Well, the giant spending bill that will keep the government open until September has been assembled, and would it surprise you to learn that Republicans have crammed it full of “riders” to do things like allow wealthy donors to give more to campaigns, block the adoption of energy-efficient light bulbs, give farmers an exemption from clean water rules, prevent transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to US prisons, and allow huge banks to use their customers’ money in risky investment practices?
You may have seen right wing sites trumpeting a report on last night’s NBC Nightly News in which Brian Williams said that federal charges against New Jersey governor Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate” scandal had been ruled out. This report led to an orgy of football-spiking, all over the right wing blogs.
But, uh, Brian Williams was wrong.
NEWARK - NBC says a report by Brian Williams on the network’s Nightly News that federal charges have been ruled out for Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal was incorrect.
Federal prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and haven’t made any announcement on Christie’s status.
“The investigation is continuing,” said Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.
NBC outlets had several reports Thursday and Friday citing anonymous sources saying no Christie connection had been uncovered while noting the investigation is continuing. However, Williams on NBC Nightly News Thursday night reported that “federal charges are now ruled out for Chris Christie in the affair that came to be known as Bridgegate.”
NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall said that was wrong.
“If Darren Wilson get off y'all better bring every army y'all got. Cause it's going down.” pic.twitter.com/pexFCCawbZ
You may have already known that South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford was an amazingly crummy person. but the new details unearthed by Wonkette’s Kaili Joy Gray take Sanford into the realm of jaw-droppingly horrible: Dead Children and a Deadbeat Dad: Mark Sanford’s Sad, Sleazy Divorce Hearing Transcript.
In this creepy story, you will learn:
- that Mark was a deadbeat dad who was found in contempt of court for his refusal to make his court-ordered child support payments;
- that the previously unexplained prohibition against Mark flying airplanes at children arose because "crazy cousin" John played "chicken" by flying an actual passenger airplane at the Sanford kids;
- that Mark and his ex-wife's primary concern, following the deaths of TWO kids who drowned at Coosaw Plantation, the Sanford family farm, was not about making the farm safer, but rather, protecting their financial assets in case any more kids died there;
- that Mark repeatedly offered to get back together with his ex, while he was still banging his Argentine lover;
- that Mark needlessly lied about legal representation.
Wonkette has lots more details; go ye and read of it. But in case you really want to wonk out, here’s the actual court document for your perusal. My only comment is “yeccchhh.”
In a sweeping verdict, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have been found guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy in their corruption trial.
Bob McDonnell is the first Virginia governor convicted of a felony.
A federal jury today convicted Virginia’s 71st governor and former first lady Maureen McDonnell on multiple counts in their corruption trial in U.S. District Court.
Bob McDonnell has been convicted on 11 of 13 counts.
Maureen McDonnell has been convicted on nine of 13 counts.
Wingnut creationist governor Rick Perry is having a bad day. A very bad day: Texas Governor Rick Perry Indicted by Grand Jury.
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A grand jury has handed up an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry in connection with the investigation into an effort to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign.
At the center of the issue is a complaint about intimidation stemming from Perry’s threat to veto of $7.5 million in state funding to the Public Integrity Unit run by Lehmberg’s office. The threat came after she pleaded guilty to drunk driving and served a 45-day sentence; Perry called on her to step down but she refused to resign her position. Perry then vetoed the funding for the PIU.
A grand jury was called to determine whether or not Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto the funding. As a result they issued indictments on two felony charges: abuse of official capacity and coercion of public servant. If found guilty on the charges, Perry could be sentenced to a maximum 109 years in prison.
Heres a video that graphically, horribly demonstrates the almost criminal anti-science attitudes that utterly dominate one of our two major political parties.
Another awful Supreme Court decision today extends the Citizens United disaster and further erodes America’s political system by striking down aggregate limits on campaign contributions; according to the new ruling, wealthy individuals may now contribute as much as $3.6 million to a single politician.
The decision — written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito — held that “aggregate limits are invalid under the First Amendment.” Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the other conservative justices but penned a separate opinion arguing that campaign finance restrictions should be wiped out further.
The conservative justices argued that eliminating aggregate cont limits doesn’t give rise to “quid pro quo corruption” which the court recognized as a legitimate rationale for campaign finance restrictions in the landmark Buckley v. Valeo case in 1976.
“Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to such quid pro quo corruption,” Roberts wrote in the ruling. “Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner ‘influence over or access to’ elected officials or political parties.”
The law currently permits individuals to spend no more than $2,600 per election per candidate, allowing for up to $5,200 for a primary and general election. The aggregate limit is $48,600 on contribution to candidates for an election cycle, and $74,600 on campaign committees. The Supreme Court ruling keeps the individual limits and eliminates the aggregate limits. Supporters of the law noted that without limits, a single donor could contribute as much as $3.6 million to a single politician between giving to candidates and committees.
[Live event concluded.]
Michele Bachmann (R-Mars) Says People Who Criticize the Koch Brothers Should Be Prosecuted Under the RICO Act
The latest Republican crackpot to come out in defense of the Koch brothers and their big, big far right money: the always fully-deranged Michele Bachmann.
Bachmann advocates using the RICO Act against people who criticize the Koch brothers.
I just thank God that there’s a billionaire or two on our side. All the billionaires seem to be on the radical left, so I’m glad that we have a couple on ours. I hope we get a few more that are willing that come out but realize also this is an intimidation movement, I’m sure that the donors on our side don’t like to have their names vilified and that’s what this is about, intimidating people from giving money to our cause, that’s it. There’s something called the RICO statute, the racketeering law, that should be applied against them for doing this.