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2018-01-18T08:02:11.791Z
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He's a never-Trumper, but that doesn't change the fact that that Bloody Bill Kristol still really loves the idea of dropping bombs on brown people's heads. This Tuesday, during a segment on MSNBC's Velshi & Ruhle, the Weekly Standard editor was none too happy when one of his fellow panel members reminded him of that fact during a discussion about the protests in Iran this week:

With the Iranian anti-government demonstrations intensifying recently (at least 20 people have now died after six days of protests) MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle convened a panel this morning to discuss the topic. Kristol, a notable #NeverTrump conservative, stated his view that one doesn’t have to like the president to hope that he uses sanctions to deter the Iranian government from using force against the protesters.

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If it's Sunday, it's Lindsey Graham distracting from Trump/Russia by warmongering with both Iran and North Korea. This is responsible Republican leadership?

MAJOR GARRETT, HOST, FACE THE NATION: We begin this morning with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. He joins us from Clemson, South Carolina, where I suspect one or two residents have a rooting interest in tomorrow night's Sugar Bowl. Senator, great to have you with us. Let's get straight to--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-South Carolina/@LindseyGrahamSC): Thank you.

MAJOR GARRETT: --the situation in Iran. What is the import of these demonstrations on the street and what should President Trump do or say about them?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, it tells us that the Obama approach of relieving sanctions hoping the regime would moderate has failed. The people are not getting the benefit of sanction relief, they're more upset with their oppressors than ever. The money from sanction relief has gone into rebuilding the Iranian military in their destabilizing the Mid East. So if I were President Trump, I would have a nationwide address pretty soon explaining why the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad deal for the world, what a better deal would look like and urge Congress and the European allies to get a better deal with Iran before it's too late.

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Senator Orrin Hatch just announced his retirement, but only after bragging about all the ways he screwed Americans.

"As your Senator, I've always sought to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves," he claimed. "And I believe those results speak for themselves."

Blah, blah, blah.

Here's a fact: The handwriting is on the wall. One of Orrin Hatch's final acts was to celebrate Trump's destruction of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments designated by President Obama. Hatch stood proudly next to Trump in Utah as Trump bragged about it.

And the people were not pleased. At all.

See ya, Orrin Hatch. You know, as do I, that you were done, especially after you guided that tax scam bill through on top of destroying precious national monuments.

You may have noticed that the Trump administration has been agitating against the Iranian government this past weekend. There are some anti-government protests taking place, though not nearly as intense as the ones in 2009, and the right-wing has ached for the day that the theocratic government in Iran is overthrown. Because oil, almost surely.

Trump can use some unrest in Iran to warmonger while agitating to undo the Iran nuclear deal too.

Which is why U.N. Ambassador (and Dominionist) Nikki Haley burst forth on the first working day of 2018 with a ode to liberty in Iran, quoting the protesters and romanticizing their crusade.

One reporter was having none of it, calling out U.S. and her own hypocrisy in his question to her.

"You're so strong when it comes to freedom and dignity of the Iranian people but you have different meaning of freedom when it comes to the Palestinian people who have been brutalized for over 50 years of occupation," he said.

"What made you believe that you are on the right side of history when you stood alone in the security council against 14 members of this committee? And in the GA [General Assembly]128 countries, you only found countries like Palau and Nauru next to you. What made you believe that you are on the right side of history?"

He was referring to the resolution condemning Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, which has been roundly condemned by nearly every country on the planet except Israel,...

Did Sen. Lindsey Graham swill down his cough medicine and alcohol laced mouthwash before telling the world that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, the U.S. should boycott them?

Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in #WinterOlympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet. I’m confident South Korea will reject this absurd overture and fully believe that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we do not. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 1, 2018

We know that since Sen. John McCain took ill, Graham suddenly has been one of Trump's most trusted enablers and that in itself is as cowardly as it gets.

Granted, NOKO is not the Russia of the 1980's, but by boycotting those Olympics, who paid the price?

Our athletes did.

Hasn't the U.S. athlete suffered enough from moronic political decisions that have nothing to do with sports or the vigorous and dedicated lives American athletes lead to get the opportunity to represent our country?

Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann told the disgraced end-times wacko prophet, Jim Bakker that she's leaving it up to God, if she should run for Al Franken's Senate seat.

Right Wing Watch caught this from last week.

On last Wednesday’s show, Bachmann said that she has “had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat” and that she is asking God if doing so in His will for her.Bachmann said that she would be willing to run in order to take godly principles into the Senate but is concerned that she will be unfairly attacked by Washington insiders because “the swamp is so toxic.”

“I trust in a big God,” Bachmann said, asserting that she “was supposed to run for president” in 2012 in order to make the the repeal of Obamacare the central issue of the Republican platform. “I feel like I was wildly successful … I didn’t win, but I moved the debate. So I didn’t shed a tear when I left the contest because I felt like, you know, I fulfilled the calling that God gave me.”

“So the question is am I being called to do this now?” she added. “I don’t know.”

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It really is time to re-enable that "Make Trump Tweets Eight Again" Chrome extension:

He's taking credit for no US airline fatalities...since 2009? I guess your search for the birth certificate kept planes from crashing, eh Donald?

No U.S. airline deaths since February 2009. So @realDonaldTrump wants to take credit for the results of the regulations @BarackObama put into place, while also trying to undo them. That is why he is a #Deplorable.https://t.co/ws05L1WkKw

It's unlikely that we can get this passed in 2018, but a Democratic majority could very well do this next year. Via Ars Technica:

A bipartisan group of six senators has introduced legislation that would take a huge step toward securing elections in the United States. Called the Secure Elections Act, the bill aims to eliminate insecure paperless voting machines from American elections while promoting routine audits that would dramatically reduce the danger of interference from foreign governments.

The legislation comes on the heels of the contentious 2016 election. Post-election investigation hasn't turned up any evidence that foreign governments actually altered any votes. However, we do know that Russians were probing American voting systems ahead of the 2016 election, laying groundwork for what could have become a direct attack on American democracy.

"With the 2018 elections just around the corner, Russia will be back to interfere again," said co-sponsor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

So a group of senators led by James Lankford (R-Okla.) wants to shore up the security of American voting systems ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elections. And the senators have focused on two major changes that have broad support from voting security experts.

The bill proposed to get rid of paperless electronic voting machines, which are vulnerable to hacking and can't be accurately audited.The Secure Elections Act funds the replacement of these...

As progressives gear up to contest the 2018 midterm Congressional elections, we will hear strategic, tactical, and political arguments for focusing on taking back the House or the Senate as the highest and best use of limited resources: money, volunteers, advertising, etc.. Progressives and other Democrats will want to recapture both chambers, especially after encouraging election wins in Alabama and elsewhere (mostly in state legislatures so far, as in Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Georgia). Nevertheless, it's fair to expect arguments about where best to put limited resources on the ground.

At the threshold, it's noteworthy that it's too early to judge whether the resources for the midterm campaigns will be limited so that some kind of triage is necessary. The 2017 Virginia state-government results - like the 2010 Tea Party wave - show that Blue voters can and will mobilize, organize, volunteer, and vote in unexpected numbers, as described here. The Jones victory in Alabama shows the same at the Congressional level, in a state with a long history of racist voter-suppression and a recent history of adopting an wholly unnecessary Voter-ID law (which had the unintended result of making it impossible for Republican Alabama government officials to credit any of Roy Moore's groundless allegations of voter-fraud).

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Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) tells Alisyn Camerota that Republicans are ready, willing and able to re-fund the Children's Health Insurance Program -- but the mean old Democrats won't help them. It has nothing to with Republicans holding it hostage to make similarly awful cuts.

"Let's talk about CHIP. If you can't protect the most vulnerable children, and the sticking point for Democrats seems to be the coming from this preventative care fund. Why can't Republicans just agree to keep funding that?" Camerota said.

(Geeze, Alisyn, don't you remember when Orin Hatch told us we just don't have the money?)

"Well, they can and have so far," Cole said.

"We have continued to fund it on a short-term basis. The House passed a bill, and I think it's a good bill. The Senate has to pass a bill so we can go to conference. It doesn't have to be our bill but they have to come to an agreement and put together a bill and the two sides go to conference --"

What's the problem? Camerota asked.

"Look, there are rules they adopt, and they make it very difficult to move it forward. I respect that. it's up to them, but just get the job done, pass a bill," Cole said.

"Part of this was everybody was so focused on tax reform, and we forget the importance of day-to-day government. We passed it through the House and it will be a different bill out of the Senate and you sit down and make a...

As Red Painter said of this coverage of Trump at the G20 Summit in July:

"Take 2 minutes and watch this. Then, pick your jaw up and wipe your tears."

Source: News.com.au

ABC’s political editor Chris Uhlmann didn’t pull any punches when he delivered his wrap-up of Trump’s appearance at the conference, calling him an “uneasy, lonely, awkward figure” who was left “isolated and friendless” with “no desire and no capacity to lead the world”.

“He has a particular skill set: he’s identified an illness in Western democracies, but he has no cure for it and seems intent on exploiting it,” the veteran journalist said.

And according to Uhlmann, we all need to give up on any hope that the speeches written for Trump and delivered by the man himself are any reflection of his true thoughts.

“It’s the unscripted Trump that’s real: a man who barks out bile in 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as President at war with the West’s institutions like the judiciary, independent government agencies, and the free press.”

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We've already given an award to Fox for their constant efforts to distract from the Mueller investigation, but one of their hosts stands out above the rest for being the most vicious, mean, nasty and hyperbolic yapper on their network, and that's "judge" Jeanine Pirro, and that takes some doing when you're on the same network as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Jesse Watters among a host of others.

Earlier this month, she was calling for a "cleansing" at the FBI (video above) for which she was rightfully panned by everyone from CNN's Brian Stelter, to Samantha Bee, to Stephen Colbert.

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As Karoli wrote in October:

One of the photo ops was at Calvary Chapel, where he handed out a few cans of food before deciding to play Paper Towel Football with the people in the room. Of everything those folks need right now, paper towels are probably NOT at the top of the list but that didn't stop some genius in the White House from thinking it would be great for Trump to throw them at people like he might throw stale bread at ducks.

Much of Puerto Rico is still without power over 100 days later. And if you think that doesn't matter to the mainland, ask your local hospital how many IV bags they have left.

My wife's nurse had to stand for 30 mins & administer a drug slowly through a syringe because there are almost no IV bags in the continental U.S. anymore. See, they were all manufactured in a Puerto Rican factory which still isn't fixed. Meanwhile that stupid swollen prick golfs — Ben Boyer (@sleezsisters) December 28, 2017

This video is number three in our countdown of the top videos of the year 2017.

After the shocking and suspicious victory of Trump in 2016, many of us sought solace and comfort anywhere we could. Nothing made sense and we all knew there was some rat fckery afoot behind this success for such undeserving, horrible criminals. Oddly enough, Malcolm Nance, once a self-proclaimed Conservative, is one of our best resistance champions.

The tireless founder of TAPSTRI knows the difference between foreign and domestic enemies. Nance has a wealth of material facts that confirm that this Trump-Russia scandal is not an internal fight between Dems and Reps. It is an attack by a hostile foreign power on our Democracy. Period.

Nance is a former United States Navy senior chief petty officer specializing in naval cryptology. He is also an author of several books on the Middle East, terrorism and of course, the Russians' well-established network that attempts to hack elections worldwide. He knows many languages, such as Chinese, Russian and Arabic. He takes no crap from anyone and quashes stupid right-wing nonsense with brilliant brevity.

As a guy who spent his entire career working with Muslim Intelligence agencies & Special Operations allies to kill Muslim terrorists & topple despots I say this with sincerity ......

Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado's Sixth District is a Republican who has a history of being just awful. In 2012 he graced the pages of C&L by noting that while he "didn't know" if Barack Obama was born in the United States or not, he was certain that "in his heart" Obama "wasn't an American."

So now you know who we're dealing with.

This past year, Mike was apparently surprised to see hundreds of constituents arrive at a January meet and greet event. Scarce wrote:

_______________

Expect to see more of this, as Republican congressmen try to explain their rationale for taking away health coverage from their constituents, and leaving them to fend for themselves.

The crime scene tape, courtesy of the complaint Aurora police, was particularly appropriate.

Source: KUSA

AURORA - When Berthie Ruoff arrived at the Aurora Central Library to meet with Congressman Mike Coffman, she was hopeful to find encouraging answers about the impending changes to the Affordable Care Act.

"My husband passed away and the only way I was able to get insurance was through the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare," Ruoff said.

When she walked in, she saw a crowd she didn't expect.

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Happy New Year everyone! As our regular readers probably know, it the time of year where we honor some of the worst (and in this case best) people we've covered this past year at Crooks and Liars.

It is my honor to write a post about Robert Mueller, who many of us see as the best chance we have to hold the Donald Trump Criminal Enterprise accountable for the litany of (probable) crimes they have committed.

A little background on Robert Mueller, in case there was any doubt about his patriotism and true American heroism:

Bob Mueller was born in NYC in 1944 and grew up outside Philadelphia. He earned a BA in politics from Princeton and a MA in International relations from NYU. He then served in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry as an officer in the Marine Corps. After returning to the U.S., he attended UVA law school and earned his JD in 1973. Pretty impressive, right?

Mueller joined a private law firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in 1973 followed a few years later by jumping into the public sector as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Northern California in 1976, followed by a rise to chief of its criminal division in 1981. He followed that with a stint as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts in 1982, and then as the district's acting...

This video will be used in future history classrooms to define when satire hits so close to the truth to almost lose all humor.

This SNL cold open from last May re-enacts the infamous Lester Holt interview with Donald Trump, in which Trump admits that he fired James Comey over the Russia investigation.

Most of us feel it was a flat-out admission of obstruction of justice.

And the "parody" went like this, as written up by LeftOfCenter:

SNL TRUMP: I fired him because of Russia, I thought, he’s investigating Russia, I don’t like that, I should fire him,

SNL HOLT: And you're just admitting that?

SNL TRUMP: Uh Huh.

SNL HOLT: But that's obstruction of justice?

SNL HOLT : (talking into his ear piece) So… did I get him? Is this all over? ...No, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore.

This video is number five in our countdown: Videos of the Year 2017.

Colin Kaepernick's leadership really bothered the Tweeter-in-Chief, who saw his stand for injustice toward people of color as an affront to the natural order of whiteness. Despite being blacklisted from the NFL for kneeling during the National Anthem, Kaepernick persisted, bringing many of his fellow football players along with him.

The world needs more leaders who are not just willing to make a stand, but also a sacrifice for that stand, despite the barrage of attacks not just from the Bigot-in-Chief, but also his sycophants over at Fox News.

The ever-vacuous and shallow token millennial Tomi Lahren was incensed. How dare black people stand up and speak out? They're just divisive bigots themselves!

Uncle Ruckus Herman Cain had something to say too, denying that injustice was ever a thing or is a thing now. Even Senator Tim Scott isn't that deluded.

CNN pundits clucked, with the newest pundit Ben Ferguson wondering why Kaepernick had a right to a voice when he hadn't been to a Black Lives Matter rally. As if that was a golden ticket or something. Don Lemon stood up for him quite well, however.

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New Year's Day is the last hurrah of the collegiate football season and the last chance to beat the odds makers. Sports handicappers determine the line as they do all the research and statistic-keeping, so they have the inside scoop on the current happenings of each team. The handicappers of Las Vegas are the best of the best, and we have some insight from one of them.

These New Year's Day bowl games are probably the most exciting and contentious. The most anticipated match-ups are the “playoff” games between the teams ranked 1-4. The Rose ( #2 vs #3) and Sugar (#1 vs #4) Bowls are the last two of the day. There are five bowl games, but we've got the scoop on just three of them. The odds on Citrus and Peach Bowls are too tough to call, so they are not recommended bets.

Scott Spreitzer, host of ESPN's Las Vegas Sports Line, helps discern three important bowl game minutiae and provide valuable insight. Bowl games are tricky. He explains why:

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(Read Part 1 here.)

Kathy Sinclair knew the Courthouse Gang planned to nominate Randy Flack for chair of Buncombe County's Democratic committee in April 2007. Flack was one of Rep. Heath Shuler's district representatives and a longtime friend. Progressives would not contest that choice. They still wanted the 1st vice-chair position, which by state party rules had to be of the opposite sex from the chairman. From that perch, Sinclair could organize precincts and begin building towards November 2008.

Sinclair and her team (this writer included) recruited a second slate of candidates but planned to endorse Flack to minimize blowback.

With 300 flyers with the alternative slate printed, there would be one in every seat where the annual convention took place. Candidates prepared speeches and recruited friends to nominate them.

But Shuler's chief of staff, Hayden Rogers, got wind Flack planned to run for county chairman. With the Hatch Act to consider, Rogers gave Flack a choice between working for his longtime friend or serving as county chair. A week ahead of the convention, Flack bowed out.

Without a chair candidate, the insiders' slate fell apart. Sinclair had another in reserve.

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