Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rep Alan Grayson On The Republican Charge That Hillary Clinton Did Something Illegal Or Dishonest Re Benghazi

The following is an excerpt from comments made by Rep. Alan Grayson on the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 1/15/2016, in regards to the Republican's fake Benghazi investigation. (Note that I edited these comments for brevity and clarity).

Caller: I want to commend you on your Benghazi committee ethics complaint and I'd like to know what the status of it is.

Alan Grayson: It's under consideration. We will not hear back until they've reached a conclusion. For those who are not familiar with this - Kevin McCarthy, when he was planning on running for Speaker, admitted on national TV that the purpose of the Benghazi Committee was to make Hillary's numbers drop. That isn't an appropriate purpose for a taxpayer funded investigation - to hurt an opposing political candidate (SWTD #314).

Recognizing the ethical implications, I submitted a complaint against McCarthy and the head of the committee [Trey Gowdy] and the following day McCarthy dropped out of the Speaker's race. He clearly recognized that this was a problem. When he dropped out and held a news conference to explain his decision a reporter asked him whether the Benghazi Committee controversy had been the basis for his decision, and his surprisingly honest answer was that "it sure didn't help".

But the fact is that the problem is still there because the committee is still there. It's gone on longer on the 9/11 Commission and there is still the possibility that it will be used to try and alter the outcome of the the 2016 presidental election in an unfair way - using taxpayer dollars to tip the scales against the Democratic candidate [should that candidate be Hillary Clinton].

I have read every single classified document regarding Benghazi. I'm on the Foreign Affairs Committee. I have free access to that information. It took me a long time, but I went into the bowels of the Capital where we keep the secure information, and I read every single cable and email and so on. It's pretty clear to me that Hillary did nothing wrong.

Wherever you stand regarding the presidential nomination, it's improper for the Republicans to use their control of the House of Representatives - which they obtained through gerrymandering and dirty money - to attempt to harm the potential Democratic presidential nominee.

[End Alan Grayson Comments]

Alan Grayson also mentioned the fact that he is the only member of the House of Representatives who raised most of his campaign funds in 2014 from small contributors and that he hopes to do the same this year in his Senatorial bid (for Marco Rubio's seat). Grayson added that the only Senator who the same applies to is Bernie Sanders. (Politifact article: Alan Grayson says he is No. 1 in the House for small donations. Politifact says: TRUE).

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Bernie Sanders, MSNBC, Thom Hartmann.

OST #100: Concerning The Willis Hart Obsession With Rightwing Spun Fiction Re Hillary Clinton "Lying To Benghazi Families" (1/28/2016).

DSB #31

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thoughts On A Bloomberg 2016 Presidential Campaign Via The Thom Hartmann Program: "It's A Joke" & "It's Just Ridiculous"

The following is an excerpt from comments made by the former Republican Representative from Ohio's 18th district Bob Ney (now with Talk Radio News) on the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 1/26/2016.

Thom and Bob discuss the speculation that Michael Bloomberg may run for president as an Independent. (Note that I edited these comments for brevity and clarity).

Thom Hartmann: It seems to me like the Bloomberg speculation is just a vanity thing, trial balloon, slash joke.

Bob Ney: I really hope people from across the political spectrum pile on to put an end to him today. I really do. Because it's an ego thing. That's for sure. I think this is the most ridiculous thing. I don't think this is going to be viewed as legitimate.

[End 1/26/2016 THP Excerpt]

My thoughts on a possible Bloomberg potus run? It's one of the signs that the plutocrats have WAY too much money. That one of them is contemplating spending a Billion dollars to NOT be elected president!

Money that won't do much good, as most of it will go to mega multi-media corporations (for ads) and high paid Insider political consultants. I'm positive he could put this billion dollars to better use AND feed his ego at the same time. I mean, there are some people who bow down and worship the oligarchs who use their money to ensure their legacy (and, incidentally help some needy people in the process).

Seems to me that a joke bid for the presidency might be a good idea for a uber-wealthy person who wanted to do some damage to his legacy.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #30

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Republican Congress To Pass Legislation Which Would Effectively Bail Out Volkswagen? (Proof The GOP Is In The Pocket Of Big Business/The Wealthy)

An excerpt from a 1/4/2016 Fiscal Times article titled A Bailout for Volkswagen? Congress Wants to Do Something Absolutely Crazy"...

When Volkswagen admitted to cheating on air pollution standards tests in September, it opened itself up not only to government punishment, but lawsuits from 500k US purchasers of its "clean" diesel vehicles. Volkswagen has yet to fix the vehicles to bring them into emissions compliance, and even if it does, that will likely create a lower-performance car than consumers paid for.

...a bill in Congress consisting of a little more than 100 words would not only prevent [Volkswagen clean diesel buyers] from seeking justice but also cripple virtually all class-action lawsuits against corporations. It's known as the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, but lawyers and advocates call it the "VW Bailout Bill". ... [According to one lawyer] "This [legislation would be] devastating because it sets up all class-actions to fail"... (Article by David Dayen).

The class actions are setup to fail because, instead of suffering similar injuries, all the participants in the class action must suffer the same injury under the proposed legislation.

[The legislation would require] that everyone in the suit have identical injuries or losses, such as experiencing a broken leg because of a car's faulty brakes. People with broken arms would have to file a separate lawsuit against the carmaker. (Orwellian-named Fairness in Class Action bill aims to restrict consumers' access to court. LA Times 6/30/2015).

Sounds to me like who this legislation is supposed to make the process more "fair", by rigging the system (more) in the favor of corporations. That the GOP Congress is proposing this to protect Volkswagen (or at least make any class action filed against it that much harder to push forward on) is an action I find particularly odious. Given the fact that Volkswagen did not make a mistake but perpetrated a deliberate deception.

Further proof that Republicans dance to the tune of Big Business (and, apparently this is something the Chamber of Commerce wants as well).

This legislation, put forward by House Republicans Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Trent Franks of Arizona who say the bill is "a much-needed improvement to the US legal system".

"Much needed" by their corporate masters, I think.

SWTD Tags: Rigged.

DSB #29

Monday, January 4, 2016

We All Knew It Was Only A Matter Of Time (Re Trump Saying Hillary "Lied" About Terrorists Using The Donald's Rhetoric To Recruit)

During the 3rd Democratic debate (which took place on 12/19/2015, in Goffstown NH at St. Anselm College; aired on ABC News and was moderated by journalist David Muir, anchor of World News Tonight) Hillary Clinton made the following comment...

ISIS is "going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists". (No evidence for Hillary Clinton's claim that ISIS is using videos of Donald Trump as recruiting tool By Louis Jacobson 12/19/2015.).

According to Politifact "extensive Google searches did not turn up any evidence" that this was occurring, and therefore they rated the statement "false". But we all know it was only a matter of time before a terrorist group DID use Trump's words to recruit.

The Republican presidential contender brushed off the appearance of an African militant group's video to recruit Americans that shows him calling for Muslims to be banned from coming to the US. (Trump brushes off militant recruiting video citing his words AP Story 11/3/2016).

So, perhaps Hillary misspoke, and what she should have said was that terrorists WOULD use Trump's words to recruit. If she had there wouldn't be any BS about Hillary "lying"... we'd all have realized that, if they were not already doing so, it was only a matter of time before some terrorist group used Trump's words.

Donald Trump, in calling for banning all Muslims from entering the US makes no distinction between the small percentage of radical Muslims and the vast majority who are peaceful. Trump's rhetoric is hateful, ignorant and divisive... and it plays right into the hands of the radicals. But those on the right love it, which is why he's saying it. They're doing the same thing with their pushback to accepting Syrian refugees.

Jeborah Bush says that Donald Trump "isn't a serious candidate", but I say he's serious as a heart attack... because the Republican party has been using hate of "the other" to appeal to voters for some time now. Hate for African Americans (since Nixon's Southern Strategy), hate for gay people, Hate for hispanic "illegals", hate for Muslims and hate for women (not wanting them to be able to decide for themselves what they do with their own bodies).

They do this because many of the people who vote Republican do so against their own interests. Many of these people being of an economic class that would (directly) benefit from a stronger social safety net.

Trump is only using the blueprint that's been in place for many decades. A blueprint the GOP has had to resort to because their economic ideas are losers and primarily benefit rich people and corporations.

Which is why I don't really give a crap about "lies" that are actually "duh, of course they're going to" predictions. And say that Politifact can stuff their "speculative left-of-center rhetoric" (which is how they described HRC's statement a mere 15 days ago). Also, WTF makes what she say "left of center"? Did Politifact acknowledge the fact that hate for the other is Right-of-center (in that only the Right party is using it to get votes)?

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump.

DSB #28