'A shutdown would be a terrible thing,' Trump says, after taking blame for last shutdown

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:34

What do you know. Donald Trump is capable of learning from the negative outcome of his actions, sort of. After rightly being blamed for the record-breaking government shutdown from December to January, Trump has indicated that he plans to sign the bipartisan deal to keep the government open this time around—even though it provides less funding for border barriers than the deal the Senate passed last year, and that money is for fencing, not a wall. Congress is expected to vote on the funding package Thursday.

“I don't want to see a shutdown, a shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump said Wednesday, in a major tone shift from his December “I am proud to shut down the government” bluster. Wednesday, he continued, “I don't want to see another one, there's no reason for it.” Lesson sort of learned, with a lot of hand-holding from top Republican negotiator Sen. Richard Shelby, who has been telling Trump that the $1.375 billion is a “down payment” on his wall.

At the same time, the Trump administration is looking to use executive action to divert money from all over government into wall-building, considering sources such as Treasury forfeiture funds and some military funding. Some of the pieces of money would require Trump to declare a national emergency and others wouldn’t, but, CNN reports, “they are likely to be rolled out piece by piece, not necessarily all at once, once Trump signs off.”

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos calls on DNC to deny Fox News presidential primary debates

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:30

Today, Daily Kos Founder and Publisher Markos Moulitsas called on the Democratic National Committee to reject Fox News’ bid to host a Democratic presidential primary debate as a petition to this effect with over 100,000 signatures was delivered to DNC Chair Tom Perez.

“Allowing Fox News to host a presidential primary debate has zero upside for Democratic candidates, the nomination process, and the Democratic Party itself,” said Moulitsas. “Fox News is a dangerous propaganda outlet that currently functions as Trump’s personal PR machine, and Democrats must stand firm against its attempts to package itself as a legitimate news network. The network responsible for years of racist smears against Barack Obama, sexist vilification of Hillary Clinton, and the continuous promotion and dissemination of incendiary conspiracy theories targeting innocent Americans cannot be granted the honor and privilege of hosting a DNC debate.”

On the morning of Thursday, Feb. 14, Daily Kos is delivering a petition with over 100.000 signatures to Perez calling on the DNC to refuse to hold any of the party’s primary debates on Fox news.

Daily Kos is the nation's largest online progressive community, with 7 million unique visitors a month and an email membership of over 3 million.

Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:01
Mike's Blog Round Up

The Debate Link: Max Rose and Ilhan Omar.

You Might Notice a Trend: A brief thought on how to label rich jerks.

Wonkette: Why are the Never-Trumpers fighting like idiots?

Balkinization: The challenges of Medicare for All.

Alicublog: RIP, Albert Finney.

This installment by Batocchio. E-mail tips to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.

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Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: Texas Democrat who nearly won 2018 upset in red House seat could run for Senate

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:00

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

Leading Off

TX-Sen: Democrat MJ Hegar, a 2018 House candidate who made waves last cycle with a viral campaign ad showcasing her inspiring life story as an accomplished military combat pilot, told the Texas Tribune that she was considering taking on Republican Sen. John Cornyn next year. Hegar said she would likely defer to 2014 gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis if the latter chose to run, and Davis herself said she hasn't "ruled anything out." However, after Davis lost by a 59-39 landslide in the GOP wave year of 2014, top Democrats may prefer to look elsewhere for a 2020 Senate nominee.

Campaign Action

While Hegar ultimately lost in the 31st District by 51-48 to Republican Rep. John Carter, that was an impressive performance in a congressional district that had backed Trump by a wide 54-41 and Mitt Romney by an even more daunting 60-38 in 2012. Both of those margins are redder than Texas overall, and Hegar would have a shot at winning in 2020 if she comes close to matching that overperformance.

Hegar was a stellar fundraiser in 2018, but Cornyn isn't the sort of nationally reviled boogeyman among Democrats that Mitch McConnell or Texas' other GOP Sen. Ted Cruz are. Furthermore, Texas remains a red-leaning state despite its blue trend. However, after former Rep. Beto O'Rourke came the closest to winning a Texas Senate race in 2018 than any Democrat has in three decades, Hegar might have what it takes to put Cornyn's seat into play if she runs in 2020.

Categories: Politics

Hey Joe Manchin, This Is Not Helpful

Crooks and Liars - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:00

You'd expect West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to scoff at the Green New Deal, given his ownership by what's left of the coal industry. Still, this was gratuitous, unnecessary, dismissive and flies in the face of Manchin's famous call for "comity."

When asked by a reporter about his thoughts on the Green New Deal, Manchin waved off the reporter with a "Honey" before scoffing at it, calling it a "dream."

It was a dream when we sent a man to the moon.

It was a dream when we passed Medicare so seniors wouldn't die penniless.

It was a dream when we passed Social Security to make sure there was at least a minimum income for retirees.

It was even a dream when the Affordable Care Act was passed, ending discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

Why is it that endless war is never just a dream? Why is it that there's endless dollars for endless war?

Here's why Senator Manchin is wrong: Climate change is destroying his state too. Devastating floods roll through West Virginia at an alarming rate. It's not just a dream. It's real, and we'd better start dealing with it.

Next time, Senator Manchin, think of ways you can helpfully propose a deeper and more specific framework instead of dismissing it.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: The Latin American Lucky Ducky: Pato Afortunado comes to America

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 07:50

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

GET information about Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE here.

Thank you.

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 07:00

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Uh, that’s all I have on that subject. It would be inappropriate to continue any further, in this context. After all, I’m at work here!

We’ll need to find something more socially acceptable to talk about. Like having an idiot and a thief for a president. That’s okay to discuss.

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 on a CPM basis, 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.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. 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 last time out, on our previous LIVE show:

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David Waldman reminds us that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Drop what you’re doing and… No wait, CVS is open all night, you still have time to listen to the show: Donald Trump loses again. He can pretend that he won, or he could lose some more, but actually “winning” is no longer an option. Greg Dworkin calls in to review Trump’s defeat, what he lost, and how he will keep on losing. Mitch McConnell was smart enough to keep from being made the biggest loser. Nancy Pelosi is smart enough to keep out of Mitch’s traps. Congress is poised to put Trump in a veto bind. Democratic candidates can climb in the polls and all, but are they “likable” and “authentic”? (No one talks about gravitas anymore.) Of course, you can be unlikable and inauthentic and still become a candidate. Republicans prefer power over principle, so their scandals become temporary obstacles to their goal. Meanwhile, Virginia’s women clean up the Democratic men’s mess. Trump ally Tom Barrack feels we all need to understand that when a young Saudi man commits an atrocity or two, it’s just a part of growing up. David deep-dives into the latest Russia news: The Grand Havana Room is the latest Mos Eisley in the Trump-Russia saga.  The Senate Russia investigation is slowed when Republican investigator/suspect Richard Burr stands up and shouts there’s nothing to see here.

(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

Good news for Texas Medicaid

Balloon Juice - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 06:29

Texas is thinking about doing something very smart.  They want to expand the current mandatory categorical eligibility for Medicaid for pregnant women that currently expires at sixty days after birth to a full year of eligibility after birth.

The Dallas Morning News has details:

To combat maternal mortality and morbidity, several Democrats and at least one Republican have proposed extending Medicaid coverage to one year after a woman gives birth or has an involuntary miscarriage.

“This is a really important bill because there is a gap in treatment, and this will ensure Texas women will continue to receive Medicaid coverage for 12 months,” said Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, who filed a bill to extend coverage. “I believe that this will reduce the maternal deaths.”

In 2016, Texas gained national attention for having the “highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world,” based on data from 2012 that was published in a study. Last year, the state found that inaccurate reporting inflated the data, but officials have continued efforts to lower the numbers.

Medicaid requires states to cover income qualified pregnant women for the pre-natal period and for sixty days after birth.  The theory is that work is difficult in this time period, the baby needs intensive parental attention and good healthcare for the mom will lead to better health and development outcomes for the baby.  Income restrictions are much higher for this adult population than many other income.  In Texas, a woman can earn roughly $32,000/year to qualify as a pregnant woman with a single child.  After sixty days, the current income cut-off for the same family to get the mom Medicaid qualified is $2,400 per year.   Texas transitions women to a limited benefit plan if they don’t qualify for low income Medicaid sixty days after birth.

That is a huge cliff. And many women will fall off that cliff. If they are earning over 100% FPL, they are eligible for a subsidized exchange plan. If they earn under 100% FPL (~$16,480 for a family of two) they get no exchange subsidies and most likely earn too much to qualify for low income Medicaid. A lot of people fall off the cliff.

New Jersey is considering a similar change to their Medicaid program. They are a Medicaid expansion state but Medicaid expansion cuts off at 138% FPL while low income pregnant woman eligibility cuts off significantly higher. It would promote continuity of care.

This is interesting and potentially good news from Texas and New Jersey.

Categories: Politics

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Balloon Juice - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 05:00

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com




Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody – hugs to all!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Gravie.

Sidewalk mural outside the American Visionary Art Museum, painted in 2013 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Faces include Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe (natch ), John Waters, Cal Ripken, Tecumseh, Johnny Appleseed, and a bunch of others, including one who looks like Mama Cass and another who looks like a Martian, maybe.

Taken on 2018-10-29 00:00:00


Sidewalk mural, American Visionary Art Museum


Thank you so much Gravie, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

Categories: Politics

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Dolly Parton, America’s Queen of Hearts

Balloon Juice - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 04:51

… Although I always think of her as our Queen of Cups: loving, generous, and wise. Just for giving all those books to all those kids who need them, she’d deserve a place in the pantheon:

… “My dad didn’t get the chance to go to school. And Daddy couldn’t read and write, and that was kind of crippling to him,” Parton said. “He was such a smart man, though. He just had such good common sense. They call it horse sense in the country.”

“But Daddy thought it was just something he couldn’t learn after he was grown, so he never tried to learn to read and write. And that was just kind of embarrassing to him,” she continued. “But I didn’t want Daddy to feel embarrassed.”

Parton was determined to give the children of Sevier County something her father never had: early access to books. She started the Imagination Library in 1995, and involved her father, too. He was able to see the program take off before he died in 2000.

“He got to hear the kids call me ‘The Book Lady.’ He got a big kick out of that,” she said. “But he took great pride and felt like he’d helped do something special.”…

And if she didn’t have that golden voice, she could’ve been a successful comedian. From NYMag:

All of my life, I have been known for two things,” deadpanned Dolly Parton, as she took the stage to collect the MusiCares Person of the Year, pausing for effect, “Well, not them.”

“I’ve also been known as a singer and songwriter, too,” the country icon clarified. “Although, I’m not complaining — Ol’ Pancho and Lefty’ve been pretty good to me!” She then confided to the packed-to-the-back-wall crowd assembled at the Los Angeles Convention Center: “Everybody always expects me to do a boob joke, and I like to do that right up front.”

To illustrate Parton’s reputation as a stellar songwriter over the course of her five decade career, an A-list assembly of talent from across a wide swath of musical genres took the stage to perform her biggest hits and most personal compositions as the Recording Academy and its philanthropic arm MusiCares paid tribute to Parton’s singular accomplishments and longtime commitment to giving back at its annual Grammy Week gala…

Being honored for her contributions to music, Parton told Vulture on the red carpet, “means more than anything, because if I had to stop everything else and just choose one thing, I’d choose to be a songwriter.”…

For Nettles, who portrayed Parton’s mother in two television movies based on the icon’s childhood, Parton holds a particularly special place in her life. “For me, she is a mentor, she is an icon, she is a hero, someone I look up to as a singer/songwriter, as a woman, as a businesswoman, as a philanthropist, as an actress,” Nettles said. “She’s done it all, and she’s still so vibrant, still so relevant. I look at her, and we should all be so lucky, I think, to be able to have that kind of career and that kind of impact.”

“Those waters run really deep for her,” added Nettles. “You hear all of that depth and all of that gravitas in the stories that she tells, but then she has all this buoyancy on top that really draws us in.”

“I truly, I truly can feel the love in this house tonight — either that or my telephone’s on vibrate,” Parton cracked, telling the crowd she endured the career retrospective with a mix of dismay — “I really thought my hair looked good, back then. Can you believe that hair? Now that’s country music at its finest” — and wry reflection. “Watching them is sort of like watching porn. You’re not personally involved, but you still get off on it. So really got off on this show, tonight. Hey now, don’t blame me. At my age, you’ll take anything you can get. And I’m still hoping that I live long enough to get the Betty White longevity award. I’m working on it.”

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated pundit round-up: The creepy allure of mini-nukes; standing up for Ilhan Omar

Daily Kos - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 01:26

James Carroll has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has a multitude of other appointments, has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books as well as countless essays in major magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. At TomDispatch, he writes—Doomsday Redux The Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolls Off the Nuclear Assembly Line:

Last month, the National Nuclear Security Administration (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission) announced that the first of a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons had rolled off the assembly line at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in the panhandle of Texas. That warhead, the W76-2, is designed to be fitted to a submarine-launched Trident missile, a weapon with a range of more than 7,500 miles. By September, an undisclosed number of warheads will be delivered to the Navy for deployment.

What makes this particular nuke new is the fact that it carries a far smaller destructive payload than the thermonuclear monsters the Trident has been hosting for decades -- not the equivalent of about 100 kilotons of TNT as previously, but of five kilotons. According to Stephen Young of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the W76-2 will yield “only” about one-third of the devastating power of the weapon that the Enola Gay, an American B-29 bomber, dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Yet that very shrinkage of the power to devastate is precisely what makes this nuclear weapon potentially the most dangerous ever manufactured. Fulfilling the Trump administration’s quest for nuclear-war-fighting “flexibility,” it isn’t designed as a deterrent against another country launching its nukes; it’s designed to be used.  This is the weapon that could make the previously “unthinkable” thinkable. [...]

Unlike tactical weapons, intercontinental strategic nukes were designed to directly target the far-off homeland of an enemy. Until now, their extreme destructive power (so many times greater than that inflicted on Hiroshima) made it impossible to imagine genuine scenarios for their use that would be practically, not to mention morally, acceptable. It was exactly to remove that practical inhibition -- the moral one seemed not to count -- that the Trump administration recently began the process of withdrawing from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, while rolling a new “limited” weapon off the assembly line and so altering the Trident system. With these acts, there can be little question that humanity is entering a perilous second nuclear age.

Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post writes—Profile of Holden Caulfield, an American boy:

We are doing these profiles now, I guess!

Holden Caulfield is a high school senior from New York. Like all boys his age, he thinks a lot about what he wants to do with his life. He wants to just stand in the rye at the edge of a cliff and catch children before they fall off. That’s all he would really like to do. But life is never that simple.

Holden Caulfield is 16 and happy not to be a phony. To be a phony would be the worst thing in the world, likely. It would just kill him. He’d have to pretend to give a crap about the opera and crummy things like that, which he doesn’t ever want to do. He might not be a phony, but everyone around him is. [...]

Categories: Politics

For Valentine's Day, Three Ways To Make Brownies

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 23:30

I'll try any of these brownies, but the "expert" baker is the only one promising "no eggshells" in her dessert.

That's a win for me.

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Linda Ronstadt

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 23:01

Not all Valentine's Day songs are pro-love. Some are just the opposite. Linda's 1973 take of this Clint Ballard, Jr penned song f'r instance.

What are you listening to tonight?

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Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls: Two very rich GOP senators want nobody in Congress to have a pension

Daily Kos - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 23:00

At Alternet, Matthew Chapman writes—These two millionaire GOP senators want to make it harder for non-millionaires to run for Congress. Millionaires now make up 9 percent of U.S. households, but made up 38 percent of the previous Congress. The two multi-millionaire senators have introduced a bill to do away with congressional pensions:

At first blush, this proposal by Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Mike Braun (R-IN) looks reasonable. It’s easy to hate on members of Congress, living large on the government dole when so many of them are already fabulously wealthy.

The problem is, by reducing the benefits available to senators and representatives, this bill effectively makes it more expensive to serve as a member of Congress. [...] So insofar as personal finances play any role in who does and doesn’t run for Congress, this bill would make it less likely that working-class people can afford public office as a career choice.


It should be noted that congressional pensions aren’t all that generous in the first place — you have to serve a minimum of six years in office, and benefits are earned very slowly according to a formula that multiplies years of service by fractions of their salary. It would be a drop in the bucket for Scott and Braun, who are respectively worth as much as $255 million and $95 million.

Rather than toss out pensions, a more sensible approach would be to pass laws limiting the ways members of Congress can personally profit from their office. For instance, the STOCK Act, passed in 2012, closed loopholes that potentially allowed members of Congress to engage in insider trading based on upcoming legislation that could affect businesses. A proposal by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) would take it one step further, banning members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks altogether.

Scott, on the other hand, seems to be moving in exactly the opposite direction. On Monday, he announced that he would no longer hold his wealth in his blind trust (which wasn’t really blind to begin with). This means that he will be directly aware of his financial holdings, and potentially know whether he stands to gain or lose personal wealth from any bill brought before the Senate. That should be a lot more concerning than whether he gets a pension.

Organize-Fish-eating-fish_NoTEXT_BlueRed.jpg Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups



“Change threatens, and its possibility creates frightened, angry people. They are found in their purest essence on the extreme right, but in all of us there is some fear of process, of change.” 
~~Carl Rogers, Personal Power: Inner Strength and Its Revolutionary Impact




On this date at Daily Kos in 2006If men were angels:

Like many of you, it's hard for me to understand how a core percentage of the American people are so quick to sacrifice their constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism.  Reflecting on the question of why it is so, it's clear it's due in large part to Bush's framing of the war on terror as a fight between good vs. evil.  Such a characterization has served to cast both sides in absolute terms. The terrorists are pure evil, soulless creatures with no affect who seek only to wreak death and havoc upon this earth. On the flip side, those who wage war against the terrorists are not only "good," but so righteous and pure in their crusade that they can do no wrong.

That is the brilliance of Bush's strategy from the beginning—casting himself as the bearer of all things good in this fight, he has convinced his followers that there is not a shred of evil in his actions. Every act, no matter how repulsive it may to our innate sense of decency, becomes "good" because it is performed by those who fight evil. How else to explain how our society has actually accepted the fact that torture is a debatable topic? How else to explain that Scooter Libby was cast as a martyr instead of the criminal that he allegedly is?

The reality, of course, is that Bush is no saint, no matter how evil our enemies are and no matter how just he believes his means of destroying them are. His is an administration tainted from its birth.  

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin may have left early today, but he controlled the agenda. A shutdown deal is ready. Will Trump sign? Has McConnell successfully avoided blame? Yemen resolution poses challenge. Burr: No evidence of collusion on campaign I worked for. x Embedded Content

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Categories: Politics

My Battery, It’s Low, And It’s Very, Very Dark

Balloon Juice - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 22:41



Excuse me while I go be sad for a freakin’ rover on a lonely planet….

Open thread

Categories: Politics

Kurt Vile: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 21:10

Feb. 6, 2019 | Bob Boilen -- Kurt Vile exudes a casualness at the Tiny Desk in his style and body language that is so unlike most anxious artists who come to play behind my desk. Sure, he's done this Tiny Desk thing before, with Courtney Barnett. But even then, I remember thinking that he's got something else on his mind — and it made me laugh this time around when Kurt played his opening tune, "Bassackwards," and sang these words: "I was on the beach but I was thinking about the bay / Got to the bay but by then I was far away."

That idea of being one place and thinking about another, for me, also connects to the way he plays guitar. He seems distracted, yet the complex guitar lines he so nonchalantly plays, along with his musical mate Rob Laakso, are effortlessly beautiful and lyrical.

After they played two new tunes from Kurt Vile's latest record, Bottle It In, Kurt goes solo on an older, self-described "juvenile" song from long ago, recently revived during his Courtney Barnett collaboration last year. "Peeping Tomboy" has its own schizophrenic issues as Kurt sings, "I don't wanna change but I don't wanna stay the same / I don't wanna go but I'm runnin' / I don't wanna work but I don't wanna sit around / All day frownin'."

On the surface, it all can seem just chill. But there's a lot of rumination in these songs — and even when he's gazing into the overhead office lights, I think he got his mind on the stars and the world at large.

Set List
"Loading Zones"
"Peeping Tomboy"

Kurt Vile - vocals, guitar
Rob Laakso - guitar

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR

Categories: Politics

Poll finds overwhelming support for aggressive congressional oversight of Trump

Daily Kos - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 20:55

A new poll shows broad support for congressional investigations into the Trump administration, with 60 percent of respondents saying Democrats should investigate senior administration officials and 86 percent agreeing that it's "Congress’s job to know whether the President or senior officials have committed any crimes."

The survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group, also found that support for the investigations is pretty unshakeable. Even after reading language suggesting the investigations would be a “politically-motivated witch hunt,” 60 percent of respondents still support Democrats using their investigatory powers.

Additional findings include:

  • 84 percent of respondents agree that "No one is above the law. Congress has investigated past presidential administrations. The Trump administration shouldn’t get a special pass.” 
  • The No. 1 reason for investigating Trump is that “senior officials are not looking out for the public on issues that affect the lives of regular people” (24 percent overall, with 35 percent of independents choosing that rationale); the No. 2 reason is that “senior officials are engaging in criminal activities” (21 percent).

Categories: Politics

Tennessee Republicans introduce bill to bar same-sex marriage regardless of Supreme Court rulings

Daily Kos - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 20:15

Tennessee Republicans, a group not known for nuance or subtlety, are having another go at banning same-sex marriages in their state. The method they'll be using this time around is known as the well we don't care what the Supreme Court said, we don't have to abide by them because reasons, aka the ol' jurisprudential nuh-uh double-backsies or whatever.

Known as the "Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act," the bill by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, states that the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage is void in Tennessee because the state has already passed its own law and constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

This is a repeat of an effort last year that went nowhere, though this version sounds even more ad-hoc: The Tennessean quotes Sexton as saying it's "too early for me to get into the details and say what the exact intent of it is," which sounds suspiciously like the group burped up a new LGBT hate bill to show off to constituents but hasn't bothered to nail down the precise details of how to plausibly argue the bill isn't blatantly a violation of the Court's clear prior orders.

If it passes, the federal government would (presuming Donald J. Trump's band of crooked lackeys bothered to enforce it, which is unlikely) withhold billions in federal aid. It also seems unlikely that even the current Supreme Court, newly stocked with Justice Treason and Justice Beer, would flip such a recent and heralded ruling. But it's not likely to pass.

Instead, it's likely to serve as the cornerstone of another mailing-list effort to raise money from bigots and idiots. It's important, in the Republican Party, to signal maximum intolerance and, especially, an open willingness to defy the all-important "rule of law" when the "rule of law" makes the Fox News crowd sad.

Categories: Politics

Watch 'Liberal Media' Scoff At The Green New Deal: 'Too Coastal'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 19:47
 'Too Coastal'

Hey y'all, do you remember the liberal media? You know, that liberal media who rubber-stamps everything Democrats try to do while criticizing every damn thing the right-wing does? That one?

Yeah, I don't either. Here we have a panel discussion on MSNBC during Andrea Mitchell's hour about..Howard Schultz and how he faltered over paying more taxes. For those that missed it, he said yeah, I need to pay more taxes but a 70 percent marginal rate is punitive and so not that much more in taxes and honestly, I really don't know how much more I should have to pay in taxes but something, yes, sure, sure.

Psssst, Howard. 30 percent of millions is still a whole lot more than 99.9 percent of this country have, y'know? Nothing punitive about it at all. In fact, the country did really well with that tax rate. But I digress.

The discussion went off the rails when Kristen Welker helpfully redirected her panel's attention to the Green New Deal and just how left-wingy it is. The panel worries that the combination of Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and a higher tax rate is just TOO LEFT WING for everybody.

read more

Categories: Politics

Manafort Plea Deal Tossed After Judge Agrees He Lied

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 19:15
Manafort Plea Deal Tossed After Judge Agrees He Lied

Late breaking news coming out of DC: Paul Manafort's plea deal is toast and he now faces significantly more prison time than initially thought. Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Manafort "intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, the Office of Special Counsel and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation."

Mueller initially charged that Manafort lied about five distinct areas. The judge determined that he had lied about three, rendering his plea deal "void".

A breakdown of the five areas:

Categories: Politics