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REAL NEWS: Trump Foundation reported charitable donations it never made

David A. Fahrenthold, The Washington Post, accepts the Dirksen Award

In the current maelstrom of media handwringing over ‘deplorables’ and Clinton’s pneumonia, David Fahrenthold’s bombshell report for the Washington Post has fallen into third place, but it definitely should not. According to Fahrenthold, Trump’s charity does not give any of Trump’s money. It is, instead, used as a pass-through from other people to charities. This is… Continue Reading →

Christie shows his true colors

Governor Played No Part In Friendly Trump Tax Deal - Christie Spokesman

Yeah, he dropped his old bipartisan schtick that was supposed to make him president.

Last month, three Somerset County officials stood at the base of a tiny, two-lane bridge, gripping a banner with a fairly concise plea: “Christie, Fix This Bridge.”

It succeeded in grabbing Christie’s attention. And it stoked his fury.

“What a shock: Three Democratic mayors blaming me,” Christie said Aug. 29 when asked about their demand that he allow state crews to resume repair work on the span in Rocky Hill, a fly-speck borough of roughly 700 just north of Princeton. Christie halted work on the project, and scores of others around the state, in July amid a stalemate with Democrats in the Legislature over transportation funding.

“I could care less what Democratic mayors think about a bridge,” he added.

It was a startling retort from a governor who three years ago cared very deeply what Democratic mayors thought and needed. Christie and his aides doted on them with offers of administration help, invitations to holiday dinners and funding.

His “Democratic mayors” remarks also reflected the Christie black-and-white brand of partisanship, where those who defy or cross him are classified as irredeemable enemies. And it is the same “you’re with me or you’re against me” ethos that could be dissected in the upcoming federal trial of two top former Christie aides, accused of illegally shutting down access to a much bigger span, the George Washington Bridge.

Why won’t the media cover Trump’s Florida payoff?

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Since Hillary Clinton gave the media their coveted press conference, with the expected results, it’s only fair that this same media divert their attention to the actual scandal-ridden candidate, Donald J. Trump. Trump University is certainly a substantial blight on the campaign and the pay-for-play problem is only growing. CNN’s New Day is one of the… Continue Reading →

Just ignore the polls for now

Hillary Clinton Started To Cough Violently In Cleveland, Ohio

There’s a lot in flux, many of them differ for a variety of reasons, and they’ve been hammering Clinton over the fake foundation scandal.

Always run as if we’re ten points behind. But that said, I’ll tell you when it’s time to worry.

P.S. Of course they smashed her Blackberries with a hammer! That’s a recommended security practice. But since it’s her, it must be a coverup, right?

Shut up already about Colin Kaepernick

Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick says more about our patriotism than his

(Photo: Flikr)

I’m so done with this Colin Kaepernick “controversy.”

1) This is his First Amendment right. Get over yourselves if you want to deny him. People have died for our right to free speech. How dare you diminish that sacrifice for you not to feel uncomfortable? It doesn’t mean that he’s immune from criticism, but there’s something incredibly ironic to hear people complain about Kaepernick using his stature to take a stand.  Would anyone care if Colin, your local Starbucks barista, sat down during the Star Spangled Banner?  Does the money in his bank make him less a Person of Color?

2) He sat down during the playing of the National Anthem. That hurt exactly ZERO people. Where was the outrage for NFL players who beat their wives/girlfriends senseless, raped fans, got into car accidents while intoxicated, held vicious dog fights and killed puppies, or expressed racism, homophobia, sexism or other abject and un-American stupidities?

3) Do not for a moment think that it’s been missed within the African American community that standing up and protesting for equality has been criticized as being too confrontational.  As has performing in public, come to that.  But Kaepernick sits down quietly and that’s just as egregious?  Make up your damn minds.  Or could it be that the most important thing is to never make white people uncomfortable about their privilege?

While I’m on the subject of consistency, it also hasn’t passed anyone’s notice that the ones who are most offended by Kaepernick calling attention to things not being great in this country if you’re a Person of Color are the same people cheering on the privileged white guy whose entire presidential campaign is built on the country not being great for white people.

Tim Kaine on Morning Joe: America is not ‘deportation nation’

August 31, 2016 - Bethlehem, PA

This morning on “Morning Joe” Tim Kaine’s interview brought out three important facts that get lost in the immigration fracas. One, immigration with Mexico is at negative levels. Two, Trump supporters and the rest of us are nearly all descended from immigrants. (And some of us can’t trace US citizenship back before the Potato Famine of… Continue Reading →

No, Bill Clinton is not stealing your money

The Clinton Foundation Under Fire For Giving Favors For Contributions

Although Politico would certainly like you to think so:

Taxpayer cash was used to buy IT equipment — including servers — housed at the Clinton Foundation, and also to supplement the pay and benefits of several aides now at the center of the email and cash-for-access scandals dogging Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

This investigation, which is based on records obtained from the General Services Administration through the Freedom of Information Act, does not reveal anything illegal. But it does offer fresh evidence of how the Clintons blurred the line between their nonprofit foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and the business dealings of Bill Clinton and the couple’s aides.

Kevin Drum:

According to several people familiar with the former president’s operation, the rationale behind the interwoven payrolls is that they allow for a small team to assist Clinton in a variety of settings without having to do logistically complicated hockey-like line changes. In a given day, Clinton might deliver a paid private speech (during which time his employees’ salaries could be paid by the executive services corporation) and a public speech in his capacity as a former president (during which his staff could be paid by the GSA funds). And he could attend events for the foundation (where staff time would be paid by the foundation) as well as his wife’s presidential campaign (staff time would be paid by the campaign).

….A GSA spokesperson declined to comment on specific employees, but said ex-presidents have broad discretion over how they choose to divvy up the $96,600 they are provided each year for staffing. They can give the entire sum to a single employee or divide it among multiple employees.

So Clinton gets the princely sum of $96,600 each year for staff, and tracks the work these staffers do in his capacity as ex-president. He bills the GSA for that work, and bills other organizations when the staff does work for them. This is bog standard stuff. Staff time is tracked, and then charged out. This is not just “not illegal,” it’s the way pretty much any similar kind of operation works. Even me. Mother Jones pays me an annual salary, but if I write an op-ed or something, I bill that time to whoever I wrote the op-ed for.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. There’s really nothing even remotely blurry or scandalous or shady or anything else. It’s just the standard way anyone operates who has multiple interests, multiple funding sources, and staffers who do work for multiple organizations. There’s no hint that any of the charges were incorrect, or that any of the purchases were misallocated. As near as I can tell, it was all entirely above board, and the GSA was actively involved in scrutinizing everything.

Still waiting, of course, for reporting on the foundations started by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Colin Powell.

This is why I pay so little attention to Clinton “scandals.” There’s rarely any “there” there.

Maine’s wingnut governor breaks the law

Gov. LaPage, Freeport Flag Ladies and Susan Collins

Paul LaPage, uberwingnut, is a loose cannon who looks for any excuse to cut benefits to poor people:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has pounced on the recent unsealing of court documents showing an Iranian refugee who resettled in Maine and later joined the terror group ISIS.

But the governor’s eagerness to use Adnan Fazeli’s radicalization here to rail against welfare benefits for refugees may have led him to run afoul of a federal law designed to protect the identities of welfare recipients and their families.

State officials have not confirmed that Fazeli, or his family, received welfare benefits when he lived in Maine between 2009 and 2013. According to federal laws governing food stamps and cash assistance, they’re not supposed to.

“It’s concerning if that was indeed reported by Maine officials because federal law is clear that people’s confidentiality should be protected,” said Robyn Merrill, director for Maine Equal Justice Partners, an advocacy group for low-income Mainers

Merrill’s concerns were raised by a report in the Boston Herald in which Maine state officials are quoted as saying that Fazeli, and his family, received cash and food stamp benefits.

Those benefits, known also as SNAP and TANF, are federal programs, funded mostly with federal tax dollars. According to federal rules, the identities of benefit recipients are confidential — only law enforcement, immigration officials and state administrators are allowed to know who receives the benefits.

Those same officials, according to the law, “must adequately protect the information against unauthorized disclosure.”

The Herald story also contained an interview with LePage, who told the newspaper that the Fazeli case prompted him to order a review of all benefit programs for refugees.

Merrill said that Fazeli’s radicalization here is concerning, but she worries about the LePage administration’s zeal to politicize it.

“It seems as though this one particular circumstance is really being exploited and used as justification to deny help to a whole group of people,” she said.

Rudy: There were no terror attacks in the U.S. before Obama

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Rudy Giuliani, the very man who touts his efforts as Mayor of New York City after the attacks on September 11, 2001, just said, “Under those eight years before Obama came along we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks inside the United States.” Giuliani said that in Youngstown, Ohio, just after discussing Ground Zero… Continue Reading →

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