Thursday, July 21, 2016

Last Call For NC Goes Down The Crapper, Con't

Looks like the NBA has finally pulled the plug on the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte over Pat McCrory's bigoted bathroom bill.

Without any movement by state legislators in North Carolina to change newly enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community, the NBA is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, league sources told The Vertical. 
The NBA is focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, league sources told The Vertical. 
For now, there are still other cities trying to lure the All-Star Game, sources said. 
A formal announcement on the NBA’s withdrawal out of Charlotte is expected as soon as this week, league sources said Thursday. 
NBA commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless a discriminatory North Carolina law aimed at the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed – and time to do so has run out because of the logistics and planning the NBA needs to run its marquee midseason event, league sources said. 
The issue is centered on North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates. The law also omits LGBT people from North Carolina’s anti-discrimination protections, forbids local governments from widening LGBT protections and excludes all forms of workplace discrimination lawsuits from North Carolina state courts. 
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan had been counting on All-Star Weekend as a signature event for his franchise, and the economic impact of losing the All-Star Game for the franchise and region promises to be dramatic.

Dramatic, you say?  Yeah, try tens of millions of dollars.  So guess what, North Carolina? Republicans just cost you a crapload of money and made you look like bigoted assholes in front of America.

The good news is you can fix it in November.

Trump Cards, Con't.

It's important to remember that while Trump certainly wanted the press over a fight with Ted Cruz (because to hell with what his own running mate has to say) it's what wasn't said on the convention floor that we should be paying attention to.  First of all, Trump more or less announced the end of US military participation in NATO if he's elected president.

In his strongest remarks to date on the future of the western military alliance, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said the U.S. would only defend NATO members attacked by Russia after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

In an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, the billionaire cast doubt on whether he would automatically extend the security guarantees that give the 28 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization the assurance that they have U.S. military support in the event of an attack. He specifically referred to the small Baltic states which share borders with Russia.
Trump’s comments deepen his criticism of NATO after he called it“obsolete” in April during campaigning for the nomination. They come less than two weeks after the NATO summit in Warsaw agreed to enhance deployment of forces in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia as a deterrent following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin is overseeing the biggest Russian military buildup at its western border since the collapse of communism. The Kremlin is spending 20 trillion rubles ($314 billion) on an ambitious defense upgrade through 2020, while NATO’s plans involve rotating four battalions through the region.

“The geopolitical situation is worrying, we see how the Kremlin is trying to
increase its sphere of influence,” Inara Murniece, speaker of Latvia’s parliament, said in a Latvian television interview Thursday. “We will have to speak about security a lot no matter who is the next U.S. president.” 

Hey Baltic states, sure would be a shame if Vladimir Putin came in and ransacked the joint, but we're not going to help you unless...what?  They pay up?  We're shaking down Latvia and Estonia, or throwing them to the tender mercies of Moscow?  If Putin decided to bring the thunder down on these countries, there's not a hell of a lot we could do about it militarily anyway, but the the point is Putin would pay a price, or should.  Trump's basically saying "Oh well, who cares, right?"

And we could have a nice, long, unpleasant conversation about Trump's financial ties to Putin, too, and how basically every foreign policy wonk out there is screaming that Trump is a mad man who will absolutely give Putin everything he wants, including turning America's back on the Baltics should Vlad and several hundred tanks come knocking.

"OK," you're saying, "but that makes Trump a non-interventionist, and frankly Bush and Obama have gotten us into way too many foreign entanglements over the last 15 years.  Let Europe defend NATO." Sure, we've got our own problems here in America.  Seems enticing on foreign policy, until you remember Trump's awful domestic policy.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected to the White House on Nov. 8, according to four sources close to Trump's campaign.

The chief executive of Continental Resources would be the first U.S. energy secretary drawn directly from the oil and gas industry since the cabinet position was created in 1977, a move that would jolt environmental advocates but bolster Trump's pro-drilling energy platform.

Dan Eberhart, an oil investor and Republican financier, said he had been told by officials in Trump's campaign that Hamm, who has been an informal advisor to Trump on energy policy since at least May, was "the leading contender" for the position.

Eberhart said he had discussed the possible appointment with top donors at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week, where Trump was formally nominated as the party's candidate in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Three other sources close to the Trump campaign confirmed Trump was considering Hamm for the post. One of the sources said he first heard that Hamm was a contender from Trump officials on Sunday. None of the sources was aware of who else Trump may be considering for the job.

Representatives for Trump and Hamm did not respond to a request for comment.

Addressing the convention on Wednesday night, Hamm called for expanded drilling and said too much environmental regulation threatened to limit U.S. oil production and increase the country's dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers.

"Every time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded," Hamm told the cheering crowd. "Every onerous regulation puts American lives at risk."

Yeah, so Trump is going to make the CEO of the country's biggest fracking company his energy secretary. It's almost comical except this is real folks, he would literally turn over US energy policy to the fracking industry to conduct.  Amazing.

Deadly real.  Serving up the Baltics to Putin and our environment to the frackers?  Gosh, Trump seems like a great guy.

No difference between him and Hillary after all.

Clinton Derangement Syndrome 2.0, Con't

Hey guys, I know Donald Trump sure is amusing and Cleveland's RNC convention is an utter nightmare of a dark comedy and all.  Meanwhile, the GOP continues to openly call for the execution of their political opponents.

An adviser to Donald Trump on veterans issues said on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton should be put in a firing line and shot for treason. 
New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who is also a Trump delegate from the state and has appeared with Trump at campaign events, made the comments on the Jeff Kuhner Show. 
“I’m a veteran that went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton to me is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam,” he said. “She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there.” 
This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” he added. 
Baldasaro has spoken at several Trump events, introducing Trump multiple times, including at an event in late May where he admonished the media for focusing on questions over Trump’s donations to veteran’s charities. 
He later added in the radio interview that Clinton was a “piece of garbage.”

So again, how long before somebody tries to take Baldasaro (again a sitting Republican lawmaker and Trump supporter) up on his idea?

Can you imagine the unholy fecal hurricane if anyone in the Democratic party said this about Donald Trump? It would be front-page national news for months.

Republicans want to murder Hillary Clinton?  Meh, who cares, right?


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