Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Last Call For BillO's Big Breakdown, Con't

Bill O'Reilly is done and will not return from his "vacation" as allegations of multiple sexual harassment claims are actually affecting FOX News advertisers. It's finally gotten to the point where the Murdoch family that owns FOX are kicking him to the curb.

A well-placed source said Tuesday afternoon that representatives for Fox and O'Reilly have begun talking about an exit. But this prompted a denial from sources in O'Reilly's camp. 
Even one person close to O'Reilly, however, said he will probably not be back on "The O'Reilly Factor." 
The original well-placed source said an announcement about O'Reilly's fate was likely by the end of the week. 
The fact that none of these sources were willing to go on the record speaks to the delicate maneuvering underway. 
The network's parent company, 21st Century Fox (FOX), will hold a board meeting on Thursday, a spokeswoman told CNNMoney. One of the sources said O'Reilly will be a primary topic. 
The Murdochs, the men who control 21st Century Fox, are pointedly not commenting on any of this. 
But conversations inside Fox have already turned to possible O'Reilly successors.

Meanwhile new harassment claims are becoming public this week as advertisers are beginning to flee the network.

Attorney Lisa Bloom said Tuesday that she is representing a new woman making a complaint of sexual and racial harassment against O’Reilly, claiming that he made offensive gestures toward her and called her “hot chocolate.” O’Reilly’s lawyer called the claim “outrageous” and blasted the fact that it was made by an anonymous woman. 
“It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity-driven donations,” said attorney Marc Kasowitz.

The last thing FOX wants is a lengthy trial getting headline news, so FOX News pulled the plug on him this afternoon.

That's not exactly fair, this asshole deserves to get roasted and lose it all, plus some nice lengthy prison time for sexual assault (and I hope that's still coming) but being sued into oblivion works for me.  He's long been a cancer on news and I'll be glad when he's excised like the tumor he is.

Bye bye, BillO.

Berning Down Kentucky Democrats

Bernie Sanders, with DNC chair Tom Perez in tow, kicked off the Democratic party's national "We Apologize To White People Tour '17" as Sanders came to Louisville last night to make the case that Democrats have to be nicer to Trump voters or something.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders urged Democrats to reach out to President Donald Trump's supporters to promote a progressive agenda that includes guaranteed health care for all Americans as part of a strategy to rebuild the party. 
Sanders told a boisterous crowd Tuesday night in Louisville that Trump has reneged on his promises to working-class voters. He said Democrats should reach out to disillusioned Trump supporters as the out-of-power party tries to recover from last year's election losses. 
"You don't stand with the working people of this country by supporting health care legislation that throws 24 million people off of health insurance," former presidential candidate Sanders said of the languishing health care overhaul backed by Trump. 
Sanders and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez took their nationwide tour to Kentucky, where downtrodden Democrats saw their series of election losses mount last November when Republicans claimed the state House. Trump won 118 of Kentucky's 120 counties. 
Democrats who once dominated Kentucky politics have since lost the governor's mansion and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Republicans hold both U.S. Senate seats and all but one of the state's U.S. House seats.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, called for a grass-roots resurgence in which progressives run for offices ranging from local school board to Congress. He said the party's strategy should include building a strong base in all 50 states, not just on both coasts. 
"Real change ... never, ever takes place from the top on down," he said. "It is always from the bottom on up." 
Sanders and Perez are seeking to jump-start grass-roots opposition to Trump by focusing on such issues as raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing health insurance coverage for all and making public colleges and universities tuition-free. 
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, the state's only Democratic congressman, spoke in favor of a "single-payer" health care system, drawing sustained applause from the crowd. 
Yarmuth, who represents a Louisville-area district, said the "single-player" plan would loom as the biggest advantage that Democrats would have in next year's election if the national party embraces it.

The one thing Sanders has right is the fact that Democrats do need to pursue the 50-state strategy again and get involved in more local and state races, from school board and city council on up.   That part of his message is something I 100% agree with.

The rest is, as they say, problematic.

I don't buy for a second that "disillusioned" Trump voters are going to turn back to the Democrats, especially in a state like Kentucky.  The complete turnaround in GOP voter opinions on Obamacare once Obama left office is all the proof you need of that.  They may not be happy with Trump, but let's remember that his approval ratings among Republicans are still in the low 80's range and aren't really budging that much from that point no matter how awful things will get.

I'd love to see Medicare for all, a public option, or single payer.  It's good to run on those issues, but remember Trump's still at the break even point on approval among white voters.  If you're in Kentucky and you've been bombarded with messages about scary brown people since 9/11, saying "Won't single payer be great?" isn't going to get through the fear when the GOP can counter with "Yeah, but they're going to give your job to a Mexican."

It's a good message, but we're pretending that Republicans haven't paid attention and haven't been counter-programming messages for the last decade plus on "They're gonna double your taxes, they're going to take your jobs, they're going to move next door and bring that culture with them."  They've perfected this tactic, and punching through it to get voters to vote for their self-interest?  Good luck, Dems have been trying to solve THAT problem for 50 years.

Why Bernie doesn't acknowledge that, I don't know.  But blaming the Dems constantly for it isn't going to make Republicans come to their senses.

Working His Ossoff But Coming Up Short

In Georgia's 6th Congressional district, last night's special election found Democrat Jon Ossoff coming up just short in his quest to win the race outright.  After getting 48% of the vote he'll be facing second-place finisher Republican Karen Handel in a June 20th runoff.

That means Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, the race’s top two vote-getters, will have nine more weeks of expensive and heating campaigning before voters will decide who will replace Tom Price, now Trump’s health secretary, as the representative for Atlanta’s affluent, leafy northern suburbs in the House.

Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary film maker and political novice, told his supporters late Tuesday that a runoff “shattered expectations.” “We will be ready to fight on and win in June if it is necessary,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday evening, former Secretary of State Karen Handel vowed “start the campaign anew” on Wednesday, as her onetime Republican opponents began to coalesce around her. “Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person,” she told supporters.

Outside groups poured millions into the nationally-watched contest, which was widely viewed as an early indicator of Trump’s popularity as he closed out his first 100 days in office. Even the president himself weighed in, via a series of attacks against Ossoff on Twitter, and he tweeted again moments after CNN called the race.

Of course Trump tweeted that he was "glad to be of help" in stopping Ossoff and the "FAKE media".

However if the name Karen Handel sounds familiar, it should.  She's the wingnut former Georgia Secretary of State behind the state's 2005 Voter ID law who was dismissed from a breast cancer non-profit in 2012 over her efforts to stop the charity Komen Foundation from supporting Planned Parenthood mammograms over abortion.  At one point she even made a junk science claim that abortions increased the rate of breast cancer among women, so that it was immoral for the Komen Foundation to support PP.  The outrage back in 2012 and 2013 drove her from the charity and back into state politics.

And yeah, note that Georgia's Voter ID bill became law before Obama even took office.  She was well ahead of the curve on Republican efforts suppressing the black vote.

Handel is dangerous.  But Ossoff is going to have nine weeks of Republican attack ads and Trump tweets aimed straight at him.  Here's hoping he can get the win two months from now.


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