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Jeff Flake: We shouldn’t have spiked the ball after confirming Kavanaugh

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I don’t know, buddy. Even I opened a cold one after the final vote. It’d be nice if the Flake model for Supreme Court politics prevailed in America, with lots of restraint and decorum befitting the Court’s image as an institution that supposedly stands apart from petty partisan politics. But the reality is the opposite: Supreme Court confirmations are now even more cutthroat than congressional battles. Because everything is on the line with shifting Court majorities, you’re not only entitled to be ruthless in fighting over vacancies, you have an all but moral duty to be so. Thank Roe and the Bork saga and the Estrada saga and the Garland saga and now the Kavanaugh saga for that. It’s been raining bitterness for many years. The reservoir is full and ready to overflow if and when an RBG vacancy opens up on Trump’s watch and/or liberals push their bananas Court-packing idea afterward.

So, might as well pop the bubbly and spray them in the face with it when you win.

Speaking of Garland, it occurred to me that the average lefty probably cares less about getting a champagne bath over Kavanaugh than the fact that they weren’t permitted to pop the champagne themselves over Merrick Garland. How did Flake, the great compromiser, handle that one? I had to refresh my memory. Turns out he did grant Garland a personal meeting after Obama nominated him. But…

Confirmation hearings should wait until Americans choose the next president, Flake said, echoing a majority of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“Because this nomination has the potential to so dramatically shift the balance of the court, I continue to believe that the Senate is fully justified in waiting until the presidential election before proceeding to fill the seat,” Flake said.

Flake was part of the stonewall effort on the right. He began to waver on that in October, after the “Access Hollywood” tape emerged, but not because he thought it was unfair to Garland to deny him a hearing. His wavering was driven by a strategic calculation: With Trump seemingly doomed to lose the election, he thought it’d be smart to get the process going on confirming the center-left Garland during the lame-duck session in order to avoid a scenario in which President Hillary nominated a farther-left candidate in 2017 to fill the seat.

So, lefties, which was more annoying? Trump spiking the ball with a White House ceremony for Kavanaugh or Flake helping to block your last best chance for years to shift the Court to the left? I can’t speak for them, but I think I know the answer.

Two clips here, one of Flake talking about Kavanaugh and how McConnell received his last-minute demand for an FBI probe before the cloture vote (not well!) and the second of him hoping that someone primaries Trump in 2020. I’m in the minority in thinking that Flake won’t end up not doing it himself; if anyone will do it, Sasse will, but increasingly I suspect it depends on how Trump handles the fallout from Mueller’s investigation. If he ends up purging the DOJ in the course of trying to purge Mueller, I think he’ll get a token challenge. If he doesn’t, would-be challengers will resign themselves to the fact that This Is The New Normal and acquiesce in him being renominated.


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The robot dog that will murder you will also dance on your grave

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To cleanse the palate, obviously I don’t know if there’ll be “graves” as such after the robot apocalypse. I assume it’ll depend on their olfactory capabilities. If they’re not equipped to detect scent, maybe the ‘bots will just leave us where we lie to decay in the sun, our streets transformed into rivers of putrefied viscera from the sheer mass of leaking carcasses.

It’s my great privilege to share thoughts like that with you at the end of a long day.

I’m curious about what possessed Boston Dynamics to put this clip together. Could be nothing more than boredom or a creative way to show off Spot’s motor skills. But I wonder if all the freaky-deaky videos of humanoid robots demonstrating ever more impressive feats of mobility has created a strange sort of PR problem for them. They don’t want every promo they do to seem menacing, however inadvertently. Soon they’ll have people breaking into their factory, trying to stop them before they build the first T-800. Time to do something whimsical instead.

This thing is set to go on sale next year, by the way. Not to everyday consumers; the price tag will likely ensure that it remains a corporate plaything. But you’ll be seeing them around sooner than you think. Plus, some ultra-rich tech bros are destined to buy them and show them off as look-what-I-got novelties. We all know who the first one will be.

Weird but true: In a few decades’ time, this thing shaking its ass in your face as it does a victory twerk might be the last thing you ever see.

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WOW! Claire McCaskill Speaks Out After Project Veritas Reveals She’s a Complete Fraud — Lies and Blames Hawley (VIDEO)

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James O’Keefe strikes again!

On Monday evening, Project Veritas released an undercover video of endangered Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill admitting to being deceptive about her stance on firearms and immigration policies.

McCaskill is a red-state Democrat Senator so she has to appear pro 2nd Amendment to her constituents because Missourians love their guns.

Claire McCaskill’s staffers were also caught on video saying she puts on a moderate front to get the Republican votes.

The top staffer then continued saying McCaskill believes everything Obama does.

THIS WAS A DEVASTATING VIDEO! Claire McCaskill was COMPLETELY EXPOSED!

Senator McCaskill’s staffers admitted she is pro-DACA, pro-DREAMERS and against the border wall even though she runs ads to the contrary claiming she is strong on border security.
The Project Veritas Video has been viewed over 267,000 times so far!

On Tuesday morning Claire McCaskill responded to the stunning revelations.
McCaskill went on Ozarks First to try to dig herself out of this deep hole.


Claire lied some more, blamed Josh Hawley for the undercover video.

Senator McCaskill: I’ve been very up front about all my positions. I remember this person was trying to get me to say something different than what my positions are… It is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding something in my campaign.

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Coincidence or corruption? In Andrew Cuomo’s government it’s hard to tell

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Given the parade of people in the orbit of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who have recently either been shipped off to jail or come under investigation, it’s amazing that none of the dirt ever sticks to Cuomo himself. How does he account for the various people who funneled money toward his campaign, and then were later discovered to have benefitted from state government “generosity” and wound up in handcuffs? It’s all just a coincidence.

Today we’re hearing news of yet another of these amazing coincidences. This story starts with a situation we first covered more than a year ago and it dealt with some donors who helped Cuomo out during his 2014 campaign. A medical corporation named Crystal Run Healthcare was run by a few people who had funneled more than $400K to Cuomo’s campaigns over the previous four years. When the “Buffalo Billion” was announced (a plan to invest a billion dollars of taxpayer money into projects creating jobs in the western, upstate region) Crytal Run was at the front of the line. They wound up receiving more than $25M dollars for two new medical centers.

But there were some fishy elements to the story. First of all, they had actually broken ground on both of those new projects six months before the grants were even announced or applications were being taken. It’s almost as if they knew they had the money coming from somewhere. Then we found out that the Crystal Run had coughed up a flurry of maximum donations only weeks before the checks to them were cut. In addition to that, there was a meeting held less than two weeks after the announcement of the grants where Crystal Run executives met with state officials, including a top aide from inside Cuomo’s office.

How did Cuomo explain it? It was all just a happy coincidence and the meeting didn’t matter because they didn’t even talk about the grants. The meeting was about Medicaid.

But now the local press has gotten hold of emails from Crystal Run showing that they did indeed discuss their two new developments and the grants, and that the state representatives at the meeting were “very receptive” to their requests. (NY Post)

Now, despite earlier denials from everyone involved, it turns out company execs got a private sitdown with top state officials in 2015, just 12 days after Albany started seeking applications for $1.2 billion in development grants. Crystal Run wound up with $25.4 million of that (the only for-profit company to qualify) for two projects.

Team Cuomo insists those projects never even got mentioned at the meeting, saying it was only about Medicaid. Yet the Albany Times Union reports that an e-mail sent two weeks later by Crystal Run’s chief legal officer stressed that company execs had “shared our vision for growth,” including the two “expansions,” with the health commissioner and a top aide who worked in Cuomo’s office.

Both officials, the e-mail noted, “were, obviously, supportive, as we are bringing real jobs to real people” — and had agreed that “further discussion was warranted” with the state economic-development agency “at the highest levels.”

How much more evidence do we need at this point? Cuomo’s spokespeople obviously lied about what went on at that meeting. They have records from the company who benefitted from it after making massive contributions. (Two of the people involved in organizing these meetings, donations, and windfalls have already been convicted or indicted on related charges.) And yet Andrew Cuomo continues to insist that all the grants were handled fairly and above board. These are all just amazing coincidences. And somehow, while his closest aides head off to the crowbar motel, Cuomo floats along and prosecutors can’t seem to lay a glove on him. On top of that, he’s on track to cruise to electoral victory for another four years in office.

I guess that’s just a happy coincidence too, eh?

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