Showing posts with label Politics as Usual. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics as Usual. Show all posts

March 3, 2018

Destroying The Pretty Boy Jarred in Five Acts-Because Life is Theater

It’s no secret a lot of people inside and outside the White House want Jared Kushner gone. They think he’s too inexperienced, too compromised by conflicts of interest and the Russia probe, and too ineffective. 
The big picture: Their revenge against him this week has been brutal, sustained, at times brilliant, and potentially lethal. What has unfolded is not the work of coincidence: it is the slit-by-slit slow bleed of a top adviser and son-in-law to the president. 
(Worth noting: Jared and Ivanka have outlasted many before — Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon, and Reince Priebus, among them. And there’s been a rule to not cross the family. But that rule is cracking and they now face their greatest test of survival yet.)

Act I: The knee-capping

The public humiliation of losing his top security clearance was telegraphed and then executed by Chief of Staff John Kelly. It was promptly leaked. Kushner, who fancied himself a de facto Secretary of State and peacemaker, lost access to the power of information. 
  • White House staff instantly turned unafraid to leak against Jared to reporters. He’s no longer seen as untouchable. Actually now seen as almost frail. They say he’s naive and has dim political insights.
  • At the same time, he lost his top image-shaper, Josh Raffel, just when he needs him most. (Kushner has known for a while Raffel is leaving, but that doesn’t make the blow any easier.)

Act II: The humiliation

Nothing’s worse for ego and perception than to be seen as easy prey.  Cue the leak to the Washington Post: Foreign governments reportedly discussed ways to manipulate Kushner, "current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter" told the paper. They said his business dealings left him vulnerable. 

Act III: The Godfather turns

Rupert Murdoch, the master of Fox and the Wall Street Journal, has advised Kushner for years. They are allies, friends, mentor, and mentee. There was nothing friendly about the lead editorial in Murdoch's paper politely suggesting the “knives are out” and it’s time for Jared to skip town. “Giving up their White House positions would be a bitter remedy, but Mr. Kushner and first daughter Ivanka could still offer advice as outsiders.”

Act IV: The plot

You can’t execute family without cause. The whispers, which turned into constant conversation, which turned into screaming headlines, is that Kushner mixed too much personal business with official governmental work.
  • Kushner, the New York Times revealed on its front page, took White House meetings with private equity billionaires and his family business benefited from their loans afterward. There is "little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business."

Act V: Tortured Trump 

One thing Jared and Trump have in common: they read Maggie Haberman and the New York Times. Nothing says family love and I’ve-got-your-back like this
“Mr. Trump is also frustrated with Mr. Kushner, whom he now views as a liability because of his legal entanglements, the investigations of the Kushner family’s real estate company and the publicity over having his security clearance downgraded, according to two people familiar with his views. In private conversations, the president vacillates between sounding regretful that Mr. Kushner is taking arrows and annoyed that he is another problem to deal with.” 

The End?

Posted by 
in Axios

October 25, 2017

Tiny, Inexperience Montana Comp Connected to Interior Sec.Zinke to Replace Puerto Rico's Grid

 Ryan Zinke Campaigning for Trump Rewarded with Sec of Interior Post, Now he can make money on the side with a company many wonder how they could do the job without the experience of doing a massive work like the one in Puerto Rico. It pays to be connected but at least gets us a company experienced enough that can do the job fast and well.

Whitefish Energy, a tiny Montana company, has been granted a massive $300 million contract by Puerto Rico's main electric utility to help rebuild the island's electrical grid after Hurricane Maria's devastation, per The Washington Post.
Why this matters: The Post called the hiring of a small for-profit company like Whitefish "unusual" and said it's drawing scrutiny from Congress. Whitefish had only two full-time employees on the day Maria hit Puerto Rico but claimed it is prepared to meet the challenges of the contract by hiring short-term workers at a rapid pace. 
Whitefish's largest prior federal contract gave the company $1.3 million to replace 4.8 miles of transmission line in Arizona. For comparison, Puerto Rico has 2,400 miles of critically important transmission lines — and tens of thousands of miles of distribution lines to consumers across the island.
What usually happens after large-scale disasters is utility companies activate "mutual aid" agreements which require other utility companies to assist in restoring services. That's how utilities in Florida and Texas got back online after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Puerto Rico's electric utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, raising further questions on why it would choose to issue such an expensive contract when other established procedures exist.
A spokesman for Whitefish told a Washington state paper that the company is uniquely experienced in working with rugged, mountainous areas like Puerto Rico where helicopters and 100-foot ladders will be used.
Worth noting: Whitefish is based in Whitefish, Montana, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown. Zinke is at least somewhat acquainted with Whitefish's CEO, though Zinke's office told the Post that's due to Whitefish being a place where "everybody knows everybody." Both Whitefish and Zinke's office denied that the Zinke connection had anything to do with Whitefish landing the Puerto Rico deal.

September 3, 2017

L'Oreal Has Fired First Transgender Model Because of a Facebook Post

Earlier this week, model Munroe Bergdorf made history when she was announced as the first openly transgender woman to front a L’Oréal UK campaign. 

The announcement received considerable press coverage, and L’Oréal was praised for the campaign, themed around diversity.

However, this week the Daily Mail published details of a Facebook post Bergdorf had written after August's violent far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she apparently called for white people to "admit their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth". 

The post has since been deleted, but the Daily Mail claimed to have text from it:

"Because most of ya'll don't even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.
"Come see me when you realise that racism isn't learned, it's inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.
"Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.
"Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears."

Following publication of the Daily Mail's story, people on social media expressed their anger at what they believed was a L’Oréal model expressing "racist" views.

Can't imagine you'll be a spokesperson much longer after your racist Facebook rant  

Some began using the hashatg #BoycottLOreal, saying they would stop using the company's products until Bergdorf was removed from the campaign. 

@Loreal I'll never buy your crap again. Fire this man or face the boycott #boycottloreal

On Friday morning, L’Oréal UK's official Twitter page wrote that the company would be parting ways with Bergdorf.

L’Oréal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her. 

But this then also resulted in a backlash from people on social media who believed Bergdorf had done nothing wrong. They too began using the #BoycottLOreal hashtag.

I'm absolutely fuming. You champion diversity yeah? Or do you just want to use black bodies to sell your products - the more radical 

L’Oréal champions diversity. Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her.
I'm honestly disgusted, you've pulled her contract because she dared to comment that racism exists? How was anything she said wrong or - 

Many people found it hypocritical of the company to remove someone from a diversity beauty campaign for speaking out on diversity issues.

Throwing out every L'Oreal product I have ever owned. @MunroeBergdorf's comments were honest and true, you're a lot of capitalist toads

L'Oreal dropping Munroe Bergdorf from their DIVERSITY campaign for commenting on the reality of racism is so fucked up 

Nothing Munroe Bergdorf said was wrong, or even inappropriate. All white people benefit from racism and white supremacy, this is not news

L’Oréal also deleted the promotional video for Bergdorf's campaign from its official YouTube page. Bergdorf subsequently released her own statement on her Facebook page. In the post, she called out the Daily Mail for claiming her statement was made this week and taking her words out of context. She also addressed L’Oréal for failing to acknowledge underlying racist issues in the beauty industry.

May 8, 2017

NJ with Lowest Opioid Prescription Rates Is Made to be by Christie as the Worse-Why?

 New Jersey last year reported one the lowest opioid prescription rates in the nation, even before Gov. Chris Christie signed into law tough new restrictions limiting when doctors may prescribe potentially addictive pain killers, according to a new survey. 
In New Jersey, prescriptions declined from 5.16 million to 4.59 million, a decline of 11 percent, according to a report released by the American Medical Association.
That amounts to 0.5 prescriptions per capita, second-lowest behind California and Hawaii at 0.4 scripts. New Jersey is tied with Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York, according to the report released Friday.
In its report, "Physicians' progress to reverse nation's opioid epidemic," the leading lobby for doctors said prescribing rates have declined in all 50 states. During the same period of time, physician use of state prescription drug monitoring programs and the number of physicians undertaking training programs on opioid prescribing, pain management, addiction have spiked dramatically.
"These are good signs of progress, but to truly reverse the nation's opioid epidemic, we all have much more work to do," said Patrice A. Harris, who chairs the AMA's Board of Trustees. 
Despite its dense population and ample access to physicians, New Jersey has ranked low in opioid prescription rates for some time. In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 63 prescriptions were written for every 100 people New Jersey, at the bottom with New York, Minnesota, California and Hawaii in the lowest group.
Alabama and Tennessee were the highest-prescribing states, recording 143 prescriptions per capita, the CDC found in 2012. 
Last year, the CDC set guidelines for prescribers which state a seven-day supply is typically all that is required. In February in a show of determination to combat an epidemic of overdoses, Gov. Chris Christie and the Legislature adopted a law setting a five-day initial prescription that a doctor could increase after four days if pain has not subsided.
The Medical Society of New Jersey, the state affiliate for the American Medical Association, opposed the bill and predicted  cautious doctors would be reluctant to recommend opioids when they are necessary. 
Mishael Azam, chief operating officer for the Medical Society, said that prediction has come true, based on conversations with its members.
"Since the CDC guidelines were released and (S3) was signed, patients feel like criminals for needing pain medication," Azam said.
"Patients who need medication for mobility or daily quality of life are losing access because physicians are being blamed for opioid addiction, thus reducing even legitimate prescribing," Azam said. "Physicians are in fact learning and changing behavior, doing their best to balance the goals of treating patients and reducing addiction."
Christie has made reducing the addiction and overdose rate of heroin and prescription drugs the centerpiece of his final year in office. 
Backed by CDC studies and statistics that have shown a corresponding rise in the number of opioid prescriptions and fatal overdoses, Christie has taken aim at prescribing practices in the state and expanded the requirements that pharmacists update and doctors consult the statewide prescription monitoring database.
The law says doctors treating patients for acute pain must limit the length of the initial prescription to no more than five days. The law allows physicians to add another five days to the prescription after the fourth day if the pain has not subsided.
The measure would not apply to hospice or cancer patients or people in long-term care facilities, according to the bill. Nor would it apply to patients who are being treated for chronic pain.
Susan K. Livio may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find Politics on Facebook.

May 19, 2016

The Dead Get very Active in An Election Year

David Deeble

The dead have always been very active in politics.

Cemeteries swayed election results for eons, from Arkansas to Chicago to Quebec.

In 2006, the London Free Press found 90,000 dead people on Ontario’s civic election list. Who knows how many of them voted, since no one was checking ID at polling stations.

There is more gravy than grave about Toronto politics, though many of our leaders are effectively dead from the neck up.

But in the States, 1.8 million totally dead people were registered to vote in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. Talk about your silent majority.

Five cadavers have been elected to the U.S. Congress, not counting Strom Thurmond.

Now, the dearly departed are haunting the U.S. presidential race in other ways. Perhaps this does not surprise you, since the increasingly bizarre campaign is quickly putting American politics six feet under.

Donald Trump scares the Republican Party to death and the Democrats are self-destructing under front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Retired nurse Mary Anne Noland, of Virginia, can’t stand either candidate. Or, I should say, she couldn’t stand them. Mary Anne died of cancer last weekend, at age 68.

“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, (Ms Noland) chose instead to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15,” her obituary reads.

So Mary Anne chose “none of the above.” But in the hereafter she will join partisan spirits, such as Pittsburgh chiropractor Jeffrey Cohen, who died at 70. His obit pleaded:

“Jeffrey would ask that, in lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Donald Trump.”

A week earlier, Massachusetts meat packer Carl Crocetti offered a rebuttal as he, too, checked out, at age 62. His obit said: “Carl requested in lieu of flowers that people elect NOT to vote for Hillary Clinton ... in November.” His son, Carlo, tells the website Brockton (Mass.) Patch that his father was a Trump fan and “was fed up with the direction of this country that gave him so much.”

Elaine Fydrych, of New Jersey, who died at 63 of lung cancer, chimed in earlier. Reportedly, the Benghazi debacle had turned the registered Democrat against former secretary of state Clinton. Fydrych’s obit said:

“In lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Add florists to the list of big losers in this campaign.

It’s a long list: Common sense, decorum, chivalry, honesty, decency, fairness ...

Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln must be rolling in their graves.

But backroom politics, the establishment, lefty media bias and other dusty relics of democracy have also been whacked upside the head.

Win or lose, by the time Trump is done with American politics, you may not recognize it, which is not a bad thing.

If I were American I’d see an opening for the U.S. Libertarian Party or another third force that embraces the best of both mainstream parties and rejects the worst. In other words:

Give me libertarian, or give me death.

(Toronto Sun)

May 12, 2016

Bernie Burns HIV Advocates

Image result for bernie burns hiv advocates


Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders once again indefinitely postponed a May meeting with HIV/AIDS leaders, leaving them feeling “burned by the Bern,” as advocate Michael Rajner put it to MSNBC journalist Joy-Ann Reid in the news segment above.
The same thoughts were expressed in a press release by Housing Works, which advocates for the dual crises of HIV and homelessness.
In mid-March, 70 HIV/AIDS advocates sent a letter to the presidential candidates outlining priorities they’d like to see addressed to end the U.S. and global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The outreach resulted in scheduled meetings. An hour-long session with Hillary Clinton is scheduled for Thursday, May 12 in New York. Sanders’s meeting was originally planned for May 3 in Indianapolis; according to the press release, his campaign has not proposed a new date or city.
“This is incredibly disappointing,” said Housing Works president and CEO Charles King in the press release. “I have been a supporter of Bernie Sanders and was proud to vote for him in the New York primary. It is disheartening to see the ‘revolutionary’ candidate who claims to value grassroots organizing and visionary politics not make time in his schedule to meet with us. He is supposed to be the guy who walks the walk, but all we’ve heard the past six weeks is talk—and fairly tepid, reactive talk at that.”
Rajner said that Sanders’s postponement sends “a chilling message,” especially in light of the fact that Donald Trump’s campaign has said it wants to sit down with the AIDS leaders.
BREAKING NEWS: The Sanders campaign has updated its HIV/AIDS platform to include “a national goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by the year 2025 so that HIV is no longer a public health threat to any community in the U.S. and that people with HIV are able to live long, healthy lives.”
In addition, the statement promises that “Bernie will also appoint people living with HIV, community and public health experts and government officials to the HIV/AIDS Task Force to develop specific recommendations on how to successfully accomplish this goal.”

December 3, 2015

The Last Mass Shooting in San Bernandino Tell Us: “GOD AINT FIXING THIS” NY Daily News

Hours after the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead and 17 others injured on Wednesday, the New York Daily News tweeted out their Thursday morning cover.

The cover and accompanying article criticizes Republican presidential candidates for offering "prayers" as opposed to solutions when it comes to America's glaring gun control crisis.
While many GOP players conveyed their "thoughts and prayers" in 140 characters or less in the hours following the 355th domestic shooting this year, the New York Daily News' cover specifically calls out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
The publication is echoing many of the sentiments heard across the internet today.

A reddit thread titled "Maybe praying isn't enough?" put Gov. Mike Huckabee on blast for delivering the same sentiment following every recent gun violence crisis, yet making no moves to help the problem.

September 24, 2015

If The Donald were to quit, the GOP would be in Worse dirty waters

 The only outsider about them is their out of the logical realm outsiders
Wayne Besen who is a columnist and author of the book “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.” wrote on the Falls Church news Press about how bad the GOP is doing with the Donald but how worse it will be doing if the two candidates below him were to come to be on top. You have pure racism, bigotry and stupidity to follow the runaway train of the Donald. As much as I always disliked this man even before his outrageous remarks about immigrants and his demands for President elect Obama to produce some other Birth Certificate besides the one the state of Hawaii had made public. I do know that below him Are even worse candidates. 

I’m dumb founded this political party of the GOP continues to have its hand on its ears and eyes and continue to offer ideas from the fifties when McCarthyism was running ramped in the GOP Congress. They have gone from a commie under every american bed to substituting the commie for gay, immigrant and scientist warning about global warming.
The Republican establishment’s collective delusion is that if The Donald exited the presidential race, the party’s adults would reclaim the limelight. In reality, the candidates trailing him are even worse.

The week began with apoplectic GOP talking heads eviscerating Trump for allowing a yahoo at a New Hampshire rally to attack all Muslims, as well as claim that President Obama is Muslim.

However, before the full weight of the party could land on The Donald’s head, the second place candidate, Ben Carson, out-Trumped Trump.

On MSNBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked Carson about Islam. “So do you believe Islam is consistent with the Constitution?” Todd inquired.

“No, I do not,” said Carson. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson tried to clarify his remarks on Sean Hannity’s show, but only made matters worse.

“We do not put people at the leadership of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution,” implying that any Muslim that would run for President was either a radical Islamist who supports Sharia Law or a “heretic” for rejecting extremism.

While Carson’s remarks further branded the GOP with the stain of bigotry and alienated, yet another, minority, at least the somnolent surgeon confirmed that he still had a pulse.

Just a week earlier, Carson managed to insult the African American community. On Fox’s MediaBuzz Carson told host Howard Kurtz that the GOP should court neglected” black voters. Carson thought that African Americans might be ready to leave the Democrats and not “just blindly follow someone because they say do what I tell you do to.”

Carson essentially called African American Democrats black sheep who follow the flock without thinking. The truth is, the rejection of the Republican Party comes from witnessing the prolific prejudice that has defined this campaign, as well as GOP voter suppression efforts. In terms of outreach to African Americans, the hyper-religious, long-shot candidates that the GOP has fielded for president – Alan Keyes, Herman Cain, and now Carson – has backfired and, if anything, further alienated black voters from the Republican Party.

The latest flavor of the week in the “anyone but Trump” sweepstakes is Carly Fiorina. For most of the campaign Fiorina has been practically invisible. The one time she briefly emerged was for the sacrilegious praise she once showered on both Islam and Hillary Clinton.

As the CEO of Hewlett-Packard in the aftermath of 911, Fiorina expressed concern for her Muslim staff members. She made sure that Islam wasn’t distorted and put the religion in historical perspective:

“There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts…its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things…the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600.”

This raised the ire of former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who Tweeted: “Carly Fiorina delivered this speech in MPLS praising Muslims 2 weeks after 911.”

To complicate Fiorina’s connection with the modern GOP voter, Mother Jones reported that in her 2006 book, Tough Choices, Fiorina described the soothing effect of listening to Muslim prayers when she was a teen and her family lived in Ghana. (Her father was a law professor then on a teaching sabbatical at the University of Ghana).

And there is the H-bomb, as in Hillary. In 2008 Fiorina gave an interview with BuzzFeed:

“I have great admiration for her (Hillary Clinton) because I know what it takes in some small measure to do what she has done. She is obviously incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined, empathetic of all the tens of millions of people that she was trying to represent in her quest to become the first woman president of the United States. Her run for the presidency was historic.”

Now that Fiorina is riding high on the hog, look for the struggling swine in the next GOP debate to use this information against her.

I salivate at the prospect of Fiorina receiving the GOP nomination. Her awful record at Hewlett Packard, which led to her getting canned, ensured that she was unable to defeat a vulnerable Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010 – losing by 10-points. There are now reports that staff she had laid off are lining up to appear in Democratic ads trashing her record at HP.

Trump, for all his flaws, is a far superior candidate to Carson and Fiorina. While the Donald may be a runaway locomotive, at least he’s not off track, like the rest of the GOP presidential wannabes.

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