Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cook Report claims that Democrats are likely to win seven Senate seats in November. Only need four to win majority.

Courtesy of TPM:  

The Cook Political Report reported Tuesday morning that Democrats will take back their majority and win five to seven Senate seats in November. 

Cook Political Report's Senate analyst Jennifer Duffy wrote that it looks like Republicans have finally reached the point where they can no longer simply run their own races. They are being drowned out by their presidential nominee Donald Trump. 

Duffy wrote that ever since a tape surfaced of Trump discussing making unwanted sexual advances toward women, Republicans have been slowly sinking in polls across the country. 

Democrats needed four seats to win control of the chamber assuming Hillary Clinton wins the White House (thanks to the vice president's tie-breaker) or five without her.

The Senate seats predicted to go to the Democrats are in  Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

This of course is only a prediction, and anything could change before November 8th, But damn this is starting to feel like a landslide.

GOP expert on national security claims that he told Donald Trump that Russia was behind the hacks, but he refused to believe him.

Courtesy of Politico:

A top Republican on national security said he advised Donald Trump that Russia was using hacked information to influence the election process, but the GOP presidential nominee didn't appear to believe him. 

“I think he has in his mind that there’s not the proof,” House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul said Tuesday during a Texas Tribune event in Austin. "Now he hasn't had the briefing I had, but I made it clear that in my judgment it was a nation-state." 

McCaul, a Trump supporter, told Tribune CEO Evan Smith that he was brought in to brief Trump on national security after the first presidential debate — a topic the Texas Republican conceded is “not [Trump’s] strength.” 

Despite the coaching from the congressman, Trump stated during the final presidential debate last week that the U.S. has no idea who is behind hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. The material was released by WikiLeaks. 

Well gee that's odd.

I mean this is a national security expert from his own party, not from the media or the Democrats, and he still cannot accept that Russia is behind these hacks. 

It's almost like when somebody accuses your best friend of doing something terrible and your first instinct is to say 'What? No you must have the wrong guy."

I mean why WOULDN'T Trump be willing to believe that Russia was engaging in cyber espionage against the United States? After all it is not like its the first time they have been caught doing so.

Unless, unless Trump actually knows for a fact that it's the Russians and for some reason wants to cover for them.

Things that make you do, Hmmm.

President Obama reads mean tweets.

Okay, now that last one was funny.

Damn, am I going to miss this guy running my country.

By the way I hate to burst Doanld Trump's bubble but I am extremely confident that history will judge Barack Obama to be one of the very best Presidents this country has ever produced.

The numbers fluctuate back and forth to some degree but this is essentially where things have stood ever since the last debate.

 Take solace in the numbers, but then go out in vote.

Unless you already have of course, in which case just prepare for the Trump supporter freakout that is sure to come on November 9th.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Last night Samantha Bee addressed misconceptions about abortion and the negative impact that religion has on women's health and it was epic.

(Samantha Bee's abortion public service announcement starts at the 20 second mark.)

If that was not satisfying enough Bee then went on to address the insanely dangerous impact that Catholic hospitals have on women's health.
It is extremely gratifying to see a presidential candidate who understands what women's health is all about and understands the importance of having control over your own reproductive organs.

Hillary Clinton clearly understands both, and Samantha Bee is the unapologetic pro-choice advocate that we need to explain why that is important in this election.

This was a damn good show and I thought that Samantha Bee was really in her wheelhouse while explaining this topic to her audience.

Let's face it neither Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, or even Jon Stewart could have handled this topic nearly as well as Samantha Bee just did.

Which I guess also goes to show why we need more female hosts taking on controversial topics and explaining them to the American people.

Sarah Palin finds yet another opportunity to play the victim while falsely claiming she was right about "death panels."

So that tweet shows up on Twitter and of course is brought to the attention of the Wasilla Wendigo, who quickly takes to Facebook to post a kind of victory lap/pity party:

After I spoke of Obamacare's Death Panels, the President deceived the nation in his State of the Union address, claiming I was the liar. (Actually just about everybody concluded you were a liar.)

Barack (That's "Mr. President" to you lady): tell that to patients now being refused health care. 

The backlash from the President's continued attacks on my integrity remains immense (The President rarely spoke about you Sarah, the backlash came in response to your own stupidity.), but it's nothing compared to the tragic hopelessness that formerly disillusioned Americans now feel. Ironically, Obama and Congress could have proved me wrong. (Oh they did.) Granted, the President and media's obstinate clinging to the failed Obamacare boondoggle was a given, but an incalculable disappointment in this is knowing Congress held the purse strings for this disastrous government healthcare takeover, yet funded it anyway. 

Media: why no accountability on this? Why ignore Hillary's role in supporting Obamacare? 

 - Sarah Palin

What Palin is referencing here is the story of a  terminally ill California woman whose insurance company refuses to pay for a different chemotherapy drug that "might" buy her some more time.

Instead, due to California's new End of Life Option Act, this woman learned that a drug that would let her die with dignity at a time of her choosing WAS covered by her health insurance.

The woman, a Roman Catholic, was of course horrified, and this has become the cause celebre among the Right to Lifers.

So what does this have to do with Sarah Palin's famous "death panels?" Not a damn thing.

What Palin was talking about back in 2009 was this: 

"As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we're saying not just no, but hell no!" Palin wrote. 

"The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's ‘death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Essentially what Palin was saying was that "death panels" would portion out health care to those deemed worthy, and that others would be left to die on their own.

THAT was the lie that she was called out for, and it has NOTHING to do with this California woman's case.

NOR does it have anything to do really with Obamacare.

Insurance companies have always made choices over which medicines and treatments they are willing to pay for, and that is typically based on it's positive impact and yes its cost.

And Obamacare has actually fixed some of that by forcing insurance companies to provide insurance for many who would not have qualified for it in the past, and by not allowing them to kick clients off of their insurance once they became ill.

In fact the argument could be made that without Obamacare this woman would likely have lost her insurance already. 

The medicine that this woman's insurance company is balking at "might" extend her life, but then again it might not.

So the insurance company on their own, with no "Death panels" involved, has decided that it is not worth the extra cost to spend the money on a drug that might have no effect whatsoever.

Remember this woman's cancer is terminal, there is no cure, only the possibility of a few more years or months.

It may seem harsh, and if it were your loved one you would almost certainly feel that it was, but it has nothing to do with Obamacare, "death panels," and certainly nothing to do with Sarah "Look at me, look at me, look at me now" Palin.

Oooh another Trump scandal. Wow, this one's bad.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast: 

The photographer says he attended Trump’s parties with one of the owners of the hair salon, Pierre Michel, that operated in both the Plaza and Trump Tower. The salon owner, Pierre Ouaknine, says his memories of those Plaza parties vanished after a recent surgery. But the photographer’s memories are crystal clear. Trump would take over “suites on the corners” of his hotel with views of Central Park and Grand Army Plaza, not to mention lots to look at inside, and wow his guests. 

The attraction for the men “was young girls assuming they’d get somewhere” by joining the party, the photographer says, “Of course, it never happens.” 

Young models were attracted to the fĂȘtes with a simple, time-tested pitch. “You’ll meet rich guys who will help you,” says the photographer. “It was networking, but on a weird, bizarre scale.” 

The girls were as young as 15, he says, and “over their heads, they had no idea, and they ended up in situations. There were always dramas because the men threw money and drugs at them to keep them enticed. It’s based on power and dominating girls who can’t push back and can be discarded. There’s always someone to pick them back up. Nobody wants to call home and say ‘Help me.’” 

Trump would “go from room to room,” said the photographer, who added that “I was there to party myself. It was guys with younger girls, sex, a lot of sex, a lot of cocaine, top-shelf liquor” but no smoking. Trump didn’t approve of cigarettes.

Those men at these parties often knew each other. “It’s a small community,” the photographer says. “They exchanged information, facilitated each other. Trump was in and out. He’d wander off with a couple girls. I saw him. He was getting laid like crazy. Trump was at the heart of it. He loved the attention and in private, he was a total fucking beast.” 

The article goes on to point out that although there were ample amounts of cocaine at these parties that Trump himself never partook.

His drugs of choice were power and sex.

However the sources for the article claim that some of that sex was had with girls as young as fourteen years old.

Look we have all done things in our past to feel embarrassed about, but banging underage girls is typically not one of them. And especially not one that can be in the past of a man seeking to be the President of the United States.

Trump himself characterized those years like this:

Trump told me that consequence-free promiscuity was then his “second business… If I hadn’t got married, who knows what would have happened? You had drugs, women and booze all over the fuckin’ place.”

Gee that certainly lends an air of credibility to that 13 year old rape victim's story doesn't it?

So Trump TV might have just launched. Kinda.

Courtesy of HuffPo: 

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Monday began airing a live nightly video news program, fanning speculation that Trump may seek to capitalize on his supporters’ zeal by launching a media network after November’s election. 

“This is an effort to bring our message directly to you. You don’t have to take it through the media filter and the spin they put on it,” said Cliff Simms, the Trump adviser who co-hosted the program, which was broadcast on Facebook. “We plan to do this each and every night.” 

Co-host Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to Trump, insisted the Trump-focused news show was not a test run for anything else. “The left-wing media’s even trying to spin this, believe it or not,” Epshteyn said. “They’re saying, well this is ‘Trump TV.’ That’s not what this is. This is our campaign, and most importantly, our candidate being out there and speaking directly to the voters.”

Well we have been hearing about this possibility for over a month now, and even though there are denials coming from the Trump camp this seems to me to be Trump's first toe dipping into the world of conservative journalism.

As you know there was also a segment aired during the last debate, and THAT one seemed to do well.

However last night's segment suffered due to lack of interest: 

Without a debate to stir interest, ratings were down. The audience for Wednesday’s show peaked at 200,000 people, according to Politico. Monday’s program began with just shy of 60,000 viewers, and within 30 minutes half the audience had moved on.

Yeah I don't think that 30,000 viewers is going to be anywhere near enough to give Fox News a run for their money.

If you visit the HuffPo link you will see an incredibly amateurism segment that looks like it was put together by a middle school media club.  (From a poor school, in a bad neighborhood, without access to modern editing software.)

In fact as I watched it I thought less of Fox News and more of another fairly recent attempt to launch a personality driven media outlet.

Oh god, he really is Sarah Palin 2.0.

Jack Chick, the creator of the infamous "Chick Tracts," has died. Boy is he in for a surprise.

Courtesy of the New Republic:
Jack Chick, soul-winner and Catholic-hater, is dead.Chick, who produced hundreds of fundamentalist Christian tracts over 50 years, passed yesterday at the age of 92. He was initially known for tracts like “This Was Your Life,” which used compelling and sometimes frightening visuals to depict fundamentalist beliefs about hell and salvation. His contribution to the Satanic Panic rightfully earned him public infamy, as did his fear-mongering about feminism, LGBT rights, New Age spirituality, and even Catholicism. 

Chick was a true cultural separatist whose doctrinal views were heavily influenced by works like The Fundamentals and Charles Finney’s Power From On High. Only the King James Version of the Bible sufficed; Satan is directly responsible for all other translations. Catholics? They’ve eaten the infamous Death Cookie and are doomed to hell. Infant baptism? Dangerous heresy! Dungeons and Dragons? If you have to ask, you’ve probably got one foot in the lake of fire already. 

A few of Chick’s views, specifically on abortion, evolution, and LGBT people, possess a pernicious longevity. He celebrated AIDS as just deserts for anyone who didn’t adhere to his stringent sexual standards—a sentiment 14 percent of Americans still believe.

 You know I think the first time I saw a Chick Tract it was mixed in with some of my Halloween candy when I was just a kid.

I cannot even begin to imagine the number of children that have been traumatized by reading this garbage, but all it did for me was to make me even angrier that there were adults who victimized kids with bullshit like this.

Those Chick Tracts were heavily focused on eternal damnation and any non-Fundamentalist point of view was essentially labeled Satanic and dismissed out of hand.

As an adult they are so over the top that they seem comical, but to a young child this is the stuff of nightmares.

Somehow I feel that the planet is just a little bit more progressive now that Jack Chick has shuffled off his mortal coil. 

The New York Times posts a list of ALL of the people. places, and things that Donald Trump has insulted on Twitter. All 281 of them!

Here is the link.

I swear the number of insults this guy throws around on a weekly basis is almost incomprehensible.

For almost any other candidate even a tenth of these would have proved fatal to their campaign.

I am typically not a big fan of graffiti but you have to admit, this essentially speaks for most of us.

However as a progressive I feel that I should encourage Trump to keep right on talking up until November 8. Because that does nothing but help us.

After that I am absolutely on board with never hearing another peep out of his orange anus shaped mouth ever again.