Saturday, April 8, 2017

Last Call For Looney Suit Larry

Hey guys?  Just a reminder that stupid, unhelpful conspiracy theories are not the sole province of the right, as Lawrence O'Donnell floats the idea that last week's chemical strike in Syria was...Putin's doing.

A volley of U.S. cruise missiles had barely been launched into Syria before the Internet filled up with fact-free theories about the real reason for an international crisis.

A popular one on the right-most fringes: The U.S. government actually carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria last week — a “false flag” to trick President Trump into retaliating, thus entangling himself in a foreign war.

A slightly more convoluted strain on the left: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump — distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia by provoking the missile strike.

That theory — evidence-free — was laid out on a small anti-Trump website shortly after the missile strike.

But it went mainstream Friday night, when Lawrence O'Donnell advanced similar speculation on his MSNBC show, “The Last Word.”

“Wouldn't it be nice,” O'Donnell asked a nodding, smiling Rachel Maddow, “if it was just completely, totally, absolutely impossible to suspect that Vladimir Putin orchestrated what happened in Syria this week — so that his friend in the White House could have a big night with missiles and all the praises he's picked up over the past 24 hours?”

The theory was impossible to rule out, O'Donnell said, because of the Trump campaign's ties to the Russian government.

A few minutes later, the host elaborated on his theory under banner text: “Wag The Dog?” — recalling a similar conspiracy theory that President Bill Clinton launched missiles in 1998 to distract from his own scandal.

“It changes the conventional wisdom about the dynamic between President Trump and Vladimir Putin,” O'Donnell said. “President Trump has finally dared to do something Vladimir Putin doesn't like. It changes everything.”

O'Donnell didn't offer any evidence on his theory, promising only that “you won't hear ... proof that the scenario I've just outlined is impossible.”

Jesus hell, Larry.

It's one thing for Trump to spout nonsense, because frankly he's a chronic liar and has all the credibility of a soggy bowl of corn flakes.  But moonbat bullcrap like this, with no evidence, blurted out on cable news, well it's just as moronic when the left does it.

I'm not sure what O'Donnell is doing with this one, but it's only going to help Trump continue to erode the country's stability, especially when actual evidence exists that Putin really is a serious problem.

Knock it off, man.

Bitter Home Alabama, Con't

I've covered the two biggest messes in Alabama GOP politics, the state's GOP leadership stuck in a massive impeachment scandal that has already taken down the state's House Speaker Mike Hubbard while Gov. Robert Bentley is facing an impeachment scandal after the ridiculously failed cover-up of an affair with one of his staff, and the state's attempt to disenfranchise black voters by passing a strict voter ID law and then closing 90% of drivers' license offices in predominantly black counties, a move that generated enough national outrage that the state reversed the closings.

It turns out that Bentley's scandal and the DMV office closings have a connection, and it's Rebekah Mason, the staff member Bentley was having an affair with.

Governor Robert Bentley's former top advisor and secret paramour Rebekah Mason led a politically-motivated effort in 2015 to close 31 driver's license offices in mostly black counties, a move that embarrassed the state and was later reversed.

The decision also led to a federal investigation and drew civil rights protesters such as Jesse Jackson to the state.

Mason's role was highlighted in a 131-page report released Friday by the investigator leading impeachment efforts against Gov. Bentley, a report largely focused on the relationship between Mason and Bentley.

The report and exhibits can be found here.

According to that report, which was compiled by lead investigator Jack Sharman, it was Mason who "proposed closing multiple driver's license offices throughout the State" and asked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to "put together a plan."

According to Sharman's report, former ALEA head Spencer Collier understood Mason's intentions were to have the plan "rolled out in a way that had limited impact on Government Bentley's political allies."

Collier, according to the report, claims he then reported the closure plan to then-Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's office because he was concerned about a Voting Rights Act violation.

Collier assented to the closure plan, but through the use of an "objective measure based on processed transactions per year to determine which offices to close," the report states.

The closures were estimated to save around $200,000, an extremely small savings in a General Fund that typically has annual shortfalls ranging from $100 million to $200 million.

So yeah, the Governor's mistress very much wanted to keep black people in Alabama from being able to vote, and wanted to do so in a way that "protected" her lover.  Nice lady, huh.  Meanwhile, the impeachment proceedings against Bentley continue, and the former state AG?  He's now Senator Luther Strange, Jeff Sessions's replacement.

Alabama keeps on keepin on in the corruption department.

Negasonic Teenage Warmongers

It seems that the feud between White House "evil geniuses" Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner has finally gotten the notice of Trump, and he's sick of the kids fighting in the back seat and he will turn this car around, dammit.

Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, two warring senior White House aides, had a bury-the-hatchet meeting ordered by President Donald Trump, after arriving at Mar-a-Lago this week.

The sit-down, which was confirmed by two White House officials, was an attempt to smooth over tensions between the two men, which have dominated headlines for days. Whether the meeting was successful in creating a d├ętente – and how long it lasts – is an open question, especially in a White House that has been dominated by infighting.

Bannon and Kushner had for months been allies. In recent weeks, though, there has been substantial discord between them. The fight, people in the administration say, centers on policy differences. Bannon, White House chief strategist, is a flame-throwing populist who formerly ran Breitbart News. He has criticized Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, for his more politically moderate approach. Kushner is suspicious of Bannon’s fiery style and has been concerned about how he’s influencing the president.

Suspicion between Bannon’s team and Kushner’s has intensified in recent days, with both sides accusing the other of planting negative stories in the media.

It's not the fact that Bannon and Kushner are acting like spoiled teenagers in a fight over who gets to be student body president, it's the fact they're doing it while they are affecting the direction of the entire United States of America.

Frankly I don't care which one of these jackasses gets grounded by dad first, the fact is the whole regime needs to go, and the sooner the better.  By 2020 there might not be an America left for these idiots to run into the ground.
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