Garrison Keillor: God has sent us a judge. Hallelujah. (Washington Post)
Roy Moore' s triumph is a ray of sunshine for those of us who'd like to restore stoning to our legal system.
Josh Marshall: Mulvaney Goes Red Rose? (TPM)
But the kinds of deficit Mulvaney and the White House are looking to push aren't Keynesian in nature or efficiently expansionary. They're huge cuts overwhelmingly going to the already very wealthy. It tells us what we already know: deficit talk from today's Republicans, certainly from the center of gravity of the party is all talk.
Ross Douthat: Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner (NY Times Column)
Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain's hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.
Mark Morford: Free the magic mushrooms, arrest Big Pharma (SF Gate)
And, let us be reminded, it's fentanyl-laced heroin that's killing tens of thousands of Americans right now, the ones who've been blocked from getting their doctor-overprescribed opioids. See how that works?
Mark Morford: White men with guns are America's real terrorists - and the NRA is enabling them (SF Gate)
He wasn't, apparently, a sociopath. He did not, to anyone who knew him, show any signs of mental illness, was not a fringe radical or a "nutjob."
Paul J. Lim: Warren Buffett's Favorite Market Indicator Says Stocks Are in Trouble (Time)
When the value of all stocks is 80% or less than the size of the economy, "buying stocks is likely to work very well for you," Buffett wrote in an article for Fortune back in 2001. But when total equity value exceeds the size of the economy and then some, it's a sign that investors are getting too giddy - and greedy. Today, Buffett's favorite market indicator is flashing its biggest warning sign yet.
Josh Marshall: And There It Is (TPM)
Just out from CNN: Russia Facebook campaign specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin and key demographic groups within those states.
Tierney Sneed: Did Telling States That Russians Tried To Hack Them Have To Be This Hard? (TPM)
The DHS took a major step forward, about a week and a half ago, in bringing about some transparency, by officially notifying the 21 states that had been "targeted." But even the way that disclosure went down was messy, and prompted some states - some rightfully, some in a bit of posturing - to publicly bash the DHS for the unneeded confusion.
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Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
Hurled projectiles! ROTF LMAO!!!!
What a fabulous idea! I'm immediately enacting a travel ban at Casa Rutledge on malignant narcissists! Honey and I must be protected.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
BRING BACK STONING!
HERE ARE THE VICTIMS.
R.I.P. SCOTT. REST IN POWER.
TRUMP'S #I GOAL.
RUTH SMACKS DOWN NEIL!
THE 'CLOWN IN CHIEF' STRIKES AGAIN.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Keep waiting for it to get a little ccoler so I can do some baking.
Increasingly Trusted By The Public
Americans are increasingly confident in the news media and less so in President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) administration after a tumultuous year in U.S. politics that tested the public's trust in both institutions, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
The poll of more than 14,300 people found that the percentage of adults who said they had a "great deal" or "some" confidence in the press rose to 48 percent in September from 39 percent last November. Earlier this year, Trump branded the entire industry as the "enemy of the American people."
The percentage of those who said they had "hardly any" confidence in the press dropped to 45 percent from 51 percent over the same period.
Confidence in Trump's administration moved in the opposite direction.
The poll also found that the shift in trust was not simply a partisan reaction to a Republican president.
Destroys Sean Hannity For Delusional Las Vegas Response
Trevor Noah could not resist lampooning Fox News host Sean Hannity's response to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
"According to Sean Hannity, what really stops a bad guy with a gun is a Sean Hannity with a gun," Noah said on Tuesday's broadcast of "The Daily Show."
Noah played a clip of the conservative pundit opining on his own abilities as he discussed the shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 people injured. Hannity revealed how he would confront a mass shooter who was in a crowd and had just run out of bullets.
"Hannity's fantasy was so ridiculous that even his Fox colleague couldn't get on board," Noah said. "You know she's thinking, 'Dude, you couldn't even protect women from getting sexually harassed in your own building and now you're Batman? Calm down. Calm down, man."
Calls Out Lawmakers By Name
Jimmy Kimmel barely held back his tears on Monday night as he spoke about his hometown of Las Vegas, where a gunman killed at least 50 people and left more than 500 injured on Sunday night.
His voice cracking at times, Kimmel turned his monologue into a plea for what he called "common sense" gun control laws and named those politicians who were standing in the way.
Kimmel also shared images of the senators who voted against a bill last year to close a legal loophole that allows people to buy a gun without a background check in some situations.
"With all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient," he told lawmakers who offered "thoughts and prayers" instead of policy action.
Challenges Steven Seagal
George Foreman wants to go the distance with Steven Seagal.
On Monday, the 68-year-old boxing legend used Twitter to challenge the 65-year-old action-movie star to a 10-round fight in Las Vegas.
"One on one, I use boxing you can use whatever," Foreman tweeted.
He later clarified it would be "hand to hand" combat only, with "no weapons" allowed, and suggested the battle could be broadcast on pay per view.
It's not currently clear what prompted Foreman to lay down the gauntlet to the "Under Siege" star. It may have something to do with Seagal's recent comments on National Football League players who protest by taking a knee during the national anthem, however.
Animated Feature Film
"Bob's Burgers," Fox's long running Emmy award-winning animated comedy, is headed to the big screen for the first time, Twentieth Century Fox announced Wednesday.
The studio announced that the popular Fox show will be getting its own animated feature film, which is set to be released on July 17, 2020.
"Bob's Burgers" just debuted its eighth season last Sunday. The show, about the misadventures of the Belcher family - Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene and Louise - as they try to run the family hamburger restaurant.
The show has won best animated series at the Emmys twice - in 2014 and 2017 - and has been nominated every year since 2012. The show has also spawned a best-selling cookbook, a soundtrack album featuring 107 songs and a live tour.
It also had its most watched season yet, averaging 7.7 million viewers per episode in total multi-platform audience, which is up 13 percent from last year's average.
'NCIS' star Pauley Perrette says she's leaving the CBS crime drama after this season following 15 years on the show.
Perrette plays pigtailed forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on the CBS show. She confirmed reports of her departure on Twitter on Wednesday, writing that "there have been all kinds of false rumors as to why" she's leaving.
She says neither CBS nor the show's producers are "mad" at her and the decision to leave was one she made last year. The 48-year-old Perrette adds that she loves her character "as much as you do."
"We've known for some time this would be Pauley's final season on 'NCIS' and have been working toward a special send-off," 'NCIS' executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea said in a statement. "Abby is a character that inspires millions of fans around the world, and all of us at 'NCIS' are appreciative of Pauley for portraying her."
Passes Abortion Ban After Letting Children's Health Program Expire
House Republicans passed a bill on Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy - a move the Trump administration said will "help to facilitate a culture of life." The move comes three days after Congress allowed a federal children's health program to expire, potentially leaving millions of poor children without insurance coverage.
The abortion bill, which the House has passed before, would shorten the time period in which a woman can legally seek an abortion, based on the medically unsupported claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, authored an op-ed on the anti-abortion website LifeNews.com on Monday touting the legislation.
Yet Republicans in Congress just missed a deadline to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, which helped states provide insurance coverage to 9 million children in low-income families. The Senate had put forth a bipartisan, 5-year bill to renew the program, but didn't schedule a vote in time, instead prioritizing legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. The House never even proposed a bill to reauthorize CHIP, which expired at the end of September.
"Republican gridlock has put 9 million children at risk," Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y) tweeted on Sunday. "This is unacceptable."
Democrats also pointed out the hypocrisy of Congress and the president doing nothing to address gun violence, which claimed 12,000 American lives this year alone. The abortion vote comes a day after the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history, in which a man with at least 20 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas.
US Rejects UN LGBTQ Resolution
U.N. Human Rights Council
The United States joined countries like Iraq and Botswana in voting against a United Nations resolution that, among other things, condemns the use of the death penalty against LGBTQ people.
The U.N. Human Rights Council passed the measure on Friday, with 27 countries voting in favor and 13 against. It aims to ensure that the death penalty is not applied arbitrarily or discriminatorily against minors, racial and ethnic minorities, those with mental illnesses, pregnant women and gay people, or be used as punishment for apostasy, blasphemy and adultery.
More broadly, the measure urges nations that have not already abolished the death penalty to consider doing so.
Renato Sabbadini, executive director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), celebrated the passage as a "monumental moment" in which the international community recognizes that certain "horrific laws" must end.
The U.S. opting not to support U.N. measures condemning the death penalty is nothing new. Still, with its vote on Friday, the U.S. finds itself in the company of countries like Saudi Arabia, which implements the death penalty over same-sex relations.
U.N. Human Rights Council
Faces Seven Years
A member of the cast of hit US television series Glee is facing seven years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Mark Salling, 35, played Noah "Puck" Puckerman in the show, which ran from 2009-2015.
He was arrested in December 2015 after a former girlfriend alerted police.
Federal investigators say they found more than 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives that belonged to Salling. The content depicted children as young as three years old being abused, according to court documents.
He made a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to avoid spending up to 20 years in jail and a lifetime of supervised release.
GOP Congressman Met With Kremlin-Linked Lawyer
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin's Pal) met with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya during a 2016 trip to Moscow, a previously undisclosed tête-à-tête that sheds additional light on the extent to which Moscow-based political operatives sought to influence American officials in the run-up to last year's presidential election.
In an interview with a pro-Russian Crimean news service, Veselnitskaya said she met with Rohrabacher - a California Republican and arguably the most prominent advocate in Congress for closer relations between Washington and Moscow - in April 2016 to discuss issues surrounding the Magnitsky Act, the punitive American sanctions measure responding to Russian human rights abuses that she has lobbied against.
Kenneth Grubbs, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, confirmed that the meeting took place but that the congressman "was not focused on her identity." Grubbs described Veselnitskaya as "among many people" Rohrabacher encountered during a congressional delegation he led to Moscow.
While Rohrabacher's trip to Moscow has been widely reported, his meeting with Veselnitskaya has not.
Two months after her meeting with Rohrabacher, Veselnitskaya met in New York with Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to discuss Magnitsky and to offer potentially incriminating information about his father's opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. FBI and congressional investigators are examining that meeting as part of their investigation into whether Trump campaign operatives accepted Kremlin help to attack Clinton.
No Plans To Pay Back
Two of President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) Cabinet members say they do not plan to reimburse the government for charter flights costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Representatives of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt say the trips were pre-approved by ethics officials in their respective agencies and were part of their official duties.
Zinke said he's taken three charter flights while in office, including a $12,375 late-night trip from Las Vegas to his home state of Montana in June. Zinke said no commercial flight was available when he planned to fly for a speech to Western governors.
Meanwhile, the independent Office of Special Counsel said it is investigating a complaint that Zinke's speech to a Las Vegas hockey team may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch officials from engaging in political activities. The team's owner contributed to Zinke's congressional campaigns and to Trump's inauguration.
A watchdog group, the Campaign for Accountability, filed the complaint last week. "Rather than putting America first, Zinke is putting a top donor first," said Daniel Stevens, the group's executive director.
Santa Claus's Tomb?
Archaeologists in Turkey have made a discovery which could settle a century-old debate … and disappoint millions of children around the world.
They have unearthed what they say is likely the tomb of the original Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, beneath an ancient church in Demre, southern Turkey.
Demre, previously known as Myra, in Antalya province, is believed to be the birthplace of the 4th century bishop.
Cemil Karabayram, the head of Antalya's Monument Authority, said the shrine was discovered during electronic surveys that showed gaps beneath the church.
"We believe this shrine has not been damaged at all, but it is quite difficult to get to it as there are mosaics on the floor," Mr Karabayram told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.
Museum of Modern Art
One of the most recent additions to the halls of New York's Museum of Modern Art is a red San Francisco 49ers jersey. The same jersey worn by Colin Kaepernick between 2011 and 2016.
Kaepernick's sports jersey hands with four others featured in the ongoing MoMA exhibition "Items: Is Fashion Modern?", which explores the impact of 111 carefully curated items of clothing and accessories on the 20th and 21st centuries.
Initially, jerseys were only worn by professional athletes, but in the 1970s, devoted fans began donning replicas of their favorite players' uniforms. The trend eventually extended to the realm of streetwear, where jerseys became fashionable, independent of any specific athletic allegiance.
Kaepernick's jersey, the San Francisco 49ers' number seven, became the best-selling jersey in the NFL's official shop website in 2016 and remains one of the top selling items to this day. The stats are especially noteworthy seeing as Kaepernick no longer plays for the 49ers, or any other NFL team at present. The popularity of the uniform, then, illuminates the quarterback's status not only as a star athlete but a contemporary icon of civil rights.
The other jerseys in the exhibition are Pelé's 1958 FIFA World Cup Brazilian national soccer team jersey, Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls basketball jersey and the Black Ferns women's rugby national team jersey. Athletic gear aside, the MoMA show will also feature garments including a little black dress, a keffiyeh, a pearl necklace and Levi's 501 jeans.
Museum of Modern Art