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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Journal Archives

As Republicans Celebrate, Mueller Just Won Two Huge Victories


Posted on Sat, Mar 23rd, 2019 by Leo Vidal
As Republicans Celebrate, Mueller Just Won Two Huge Victories


Mueller Just Won Two Victories, With Major Implications

Lost in all the premature celebrating (by Republicans) and the hand-wringing (by Democrats) is the fact that Robert Mueller just scored two huge victories. And as a result, it is very likely that the legal peril for President Donald Trump (and at least three of his children) is just beginning.

Here are the victories won by Mueller:

1. The special counsel made it all the way to the finish line without being fired. He got to finish his important work of investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And, after massive amounts of worry and hype, he was allowed to write and submit his final report. There are many people who believed he would never get to this point. So score this a big win for the special counsel.

2. By law William Barr is required to publicly reveal any time that Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked him to approve something, but he refused. In his announcement letter, Barr says that there were no such instances where he refused a request.

This means a lot. It means that Mueller got approval every time he asked Barr to approve something.
If Mueller asked for approval to refer criminal cases against Trump and or his children to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York (SDNY) then he got it. Which means that there may be more indictments and prosecutions coming from other places within the Justice Department.

The Mueller Report Will Be Made Public, and There Will Be More Indictments

We don’t know what Mueller asked for from Barr, but we do know that whatever it was, he got his way.

Last night both House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Senator Richard Blumenthal said that more indictments are likely coming, and they will probably come from the SDNY.

This makes it clear that Barr will not bury the Mueller report and go on with business as usual, as if nothing happened.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 23, 2019, 10:10 AM (9 replies)

2020 Democrats: You might be surprised by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He reminds me of Obama.


2020 Democrats: You might be surprised by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He reminds me of Obama.
Peter Funt, Opinion contributor Published 3:15 a.m. ET March 19, 2019
The young South Bend mayor is an unlikely commander in chief contender. But he's got a potentially appealing X factor: calmness and command of issues.


Buttigieg might not have all the answers, but whatever is thrown at him by reporters or TV hosts or folks at a town hall, he handles so authoritatively, so logically, that you’d swear Donna Brazile had arranged to get him the questions in advance.

Is he too young? “We’re the generation that provided most of the troops for the conflicts after 9/11," Buttigieg said on CBS. "We’re the generation that’s going to be on the business end of climate change. And if nothing changes economically, we’ll be the first generation ever to make less than our parents. So I believe that no one has more at stake right now than younger people coming up.”

He added, on CNN: “I have more years of government experience under my belt than the president.”

Buttigieg's book is beautifully crafted. It might have benefited from some judicious pruning, but it's an engrossing autobiography — especially coming from an author with fewer than four decades of experiences to draw upon. He's so new at being in the public eye that he and his husband can't even agree on the pronunciation of their last name. (Boot-edge-edge or Buddha-judge are top choices.)

Buttigieg supports "bedrock Democratic values" and considers himself a progressive, while refusing to overreach with Medicare for All or the more unrealistic elements of the Green New Deal. He speaks of "economic fairness and racial inclusion (that) could resonate very well in the industrial Midwest, but not if they were being presented by messengers who looked down on working- and lower-middle-class Americans."


Beyond policy, successful politicians nowadays need an X factor. Obama's was rousing oratory. Trump's was slick marketing honed on reality TV. Buttigieg has a certain calmness and command of the issues that is particularly comforting in these tumultuous times. How far that will ultimately take him — and whether his destiny is now or somewhere down the road — remains to be seen.

Even so, as you watch him on TV and read his book, ask yourself: When was the last time a politician's words resonated quite this way? If you have to go back to the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, in February 2007 for the answer, then perhaps in 2020 Pete Buttigieg will be your guy.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 05:44 PM (4 replies)

Racist Violence Threat Keeps Charlottesville Schools Closed

Why aren't we hearing about this???

Racist Violence Threat Keeps Charlottesville Schools Closed
By Reuters
March 22, 2019

(Reuters) - Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia, remained closed for a second consecutive day on Friday as police investigated a threat of racist violence against non-white students that had been posted online, officials said.

City leaders have worked to ease racial tensions in the city since a white nationalist rally in August 2017 descended into violence, with a white nationalist killing a counter-protester and injuring others after he drove into a crowd.

A threat against Charlottesville High School was reported to the police on Wednesday afternoon, according to the police department.

School officials then quickly decided to close all schools in the city. According to U.S Census Bureau data, African Americans make up around 19 percent of Charlottesville's population of nearly 50,000 people.

"We would like to acknowledge and condemn the fact that this threat was racially charged," Charlottesville City Schools said in a letter sent to parents and posted on its website on Thursday evening notifying them of Friday's closures. "The entire staff and School Board stand in solidarity with our students of color."


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 10:28 AM (0 replies)

Twenty Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pete Buttigieg

I learned a few things, and this conservative source didn't diss him a bit.

Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pete Buttigieg
By Jim Geraghty
March 22, 2019 6:30 AM

One: South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg, immigrated to the United States from Malta and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1979. He was a professor of European literature who taught at New Mexico State and then Notre Dame. The elder Buttigieg was a fan of Manchester United soccer and easily transitioned to become a fan of Notre Dame football. Buttigieg’s mother, Anne Montgomery Buttigieg, was also a professor at Notre Dame for nearly three decades. Joseph Buttigieg passed away in January. Mayor Buttigieg now lives on the same block as his mother and says his mortgage payment on a “large old house facing the river” is $450.

Two: Buttigieg is the youngest candidate in the large Democratic field, born in 1982. He was a child or young man for events that might seem “not that long ago” to many older voters. He remembers an elementary-school teacher explaining that the maps and globes with the label “Soviet Union” were now obsolete. He was ten when Bill Clinton was elected president, a college freshman when George W. Bush was elected president, and a sophomore on 9/11. One of his first jobs out of college was doing research and press work for John Kerry’s presidential campaign; he turned down an offer to work for Barack Obama’s Senate campaign.

Three: In high school, Buttigieg was senior-class president, valedictorian, and president of the school’s chapter of Amnesty International. In his autobiography, Shortest Way Home, he describes his high-school gym teacher as objecting to the group’s focus on “Ay-rabs.” He won an essay contest sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library as part of the organization’s annual Profile in Courage Award. Buttigieg wrote an essay saluting the courage of then-congressman Bernie Sanders, declaring that the congressman’s “real impact has been a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system.” Invited to the JFK library, Buttigieg met Senator Ted Kennedy, and the senator offered him an internship.

His thoughts of running for office started quite early. In Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg writes of his high-school years, “I had begun to wonder what it would be like to be involved in public service directly, instead of reading or watching movies about it. Could political action be a calling, not just the stuff of dinner table talk?”

Four: Buttigieg was accepted to Harvard University and found that his dorm room had previously housed Ulysses Grant Jr., Cornel West, and Horatio Alger. He describes college life in his autobiography like something out of the X-Men: “It began to feel like the academy of X-Men: everyone had some concealed special power: Cate, on the second floor, could read books at four or five times the normal pace. Andrew, on the ground floor, could do a Rubik’s Cube from any starting point in about a minute. Steve, my roommate, was like a science-fiction telepath; he could dissect social interactions and predict with remarkable accuracy how relationships among other freshmen we knew would play out with time.”

Five: Buttigieg became the student president at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, a role described by The New Yorker as being “sought by the most ambitious of the exceptionally ambitious.” At the time the institute was headed by retired senator David Pryor — who is credited with being one of Bill Clinton’s key political mentors. Buttigieg thanks Pryor for providing “the political education we really needed.”

He was a board member of the Harvard College Democrats and protested the war in Iraq. He wrote a regular column for the Harvard Crimson, and in one mocked George W. Bush for his Ivy League elitism in poetry form:


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 09:37 AM (17 replies)

The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center


News Desk
The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center
By Bob Moser
March 21, 2019
The firing of Morris Dees, the co-founder of the S.P.L.C., has flushed up uncomfortable questions that have surrounded the organization for years.

In the days since the stunning dismissal of Morris Dees, the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, on March 14th, I’ve been thinking about the jokes my S.P.L.C. colleagues and I used to tell to keep ourselves sane. Walking to lunch past the center’s Maya Lin–designed memorial to civil-rights martyrs, we’d cast a glance at the inscription from Martin Luther King, Jr., etched into the black marble—“Until justice rolls down like waters”—and intone, in our deepest voices, “Until justice rolls down like dollars.” The Law Center had a way of turning idealists into cynics; like most liberals, our view of the S.P.L.C. before we arrived had been shaped by its oft-cited listings of U.S. hate groups, its reputation for winning cases against the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations, and its stream of direct-mail pleas for money to keep the good work going. The mailers, in particular, painted a vivid picture of a scrappy band of intrepid attorneys and hate-group monitors, working under constant threat of death to fight hatred and injustice in the deepest heart of Dixie. When the S.P.L.C. hired me as a writer, in 2001, I figured I knew what to expect: long hours working with humble resources and a highly diverse bunch of super-dedicated colleagues. I felt self-righteous about the work before I’d even begun it.

The first surprise was the office itself. On a hill in downtown Montgomery, down the street from both Jefferson Davis’s Confederate White House and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where M.L.K. preached and organized, the center had recently built a massive modernist glass-and-steel structure that the social critic James Howard Kunstler would later liken to a “Darth Vader building” that made social justice “look despotic.” It was a cold place inside, too. The entrance was through an underground bunker, past multiple layers of human and electronic security. Cameras were everywhere in the open-plan office, which made me feel like a Pentagon staffer, both secure and insecure at once. But nothing was more uncomfortable than the racial dynamic that quickly became apparent: a fair number of what was then about a hundred employees were African-American, but almost all of them were administrative and support staff—“the help,” one of my black colleagues said pointedly. The “professional staff”—the lawyers, researchers, educators, public-relations officers, and fund-raisers—were almost exclusively white. Just two staffers, including me, were openly gay.

During my first few weeks, a friendly new co-worker couldn’t help laughing at my bewilderment. “Well, honey, welcome to the Poverty Palace,” she said. “I can guaran-damn-tee that you will never step foot in a more contradictory place as long as you live.”

“Everything feels so out of whack,” I said. “Where are the lawyers? Where’s the diversity? What in God’s name is going on here?”

“And you call yourself a journalist!” she said, laughing again. “Clearly you didn’t do your research.”

In the decade or so before I’d arrived, the center’s reputation as a beacon of justice had taken some hits from reporters who’d peered behind the façade. In 1995, the Montgomery Advertiser had been a Pulitzer finalist for a series that documented, among other things, staffers’ allegations of racial discrimination within the organization. In Harper’s, Ken Silverstein had revealed that the center had accumulated an endowment topping a hundred and twenty million dollars while paying lavish salaries to its highest-ranking staffers and spending far less than most nonprofit groups on the work that it claimed to do. The great Southern journalist John Egerton, writing for The Progressive, had painted a damning portrait of Dees, the center’s longtime mastermind, as a “super-salesman and master fundraiser” who viewed civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals. “We just run our business like a business,” Dees told Egerton. “Whether you’re selling cakes or causes, it’s all the same.”

Co-workers stealthily passed along these articles to me—it was a rite of passage for new staffers, a cautionary heads-up about what we’d stepped into with our noble intentions. Incoming female staffers were additionally warned by their new colleagues about Dees’s reputation for hitting on young women. And the unchecked power of the lavishly compensated white men at the top of the organization—Dees and the center’s president, Richard Cohen—made staffers pessimistic that any of these issues would ever be addressed. “I expected there’d be a lot of creative bickering, a sort of democratic free-for-all,” my friend Brian, a journalist who came aboard a year after me, said one day. “But everybody is so deferential to Morris and Richard. It’s like a fucking monarchy around here.” The work could be meaningful and gratifying. But it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 09:19 AM (4 replies)

GOP gerrymandering helped Republicans hold 16 House seats in 2018 midterms

GOP gerrymandering helped Republicans hold 16 House seats in 2018 midterms
Democrats would have picked up 16 additional seats in 2018 if not for Republican gerrymandering, according to study
Matthew Rozsa
March 21, 2019 7:01PM (UTC)

A new study reveals that, although Democrats were able to regain control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years during the 2018 midterm elections, their gains were offset by the effects of Republican gerrymandering over the past decade.

Democrats would have picked up roughly 16 additional seats from their actual total in 2018 if it had not been for partisan gerrymandering around the country, according to a new study by the Associated Press. The analysis also found that in state legislative elections, Republican redistricting may have helped them hold on to at least seven chambers that otherwise would have gone to the Democrats.

"The AP examined all U.S. House races and about 4,900 state House and Assembly seats up for election last year using a statistical method of calculating partisan advantage that is designed to flag cases of potential political gerrymandering," the Associated Press reported. "A similar analysis also showed a GOP advantage in the 2016 elections."

The report added, "The AP used the so-called “efficiency gap” test in part because it was one of the analytical tools cited in a Wisconsin gerrymandering case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 and is part of a North Carolina case scheduled to be argued on Tuesday before the court. In that case, justices will decide whether to uphold a lower court ruling that struck down North Carolina’s congressional districts as an unconstitutional political gerrymander favoring Republicans."


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 08:52 AM (2 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Other Batshit Things Trump Said at His Latest Batshit Speech...

The Rude Pundit

Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Other Batshit Things Trump Said at His Latest Batshit Speech Besides Shitting All Over John McCain


-- Apparently, the only thing that tanks conjure for Trump is the 30 year-old image of then-Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis riding around in one. Trump's brain is stuck in the 1980s, where almost all of his references begin and end. He punned, "[H]e tanked when he got into the tank. He tanked — I never saw anybody tank like that." If you're punching yourself in the face for reading that, well, get ready for his insult of Dukakis's height: "The helmet was bigger than he was. That was not good." I'm gonna bet that a good many of the young workers there had no idea what the fuck this old man was talking about, but that never stops Trump from a good insult.

-- The parade of easily demonstrable lies was unusually brazen, like when he said, "Four straight years, the number of U.S. tanks that were budgeted for upgrades was zero." This is totally true if by "zero," Trump means, "Nearly two billion dollars." He does this shit just to degrade Barack Obama. In fact, he mockingly added, "That was under your great President Obama." Look at the utter, petty, ludicrous contempt with which he holds Obama. It's like the former president got an extra scoop of ice cream or fucked Ivanka. Later, he talked about how the United States is doing better economically than the rest of the world and added, for no goddamn reason at all, "That wouldn’t happen under Barack Obama, that I can tell you. It wouldn’t happen under Crooked Hillary Clinton." He is constantly fighting these fantasy foes.

-- There were times where he just wandered off into the black hole of his ego, turning something that was about others into another airing of grievances. Talking about how much the workers there should love their jobs, Trump mewled, "I do, even though I have the fake news hounding me all the time. The fake and phony and corrupt. It’s fake. It’s corrupt. But we got to live with it, right? Got to live with it." He just disappears up his own ass over and over again. And, to be fair, it would be easy to get lost in that ass.

-- Shecky Trump appeared again and again. He did his little shuck and jive about wind power, where he imagines there's no electricity if there's no wind one day. And then, I shit you not, Trump made the following joke about watching a particular TV show: "I think it was called 'Deface the Nation.' And — ladies and gentlemen, 'Deface the Nation.'" I don't know what was most soul-crushing: that he made the joke, that he thought it was a good joke, or that people actually laughed.

-- Of course, the McCain stuff was the most reported because so much of the rest of it is just typical batshit Trump, which we've pathetically gotten used to, even though it should never stop disturbing us to our cores. Trump asked for credit for McCain's funeral, which is just so fucking weird and shows how small, so very small, a man Trump is. But he wants credit for everything, like the Veteran's Choice Act, which was passed in 2014, or the factory itself: "Well, you better love me," he told the cheering workers when he entered. "I kept this place open, that I can tell you." (It wasn't going to close.)


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 08:12 AM (8 replies)

Gillum wants to register 1 million Florida voters for 2020


Gillum wants to register 1 million Florida voters for 2020
Posted: Wed 8:44 PM, Mar 20, 2019 |
Updated: Thu 7:31 AM, Mar 21, 2019
By: Associated Press
March 20, 2019

MIAMI, Fla. (AP) -- Former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum says he wants to register at least 1 million voters in an effort to make the state swing blue in the 2020 presidential race.

Gillum announced the goal Wednesday evening at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.

Gillum says Democrats must now begin to actively engage voters ahead of the 2020 Presidential Primary.

Earlier Wednesday, the Florida Democratic Party announced a plan to spend $2 million with a goal of signing up 200,000 Floridians to vote. In 2017, the party says it registered only about 80,000 new voters.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo says the party needs to set its candidate up for success.

Democrats say Florida has more than 4 million people who are eligible but unregistered.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 07:58 AM (0 replies)

OxyContin Maker Sackler Family Sued by 500 Cities, Shunned by Tate Galleries


OxyContin Maker Sackler Family Sued by 500 Cities, Shunned by Tate Galleries
REUTERS/George Frey

Members of the Sackler family, who owns opioid OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, are now being sued by a conglomerate of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes, The Guardian reports. The plaintiffs include people in 26 U.S. states who blame Purdue for creating “the worst drug crisis in American history.” The lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, says the Sackler family broke laws to “enrich themselves to the tune of billions of dollars, while hundreds of thousands of Americans died.” The Tate Gallery in London on Thursday also announced it would no longer be taking donations from the billionaire family, the BBC reports, days after Britain’s National Portrait Gallery also severed ties. “In the present circumstances, we do not think it right to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers,” the Tate said in a statement.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 22, 2019, 07:00 AM (35 replies)

Pompeo says it's 'possible' God planned Trump to save Jewish people

What the fuckity fuck?


Pompeo says it's 'possible' God planned Trump to save Jewish people
By Chris Mills Rodrigo - 03/21/19 08:36 PM EDT

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that it is "possible" that President Trump is meant to save the Jewish people.

He made the comments during an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"As a Christian I certainly believe that's possible," Pompeo responded when asked whether Trump is a new Esther, who in the Bible convinced the king of Persia not to slaughter the Jewish people.


On Thursday, Trump said that the U.S. should recognize Israel's disputed control of the Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed by Israel in 1981. Israeli politicians had long called for the U.S. to recognize those claims.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 21, 2019, 09:35 PM (3 replies)
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