Archive | Politics As Usual

Now, think about this

The media fabricated how many fake Clinton scandals in the past year? And if it wasn’t for the Washington Post, would anyone even know about the Trump foundation? So given the opportunity to ask Hillary Clinton, guess what this reporter asked?

That’s right. She validated a right-wing rumor by treating it as if it should be taken seriously:

A Tampa, Fla., ABC News reporter asked Hillary Clinton whether she would be willing to take neurological exams in the wake of recent health concerns.

Clinton laughed off the question by ABC Action News reporter Sarina Fazan, who said some doctors had called on her to take “neuro-cognitive” tests.

“I am very sorry I got pneumonia,” Clinton said. “I am very glad that antibiotics took care of it and that’s behind us now. I have met the standard that everybody running for president has met in terms of releasing information about my health.”

The Democratic presidential nominee added that she saw no need for such tests.

“The information is very clear, and the information, as I said, meets the standards that every other person running for president has ever had to meet.”

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The Daily Show interviews Trump supporters

Donald J. Trump at Marriott Marquis NYC September 7th 2016

You probably should

Wednesday’s episode of The Daily Show didn’t have to create crazy fiction or conspiracy theories to malign Hillary Clinton. That’s because Correspondent Jordan Klepper found plenty of Trump supporters to do it all by themselves. It was a spectacular display of the rampant ignorance and misinformation that has run amok among the supporters of Donald Drumpf.… Continue Reading →

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Ground game

Aspen Ideas Festival: Tom Steyer

At this point, it really is about getting out the vote. If you have any time at all to spare, please head over to Clinton’s site and volunteer. You can even make calls from your own living room:

Tom Steyer — the San Francisco billionaire, political donor and environmental advocate — said Tuesday he would put $20 million of his own money behind a campaign to mobilize 2 million voters in eight swing states to boost support for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The overall effort, which includes partnerships with labor groups, is expected to cost $55 million, Steyer told Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC.

He said they’ll be focusing on “economic justice, environmental justice, racial justice and good schools” and targeting 200 college campuses.

The contribution will go to the For Our Future super PAC, which aims to blunt Republican Donald Trump’s advance in battleground states. Steyer added $15 million to his previous pledge of $5 million.

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Guy who taught GOP to call Democrats ‘sick corrupt liberal traitors’ very :( about mean election

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

Trust in meOnce there was an evil genius – not like this other guy who is in fact not an evil “genius” at all – who was very good at this sorcery of “communications.” With just some words, he was able to install Newt Gingrich – Newt Gingrich! LOL! – as speaker of the House, with… Continue Reading →

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They didn’t know bin Laden was dead

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Since the 1950s, right wing groups and foundations laid the groundwork to defund public schools and push everyone into for-profit private schools or charters, because poorly educated students become easily-manipulated voters. Look at the results:

Veteran journalist Alan Miller tells the story of the high school students who, years after the fact, didn’t know that Osama bin Laden had been killed. These were seniors, no less — in a journalism class at a well-regarded New York City charter school.

“Their reaction was ‘Wait, what? He’s dead?’ ” said Miller, who won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

His story, though, has a happy ending. After immersion in the News Literacy Project, a Bethesda-based nonprofit organization that Miller founded to give teenagers the tools to know what to believe in the digital age, the students became news junkies. They were seriously annoyed if their classroom copies of the New York Times didn’t show up on time.

Every bit as dead as bin Laden, it sometimes seems, is many American citizens’ basic knowledge of news. Young people, especially, get their news in isolated bursts on their phones (the experts call this disaggregation). That makes it harder than ever to tell established truth from opinion, propaganda or pure fiction.

I always thought this is where people like me would find a niche. People so immersed in news, readers would pay for someone to filter out the rest. That happened for a while, but not enough to make a living.

You could see that last week when, during NBC’s commander-in-chief forum, moderator Matt Lauer didn’t even raise a skeptical eyebrow as Donald Trump claimed — again, and falsely — to have opposed the war in Iraq from the start. Although, as a broadcast pro, Lauer should have been far better prepared to parry this and other politically expedient flights of fancy, his ailment — apparent ignorance — is a common one. (Consider Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s query in an MSNBC interview: “What is Aleppo?”)

“There’s a cacophony of untrue information out there,” and it’s drowning out what’s dependable and accurate, said Leonard Downie Jr., former Washington Post executive editor, whose new book, “The News Media: What Everyone Needs to Know,” provides some help in question-and-answer form. (For example: “How dependent is journalism on leaks?” and “How are private interests trying to manage news now?”)

 

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Bridgegate recap

George Washington Bridge

Yesterday, we found out that Chris Christie and aide Regina Egea, despite their statements to the contrary, were texting during testimony at the New Jersey legislative hearing on Bridgegate. Details here:

But newly disclosed phone records – supplied by AT&T to the New Jersey legislature and obtained by WNYC – show that Christie’s current Chief of Staff, Regina Egea, communicated by cell phone with Gov. Christie 12 times during that hearing on December 9, 2013. The Governor initiated the contact, about 30 minutes into the testimony, and sent a total of three texts to the aide. Egea replied nine times before the testimony concluded. The records show only one other text from Egea to Christie that month, on Christmas Day.

A timeline of the testimony, created by WNYC based on recordings of the hearing and tweets sent that day, shows that around the time of the text messages, witnesses delivered some of their sharpest blows to the Christie administration’s version of the Bridgegate events.

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Donald Trump has blind trust issues

Trump offers 'condolences' for Chelsea blast that killed no one – New York Daily News

So Newsweeks’ Kurt Eichenwald did that blockbuster piece last week about the insane foreign policy conflicts presented by Trump’s business interests, which most of the media promptly ignored in favor of assorted nonsense. This is his followup:

Like a political Elmer Gantry, Donald Trump goes from city to city, proclaiming that only he can save America, spinning outrageous statements and spewing lies before heading off to his next revival meeting. Serious questions about his candidacy for the presidency are left unanswered or buried under a flurry of deceit. Confronted with the recent Newsweek… Continue Reading →

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Judge goes after Texas after they defy previous voting rights order

GregAbbott_4814

As most of you already know, the voting suppression tactics have kicked into high gear this year. (Maybe because they’re so worried.) And because recent polls have shown a tiny glimmer of Democratic hope in Texas, why, Greg Abbott is willing to defy a federal judge. He’s not getting away with it:

Earlier this month, the Justice Department informed a federal court that Texas is violating a recent court order that sought to keep the state from disenfranchising voters. After an appeals court struck down the state’s voter ID law, a common form of voter suppression favored by conservative lawmakers, the state agreed to be bound by an order that would permit voters to cast a ballot in the 2016 election if they “cannot reasonably obtain” photo ID.

Despite this order, Texas published press releases, voter education materials, and training manuals for poll workers that effectively stated that a voter without ID cannot vote unless it is literally impossible for that voter to obtain a photo ID. Thus, for example, a voter who had to make multiple day long trips to a government office and make burdensome document requests to obtain an ID would not be able to vote, under Texas’ standard, unless that voter was willing to jump through all of these considerable hoops.

On Tuesday, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, the judge overseeing this case, weighed in on Texas’ defiance of the court order. And, if the order she issued on Tuesday is any indication, she’s pissed.

For one thing, as the Huffington Post’s Cristian Farias notes on Twitter, Judge Ramos’ Tuesday order is stronger than a proposed order drafted by some of the plaintiffs in this case. The proposed order would have largely clarified that the court’s original order meant what it said. Judge Ramos’ Tuesday, order, by contrast, requires Texas to take several specific actions. It also subjects Texas to a kind of federal supervision similar to the oversight it faced before conservatives on the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

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Elizabeth Warren kicks Wells Fargo CEO’s ass

This was a thing of beauty, to watch Sen. Warren give this guy the treatment he deserves:

And if you really want to torture yourself, you can watch her interview last night with Rachel Maddow in which she says that yes, there were criminal referrals against banks in the 2008 crash — and she wants to know why the FBI didn’t charge them:

Now, I have long since accepted that Obama believed what was left of the financial and economic system would not survive criminal charges. Who knows? I was not in his position, I don’t know. But I do know he told the American people there was nothing that rose to the level of criminal acts.

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