Jeff Sessions Justice Dept. Backs Corrupt Lender Over Veteran (Happy Memorial Day)

Veteran Jacob McGreevey lost his house during his third tour in Iraq.  He came home, got a business degree, went to court and fought back using laws that were supposed to protect active duty veterans against repossession.  He expected to fight the crappy lender in the courts.

He didn’t expect having to fight the U.S. government too.

What neither McGreevey nor Riddell anticipated was that PHH Mortgage wasn’t going to be their only adversary. Five months after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a major initiative to crack down on financial institutions taking advantage of active-duty service members, the agency intervened in McGreevey’s case.

But it didn’t come in on the side of the Marine . It went with the lender.

Loretta Lynch’s Justice Dept. was cracking down on lenders violating the law and good faith with veterans.  But when Sessions took over they did a 180 and started going to bat for the lenders.  Not really a surprise, they did the same thing in environmental cases. But while the Trump Administration’s anti-environment protection stance is as well known as it is stupid, they do purport, hypocritically and inaccurately, to support veterans.

In the age of bullshit, nothing stinks more than Republican phony waling for respect for the troops in public while treating them as shoddily as all us other low life consumers behind courtroom doors.

 

 

 

It’s Really Most Galling Now That the Thug Who Assaulted a Journalist May Well Win and be in the House

And let’s not be cute anymore with the “body slam” thing, ha ha wrestling.  Thuggish, stupid GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte physically ASSAULTED journalist Ben Jacobs for asking him a perfectly legitimate question.  Witnesses have corroborated Jacobs’ version, which the audio also really does.  Gianforte’s bullshit campaign issued a statement blaming the “liberal journalist” which is all you need to know about what a turd with no sense of right and wrong or honor Gianforte is.

But because (1) asinine blind partisanship, and (2) a large proportion (not sure how much I have heard differing numbers) of the vote was already cast by mail, Gianforte could win a close race and now the story won’t be “look at the close race in a red state, there’s a movement out there towards the Democrats that anti-Trump sentiment is generating” instead it’ll be, “holy shit, a really horrible person just won a seat in the House, who should not have a seat in the House, but Paul Ryan sure won’t do anything about it, how depressing is this?”

Just add this asshole to the mix in Washington with Trump and the rest of the people who are ruining this country.

Even Republicans should be rooting for Quist to win today, out of some sense of honor. Or at least to not have to deal with one more handsy asshole with impulse control problems.

 

Just in Time for Montana Special Election CBO Delivers Disastrous Score for Trumpcare

The Republican in that race is already treading water because of Trumpcare, the CBO just threw him an anvil. 23 Million fewer Americans would have healthcare coverage.

On the plus side Trump recorded a robocall for him.   Might not help all that much.

“Hi, this is President Donald Trump, and I know what the people of Montana really want and really care about: lower taxes, good paying jobs, secure borders — and we’ve done a great job on those borders — and protecting your God-given right to bear arms, your Second Amendment,” he says in a recording of the robocall obtained by CNN. “If you don’t vote tomorrow, the liberal Democrats running for Congress will decimate and dismantle all that we’ve done.”

Gianforte-Quist

This Commie will take your guns, son!

 

Supreme Court Smacks Racial Gerrymandering Around But What About the Partisan Type?

It’s a really big deal that Clarence Thomas joined the majority in the ruling against the North Carolina Republican’s toxic gerrymandering that took a very close state and created this lopsided map.

North_Carolina_-_2014_Result

In short, the majority said that you can’t pack all of the minorities into small misshapen districts even if they are predictably of one party.  (The NC GOP losing argument was that they weren’t discriminating on the basis of race, just of party).  This is going to have great resonance throughout the South where Republican state houses have gerrymandered their states to death to push their advantage.  In NC the result was a state that Trump won by 3 points, that elected a Democratic governor, returned 10 members to Congress while the Dems. could only get 3.  Those red districts are separated so each one has a reliably winnable GOP advantage with 55 to 60% GOP registrations, while the 3  blue districts are chosen with “surgical precision” to have 80-90% Democrats.  Ultimately it’s a huge toxic assault on democracy itself.  As the Greensboro News & Record noted:

In 2014, Democrats won 44 percent of the congressional vote but only 23 percent of the seats, pushing the Republican advantage to 10 of 13 seats, where it remains.

Many of these districts are so dominated by Republicans that Democratic candidates don’t even run. Thirty percent of North Carolina’s state Senate districts and 48 percent of its state House districts had only one candidate on the ballot in 2016.

With only an interparty rivalry to worry about, Republican candidates differentiate themselves by moving further to the conservative right. In these safe districts, it becomes easier for elected officials to ignore the wishes of their constituents, Republican as well as Democratic.

But what of Wisconsin, another state where Republicans have taken partisanship to a new level and gerrymandered their state on partisan, but not racial, lines?  Mother Jones addresses the difference and how upcoming cases might shake out.

This is just as important as race.  Districts should be as neutral as possible, in fact, our entire democracy is put in danger when districts are made so reliably partisan that they become noncompetitive and predictably safe.

In the case of Wisconsin, the argument against such partisan division will be based on the first amendment and the minimization of the voices of the state’s Democrats.

If there is a ray of hope for voting rights advocates, it’s that while most gerrymandering cases are premised on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, the Wisconsin case was decided largely on First Amendment grounds. Specifically, the court found that the Republican Legislature had minimized the impact of Democratic voters in the state, a form of retaliation against their 1stAmendment right to freedom of association. Put another way, the district court found that the Legislature had minimized the voting rights of citizens based on their party affiliation or voting history, a form of discrimination based on their expression and association.

Everyone agrees it’s all going to be in Anthony Kennedy’s court and Kennedy whisperers are going through all of his decisions to figure out where he’ll go.

Is it too much to ask that courts (if not legislatures) see that democracy and justice are only served by neutral districts that allow ideas and policy to be the main factors that politicians compete on rather than just flying the gang colors red or blue?

Fingers crossed for democracy.

 

Adventures in Embarrassment

We had the spectacle of the sword dance, Trump curtsying (less masculine than a bow, but gutsy) and fondling a glowing orb (after which a sinkhole opened in front of Mar-a-Lago – coincidence?).

Then he goes to Israel and we get the first Melania hand swipe, Trump hoping for a “lasting peach” and this wowzer!

They get to Rome and the second Melania hand fake (really, she could be an NBA point guard), and the spectacle of Melania and Ivanka greeting the Pontiff in Italian widows’ garb.  So no head covering for the Saudis, but yes head covering for the Pope?  This is The Gang that Couldn’t Greet Straight.

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Once again Trump celebrates the mischief only he can achieve, turning awkwardness up to 11. Nothing is awkward for Mr. Oblivious.

Okay, to be fair how the ladies dressed was perfectly appropriate, just not very imaginative for people known more for their fashion sense than their propriety.  A beautiful head scarf from the Ivanka Trump Women Who Work but Aren’t Allowed to Drive Collection would have been very nice in Saudi.  While in Rome they could have pivoted to, well, anything that didn’t look like they were going to jump into their late husband’s grave while rending their garments in misery.

Lord knows, Melania will not be wearing that outfit at Trump’s funeral or jumping into his grave out of grief.  Something floral and lively, spring-like, celebrating her freedom, with a very short skirt is more likely.  After all, your husband’s funeral is a great opportunity to meet Sugar Daddy No. II.