28 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-4-17

  1. Pass the popcorn. 🙂


    “Randy Quaid, the next senator from the Great State of Vermont? We’ll pause a moment while that concept sinks in.

    The veteran actor tweeted a threat/warning Thursday claiming that reps from a superPAC have approached him about running against Bernie Sanders for his U.S. Senate seat next year. And a reality show pitch about that potentially wacky race is making its way around town. Public Spectacle Media is planning an unscripted series that would follow Quaid’s long-shot bid to become the junior senator from the Green Mountain State.

    Some very powerful people representing a super pac have approached me about running against Bernie Sanders for senator. 100%

    — Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) November 30, 2017

    Amid the Donald Trump era of reality TV’s convergence with politics, the proposed docu-sitcom is in development at Public Spectacle Media. The show would follow Quaid — and likely his wife, Evi, who grew up in Vermont — as he “takes on” one of the most high-profile politicians in the country. Bradford Broyles and Lenny Britton of Public Spectacle and Amanda Raymond are the producers.

    While the odds don’t exactly favor Quaid unseating the lefty darling who gave Hillary Clinton a run for her big money last year, it could be a hoot to witness.”


  2. Looks like we have another for the “too old to govern effectively” list. Pelosi and McCain have company. I mean c’mon, he had to be out of his mind to actually say this out loud.


    “In an astonishing defense of dropping “death taxes” for individual estates worth more than $5.5 million, GOP Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley implied that people not currently affected by that tax are “spending every darn penny … on booze or women.”

    “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing — as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register in an interview published Saturday. Grassley, who serves on the Finance Committee, made the remark when asked about the Senate tax reform measure which would double the exemption for estates to $11 million for an individual and $22 million for a couple. Heirs would inherit the estates tax-free.

    Grassley’s comment triggered a wave of criticism on social media. Many complained that the working class is, in fact, spending “every darn penny” on raising their kids, caring for elderly parents, health care and putting food on the table. One Twitter user complained that the GOP was turning America into a version of “The Hunger Games.”

    And taxes………


  3. Trump suggests an alternative to spending money on booze, women and tattoos:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grassley (like Corker and Flake) probably doesn’t want to serve in government with Trump, Roy Moore and Randy Quaid. I would expect more of these brutally honest statements as Republicans continue to retire and it becomes obvious the Dems are going to be running Washington after 2018. Grassley is simply reacting to what Charles Murray wrote about in Coming Apart.


  5. The stock market is up owing to the deregulation which has hampered American corporations for a long time. The most difficult thing for companies to work with is uncertainty and the way the former administration was coming up with creative ways to cripple and complicate companies was behind the fact we never really recovered from the great recession.

    Whether you like the business influences in this administration or not, most of us regular people probably don’t realize how much time businesses spend trying to figure out and deal with the draconian tax code–the same one that torments the rest of us on April 15.

    One successful small businessman I know well ALWAYS considers the tax implications before ANY decision–both business and personal.

    I rarely consider that, though I’ve had to in the case of my book. The tax laws in California are so draconian–even for someone who would make a tiny profit on any book sold–that we have elected to only charge cost for books. The amount of verifying paperwork required by the state is so onerous that it would immediately consume any profit I could make, if not all my time. I have no financial incentive in this state, therefore, to make a profit.

    (In my case, Mrs. OC was a ministry opportunity and I don’t need the money, so my husband said let it go. But for writers who need their income, it’s one more card in a very tall pile stacked against them.)

    Grassley’s comments are telling about who he spends his time with. My guess is he doesn’t attend a church with all socio-economic levels of fellow members.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Grassley’s comments also reflect his age. His opinion is that of many 80 year old Iowa farmers. Those people have been in his office talking about estate taxes and the state of modern American culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s plenty of people in need of some SLAPping……


    “A Republican congressman plans to introduce a bill Monday that would threaten huge fines and prison time for elected officials accused of sheltering illegal immigrant criminals from deportation, in the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.

    Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s bill is one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation to date aimed at sanctuary city policies, going beyond the Justice Department’s threat to cut off grants to those jurisdictions.

    “Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita told Fox News. “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so.”

    His “Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians (SLAP) Act” would hold state and local lawmakers criminally responsible for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts. The Republican’s bill would subject violators to a $1 million fine and up to five years in prison if they are convicted.

    “It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them,” said Rokita.”


  8. Making school lunch’s tasty again. 🙂

    Somewhere, Michelle Obama is raging and inconsolable.


    “Christmas is coming early for America’s schoolchildren, as the Trump administration rolls back even more Obama-era lunacy.

    Chocolate milk will soon be back on public school lunch menus as new rules ease nutritional standards established by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and championed by former first lady Michelle Obama.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday published a new interim rule, due to take effect on July 1 after a period of public comment, which relaxes sodium limits and whole-grain requirements on school lunches and also allows flavored milk with 1 percent back into school cafeterias nationwide.

    Currently, public schools are allowed to serve only flavored milk that is nonfat or unflavored milk that is low-fat or nonfat.

    “This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters when he unveiled the proposed changes in May. “I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without flavored milk.”

    “Schools need flexibility in menu planning so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” Perdue said in a statement Thursday. “Schools want to offer food that students actually want to eat. It doesn’t do any good to serve nutritious meals if they wind up in the trash can.””


  9. I doubt this is excitement over Moore. It’s more likely meant as a big middle finger to DC.


    “As of this writing, the yearbook still hasn’t been produced, Allred has gone to ground and hasn’t been heard from recently, and Moore continues to deny all accusations against him. There have been no new accusations or evidence. (Though I still would not be surprised if more comes out in the days leading up to the election.)

    This blur on what happened, and a Trump not-so-subtle non-endorsement/endorsement of Moore, seems to be having an impact.”

    “A CBS/YouGov Poll released today not only shows Moore leading among the most likely voters, but more important, that Moore appears to have achieved what he needed to achieve to salvage his campaign, doubt in voters’ minds that the accusations against him are true:

    A majority of Alabama Republican voters (53 percent) say the allegations against Moore are a concern, but that other things matter more. One-third of Republicans say the allegations are not a concern to them.

    The poll describes a picture of many Republican voters choosing based on other issues: Half of Moore’s supporters say they are backing him mainly because they want a senator who will cast conservative votes in the Senate, rather than because they think Moore is the best person for the job….

    The poll also found 49 percent of Moore voters say their Senate vote is in support of President Trump, and 23 percent of Moore voters say the president’s comments about the race, specifically, have made them more likely to back Moore.

    Among all registered voters, the president has a 57 percent approval rating in the state. Among Moore’s voters, it is an astounding 96 percent approval.

    Doug Jones does not appear to be drawing many crossover Republicans, which he would almost surely need in order to gain ground. Only 9 percent of Republicans say they’re voting for him.

    A recent WaPo poll found Jones ahead by 3 points, but also found that voters were skeptical of the accusations against Moore:”


  10. Do not pass Go.


    “Former Rep. Corrine Brown was convicted of fraud back in May. Today she was sentenced to five years in prison. Two others involved in the fraud scheme were also given multi-year prison sentences. From the Florida Times-Union:

    Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for fraud and tax crimes that included raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sham charity.

    Brown’s longtime chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, was sentenced to 48 months in prison, and the charity’s founder, One Door for Education President Carla Wiley, was sentenced to 21 months…

    In a lengthy statement read before announcing the sentences, [U.S. District Judge Timothy] Corrigan said he believed Brown and Simmons shared an equal amount of culpability in the conspiracy, while Wiley held the least amount.

    Still, he noted the three each reaped the benefits of the illegal scheme, which he described as “especially shameless” since they took money that was supposed to provide educational opportunities for children and instead used it to bankroll a lavish lifestyle.

    “This was a crime born out of entitlement and greed committed to ensure a lifestyle that was beyond their means,” Corrigan said. “Just think of the good that could have been done with that money if it would have been used for its intended purpose.””


  11. Mic drop.


    “The United Nations received a bit of unwelcome, though probably expected news from the White House this weekend via U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. The organization’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (which you can read about here) had been given a thumbs up by the Obama administration last year and sought to impose guidelines on the acceptance of various “migrants” and refugees by member nations. The agreement has one less member as of this morning, however, because Haley basically told the U.N. to pack sand. (NBC News)

    The United States has walked away from a United Nations effort to ease the global migration and refugee crisis, with the Trump administration saying it was no longer compatible with U.S. principles or priorities on the issue.

    In a statement, the U.S. Mission said the UN’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants — recognized by the U.S. last year under the Obama administration — “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies.”

    Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said: “Our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter the country.”


  12. This is sad, but not surprising. The police aren’t supposed to stand by and watch assaults happen for political purposes, or so they can be used as justification to stop a lawful assembly. And the police chief and mayor that order them to do so should be removed.


    “Yesterday I wrote about the damning 200-page report on the failure of police (and the city) to handle the escalating violence in Charlottesville back in August. To summarize the report briefly, police were not properly prepared or equipped to deal with the situation and once crowds of white supremacists and counter-protesters began battling in the street the police did almost nothing. In fact, this was a strategy on the part of the police who intended to allow skirmishes to escalate so they could declare an unlawful assembly. Police Chief Al Thomas even said “Let them fight…” as people began battling in the streets.

    At 10:57 a.m., a woman approached the outer barricade outside of Zone 1 and got Officer Ernest Johnston’s attention. She asked, “Are you going to engage the crowd at all?”

    “Not unless I get a command to,” Officer Johnson responded.

    “Even if there are people physically hurting one another?” she asked.

    “If I’m given the command to act, yes ma’am, I will.” She repeated her question, and he gave the same answer: he would engage if and when he was commanded to do so.

    Tim Messer, a witness with whom we spoke, explained that the skirmishes he observed followed a consistent pattern. As the Unite The Right groups approached Emancipation Park, counter-protesters shouted “here they come” and formed blockades. The demonstrators then used shields, flags, or fists to start skirmishes, all of which were eventually broken up by pepper spray. The crowd would then part and allow them entry into the park. That scenario played out at least half a dozen times. Mr. Messer encountered a VSP trooper near 2nd and Market Streets and asked him why police had been standing back. The trooper replied, “Our policy today is that we cannot get involved in every skirmish, and we are here to protect the public’s safety.” The witness was incredulous that police would allow the fights to go on, but the trooper reiterated, “That is our policy.”

    At 10:59 a.m., Captain Shifflett relayed to the Command Center that 2nd and Market Street were once again “getting ready to erupt any second now.” A moment later, he reported
    another fight of “about forty people going at it, they’re using sticks.” He again radioed, “Weapons are being used on Market and Second Street.” He added, “Recommend
    unlawful assembly.”

    Charlottesville police were ordered to put on their riot gear which meant retreating from barricades to suit up, a process that took them about fifteen minutes. The report notes that some of the officers had never worn the equipment [emphasis added].

    In the meantime, the intersection at Market and Second Street descended into chaos. The brawling continued and became violent as Unite The Right demonstrators who had just entered the park began to rove out from the southeast staircase, forming shield walls to push the counter-protesters back. Bottles, balloons filled with unknown substances, and debris flew through the air. The clouds of pepper spray rose every few minutes. By 11:08 a.m., Maurice Jones and the Regional Policy Group declared a local and regional state of emergency. At 11:13 a.m., COB McIntire was put on lockdown.

    Chief Thomas’s response to the increasing violence on Market Street was disappointingly passive. Captain Lewis and Chief Thomas’ personal assistant Emily Lantz both told us that upon the first signs of open violence on Market Street, Chief Thomas said “let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.” Thomas did not recall making that statement, though he did confirm that he waited to “see how things played out” before declaring the unlawful assembly. Regardless of what he said, Chief Thomas’ slow-footed response to violence put the safety of all at risk and created indelible images of this chaotic event.

    So the fighting escalated for perhaps 45 minutes until police finally declared an unlawful assembly.”

    There was an unlawful assembly…. by Antifa thugs, the ones police allowed that they shouldn’t have in the first place.


  13. Yet another reason to fire Rosenstein.


    “While he was Maryland’s chief federal prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office failed to interview the undercover informant in the FBI’s Russian nuclear bribery case before it filed criminal charges in the case in 2014, officials told The Hill.

    And the prosecutors did not let a grand jury hear from the paid informant before it handed up an indictment portraying him as a “victim” of the Russian corruption scheme or fully review his extensive trove of documents until months later, the officials confirmed.

    The decisions backfired after prosecutors conducted more extensive debriefings of William Campbell in 2015, learning much more about the extent of his undercover activities and the transactions he engaged in while under the FBI’s direction, the officials said.

    The debriefings forced prosecutors to recast their entire criminal case against former Russian uranium industry executive Vadim Mikerinn — removing the informant as a star witness and main victim for the prosecution, the officials added.
    Justice Department officials began briefing Congress last week, divulging missteps in a case that nonetheless proved the Russian state-owned Rosatom was engaged in criminal activity through its top American executive beginning in 2009, well before the Obama administration made a series of favorable decisions benefitting Moscow’s nuclear giant.

    Multiple House and Senate committees already are investigating whether the FBI alerted President Obama or his top aides to the Russian criminal activity and plan to interview the undercover informant soon.

    The new revelations, however, could tip some scrutiny toward federal prosecutors’ own conduct in the case, a sensitive topic since Rosenstein is now Justice’s No. 2 official and the supervisor of the special counsel investigation into Russian election tampering.

    Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said it was troubling that prosecutors would ever bring a case without talking first to a person they portrayed in court as a victim, especially when that person was an FBI informant available to them.

    “I’ve never heard of such a case unless the victim is dead. I’ve never heard of prosecutors making a major case and not talking to the victim before you made it, especially when he was available to them through the FBI,” Dershowitz said.

    “It is negligence, and I’m sure there will be internal issues with the Justice Department and U.S. attorney for making such an obvious mistake,” he said.”

    Negligent? Yes.

    Intentional? Yes.


  14. Another win for Trump, and another loss for Dems.


    “The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

    This is not a final ruling on the travel ban: Challenges to the policy are winding through the federal courts, and the justices themselves ultimately are expected to rule on its legality.

    But the action indicates that the high court might eventually approve the latest version of the ban, announced by President Donald Trump in September. Lower courts have continued to find problems with the policy.

    Opponents of this and previous versions of the ban say they show a bias against Muslims. They say that was reinforced most recently by Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos.

    “President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret. He has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter. It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. The ACLU is representing some opponents of the ban.

    Just two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, noted their disagreement with court orders allowing the latest policy to take full effect.

    The new policy is not expected to cause the chaos that ensued at airports when Trump rolled out his first ban without warning in January.

    The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.”


  15. Well, well, well…..

    It’s all starting to make sense now. So much for a non-partisan and neutral FBI under Comey.


    “A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey’s description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

    Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” the source said.

    The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.

    The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”

    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, raised questions over why the change was made after receiving documents from the FBI last month, but the identity of who was behind the edit has not been reported until now.

    CNN has also learned that Strzok was the FBI official who signed the document officially opening an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter. As the No. 2 official in counterintelligence, Strzok was considered to be one of the bureau’s top experts on Russia.

    But the news of Strzok’s direct role in the statement that ultimately cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, now combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically, may give ammunition to those seeking ways to discredit Mueller’s Russia investigation.

    The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment.”

    So it’s as many have said, a witch hunt by Democrats and leadership at the FBI.


  16. Here ya go. This will do the math with the Senate and House tax plans and tell you if either would benefit you. Just fill in the anonymous info -=- state of residence, estimated real estate taxes, marital status, and kids.

    Then it calculates what the new tax codes would do for, or to, your household.



  17. AJ @7:18 Thanks. that was interesting. It looks like we are going to get about a 1% tax cut, and for that which we are about to receive we thank Thee, O Lord!


  18. The campaign is taking off. He is up to two followers on Twitter. Tomorrow he is going to bite Megyn Kelly on the ankle. That is the recipe for victory, is it not?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. So he’s not a liberal, or a pedophile, just a drag queen cross dresser who exposes himself in public pretty much daily.

    And that’s better how exactly?


  20. Oh, I get it, that’s the Sander’s lady he picked for press secretary. Got it. Whew. I was worried.

    But he still exposes himself in public frequently. Sorry, we don’t need another of those. We have enough in Congress and Hollywood already.

    Liked by 1 person

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