Anderson Cooper calls out Donald Trump's "frankly idiotic" son for lying about storm photo

When Hurricane Ike hit 10 years ago, Anderson Cooper did a segment where he walked around in floodwaters while being filmed from higher ground, which he pointed out to viewers. Don Jr. tweeted a still photo taken from the segment and implied it depicted Anderson kneeling during last week's Hurricane Florence to make its floodwaters look deeper than they were. So Cooper did a whole new segment about what a lying idiot Don Jr. is.

“I’ve covered hurricanes for about 14 years and it really does make me sad to think that anyone would believe that I would try to fake something or overly-dramatize a disaster. I debated whether I should even respond to the president’s son. I know he believes himself to be an outdoorsman and pays a lot of money to be led to wildlife in Africa that he then kills, but I’m not sure if he’s ever actually been to a hurricane or flood. I didn’t see him down in North Carolina in the last few days helping out, lending a hand, but I’m sure he was busy doing something important besides just tweeting lies.”

It's remarkable just how many conservative pundits posed this shot as such. Here's one who wrote a book titled "The True Story of Fake News: How Mainstream Media Manipulates Millions":

They really don't give a damn about whether things are true or not anymore, and the rest of us are still way behind on adapting to that reality. Read the rest

Read Christine Blasey Ford's letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her

A redacted version was "read" to CNN, it reports. Brett Kavanaugh, who has signalled willingness to both overturn Roe v. Wade and to immunize the presidency from indictment or prosecution, is Trump's pick for the vacant Supreme Court seat. Christine Blasey Ford is the California professor who claims he tried to rape her when she was 15 and he 17. An excerpt:

Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."

At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them.

Remember that this is a transcript of a phone conversation and may not be the verbatim text of Ford's letter. Read the rest

No, Steve Bannon should not speak at your journalism conference. Here's why.

White Supremacist grifter Steve Bannon, formerly of Donald Trump's Presidential administration, has made quite the new career for himself as a lucrative speaker on the journalism and big thinker circuit. Read the rest

Texas board of education tries to erase Hillary Clinton from history

The State Board of Education in Texas has proposed some rather interesting cuts to the their social studies curriculum. Read the rest

Paul Manafort, Trump’s ex-campaign chairman, pleads guilty + will cooperate with Mueller investigation

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is pleading guilty to two criminal charges under plea deal terms to include his cooperation as a witness in the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Read the rest

Kavanaugh accused of sexual misconduct in letter provided by Feinstein to federal investigators: REPORT

Sexual misconduct allegations today surfaced involving Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The FBI confirms receipt of “information” which Sen. Diane Feinstein spoke of earlier today. FBI tells reporters letter has been added to “Judge Kavanaugh's background file, as per the standard process.”

The New York Times published a bombshell report today on allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. Read the rest

President Trump falsely claims 3000 death toll in Puerto Rico is a lie

The Republican president speaks for the Republican Party.

3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.... [twitter]

....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico! [twitter]

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. The 2,975 count comes from a George Washington University study, published in July, which included people who died of thist, starvation, disease or neglect as a direct result of the storm. 64 (not "6 to 18") were reportedly killed outright by drowning, falling debris, in collapsing buildings, etc. Read the rest

Tabloid says Cuomo aide promised smear of Cynthia Nixon the day before it happened: "Jewish high holidays!"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed to have known nothing about the state Democratic Party's smearing of primary opponent Cynthia Nixon as an antisemite. But an aide, mistakenly believing himself to be off the record, emailed The New York Post with evidence that suggests otherwise.

The smoking-gun email, sent Friday afternoon from an official “andrewcuomo.com” account, suggested that The Post publish a story about Nixon’s support of the pro-Palestinian “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement against Israel.

“Nixon has supported insidious BDS campaign, signing onto letter boycotting Israel,” it says.

“Obviously something you guys have reported on a lot and right before the jewish high holidays!

“Can get you folks on the record slamming her as well,” the aide added. ...

On Friday, the top Cuomo campaign official was making a hard pitch for the Nixon-BDS story in a series of text messages coaxing the reporter to give it coverage.

“Hey I got something for you on nixon….I’m going to email to you. But not from me,” the texts say.

Nixon is not a supporter of the BDS movement. The Cuomo campaign's defense appears to be that the Post had agreed to keep it off the record.

This appears to confirm what was already widely suspected: that Cuomo and the New York State Democratic Party together organized the mailer that accused Nixon of antisemitism.

This is why voting for establishment Dems this November feels like spraying febreze on dogshit. The alternatives ("stamp on the shit", "stare at the shit in silence", "shit on the shit") make febrezing the dogshit an important and necessary measure, but if anyone expects enthusiasm for the likes of Cuomo they can eat it. Read the rest

Mainstream parties shrink in Sweden election

Sweden's electorate fragmented at the ballot box, delivering a less-impressive showing for the far right than anticipated by polls—and a better one for the Left Party. The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats still made big gains, though, leaving the country's mainstream parties at a weak ebb and raising the possibility of a hung parliament.

Sweden looked set for a period of political confusion after election results on Sunday put a center-right bloc and the governing center-left coalition neck and neck, while a far-right, anti-immigration party came in third — winning a higher percentage of the vote than ever before, but achieving less of a breakthrough than polls had suggested.

With more than 99 percent of ballots counted, the national election commission reported that the governing center-left Social Democrats had 28.4 percent of the vote, making it the largest single vote-getter, but handing the party its worst showing in decades.

The center-right Moderate party was next at 19.8 percent, while the far-right Sweden Democrats were running third, with 17.6 percent, up from 12.9 percent in 2014 but a less successful showing than many Swedes had feared.

This months-old tweet from UK political researcher Rob Ford is doing the rounds:

English-language media had their "far right wins big in Sweden" stories all ready to go, and some are now having trouble backing off that simple narratives now the reality is more complex. Read the rest

NY Democratic Party publishes mailer accusing own primary challenger of being anti-semite

Cynthia Nixon's upstart challenge to fellow Democrat and incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo has hit a snag: her own party hasn't just picked sides in next week's primary election, it's mailed out flyers insinuating that she's an anti-semite.

Just a few days ago, the New York Times ran an editorial detailing Cuomo's prolific and systemic corruption--its own words!--only to endorse him anyway.

He has done little to combat the corruption in the Legislature and his own administration, and he has allowed the subway system, the foundation of the New York City economy, to rot. The case for change, at a time when so many New Yorkers yearn for change, is not hard to make. ...

But Ms. Nixon’s lack of experience in government or management of any sort do not inspire confidence that she could overcome the old guard in Albany to fulfill her promises and run the state. Her campaign has, at times, boiled down to a largely negative message — that she is not Andrew Cuomo — and while that can indeed seem an appealing truth, it is not, in the end, enough.

Even if she beats Cuomo, she will spend every moment of her political life being treated like a disease by her own party. But that hardly seems likely given how much effort it's putting into making sure that doesn't happen. Cuomo it is, and another four years of a sleazy, well-oiled centrism of the kind so ably criticized by the editors of the New York Times, even as they beg their readers to support it. Read the rest

Trump planned Venezuela coup, inasmuch he is capable of "planning" anything

The Trump administration "held secret meetings" with officers in Venezuela's military to discuss overthrowing President Nicolás Maduro, reports The New York Times.

American officials eventually decided not to help the plotters, and the coup plans stalled. But the Trump administration’s willingness to meet several times with mutinous officers intent on toppling a president in the hemisphere could backfire politically. ... Mr. Maduro has long justified his grip on Venezuela by claiming that Washington imperialists are actively trying to depose him, and the secret talks could provide him with ammunition to chip away at the region’s nearly united stance against him.

“This is going to land like a bomb” in the region, said Mari Carmen Aponte, who served as the top diplomat overseeing Latin American affairs in the final months of the Obama administration.

Read the rest

George Papadopoulos gets 14 days in jail, former Trump campaign adviser must also pay $9,500 fine

Former Trump campaign adviser (and coffee boy) George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in jail, a year of supervised release, 200 hours of community service, and a $9,500 fine after pleading guilty to lying to federal agents in connection with the Russia investigation. Read the rest

Trump: Justice Dept should investigate identity of anonymous NY Times op-ed writer, because national security

Speaking on the never-ending campaign trail for his insatiable ego, Donald Trump today called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to harness the full power of the Justice Department to go after whoever wrote the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times that said all those mean things about him. Read the rest

Roy Moore sues Sacha Baron Cohen over "pedophile detector" stunt

Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as an overbearing Israeli antiterrorism expert, scanned Republican politician Roy Moore with a "pedophile detector" during a comical interview shot for his series Who Is America? Moore, who was accused of molesting teenage girls and was once reportedly banned from an Alabama mall for doing so in public, is now suing the British comedian over the fake gadget, which beeped loudly in proximity to the disgraced judge.

His lawyers say the satirist falsely accused their client of being a sex offender. They are seeking $95m (£73m) in damages from Baron Cohen and from the Showtime and CBS networks. Representatives for Baron Cohen have not responded to the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Washington. A spokeswoman for Showtime said it did not comment on pending litigation.

The clip is embedded above. Jump 3m in for the relevant portion. Read the rest

Marco Rubio and Alex Jones threaten one another in pathetic confrontation

Things got heated outside a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about social media today when conspiracy theorist Alex Jones touched the person of Sen. Marco Rubio in a successful attempt to get him into a deranged discussion about social media.

When Jones reached out to touch Rubio's shoulder, the senator glared at Jones, warning him not to touch him again in front of a gaggle of reporters with cameras and notebooks.

"You're not gonna get arrested man," Rubio said after Jones said he had only "padded you nicely." "I'll handle it myself."

Jones then accused Rubio of threatening to beat him up.

“Marco Rubio just threatened to beat me up,” Jones told a camera trailing him around on Capitol Hill.

“I didn't say that,” Rubio said.

After being booted from most social media sites over his barely fig-leaved calls for political violence, Jones' fortunes have fallen fast. Expect more and bigger stunts like this.

Do not miss Jones' impression of Rubio, as captured by Vice News's Jesse Seidman.

UPDATE: I have made this into a looping GIF. You're welcome.

Read the rest

It just got easier to change your gender in California, thanks to 2 new laws

Two new laws that allow California residents to officially change their gender identification went into effect this past Labor Day weekend. Read the rest

'FICTION' — Mattis denies words attributed to him in Bob Woodward's new book

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis denies the words attributed to him in Bob Woodward's new book, 'FEAR: Trump in the White House.' Read the rest

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