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  • Photographer captures images of Trump's handwritten notes, shows he cannot spell basic words
    by Walter Einenkel on May 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

    On Thursday, white supremacist in chief Donald Trump went to the White House Rose Garden and gave what can best be called an unhinged outburst of frustration at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The press was invited to this free-form idiotic event. A selection of photos captured by press photographers showed a couple of folded pages in Trump’s hand—a single page of typed speech, with Trump’s ALL_CAPS handwritten notes marked underneath. Trump wrote: Whatever, WORDS! Nancy Pelosi just stated "We believe that the president of the U.S. is engaged in a coverup." MOST TRANSPARENT. They want to impeach over acts that they did. Dems have no achomlishments. I'm going to keep working for the American people. Intentially had a meeting before Listen, not being a great speller isn’t grounds for impeachment.* But it’s ironic and something more sublime than hypocritical that just a few hours later Trump would tweet out a doctored video attacking Speaker Pelosi for “slurred speech,” when the only “slurred” anything seems to be Trump’s own grasp of spelling. *Please don’t impeach me! […]

  • Thoughts and prayers: NRA’s internal civil war getting hotter with new lawsuits and accusations
    by Walter Einenkel on May 25, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    If you have not heard already, the National Rifle Association is having a big civil war. No, not that racist civil war they’ve been trying to foment with the majority of America, a civil war between the non-profit NRA and the marketing company that pays most of its bills, Ackerman McQueen. Ackerman is the PR outfit that actually pays the big money contracts to many of the faces Americans have become familiar with—Oliver North and Dana Loesch. A few weeks ago, NRA crypt keeper Wayne LaPierre dropped a leak saying that a power play was afoot and Oliver North and Ackerman McQueen were “extorting” LaPierre with promises of their own embarrassing leaks of NRA mismanagement and excess. LaPierre’s preemptive move, while successful in keeping him in power at the NRA, has not immunized him from those embarrassing leaks. Since then reports have leaked out listing myriad excesses and mismanagement, dubious money deals, and big time financial deficits by the Second Amendment lobbyist non profit group. This includes everything from claims that the NRA has been running $40 million in the red, while LaPierre himself has spent $450,000 on travel and nice clothes. The accounting going on between the NRA and Ackerman has led to calls for more serious investigations of the non profit tax exempt status of the organization, and the legality of some of their “charitable” work in relation to their political work. Now, The Trace reports that the two companies are trading some more legal lawsuit filings. The NRA’s filing on Wednesday charged that Ackerman McQueen has been creating “targeted leaks,” of this bad PR in the hopes of overthrowing the current NRA leadership. It accuses Oliver North and the McQueen team of bad faith and demands $40 million in compensation. Ackerman McQueen turned right around and filed a suit—less than 24 hours after the NRA’s filing—demanding the NRA pay Ackerman $50 million in damages, saying “the NRA’s allegations are bogus, and an effort to hide its own internal strife.” This all follows NRA’s move last month to file a suit against Ackerman saying that they had not been allowed to see transparent records of how the company was handling its billing, while Ackerman countersued saying that the NRA had been given more than a week with the billing records. In both cases, Ackerman argues that the NRA is trying to push the spotlight away from its own internal shit show. A couple of years ago the NRA was living high on the hog, spending untold millions on lobbying and right wing gun-loving candidates. But those corrupt salad days may very well be coming to an end. They’ve lost elections and had their super-dubious (and possibly treasonous) foreign money connections exposed. Reports have come out over the past couple of years pointing to serious revenue concerns inside of the organization, prompting more and more speculation as to how the NRA gets money and what they are willing to do in order to get that money.  Thoughts and prayers. […]

  • Majority of Michigan House co-sponsors bipartisan financial disclosure legislation
    by Dawn R Wolfe on May 25, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Eager to do something about the state’s F grade for integrity, on Tuesday a group of more than 60 of the state House’s 110 members introduced bills requiring Michigan’s elected officials to publicly disclose their finances. The eight-bill package would require financial disclosures from state representatives and senators; candidates for the state House and Senate; candidates for the state’s executive offices; candidates for judicial offices; individuals serving on and candidates for governing boards; and individuals on and candidates for the state board of education. Michigan is currently one of only two states in the country that don’t require elected officials to make such disclosures. This is a particular problem in the Great Lakes State because shorter term limits there mean that elected representatives, particularly in the state Legislature, frequently maintain their private business interests during their public service. Democratic state Rep. David LaGrand told Daily Kos that last year the same package of bills “sort of died without a trace.” According to a 2018 report by the Center for Public Integrity, it hasn’t been unusual for the state’s legislators to vote on bills that might affect their own or a family member’s bottom line, even in the rare cases where they disclosed a potential conflict. A 2018 bill that would have made it a felony for representatives to vote on bills that could affect their finances also died in committee. Given the uphill climb the bills seemed to face, what changed to allow the package to make such a splash this year? Republican state Rep. Mark Huizenga, another of the package’s co-authors, chalked the progress up to “a different environment, in the sense that we've got a lot of new freshmen involved.” One out of five state House incumbents was term-limited out in 2018. According to LaGrand, this year’s success is “more a matter of the idea having been discussed and in Lansing for some time.” LaGrand added that he started talking about disclosure with freshman House colleagues “before they got elected, so they came into the Legislature already partway into the conversation.” Legislators have also been practicing. In 2017, 15 legislators, including LaGrand, filed voluntary disclosures with the Center for Public Integrity. Michigan’s newly elected executive branch has also been taking the lead. […]

  • Report catalogues soaring incidents of trespassing, disruption, and intimidation at abortion clinics
    by Meteor Blades on May 25, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    A new report from the National Abortion Federation shows a steep rise in various incidents at U.S. abortion clinics. In 2018, trespassing had risen to its highest annual level since the federation started gathering information on these incidents in 1999. NAF has been keeping track of incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers for more than four decades. Since 1977, by its count, there have been 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 188 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at abortion providers. In its latest annual tally released this week, instances of trespassing at clinics hit 1,135, a 78% rise from 2017 to 2018. There were 125 vandalism incidents, the highest number since 1990. In 2017, there were 1,704 instances of obstruction of a clinic; in 2018, NAF recorded 3,038 incidents. There were also 57 threats of death or harm at clinics last year, including one in which a forced-birther with a bullhorn yelled to staff entering a clinic, “I have a bullet with your name on it.” That may only be bullyboy tactics, but it and others like it cannot be taken as idle threats. Next Friday, May 31, marks the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. He was the medical director of Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, one of only three clinics across the nation at the time that provided late-term abortions. The assassin shot him in the head during a church service. It wasn’t the first time somebody had tried to murder him. In 1993, he had been shot in both arms. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Violence has been a part of the forced-birther movement from early on. […]

  • Spotlight on green news & views: 600th edition
    by Meteor Blades on May 25, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    That headline isn’t an exaggeration. This is the 600th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue and the Eco-Diary Rescue). That amounts to about 40,000 highlighted environmental diaries here at Daily Kos over the past 12 years. Here is the first one in December 2006. Here is the May 18, 2019, edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES The coiled neck foreshadows a strike.  6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket--The Belly Flopping Heron: “For over a decade, Great Blue Herons have visited my backyard ponds in NW Oregon. They’ve eaten some of my goldfish, driven away all of the hated bullfrogs, and provided many viewing hours of their heart pounding beauty as they strut between the grapes and lavender. My house is in the middle of densely treed suburbs so the Heron must wend its way to my three backyard ponds. It’s tried different aerial routes, following dead end streets and dodging between 60 foot tall firs and redwoods. I’ve also seen it at a nearby lake, a half mile away. It often landed on my roof or my neighbor’s roof. The Heron would almost always approach the yard from this roof to the east. It would usually land, walk to the larger pond and stab a fish or several. In theory, this could still be the same Great Blue Heron that first visited 14 years ago. Their average lifespan is 15 years. But their markings are so uniform you cannot tell one from another. If four different Herons visited in one day, or 10 in the last 15 years, I could not tell the difference. The females are smaller but I’ve never seen two together to compare.” libsanity writes—Climate moderation as an end goal is climate denial and rejection of science. We need strong action: “Climate moderation is climate denial, and we should demand strong climate policy as something crucial, not something we can compromise on. If you believe the projections of scientists as they warn us about the perils of different courses of action, half-measures on climate is a choice to let tens of millions of people die or be displaced. Scientists tell us what the effects of different courses of action would be: the results of inaction, of mild action, of moderate action, of comprehensive overwhelming action like a Green New Deal. The only way to believe that moderate action will not kill millions and displace hundreds of millions is to reject the science. Remember, Democratic proposals on climate change are ones that assume the ideal case, with Democratic executive power and the ability to pass legislation. There is no a middle ground that will somehow win bipartisan support and pass while a more ambitious proposal wouldn't— if Republicans do have some legislative power, they will not compromise on anything. We know this. We've seen this. A Republican compromise on climate would be doing nothing and only building ten more coal plants instead of twenty.&rdquo […]

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