Wednesday Morning: Open Thread

This team has so much to be proud of. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything.

A photo posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

 

I’ve nothing to say.

 

Patton Oswalt Sums Up Election Night In One Tweet | Huffington Post

 

Unfortunately, Oswalt has a point. After taking a step in the right direction eight years ago by electing its first black president, America is now uncomfortably close to voting into office a man who not only earned the support of the nation’s white supremacists, but was recorded saying he could grab women “by the p***y” because he’s famous.

 

 

‘Whitelash Against a Black President’: Van Jones Blows Up Over Election Results | Mediaite

CNN’s Van Jones had a pretty grim take (to put it mildly) on the results showing a likely Donald Trump presidency.

“People have talked about a miracle. I’m hearing about a nightmare,” he said. “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ And then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’”

He said that there are Muslims and immigrant families out there who are “terrified tonight.”

And then he made this declaration:

“This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside.”

Video at the link.

 

What are we going to do?

What is to become of us?

This is an open thread.


And we’re still waiting on pins and needles …

It’s an open thread. We’re looking at the blue wall now.  Let’s hang together on this! 


Tuesday Reads: It’s Hillary vs. the GOP, the Media, the FBI, and the Russians

Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati yesterday

Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati yesterday

Good Morning!!

What an unbelievable news day we had yesterday! And what an amazing month in politics October was! The last time I can recall daily shocks like this over such a sustained period was during the Watergate scandal.

Yesterday, it appeared that supporters of James Comey in the FBI–or maybe Comey himself were leaking to The New York Times in an effort to rehabilitate the now-compromised FBI director. As former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller wrote on Twitter:

Yes, it was a waterfall, a flood, a deluge. And of course The New York Times lapped it up, just as they did the lies from the Bush/Cheney administration in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

Emphasis added. The authors don’t bother to explain why the Russians have only targeted Democratic groups and the Democratic presidential candidate if they don’t aim to help the other. Because that’s obviously what they did. You can go read the rest of that bullshit article if you want, but it sure looks like it was dictated by James Comey for the purpose of covering his ass.

The New York Times can suck up to Comey all they want. Plenty of other–even some Republicans–are worried about Russia supporting Trump, even if the FBI isn’t.

Okay, maybe I can buy that the story about a direct email link between the Trump organization and a Russian bank could be wrong; but I’ll hold off on making a decision on that yet. But what about this story by David Corn: A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump.

…a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jonesthat in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump—and that the FBI requested more information from him.

Does this mean the FBI is investigating whether Russian intelligence has attempted to develop a secret relationship with Trump or cultivate him as an asset? Was the former intelligence officer and his material deemed credible or not? An FBI spokeswoman says, “Normally, we don’t talk about whether we are investigating anything.” But a senior US government official not involved in this case but familiar with the former spy tells Mother Jones that he has been a credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government.

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In June, the former Western intelligence officer—who spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and who now works with a US firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients—was assigned the task of researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere, according to the former spy and his associates in this American firm. This was for an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul. (Before the former spy was retained, the project’s financing switched to a client allied with Democrats.) “It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” says the former spook, who asks not to be identified. But when he dug into Trump, he notes, he came across troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government. According to his sources, he says, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”

This was, the former spy remarks, “an extraordinary situation.” He regularly consults with US government agencies on Russian matters, and near the start of July on his own initiative—without the permission of the US company that hired him—he sent a report he had written for that firm to a contact at the FBI, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates, who asked not to be identified. (He declines to identify the FBI contact.) The former spy says he concluded that the information he had collected on Trump was “sufficiently serious” to share with the FBI.

Read the rest at Mother Jones.

While Comey is trying to save his job and repair his reputation, Russia is doing whatever it’s doing, and what it’s doing is helping a fascist demagogue and psychopath. Is that really what Comey wants? If so, he needs to step down.

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Michael Cohen at The Boston Globe: FBI director James Comey should resign.

The FBI director did not commit some garden-variety mistake. This is not an “oops” moment. For reasons that have more to do with protecting himself from dishonest Republican attacks, Comey committed an overtly egregious and political act that roiled the nation’s politics 11 days before Election Day — and undermined public trust in the nation’s criminal justice institutions.

And he needs to go.

When word broke Friday afternoon that Comey had notified Congress that he was taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s apparently never-ending e-mail issue, it seemed like a bombshell moment.

But it is now increasingly clear that Comey was holding a dud. What he did know is that e-mails from Clinton’s assistant, Huma Abedin, had been found on the computer of her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. The problem is, that’s all he knew. There was no evidence that the e-mails were from Clinton, contained classified material, or had any investigative value….

But the biggest loser here is the credibility of the FBI and the Department of Justice — and the American people’s confidence in both institutions. Indeed, the Clinton campaign has now launched a full-scale attack on Comey — one which follows on the heels of Trump’s months of erroneous and dishonest attacks against him for not prosecuting Clinton. Comey has cast a cloud over this interminable election. His actions run the very real risk of affecting its outcome.

Whatever the result on Election Day, Comey’s path forward is clearer.

He can’t un-ring the bill, since any step to clean up the damage could lead Republicans to believe a cover-up is afoot.

Having fundamentally undermined confidence in the justice system — and abused his power as FBI director — the only way he can repair it is by resigning his office.

Hillary writes excuse for boy who missed school to go to her rally in Cincinnati.

Hillary writes excuse for boy who missed school to go to her rally in Cincinnati.

Ian Milhiser at Think Progress: The case for firing James Comey. Americans have rights. Even if they are Hillary Clinton.

Let’s take stock of all that we’ve learned since Comey sent a cryptic letter to several Republican congressional committee chairs on Friday informing them that the FBI had uncovered some emails that may, or may not, have something to do with a previous investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

We know that Comey does not know what is in these emails.

We know that many, possibly even all, of these emails may be duplicates of messages the FBI already reviewed.

We know that, at the time when Comey wrote his letter, the FBI had not even obtained a warrant permitting them to read these emails.

Oh, and we know one other thing. We also know that Comey violated longstanding Justice Department protocol when he decided to disclose the very few facts that he actually did disclose in his letter to the Republican chairs. And we know that he wrote the letter over the explicit objections of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Taken together, these actions constitute a fireable offense.

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President Obama should fire James Comey. He should do so not because of the political consequences of Comey’s actions — although those consequences could be quite severe — but because Comey’s actions show an unacceptable disregard for the safeguards that exist to protect innocents from the awesome power of a federal police force.

I don’t see how President Obama can do that just a week before the election, but clearly Comey must go. For heaven’s sake, we’ve reach the point where Comey–or his supporters in the FBI–are trying to argue that Russia hacking the emails of Democratic organizations and even the Clinton campaign doesn’t indicate they want Donald Trump to win the election. That’s insane.

 

I’ll have more Trump-Russia links in the comment thread. What stories are you following today?


Sunday Reads: Cracker Barrel Election

Good Afternoon

 

 

Oh yes, late again.

Well, last night Alec Baldwin gave another portrayal of Trump.  ‘Settle down, entire planet’: Tom Hanks kills it as Chris Wallace in SNL’s 3rd Trump/Clinton debate

 

 

 

On the serious note:

It only seems natural that we should feature this article after Hilary’s impassioned debate answer on abortion from earlier this week….Police launch inquiry into death of woman ‘refused’ an abortion by Sicilian doctors | World news | The Guardian

Italian police are investigating a dozen doctors at a Sicilian hospital after the family of a 32-year-old woman who died after a miscarriage claimed she was not given adequate medical attention. The family says that her doctor had professed moral objections to abortion.

The death of Valentina Milluzzo, who was five months pregnant with twins when she miscarried and fell ill, has reignited a debate across Italy about the high number of gynaecologists and obstetricians who refuse to provide abortions. As a result, women may not get the medical attention they require in emergency situations.

The investigation into the Cannizzaro obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Catania on the east coast of Sicily was opened after the family of Milluzzo, who became pregnant through in-vitro fertilisation, said a doctor refused to intervene even though her life was at risk.

Milluzzo had been admitted to the hospital two weeks earlier, after going into premature labour. After the death of one of the foetuses, Milluzzo reportedly became very ill and her blood pressure dropped rapidly. Her family asked for the other foetus to be aborted but say her doctor refused. Milluzzo died within hours on 16 October of septic shock.

You can read more at the link. Warning, the discussion of how much pain this poor woman went through before she died is beyond anything you may want to read today.

Sticking with the theme of control over a woman. Here is something that should make your move from horrified anger to disgusted anger. Woman appeals ruling that 96 days in jail was constitutional – NY Daily News

A Mississippi woman who spent nearly 100 days in a county jail without an offer of bail or a lawyer is appealing a court’s decision that the lengthy incarceration was not an infringement on her civil rights.

Jessica Jauch was held in the Choctaw County jail for nearly three months on a drug warrant for allegedly selling $40 worth of Xanax to an informant.

Jauch was released from jail after finally obtaining legal representation and a secretly recorded video proved that she had been framed for the petty drug crime.

The 34-year-old mother sued the county jail and its sheriff, Cloyd Halford, charging that she was deprived of her constitutional rights to bail, legal representation, a speedy trial and liberty.

A federal judge dismissed the suit against the Choctaw County and Sheriff Halford, however, arguing that because Jauch had been indicted by a grand jury, she was not entitled to those rights.

Civil liberties advocates blasted the federal judge’s decision.

“At the end of the day, you’re an innocent person, being held in a jail, awaiting the opportunity to prove your innocence. The default position is release. And we’ve flipped it, we’ve turned it on its head.” said Cliff Johnson, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center who has sued Mississippi localities in similar cases.

More on this case here:

Jailed 96 days on bogus charge: It is no one’s fault? – The Washington Post

To put that into perspective, remember this story:

Father who ‘repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter’ gets 60-day sentence. Fury erupts. – The Washington Post

As the judge in the Stanford rape case learned, along with the judge in the “affluenza” drunken driving case, the whole world is watching them. A crowd, an angry crowd, can form in a matter of days of people outraged by what they consider a lenient sentence for a heinous crime.

In the case of Judge John McKeon, as of early morning Wednesday, almost 20,000 people had signed a Change.org petition calling for his impeachment for the 60-day sentence he gave a Glasgow, Mont., man who pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his prepubescent daughter.

“A father repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter,” Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen said during an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.

“It’s time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets,” read the petition.

Prosecutors had recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, which is what state law calls for.

Instead, though, Judge McKeon handed down a far lighter sentence: a 30-year suspended prison sentence, which means the man will only serve it if he fails to meet the conditions of his probation.

Among those conditions, which McKeon called “quite rigorous,” was the requirement for the man to register as a sex offender, the Glasgow Courierreported. He also cannot access pornography and has limited access to the Internet.

In addition, the man will serve 60 days in jail, but McKeon gave him credit for the 17 days he already served, meaning he’ll only spend another 43 days in jail.

The Washington Post is not identifying the convicted man as it could expose the identity of his victim.

Montana Judge Faces Call For Impeachment After Incest Sentencing : The Two-Way : NPR

A state district judge in Montana is facing a call for his impeachment after sentencing a man who admitted to raping his 12-year-old daughter to 60 days in jail, of which he will serve 43.

A petition posted on the website Change.org calling for the impeachment of the Valley County, Mont., district court judge, John McKeon, has more than 55,000 signatures. The petition states, “Judge McKeon did not uphold the responsibility of ensuring justice as he is required to in his elected position.”

This is not the first time in Montana that outrage has followed a sentence for raping a child. Earlier this year, the state Supreme Courtleft intact a 10-year sentence for a man who raped a 14-year-old girl. He had originally been sentenced to just one month in prison by a different state judge.

According to the National Center for State Courts, to impeach a judge in Montana two-thirds of the state Legislature must vote for it, or the state’s judicial standards commission may recommend it to the state Supreme Court.

This article from NPR has more details on the sentencing requirements…so be sure to check it out for more “explanations.”

Then there was this, Trump says he’ll sue women who said he sexually assaulted them | Tampa Bay Times

Yet, even as Trump praised Abraham Lincoln for uniting the country, Trump laced his Gettysburg speech with familiar charges of a rigged election and corrupt media, and a new promise to sue 10 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

“All of these liars will be sued when the election is over,” Trump said to a small audience at the Eisenhower Hotel.

Trump’s aides previewed the speech as a policy address that would highlight his first 100 days in office. But almost all of the promises had been made before in other speeches and press releases.

Trump is really, a giant asshole.

Since this post is running late, I have a few other links to share.

We lost two actresses this week:

Kathryn Adams Dies; ‘Saboteur’ Actress Was 96 | Deadline

Actress Cecilia Hart, Wife Of James Earl Jones, Dies At 68 | Deadline

And, it appears…Researchers Discover Physical Source Of Depression : HEALTH : Tech Times

Researchers are making headway in understanding depression, allowing for the development of better treatments, especially now that the physical source of the condition has been found.

In a study published in the journal Brain, researchers from UK’s University of Warwick and China’s Fudan University showed which part of the brain is affected by depression, identifying the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. As this region is implicated in non-reward, activity within that part of the brain leads to a sense of disappointment and loss when a reward is not received.

The lateral orbitofrontal cortex is also connected to the brain region involved in one’s sense of self, so when that part of the brain is activated, it also has the potential to lead to thoughts of low self-esteem and personal loss.

Additionally, depression is associated with low connectivity between the brain’s reward area within the medial orbitofrontal cortex and its memory systems, which could help explain why those with the condition have a reduced ability to focus on happier memories.

More at the link too.

That is all I have for you. This is an open thread. Have a good evening.


Live Blog: Alfred E Neuman errr Alfred E Smith Dinner

Good Evening!

article-2212029-155179de000005dc-760_634x817Thought we’d see if any one is going to watch the annual Alfred E Smith Dinner tonight. Any bets any which way to see if Donald Dumpf has any kind of sense of humor?  Will Hillary come in looking like Joan Arc with a sword, shield, armor and a tightly surrounded by secret service?

Rumor has it, his inability to take a joke or seven about him uttered by President Obama at the 2011 Alfred E Smith dinner caused him to hoist himself this year on the American people.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have some tough shoes to fill — could either of them take over President Obama’s role as comedian in chief?

With 19 days left until the election, they’ll have their chance to try out Thursday night at the 71st annual Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, where many presidential candidates in the past have taken a break from the vitriol of the campaign and make fun of themselves.

It will be the last time the two will share a stage before Americans head to the polls on Nov. 8.

Both nominees are slated to attend the 9 p.m. ET white-tie event at the Waldorf Astoria, which will air live on CBSN, that benefits Catholic charities and some of the neediest children in New York. The fundraiser honors former New York governor Al Smith, who ran for president in 1928 and became the first Catholic nominee of a major party.

mad3n-1-web We’re undoubtedly going to see some awkward moments.  What will the jokes actually be like at Cardinal Dolan’s little soiree?  The dinner has not always been friendly or neutral politically.

A charitable foundation that takes his name was launched in 1946, two years after Smith’s death, and over the years its annual dinner has become “a ritual of American politics,” as historian Theodore H. White put it, where candidates of opposing parties would come together for a few hours of comic relief at the height of an intense campaign battle.

But the white-tie dinner itself has not been free of controversy, especially for its host. Cardinal Dolan, for example, was excoriated by conservative Catholics in 2012 when he continued the tradition by inviting President Obama, whose stance in support of abortion rights and other issues outraged some.

There was some precedent for Dolan to punt on an invitation to Obama: In 1996, then-Cardinal John O’Connor did not invite either of that year’s candidates because he did not want to give President Bill Clinton, an abortion rights supporter who was running for re-election, a church-sponsored platform that tends to show the candidates in a flattering light.

And in 2004, then-Cardinal Edward Egan did not invite either candidate, President George W. Bush or his challenger Democratic nominee, John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights.

But, what goes down tonight is kind’ve a big secret.  Join us if you’re up for yucks and YUCK!!!!!Z

The dinner is such a ritual that it has its own episode of The West Wingdedicated to it. But there have been breaks in the tradition. In 1996, neither presidential candidate was invited. The official explanation was that the candidates were not able to confirm attendance, but it was widely reported that the Catholic leadership was dismayed by then-president Bill Clinton’s veto of a bill that would have outlawed late-term abortions. In 2004, the two candidates were not invited and there was speculation that it was Democratic nominee John Kerry’s pro-choice stance that was the issue.

 Trump and Clinton, however, are both expected to attend tonight, though neither campaign has shared details about what the candidates will say. A statement from the foundation confirming the candidates’ attendance promised that the two would “deliver the evening’s keynote speeches in the spirit of collegiality and good-humor that has become a hallmark of the gala.”
 In an election season filled with unusually harsh and spiteful rhetoric, some good-natured humor might be just the antidote the American people need.

We can only hope the secret service keeps Donald in a corner some where.2d77da7800000578-3276056-image-a-8_1445011722885

Are you ready?  Grab the popcorn and your sense of humor, irony, and patriotism!!!

 


Live Blog Three: He said WHAT?

14705733_10154121300228512_1700554752428959349_n-1I cannot believe what Trump said about Secretary Clinton. I am speechless about what he thinks about our nationwide elections brought to you by every state and county across this country to include many many many Republican elected official.

He actually said that Secretary Clinton was “such a nasty woman”.

He also just said that he may or may not abide by the results of our elections which he considers ‘rigged’ somehow.

All my children wanted to watch this debate tonight!  We wound up at the New Orleans Hillary Watch party!.

I’m now listening to the pundits being flabbergasted by the idea that Trump says he’s going to keep every one in suspense about Hillary’s winning the election.

We know that Pence said no to that. Even daughter Ivanka think it’s nuts.

He’s gone full throttle Conspiracy theorist now and shaken our democracy to  it’s root.

The best thing is he couldn’t physically intimate her this time.  She may reel in this election in a complete rout!

 


Wednesday Cartoon Cavalcade

Good Morning

Today all I can muster for you is cartoons….

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10/19 Mike Luckovich: Long debate. | Mike Luckovich

 

10/18 Mike Luckovich:Trumped up. | Mike Luckovich]

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10/16 Mike Luckovich: Trump pageant. | Mike Luckovich

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10/14 Mike Luckovich: Good reasons. | Mike Luckovich

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10/18/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

10/18/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

10/16/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

10/18/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

10/13/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

IT’S ALIVE: 10/10/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - IT'S ALIVE

WWJSay?: 10/12/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WWJSay?

Religious? Right: 10/13/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - Religious? Right

Debate 3 prep: 10/18/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - Debate 3 prep

Locker Room: 10/14/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Locker Room

10/17/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

10/17/2016 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

10/17/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

10/16/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

10/14/2016 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

 

 

10/10/2016 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

 

Debate Winner: 10/11/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Debate Winner

10/18/2016 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

 

Election, BAD!: 10/16/2016 Cartoon by Tim Campbell

Cartoon by Tim Campbell - Election, BAD!

This is an open thread….