Politics

Bloomberg Trolls Trump With Giant Billboard On Vegas Strip

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 12:13

I've got to admit, "Donald Trump went broke running a casino" probably has a great deal of resonance on the Vegas Strip. And people who cheat at golf are indeed the lowest of the low.

Source: AFP

Las Vegas (AFP) - Democratic White House hopeful Michael Bloomberg mocked Donald Trump with a giant billboard on the Las Vegas Strip on Friday, fueling their feud as the US president visits the city for a rally.

"Donald Trump lost the popular vote," read one slogan on the world-famous street lined with casinos, while another read "Donald Trump's wall fell over."

The giant digital billboard is just two miles (three kilometers) down the Strip from Trump's own hotel, where the president is staying while in Las Vegas.

Bloomberg is vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump at November's election, and has focused his fire on the president rather than candidates from his own party.

Categories: Politics

Our Lizard Brains Still Reign Supreme

Kevin Drum - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 11:45

From Alex Tabarrok, responding to a study of what patients value in a hospital:¹

I do wish that patients paid more attention to the outputs of sophisticated statistical models when choosing doctors and hospitals, as I think this would improve quality, but mostly they don’t.

Me too, Alex, me too. However, even among my pretty smart friends, I can’t get them to prioritize even a simple time-series chart over their gut feeling of what “must be true.” And even if I do make a tiny bit of headway on some subject or another, if I bring it up again a month later it turns out they’ve completely forgotten everything I said. They’re back to whatever barstool opinion they had before.

We are overclocked primates. It takes intense training to get humans to overcome the constant mutterings of their lizard brains and pay attention instead to quantitative evidence—i.e., to produce scientists—and even among scientists this training works only in a pinch. This is why elections are won by appealing to people’s emotions, not trying to change their view of the facts. We may be proud of our massive prefrontal cortexes, but they’re merely a thin veneer over the billion years of evolution that produced the rest of our brain.

¹Quiet rooms and nice nurses, it turns out.

Categories: Politics

How far will you go to save our democracy from Donald Trump?

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:59

Have you ever considered what happens when Donald Trump loses in November? One year ago, his former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump would not accept electoral defeat this upcoming election. Sadly, he’s probably right: If there’s one thing Trump has been consistent about, it’s that he narcissistically refuses to accept reality whenever it’s in any way negative toward him. This is why Trump has repeatedly, and ridiculously, insisted that he won the popular vote in 2016. In his very first meeting with Congressional leaders, he told them he won the popular vote because “3 to 5 million people voted illegally, and I’m not even counting California.”

Despite images to the contrary, Trump still refuses to accept that his sparsely attended inauguration was anything except the largest in history. Trump is so mentally incapable of admitting defeat that he literally took a Sharpie marker to an official map rather than admit he got something wrong. Most people found that hilarious, while others thought it pathetic.

I found it dangerous.

Categories: Politics

Playing to Win: Day 3

Balloon Juice - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:51

Note for the day:

The first Playing to Win went up on Thursday.  I am putting this up again today so the weekend people can also see it.  I find it inspiring to see what everyone is doing and it’s great to see people answering the questions that come up in these threads.  But this is for you guys, so please speak up about what you want and what works for you.

If you are interested in these posts, feel free to share your thoughts on frequency and times.  Some of the suggestions so far have been M-W-F, Tu-Th, and one or two weekdays + one weekend day.

In the meantime, people have asked for an easy way to find these threads. There is a link in the hamburger (on mobile) that will take you to the whole series, with the latest post on top.  There are links in the sidebar (on computers and tablets in landscape mode).  You can also click on the Playing to Win category that shows up just under the byline at the top of the post.  And if you’re super lazy worn out from all your work canvassing and calling and texting, you can click this link right here.

I have started compiling a list of opportunities and resources that people have shared on the threads so far, and I’ll continue to do that if you guys find that useful.  You’ll find the link to those resources on the Playing to Win page described in the paragraph above.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Let’s try Wednesday and Friday mornings, somewhere close to 9am, and Sunday afternoon.  The Sunday afternoon thread will come after the Garden Chat and before the BGinCHI guest posts on culture, which are always at 5pm.

*****

A couple of our jackals requested a daily political “action” thread, so how about if we try it for a bit and see how that goes?  If you guys think it’s useful, we can keep it up, and if it ends up being more “seemed like a good idea at the time,” then we can let it go.

The goal is a poll-free, spin-free, prognostication-free, media-free, what’s-wrong-with-the-other-candidate-free-zone – a political thread where the focus is on ACTION:  What can be done to help our candidates, and what are we doing to help them, every day?

The hope is that this will help provide inspiration, and encourage action, as an alternative to anger, frustration and despair.

Everyone is free to chime in about what they are doing for their their preferred candidate.  What actions are we taking at Balloon Juice, individually or collectively, to help candidates we believe in?

What might you like to do, if you weren’t stuck on not quite knowing how to go from thinking about doing something to actually doing something?

 

·  Making calls?

·  Canvassing?

·  Writing postcards?

·  Texting for your candidate?

·  Donating?

·  Registering people to vote?

·  Giving people rides to the polls to vote?

·  Can you bring food and drinks to campaign offices in your area?

·  Are you an election judge?

·  A poll watcher?

·  Can you put together a bullet list of what you like about YOUR preferred candidate?

·  Are you available to go to a battleground state to work on a campaign, but can’t afford transportation?

·  Do you have frequent flyer miles that could buy that person a ticket to a battleground state?

·  If you live in a battleground state, could you host a volunteer who could stay at your house?

·  Do you have a great informational article about YOUR preferred candidate?  Share it!

·  If you have campaign connections, can you connect interested jackals with that campaign?

·  Are you an organizer of a postcard-writing campaign who could help other BJ peeps get started?

What else are you doing?

Tell us what actions you’ve taken today, whether it’s calling or donating or canvassing or writing postcards or talking to someone about your candidate, or anything else that’s on that list.  Or even something that isn’t!

Forget the other candidates.  Tell us what you LIKE about your candidate.

Share your worries or concerns about canvassing or other activities.  What’s holding you back?

If Playing to Win appeals to you, what else would you want to see in this space?

The post Playing to Win: Day 3 appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

COVID-19 continues to skyrocket in South Korea as CDC issues a sobering warning

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:24

The total number of active COVID-19 cases around the world has dropped by over 6,000 cases in the last week. That’s unabashedly good news. Unfortunately, that reflects nothing except that health officials in China’s Hubei province have wrangled the epicenter of the outbreak to the extent that the number of recoveries is now handly outpacing the number of new cases. If that news was happening in a vacuum, it might be time to relax a bit and look toward a point, not so many months in the future, when this epidemic was genuinely under control.

But what’s happening in China is no longer the single point of concern about 2019-novel coronavirus. Until just a few days ago, it was possible to look at cases outside China and see them as a handful of cases, most of them returning travelers who had been infected in China. It was also easy to believe that health services around the world were on top of these cases. That is no longer true. With a continued explosion of cases in South Korea, an outbreak in Italy, and an unknown reservoir of disease lurking in Iran, the CDC is now warning that COVID-19 represents "a tremendous public health threat” that could become pandemic.

Categories: Politics

Our new Director of National Intelligence didn't mention he was a shill for a corrupt oligarch

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:20

Richard Grenell, the incompetent buffoon and erstwhile Twitter troll who Donald Trump selected this week to oversee our entire National Intelligence apparatus, previously worked as a paid consultant for a corrupt Moldovan oligarch, and authored multiple articles for mainstream rightwing media outlets the either defended that oligarch or placed him in a more favorable light. According to reporting by ProPublica, he did this without telling anyone about his work for that oligarch, in potential violation of a federal anti-corruption statute.

President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

For the record, FARA is the same statute that a certain federal prisoner named Paul Manafort was convicted of violating.

Categories: Politics

Wait, The Press Actually Thinks Barr's Going To Stand Up To Trump?

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:03

Published With Permission of Press Run. Subscribe here.

Stressing that a "standoff" between Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr had "intensified" in recent days, the Beltway press spent this week whipping itself into a mini-frenzy, suggesting some sort of dramatic showdown was looming on the horizon. This is the kind of purposefully naïve news coverage that helps normalize Trump's dangerous behavior. It also propagates the myth that Republicans like Barr are actually concerned by Trump's destructive ways.

The modest public jousting between the two men this week came after Trump eviscerated the Department of Justice with lots of shouty tweets. Trump's furious that his former adviser Roger Stone is now facing more than three years in prison after being convicted of felonies in connection to the 2016 election.

read more

Categories: Politics

Trump Is Running The Government With Unqualified Temps To Keep His Quasi-Dictatorial Power

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 10:03

Impeached president Donald Trump has replaced the former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire with another acting truly atrocious selection who will also only be in the job as an acting DNI. That's because he is so bad and so unqualified for the job that he couldn't be confirmed even by Mitch McConnell's Republicans. That and Trump just likes to have unqualified temps who are loyal only to him running things.

A Washington Post analysis highlights the churn in Trump's administration, and the fact that there hasn't been a permanent DNI in more than six months. According to the Post, "Trump has kept acting officials in charge of top agencies and departments so much that they've accounted for 1 out of every 9 days in those positions." That means that in the 22 cabinet-level jobs there have been so many acting officials that they've served a combined 2,736 days, which amounts to seven years. That means that in three years' time, Trump "has had acting officials serve more than three times as much as did [President] Obama" did in eight years.

read more

Categories: Politics

Anderson Cooper Calls 'Bullshit' On Blagojavich's 'Alternative Universe Of Facts'

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 09:30

Trump issued Rod Blagojevich clemency this week — one of a number of outrageous abuses of his pardoning power — in a move that many interpret as a harbinger of even more grotesque pardons to come.

Blagojevich, in turn, appeared on Anderson Cooper's show Friday evening to whine about having been treated unfairly by prosecutors, going so far as to frame it as an experience that gave him empathy with Black and Latinos who are "oversentenced" in the criminal justice system. Yeah, how many of THEM are getting presidential pardons, Blago?

Not only was Cooper not having it, he told Blagojevich he should have done something about that when he "mattered" — as in, when he was GOVERNOR of a state that was oversentencing and Black and brown people. Finally, Cooper was so disgusted, he called Blago's entire framing of his story "bullshit."

read more

Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 08:01

Calculated Risk: Projections for first quarter GDP growth are all over the map.

Mock, Paper, Scissors: Evangelist Jim Bakker could have helped Donald Trump with his “personal Vietnam.”

ACA Signups: A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows Obamacare is more popular than ever.

Zandar Versus the Stupid: Chancellor Angela Merkel denounces white supremacist violence in Germany as “poison” even as New Jersey raises its domestic terrorism threat level.

Speaking of which, your quote of the day:
"You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides." (Donald Trump, on the violent right-wing demonstration in Charlottesville, August 15, 2017.)

Guest blogging Mike's Blog Round Up this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.

Categories: Politics

Here's More Evidence That Trump Will Debate In The Fall

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 08:00

I wrote a post in December titled "No, Trump Won't Skip the Debates," and I stand by every word of it. Trump will debate his Democratic opponent this fall -- I'm certain of it. This New York Times story about Trump's rally last night in Colorado includes several indications of his intent to debate.

“I don’t know if anybody watched last night’s debate,” Mr. Trump said shortly after he took the stage. “It got very big ratings, and you know what? Mini Mike didn’t do very well last night. I was going to send him a note saying, ‘It’s not easy doing what I do, is it?’”

It’s not easy doing what I do -- Bloomberg debated poorly, and that was Trump's comment. This tells me that Trump will debate for the most obvious reason: He thinks he's really good at it.

Mr. Trump spent a substantial amount of time regaling the crowd with stories of his 2016 campaign, calling Dan Scavino — his social media manager and “the most powerful man in politics,” the president said — up to the stage to hand him a stack of news clippings. The president read aloud from them individually, insulting journalists who had declared he had done poorly on the debate stage against Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent that year....

“I did great in the debates,” Mr. Trump said. “I became president because of the debates.”

read more

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Russian interference takes center stage

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 07:30

The Abbreviated Pundit Round-up is a daily feature at Daily Kos.

Today is the culmination of the Nevada primary. may the best candidate win, and without Russian interference. Oh, btw, that interference is the story of the month, and maybe the election.

x
Categories: Politics

Bernie Sanders Is Way Ahead in Nevada

Kevin Drum - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 07:14

As we head into the fine, bright morning of the 2020 Nevada caucuses, Real Clear Politics tells us that Bernie Sanders is way ahead of the pack:

If we’re all being honest, what we’re really interested in is whether Nevada has botched its vote reporting tech the way Iowa did. I hope not. I don’t care all that much about the Nevada caucuses, but I am a technophile and this kind of thing gives tech a bad name.

One warning: the RCP poll aggregation is based on only two recent polls, so take it with a grain of salt. It’s also worth noting that you have to reach a threshold of 15 percent in order to be viable, and there’s practically a trainwreck of candidates clustered around 10-15 percent. Second choices could be really important here.

Categories: Politics

Saturday Morning Open Thread: I Unreservedly, Absolutely {Heart} Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Balloon Juice - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 06:25

She’s set an excellent example for the rest of the current field…


But I still miss Kamala Harris, too:

The post Saturday Morning Open Thread: I Unreservedly, Absolutely {Heart} Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

‘Sad and pathetic and hypocritical…’

Balloon Juice - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 06:01

Anderson Cooper burns Blago to the ground, whisks the ashes into a dustpan, deposits them in a toilet and flushes…

Well done, Anderson Cooper!

The post ‘Sad and pathetic and hypocritical…’ appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Trump Is Descending Into Full-Scale Paranoia

Kevin Drum - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 05:15

One of the classic maneuvers in the intelligence business is to paralyze your enemy by making them think that moles are everywhere. Here in the US, for example, James Jesus Angleton became convinced during the Cold War that the Soviet Union had massively infiltrated the CIA and became so paranoid that he did considerable damage to the CIA with his endless hunts for Soviet spies that didn’t exist.

But it doesn’t just happen in intelligence agencies. It can happen anywhere:

President Trump has instructed his White House to identify and force out officials across his administration who are not seen as sufficiently loyal….Johnny McEntee, Trump’s former personal aide who now leads the effort as director of presidential personnel, has begun combing through various agencies with a mandate from the president to oust or sideline political appointees who have not proved their loyalty, according to several administration officials and others familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

….McEntee spent part of this week asking officials in various Cabinet agencies to provide names of political appointees working in government who are not fully supportive of Trump’s presidency, according to administration officials.

….Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior adviser in the White House, has played a central in the push, concentrating more power in the West Wing and working to combat leaks, officials said.

Fabulous. I hope Trump becomes so paranoid that he fires every semi-competent official working for him, thus becoming even less able to execute any of his nutball plans. It’s true that there’s danger in having a bunch of inept toadies running the executive branch, but in this case it’s probably a blessing overall.

Categories: Politics

Late Night Respite Open Thread: A Race We Can All Get Behind

Balloon Juice - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 00:22

My default setting is ‘grudge’, so for me it’s been a good week. But tiring.

The post Late Night Respite Open Thread: A Race We Can All Get Behind appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Are You Kidding Me?

Balloon Juice - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 23:15

This pretty much sums up my feelings about that:

Everything else I’m thinking I won’t say, except I just filled out my ballot for Elizabeth Warren.

 

The post Are You Kidding Me? appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Lead Belly

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 23:01

There's been quite a lot on my head lately. Some of it very heavy, some of it perhaps not so heavy. The weekend is here though, so I'm gonna do my best to take Lead Belly's advice from 1948.

What are you listening to tonight?

Categories: Politics

Friday night owls. Hanauer: Trickle-downers who gave us homeless crisis claim to have the solution

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/21/2020 - 23:00

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

At The Nation, Nick Hanauer writes—Trickle-Downers Created the Homelessness Crisis. Now They Want You to Believe They Can ‘Solve’ It:

Tonight, in my hometown of Seattle—one of the wealthiest cities in the wealthiest country the world has ever known—thousands of homeless people will huddle for warmth in their cars or in tents or on the streets, as thousands more crowd onto mats and cots at emergency shelters. And Seattle’s no outlier. In New York and in Los Angeles and in cities and towns from coast to coast, more than half a million Americans will go to sleep homeless, 40 percent of them unsheltered. And that’s just on any given night: Altogether, an estimated 3.5 million Americans—including 1.25 million children—will suffer one or more bouts of homelessness over the course of the coming year.

Categories: Politics

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