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The Worldwide Threat To Bananas Is Real

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 23:30

I did not know that bananas are the number one consumed fruit in the United States. I have to assume a large part of those bananas are consumed in shakes and smoothies.

Save the banana!

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Sparks

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 23:01

We've only got one planet. Take care of it because if you think Mother Earth is frustrated with us currently, you don't even want to know what will happen when she finally decides it is time for complete retaliation.

What are you listening to tonight?

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Categories: Politics

Elizabeth Warren: Congress Must Vote On Impeachment And Own Their Votes Forever

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 21:14
 Congress Must Vote On Impeachment And Own Their Votes Forever

Once again, Elizabeth Warren shows everyone how to lead on an issue. At her town hall Monday night on CNN, she was of course asked about her position on impeachment. After an impassioned speech about how it's a moral obligation to impeach a president who collaborated with a hostile foreign power to win the 2016 election, Anderson Cooper engaged in the usual media concern trolling.

"But you started off by saying -- by talking about some of your travels and people talking about climate change, their concerns, tabletop issues," he reminded her.

"Doesn't putting a lot of people's focus on impeaching the president, which is not going to pass in the Senate, it won't go anywhere in that sense, doesn't that take away focus from the tabletop issues that you and other Democrats say you want to run on?" he asked.

Grrrrr. I'm SO TIRED OF THIS. And so was Senator Warren. Her answer was right on the money. delivered as passionately as the question deserved.

"If you've actually read the Mueller report, it's all laid out there," she said. "It's not like it's going to take a long time to figure that out. It's there. It's got the footnotes, it's got the points, it connects directly to the law," she continued.

And here is where she gets right down to it, leading all of us through some of the most damning evidence in the report in a simple and effective ways.

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Categories: Politics

Every Trump Proxy Is A Reminder Of This Administration's Lawlessness

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 18:27

From the moment Bob Barr issued his highly selective and deceptive summary of the Mueller report, the Trumpers have been pushing to frame the narrative, confident that the mainstream media will dutifully repeat it over and over. It's the same tactic they've taken from the beginning, with fair success.

But now that we KNOW that Donald Trump has proven himself to be completely unfit for office and violating laws left and right, the spin has become a little more desperate and nonsensical.

And as Professor Jason Johnson reminds all of us, when you see this surreal level of craziness like this Rudy Giuliani interview, it should serve as a reminder of the lawlessness of this administration.

Every crazy thing out of Giuliani's mouth is designed for one thing: to distract you while Trump continues to break laws unchecked.

Every stupid deflection made by Kellyanne Conway is in service to allowing Trump to continue to violate the Constitution.

Categories: Politics

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn Subpoenaed By House Democrats

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 18:25

The House Judiciary Committee has officially subpoenaed former White House counsel, Don McGahn to testify within the next month regarding a litany of topics "pertaining to federal investigations of President Trump, his finances, his campaign, and charges he sought to obstruct justice."

According to the subpoena, requested documents and records must be provided by May 7 and McGahn is to testify on May 21st.

The Washington Post is reporting that Chairman Nadler said, in a statement, “The special counsel’s report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses."

He further stated that McGahn is, “A critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report. His testimony will help shed further light on the president’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same."

This is the first time a former White House staff member has received a subpoena to testify in front of Congress, but I guarantee he won't be the last. Stay tuned for angry tweets from Donald Trump. Will McGahn be called a "coffee boy" or will he be called "another angry Democrat"?

Categories: Politics

Yes, Artificial Intelligence Could Threaten Democracy

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:31

(Above: An early deepfake video shows some of the dangers of advanced technology.)

Steven Feldstein, Boise State University

U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities. Two U.S. senators publicly condemned the partnership, but what the National Defense Technology University of China wants from Microsoft isn’t the only concern.

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Categories: Politics

Trump Sues To Hide His Financials? Good Luck With That

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:13

Donald Trump's lawyers filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop his accountants at Mazar from releasing his financial records to the House Oversight Committee:

Categories: Politics

Did Donald Trump Admit To Obstructing Justice? ‘Nobody Disobeys My Orders’

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:34

The Mueller report documented ten instances where Trump’s may have obstructed justice.

The report also indicates that Trump to obstruct the investigation "were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

On Monday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Donald Trump about his aides refusing his direct orders that Mueller cited.

Trump replied, “Nobody disobeys my orders.”

As he was walking away, she asked if he was worried about being impeached and he replied, "not even a little bit."

If Trump is telling the truth and everybody obeyed his orders than they did impede the investigations and obstructed justice.

Or as the British so descriptively call the same offense, Trump “perverted the course of justice.”

And that holds true whether he was successful or not.

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Categories: Politics

Bob Woodward Skips Over The Collusion-Like Quacking In Mueller Report

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:05

Bob Woodward sounded more eager to show he’s a pal to Republicans than to the facts laid bare in the Mueller report that points very strongly to collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

During the FNS panel discussion, Fox News contributor Jason Riley announced the “good news for everyone” in the Mueller report, which he immediately weaponized against Democrats (transcript excerpts via Fox News):

RILEY: Well, I think this report ought to be good news for this country, good news for everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike. The Mueller report found that no one in the Trump campaign, from the president on down, conspired with a foreign entity to win the election despite the efforts of Russia to interfere. This ought to be good news for everyone. We ought to be celebrating this, yet we have some Democrats and some members of the media who are deeply disappointed in this outcome because they had pushed a certain narrative that turned out to be untrue.

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Categories: Politics

Sarah Sanders Is Not Press Secretary, She's A Fox News Shill

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 12:08

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was exposed as a liar in the Mueller report.

Now that her "relationship" with the White House press corps is dead and buried, she appeared on "Fox and Friends" Monday morning to lie about April Ryan.

After reading through some of Mueller's reports, last week, CNN's April Ryan used an analogy in describing how the White House should be firing all the incompetent people that Trump has hired, which included Sanders.

April Ryan said the American people can't trust Trump’s mouthpiece, “She outright lied, and the people, the American people, can't trust her. They can't trust what's said from the president's mouthpiece, spokesperson, from the people's house.

Ryan continued. "When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. It’s 'Fire Me Thursday’ or 'Fire Me Good Friday.' She needs to go."

Clearly, April Ryan wasn't suggesting that Sarah Huckabee Sanders be led to the guillotine Marie Antoinette style and have her head cut off. But that is what Sanders and her father Mike Huckabee are peddling to defend her lying lies.

Sanders told Trump's favorite morning show, “I have had reporters say a lot of things about me. They’ve said I should be choked. I should deserve a lifetime of harassment, but certainly never had anybody say I should be decapitated.”

Normally I would be saying this is too much even for Trump surrogates, but that is not the case since facts and reality do not apply to Trump and his propaganda exporters.

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Categories: Politics

The Moment We've Been Waiting For: John Oliver On The Mueller Report

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 10:48

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver said Trump's saving grace may have been that his staff was too inept to work with the Russians. Via CNN:

"The news that the President ordered subordinates to do things that might constitute obstruction and then they just ignored him is both reassuring and also terrifying," Oliver said.

Oliver also slammed Attorney General William Barr's press conference and pre-release summary about the report.
"It's like Barr summarized the 'Twilight' novels as 'a girl in Florida goes to third base with a wookie.' No! No! That's not what happens," Oliver joked. "I'm not even sure we're reading the same underlying material."

The host concluded that the report's findings are "very depressing" and there's a lot the public still doesn't know due to redactions and other investigations. However, he did say that the report shedding light on Russia's interference was ultimately a good thing.

"The point is, having the knowledge that the Mueller report provides is infinitely better than the alternative," Oliver said. "'Cause that knowledge can inform Congress going forward and — crucially — voters a year and a half from now."

Categories: Politics

Linked To International Terror, Another Bomb Explodes In Sri Lanka Today

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 10:20

This morning, another bomb exploded in Sri Lanka as officials tried to disarm it.

"The bomb squad was called to a van they thought was suspicious," said Janis Mackey Frayer.

"They looked inside and found an explosive device. As they tried to diffuse it, it went off. This is after finding a bomb at several airports. Secondary explosions are a tactic of many militant groups. It's part of the reason the government is imposing a state of emergency tonight to try to get a handle on public safety as they figure out who is behind the violence."

"There's a domestic group authorities are blaming for the attacks. Who are they?" Stephanie Ruehl asked.

"It's not an official blame, but several members of the government are pointing to a group called the National Thowheed Jamath. They believe they had international help. Authorities are stunned by how coordinated the attacks were. There are three explosions at churches, three explosions at hotels at pretty much the same time. The forensic evidence they have collected from the six sites show they were suicide bombers that carried out the attacks. We have the FBI on the ground and another team combing through the disaster scenes, trying to find evidence. They are experts in counterterrorism and in identifying victims."

"Officials reportedly did get some kind of warning before the attacks took place?" Ruehl asked.

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Categories: Politics

Air Force Academy Shrouded In Embarrassing Easter Pseudo-Science

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:37
Air Force Academy Shrouded In Embarrassing Easter Pseudo-Science

As first reported by Pam Zubek at the Colorado Springs Independent, on Wednesday, April 17, the Air Force Academy hosted a talk promoting the alleged authenticity of the “Shroud of Turin,” which carbon dating and other evidence strongly indicates is actually a 14th-century forgery, as pointed out by Academy computer science professor Barry Fagin.

“I’ve been at the Academy for 25 years and in that time I've heard this talk 3 times,” Fagin told Crooks and Liars. “I find these talks to be embarrassing.”

The talk was given by Dr. Rolf Engler, a member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which has been promoting the authenticity myth for over 40 years.

Hosting the talk violated two core responsibilities of the academy: first, its Constitutional responsibility—codified in Air Force Instruction 1-1—not to favor one religion over others, and second, its educational responsibility as a science-oriented institute of higher learning.

“If we take ourselves seriously as an academic institution – we shouldn't have people here talking about Bigfoot or talking about astrology,” Fagin said. “At the very least, if we do that, then we ought to have people present the alternative, and have a robust debate. And then, I think the answer would pretty much reveal itself.”

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Categories: Politics

Utah GOP Senator Says He's 'Confused' By The 'Tone' Of The Mueller Report On Obstruction

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:36
Utah GOP Senator Says He's 'Confused' By The 'Tone' Of The Mueller Report On Obstruction

Despite the fact that it's fairly obvious to anyone who has given the redacted version of the Mueller report an honest read that what Mueller intended was for Congress to make the judgment on whether Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice, Republican Utah Senator and Trump enabler Mike Lee told CBS' Bob Schieffer this Sunday that he was "confused" as to the "tone" of the report on obstruction.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Your colleague, the junior senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, put out a pretty stunning statement yesterday. I just want to read this to you, this is Mitt Romney speaking, "I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty by individuals in the highest office in the land including the president. I am appalled that federal- fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia including information that had been illegally obtained, that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement, and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in the Ukraine," close quote. Your reaction?

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Categories: Politics

Elijah Cummings: History 'Would Smile Upon' The Impeachers Of Trump

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:36
 History 'Would Smile Upon' The Impeachers Of Trump

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MA), chair of the House Oversight Committee, on Sunday predicted that history will "smile upon" the lawmakers who pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

In an interview on Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer noted that several high profile Democrats are calling for impeachment proceedings to begin due to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report.

"This is a political act, and if you do vote to impeach him and then the Senate votes not to remove him, won’t that look like a victory for him?" Schieffer wondered.

"It may very well, but you know, sometimes, Bob, I got to tell you, there comes a point in life where we all have to make decisions based upon the fact that it is on our watch," Cummings replied. "History, I think, even if we did not win possibly, if there were not impeachment, I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution."

"You know, I hear a lot of people say they’re tired of hearing about the Mueller report," he continued. "Well, we don’t have time to get tired, because the Russians aren’t getting tired. They are attacking our electoral system every single day, if not every hour."

Categories: Politics

Elizabeth Warren's Plan Wipes Student Debt For Earners Under $100K

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:36

In the lead-up to CNN's presidential town hall tonight, M.J. Lee interviewed Elizabeth Warren about her ambitious new education plan. She talked about it to Alysin Camerota:

"Alisyn, Elizabeth Warren made a huge splash when she called on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump," she said. "Aides at the time said do not expect impeachment to be the central theme of her campaign going forward, that she plans to remain focused on policy. We are seeing the first real sign of that this morning, Elizabeth Warren putting out a major student loans and free college proposal.

"Senator Elizabeth Warren out with a sweeping new proposal to wipe clean millions of Americans' student loan debt and overhaul the country's higher education system. The Massachusetts Democrat dropping the ambitious plan ahead of CNN's five-candidate young voter town hall in New Hampshire."

WARREN: Anyone who has outstanding student loan debt can have up to $50,000 worth of student loan debt canceled out so long as their income is under $100,000, and then it steps in up to there's no help for anybody whose family income is above $250,000. That's it. The debt is gone.

LEE: The proposal would make all public colleges tuition- and fee-free, inject $100 billion in Pell grants over ten years and create a $50 billion fund for historically black colleges and other minority-serving institutions.

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Categories: Politics

Jonathan Alter: Kellyanne Conway And Kayleigh McEnany 'Baghdad Bobs' For Trump

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:00
 Kellyanne Conway And Kayleigh McEnany 'Baghdad Bobs' For Trump

During a discussion about the latest "spin" (a.k.a. blatant, bald-faced lying) coming from Trump and his enablers on the Mueller report, MSNBC's Jonathan Alter had the perfect description for these propagandists when asked about an earlier appearance by National Press Secretary for the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign Kayleigh McEnany on Alex Witt's show:


ALTER: I'm sorry to be laughing, but I remember during the Iraq war there was a guy named Baghdad Bob who would go on television and just lie shamelessly on behalf of Saddam Hussein, and both Kellyanne Conway and, you know, these republican party spokeswomen and others, they're Baghdad Bobs.

I mean, Kellyanne Conway just said the president was exonerated. Mueller states explicitly in the report, explicitly, quote, this is not an exoneration, unquote. So they are just trying to say white is black. Black is white.

Not only are they not exonerated. Not only is there a smoking gun, there is a smoking artillery range in this report on obstruction of justice. And I disagree with my good friend Susan on this. This is not just a political matter. This is a legal matter. There is much evidence in the report that the president broke the law by obstructing justice.

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Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:01
Mike's Blog Round Up

Happy Earth Day!

Inside Climate News: Some Democratic candidates on fossil fuels (versus Trump).

Emptywheel: The many lies and prevarications of Bill Barr.

Crooked Timber: Transactional Trumpism?

Bark Bark Woof Woof: The Trump regime, from here on out.

The Nib: Meanwhile, at the DCCC…

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

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Categories: Politics

'No Ma'am': Fox News Host Calls Out Bonkers RNC Flack For Lying About Robert Mueller

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:00
 Fox News Host Calls Out Bonkers RNC Flack For Lying About Robert Mueller

Republican National Committee spokesperson Liz Harrington lashed out at Fox News host Leland Vittert over the weekend after he asked her about evidence that President Donald Trump committed obstruction.

During the Saturday interview on Fox News, Vittert noted that some Democrats are considering impeachment hearings over evidence against Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report.

"They are going to overreach because the American people know there's no 'there' there," Harrington insisted.

"[The report] identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with Russia... That's not 'didn't find anything,'" Vittert pointed out.

"This is 19 Democrat [sic] lawyers who were picked by Robert Mueller," Harrington said of the investigators. "You read page by page and there's innuendo and suggestions of impropriety."

"Telling [then-White House counsel] Don McGhan to fire Robert Mueller isn't wrong?" Vittert asked.

"Not firing someone isn't obstruction," the RNC spokesperson insisted.

"I'm not asking whether it's obstruction or not," Vittert said. "I'm asking whether it's the right thing to do."

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Categories: Politics

Groom Welds A GoT Iron Throne For His Bride

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:30

A cool Game of Thrones Story for a Sunday Night...

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics