Crooks and Liars
How many Republican members of Congress would like to hang from the end of a rope until Donald Trump did or said something that brought better healthcare to Americans?
Monday the stable genius told a group of governors at the White House that the coronavirus, which has killed over nine hundred people and infected over 40,000 is going to go away in April. Because it will be warmer weather in April. No, really.
DONALD TRUMP: A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat. As the heat comes in. Typically that will go away in April. We're in great shape, though.
The head of the World Health Organization disagrees:
In an evolving public health emergency, all countries must step up efforts to prepare for #2019nCoV’s possible arrival and do their utmost to contain it should it arrive. This means lab capacity for rapid diagnosis, contact tracing and other tools in the public health arsenal.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 9, 2020
Any time Tiffany Cross opens her mouth to tell us something we need to pipe down and listen. She had some words on AM Joy yesterday about how the media continues to screw up coverage of Hair Fürer and obsess over the Trump voter. As if there was some mystery surrounding his appeal to them. As if there aren't blaring alarm sirens like Neo-Nazis marching in DC — this damn weekend.
As if somehow it's acceptable for the consumers of media to hear the Orange Twitler's rants about carnage in the streets, "shithole" countries, "bullshit" impeachment, and public threats to intimidate Congressional witnesses, yet NOT ACCEPTABLE for media to call what they're seeing racism, lies, propaganda, concentration camps at the border, fascism, dictatorship, and misogyny without being filtered through the network or possibly fired.
And this is just from our own side! How was it NOT acceptable for Speaker Pelosi to rip up those lies on national TV? How is it NOT okay to let white people know they need to be better and see this America for what it is? How has it EVER helped to swaddle the shallow racist thinker and say, "There, there, tell us how you FEEL. We just want to UNDERSTAND you better? What are YOUR anxieties?" while the one they voted for is empowered even further to imprison brown people coming to America begging for help, and investigate patriots for telling the truth?REID: And just yesterday you had white nationalists do a march right down Downtown D.C.
CROSS: In my hood!
Above, Assistant Treasury Secretary Monica Crowley (yeah) explains (to ten-million-a-year Stuart Varney) Trump's 2021 budget cuts to health care this way: "The president also understands that Washington's habit of out of control spending without consequence has to be stopped."
How will announcing cuts to nursing home residents and the elderly work for Trump in an election year?
We're about to find out.
Trump released his "budget" for 2021, and it includes huge cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability. It also includes money for his "wall," (the one that blew over into Mexico and also needs to have open gates several months a year for flood control.)
Most remarkable is that the cuts match almost dollar-for-dollar the tax cuts Trump has provided to the billioniare class.
We now know that a handful of Republican senators were, in fact, alarmed by Donald Trump's Friday firings of government officials who testified to House impeachment investigators about Trump's Ukrainian extortion scheme. More accurately, we now know that a bare handful of Republican senators were concerned only about the firing of U.S Ambassador Gordon Sondland, while remaining unconcerned by Trump's removal of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, who did not testify.
The likely reason? Gordon Sondland, unlike the others, was a big-money Republican campaign donor.
The New York Times is reporting that Republican Sens. Susan Collins (yes, Susan Collins), Thom Tillis, Martha McSally and Ron Johnson contacted the White House to try to halt Sondland's firing. Sondland, who was made a U.S. ambassador after giving $1 million to Trump’s own inaugural fund, was signaling he was planning to resign; the Republican senators wanted Sondland to be given a graceful exit. That was not to be: a vengeful, frothing Trump was insistent on making a public example of him.
Why were the senators concerned about Sondland but not the others? Sondland, reports the Times, was "a donor to Mr. Tillis and other Republicans."
Here's what the next ten months are going to be like.
Senators don't have nearly the stamina or the staff to hold investigations like the House does. Senate Committees are supposed to be about ratifying judges and other federal appointments. House committees are about oversight and bills.
But Republicans don't have the House.
All they have is the Senate, Trump (yeah), and Fox News.
So scraping the bottom of that barrel we find Steve Hilton hosting Rep. Matt Gaetz, Sara Carter, Lisa Boothe and Sen. Marsha Blackburn. This dim panel accuses Sen. Ed Markey of being on "Burisma's payroll."
And they imagine the Senate and DOJ's plans to do a political hit job on the Bidens.
We should be concerned about DOJ.
One of the things media figures really need to shine more light on and investigate further is how complicit Bill Barr and the DOJ are in all of this. https://t.co/LGq3oCQKdc
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) February 9, 2020
Sunday night Fox as a proxy for a real investigation only works in the minds of Fox Newisicans. Sad!
And Matt Gaetz pretends that Senate Democrats have all this nepotism, ignoring the White House?
Brad Pitt was a winner last night in more ways than one.
He won best supporting actor for his delightful portrayal of a Hollywood stuntman/sidekick in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." And then he won the night for his joke at the expense of the Republican Senate.
"They told me I only have forty-five seconds up here, which is forty-five seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week." said Pitt.
And Brad Pitt won the morning too, as Fox and Friends took Brad Pitt's defense of JOHN BOLTON as a swipe against CONSERVATIVES. It'll hurt your brain!
Ainsley Earhardt dumbly complains that Brad Pitt "alienate[d] half the people who watch his movies" by criticizing Trump and the Senate GOP. pic.twitter.com/VbVuJ0UKKt
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 10, 2020
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has become a target of Republicans after participating in the president’s impeachment hearings. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested that Vindman, who was forced out of his White House position, likely leaked information about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme to the original whistleblower who outed the crime.
However, there is no evidence to support Graham’s theory.
“What have I learned in the last two years?” Graham told CBS host Margaret Brennan. “As to Col. Vindman, he was not allowed to be asked questions about his alleged connections to the alleged whistleblower.”
“He was asked,” Brennan interjected. “And he denied it.”
The CBS host pointed out that Vindman’s twin brother was also removed from the administration although he had no role in the Ukraine scandal.
“Nobody knows this!” Graham exclaimed. “I can promise you this, he has never been asked questions like, ‘Did you leak to the whistleblower?’ People in his chain of command have been suspicious of him regarding his political point of view.”
Brennan reminded Graham that the Trump administration is on record saying there were no leaks from the National Security Council.
A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917.
Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.”
Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean.
These people are the destruction of America.
— Jon Miller (@MillerStream) February 10, 2020
Fairly predictable from the far-right loons, when easily the Best Picture of the year won the Oscar last night. That it just happened to be made in a foreign language and setting proved to be to much to bear for this Blaze TV host.
Source: New Civil Rights Movement
Prayer is supposed to bring people together, at least that’s the promise. But in practice it’s often the opposite. During the Civil Rights Movement, for example, it was frequently noted that Sunday mornings were the most segregated time of the week. Today’s military reveals another contradiction—how coercive prayer events undermine the very cohesion they’re allegedly supposed to promote. While Trump’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast has sparked widespread controversy, there are close to a thousand similar prayer breakfasts and luncheons being held at military bases across the country and around the world, and those events—barely noticed by the wider civilian world—always embody some degree of that contradiction, which is closely monitored by Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
This year, at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, the local Air Force commander, Colonel Jeremiah S. Heathman, clearly crossed a bright line, where informal social pressure crosses over into conduct that’s clearly prohibited, in order to protect the religious freedom of all who serve under him.
“It should be the chapel running a prayer breakfast, not the command,” MRFF President Mikey Weinstein told Crooks and Liars. [See Heathman’s invitation here.] “Both the sender of the invitation and the prayer breakfast's speaker are high ranking (one officer and one NCO) in command positions, and are clearly in violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1.” As a result, fifteen individuals—Christian and non-Christian alike—reached out for MRFF’s help.
Good morning Crooks and Liars! I'd like to take a moment, here at the top of the post to ask everyone to check their voter status; I'll wait. The primaries are upon us and given all the usual suspects with all the usual voter suppression techniques and the Kremlin's interest in our democracy, it's better to be safe than sorry. On to the links!
Blue Heron Blast reminds us of the de facto tyranny of the minority that's built into our gubmint: it's more than the Electoral College: it's the Senate, too.
eVille Times reviews the human and dollar costs of our longest, on-going war.
The Psy of Life reports to us from China on the impact of the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.
Bonus Track: Celia Rivenbark wants to spend a minute with Melania. Is it too much to ask?
Round-up by Tengrain who blogs at Mock, Paper, Scissors. You can follow Tengrain on the Twitters, too. Send tips, requests, and suggestions to email@example.com (with For MBRU in the subject line).
March 3 isn't just Super Tuesday for the presidential candidates, it is also the big day for many congressional candidates all over the country. One of the best candidates Blue America has endorsed, Mike Siegel-- who has the best chance to replace a toxic Trump enabler (Michael McCaul)-- needs some help with his field campaign. Blue America wants to help him raise some money for that and we're going to offer this double platinum Green Day Insomniac award.
This is an RIAA-certified award for 2 million albums sold and it was awarded to their label president Howie Klein, now the treasurer of the Blue America PAC.
Spent a good chunk of the weekend downsizing the many things that have collected in my house over the last 20 plus years of living here. I've still got a bit to go but I feel a lot of progress was made. It has to get done as we're moving in April and I want to get the place on the market by the end of February.
What I can't give to friends, donate or recycle is going to the curb. The garbage man has gotta be hating me by now.
What are you listening to tonight>
Donald Trump’s removal of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, his brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was not a “massacre” in the spirit of what happened with Richard Nixon’s dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Because what raised the body count in Nixon’s case was that his own people resigned rather than carry out clearly immoral orders. That’s not a problem for Trump.
The whole story of Donald Trump’s occupation of the White House has been one in which every unit of the government—from the EPA to the DOJ to the State Department—has been systematically cleansed of competency in favor of reflexive obedience. So naturally no one at the White House had a second thought about escorting out a decorated veteran for the crime of speaking the truth, or another veteran for the crime of being related to someone Trump doesn’t like. And just as naturally, Trump had no hesitation in owning these actions.
But what Trump has done so far, may be just a hint of the destruction to come, and what he’s already done to the intelligence agencies represents a looming threat from both inside and outside the nation.
Every time Trump plumbs new depths of odiousness, his staff makes a scramble to create an excuse. On Friday, that excuse was that Vindman wasn’t being let go because he obeyed a congressional subpoena; it was all just part of a “shrinking” of Trump’s already wildly reduced White House staff.
I have a confession to make: I don't often go to the movies. I've always preferred the comfort of my own recliner, large screen TV and homemade popcorn to the spectacle of waiting in line for tickets....oh, wait. This year I discovered I didn't have to do that anymore, but could reserve a big cushy recliner and have actual movie popcorn and I WOULD LIVE TO SEE ANOTHER DAY.
So I ventured out to see Little Women, whose director was snubbed in the Oscar nomination round this year. I'm sure it had nothing to do with her gender, right? Because I dragged my husband to that movie despite him never having read the book and having no clue what was happening, I agreed to see 1917 with him as recompense.
I must say, that movie was a lot like a D&D adventure set in World War I. It was very good, but so incredibly intense. Also it could have used a bit more dialogue.
Anyway, that's Karoli's Great Movie Adventure of 2020. Now the films, performers, technicians, musicians and directors and producers are lining up with hopes of a lovely golden statuette for them tonight.
ABC is broadcasting the ceremony live, but if you pulled the plug on cable you can watch via these sites with an account. If you don't have an account, you can sign up for a free trial to watch.
Here's the list of nominees, via ABC:
Remember that whole "impeachment thing" where Donald Trump was actually impeached (and then not exonerated) for withholding military aid to Ukraine until they put out a statement that they were investigating Hunter Biden, the son of Trump's potential Presidential rival, Joe Biden? Well, if anyone (cough Susan Collins cough) thought Donald Trump learned anything from his acquittal (not exoneration) just 4 days ago, they were wrong.
Just this morning, Lindsey Graham was on Face the Nation and told Margaret Brennan that Rudy "the Mouth" Giuliani continues to try to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine and that Graham is encouraging him to turn that information over to Bill Barr at the DOJ. Here is what he said:SEN. GRAHAM: So Rudy Giuliani last night said he's got the goods on Hunter Biden. I called the attorney general this morning and Richard Burr, the chairman of the Intel Committee, and they told me take very cautiously anything coming out of the Ukraine against anybody...But if Rudy Giuliani has any information coming out of the Ukraine, he needs to turn over the Department of Justice because it could be Russian propaganda.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You last time you're on this program now in December, you said Giuliani should come to the Judiciary Committee with what he said was a suitcase full of documents he picked up in Ukraine on the Bidens. Are you saying you don't want any part of this anymore?
More heads on a pike for anyone that dared to defy Trump and tell the truth to Congress during the House impeachment hearings. The hosts of Fox & Friends brought on a military veteran this Sunday to go after the highly decorated Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and smear him for supposedly being a selfish attention-seeker that they tried to "peer out" during his time in Army Ranger School now that Vindman has been ousted from the NSC in retaliation for testifying by Trump.
This is a claim that was first made on Twitter by so-called men's rights activist and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who accused Vindman of being a "lazy chow thief" but said he didn't want to "out his sources."
During Ranger School, LTC Vindman kept getting low peer ratings because “he was lazy and a chow thief,” a Ranger School classmate of Vindman has said.
Battalion Rangers wanted him out, said he was POS.
I won’t out sources but here is class picture. pic.twitter.com/gi3kLs4Qhz
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) November 19, 2019
Joy Ann Reid had a stellar panel on Sunday's AM Joy to discuss the media's continued inability to cover Donald Trump in any reasonable and truthful way. Treating him as if he is a "normal" President* is pathetic, as we all know, but many in the media are too scared to call him a liar, a cheat or a danger to our country - three things which he is.
On Fox Nation, host Tom Shillue declared that Nancy Pelosi ripping up the State of the Union speech was worse than “the worst thing Trump has ever done, “including that tape” in which he bragged about “grabbing women by p****” and sexually assaulting women because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
Media Matters caught Shillue earlier this week:SHILLUE: I don't think people should clutch their pearls over [Pelosi]. But the idea - you should bring attention to it because all people seem to talk about is Donald Trump and his lack of decorum. Has he ever done anything in the ballpark of ripping up a speech like that on TV? I'm trying to think of the worst thing Trump has ever done, including that tape of him from NBC. What has he done that is lacking in decorum more than that?
Cohost Britt McHenry agreed, “nothing more than that.”
This is the same McHenry who recently filed a sexual harassment complaint accusing Fox of an inadequate response to her sexual harassment allegations against her former cohost, Tyrus. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham told Fox's Jeanine Pirro to "just hang tight" as he prepares to help Trump take revenge on his political enemies by hauling them in front of his committee with the help of Trump's corrupt DOJ.
Graham told Pirro he's going to give Barr a list of witnesses which includes everyone from the whistleblower, to Comey, to McCabe to Yates, to Obama, to the Bidens, to you name it, and expect this list to grow before it's over.
Here's what it looks like when Democracy dies from this Saturday's Justice with Judge Jeanine.PIRRO: Let's talk about now. Let's switch it to the you guys. Now we know that there... do we expect that you as chairman of Judiciary or Burr, chairman of Intelligence may want to look at the whistleblower or may want to look at the Bidens? I know Treasury has subpoenaed Hunter Biden's financial records. But James Reese apparently does doesn't have an appetite... he says, of course he is the chair of Foreign Relations, and he says, “I've got other things I'm doing now and I haven't given it any thought.”
“Haven't given it any thought”?!! America's been talking about this for three months!
GRAHAM: So, we're are not going to live in a world where as a Republican you get investigated from the day you get sworn in, three years later they are still coming after you. Here's what amazes me. The Russian investigation. What happened? Half the people behind the Russian investigation are going to go to jail and Trump was cleared.