Fox News is laying the groundwork for conspiracy theories about Joe Biden’s health


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Fox News spent 2016 pushing unfounded rumors that Hillary Clinton was hiding serious health problems, and it’s gearing up to do the same to former Vice President Joe Biden. Fox News hosts—Sean Hannity and Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery in particular—have repeatedly speculated about Biden’s health, the Daily Beast reports.

Biden “does look very tired,” Kennedy said last week. “Joe Biden’s tired,” Hannity said the same night. “He does not have the energy for this. He’s not up for this challenge. They’re already hiding him like they hid Hillary. They don’t want him out there.” Kennedy has twice invoked Clinton’s “overcoat,” the conservative theory that a picture showing Clinton with a slight bulge on the back of a jacket was evidence she was hiding a defibrillator (rather than the much more likely explanation that it was wireless audio equipment). And she’s claimed that “He is much more like Hillary Clinton,

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Fox News is laying the groundwork for conspiracy theories about Joe Biden’s health


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fox News spent 2016 pushing unfounded rumors that Hillary Clinton was hiding serious health problems, and it’s gearing up to do the same to former Vice President Joe Biden. Fox News hosts—Sean Hannity and Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery in particular—have repeatedly speculated about Biden’s health, the Daily Beast reports.

Biden “does look very tired,” Kennedy said last week. “Joe Biden’s tired,” Hannity said the same night. “He does not have the energy for this. He’s not up for this challenge. They’re already hiding him like they hid Hillary. They don’t want him out there.” Kennedy has twice invoked Clinton’s “overcoat,” the conservative theory that a picture showing Clinton with a slight bulge on the back of a jacket was evidence she was hiding a defibrillator (rather than the much more likely explanation that it was wireless audio equipment). And she’s claimed that “He is much more like Hillary Clinton,

Continue reading “Fox News is laying the groundwork for conspiracy theories about Joe Biden’s health”

Sanders fades, Biden is weak, and it’s a wide-open race in Iowa


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Selzer and Co. is the gold standard of polling in Iowa, and one of the best pollsters in the biz, period. It has released its latest Iowa caucus poll (March 9 results in parenthesis):

Biden 24 (27)

Sanders 16 (25)

Warren 15 (9)

Buttigieg 14 (1)

Harris 7 (7)

The big winner? Pete Buttigieg, up 13! He’s followed by Elizabeth Warren. The big loser? Bernie Sanders, who is losing steam pretty much everywhere. His retread campaign (seriously, same stump speech as 2016) is being eclipsed by new, less-polarizing, more exciting candidates such as Warren and Buttigieg. Biden, too, has nowhere to go but down, and he’s already headed in that direction.

National support for impeachment is now even, and the reason is Republican Justin Amash


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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The nation is now split cleanly in half over impeachment: 

As you can see, support has been on the upswing since the end of the Mueller investigation, so it would be easy to assume that the Mueller report deserves the credit for the improving numbers. And it does! But not in the way you would think. 

Democratic support for impeachment has always been high (take note, Joe Biden). There’s been improvement there since the release of the report, but there wasn’t a lot of ground to gain. Republicans, of course, are dead set against it. So the real reason for that shift is independents. 

And when did independents break toward impeachment? When Republican Rep. Justin Amash broke with his party and called for impeachment.

Trump blasts ‘sleazebag’ John Dean for testifying to House about presidential obstruction of justice


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Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean appears before the House Judiciary Committee today to describe the progression of events of the Watergate scandal and their (rather obvious) parallels to obstruction of justice efforts by Donald Trump and crew today. In 1973 Dean testified before the Senate about the crimes and cover-up, and Nixon’s involvement; he served four months in prison for his own role in those crimes.

Naturally, Donald Trump is enraged by this. And naturally, that means broadcasting insults on his shipwreck of a Twitter feed.

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House spending bill would block Trump’s border wall money grabs


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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House Democrats are laying down a marker: They’re serious about Donald Trump’s wall not getting any more money. Congress and Trump are going to have to agree on spending bills by this fall or risk another damaging government shutdown, and rather than wait for the Senate, the House is moving ahead with a $986.8 billion spending package that has things to say about wall funding.

“None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any prior appropriation Acts may be used to construct a wall, fence, border barriers, or border security infrastructure along the southern land border of the United States,” the bill reads. That means Trump wouldn’t be able to move military money around to pay for his wall—what Congress appropriated the money for is what it is supposed to be used for.

This move by the House comes after a federal judge rejected

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Aimee Allison is putting women of color front and center in the nation’s politics


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Aimee Allison believes in living her politics and standing up for courageous, moral leadership. Speak with her for just a few minutes and it’s clear that she practices those same principles with a very clear goal in mind—elevating women of color to their rightful place in the American democracy.

“This is more than about politics to me,” Allison said late last year, when She the People, the groundbreaking organization she founded, hosted a gathering of hundreds of women of color who are transforming politics. “We’re taking everything forward. It’s about a justice agenda. It’s about creating a country where everyone belongs. It’s about women of color and the saving graces of democracy. And when we come from that place, nothing can touch us.”

Multiculturalism is Allison’s religion. She’s pursued that goal for more than two decades, written about how to build a better world, provided media commentary,

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Trump administration denied requests to fly pride flags. These U.S. embassies are still flying them


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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It’s probably no surprise that the Trump administration has tried to stomp out LGBTQ representation yet again. On Friday, reports came from around the world that U.S. embassies were being denied requests to fly the pride flag from flagpoles. They’re permitted to hang them inside of the buildings, which means basically hiding them.

It’s June, which in some parts of the world, including the U.S., is LGBTQ Pride Month. NBC News reported that U.S. embassies in Germany, Latvia, Brazil, and Israel were denied their official requests to fly the pride flag. Mind you, when Barack Obama was president, flying the pride flag was permitted.

Which brings us to some good news: The Washington Post reports that some U.S. embassies are flying the pride flag anyway. Pictures of the flag hung over embassy and consulate buildings in many countries have been posted on social media, while

Continue reading “Trump administration denied requests to fly pride flags. These U.S. embassies are still flying them”

Trump administration denied requests to fly pride flags. These U.S. embassies are still flying them


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s probably no surprise that the Trump administration has tried to stomp out LGBTQ representation yet again. On Friday, reports came from around the world that U.S. embassies were being denied requests to fly the pride flag from flagpoles. They’re permitted to hang them inside of the buildings, which means basically hiding them.

It’s June, which in some parts of the world, including the U.S., is LGBTQ Pride Month. NBC News reported that U.S. embassies in Germany, Latvia, Brazil, and Israel were denied their official requests to fly the pride flag. Mind you, when Barack Obama was president, flying the pride flag was permitted.

Which brings us to some good news: The Washington Post reports that some U.S. embassies are flying the pride flag anyway. Pictures of the flag hung over embassy and consulate buildings in many countries have been posted on social media, while

Continue reading “Trump administration denied requests to fly pride flags. These U.S. embassies are still flying them”

After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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The good news is that Donald Trump’s staff and/or a bevy of critical Republican lawmakers has convinced Donald, for now, to hold off on his latest promised set of tariffs, this set to be leveled against Mexico for allegedly not doing enough to assist Donald J. Trump in blocking refugee and asylum-seeker access to our southern border. It unfolded in the usual fashion: Outlandish claims, hyper-aggressive threats and, eventually, a deal that does not appear to substantially different from the status quo.

The not much different part is the estimation of The New York Times write-up, notably written by reporters who have kept on (cough) generally friendly terms with the administration. Most of the announced deal “consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions,” the Times reports. The most-touted bit, a pledge from Mexico to hold more asylum-seekers in Mexico as the

Continue reading “After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’”

After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The good news is that Donald Trump’s staff and/or a bevy of critical Republican lawmakers has convinced Donald, for now, to hold off on his latest promised set of tariffs, this set to be leveled against Mexico for allegedly not doing enough to assist Donald J. Trump in blocking refugee and asylum-seeker access to our southern border. It unfolded in the usual fashion: Outlandish claims, hyper-aggressive threats and, eventually, a deal that does not appear to substantially different from the status quo.

The not much different part is the estimation of The New York Times write-up, notably written by reporters who have kept on (cough) generally friendly terms with the administration. Most of the announced deal “consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions,” the Times reports. The most-touted bit, a pledge from Mexico to hold more asylum-seekers in Mexico as the

Continue reading “After pans of Trump’s Mexico deal, Donald again calls press ‘truly The Enemy of the People’”

National Weather Service records enormous ladybug bloom on its radar


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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On Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service in San Diego posted a GIF showing a large cloud that had shown up on its radar in the San Diego County area. It wasn’t weather; it was a bloom of ladybugs. The Los Angeles Times reported that the swarm was about 80 miles long by 80 miles wide, with a concentrate mass 10 miles wide.

National Weather Service records enormous ladybug bloom on its radar


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




On Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service in San Diego posted a GIF showing a large cloud that had shown up on its radar in the San Diego County area. It wasn’t weather; it was a bloom of ladybugs. The Los Angeles Times reported that the swarm was about 80 miles long by 80 miles wide, with a concentrate mass 10 miles wide.

Defending war crimes, Rep. Duncan Hunter says his unit ‘killed probably hundreds of civilians’


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, currently under indictment over his misappropriation of roughly a quarter million dollars in campaign funds, continues to go out on a limb in his party’s new defense of American war criminals. First Hunter argued for a pardon of former Navy SEAL team leader Edward Gallagher, accused by his fellow soldiers of repeatedly targeting innocent civilians in Iraq, by dismissively telling a town hall that that he, too, was guilty of “taking a picture of [a] body and saying something stupid.”

This admission of a plain breach of military rules by ex-Marine Hunter did not do much to discredit the more damning accusations against Gallagher, that he so consistently targeted innocent civilians with his sniper rifle that his fellow SEALs tampered with his weapon in order to throw off his aim. So Hunter is now back with a more on-point defense of the intentional targeting

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White guy protestor literally steals mic from Kamala Harris during talk on ending the gender pay gap


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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A white man interrupts a woman of color while she’s speaking about the gender pay gap. Sounds like a setup from The Onion, right? Somehow, it’s real.

On Saturday afternoon, Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California and 2020 presidential hopeful, participated in MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” in San Fransisco. About ten minutes into her speech, moderator Stephanie Valencia asked Harris how she would approach ending the gender pay gap. Wonderful and important, right?

To the white man who jumped onto the stage, who literally grabbed Harris’ microphone, it apparently isn’t big or important. He said to the audience, “We were protesting just a few minutes ago asking for your attention to a much bigger idea…” which is so out of touch in context, it’s actually stunning.

He actually, literally inserted himself into someone else’s stage and speaking time to say he had a “much bigger idea” than ending

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China claims to have ‘cracked’ low cost production of lithium, political implications could be huge


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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The initial cost of electric vehicles still tends to higher than that of conventional internal combustion (ICE) vehicles, enough so that EVs are essentially priced out of the market for economy cars. But electric cars are actually easier to make, with electric motors costing much less to manufacture than their gas equivalents and requiring many fewer supporting systems. The reason that electric cars cost so much in 2019 is because lithium batteries cost so much. And the reason that lithium batteries cost so much is in large part because lithium costs so much. But if a report in the South China Morning Post is correct, that could be about to change.

You may have seen pictures of “lithium mines” circulated on social media, especially by people who want to beat their chests over the idea that electric vehicles are somehow more environmentally destructive than their ICE equivalents. Those images are

Continue reading “China claims to have ‘cracked’ low cost production of lithium, political implications could be huge”

Russian trolls spurred anti-vaccine debate with misinformation on Twitter, says new study


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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You’ve probably heard that the U.S. is facing some of our worst measles outbreaks in about two decades. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 900 cases of the measles have been reported in 2019 alone. (For the record, it’s also a growing problem on the global scale.) Disturbingly, as evidenced in a new study out of George Washington University, it appears that Russian trolls amped the entire anti-vaccination debate by participating in discussions on the subject way more than typical users on Twitter.

“Compared with average users, Russian trolls, sophisticated bots, and ‘content polluters’ tweeted about vaccination at higher rates,” the study, led by professor David Broniatowski, reports in its findings. “Whereas content polluters posted more anti-vaccine content, Russian trolls amplified both sides.”

To gather their data, the study compared the number of tweets related to vaccines from Russian trolls (bots) to

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Failure to launch: Despite billions of investment, Stratolaunch shutting down without ever going up


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Out of all the space startups in the last decade, few had a better foundation than Seattle-based Stratolaunch. Backed by the billions of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and incorporating the engineering  genius of X-Prize winner Burt Rutan, the company seemed to be in the top tier of an industry that’s been growing almost as fast as its main product takes to the skies. But on Friday, Reuters reported that the company which in the process of getting to space built the largest plane ever to fly … isn’t going to space. And that plane may never fly again.

To reach space, Stratolaunch developed an ambitious program that took advantage of Rutan’s skills at designing aircraft. Just as with the prize-winning SpaceShipOne, the company would carry its orbital craft aloft using a plane, giving its rockets an altitude and speed boost and supposedly reducing costs in the process. At first Stratolaunch tried to

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The White House shows that it can ignore the judicial branch just as well as the legislative


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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When the Trump White House ignored congressional subpoenas, the response was to begin working those subpoenas through the courts. But in the wake of the latest development in the case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the Justice Department under William Barr has demonstrated that it can just as readily ignore orders from the court. And in ignoring both of it’s supposedly co-equal branches of government, the executive has taken the same position—we get to decide how Congress and the courts should do their job.

As The Washington Post reported, federal prosecutors simply failed to follow the orders issued by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that they turn over transcripts of conversations between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and they also refused to provide a unredacted portion of the Mueller report that they had been ordered to produce. Instead, they just made a statement that they had “not

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House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff demands oversight of William Barr’s new declassifying powers


This post is by Mark Sumner from Daily Kos


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Last week, Donald Trump announced that he was gifting Attorney General William Barr with unprecedented and unchallenged authority to declassify any document he wanted—so long as it contained something that might hurt Trump’s perceived opponents. It’s a move that challenges the ability of the United States to conduct intelligence operations, threatens access to information from allies, and endangers national security. So it seems like it should be not just reasonable, but mandatory, to keep the House Intelligence Committee informed of Barr’s actions.

As Politico reports, Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff has sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats noting that the authority given to Barr raises “grave concerns about inappropriate and misleading disclosures of classified information.” After recounting some of the actions Trump and Barr have already taken to distort the results of the Russia investigation, Schiff warns that the committee will conduct “rigorous, ongoing oversight” and insists

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