Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Donald Trump traveled to Mexico to meet with President Nieto and this is the only important take away.

That's right loud mouth Trump traveled all the way across that scary border and he was too chickenshit to bring up his signature campaign promise.

And oh, is he being excoriated over it.

Now we all just to have to sit back and wait to see how he misrepresents this in his speech about immigration tonight. Cause you know he will.

But even before he does that his visit is already causing serious political repercussions for his host: 

If President Enrique Peña Nieto invited Donald J. Trump to visit Mexico for a dialogue in the interest of democracy, the message has fallen on deaf ears. 

Instead, the predominant feeling here in the Mexican capital is one of betrayal. 

“It’s a historic error,” said Enrique Krauze, a well-known historian. “You confront tyrants, you don’t appease them.” 

On Mexico’s most popular morning television show on Wednesday, a livid Mr. Krauze likened the president’s meeting with Mr. Trump to the decision by Neville Chamberlain, then the British prime minister, to sit down with Hitler in Munich in 1938. 

“It isn’t brave to meet in private with somebody who has insulted and denigrated” Mexicans, Mr. Krauze said. “It isn’t dignified to simply have a dialogue.”

Damn it looks like Trump may have contracted the Palin curse, in that everything he touches will now turn to shit.

Gee I wonder how his opponents on the other side of the aisle are viewing Trump's visit to Mexico.

Yeah, that's what I thought.  

Sarah Palin is not even pretending that she is not regurgitating conspiracy theories from the Right Wing fringe anymore.

That's right folks, Info Wars.

That is the home of Alex Jones that tin hatted gargoyle who thinks the monsters under his bed are possessed by demons hired by Harry Reid.

This is the guy who literally thinks that Hillary Clinton is out to kill him.

And that is who Palin is now linking to on her Facebook page.

No longer is she bothering to link to The Independent Journal or Breitbart News.

Now she is simply bypassing them and going to the same lunatic asylum where they get THEIR stories.

Just like your crazy uncle who thinks that the fluoride in the water allows the government to read your thoughts.

And while Palin thinks it reasonable to panic her Facebook fans with news that Russia will position a military division only fifty miles from Alaska, she says not a word about their hacking of government agencies or their attempts to interfere in our election. 


Donald Trump is going to visit with the President of Mexico today. Oh this should go well.

Courtesy of CNN: 

Donald Trump is traveling to Mexico Wednesday to meet with the country's president just hours before he is set to deliver a speech focused on immigration policy.

"I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow," the Republican presidential nominee tweeted Tuesday. The office of the Mexican President confirmed in a tweet late Tuesday night that Trump had accepted Peña Nieto's invitation and that the two will meet privately.

As it turns out President Nieto sent an invitation to both Clinton and Trump. So far Trump is the only one to have accepted.

I imagine that Hillary is sitting back like the rest of us to watch this debacle unfold.

However she has been sending out tweets just to remind Mexico of just who is creeping across their border today.

Isn't she helpful?

Already the former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, has expressed his displeasure with this visit. And he is not alone.

 I imagine that right about now members of Trump's Secret Service detail are strapping bullet proof vests on over their bullet proof vests and calling their families to tell them they love them and to remember them fondly.

As for Trump he is probably preparing in his typical fashion.

I don't want anything to happen to the bloated orange buffoon, I really don't.

But you have to admit that it would be karmic if anything were to happen.

Former Bernie Sanders supporter admits that he allowed himself to be brainwashed by Republican anti-Hillary propaganda.

Courtesy of Social Justice for All: 

Let me be as candid and transparent as possible: I was a very strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, and until the past four weeks, held out great hope that he would become our next President. Over the course of the past month, I have had to do a great deal of reflecting and ask myself where does this seemingly irrational antipathy for Hillary Clinton come from? Why have I participated in it? After doing some research and looking hard at systemic misogyny, I have had to confront myself with the truth that I bought into a narrative about Hillary Clinton that has been produced, packaged, and perpetuated by mostly the GOP with the help of many democrats and independents. 

This narrative is a 30-year-old vilification of a woman who is bright, independent, wealthy, and powerful — a woman who asks for what she wants and needs. How very dare you, Ms. Clinton? How dare you have a mind of your own? How dare you be bright and powerful? How dare you ask for what you want and need? Don’t you know these rights are still exclusively for white, Christian, cisgender, able-bodied, heterosexual men? 

My research indicates that the reality — the facts (I realize facts are immaterial when talking to many Trump supporters) — are that Hillary Clinton is one of the most honest politicians tracked by the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking project Politifact.

I never tire of sharing this graphic.
 The author sums up his remarks thusly: 

I truly believe that Hillary and her platform are beneficial to targeted communities: people of color, people in poverty, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ people, and all of the intersecting identities thereof. She is a hard-working, fundamentally honest person for whom — as she so nicely framed it — “the service part has always come easier than the public part.” 

This article is actually from the beginning of this month, but I thought it important enough to share with all of you this morning. 

You see the thing that all of us who support Hillary have had to contend with is this deeply ingrained belief that Hillary is untrustworthy, a liar, a cheat, etc.

I actually came up against that with my own daughter who was adamant that Hillary was deeply, deeply flawed.

However when I asked her for examples she kept resorting to responses like "You just know by looking at her," or "You just feel it," and "Everything she says feels like a lie."

In the end she really could not provide any factual examples (Except the Bosnia sniper story. That really was bullshit.), in the end she had to admit that most of her "feelings" about Hillary's trustworthiness were the result of the opinions of her friends, and not really based on actual empirical evidence.

The thing that is so frustrating is that these opinions are baked into the narrative about Hillary Clinton.

And even after you reveal that the bakers were the folks at Fox News, or The Drudge Report, or Info Wars it is still a struggle to undo that perception and correct all of those lies.

Which of course is exactly what those bakers were counting on when they first fired up the ovens. 

Donald Trump hates undocumented immigrants. Unless they are hot women working for his modeling agency.

Courtesy of Mother Jones:  

Republican nominee Donald Trump has placed immigration at the core of his presidential campaign. He has claimed that undocumented immigrants are "taking our jobs" and "taking our money," pledged to deport them en masse, and vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border. At one point he demanded a ban on Muslims entering the country. Speaking to supporters in Iowa on Saturday, Trump said he would crack down on visitors to the United States who overstay their visas and declared that when any American citizen "loses their job to an illegal immigrant, the rights of that American citizen have been violated." And he is scheduled to give a major address on immigration in Arizona on Wednesday night. 

But the mogul's New York modeling agency, Trump Model Management, has profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here, according to three former Trump models, all noncitizens, who shared their stories with Mother Jones. Financial and immigration records included in a recent lawsuit filed by a fourth former Trump model show that she, too, worked for Trump's agency in the United States without a proper visa. 

Founded in 1999, Trump Model Management "has risen to the top of the fashion market," boasts the Trump Organization's website, and has a name "that symbolizes success." According to a financial disclosure filed by his campaign in May, Donald Trump earned nearly $2 million from the company, in which he holds an 85 percent stake. Meanwhile, some former Trump models say they barely made any money working for the agency because of the high fees for rent and other expenses that were charged by the company.

The Trump modeling agency also encouraged the girls to lie about their immigration status if asked and once of the former models said this: "Honestly, they are the most crooked agency I've ever worked for, and I've worked for quite a few."

Some of these models were as young as 14 years old and they were warehoused in small dormitory style apartments for which they were overcharged.  There were other fees requested of the young ladies and after they were paid it left virtually no money left over.

Gee another Trump scandal? It must be Wednesday.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I know, I know, "How is this helping to elect Hillary Clinton?"

Next couple of posts I promise.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It is appears that there is little to no chance that the Bernie Sanders backed candidate will defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida. And that's not all. Update!

Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — the former head of the Democratic Party — appears to be leading by about 10 points in her primary against progressive challenger Tim Canova. 

Canova was backed by Bernie Sanders in a Miami area district that overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary. Some progressives say the fact that the race is even that close is a win of sorts for their movement. (Thought not, as of now, an actual win, in the sense of receiving more votes.)

Oddly enough while Schultz has had both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden out campaigning with her, Sanders has not bothered to show up to support Canova.

And though former aides to Bernie Sanders did work on the campaign for a short time, they all left abruptly with no reason given as to why.

As I have said in the past I am not exactly a huge fan of Wasserman Schultz, but neither am I terribly critical of her time as head of the DNC.

Ultimately I think it is good for the Democrats that Schultz wins this race and that it sends the kind of message which I am sure the Republican party would have liked to have sent to the Tea Party back in 2010.

The last thing the Democratic party needs right now is their own version of a grass roots revolution challenging their every decision and playing the obstructionist when the party needs to negotiate of compromise with the Republicans in order to move forward.

In other news it appears that Sanders has no intention of giving up his mailing list, even though it could greatly benefit the party which graciously allowed him to run in their primary.

Courtesy of Roll Call: 

Despite his plan to help the Senate Democrats win a majority, Sanders still intends to draw the line on support somewhere: He will not turn his donor list over to the DSCC. 

Instead, according to a source, he will send his own fundraising pitches on behalf of candidates.

So clearly Sanders wants to "help," but only so much, and only those candidates who pass his litmus test.

He clearly has no intention of giving away his bargaining power.

Another recent event in the world of Bernie Sanders was the release of a study which claims to show that he would have won the primary by a landslide if not for Targeted voter suppression, Registration tampering, Illegal voter purges, voting machine tampering, and unsecured voting machines.

Now if your bullshit meter started pinging, good for you, because as the folks at Daily Kos and Reddit quickly pointed out the poll was conducted by unqualified individuals, with no experience, and with a very obvious agenda.

From one Daily Kos visitor put it:  

Wow, I just did some searching on Election Justice USA (which appears to have been established in April 2016), and found it’s staff had some VERY impressive credentials. One of the main authors of the report is Lulu Fries’dat, who’s claims she is an “Investigative Journalist”, but who’s IMDB page lists her as an editor, who’s many contributions to investigative journalism include: 

“In 2004, she developed, directed and edited a series of voter registration public service announcements for VH1 featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. “ 

Seems legit! 

I love the smell of bullshit propaganda in the morning... 

Do you think 3 months is enough time to do an analysis of primary elections in all 50 states for a new unknown organization? Hmm…. I doubt it.

The problem with this, besides the sloppy methodology, is that it perpetuates the same myth which the Republicans are pushing, and that is that the Democratic party is corrupt and Hillary Clinton cheated to win the nomination, and will cheat again to win the general.

While in fact we are seeing in real time the Russian government attempting to cheat on Trump's behalf, and the Republicans resorting to every dirty trick in the book.

So these never say die Bernie supporters, whether they know it or not, are essentially working in tandem with the Republican party and the Russian government to undermine American democracy.

If we really want to keep this country moving towards progressive goals we need to work together to fight against foreign hackers and GOP merry tricksters to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.

If there are liberals who do not yet understand that cold hard fact, they might want to go up to the nearest mirror and ask themselves who they really are, and what they really believe.

Update: Schultz has won her primary.

So apparently nobody is feeling the Bern in Florida.

Trump spokesperson claims that Hillary Clinton is bigoted toward white bigots.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

According to the pundit, Trump had been right to call Clinton a “bigot” because the term was not only about racial discrimination. 

“Bigotry, if you look at the definition, it’s about someone who’s small-minded and sits there and directs hate towards a certain group,” she explained. “Hillary Clinton’s speech [attacking alt-right conservatives] was all about hate towards a group that, while my fellow counterpart might consider them to be very racist, it’s the exact opposite.” 

“These are God-fearing, baby-loving, gun-toting, military-supporting, school choice-advocating Americans!” Hughes added. “And just because maybe there might be some, a part of a very small fringe group [of white supremacists] that read Breitbart — by sitting there and saying the entire website is white supremacy is kind of ridiculous as saying just because you have people that are anarchists and communists that read the Huffington Post, calling that newspaper establishment, [is like] saying that they’re pro-anarchy and they’re against the United States government.”

Damn! I wonder if she also hit her head while out rock running?

Now if you're thinking to yourself that this person seems vaguely familiar if may be due to the fact that SNL did a parody of her back in April.

Okay is it still considered a parody if you cannot tell the difference from the real thing?

So is Russia now trying to influence the outcome of this election by hacking state databases? Maybe.

Courtesy of Yahoo: 

The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials. 

The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections. 

Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department’s help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cybersecurity experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a “readout” of the call released by the department. 

Johnson emphasized in the call that Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” to the election, officials said. But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, titled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. “It was an eye opener,” a senior law enforcement official said of the bureau’s discovery of the intrusions. “We believe it’s kind of serious, and we’re investigating.”

Though the bulletin does not name the states that were hacked sources are saying that they were Illinois and Arizona.

The document also does not come out and name Russia as the perpetrators of these actions, but in light of the previous hacks it stands to reason that they might be involved.

If true about Russia this would be perhaps the most blatant attempt by a foreign power to alter the outcome of an American election in this country's history.

Newsweek posted an article yesterday that lays out Putin's game plan: 

“The target of the hacks wasn’t just Clinton,” Eerik-Niiles Kross, the former head of Estonian intelligence, wrote in a recent essay in Politico. “Nor is Moscow much interested in supporting Trump (willing useful idiot though he may be). What the Russians have in their sights is nothing less than the democratic fabric of American society and the integrity of the system of Western liberal values…. The political warfare of the Cold War is back—in updated form, with meaner, more modern tools, including a vast state media empire in Western languages, hackers, spies, agents, useful idiots, compatriot groups, and hordes of internet trolls.”

In other words, Trump is merely a useful stooge in the Kremlin’s grand design to encourage NATO disunity, U.S. isolationism and the breakup of Europe. In practice, all the effort of Russian-sponsored hackers, think tankers and propaganda channels is unlikely to have much real effect and on balance have probably harmed Trump’s chances of getting into the White House. But the effort is real. As Kross put it, “Russia is effectively using our democracies and our systems of rule of law against us…. America, welcome to the war.”

"A useful stooge" as if we needed yet another reason to keep Trump out of the White House.

Trump supporter tweets racist cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface. Surprise twist: He's a black pastor.

Courtesy of Chron: 

An African-American supporter of Donald Trump tweeted a cartoon on Monday of Hillary Clinton in blackface, seemingly mocking her outreach to black voters. 

"Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again .. See you again in 4 years," Pastor Mark Burns tweeted Monday. The tweet was later deleted. 

The photo attached has Clinton, with her face painted black, standing in front of a podium holding a sign reading, "#@!* the police" and "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans." 

At first Burns tried to defend the tweet:

"I am standing behind that picture," Burns said. "We as African-Americans, we need to make Democrats fight for our vote. We need to make them fight for us. We need to make them do what they say they are gonna do, because we are just as valuable as every race in the great state of the United States of America and we're not treated that way."

And then Burns also tweeted this image:

Yes, that's a photoshopped image and has nothing to do with Bill and Hillary.

Later Burns, or perhaps somebody in the campaign, decided that he better apologize:  

CNN's Alisyn Camerota prefaced her question with Burns by remarking, "This is allegedly, it claimed to be of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in black face. This is not true. This has been disproven and debunked time and again. This has surfaced in previous presidential races. So why share it?" 

"Well, obviously you know I think in reference to that particular post — of course, I didn't have the correct information knowing that it wasn't Bill Clinton," Burns said in an interview with CNN's "New Day." "And I apologize for that as well, for posting incorrect information. Again, I think that's what the true message of grace is, that you know once you discover new information, you are quickly to change your opinion and get back on the right path. And that's what I'm doing right now to the whole world, is to say, listen, in my sincere heart of hearts, my job as a pastor is to draw people together, not push them away." 

Burns added that once he realized "how it was pulling people apart," he regretted retweeting the image, which was still on his Twitter page at the time of the interview. 

"But we need to begin to see each other just as Americans and really, really stop focusing on the things that divide us," Burns continued. "And that message was a divisive message. And once I discovered how divisive it was — this is not the campaign talking, this is not somebody yelling in my ear saying you need to take that down or this is Mark Burns all by himself, who truly loves people. And I love this country and I believe in Donald Trump for president." 

You know I would actually argue that it is impossible to "love this country" and then "believe in Donald Trump for president." 

I swear the only non-white male supporters that Donald Trump can find to defend his campaign are self loathing women, and racist against minorities minorities.

Hey remember when we used to think of the Associated Press as a non-partisan news outlet?

So yeah this is an AP executive editor admitting that a story is misleading and refusing to alter it.

Here by the way is what the AP got wrong on that story: 

The AP analysis includes only 154 meetings. It excludes all meetings with domestic and foreign government officials — the people who a Secretary of State spends most of her time meeting.

Clinton actually participated in over 1700 meetings as secretary of state during that time period. That means, in truth, fewer than 5% of Clinton’s meetings as Secretary of State were with Clinton Foundation donors. (The AP’s story also does not allege that any of those meetings were improper.) 

Nevertheless, the AP refused to delete the tweet.

And here is the original tweet that the AP refuses to correct.
Gee if I did not know any better I might think that the AP was trying to purposefully create a false narrative.

You know if this were the only recent transgression perhaps we could let this slide.

But it is not.

Okay seriously I have used the AP quite frequently here on the blog, did something change or have they always been secretly working for the GOP?

Ever wonder why there are all of those erectile dysfunction ads on TV during prime time? Here you go.

While I appreciate Vice attempting to be even handed here, I actually think these advertisement have dome more harm than they are reporting in this piece.

As a matter of fact the AMA wants them banned completely: 

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially-driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” AMA board chair-elect Patrice A. Harris said in a statement Tuesday. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”

Yeah, no shit.

In my opinion not only are these ads completely distasteful but they also feed into a kind of national hypochondria which otherwise healthy Americans that they need a pill to somehow improve their lives.

What most of them need is a gym membership and a self driving car that refuses to take them to McDonalds or Pizza Hut.

Just a reminder to my fellow Alaskans before this upcoming election.

How to vote in Alaska: 

The deadline to register is in 42 days, on Oct. 9. 

You can vote by mail, early or on Election Day, Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 8. 

When you go to vote, bring your identification. This ID does not have to include a photo.

This might seem silly, but you would be surprised at how many people do not know these dates or the pertinent information.