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Ready for Spartacus 2020?

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It looks like Spartacus is going to try to run for president. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker hit up Iowa on Saturday – just hours after the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court – to tell Iowa Democrats they shouldn’t be discouraged and to “stay faithful.” Via Des Moines Register:

This is not a time to curl up. It is not a time to shut up. It is not a time to give up. It is a time to get up, to rise up, to speak up! It is time for you not to wait for hope, but to be the hope…You cannot love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. Democrats will never be pulled down so low that we hate folk. We can’t hate Republicans. We need each other, as Americans. We’ve got to lead with love. You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people — all the people.

It sounds like Booker is going to try to take the ‘hope’ mantra from former President Barack Obama and run with it – although it’ll be curious if he’ll appear on the campaign trail in garb from the old Kubrick film or the Starz series. It’d be amusing if he tried, even though Booker swore to The Hill last month he didn’t mean to compare himself to the Grecian gladiator slave (yeah, right).

Booker’s speech is drawing raves from the usual circles with plenty of Democrats loving it – with POLITICO suggesting he’s taking more pages from the Obama playbook.

It was at this event In 2007, then called the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, where another 40-something, African-American senator — Barack Obama — delivered soaring remarks, leading some to declare that Obama won the 2008 Iowa caucuses that very night.

“You don’t give a speech like that unless you’re running for president,” Scott Brennan, Iowa Democratic National Committee member and a former state party chairman, said afterward.

Booker’s appearance couldn’t come at a better time for him politically, just as he comes off one of the most prominent stretches of his political career. Before a nation captivated by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the New Jersey Democrat played an outsized role as agitator: releasing key documents, walking out at one point, and seizing the spotlight at another by saying he was willing to risk expulsion from the chamber in what he called his “‘I am Spartacus’ moment.”

Booker’s hard-charging performance in the Senate Judiciary Committee commanded the attention of Iowa Democrats before he even arrived in Des Moines.

“He’s been a face of the resistance,” Brennan said. “We Iowans are stuck with Chuck Grassley and have been since the beginning of time. It was nice to see somebody who wanted to get to the truth.”

The last statement by Brennan is obviously on the Kavanaugh vote – and I’d be curious to see if the comments were the same if a Democratic SCOTUS nominee ran into the same accusations as Kavanaugh. My guess is no given whatever is going on with the accusations against Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison – but Booker could always surprise me.

Booker is a grandstander – he is a politician, after all – so his moves to get to the front of the line when it comes to the 2020 nomination makes sense. The shine may be off Michael Avenatti 2020, so Democrat voters may be looking for someone else to hitch their wagons to. Of course, there’s also California Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden lurking in the shadows, along with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and ex-HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is probably considering a run, and ‘Independent’ Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will also push for a spot at the table.

Avenatti is the only one ‘confirmed’ candidate for 2020, while everyone else is playing the traditional ‘waiting to make an announcement about an announcement about an announcement’ game. Who knows if Spartacus 2020 will actually work and my guess is all his opponents need to do is run against Booker’s record in Newark to have a good shot against him.

Of course, it probably won’t matter since politics isn’t about policy – but about who has the most gregarious personality and ‘connects’ with voters the most.

I miss actual policy discussions. Like what the Kavanaugh debate should have been about. Alas…

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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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