Friday Open Thread

TGIF, Everyone.


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55 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Maddow tonight:
    REBECCA MERCER linked to Wikileaks—Clinton Emails – CA
    AFTER it’s known about the Russian hacks

  2. rikyrah says:

    From Silverman at BJ:

    Adam L Silverman says:

    October 27, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Manafort is going to be desperate to prevent being extradited to
    Ukraine, we’re he has a 9mm welcome party waiting to be scheduled. Flynn is desperate to not have his rank reduced to colonel or below and have his retirement jeopardized so his wife isn’t on the street while he’s in prison. There’s a lot of soft spots that Mueller can squeeze to induce pain.

  3. rikyrah says:


  4. rikyrah says:

    Baltimore’s Amy Sherald has known for a year that she’s been selected to paint a portrait that could make her career

    — The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) October 27, 2017

    • Ametia says:

      Thank you for this, Rikyrah.

      Baltimore artist Amy Sherald has known for more than a year that she had been selected to paint a portrait that could instantly make her career.


      “I just want to make mirrors for people to see themselves in,” she said. “My work is for the masses and not the [upper] classes, even though it’s the classes that pay the rent. There is no value in work that cannot be part of the community.

      “To be human,” she said, “is to be visible.”

  5. rikyrah says:


    Unsealed Documents Show That Kris Kobach Is Dead Set on Suppressing the Right to Vote
    By Orion Danjuma, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program
    OCTOBER 26, 2017 | 6:00 PM

    For almost a year, Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, has struggled to hide the truth about his efforts to lobby the Trump administration to make it much harder for Americans to vote. Part of that struggle ended today when a federal court ordered excerpts of Kris Kobach’s testimony disclosed along with other documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in our challenge to his restrictive voter registration regime.

    The unsealed materials confirm what many have suspected: Kobach has a ready-made plan to gut core voting rights protections enshrined in federal law. And he has been covertly lobbying Trump’s team and other officials from day one to sell them the falsehood that noncitizens are swinging elections.


    Play 1: Disenfranchise new voters with severe registration restrictions

    Play 2: If the law doesn’t let you suppress the vote, pull some strings to get rid of the law

    Play 3: Cover your tracks

    When the ACLU demanded that he produce his draft NVRA amendments in the Kansas litigation, Kobach did the natural thing a vote suppressor caught red-handed would do: He lied.

    Kobach told the ACLU and a federal magistrate that “no such documents exist” in an attempt to keep his lobbying efforts under wraps:

    After Kobach was ordered to produce his papers for review, the magistrate fined him for making “patently misleading representations to the court about the documents.” When Kobach appealed that decision, the presiding judge agreed that Kobach should be sanctioned because of a “pattern” of misrepresentation “that call[s] his credibility into question.”

    Kobach’s lobbying to gut the NVRA was always meant to occur behind closed doors. So he has been struggling for months to keep these documents out of public view, while secretly asking his ally, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), to introduce his proposed NVRA amendment to Congress in the future.
    Why is Kobach trying so hard to hide what he’s been up to? Because the unsealed documents reveal that his true aim and that of the election commission is suppressing the right to vote.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.”

    But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Ms. Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.

    The coordination between the Trump Tower visitor and the Russian prosecutor general undercuts Ms. Veselnitskaya’s account that she was a purely independent actor when she sat down with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Paul J. Manafort, then the Trump campaign chairman. It also suggests that emails from an intermediary to the younger Mr. Trump promising that Ms. Veselnitskaya would arrive with information from Russian prosecutors were rooted at least partly in fact — not mere “puffery,” as the president’s son later said…

  7. rikyrah says:


    Have I ever heard of Tri-Delt or Kappa Alpha Theta being described as a ‘ grassroots’ organization?

    Uh huh

    Uh huh

    Don’t think so.


    Sorority sisters rally around Frederica Wilson in feud with Trump
    OCTOBER 26, 2017 5:38 PM

    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has earned the ire of yet another black grassroots group thanks to his rhetorical attacks on Rep. Frederica Wilson, one of an historic black sorority’s most prominent members.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s oldest Greek-lettered sorority founded by black college women, recently launched an effort to show support for Wilson, who’s been feuding with Trump for days over his handling of a phone call to the widow of a U.S. soldier.

    The latest blow is another chapter in what’s been an ongoing battle between the president and the black community.

  8. TOO LATE! Damage is irreparable. #TakeAKnee ’til free.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Republican tactics put children’s health program in jeopardy
    10/27/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 10/27/17 08:05 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Congress had a deadline of Oct. 1. That was the day current funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, expired.

    Health care advocates initially hoped lawmakers would act soon after, and the missed deadline would be inconsequential, but nearly four weeks later, there is no solution.

    Why not? Vox’s Dylan Scott explained:

    The problem is offsets – spending cuts to pay for CHIP’s funding for the next five years. Congress needs to find about $8 billion in savings.

    House Republicans proposed cutting Obamacare’s public health fund, cutting the grace period for Obamacare enrollees who fail to make premium payments, repealing the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, and making some smaller cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as their plan for offsets.

    In other words, House Republicans effectively said, “We’ll make sure those 9 million children are covered, but Democrats have to agree to pay for it by undermining the Affordable Care Act.”

    When it’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, Republicans aren’t especially concerned with figuring out how to pay for their priority. When it’s $8 billion in health care funding for kids, it’s a very different story.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Grassley staffer ran private investigation into Clinton e-mail
    Rachel Maddow looks at the Trump Russia investigations seeks details into a Trump supporter’s efforts to recruit hackers to find Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, and reporting that Barbara Ledeen, a staffer for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, was engaged in a similar pursuit.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Refugee office pressing anti-abortion agenda on minors in custody
    Brigitte Amiri, attorney for a girl who fought the Office of Refugee Resettlement to exercise her right to an abortion, and won, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the office under Scott Lloyd is actively trying to deprive vulnerable girls of their reproductive rights.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Trump administration doing a bad job turning word into deed
    Rachel Maddow points out an emerging pattern in the Donald Trump administration in which the declarations Trump makes are not supported by the work to get those thing done, most egregiously in the case of the Russia sanctions he signed into law but never bothered to implement.

  13. OMFG! This is how he sees them……

    #BobMcNair, owner of the @HoustonTexans compared the NFL players protesting to “inmates running a prison”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Say it with me, boys and girls:

    He would sell his mother to Lucifer for those tax cuts.

    Ryan finds new ways to downplay concerns about Trump’s fitness
    10/27/17 09:22 AM—UPDATED 10/27/17 09:34 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Earlier this month, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) made the case that Donald Trump’s stability is in doubt and may set the nation “on the path to World War III.” The president responded by saying he believes Corker is short and cowardly.

    Asked for his reaction, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) suggested the two men should “sit down and just talk through their issues.” That would be quite a conversation.

    Yesterday, as the Associated Press reported, the Republican leader offered a slightly different response.

    Remember the extraordinary public clash this week between two Republican senators and President Donald Trump? House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that people aren’t interested.

    Ryan waded into – and quickly out of – that dispute on Thursday, when a reporter asked whether he shares Sen. Jeff Flake’s criticisms of Trump. “I don’t think the American people care about that,” the Wisconsin Republican responded.

    Just so we’re clear, this week, two prominent U.S. senators from the president’s own party have publicly suggested that Donald Trump isn’t fit to serve, leaving the nation to confront, to use Flake’s phrasing, an “alarming and dangerous state of affairs.”

    Presented with this information, the Speaker of the House didn’t dismiss the concerns about Trump’s ability to be president, so much as he suggested that the public dismisses the concerns.


    Similarly, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) reportedly appeared on NPR this morning and said Republican senators who are worried about Trump’s fitness should keep their fears “private,” and discuss their concerns “within the family.”

    In other words, if the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reason to believe the president is dangerously unfit, the important thing is that the public not find out.

  15. rikyrah says:

    On judicial picks, Nevada’s Heller competes for a Chutzpah Award
    10/27/17 10:13 AM
    By Steve Benen

    But Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), arguably the most vulnerable Republican seeking re-election next year, argued yesterday that his party should move even faster to confirm Trump’s nominees, working “day and night” to approve judges “every day, for as long as we need.”

    “Now many of you here know that the first piece of legislation I’ve introduced for the past two Congresses is my No Budget No Pay Act. The concept is simple, if Congress can’t pass a budget and all of its spending bills on time then it shouldn’t be paid.

    “Well, Mr. President, the Senate should apply the same concept, in my opinion, to confirming judges.”


    Nearly all of the vacancies on the federal bench also existed at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, and if memory serves, Heller and his Republican brethren refused to hold confirmation votes on hardly any of them last year. Indeed, the Democratic president nominated Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court – a compromise choice who’d earned GOP praise – and Republican senators wouldn’t even give him a fair hearing.

    I’ve looked for Dean Heller’s speech from last year in which he suggested senators go without pay for failing to do their jobs, but I can’t seem to find it.

    Indeed, twisting the knife, the Nevadan boasted yesterday, “One of the eight judges confirmed was Neil Gorsuch, who I am thankful now serves on the Supreme Court. Justice Gorsuch is an example of the type of judge we have the chance to put in place. Like with Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation, we need to do all that is necessary to fill these vacancies with great judges like him.”

    The chutzpah is almost impressive. Heller delivered a speech on the importance of senators voting on judicial nominees, then bragged about Neil Gorsuch, who’s only on the bench because senators refused to vote on a judicial nominee.

    Nevertheless, Heller and his fellow partisans are likely to get what they want. Politico reported late yesterday, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is launching a circuit court confirmation blitz. The top Senate Republican on Thursday teed up votes to install four nominees to the powerful appellate courts, which give the final word on the vast majority of cases that don’t reach the Supreme Court.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Dem dismisses Trump’s opioid declaration as ‘a dog-and-pony show’
    10/26/17 04:41 PM—UPDATED 10/26/17 04:43 PM
    By Steve Benen

    “This epidemic is a national health emergency,” Trump said during an address at the White House. “Nobody has seen anything like what is going on now. As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue. It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.” […]

    Trump said he directed federal agencies to use all their resources to fight the drug crisis, including focusing on providing improved treatment for addicts. […] The declaration alone provides no additional money to combat the problem but allows existing grants to be redirected to better deal with the crisis.

    That’s not meaningless, but today’s announcement falls short of what Trump seemed to declare 11 weeks ago.

    I can appreciate that may not seem to be much of a difference between a national emergency and a public-health emergency, but the Washington Post explained that today’s announcement isn’t quite in line with what the president described in August.

    With Trump’s declaration, the federal government will waive some regulations, give states more flexibility in how they use federal funds and expand the use of telemedicine treatment, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on Thursday morning.

    But the president stopped short of declaring a more sweeping national state of emergency that would have given states access to funding from the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just as they would have following a tornado or hurricane. Officials who briefed reporters said that such an emergency declaration would not be a good fit for a longtime crisis and would not offer authorities that the government doesn’t already have.

    Trump’s announcement drew sharp criticism from Democratic lawmakers and some public health advocates, who questioned his commitment to the crisis, given that Trump made no immediate request to Congress for emergency funding.

    Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), for example, described today’s announcement as “nothing more than a dog-and-pony show in an attempt to demonstrate the Trump administration is not ignoring this crisis.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan M. Katz‏Verified account @KatzOnEarth 1h1 hour ago
    More Jonathan M. Katz Retweeted southpaw
    According to FEMA, yes: “Any language in any contract between PREPA and Whitefish that states FEMA approved that contract is inaccurate.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    How Will Voters in Virginia Respond to Division and Racism?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    October 27, 2017

    The Virginia Governor’s election is less than two weeks away, and here is Republican Ed Gillespie’s latest ad:

    Take a moment to imagine a Virginian who would be motivated by that ad to vote for Gillespie. The “clear choice” he is presenting is between someone who has talked about removing monuments to the Confederacy and one who would keep them. In what way does any of that affect the daily lives of the people of Virginia? It doesn’t. That ad is nothing more than an attempt to foster division and fan the flames of racism. Of course, this is nothing new for Gillespie. We’ve already seen how several of his ads make the whole Willie Horton episode look like child’s play.

  19. rikyrah says:


    7 of New York’s 9 GOP Congress members vote against budget, citing tax deduction

    — POLITICO New York (@politicony) October 26, 2017

    I have told you that there are close to 50 GOP Reps in these high tax states. They are in the heart of IGMFY country. And, they are not interested in committing career suicide.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Found this at another blog. A piece of Black History:

    The valorous African-American at McKinley’s shooting who was nearly erased from history.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Let’s say some prayers for Pope Frankie.

    The war against Pope Francis

    Pope Francis is one of the most hated men in the world today. Those who hate him most are not atheists, or protestants, or Muslims, but some of his own followers. Outside the church he is hugely popular as a figure of almost ostentatious modesty and humility. From the moment that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became pope in 2013, his gestures caught the world’s imagination: the new pope drove a Fiat, carried his own bags and settled his own bills in hotels; he asked, of gay people, “Who am I to judge?” and washed the feet of Muslim women refugees.

    But within the church, Francis has provoked a ferocious backlash from conservatives who fear that this spirit will divide the church, and could even shatter it. This summer, one prominent English priest said to me: “We can’t wait for him to die. It’s unprintable what we say in private. Whenever two priests meet, they talk about how awful Bergoglio is … he’s like Caligula: if he had a horse, he’d make him cardinal.” Of course, after 10 minutes of fluent complaint, he added: “You mustn’t print any of this, or I’ll be sacked.”

    This mixture of hatred and fear is common among the pope’s adversaries. Francis, the first non-European pope in modern times, and the first ever Jesuit pope, was elected as an outsider to the Vatican establishment, and expected to make enemies. But no one foresaw just how many he would make. From his swift renunciation of the pomp of the Vatican, which served notice to the church’s 3,000-strong civil service that he meant to be its master, to his support for migrants, his attacks on global capitalism and, most of all, his moves to re-examine the church’s teachings about sex, he has scandalised reactionaries and conservatives. To judge by the voting figures at the last worldwide meeting of bishops, almost a quarter of the college of Cardinals – the most senior clergy in the church – believe that the pope is flirting with heresy.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Rachel M had this on her program last night.

    FEMA Had a Plan for Responding to a Hurricane in Puerto Rico — But It Doesn’t Want You to See It
    The disaster-relief agency, under fire after Hurricane Maria, won’t release the plan, even as a comparable document for Hawaii remains public.
    by Justin Elliott and Decca Muldowney
    Oct. 26, 11:53 a.m. EDT

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency, citing unspecified “potentially sensitive information,” is declining to release a document it drafted several years ago that details how it would respond to a major hurricane in Puerto Rico.

    The plan, known as a hurricane annex, runs more than 100 pages and explains exactly what FEMA and other agencies would do in the event that a large storm struck the island. The document could help experts assess both how well the federal government had prepared for a storm the size of Hurricane Maria and whether FEMA’s response matches what was planned. The agency began drafting such advance plans after it was excoriated for poor performance and lack of preparation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    ProPublica requested a copy of the Puerto Rico hurricane annex as part of its reporting on the federal response to Maria, the scale and speed of which has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism. More than a month after the storm made landfall, 73 percent of the island still lacks electricity.

    Early last week, a FEMA spokesman said he would provide a copy of the plan that afternoon. It never came. After a week of follow-ups, FEMA sent a statement reversing its position. “Due to the potentially sensitive information contained within the Hurricane Annex of the Region II All Hazards Plan, there are legal questions surrounding what, if any, portions of the annex can be released,” the statement said. “As such, the documents that you seek must be reviewed and analyzed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by FEMA.” The statement did not explain what legal questions apply.

  23. rikyrah says:


    FP: Tillerson has eliminated a key office that oversees sanctions policy.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 27, 2017

    He’s not called the Secretary of Exxon for nothing.
    Putin CHOSE him for this position, and he has a job to do for Dear Vlad.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

  24. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    According to numerous sources at NBC, MSNBC, ABC, and Bloomberg—who previously spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely—the private allegations of Halperin’s sexual misconduct were an open secret, particularly in New York City and D.C. political media, for many years.

    People just didn’t feel emboldened to talk or speak out, in part due to Halperin’s position of power in the industry.

    “Everybody knew [about Mark],” one prominent cable-news host told The Daily Beast. “I’d been warning young women reporters about Mark for a long time.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    I guess this is one of my own personal daily affirmations.
    They are trying to kill American Citizens.

    I stand by that.

    We have 3.5 million American Citizens who have been without power for over a month.
    We knew that it would take some time for things to get back to normal.
    But, that was before we found out that a completely incompetent company was part of the grift.

    Dolt45 kept on LYING about Puerto Rico’s ‘infrastructure’ being destroyed BEFORE the hurricane. That’s a DAMN LIE.

    The reason he keeps on repeating it, is because that would alleviate pressure from that scam contract given to the company to restore power to Puerto Rico.

    It’s a goddamned GRIFT. They are completely UNQUALIFIED, and it’s thievery.

    Got this little nugget this morning:

    Ken Klippenstein‏Verified account
    Whitefish contract states, “In no event shall [government bodies] have the right to audit or review the cost and profit elements.” Wow.

    The contract says there are no financial sanctions if they miss deadlines.

    Found this out also this morning.
    FYI: The hourly labor rates were what Whitefish was charging for labor, not what Whitefish was paying for labor. What a contractor charges the client and what a contractor pays the linemen are not the same thing.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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