Texas man robs bank so he can get healthcare in prison

What happens when health care isn’t accessible for all?  People get desperate.  It’s not really a funny story, it’s a story that should make us all hang our heads in shame.

We know who stands for universal health care, and we know who wants to repeal it.  This year, you have a chance to vote for the people who think health care is a right, and against the people who think it’s a privilege.

Ted Nugent, Republican spokesperson, calls Parkland survivors “soulless”

Of course Republicans are attacking the articulate survivors of a mass shooting.  What choice do they have, an open debate based on facts?  Here’s a recent comment from Ted Nugent, NRA board member, Republican booster, and sexual predator:

The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lies. I really feel sorry for them because it’s not only ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it’s soulless. To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republican Party.  When Ted Nugent is denounced by other Republicans for literally discounting the humanity of people who disagree with him, post the evidence here in the comments.  I won’t be holding my breath.

Marching for our lives

Today the March for Our Lives is taking place in cities all across the country.  Hundreds of thousands attended the Washington DC event to demand common sense reform of gun laws.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24:  Gun reform advocates line Pennsylvania Avenue while attending the March for Our Lives rally March 24,

And this is incumbent Iowa Representative Matt Windschitl, whom you will not be surprised to learn is Republican, in a not at all creepy family portrait.  It would be entirely fair to say his legislative record represents the opposite idea.

 

Every Iowa Republican official supports Trump

I’ve said various mean things about Donald Trump on this blog, and you might think I’m painting his party with too broad a brush, saying the Republican Party totally backs him and no Republican can claim to be free of the stink.  You would be mistaken to think that.

Why is this so important to what Iowa Republican leaders decide to do next? Because you are nationally recognized as the staunchest group of Republican defenders of Donald Trump in the entire country. There were no major holdouts from Iowa elected officials, Terry Branstad’s son is running Trump’s state operation, Joni Ernst embraced him as her headline speaker at her Roast and Ride and Chuck Grassley is holding open a Supreme Court seat just for him. The Republican Party of Iowa is the Trump Party of Iowa, now and forever, if you do not move to immediately denounce Trump and withdraw your support. (And, yes, you should have done this for any number of his previous comments, but hey, here we are.)

His denials don’t pass the giggle test

The Trump campaign says this proves he’s innocent.

The “evidence” concerned the charge of Jessica Leeds that Trump had groped her – putting his hand up her skirt –  on a flight from Dallas to New York in 1980. Trump has denied even knowing her. The Trump campaign put forward an Englishman named Anthony Gilberthorpe, now 54, to say that he was on the same flight, sitting nearby, saw the whole transaction, remembers it with “photographic memory,” and observed Leeds flirting with Trump rather than Trump assaulting Leeds. Pretty convincing, right?

Yes, but.

  • If Gilberthorpe is now 54, he must have been 18 in 1980. I suppose it’s possible that an English eighteen-year-old was flying first class from Dallas to New York, but it’s not especially plausible, and he doesn’t seem to have provided any explanation.
  • Trump flatly denied that he’d ever met Leeds. So if Gilberthorpe is telling the truth, Trump isn’t. He also contradicts the narrative of Trump surrogates that the incident couldn’t have happened because Trump is and always has been too precious to fly commercial.

So he either thinks you don’t care whether he sexually assaulted a woman, or he thinks you’re too stupid to see through his lies.

 

Trump vows to abuse power to throw Clinton in jail

The President of the United States can’t throw his political opponents in jail.  A threat to do so is an affront to the Constitution.  And yet we now have the spectacle of the Republican nominee pushing for throwing Hillary Clinton in jail, and her attorneys too.  It wasn’t a “debate quip,” it’s become a central part of his campaign, repeated in his stump speech and on social media over and over.

“It’s a chilling thought,” said Michael Chertoff, a former federal appeals court judge who also served as the secretary of Homeland Security and head of the Justice Department’s criminal division in the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Chertoff, who has announced that he will vote for Mrs. Clinton, added, “It smacks of what we read about tin-pot dictators in other parts of the world, where when they win an election their first move is to imprison opponents.”

Let’s hear from the Iowa Republican Party on this.  Where do they stand on the whole dictatorship thing?  You can guess the answer.  If you’re voting Republican, campaigning as a Republican, refusing to denounce the Republican Party all the way up and down the ballot, history will record that you were willing to let a fascist take the Presidency.

Republicans are shocked, shocked

 

A solid majority of Republican officials, including all Republican leaders in Congress, still back Donald Trump.  But dozens of Republicans are trying to publicly distance themselves from their nominee by withdrawing various endorsements.  Why now?

Anyone who bails or rushes to condemn him now implicitly accepted everything that’s come before — his saying Mexicans are rapists, that Megyn Kelly must have been menstruating when she aggressively questioned him at an early primary debate, that Muslims should be banned, that he didn’t know enough about David Duke to condemn the former Ku Klux Klan wizard, that women should be punished for having abortions, all while welcoming the support of Nazis and white nationalists, mocking a reporter for his disabled arm, insisting a judge with Latino heritage couldn’t rule fairly against him, smearing Khizr and Ghazala Khan, suggesting Hillary Clinton be shot, keeping up his birtherism softshoe and encouraging Russian hackers to go after his opponent’s files.

Every candidate running on a Republican ballot line knows who they nominated, and they loved him until now.  Suddenly they’re shocked, shocked, to discover their guy is a creep.  Be honest now:  is anyone, of any party, surprised by this latest atrocity?

How not to apologize

By now you know that Donald Trump was, as recently as 10 years ago, bragging about sexually assaulting women.  The outrage has been so intense that Trump has taken the unusual step of admitting he could improve.

Trump does say the words “I was wrong, I apologize.”  That’s the beginning and the end of the apology, in a statement 247 words long.

  • He emphasizes that the video is more than 10 years old—not a strong argument coming from a 70 year old man, especially when
  • He again brings up Bill Clinton’s infidelity from 30 years ago,
  • As if Hillary were responsible for her husband’s bad behavior.
  • He says the video is a distraction from the important issues, which means…what?  That treating women like meat isn’t important?  That women aren’t important?  Or is it just the obvious:  please stop paying attention to my sins, and concentrate on those of others?
  • He claims “These words don’t reflect who I am.”  Literally all the evidence points in the opposite direction.  Wasn’t he fat-shaming a woman just days ago?

All the media are calling it an apology, but with Trump, they’re grading on a generous curve.  Virtually the whole statement was the opposite of an apology.

Veterans with PTSD are not weak, Mister Trump

This morning the Republican standard bearer, Donald Trump, spoke on veterans issues.  It did not go well.

When asked how he would approach mental health issues such as PTSD and if he would support spiritual counseling for veterans affected by them, Trump implied that veterans who are “strong” don’t suffer from such afflictions.

“When you talk about the mental health problems,” he said, “when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in the room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”

This, from a candidate who avoided military service during the Vietnam War, who claims to respect veterans, as long as they didn’t get captured, who wants to privatize the Veterans Administration, who got caught lying about giving to veterans’ charities.  Is this a political party that can get your vote?