Pocket

Student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance expelled, Texas attorney general backs school

After a student was expelled for refusing to stand for her school’s Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Attorney General is intervening.
Student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance expelled, Texas attorney general backs school

This was settled by the supreme court in 1943 “West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette” Students can NOT be required to say the pledge.

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father

The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.
Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father

If the NY Times is fake news, Trump could expose them to the whole world by releasing his tax returns. He could release those returns and then make a big show of exposing the Times as being unfair to him, making things up, etc. He won’t. Why?

Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Judge T.S. Ellis said at a hearing in Manafort’s case that he will not release the names of jurors deliberating Manafort’s fate because he is worried about their safety. Manafort is being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Civility!

Ex-CIA officials: 'Country will be weakened' if political litmus test applied to experts

Sixty former CIA officials warned President Donald Trump in a statement on Friday that “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”
Ex-CIA officials: ‘Country will be weakened’ if political litmus test applied to experts

This is important. Trump is putting national security at risk for political reasons. This is dangerous.

Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

“I would really like to see an apology from some of the people who wrote columns demanding that liberals give Trump credit for his obviously fake diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea.”
Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

It’s always a con, there is nothing “real” about anything Trump says or does. No one should have been surprised that there was no progress with NK. It’s always a con.

Peter Baker on Twitter

“The president of the United States praises the convicted felon who ran his campaign because “he refused to break” and give information to prosecutors.”
Peter Baker on Twitter

This sounds like the scene in Goodfellas where the mobsters praise young Henry Hill for not being a rat.

Lone Manafort Juror Blocked Conviction On All 18 Counts

Paula Duncan, a juror in the Paul Manafort trial, told Fox News on Wednesday that one holdout juror was the…
Lone Manafort Juror Blocked Conviction On All 18 Counts

‘Duncan said that for herself personally, her allegiance to the President made it difficult for her to contribute to the conviction of his former campaign chairman.’ The GOP is a crime family, not a political party. Until we face this basic fact, we can not fix this country.

Adam Schiff on Twitter

“In his praise for Manafort, now convicted of multiple felonies but refusing to spill the beans, to his ire with Cohen for a willingness to cooperate, to his absurd claim that turning state’s evidence should be outlawed, Trump acts more like a mob boss than a president.”
Adam Schiff on Twitter

Trump’s words and actions should be instantly recognizable as a call for “omerta” as policy. It’s horrible. But this was W’s policy during the torture memo and Plame investigation. Oliver North became a hero during Iran contra for following the GOP rules on Omerta. It’s a crime family, not a political party.

AP source: It's not just audio, Manigault Newman has video

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and other documentation supporting the claims in her
AP source: It’s not just audio, Manigault Newman has video

There were recordings made in the white house and as far as I know, I’m the only one talking about an investigation. How do we know that she doesn’t have blackmail material on senior officials? This is a problem.

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy TheoriesDonald Trump Is Fulfilling All of...

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

For the better part of his presidency, conservative commentators and provocateurs dogged Barack Obama with accusations of disloyalty and subversion, questioning his commitment to American exceptionalism and accusing him of being a secret agent for foreign powers. But Obama never did anything remotely as damning as Trump’s inexplicable defense of Vladimir Putin on Monday, when the sitting president publicly sided with his Russian counterpart over the findings of American intelligence. via Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

Trump on Russia indictment: Why didn’t Obama do something?

President Trump on Saturday reacted to the indictment of 12 Russian military officers “for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election” by blaming former President Obama and the “deep state.”
Trump on Russia indictment: Why didn’t Obama do something?

If Obama announced that the Russians were helping Trump, the GOP would have gone nuts and claimed Obama was interfering with the election.

Former U.S. Senator Al Franken

When Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senators will have an opportunity to examine his record, his judicial philosophy, and his qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
 
I wish I could be there.  Because I have some questions I’d love to see him answer.
 
1. Judge Kavanaugh, welcome. I’d like to start with a series of yes or no questions.  The first one is a gimme.  Do you think it’s proper for judges to make determinations based on their ideological preconceptions or their personal biases?
 
He’ll say no, of course.
 
2. Good.  Would you agree that judges should make determinations based on their understanding of the facts?
 
3. And would you agree that it’s important for a judge to obtain a full and fair understanding of the facts before making a determination?
 
This is all pretty standard stuff.  Then, however, I’d turn to an issue that’s received a bit of attention—but not nearly enough.
 
4. When you were introduced by President Trump, you spoke to the American people for the very first time as a nominee for the Supreme Court. That is a very important moment in this process, wouldn’t you agree?
 
5. And one of the very first things that came out of your mouth as a nominee for the Supreme Court was the following assertion: “No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.”  Did I quote you correctly?
 
This claim, of course, was not just false, but ridiculous.  The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake (a Minnesota native) called it “a thoroughly inauspicious way to begin your application to the nation’s highest court, where you will be deciding the merits of the country’s most important legal and factual claims.”  
 
It would be only fair to give Kavanaugh a chance to retract that weirdly specific bit of bullshit.
 
6. Do you stand by those words today?  Yes or no?
 
If he says that he doesn’t, I’d skip down to Question 22.  But, if he won’t take it back, I’d want to pin him down.
 
7. I just want to be clear.  You are under oath today, correct?
 
8. So, today, you are telling the American people—under oath—that it is your determination that “[n]o president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination.”
 
9. And that determination—it wouldn’t be based on your ideological preconceptions, would it?
 
10. And it’s not based on any personal bias, is it?
 
11. No, of course not.  That would be improper.  Instead, it is based on your understanding of the facts, right?
 
12. Was it a “full and fair” understanding of the facts?
 
Again, if he decided here to fold his hand and admit that he was full of it, I’d skip down to Question 22.  But if not, I’d continue with…
 
13. Great.  Judge Kavanaugh, are you aware that there have been 162 nominations to the Supreme Court over the past 229 years?
 
14. And do you have a full and fair understanding of the circumstances surrounding each nomination?
 
Of course he doesn’t.
 
15. Of course you don’t.  So, in actuality, your statement at that press conference did not reflect a full and fair understanding of the facts—isn’t that right?
 
16. This was one of the very first public statements you made to the American people as a nominee for the Supreme Court.  A factual assertion you have repeated here under oath.  And it did not meet your standard for how a judge should make determinations about issues of national importance.
 
17. Let me ask you about some widely-reported facts.  Are you aware of the widely-reported fact that President Trump selected you from a list of 25 jurists provided by the conservative Federalist Society?
 
18. Are you aware of any other case in which a President has selected a nominee from a list provided to him by a partisan advocacy group?
 
19. Are you aware of the widely-reported fact that President Trump spent just two weeks mulling over his selection—whereas, for example, President Obama spent roughly a month before making each of his two Supreme Court nominations?
 
20. Let me ask you this.  Are you aware of any facts that support your assertion that—and I’ll quote it again—“No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination”?
 
21. And yet, you still believe that your assertion was based on a full and fair understanding of the facts?
 
Then I’d try to sum it up.
 
22. Judge Kavanaugh, do you believe that intellectual honesty and a scrupulous adherence to the facts are important characteristics in a Supreme Court Justice?
 
23: And would you say that you displayed those characteristics to your own satisfaction when you made in your very first public remarks (and reiterated here today under oath) your assertion that, “No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination”?
 
By the way: Once I had him pinned down on his ridiculous lie, I’d ask where it came from.
 
24: Let me ask you about something else.  Did President Trump, or anyone in his administration, have any input on your remarks at that press conference?
 
25: Did President Trump, or anyone in his administration, instruct, ask, or suggest that you make that assertion?
 
I know this might seem like a long chase.  Senators have a lot of ground they want to cover in these hearings: health care, choice, net neutrality, and a long list of incredibly important issues on which Kavanaugh has been, and would continue to be, terrible.  After all, he was chosen through a shoddy, disgraceful process overseen by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
 
And, of course, Kavanaugh is a smart guy.  He and his team no doubt know that his easily provable lie is a potential problem, and I’m sure they’re workshopping answers at this very moment.
 
But pinning him down on this is important, for a couple of reasons.
 
First of all, it was exactly the kind of lie that has been plaguing our discourse for a generation, the kind that has become prevalent under the Trump administration.  It’s just a totally made-up assertion that is exactly the opposite of the truth, flowing out of the mouth of a committed partisan who doesn’t care that it’s false.  And if you’re sick of people doing that and getting away with it, at some point someone is going to have to start using a prominent stage to bust these lies.  If they go unchallenged, then why would any of these guys stop lying, ever?
 
More to the point: This episode is a perfect illustration of what the conservative movement has been doing to the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process specifically, and the judicial system generally, for a generation now.
 
In theory, judges are supposed to be above partisan politics.  They don’t make law, they interpret it.  They don’t create the strike zone, they just call balls and strikes.  You know the routine.
 
The truth is, for the last generation, conservatives have politicized the Court, and the courts.  Kavanaugh is the very model of a young, arch-conservative judge who has been groomed for moments like this one precisely because conservative activists know that he will issue expansive, activist rulings to further their agenda.  He has spent his whole career carefully cultivating a reputation as a serious and thoughtful legal scholar—but he wouldn’t have been on that list if he weren’t committed to the right-wing cause.
 
That’s why it’s critical to recognize that the very first thing he did as a Supreme Court nominee was to parrot a false, partisan talking point.  Of course that’s what he did. Advancing the goals of the Republican Party and the conservative movement is what he’s there to do.
 
When the Kavanaugh nomination was announced, I saw a lot of statements from Senators saying they looked forward to carefully evaluating his credentials and asking him questions about his judicial philosophy.  But anyone who ignores the obvious fact that this nomination, and the judicial nomination process in general, has become a partisan exercise for Republicans is just playing along with the farce.  
 
Instead, we ought to be having a real conversation about what
conservatives have done to the principle of judicial independence—and
what progressives can do to correct it.  I can think of no better
example of the problem than Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and the
bizarre lie he uttered moments after it was made official.  And I can
think of no better opportunity to start turning the tide than
Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing—even if it means going down a rabbit
hole for a few uncomfortable minutes.
Former U.S. Senator Al Franken

NRA spokeswoman said journalists 'need to be curb-stomped', in video that resurfaced after Maryland newspaper shooting

‘They are the rat bastards of the earth. They are the boil on the backside of American politics,’ Ms Loesch previously said
NRA spokeswoman said journalists 'need to be curb-stomped’, in video that resurfaced after Maryland newspaper shooting

NRA spokeswoman previously said journalists 'need to be curb-stomped’ before Maryland newspaper shooting Where’s the civility?

As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In DeeperAs Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In...

As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper

As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper

“He’s not a perfect guy; he does some stupid stuff,” said Tony Schrantz, 50, of Lino Lakes, Minn., the owner of a water systems leak detection business. “But when they’re hounding him all the time it just gets old. Give the guy a little.” via As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper The GOP demands it’s insults be accepted as politically incorrect free speech while it demands its opposition to act in the more comically deferential way possible.

Nail manufacturing exec who voted for Trump blames him for layoffs, asks Democrat for help

An executive for the largest U.S. nail producer who voted for President Trump said he is so dismayed by the president’s trade policies that he is lobbying a Democratic senator for help.
Nail manufacturing exec who voted for Trump blames him for layoffs, asks Democrat for help

I didn’t think leopards would eat my face, said executive who voted for the leopards eating people’s faces party.

Opinion | Yes, family separation is bad. But what about Hillary Clinton’s emails?

Ah, so it’s “regular order” to have the umpteenth hearing about a now-private citizen’s emails, but you’re “pulling” a stunt if you talk about the Trump policy under which border guards are reportedly telling parents they are taking children “for a bath” and the children never return.
Opinion | Yes, family separation is bad. But what about Hillary Clinton’s emails?

As children are separated from their parents, GOP congressmen run an old play. The GOP is insane.

That Time Newt Gingrich Tried To Take Kids Away From Welfare Recipients And Put Them in Orphanages

That Time Newt Gingrich Tried To Take Kids Away From Welfare Recipients And Put Them in Orphanages Bryce Covert Jul 20, 2016, 12:00 pm SHARE Facebook Twitter Email SMS WhatsApp Share Newt Gingrich at the Republican National Convention on Monday CREDIT: AP PHOTO/MATT ROURKE After widespread speculati…
That Time Newt Gingrich Tried To Take Kids Away From Welfare Recipients And Put Them in Orphanages

That Time Newt Gingrich Tried To Take Kids Away From Welfare Recipients And Put Them in Orphanages

Trump ramps up rhetoric: Dems want 'illegal immigrants' to 'infest our country'

President Donald Trump amplified his heated immigration rhetoric on Tuesday, accusing Democrats of wanting “illegal immigrants … to pour into and infest our country,” language evoking images of pests, not human beings.
Trump ramps up rhetoric: Dems want ‘illegal immigrants’ to 'infest our country’

it’s really hard to believe the “animals” comment was just about MS-13 when he keeps using terms like “infest” and “breed” when talking about immigrants.

MS-13 Gang Leader Getting Some Pretty Great Ideas From Watching ICE Work

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR—Praising U.S. law enforcement officials for the unfettered cruelty they have unleashed along the Mexican border, MS-13 gang leader Edwin Manica Flores admitted Tuesday that observing ICE’s work in recent weeks has provided him with quite a bit of inspiration. “Serious…
MS-13 Gang Leader Getting Some Pretty Great Ideas From Watching ICE Work

“we would have never thought of keeping kids in a cage like that—in fact, that’s kind of off-limits for us—but you can’t deny the genius behind it”

How Trump Came to Enforce a Practice of Separating Migrant Families

Inside the Trump administration, there is unease about the tactic, but immigration hard-liners like Stephen Miller never gave up on it after the idea was dropped early in Mr. Trump’s term.
How Trump Came to Enforce a Practice of Separating Migrant Families

there is no grand principal here, it’s just sadism. and make no mistake about it, the base supports this. they want the cruelty. they want callous mistreatment.

Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Monday that he will back legislation to prevent the separation of immigrant families along the border, solidifying Democratic support for the bill.
Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families

100% of Democrats, 0% of Republicans. This isn’t Trumpism, this is the Republicans.

Trump Calls Justice Dept. Report ‘Total Disaster’ for Fired F.B.I. Director

“Doesn’t get any lower than that!” Mr. Trump wrote of findings in a Justice Department report that detailed texts between F.B.I. agents who opposed his presidential bid.
Trump Calls Justice Dept. Report ‘Total Disaster’ for Fired F.B.I. Director

Comey gave into the GOP demands to re-re-investigate Hillary and now the same thugs that demanded he violate policy for the sake of their party and attacking him for the policy violations they demanded. The lesson here is that if you go along with Republican bully tactics, they will still throw you under the bus.

‘This Is Not America’: Outrage Spreads Over Trump Mural At Migrant Children Facility

Lawmakers, advocates and journalists are outraged at the the mural of President Donald Trump at a holding center for migrant…
‘This Is Not America’: Outrage Spreads Over Trump Mural At Migrant Children Facility

it didn’t take long to go from “liberals are overreacting” to murals of dear leader’s quotes in dentention centers where kids taken from thier families are kept in cages.

Paul Krugman on Twitter

“It’s normal to feel that people you disagree with politically are offering bad solutions to our problems. But Trump has brought something new: his policy agenda is almost entirely directed at problems we don’t have – problems that exist only in his warped imagination 1/”
Paul Krugman on Twitter

The whole thread is worth reading but the take away is this “his policy agenda is almost entirely directed at problems we don’t have – problems that exist only in his warped imagination” https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1005812808129372161

Steve Schmidt on Twitter

“TRUMP got taken to the cleaners because he is ignorant and monumentally unprepared. What did Kim Jong Un give up with regard to training his million man army ? 12,000 North Korean artillery pieces are locked , loaded and trained on Seoul. He learned Trump is a stupendous fool”
Steve Schmidt on Twitter

Trump Says Appointment of Special Counsel is ‘Totally Unconstitutional’

The president also said he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take action to immunize himself from the ongoing Russia investigation.
Trump Says Appointment of Special Counsel is ‘Totally Unconstitutional’

The 2nd amendment trolls who talk about the need to defend from tyranny are totally cool with the president declaring himself above the law and uninvestigatable. It was never about defending the Constitution.

Evan McMullin on Twitter

“The president says an investigation of him is “unconstitutional,” that he may pardon himself, and that he has “absolute” powers. He considers himself king and will eventually act as one to avoid the consequences of his corruption. Will we defend our liberty or will we go quietly?”
Evan McMullin on Twitter

Press aide who mocked McCain is out at the White House

Kelly Sadler, the White House communications aide who made a imprudent comment about Republican Sen. John McCain’s health, was quietly let go Tuesday nearly a month after making the insensitive remark, three people familiar with the matter said.
Press aide who mocked McCain is out at the White House

the right will circle the wagons and look for a liberal scalp to collect. they always do that when one of theirs gets fired.

NFL Owner Testifies Under Oath that He Changed His Mind About Hiring Kaepernick After Trump’s Comments

An NFL owner testified under penalty of perjury that he changed his mind about hiring NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick because of President Trump’s comments, Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos told me on my podcast “Straight Aim” Tuesday . The Kaepernick legal team has already conducted more than 14…
NFL Owner Testifies Under Oath that He Changed His Mind About Hiring Kaepernick After Trump’s Comments

I keep hearing that the problem with SJW protests is that it leads to a chilling effect that silences debate. In this instance, Trump is acting exactly in that way and yet the right wing concern trolls seem not to care about any chilling effect? They also don’t seem to care about the president telling private companies how to conduct themselves.

BREAKING: New Trump Executive Orders Target Federal Worker Protections

The Trump administration unveiled a set of executive orders late Friday afternoon aimed at weakening unions that represent federal workers…
BREAKING: New Trump Executive Orders Target Federal Worker Protections

“Simon said the new executive orders will make it easier for managers to make decisions based on “political loyalty.”” Under the Republicans, facts and reason come second to political correctness and identity.

New Poll: Most Americans don’t realize Robert Mueller’s investigation has uncovered crimes

“A majority of Americans — 59 percent — say in a new survey that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia and the 2016 campaign has not yet uncovered evidence of any crimes, even though in reality, Mueller has already obtained five guilty pleas and 17 criminal indictments.”
New Poll: Most Americans don’t realize Robert Mueller’s investigation has uncovered crimes

This is in less than 1/3 of the time spent on the Benghazi investigation.

Rob Reiner on Twitter

“Richard Nixon was driven from office over obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Donald Trump, at a minimum, has done those things in plain sight. Difference is current GOP is ok with that. Today’s WH mtg. with DOJ is a big shot over Democracy’s bow. We’re heading for war.”
Rob Reiner on Twitter

Meathead has a point.

Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign | National Review

I find the notion that the Russia investigation itself was corrupt from the beginning to be so bizarre as to border on fantastical. There was ample reason to investigate whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russians. … The CIA, NSA, FBI, and the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee agree that this disruption operation morphed into an effort to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign | National Review

This is the national review saying this.

Chris Hayes on Twitter

“This MS-13 nonsense has precisely the same structure as the racist drug war rhetoric of the crack years. Politicians would use wildly racist language to describe drug dealers, but if called on it would say “oh so you’re defending drug dealers?””
Chris Hayes on Twitter

We Need to Talk About Reactionary Centrists – Member Feature Stories – Medium

Reactionary centrism is an ideological stance that isn’t really centrist at all. It can elevate a speaker in the mainstream media as a liberal-ish critic of liberalism and make someone feel good about being above it all and not taking sides, but it’s increasingly a stance that leads to sloppy thinking, especially as the Republican party continues to lurch rightward and away from democratic rule.
We Need to Talk About Reactionary Centrists – Member Feature Stories – Medium

I used to call this hippie punching. agreeing with liberal principals while attacking actual liberals based on straw man liberal caricatures.

Moderates Go Down In Key House Primaries As National Democrats Fret

A trio of moderate Democrats went down to more liberal opponents Tuesday night in key House primaries, the latest skirmishes…
Moderates Go Down In Key House Primaries As National Democrats Fret

This is the most underreported story of the 2018 election cycle. DCCC backed moderates are being pushed out by more liberal candidates. State and local party committees are being restaffed by more liberal staff.