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Monday, April 4, 2016


STASI: 2016 presidential election madness is caused by the media    By   LINDA STASI

Hillary Clinton winks and smiles in an episode of “Broad City." Comedy Central

Hillary Clinton winks and smiles in an episode of “Broad City."

Racists, bigots, pompous asses, unhinged religious fanatics, self-loathing children of immigrants, xenophobes, liars, cheats, smug self-promoters, Wall Street prostitutes, hate mongers, gun crazies, do-as-I-say hypocrites, failed business moguls, one victimized wife, an absentee “bridge” player, a brainless brain surgeon and one old socialist. These are the best presidential candidates America could come up with to run our country? Yes, but now (pick from several choices above), we all know Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be the ones left standing — until they bloody each other down.

And it’s all the fault of people like me.

We in the media — neutral, left and right — are the ones that caused this blight of buffoons to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting country.


We, along with legions of social media addicts, conspiracy theorists, and high-priced whores known as political advisers, have made it impossible for anyone who isn’t a sociopath, (as opposed to a socialist), to run for higher office.

Why don’t we have a JFK, a Reagan, an FDR stepping up to the plate any longer? It’s simple, stupid.

It’s because the best American minds in the world of business and politics don’t want their children, their spouses, their private lives, their college misdeeds, their every misspoken word, every sexual encounter, and every business deal spun into something rotten.

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Florida. Gerald Herbert/AP

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Florida.

We’ve made it as though smoking a joint is worse than being a racist. As though being a crazy evolution denier and global warming scoffer is better than being a liberal.

As though saying that Jesus has chosen you to be President is saner than saying the Iraq War destabilized the Middle East.

As though fighting an assault-weapons ban is safer than confronting the statistics of mass murder. As though saying you’d like to punch someone who disagrees with you is more logical than saying you believe in diplomacy. As though filling the uninformed with fear of foreigners and black teenagers is more sensible than the facts.

As though coveting the support of the least informed, the most bigoted, the most fearful and the most volatile, the most easily swayed, is healthier for this nation than winning over the most level-headed.

As though accusing your opponents of incompetence before endorsing them for your own political gain isn’t dangerous as hell.
As though screaming about outsourcing jobs while having your goods manufactured in China isn’t two-faced.

As though making it impossible for immigrants to move here, even though you are the son of immigrants, isn’t despicable.


As though John Kasich isn’t the most decent of them all.
As though stealing someone else’s campaign themes, or encouraging hatred, as the two leading contenders have done, is ethical.

As though we don’t owe each other a big apology for not telling the truth loud enough and clear enough — and screw the hits, the shares, the frigging social media likes.

The truth is that the emperor isn’t naked after all. The presumptive emperor is wearing a Chinese-made suit from the Trump collection.


Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign event for Donald Trump in Tampa, Florida.


Instead of being by the side of her husband, who has a collapsed lung and broken ribs and shoulder from a snowmobile accident, Sarah Palin was on the Trump stump Monday using subliminal racist language to align herself with the man who can put this idiot into a cabinet position.

She told a crowd, “And what we don’t have time for is all that petty punk-ass little thuggery stuff that’s been going on with these quote, unquote protesters.”


Sarah calls protesters “thugs” but last time she made news stumping for Trump, her son Track was at her home getting arrested for punching his girlfriend in the face while brandishing an assault rifle.

“Thug” used to be the “microaggressive” subliminal way of saying “guinea” and “wop” until “Guido” became its reprehensible replacement.

Now “thug” is the subliminal white way to use the “N-word” without being accused of using the “N-word.” Black people know it and everybody in the political world knows it. She knows it, too.
Is there a subliminal word for “stupid?”

Richard Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well. Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic

Richard Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well.

Wait loss: Has Richard Simmons finally lost so much weight he’s disappeared into nothingness? The weight loss guru in the man-short-shorts has disappeared and his friends think his housekeeper is holding him hostage by witchcraft. Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well. It only convinced everybody that he’s not. . . . Broken men: Now he finds out! Two years after Kristen Stewart broke up Rupert Sanders’ marriage by cheating with him on her then-boyfriend Robert Pattinson and breaking his heart, she’s breaking the Internet by kissing a girl, the French singer, Soko. . . . Cruz control: Caitlyn Jenner got past her gender confusion only to find herself the tragic victim of political confusion. She says she wants to be the “trans ambassador” for LGBT-repulsed Ted Cruz if he becomes President. She also maintains that Donald Trump is good on women’s issues. She needs more time as a woman to understand that she has become a blockhead.



A fawningly unfunny preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe.

Each time Clinton blinks, lights blow out. What that magic means is hard to know except that tragically the preview leaked just as the news hit that the House of Representatives was considering a bill to make magic a “recognizable art form.”

Do art forms now have to be recognized by Congress to be acceptable? One of the bill’s sponsors is Staten Island’s own, Rep. Dan Donovan, who replaced congressional-illusionist-turned convict, the sleight of hand, quick of fist Michael Grimm. Must be something in the water in Staten Island.

A preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe. Comedy Central

A preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe.


Why don’t airline captains ever get on the PA and announce what the hell is going on when the plane hits tremendous turbulence? It’s inhumane.

On Monday night, on a Delta flight coming back from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the plane felt like it hit something, started dipping, shaking and dipping some more. Or that’s what it felt like. The hung-over lady weightlifter I was sitting next to and I held hands and low-screamed. Not one word from the cockpit. We were sure we were going down. However, there is some good news. The lady weightlifter and I are now engaged much to my husband’s surprise.

12 YRS. A ‘SLAVE’?

Former stripper Amber Baptiste says Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Michael Goguen, kept her as a sex slave for a dozen years.

No, not like she was tied up in his basement and he fed her dog rations through a cage or anything. But by taking her on trips and giving her hundreds of thousands of dollars and then giving her an STD, while he busied himself marrying two other women. She alleges that during the 12 years he kept raping her.

Baptiste is suing Goguen because he then promised her $40 million to keep her silence but didn’t pay the whole amount. So wait. You can sue for breach of blackmail?


Can Trump Be Stopped?

By Patrick J. Buchanan | October 20, 2015 | 5:05 AM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Anderson, S.C.   (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)

Three months ago, this writer sent out a column entitled, "Could Trump Win?" meaning the Republican nomination.

Today even the Trump deniers concede the possibility.

And the emerging question has become:   "Can Trump be stopped? And if so, where, and by whom?"

Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits.

An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent.   No other GOP candidate gets double digits.

Trump is leading Carson in Iowa, running first in New Hampshire, crushing the field in Nevada and South Carolina.   These are the first four contests. In Florida, Trump's support exceeds that of ex-Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.

If these polls don't turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.

And with Thanksgiving a month off, then the Christmas season, New Year's, college football playoffs and NFL playoffs, the interest of the nation will drift away, again and again, from politics.

Voting begins Feb. 1 in Iowa. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 7. And the New Hampshire primary will likely be on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

We are only three months out, and Trump still holds the high cards.

After months of speeches and TV appearances, he is a far more disciplined campaigner and communicator.   In a year when a huge slice of the nation is disgusted with political correctness, wants to dethrone the establishment, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with someone fresh, Trump is in the pole position.

His issues — secure the border, send illegal immigrants back, renegotiate rotten trade deals that shipped our jobs abroad — are more in tune with the national mood than pro-amnesty, Obamatrade or NAFTA.

Wall Street Journal conservatism is in a bear market.

Trump says he will talk to Vladimir Putin, enforce the nuclear deal with Iran, not tear it up on Inauguration Day, and keep U.S. troops out of Syria.   And South Korea should pay more of the freight and provide more of the troops for its own defense.

A nationalist, and a reluctant interventionist, if U.S. interests are not imperiled, Trump offers a dramatic contrast to the neocons and Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee.   She not only voted for the Iraq war Trump opposed, but she helped launch the Libyan war.

The lights are burning late tonight in the suites of the establishment tonight.   For not since Sen. Barry Goldwater won the California primary in 1964 have their prospects appeared so grim.

Can Trump be stopped?

Absent some killer gaffe or explosive revelation, he will have to be stopped in Iowa or New Hampshire.   A rival will have to emerge by then, strong enough and resourced enough to beat him by March.

The first hurdle for the establishment in taking down Trump is Carson.   In every national poll, he is second. He's sitting on the votes the establishment candidate will need to overtake Trump.

Iowa is the ideal terrain for a religious-social conservative to upset Trump, as Mike Huckabee showed in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But Carson has preempted part of the Evangelical and social conservative vote. Moreover, Sen. Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment man, is working Iowa and has the forensic abilities to rally social conservatives.

Should Trump fall, and his estate go to probate, Cruz's claim would seem superior to that of any establishment favorite.

Indeed, for an establishment-backed candidate — a Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — to win Iowa, he must break out of the single-digit pack soon, fend off Cruz, strip Carson of part of his following, then overtake Trump.   A tall order.

Yet, the battle to consolidate establishment support has begun.   And despite his name, family associations, size of his Super PAC, Jeb has lost ground to Marco Rubio.   Look to Marco to emerge as the establishment's last best hope to take down Trump.

But if Trump wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire.

The Iowa Caucuses then, the first contest, may well be decisive.   If not stopped there, Trump may be unstoppable.   Yet, as it is a caucus state where voters stick around for hours before voting, organization, intensity and endless labor can pay off big against a front-runner.

In Iowa, for example, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H. W. Bush in 1980.   Vice President Bush was defeated by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson in 1988. Reagan and Bush I needed and managed comeback victories in New Hampshire.   One cannot lose Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thus, today's task for the Republican establishment.

Between now and March, they must settle on a candidate, hope his rivals get out of the race, defeat Trump in one of the first two contests, or effect his defeat by someone like Carson, then pray Trump will collapse like a house of cards.

The improbabilities of accomplishing this grow by the week, and will soon start looking, increasingly, like an impossibility — absent the kind of celestial intervention that marked the career of the late Calvin Coolidge. 

Patrick J. Buchanan
Patrick J. Buchanan

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past thirty years—or on another planet—you know who she is. And you probably have an opinion.

"I mean, not too many people with the one name, Hillary," Virginia's Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe told CNN. "I guess a few others. Madonna, a few others ... But everybody knows Hillary."

That's the blessing and the curse. Hillary Clinton does not start her campaign at the starting line, like most. She's a woman who has written two autobiographies — one called "Living History"— and has a resume that checks almost every box, except the one she wants to check this time around: Madame President.
    A Mr. and Mrs. President?
    A Mr. and Mrs. President? 01:03

    She's been through it all, and then some. So it's easy to ask why she would actually do this: another campaign, more targets on her back, the possibility it won't succeed. Again.

    But the tugs at Hillary Clinton to run are much stronger, as it turns out. The tug of the huge Clinton network. The tug of her husband, Bill Clinton. The tug of history as a woman, to be sure. And the tug of national service which, many point out, is what Hillary knows best.

    "It's not just 'I have to do this, I have to make history, I have to be the big shot, they have to play Hail to the Chief when I walk in the room,'" says friend, adviser and fundraiser Paul Begala. "It's really a sense that she's got this agenda and this is the way to get it done."

    Friday, November 27, 2015

    Republicans Are Revolting

    The republicans are revolting and they don't get along too well among themselves either.     Is that sentence true or what?      On both counts.

    The Bush Family Fantasy

    In the Republican debates Jeb Bush had the gall to claim that his brother kept us safe, even though more than 3,000 Americans perished nearly a year into George Bush's Presidency.   Trump had to remind him that in fact 9/11 happened under W's watch.   We haven't been attacked since Obama became President.   He also got Osama bin Laden. 

    Republicans downplay the former as luck, and claim Obama took too much credit for the latter. Neither is true, but the Republicans never give Obama credit for keeping us safe during two terms, and not just after a major terrorist attack..

    Immigrant Bashing

    The Republicans blame illegal immigrants for America's problems, and Trump shamelessly labeled Hispanics, drug dealers and rapists, followed by,  "But I'm sure there are a few who are good people."   Now he's insulting Syrian refugees as terrorists, and he wants to bring back waterboarding.   Perhaps he should ask John McCain, who he insulted by saying he prefers heroes who weren't captured, whether waterboarding is a smart anti-terror strategy.   The Republicans need someone to blame for America's ills so no one focuses on their agenda, which is entirely aimed at the 1 percent.    They create fear  in the hearts of people who get all their info from Fox News to keep them distracted.    But it's the Republican's lamentable lack of agenda that would benefit 99.9 percent of Americans that's to blame.

    The Republican candidates pledge to give their billionaire donors more tax cuts and to dismantle every government agency.  How will that help the 99.9 percent?

    The Republicans' political interests are at odds with those of nearly every American, and they hide this by promising the shrinking middle class they'll benefit from it too. 

    They won't.   Republican voters who aren't wealthy might want to stop voting against their own economic interests.   Supporting billionaires' positions when you're struggling financially is counter-intuitive.   The Republicans oppose a $15 an hour minimum wage by falsely claiming that unemployment follows minimum wage hikes.   In fact it never has.   And demonizing Black, Hispanic, and Middle-Eastern people won't create good paying jobs, but it occupies the Republican base by giving them someone to hate.

    Extraordinary Stupidity

    W. was shockingly unaware there are two Muslim sects, Sunni and Shia or that they detest each other.   Isis and al-Quaeda were born from the chaos after Saddam Hussein's demise.    Blaming Obama for not leaving more troops in Iraq to prevent the chaos falls on deaf ears since nearly every American wanted our troops out.    For Dick Cheney and his friends the war was economically self-serving, and by the way Dick, stop telling everyone that Obama is the worst President ever because you were, without the title.    Your 
    continued justification for the Iraq War even pissed off Fox News anchors.

    Chicken Hawks=Chicken Poop

    With the exception of Rand Paul, an isolationist, the other Republican contenders are chicken hawks.    Each is chomping at the bit to send troops into battle to satisfy the base.   Trump says he'd bomb Isis into oblivion, but since we're already doing this he's just throwing red meat to the mob.    Jeb insisted he'd go to war again in Iraq even knowing what we know today, and he wants to send ground troops into Syria, which in Yogi Berra vernacular is deja vu all over again.

    Not Our Problem

    The Middle East is a Muslim problem only Muslims can resolve.   Our interference will never create peace between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and it won't make democracy grow either.   If we overthrow Assad, a worse dictator or a religious zealot will move in.   The slogan, fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here is meaningless and meant to put fear in American's hearts.   Our safety is based on not being over there in the first place.   And in terms of Israel, which Republican candidates fervently pledge to protect, no Democrat, including Obama ever suggested walking away from them.

    Window Dressing

    Republican challengers adamantly oppose the anti-nuclear treaty with Iran for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is their obsessive hatred for Obama, who they've treated like a black interloper whose success must never be repeated.

    They publicly disrespect him, thus emboldening each other's racist attitudes.    Their claim that racism is over is racist because it's not.   Can anyone imagine the Koch brothers hugging Ben Carson?    Yeah, sure you can.

    Lynch Mob

    Donald Trump's anti-immigrant lynch mob is proof that America's educational system is broken, because fanatical support for a racist businessman whose simplistic ideas best represent the world views of a comic book hero, is just ignorant.   And his steady stream of racist lies is being gobbled up by his mob as gospel.    Cheering Arabs in New Jersey after 9/11, a total fabrication is his latest red meat offering, along with America taking in 250,000 Syrian refugees when the number is only 25,000.    I don't know if his adherents are the dumbest, most simple-minded Americans in history, but they're serious contenders for the title. 

    Trump is an unconscionable narcissist whose only goal is to be admired, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.    And let's be clear, he has no interest in becoming President.   This is a game he's playing like opening casinos and bankrupting them.   He's gambling with the lives of Americans who are rightfully concerned, but he offers nothing but egotistical rhetoric.   The Republicans are in a Catch-22 with Hispanics.   They revile them publicly but they can't get to the White House without their votes.   Robin Williams delivered a line to an uptight Army Sergeant in, Good  Morning Vietnam that fits Trump's myopic followers perfectly;   they're in more dire need of a blowjob than any white men in history.

    Roman Circus

    The Republican debates have the feel of the Roman circus.   The gladiators try to bloody each other sufficient to get thumbs up from religious zealots, anti-evolutionists, racists, billionaires,  anti-labor activists, angry white men, xenophobes, and high school dropouts.   Their attitudes about women are antediluvian, which I'll 
    define for the Republican base;   relating to the period before the flood mentioned in the Bible. And let's not forget the Republican's fake war on Christianity and Christmas, which they manufactured to distract the base and keep them fired up.   That more than 40% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim is an admission of ignorance that the base seems proud to display. 

    Huckabee said yesterday that Obama will make Americans memorize the Koran.   And remember the woman at the Republican town hall meeting who said she didn't want the government interfering with her Medicare?    Some of the candidates proudly claim not to believe in evolution, climate change, or that the planet is billions of years older than their base insists it is. Anti-science is their true religion.

    Best Choice

    I admit I'm not an avid fan of Hillary's, but I'll support her because she's smarter than the bag of hammers running against her.    And if there's one lesson we learned from the Bush years, it's that brains count in the White House.    Electing a Republican means the dwindling middle class would vanish, the 1 percent will get richer, more military involvements, the planet will move closer to extinction, and not one job will be created. 

    Sure, Hillary is supported by special interests too, but hers don't oppose a $15-an-hour minimum wage, believe that climate change is a hoax, fear the "browning" of America, or that Sharia Law is actually a threat to the American legal system.

    The GOP candidates pretend they're Ronald Reagan's successors.   They're not, and he would be appalled by their simple-minded rhetoric.

    Don't Waste Your Vote

    Bernie Sanders is like the curmudgeonly uncle who pontificates over Thanksgiving dinner, and while he may have more egalitarian ideas than Hillary, he's highly unlikely to win.   The last time Democrats stood up for their principles they supported Ralph Nader and we lost the White House to one of the worst Presidents in history.   It's Hillary or disaster, so remember that when you're in the voting booth thinking about making a principled statement.


    From the beginning of his campaign, the billionaire showman has demonstrated a knack for winning the spotlight with incredible boasting and a penchant for lobbing incendiary rhetorical bombs.    But in the last week, Trump seems to have outdone himself with his penchant for controversy, and the Republican Party is worried about it.

    Earlier this week, the Republican presidential front-runner embarked on a 96-hour-long tour de force of racially charged statements.    He re tweeted false statistics about black-on-white crime that seem to have originated from a neo-Nazi Twitter account.   He defended the idea that Muslim Americans could be registered in special databases, even as reporters asked him to distinguish between his proposal and Nazi registration of Jews in Germany.    He insisted that there were large crowds of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the World Trade Centers collapsed on 9/11, a claim that has not been corroborated by any serious source.   And when a peaceful Black Lives Matter protester at one 
    of his rallies was assaulted by Trump's supporters, he condoned the act by saying,   "Maybe he should have been roughed up."

    Trump is no stranger to exploiting racial tensions and tapping into white nationalist sentiment — both serve as the very foundation for his candidacy.    But, over the past several weeks, he's been so unabashedly confrontational that some members of the Republican establishment are making a new concerted effort to portray Trump as having gone off the deep end.    Whether or not they agree with some of his points, it's clear that Republicans are concerned about the party's public image in the the general election and feel the need to not only take Trump down as a nominee, but distance the entire party from many of his views. 

    Toward that end, a number of Republicans have decided to ramp up the attacks dramatically: They're characterizing him as an out-and-out fascist.

    The F-word:  CNN's MJ Lee has a useful round-up of Republicans who are deciding to unite around the "fascist" label.   As she points out, a number of prominent voices in the Republican race have decided it's an appropriate way to characterize Trump's rhetoric.

    One is Max Boot, an adviser to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who tweeted that Trump deserved the fascist label.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's national security adviser John Noonan thinks the Muslim database isn't just a precursor to a Nazi-like regime, but actually a plain element of one as he launches his attacks agasinst Trump.

    Steve Deace, a radio show host in Iowa who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz in the primaries, said Trump was guilty of fostering "creeping fascism".   
    The very introduction of the "fascist" label by some Republicans is remarkable.   But it isn't a sophisticated appraisal of Trump's theory of change as much as an attempt to absolutely repudiate some of his most controversial rhetoric and to draw a line in the sand in what the party should be able to say about Muslims.

    The line might be boldly drawn, but it's not enough to stem the party's problem with alienating the Muslim community.   Bush and Cruz have called for a religion test for Syrian refugees and for prioritizing or exclusively taking in Christians fleeing the war-torn region.    Sen. Rand Paul has called for denying visas to people from countries with active jihadist movements and barring refugees from 34 countries — including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran — from housing benefits.    Republican governors across the nation have said that Syrian migrants are not welcome in their states.

    Will claims of Trump being a fascist bring him down in the polls?   It could hurt.   But so far the man has virtually defied every law of politics that forecasters have expected to take him down for months.   The reality is that it's not just Trump that feels this way about Muslims, it's quite a bit of America. 


    Monday, October 12, 2015

    2 Million, 006 thousand, 669 Visitors Ago, The Amherst Democratic News is Born

    2,006,669 VISITORS and READERS
    360 issues

    Dear Friends, Readers and Visitors,  

    Thank You for years of Support.

    The published output of the  Amherst Democratic News is available online and consists of 360 issues beginning June 9th, 2009 and may be researched in the Amherst Democratic News Blog Archive.  (entry to archive is at the bottom of each sheet by year, month, day and article title)    It is a complete record containing photos and text.

    The very first issue covered the Agenda for the Amherst County Democrats monthly meeting on June 9th, 2009 at the Madison Heights Library at 7 pm.
    David Burford was our chair, Betty Zieger read the Secretaries report and Roscoe "Skipper" Fitts was the Treasurer.  


    Wright Shop........... Magnolia Braxton

    Monroe................... Suzanne Chambers

    Temperance............. M&M Gilbert

    Court House............. Mary Ann Hostetier

    Glasgow..................... Ned & Lynn Kable

    Amelon...................... Robert Perry

    Elon........................... Mary Truitt
    PL. View.....................James Willie Rucker

    Madison......................Linda Cocke

    C'Well/ LON................Francis Wayne

    Leon Parrish and Chair, Ned Kable at Ellen Arthur Kick  Off in Amherst.

    The Summer Soltice Festival was approaching and Jeff Price was readying for a run for State Representative.       The Amherst Democratic News was a couple of days old and few if any thought it would still be publishing in  October of 2015.    Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States and all things were possible.

                        " May the blessings of God be upon you. "

    Many Thanks for All Your Help

    Amherst Democratic News

    Fired Benghazi staffer says desire to get Hillary Clinton trumps search for truth

    Maj. Bradley Podliska is preparing a lawsuit against the House Select Committee on Benghazi for firing him, alleging that the panel has unfairly targeted Hillary Clinton in its investigation of the 2012 attacks.

    The Republican-led House committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks disproportionately targets former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a fired staffer says, an 
    accusation that the committee itself vehemently denies.

    "I knew that we needed to get to the truth to the victims' families. And the victims' families, they deserve the truth – whether or not Hillary Clinton was involved, whether or not other individuals were involved," Podliska says on CNN’s "State of the Union" Sunday.    "The victims' families are not going to get the truth and that's the  most unfortunate thing about this."

    Recommended:   CIA-Senate dispute 101: 9 questions about who's spying on whom.

    The former investigator, currently on active duty in Germany, was fired 10 months after joining the committee, which has spent $4.6 million on the investigation so far. 

    Podliska is now preparing to sue the select committee, alleging that he was unjustly fired for his efforts to push for a comprehensive investigation, opposing the biased probe into Clinton. The partisan efforts, he explains, intensified after news broke that Clinton was using her private email server instead of the government-issued one.

    "Hillary Clinton has a lot of explaining to do. We, however, did not need to shift resources to hyper focus on Hillary Clinton.   We didn't need to de-emphasize and in some cases drop the investigation on different agencies, different organizations and different individuals," Podliska told CNN.   "There's wrongdoing here and I think it needs to stop."

    Podliska, a longtime Republican, says he was also fired for taking leave from the committee for active duty in the military, which would violate the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, The New York Times reports.

    In a statement Sunday, chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, denied all of Podliska’s allegations on behalf of the committee. He said Podliska never acknowledged his concern over Clinton or partisan opportunism when he was dismissed this summer.

    "Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf," Gowdy says in the statement.

    Gowdy says Podliska had actually been the one eager to scrutinize Clinton.

    “Until his Friday conversations with media, this staffer has never mentioned Secretary Clinton as a cause of his termination, and he did not cite Clinton’s name in a legally mandated mediation,” Gowdy continues.   “The record makes it clear he himself was focused on Clinton improperly and was instructed to stop, and that issues with his conduct were noted on the record as far back as April.”

    The Washington Post reports that Podliska had delegated to interns a PowerPoint assignment that looked into Clinton’s location and initial responses to the attacks that left four dead.

    Democrats say Podliska’s accusations attest to what they have long suspected – that the committee’s Republicans do sustain a partiality against Clinton in their analysis of Benghazi. 

    "It’s been clear that Secretary Clinton has been the true target of this investigation,  theRepublican whistle blower who has come forward only provides further evidence of what has been long evident,"  Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel, said Saturday in a statement.   "It’s time to shut down the Benghazi Select Committee."

    Clinton herself will testify before the committee for the first time on Oct. 22.


    Jeb Bush appears to have paid the price in the eyes of Republican voters for a number of gaffes that included him saying in the aftermath of a college massacre that "stuff happens."

    He may be the ultimate establishment Republican, but Bush -- brother and son to former presidents -- has seen his political ambitions stutter in the months since Donald Trump entered the race for the party nomination for the White House.

    Bush's low energy style littered with gaffes doesn't seem to fit in today's campaign world.    Don't count Jeb out though cause he's got over 100 Million dollars to buy ads with and to hire someone else to speak for him.     None of the Bushes showed any real talent for the office but huge backing and money did the job for them.    Don't be surprised if it happens again.     You can teach a monkey to debate, the GOP got Sarah Palin over the hump and Jeb seems to be a few IQ points smarter than Sarah.

    Bush's plummeting fortunes were confirmed in a CBS News poll released Sunday which said his favorable rating among Republican primary voters has dived 11 points since August.

    Trump, with 27 percent, remains in the lead in the race for the Republican nomination, with Ben Carson (21 percent) in second place, according to the poll.

       5th Place, GW said "Thats good for Jeb"

    Next are Ted Cruz (nine percent), Marco Rubio (eight percent).    Bush was in fifth in the crowded field of 15 Republican presidential hopefuls with six percent.

    He was on 13 percent just two months ago.

    The Bush campaign has shown a puzzling lack of traction against brash real-estate mogul Trump as he seeks to break out from the rest of the crowded field, reinforcing American voter skepticism about him following his father's and brother's footsteps into the White House.

    The former Florida governor invited opprobrium for his reaction to the October 1 college shooting that left nine people dead and for his comments in August about women's health.

    Hillary Clinton, with 46 percent, continues to lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, the poll said.

    Trey Gowdy is right. The House is basically ungovernable.

    In an interview with NBC's Kristen Welker, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) offered his honest — and correct — assessment of his party in Congress.   Here's the key bit:

    I think the House is bordering on ungovernable right now. ... Being speaker is a very difficult job. We need to have a family conversation and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before that conversation starts.    We're getting close.

    Now, Gowdy was explaining to Welker why he wouldn't be interested in the soon-to-be vacant job as speaker of the House.   But his reasoning is almost certainly why Paul Ryan isn't jumping at the job either, despite basically every establishment Republican in the country urging him to do it.

    The problem for Ryan, Gowdy and anyone else who is thinking about being speaker can be explained in a very simple math problem. Republicans currently control 247 seats.  

    There are, roughly, 40 Republican members — the vast majority of whom identify with the tea party-affiliated Freedom Caucus — who will vote against the wishes of leadership on almost any major measure unless the leadership adopts a very conservative stance.    If you subtract 40 from 247, you get 207 -- 11 votes short of what a speaker would need to pass a piece of legislation without relying on any Democratic votes.

    A Republican speaker who needs to always lean on Democrats to pass anything doesn't really have all that much power.    And every time he (or she) leans on Democrats to pass something, that power erodes even more. 

    But, you say, if Ryan was speaker, the Freedom Caucus wouldn't rebel!   They like Ryan!   He is conservatives' favorite establishment guy!

    And you'd be right (sort of).    “Paul Ryan is a good man,”   Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the Freedom Caucus, said on “Fox News Sunday."   “If he gets in the race, certainly our group would look favorably on him."

    So yes, Ryan would — as we noted in this space last week — almost certainly be the only member of the GOP conference who could get the 218 votes needed to be speaker in a floor vote.    But getting elected speaker — while a real accomplishment — is not the same thing as running the House effectively.

    And that's where Ryan and the Freedom Caucus would almost certainly part ways.    If past is prologue, what the tea party-aligned GOP members of the House want on any given piece of legislation is absolute adherence to conservative principles.   So no raising of the debt ceiling.   No budget if federal dollars for Planned Parenthood are included.

    In fact, no compromise — with Senate Republicans, with the White House, with anyone — at all.    And that is where Ryan would run into trouble.   At the core of being the leader of either the House or Senate is compromise — especially when the current occupant of the White House isn't in the same party that you are.

    Ryan, Gowdy or anyone else who tried to "run" the House would, inevitably, be drawn into talks with Obama about how to cut a deal to keep the government open, or raise (or not) the debt ceiling. 

    Being speaker is a powerful position, but you don't get the last and only word on how legislation turns out.    There is a group in the House three dozen 
    or so strong that chooses not to understand that dynamic or simply doesn't care.

    That was the problem Boehner was confronted with again and again during his time as speaker.    He would hold firm on the preferred conservative outcome and refuse to budge in negotiations with the White House.    But as deadlines drew near — and things like shutting down the government over a dispute over funding Obamacare loomed — Boehner would always advocate for talking to Senate Democrats and the White House in hopes of cutting the most advantageous deal possible.   But the tea party wing wanted no conversations, 
    no deals.   Boehner's hands were tied.    The end.

    It's hard to imagine the House under Ryan's control being all that much different.   I think he might get some honeymoon period from the tea partiers, but they are simply not a go-along-to-get-along bunch by nature.    And with some major fights coming up soon in Congress, it seems likely that the Freedom Caucus would revert back to their oppositional ways sooner rather than later.

    The question for House Republicans — and again, Gowdy hit the nail on the head — is what "rock bottom" looks like.   Rock bottom at the presidential level for the party came in 1964 when Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination but proved too conservative for the country as a whole and won only 52 electoral votes against Lyndon Johnson.

    Given how heavily gerrymandered most House districts are (along with the GOP's significant natural advantage on the House map, given the concentration of Democrats in urban areas), it's hard to imagine House Republicans suffering broad-scale electoral losses (or losing control of the majority) before the national redrawing of congressional lines in 2021.   The one thing I can imagine that might meet the standards of "rock bottom" is if Ryan decides not to run for speaker and what follows is a protracted, nasty fight — 
    the result of which is some sort of power-sharing deal within the GOP or, even more remarkably, with Democrats.

    Those scenarios — especially a power-sharing deal with Democrats — seem very unlikely to me, which may mean that House Republicans are still a ways from rock bottom.   But even if they haven't bottomed out just yet, that doesn't mean there is anyone in the party who can lead it in its current form.   There isn't.

    Ben Carson Loses Brain Surgeon License After Making Numerous Brainless Comments

    The Medical Boards for all 50 States in the Union announced today that they have revoked Ben Carson's medical license and will no longer allow him to operate as a brain surgeon any where in the U.S.    And they cited as their reason Carson's mental and intellectual challenges -- otherwise known as the propensity to sound like a total and utter nutcase.

    In a joint statement, the Medical Boards said:  We have been increasingly concerned about the gibberish emanating from Mr. Carson's cerebrum.    
    We cite by way of example his belief that the holocaust could have been prevented by armed German citizens, that straight people go into prison and come out gay, and that Obamacare is the worse thing to happen to the country since slavery.

    We are therefore suspending his medical license in any state where he is qualified to practice.   And should he choose to come out of retirement and re-apply for credentials, we will not allow him to operate on people's cerebrums, or indeed cerebellums, limbic systems and brain stems, until he can demonstrate that his own are in fully working 

    While appearing on The Really Bad Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Ben Carson said:  "I'm very disappointed to hear this news and I categorically deny I'm crazy.    I think this 
    is a concerted effort by Dr. Gregory House, Dr. No, Dr. Who and Dr. Doolittle to undermine my candidacy for the Presidency and I am therefore going to ignore it and carry on 
    with my campaign regardless."

    In his defense, Carson also highlighted comments made by other Republican candidates for the Presidency too.   "Listen, Donald Trump thinks he can deport 11 million people back to Mexico and then get Mexico to pay for a wall to stop them coming back in.

    Carly Fiorina believes she can run the entire United States of America even after running little old HP into the ground.

    And Ted Cruz doesn't want to work with Democrats to get things done, and yet he told Fox News in 2012 that he's prepared to work with Martians!    I mean seriously, if I'm a loony tune, these folks must be too."

    Unfortunately for the Republican party, Carson's assertions have been borne out by the latest Real Clear Polidicks opinion poll.   On the question of which Republican candidate is the most  "bat shit crazy",  Ben Carson is tied in equal first place with Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul.

    The poll was conducted earlier this week, it had 330 million respondents and no margin for error.

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