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Julián Castro Punches Biden: 'Did You Forget What You Said Two Minutes Ago?'

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 21:48

This exchange between Julián Castro and Joe Biden was brutal and unnecessary, in my opinion. In the end, it made Castro look small and ageist and Biden look belligerent and bellicose and no voter was enlightened. If I could advise Dem candidates on how to debate I would use this example as how NOT to debate.

At one point or another after this exchange, Cory Booker pointed out that now is the time for these disagreements. This is true. This is primary season. But Castro went for the "you're a senile old man" line. That's bad.

This is a cleaned-up closed caption transcript. It is likely not complete, but in the interests of time I'm putting it here.

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Categories: Politics

Kamala Harris Puts Healthcare Focus On Trump: 'He's Going To Get Rid Of All Of It'

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 20:59

Tonight's healthcare debate looked a lot like the last one in the beginning. Bernie and Elizabeth Warren arguing for Medicare for All, Biden arguing to keep the ACA in place with tweaks, and everyone yelling at each other except for Amy Klobuchar.

Finally, GSteph turned to Senator Kamala Harris for her response. She offered one line of description of her plan and then the rest of her answer was a stark reminder that there's something more at stake than the battle between the ACA and Medicare for All.

Here's a rough transcript:

So, under my Medicare for All plan, people have the choice of a private plan or a public plan, because that's what people want. And I agree, we shouldn't take choice from people.

But here's the thing. Everybody on this stage, I do believe, is well-intentioned and wants that all Americans have coverage and recognizes that right now 30 million Americans don't have coverage. But at least five people have talked, some repeatedly on this subject, and not once have we talked about Donald Trump.

So let's talk about the fact that Donald Trump came into office and spent almost the entire first year of his term trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. We all fought against it and then the late, great John McCain, at that moment at about 2:00 in the morning, killed his attempt to take health care from millions of people in this country. Fast forward to today and what is happening? Donald Trump's Department of Justice is trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

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Categories: Politics

Open Thread: Democratic Presidential Debate From Houston

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 19:50

ABC News is streaming the debate on YouTube. They've disabled embeds and live chat for their outing, which is a shame.

ABC News:

On Thursday, the 10 highest-polling candidates will appear for a single night of debate in Houston hosted by ABC News and Univision -- the smallest roster yet in the third matchup of Democratic National Committee-sanctioned primary debates, with a field that still counts 20.

Debate thread below: who strikes you as the best? What answers are surprising? Who has the best line of the night?

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Categories: Politics

Throwback Thursday: Obama Asks Congress To Vote On Gun Legislation

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 14:21

February 12, 2013.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.
Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

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Categories: Politics

Pelosi Slams Kevin McCarthy For Supporting Trump Hotels

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 14:13

Everybody knows that if a Democrat did one-tenth of the self-dealing corruption that Donald Trump engages in daily, Kevin McCarthy would walk to the White House and set it on fire himself.

Never forget that McCarthy lost his chance to be House Speaker when he gave the game away that non-stop Benghazi hearings were specifically designed to hurt Hillary Clinton's poll numbers.

But Donald Trump won more Republican primary votes than any other Republican nominee in history, so...

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...Kevin McCarthy thinks staying in a Trump Hotel is just like a Marriott!

Categories: Politics

Chrissy Teigen Tells Ellen What Happened With 'President PAB'

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 13:42

And then there's this:

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

Father Of The Year Forgets He Has A Son With Melania

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 13:30

Comrade Prznint Stupid is taking the bold step of protecting children from gun violence.

Haha, I jest. He wants to stop the Yutes of Tomorrow from vaping:

“Hey Mom, you know where I can score some China White?,” said no kid ever. And they are not saying it about vaping.

And for those of you who say that our buffoon-in-chief has no heart, here he tells us the heart-warming story of how he was convinced to take this bold stand by once accidentally listening to Mel, you know, talk about her son:

Father of the Year.

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Categories: Politics

Also In Houston, Greenpeace Shuts Down Bridge Over Fossil Fuel

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:42

Just hours ahead of the Democratic Party primary debate taking place in Houston this evening, 22 activist climbers from Greenpeace blockaded the Fred Hartmann Bridge in Baytown, Texas just after dawn on Thursday morning in order to shutdown, they said, "the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare" in the country and demand presidential candidates takes a bold stance in favor of the Green New Deal and a rapid renewable energy transition.

"We're in a climate emergency created by fossil fuel CEOs and made worse by Trump. We can either take bold action to combat the climate crisis today or suffer the consequences—more floods, more mega-storms, and more fires—for years to come," said Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard in a statement.

Categories: Politics

CEOs Demand Action On Gun Legislation

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:11

Now comes the test. Is it just that the NRA runs the Republican Party in Washington, or do C-class beneficiaries of the Trump Tax Scam have more say in Washington than bereaved mothers of shooting victims? NBC:

A group of 145 CEOs from some of the largest companies in America have sent a letter to senators demanding they pass stronger gun control laws, calling firearm violence "a public health crisis that demands urgent action."

The letter, signed by the chief executives of Uber, Levi Strauss & Co., Twitter and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., among other companies, urges Congress to expand background checks and "red flag" laws, legislation that would enable law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from people deemed a danger to themselves or others...

The CEOs called on the Republican-controlled Senate to follow the House of Representatives' lead in passing a measure updating the background check system that Congress established 25 years ago. The bill, passed in the Democratic-controlled House in February, would require federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers.

Here's the full letter:

Categories: Politics

Trump Demands 0% 'Or Less' Interest Rates As He Again Blasts 'Boneheads' At Federal Reserve

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 11:53

It's not entirely clear why Donald Trump has been in an extended public and private meltdown these last weeks, but his behavioral downturn seems to coincide with increasingly grim-looking economic news suggesting the United States may not be far off from another recession. This is unacceptable news for Trump, who has made nonsensical bluster about having the "greatest" economy ever one of his core talking points. Unfortunately for him, he is an idiot, he has surround himself with other idiots, and nobody involved has a clue about what might be done to put an end to it—say, by not doubling and tripling down on new trade wars.

The one thing Trump does seem to have internalized is that low interest rates from the Federal Reserve boost the economy and higher rates slow it down. This has been enough to cause him to obsessively demand that the Fed lower rates now, right now, immediately, on his say-so. This continued today with a tweet-declaration that the Federal Reserve, and specifically chairman Jerome Powell, are "Boneheads," and that the Reserve "should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we could then start to refinance our debt."

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Categories: Politics

Neil Cavuto Compares Antifa(scist) Protests To Right Wing Extremist Massacres

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 11:28

Fox News host Neil Cavuto interviewed Pres. Obama's former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday. The two discussed the events of 9/11, and how the country is still actively pursuing all terrorist threats.

The two were very civil in their discussions as they were honoring the anniversary of 9/11, but as Jeh Johnson explained the newer threats being committed by right-wing nationalists, their discussion took a turn.

As Johnson repeatedly touched on the rise of right-wing terrorism Neil Cavuto became very uncomfortable.

Johnson explained that the terrorist threat still exists and has evolved since 9/11, and he emphasized the lone wolf attacks.

Johnson said, "Where we are challenged now are what I referred to as terrorist inspired attacks, the so-called lone wolf, inspired by something they see or read on the internet."

He continued, "Foreign terrorist organizations and then of late, violent right-wing nationalism which often inspires people and in fact, the anti-defamation league and others now track this and say that right-wing violent extremism, that type of violence -- is outpacing

Cavuto became uncomfortable that Johnson explained the spike in these white nationalist attacks under the Trump administration.

Neil cut in and said, "But there's also Antifa antifa and these other things. I mean nuts are nuts right, so I guess what I'm asking is whether you see anything of the magnitude happened 18 years ago happening again?"

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Categories: Politics

Nancy Pelosi Weekly Press Conference

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 11:06

Pelosi Holds First Press Conference After Summer Recess.

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Categories: Politics

LIVE STREAM: House Judiciary Panel Debates Impeachment Rules

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 09:28


The House Judiciary Committee will vote Thursday to establish rules for hearings on impeachment, escalating the panel’s investigations of President Donald Trump even as many Democrats remain wary of the effort.

The resolution is a technical step, and the panel would still have to introduce impeachment articles against Trump and win approval from the House to bring charges against Trump.

It’s unclear if that will ever happen, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged caution on the issue, saying the public still isn’t yet supportive of taking those steps.

[...] The committee says that the resolution is similar to procedural votes taken at the beginning of the impeachment investigations into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

“The adoption of these additional procedures is the next step in that process and will help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the president with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him,” Nadler said in a statement. “We will not allow Trump’s continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people.”

Categories: Politics

Seth Meyers Takes A Closer Look At Trump's Refusal To Allow Bahamians Into U.S.

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 09:11

Seth Meyers talked about Trump’s refusal to allow Bahamian refugees into the country in last night's A Closer Look segment.

"I'm sorry. So you think gang members and drug dealers snuck into the Bahamas, then hid out there and waited for a hurricane so they could eventually pretend to be refugees and sneak into the United States?" he said to Trump.

"Psst! I need to get this kilo of cocaine into the United States."

"No problem. Just take it to the Bahamas and then wait five years."

"The only people who have ever been in the Bahamas who weren't supposed to be in the Bahamas are old people who got on the wrong cruise. 'I thought we were going to Barbados!' "

Meyers pointed out that Trump has always conflated immigrants with criminals "despite the fact that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans."

"This is in many ways the central lie of his political career, and he repeated it again during a rally on Monday, even doing some crowd work with the audience in North Carolina.

One of the biggest issues in this election is, in fact, sanctuary cities. Sanctuary-city policies that force prisons and jails to release criminal aliens directly into your neighborhoods.

Get out. Go ahead. Go into the neighborhood.

[ Crowd booing ] Go into...

What's your neighborhood? Where do you live?


Rutherford County.

[ Cheers and applause ]

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Categories: Politics

Michael Cohen Agrees To Cooperate With Manhattan DA's Trump Org Probe

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 09:10

We can hope this actually turns into something, but we've all been burned on that. Here's CNN's reporting:

Officials from the district attorney's office, led by Cyrus Vance, interviewed Cohen at the federal prison in Otisville, New York, where he is serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to multiple crimes including campaign finance violations tied to payments to two women alleging affairs with Trump a decade ago. Trump has denied having affairs with the women.

The district attorney opened the investigation last month and sent subpoenas to the Trump Organization and American Media Inc. seeking documents and records relating to payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to silence their allegations ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The investigation is looking into whether the Trump Organization violated a New York state law involving false business records. Investigators are exploring whether the real estate company falsified its records in describing the reimbursement to Cohen for the payments.

Categories: Politics

Katy Tur Hammers Home The Importance Of Paid Family Leave

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 08:09

Katy Tur resumed her position as anchor of the 2 o'clock EST hour at MSNBC today, and she had some wisdom and perspective to share about her new reality.

Today is my first day back from maternity leave, which is either my first day back to work, or my first day OFF from that other job that I've been doing for the last five months, caring for my newborn.

How much do we love the frank and non-judgemental way she frames the fact that yes, caring for a baby is work, and for many people — WOMEN, even, some of them! — look forward to going back to their jobs as a day OFF from caring for that same newborn that is nonetheless the center of their universe and holder of their heart. She gave us real talk about the difficulty of the delivery (an unplanned c-section, incision infection, and the need to constantly breastfeed an underweight baby) and the state of near delirium it induced.

At one point in the hospital I was so tired, I started to live a kind of waking dream. I thought my mother-in-law was hiding under the bed. I thought a tall man was standing over me speaking German, I was sure of it! I told the nurses, thinking that they'd understand, maybe even chuckle. Instead they sent in a full psychiatric team to evaluate me. Spoiler alert: I was and still am sane.

(Well, I mean, who among us HASN'T been convinced their mother-in-law was hiding under the bed at some point or another? But I digress.)

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Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 08:01

Fair and Unbalanced: Reflections on the death of Osama bin Laden, on the anniversary of the attack.

John Pavlovitz: The lessons Trumpanzees are teaching their children.

The Debate Link: NC-09 is a reminder not to be over-confident about next year.

Earth-Bound Misfit: Marianne Williamson sounds suspiciously like a Republican.

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

Previewing Thursday's Democratic Debate

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 23:30

Be sure to join us tomorrow night for the livestream, our own poll, and lots of chat in comments. The Debate begins at 8 Eastern 5 Pacific.

Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

A 9/11 Letter From New York City

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 23:08

Many who were in the city on 9/11 haven't recovered, but some adapted to or disassociated from the day.

Images, sounds, smells, emotions, loss, fear, and confusion never stop haunting, yet they became part of the background hum. No matter how much a New Yorker who lived through it might say it's behind them — well, it's not. The memories come back in all forms.

Oddly, things that weren't funny at the time come to mind. A local television station called "11 Alive" lost its transmitter and the TV signal was stuck on their standard "technical difficulties" still frame. Which was a picture of the trade centers (that looked like an 11) with the perky "11 Alive" logo flying over them. Okay, in hindsight, that's pretty damn funny.

Other images are horrific. There were people covered with gray ash, walking up the street like zombies to get home, since there was no other form of transportation or any place to clean off the ashes. Most of them had a long road ahead. And, it seems, within hours, homemade fliers of missing loved ones went up everywhere. Just everywhere. Those flyers conveyed three kinds of sorrow. We all knew the people behind those faces were lost forever. We knew the survivors were in denial. We knew that we were all in denial.

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Charlie Rich

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 23:01

Heard word this morning that a mentor of mine from my teenage years has gone into hospice. The fellow has always had impeccable taste but he also had an affection for cheese.

One time years ago while visiting him, he had tonight's song in the music club playing on his record player. I kinda made a joke about it and them found myself getting schooled on the singer.

"Sure, the producer, Billy Sherrill, is responsible for turning a lot of country music into lounge schmaltz," he told me "but he had a great ear for singers with a lot of personality in their voices."

A week or so later I stopped by his shopfront to get some critiquing of a project I was working on at the time. H handed me a cassette with Charlie Rich written on it in ink pen and

"It's time for you to learn about this singer and where he came from."

The tape not only contained some of Charlie's Sherrill produced stuff from the '70s but mostly it was his rock-n-roll from the 1950s and 60s.

I thought about picking a song from the earlier part of Charlie's career in tribute to a guiding light of my youth this evening but "Rollin' With The Flow" seem the appropriate one for quite a few reasons.

What are you listening to tonight?

PS. Daniel Johnston has passed away. Our remembrance of him is here.

Categories: Politics