Saturday, March 29, 2014

#Bridgegate News: Christie Talks, Bridget Strikes Back, Samson Quits, Wildstein Still an Outcast

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Chris Christie held a lengthy presser today, showing some of his old arrogance with the media, before flying off to Las Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson, one of Mitt Romney's top donors in 2012. Because yeah, somehow Christie thinks he can slough off this controversy and run for President in 2016 now that his own lawyers have attempted to clear him. Good luck with that.
At the same time, his crony at the Port Authority, David Samson, resigned his cushy job, possibly because he is under a Federal Investigation for all the sweetheart deals he got for clients of his private law firm. And maligned mother-of-four Bridget Kelly came out swinging through her attorney after the Bridgegate Report called her "too emotional" and referred to her private life as a cause of the George Washington Bridge Closure. Big day in New Jersey for sure!

Previous Related Posts:
Christie #Bridgegate Report: Time for Some Slut-Shaming in New Jersey
Christie's Well-Named Minion Bridget Kelly
Port Authority Under Scrutiny in #Bridgegate
Christie Faces Bad Karma for Dissing Wildstein
Monday Morning Joe Quarterbacking for Christie


Late today in a Trenton conference room, Chris Christie re-entered the media arena. In his version of "Facing the Lions" the only things missing as he intimidated and taunted the members of the press corps were a chair and a whip. All the rest was on display as he poked and derided the Capitol reporters invited to ask him about his million-dollar defense report he used to day as both shield and weapon. Unfortunately he may not have gotten all that the taxpayers of New Jersey paid for.
~ Chris Matthews on Hardball

He said having David Wildstein at the Port Authority “was a mistake. Let’s leave it at that.” Wildstein is suspected of being a key player in the lane closures. He also denied again that he and Wildstein were friends from high school. Christie appointed Wildstein to the post, though, and the governor’s office praised Wildstein’s skills at the time he took the job.
. . . "What you get with me is what you get. I cannot shed who I am," Christie, a former prosecutor, says, explaining why he didn't question former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly before he fired her.
. . . It took just eight minutes for Christie to snap at a reporter and warned him to “cut the commentary.”

Christie at one point referred in the Friday press conference to his aides, who were fired or resigned, but he might be talking about himself when he said:
“People need to understand that if you participate in this kind of conduct, you will not be permitted to hold the public trust, and the authority that goes along with a senior position in this government that comes with it.”
~ NY Daily News

Ahead of a trip out West laced with 2016 implications, Christie made a great, heave-ho attempt this week to push past the political nightmare known as “Bridgegate.” He is due to speak at a Republican Jewish Coalition event this weekend in Las Vegas, followed by Republican Governors Association fundraising retreat in Park City, Utah.
. . . The former federal prosecutor even reiterated, at some length, that he will decide whether or not to run for president independently of this whole unpleasant saga. Christie said he didn’t think the George Washington Bridge fiasco would weigh heavily on how voters consider “my candidacy, if there even is one.”
~ Politico

“There’s no baggage here because I didn’t do anything,” the Republican governor told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File” when asked whether the scandal would hinder a presidential run.
Asked whether Bridget Kelly would back up the governor’s story under oath, Christie said: “I have no idea, but all I can tell you is it's the truth.”
Christie pledged that no emails or phone records or taped calls will emerge showing he knew about this, “because I didn’t.”
~ Fox News


The lawyer for Bridget Anne Kelly fired back today against allegations that largely blamed her for the George Washington Bridge lane closings, blasting a $1 million report commissioned by Gov. Chris Christie’s office as containing “venomous, gratuitous, and inappropriate sexist remarks.”
Michael Critchley, Kelly’s lawyer, said in a statement, “The report's venomous, gratuitous, and inappropriate sexist remarks concerning Ms. Kelly have no place in what is alleged to be a professional and independent report.”
. . . Calling the report “a preemptive strike” meant to “isolate Ms. Kelly and impugn her credibility,” Critchley said, “Ms. Kelly is not a liar. She is a single mother of four children who was deeply devoted and committed to her job at the Office of the Governor. She worked tirelessly to pursue the goals of the Office during her tenure.”


Governor Christie's Crooked Pals' Club Band

Gov. Chris Christie announced today that David Samson, whose chairmanship of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has come under fire in recent months, has resigned.
In a statement released today, Samson said: "Over the past months, I have shared with the Governor my desire to conclude my service to the PANYNJ. The timing is now right, and I am confident that the Governor will put new leadership in place to address the many challenges ahead."
Christie said that "in line with that belief, David tendered his resignation to me this afternoon effective immediately."

Asked why Mr. Samson was leaving, Mr. Christie cited his age. "He's tired," said the governor, who thanked Mr. Samson, an ally he has defended as the scandal unfolded.
Mr. Samson is the fifth Christie ally to depart the governor's circle since the scandal over lane closures escalated in January. Mr. Christie also fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and cut ties to his former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, whose roles in the closures are scrutinized in the report. David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who engineered the closures, and another top Christie appointee there, Bill Baroni, have also resigned.
. . . With Mr. Samson resigning, Mr. Christie turned to the Gibson Dunn report's call for changes at the Port Authority, and suggested he would even support dismantling its operations, a drastic step that would represent a sea change in New York and New Jersey government.
~ Wall Street Journal

Samson is also connected to the controversy that flared in the wake of the "bridgegate" scandal, involving distribution of hurricane Sandy relief funds. Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of the New Jersey city of Hoboken, alleged in January that the Christie administration leaned heavily on her to pave the way for a lucrative development project by the Rockefeller Group, which was represented by Wolf and Samson.
Samson is not accused of directly intervening in the affair. But Zimmer claimed other Christie officials quietly warned her that Hoboken would be starved of aid money unless she got behind the development project backed by Samson's law firm.
~ The Guardian

Friday, March 28, 2014

Christie #Bridgegate Report: Time for some Slut-Shaming in New Jersey

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So Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey paid his attorneys one million dollars of taxpayer money to come up with a report that scapegoats his minions in the Bridgegate Scandal. It names David Wildstein as a major player - and recall that he has been slammed previously by the Governor as the nerdy kid in high school whom Christie didn't know very well in spite of the well-paying post at the Port Authority where Christie himself placed him.

Read the Governor's Report Here

But Attorney Randy Mastro mainly focuses on the women involved in Bridgegate, especially Bridget Kelly, who is hinted to be some kind of "woman scorned" over a relationship with another staff member, Bill Stepien, Christie's campaign manager. Their relationship, break-up and supposedly emotional fall-out for Kelly seems to be the key, according to the report, and that somehow vindicates Governor Chris Christie.

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And what about the allegations of withholding Sandy funds from Hoboken by another woman, Mayor Dawn Zimmer? Well, she's obviously lying because they have a picture of her yawning during a meeting, and another picture of her smiling - both included in the report. Body language, people! Obviously, case closed. Nothing to see here. Move along, right? But first, blame the women!


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We found that Governor Christie had no knowledge beforehand of this George Washington Bridge re-allignment idea.
. . . We further found that no one in the Governor's Office besides Bridget Kelly knew of this idea in advance, played any role in the decision or the implementaion of it.
. . . There was some personal or political animus that Wildstein must have had that Kelly joined him in approving that. She was covering up from her colleagues, like the chief of staff and the governor, who didn’t know what she did.
. . . Mayor Zimmer's perceptions do not match the objective reality reflected in the hard evidence that we uncovered in our investigation.
~ Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn

The Woman-Scorned Theory

The word "emotional" was used five times in the report. Three times, the word described the Jan. 8, 2014, session in which Kelly was fired. Those instances highlight Christie's sensitivity, noting he was "welling up with tears." A fourth time, the word was used to describe the "heartfelt" manner in which Christie begged his staff to come forward with information on the lane closings.
The fifth time, "emotional" was ascribed to Kelly. Of the four individuals classified as "involved in the lane realignment" -- Wildstein, Stepien, Kelly and then-Port Authority official Bill Baroni -- Kelly was the only one described as "emotional."
~ Huffington Post

Randy Mastro’s report put the blame squarely on two fired staffers, David Wildstein and deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly. But its treatment of Kelly was mind-blowingly mean, describing her as “emotional,” “erratic” and as a liar; confirming Trenton gossip that she was “personally involved” with chief of staff Bill Stepien, and that Stepien apparently dumped her; alleging that she asked an aide to delete an incriminating email when the investigation began, thus implicating her not only in the plot’s execution but its coverup.
. . . Bridgegate is turning into Bridgetgate, another story about Christie’s bullying sexism.
~ Joan Walsh on Salon

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Mayor Zimmer Yawning During a Meeting - Evidence?

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Randy Mastro could have written his report the day he was hired and saved the taxpayers the million dollars in fees he billed in generating this one-sided whitewash.
~ Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer

The idea that Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein by themselves concocted the lane closure is frankly hard to believe. Lawyers hired and paid for by the Christie administration will not be the final word on this matter.
~ State Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski


Sometimes people do inexplicably stupid things.
~ Governor Chris Christie on ABC

Diane Sawyer: The taxpayers of New Jersey just paid for your lawyers to find you blameless. Why should the taxpayers be paying for this report?

Chris Christie: Well a few things - first off, these are not my lawyers.

Diane Sawyer: But it's a law firm you've been affiliated with in the past. You know one of the partners. It's chosen by the office.

Chris Christie: Sure. But there's hardly a law firm in this area that I haven't had some action with after being the United States Attorney. But the bottom line is that these people have their own personal and professional reputations. Six of them are former Federal Prosecutors. They're not going to whitewash anything for me.

Diane Sawyer: If Bridget Kelly talks, will she blow this report out of the water?

Chris Christie: Not credibly, no. (shakes head) Absolutely not.

Diane Sawyer: You think she'll come after you?

Chris Christie: I don't see any reason why she would.

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Diane Sawyer: David Wildstein has said that at a 9-11 event he talked to you about traffic - it's a little ambiguous. Did he?

Chris Christie: I don't have any recollection of that, Diane. David was one of hundreds of people that I spoke to that day. We stood around and spoke briefly that day. I don't have any recollection of him saying anything, but I'll tell you this - I'll tell you what he didn't say - he didn't say "By the way, Governor, I'm closing down some lanes on the George Washington Bridge to stick it to the mayor. Is that okay?" Uh, that I'd remember.

. . . I don't think that this is something I've inspired in that any of them thought this was acceptable conduct....I think that in the end I obviously didn't make it clear enough to these folks that this kinda stuff was unacceptable. This is an abuse of the trust, of the authority that was granted to you. And that's unacceptable. And to the extent that anyone didn't understand that? Believe me, from this day forward anyone who works for me will understand that.

From the New York Times
At a heated televised news conference, the former federal prosecutor who led the internal inquiry, Randy M. Mastro, frequently sounded like a defense lawyer making his case to a jury. He referred to Ms. Kelly as a liar, cast doubt on the credibility of the mayor of Hoboken, who accused the Christie administration of political intimidation, and slipped into lawyerly exhortations to the “ladies and gentlemen” sitting before him.
Mr. Mastro, and his report, went so far as to describe a romantic relationship between Ms. Kelly and a top adviser to Mr. Christie who has been caught up in the imbroglio, seemingly insinuating — without providing specific evidence — that its breakup may have colored her judgment.
The report seemed to anticipate a looming showdown between Mr. Christie and the person who may become the most menacing witness against him: Mr. Wildstein, who, Mr. Mastro said, harbored “bizarre personal and political animus.”

New York Daily News
The 344-page review compiled by the governor’s hand-picked counsel blamed the punitive traffic jam solely on Christie’s ex-deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former Port Authority executive David Wildstein.
In addition to sparing any other administration or PA officials, the report flatly dismissed Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s claim of a Hurricane Sandy relief shakedown by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
And it included bizarre details about an alleged romance between Kelly and Christie’s former campaign manager — and how a teary-eyed governor met with his staff in January as the scandal mushroomed.
“It reads more like a novel than a work of fact,” sniffed Assemblyman John Wisniewski, co-chair of the New Jersey legislative panel investigating the Sept. 2013 lane closures.

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First of all, how do they know that Bill Stepien was the one who "cooled" this relationship? That is so gratuitous and so inappropriate. And the kindest thing I can say about this report is that it's pretty premature. They draw certain conclusions without ever having a discussion with any of the main characters in this drama: David Wildstein, Bridget Kelly, Bill Stepien. And how about David Samson and Bill Baroni? Bill Baroni, who was sent out to do the "cover-up" which wasn't a very good cover-up.
And Mr. Mastro, with his high hourly salary didn't do a very good report. He issues a report without knowing the motive, unable to speak to any of the main people in this. And then throwing in the gratuitous remarks about the so-called personal relationship is really - they describe David Wildstein as the man with the "crazy ideas," but that man with the "crazy ideas" was hired to be the Governor's eyes and ears at the Port Authority.
And how are they depicting Bridget Kelly here? That she's this "woman-scorned" therefore gone off kind of wild on herself? That's a woman that he hired in his office.
~ New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg on Hardball

Wildstein has said that he told the Governor about this when it was happening. Now this report that cost all this money, what, $600,000, whatever, doesn't even say whether the Governor had a conversation with Wildstein or not during the course of these bridge closures. It does however, . . . characterizes as saying well, obviously it left NO impression on the Governor. How can they NOT know there was a conversation, these lawyers, but at the same time characterize it as not being "provocative" enough to have grabbed the attention of the Governor? One thing or the other happened.
. . . They just dismiss it. Whether it happened or didn't happen, doesn't matter. That's the sort of conclusion they draw on the possibility that that guy, the Governor, knew what was going on.
~ Chris Matthews on Hardball

Complete Statement from Bill Stepien's Attorney
“One will search the 360-page Mastro report in vain for a jot of evidence to support the governor’s decision to sever ties with Bill Stepien. The investigation, in which Mr. Stepien did not cooperate, found that he had no involvement in the origination, planning, execution, or concealment of the lane closures and that he did not lie to or deceive anyone at any time about his limited knowledge of the subject, including the governor. Indeed, the report makes clear that Mr. Stepien truthfully advised the governor that Mr. Wildstein had raised the specter of a traffic study at the GWB with him — one of many ‘small ball’ ideas Mr. Wildstein conceived during his tenure at the Port Authority — and that Mr. Stepien had appropriately referred Mr. Wildstein to the authorities in Trenton responsible for such matters. There is simply no support for the notion, implied by his summary banishment, that Mr. Stepien was somehow blameworthy in this incident. He was not.
“The report’s inclusion of a gratuitous reference to Mr. Stepien’s brief dating relationship with Bridget Anne Kelly — which began after he left the Governor’s Office, ended before the lane closure debacle began, at took place at a time when both he and Ms. Kelly were single — is a regrettable distraction that has no place in this report. Predictably, that has become a tabloid headline, masking the injustice done to Stepien and distracting the public from those aspects of the report that would otherwise have commanded its attention.
“Finally, the report’s statement that it is permissible to draw an adverse inference from Mr. Stepien’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment right in the face of a criminal investigation, rather than in the context of civil litigation, is dead wrong as a matter of law. Mr. Stepien is an innocent man who will continue to avail himself of the rights assured him under the constitution and laws of the United States and the state of New Jersey. It is simply not right for a seasoned and talented team of former federal prosecutors to suggest that the public should read his reliance on those rights as evidence of wrongdoing. It is not.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hellbagger Jennifer Stefano Has Exorcist Moment on Chris Hayes - Updated with Transcript

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MSNBC host Chris Hayes started his show last night with a segment called "The Unending War on Obamacare" about the Republican outrage that President Obama extended the deadline for Obamacare sign-ups. To give the Tea Party view he welcomed Jennifer Stefano of the group Americans for Prosperity. After making a lighthearted joke about how Jennifer gets out of bed in the morning thinking of ways to stop Obamacare, she responded huffily that no, she only thought of her children, thank you, her CHILDREN, like all good Tea Party women everywhere who want to be barefoot and pregnant all the time yet have no way to pay for it, thank you very much.

Then she went on with her talking points that the best to help other MOTHERS with CHILDREN is to keep them from ever, EVER getting health insurance:

Transcript, All In With Chris Hayes, March 26, 2014

CHRIS HAYES: Joining me now, Jennifer Stefano. She`s regional director for American for Prosperity. She`s one of those people who I really think genuinely wakes up every day and thinks about how to destroy Obamacare.

And, Jennifer, the first question is: why should anyone care about this extension of the deadline? Who cares? So people are going to have a few more weeks to sign up.

JENNIFER STEFANO, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Actually, Chris, the thing I wake up about and think about every morning is my children, and I think people should care about the deadline for the same reason that I wake up and millions of women -- actually 85 million women across the country wake up and think about their children as well. That`s how many mothers we have, because we really are having our choices removed from us as mothers, and the health care that we can provide our children.

. . . STEFANO: They don`t want this law. That`s why you have to push back the deadline. You can`t get people to pay for it. You can`t get people to sign up for it.

HAYES: Jennifer, what are you talking about? Do we have the chart?

STEFANO: You wouldn`t care.

HAYES: Do you realize that millions of people have signed up for this, right?

STEFANO: No, no, no, let me make one thing clear --

HAYES: No, no, millions of people have signed up for it.

STEFANO: How many people, Chris, of what percentage of those people don`t have insurance? Only 14 percent.

HAYES: Right, but --

STEFANO: This is not helping the uninsured. Why will they not sign up for it?

HAYES: Wait a second.

. . . HAYES: Here is what you`re doing.

STEFANO: Giving you facts?

HAYES: No, what you are doing is you are working backwards from opposition law. Jennifer Stefano, Americans for Prosperity, was not doing anything to get people health insurance, was not concerned about the plight of people on Medicaid, was not sponsoring bills before Congress, was not trying to get people health care.

What happens now is that any part of the bill, any part of the law that can be picked apart to try to destroy it, suddenly, the great saviors of the working poor are people on Medicaid, are people opposed to the law.
But the fact of the matter is, that is not the animating thing that is making people get up in the morning and go to war against Obamacare.

It`s not like you care about people on Medicaid or that`s the thing that got you into politics. I don`t understand, why not just be honest about it? This is honesty.

STEFANO: Can I answer?

HAYES: Why not just be honest about it?

STEFANO: You know nothing about me, you have no idea what I think in the morning --

HAYES: We have talked before.

STEFANO: Excuse me, you don`t know what I wake up and fight for and believe in. You know nothing about me or my family. You don`t know if I was born --

HAYES: You were working on Medicaid.

STEFANO: You don`t know if I was born and raised in a trailer park -- how dare you, like, Harry Reid, try to undercut the voice of a woman simply because she disagrees with you? Now, you may not like where I`m coming from on public policy, but you have no right to undercut my voice. As a woman, I have worked very hard --

HAYES: I put you on my TV show, I`m not undercutting your voice.

STEFANO: You`re undercutting my voice, because you`re making it personal. Saying I wake up to do this, and this is what I was not -- you have no idea about me or my life.

HAYES: What do you want to see? How are you going to get people --

STEFANO: Here`s what I want, stick to the facts.

HAYES: How do we get people health insurance.

STEFANO: Stick to the facts, talk about facts, logic and -- how dare you personally attack me and what I believe?


HAYES: All right. I`m not personally attacking you, Jennifer.

STEFANO: Typically, because you can`t win, brother.

HAYES: Jennifer, thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

STEFANO: Thanks, Chris. It`s sad. You`re a good guy otherwise.

HAYES: Jennifer Stefano of Americans for Prosperity, thank you.


Usually stuff like this would just be irritating, but suddenly Jennifer Stefano got louder and louder while the camera zoomed in, and it became almost the scary scene from the Exorcist when the girl's head spins completely around.

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Stefano seemed to grow in size and her mouth opened wider and wider, something like the anime character Totoro, only he is cute and fuzzy.

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This was like bullying pepperpot Lucy from Peanuts screaming at her little dude-bro Linus and making him roll away with his security blanket. Some have criticized Hayes for not shouting back, ala Chris Matthews on Hardball, or for not pulling the plug on her mic sooner. But I enjoyed the fact that he let her dig her own hole, and I loved his pronouncement that "There you have it - that's the anti-Obamacare argument from the other side."

Whatever analogy you use, from frothing at the mouth with rabies, to shrieking like a proverbial Banshee, this woman had some anger issues. If she screams like this at those KIDS, I feel sorry for them!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jon Karl and Mitt ~ Obama is Weak Because Putin Does Stuff

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Previous Related Posts:
Jonathan Karl Issues Non-Apology Apology Over Fake Benghazi Emails
ABC's Jon Karl Gets Juiced by Fake Benghazi Leak
3rd Debate 2012 ~ Horses and Bayonets
Romney - Most Awkward Candidate of All Time?
Republicans Predict Romney Landslide


Mitt just can't seem to go away. Yes, during the last Presidential debate he did sort-of predict that Vladimir Putin might cause trouble in the future. Duh. But when asked what he would do differently from President Obama about the invasion of Ukraine, he had nothing but sanctions and more sanctions, which is what is happening now. Then along comes White House Press Corps member Jonathan Karl riding posse for Mitt, asking the President to 'splain his Fail, and Obama was having none of it. Epic smackdown!

Transcript of CBS Face the Nation March 23, 2014
Good morning, Governor, and welcome back to FACE THE NATION. During the campaign, and I want to start with this, you took a lot of heat for saying that Russia was our greatest geopolitical foe. In the third debate, the President came down pretty hard on you about that.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (2012): A few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America you said Russia. Not al Qaeda, you said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War has been over for twenty years.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I'm sure, Governor, you're tempted this morning to say, I told you so, but do you really believe that what happened in Ukraine had anything to do with what President Obama has or hasn't done?

MITT ROMNEY (2012 Republican Presidential Nominee): Well, there's no question, but that the-- the President's naivety with regards to-- to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face. And unfortunately not having anticipated Russia's intentions, the President wasn't able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you're seeing in the Ukraine as well as the things that you're seeing in Syria.

. . . BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we had put on some sanctions now, they don't seem to have done much good. You're saying if we had done it earlier, how-- how actually would we have done that? And-- and are the sanctions they put on now, do we need stronger sanctions?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, let's-- let's step back. I think effective leaders typically are able to see the future to a certain degree and then try and take actions to shape it in some way. And that's, of course, what this President has failed to do and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well. They thought resetting relations with Russia, handing out gifts to Russia would somehow make Russia change its objectives. Well, that certainly wasn't the case.
Had we from the very beginning of the demonstrations in Crimea, excuse me, in-- in Ukraine, had we worked with our allies and said, look, let's talk about the kinds of severe sanctions we would put in place if Russia were to decide to move and had we then communicated that to Russia beforehand, not put in place the sanctions, but communicate, look, Russia, stand down here. Don't you think about grabbing territory or these are the things that will have to happen. These are the actions we will take. And by the way, Russia, we're not going to interfere with your base in Sevastopol and so forth. Had we communicated those things there is always the potential that we could have kept them from invading a country and annexing it into their own?

Transcript Via RealClearPolitics
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Mr. President, thank you. In China, in Syria, in Egypt, and now in Russia we've seen you make strong statements, issue warnings that have been ignored. Are you concerned that America's influence in the world -- that your influence in the world -- is on the decline? And in light of recent developments, do you think Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America's greatest geopolitical foe, if not Russia, who? And Mr. Prime Minister, do you think these sanctions will change Vladimir Putin's calculation? Or cause him to back down. Where do you see a Russian red line where if they go any further, into Eastern Ukraine, into Moldova, when would options beyond sanctions have to be considered?

BARACK OBAMA: I think if the premise of the question is that whenever the United States objects to an action and other countries don't immediately do what we want, that that's been the norm, that would pretty much erase most of twentieth century history.
. . . Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness...
. . . The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more.


To Far Right #HobbyLobby Proves Women are Baby-Killers

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Previous Related Posts:
Supreme Court Hears Hobby Lobby Case
Mike Huckabee ~ Uncle Sugar and the Feminine Libido
Erick Erickson Labels Wendy Davis "Abortion Barbie"
SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare ~ Tea Party Heads Explode
Obama Wins ~ GOP Goes Bonkers


As the Supreme Court heard the Hobby Lobby case, the far right trolls came out on Twitter to pray for victory, quoting the Bible's admonition "Thou Shall Not Kill" and proving once again they know nothing about human biology or the way birth control works. Common sense has flown out the window in the name of religious freedom. To the right-way of thinking, women who use contraception are sluts, pills are now abortions, and anyone not pro-Hobby Lobby is a baby-killing FemiNazi. It's a Limbaugh-Todd Akin mashup. To read some of the comments on the internet, rational married women never use birth control, and all men want to have sixteen children to work on the ranch, LOL. Even the far right knows this is theater of the absurd (at least some of them do). Hobby Lobby is just a device to give the SCOTUS another chance to gut Obamacare and for pseudo-Christians to cry persecution.

Supreme Court Hears #HobbyLobby Case

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the case brought by crafts superstore Hobby Lobby. While the women of the Court were understandably pro-women and came out swinging, Justice Scalia seemed to think birth control is no big deal for women, even if they have to pay for something they already pay for out of the company premium. It's depressing that the men on the court don't seem to fathom the way insurance works - we saw that in the debate over Obamacare as well.

But even more distressing is that the religious right is predicting victory in this case and so are many in the media. The right-wingers are equating ANY birth control with abortion now, and any woman who uses it is some kind of cold-hearted killer. I saved their nonsensical pronouncements for another post:
To the Far Right, Hobby Lobby Proves Women are Baby Killers

It's true that Hobby Lobby may win their case, but this is hardly a win for the GOP, who seems hell-bent on insulting and alienating women until the party goes extinct. And I'm not sure even the most anti-Left of the Supremes will say business owners can just flout any law they choose in the name of religion - rather they may rule in some narrow way instead of a sweeping generality about all businesses and religions. We won't know until June when the verdict is read, since another medieval thing about SCOTUS is the length of time it takes them to write up decisions. Stay tuned.

From Washington Post
On the one side is the Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts chain and Conestoga Wood Specialties cabinetry company, both owned by devout families. On the other is the federal government, which argues that the landmark 2010 health care law gives women a statutory right to choose among 20 methods of birth control.

The court, judging from the justices’ questions, is clearly divided on this potential earthquake of a religious rights case. It could be yet another instance where Justice Anthony Kennedy provides the swing vote — in this case whether a corporation has religious rights, and whether those rights in this case have been trampled.

Hobby Lobby, owned by the Green family, and Conestoga, owned by the Hahns, object to paying for the full range of birth control drugs and devices as required by the Affordable Care Act. To them, a handful of the methods they must cover could cause abortion. Including these methods in their companies’ insurance package is, in their eyes, sinful.

From the LA Times
A key moment came near the end of the argument when Kennedy and Roberts raised the issue of abortion.

"Under your view, a profit[-making] corporation could be forced in principle to pay for abortions," Kennedy said.
That is true in principle, Verrilli said, but he added that no law "requires for-profit corporations to pay for abortions."
Roberts sounded surprised. "I thought that's what we had before us," he said.

The exchange made clear that the administration faces an uphill fight. If Roberts and Kennedy decide to view the case as a test of whether the government can ignore a business owner's religious beliefs and force him to provide for abortions, the government would likely lose.


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Friday, March 21, 2014

GOP Reaching Out With Fake Hipster-Doofus

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The GOP has decided to their "outreach" needs to aim at Millenials in the 20-30-something age group, and in their infinite wisdom decided the defining trait of that generation is their ability to whine about every little thing. No really. Let's make a video about whiny self-absorbed and especially MONEY-absorbed hipster dude-bros and win people back into the Republican fold, because "we need the young." Epic Fail.

From Gawker:
Enter Scott Greenberg, a 30-year-old ad guy with a cool shirt, the sort of shirt Adam might wear on Girls. Scott is a hipster. Scott is young. Scott is concerned about paying for things. That's why Scott is a Republican, the face of a new GOP-sponsored ad campaign...
. . . likely, an old donor wants to see some youth outreach, and the RNC finds Scott, a young Beltway acolyte to provide them with a simulacrum of youth culture for a couple of shekels. We have the horn-rimmed glasses! The pomaded hair! A brick tenement across a city street! Talk of money problems and friends!

Parody from

Parody from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

No matter what your political persuasion, we think you'll agree that the ad is easily mockable. The man, Scott Greenberg, is dressed to the nines in hipster gear, oversize glasses, and a stubble beard. He also comes prepared with indignation and an inability to read cue cards with any amount of subtlety.
~ Yahoo News

Hipster republicans. You couldn't make someone easier for New Yorkers to hate unless you spliced DNA from Leona Helmsley and Carrot Top.
~ Nalano635 on Gothamist

Ok cupid date from hell
~ Ihuffglue91 on Gothamist

He looks like Waldo.
~ sunshine999 on Gothamist

I fuel my hybrid Tesla on kitten tears & racist poems. Take that, Obama!!! #TrumpPalin2016
~ UnfamousChris on YouTube

The Republicans tossed a hanging curveball to the satirists.
~ Garth H. on YouTube

DC has excellent public transport and bike lanes. There's even a bikeshare program all over the city.
~ Process613 on YouTube

This is like an SNL skit poking fun of an RNC ad targeting millenials.
~ IDontWantAChannel on YouTube 

The GOP doesn't realize most millennials, myself included, want to smack the smug off every hipster we see.
~ Edward M. on YouTube

I congratulate you, GOP, on this embarrasingly bad attempt to ingratiate yourself to hipsters. Or is this supposed to be "ironically awful?"
~ Patrick D. on YouTube

C'mon, at least try to make it less obvious that he isn't reading from a teleprompter right off-screen.
~ Blarghalt on YouTube

I can see the teleprompter shining in his glasses.
~ Noah T. on YouTube

I just realized that this is Mitt Romney's illegitimate son.
~ PacificCoast82 on YouTube

If you're spending soooo much of your paycheck on gas, maybe you should make a few sacrifices and take the bus. You seem to live in a busy city. What do you need a car for?
~ Draco Lupus on YouTube

The solution to the oil crisis is in that guy's hair.
~ Draco Lupus on YouTube

Hahaha! GOP thinks they can win over hipsters with a fake hipster! No wonder they most of that "party" hasn't seen the ball since kickoff.....
~ NeutronStar73 on National Journal

Don't hold your breath for an ad in which Scott helps his hipster cohort navigate the GOP position on marriage equality.
~ pdavidcATL on National Journal