Politics

It wasn't Corey Lewandowski who impaired the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. It was Jerry Nadler

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:47

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spent six hours in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, being questioned both by the members and by a staff attorney. It was an extraordinarily frustrating experience, one in which Lewandowski both admitted that he had no right to claim executive privilege, continued to refuse to answer the critical questions for which he had been summoned, and yet walked away without facing any consequences. In fact, after clearly saying that he was under no obligation to tell the truth and admitting to lying on national media, Lewandowski was immediately booked for a morning appearance on CNN. It was that kind of day.

As the first official hearing in the Judiciary Committee’s inquiry into whether there should be an inquiry, the word that best sums it up is “pitiful.” But it didn’t have to be that way. There were two moments that showed that such hearings could be useful, could genuinely produce information, and could genuinely build the foundation necessary to take this mess back in front of the whole House. 

The first of those instances was actually the last—the last hour of the hearing, in which Lewandowski faced attorney Barry Berke, a white collar attorney who has taken a leave of absence from a top-ranked New York firm expressly to assist the committee. Berke hit Lewandowski with rapid-fire questions that cut through the wall of smugness to finally knock the sneer from the former campaign manager’s face. As Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who had done everything possible throughout the hearing to cause disruption short of hitting an air horn, tossed papers and stormed from the room “in protest,” Berke did what he came there to do—force Lewandowski to momentarily stop making catty remarks and own up to his lies. That included getting Lewandowski to say, “I have no obligation to have a candid conversation with the media whatsoever.” Which was, of course, the queue for bookers to schedule him at CNN.

The other critical moment was when Rep. Eric Swalwell tried and failed to get Lewandowski to answer a simple question for easily the hundredth time and instead got another repeat of Lewandowski claiming that the White House had asked him not to talk about any conversation with Trump, the staff, or pretty much anyone. Lewandowski also made sure to toss in a not-at-all-veiled threat. When asked by Swalwell whether or not he always put his notes in a safe, Lewandowski replied that it was a big safe and that “there are a lot of guns in there.”

Shortly after that point, Swalwell turned to committee Chair Jerry Nadler and asked him to hold Lewandowski in contempt. After a morning defined by frustration and stonewalling, there was a glimmer … and then Nadler replied that he would “take it under advisement.” And that was it.

Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:01

Ed Brayton: How much of a wingnut do you have to be to consider John Bolton a leftist?

John Fea: Jesus wants you to vote for Sean Spicer on "Dancing with the Stars".

Darwinfish 2: Some observations on gun control.

Fair and Unbalanced: Trump's 9/11 tales grow in the telling.

Blog round-up by Infidel753. To recommend a post, send link to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com -- I do check it!


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Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: North Carolina GOP passes new legislative gerrymanders—and some Democrats join them

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

NC Redistricting: On Tuesday, North Carolina's Republican-led legislature passed new state House and Senate districts after a state court struck them down earlier this month for discriminating against Democrats in violation of the state constitution. Shown here, the new Senate map redraws the 21 invalidated districts out of 50 total. However, as Daily Kos Elections' Stephen Wolf has demonstrated in an extensive post, many of the districts in both chambers still bear the signs of partisan gerrymandering in violation of the court's order.​

Campaign Action

​Making matters worse, most Senate Democrats voted in favor of the GOP's new stealth gerrymanders of the upper chamber on Monday, undermining the cause for fair maps and giving the GOP political ammunition by praising the process itself. However, Senate Democrats unanimously voted against the new House map on Tuesday, and House Democrats almost uniformly held firm against both maps. Furthermore, the court retains final say over whether to approve the new districts, and it has already appointed a nonpartisan expert to draw the lines for it if necessary.

The court's criteria mandated that any new maps make a "reasonable" effort to draw lines that "improve the compactness" of the legislature's districts and split fewer precincts compared to the illegal versions. Mapmakers were allowed but not required to consider preserving the integrity of municipalities and avoid pairing incumbents in the same districts. Critically, they were prohibited from preserving the cores of the illegal districts or relying on any partisan or election data, but Republicans likely found covert ways around that, given some of the choices behind their maps.

To assess the impact of any new lines compared to the old districts, we have calculated the 2004-2016 statewide elections results for every district. These results, along with the GOP's failure to strictly follow the court's criteria compared to nonpartisan alternatives Wolf has drawn, indicate that a considerable number of districts still show signs of gerrymandering. That's especially true in the state House, and it's likely that the GOP's new maps will be challenged ahead of the court's Sept. 27 deadline for objections.

Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:50

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

War!!!

The latest from Colbertone News:

x x YouTube Video

-

Time to donate to the tire drive, plant your victory garden, install your blackout curtains and, above all...BUY BONDS!!!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Categories: Politics

PA GOP State Senator Arrested On Charges Of Possessing Child Pornography

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:46

Another upstanding Republican with his personal demons. And of course, he went to an evangelical college -- that trajectory is almost predictable by now. Via the Morning Call:

A Pennsylvania state senator was arrested Tuesday on child pornography possession charges, the state attorney general announced.

State Sen. Michael Folmer, 63, R-Lebanon, was charged with sexually abusing children, child porn possession and criminally using a communication facility. Bail was set at $25,000, but it wasn’t immediately clear if Folmer posted it.

An investigation against Folmer began in February when electronic service provider Tumblr reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Tumblr user had uploaded a child porn image, the attorney general’s office said.

The investigation led to Folmer’s home. The attorney general’s office’s Child Predator Section, Lebanon city police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security executed a search warrant at Folmer’s home and reportedly found child porn images on his phone.


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Categories: Politics

Alex Jones Says Beto O'Rourke Is Dead If He Succeeds With Gun Buyback

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:45

Alex Jones may not have the usual platforms, but that hasn't stopped him from stoking the fires of violence over guns.

Last week, Jones told his followers that he needed to "fund this operation" with a new Beto "counter shirt."

" I came in this morning, and I said, “Hey everybody, what’s a great Beto counter shirt?" Jones said. "Like ‘from our cold dead hands'?"

He continued, "I was like how about “from his cold dead hands"?

"Well I don’t want to threaten him." Yes, yes he does. If Alex Jones had his way he'd hold Beto hostage while barraging him with constant threats.

" But that’s what’s going to happen, you know they try to take the guns, it's civil war," he said.

This isn't new. Right wing gun huggers have long argued that the Second amendment comes with a built-in right to violent defiance.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre endorsed the insurrectionist interpretation of the Second Amendment during a speech at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, claiming, “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”

read more

Categories: Politics

Fox Guest Whines: $15 Minimum Wage 'Horrifying'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:45

While CEO compensation skyrockets, Fox News wants you to think everybody is going to go broke if Democrats enact a minimum wage of $15-an-hour.

A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute found that the average pay of CEOs at the top 350 firms in 2018 was $17.2 million – or $ 14.0 million, using a more conservative measure. That’s a 278-to-1 or 221-to-1 ratio to a typical worker, according to EPI.

But Fox News is suggesting the economy will collapse if workers are guaranteed a living – not exorbitant – wage.

On Fox & Friends this morning, guest Jon Taffer, of Bar Rescue, called the prospect of a $15 minimum wage “horrifying” and one which “no industry can sustain.”

“It's a crisis mode,” Taffer claimed. “You either have to raise prices significantly or you cut labor." He also claimed, "We're going to eliminate employees and we're going to incentivize more robotics."

Cohost Steve Doocy pressed for more details of pending doom. "What happened in Seattle?" he asked.

"Almost a thousand restaurants closed," Taffer answered.

"That's a cautionary tale of what would happen elsewhere if that went through?" Doocy “asked.”

"It is, it was a shock to the industry," Taffer said. "When they talk about raising wages and raising taxes, ehhh, it doesn't make sense to me."

read more

Categories: Politics

Trey Gowdy Equates Impeaching Kavanaugh With 'Death Penalty'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:45

In case you missed it, there's a new book out about Brett Kavanaugh and the White House cover up (I said what I said) of his background during his confirmation hearings. Media Matters previews the book (which is out TODAY) this way:

"The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation" ...includes the stunning development that at least seven people can corroborate the account of Deborah Ramirez, who says that Kavanaugh shoved his penis in her face at a party while they both attended Yale in the 1980s. Significantly, Kavanaugh had testified under oath during his confirmation hearings that the incident did not occur...

During the hearings, it was already known that Republicans were using their control of the Senate Judiciary Committee to limit the time and scope of the FBI’s inquiry. But Pogrebin and Kelly’s reporting demonstrates just how far Republicans actually went to protect Kavanaugh. According to their article, “Ms. Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own,” and FBI agents reportedly told Ramirez’s attorney that Republicans were closely controlling how they were allowed to conduct their inquiry.

read more

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Israeli elections and movement in Democratic primaries

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:30

Haaretz:

Israel Election 2019: Netanyahu Fails to Secure Majority, Gantz Leads, Arabs Surge, Exit Polls Show

Two exit polls show Kahol Lavan overtaking Likud, one poll has them tied ■ Labor Party, Democratic Union make it in ■ Kahanist party wiped off political map

x

Here is the Putin reference:

His ties to Putin, in particular, are seen by him as important in pulling in votes from Israel’s large community of Russian speakers.

x

Since establishing a coalition is who “wins”, it will be a while before we know who that is. There are lots of moving parts. Netanyahu opponents intensely dislike each other, and unity moves may lose them voting members. Of course, they intensely dislike him as well, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. We won’t know who won for a while (think in days, maybe weeks). But it’s clear that Netanyahu lost his bid for a majority.

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 07:00

Wow, we’re back around to Wednesday, again! Time to catch up again with Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter. And now that there’s “action” again on Capitol Hill, we’ll all have something specific to gripe about.

It was a big day in the hearing room for… somebody. We’ll see if we can get some of idea of whom, from those who watched closely. (And then again, next week, when the polls tell us we got it all wrong.) Oh, and we’ll have to check in on that whole budget thing, where we pay for all the, uh… government, or whatever.

Yeah, there’s a lot to check up on. And Trump is ruining it all!

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers at $20 CPM for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment. And get this: listen to just three episodes in their app, and we earn a one-time, $1 “loyal listener” bonus.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last new show:

x Embedded Content

RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Hmm. Yesterday, the Russians sort of Chernobyled their virus research center containing Ebola, Smallpox, Bird flu, Hepatitis... etc. They assure us that it’s all cool, nothing to worry about… cough, cough. Well, for the moment as our coughs remain sarcasm-full and blood-free, we should just relax, sit back and listen to David Waldman present an in-depth KITM analysis of the latest news: Impeachment! Oh, don’t get your hopes up. Three former Trump aides were invited to testify to Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee. Two told Jerry to F himself and aren’t coming, while Corey Lewandowski will swing by and tell him in person. Democrats will block Trump’s wall! Oh, don’t get your hopes up. Nancy Pelosi has a reason, and you will buy it. Because, what else will you do? Kavanaugh impeachment! Oh, come on. Now, Andrew McCabe, he’s going to jail. Meanwhile, migrants get “hearings” in “courts” in “tents” in Laredo, Texas. (Probably the tents are real.) A “Presidential directive” keeps you from witnessing anything. Also, a U.S. intelligence whistleblower wants to report an urgent violation of law. Somebody won’t let him. Someone above the level of “Acting!” Director of National Intelligence. And, more on Russian spies in America… and, RIP, Cokie Roberts.

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more! Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Mass vaping

Daily Kos - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 06:50

Follow me on Twitter at @MattBors or on my Facebook page.

Categories: Politics

More YouTube, Less Pictures

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 05:00

Folks,

I should have normal computer access for Thursday and Friday’s posts.

 

Until then –

 

 

 

Categories: Politics

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: PERSIST

Balloon Juice - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 04:55

Soon to be identified, again, as History’s Greatest Monster:


Also, SQUEEEE!

Finally… about last night’s post

Categories: Politics

What’s Wrong With the Repo Market?

Kevin Drum - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 01:17

Every afternoon banks settle their accounts with each other and then figure out how much cash they need for routine operations the next day. The banks that need cash borrow it in the repo market from other banks at rates that are usually just a little above the Fed’s policy rate. The whole thing is very dull and predictable.

Over the past couple of years, as the Fed has been raising interest rates, repo rates have gone up too. Right now they’re hovering a little over 2 percent. But something odd happened this week:

The surge in repo rates began Monday afternoon, well after the vast majority of trading in the market for overnight loans typically takes place, investors, traders and analysts said. The origin of the demand for cash was unclear, as traders seeking cash could have been acting on their own behalf or as intermediaries for other parties, one trader said.

Unexpected bids seeking cash entered the market at a time traders said was uncomfortably close to the 3 p.m. deadline for settling trades.

Scott Skyrm, a repo trader at Curvature Securities LLC, said he had seen cash trade in the repo rate as high as 9.25% Tuesday. “It’s just crazy that rates could go so high so easily,” he said.

The Fed stepped in with boatloads of cash to steady the repo market, so no harm has been done. But what caused this in the first place? The Fed offered up a heaping serving of bafflegab:

The pressures relate to shortages of funds banks face resulting from an increase in federal borrowing and the central bank’s decision to shrink the size of its securities holdings in recent years….Reserves over the last five years have been declining….Then on Monday, corporate tax payments were due to the Treasury, and Treasury debt auctions settled, leading to large transfers of cash from the banking system. Meanwhile, postcrisis financial regulations have made short-term money markets less nimble.

In other words: nothing to see here, just the odd confluence of a bunch of technical factors all at the same time. It’ll blow over pretty quickly.

Which might be true. It’s certainly above my pay grade to analyze this. Still, the whole “technical factors” explanation has a whiff of post hoc bullshit to it, especially considering that this emergency started very suddenly right near the close of business on Monday. It seems like somebody needed a whole lot more cash than they had anticipated, and for some reason other banks were reluctant to lend it. Maybe that’s because the other banks really were short of cash. But it might also be because they knew who the counterparty was and they were afraid that even a 12-hour loan ran the risk of not getting paid back. It’s the kind of thing that happens during a banking crisis—which, as it happens, is the last time the Fed had to intervene in the repo market.

I don’t mean to go all grassy knoll on this. I suppose it’s more than likely that this really was just a weird coincidence that will be cleared up shortly. But it’s worth keeping an eye on. For now it’s just a mini-mystery.

Categories: Politics

Kamala Harris Slow Jams The News!

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 23:30

Kamala Harris slow jams the news with Jimmy Fallon.

Open thread below...


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Categories: Politics

Excellent Read: “Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America”

Balloon Juice - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 23:15

Further proof of my assumption that ‘Moscow Mitch’ is for rent by anyone — he just hates the moniker because he resents the brand-damaging implication that his loyalty is linked to any ideology beyond ‘Mitch McConnell deserves to be Majority Leader for life’. Bob Moser, for Rolling Stone:

Fittingly enough, it was hot as blazes in Kentucky when Mitch McConnell slunk back home for Congress’ annual summer recess. One week earlier, Robert Mueller had testified that Russia was meddling in the 2020 U.S. elections. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, responded by shooting down Democrats’ efforts to bring two election-security bills to a vote — bills that McConnell, in his familiar fashion, had previously sentenced to quiet deaths after they passed the House. In the hailstorm of opprobrium that followed, McConnell had been tagged by “Morning Joe” Scarborough with the indelible nickname “Moscow Mitch.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called him a “Russian asset.” Twitter couldn’t decide whether he was #putinsbitch or #trumpsbitch. The Kentucky Democratic Party was selling red “Just Say Nyet to Moscow Mitch” T-shirts, emblazoned with an image of the senator’s jowly visage in a Cossack hat, as fast as they could print them up.

McConnell would undoubtedly have preferred to cool his heels in his Louisville home and let the storm subside. But he couldn’t afford that luxury. The biggest political event of the year in Kentucky, the Fancy Farm Picnic, happens on the first Saturday every August, and McConnell knew he had to show his face and speak. Fancy Farm, a 139-year tradition in the tiny western Kentucky town (population 458) it’s named for, is simultaneously one of America’s most charming political gatherings and one of its most brutal…

… Under a big corrugated shelter, hooting and hollering Republican partisans assemble on the right, Democrats on the left, and candidates for office — joined, almost always, by McConnell — enter to cheers and jeers and seat themselves on a makeshift platform while trying to remember their most cutting quips about their opponents. Speakers at Fancy Farm aren’t supposed to persuade or inform; here, they’re expected to demonstrate, in the finest tradition of old-style Southern politics, that they can deliver zingers that cut the opposition down to size. Heather Henry, the Democrats’ candidate for secretary of state this year, puts it aptly when it’s her turn to face the mob: “It is no coincidence that Fancy Farm happens during Shark Week.”

It’s McConnell’s kind of event, in other words, and he’s done his part over the years to ramp up the partisan rancor…

This year, it was no use. Even before “Moscow Mitch” became a thing, Kentucky Democrats were smelling blood. McConnell has been unpopular in his home state for years, but his approval rating plunged in one poll to a rock-bottom 18 percent — with a re-election campaign looming in 2020. In January, he had raised red flags among Republicans and Democrats alike when he took a key role in lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Putin ally under FBI investigation for his involvement in 2016 election-meddling; three months later, Deripaska’s aluminum company, Rusal, announced a $200 million investment in Kentucky. A billboard funded by a -liberal group was subsequently erected on a busy stretch of I-75: “Russian mob money . . . really, Mitch?” …

Not surprisingly, Democrats and progressive activists swarmed Fancy Farm this year, hopelessly outnumbering the Republicans. Even with a closely contested governor’s race in the offing, most folks came to taunt their senior senator and revel in his troubles. You can’t blame them: For almost four decades, McConnell has been ruthlessly mowing down his opponents with big-money negative campaigns and transforming the GOP into the state’s dominant party. And while many Kentuckians once took pride in having such a mighty mover-and-shaker in Washington, they’ve become increasingly appalled by what he’s done with his power: ensuring that big donors have undue influence in elections, turning Congress into a strictly partisan battlefield, and serving as the indispensable wingman for Trump. The crowd is teeming with Cossack hats and homemade signs with messages like “Putin for senator — cut out the middle man.” Before the speechifying, I run into Bennie J. Smith, a civil-rights activist and jazz musician making a long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination to unseat McConnell, and he assesses the mood: “I’d say the crowd is pretty evenly divided the way Kentucky is: Some don’t like him, and some hate him.”

“After suffering under Barack Obama, we are roaring back,” [McConnell] seems to be saying. “I saved the Supreme Court for a generation by blocking President Obama’s nominees, and now the Washington liberals responded by targeting me. They handpicked Amy McGaffe — I mean, McGrath,” he continues, delivering the kind of line aimed at his leading 2020 opponent that usually gets the Republicans cheering. But they can barely hear, and the “Moscow Mitch!” chant is only growing louder. As McConnell’s six allotted minutes go on, his jowls redden; his voice cracks and rasps as he gestures toward the baying Democrats, offering a preview of his 2020 campaign message. “They want to turn America into a socialist country,” he says. “Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are not going to let that happen. That’s why I call myself the ‘Grim Reaper.’ I’m killing their socialist agenda.” When he finishes, he flashes a cheeky thumbs up toward the Democrats.

In one sense, it’s vintage McConnell: defiant, sarcastically cutting, smugly self-satisfied. But the fury of the crowd has rattled him. After a few more speakers, McConnell makes a stealthy exit out the back, avoiding reporters and detractors to speed back to Louisville. But this summer, trouble follows him everywhere — and the aftermath of Fancy Farm will only add to his woes…

For so many years, McConnell has seemed maddeningly invincible. But now, just a few years after achieving his lifelong goal of becoming Senate majority leader, it appears that every political sin the man has committed on his relentless march to power is coming back to haunt him at once. He has welcomed infamy, and now it has arrived on its own terms, bringing with it a previously unthinkable possibility: Could 40 years’ worth of devil’s bargains finally be catching up with Mitch McConnell?

For all the damage he’s inflicted on American democracy, for all the political corpses he’s left in his wake, Mitch McConnell has never betrayed an ounce of shame. To the contrary, like the president he now so faithfully serves, McConnell has always exuded a sense of pride in the lengths to which he’s gone to achieve his ambitions and infuriate his enemies. Unlike Trump, however, McConnell, 77, has always been laser-focused on politics. At age 22, when he interned for Sen. John Sherman Cooper, a genteel Republican of an era long gone, McConnell determined to not only follow his mentor’s path but to surpass him and become Senate majority leader. “It dawned on me early — let’s put it that way,” he told Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. Most senators dream of the White House; all McConnell ever wanted was that gavel, that particular form of power…

While McConnell’s role as Trump’s chief accomplice has made him the archvillain of Democrats nationally, he is detested back home for broader reasons. At Fancy Farm, one of the folks I meet is Jen Thompson, an artist and farmer from Paducah who’d come to holler at McConnell — but admits she’d once been a supporter. “I’m 47,” she says. “When I was first able to vote, in 1996, I voted for Mitch. He was already getting powerful in Washington, and I bought into the idea that he could do a lot of good for us. But eventually it dawned on me, like a lot of people, this guy really doesn’t give a crap about us. He’s all about stockpiling his own squirrel-nut factory for his winter. Public records are public records, and you can see how his trajectory has gone toward wealth. Back home, I’m still making the same amount of money I was making! I think he’s got a real good chance of being booted this time.”

Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Fugazi

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 23:01

It's the 54th birthday of Guy Picciotto. Born on this day in 1965, his career started in with Rites of Spring. Writing songs that were lyrically personal and more experimental than the hardcore punk scene they blossomed from, Guy is widely cited as an architect of the emo sound.

In 1987, he joined the band Fugazi. He was not a member of the band in their initial but joined them on stage at their second show ever and was in the group until their 2003 hiatus.

What are you listening to tonight?


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Categories: Politics

Israel’s 2019 National Election Part 2: The Revenge of the Son of the Update

Balloon Juice - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 22:19

I really don’t think a whole lot more is going to happen between now and daylight tomorrow. At least not anything that’s going to happen in public. As of 9:10 PM EDT, they’d counted 10% of the ballots cast. So the vote counting has a long way to go. The exit polls, as they stand right now, are:

Kahol Lavan – Average: 32 seats; Channel 11: 32 seats; Chanel 12: 32 seats; Channel 13: 32 seats

Likud – Average: 31 seats, Channel 11: 31 seats; Channel 12: 32 seats; Channel 13: 30 seats

Joint List – Average: 14 seats; Channel 11: 13 seats; Channel 12: 13 seats; Channel 13: 15 seats

Yisrael Beitenu – Average: 9 seats; Channel 11: 9 seats; Channel 12: 9 seats; Channel 13: 8 seats

Shas – Average: 9 seats; Channel 11: 9 seats; Channel 12: 9 seats; Channel 13: 9 seats

UTJ – Average: 8 seats; Channel 11: 8 seats; Channel: 7 seats; Channel 13: 8 seats

Yamina – Average: 7 seats: Channel 11: 7 seats; Channel 12: 7 seats; Channel 13: 6 seats

Labor – Average – 6 seats; Channel 11 – 6 seats; Channel 12: 6 seats; Channel 13 – 6 seats

Democratic Union – Average: 5 seats; Channel 11: 5 seats; Channel 12: 5 seats; Channel 13: 6 seats

Otzma Yehudit – Average: 0 seats; Channel 11: 0 seats, Channel 12: 0 seats; Channel 13: 0 seats

So while Kahol Lavan maintains a slight lead in taking the most seats, the issue now will be how the actual vote tabulation turns out and who will be able to form a viable coalition. Using the averages, right now Gantz can potentially put together a 57 seat coalition if he can get the Joint List, Labor, and the Democratic Union to support him. Bibi can potentially put together a 55 seat coalition by partnering with Shas, UTJ, and Yamina. This leaves Yisrael Beitenu, and more specifically, Avigdor Liberman as the king maker. The Joint List, which is a combination of Israeli Arab and left of center pro-peace Israeli Jewish parties, also has tremendous leverage. In April they made it clear they would not enter into a coalition government. Hopefully, they recognize that they have leverage right now and should use it in negotiating with Gantz. Regardless, neither Bibi nor Gantz can meet the 61 seat threshold until/unless Liberman makes his play.

In his speech tonight Bibi stated he’d form a Zionist, anti-terror coalition to form the next government. According to reporting Gantz has also begun working the phones. Tomorrow will tell us whether Bibi can once again eke out victory from defeat either by pulling enough seats from Yisrael Beitunu despite Liberman’s seeming opposition to him or by repeating what he did in April when neither he nor Gantz were able to assemble a 61 seat governing coalition. Vacating the election and calling for a third try is his back up play. It allows him to stay in place as the prime minister over a caretaker government for five or six more months and both maneuver to increase his chances and bide his time looking for an opportunity to solidify his position. Remember, Gantz would like to be prime minister. For Bibi, however, it is existential. He either stays on as prime minister or he faces prosecution and potentially prison.

Updates at 11:15 PM EDT

The Times of Israel is reporting in its live blog of the election and vote counting that:

22min ago Channel 12: Unofficial tally of 85% of votes shows Knesset deadlocked

Channel 12 is reporting results it says it has received from inside sources in the Central Elections Committee, which the news channel claims reflect around 85% of the national vote.

According to those unofficial results, Likud and Blue and White are tied at 32 seats; next is the Joint List with 12 seats; Shas and Yisrael Beytenu have 9 seats each; United Torah Judaism has 8; Yamina has 7; Labor-Gesher is at 6; and the Democratic Camp has 5.

The right-wing bloc has a total of 56 seats, the center-left has 55 and Liberman has 9.

Channel 12 explains its data on the fact that a large majority of votes have already been counted, but due to increased scrutiny, the CEC is doing recounts in order to ensure the information it puts out is accurate.

Also, Noga Tarnopolsky’s and Barak Ravid’s reporting from Bibi’s speech at the Likud election party is disturbing:

My take on this is that if Bibi does come up short, he will try to make the claim that a Kahol Lavan coalition that includes the Joint Lists’ Arab parties and Israeli Arab members is somehow illegitimate. And then try to leverage that to remain in power. That’s right in his wheel house.

Open thread.

Categories: Politics

PHRASING! Open Thread: “Water Sports”

Balloon Juice - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 21:50

Not the Onion:

Proximate excuse cause:

A veritable who’s who of right-wing con artists, alt-right media hounds, and outright racists apparently plan to hold some sort of Art Basel for Grifters conference in Miami this month. An avalanche of some of the worst pundits online — including at least one fascist — say they’ll hold a “Demand Free Speech” rally Saturday, September 28, on an undisclosed yacht somewhere in the Magic City.

The event’s top billing? Serial con artist Jacob Wohl, who is charged in California with a felony for unlawfully selling investments in a company called Montgomery Assets, will apparently debate Nick Fuentes, a self-described “American nationalist” who has appeared on white-nationalist programs and at one point was recorded going on an anti-Semitic rant about a fellow conservative blogger by calling him a “race traitor” and saying he “worked for Jews.” It’s unclear what Wohl and Fuentes might actually debate, but the event seems designed more to generate protests and controversy than to conduct intellectual discussions…

… [T]ickets are being sold on the website 1776.shop, which is run by Enrique Tarrio, a Miami native who leads the neofascist Proud Boys group. “Early-bird” VIP tickets cost $150 for whatever reason. Among the other guests, the group says Zoe Sozo, an ambassador for the campus conservative group Turning Point USA, will also attend…

My personal bet would be that these clowns haven’t so much as charted a boat — once enough ‘VIP tickets’ have been sold, they’ll announce that ‘the (((globalists))) have forced us to reschedule to an as-yet-to-be-determined date, for the safety of our supporters’. And as proof: Secret Service agents on jetskies!

Categories: Politics

Post-debate poll: Biden, Warren on the rise; enthusiasm surging for Warren

Daily Kos - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 21:34

The first major national poll following last week's Democratic debate showed the basic trajectory of the race virtually uninterrupted. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserting their dominance at the top of the field, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders essentially flatlines and California Sen. Kamala Harris loses steam. Here are the candidates' standings from the poll of Democratic primary voters released late Tuesday as compared to the standings from the same poll released in mid-July. 

  • Joe Biden: 31% (+5)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 25% (+6)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: 14% (+1)
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 7% (0)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris: 5% (-8)
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang: 4% (+2)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 2% (+1)
  • Sen. Cory Booker: 2% (+1)
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke: 1% (-1)
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro: 1% (0)

Both Biden and Warren should feel relatively good about their standings in this poll. The data held more good news for both candidates, as Warren topped the "enthusiasm" list and Biden led the "comfortability" list. 

Categories: Politics

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