Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Our Joe Mosca Is Taking Some Political Heat In His Encinitas City Council Reelection Bid

As perhaps you may recall, former Sierra Madre pol Joe Mosca was appointed to the Encinitas City Council by one of the San Diego County political machines there because, well, because they wanted to. You certainly know how that works. So technically Joe isn't running for any kind of reelection because so far he hasn't been elected to an office in Encinitas yet.

But goodness, why quibble? The happy news today is there is a peppy campaign effort in Encinitas underway to dethrone this two-town carpetbagger and send him packing to his next exciting political opportunity. Maybe in El Centro. Or perhaps Slab City.

The following vibrant flyer was revealed to us on a blog yesterday called Encinitas Undercover, which can be studiously perused by clicking here. It certainly is not very complimentary of the small city politics lifer who once upon a time claimed that he loved Sierra Madre with all of his heart, then quit and left the country.

One more thing. See that artistic photograph of Our Joe? .50c will be awarded to the first person who can identify exactly where and when that picture first appeared.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump’s Approval Rating Plunges Amid Wave of Pre-Midterm Violence

Mod: Trump's big fat stupid mouth is his own worst enemy. Ours as well. And the damn fool just keeps on talking.

Trump’s Approval Rating Plunges Amid Wave of Pre-Midterm Violence (Bloomberg link): President Donald Trump’s job approval rating plunged 4 percentage points last week amid a wave of violence, the latest troubling signal for Republican chances in upcoming midterm elections. Forty percent of Americans approved of Trump’s performance as commander in chief, according to Gallup polling during the week ending Oct. 28. That was down from 44 percent the prior week, an unusually steep decline for the poll, which is based on a survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Monday through Sunday each week.

Some of the polling was done before the attacks. The drop was the sharpest since June 24 -- when Trump’s weekly job approval declined to 41 percent from 45 percent the previous week -- amid controversy over his administration’s policy of separating families apprehended illegally crossing the U.S. border with Mexico.

A series of mail-bombs to prominent Trump critics and a deadly attack at a Pennsylvania synagogue have stirred criticism of the president’s polarizing rhetoric, especially as the November midterm elections approach. Trump has in turn blamed the news media for fomenting public anger and on Monday revived his characterization of the press as the “Enemy of the People.”

“The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” Trump said in a posting on Twitter.

An attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during Saturday services left 11 people dead, many of them elderly, in what’s being investigated as a hate crime by a suspect who allegedly posted on social media blaming a Jewish nonprofit that helps resettle refugees for bringing “invaders in that kill our people.”

Trump and his wife will travel to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to visit with families of victims, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

On Friday, a Florida man known to have attended Trump campaign events was charged in connection with mailing at least 13 suspected explosive devices that targeted high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Two packages were addressed to former U.S. intelligence officials John O. Brennan and James Clapper at the New York headquarters of CNN, for which Clapper is now an analyst.

Trump has held a series of rallies for Republican House and Senate candidates across the country in recent weeks. White House officials, however, are largely resigned to losing Republican control of the House, and the mood around the president has darkened as many challengers continue to out-raise seasoned Republican incumbents, and Democratic enthusiasm surpasses that of the GOP.

Pasadena police detonate suspicious device found under parked truck near KPCC headquarters (SCPR.Org link): After three tense hours, Pasadena police on Monday night detonated a possible explosive device found on a rental truck parked along a busy stretch of S. Raymond.

The detonation took place shortly after 9 p.m. near a U-Haul facility located at the corner of S. Raymond and California avenues. Asked whether the string of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and CNN -- none of which exploded-- played a role in the response, Perez said law enforcement officials were, of course, aware of those incidents. "However, we treat each situation with the facts that we have," he said, "and this one is being dealt with, with exactly what we are looking at."

Pasadena police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's bomb squad and Pasadena fire officials were all on the scene. The possible threat also disrupted service on Metro's Gold Line, which runs parallel to S. Raymond. Metro officials said buses had replaced train service between the Lake Station and Pasadena while authorities worked to deal with the device.

Republicans Projected to Pick up Seventy Seats in Prison (Borowitz Report link): In a development that could dramatically change the composition of the federal penitentiary system, Republicans are projected to pick up as many as seventy seats in prison, a leading incarceration expert said on Thursday. “Prognostication is an inexact science,” Davis Logsdon, who studies conviction rates of corrupt politicians for the University of Minnesota’s Guilt Project, said. “Having said that, if current indictment trends hold up, the Republicans could be flipping at least seventy key prison seats.”

Logsdon broke down criminal cases against Republicans into likely convictions, likely acquittals, and toss-ups, and found that the G.O.P.’s path to the magic number of seventy new prison cells was “very doable.”

According to his projections, Republicans are running for prison “especially well” in districts where the G.O.P. member of Congress was an early supporter of Donald J. Trump.

“In those districts, we’re seeing Republicans who did an incredible job of raising money,” he said. “All of that money is going to translate into a huge number of new freshman prisoners.”

All in all, Logsdon sees the prospect of seventy new Republicans in prison as “nothing short of seismic.”

“Prisons need to get ready,” he said. “A red wave is coming.”

Monday, October 29, 2018

Jewish Leaders Tell Trump He's Not Welcome In Pittsburgh Until He Denounces White Nationalism

Mod: It now seems apparent that Donald Trump's abruptly requested Pittsburgh Massacre campaign event and photo op won't be happening any time before next week's elections.

Jewish leaders tell Trump he's not welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism (The Hill link): A group of Jewish leaders told President Trump that he is no longer welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism following the shooting at a synagogue there over the weekend. Eleven members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice penned a letter to Trump following the Saturday shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”

Trump was fiercely criticized after he failed to condemn white supremacy and asserted that there is “blame on both sides” after last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The group also said Trump is not welcome in the city until he also stops targeting minorities, immigrants and refugees.

The president has “spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America,” the group wrote.

“The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. This means all of us,” the leaders wrote. “In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.”

Mod: Here is the entire text of the that was letter sent to Trump.

'He is not welcome here': Thousands support Pittsburgh Jewish leaders (Washington Post link): More than 16,000 people have signed an open letter to President Trump from the leaders of a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group who say the president will not be welcome in the city unless he denounces white nationalism and stops “targeting” minorities after a mass shooting Saturday at a local synagogue left 11 dead.

The letter, which was published and shared on Sunday, was written by 11 members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc, a national organization for progressive Jews focused on social justice, following what is being called the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. The shooting at Tree of Life synagogue also left several people injured, including law enforcement. As of early Monday morning, the letter had 16,533 signatures.

“For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement,” the Jewish leaders wrote. “You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

On Day Of Mass Shooting, Trump Jokes He Nearly Canceled Speech Due To 'Bad Hair Day'

Mod: America is now without adult leadership.

On Day Of Mass Shooting, Trump Jokes He Nearly Canceled Speech Due To 'Bad Hair Day' (Huffington Post link): On the day of a horrific shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that claimed the lives of at least 11 people, some people wondered if President Donald Trump would go ahead with planned events for the day, including speaking at the Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis and a rally in Illinois.

Trump decided to go ahead with both events, but he did joke at the FFA Convention that he almost canceled for another reason ― a bad hair day.

He recalled for the crowd that earlier in the day, he had been holding a news conference about the mass shooting ― which he referred to as a “very unfortunate news conference” ― when he became drenched from the wind and rain. The elements apparently left his hair looking not exactly the way he likes it.

“I said, ‘Maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day,’” he told the crowd. “And the bad news ― somebody said, ‘Actually it looks better than it usually does.’”

Though he drew laughter from the crowd, many people found the joke to be in poor taste, given the circumstances.

Rabbi Responds to Trump Blaming Synagogue Death Toll on Lack of Security: ‘His Job Was to Comfort Victims, Not to Blame Victims’ (Mediaite link): Speaking on CNN on Saturday, Rabbi Joshua Stanton responded to President Donald Trump blaming the death toll in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre to a lack of security.

“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately,” Trump opined when speaking to reporters hours after the attack. “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”

Stanton said this on CNN about Trump’s words:

“The words that I heard from our president today were deeply disappointing. He had one job, to provide comfort for those that were mourning, and instead, his words sounded to me like an advertisement for gun companies… In our tradition that is seen as one of the highest acts of kindness is to be with those who are heartbroken and grieving, and instead, we just heard more empty rhetoric from a person who is already engaged in anti-semitic dog whistles. I was hurt. I was offended, and I was deeply saddened as a human being, a Jewish person, and an American, and a rabbi.”

Then, referring to Trump’s security remarks, he said it felt like victim blaming. “It felt like victim blaming to me,” Stanton, a rabbi at East End Synagogue said. “I was appalled and I was saddened. His job was to comfort victims. Not to blame victims.”

HIAS CEO Speaks Out After Synagogue Mass Shooting: 'Hate Speech Always Turns into Hate Actions' (Mediaite link): Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, spoke out hours after the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that was reportedly prompted, in part, by the shooter’s hatred toward HIAS’s work of supporting immigrants. “There is a growing space in this country for hate speech. And hate speech always turns into hate actions. And that’s what we are seeing again and again this week,” Hetfield told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “Our focus needs to be on fighting hate. We can’t stand by as individuals or organizations or governments when people spew hatred against Jews, against refugees, against Latinos, against any group that some might see as the other.”

Then, when asked if he thought the problem was growing, he said this: “It’s growing around the world and there’s a rise in nativism. There’s a real fear of the other and I think we’ve been too nice in allowing people to get away with hateful statements. We can’t anymore. And I have to say that today, when there was — during President Trump’s remarks, he repeatedly invoked anti-semitism. Anti-semitism was the motivation for this killing. But this killer equated Jews with welcoming refugees. This is about fighting all hate, fighting hate against refugees, against Jews, against anybody who is seen as being the other.”

The alleged shooter, Robert Bowers, made a number of anti-Semitic and hateful remarks on social media including this one on the day of the attack: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

Why Did Synagogue Suspect Believe Migrant Caravan Is Jewish Conspiracy? Maybe He Watched Fox News (Slate link): As a profile of Robert Bowers begins to emerge, particular attention is being paid at how the man who is suspected of opening fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning and killing 11 people was fond of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He frequently threatened Jews on social network Gab. His anti-Semitic and nationalist views seemed to combine perfectly in his penchant to frequently post about the migrant caravan making its way from Central America to the United States. President Donald Trump and Republicans as a whole have turned the caravan into a rallying cry ahead of the midterms, but to an untrained eye the connection may seem a little perplexing.

But Fox News has often talked about a connection between the caravan and George Soros, who is often described by anti-Semites as the head of a “globalist” effort that is “seeking to undermine a white, Christian social order,” as Talia Levin wrote in the Washington Post recently.

On Thursday, merely two days before Bowers reportedly opened fire at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Lou Dobbs had a guest on the show who directly made the connection between Soros and the caravan. “A lot of these folks have affiliates that are getting money from the Soros-occupied state department,” Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch’s director of investigations and research, said.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Anyone Surprised? Synagogue Shooter Apparently Triggered By Trump "Caravan" Talk

The MAGA Bomber scrapbook: The bold new face of the Republican Party

Mod: Of all the things I have seen these past few days or so on this matter, probably the most striking are the photos of the MAGA Bomber's Dodge van. Cesar Sayoc, who of course lives with his mom, made quite a splash on the streets of the Florida city he called home. Here are a few pictures taken by people living nearby.

Pipe bombs threaten to derail GOP midterm messaging (The Hill link): A string of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats has thrown a late curveball into the midterm elections, putting the country on edge and providing plenty of political fodder for both parties.

Democrats are using the federal crimes as a new opening to criticize President Trump and his fiery rhetoric, which they blame for the heated political climate that has turned violent.

The president, meanwhile, is pointing his finger at what he calls the “fake news” media, a familiar target that fires up the GOP base, while his supporters are rushing to his defense, saying Trump is the real victim in this situation.

While it’s unclear how the explosive devices will impact the Nov. 6 election, some strategists say the drama has, at the very least, overshadowed other topics that the GOP is eager to talk about, namely the economy and a caravan of Central American migrants slowly headed toward the U.S. border.

Single fingerprint, misspellings pointed FBI to mail bombs suspect (The Hill link): A single fingerprint and several misspelled words were among some of the clues that pointed the FBI to a Florida man who was charged Friday with mailing homemade bombs to prominent Democrats, The Washington Post reported.

Cesar Sayoc Jr., a supporter of President Trump, was arrested Friday in connection with a series of 13 suspicious packages and pipe bombs that were sent to high-profile Democrats including former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Biden, among others.

A number of posts supporting Trump and others critical of the media and Democrats also helped lead investigators to Sayoc.

Investigators were able to connect the more than one dozen packages because some contained the same misspellings, The Post reported. According to the criminal complaint against Sayoc, some of the packages included the same misspellings found on Sayoc's social media postings.

Mail-Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc Owned $7,000 Worth of Trump-Branded Clothing: Police Report (The Daily Beast link): Mail-bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr. advertised his affinity for President Donald Trump on his white Dodge Ram van—and he also owned $7,000 worth of  Trump-branded clothing.

Or so says a 2015 police record in which Sayoc reported that a burglar swiped $45,000 worth of his property from his white Dodge Ram van and a U-Haul trailer while he was working out in a gym in Oakland Park, Fla. An itemized list of the items said Sayoc claimed that 11 pieces of clothing from Trump’s clothing line were taken, along with other apparel and computer equipment.

Police said they reviewed security video and did not see anyone enter the area where the van was parked. One of Sayoc’s Facebook pages shows that earlier that month, he was trying to sell brand new Trump suits and other designer clothing at incredibly deep discounts. His police file also includes arrests dating back to 1991, including busts for theft and possession of steroids.

Twitter user reported Magabomber for death threats. Was told it did not violate rules (USA Today link): Two weeks before Cesar Sayoc allegedly mailed pipe bombs to Democrats across the country, political commentator Rochelle Ritchie says she complained to Twitter about threats he made against her, including menacing messages and disturbing images such as alligators and human body parts, following one of her appearances on Fox News.

One of the tweets from Sayoc's account read: "We will see you 4 sure. Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you home." Ritchie says Twitter informed her that Sayoc's tweets did not violate the company's rules.

So Ritchie, 36, a former press secretary for House Democrats, says she was stunned Friday when she learned that the man she reported for threatening her was suspected of mailing pipe bombs to at least a dozen Democrats and other critics of President Trump. And then, she said, she got "really, really mad."

"I had reported this to Twitter and they did absolutely nothing about it," she told USA TODAY. "What's abusive behavior? Do I have to be found floating in the Everglades in order for this to be taken seriously? Does a bomb have to go off in order for this to be taken seriously?"

Cesar Sayoc’s Facebook feed seemed like a case study in online radicalization–or satire (Fast Company link): Cesar Sayoc, the 56-year-old Florida man arrested in connection with the recent wave of mail bomb attacks, had a Facebook profile full of right-wing propaganda. The page is no longer available, perhaps taken down by Facebook, and didn’t include any public content after October 2016.

The page, under the name Cesar Altieri Randazzo, included numerous public posts from 2016 supporting President Trump and denouncing his political rivals, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. One shared post came from a page called “Handcuffs for Hillary,” and the page also included numerous reposts from conservative news sources—from Fox News to Breitbart—as well as photos apparently taken by Savoc at Trump rallies.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company about whether it took down the page.

Savoc appears to have shared right-wing content and conspiracy theories on Twitter as well. Some posts propagate conspiracy theories about George Soros, the billionaire funder of liberal causes, suggesting he aided in the Nazi Holocaust (despite being Jewish) and that he was behind the Parkland High School shooting.

The Twitter account also ranted about Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose return address was used to send the mail bombs, and included threats against other liberal public figures including New York Times columnist and tech writer Sarah Jeong and actor Jim Carrey, The Daily Beast reports.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Cook Political Report: Democrats Hold Big Lead In Most Competitive Districts

Mod: Now that the still at-large Magabomber has inadvertently torpedoed the GOP 2018 midterm election strategy, expect to see more highly unfavorable polling reports like this following one in the next two or so weeks. 

Democrats Hold Big Lead In Most Competitive Districts (Cook Political Report link): Democrats lead in the battleground districts that will decide control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Among registered voters in the 72 most competitive districts, as rated by the Cook Political Report, Democrats lead Republicans 48-36. This 12-point advantage has a margin of error of +/- 9 points.

Nationally, the Democratic advantage among registered voters is 7 points with a margin of error of +/- 6 points. These competitive districts, the vast majority of which are held by Republicans, also have the highest levels of anti-incumbent sentiment. Where incumbents are on the ballot in these districts, 58 percent of registered voters say their own member of congress deserves to be voted out of office. In contrast, registered voters across the country as a whole split evenly between those who think their own member deserves reelection and those who think they deserve to be voted out of office.

President Trump is weighing down Republican prospects in the House battleground

Most voters say that President Trump will be a factor in how they vote in the midterm elections, and in competitive districts these voters break nearly two to one in saying that they are voting to show opposition to the president (42 percent) versus voting to show support for the president (23 percent). The president’s net approval rating in competitive districts, all but four of which are Republican seats, is -24, much worse than his +12 net approval rating among registered voters in safer Republican districts.

When presented with a pro-Democrat message (“We should put Democrats in the majority to keep President Trump in check”) and a pro-Republican message (“We should keep Republicans in the majority to keep the economy strong”), 56 percent of registered voters in these competitive districts say the former comes closer to their own view while 42 percent say the latter.

2018 feels like 2010, in reverse

Today, 49 percent of Americans feel frustrated about Donald Trump’s presidency – the same share who said they felt frustrated about Barack Obama’s presidency during the first round of midterm elections in his administration. Indeed, the shares who today say they feel “excited” (14 percent vs 8 percent in 2010), “proud” (17 percent vs 12 percent in 2010), “hopeful” (27 percent vs 32 percent), and “helpless” (29 percent vs 22 percent) about the presidency are quite close to those from eight years ago. The exception is an uptick in anger, from 25 percent in 2010 to 39 percent today.

The overall similarities in the aggregate mood masks a partisan swap since 2010. In 2010, 55 percent of Democrats and just 8 percent of Republicans said they felt “hopeful” about the Obama presidency. Today, 5 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans feel hopeful about the Trump presidency. Similarly, Democratic frustration with the presidency grew from 37 percent in 2010 to 74 percent this year, while it fell among Republicans from 70 percent to 21 percent.

Evaluating President Trump and looking ahead to 2020

Many Americans – including both Democrats and Republicans – said they feel Donald Trump falls short on the traits they consider important for a president to have. For example, the vast majority of Americans (94 percent) think honesty is a somewhat important or very important quality of a president. Yet just 31 percent of Americans feel that the term “honest” describes President Trump somewhat well or very well.

The pattern repeats across 13 additional traits featured in this survey: likable, decisive, strong, compassionate, ethical, intelligent, willing to compromise, straight-talker, patriotic, down to earth, cares about people like you, shares your values and unifying. The pattern holds both for Democrats and, to a lesser extent, for Republicans. The biggest gaps between what Americans say is an important presidential quality and what they perceive in President Trump are for honest, ethical and unifying. The smallest gaps are for patriotic, decisive and strong.

Nationally, 62 percent of Americans say they think President Trump deserves to be voted out of office in 2020, and 35 percent say he deserves to be reelected. These responses closely follow the president’s approval ratings, which stand at 56 percent disapproval and 36 percent approval in this poll.

While most Republicans (78 percent) say he deserves to be reelected in 2020, a sizable share of Republicans (41 percent) said they would nevertheless like to see the president face a serious primary challenge. This is especially high among Republicans in the battleground U.S. House districts, who split evenly between those who want to see a serious primary challenge (48 percent) and those who do not (49 percent).

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The MAGA Bomber: Inspired by the incendiary political rally ranting of President Trump?

Mod: Is a coincidence that just about everyone this so-called president has repeatedly attacked at his nationalist party rallies was sent a pipe bomb by the MAGA Bomber? I for one certainly don't believe so. The MAGA Bomber has probably dreamed often of the praise he would receive from Trump for carrying out what he believed are his wishes.

Steve Schmidt, the former GOP political operative who helped manage the presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and John McCain, spelled it all out in a series of three Tweets yesterday. I think he pretty much nailed it.

Trump squanders chance to lead after day of fear (CNN link): Don't expect Donald Trump to repent for heating America's politics to a bitter boiling point, despite a day that could have turned into a tragedy after an unknown suspect mailed bombs to the President's favorite targets.

Trump did just about the bare minimum expected after the attempted attacks using improvised explosives on two of his predecessors, several other prominent political critics and the New York offices of CNN. He called for national unity, promised to bring those responsible to justice and warned that political violence was an "attack on our democracy itself."

But there was no public acknowledgment that there can be consequences to the nation's most conspiratorial rhetoric and demagoguery -- violent, dehumanizing language he himself has spread as he lashes out at his opponents and whips up his supporters.

Characteristically, he undermined his scripted invocations of unity with fresh attacks of his own, implicitly blaming people who criticize him, the media and Democrats for the nation's dangerous political divides. He kept up the attacks Thursday morning, tweeting that "a very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media." In effect, the President has chosen not to rise above the tumult or even console or counsel those who opposed him.

He did not mention the victims by name. Or give any indication that he is concerned that some people might see his flaming rhetoric as a spur to violence.

Trump's response to Wednesday's events was a reminder of the gap between presidential expectations and performance that has often been evident in his response to grave national moments, crises and natural disasters.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CA GOP Gubernatorial Candidate John Cox Bashed Gavin Newsome Over An Extramarital Affair - Then Got Busted For His Own Outrageous Behavior

Blah blah blah.
Mod: The latest polls show the hapless Cox down by about 20 points (link), so this one is pretty much for laughs. But isn't this typical of GOP politics in the Trump era? Attacking others for the very things you've done yourself?

While Making Opponents' Marital Affairs A Campaign Issue, John Cox Stays Mum On His Own ( link): Throughout his campaign for governor, Republican John Cox and his allies have criticized his Democratic opponents for affairs they had while in office, condemning their behavior as potentially attracting harmful exposure. He's said voters should "judge someone based upon what they've done in the past." But Cox has also faced accusations of marital infidelity, KQED and KPCC/LAist have learned.

Details of an affair are alleged by Mr. Cox's first wife in the court records of their divorce, which was filed in Illinois in 1997. KPCC/LAist and KQED obtained and reviewed more than 400 pages of documents from that case.

Mr. Cox's first wife, Nancy Cox, stated in a court filing that she discovered a home that she claimed he purchased to support another woman and her family while the two were still married. Ms. Cox wrote in that filing that the children told her about the other home in Longmeadow, Mass. and that they'd met his girlfriend when they went to visit. The girlfriend is not identified in court records, and it's unclear when their relationship first began.

Ms. Cox also said that Mr. Cox wanted to remain married with the "understanding he would continue to maintain a relationship with the other woman in Massachusetts," according to the court filings.

"I'm not interested in gutter politics," Mr. Cox said when asked about the alleged affair. "I was separated from my wife. That's all been resolved." Ms. Cox did not return several requests for comment. In court documents, Mr. Cox denied that the house was purchased to further an affair, stating it was purchased almost a year after the divorce was filed.

The details of Mr. Cox's alleged affair stand in contrast to the attacks he and allies mounted along the campaign trail. In an interview with KQED in September, Cox took aim at Newsom's past marital conduct. "If you conduct yourself in a way that exposes you to extortion or to blackmail...that's really hurting the people you're representing," Cox said.

Newsom admitted in 2007 to an affair with his appointments secretary, who also was married to his campaign manager. At the time, Newsom was separated from his first wife. "I had to own it," Newsom told KQED earlier this month. "I had to take responsibility. I had to be transparent."

Caroline Heldman, a politics professor at Occidental College, said most voters will forgive personal marital problems. But undecided voters could be turned off by the apparent hypocrisy of the Cox campaign.

"John Cox made this an issue," Heldman said. "It was foolhardy to go after his competitors' infidelities when he has this in the closet. It doesn't seem prudent."

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trump is apparently one of those dumb white guys who thinks all black people look alike

Mod: Last night at the Loozer Cruz fest in TexasTrump carried on like the bigoted fool he has always been.

Trump can’t tell the difference between black leaders Cory Booker and Andrew Gillum — mixes them up during Texas speech (Raw Story link): There were many awkward moments during the Texas Trump rally for Ted Cruz, but one moment was an epic blunder. During President Donald Trump’s attack on the Democratic Party, he started in attacking a mayor running for governor in Florida.

“The mayor who did one of the worst jobs of any mayor other than the guy running for governor in Florida. He was a horrible mayor. Cory Booker. He destroyed what he did,” Trump said.

Booker was actually the mayor of Newark, New Jersey and Andrew Gillum is the mayor in Florida who is running for governor. Both men are African American though they look nothing alike and live in completely different states.

Booker is now a Senator and Gillum is still the mayor while running for Governor. Still, Trump can’t seem to get them straight.

Mod: The Mango Madman can be observed deep into his confusion below.

video link

Monday, October 22, 2018

Heidi Cruz laments that husband Ted's Senate salary isn't big enough for them to buy a second home

Mod: Imagine the pain the Cruz family faces every day when they only get to go home to one house. Does this mean they are one house homeless?

Heidi Cruz complains about Ted’s $174,000 Senate salary: ‘We’re not buying a second home anytime soon’ (Raw Story link): Heidi Cruz, the wife of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), is upset that she still has to be her household’s primary breadwinner because her husband “only” makes $174,000 a year as a member of the United States Senate. In an interview with The Atlantic, Cruz complained that her husband’s Senate career has meant that he’s been stuck making less than $200,000 a year for the past seven years, which puts more pressure on her to bring in the bucks.

“Six to seven years in it, with me being the primary breadwinner — it’s like, ‘Uh, yeah, this is when people say thank you. I’ll now take that appreciation,'” she said. “Yeah, we’re seven years into this, and we’re not buying a second home anytime soon.”

Cruz, who is an investment manager at Goldman Sachs, tells The Atlantic that she’s had to regularly work 70-hour weeks to make enough money to support her family. Despite this, she says she’s still supportive of what her husband is doing in politics.

“I really hope he wins his reelection,” she said. “I really feel mission-driven on what he’s accomplishing.”

Mod: In case you are thinking of jumping out the window in sheer anguish over the Cruz family's suffering, Heidi is making $500,000 a year at Goldman Sachs. What follows is a story from 2016, published during all of the presidential excitement.

Heidi Cruz: Ted Isn't The Zodiac Killer, He's A Very Naughty Boy (Wonkette link): To their credit, Yahoo apparently didn't originally plan to ask Heidi Cruz about the Zodiac Killer thing; it simply arose sort of organically while they were covering her.

Yahoo News asked Heidi about his remarks after a pair of supporters she met with marveled at her ability to “deal with” the “smearing and the scorched-earth stuff going on” during this heated GOP primary.

“Well, it’s amazing how a lot of people are swayed by it,” Heidi said. “Part of it is, the news media is 24/7, and they don’t let up.”

Huh. Well, now we're going to have to ask Heidi Cruz for a citation -- we're fairly certain that the chances anyone really believes Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer, or would "be swayed" by an internet meme about it, are roughly equal to the possibility that Ted Cruz actually is the Zodiac Killer.

Or maybe Heidi Cruz was simply acknowledging, as obliquely as humanly possible, that her husband is such a creepy dude it's no surprise people might joke about him being a serial killer. It has to be hard being married to a guy so many people simply can't stand.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

There is no separation between Russian intelligence and the Republican Party

Mod: So will be hearing from our "no evidence of collusion" commenter again today? 

Russian troll threat hasn't gone away as election day nears (CNN link): The US intelligence community and Silicon Valley may have upped their efforts to prevent interference in November's midterm elections, but that hasn't stopped the Russians from trying, a criminal complaint filed on Friday shows.

Russian national Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg, Russia, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, and allegedly worked on funding online propaganda efforts to manipulate American voters in the 2016 and in the 2018 election.

Khusyaynova was allegedly working with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the troll group that wreaked havoc in the lead up to the 2016 election posing as Americans on social media. The group was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in February. Posts from the IRA on Facebook were seen by more than 100 million Americans, according to the social media company.

"Today's indictment of a Russian national for attempting to sow political and social discord ahead of the 2018 midterm election demonstrates that our elections continue to be a target for our adversaries," said DHS Press Secretary Tyler Houlton.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Trump Says He Hasn’t Visited Troops In Afghanistan, Iraq Because He’s ‘Been Very Busy’

Mod: I guess it all depends on what your definition of 'busy' is.

Trump Says He Hasn’t Visited Troops In Afghanistan, Iraq Because He’s ‘Been Very Busy’ (Guardians of Democracy link): President Donald Trump told The Associated Press in an interview published on Tuesday that he hasn’t made his way overseas to visit troops because he’s “very busy.”

Trump told the AP that he’ll eventually go overseas to military bases in places like Iraq and Afghanistan “at some point” in his presidency, but he doesn’t “think it’s overly necessary.”

“Well, I will do that at some point, but I don’t think it’s overly necessary,” Trump said. “I’ve been very busy with everything that’s taking place here. We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. I mean, this is the greatest economy we’ve ever had, best unemployment numbers. Many groups are, you know, we’ve never even been close to these numbers. I’m doing a lot of things. I’m doing a lot of things. But it’s something I’d do. And do gladly.”

He added, “Nobody has been better at the military. Hey, I just got them a pay raise. I haven’t had a pay raise in 11 years. I just got them a substantial pay raise. ‘They’ meaning our military people. I just got them new equipment. They have stuff that was so old that the grandfathers used to fly it. I have done more for the military than any president in many, many years.”

Former President Barack Obama traveled to Iraq just months after he was inaugurated, according to the Huffpost.

According to and the NBC News White House unit, Trump has spent 159 days out of his 636 days in office at a Trump golf resort. He has spent 210 days at Trump property during his presidency.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Trump just celebrated the beating of a political reporter in unhinged Montana rally

Mod: You don't think he is really going to do anything about the Saudis, do you? Last night was just another quite obvious indication that Trump is just stalling.

Trump just celebrated the beating of a political reporter in unhinged Montana rally (Washington Press link): In the same week that he refused to condemn the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for brutally torturing and dismembering a journalist while he was still alive before murdering him and smuggling his body away in small pieces, President Donald Trump openly celebrated the assault of an American journalist. After the President of the United States spent a great deal of time utterly confusing and bewildering his Missoula, Montana rally audience by going on incoherent tangents about anything and everything under the sun (“I love these hangars. I love hangers. There’s nothing like a hangar!”), and openly promoted disgustingly racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, his attention turned to the state’s one House Representative, Republican Greg Gianforte.

Gianforte was the subject of a huge scandal last year after he body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs just days before the election, breaking his glasses and sending him to the floor after Jacobs asked him some questions he didn’t like.

Trump, who has hinted at how much this titillated him before in past, crossed the line and openly celebrated the assault of a reporter. Later on, he came back to the assault again, using the opportunity to brag about how he could take former Vice-President Joe Biden in a fight, who famously once said he’d like to take Trump “behind the gym and beat the hell out of him” for his comments about women.

This marks a disturbing escalation of his violent rhetoric against reporters, and for it to come on the same day that he acknowledged that his buddy Mohammed bin Salman likely murdered a dissident journalist but refused to condemn him for the heinous murder simply reinforces the message to every tin-pot dictator and aspiring fascist around the world: violence against the free press is not only acceptable but a thing to be celebrated and joked about.