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Last February, Trump signed a bill making it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns

It did not attract a ton of attention at the time (nothing does these days) but about a year ago on February 28, 2017, Congress passed and Donald Trump signed a law revoking an Obama-era regulatory initiative that made it harder for people with mental illness to buy a gun.

Yet despite this effort to roll back even a very modest effort to restrain the ability of seriously incapacitated people from obtaining deadly weapons, this morning Trump tweeted that there were “so many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed,” implying that someone should have done something to report him.

So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018

But it’s Trump’s party — and Trump himself — who have consistently prevented the federal government from doing anything about this kind of situation. The Obama-era gun regulation wouldn’t have had a massive impact on gun violence in the US since it’s estimated that it would only affect about 75,000 people. And disability rights groups had their own objections to the bill so some liberal groups joined with the National Rifle Association in urging Trump to reverse it.

Posted by bucolic_frolic | Thu Feb 15, 2018, 11:11 AM (2 replies)

"Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst"


The autocratic leader lies and then falsely charges his opponents with lying. He politicizes institutions that are supposed to be free of politics by falsely accusing his foes of politicizing them. He victimizes others by falsely claiming they are victimizing him.

The autocrat also counts on spineless politicians to cave in to his demands. And as they destroy governmental institutions at his bidding, they insist they are defending them.

In her classic 1951 book, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” the philosopher Hannah Arendt offered two observations that help us understand the assumptions and purposes behind the memo created by the staff of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee turned propagandist for President Trump.

The totalitarian method of the 1920s and 1930s, she noted, was to “dissolve every statement of fact into a declaration of purpose.”

She also said this: “Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.”

More at the above link.

We have big problems.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Tue Feb 13, 2018, 06:58 PM (9 replies)

Book: Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life - Robert Dallek


Amazing that biographers and historians are still pumping out new biographies of FDR. I've read Doris Kearns Goodwin's "No Ordinary Time" and Jean Edward Smith's "FDR" and this volume compares favorably. Dallek gives extensive chapter references, and relies heavily on on private letters, notes, and diaries of those surrounding Roosevelt. This gives a more complex reading of the decisions, dilemmas, and ups-and-downs of Roosevelt's reasoning and judgment as he navigated through the political landscape. Many many nuances emerge that I was unaware of, such as his strategy to purge the party of conservative Democrats in 1938, and the frequent vacations he enjoyed at sea on various yachts and ships. He was able to escape the whirlwind of Washington and only be in touch by twice daily radio and letters, sometimes for 2-3 weeks. Did you know Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as President, visited the Galapagos Islands? It was news to me.

The book may not be the smoothest wordsmith of several biographies, yet it is rather deep in perspective. Amazing also is the panoply of issues that liberals and conservatives fought over in the 1930s, all of them being repeated again today in the Trump year and a half in office - on steroids! Conservatives have been brewing this witch's cauldron for many decades, is Trump just the front man?
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Feb 9, 2018, 09:39 AM (1 replies)

GOP-allied groups heavily outspend Democrats in special Pennsylvania election

Republican-allied groups have dramatically outspent their Democratic rivals 17-to-1 in the first congressional race of 2018, a special election in Pennsylvania that both parties cast as a potential bellwether for the November midterms. Four conservative groups have purchased $4.7 million in television and radio ads to help state Rep. Rick Saccone, their candidate for the Pittsburgh-area seat held until last year by disgraced former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, according to Feb. 2 numbers provided by strategists involved in the race.



In a special election we can blitz with activists from all over the country, though how you overcome 17 to 1 remains to be seen.

In a general election, anything competitive needs local people for the blitz, so we can only flood to a lesser extent.

Posted by bucolic_frolic | Tue Feb 6, 2018, 02:46 PM (1 replies)

These Red-State Democrats Think Legal Marijuana Can Help Them Win


These Red-State Democrats Think Legal Marijuana Can Help Them Win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—“We don’t need to give him another ounce of our brain-space,” Dan Canon told the crowd of 40 people, hitting the TV mute as President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech began. “We don’t care what he says.” The speech had been the advertised reason for the gathering at the Crazy Horse bar in downtown Bloomington, but in truth the mix of college students and older locals couldn’t even be bothered to hate watch Trump. They had come to hear Canon, a civil rights attorney running for Congress in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, talk about his campaign to unseat one-term incumbent Trey Hollingsworth.

Students seem drawn to Canon in part because he was one of the plaintiff attorneys in the lawsuit that became Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. They like his stances on raising the federal minimum wage and providing Medicare for all. But it’s his full-throated support for legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level that has distinguished him in the eyes of many young voters, who consider it a threshold for taking any politician seriously.

“I think anytime you have an issue with such a high degree of bipartisan support in 2018, you have to pay attention to it,” Canon told POLITICO Magazine, regarding marijuana. “And it's appealing because it touches on so many other things: creates a new industry with jobs, good for agriculture, alleviates pressures placed on the criminal justice system, reduces overdose deaths, is a natural pain reliever, can raise massive tax revenue, et cetera.”

Not so long ago—like maybe last cycle—a Democratic challenger in a state this conservative wouldn’t have been caught dead making an unqualified endorsement of a drug federal authorities still consider as dangerous as heroin by categorizing it as Schedule 1. But attitudes about marijuana, not to mention state laws, have changed so quickly and so broadly across the country that Democrats even in deeply red states like Indiana not only don’t fear talking about the issue, they think it might be a key in 2018 to toppling Republican incumbents. The numbers, they say, are on their side, not the side of the politicians who either duck the subject or endorse Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ apparent desire to return federal marijuana policy to the “Just Say No” days of the Reagan administration.

More at the link.


If you can't reason with them, calm them down?
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Tue Feb 6, 2018, 02:24 PM (4 replies)

GOP lawmaker seeks impeachment of justices in Pa. gerrymandering case

Source: PennLive

Rep. Cris Dush, whose district include parts of Indiana and Jefferson counties, began circulating a memo seeking support for the longshot impeachment articles on Monday.

In it, he argues that the five Democratic justices who signed the order overturning the map of the state's 18 congressional districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered "blatantly and clearly contradict[ed] the plain language of the Pennsylvania Constitution," and "engaged in misbehavior in office."

The court's order that the General Assembly redraw Pennsylvania's congressional map, which was handed down on Jan. 22, "overrides the express legislative and executive authority, found in Article IV, Section 15 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, concerning the Governor's veto authority and the General Assembly's subsequent authority to override such veto. Article IV, Section 15 clearly lays out the path a bill must take to become law."

Dush's memo includes impeachment articles for Justices Max Baer, David Wecht, Debra Todd, Christine Donohue and Kevin Dougherty.

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2018/02/gop_lawmaker_seeks_impeachment.html#incart_river_home

Elections do matter. That's how we got 5 Democratic State Supreme Court Justices instead of 7 like this guy Dush.
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Tue Feb 6, 2018, 12:44 PM (13 replies)

"The circumstantial evidence is already very strong"

"A conspiracy to rig the election in favor of Donald Trump."
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Tue Feb 6, 2018, 09:25 AM (1 replies)

Miller: "No Secret" Why President Donald Trump Wants Memo Released Velshi & Ruhle MSNBC

Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 11:01 PM (1 replies)

Nunes: House panel looking at State Dept. involvement in Russia probe


Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) revealed Friday that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee would examine other agencies, including the State Department, after releasing a controversial memo alleging surveillance abuses.

Speaking on Fox News just hours after Republicans on the committee released a memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), Nunes said the panel was moving to "phase two" of its investigation.

"We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this," Nunes said.

"That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation."


More at the above link.

You can't make this stuff up! They're trying to tear down FISA so they can push warrantless tapping!
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 10:42 PM (3 replies)

Why did Mark Corallo hire two Trump loyalists to represent him?



In other words, Corallo has been a hardcore movement conservative for more than 20 years, and is a ranking member of what we used to call the "vast right-wing conspiracy." Most of his fellow travelers have jumped on the Trump train and are holding on for dear life. Certainly his own attorneys have. Corallo has hired two of the most famous conservative lawyers in the country, the husband-and-wife team of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, both of whom are fixtures in right-wing media and legal circles going back to the Clinton years. The Washington Post once described them as "The Power Couple at Scandal's Vortex."

DiGenova is a former U.S. attorney who himself once served as an independent counsel, investigating whether George H.W. Bush's aides had illegally searched Bill Clinton's passport file. (He concluded they hadn't.) His most recent commentary for Fox News included a full-throated embrace of the current Deep State conspiracy theory; he said this was "a disgraceful moment for the [FBI], much worse than the late [J. Edgar] Hoover period." In a recent interview with the Daily Caller, diGenova claimed that Barack Obama and James Comey had engaged in "a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton and frame an incoming president with a false Russian conspiracy.”

Toensing, his wife and legal partner, was recently hired by the purported informant who claims to have evidence that the Russians bribed Hillary Clinton for favorable treatment in the Uranium One sale. She also represents Sam Clovis, another Trump campaign official who is caught up in the Russia probe. Last week, Toensing wrote an op-ed for Fox News in which she urged Trump not to agree to an interview with Robert Mueller, because no crime has been committed.


If Mark Corallo is going to be an important witness against Trump, you might think he'd be a little worried about whose interests these two attorneys are actually serving. But he's no fool, and he's been around Washington for a long time. Why would he hire a pair of prominent Trump loyalists as his legal team? That's an interesting question, and the only plausible answer is that we don't know as much as we think we do about what Mark Corallo is really up to.


More at the above link
Posted by bucolic_frolic | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:21 PM (0 replies)
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