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Senate Republicans insist they'll be reining in 'emergency' powers—even after blocking those efforts

Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution that would have ended Donald Trump's clearly nonsensical declaration of a «national emergency» on the United States-Mexico border. But with only a handful of Republicans willing to
Daily Kos

Senate Republicans insist they'll be reining in 'emergency' powers—even after blocking those efforts

Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution that would have ended Donald Trump's clearly nonsensical declaration of a «national emergency» on the United States-Mexico border. But with only a handful of Republicans willing to vote with Democrats to do so, the vote was not enough to override the promised Trump veto. The «national emergency,” then, continues to stand. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed no desire to hold a re-vote to attempt to overturn that veto, but that doesn't mean Senate Republicans aren't still attempting mightily to show resolve in the face of Trump's clear abuses of emergency powers—so long as that resolve doesn't actually rein in this abuse of power. McConnell is now tasking Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson with crafting a new bill that would limit emergency powers in the future in some as-of-yet unspecified way. It will likely end up mirroring an existing bill by South Dakota Sen. Mike Lee that would require Congress to affirmatively approve a national emergency declaration within 30 days of presidential announcement, rather than the current law requiring Congress to vote to disapprove of one. Sen. Lee’s bill has been the subject of heated (and hilarious) negotiations these last few weeks between the senator and the Trump White House. Vice President Mike Pence floated the notion that Trump might agree not to veto such a bill, if Republicans agreed to not vote their disapproval at his current »national emergency" declaration; Donald Trump then called up Lee himself, during a luncheon, to personally disavow Pence's proposal by saying he would agree to no such thing. Trump is promising a veto of any bill that would limit his emergency powers, all but daring Senate Republicans to put up or shut up. The likely endgame here remains what it has been. Only a handful of Republicans are willing to challenge Trump on a clear, multibillion-dollar abuse of presidential power. But the party is united in scrambling to craft some new law that would limit the ability of future presidents (read: a Democratic successor) to take such extreme actions in the future. That is what the Pence compromise was geared toward, and what the Trump-captured Senate leadership is attempting to piece together now. And it may still be vetoed—or simply ignored—by a White House that has open contempt for the legislative branch.

Midday open thread: Flooding in the Midwest, 'surf guitar,' and plastic in the ocean

Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is Back to the stupidverse: What you missed on Sunday Kos … Women's History Month: Reclaiming the herstories of black woman suffragists, by Denise Oliver Velez Sexist campaign coverage can't be fixed if me
Daily Kos

Midday open thread: Flooding in the Midwest, 'surf guitar,' and plastic in the ocean

Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is Back to the stupidverse: What you missed on Sunday Kos … Women's History Month: Reclaiming the herstories of black woman suffragists, by Denise Oliver Velez Sexist campaign coverage can't be fixed if media won't admit to 2016 fiasco, by Eric Boehlert Too many Democrats? History shows that a large presidential field bodes well for our chances in 2020, by Ian Reifowitz How the college admissions process illuminates the reality of the American caste system, by Rebecca Renner Donald Trump’s 10 most pathetically predictable broken promises, by Jon Perr Sorry, Trump: Coal is going down, renewables are headed up, by Sher Watts Spooner Affirmative action and the myth of structural reverse racism, by Frank Vyan Walton Preparing for war in Venezuela? I’ve seen this play before, by Egberto Willies The Ohio gerrymandering court case: 'A map that Speaker Boehner supports,' by David Akadjian I, for one, welcome our robot overlords—they can't be any worse than Trump, by Mark E Andersen Flooding in the Midwest: Residents in parts of southwestern Iowa were forced out of their homes Sunday as a torrent of Missouri River water flowed over and through levees, putting them in a situation similar to hundreds of people in neighboring Nebraska who have been displaced by the late-winter flood. Heavy rainfall and snowmelt have led to dangerously high water in creeks and rivers across several Midwestern states, with the Missouri River hitting record-high levels in many areas. At least two deaths were blamed on flooding, and two other men have been missing for days. In addition: Even the U.S. Air Force couldn’t stop the Mighty Missouri River from flooding Offutt Air Force Base. [...] By Sunday morning, one-third of the base was underwater, she said. Thirty buildings, including the 55th Wing headquarters and the two major aircraft maintenance facilities, had been flooded with up to 8 feet of water, and 30 more structures damaged.  Rest in peace: Dick Dale, known as the «King of the Surf Guitar,» has died at the age of 81. The legendary guitarist's death was confirmed by his live bassist, Sam Bolle. [...] The legendary, often overlooked guitarist virtually singlehandedly invented surf-rock, and influenced everyone from The Beach Boys to Eddie Van Halen. Sigh: A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of «dehydration and starvation» after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The need for a world & national leader in the wake of the NZ shooting drove Trump batty this weekend. The drive to replace him rolls on. Greg Dworkin reports. More unsavory figures at Massage-a-Lago. Are the Sauds dialing back on the bone saws? x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Kellyanne Conway urges people to read New Zealand shooter's sick manifesto 'in its entirety'

Top Trump White House aide Kellyanne Conway took to Fox News Monday to urge viewers to read the hate-filled manifesto of the New Zealand shooter «in its entirety.» Sure, Donald Trump is named in the racist, anti-immigrant screed that lauds him as
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Kellyanne Conway urges people to read New Zealand shooter's sick manifesto 'in its entirety'

Top Trump White House aide Kellyanne Conway took to Fox News Monday to urge viewers to read the hate-filled manifesto of the New Zealand shooter «in its entirety.» Sure, Donald Trump is named in the racist, anti-immigrant screed that lauds him as «a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” but the shooter also mentioned China and claimed he wasn't a conservative, or a Nazi either. So apparently that pretty much frees up Trump from taking any responsibility for his normalizing of white nationalists as “very fine people.” »I guess everyone scoured it, [and] searched for Donald Trump's name,« Conway told Fox of the manifesto. »But people should read the entire—in its entirety,« she said of the document.  Trump downplayed the global rise of white nationalism Friday, saying the violence was just the work of »a small group of people« that have »serious problems.« He also used Twitter Monday morning to declare himself the real victim of the horrific massacre in New Zealand. »The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand," Trump groused. Poor Trump, always the victim, even when 50 innocent Muslim worshippers lost their lives at the hands of one of his fans. Watch Conway implore people to consume the venomous document below.

Labor Secretary Acosta allowed plea deal letting Epstein avoid being registered as a sex offender

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's role in the 2008 plea deal for billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein just keeps getting more and more vile. The latest reporting from the Washington Post reveals that despite the fact that the probe flagged 40 underaged vict
Daily Kos

Labor Secretary Acosta allowed plea deal letting Epstein avoid being registered as a sex offender

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's role in the 2008 plea deal for billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein just keeps getting more and more vile. The latest reporting from the Washington Post reveals that despite the fact that the probe flagged 40 underaged victims of Epstein, including a 14-year-old who first alerted police, prosecutors chose an older victim for solicitation charge, allowing Epstein to avoid being registered as a sex offender. «They were cutting a plea deal. It wasn't a prosecution,» said attorney Spencer Kuvin, who represented the 14-year-old girl who alerted police. «They had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from.» They chose a girl who was 16 at the time Epstein got his hands on her. That meant he didn't have to register as a sex offender in New Mexico, where he has a 7,600-acre property called Zorro Ranch, or in more than half of the other states in the country that set the age of consent at 16. Kuvin as well as some of the attorneys of the other alleged victims are attempting to void that non-prosecution plea deal. A side-effect of that would be the loss of immunity to potential co-conspirators. «Society in general is much more punitive and harsh if the victim was 14 versus 17,» attorney Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, told the Post. He wasn't part of the Epstein prosecution, but is working with a New York City Bar Association group studying the registration law. «The collateral consequences, including registration, are much more serious with a younger victim.» Epstein ended up serving 13 months in jail on two charges, one involving the minor who was 16. The second didn't refer to a specific victim. That's despite the 40 underaged victims who came forward in this probe and the more than 80 girls and women the Miami Herald has been able to find in its investigations of public records, civil lawsuits, and interviews. This will add fuel to the fire for House Democrats, some of whom are calling for Acosta's resignation. His department is responsible for overseeing investigations of sex trafficking, among other workplace abuses.  

'You don’t know if you’ll come back home': America's farm workers fear ICE crackdown

Immigrant farm workers are the lifeblood of the agricultural industry. Without them, the entire industry could collapse. Farmers know this, yet they voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, who ran on a mass deportation platform that was pretty clearly makin
Daily Kos

'You don’t know if you’ll come back home': America's farm workers fear ICE crackdown

Immigrant farm workers are the lifeblood of the agricultural industry. Without them, the entire industry could collapse. Farmers know this, yet they voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, who ran on a mass deportation platform that was pretty clearly making no exceptions for their workers. Now one of those voters, in Trump’s home state of New York, is feeling the consequences of her vote:  “We had heard things were starting to get bad, some wineries in the area and quite a few in the Finger Lakes started losing workers. It was almost immediately after Trump took office that ICE started snagging people,” said Kelly Raby, a vineyard owner in Lewiston. Last fall, Victor Pacheco, the foreman on Ms. Raby’s family farm for 23 years, was detained by ICE agents and deported to Mexico. Raby told the New York Times she’s struggled to find a foreman who was as skilled as Pacheco. Farmers were already facing worker shortages before Trump was installed in the White House. But even so, she continues to support the man putting her livelihood at risk: “I still agree with Trump in a lot of ways,” she said, “but I’m more on the fence about him now. I don’t want to lose the immigrants who are working here and growing our food.” It’s a summation of Trumpism: I don’t care what happens to others, as long as it doesn’t hurt me. And even then, I might put up with it. The fact is that we should all care about this, because the food we’re all eating likely passed through the hands of undocumented farm workers, and everyone from the workers rights groups fighting to protect them to the Trumpiest of Trump’s supporters know it. Ask California Congressman Devin Nunes—an ardent Trump loyalist—who works his family’s farm. Ask America’s most racist congressman, Iowa’s Steve King, who has revitalized his state. Ask Trump, on a related note, who staffs his golf clubs. Yet he and his supporters are perfectly willing to pretend that none of this is happening.  Meanwhile, it’s real people suffering. “Today you go to work and you don’t know if you’ll come back home and be with your family again,” said apple orchard worker Eladio Beltran, a Mexican immigrant currently in deportation proceedings. We need real solutions when it comes to respecting the immigrants laboring on America’s farms and ensuring America’s farms can survive, because we’re all depending on it.

Amnesiac Chuck Todd wonders why President Obama failed to unite the country

Oh, boy, did NBC's Chuck Todd step in it this Sunday, displaying Chris Cillizza-levels of brainless political punditry in attempting to both-sides the disaster Republicans have installed in the White House. He suggested in an interview with Democratic preside
Daily Kos

Amnesiac Chuck Todd wonders why President Obama failed to unite the country

Oh, boy, did NBC's Chuck Todd step in it this Sunday, displaying Chris Cillizza-levels of brainless political punditry in attempting to both-sides the disaster Republicans have installed in the White House. He suggested in an interview with Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke that it's all President Obama's fault. «You're not the first candidate to say, 'I'm going to bring this country together,'» Todd told O'Rourke. «The most recent Democratic president a lot of people put their hope in and thought he was the answer that was going to do that. Why do you think that didn't happen in Obama's eight years?» Oh, gosh, why didn't the nation's first black president single-handedly erase 400 years of white supremacy and the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and voter suppression still happening to this very day? What a failure, huh? Perhaps Chuck just had a few minutes of amnesia there. In the interest of helping restore his memory, let's travel back to 2010. Then-House Republican leader John Boehner on Obama's agenda: «We're going to do everything—and I mean everything we can do—to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.» Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: «The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.» That help, Chuck? Ring any bells? In response, O'Rourke did what he could to not alienate his gormless host and try to set the record straight. «I know that President Obama worked incredibly hard to find common ground with Republicans. […] He was able to achieve a heck of a lot in those eight years.» Maybe the next time, though, that Chuck or any other witless both-sider tries to pull that one, the Democrat in the hot seat will bring some hard truths to the game.

America could use a leader like New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern

Though it seems as if it has been ages, it has not been that long since America had a leader who responded to tragedy with empathy and considered, thoughtful statements. But while that idea may now seem like a lost dream of sanity, New Zealand Prime Minister
Daily Kos

America could use a leader like New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern

Though it seems as if it has been ages, it has not been that long since America had a leader who responded to tragedy with empathy and considered, thoughtful statements. But while that idea may now seem like a lost dream of sanity, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been on the world stage in the wake of the mass murder in Christchurch, reminding everyone that it’s possible to both display humanity and take action. As the Guardian makes clear, what Arden is showing isn’t just sympathy and love; it’s genuine leadership. She responded quickly and openly, providing her citizens with all the information she had. She went immediately to be with the families of those who had suffered loss, made it instantly clear that she understood the causes of the tragedy, promised to take quick action, and has already begun work on carrying through on that promise. She did not dither or equivocate. She condemned the “othering” of Muslims, embraced their community, and left no doubt that she stood with those who “represent diversity, kindness, compassion, home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.” It’s a statement that’s heart-rending in New Zealand because of the circumstances … and heart-breaking in America for its contrast to the bullying insensitivity and violent nationalism expressed by Donald Trump. While Trump and others, such as Australian white supremacist Fraser Anning, have engaged in victim-blaming and ongoing justification of their own violent language, Ardern has been absolutely clear in blaming the murders on the shooter and his white nationalist beliefs, saying, “We utterly reject and condemn you.” In every way, the 38-year-old Ardern has displayed infinitely more maturity than the 72-year-old Trump. Even as Trump continues to blame the media for drawing a connection that came straight from the murderer, and even as he continues the language of violence and open support for white nationalism, Ardern is underlining that it doesn’t have to be this way. Trump’s presence in the White House is not normal—cannot be allowed to become normal. And must not be allowed to continue.

Trump administration intent on building global coalition to oppress women

The Trump administration is taking a prominent role in a global coalition to take access to birth control and abortion away from the world's women. Valerie Huber, a top Health and Human Services Department official, took time out of her busy schedule this wee
Daily Kos

Trump administration intent on building global coalition to oppress women

The Trump administration is taking a prominent role in a global coalition to take access to birth control and abortion away from the world's women. Valerie Huber, a top Health and Human Services Department official, took time out of her busy schedule this week to go to New York for a screening of a documentary that «takes aim at the West's 'ideological colonization' of Africa through interviews with women who experienced side effects from contraception or who regretted having abortions,» two attendees tell the Washington Post's Ariana Eunjung Cha and Lena H. Sun. Huber told the crowd she was there to convey the Trump administration’s commitment to «protecting life» with its form of global health assistance. She was sponsored by a Catholic think tank called C-Fam, which says that its mission is «to defend life and family at international institutions.» Apparently with the help of the Trump administration and Huber, who in her prior career managed the state of Ohio's Department of Health’s Abstinence Education Program and serviced as president of Ascend, «a professional association for people who promote abstinence education, formerly known as the National Abstinence Education Association.» She is taking her abstinence-only crusade globally since January, when she was shifted to a global affairs role. But the Trump administration has been pushing this agenda internationally from the beginning. They've been pushing an anti-woman agenda in State Department memos, telling diplomats to avoid talking about «sexual and reproductive health» or «comprehensive sexuality education.» At the winter World Health Organization meeting in January, U.S. officials tried to steer the agenda away from issues of a global influenza epidemic and preventing further public health emergencies stemming from refugee crises to talk about «how the millions spent on contraceptives have not always been effective in lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies and suggested this money could be put to better use for 'sexual risk avoidance' (or abstinence) education and other programs.» What they're trying to do is create a coalition with countries like Bahrain, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and potentially Russia to force changes in international agreements supporting girls' and womens' health and reproductive rights. Elisha Dunn-Georgiou, vice president of programs for PAI, which works on universal access to reproductive health care globally, says that what the U.S. is trying to build would allow nations «with more draconian laws about women's rights or sexual minorities to skirt their obligations under international mechanisms. […] The U.S. stance this time enables other bad actors at the U.N. negotiation table.» They're «bullying» developing nations, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, a Washington-based advocacy group told the Post, and using the influence of the powerful coalition to force these nations to comply. Sources described a side meeting at the WHO conference, where Huber and Garrett Grigsby, director of HHS's global affairs office, cornered representatives from an African nation. «This is important to us,» Huber said, according to the Post's source. Grisby echoed that. «This is important. […] It does not matter who is in the White House. This will last.» It won't last.

Offices of Trump fundraiser raided by federal authorities in conspiracy, money laundering probe

It's a Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen raid situation all over again, only this time it's a top fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee, Elliott Broidy, and we're learning about it after the fact. ProPublica obtained a sealed search warrant f
Daily Kos

Offices of Trump fundraiser raided by federal authorities in conspiracy, money laundering probe

It's a Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen raid situation all over again, only this time it's a top fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee, Elliott Broidy, and we're learning about it after the fact. ProPublica obtained a sealed search warrant from last summer that allowed federal investigators to raid Broidy's offices in pursuit of documents related to his work with foreign officials and Trump associates. It must have been urgent. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans. In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty in a massive bribery scandal involving New York state public officials. Last year, the former RNC national deputy finance chair made headlines when he resigned his position after reports surfaced that he was making payments in a $1.6 million hush money deal with a former Playboy model with whom he had an affair. But that little indiscretion appears to have little to do with the raid. The search warrant centered on three areas of grift: conspiracy, money laundering, and illegal lobbying for foreign officials. The warrant also connected Broidy to Trump's former deputy campaign manager and transition team official, Rick Gates, and it placed Broidy amid a web of people potentially involved in illicit activity. They planned to seize any evidence related to a list of dozens of people, countries and corporate entities, according to the warrant. Among the names on the list are Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign official who has pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe; Colfax Law Office, the firm founded by Robin Rosenzweig, Broidy’s wife; and several foreign countries. The search warrant also connects Broidy to Malaysian financier Jho Low, who has been federally indicted and is accused of attempting to bilk billions from a state fund known as 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB. Federal prosecutors are reportedly examining whether Low made an illegal donation through intermediaries to the 2020 fundraising committee Trump Victory—because it's never too soon to inject some illegality into the next election.

Beto O'Rourke raises $6.1 million in donations in one day, surpassing even Bernie Sanders

In his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, Beto O’ Rourke raised an incredible $6.1 million, his campaign reports. To put this into perspective, this is more than any other 2020 Democratic contender, including even the (still very impressive) $5.
Daily Kos

Beto O'Rourke raises $6.1 million in donations in one day, surpassing even Bernie Sanders

In his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, Beto O’ Rourke raised an incredible $6.1 million, his campaign reports. To put this into perspective, this is more than any other 2020 Democratic contender, including even the (still very impressive) $5.9 million raised by Bernie Sanders. And remember: O’Rourke isn’t taking money from any PACs. “I’m not planning to do large-dollar fundraisers,”  O’Rourke told reporters in Iowa on Saturday evening. “Right now, we’re ruling out taking any PAC money or any lobbyist money ever. I have no large-dollar fundraisers planned and I don’t plan to do them.” O’Rourke’s momentum isn’t too surprising, given how many people mobilized for him when he attempted to topple Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last year. Though O’Rourke lost to Cruz, he broke a fundraising record even then. For example, from Texas alone, the former representative brought in more than $30 million via online contributions between 2017 and 2018. The average donation? A humble $41.

Steve King, noted white nationalist and hate-monger, shares violent fantasy about 'civil war'

Over the weekend, Rep. Steve King, the white nationalist and all-around jackass Republican from Iowa—perhaps inspired by the mass shooting in New Zealand—posted this meme to his verified Facebook page: The media outrage will commence in … neve
Daily Kos

Steve King, noted white nationalist and hate-monger, shares violent fantasy about 'civil war'

Over the weekend, Rep. Steve King, the white nationalist and all-around jackass Republican from Iowa—perhaps inspired by the mass shooting in New Zealand—posted this meme to his verified Facebook page: The media outrage will commence in … never.

Morning Digest: GOP former congresswoman who lost a seat Trump easily carried now wants to run again

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Lead
Daily Kos

Morning Digest: GOP former congresswoman who lost a seat Trump easily carried now wants to run again

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● NY-22: Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney lost her bid for a second term last year 51-49 to Democrat Anthony Brindisi, and she's once again talking about seeking a rematch in New York's 22nd Congressional District. Tenney told the radio station WUTQ in late February that she was not ruling out another bid for this upstate New York seat, which includes Utica and Rome, and was «looking at all the options.» Campaign Action Tenney also had some choice words about her successor, accusing Brindisi of «introducing my old bills» and using «mostly plagiarism» to copy her old letters to committee chairs and to the White House, though Luke Perry of Utica College notes that she «did not provide specific examples.» Tenney oddly also used that very same interview to claim that, in addition to «literally copying what I did,» Brindisi also had the «single-most left-wing voting record» when he served in the state Assembly. Perry also notes that Tenney's Twitter handle, which she started using again this month after a three-month hiatus, still identifies her as a current member of Congress, but her old GOP colleagues may not be so keen to have her running again. Last year, Tenney earned an ignominious distinction: New York's 22nd backed Donald Trump by a wide 55-39 margin, making it the Trumpiest seat that a House Republican managed to lose in 2018. According to Bloomberg's Greg Giroux, Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro also carried this seat by a wide 56-36 margin as Tenney was losing, so she managed to alienate quite a few conservative voters. Indeed, Tenney had a knack for attracting plenty of bad headlines for herself during the campaign. In just one of many examples, she hurled hoary anti-Italian slurs at Brindisi last year by saying his father had represented «some of the worst criminals in our community» who were members of «organized crime»—in other words, mafia figures. In September she doubled down on line of attack, a very bad strategy in a seat where one in seven residents are Italian-American.

Trump's vile and unhinged weekend performance demands a response from Congress

Lies, distortions, rudeness, crudeness, and just plain meanness are all things that the country has come to expect from Donald Trump. But this weekend was special. Over the weekend, Trump delivered 52 tweets. 52. In them, he managed to hit every note from pe
Daily Kos

Trump's vile and unhinged weekend performance demands a response from Congress

Lies, distortions, rudeness, crudeness, and just plain meanness are all things that the country has come to expect from Donald Trump. But this weekend was special. Over the weekend, Trump delivered 52 tweets. 52. In them, he managed to hit every note from petty, as when he declared that he had “let” Republicans vote to release the Mueller report because “It makes us all look good and doesn’t matter,” to ultra-vile, as when he repeatedly attacked John McCain, including blaming the deceased senator for starting the Russia investigation. And then followed up with a slap to McCain’s daughter. There was the tweet in which Trump threatened to take away an American factory and give it to a foreign competitor. The one in which he made fun of France, lied about the cause of rioting in the country, and topped it by claiming that “the United States has gone to the top of all lists on the Environment.” Which could be true, if those lists are most-wanted lists. There was the tweet in which he threatened “consequences” against Saturday Night Live for making jokes about him. And the incredible follow-up in which Trump declared that the late night shows were in “collusion” with Democrats “and, of course, Russia!”  And there was the one that … No, sorry. This one is too nuts to explain. xGoogle is helping China and their military, but not the U.S. Terrible! The good news is that they helped Crooked Hillary Clinton, and not Trump....and how did that turn out?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019 The level of depravity, the sheer brutish, ugly, sleazy abandon of Trump’s weekend performance puts it beyond any pale. This was not even political theater. This was a man declaring that he could say anything, and no one—certainly no Republican—would object. And they didn’t.  But it’s not fair to say that through all this Trump had nothing to say about the shooting in New Zealand and the threat of white nationalism. Because he had a lot to say about it. It was that everything he said was in support of white supremacy.

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords—they can't be any worse than Trump

Throughout human history mankind has used tools to make living easier. This began with stone tools, and has evolved over the centuries to computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics. During the industrial revolution machines displaced workers. Kenneth
Daily Kos

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords—they can't be any worse than Trump

Throughout human history mankind has used tools to make living easier. This began with stone tools, and has evolved over the centuries to computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics. During the industrial revolution machines displaced workers. Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University stated in 2012: Since the dawn of the industrial age, a recurrent fear has been that technological change will spawn mass unemployment. Neoclassical economists predicted that this would not happen, because people would find other jobs, albeit possibly after a long period of painful adjustment. By and large, that prediction has proven to be correct. That is the official line on technological unemployment. Looms took the place of weavers, agricultural jobs that required teams of horses, and men, can today be done by one man driving one machine. On a more local level we see this every time we go into a grocery store and see the self-checkout lanes.  About that long period of painful adjustment Rogoff talked about, Moshe Y. Vardi, a professor of Computer Science at Rice University said,  They are definitely right about the long period of painful adjustment! The aftermath of the Industrial Revolution involved two major Communist revolutions, whose death toll approaches 100 million. The stabilizing influence of the modern social welfare state emerged only after World War II, nearly 200 years on from the 18th-century beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. The technological advances we are experiencing now, and coming in the near future will likely make the job losses of the Industrial Revolution look minuscule in comparison. Artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, robotics, and automation will change society as we know it (that is if we survive climate change, but that is another diary). 

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand? 5 facts about the NY senator who is getting more progressive by the day

Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic senator from New York, has officially launched her bid for the 2020 presidency. This isn’t too surprising, as the senator’s exploratory committee made headlines a few months ago. The senator has a considerable career i
Daily Kos

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand? 5 facts about the NY senator who is getting more progressive by the day

Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic senator from New York, has officially launched her bid for the 2020 presidency. This isn’t too surprising, as the senator’s exploratory committee made headlines a few months ago. The senator has a considerable career in politics, with experience in both the House and Senate. Interestingly, she’s gone from being a moderate (if not conservative) Democrat to being pretty solidly on the left. Will voters hold her past views against her, or find her gradual progression relatable?  Either way, at this point, she isn’t being coy about wanting to topple Trump. For example, as she announced her candidacy, she noted that she’ll hold a rally outside of the Trump International Hotel and Trump Tower in New York City on March 24. Let’s look at five points about the senator you might not already know. Her campaign announcement is embedded at the bottom of this post, too. 1. She references Trump pretty directly in her campaign video In her video (embedded below) announcing her candidacy, the senator says: “We need to remember what it feels like to be brave. We launched ourselves into space and landed on the moon. If we can do that, we can definitely achieve universal health care, we can provide paid family leave for all, end gun violence, pass a Green New Deal, get money out of politics, and take back our democracy.” Yeah, she’s not holding back.

The Ohio gerrymandering court case: 'A map that Speaker Boehner supports'

The trial to overturn the Ohio gerrymandering map continued this week in Cincinnati. The suit has been brought by Democratic organizations, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and various citizens from gerrymandered districts and asserts that the gerrymande
Daily Kos

The Ohio gerrymandering court case: 'A map that Speaker Boehner supports'

The trial to overturn the Ohio gerrymandering map continued this week in Cincinnati. The suit has been brought by Democratic organizations, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and various citizens from gerrymandered districts and asserts that the gerrymander is “an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that violates the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the United States Constitution.”  Here in Cincinnati, our local paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, has no local coverage of this trial with national significance. When I asked Carl Weiser, the political editor of the Enquirer, why there was no coverage, he responded that they’re only posting articles from the Associated Press.   Response from Cincinnati Enquirer political editor Carl Weiser to my question about coverage of the trial that’s going on down the street.  Since the Enquirer has only posted two terrible AP stories about the issue that literally disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters in Cincinnati, I thought I’d put together some of the key takeaways from the trial. 

Preparing for war in Venezuela? I’ve seen this play before

Too often, our mainstream media react after the fact. Case in point: Venezuela. What’s happening in that country is not new news, but it is now convenient both politically and economically for Donald Trump and those who are intent on stealing the natural r
Daily Kos

Preparing for war in Venezuela? I’ve seen this play before

Too often, our mainstream media react after the fact. Case in point: Venezuela. What’s happening in that country is not new news, but it is now convenient both politically and economically for Donald Trump and those who are intent on stealing the natural resources of developing countries. The Venezuela story serves two purposes that feed off of each other. With millennials and other Americans realizing that the current economy is extractive on most, it is imperative that those in power jolt you back to the Powell Manifesto's indoctrination, which programs us to believe that the type of economy we have is best for everyone. Forget what your eyes and your finances are telling you. Let's be clear: Venezuela is a mess because of President Nicolas Maduro, but also because of the Venezuelan plutocracy and the United States. The North American Congress on Latin America featured an article on its website titled, “The United States’ Hand in Undermining Democracy in Venezuela”: None of these critics are calling for broad economic sanctions against Latin American countries with far more violent and repressive records. Against Honduras, for instance, where the military was recently deployed to violently repress peaceful demonstrations following fraudulent elections, which the U.S. government recognized. Or against Colombia and Mexico, where, over the last few months, dozens of political candidates and social leaders have been killed with impunity. Venezuela is treated differently by the U.S., for obvious reasons: it has a government that seeks to be independent from Washington and it sits atop hundreds of billions of barrels of oil reserves, which—when the Venezuelan economy finally recovers— will enable the government to have far-reaching regional influence. In fact, that is exactly what happened during the Chávez administration. Venezuela grew in popularity in Central America and the Caribbean thanks in great part to the government’s generous Petrocaribe initiative, which brought tangible economic benefits to many countries in the region. It was also influential in building regional institutions such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which were much more independent of the U.S. than the Organization of American States, located in Washington, DC. Regardless of how one feels about Venezuela’s current government, it is time to acknowledge that U.S. policy towards that country is making things worse. It is generating greater economic pain, instability and political polarization in Venezuela and undermining the odds of reaching a peaceful solution to the country’s political crisis. Here is the reality: The United States could not allow the continued existence of a non-European, democratic socialist state that is sitting on a fortune of natural resources. It’s a country that can afford to educate the masses who were left behind by the wealthy few and their wards. It hits too close to home.

Affirmative action and the myth of structural reverse racism

Last week I wrote about the difficult issue of reparations. It’s an issue that has dogged this nation since Reconstruction failed to restore and unify the nation after the division of the Civil War. Many have argued that in its own way, affirmative acti
Daily Kos

Affirmative action and the myth of structural reverse racism

Last week I wrote about the difficult issue of reparations. It’s an issue that has dogged this nation since Reconstruction failed to restore and unify the nation after the division of the Civil War. Many have argued that in its own way, affirmative action has been the primary form of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow in this nation. They would also argue alternately that in the 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the legislation has both served its purpose and been a colossal failure. They claim that affirmative action is merely a method to implement identity politics which unfairly grant an unearned benefit to some, while taking away opportunities from those who are far better qualified. There are many who swear that they’ve been denied opportunities, access to higher education, or access to job options but for the fact that they are not part of a protected minority class and that this is inherently unfair. Consequently, they have grown bitter and resentful at all efforts to correct and repair the centuries-long imbalance in education, lack of access to loans and capital, and inability to achieve prosperity that has continued to plague many minority citizens. Affirmative action has become a divisive and frustrating issue, but is it possible that it has no valid purpose or positive impact today?

White House acting chief of staff takes to Fox News to insist Trump 'is not a white supremacist'

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who is rapidly becoming the new Jared Kushner, now that Jared Kushner is embroiled in too many scandals to be and effective Jared Kushner, has «polishing Donald Trump's boots on television» as one o
Daily Kos

White House acting chief of staff takes to Fox News to insist Trump 'is not a white supremacist'

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who is rapidly becoming the new Jared Kushner, now that Jared Kushner is embroiled in too many scandals to be and effective Jared Kushner, has «polishing Donald Trump's boots on television» as one of his many, many administration duties. On a Sunday after there's been a major white nationalism-based mass murder, that means going to Fox News to again tamp down claims that the sitting U.S. president is himself a white supremacist. The president is not [chuckles] a white supremacist. I'm not sure how many times we have to say that. And to simply ask the question every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say oh my goodness it must somehow be the president's fault, speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions we have in the country today. You know you're winning, as a chief of staff, when you're on television being asked whether your boss is a white supremacist, and when you can reasonably predict you're going to be asked that same question «every time something like this»—an act of murderous white supremacist terrorism—«happens.» And Mulvaney may be hedging things in his chuckling insistence that Trump is not a «white supremacist», when the more commonly phrased question is whether Trump and the rest of the White House has been actively pursuing policies of white nationalism—a charge that Mulvaney would be more hard-pressed to deny. But it should be noted that questions on the extent to which the Trump White House can be held partially responsible for the New Zealand attacks did not surface out of the blue. The New Zealand terrorist who murdered 50 worshippers and injured dozens more at a Christchurch mosque explicitly praised Trump as a «symbol of white identity» in his U.S.-centric would-be manifesto, referencing in the rambling hodgepodge a large number of favored Trump arguments and phrases. So yes, the White House was expecting the question when it dispatched Mulvaney, and the acting chief of staff had, one assumes, rehearsed his response.

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