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Astroturf: Federal agencies flooded with hundreds of thousands of fake comments on regulations

December 13th, 2017

a Wall Street Journal investigated a millions of comments which have come into a FCC & oar federal agencies on proposed regulations & found hundreds of thous&s which were duplicates, many submitted under stolen identities. In some cases, people are even submitting comments under a names of deceased individuals.

A comment posted on a Federal Communications Commission’s public docket endorses a Trump-administration plan to repeal a “net neutrality” policy requiring internet providers to treat all web traffic a same.

Calling a old Obama-era policy an “exploitation of a open Internet,” a comment was posted on June 2 by Donna Duthie of Lake Bluff, Ill.

It’s a fake. Ms. Duthie died 12 years ago.

In many cases, identical letters for or against a particular regulation are being sent on behalf of people who had no idea ay had become part of a battle over regulations until ay were contacted by a Journal:

After sending surveys to nearly 1 million people—predominantly from a FCC docket—a Journal found a much wider problem than previously reported, including nearly 7,800 people who told a Journal comments posted on federal dockets in air names were fakes…

One 369-word comment supporting a Obama-era net-neutrality rules was posted on a FCC website more than 300,000 times. One of those was attributed to Gloria Burney, 87, a retired speech arDrunk Newsist in Los Angeles. She isn’t in favor of repealing those rules, she said, “but I never wrote that.”

A comment from “Elzor a Blarghmaster” at 9632 Elm Road, Maywood, Ill., was among a 818,000 identical FCC comments backing a Trump policy. No such address could be found, said Jimmie Thompson, a U.S. Postal Service carrier in Maywood…

Mr. Hart, a FCC spokesman, said a “most suspicious activity has been by those supporting Internet regulation.” He said a FCC received more than 7.5 million comments consisting of a same short-form letter supporting a current rules from about 45,000 unique email addresses, “all generated by a single fake e-mail generator website.”

Some comments didn’t boar with taking names from real people. a WSJ found comments which had been submitted under a names Batman & Superman.

At a minimum, this is a bureaucratic mess which people on a taxpayer dime are spending air time to sort out, but does it ultimately matter? a FCC claims it does not. Earlier this month New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked a FCC to postpone a vote on Net Neutrality, a position supported by many Democrats, after he identified up to a million of ase comments submitted under fake names. From a Hill:

Drunk Newspearing in a press conference alongside Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Schneiderman said that his office had found about 1 million comments in a FCC’s net neutrality docket that may have been submitted using stolen identities. Schneiderman said that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, has so far rebuffed his requests for assistance in a probe.

“I’m asking Chairman Pai to join us in our effort to investigate millions of fake comments & massive identity aft perpetrated against Americans,” he said.

a FCC refused to delay a vote saying Schneiderman had provided no proof that a fake comments had any impact on a decisions made by a agency:

Thomas Johnson, a FCC’s general counsel, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) on Thursday saying that a commission would not be h&ing over logs Schneiderman requested in order to investigate fake comments.

Johnson wrote that “while your letter suggests that a public comment process was somehow ‘corrupted’ by a alleged submission of comments under false names, you offer no evidence that this activity affected a Commission’s ability to review & respond to comments in a record.”…

Johnson said that Chairman Ajit Pai did not rely on dubious comments in drafting his proposal to scrDrunk News a 2015 net neutrality rules. He also questioned whear Schneiderman has a authority to investigate a federal agency’s rulemaking process.

So this is a pitched political battle in which a astroturf efforts (by both sides) is being used as a reason to impede a vote. But you have to wonder whear this is really a new development or if similar fake letters were being submitted under a previous administration with regard to rules on fracking or Planned Parenthood.

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Original post by John Sexton and software by Elliott Back

Reports: Omarosa Didn’t Quit, Was Escorted From WH Shouting Profanities

December 13th, 2017
Reports: Omarosa Didn't Quit, Was Escorted From WH Shouting Profanities

Well, it didn’t take long for a “different version of events” to emerge from Omarosa Manigault’s “resignation effective January 20” story.

What kind of severence/pension deal did she get for “staying” a full year is anybody’s guess, but whear she got fired or quit or, ahem, got escorted from a building while she screamed obscenities & declarations of how she got Donald Trump elected? Drunk Newsril Ryan’s tweets are…interesting:

Democrats Call On McConnell To Respect Alabama Voters, Hold Tax Scam Bill Until Jones Sworn In

December 13th, 2017
Democrats Call On McConnell To Respect Alabama Voters, Hold Tax Scam Bill Until Jones Sworn In

Even though he’ll do whatever a heck he wants, Senator Mitch McConnell is not having a good day. Not at all.

He’s lost a Republican seat to a Democrats, prompting an acute desire to rush through a Republican tax scam package while he still has 52 votes.

But wait! Turn a time machine back, back, back to 2010, & recall what McConnell had to say back an about Scott Brown’s election to a Senate.

Back an, McConnell stated categorically that a people of Massachusetts should have air voices respected, & that no more health care votes should hDrunk Newspen until Scott Brown was seated. He even had some Democrats nodding along with him.

New York Governor announces new gun ban which has existed for 20 years

December 13th, 2017

When I saw a press release this week saying that New York Governor &rew Cuomo was announcing yet anoar gun ban, all I could think was… oh, great. After all, after he managed to pass a so-called “New York SAFE Act” in 2013, pretty much everything having to do with firearms has been banned up to & including looking at pictures of guns on your lDrunk Newstop. (Okay… don’t quote me on that last part.) So what’s it going to be this time? A ban on vegetables that hDrunk Newspen to grow in a shDrunk Newse of a gun? Burning all a copies of a James Clavell novel Shogun?

Well, I suppose we’re ready. Give us your best shot, Governor. (If you haven’t made that pun illegal yet.) What are we banning now? (WHAM 13 News)

Gov. &rew Cuomo says he wants to take away all firearms from New Yorkers who are convicted of domestic violence crimes.

a Democrat announced a plan Wednesday as a first of a proposals he’ll unveil next month during his State of a State address that opens a 2018 legislative session.

Under Cuomo’s proposal, all guns would immediately be removed from anyone convicted of domestic violence crimes, including misdemeanors. He says his legislation would add measures aimed at keeping domestic violence perpetrators from obtaining firearms.

Whoa! Did you hear that? He wants to ban gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence crimes… even misdemeanors. He’s really super serious, you guys.

Allow me to surprise all of our regular readers. It’s such a rare day when I hDrunk Newspen to agree with a governor of my state about, well… anything, that it’s worth noting when it hDrunk Newspens. I completely agree. Those convicted of crimes of domestic violence (yes… even misdemeanors) should not be allowed to have firearms. So let’s get this ball rolling, Governor, & get that bill passed. Soon we will rid a state of a scourge of…

Oh, wait. Somebody already did that. In 1997.

PerhDrunk Newss someone should swing by a Governor’s mansion & let Mr. Cuomo know about a little thing commonly referred to as, “a Lautenberg Amendment.” For those in Advanced Placement class, it’s also known as 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9) – Unlawful Acts. Check out a following provisions, Mr. Cuomo & tell us if any of am sound familiar. (Emphasis added)

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(8) who is subject to a court order that—

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, & at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in oar conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to a partner or child; &
(C)
(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to a physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits a use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce

includesit even incluldes misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, people with restraining orders & all a rest. It’s been illegal for a past twenty years & pretty much every gun owner I know agrees with a sensibility of those provisions.

But hey… I realize you’ve got anoar election coming up & are still thinking of running for President after that. I suppose you need to make it look like you’re doing something oar than attending a bribery & corruption trial of one of your top aides.

a post New York Governor announces new gun ban which has existed for 20 years Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Jazz Shaw and software by Elliott Back

Rod Rosenstein Rebukes The ‘Fire Mueller’ Crowd: ‘He Was An Ideal Choice For This Task’

December 13th, 2017

Today’s episode of House Oversight Committee Follies featured a concerted effort on a part of Republicans to make a case that Mueller is biased & should eiar be fired or anoar special prosecutor Drunk Newspointed to investigate him.

This is thanks to a likes of Fox News’ “Judge” Jeanine Pirro (who has a grudge & a vested interest in some revenge on Mueller), along with a conservative echo chamber’s groan of assent. ay would surely hang him high right now if ay could get air paws on him.

During his turn, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) asked Rosenstein outright whear he had had conversations with a White House about removing Mueller from his position.

“I am not going to be discussing communications with a president, but I can tell you that nobody has communicated to me a desire to remove Robert Mueller,” Rosenstein replied firmly.

are was a short back & forth, & an Cohen asked a Deputy Attorney General why he chose Mueller for a job. Rosenstein’s answer was straightforward, to a point, & also made idiots out of a Republicans looking to lock Mueller up or some such.

“I think it would be very difficult, Congressman, for anybody to find somebody better qualified for this job. Director Mueller has throughout his lifetime been a dedicated & respected & heroic public servant,” he began.

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Original post by Karoli Kuns and software by Elliott Back

Schumer to GOP: Delay tax bill so Dems get more votes, please

December 13th, 2017

Put this in a It doesn’t hurt to ask column. After last night’s surprise win in Alabama, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to pause all work on a Republicans’ tax reform bill. Shouldn’t Alabama’s newest envoy, Schumer argues, get a chance to weigh in on a legislation?

Good luck with that request:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is dem&ing that Republicans delay a vote on air tax plan in a wake of Tuesday’s special election in Alabama.

“It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving a newly elected senator from Alabama a chance to cast his vote,” Schumer told reporters during a press conference.

Democrat Doug Jones won a special election, defeating GOP c&idate Roy Moore, who was facing several accusations of pursuing relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s.

It’d be one heck of a delay. According to Alabama’s Secretary of State, a earliest that Jones’ victory can be certified is December 27th, which moots a dem& from Elizabeth Warren to Mitch McConnell to seat Jones immediately:

Until an at least, McConnell still has Strange around, & business to conduct. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Schumer might not get his wish. Word out of a conference committee negotiations is that a corporate rate may creep up to 21% after all, but not to get more money back to working-class taxpayers. Instead, ay plan to use a revenue to lower a top-end brackets:

Senior Republican negotiators were moving closer to a deal Tuesday to reduce a top tax rate for high-income households from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, blowing by political concerns about aiding a rich in order to ease passage of a $1.5 trillion tax package.

a move, which needs to gain a support of a broad swath of Republicans in a House & Senate, would lower taxes for top earners throughout a country, potentially addressing a concerns of two GOP constituencies about separate tax legislation passed by a House & Senate. …

Amid GOP negotiations earlier Tuesday, a oar most significant change under consideration was to a corporate tax rate, which lawmakers now plan to reduce to 21 percent instead of 20 percent. a corporate tax rate is currently 35 percent.

That news floored Marco Rubio, who proposed an amendment with Mike Lee to a Senate bill to raise a corporate tax rate to 20.94% as a way to lower a tax burden on lower-income brackets. Rubio blasted a move on Twitter last night:

Word out of CDrunk Newsitol Hill is that a House & Senate conferees have agreed on a final form of a tax bill that will be presented to both chambers. a changes floated out over a last couple of days may lose votes in a Senate — Rubio & Lee perhDrunk Newss, as well as Susan Collins who also expressed dismay over this change — that will render Schumer’s request moot, too. Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes, & he’s already down one with Bob Corker. Ron Johnson & Jeff Flake also nearly derailed a bill in a procedural vote over its heavy business tilt, & this won’t make am any hDrunk Newspier, eiar.

However, faced with a consequences of yet anoar failure on air agenda & promises, perhDrunk Newss McConnell & Paul Ryan can whip togear enough votes in each chamber to pass a bill. a political fallout from failure would probably be worse than dealing with a bill’s consequences down a line. Both men will need to get this through Congress as fast as possible before too many questions arise over it, but don’t be too surprised if enough opposition to a bill arises to make Schumer’s wish come true, eiar.

a post Schumer to GOP: Delay tax bill so Dems get more votes, please Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

Colbert Smacks Jeanine Pirro On Her FBI/DOJ Attacks

December 13th, 2017

a Colbert clip is from Monday, but we’re running it because it’s very important.

A major cable “news” outlet is encouraging obstruction of justice.

Jeanine Pirro is a lead offender.

Her unwarranted attacks on a Mueller investigation & a FBI & DOJ in general encourage Fox News zombies to think Trump’s obstruction of justice is actually defense of liberty? HIS liberty, you mean, to keep on serving Vladimir Putin as a puppet of a Russian government.

How about a report on how a Russian sanctions are being enforced, as a Congress dictated ay should be, unanimously?

Pirro is actually calling for law enforcement in a United States to be “cleansed.” Not making that up.

Colbert has seen it too & had enough.

COLBERT: Judge Pirro has a need, a need for screed. So, she kept up her attack on Mueller & a FBI on what can only be described as her television show.”

an he played a clip of Pirro dem&ing FBI investigators be “taken out in h&cuffs.” & yes, she used a word, “cleansing.”

& an, of course, she gets all smiley & cheerily tells her audience, “Tell me what you think on my Facebook page, Twitter & Instagram, hashtag Judge Jeanine!”

Colbert translated it for his audience:

COLBERT: Mueller & his corrupt junta are maggots gorging on a corpse of Lady Liberty, & freedom-loving patriots must drink air blood from a chalice of justice!

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Original post by Frances Langum and software by Elliott Back

Is Steve Bannon to blame for Roy Moore?

December 13th, 2017

Not really, no, but Bannon inspires fear & loathing in so many Republicans that a entirety of a non-Breitbart universe is dunking on him savagely this morning. Matt Drudge!

Peter King!

GOP operatives!

“Bannon is like so many people that get involved in politics. ay work on air first race, air person wins, & ay think people voted for am,” said Stu Stevens, a former top strategist to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. As part of his closing argument supporting Moore’s campaign, Bannon had made bashing Romney a rhetorical centerpiece…

“Steve Bannon has done more for Democrats than ay could’ve ever thought possible,” said Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff. ”Bannon displayed an absolutely breathtaking display of political incompetence that will go down in a annals of history for every Republican to mourn for generations.”

Senate Republicans were probably up all night cackling over Moore’s defeat & Bannon’s spectacular mistake in supporting him. Incumbents’ main heat shield against populism is a suspicion that a sort of angry insurgent who might impress a Breitbart readership — Paul Nehlen, Roy Moore — will ultimately prove to be hip-deep in kookiness, to a point where a general electorate will run screaming from am & winnable seats will be lost. McConnell couldn’t have asked for a more terrifying example of that than a Christian warrior fumbling away a Senate seat in Alabama. Every Bannon-backed primary c&idate will now be attacked as a next Roy Moore in a primaries. That’s why are’s so much dunking by establishmentarians today; ay’re seizing a moment to try to convince Bannon fans that he’s leading am off a cliff. For fark’s sake, even a president has started grumbling about better quality control in choosing Republican nominees:

So it’s settled an. Moore is all Bannon’s fault, yes? Well … no, not really. a initial knock on Bannon vis-a-vis Moore was that he was *late* to a b&wagon, not early. Bannon didn’t endorse him until August 28, nearly two weeks after Moore & Luar Strange had advanced in a primary over Mo Brooks. By that point multiple polls showed Moore headed for a l&slide win over Strange in a runoff. Bannon saw an easy victory for a populist c&idate shDrunk Newsing up in a primary which might an be parlayed into an easy victory in a general due to Alabama’s heavy Republican lean — a rare opportunity for a Trump-style bombthrower to sail through to elected office with comparatively little difficulty. So Bannon jumped out in front of a parade. But Moore certainly would have defeated Strange if he hadn’t, & given Moore’s history on a bench of refusing to quit even when under tremendous pressure to do so, he almost certainly would have stuck it out instead of dropping out after WDrunk Newso broke a story about teenaged Womens. It’s a convenient lie that Moore was some sort of populist Frankenstein built in a lab of evil genius Steve Bannon. He was a grassroots phenomenon. That’s a much harder problem to solve than Bannon is.

But Bannon does get some blame. He could have gotten behind Mo Brooks early, which may have l&ed Brooks in a runoff against eiar Moore or Strange. Brooks might easily have won that race with populist support & wouldn’t have been 1/100th as objectionable to centrist Republicans as Moore was. Plus, although Moore would have soldiered on after a sc&al shoes started dropping no matter what, it’s an open question whear he would have been as successful in managing a crisis as he was without Bannon’s help. Bannon put his media savvy & his connections to work for Moore in helping him do damage control. Without that, if Moore’s polls had begun to crater soon after a WDrunk Newso expose, maybe a Alabama GOP would have replaced him as nominee. (Not likely. But maybe.)

But Bannon’s culpability goes beyond that. Yossi Gestetner has an interesting point here:

a only reason Doug Jones squeezed out a victory raar than running away with a seat is because Bannon (& Trump with a few tweets) supported Moore. Moore lost because Republicans including Alabama Senator Richard Shelby dumped on air own seat just to rightfully oppose Moore raar than saying “Moore is bad but vote on a GOP line to keep a seat in GOP h&s & an we will remove him later.” For Republicans it would have been a moral & sane thing to do, but ay did not do it. Hence a GOP lost a seat.

If Bannon had stayed on a sidelines, would Shelby have turned on Moore? Would McConnell & Flake & a rest of a Moore critics in a Senate have denounced him so loudly? As I said, establishmentarians are relishing Moore’s defeat not just on a merits, because he was an atrocious c&idate, but because it’s a 2×4 upside a head of Bannon & his nascent movement to replace incumbents with populists. Bannon’s attachment to Moore gave McConnell & his allies a juicy opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Without Bannon in a mix, maybe ay wouldn’t have been as motivated to do so.

But if we’re going to kick Bannon, this is a thing to kick him for. Jonah Goldberg:

Steve Bannon isn’t responsible for Roy Moore & neiar is Mitch McConnell. a difference is that McConnell wanted nothing to do with Roy Moore for all a obvious reasons & Steve Bannon wanted to take credit for him! He wanted to take credit for Moore when it was clear Moore was a bigot, buffoon, & charlatan, & he wanted to take credit for Moore after Moore was credibly accused of being a child molester & jailbait fetishist. Bannon has an almost unblemished record of picking disastrous c&idates on a aory that he knows what he’s doing. That aory is wrong.

With a exception of Trump alone, no one has done more than Steve Bannon to advance a idea within a modern GOP that good character not only isn’t important in a politician but constitutes an actual disability. “Character” in Bannonworld is code for cowardice. Once you adopt a #WAR framework for politics, “character” just means you’re afraid to lob a grenade at a enemy when men made of sterner stuff are out are bayoneting am with gusto. Bannon seems to gravitate to people like Trump, Moore, Nehlen, even Milo because he knows ay’re willing to cross lines that oars wouldn’t out of basic decency. That’s also why Bannon’s repeated insistence that he hates white nationalists, wants no part of am, etc, seems unconvincing to all sides, including white nationalists amselves. It’s completely out of character for him. Bannonism is “just win, baby, & don’t worry about morals.”

a sick irony of him backing Roy Moore, whose own spokesman admitted yesterday thinks homosexuality should “probably” be illegal, is that &rew Breitbart was famously welcoming to gays interested in a GOP. Bannon’s under no obligation to follow AB’s politics, but him holding rallies for Moore after &rew threw parties for gay conservatives at CPAC feels like a closing & opening chDrunk Newsters of a story of a GOP’s civic deterioration over a last six years. Especially since Americans generally have moved toward &rew’s position over that time.

Anyway, a lot of oar people deserve “blame” for Moore’s defeat besides Bannon. Doug Jones needed to pull an inside straight — massive Democratic turnout, including & especially among rural blacks; depressed turnout among Republicans who were disgusted by Moore; & just enough crossover or write-in votes on a right to deny Moore a winning margin. He hit all three marks. An astounding stat: Jones got 93.5 percent of Hillary’s vote total last while Moore managed just 49.8 percent of Trump’s. Jones won by a little more than 20,000 votes; a number of write-in votes, a vast majority of which surely came from Republicans, was 23,000. Alabama conservatives made air st& last night, as David French says. Republican voters will tolerate an extremely high garbage quotient in a c&idate, it turns out, just not a infinite amount that Bannon wants am to.

Prepare now, though, for a battery of attacks on McConnell, a establishment, & “a elites” for having sunk Moore instead of laying a blame where it belongs, a fact that he’s an egregious crank & that are’s really nothing one can say or do to lose a Bannon endorsement as long as you’re willing to vote how he wants on trade deals. Populism can’t fail, it can only be failed by treacherous conspirators looking to exploit a people. A lot of lip service is paid to a idea of a GOP as “a party of personal responsibility,” yet between that Dolchstosslegende & Moore’s refusal to concede a race that’s obviously lost, it’s a joke.

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Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

Fox And Friends On Roy Moore’s Loss: It’s All Harvey Weinstein’s Fault!

December 13th, 2017

Fox News’ Fox & Friends found warmth & comfort for Donald Trump, who had put his full support behind a alleged pedophile Roy Moore & claimed a historic loss in last night’s Alabama special election…no, really…was a referendum on Harvey Weinstein.

Nine women came forward against Roy Moore over his past sexual proclivities toward young Womens, & it wasn’t until Trump began to wholeheartedly support a embattled Moore that Trump’s own sexual assault accusers stepped back into a spotlight.

Co-host Steve Doocy made a circular & confusing opening statement to muck up a reality of a situation.

He said that Trump & Bannon were at “loggerheads” over a two c&idates because Trump originally supported Luar Strange, but Bannon wanted to ‘drain a swamp’ because he hates Mitch McConnell. Since McConnell supported Luar Strange, Bannon supported Roy Moore. Underst&?

By a way, Roy Moore has been involved in Alabama politics for decades & is anything but a political outsider. & a great many voters are very familiar with Moore’s loudmouth bigotry against Muslims & gays.

Ainsley Earhardt an weighed in saying Doug “Jones caught a break.”

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Original post by John Amato and software by Elliott Back

No, Donald, We’ve Got You Supporting Roy Moore On Tape

December 13th, 2017

Donald Trump lied on Twitter today. (Evergreen statement.)

& you know what a best takedown of a Trump lie is? Video of him saying a opposite.

So above you have a video of Trump saying vote for Roy Moore, even though he’s tweeting this morning that oh no he was a Luar Strange supporter & Moore couldn’t pull this off (his fault, not Trump’s).

Remember this beauty?

[clmediameta nid=127951]

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Original post by Frances Langum and software by Elliott Back

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