KellyAnn Conway: Enabling pure evil?

Huffingtonpost.com:

 

So … how do you really feel, Bill?

The “Real Time” host happens to be longtime friends with Kellyanne Conway, now Donald Trump’s campaign manager, but he didn’t let that friendship sugarcoat his questions for her on Friday’s show.

Maher welcomed Conway by telling her she is “enabling pure evil,” and spent part of the segment calling out false things Trump has said. The comedian joked, “I don’t have time to go through all of his lies, we only have an hour.”

But Conway, a “Real Time” veteran, had plenty of counterarguments ready. She accused Maher of cherrypicking examples, and, after pointing out that Hillary Clinton is falling in the polls, said, “I actually think we’re going to win, Bill. You know it. You feel it. I think you’re getting nervous.”

“Oh, I am getting nervous,” Maher quipped, “but it’s not because Trump is good. It’s because people are stupid.”

Ouch.   Maher is a strange person.  However, I agree with him about “deplorable.”

Voting rights restored–No contempt of court for McAuliffe

felony-voting-rights

Washingtonpost.com:

 Virginia’s highest court on Thursday turned down a request from Republicans to find Gov. Terry McAuliffe in contempt of court over his efforts to restore voting rights to felons.

The ruling clears the way for McAuliffe (D) to continue a fast-paced effort to grant clemency to 200,000 violent and nonviolent felons. It also gives McAuliffe at least a temporary win in one of the most bitter battles of his administration, in which he has repeatedly called Republicans racists while the GOP has accused him of administrative bumbling and violating the law.

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has dismissed the case Republicans filed in their latest attempt to prevent individuals who have served their time having a full voice in our society,” McAuliffe said in a written statement. “It is my hope that the court’s validation of the process we are using will convince Republicans to drop their divisive efforts to prevent Virginians from regaining their voting rights and focus their energy and resources on making Virginia a better place to live for the people who elected all of us to lead.”
Read More

Open Thread…………………….September 1, 2016

Thhummingbirdis has been the summer of the hummingbird.  These mean little delightful devils have been swarming my deck for the past several months.  They can empty a cup of nectar in just a couple of days.

They fight, chase, dive-bomb and yes, entertain.  I even saw one chasing a butterfly.

Hummingbirds don’t fare so well with bees and hornets.  When hornets decide they want the feeder, the hornet usually wins.

Soon the hummingbirds will disappear.  I have read that they winter in the Honduras.  I can’t imagine something that small making that journey.  Meanwhile, farewell, until next summer.

The Clinton Foundation: A good thing!

Guest post:  Elena Schlossberg.

No good deed goes unpunished.  And no truer words could be said of the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation. In the midst of outrage over CEO’s raking in millions while life saving drugs like epi pens increase by 400%, it is astonishing that anyone would find fault with an organization that has proven that with the right leadership, there is a way for partnerships in the private sector to mobilize and save lives that would otherwise be lost.

According to msn in an article entitled, “What Bill and Hillary’s Controversial Foundation Actually Does,” the facts are clear:

The most recent Clinton Foundation rating from another watchdog group, CharityWatch, gives the organization a solid “A.” The group says that the foundation spent 88% of its 2014 outlays directly on programs (rather than overhead) and that it only has to spend $2 to raise $100.

As for the Foundation’s specific claims about the number of people that it has reached through its programs? Those are a bit harder to verify. For instance, the price of HIV/AIDS drugs in Africa has, indeed, dropped significantly since CHAI was launched in 2002, and the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that CHAI and a consortium of other partners helped make sure there was consistent access to these medications.

 

I am not suggesting that ex-presidents must find redemption by doing good deeds after they have left office, but if Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton model anything, it is that a servant of the people doesn’t have to be elected to office in order to save lives and bring hope to people who would otherwise be forgotten.

Republicans bemoan the use of government to provide humanitarian relief, as though that is the job of the private sector! Well, here you have two ex-presidents who have put their talents to good use. And what say the GOP? Nothing good, nothing good. Conspiracy theories are all they have to offer.

 

Local blogger disparages McDowell County, West Virginia

mcdowell

Posted on a local blog:

“Thinking that the best candidate for the new County Executive in a legitimate nationwide search would be found right here in Prince William County are so unbelievably astronomical that it defies description.

Prince William County is not just another hollow in McDowell County, West Virginia where inbreeding allows for your sister to be your wife and the mother of your brother.

But that’s the way the BOCS treats hiring of top policy makers and leaders in Prince William County.?”

 

Inbreeding?  Has the author of that statement ever met anyone from McDowell County, West Virginia?  Do they know anything of the population?  Off the top of my head, I thought of the gentleman who headed up Fairfax County Parks and Rec for decades.  He was born and raised in McDowell County.  I would say that he did quite well for himself.

Has the author of that nasty, hateful comment ever seen the film October Sky or read the book Rocket Boys?  Both were inspired by Homer Hickman, a retired NASA employee, who grew up in McDowell County and became a scientist and famous author.

I detest that kind of regional bigotry and prejudice.  Maybe that statement is something you might say with your own friends in your own home but never publicly.  Maybe!

I shared the comment with my best friend of many decades who was born and raised in nearby Raleigh County. West Virginia.  I will share her comments:

“I’m speechless.  McDowell is not at all a bad place. Has no more inbreeding than Prince William.  Maybe he was never exposed to the [redacted] or the [redacted]. It is deep coal field culture but hard working and honest for the most part.  So unfair that i don’t even know what to say.”

What is wrong with people who think it is perfectly OK to disparage an entire group of people based on where they live?  Regional and class bias is never acceptable.

It is even worse to accuse those people of incest.  No, it isn’t funny and no, it isn’t OK.  Furthermore, Prince William County is full of West Virginia transplants as well as descendants of those transplants.

McDowell County is an economically depressed area.  It was a coal mining area and has had mine after mine close.  Even their Walmart closed last winter but that in no way makes the residents guilty of incest.  Many places have undergone sweeping economic downturns in this country as industries change.

It’s just wrong to make those kinds of remarks about a region–almost as wrong as making those kinds of remarks about someone’s race, religion or ethnicity.  Is this the latest Trump mentality, where it’s ok to call various groups out as rapists and thieves?  This type of regional slurring is NEVER OK.

As a matter of record, I am not from West Virginia, but many of my friends have deep roots in that  state.  The local blogger needs to profoundly apologize.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the Gainesville District.

 

Col. Morris Davis: John McCain’s Meddling in the Bergdahl Trial

The following op-ed appeared in the New York Times.  Colonel Morris Davis discusses the repercussions of Senator John McCain’s meddling in military justice.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to appear this month at the next hearing in his court-martial at Fort Bragg, N.C. After Sergeant Bergdahl walked off his Army outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, he was abducted and tortured by the Taliban, who subjected him to nearly five years of harsh captivity.Sergeant Bergdahl faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, yet two senior military officers conducting separate, impartial investigations into his case have recommended no imprisonment. That outcome would be consistent with hundreds of other post-Sept. 11 desertion cases.

But that does not sit well with certain politicians who have treated Sergeant Bergdahl’s case as if it were a political piñata. Foremost among them is Senator John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In March 2015, the Army warned the committee that holding any congressional hearing on Sergeant Bergdahl could undermine military justice. Two months later, after a senior McCain staff member raised the prospect of the senator’s doing just that, an Army official repeated the warning against holding such a hearing. “To do so,” he added, “would be unprecedented and deviate from defense oversight committees’ longstanding practice of deference to allow ongoing military justice matters to proceed to completion without direct congressional involvement.”

Yet, in October, just after the second investigator made his recommendation of no imprisonment, Mr. McCain said, “If it comes out that he has no punishment, we’re going to have to have a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.”

Mr. McCain also declared that Sergeant Bergdahl was “clearly a deserter.” Such prejudgment of Sergeant Bergdahl’s case is only slightly less alarming than the statements of the Republican presidential nominee (and potential commander in chief) Donald J. Trump. He has said repeatedly that Sergeant Bergdahl is “a no-good traitor” who would have been executed 30 years ago.

Read More

Sean Hannity conducts a health probe of Hillary

Washingtonpost.com:

Every night this week, Fox News’ Sean Hannity has drawn attention to a story that was largely debunked before Monday morning. Again and again, Hannity has summoned a “Fox News Medical A-Team” to probe the claim that Hillary Clinton has serious medical issues, covered up by a press that won’t demand her medical records.

Hannity’s crusade has given the theories of a looming Clinton health crisis their highest-profile airing. A year ago, when Republicans hoped that one of several younger candidates would win their nomination, jokes about Clinton’s age and health were rampant. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the Democratic nomination fight looked like “an episode of ‘Golden Girls.'” The Washington Free Beacon ran jokey investigations of a photo that showed Clinton holding the back of a chair, asking whether she was using a walker. (She was not.)

Excuse me.  Since when it is polite to make fun of senior citizens?  Do ageists  seriously think that their discussion is appropriate?   The “investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s health is absurd.  Sean Hannity is absurd and he needs to find something else to do.

Some of these conservatives really don’t seem to have any limits.  This new focus must be the last ditch effort to make up for the fact that the fools in the GOP have hi-jacked their party and are leading it to ruination.

 

Trump: Pinocchios, burning pants and bad judgement

Washingtonpost.com:

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Donald Trump was ticking through a list of reasons to support him over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday when he decided to linger on one.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said with a shrug at a rally here after accusing Clinton of wanting to strip Americans of their gun rights. He paused, then softly offered a postscript: “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The denouncements came swiftly from Clinton’s campaign and her allies — and from outside politics. The insinuation, critics said, was that Trump was inciting his followers to bear arms against a sitting president. And Trump’s response was just as swift: He’d said nothing of the sort but was merely encouraging gun rights advocates to be politically involved.

The pattern has repeated itself again and again. First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke. It happened last week, when Trump appeared to kick a baby out of a rally, then later insisted that he was kidding. It happened the week before, when he encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, then claimed he was just being sarcastic.

And with each new example, Trump’s rhetorical asides grow more alarming to many who hear them — and prompt condemnations from an ever-wider universe of critics. On Tuesday, for instance, even Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, struggled to fully embrace his comments. Sessions insisted in an interview on CNN that Trump did not mean to encourage violence, but he acknowledged that Trump’s words were “awkwardly phrased.”

Do I think Trump really threatened violence against Clinton? No. What he did was innuendo. The danger of such statements is that some not-too-stable person might take his innuendo literally and attempt to cause bodily harm.

That’s why saying “bomb” at an airport or on a plane is a really stupid thing to do. Homeland security doesn’t know you aren’t some nut-job.

Once again, poor judgement on Trump’s part.  With Trump, there is just a sea of stupid remarks to deal with that reinforce his incredibly poor judgement.  Additionally, Hillary does not want to abolish the 2nd amendment.  That is a pure lie.  4 Pinocchios.  7 pairs of pants on fire!

Read More

50 former national security officials declare Trump unqualified and reckless

Washingtonpost.com:

A group of 50 former national security officials, all of whom have served Republican presidents from Richard M. Nixon to George W. Bush, have signed an open letter calling Donald Trump unqualified to be president and warning that, if elected, “he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

The letter offers a withering critique of the GOP nominee, saying he “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president. The signatories declare their conviction that he would be dangerous “and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

They state flatly that none of them intend to vote for Trump in November. Some have decided to vote for Hillary Clinton, while others intend to sit out the election or write in another name, said John Bellinger III, a former legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice and the writer of the letter’s first draft.

“We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us,” the letter says. “But Donald Trump is not the answer to America’s daunting challenges and to this crucial election. We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

In a statement, Trump said the letter writers share the blame for “making the world such a dangerous place.”

What a scathing indictment.  Trump just isn’t getting it.  These officials know what is involved in being president.  How can Trump keep surviving people from his own party rebuking him?  One CIA director and 2 homeland security secretaries are included in the open letter.  All say they cannot support or vote for Donald Trump.

Not my America: Compilation of hate from Trump rallies

 UNCENSORED WARNING!!!

At some point, we really have to address bad behavior.  This video shows the type of behavior inspired by a Donald Trump rally.  Are these really the people we want to decide the next president of the United States?

It’s difficult to decide what is the most offensive in a sea of filth.  I think that perhaps the flag-motiffed testicles  might just be the nadir of various spectacles.

Perhaps it is mostly gender-driven.  Are women just less likely to accept this hideous behavior than men are?  I don’t think that I could live in this country if that were the standard.  I would fear for my life with thugs running things.

Some of my contributors might not like the democratic candidate.  That’s fine.  But who do you really have to blame for the Trump existence?  These things don’t happen in a vacuum.  Why the frustration?  It seems to me like a minority  showing their temper over not getting their total way.  This country was made great by compromise.  Great deals have been worked out in the past, although probably not in the past 20 years.

The GOP congress (both houses) have set out to stymie any advancement, any compromise.  Now that their “base” has turned against them, perhaps they want to rethink all of that.  Trump isn’t a conservative.  I don’t know what he is.  Perhaps some political Frankenstein cobbled together by various factions of hate and distrust of anything government or intellectual.

 

 

Republican Party leaders voice alarm over Trump

Washingtonpost.com:

Turmoil in the Republican Party escalated Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increased alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” with and deeply disturbed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf to donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events.

Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are struggling once again to instill discipline in their candidate, who has spent recent days lurching from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“A new level of panic hit the street,” said longtime operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for a serious reset.”

Read More

Open Thread……………………..August 1, 2016

8-august-poppyAugust is the end of summer.  We look for the Perseids meteor shower, dog days, and the cicadas are especially loud.

Kids prepare for the inevitable–going back to school.  There is a tax free weekend.  Some kids in Virginia are going back to school August 9.  That just seems uncivilized.

The wild flowers are darker and more abundant.  The median strips on highways are full of them.  The Skyline Drive has a wonderful assortment.  Perhaps they are giving us their last show before the big competition arrives–FALL!

Trump calls on Russia to hack his opponent’s email

NYTimes.com:

DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially encouraging an adversarial foreign power’s cyberspying on a secretary of state’s correspondence.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

 Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two Russian intelligence agencies.
Later in the news conference, when asked if he was really urging a foreign nation to hack into the private email server of Mrs. Clinton, or at least meddle in the nation’s elections, he dismissed the question. “That’s up to the president,” Mr. Trump said, before finally saying “be quiet” to the female questioner. “Let the president talk to them.”

The Clinton campaign immediately accused Mr. Trump of both encouraging Russian espionage against the United States and meddling in domestic politics.

 “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent,” said Jake Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser. “This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”
Trump simply works outside the law.  When has any presidential candidate called on a foreign state to spy on his opponent?  I have been around a long time.  I have never seen anything like this thuggery from a candidate.

 

American intelligent agencies believe Russia responsible for hacking DNC documents

putin

NYTimes.com:

WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.

But intelligence agencies have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee’s computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage — of the kind the United States also conducts around the world — or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.

The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.

The assessment by the intelligence community of Russian involvement in the D.N.C. hack, which largely echoes the findings of private cybersecurity firms that have examined the electronic fingerprints left by the intruders, leaves President Obama and his national security aides with a difficult diplomatic and political decision: Whether to publicly accuse the government of President Vladimir V. Putin with engineering the hack.

Is it just me?  Is anyone else concerned that Russia might be attempting to manipulate our national election?   It seems that all the emphasis to date has been to moan and groan over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz putting a weighted thumb on the process.

It’s very concerning to me that any foreign country would attempt to manipulate our elections.  It is even more concerning that one of these countries is Russia.  I guess Putin figures  he would be better off with Trump in charge rather than Hillary.