47 thoughts on “Free Form Forum Friday”

  1. Sam sits down with one of the only people brave enough to challenge Mitch McConnell for re-election – Amy McGrath! Meanwhile, Allana Harkin takes the temperature of Kentucky voters for the 2020 senate election.

  2. The day starts just the same as the night left.  SFB is still making sure he is the kid in the spotlight, even if it means breaking the family china.  Putin must be happy watching the old, low intelligence, senile white nationalist destroy America.  Impeachment now.

  3. “brave enough to challenge Mitch McConnell” ?

    even braver to risk an interview with sam bee.

     

    that Ditch Mitch title on the vid reminded me that somewhere in closet depths hangs an old bespoke tee shirt of mine that declared “ditch mitch – switch to the bitch” for his last election against allison grimes.    must remember to retrieve it since it’s still relevant tho’ highly unladylike. 

  4. am now leaning toward a Warren/Castro ticket as 1sr choice

    2nd choice Booker/Castro

     

    love joe and the rest of the gang (‘cept bernie & gillibrand whom I will vote for if have to), but…

     

     

  5. To get really practical about it, somebody needs to upset Biden in Iowa to reshape the race before the next rounds. Because there won’t be enough time to shake him loose before Super Tuesday 4 weeks later.

  6. the guardian:  Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US

    The US military is conducting wide area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.

     

    Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois.

     

    Travelling in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 65,000ft, the balloons are intended to “provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”, according to a filing made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defence company.

     

    The balloons are carrying high tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.

    [continues]

  7. not that they mean anything anymore but here’s the des moines register on local endorsements so far:

    […]

    While the power of the endorsement isn’t what it once was, that hasn’t stopped Democratic presidential campaigns from fiercely competing for them in Iowa. The backing of local leaders can give national candidates access to a network of potential supporters that stretches to all corners of the state. Those contacts can build organizational strength and enthusiasm on the campaign trail.

    “Endorsements matter to the people that they matter to, is kind of an odd way to say it,” said Democrat Chris Hall, a Sioux City lawmaker and political director for former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. “They have the potential to, at least, validate and show that there is true support at a community level.”

    In recent weeks, there’s been a steady stream of endorsement announcements from presidential candidates, both in Iowa and nationally. Several have been timed around the June and July debates. On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris announced six new endorsements after her latest debate performance.

    Iowa may be the testing ground for whether the quest for endorsements is still worthwhile.

    A lot of endorsements amid low polling

    For now, racking up endorsements in Iowa appears to have a limited immediate payoff.

    Some 2020 hopefuls have secured local endorsements in the state even as they lag in polls and fundraising.

    As of Aug. 1, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign has at least 43 endorsements in Iowa — more than any other Democratic candidate for president. In February, he snagged the first state lawmaker endorsement and continues to lead with the most support from lawmakers.

    O’Rourke is second, with at least 28 endorsements. According to a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted in early June, both men had less than 3% of support at the time among likely caucusgoers.

    Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor who had little name recognition in Iowa a few months ago, hasn’t publicly announced any endorsements in the state. Yet he has polled higher than both Booker and O’Rourke. Nationally in the past three months, he raised more money for his campaign and received more individual donations from Iowans than all other candidates.

    Buttigieg’s Iowa state director, Brendan McPhillips, said the mayor is focused, for now, on introducing himself to caucusgoers. Buttigieg was in Iowa every weekend in July and used that time in part to meet with activists and local elected leaders.

    [continues]

  8. The high profile endorsements might not matter much in Iowa, unless they have a significant following they can deliver. The big gets are the worker bees who know how to get people to the caucuses.

    But this time there’s a major wild card that could upend traditional ideas about Iowa voting — they’re going to let people vote by telephone, you won’t have to trudge through the snow and lose your whole evening to the process. Will that bring in a different kind of voter? My theory is it attracts less ideologically driven voters who don’t share the energy and activism of caucus goers, not so good for the liberal candidates.

  9. craig, about those phone-ins for iowa caucuses,  how secure will they be from dirty tricksters and russian interlopers? 

  10. But if I should see one of those things I’m going to go right into my as yet untried Old Jewish Comedian act.  That’ll make ‘em sit up and take notice.

  11. I doubt Iowa’s phone-in voting will be totally secure despite their claims, but it’s happening. Also in Nevada, I think. If it is deemed successful it’ll probably spread. This could really change voting in America. Putin’s propeller heads are hard at work, I’m sure.

  12. Hey tiptoe…  great to see you’ve decided to stick around!
     
    Me thinks Williamson could be a great ambassador to Atlantis (no… not the resort).  Or she could work on exposing the Illumanti.
     
    Phone-in caucuses…   hmmmmmmm.

  13. The person exposing the Illuminati probably gets the polonium cocktail, or the Michael Hastings model BMW 

  14. Reminds me.  We have a local election coming up on Tuesday.  I have to mark and mail my paper ballot to be read by a paper reader and locked up for paper ballot hand count if necessary.  

     

     

  15. I loved the old military crank-em-up telephones. I’ll never forget being in Korea in the early 60s, cranking my phone and barking to the indigenous operator, “Get me Washington!!” The operator said Yes, Sir! and the phone started clicking and buzzing and snapping. A few minutes later an out of breath voice materializes, “Motor Pool, PFC Washington, Sir!”

  16. Flatus, you were either a victim of your belief that you were being specific enough, or just being a jokester.  Different context, but I’ve experienced that myself in court when I thought I had made a very clear and cogent argument and was looking at a judge (OK, several of them over the years) who had a “Do What?” look on her face.  From time to time I’m sure judges thought I was (and continue to think I am) being a jokester – or just an idiot -whether or not I intended to be.

  17. I know what you mean Pogo — many times I thought I was being perfectly clear and yet…
    we had a vacation rental and in the notes reminded people to turn off everything before they left and one weekend they did at the junction box.
    Go Yang  make the next debate…he’s looking good – he is my neighborhood pick

  18. Allowing phone voting for the caucuses is wrong – the whole idea is to get people together to talk about the candidates and negotiate as they go through the process.  Allowing phone voting is wrong – they should go to elections if that’s what they want. 
    Candidates with cash will benefit from this . It is wrong wrong wrong and defeats the spirit and intent of the caucus format.  Iowa sucks

  19. jaden gives us hope that journalism is still alive and still has a future

     

    and according to mediaite, he knows his stuff: 

    11-Year-Old Reporter Declines to Opine on Marianne Williamson on Fox: ‘That’s My Journalistic Responsibility’

    11-year-old journalist Jaden Jefferson appeared to be a consummate professional in a Fox News appearance, declining to offer his opinion on Democratic candidates like Marianne Williamson.

     

    Dana Perino was asking Jefferson if he had met Williamson and wanted to offer his thoughts on her.

     

    “Well, when I think of Marianne, I can’t comment on that because that’s just one of my journalistic responsibilities,” Jefferson told Perino on The Daily Briefing.

     

    “That would be wrong because that would show bias, right,” Perino said backtracking and agreeing with Jefferson. “We are teaching people here.”

     

    Jefferson spoke on how he got an exclusive interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and also offered some measured analysis of the Tuesday night debates.

    “A lot of questions were answered,” Jefferson said. “Last night’s debates were exciting and intense. There’s been a lot of criticisms of the last night’s debates including John Delaney getting too much TV time. That’s not once I’ve found popular but I’ve heard that before.”

    The young reporter was also asked how he got into the field.

     

    “The spark that interested me is the aspect of writing, shooting and editing video. Something I’ve always been good at and something I like to do. When you connect the dots, that spells out journalism,” he said.

  20. 11-years old and already undermined his own journalistic credibility by appearing on FoxNews.  

  21. KGC

    If you live in the small town or engaging in local election, a caucus might make sense.  In a modern context with huge populations many of whom can’t take time off from work, are disabled, or in some other way can’t participate, a caucus is disastrous.  It is way too open to money influence, crowd followings, and intimidation. 

    You only have to look at the Washington state Democratic caucus vs the Washington state Democratic primary.  In the caucus Bernie won 74 delegates to Hillary’s 27.  In the primary, Hillary soundly defeated Bernie 52% to 47%.

    As a result of the above, in 2020 the Washington Democratic party will now allocate delegates based on the Primary vote.  The primary will now be in March rather than May. 

     

     

  22. NY Times:  Trump Won’t Let No. 2 Spy Chief Take Over When Coats Leaves

    WASHINGTON — The White House is planning to block Sue Gordon, the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official, from rising to the role of acting director of national intelligence when Dan Coats steps down  this month, according to people familiar with the Trump administration’s plans.

    The decision to circumvent Ms. Gordon, who has served as the principal deputy director in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will probably upset Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. They have expressed doubts about Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, who is President Trump’s choice to be the next Senate-confirmed leader of the agency.

    Mr. Trump did not allow Ms. Gordon to personally deliver a recent intelligence briefing after she arrived at the White House, according to a person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence, Amanda J. Schoch, said Ms. Gordon was not blocked from attending any recent briefing, but she declined to comment about what happened inside the Oval Office.

    Opposition in the White House to letting her serve as acting director has raised the question of whether she will be ousted as part of a leadership shuffle at the intelligence director’s office that will be more to Mr. Trump’s liking.

    A federal statute says that if the position of director of national intelligence becomes vacant, the deputy director — currently Ms. Gordon — shall serve as acting director.

    But there appears to be a loophole: The law gives the White House much more flexibility in choosing who to appoint as the acting deputy if the No. 2 position is vacant, said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who specializes in national-security legal issues.

    Ms. Gordon will retire if told by the White House that Mr. Trump wants someone else in the deputy’s role who could then rise to fill the vacancy created when Mr. Coats departs, according to officials.

    Mr. Ratcliffe, an outspoken supporter of Mr. Trump, has thin national security experience relevant to overseeing the work of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. The scrutiny that he is now receiving also brought to light that he exaggerated his résumé when running for office.

    Ms. Gordon, who has served more than 30 years in intelligence posts at the C.I.A. and other agencies, has not been officially informed by the White House that Mr. Trump intends to name someone else to oversee the intelligence agency until the Senate confirms a new director of national intelligence, officials said.

    […]

    On Friday, Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who is the committee’s vice chairman, said that the law was “quite clear” that the acting role goes to the deputy when the director of national intelligence leaves and that Ms. Gordon had the Senate’s confidence. “It’s outrageous if the president is hoping to pass over this extremely qualified and experienced individual, the highest-ranking woman in O.D.N.I., in order to install a political loyalist as acting director,” he said.

    [continues]

  23. …starting to dread the cultural climate this election will precipitate, it’s going to get shitty.  I still haven’t recovered emotionally from 2016.

  24. wapo:  Ratcliffe withdraws from consideration for intelligence chief, Trump says

    Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) faced questions about a padded résumé and lack of experience, which led to a lukewarm reception on Capitol Hill.

     

    “John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country,” President Trump tweeted, adding that he would have a new nominee shortly.

    This is a developing story. It will be updated.

  25. Bink…   I hear you.  I think this election is going to get super nasty.  Maintaining a sense of humor is most important, IMO.
     
    So now that we have Moscow Mitch….  I see we now have Leningrad Lindsey.  They make nice bumper stickers, BTW.

  26. It’s happy kitty day at the Travis and Pam abode! Kitnipbox has just delivered 5 fresh cat toys for our girl Princess Leia. She’s high at the moment from all the catnip and she’s having a ball. So are we! She’s doing all the gyrations you’d expect and making us laugh.
    I’m telling ya – there are few things that’ll cure what ails you faster than a happy kitty playing with toys. Or a happy doggy, if you are canine-inclined.

  27. Alas, I disagree with my esteemed colleague Mr Bink. 11 year old Jaden Jefferson is trying to teach the fakes news network what journalism is and what professional standards entail. This is a daunting task because you can’t teach and old fox news tricks. 

  28. Williamson is not thee hippie-dippy, woo-woo person that folks are trying to paint her.   Some of the stuff being written about her is just thinly-veiled misogyny.  Gotta sound like a man to be reasonable, right?
    My dad’s take is that Joe is the best of the bunch, but he thinks the rest aren’t setting the bar all that high.
    Warren is gonna need to be on that ticket, top or bottom.  Castro isn’t gonna get an invite if Joe is the nominee after this week.

  29. …just another transparent example of FoxNews using a black person as a prop to deflect from their participation as a propaganda machine for an administration actively suppressing black votes and actively attempting to foment a race-war.  Cute, though.

  30. Hey Rene!  I hope to keep dropping in. I still like Warren. She knows money, has a mouth, and uses it.  I also love commas. I could be the Grammar Nazi.  Leningrad Lindsey is right.  They all should be investigated.  Twitter should end Trump…via their policy.  Isn’t there some national policy or international policy that is being violated by the camps on the border? Internment camps. 

  31. SFB saw the light with Ratcliffe?  That was quick. 
     
    And SFB in a tweet made fun of the break in at Cummings’ house, denying he was doing so “as he was leaving the White House for his golf club in Bedminster, NJ” (WaPo). Well that’s par for the course, and haven’t we heard that somewhere before? And of course K A Conjod attacks Nikki Haley for not being stupid enough to buy his bullshit. 

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