Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tough Days For Trump Continue

I pointed out here that Trump’s campaign is sending solicitation emails to members of Parliament.

But it is worse than that:

Members of parliament in Australia, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland have all received the emails, according to news reports and tweets from the politicians.

For example…

The Trump campaign has also asked members of parliament in Iceland for campaign contributions, according to Icelandic media. At least three Icelandic members of parliament have received a Trump fundraising email, according to the Iceland Monitor. A couple members of parliament told the Morgublaðið newspaper that they had received emails, according to a report in Iceland Magazine.

Guess what? That’s illegal.

So there’s that.

And then there is the possibility that Trump is lying about his contributions to his campaign.  Back on June 23rd, on the heels of the Trump campaign’s catastrophic and humiliating May FEC report, he grandly announced that he was forgiving the debt and that he would file the relevant paperwork with the FEC that day.

When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage. Many even reported Trump’s statement as if the deal was done.

But it’s not.

A week later, NBC News has learned the FEC has posted no record of Trump converting his loans to donations. The Trump Campaign has also declined requests to share the legal paperwork required to execute the transaction, though they suggest it has been submitted.

Last week, campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said Trump was submitting formal paperwork forgiving the loan on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reached by NBC this week, she said the paperwork “will be filed with the next regularly scheduled FEC report,” and declined to provide any documentation.

The delay could matter, because until Trump formally forgives the loans, he maintains the legal option to use new donations to reimburse himself. (He can do so until August, under federal law.)

So there’s that.

And that Trumpian behavior — saying he will do a noble thing with this money and then not doing it — is coming back to haunt Trump in other ways:

Trump has a long-standing habit of promising to give to charity. But Trump’s follow-through on those promises was middling — even at the beginning, in his early days as a national celebrity.

In the 1980s, Trump pledged to give away royalties from his first book to fight AIDS and multiple sclerosis. But he gave less to those causes than he did to his older daughter’s ballet school.

In recent years, Trump’s ­follow-through on his promises has been seemingly nonexistent.

The Post contacted 188 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation’s money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.

The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.

And then there is his campaign which still isn’t staffed:

Nearly everyone can agree that Donald Trump’s path to the White House goes through Pennsylvania.

But local party leaders in some of the state’s most pivotal counties say there’s been almost no outreach from his campaign so far, and there’s scant evidence of any Trump-driven ground organization. What infrastructure is in place lags behind the Democratic coordinated campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

And then there’s this – eavesdropping on private persons’ phone calls:

At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.

Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded to written questions with one sentence: “This is totally and completely untrue.”

The managing director of Mar-a-Lago, Bernd Lembcke, did not respond to emails. Reached by phone, he said he referred the email query to Trump’s headquarters and said, “I have no knowledge of what you wrote.”

At the 126-room Mar-a-Lago mansion, Trump keeps an apartment set aside for himself and his family, and rents the rest out to guests and members.

BuzzFeed News spoke with six former employees familiar with the phone system at the estate.

Four of them — speaking on condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements — said that Trump listened in on phone calls at the club during the mid-2000s. They did not know if he eavesdropped more recently.

They said he listened in on calls between club employees or, in some cases, between staff and guests. None of them knew of Trump eavesdropping on guests or members talking on private calls with people who were not employees of Mar-a-Lago. They also said that Trump could eavesdrop only on calls made on the club’s landlines and not on calls made from guests’ cell phones.

Each of these four sources said they personally saw the telephone console, which some referred to as a switchboard, in Trump’s bedroom.

None of the four supports Trump’s bid for president. All said they enjoyed their time working at Mar-a-Lago.

And then the polls… oh my God the polls.

First you have predictor extraordinaire saying that as it stands today, Trump has a 20% chance of winning.


The latest polls are overwhelming for Clinton….

latestpolls today

… except for one outlying Rasmussen poll.  Apparently, they are continuing their streak of being wrong and GOP-biased.

And there’s all kinds of other knocks out there.  Like the fact that Trump ties are made in China.

Or the constant exposure of his lies by Politifact.


And on and on and on — another bullshit “university” before Trump University that was just as fraudulent.    Large GOP donors openly NON-endorsing Trump.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce openly saying that Trump’s policies will start a trade war and cause loss of millions of jobs, inflation, etc.  The revelation that Hillary Clinton spent $20 million in advertising this past month compared to Trump’s….. zero dollars.  How nobody wants to speak at his convention.

These are DAILY hits on Trump.

But there’s more.  Believe it or not, I actually listened to Trump’s speech in Bangor, Maine yesterday and I found it perplexing.

First of all, why Maine?  He’s not going to take Maine.

Secondly, 70% of the speech was whining.  Seriously.  Whining about one particular brief second of a Clinton ad which supposedly showed him golfing in Turnberry Scotland (never mind that Clinton nor that ad said anything about Trump golfing in Turnberry Scotland).  Whining about how the GOP candidates he beat were not adhering to the GOP “pledge” to support the GOP nominee (never mind that Trump did the same thing 3 months ago).  Whining about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce saying how terrible he was (Rule No One from The West Wing — don’t keep on repeating what your critics say; it only cements the criticism).

When he finally got to some substance, he read from his prepared bullet points about trade.  That was about 50 minutes and 30 seconds into a 85 minute speech

As you can see, the crowd gets pretty subdued as he says things like:

I’m going tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. And I don’t mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better. If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.

Can I hear it for Article 2205???? Whoop-whoop!!

Then he did the wall shtick and then out the door.

It was the same red meat we’ve seen a thousand times but now with 15 minutes of dry policy read from a script.  This cannot actually be his plan for winning.

20 percent chance, Nate?  Hey, I get how everyone needs to hedge their bets because this is an odd election.  But I can’t believe it is that high.  Not with all the dings Trump and his campaign take on a daily basis.

UPDATE:  Trump is speaking in Manchester NH right now.  The crowds?


Trump Spams Parliament


Numerous members of the British parliament have complained that they have received multiple emails from the Trump campaign asking for a donation.

Guess the pivoting to be a real serious candidate still has some bugs.

Benghaziiiiiiiiiiii! Report!!

The New York Times headline says it all:


But you wouldn’t know that reading the right wing blogs.

Sure the report condemns many things, but not Hillary Clinton.  Of course, wingnuts will try to blur the lines.

Here’s what the New York Times says:

Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

The 800-page report, however, included some new details about the night of the attacks, and the context in which it occurred, and it delivered a broad rebuke of government agencies like the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi, and especially for maintaining outposts in there that they could not protect.

And that seems to be an accurate assessment.  Watch how the right wing plays it though.

For example, the report says “Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]”  []

How is that spun on right wing sites like Hot Air?  “Americans died because the Obama/Clinton team failed to deploy military assets” 

Suddenly, Hillary Clinton was in charge of deploying military assets as Secretary of State.  Did you know that?  And let’s ignore the fact that Obama actually ordered military assets to be deployed.

But let’s pin it on Obama and Clinton anyway.

In truth, the House Benghazi report — while condemning the security in Benghazi, including the State Department’s own investigation — says essentially nothing new that hasn’t been found by prior investigations and congressional hearings.  They fleshed out a detail or two.  And that cost taxpayers $7 million dollars.

Cue sad trombone and sad elephant.

Meanwhile, Trump has not tweeted anything (nor has he tweeted anything about yesterday’s pro-choice Supreme Court decision)

More Brexit Fallout

The Dow dropped another 250 points today, as it (and other world markets) assessed the fallout from the UK’s decision to leave the EU.  At one point, it dipped to well below 300 points off.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s announced that it had lowered the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating from “AAA” to “AA,” citing last week’s referendum. Fitch, meanwhile, moved its rating from “AA+” to “AA.”

But others are beginning to see even more fallout.  For example. London’s position as one of the world’s premiere financial centers is bound to change in the wake of a vote to leave the European Union.  In coming years, it’s highly possible that major companies in London will no longer have unfettered access to the EU — and many firms have voiced a need to move employees elsewhere.

That’s where Dublin comes in.

“A lot of businesses in the U.K., in order to stay part of the EU, will expand operating subsidiaries or even redomicile to Ireland,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. “Having Dublin become more of a financial center could be part of the longer-term trajectory here.”

Dublin has a number of things going for it: First and foremost, as the capital of the Republic of Ireland, it’s still in the EU and will continue to enjoy freedom of trade and movement with Europe. It also has close proximity to London and Continental Europe, universal English language fluency, an existing banking presence, and a low tax policy.


The Politico Headline Says It All


Maybe Ted Nugent could play for three days straight.

And it is no wonder.  Trump is plummeting in even more polls. Here’s the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll:

Support for Donald Trump has plunged as he has alienated fellow Republicans and large majorities of voters overall in the course of a month of self-inflicted controversies, propelling Democrat Hillary Clinton to a double-digit lead nationally in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey finds sweeping unease with the presumptive Republican nominee’s candidacy — from his incendiary rhetoric and values to his handling of both terrorism and his own business — foreshadowing that the November election could be a referendum on Trump more than anything else.

Roughly two in three Americans say they think Trump is unqualified to lead the nation; are anxious about the idea of him as president; believe his comments about women, minorities and Muslims show an unfair bias; and see his attacks on a federal judge because of his Mexican American heritage as racist.


SCOTUS Strikes Down Oppressive Abortion Restrictions

This morning, the Supreme Court struck down parts of a restrictive Texas law that could have reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state to about 10 from what was once a high of roughly 40.

The 5-to-3 decision was the court’s most sweeping statement on abortion rights since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992. It applied a skeptical and exacting version of that decision’s “undue burden” standard to find that the restrictions in Texas went too far.

The decision on Monday means that similar restrictions in other states are most likely also unconstitutional, and it imperils many other kinds of restrictions on abortion.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

The decision concerned two parts of a Texas law that imposed strict requirements on abortion providers. It was passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by Rick Perry, the governor at the time.

One part of the law requires all clinics in the state to meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

“We conclude,” Justice Breyer wrote, “that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the federal Constitution.”

I’m not surprised by the outcome, nor am I surprised by swing justice Kennedy joining the “liberals” on the court.  Frankly, the Texas restrictions were NOT intended to support women’s health.  If you saw who proposed those restrictions (longtime Texas anti-abortion legislators) and listened to their rhetoric, “health of women” was a sham rationale.  Their real objective was to make abortion clinics so regulated that they could not afford to make the required changes, and eventually close down.  In fact, to date, twenty abortion clinics have closed down under those regulations.

So, yes, a victory, and it would have been a victory even if Scalia was alive and on the court.  But it does underscore the importance of the election and who gets to pick the next justices.

What Atrios Said

This is great:


The conversation with Uncle Sam will be something like:

You aren’t going to close your military bases, are you? Well, yes.
You aren’t going to close the borders and enact border checks, are you? Well, yes.
You aren’t going to require visas for Texan patriots to visit the US, are you? Quite possibly.
You aren’t going to end all of those transfer payments you make? Hell yes.
What about the Social Security owed to our residents? Interesting question, isn’t it.
There aren’t going to be tariffs between our nations, are there? Everything is negotiable.
My child just married an American. Will he be able to live in the US? That’s complicated…


We’re Now A Golf Course


“If the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” he said, referring to the location of his resort. “For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be positive.”

When a reporter pointed out that “the country is not a golf course,” Trump’s response was a staggering “no, it’s not, but you’d be amazed how similar it is.” That’s a statement that should give American voters pause, since Trump has driven his Scottish golf courses into the ground, financially speaking.

UPDATE – Clinton response ad:

The World Turned Upside Down


The United Kingdom voted to leave the EU last night, and even though negotiations to leave will take years, the impact is felt now.  The pound sterling has dropped in value about 10 percent.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who proposed the referendum as a way to remain in office (even though he was against leaving), is quitting.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU – overwhelmingly in absolute terms and evenly spread across Scotland. The roots of that are a deeper European identity, reflexive contrariness to England, a deeper attachment to social democracy and many other things. Just two years ago Scotland came just short of voting to leave the UK. One of the small ‘no’ arguments was whether the EU would allow the Scots, at least any time soon, to enter as an independent country. I have zero expertise on Scottish nationalism, but looking at the big picture – the span not of months but of years – it’s hard to see how Scotland doesn’t leave the UK now.

You can count on London losing several major international banks and thousands of jobs to Ireland, Scotland, and/or the continent, something that Farage and Johnson can explain to the sheeple who probably didn’t even know what the hell they were really voting for.

And the US stock market, which opened 35 minutes ago (as I write this) is down 384 points, not as bad as the 508 drop at the opening bell. [UPDATE at 4:10pm – Dow closed down 611, losing all gains made this year in one day] Now, to be sure, the initial markets today and Monday are going to be volatile, but they are also going to be meaningless.  The market needs to be watched, but how it looks two weeks, two months, and even two years from now is more important than how it looks today.  This is not the end of Brexit.  This is the beginning of it.  Years of negotiation about the terms of Brexit are to come.

Here, I think is the most important graph of the day:


Yes indeed.  As it says, those who must live with the result of the EU referendum the longest want to remain.

What is the market reacting to?  Well, uncertainty.  Uncertainty about the terms of the UK exodus.  Uncertainty as to whether Scotland will leave the UK (Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain).  Uncertainty as to whether France and Germany might follow the UK.

The parallels between the Brexit vote and the US elections are not lost on anybody.  On one side, you have a populist, nationalist, anti-elite, anti-immigration movement — the equivalent of Trumpism here in the States.  On the other side, everybody else– from conservative to liberal — the so-called “elite” (which is actually a compliment).

Ignoring the advice of educated businessmen and politicians, the people of the United Kingdom have spoken, acting more on a sense of nationalism (yes, white nationalism) than reason.

Which is why — already — the United Kingdom is plummeting financially and the pound is worth far less than it was 24 hours ago.  It make trade more difficult for the UK.  It will make travel and foreign training and cultural exchange more expensive.

And some of the things that UK “leave” voters thought would be true simply won’t happen.  Check out this video, where Nigel Farage of the “once-fringe United Kingdom Independence Party” basically owns up to creating a sham “Leave” reason:

Writing for the Guardian, Diane Abbott summed up the Brexit results as a false promise:

For many Brexit voters the prime minister just confirmed to them how little the winners of globalisation like him cared about them, the losers.

If only the false promise that Britain’s malaise of disenfranchisement, voicelessness and an economic system that rewards the rich at the expense of the poor could be fixed by leaving the EU. The idea that migrants or politicians in Brussels are the problem with modern, unequal Britain was the canard at the core the referendum debate.

Britain’s problems come from a place much closer to home. They come from successive government policies that have promoted the financialisation of our economies and public services, thereby valuing profit over people. They come from a Tory government slashing public services and widening inequality under the dubious banner of austerity. And they come from a prime minister who was passionate about nothing but his own political survival.

These problems are so systemic today that fixing them will take a radical change to the structure of both our economy and political class. More of the past will not do to resolve the very real and interconnected global issues of our time: vast and rising wealth inequality, climate change and a foreign policy trapped in a cycle of destruction.

That feels about right.  And the pro-Brexit pundits and politicians are a lot like the dog who finally caught the car.  NOW WHAT?

And those sentiments exist here among those who feel like they are globalization’s losers and the political class’ victims. And who do they listen to?  TRUMP.  Got Mexicans? No problemo. TRUMP stops unwanted immigrants in their tracks. Pesky establishment? TRUMP politically incorrects for that. Lost your job? TRUMP again. Whites not white enough? TRUMP will make them bolder if not brighter.

Trump — located ironically in Scotland today to cut ribbons on his golf course (for the elites) — is, of course, praising this.

For the rest of us, this is a cautionary tale.

And how about this for a plot twist: The Brexit may not happen at all. There have already been murmurs that Thursday’s vote will lead the EU to offer new, more generous terms to convince Britain to stay, prompting a second referendum. An online petition calling for a re-do drew so much traffic that it crashed the U.K. government’s website Friday morning. This is, to be clear, a very unlikely scenario — the referendum results were close, but not that close, and none of Britain’s leaders is backing the idea of a new vote so far. But in theory, it is still possible that we could do all of this again.


Vocativ reports:

After residents of the UK voted today to leave the European Union, the movement for an independent Texas may be gaining serious momentum, with thousands online calling for a “Texit.”

The largest group agitating for secession is the Texas Nationalist Movement, which has been promoting its own version of Brexit, called Texit, over the past several weeks. The group has taken inspiration from the pro-exit campaign in Britain, noting that the two movements share many of the same principles.

You Can Now Make Star Trek Movies….

… and you won’t get sued for copyright infringement, as long as you follow these guidelines, just released by CBS and Paramount:

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:
  1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  
  2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
  3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
  4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
  5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
  6. The fan production must be non-commercial:
    • CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
    • The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
    • The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
    • The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
    • No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
    • The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
  7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.
  8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:
    “Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”
  9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.
CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.


As the polls close in Britain, I thought I would weigh in on the historical vote to see if England will leave the European Union.

And I say, without a whole lot of knowledge, that is seems like a bad idea to me, and sentiments to get out of the EU seem to be based on nothing more than nationalism, rather than any sort of strong evidence that England will do better outside the EU.  Put another way, brexiting seems like Trumpism, England-style.  It appears to be riding on a wave of anti-immigration and even xenophobia.

I hope, for their sake mostly, that it doesn’t pass.

Turnout is a key decider in the referendum. A high turnout should benefit the pro-EU, because that would suggest younger people, who often support continued membership but are less likely to vote, did actually show up at the ballot box.

Reports of bad weather — rain and flooding — are coming in — this is going to have a negative impact on turnout.

When will we know who wins?

  • Voting starts at 7 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. (2 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), but there won’t be any exit polls by the major broadcasters because of concerns over accuracy. Some smaller research companies and financial firms, worried about what the outcome could mean for their customers, markets and currency volatility, have commissioned private exit polls but: They probably won’t share them and only the truly brave would rely on these to call the race given that they may be a little untested in surveys of this kind or even vested in the result.
  • It is illegal in Britain to publish the results of any exit poll before voting finishes at 10 p.m. local time.
  • The Electoral Commission says it expects to have a result around “breakfast time” Friday in the U.K. When it says a result, it means it expects to have counted all 382 wards voting. There are small and large areas, so they each have a different weight in determining the overall result. The first of the announcements are due around 11:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET). By 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. (10 p.m.-11 p.m.), half should be counted. By 5 a.m. (midnight ET), 80% should be counted, it says. But it’s important to remember that while the Electoral Commission will release the counts on individual wards through the night, it won’t formally release a verdict until everything’s counted.

Trump Forgives Loans To His Campaign

Reuters reports:

Donald Trump has forgiven $50 million in loans he made to his campaign, a top staffer said on Thursday, signaling to donors that future contributions will be used to fight Democrat Hillary Clinton and not to repay himself.

The announcement that Trump will not seek reimbursement, made by his campaign finance chief in a CNBC interview, came amid concerns from his backers that he will not be able to adequately fund his White House bid.

“(Trump) loaned $50 million to the campaign. He’s now forgiven that loan. So that is a contribution” by Trump, Steve Mnuchin said, referring to a series of loans made over the past year.

“(Trump) has also said he will contribute significantly more money,” said Mnuchin, the top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign.

He also told CNBC that the presumptive Republican nominee has seen a strong uptick in fundraising in the last week.

Mnuchin said Trump raised about $10 million in conjunction with the Republican Party at fundraising events this week. Trump also raised another $6 million through online donations, Mnuchin said, following the wealthy New York businessman’s first attempt to appeal to supporters to contribute to his campaign.

I would check the fine print.  I suspect there is a piece of paper somewhere that would allow Trump — perhaps through a complicated series of transactions — to get his money back.  Wait.

Democratic House Sit-In Enters Day Two

Late last night, Ryan managed to adjourn the House until after the July 4th break:

After a chaotic, daylong occupation of the House floor, Republican leaders moved in the middle of the night to cut off House Democrats’ gun control “sit-in” by adjourning the House through the July 4 — without a vote on gun control.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sought to to quell the Democratic demonstration by having lawmakers vote at 2:30 a.m. on several bills they had to pass this week, including one to combat the Zika virus. After that, Republican leaders sent lawmakers home until July 5, starting their already-scheduled recess a few days earlier than planned.

All of this is ostensibly to pass a “no fly, no buy” bill — i.e., if you are on the “no fly” or any other government terrorist watch list, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.  This is the legislation offered by Senator Feinstein and now Representative Lowey.

And to be honest, there’s legitimate worry that these lists are not very good, that they deny people due process, and that they have a disparate impact when it is used to deny people rights, like the right to board an airplane or (as now proposed) to purchase a firearm. These are some of the reasons why the ACLU opposes the Feinstein/Lowey legislation. Republican opponents raise some of the same issues.

The question, then, is whether the sit-in the Democrats waged yesterday and the fuss they made in the Senate before that are in the service of bad legislation that would ratify a badly flawed system that is already being misused for the no-fly system. Would it grant even more power to the FBI which they could then expand or misuse?

If you restrict yourself to seeing this kerfuffle as about the merits of this proposed legislation, then the answer to those questions is surely ‘yes.’

But this is not a fully developed appreciation of what is going on.

To start with, the Democrats are responding to yet another massacre in which dozens of people were killed or injured in mere minutes by the use of a power semi-automatic rifle. In the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, 26 people were gunned down in approximately five minutes. In the 2012 Aurora massacre, seventy people were shot. In Aurora, the police arrived within 90 seconds of receiving a call. In Sandy Hook, the first police car was there four minutes after they were notified of a shooting situation. Congress has had no answer for how we might prevent or reduce the frequency and lethality of these types of attacks.

What the Democrats are trying to do is break grip the National Rifle Association has on Congress. The heart of that effort has been to leverage overwhelming public support for expanded background checks, but that legislation has gone nowhere. The effort to impose a “no-fly, no-buy” provision will likewise go nowhere in this Republican-controlled Congress, but it also enjoys overwhelming public support. By trying to force votes on these two issues, the Democrats are highlighting the Republicans refusal to address the problem of the ready availability of extraordinarily lethal firearms. Whether the Republicans cast votes or refuse to allow them (as they have done by recessing until after July 4th), this puts them badly on the wrong side of public opinion and heightens their vulnerability to electoral defeat.

It’s not a cynical ploy to gain power. It’s a recognition that all avenues are blocked except getting more power. So, the way this gambit should be judged is on whether it works politically, and not so much on whether the watch list is a flawed mechanism for restricting the rights of anyone for any purpose.

So, if nothing happens, the watch list will continue to have flaws and it will continue to expand. But, if the watch list were to actually be used to restrict gun ownership, the Republicans would suddenly care about those flaws and want to do something to make sure that folks have due process, the right to appeal, and that conservatives aren’t disproportionately impacted. Conservatives tend not to have empathy until they’re personally impacted. When Arlen Specter got sick, he became a champion of the National Institute of Health, and when Rob Portman discovered he had a gay son, he suddenly saw the light on gay marriage. If Republicans think the watch list only inconveniences Muslims from Dearborn, Michigan, they’ll never have any interest in fixing its flaws. But if it impacts one of their assault-rifle loving constituents who can’t figure out how to get taken off this list? That will interest them.

UPDATE (1:09 pm) — Aaaaand it’s over.

House Democrats are now hugging, shaking hands, and taking photos on the floor. The sit-in is now over, and they plan to address supporters outside the Capitol in the next few minutes.

Whether it was a “win” or not, everyone will have a different take.  No vote, of course, but that was pie-in-the-sky.  It raised the profile of the gun control issue, it heightened notice that the Republicans and the GOP leadership are controlled by the NRA.  That’s all good.

Lady Dynamite: A Review

I have had a girlfriend with bipolar issues, and another who has since developed identity diffusion disorder* (formally known as multiple personality disorder).  I’ve worked with informal counselling of families and friends of people stricken with mental illness.  Because of that, I can attest to the fact that it is no picnic to be in their shoes, or anywhere near their shoes (especially when they are not taking care of themselves).

This is why I am so enamored of Maria Bamford who not only handles her affliction head on, but turns it into a comedy both VERY funny and VERY personal.  Her illness is played for laughs.  It’s not the first to do this (“Orange Is The New Black” does this too), but Bamford goes the extra mile by letting the audience know that her mind, while humorous from a distance, is actually pretty scary too.  And she seems to make the audience understand that mania, while enthralling and objectively empowering, actually is dangerous to the point of being life-threatening.  Watching her, you know that Bamford has worked to maintain her stability, knowing what is good for her and what isn’t, but you also know that it is work (and pills and therapy and….) that never ends.

So here’s a review of the show from Slate:

In a scene toward the end of the first season of Lady Dynamite, the Netflix comedy starring Maria Bamford, Maria shares her concern about her lack of friends with her life coach, Karen (played with perfectly vapid sincerity by Jenny Slate).  At first, Karen answers with well-worn therapy jargon, telling Maria, “The only friendship you need to be concerned with is the one with the gal in the mirror.” Maria presses her, saying, “I’m just worried, because the only two friends I have left who will still be friends with me are Dagmar and Larissa”—to which Karen cheerfully responds, “Yeah, because you’re bipolar and you’re incredibly hard to stay friends with. I mean, people are really just going to fall by the wayside. And that’s life … for you.”

What’s remarkable about this exchange is not Karen’s apparent callousness in the face of her client’s troubles. In fact, by the episode’s end, Maria abandons her goal of “no friend left behind,” realizing that not all friendships are worth the sacrifices required to keep them. What makes this scene, and Lady Dynamite as a whole, so refreshing, is that Karen is exactly right. Maria isn’t an easy person to be friends with. She is thoughtful and eager to please, but her good intentions don’t always make up for her bad decisions.  And her desire to help those around her can’t prevent her brain from turning stress into mania, or stop the destructive behavior mania incites.

Maria’s life coach is just one of the many voices of harsh truth throughout the show’s 12-episode season. Some of these truth-tellers are more tactful than others. In the blue-tinted scenes representing Maria’s time in Duluth, MN, taking part in psychiatric outpatient therapy after a severe manic episode, her parents are shown to be kind and patient, but also matter-of-fact about her illness. When her mom scolds her dad for going out just as Maria arrives home, he replies to them both, “I thought we weren’t going to treat her differently just because her frontal lobe went on the fritz.” Her obnoxious best friend from childhood adds her own insight, musing: “Isn’t that funny, all the fame and fortune of Hollywood can’t save ya, if your brain done broke.”

Many of the tone-deaf comments Maria hears regarding her life with Bipolar Disorder (“Actually, I’m Bipolar II,” she tells her life coach, to which her life coach replies, “Right, which means you’re twice as hard to stay friends with.”) are played for laughs. But the humor is that much sharper for its proximity to truth. One of the major themes of the season, and one of the most sincere and affecting elements of Maria’s character, is her struggle to honestly state her own feelings, especially when they are unpleasant or scary. Whether she’s agreeing to act in ad campaigns of increasing absurdity (the most memorable of the bunch being the Bamford Pepper Stepper Pepper-Bot, a backpack-sized robot that feeds whole bell peppers to the jogger wearing it) or buying a nicer house than she needs to please her childhood friend’s aggressive real estate agent (a convincingly intimidating June Diane Raphael), Maria’s inability to say what she really thinks threatens to destroy not only her career, but also her closest friendships and romantic relationships.

While the desire to avoid conflict clearly isn’t new for a TV character (pick almost any sitcom of the last several decades and you’ll clearly find plenty of storylines set into motion by one character withholding information from another), Maria’s fear of sharing her thoughts is based on more than a simple desire to be liked. The character of Maria, like the real Maria Bamford, has good reason to fear how other people might react to her true thoughts., She perceives the world through a lens that is hers alone. This unique view is what makes her such a great comic, and what has earned her such a respected perch within L.A.’s alternative comedy scene. Her albums and specials are full of jokes that range from absurdly hilarious to disturbingly dark, often told in a number of different voices (outside of stand-up, Bamford’s greatest success has been in doing voice work for commercials and animated programs). She is physically small and outwardly cheerful, which highlights by contrast her frequently grim comedic observations. This apparent contradiction is what makes Maria the character, and Lady Dynamite the series, feel so refreshing amid a wide range of half-hour shows featuring stand-up comedians. And it is also what singles out Lady Dynamite’s depiction of mental illness from every other show on television.

Depictions of mental illness on TV have generally grown increasingly nuanced and considered in recent decades, with prestige dramas from The Sopranos to Homeland, treating mentally ill protagonists with seriousness and respect. In the past year, comedies like You’re the Worst, and Crazy Ex Girlfriend have presented characters who are highly functional, frequently charming, and relatively successful, despite living with ongoing symptoms. But Lady Dynamite goes even further. Instead of treating mental illness as an obstacle for a character to overcome, or a device to explain otherwise nonsensical actions, Lady Dynamite builds it into the very fabric of its world. It mines tragedy for comedy, showing us a character who is herself struggling to find the humor within her own terrible pain. It’s the rare comedy that shows us that the reality of mental illness is that darkness can coexist with creativity and fun and hope.

Like Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, or fibromyalgia, Maria’s mental illness will never go away completely. Even after months of psychiatric care, Maria returns to Los Angeles knowing the risk of a manic episode or a suicidal depression isn’t entirely behind her. She actively tries to do the things she knows will help her stay healthy, but the dark realities have not changed, and neither has her desire to make people like her. (When her mother tells her not to look to others for approval, Maria replies, “But that’s literally what standup is, looking for approval from strangers.”).

The wisest advice Maria receives over the course of the first season comes from another comically blunt therapist. While taking part in an art-therapy group at the Duluth psych ward, Maria tries to stop two other patients who are arguing over the magazine cut-outs for their vision boards. Maria says, “Hey, we’re all here to get along.” Without missing a beat, the group therapist corrects her, saying, “No, Maria, we are not. We are all here to better ourselves and sometimes that means expressing your negative emotions in a constructive way.” Trying to set an example, the therapist goes on to tell her patients that they stress her out so much that she sometimes contemplates taking “all the pills” in her desk. She laughs as she says this, patting another patient on the shoulder.

Maria is generally realistic, but she is also an optimist. She believes that happiness, healthy relationships and basic human kindness are not only worth striving for, but are achievable. Her challenge, and the challenge of Lady Dynamite, is balancing that hope and desire for good with the realities of her suffering. The entire show is an exercise in following the art-therapy teacher’s advice: finding a way to use the fear and pain of mental illness to construct something that ultimately brings joy. Just as in life, the truth can be painful, but it can also be incredibly funny.

* No “You sure can pick ’em” comments please.

Breaking: Scotus Decisions

Three big cases remain outstanding on the SCOTUS docket: one on abortion, one on immigration, and one on affirmative action.  The last one was just handed down moments ago.


Facts of the case

In 1997, the Texas legislature enacted a law requiring the University of Texas to admit all high school seniors who ranked in the top ten percent of their high school classes. After finding differences between the racial and ethnic makeup of the university’s undergraduate population and the state’s population, the University of Texas decided to modify its race-neutral admissions policy. The new policy continued to admit all in-state students who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school classes. For the remainder of the in-state freshman class the university would consider race as a factor in admission.

Abigail N. Fisher, a Caucasian female, applied for undergraduate admission to the University of Texas in 2008. Fisher was not in the top ten percent of her class, so she competed for admission with other non-top ten percent in-state applicants. The University of Texas denied Fisher’s application.

Fisher filed suit against the university and other related defendants, claiming that the University of Texas’ use of race as a consideration in admission decisions was in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The university argued that its use of race was a narrowly tailored means of pursuing greater diversity. The district court decided in favor of the University of Texas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Fisher appealed the appellate court’s decision.


Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment permit the consideration of race in undergraduate admissions decisions?

SCOTUS Decision

Affirmed. 4-3.

This is decidedly a compromise; Kennedy’s opinion says that UT must continue to reassess its need for any kind of race-conscious affirmative action, and that it is justified only by a robust record showing that other means of addressing diversity concerns have failed. But there is also a pretty meaningful shift away here from the trajectory of Fisher I. That case faulted the lower court for giving too much deference to the judgments of the university; this decision affirmatively states that “Considerable deference is owed to a
university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

From end of majority opinion: “The Court’s affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement. It is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admission policies.”

This is, I think, the first time Kennedy was on the pro-affirmative action side.

Strong dissent from Alito.which begins :””Something strange has happened since our prior deci­sion in this case…”.  50 page dissent is being read by Alito.

SCOTUS had the Fisher case in 2013. One suspects Roberts and Alito now wish they hadn’t punted it back to the 5th Circuit.  When Fisher I came through, this happened:


The peanut gallery:


Facts of the case

In June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with criteria for determining when prosecutors can choose not to enforce immigration laws under DACA. People who qualify for DACA may apply for work authorization. In 2014, DHS established a similar process for parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents as well as expanding DACA by making more people eligible. The new program was known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.

Texas and other states sued to prevent the implementation of DAPA and argued that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it had not gone through the notice-and-comment process, and because it was arbitrary and capricious. The states also argued that DAPA violated the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, which clarifies the President’s power. The district court held that the states had standing to file the suit and temporarily enjoined the implementation of DAPA because the states had established a substantial likelihood of success on the notice-and-comment claim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed and held that the states had standing as well as a substantial likelihood of success on their substantive and procedural claims.


  1. Do states that provide subsidies to persons who are granted deferred action have standing to sue because the new guidelines will lead to more persons being eligible for deferred action?
  2. Is the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program arbitrary and capricious?
  3. Did DAPA violate the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to go through the notice-and-comment procedure?
  4. Does DAPA violate the Take Care Clause of the Constitution?

SCOTUS Decision

The per curium opinion in its entirety reads “The judgement is affirmed by an equally divided court”

This means that Texas has standing and the case can go forward.  When decisions are tied, this means that it has precedent in that circuit only and not nationwide.

While some outlets are reporting that the court’s action essentially kills the programs, it’s more accurate to say that it blocks them presently while their future remains uncertain. (It also has no effect on Obama’s original deferred action program for DREAMers announced in 2012.)

Since the split left in place a nationwide injunction that was unilaterally issued by a federal judge in the Fifth Circuit on Obama’s immigration programs—Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—that injunction will almost certainly invite legal challenges in other circuits.

It is a loss, to be sure, but not a permanent one.

And although not one of the big three, the Dollar General case caught my eye.


Samantha Bee can give the background:

Facts of the case

Dollar General Corporation (Dollar General) operates a store on land held in trust for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (Tribe). The store operates pursuant to a lease and business license agreement with the Tribe. In the spring of 2003, John Doe, a 13-year-old member of the Tribe alleged that he was sexually molested by the store manager, Dale Townsend, while he was working at the store as part of an internship program that the Tribe runs and in which the Townsend agreed to participate.

In 2005, Doe sued Townsend and Dollar General in tribal court. Both defendants moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and the tribal court denied the motions. The Choctaw Supreme Court upheld the denial of the motions by finding that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montana v. United States, which allowed a tribe to regulate the activities of nonmembers who enter into a consensual arrangement with the tribe, applied in this case. The defendants then sued the Tribe in federal district court and sought injunctions to stop the suit in tribal court. The district court granted the injunction for Townsend but not for Dollar General because the company had failed to carry its burden to show that the Montana decision did not apply in this case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed.


Does a tribal court have jurisdiction to adjudicate civil tort claims against nonmembers?

SCOTUS Decision

The per curium opinion in its entirety reads “The judgement is affirmed by an equally divided court”

Meaning the child molester cannot be tried in the Indian court, but Dollar General can.

This Is Slightly Obscene

I saw “Hamilton” with the original cast (except Anthony Rannells was substituting for J Groff) last October, a couple of months after it opened.  I knew it would be big and a tough ticket to get in a few months, but I had no idea.  Check this out.


Of course, these are tickets for one week from now, and Lin-Manuel and Leslie Odom and others are leaving after the first week in January.  So, I kind of get the price inflation, but still…..

Realistically, Here Is What Would Happen

Terrorist — we’ll call him Shooter A — walks into a crowded room (say, a nightclub) and starts opening fire.  Immediately, some people fall, stricken by Shooter A.  Others instinctively dive under the tables or behind the bar or run out of the room to the bathrooms.

Brave Shooter B, a patron, reacts quickly.  In half a second, he draws his loaded and concealed pistol, and fires at Shooter A.  He misses but one bullet ricochets and hits a bystander.

As that is going on, brave Shooter C, another patron, is just coming out of the bathroom and hears Shooter A’s gunfire.  She takes her loaded and concealed pistol and runs to the main room, where she sees Shooter B fire with his weapon drawn and people are falling down and/or diving under tables.  She shoots at Shooter B.

Brave Shooter D has dived under the table at the first sound of bullets so it takes him two or three seconds to get his loaded and concealed pistol out from his leg strap, but when he does he see Shooter C and Shooter A and he figures it is more than one person so he starts firing on them both.

Brave Shooter E, the bartender, comes up from behind the bar and see the shooter closest to him shooting at people at so he starts shooting at that shooter but then some other shooter starts shooting at HIM.

Everything I have described happens in a span of 3-4 seconds from the moment of the first shot.  As more “good guys with guns” join in, it becomes unclear who the “good guys” and “bad guys” are.

Oh, did I mention that it is a nightclub where the lights are low and the music is thumping and all the shooters have had a little to drink?

The point: The notion that more guns will prevent mass shootings is just plain dumb, and suggested by people who watch too many movies.  Yes, it might work in certain situations (especially if everybody had advance notice that there was a shooter and a description of what he/she looked like), but in the real world, things are often not that convenient.

Oh, and this…


Breaking: Literally “On The House Floor”


Dozens of House Democrats are staging a “sit-in” on the House floor until they are allowed a vote on a so-called “no fly, no buy” gun control bill. It is the most dramatic action by House Democrats on gun control since the Orlando shooting on June 12 that left 49 dead and 53 wounded.

Two weeks ago, in the Senate, there was a talking filibuster by Senator Murphy of Connecticut.  That ended when Senate Republicans agreed to allow a vote on various gun control proposals.  None of those proposals passed.

UPDATE:  You won’t see this on TV…

UPDATE #2:  This is simply amazing

And Elizabeth Warren is joining them

Meanwhile, the rep from NC white-splains to John Lewis what is a “sit-in”:

Looks Like We’ve Got A Pivot

Being strapped of cash is only part of Trump’s problem. Trump’s campaign has fewer than 100 staffers. He boasts how “efficient” his operation is, with 73 employees. Clinton is estimated to already have around 800 paid staffers. Those are people that can be used to register voters and then get them to the polls in key states. You could believe Trump’s boast that his campaign is more “efficient” and that his constant presence on TV compensates for a smaller staff. Or you could look to history: By August of 2012, Obama had 901 people on his payroll, Romney had 403.

But there are signs that the Trump campaign is actually going to try to win this thing.  Lewandowski got fired as campaign manager, and Trump has actually hired, you know, staff leaders, which bodes will for getting actual staffers out there.

Hillary Clinton gave an economics speech yesterday, and reporters and pundits were flooded with emails responding to her points.  Yes, he apparently has a rapid response team now.  All earmarks of a legit presidential candidate.

And he’s going to be raising money.  That might be a little bit harder, for a couple of reasons.

First, he said that when Clinton raises money, it is “blood money”, meaning, he explained, that she is obligated to do things in return for that money.  It will be weird to say that and then start raising money on his own.  How is that not “blood money”?

Secondly, Clinton has raised a lot of money from small donors.  People like you and me.  In tens and twenties.  Trump can’t do that easily.  For one thing, he boasts about how rich he is.  Why would his (poorly educated and probably not wealthy redneck) mass of followers who believe him give him money?  His whole shtick is that he doesn’t need it.

Thirdly, many large campaign donors have already said they will not donate to Trump, as they do not think he is a suitable candidate.  In other words, for Trump to raise the kind of money he needs, he has to change.  This is something he has shown an unwillingness (or, I suspect, inability) to do.  He has been notably undisciplined the past few weeks — from his racially tinged criticism of a federal judge to his off-key, self-congratulatory response to the Orlando terrorist attack — and this has discouraged donors and leery Republicans who’d still been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Trump himself vowed Tuesday to match any soft money contributions made over the following 48 hours up to $2 million, another effort to portray the situation as far from bleak but one that could backfire should donors believe that the campaign’s finances are in good shape.  $2 million isn’t very much if you’re a billionaire (which is one-thousand million), leading many to see this as further evidence that Trump is not a billionaire.

“Part of the problem is he keeps saying, ‘I’m gonna put that kind of money in,’ which makes it very difficult for donors and — and someone like myself to try and raise money for him in a super PAC,” Ed Rollins, who formed a pro-Trump super PAC that has failed to gain traction, said Tuesday during an appearance on Fox Business Network. “People say ‘Well, he says he can buy it himself. Let him put the money in.’”

Trump is set to give a speech today that will seek to outline his argument against Clinton, who made her first, focused speech criticizing him nearly a month ago. Seven weeks after securing the GOP nomination, Trump has struggled to fully pivot into general election mode. Many observers both inside and outside the campaign will be watching for signs that Trump has reined in his shoot-from-the-hip excesses.  I expect it to be a telepromptered speech, and to be rather flat.  Even one off color aside will make it a failure.

UPDATE:  Trump’s speech apparently was not telepromptered, but was pretty much the same-old same-old:

The Four Bills Up For Debate And Vote In The Senate

Thanks to Senator Murphy’s 15-hour talk-a-thon on the Senate floor last week, Senate Republicans are willing to allow votes on certain gun control proposals. But don’t expect success — in part because 60 votes are needed to break a threatened Republican filibuster.

Nevertheless, here are the four proposals – all submitted as amendments to a Justice Department spending bill……..

The Democratic proposals:

  • Brought by Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., it would give the Justice Department the power to stop anyone from purchasing a gun if that person has been on the federal terrorist watch lists sometime in the past five years. This measure would also make it easier for the government to halt a gun purchase, based on “reasonable belief” as opposed to “probable cause” that the individual will use the firearm to commit terrorism. The White House and DOJ backs this measure.
  • An amendment by Chris Murphy, D-Conn., would close the “gun show loophole” by requiring every gun purchaser to undergo a background check and to expand the background check database. It would also extend background checks to Internet sales.

The GOP proposals:

  • This one from John Cornyn, R-Texas, would require that law enforcement be alerted when anyone on the terrorist watch list attempts to buy a weapon from a licensed dealer. If the buyer has been investigated for terrorism within the past five years, the attorney general could block a sale for up to three days while a court reviews the sale. The government would have to show probable cause that the person is a known or suspected terrorist.
  • An amendment by Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would clarify what it means to be found mentally deficient, and giving people suspected of serious mental illness a process to challenge that determination.  (Democrats argue that the “clarification” would actually permit more mentally deficient people to buy guns)

Again, none are expected to pass.

RIP Anton Yelchin

Checkov from the “Star Trek” reboot, died in a freak car accident at age 27.

“The victim was on his way to meet his friends for a rehearsal and when he didn’t show up, his friends went to his house where they found him deceased by his car,” Houser told CNN. “It appears that he momentarily left his car, leaving it in the driveway. He was behind the vehicle when it rolled backward and pinned him to the brick pillar causing the trauma that led to his death.”


Supreme Court Cases We’re Watching

It’s getting close to the end of the Supreme Court term, and this is when controversial cases start coming out.

Although a few cases were handed down today, they weren’t the ones on my particular radar.  The ones of national import, I believe, are:

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (argued December 9, 2015).  This case, a challenge to the university’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process, is on its second trip to the Court.  In 2013, the Court sent the case back to the lower courts for a more critical look at whether the university really needed to consider race to achieve a diverse student body.  After the Fifth Circuit once again upheld the policy, the Court agreed to weigh in.  Unlike some of the Court’s other high-profile cases this Term, no one expects the Court to deadlock:  Justice Elena Kagan is not participating, which in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death leaves the Court with just seven Justices to decide the case.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (argued March 2, 2016).  This is a challenge to the constitutionality of two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortion in that state.  One provision requires doctors who perform abortions to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital; the other requires abortion clinics to have facilities that are comparable to outpatient surgical centers.  Texas contends that these new laws are constitutional because they were intended to protect women’s health, while the challengers argue that the law was actually intended to close most clinics and therefore limit women’s access to abortions.

United States v. Texas (argued April 18, 2016).  This case is a challenge to an Obama administration policy, announced in November 2014, that would allow some undocumented immigrants to apply to stay in the country and work legally for three years.  Before the policy could go into effect, Texas and a large group of other states went to court to block its implementation, arguing that the administration lacks the authority to issue a policy like this.  But before the Supreme Court can weigh in on that question, it will also have to agree that the states have the legal right, known as “standing,” to challenge the policy at all; the lower courts ruled that they did, because at least Texas would incur additional costs from the undocumented immigrants who would become eligible for driver’s licenses if the policy goes into effect.

So…. basically, affirmative action, abortion, and immigration.  Hot topics in an election year.

None of that came down today.  In fact, the biggest news out of the Supreme Court this morning may be a case that they refused to take up:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a Connecticut law banning many semiautomatic rifles. The law, enacted in 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., made it a crime to sell or possess the firearms, which critics call assault weapons.

The decision not to hear the case, not long after the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., does not set a Supreme Court precedent. But it is part of a trend in which the justices have given at least tacit approval to broad gun-control laws in states and localities that choose to enact them.

The case, Shew v. Malloy, No. 15-1030, was brought by four individuals, a business and two advocacy groups. They said the ban was irrational, ineffective and unconstitutional.

“Connecticut dubs a semiautomatic firearm” with one of several common features “an ‘assault weapon,’ but that is nothing more than an argument advanced by a political slogan in the guise of a definition,” they told the Supreme Court in their petition seeking review.

Last October, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, upheld the ban almost entirely. It acknowledged that the affected weapons were in common use and assumed their possession was protected by the Second Amendment. But the appeals court ruled that the Connecticut law passed constitutional muster.

The law was “specifically targeted to prevent mass shootings like that in Newtown, in which the shooter used a semiautomatic assault weapon,” Judge José A. Cabranes wrote for the court.

“Plaintiffs complain that mass shootings are ‘particularly rare events’ and thus, even if successful, the legislation will have a ‘minimal impact’ on most violent crime.

“That may be so,” Judge Cabranes continued. “But gun‐control legislation ‘need not strike at all evils at the same time’ to be constitutional.”

It has been eight years since the Supreme Court recognized an individual right to keep guns at home for self-defense in District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down parts of an exceptionally strict local law. Since then, the justices have said almost nothing about the scope of that right.

So….a victory for gun control.


Trump To Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski: “You’re Fired”

I imagine the best way to show your unqualified to be a campaign manager is to be Trump’s campaign manager, which Corey Lewandowski is.  Er, was.

While this might be a “process story”, it actually does reflect on Trump’s so-called ability to surround himself with the best people, a skill he often touts.  Lewandowski came to Trump Tower from New Hampshire shortly after Trump announced his candidacy one year ago.  They talked for one hour and shook hands.  Trump hired him.

Maybe it was a good choice — I don’t know.  Trump is, after all, the Republican nominee, against all odds and predictions.,  Was that Lewandowski?  Or in spite of Lewandowski?  Probably won’t know for a while. But Lewandowski was often at odds with Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, who was brought on when the candidate seemed poised for a lengthy fight over delegates.  It has been reported that resisted certain moves that would have increased the staff, at times blocking Mr. Manafort from making hires or later undoing them.

Anyway, he’s out following a few weeks of Trump plummeting in the polls.  We’ll see if the ship can be righted.  I suspect it has already taken on too much water. Lewandowski was the “Let Trump Be Trump” campaign manager and encouraged Trump to stay the course that got him nominated (no teleprompters, spending little, rely on rallies and free media).  So NOW (finally) perhaps there will be a genuine pivot for the general election,.  Maybe.  Trump 2.0

RNC Deletes LGBT Reference In Its Orlando Statement

In its original statement following the Orlando shootings, the Republican National Committee made an attempt to acknowledge that the attack specifically targeted LGBT Americans—a sad attempt, but an attempt nonetheless. But meh, who really cares about that aspect anyway? So they finally just edited gays out altogether. Rebecca Ruiz reports on the line that was just too dangerous to include:

“Violence against any group of people simply for their lifestyle or orientation has no place in America or anywhere else,” it said.

The RNC’s reference to gender identity and sexual orientation was vague and awkwardly worded. Still, the sentence stood out in a statement that otherwise declined to clearly identify Pulse nightclub as a gay destination or describe the victims as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

But by Monday, the statement had been updated. It was missing that key sentence and contained no explanation for the revision.

RNC spokesperson Lindsay Walters later explained the change:

Walters said the revision was meant to be more inclusive because it invoked a common humanity and referenced all Americans instead of singling out LGBT people.

Right! Including LGBT folks by explicitly excluding them. Note to GOP: even straight people have a lifestyle and orientation, if you think about it.

Why Is Trump Running For President?

Possible answer: Maybe he’s not.

Vanity Fair reports that Trump is considering starting a cable news empire:

The breakout media star of 2016 is, inarguably, Donald Trump, who has masterfully—and horrifyingly—demonstrated an aptitude for manipulating the news cycle, gaining billions of dollars worth of free airtime, and dominating coverage on every screen. Now, several people around him are looking for a way to leverage his supporters into a new media platform and cable channel.

Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate” outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law,Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer. Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, “win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.” For his part, Kushner was heard at a New York dinner party saying that “the people here don’t understand what I’m seeing. You go to these arenas and people go crazy for him.” (Both Kushner and Ivanka Trump did not respond to a request for comment.)


Hope Hicks, Trump’s spokeswoman, adamantly denied that such conversations have occurred. (“There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told me. “This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.”) Then, after conferring with Trump, she issued a subsequent statement clarifying her point: “While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature.” Meanwhile, someone close to Kushner has suggested that Trump would be unlikely to go so far as to seek out a partner at this stage of the race, given that it might risk alienating many of the established media players that he has outflanked—and that he is relying on to get him elected. (Such a move would also inevitably raise issues regarding the F.C.C.’s “equal-time” rule.) Nevertheless, shortly after my correspondence with Hicks, he tweeted out: “The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!”

Now the Trump campaign, and the way he is conducting it, is starting to make sense.  For Trump, it really is about ratings, and not about votes.

See also, Josh Marshall, who argues that “Trump’s Not Doing Poorly; He’s Not Even Running”

Others might do it well or poorly. But Trump isn’t doing any of it. There’s a Politico story out today about how the RNC gave him the names of twenty big GOP donors to call. He got bored or frustrated and stopped after calling three. And this comes after deciding that he actually doesn’t need to raise a billion dollars.

Democrats Filibuster For Gun Control

Props to Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut for starting and leading a filibuster to enact some sort of gun control measure, something the Republican Congress won’t even consider, even in the light of such massacres as Newtown and the Orlando Pulse Club shootings.

Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early this morning after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

Filibusters aren’t easy.  By Senate rules, Murphy had to stand at his desk to maintain control of the floor. When asked by another senator how he was feeling just before 7:30 p.m., Murphy said rehabilitation from a back injury in his 20s had helped him build up endurance.

It’s been nearly a decade since Congress made any significant changes to federal gun laws. In April 2007, Congress passed a law to strengthen the instant background check system after a gunman at Virginia Tech was able to purchase his weapons because his mental health history was not in the instant background check database. Thirty-two people died in the shooting.

After what happened in Orlando, there may be some movement.  Some Fox News people are even saying enough is enough.  Trump is meeting with the NRA, thinking he can move them.

Meeting with Trump is fine, but the NRA is already in favor of what Trump seems to be proposing.  In fact, the NRA formally backed an approach favored by Senate Republicans that would allow a judge to arbitrate people who mistakenly end up on the terrorism watch list and want to buy guns, while Democrats prefer giving the Justice Department such authority. Both bills were voted down by the Senate in December.

Meanwhile, back in the Senate, the chamber is likely to vote on two Democratic-backed gun measures: a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) meant to bar those on federal terror watch lists from obtaining firearms, and a plan from Murphy and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) mandating background checks for sales at gun shows and over the internet. Republicans are expected to put forward two of their own proposals for votes.\

I don’t expect anything significant to pass.  But I do think we can get people on the record, and hopefully get them out of office.

Trump Oppo Research

Yesterday, it was reported that someone in Russia and hacked into the DNC computers and obtained, among other things, some opposition research on Trump.

Here it is.  Some of it.  It is a few months old and not very detailed.  It doesn’t contain anything not generally known.  But it is comprehensive:

Trump Comes Right Out And Says It

The Washington Post had a headline which said that Trump was suggesting that Obama was somehow in league with terrorists.

Trump was incensed and banned Washington Post from Trump events.

Then, this morning, Trump outright suggests that Obama is somehow in league with terrorists.

Can this man get any more insane?  He’s citing Breitbart, for crying out loud, and even Breitbart — not know for being factually correct — is hedging on the veracity of that claim.

Contrary to Trump’s insinuation, the memo does not outline Obama’s plan to declare himself the caliph of the Islamic State West. Rather, the 2012 document merely notes that Al Qaeda in Iraq, one of the groups that evolved into ISIS, was a member of the Syrian opposition that “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey” were supporting at the time. The memo does not celebrate this (widely known) fact; it merely states it. The document offers no evidence to support the suggestion that Obama has “something else in mind” with regards to ISIS. On the contrary, it suggests that the administration’s reluctance to intervene more dramatically in Syria was informed by concerns about the ideological orientation of the opposition forces.

Regardless, it’s hard to interpret Trump’s tweet as anything other than a confession that the darkest interpretation of his initial comments was correct — that he really did suggest Obama “supports” the Islamic State.

Breaking: Senate Democrats Engaging In Filibuster Re: Gun Control

About an hour and a half ago (around 11:30 am), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) started embarking on a talking filibuster in order to push the Senate to address gun control in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) alternated speaking about gun control on the Senate floor, according to Fox 61 in Connecticut.

Democrats are signing up to speak — some as late as 10:30 pm.

Americans Reaction To Orlando Shootings

Here are the major take-aways, as I see it

  1. Most Americans see Orlando massacre as an act of terrorism and a hate crime
  2. Americans are divided on whether the massacre could have been prevented
  3. Most Americans approve of Obama’s response to the massacre
  4. Americans are split on Hillary’s response to the massacre
  5. Most Americans, including Republicans, disapprove  of Trump’s response to the massacre.

Read for yourself:

How Much Do People Love Trump

Very very very much not.

In mid-May, Trump was underwater by barely more than 20 points—a disaster for most politicians, but an improvement for Trump. Now the percent of people with unfavorable views of Trump is on the rise again, and by a lot, if a new Washington Post/ABC News poll is a harbinger: It finds that “70 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, including a 56 percent majority who feel this way ’strongly.’” Perhaps most significantly, he’s suffering with groups that were supposed to help him:

Trump’s net favorable rating (favorable minus unfavorable) among non-college whites has flipped from a plus-14 in May to slightly negative minus-7 in the latest survey. Among independents, Trump’s net rating has shifted from from -19 last month to -38 in the latest survey, returning him to roughly the same standing as in April (-37).

The poll was conducted as the controversy over Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel erupted, but before the Orlando mass shooting. So as more polls come out, we’ll see if Politico’s right that Orlando is Trump’s “terrain” and will strengthen his hand.

In the meantime, he is underwater with every demographic.  Even white men.


Hillary Clinton also had more negative impressions among the public than positive ones, but her problems pale in comparison with Trump’s, the survey indicates.

Among all American adults surveyed, 55 percent had a negative view of Clinton, and 43 percent viewed her positively. Only 29 percent of adults had a positive view of Trump.

UPDATE:  An entirely different poll shows something even more remarkable.  Trump is so unpopular that he is actually suppressing the GOP vote.

According to Marquette’s latest polling out of Wisconsin, they have Hillary Clinton leading +7 among registered voters, but +9 among likely voters. They also have Russ Feingold leading the Senate race +4 among registered voters, but +9 again among likely voters.

Both Clinton and Feingold will win Wisconsin in November, but what’s interesting here isn’t that they’re winning a state they’re supposed to win but rather the gap between the registered and likely voter screens. In short, Democrats always do better among registered voters. The likely voter screen always looks better for Republicans. Always.

Until now.  Now “likely voters” looks better for Democrats.  Yes, if anyone could defy the laws of physics, it would be Donald Trump. He’s doing what no Republican before him has managed—suppress his own vote.

Net Neutrality Win

This might get unnoticed, but it shouldn’t.  It will have long-standing repercussions about the Internet:

WASHINGTON — High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled, in a sweeping decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users.

The two-to-one decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday came in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality, which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers.

Those rules, created by the Federal Communications Commission in early 2015, started a huge legal battle as cable, telecom and wireless internet providers sued to overturn regulations that they said went far beyond the F.C.C.’s authority and would hurt their businesses.

The court’s decision upheld the F.C.C. on the historic declaration of broadband as a utility, the most significant aspect of the rules. That has broad-reaching implications for web and telecommunications companies and signals a shift in the government’s view of broadband as a service that should be equally accessible to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.

What the internet providers (and some Republicans) wanted to do was to basically treat some Internet data as “more important” than others.  They could charge higher rates to, say, CNN, so that CNN would get on a faster lane to your computer than say, a blog.

But this ruling allows the FCC to promulgate and enforce rules that will allow all Internet data to be treated equally (hence, net neutrality).  Had the service providers got their way, the Internet would look VERY different.

Good Political News: Polls Show Trump Falling Behind

Hillary Clinton’s advantage over Donald Trump grew over the course of the last week, according to the results of the latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released today.  The survey was conducted in the same week that Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination and Trump continued his criticism of federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel,

Clinton leads Trump 49 percent to 42 percent.

Clinton narrowed Trump’s lead among men and white voters to single digits over the past week and now leads Trump by 25 points — 58 percent to 33 percent — among voters describing themselves as moderate. Trump led men by 14 points in last week’s survey but now leads by only 9 points in this week’s poll — 51 percent to 42 percent. Among white voters, Trump’s lead also shrank to 9 points, 50 percent to 41 percent.

But what I find more interesting is what is happening to Trump in a couple state polls:

Kansas last went Democratic in a presidential election in 1964, joining 43 other states plus the District of Columbia in choosing Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had ascended to the presidency after the assassination of John Kennedy less than a year before, over conservative firebrand Barry Goldwater. As of Friday, Hillary Rodham Clinton led Donald Trump in Kansas by seven points in the Zogby poll, respondents to which were 44 percent Republican and 28 percent Democratic.

Clinton leads Trump by seven points….. in Kansas?  And how about Utah:

Clinton and Trump are knotted at 35 percent, with five months of campaigning remaining before the election, according to the survey conducted for The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson draws 13 percent, a remarkably strong showing for the candidate who garnered 1.2 percent as the party’s candidate four years ago.

Now, granted, these are not states with large electoral college numbers.  But if Trump has a problem throughout all the prairie states, this is incredibly bad for him.

UPDATE [5:05 pm]:  A new Bloomberg poll published just now shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 49 percent to 37 percent – that’s 12 points.  Libertarian candidate Johnson has percent.

Douche Of The Day



A fundraising event in the works for Tennessee state Rep. Andy Holt was offering an AR-15 as the door prize.

Holt, R-Dresden, is known for speaking his mind, and the day after the deadliest shooting in American history is no exception.

For an upcoming fundraiser, the West Tennessee lawmaker is planning to give away two AR-15 rifles, the same kind of weapon used in Sunday’s shooting.

“We should not focus on the gun itself,” said Holt in a phone conversation. “We should focus on the depravity of the heart of the person who’s pulling the trigger.”

Omar Mateen, who allegedly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, carried out an attack at a gay night club in Orlando early Sunday morning.

Investigators said he used a pistol as well as an assault-style rifle to kill 49 people and wound 53 others.

Holt said his door prize will encourage people to protect themselves.

When asked if he thought giving away an assault-style rifle might be offensive, Holt said, “It’s not intended to come across as offensive, it’s intended to help people.”

The AR-15 has emerged as the weapon of choice in recent mass shootings such as San Bernandino, CA, Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT. It has the ability to fire several rounds in a short time frame.

Holt said any weapon is dangerous in the hands of a deranged criminal.

“You can inflict a lot of damage,” said Holt when asked if a person with a handgun would be able to kill so many. “A Molotov cocktail would have done the same thing.”

Other lawmakers clearly disagree.

On Twitter, Congressman Steve Cohen, D-TN, called on House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday to introduce legislation that would ban all assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

“Outside of our military, no one in this county needs an assault rifle to defend themselves or their homes.They are often used in these mass shootings. Also as Congress continues the appropriations process, we must allocate more federal funding for mental health treatments and centers,” said Cohen in a statement.

Was Trump Wrong About Orlando Shooter Motive? (Were We All?)

Just a second there, stupid politician man.

Palm Beach Post:

A former classmate of Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy class said he believed Mateen was gay, saying Mateen once asked him out.

Officials say Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning.

The classmate said that he, Mateen and other classmates would hang out, sometimes going to gay nightclubs, after classes at the Indian River Community College police academy. He said Mateen asked him out romantically.

“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate said. He asked that his name not be used.

He believed Mateen was gay, but not open about it. Mateen was awkward, and for a while the classmate and the rest in the group of friends felt sorry for him.

“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”

L.A. Times:

The gunman who attacked a Florida LGBT nightclub had attended the club before the attack and had used a gay dating and chat app, witnesses said.

Kevin West, a regular at Pulse nightclub, said Omar Mateen messaged him on and off for a year before the shooting using the gay chat and dating app Jack’d.

But they never met – until early Sunday morning.

West was dropping off a friend at the club when he noticed Mateen – whom he knew by sight but not by name – crossing the street wearing a dark cap and carrying a black cellphone about 1 a.m., an hour before the shooting.

“He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’” and nodded his head, West said. “I could tell by the eyes.”

At least four regular customers of Pulse, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender nightclub where the massacre took place, told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that they believed they had seen Mateen there before.

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” said Ty Smith, who also uses the name Aries.

He saw Mateen at the club at least a dozen times, he said.

And the Daily Mail quotes his ex-wife as saying he had “gay tendencies“.

It would be unusual for an ISIS adherent to be gay.  And it suggests that Mateen’s motive was based, at least in part, on self-loathing.  There is nothing to suggest that ISIS personally recruited him.  This was a lone wolf.  He may have simply latched on to ISIS as the reason, simply because self-loathing gays aren’t that aware of the self-loathing.  He was trapped between two worlds — the rigid tenets of his faith (perhaps buttressed by his anti-gay father), and his inner desires.  He chose one — violently.  (Not an excuse, of course.  Just a possible explanation).

Trump Implies Obama Is A Terrorist

In an interview with Fox News, Trump strongly implied that President Obama either condones or was actually connected to the Orlando shootings.

This is the Washington Post article that enraged Trump so much he revoked their press credentials.

Donald Trump seemed to repeatedly accuse President Obama on Monday of identifying with radicalized Muslims who have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and being complicit in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, the worst the country has ever seen.

“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said in a lengthy interview on Fox News early Monday morning. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

In that same interview, Trump was asked to explain why he called for Obama to resign in light of the shooting and he answered, in part: “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.”

“There’s something going on”.  Unfortunately, when pressed, Trump would not elaborate.  So much for having the courage of his convictions and being non-PC.

Is he catering to conspiracy theorists or is he himself one?  It hardly makes any difference, does it?  Do we want either in the White House?

First it was those cringe-worthy, self-congratulatory tweets from Donald Trump. Then of course it was being plain wrong about the facts of the tragedy. And then we had his accusations about President Obama. A scathing editorial from The Los Angeles Times about Trump’s accusations is right on point

Donald J. Trump, the loose cannon who would be president, hinted Monday thatPresident Obama might be complicit in terror attacks by Islamic extremists, including Sunday’s bloodbath in Orlando, Fla. That accusation by innuendo marks a new and repugnant low for Trump, who along with his surrogates is engaged in a smear campaign reminiscent of the dark days of McCarthyism. […]

We’ve said before that Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip persona makes him unsuited for the presidency, and we’ll keep saying it right up until the election, when we hope he fades from the national stage and takes his repugnant intolerance with him. Yet we also fear his campaign has given currency to dangerously wrong ideas about race, religion and proper conduct of a civil society. More reasonable minds recognize those ideas as intellectually and morally bankrupt, and they should recognize the boastful messenger for what he is.

The Republican party seemed to want Trump to stay silent….

While Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement before Trump’s comments that Democrats “bury their head in the sand on how dangerous the world is,” Trump’s insinuations go much further than mainstream Republican leaders are usually willing to go.

A source who works closely with the Trump campaign, granted anonymity in order to speak freely to NBC News, said after Sunday’s attack that the party hadasked the candidate to offer condolences and then to stay silent. Trump clearly chose a different approach.

… which of course he didn’t/  He couldn’t.

Dems In The House: “Screw Moment Of Silence, Where Is The Bill?”

After pausing to observe a moment of silence to honor the victims in the Orlando mass shooting, Democrats in the House on Monday erupted in protest repeating the question “Where’s the bill?” Their emotional demand was directed at Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans to bring forth gun control legislation in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded.

As more Democrats joined in on the chanting, Ryan refused acknowledge the calls and instead attempted to bring order to the floor.


The thing about the Orlando shooting is that it has so many elements – terrorism, homophobia, and even mental illness — that it allows the discussion to become diluted, and once again, our political leaders (well, the Republicans) can get away from having to do anything about the obvious problem…. guns.

Gun problem in US

It is a rather undeniable problem.

And Obama recently pointed out the insanity:

I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room  in which I have people who know we have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, US citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association I cannot prohibit these people from buying a gun. This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer and if he wants to walk into a gun store or a gun show and buy as much, as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing is prohibiting him from doing that even though the FBI knows who that person is. So sir, I just have to say respectfully that there is a way to have common sense gun laws, there is a way to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners, like yourself, are able to use it for sporting, hunting, protecting yourself. But the only way we’re going to be able to do that is if we don’t have a situation where anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the second amendment. And that is how the issue too often gets framed

— President Obama, June 2, 2016

Trump’s National Security Speech: Based on Lies

In the wake of the Orlando gay nightclub massacre, Trump seized the opportunity to Muslim-bash in a national security speech, even though (as I will write soon) it looks less and less like the shooting was a bonafide Islamic terrorist attack.

Vox summarizes the lies:

1) Trump: There’s no screening for refugees coming to the US

We’re not screening people. So why don’t we have an effective screening system? We don’t. We’re being laughed at all over the world. The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why we should admit anyone into our country who supports violence of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans.

The truth: Trump is wrong: There is an extensive, onerous screening process for refugees who come to America. You can see so yourself here.

2) Trump criticizes Libya intervention, supported it himself

For instance, the last major NATO mission was Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. That mission helped unleash ISIS on a new continent.

The truth: Trump has repeatedly characterized Libya as a unique failure of President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. But he actively supported that intervention, even though he’s spent much of his candidacy pretending he didn’t.

3) Trump: Clinton wants to admit “hundreds of thousands” of refugees to the US

Altogether under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to prevent radicalization of the children and their children.

The truth: Trump is wrong here as well: Clinton has only called for increasing the number of Syrian refugees by 65,000, according to CNN.

4) Trump: The Orlando shooter was “born this Afghan”

The killer, whose name I will not use or ever say was born this Afghan, of Afghan parents, who emigrated to the United States.

The truth: Trump is wrong: Omar Saddiqui Mateen, the killer, was born in New York and raised in Florida.

5) Trump: “Large numbers” of Somali refugees joining ISIS

Large numbers of Somali refugees have tried to join ISIS. The male shooter in San Bernardino, again whose name I will not mention, was the child of immigrants from Pakistan and he brought his wife.

The truth: This dramatically misrepresents the number of Somali refugees from the US who have joined ISIS, which a New York Times story pegs at no more than 15. Perhaps Trump is speaking about Somali refugees globally, but given when he made this point — during a part of his speech about domestic terrorism — that’s almost certainly giving him too much credit.

6) Trump: Obama’s “famous apology tour” created ISIS

We’ve tried it President Obama’s way. Doesn’t work. He gave the world his apology tour. We got ISIS. And many other problems in return. That’s what we got. Remember the famous apology tour

The truth: There is a coherent conservative critique of President Obama’s speeches abroad, in which he has at times acknowledged America’s faults in foreign wars. And there is a coherent conservative critique of President Obama’s approach to defeating ISIS.

But Trump isn’t engaging with either narrative. He’s instead just drawing a direct link from Obama “apology tour” to the birth of ISIS, and I’m not aware of any serious attempt to connect the two. Trump certainly doesn’t give any reason to believe they’re related.

Even if you look at the supposed apologies that have to do with Islamic terrorism or the Muslim world, it’s not clear how they could have possibly created ISIS.

7) Trump: Hillary Clinton wants to ban guns

[Hillary Clinton] says the solution is to ban guns. … She wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country. We don’t have guns. …

She wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country. We don’t have guns. Let them come in, let them have all the fun they want.

The truth: Clinton has not called for anything remotely resembling a ban on guns — she wants to ban assault weapons but has otherwise not called for a gun ban. Someone listening to Trump’s speech would have come away with an entirely wrong idea of her policy.

8) Trump’s criticism on pushing for regime change in Syria

The decision to overthrow the regime in Libya, then pushing for the overthrow of the regime in Syria, among other things, without plans for the day after, have created space for ISIS to expand and grow.

The truth: As with his initial approval of the Libya invasion, Trump has grossly distorted his record on Syria. (As Vox’s Matt Yglesias points out, he once called for a “big, beautiful safe zone” in the country.)

The weirder, specific problem here is the knock on Clinton and Obama for creating ISIS by “pushing for the overthrow of the regime in Syria” — when Trump has himself calledfor ground troops in Syria.

9) Trump suggests Muslims need to do more to help fight terrorism

They have to work with us. They know what is going on. They know that he was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know, what they didn’t turn them in and we had death.

The truth: This line revives a long-running Trump suggestion that Muslims are largely to blame for not really joining us in the fight against terrorism.


Trump’s “solutions” were simply ludicrous. For example, he called for military action in Muslim nations. Citing unnamed military leaders, Trump gave his strategy to kill them there before they kill us here.

“We have generals who think we can win this thing so fast and so strong but we have to be furious for a short period of time and we’re not doing it,” he said.

Why did Trump not mention the names of the generals who think this?  Because they don’t exist, I expect.  However, real, live military experts don’t feel that lobbing bombsin  Syria would stop incidents like the one in Orlando.

“I fundamentally disagree,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, who served as the chief U.S. military adviser in Iraq from 2013 to 2015. “The bottom line is [more bombing] has absolutely no bearing on individuals like Omar Mateen in Orlando, who obviously had some mental issues — like his absolute hatred of gays, lesbians and transgender community. Just wantonly increasing bombing against extremist radical groups in Iraq, Syria, etc. is not going to have a bearing on individuals in the United States and change their behavior.”

Tony Nominations 2016: Hamilton Is The Show Where It Happens

To almost nobody’s surprise, Hamilton took the most nomination this year at the Tonys, with a record-breaking 16.  The Best Featured Actor in A Musical has 3 of the five nominees from Hamilton.  I saw Allegiance, which I thought was fairly good, so I am surprised it didn’t get a nod anywhere.  Would have loved to have seen George Takei get a best featured actor in a musical, but Hamilton took many of those spots.

Full list below with my selections in red

Best Play

The Father
The Humans
King Charles III

Best Musical

Bright Star
School of Rock—The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical

Bright Star – Steve Martin
Hamilton – Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock—The Musical – Julian Fellowes
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed – George C. Wolfe

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bright Star
Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Lyrics: Edie Brickell

Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda

School of Rock—The Musical
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Glenn Slater

Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Best Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

20 [Update: 50] Dead In Orlando Gay Club Shooting; Possible Terrorism


A heavily armed assailant opened fire in a packed Orlando nightclub early Sunday in a bloody massacre that left about 20 people dead and prompted a terrorism investigation, authorities said.

Police Chief John Mina said the tragedy began at 2:02 a.m., when three police officers engaged in a gun battle with a suspect outside Pulse Orlando, a gay club just south of downtown. A hostage situation then took place inside, and a SWAT team was called in, Mina said. Police received updates from patrons trapped in the club, and decided to storm the club at about 5 a.m.

Phelan M. Ebenhack, AP
Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

“Our biggest concern was further loss of life,” Mina said. “We exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and he was dead at the scene.”

Mina said 42 people were transferred to local hospitals, and one officer was wounded. He estimated the death toll at 20, and said at least 30 people were rescued.

“Tonight our community witnessed a horrific crime… that will have a lasting effect on our community,” a solemn Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

FBI Special Agent Ronald Hopper said the case was being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, either domestic or international. It was not clear if the shooter acted alone, he said. He said authorities were trying to determine if there was a connection with radical Islam.
“We do have suggestions that the individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology,” Hopper said.

A federal law enforcement official told USA TODAY the suspect has been identified as Omar Mateen and said investigators were reviewing the attacker’s possible utterances that may provide more specific information about a terror ideology or affiliation. The official, who was not authorized to comment, characterized the attack as “certainly’’ terrorism. It was not immediately clear whether investigators were aware of the attacker prior to the assault.

Mina said the gunman was armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and some sort of unidentified device. Officers from multiple agencies and dozens of emergency vehicles responded to the scene. Orange County Fire and Rescue called for gurneys to move victims from the club.

Many of the casualties were rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, which was placed on lockdown.
“We can confirm this is a mass casualty situation. Support from local/state/federal agencies,” Orlando police tweeted about four hours after events began to unfold. Then, a short time later: “Pulse Shooting: The shooter inside the club is dead.”

The White House said President Obama  was briefed by Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
Mina said there was no indication that there was more than one shooter. A bomb squad was at the scene, and police reported conducting a “controlled explosion.”
Hours after the shooting, police were still trying to piece together what happened.
“Anyone who was at Pulse nightclub and was a witness Please come to the Orlando Police HQ,” the department tweeted. “Any information you have could aid investigators in this case”

FBI Director James Comey has said in recent months that authorities had about 1,000 open investigations into home grown violent extremists. The overwhelming number of those cases, authorities said, were suspects with alleged ties to the Islamic State.

Orlando recently wrapped up its annual weeklong Gay Days festival on June 6 in which up to 150,000 in the LGBT community attend area theme parks, gay nightclubs and special events. It was the 25th anniversary of Gay Days. It remains one of the largest gay pride events in the world.

Saturday night and into Sunday, the club was celebrating Latin Night. Club patron Christopher Hansen told CNN he heard what could have been 20 or 30 shots, setting off a panic as people scrambled for cover or raced for the exits. He said he helped a couple people who were wounded.

“It’s just shocking,” said Hansen, who crawled to safety. “I just saw bodies going down.”
As the tragedy was unfolding, Pulse Orlando posted to its Facebook page: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”
Rosie Feba, a witness, told the Orlando Sentinel she and her girlfriend were in the club near closing time when, “she told me someone was shooting. Everyone was getting on the floor. I told her I didn’t think it was real, I thought it was just part of the music, until I saw fire coming out of his gun.”

Feba told the Sentinel she her girlfriend ran out of the club and helped a man who had been shot get outside.

The Orlando Fire Department called for its bomb squad and hazardous material team to the scene after 3 a.m. ET. Police K-9 dogs searched the area around nearby Orlando Regional Medical Center with an armed deputy in head-to-toe military gear.

A loud bang was heard before 5 a.m., but Orlando Police tweeted that it was the  controlled explosion by law enforcement.

Ali Kurnaz, 25, told USA TODAY he was working in his living room about a block from the nightclub when he heard gunfire.

“I could hear multiple rounds of gunfire to the point where it scared my cats,” Kurnaz said. “They came running from a different room.”

Kurnaz said he heard sirens as multiple police cars headed to the crime scene and helicopters flying over his neighborhood.
In some tweets appearing to come from inside Pulse nightclub short after the assault, people said they were hiding. Twitter users also said they heard multiple gunshots.
The shooting spree came just
one day after The Voice star Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after a concert Friday night at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando. That gunman, identified as Kevin James Loibl, 27, of St. Petersburg, Fla., fatally shot himself after the attack.


Both of Mateen’s parents are originally from Afghanistan, according to CBS News.

Mateen was born in New York, NBC News reports.

He was married in 2009, public records show. It is not clear if he was still married at the time of the attack.

Mateen is a registered Democrat who has also lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to online records.

He was also a notary public in Florida, but his license, issued in 2008, expired in 2012, records show.

UPDATE: Orlando mayor now says 50 dead, 53 injured

UPDATE: Shooter’s father tells NBC that religion not a factor, but did hear his son speak out against gays as recently as two weeks ago.

Breaking: Shots Fired At Dallas Love Field Airport

Looks like the shooting was done by authorities.  One person wounded.

UPDATE:  Apparently not terrorist related.  Local criminal issue, early reports say.  Yes:

The Transportation Security Administration confirms to NBC 5 that they are “aware of the incident,” but that “this is a local law enforcement matter.”

Endorsement Round-Up

So in the past 48 hours, Hillary has got endorsements from President Obama, Vice President Biden, and this, from Elizabeth Warren:

Trump has no endorsements from any former president in his party.  Unprecedented, but not surprising.

But he is not without prominent endorsements:

RIP Gordie Howe

Dead at 88.

I’m not much of a hockey fan, but you gotta hand it to a guy who started playing professional hockey in 1946 and stopped in 1980.  Yup, that’s a span of 34 years, although he actually played 26 seasons.  And in 21 of them, he was the high scorer in the NHL.

(He actually played for one day in the 1990s with the Detroit Vipers — a one-day contract — so that he can claim to have played professional hockey for six decades).

Delete Your Account

Donald Trump does not intend to raise much money.  Which means he won’t have a lot of internal polls or much of a ground game.  Cuz that’s how “politicians” (said scornfully) do things, and Trump is not a politician.  He might know how to run a business, but not a campaign:

Meanwhile, RNC officials still aren’t even sure where the campaign has already deployed staffers. Trump’s field organization is a patchwork of aides, some paid, some retained on a volunteer basis and many left over from the Republican primaries. While he has campaign chiefs in Florida — and solidly blue states like Washington and New York — in crucial battlegrounds including Ohio and Colorado, Trump doesn’t have so much as a state director.

The man does not have a state director in Ohio, a major swing state.  That’s right.  There’s virtually no organized Trump operation in Ohio.  Meanwhile, the Clinton people are targeting the neighborhoods where people will need rides to the polls. And getting people registered.

Trump will rely on Twitter and free media, which will only preach to the choir (at best) and unite the opposite (at worst).

Good luck with that.

UPDATE — Hillary responds:

Priceless.  For those not in the know, “delete your account” is a very dismissive burn on Twitter.  Basically, it means, “you’re just to stupid to argue with so just delete your account and stop wasting space.”

It gets universal approval….

Hillary’s “Delete Your Account” is already her most retweeted tweet…. ever.

Trump’s Achilles Heel


Weakness is the cardinal sin on the right and the ultimate conservative insult. They fear it. It is why you can count on Republicans always to double down and never back down. “I will never, ever back down,” Trump said in his speech on Tuesday. Tracy writes, “Trump—brash and outspoken egomaniac that he is—can’t resist responding to any fight.” The way the Clinton campaign can set the terms of the fall campaign is to play a tune to which Trump cannot resist dancing. Attack him as weak and he will walk right into it. Every time. Trump cannot help himself. And in trying to refute it, he will only confirm it.

The Bernie Losers

Yeah.  I’m just going to excerpt John Cole here, and you can assume my tacit approval.  Grumpy Berniebots can complain to HIM.

Allow Me a Moment to Rant about the God Damned Kids (Alternate Working Title- Your Drum Circle and Feelings Entitles You to Zero Votes)

So right now, this is where we stand.

– Hillary has won an outright majority of pledged delegates. She has won 2184 of them to Bernie’s 1804.

– Hillary has won an outright majority of the votes, She has, as of right now, 15,571,64 to Bernie’s 11,888,779, a margin of 3,682,864.

– She has won the majority of primaries. Bernie has most of his wins in caucuses.

– She has an overwhelming majority of Superdelegates.

And yet we are met daily with a barrage of “the system is rigged,” pissing and moaning about closed primaries, and mentions about the kids and the future.

I’m sick of it. The future is the future. This is about here and now. She’s won. End of story. Anything else is just delusional.

But let me get back to the god damned kids. I honestly don’t care if a bunch of political neophytes have a sad because Bernie isn’t going to win. I don’t care if they hold a hissy fit. It’s time for them to grow the fuck up, and I am tired of the Bernie or Busters trashing the Democratic party because they don’t get their way.


So it really fucking pisses me off when I hear a bunch of kids who just recently even became old enough to vote, or a bunch of disaffected independents who could never bother to commit to a party because they are just above it all or too special to fit into the confines of the two parties or angry bitter old leftists screaming that Nader was right and the Democratic party is no different than the Republicans screaming that their guy, who has been a Democrat for a year, doesn’t get to win because they have really strong feels.

I want to kick puppies when I hear the whining about closed primaries. I wish they were all closed primaries. I think Democrats should choose the Democratic candidates. Fuck you, you special flower. Go join the Greens and vote for Jill Stein. In the general, you can vote for whomever is on the ballot. But in the primaries, you have to choose a party. Fucking deal.

I’m sick of the bullshit. Every time I hear the whining about the kids- “They love Bernie. They are the future!” – all I can think is well, maybe the can join the Democrats, put in the money, blood, sweat, and tears, and in a couple cycles they will create a movement within the party large enough that someone like Bernie Sanders will win. And you know what, if they do, loyal Dems like me will phone bank and go door to door and work to elect that person.

Basically, what we are dealing with when we hear about the kids not getting their way with Bernie is the political equivalent as the same annoying entitled fucks who at the age of 22 go on House Hunters and demand granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and his and her en suite bathrooms and wood floors and a big deck because “they like to entertain.” Go earn that shit, and until then, go fuck yourself.

Alright then.