Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another woman has come forward to point a finger at Al Franken.

Courtesy of CNN:

According to Menz, she attended the Minnesota State Fair with her husband and father in the summer of 2010, almost two years after Franken was elected to the Senate. Her father's small business was sponsoring a local radio booth, and she spent the day meeting various elected officials, political candidates and celebrities and taking photos with them as they stopped by the booth.

When Franken walked in, Menz and her husband, who also spoke with CNN, said they recognized him right away. Menz said she had a brief and cordial exchange with the senator. 

Then, as her husband held up her phone and got ready to snap a photo of the two of them, Franken "pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear," Menz said. "It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek." 

"It wasn't around my waist. It wasn't around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt," she said, recalling that the brazen act lasted three or four seconds. "I was like, oh my God, what's happening." 

"He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him," said her husband Jeremy Menz, who didn't see what happened behind his wife. "He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick." 

Lindsay Menz told CNN that she walked away as soon as the photo was taken, without saying anything to the then-first term senator. When she reconnected with her husband moments later, she told him: "He totally grabbed my butt." Jeremy Menz described that conversation the same way to CNN.

Okay, really?

This sounds more like accidental hand placement than it does an actual groping.

Gee, it's kinda like the conservatives are desperate to inflate every perceived transgression, no matter how minor, supposedly committed by a well known liberal so that they can direct faux outrage at them in order to divert attention away from an Alabama Senate candidate who is accused of pedophilia and multiple episodes of sexual harassment and assault.

Yeah, yeah it feels very much like that.

For his part Al Franken has of course apologized, because that is the kind of guy he is:

"I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture," Franken said. "I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."

I will assume that the next allegation will be a woman claiming sexual assault because Franken's elbow inadvertently brushed her boob while he was signing an autograph. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Trump's National Security Adviser says he has the intelligence of a "kindergartner."

Courtesy of Buzzfeed:

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation. 

Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said. 

A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council. 

Both Oracle and the Trump administration heatedly denied the comments that Catz later recounted.

Keep in mind that just last month Rex Tillerson, Trump's Secretary of State, was also reported to have called Trump "a moron."

At this point I am ALWAYS going to believe other sources as opposed to officials in this White House simply because lying seems to be job one with them.

And in addition to that we can all see for ourselves that Trump is a fucking moron, so how could we not think that members of his cabinet also see that he is a fucking moron?

We have seen numerous reports in the past that Trump is surrounded by babysitters whose job it is to keep him from destroying his presidency, or the country, from within.

I tend to give a lot more validity to those rather than assurances from this White House that it a giant love fest and that everybody respects the president and admires the job he is doing.

P.S. You knew this was coming.

So predictable.

The British publicist who set up the meeting between Junior and the Russian attorney now claims he was a "useful idiot." I buy that.

Courtesy of The Independent:  

The British music publicist who arranged a meeting between Donald Trump's inner circle and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton has insisted he was a merely "useful idiot" who became inadvertently embroiled in the scandal. 

Rob Goldstone has agreed to be questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the meeting, which is at the heart of a probe into alleged collusion between Mr Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin. 

The publicist emailed the US leader's son, Donald Trump Jr, last year offering "official" Russian documents he claimed would "incriminate" Hillary Clinton and "be very useful to your father".

......

In his first interview since the scandal erupted, Mr Goldstone said he regretted his involvement but insisted he had merely been a "useful idiot". 

"I never thought in a million years that an email I wrote to [Donald Trump Jr]... would be examined by the world many times over," he told The Sunday Times. "I should have listened to that little voice in my head. I remember specifically saying to Emin: you know, we probably shouldn't get involved in this." 

He said the meeting at Trump Tower ended inconclusively, adding he believed the Russians used the promise of dirt on Ms Clinton as a "pretext" to lobby the Trump campaign on unrelated issues.

Mr Goldstone claimed he "puffed up" the wording of his emails to Mr Trump Jr to secure the meeting. 

"If I'm guilty of anything, and I hate the word guilty, it's hyping the message and going the extra mile for my clients," the publicist added.

Goldstone claims that he does not know of any other collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign but that if there was he had no part in it. 

It really does not make any difference if Goldstone "puffed up" the wording or not, the important thing is that Junior thought he was taking a meeting with the Russians in order to receive illegally obtained information that could be used against his father's opponent, because the Kremlin wanted them to win the election.

Collusion.

Sean Hannity loses it on Twitter after CNN interviews the president of Media Matters about their campaign to get advertisers to stop supporting his Fox News show.

This was the interview that caused the Hannity Twitter tirade.

And this was the result.




As Salon points out these claims that Angelo Carusone is racist, bigot, or anti-semite do not seem to have any basis in fact: 

For about a week, Hanntiy has baselessly called Carusone a "racist" and "trans/gay homophobe," even though Carusone himself is gay and the organization he heads, Media Matters, often champions causes of racial minorities.

I will have to assume that Hannity's anger at Media Matters indicates that the campaign to strip him of sponsors is working.

Recently Hannity attempted to get one of the Roy Moore accusers on his show.

Her lawyer's response probably did not do much to help his mood either,

Courtesy of Raw Story:

 “Mr. Hannity chose to believe and support Roy Moore immediately after learning about the numerous accusations against him describing sexual assault, child molestation and harassment.” 

“Mr. Hannity has belittled, defamed and engaged in an on-air intimidation campaign against the victims of Mr. Moore. He is totally uninterested in discovering the truth,” she said. 

“It is laughable to assume that Mr. Hannity is capable of conducting a fair and balanced interview. He is not known for journalistic integrity. He is merely seeking an opportunity to publicly attack and further defame Mr. Moore’s victims,” she continued. 

“Well, that’s not happening,” she concluded. “Not on my watch.”

Yep, sucks to be Hannity right now. 

I really think that Fox is ready to pull his show already, and are just looking for an excuse to do so.

Losing all of his advertisers and supporting a known pedophile seems like more than enough reason.

Robert Mueller is now looking at the Trump Justice Department.

Courtesy of ABC News: 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it. 

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel's first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Mueller's investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told. 

The latest move suggests the Special Counsel is still actively digging into, among other matters, whether Trump or any other administration official improperly tried to influence an ongoing investigation.

Robert Mueller seems to be cutting pretty close to the bone here.

I would be very surprised if there were not incriminating emails somewhere in the Justice Department that Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump are desperate to keep out of Robert Mueller's hands.

I can almost guarantee that there will be a lack of cooperation which will tip Mueller off as to where to focus next.

Popcorn anyone?

Majority of Americans blame the problems with Obamacare on Donald Trump, not Barack Obama.

Courtesy of The Independent:  

A majority of Americans blame Donald Trump’s administration for any future problems with Obamacare, a new poll has found. 

Carried out by the Kaiser Family Foundation, it found 61 per cent of respondents believe the US President and his Republican Party are responsible for any issues with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Only 37 per cent said Barack Obama's administration - who introduced it in 2010 - would be at fault for fewer enrollments.

......

Although Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have failed, the party’s actions have been blamed for forcing prices for Obamacare plans up in 2018. 

The Trump administration slashed the Obamacare budget for advertising by 90 per cent and significantly reduced spending on groups that help customers find the appropriate insurance plan.

The 2018 open enrolment period for the health insurance exchange is also only running for six weeks, which is half as long as last year. 

Analysts say these measures increase the likelihood of less people signing up to the ACA.

Good, I am glad that most Americans are seeing through the Republican's bullshit. 

And it is important to remind people that EVERY SINGLE problem that happens with health care in this country moving forward is directly the fault of this administration.

You can bet your ass that if Hillary Clinton had been elected that she would have been working to make Obamacare function better, not trying to destroy it from within.

Red states preach family values, but blue states are better at putting that into practice.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 32 states, those with the highest percentage of high school students who say they have had sex are Mississippi, Delaware, West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas. All but Delaware voted Republican in the last presidential election. 

Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest proportion of high school students who have had sex were New York, California, Maryland, Nebraska and Connecticut. All but Nebraska voted Democratic. 

When evangelical kids have sex, they’re less likely to use birth control — and that may be a reason (along with lower abortion rates) that red states have high teen birthrates.

Nine of the 10 states with the highest teen birthrates voted Republican in 2016. And nine of the 10 states with the lowest teen birthrates voted Democratic. 

“Red regions of the country have higher teen pregnancy rates, more shotgun marriages and lower average ages at marriage and first birth,” Naomi Cahn and June Carbone wrote in their important 2010 book, “Red Families v. Blue Families.” 

The liberal impulse may be to gloat: Those conservatives thunder about “family values” but don’t practice them. But there’s also perhaps a measure of hypocrisy in the blue states. As Cahn and Carbone put it: “Blue family values bristle at restrictions on sexuality, insistence on marriage or the stigmatization of single parents. Their secret, however, is that they encourage their children to simultaneously combine public tolerance with private discipline, and their children then overwhelmingly choose to raise their own children within two-parent families.

”Liberals, in other words, may be wary of strict moral codes, but they want to make damn sure that their own kids don’t have babies while in high school. It helps that they believe in comprehensive sex education and reliable birth control.

If this surprises anybody then you simply have not been paying attention. 

These same conclusions have been reached by a variety of studies over the years.

Preaching at kids that sex is wrong and that they should never partake of the forbidden fruit, did not work in the Garden of Eden and it does not work in modern times.

And demonstrating the family values of love, respect for others, and personal responsibility, is far more effective than calling somebody a sinner for engaging in normal human interactions.

Progressive states are just better, that is why I am working to turn mine into one.

The Pope denounces climate change deniers. "I denounce thee, I denounce thee, I denounce thee."

Courtesy of CBS News: 

Pope Francis denounced those who deny global warming and urged negotiators at climate talks in Germany to avoid falling prey to such "perverse attitudes" and instead accelerate efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. 

Francis issued a message Thursday to the Bonn meeting, which is working to implement the 2015 Paris accord aimed at capping global emissions. 

In the message, Francis called climate change "one of the most worrisome phenomena that humanity is facing," and urged negotiators to ignore special interests and political or economic pressures and instead engage in an honest dialogue about the future of the planet. 

He denounced that such efforts are often frustrated by those who deny climate change, are indifferent to it, or think it can only be solved by technical solutions. 

Well good for the Pope!

I do not always agree with this Pope, but he is dead right to call these people out for clinging to a belief that is not backed up by the facts, and for which the opposite point of view is held by the smartest, most knowledgeable people on the planet.

Oh...wait.

P.S. Sorry, that may have seemed like a cheap shot, but let's face it faith that exists despite evidence to the contrary is the very foundation of both climate change deniers and religious folks.

They are kissing cousins at the very least, and at the very most one is a parasitic entity which could not exist without the other.