Saturday, November 18, 2017

Putin Looted Russia To Become The Richest Man On Earth-- Trump Is Competing With Him: Dateline Panana City

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At 6:59 (PT) on Thursday night, Rachel Maddow left her MSNBC audience with a classic tease that she promised would be explosive by Friday. It started exploding immediately after the tease, when various news sources started reporting that the Trump family is involved in money laundering, the Russian Mafia and Colombian drug cartels through two of their most infamous properties, Mar-A-Lago in Florida and the Trump Ocean Club in Panama. The charges aren't new-- but the proof is. Aggelos Petropoulos and NBC ace reporter Richard Engel have the details of the Trump family's ties to organized crime. Will Ivanka do time? Dateline: Panama City, one of the world's sleaziest capital's of money laundering and every kind of illegal trafficking:
When Ivanka Trump flew here in 2006 to push her family’s latest business project-- an oceanfront steel and glass tower called the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, shaped like a sail and designed to be one of the tallest buildings in Latin America-- a Brazilian real estate salesman named Alexandre Ventura Nogueira says he was ready with a sales pitch.

Ventura, who said he only had a small real estate company at the time, said he told Ivanka Trump that he could sell condos in the proposed skyscraper for three times the price of similar units in Panama City. The reason: the Trump name, which would go on the building in a licensing deal even though the Trump Organization was not the building’s real developer.



...Ventura did sell the initial units, and later hundreds more. He is now a fugitive. In May 2009, Ventura was arrested in Panama for real estate fraud, unrelated to the Trump project. Mauricio Ceballos, a former financial crimes prosecutor in Panama who investigated Ventura, said that dozens of complaints against Ventura crossed his desk accusing him of double- and triple-selling apartments, both at the Trump Ocean Club and other developments.

Ventura eventually fled Panama while out on bail. He denied having defrauded his clients but admitted to NBC News that he has participated in money laundering on behalf of corrupt Panamanian politicians, unrelated to the building project.

Ventura isn’t the only person associated with the building who has had run-ins with the law. An NBC News investigation into the Trump Ocean Club, in conjunction with Reuters, shows that the project was riddled with brokers, customers and investors who have been linked to drug trafficking and international crime. Ceballos, who investigated the project, went as far as to call the skyscraper “a vehicle for money laundering.”

The investigation revealed no indication that the Trump Organization or members of the Trump family engaged in any illegal activity, or knew of the criminal backgrounds of some of the project’s associates. But Ventura said that the Trumps never asked any questions about the buyers or where the money was coming from.



Legal experts contacted by Reuters said the Trumps should have asked those questions. Because Panama is “perceived to be highly corrupt,” said Arthur Middlemiss, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a former head of JPMorgan’s global anti-corruption program, those who do business there should perform due diligence on others involved in their ventures. If they fail to do so, he told Reuters, they risk being liable under U.S. law of turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.

In the interview, Ventura admitted that some of his brokers and clients who bought and sold units in the Trump Ocean Club were connected to the Russian mafia and other organized-crime groups, including a convicted money launderer who moved cash for drug cartels.

“I had some customers with questionable backgrounds,” he said. “Nobody ever asked me. Banks never asked. Developer didn’t ask and (the) Trump Organization didn’t ask. Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?’ No, nobody ask.”

...Ventura says that the Trump family, and Ivanka Trump in particular, was involved in the details of the Trump Ocean Club, and that she interacted with him extensively.

Ivanka Trump is featured in a promotional video for the Trump Ocean Club, made in 2011, in which she praises “the beautiful pool decks” and “our 10,000-square-foot spa.”

“Buenos días,” she says in the video. “Hello, I'm Ivanka Trump. Welcome to Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Panama, rising 70 stories above the glistening Panama Bay. We've taken inspiration from the beauty that surrounds us to create a new landmark for Panama.” She goes on to discuss such details as the “tropical color palette” and the carvings on the guestroom headboards.

“The Trump Organization has to approve everything because of his name on the project,” Ventura said, describing the project as Ivanka Trump’s “baby.”

According to the Trump Ocean Club’s bondholder prospectus, Donald Trump was projected to make $74.2 million from the project by the end of 2010. The disclosure forms Trump filed with the Office of Government Ethics show that he continues to earn management fees and royalties from the Trump Ocean Club. In the last three years, the documents show, he was paid as much as $13.9 million.

Global Witness, a nonprofit anti-corruption watchdog that is often critical of businesses and their connections to government officials, said Panama offered Donald Trump a new way to make money at a time when his businesses were struggling. (The Trump casino empire filed for bankruptcy in 2004.) The group is publishing the findings of its investigation into the Trump Ocean Club on Friday.

“In the mid-2000s Panama was known as a money laundering hotspot,” said Patrick Alley, co-founder of Global Witness. “At that time the Trump companies were in dire trouble. He changed his business model to license his name and his brand to other people’s developments, and very often they would be inexperienced developers, low-profile people who needed a name to sell their developments. So Trump would go into a licensing deal, which meant he invested nothing, but could make a profit from it.”

Ventura estimates his company, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services, sold 350 to 400 units, about $100 million worth of property. Ventura says he was such an effective salesman that he was invited to a 2008 celebration at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Ventura provided photographs of himself with Donald Trump at the event, and other photographs of him with Ivanka, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

Ventura said the Trumps never asked about his clients, the people who were buying the condo units, and he never told them. To cite one example, he said that he sold seven to 10 units in the Trump Ocean Club to a man named David Murcia Guzmán, founder of a large Colombian marketing company.

Guzmán is now in U.S. custody, awaiting extradition to Colombia after being convicted by a U.S. federal court of laundering money for drug cartels, including through real estate. According to a Colombian news report, citing the police, Guzmán also had financial ties to the FARC, a paramilitary organization listed by the State Department as a terrorist group.

Guzmán isn’t the only link connecting drug trafficking to the Trump Ocean Club. One of the early investors in the project was a man named Louis Pargiolas. In 2009, he pleaded guilty in a federal court in Miami to conspiracy to import cocaine.




Ventura says about half of the units he sold at the Trump Ocean Club were to Russians. To help handle them, Ventura went into business with several Russian-speaking real estate brokers, who he admits have had checkered pasts, including one named Stanislav Kavalenka. According to Ontario court documents, Kavalenka was charged in Canada with a number of offenses, including “compelling” and “procuring” women to engage in prostitution. The case was withdrawn when the two women failed to appear in court to give evidence against him.

Another investor in Ventura’s firm was Arkady Vodovozov. According to court files cited by Reuters, he was convicted of kidnapping in Israel. A third representative of the brokerage firm, described by Ventura as an occasional buyer at the Trump Ocean Club, was Igor Anapolskiy, according to Ukrainian court documents. He was convicted in September 2014 by a court in Ukraine of forging travel documents, according to Global Witness.

The identities of all of the buyers and sellers of the building’s units is difficult to discover, however, because many of the units were bought and sold through anonymous shell companies, according to documents from the Panamanian office of public records. Ventura says he set up hundreds of those corporations, charging roughly $1,000 each.

Ceballos, who says he investigated transactions related to the Trump Ocean Club during his stint as an anti-corruption prosecutor in Panama, describes the building as a magnet for international organized crime, particularly from Russia.

“The majority of sales of this building were not to local residents, but rather to foreigners,” he said. “They bought initially as an investment, knowing that once the building was constructed you could legalize your money.”

He added: “We were able to find out that people with some kind of criminal history acquired apartments there.”

Ceballos said lax law enforcement in Panama made money laundering easy. To launder money, he said, buyers using anonymous corporations would bring dirty money to Panama, often in cash, use it to buy real estate with no questions asked, sell it, and deposit the proceeds into local banks, which would accept the funds, also without asking questions. The real estate purchases, Ceballos says, were solely a way to get the money into banks and into the global financial system; few buyers intended to live in the condos.

During a recent visit by NBC News, the Trump Ocean Club appeared to be largely empty, with virtually no one in the restaurants at night. The hallways were consistently empty. The lights were off in many of the units after dark. Ventura said most of his clients never intended to live in the Trump Ocean Club.

Miguel Antonio Bernal, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Panama and a campaigner against corruption, said many buildings in Panama City were built specifically to be vehicles for money laundering; the Trump Ocean Club fits the mold.

“There are more than 500 buildings like this,” he said. “But this-- the difference of this-- is that this has the name of the actual president of the United States. And he keeps the name here.”

Ventura now lives under a new name, as do two other brokers who used to sell the building’s condos. He said he admires President Trump and doesn’t consider himself to be a detractor or accuser. Ventura said his job was simply to sell and not ask questions. As for Trump, he said: “It could be that he didn’t want to know… I believe that he didn’t know.”

Sarah Chayes, a corruption expert working with a group of lawyers trying to bring an unrelated case against the president for violating the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, said it was troubling that the Trump Organization seemed to pay no attention to the shady backgrounds of its partners and clients.

“Anyone who thinks that members of FARC, that drug dealers, Russian oligarchs who have been looting their own country, represent normal business partners,” she said, “doesn’t quite understand the free enterprise system that I think is central to a healthy America.”


The Global Witness report is pretty mind-boggling, especially when you admit to yourself this stinking pile of garbage at the center of this is the illegitimate president of the United States. It starts with a Trump quote: "Every other country goes into these places and they do what they have to do… It’s a horrible law and [the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] should be changed." The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act also hampered Trump business ventures with organized crime in Azerbaijan, India and throughout the Middle East. Here's the executive summary of their Panama City report:
In the early 2000s, a series of bankruptcies meant Donald J. Trump was shunned by most lenders. Struggling for credit, he started selling his name to high-end real estate projects. This report examines in detail the criminal connections that propelled one such project-- the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama-- and how this case bears some of the same disturbing hallmarks as other Trump developments.

Since he became President of the United States, numerous investigations and articles have probed Trump’s business dealings and his alleged links to criminals and other shadowy characters. It is understood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation under the Department of Justice will also examine his real estate business. This is important because it seems likely that, following his various bankruptcies, at least a part of Trump’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Russian criminal networks.

Trump may not have deliberately set out to facilitate criminal activity in his business dealings. But, as this Global Witness investigation shows, licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains. Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.

One key player in the laundering of drug money at the Trump Ocean Club was notorious fraudster David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán, whom a U.S. court subsequently sentenced to nine years for laundering millions of dollars' worth of illicit funds, including narcotics proceeds, through companies and real estate.

Another was Murcia Guzmán’s business associate, Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira, who brokered nearly a third of the 666 pre-construction unit sales at the Trump Ocean Club and claims to have sold 250-400 units overall. Ventura Nogueira’s sales brokerage was critical to ensuring the project’s lift-off and Trump’s ability to earn tens of millions of dollars.

The warning signs were there from the outset. The Trump Ocean Club, one of Trump’s most lucrative licensing deals to date, was announced in 2006 and launched in 2011, a period when Panama was known as one of the best places in the world to launder money. Whole neighborhoods in Panama City were taken over by organized crime groups, and luxury developments were built with the purpose of serving as money laundering vehicles.

Moreover, investing in luxury properties is a tried and trusted way for criminals to move tainted cash into the legitimate financial system, where they can spend it freely. Once scrubbed clean in this way, vast profits from criminal activities like trafficking people and drugs, organized crime, and terrorism can find their way into the U.S. and elsewhere. In most countries, regulation is notoriously lax in the real estate sector. Cash payments are subject to hardly any scrutiny, giving opportunistic and unprincipled developers free rein to accept dirty money.

In the case of the Trump Ocean Club, accepting easy-- and possibly dirty-- money early on would have been in Trump’s interest; a certain volume of pre-construction sales was necessary to secure financing for the project, which stood to net him $75.4 million by the end of 2010. Trump received a percentage of the financing he helped secure, and a cut on the sale of every unit at the development.



He and his family have made millions of dollars more from management fees and likely continue to profit from the Trump Ocean Club. Eager for the project’s success, Trump and his children have participated directly in marketing, management, and even project design. According to broker Ventura Nogueira, Trump’s daughter Ivanka attended at least 10 meetings with him and project developer Roger Khafif.

A large number of those involved with the Trump Ocean Club in its early phase were Russian and Eastern European citizens or diaspora members. In an interview with NBC and Reuters, Ventura Nogueira said that 50 percent of his buyers were Russian, and that some had “questionable backgrounds.” He added that he found out later that some were part of the Russian Mafia.

Since the Russian government’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, a lot has been made of Trump’s heavy reliance on funds from Russia for his licensing deals. Trump relying on funds from Russia is not in itself a problem – some of these funds are no doubt from legitimate sources. What is deeply problematic, however, is the fact that some of this money appears to have come from criminal networks.

Donald Trump has incessantly promoted himself as a successful and viable businessman, and this was critical to his success in the 2016 presidential election. But this report presents evidence that this façade was built, at least in part, on ventures used to launder cash generated by criminal activities. Trump’s unscrupulous business dealings and blindness to potential illegality raise serious questions about his suitability to govern the most powerful country in the world.

The dubious dealings of Trump the businessman also raise questions about the commitment of Trump the President to tackling crime and corruption. Trump got elected by repeatedly pledging to “drain the swamp”, but in the nine months since his inauguration he has actually taken steps that could worsen corruption in the U.S. and internationally. Indeed, one of his administration’s few legislative successes to date has been to overturn the implementing regulation of a ground-breaking anti-corruption law.

...The solutions to the problems set out in this report are clear:

1. Appropriate law enforcement authorities, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller, should investigate these allegations and, if appropriate, hold President Trump accountable for his actions. The congressional committees looking into this issue should likewise investigate these allegations and, if appropriate, hold President Trump accountable for his actions.

2. Every country should require all companies and trusts to disclose who ultimately owns and controls them and make this information public.

3. Every country should require the real estate sector to know who their clients are and the source of their funds as a precaution to ensure that dirty money is not being laundered into the property market.

4. Every country should require lawyers who carry out transactions for their clients, including the buying and selling of real estate and the creation of companies, to know who their clients are and the source of their funds.
Trump, of course, is calling for the dismantling of the American regulatory system, not for more regulations. Now you know why. If not... watch this short video:



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Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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-by Noah

I've said in previous posts that, among other things, I think most Republicans think they've been abducted by aliens. It goes right along with their thinking that Obama was a secret Muslim who was going to take all of their guns and install Sharia Law as the law of the land, and, that Hillary was planning an all lesbian love cabinet. Republicans don't have a grip on reality. We know this. Witness Señor Trumpanzee's claim that the father of Ted Cruz helped kill JFK. Hell, witness anything that Trump has to say about anything! Remember, republicans are people who claim that God and Jesus talk to them and they know this is true because they hear their voices in their heads.

Now the Republican Party has a candidate for Congress (from Florida, where else?) named Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera who says she was abducted as a child and taken aboard a flying saucer by her alien friends. Her friends gave her all sorts of neat info that, in the Republican mind, I suppose burnishes their qualifications for the job. What's more, apparently the aliens still talk with her telepathically every day. Aguilera hasn't said anything about anal probes but maybe that embarrasses her so much that she just doesn't want to talk about it. Then again, maybe Judge Roy Moore wasn't on the flying saucer that day.

Bettina Rodriquez Aguilera is running to replace incumbent lleana Ros-Lehtinen who is retiring. Her daughter, Bettina Agen, is a former Director of Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee. Her son-in-law, Jarrod Agen, is Vice President Mike Pence's Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director. I guess we shouldn't be surprised if part of his job is communicating with his mother-in-law's out of this world friends.

If Aguilera doesn't win her race, I suppose Señor Trumpanzee will consider her a fine candidate to run NASA or, failing that, become a Supreme Court Justice or run Homeland Security. Ideally, of course, maybe Aguilera's alien space buddies will just come and take her away, along with the entire Trump administration. Hell, why not the whole damn Republikook Party?



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Friday, November 17, 2017

Candidates Who Scrub Their Own Social Media Pages, Should Probably Scrub Their Spouse's Too

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It's no secret what I think of the "ex"-Republican potato chip taster and lottery winner Gil Cisneros. He's a carpetbagger trying to bribe his way into a congressional nomination to represent CA-39 in northwest Orange County, Diamond Bar and Hacienda Heights in L.A. and Chino Hills in San Bernardino. He and his wife are sitting in their $10 million beachfront mansion and buying endorsements from DC crooks while serious candidates are working the district. One of the things about him I hate the most is how he lies on a Trumpian scale. He claimed he was a Bernie supporter but he didn't contribute a dime to Bernie but gave $33,400 (September 9, 2015) $33,400 (March 31, 2016) and $47,300 (July 7, 2016) to a DNC joint fundraising effort for Hillary and 2 other maxed out contributions to Hillary directly on March 31, 2016 and July 7, 2016. nd there was also two $50,000 contribution to the Hillary Victory Fund on March 31, 2016 and  on September 15, 2016and $50,000 to the Hillary Action Fund on July 7, 2016. Nothing to Bernie-- zero. Does that sound like a Bernie supporter? No, it sounds like a liar. But there's a reason I just brought it up. As soon as he was called out on it, he blamed his wife.

He insists she was the one who gave the $100,000+ to Hillary. Sure. The reports all say Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros. But since he brought his wife into this mess, I looked at her social media presence. This is one really Republican presence too. Democrats don't have social media feeds like Jacki Cisneros'. Like really... disgusting. Gil deleted his own-- so we'll never know what garbage was in there-- as soon as he decided to run but didn't have the brains to delete Jacki's. To tell you the truth, the fact they didn't think to self-research and clean his wife's account speaks volumes about the quality of his turgid campaign and overpaid army of consultants. Did someone miss this nightmare:




Or this comments about "gay retards?" Republicans talk that way, not Democrats. Is she a Democrat? Gil wasn't at that time; he was a Republican. I guess she was too.




And she was still on it the next day. What's she got against people from Ohio? And gays? And this whole use of the word "retard" is something they ought to fix, no?




I'm guessing none of the "dipwads" on the Pico Rivera City Council are endorsing Gil... unless he's been bribing them with as much money as he's paying congressmembers to endorse him.




I'll just let this one stand on it's own. I'm thinking women are allowed to talk this way, even if men can't.




What we just saw is a classless woman making homophobic remarks/insults, laughing at a developmentally disabled girl on TV,  praising the Republican party, bashing local candidates for city council and when you look though her social media presence you see a self-obsessed person who overshares and is impulsive with her career decisions and purchases. But at least she lives in a $10 million mansion on the beach in Newport Coast. I feel sorry for the neighbors.

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Will The Real Howie Klein Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up-- A Little Film By Frank Schaeffer

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Frank Schaeffer got me to step away from my computer last week and this morning he sent me the little film he made about me. He's in the middle of traveling around the country filming progressive congressional candidates. He was out here in L.A. for his movie... driving around Orange County and L.A. County, speaking with Doug Applegate, Katie Hill, Laura Oatman, Kia Hamadanchy and Sam Jammal. Previously he had shot Randy Bryce in Wisconsin and Jenny Marshall in North Carolina. I think he's in Maine today with Jared Golden, the state House Majority Whip who's running to replace Trumpist Bruce Poliquin. So, tonight... instead of a post... how about the clip of Frank and I chatting in my house? And if you like it at all, think about contributing a couple of bucks to your favorite Blue America candidate(s) by clicking on the Act Blue thermometer below.
Goal Thermometer

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How Many GOP Governors And Gubernatorial Candidates Are Going Down Next Year Because Of Trump?

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Daniel Biss can be the next governor of Illinois-- if he beats 3 billionaires

We've mostly talked about the Trump/Ryan toxicity fallout in terms of congressional races-- and I imagine we'll stay on that subject right through the end of 2018. However, as we saw in Oklahoma Tuesday, Trump/Ryan toxicity is working its magic on state legislatures. We also saw that in Virginia, where the Democrats were expected to pick up between 2 to 4 seats in the House of Delegates but picked up at least 15 and perhaps 17. And in Virginia and New Jersey we also saw how Trump particularly-- but Ryan's policy agenda too-- is screwing Republican gubernatorial candidates. Reporting for Bloomberg yesterday, John McCormick channels GOP governors angst/panic. The dual sub-headlines: "Presidential unpopularity could threaten GOP state dominance" and "More than two-thirds of all governor seats on ballot in 2018." They're working on ways to distance themselves from Trump and Ryan and McConnell in time for the 2018 elections, especially in competitive states like Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Vermont, Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Kansas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee... maybe even Texas if the tsunami is high enough.

The annual Republican Governors Association meeting was in Austin this week. Steve Grubbs, an Iowa-based Republican strategist and former state party chairman, said GOP governors are "walking a tightrope... The Trump base is very strong, and alienating that base by pushing Trump away could cost a governor two to five points on election day. But there are also suburban voters who are bothered by the positioning of the White House and risk being lost on the other side." Just ask Ed Gillespie in Virginia, who was battered on both ends-- and disastrously. He didn't just lose by a much wider margin than anyone predicted; he dragged the whole statewide ticket down with him and lost all those legislative seats to boot. Roy Moore probably isn't helping the situation either, at least not outside the Old Confederacy.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the association’s chairman, is seeking a third term next November. He downplayed the role Trump will play and said he’s encouraging his colleagues to run their "own race."

Walker and Florida Governor Rick Scott, while meeting with reporters, called for Moore to exit the race before the Dec. 12 special election. Scott called his alleged actions "disgusting," while Walker dismissed suggestions that Moore might hurt the Republican brand.

“No more so than Democrats had to answer for Anthony Weiner or Eliot Spitzer," he said, pointing to other politicians who have had sex scandals.

...Next year’s balloting will test whether Democrats can still win in the Midwest, where recent presidential elections have often been decided and where Trump scored some of his most unexpected victories. Democrats are competing for governorships now held by Republicans in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The stakes are especially high because the 2018 elections will determine who controls state governments for the redistricting procedures that will follow the 2020 Census. The outcome of that process will shape state and congressional boundaries for the next decade.

In last week’s elections, Democrats showed strength especially in suburban areas. The Virginia governor’s race, this year’s most closely watched, showcased how disapproval of Trump is motivating Democrats and independents.

...The party’s sweeping gains in state legislative seats and governor’s offices in 2010 and 2014 have been used to cut taxes, restrict abortion and collective-bargaining rights, and implement new voting requirements. They’ve also redrawn legislative districts to their advantage.

Around the lobby bar and hallway corridors of the Austin convention hotel hosting the three-day meeting, most donors expressed support for Trump.

“People shouldn’t confuse style with substance,” said Alfred Eckert III, a New Yorker and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee now working as an educational improvement entrepreneur. “He is remaking the Appeals Court and that’s probably more important for our country than anything else."

Eckert offered measured praise for Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, whose candidate recruitment and support for Moore has proven to be a headache for Republican congressional leaders.

“I think it’s good, when he picks safe Republican seats that are held by RINOs,” Eckert said, referencing to the “Republicans in name only” moniker sometimes given to more moderate members of the party.

Goal ThermometerDavid Cohn, an Republican Governors Association donor from Maryland, was an exception to the enthusiasm for the president. “Donald Trump is basically wrecking the Republican Party,” he said. “Donald Trump isn’t a Republican.”

Even as the shadow of Moore hangs over the party, several donors expressed concern about condemning him too quickly.

“It’s for the people of Alabama to decide because they’ve had many years of experience with the man,” said Amy Craig, an donor from Virginia. “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

Longtime Republican megadonor Foster Friess, who is considering a primary challenge of Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming after Bannon encouraged him to think about running, said decisions about what to do about Moore should be left to the GOP.

“I think it’s distressing that a lot of people have hung him without all of the all due process taking place,” Friess said.

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Buyers' Remorse-- In North Carolina

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Trump calls her his "Foxxy Lady" because she helps him with his whole toxic agenda

That thing with the Trump family and the elephants is just so horrifying, I can't express with words the depths of my sadness. Reversing the ban on hunters importing trophies of elephants killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe has got to be one of his ugliest diversions yet.Yesterday I noted that anyone who still supports him will rot in hell with him for eternity. (But what do I know? God is wiser than I am-- though I doubt He created elephants so that spoiled assholes like Eric and Fredo could murder them and hang their body parts on walls.) So I was happy to see a post by James Hohmann in the Washington Post about Trumpian buyers' remorse based on a North Carolina focus group that was done even before the elephant murder executive order.

"Republican women," he wrote, "who voted for President Trump in North Carolina said during a focus group Wednesday night that they are embarrassed by and exasperated with him." It's an interesting look inside the heads of Trump voters and it explains why his favorability ratings are still dropping.
Annie Anthony, 56, voted for Trump last year because she opposes abortion and did not like how Hillary Clinton handled Benghazi. Now she fears that Trump is marching us toward war with North Korea. She describes the first 10 months of his presidency as “chaotic, stressful and an uphill battle.”

“While I thought his ideas appealed to me, since he’s been in there he’s embarrassed me by his behavior,” said Anthony, a divorced college graduate who runs a local nonprofit volunteer center and drives for Uber to make ends meet. “He behaves so unpresidential. The words he uses. The tweeting. I mean, he dresses nice. And Melania is looking good. When he was away (in Asia), he was great at being a president. He’s the showman. But here at home, I can’t imagine how they let him build a country club-- let alone be in one. Because adults don’t behave that way. I’ve been surprised that a billionaire would behave the way he has…

“I don’t have a problem with him tweeting,” she continued. “I follow him because I want to see what he’s saying myself and not have someone interpret it for me. But I think that his language is unprofessional. He uses words like ‘sad’ and ‘bad.’ That’s first grade language. We’re an intelligent population who elected you. Represent us!”

Anthony, a registered Republican, remains hopeful that Congress will soon pass tax cuts, but she’s nervous that they’ll take away the deduction for charitable donations. She’s also worried that, if her health insurance rates continue to go up, she won’t be able to afford to go see the doctor any more. (She makes less than $50,000 a year.)

Looking ahead to the midterms, she offered an ominous warning for the GOP: “I think the swamp is still full. I might be voting to drain that swamp some more.”

...When Hart asked for one word or phrase to describe Trump, the group initially erupted in laughter. Only two of 12 said something positive (“bold” and “fights back”). The others called him incompetent, a baffling fool, childlike, a loose cannon, an immature narcissist and ignorant.

Emily Bell, a 32-year-old occupational therapist who voted for Trump, described him as rude and stressful. “I feel like he told people that he had all these big ideas and big plans, and it just seems to kind of roll to something else. It’s like nothing is ever accomplished,” said Bell, who is married and has a postgraduate degree. “I’m going to stay optimistic, but I lean more toward being independent. Really it will come down (in 2020) to who I can trust more.”

Melissa Hight, a 62-year-old married retiree who has a postgraduate degree and voted for Trump, used the word “antagonistic” to describe him. “I had high hopes, but he just goes about things in a way that gets everybody’s back up against the wall,” she lamented. “He doesn’t facilitate working together. He comes out with these grandiose ideas, and there’s no follow through. It’s a lot of talk. … He hasn’t acted presidential at all. The tweets bother me. They may be enlightening to some people. I’m not a tweeter. But to me, firing off these tweets is just childish. … He should be above that… I will call a spade a spade because I’m a conservative more than a Republican.”

Only one of the 12 participants emerged as an unapologetic defender of the president. Cynthia Layton, a 64-year-old nurse, said she loves Trump’s tweets. “I like him because he talks like my neighbor talks to me,” she explained. “I don’t need an elitist person talking down to me. The media does not give an honest opinion. That’s why I turned off cable 10 years ago. I read my sites. I listen to his tweets. … That’s how I hear from him. The media doesn’t tell you what’s going on, so you have to find out what’s going on on your own. … To me, I think his tweets are simply what he honestly feels because he uses white and black language and doesn’t give you all these flowery descriptions about everything. I appreciate that he’s direct and tells it like it is.”
Is this going to flip any congressional seats in 2018? North Carolina is one of the most meticulously gerrymandered states in the union, with congressional districts drawn precisely to prevent anything like that. However, after the startling Isley-Freeman win in an Oklahoma state senate district that Trump won by nearly 40 points... all bets are off.

Goal ThermometerIf quality of candidates count, the most flippable seat in North Carolina is the 5th district in the northwest of the state-- from Forsyth County (Winston-Salem) through Mount Airy and Boone to the Tennessee border. The odious Virginia Foxx is the incumbent and Jenny Marshall in the challenger. She's as good as Foxx is bad. This morning she told us that "Over the past months we have been meeting more and more Republicans who are willing to talk to us about our campaign. They are not happy with Representative Virginia Foxx and have been very vocal about their dissatisfaction. They recounted meetings in which she berated people who dared to ask her questions, lectured a mother of a medically fragile child on the cost of health care, and refused to attend a town hall hosted for her as she sat in her office just a few blocks away to name just a few. They are tired of her dodging them and only appearing where she can control the narrative. Unlike Donald Trump, Virginia Foxx is not a mindless tweeting fool, but her dismissive behavior has made their own waves across the district. Her unwavering support of Trump's policies and executive orders coupled with her own lack of care has made her unpopular even among those who vote Republican."


If that Oklahoma state Senate seat can turn blue, so can NC-05. And Jenny is working with every intention of doing just that. If you'd like to give her a shot, in terms of a contribution... see that thermometer up above on the right? Give it a little click.


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Republicans Choking On Ryan's Tax Scam?

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Ryan got his Republican tax scam through the House yesterday 227-205. No one doubted it would pass the House. Only 13 Republicans dared to stand up for their constituents instead of the multimillionaires and billionaires who will benefit from this travesty. Most were from New York, New Jersey and California. All the Republicans in New Jersey voted "NO" except the richest and most crooked of the lot: Tom MacArthur. In New York most of the Republicans stood with their constituents instead of Trump, including Elise Stefanik, Dan Donovan, Peter King, Lee Zeldin and John Faso. Katko stuck it to his constituents badly--afer announcing he's retiring. The ones who need to be defeated by their constituents in 2018 are Tom Reed, Claudia Tenney and Chris Collins, all crackpot wing-nuts. And then California-- only 3 of the House's 14 Republicans stood with their constituents: Issa, Rohrabacher and McClintock. So, the signatories to the California GOP Suicide Pact:
Goal Thermometer Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mimi Walters (CA-45)
Steve Knight (CA-25)
Jeff Denham (CA-10)
David Valadao (CA-21)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Kevin Calvert (CA-42)
Paul Cook (CA-08)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-02)
Ted Lieu is the only good regional vice chair the DCCC has. He's not just "good;" he's great. notice when the DCCC endorsed 11conservative shit-heads in primaries this week, not one was in California. That wasn't by coincidence. Yesterday after Ryan's tax scam vote, Ted told me that "Many California Republicans just voted to increase taxes on their own constituents, explode the federal deficit, increase the federal debt, hurt people with student loans, whack folks with medical bills, and potentially crash the housing market in California. Oh, they also voted to name a post office today. One of these two votes will cause many of them not to get re-elected. Can you guess which one?"

Sam Jammal can. Sam's the top candidate in CA-39 (mostly northeast Orange County, represented by Ed Royce since 1992) how he reads what happened. "Ed voted to retire today," he stated flatly. "It will either be by force or choice, but one thing is clear-- Ed is done. By voting against homeowners, students, seniors and working families to help his donors and out of district millionaires, Ed told our community he no longer wants to work for us."

Ricardo Franco is the progressive running for the seat Putin/Trump lover Devin Nunes holds. It's a pretty red seat but Nunes' vote to raise his own constituents taxes will make it easier to beat him next year. "Constituents here have repeatedly told Nunes and the GOP that we don't want our SALT deductions taken away, we don't want our ACA benefits taken away and we don't want our taxes to go up to line the pockets of the wealthy," Ricardo told us after the vote. "Regardless, they continue to stick it to us behind our backs. This Central Valley is the land that gave birth to the Civil Rights and Labor Rights movement in California a generation ago and it will be the land that gives us the Working Class Rights movement of today."

There are two great progressives running for the Mimi Walters seat in inland Orange County (where she doesn't live), Kia Hamadanchy and Katie Porter. Kia: "In voting for this outrageous tax increase, Mimi Walters showed her true colors again. She is more interested in making her billionaire donors, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan happy than serving the people of our district. Over and over, Mimi votes against the interested of her constituents and it’s going to put her out of a job come November 2018." And Katie: "The tax reform bill Mimi Walters voted YES on delivers a huge blow to California taxpayers. It raises taxes on California families by cutting deductions for working families, adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, and giving giant tax breaks to corporations. Orange County families were already struggling to make ends meet before Donald Trump and Paul Ryan rammed this bill through Congress. But Mimi Walters isn’t interested in fighting for working families-- she only cares about keeping Donald Trump and her mega-donors happy so they continue to bankroll her campaign."

Not that political leaders from other states weren't noticing what Trump and Ryan were up to. I liked the way Pramila Jayapal explained it to her constituents in Seattle within an hour of passage:
Republicans just moved forward with their scam on the American people that takes from working families to give trillions of dollars to the rich. The GOP tax scam will line the pockets of large corporations and the wealthy, while middle-class households will see their taxes go up. It is unconscionable.

Instead of closing corporate loopholes, Republicans are slashing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, the student loan interest deduction, medical expense deductions – everything on which working families rely for tax relief. These deductions allow millions of families to make ends meet. And, though Republicans claim to care about exploding our deficit, this tax scam would do exactly that. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the bill would trigger $136 billion in automatic spending cuts in 2018 alone – this includes a $25 billion hit to Medicare.

The American people see the Republican party has turned its back on the middle-class. Students, seniors, veterans, everyone except for the top 1 percent will suffer under the GOP tax scam. Just as we protected the Affordable Care Act and health care for millions, we cannot allow Republicans to rig the economy to favor the wealthy.
Before yesterday's vote, it was big news this week when ultra-conservative Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (AKA- RonJon) announced that he's a no vote on the Senate tax travesty. He said "that he does not support the current versions of the Senate and House GOP’s tax bills-- becoming the first Republican senator to outright oppose the party’s plan to overhaul the tax system. Johnson said in a statement that he objects to the bills' treatment of businesses known as pass-throughs, whose owners pay taxes on their companies through the individual side of the tax code.
“These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind. Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions," Johnson said.
Remember, McConnell can only afford to lose 3 Republican senators-- 2 if Moore loses in Alabama-- to prevent the whole thing from falling apart. RonJon says he's the first but he's not dependable and just bitches and kvetches all the time but in the end almost never stays from leadership on votes. His Trumpanzee adhesion score is 92.3% and there are 13 Senate Republicans less tied to Trump-- including Trumpian golfing partners Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul.

There are all kind of little nooks and crannies-- and some really big ones (like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate)-- that are landmines for some of the Republican members. What about retiring Republicans Jeff Flake (AZ) and Bob Corker (TN)? They're hardcore deficit hawks and this bill isn't the kind of legislation they would have ever approved in the past. And they both loathe Trump and voting NO could be a win-win for them. Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS) and kind of in the same boat, except not retiring. Utah is very anti-Trump though and Kansas Republicans understand-- through experience-- what this kind of smoke-and-mirrors tax plan does to destroy a polity. I'd watch both these guys.

And, of course there are the 3 who cratered the Obamacare repeal, Lisa Murkowski (AK), John McCain (AZ)-- the "regular order" guy-- and Susan Collins (ME). Susan Collins has a lot in the bill she objects to. Back in Maine, the Bangor Daily News speculates that she may well me a NO vote.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate have altered their tax reform plan to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all Americans have health coverage or face a penalty. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins doesn’t like that.

The Maine Republican isn’t saying that’ll make her vote against tax reform (yet), but it makes the path toward “yes” harder. The moderate Collins already has helped kill two of her party’s efforts to repeal the health care law this year... On Wednesday, Collins told MSNBC that she didn’t think linking tax reform with the so-called individual mandate is “a good idea from either the political or policy perspective,” though she supports lower taxes and hasn’t made a decision on the ever-changing Senate tax proposal.

... Collins told MSNBC that the impact on premiums from scrapping the mandate would outweigh the current penalties. She said it also endangers a bipartisan Affordable Care Act stabilization bill that she supports.

However, she also opposes a Senate provision that would allow taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes and a provision in the House tax reform bill that would eliminate a deduction for medical expenses.
Maddow has an interesting point about Collins Wednesday night too. One of the groups Ryan and Trump are targeting are school teachers. In 2002 Collins wrote a bill allowing already badly paid school teachers to take a small deductions for out-of-pocket money they spend on supplies for students. The tax bill wipes that out and Collins is quietly flipping out over it. As Trump says, we shall see. I'd also watch James Lankford (R-OK) closely. He seems to have been undergoing a sea-change in the way he's looking at things lately-- as though he's asking Jesus what to do. I could be wrong but... we shall see.

One more metric to look at. Not counting Republicans who are leaving the House to run for the Senate or for governor jobs, there were an even dozen announced retirements by the time the vote came Thursday. Only one voted against the bill, Frank LoBiondo. Ryan and McCarthy prevailed on all the rest to vote for the tax scam and betray the voters who kept them in office all these years with the threat of them not being effective lobbyists if they didn't. These 11:
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Charlie Dent (PA)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Dave Trott (MI)
Lynn Jenkins (KS)
Sam Johnson (TX)
Ted Poe (TX)
Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Lamar Smith (TX)
Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Jimmy Duncan (TN)


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Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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-by Noah

The scandal of Republican Senate Candidate Judge Roy Moore didn't happen in a vacuum. Politicians of all stripes have all too often felt entitled when it comes to depravity. But, one party, the Republican Party, has perfected it. That Moore has openly acted as he has for decades and been continually rewarded with the backing of his party is no mistake. Nothing about Moore slipped through the cracks. That, sooner or later, a high profile Republican would implode in a scandal of sexual deviance before our eyes was inevitable. The general Republican attitude towards rape provided the environmental conditions that gave us Judge Roy Moore. Call it what it is: Republican Rape Culture. When Republicans say "If True," that's their new "Thoughts & Prayers,"  "Fake News," and "Legitimate Rape;" all of which are tools of avoidance used by depraved sleazebags and cowards as cover.

As today's meme points out, there is no shortage when it comes to Republican apologists for rape. Just as Alabama's Republicans today are loudly defending their candidate, and today's Republican National Committee supports him with on the ground operatives and money, national Republicans had no problem with rape during the Iraq war. No, I'm not talking about soldiers raping women; I'm talking about what happened when employees of Dick Cheney's Halliburton/KBR gang raped a fellow female employee and then locked her in a shipping container to cover up their crime and, probably, in hopes that she would just die. The reaction to the news of this was swift. Decent Americans wanted justice for the victim. The problem was that she had no rights when it came to filing charges against her assailants and her employer. The perps needn't have worried about the consequences of their heinous actions. Why? Because a republican president, George W. Bush had signed an order prohibiting such charges being filed against war contractors like Halliburton/KBR. I'll let you wonder just whose idea that might have been but, it being a Republican administration, it could have been lots of people.

I wrote about this back in 2009 as part of my annual year end review. I did so to throw a spotlight on what I called the Senate's Republican Pro-Rape Caucus of 30 beyond despicable senators. The 30 senators, listed below, voted against a bill put forward by Democratic Senator Al Franken. The bill was designed to give people such as the Halliburton/KBR rape victim the right to justice. The 30 member pro-rape caucus voted against it but it passed anyway when a minority of remaining Republican senators voted along with the Democrats to pass it. Not surprisingly, both Alabama senators of the time voted in favor of rapists. One of them was KKK boy Jeff Sessions who is now the Attorney General. Scum rises to the top. Here's the complete list, many of whom are still in office. As I said at the time, if I had a daughter working for one of these knuckle-draggers, she'd be carrying a Glock and starting to look for a better job.

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson R-ID)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rich Cordray Leaving The CFPB Isn't Good-- But I Hope He'll Make A Good Ohio Governor

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Governor John Kasich (R-OH) is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Former Senator and current Attorney General Mike DeWine, current Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and multimillionaire backbencher Rep. Jim Renacci are all competing in a fiery Republican primary. Kasich is backing his Lt. Governor but virtually every poll shows her in third place behind DeWine and Husted. (Renacci is a non-factor, never even getting into double digits. The most recent poll (August) has DeWine at 36%m Husted at 20%, Taylor at 17% and Renacci at 8%.

The Democrats also have a crowded field-- State Supreme Court Judge Bill O'Neill, former state Rep. Connie Pillich, current state Senator Joe Schiavoni (once Senate Minority Leader), former Rep. Betty Sutton, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and, as of yesterday, CFPB Director (and former state Attorney General) Rich Cordray.

All the never-right professional prognosticators have announced the race "leans Republican." None of them seems to understand what a giant anti-Trump/anti-GOP wave means.

Yesterday Cordray sent his staff at the CFPB an e-mail telling them he's stepping down as director by the end of the month.
“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here,” he wrote.

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Eckart, a Cleveland Democrat, said “several prominent Democrats have told me this morning they expect Cordray to run for governor.”

He added, “Cordray has a very compelling story and is motivated by convictions that will resonate well in Ohio and especially for those voters in Ohio who believe they have been left behind, ripped off, or ignored.”

...Ohio Republican Chairman Jane Timken came up with this withering put-down: “Ohio voters know a swamp creature when they see one, and just like Hillary, Crooked Cordray can’t be trusted.”

Cordray also was blasted by his Democratic rivals for governor.

“The CFPB has done good work to protect consumers, but by resigning Cordray is finally doing what Trump couldn’t-- undoing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Faith Oltman, a spokeswoman for Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“It’s disheartening and disappointing that my friend, Richard Cordray, would abandon his role of protecting our nation’s consumers by turning over this critical agency to Donald Trump,” said Democratic candidate Connie Pillich.

...Joe Schiavoni, a Boardman state senator who also is seeking the Democratic nomination, said he’s not worried about Cordray’s prospective entry into the race.

“I think Cordray represents the same old recycled politician and if that’s what people are going to want, then they’ll have that opportunity,” he said. “But they’ll also have the opportunity to pick somebody that’s new, that has some new ideas and is just trying to represent the best interests of all Ohioans and trying to build a stronger Ohio.”

...[A]t a news conference on Capitol Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who designed the bureau and recruited Cordray seven years ago to help set it up, vigorously defended Cordray, saying “he has stayed for seven years and devoted his life to making this agency work on behalf of the American people. I feel nothing but gratitude to Rich.”


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The Wall: Cards Against Humanity Takes On Don the Con Trump's Biggest, Best, And Most Tremendous Con!

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-by Noah
"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I build them very inexpensively."
-Señor Trumpanzee
From the day he announced his candidacy, Senor Trumpanzee played on the paranoid prejudices and fears of republican and conservative independent voters. Like any master of the conman craft, he knew how to motivate them into voting for him. He knew where the buttons were and he pressed them. "They're rapists." "The drugs." "Mexico isn't sending their best." "They're stealing our jobs." He pressed and he pressed those reactionary emotional buttons over and over again. He's still doing it and his hate-filled and gullible supporters are still eating it up like dogs raiding the cat's litter box.

The wall was always a con. Remember "And Mexico will pay for it?" Now that's "There are other ways they'll be made to pay for it." That's all 3-Card Monte stuff. At the end of the dark days of Trump, the people paying for it will be us, the American taxpayers, one way or the other. It's another trickle down. Meanwhile, you can be damn well sure that the Trump Crime Family will make a profit on whatever work gets done. The only question is which contractors will he try to stiff in our name?

There are a lot of problems in the way of constructing The Wall. Money isn't the only one. Sure, we can produce the billions of dollars it will take. America is the biggest license to print money the world has ever seen, but why even start when 1) the dwindling numbers of people coming across from Mexico make the cost and effort of building The Wall a highly inefficient way of spending our hard-earned tax dollars, and, 2) Washington lacks both the smarts and the honesty to be able to tell us what we would end up paying for this monument to stupidity. Much better things could be done for us all with the kind of money The Wall would cost. Already, Trump has estimated a cost of 10-12 Billion dollars, while fellow psychopathic loons, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are saying 12-15 Billion. You have to know that the next figure rolling off their forked tongues will be 24 Billion dollars and climbing. "Inexpensively" my ass. Go ahead. Name the last time a government project of any size came in on budget! We're talking about people who charge us $2000 for a wrench and then go to lunch on our dime.



Before Trump moved into the White House, 650 miles of our southern border already had a fence and those 650 miles cost us 7 Billion dollars. The total border is 1900 miles. As they say; you do the math. Senor Trumpanzee likes to try to finesse this when pressed by saying that we don't really need a complete fence because there are natural barriers. He's referring to the Rio Grande River and some rough terrain. Yeah right; the same Rio Grande River that offers parts you can wade across during droughts. Believe it or not, there are even some places where you can swim when the currents aren't too bad. Just pick your place and time. People have been crossing the river since there were people there to cross it; wildlife before that, which leads to other concerns. As for rocky terrain; it's rough, but it's not mountain ranges and people walk over some of the world's mountain ranges all the time and they're doing it just for recreation. When people feel the need to get somewhere, they get there. Bottom line: Billions spent and no additional security. Bottom Bottom line: Security has nothing to do with building The Wall but getting a piece of the action does, and for that, there will be lots of hands out; little tiny Trump hands.



Another problem is: How do you think various Texas ranchers will feel when Trump's minions come to seize some of their land in order to build his sick joke of a wall? Remember how they felt in Texas when FOX "News" and Alex Jones convinced them that the military's "Operation Jade Helm" wasn't military practice at all but an evil Obama commie plot to steal their land? Plus, there is the general attitude of hardcore Texans towards the big bad federal government anyway that may test their warm and fuzzy feelings for the Big Orange Fascist. You can expect more than one rancher to tie up any government eminent domain claims on his or her land in the courts for years, at additional cost to the taxpayer, of course.

All of this brings us to a very practical way to fight The Wall. A company named Cards Against Humanity, known for a party game in which contestants are forced to answer a question on a black card chosen by an opponent with the funniest, most awkward, and often most politically incorrect white card that they hold in their hands. It's well beyond truth or dare and the game proudly bills itself as "a game for horrible people." Cards Against Humanity also views itself as a kind of political watchdog group. Who better to take on Trump and do it so simply. To market its game, Cards Against Humanity decided to sabotage Trump's inane, astronomically useless and costless wall by buying plots of border land, with help from the public, of course. As Cards Against Humaity sez:
Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. So we've purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.
Cards Against Humanity made its fans an offer they found hard to refuse. They sold land shares. The deal was this: Those who bought (150,000 subdivided plots reportedly sold out in less than a day) for just an investment of $15.00, get to own a small piece of the land, and as Trump well knows, there's money in real estate! How ironic! In return, investors also get some trinkets in the mail this holiday season, Now, this is a better use of taxpayer dollars! It's cheaper to all of us if it prevents Trump's boondoggle from going any further. Or, at least, if it puts a literal hole in Don the Con's plan, at least something positive has been accomplished. Think of that $15.00 as a wall against The Wall. It's beautiful. It's better. All those people who sent in their $15.00 took advantage of a chance to throw a wrench into the corrupt system, and this wrench cost but a small fraction of a $2000 wrench. Why it's almost as good as getting to throw a real wrench right at Señor Trumpanzee himself. It's the best. It's tremendous. It's inexpensive. Believe me! Chalk up a victory for the forces of creative chaos over mass stupidity!

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