Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has tried to disappear when it comes to the shutdown fight with Individual 1 over border wall funding. His line for the past few weeks has been «[Trump] and [Senate Democratic Leader Chuck] Schumer and [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi need to sit down and discuss how to resolve the differences.» That was McConnell's way of saying it's all going to be the Democrats' fault for refusing to work with Trump. Well, we all know now how well that's going. Schumer, now with Trump's «I OWN THIS SHUTDOWN» declaration on the books, isn't going to let McConnell off the hook in this fight. In his own floor statement, Schumer noted that McConnell didn't make a «peep» about government funding when he spoke from the floor. «Leader McConnell says he doesn't want a shutdown,» Schumer said, «but he refuses to engage with the president to tell him what's transparently obvious to everyone else. There will be no additional money for the wall.» «The idea that Senator McConnell has nothing to do with appropriations as majority leader of the Senate who still is on that committee does not withstand the slightest scrutiny,» Schumer continued. He told McConnell and Republicans that it's «better to solve this now because you're going to be stuck with it two weeks from now after an unfortunate government shut down caused by your president if you don't act now,» and called on them to «help pull the president back from the brink.» For his part, McConnell is still pretending that yesterday didn't happen, and that Trump never uttered those fateful words about taking the blame for a shutdown. «One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown is, the American people don't like it,» he told reporters. As if there's any question whose brilliant idea this one is.
Michael Cohen’s attorneys went before a federal judge earlier last week to ask that the former Trump attorney be given no jail time. That did not work out so well. But now it’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s turn to explain why his cooperation with the special counsel’s office should earn him the right to walk out of the courtroom without a looming date for surrendering to federal officers. As Politico reports, Flynn’s attorneys were in court on Tuesday, and they brought with them a statement about the wonder of Michael Flynn that approaches novel length. In a 178-page sentencing memo, Flynn’s attorneys pleaded for leniency by citing their client’s “exceptional record of military service” and “his genuine contrition for the uncharacteristic error in judgment that brought him before this court.” Anything that is 178 pages long can scarcely be described with the word “memo.” This in-court hagiography would seem to be attorney overkill, considering that the worst Flynn could face is a year and the special counsel’s office has already lauded him for his cooperation and the importance of his early deal to bringing others in out of the cold on the Russia investigation. It was already expected that Flynn would receive probation at best, a token sentence of a few weeks at worst. But his attorneys seem to have conducted a carpet bombing campaign to convey Flynn’s “deep respect for the law” that he broke. Most of the things that Flynn could be charged with, from illegal foreign lobbying to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, didn’t even make the list of charges, because Flynn’s deal with the special counsel knocked all but a single count off his paperwork. In any case, it’s unlikely the man who led the “Lock her up!” chant at the Republican National Convention will spend any significant amount of time locked up, sadly enough.
Just in case there was any doubt, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams definitely plans to run for office again. She confirmed her plans to do so Tuesday in front of a crowd in Laguna Niguel, Calif. at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. Though Abrams didn’t say what office she plans to run for, she highlighted the success of her campaign and how she was able to engage a diverse coalition of voters around the state—ultimately getting more votes than any other Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia’s history. “We tripled the number of Latinos who voted. We tripled the number of Asian-Americans. We increased African-Americans by 38%. Increased the youth vote.” One of the great things about Abrams (and there are many!) is the fact that she remains confident in her message and unapologetic about reminding everyone that her opponent will take office under a cloud of voter suppression. Almost one month after officially ending her bid for governor, Abrams still refuses to concede the race—acknowledging that Republican Brian Kemp will be the state’s next governor but that he cheated in order to get there. At the summit, Abrams said about the election, “What happened was not just. That anyone had their vote tarnished or restricted or narrowed is wrong.” This is why she is currently hard at work with her organization Fair Fight Georgia, which seeks to make elections fairer in Georgia and around the country. Last month, the group filed a lawsuit against the interim Secretary of State and the state’s election board members. Abrams and voting rights advocates around the state want to make sure that all eligible voters have their votes counted in the future. It’s heartbreaking that Kemp managed to cheat his way into the governor’s mansion. Still, let’s give credit where it’s due. Abrams ran a bad ass campaign and managed to make history as the first black woman to be nominated for governor by a major party, all while inspiring voters and changing politics in the South forever. It’s really good news that she’s not going away anytime soon. Georgia needs her and America does too.
Today’s comic by Matt Bors is Trump ... unindicted and excited! • EPI reports on how labor market changes have generated inequality and wage suppression: Since 1979, the bottom 90 percent of the American workforce has seen their pay shrink radically as a share of total income. Figure A shows total labor compensation for the bottom 90 percent as a share of all market-based income in the American economy. In 1979, this share was 58 percent, but as of 2015 it had shrunk to just under 47 percent. The amount of money this loss represents is staggering; had the 1979 share held constant, the bottom 90 percent of the American workforce would have had roughly $1.35 trillion in additional labor income in 2015, or about $10,800 per household. x Embedded Content • Consumer Price Index, one measure of inflation, rose 2.2 percent over past 12 months. But in November, the CPI remained unchanged over October when it rose 0.3 percent. The gasoline index fell 4.2 percent in November and the overall energy index dropped 2.2 percent. MIDDAY TWEET xAs states moves toward legalizing marijuana, let's remember how many lives have been ruined because of our regressive policies. We must focus on restorative justice.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 11, 2018 • Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states on December 15: After today, there’s only three days left to enroll if you need insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk your through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now. • Public health experts—James Bond had ‘a severe chronic alcohol problem’: In a newly reported study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand examined James Bond movies from 1962 to 2015 to check out the fictional British Secret Service agent’s patterns of alcohol use. In two dozen movies over that time, Bond was seen drinking alcohol 109 times. Conclusion: Bond had a “severe” and “chronic” drinking problem and he engaged in stunningly risky behavior under the influence of alcohol. “Chronic risks include frequently drinking prior to fights, driving vehicles (including in chases), high-stakes gambling, operating complex machinery or devices, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance and sex with enemies, sometimes with guns or knives in the bed,” the study’s lead author Nick Wilson said in a statement. • Pompeo tells U.N. Security Council to stop Iran’s ballistic missile activity: The secretary of state said Wednesday that the U.N. should reimpose restrictions on Iran’s missile program and not lift the current arms embargo when it expires in 2020. Pompeo said continued “goodwill gestures” by the United States had been “futile in correcting Iran’s missile activity” and its “destructive behavior.” Meanwhile, eight EU members issued a statement in support of the Iran nuclear deal ahead of the Security Council meeting but calling for Tehran to stop its “destabilizing” behavior in the region, including its testing of ballistic missiles. That statement noted that «the launch of nuclear-capable missiles and any transfers of missiles, missile technologies and components» would violate Security Council resolutions. The Trump regime has withdrawn from 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions even though the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly found Iran in full compliance. • Trump regime offers 150,000 acres of public land for fossil fuel extraction fracking near Utah’s protected lands: «This is a reckless fire sale of spectacular public lands for dirty drilling and fracking,» said Ryan Beam, a public lands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. «These red-rock wonderlands are some of the West's most iconic landscapes, and we can't afford to lose a single acre. Fracking here will waste precious water, foul the air and destroy beautiful wild places that should be held in trust for generations to come.» • Gulf state monarchies are using racism, male supremacy, and fake news to attack Muslim women elected to Congress in November. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Everybody's talking about yesterday's Oval Office meltdown. That includes Greg Dworkin & Joan McCarter. Nobody's talking about the job of UN Musical Director. That Chinese microchip spying story's falling apart. And so is Trump’s base, at last! x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
Amid the spectacle of Tuesday's Oval Office row between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, it's easy to forget that Trump could have had $25 billion for border security and his precious border wall if he weren't such a dismally shortsighted and erratic negotiator. That's right, in January over cheeseburgers Sen. Schumer offered Trump five times the amount he's now demanding and won't get in exchange for permanent legal protections for Dreamers. At the time, Schumer said, "I put that deal on the table in the Oval Office in a sincere effort at compromise. I put the wall on the table in exchange for strong DACA protections. … It was a generous offer.” It was, actually. Trump was getting something he dearly wanted and Democrats hated for something Democrats dearly wanted and Republicans were mostly okay with. In other words, it was a much bigger trade off for Democrats than it was for Trump and his Republicans. But Trump wasn't smart enough—or maybe he was just too petty—to take it. The immigration concessions from Democrats were not conservative enough, Mr. Trump told Mr. Schumer. The president said he needed more border security measures as well as more enforcement of illegal immigration in parts of the country far from the border. As the evening wore on, Mr. Schumer got a call from Mr. Kelly that dashed all hopes for a Trump-Schumer deal before the shutdown deadline of midnight. Mr. Kelly, a hard-liner on immigration, the person familiar with the call said, outlined a long list of White House objections to the deal. Bottom line, Democrats were making the bigger concession and Trump wanted more—thereby killing the compromise entirely. Now Trump is left groveling for $5 billion with zero leverage because he fully owned any shutdown in an outburst he couldn't control. Shutdowns are never popular and through his bluster Trump made sure Americans would know exactly who to blame and why. In the meantime, the resonant images from Trump's red-faced Oval Office meltdown include a grinning Schumer and Pelosi donning her shades as the Democrats exited the West Wing. They are offering Trump exactly what he ultimately got for border security this year: $1.3 billion. As Schumer pointed out Tuesday, if it was good enough last time around (when Trump could've had $25 billion), it should be good enough this time around (when he's angling for $5 billion). Aces.
Why the Democratic leader decided to start yesterday’s White House meeting with a prayer
Today only, double up on donuts: a buck buys you a dozen when you buy another dozen.
Neither Elon Musk's company nor Blue Origin have done it just yet, and it's a long time coming for Richard Branson's space tourism venture.
The fees would reportedly help make mobile services more accessible to the poor.
We really got a kick out of the World Cup this year.
The proposal has industry support.
Icra expects further capital infusion of Rs 135 billion in PCA banks during FY19 with capital infusion of Rs 119 billion till now
Lucasfilm has released an initial cast list for “The Mandalorian,” the live action Star Wars series that Jon Favreau is creating for the upcoming streaming service Disney+. Pedro Pascal, who had a brief-but-glorious run on “Game of Thrones” as Oberyn Martell, will star in the title role — Lucasfilm describes his character as “a lone […]
The marsupial lion has long mystified scientists. But the recent discovery of more of its fossils, including a nearly complete skeleton of the extinct beast, has revealed some of its secrets.
During the first two weeks of Scoot’s operations of shared, electric scooters in San Francisco, more than 200 scooters were either stolen or damaged beyond repair, Scoot CEO Michael Keating wrote in a blog post today. As a temporary fix, Scoot attached cable locks to some of its scooters in San Francisco. Now, the company […]
New research suggests that populations of the Northern Cardinal -- one of the most ubiquitous backyard birds in the United States -- are undergoing speciation in two adjacent deserts. This study, which analyzed genetics and vocal behavior, gives clues about the early steps in bird speciation.
By trapping atoms in a lattice of light, researchers explore how unconventional metals conduct electricity, with an eye toward understanding high-temperature superconductors.
In the summer of 2012, I had just learned of a new service where a driver would pick you up in their own car, not a taxi or licensed town car. You’d be able to recognize the car by the pink mustache strapped to the front. I quickly downloaded the new app called Lyft and, […]
Tired of paying too much for TV? Ditch your expensive cable contract and watch your favorite shows for free with the ANTOP Big Boy AT402B Outdoor HDTV Antenna, discounted by 51% to just […] The post Finally Cut The Cord (And Save Over 50 Percent Off) With This HDTV Antenna appeared first on Geek.com.
Giving up your phone for a day might be a piece of cake, but how about not using it for a year? Vitaminwater is betting that you can’t survive without your mobile device. […] The post Vitaminwater Will Give You $100,000 to Ditch Your Phone for a Year appeared first on Geek.com.
Danish artist Nina Saunders creates sculptures that drip, tip, and spill what appears to be amorphous contents onto the ground, turning domestic objects of comfort and kitsch into sculptural pieces unintended for practical use. Her works typically involve secondhand furniture like armchairs and love seats, with the occasional melting piano thrown into her multi-media practice. Floral fabrics run from chair to floor, while the shiny black exterior of a piano seems to leak from its position on the balcony of a busy mall. More
MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) - Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is gearing up to finally send its tourism rocket ship to the edge of space. If successful, it would be a major step toward the long-delayed dream of commercial space tourism. The next test flight could come as early as Thursday with ...
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man is suing after he says one of his pinky fingers was caught in an airline armrest mechanism for nearly an hour during a flight to Los Angeles. City Wire Service reports Stephen Keys has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against both ...
I’ve been playing a lot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch. I mean a lot. I already shared many of my thoughts in our review from early this week. But between playing […] The post Why Is Only My ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Online So Great? appeared first on Geek.com.
South Dakota St reaches FCS semifinals for second straight year, North Dakota St next
The NFL will stage four games in London and one in Mexico City next season, with the Jaguars, Chargers, Rams, Raiders and Buccaneers serving as hosts.
Benfica ended its Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over AEK Athens on Wednesday
Lyon has scraped into the knockout rounds of the Champions League after salvaging a 1-1 draw away to a tenacious Shakhtar Donetsk team
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Prosecutors dismiss domestic assault case against Missouri defensive end Tre Williams