About the Internet

Kevin Drum - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 17:29

Tyler Cowen links today to “52 things I learned in 2018” from Tom Whitwell—which seems like it’s coming a little early in the year, but whatever—so I took a look at it. Some of them I knew, some I didn’t. Here’s one from Marcel Freinbichler written after new European privacy regulations came into effect:

And here’s one from Brian Krebs about those occasional books you see on Amazon that are astronomically priced. I always figured they were artifacts of some kind of algorithm screwup, but apparently it’s more sinister than that, as an author named Patrick Reames found out when he discovered a fake book published under his name:

“Based on what I could see from the ‘sneak peak’ function, the book was nothing more than a computer generated ‘story’ with no structure, chapters or paragraphs — only lines of text with a carriage return after each sentence,” Reames said in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity.

The impersonator priced the book at $555 and it was posted to multiple Amazon sites in different countries….Reames said he suspects someone has been buying the book using stolen credit and/or debit cards, and pocketing the 60 percent that Amazon gives to authors. At $555 a pop, it would only take approximately 70 sales over three months to rack up the [$24,000] that Amazon said he made.

“This book is very unlikely to ever sell on its own, much less sell enough copies in 12 weeks to generate that level of revenue,” Reames said. “As such, I assume it was used for money laundering, in addition to tax fraud/evasion by using my Social Security number. Amazon refuses to issue a corrected 1099 or provide me with any information I can use to determine where or how they were remitting the royalties.”

Internet scams are so inventive.

Categories: Politics

GOP Pulls Naked Power Grab In Wisconsin While Media Obsesses On Bush Funeral

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 17:10
GOP Pulls Naked Power Grab In Wisconsin While Media Obsesses On Bush Funeral

Move On's Ben Wikler is in Madison, Wisconsin today covering Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans' effort to seize every drop of power they can before the office of governor is turned over to a Democrat. They have the perfect cover to do this, because the cable networks are obsessed with endless hagiographies of former President George H.W. Bush. Hours of air time are expended on eulogies and ceremony, while Wisconsin languishes in the shadow.

At issue today: How to kneecap the incoming Governor and Attorney General, both of whom happen to be Democrats. Talking Points Memo has an excellent summary of all the ways in which they plan to do that, via one big power grab bundle of legislation:

Among the bill’s many provisions: preventing the state from dropping out of a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care act; moving the date of the 2020 presidential primary to boost the electoral prospects of a Republican state Supreme Court justice; limiting early voting to two weeks; reducing the powers of incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul; and limiting Evers’ authority to implement state laws and make appointments to state agencies.

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Categories: Politics

Fox News Christmas Graphic Says WHAT?

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 14:57
Fox News Christmas Graphic Says WHAT?

I'm glad we weren't the only ones who noticed!

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

Look Who's Back With A Conservative Media Project: Glenn Beck

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 13:37
 Glenn Beck

But instead of running a Glenn Beck video here's Jon Stewart's classic takeoff of Beck via MSNBC.

Crooks and Liars has a vast archive of over 350 Glenn Beck videos. Never forget that the "Tea Party" was a Glenn Beck Fandom Convention for which Beck was paid millions to promote. Never forget Glenn Beck's insane propaganda built the lifeboat by which the Republican Party escaped responsibility for George W. Bush.

With the rise of Trump, Glenn Beck thought there might be greener (as in money) pastures being a never Trumper. And mainstream media bought it.

Via Driftglass in October of this year, a short history of media outlets buying Glenn Beck's short con:

"The so-called liberal media are preaching the good news about Glenn Beck in unison: He is redeemed!"

New York Public Radio: Glenn Beck: A Changed Man?

Time Magazine: Watch Samantha Bee and Glenn Beck Ally in the Fight Against 'Trumpism'

The New Republic was impressed! - Who will be the Glenn Beck of the left? Glenn Beck!

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Categories: Politics

Witness tamper much?

Balloon Juice - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 13:22

Trump on Twitter* earlier today:

“Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.” You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get…..

….his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.

“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”

Bob Mueller (who is a much different man than people think) and his out of control band of Angry Democrats, don’t want the truth, they only want lies. The truth is very bad for their mission!

Of course, Cohen once said he’d “take a bullet” for Trump, and Trump was singing a different tune about Cohen in April 2018:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

….non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if….

….it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!

Maybe Trump’s luck will run out with Stone too, if Stone decides his super-villain shtick won’t fly in prison. But here’s my question: isn’t it at least legally…murky for an official with the power to commute sentences and pardon people to so openly telegraph his instructions in a case that directly affects himself? Or is this yet another of those scenarios in which we used to rely on common decency and/or political consequences to regulate behavior until — oops! — they no longer do?

*Continuing my practice of not embedding Trump’s tweets so you won’t have to look at his hideous mug on this page. You’re welcome.

Categories: Politics

Fox And Friends Freaks Out About 'Pot Gummies'

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 13:03

Fox News hosts warned viewers on Monday that “gummies” infused with marijuana are threatening the lives of Americans.

On Monday’s edition of Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade spoke to a sheriff in Florida about a 12-year-old boy who was charged with felonies for sharing marijuana candy with his classmates.

“No one talks about this,” Kilmeade complained. “THC is addicting. I know so many people — they say they were told one thing and they get addicted to it and that’s an addicting substance. There is a price to pay for pot.”

“It’s not a minor non-violent felony,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd opined. “It’s ruining families and killing people every day across the United States. And we stand here in denial thinking that it’s not a gateway drug to drugs that’s killing people.”

“Yeah,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt agreed. “You don’t start on cocaine, you probably start with marijuana and it leads to other things.”

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Categories: Politics

Stupid Right-Wing Tweets: Rudy Giuliani's Glorious Typo Edition

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:48
 Rudy Giuliani's Glorious Typo Edition

Oh, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. It's so cute when you try to mimic your hero Donald Trump and send out some tweets raging at Robert Mueller for his timing in bringing new charges against Michael Cohen.

Never mind the charges, amirite? It's all about the timing. Here's a flash for Rudy: If I were a true patriot like Robert Mueller clearly is, you're damn right I'd do everything I could, use every tool in the box to prevent the so-called "President" from placing the national security of our country at risk. That would absolutely include sticking a wedge in between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, however that needed to be done.

But see how Rudy's spacing in that tweet created an inadvertent link? Others noticed, too. Please do click the link to see what happens. Someone apparently caught on and made a page...

Categories: Politics

George Conway Tweets Witness Tampering Statute To Trump

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:40
George Conway Tweets Witness Tampering Statute To Trump

Kellyanne Conway's husband took to Twitter to troll his wife's boss on witness tampering and obstruction of justice charges after Trump bashed Michael Cohen's deal and tweeted out how impressed he was that Roger Stone refused to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

Earlier this morning Trump rage tweeted against his former confidant, fixer, and attorney Michael Cohen.

Categories: Politics

'No Labels' Is A Both-Siderist Scam But We Knew That

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:13

[Above: Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson (who got Roger Ailes fired) tells Joe Lieberman he "sounds like a Republican," in 2011.]

With great fanfare, fawning media coverage and a brand-new anthem, America's favorite Beltway Both Siderist scam -- No Labels -- was launched eight years ago this month, on December 13, 2010.

And four days later -- based on little more than my native Midwestern ability to recognizing various species of roadkill and political thimble-rigging at great distances -- here is what I predicted that we could expect from them:

Dead Center:  Political Cowardice Now Has Its Own "Movement"!


In case you ever idled away an afternoon screwing around with your old political chemistry set/fantasy football league lineups and wondering what would happen if you took a bunch of Republican primary losers (Charlie Christ)...added in a goonbag of out-of-work and out-of-favor former Republican speechwriters and campaign button-men (David Frum/John Avlon/Mark McKinnon)...the last of the politically arteriosclerotic insider DLC goofs who aren't already drawing paychecks under the Obama Administration's "Former Clinton White House Full Employment Project" (Nancy Jacobson aka. Mrs. Mark Penn)...Republican minor teevee celebrities (Joey Joe Joe Junior Scarborough)...

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Categories: Politics

Getting Competent Speakers On Global Warming – Followup

Balloon Juice - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:09

I complained last week about cable tv coverage of global warming by inviting know-nothing antis instead of using interviews they had already done with real climate scientists. Looks like others are taking notice.

The Weather Channel collected links.

The Trump administration released a landmark climate report on Black Friday, but instead of becoming Thanksgiving leftovers, the 1,656-page report, a rigorous outline of the present and near-future hazards climate change poses to the U.S., was featured prominently on TV networks over the weekend and into the next week. Much of the coverage, however, included inaccurate, misleading or outright incorrect misinformation.

….many of the talking heads featured on TV over the weekend contradicted not just the report’s findings, but even the well-established, widely agreed upon basics of climate science. The first sentence of the nearly 2,000 page report reads: “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.” Even that was up for debate. NBC’s Meet the Press, for instance, invited Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to share her opinions on the report on Sunday. (AEI, which is known for sowing doubt about climate change, has received millions of dollars in donations from Exxon Mobil and the Koch Foundation.)

And a lot more.

Yesterday, the New York Times chimed in.

As Steven J. Milloy, a skeptic of human-caused climate change and a member of the Trump transition team, said, there had been no need “to stop the deep state” from releasing the report when “this is made-up hysteria, anyway.”

Thankfully, cable news came to the rescue by making sure that those who commented on air about a report produced by scientists across 13 federal agencies were trained experts.

No, wait. That’s not what happened.

On CNN, the former senator Rick Santorum disputed the findings with a canard: “A lot of these scientists are driven by the money that they receive,” he said. The network later came under fire when “AC360” had Mr. Santorum on again but canceled a planned interview with an author of the government report, the atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.

A lot more there too, particularly about red tides in Florida. What is notable is that Jim Rutenberg calls the denialists what they are.

Slow, but progress.

And open thread!

Categories: Politics

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Pwns Mike Huckabee

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:49
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Pwns Mike Huckabee

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected Congresswoman from Queens punked Mike Huckabee on Twitter after he tried to make a bogus and moronic joke at her expense.

Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old Democratic Socialist is THE focus of the entire conservative paparazzi. (conservarazzi) They act like old men in raincoats leering at young ladies through peep holes. It's pretty scummy of them and Mike Huckabee fills that bill perfectly.

After Huckabee tried to smear her via Twitter, she took aim at his daughter, who as White House Press Secretary, is a symptom of Trump's dysfunction:

Categories: Politics

Howard Kurtz Scolds Fox's 'Journalistic Breach' Of Scripted Interviews

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:22

On Sunday, Fox News' media critic blasted his own network for setting up scripted interviews with Trump's former EPA chief, Scott Pruitt.

After The Daily Beast broke the news, many pundits on Fox News have ignored this story completely. Fox's top executives are supposedly handling the matter "internally." Are they really?

Towards the end of his broadcast on Media Buzz, Howard Kurtz took some time during his Buzz Briefs segment to highlight their journalistic offense.

Kurtz said, "During some appearances on Fox & Friends, former EPA chief Scott Pruitt was given the questions in advance, and his team sometimes suggested the topics, according to emails provided to The Daily Beast. A producer asked for talking points on the three top EPA priorities that Pruitt would like to discuss and even provided the introductory script for approval."

Kurtz then provided video evidence of the scam.

"Fox News says it has disciplined the staffers involved but is not disclosing to what action was taken," he said.

Kurtz continued, "Look, it’s not unusual for television producers to respond to pitches, or to provide broad topic areas to make sure a guest is prepared to respond. But providing questions and scripts in advance is a journalistic breach, and should be absolutely out of bounds.”

The hosts of Fox and Friends should also be held accountable since they so willingly read off the prepared script.

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Categories: Politics

FRAUD: North Carolina GOP Allegedly Destroyed Absentee Ballots

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:12
 North Carolina GOP Allegedly Destroyed Absentee Ballots

They may have to do a "do-over" in the North Carolina 9th Congressional District.

It is alleged that - shock! - Republicans cheated in order to prevent Black voters from casting their ballots. But the cheating goes far beyond the everyday voter suppression rampant in red states.

It is alleged that those who wanted the Republican in the race to win, went door-to-door posing as election officials to collect absentee ballots from African-American senior citizens. Those ballots are now unaccounted for. Of course.

The New Yorker:

On Tuesday, the state’s Board of Elections—made up of four Democrats, four Republicans, and one Independent—which tabulates and verifies every vote in the weeks after an election, shocked North Carolina’s political establishment by voting unanimously not to certify [Republican Congressional Candidate] Harris’s win. “I’m very familiar with unfortunate activities that have been happening down in my part of the state,” Joshua Malcolm, the board’s vice-chairman and a Democratic resident of the Ninth District, said during the meeting. “I’m not going to turn a blind eye to what took place. To the best of my understanding, which has been ongoing for a number of years, that has been repeatedly referred to the United States Attorney and district attorneys to take action and clean it up.”

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Categories: Politics