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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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NYT: Pentagon presented plan to deploy 120,000 troops in case of Iran escalation


Zachary Basu48 mins ago
NYT: Pentagon presented plan to deploy 120,000 troops in case of Iran escalation

At the direction of national security adviser John Bolton, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan last week presented top White House national security officials with a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event that Iran "attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons," the New York Times reports.

Details: The plan was reportedly presented during a meeting about the Trump administration's broader Iran policy, attended — among others — by Bolton, CIA director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. It's unclear if President Trump has been briefed on the details of the plan, which did not call for a land invasion of Iran, but requested a similar number of troops involved the U.S.' 2003 invasion of Iraq, per the Times.

The big picture: Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been warning of an unspecified "escalating threat" from Iran in recent weeks, after receiving intelligence from Israel about a possible Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the region. Trump told reporters today that he’d been “hearing little stories about Iran,” adding: “If they do anything, they will suffer greatly.”

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that two Saudi tankers were damaged by an "act of sabotage" over the weekend in the Gulf, without identifying any suspects. Iran’s foreign ministry distanced itself, calling the incident “worrisome” and “regretful."

Later on Monday, AP and other media outlets cited an anonymous U.S. official as saying an "initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies" were responsible.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 09:36 PM (11 replies)

Congressman Calls For Steve Mnuchin To Be Jailed If He Doesn't Hand Over Trump's Tax Returns


Posted on Mon, May 13th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Congressman Calls For Steve Mnuchin To Be Jailed If He Doesn’t Hand Over Trump’s Tax Returns

Pascrell said on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, “I believe that the Justice Department should first fine the two persons that we’re talking about, Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Rettig. And I would increase the penalties. And by the way, if they say no all the way, then I’d put them in jail all the way. That’s the law of the land. I don’t want to act as judge and jury here, which the trump administration has done many times on. But I’ll tell you what the law is. The law is on our side. And I can’t wait.”

Video @ link:

Calls are growing for Trump officials to be jailed

Over the weekend, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) called for the jailing of Trump administration officials who are stonewalling investigations, ““We should consider the power of inherent contempt, an old doctrine that allows the Congress itself to issue a summons, arrest warrant to an official and demand they appear at a congressional hearing, be subject to fines, to jail time. I think we ought to explore contracting with area correctional institutions, provide additional support to the sergeant in arms, so the White House knows we’re serious.”

House Democrats are running out of patience. The calls are getting louder from the Democratic caucus for stronger action to be taken. Fines are a good first step because we all know that Trump won’t actually pay the fines of those who are covering for him. Democrats are building a strong case against this administration for widespread obstruction.

In order to get this administration to comply, Democrats will either need to win court cases or take action like the Congress members are suggesting.

It might be necessary for Democrats to lock them up.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 07:23 PM (21 replies)

Farmers turn against Trump's trade war

Farmers turn against Trump's trade war
By Katie Lobosco, CNN
Updated 6:16 PM ET, Mon May 13, 2019

Washington (CNN)American farmers are running out of patience with President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Farmers have long stood behind Trump's mission to get a better trade deal with Beijing that addresses long-standing issues with what they say are unfair trading practices.

But after weeks of optimistic statements by Trump and members of his administration about how trade talks were progressing, Trump abruptly escalated tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week and opened the door to even more -- prompting Beijing to hit back Monday by raising the tariff rate on $60 billion of US items.
The escalated tariffs don't hit agricultural products directly, since most were already facing a 25% tariff imposed by China last year. But the news still sent commodity prices plummeting.

"The President of the United States owes farmers like myself some type of plan of action," John Wesley Boyd Jr., a soybean farmer in Baskerville, Virginia, told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday.

"Farmers were his base. They helped elect this president ... and now he's turning his back on America's farmers when we need him the most," he added.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 07:11 PM (8 replies)

California Couple Who Blamed Cancer on Roundup Weed Killer Awarded $2 Billion


California Couple Who Blamed Cancer on Roundup Weed Killer Awarded $2 Billion
Julia Arciga

A California jury awarded $2.055 billion to a couple who claimed their cancer diagnoses were caused by the weed killer Roundup, The Wall Street Journal reports. The couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma four years apart. They say their cancers, which are now in remission, were primarily caused by the weed killer they used on their San Francisco property for 35 years. Lawyers for the Pilliods reportedly claimed Roundup and its primary ingredient, glyphosate, was carcinogenic. Bayer lawyers pointed to several studies and the Environmental Protection Agency’s claims that glyphosate is safe when used as instructed. According to the newspaper, this is the company’s third defeat in similar court cases. “We are disappointed with the jury’s decision and will appeal the verdict in this case,” a statement from Bayer read.

Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 07:00 PM (6 replies)

David Frum: Trump Is Angry That the FBI Won't Endorse His Theory of Victimhood


Trump Is Angry That the FBI Won’t Endorse His Theory of Victimhood
The president has already fired an FBI director and an acting director. Now he’s gunning for the present director, Chris Wray.
12:49 PM ET
David Frum


Trump wants the FBI to endorse his own theory of victimhood—and it won’t. Worse, the FBI was embedded in the Mueller investigation. The FBI received, and still holds, whatever information the investigation gathered about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including potential answers to the all-important question: Why? Why was Vladimir Putin so eager to help Trump into the presidency? Why did Russia care so much, and run such risks for him?

The answer may be indicated in an underappreciated pair of sentences on page 76 of Volume II of the Mueller report: “As described in Volume I, the evidence uncovered in the investigation did not establish that the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had any unlawful relationship with any Russian official. But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal or political concerns.”

So long as the FBI remains in independent hands, the president will remain gripped by those concerns.

What Trump means by leadership is compliance. He wants an FBI director who serves him personally the way Attorney General Barr has served him personally. So long as the FBI retains its integrity, Trump feels unsafe. He cannot close the case, because he keeps hearing scratching sounds from inside. He cannot move on, because he keeps looking back in fear. His next move? He’s already telegraphing it: another attack on the independence of law enforcement.

Trump today welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to the White House. I keep thinking on this trip of the shrewd insight offered by a Budapest observer when I visited Hungary in 2016: “The benefit of controlling a modern state is less the power to persecute the innocent, more the power to protect the guilty.” Trump holds that power, and he is determined to wield it.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 02:53 PM (24 replies)

Bill Nye tees off on climate change skeptics: 'The planet is on f---ing fire!'

Bill Nye tees off on climate change skeptics: 'The planet is on f---ing fire!'
By Joe Concha - 05/13/19 11:08 AM EDT

Activist and television host Bill Nye said the Earth is "on f---ing fire" in a new video warning about climate change, with the self-described "Science Guy" urging lawmakers to "grow the f--- up" and allocate money to fight rising emissions.

“By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees,” Nye said in the video, which was featured on John Oliver's HBO program, "Last Week Tonight."

“What I’m saying is the planet’s on f---ing fire. There are a lot of things we could do to put it out — are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing’s free, you idiots," Nye added. "Grow the f--- up. You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12. But you’re adults now, and this is an actual crisis, got it? Safety glasses off, motherf---ers.”

The commentary comes two months after the Green New Deal package of proposals to address climate change failed to pass in the Senate in a 57-0 vote, with 43 Democrats voting "present."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 12:59 PM (2 replies)

Report Shows Fox News Lies Daily In Newscasts To Viewers

Say it isn't so!


Posted on Mon, May 13th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Report Shows Fox News Lies Daily In Newscasts To Viewers

The myth that Fox has a news side and an opinion side was shattered a by a new report documenting the lies that Fox told to their viewers during their “news” segments of their programming.
Fox’s news side lies to viewers

Here is a smattering of some of the lies pushed as news by Fox anchors:

– Anchor Harris Faulkner claimed Democrats “have gotten” Mueller’s findings “through that four-page report from the AG.”

– Anchor Maria Bartiromo suggested that Democrats don’t support border security because they didn’t vote for three specific proposals

– Anchor Bill Hemmer said the Trump/Russia investigation began with “the original sin” of the “dirty dossier.”

– Chief national correspondent Ed Henry said, “House Democrats already seem to be, at least, encouraging illegal immigrants to vote” through voting and campaign finance reform bill HR 1.”

– Anchor Sandra Smith parroted a highly misleading claim that “Medicare for All” would cost $33 trillion in its first 10 years.

Read the report from Media Matters at link:

The supposed news side is telling the same lies to viewers that Sean Hannity is spewing at night. Fox is giving the lies news like presentation, but they are still partisan false statements that are designed to misinform and mislead viewers.

Fox’s news reporters were caught in leaked emails discussing how they could defend Trump against Joe Biden. There is no news side and opinion side separation. Propaganda, Trump supporting lies, and partisan misinformation are the backbone of Fox News. Fox could deliver news with conservative analysis, but that is not what the network chooses to do. They use the pretense of news to spread partisan misinformation and misinform the public.

Fox News has nothing to do with journalism and the news. One of the last remaining cover stories for Fox’s propaganda has been exposed, and no American who wants to be accurately informed should give Fox News one second of their time.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 12:53 PM (19 replies)

Ezra Klein: The case for Jay Inslee

The case for Jay Inslee
Inslee is the only candidate treating climate change the way the science says climate change should be treated.
By Ezra Klein@ezraklein May 13, 2019, 9:30am EDT


As he told my colleague Dave Roberts, “I believe there is one central, defining, existential-with-a-capital-E threat to the future of the nation: climate change. It is clear that it will only be defeated if the United States shows leadership. And that will only happen if the US president makes it a clear priority — the number one, foremost, paramount goal of the next administration.”

Climate change isn’t a concern Inslee picked up just in time for the 2020 presidential race. In 2009, when he was a member of the House, he co-authored a book with energy expert Bracken Hendricks called Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, and wrote ambitious legislation trying to make his vision reality.

Inslee is a two-term governor of Washington state — he took office in 2013 and is term-limited out in 2020 — and the Republican attack line on him has been that the only thing he cares about is climate change. It’s the kind of insult that’s also, sort of, a compliment.

Inslee supported the state’s recent carbon tax ballot initiatives (both failed) and has tried several times to pass carbon pricing bills through the legislature, only to be thwarted. But he kept at it, and this session (finally working with a Democratic majority in both houses), he shepherded through a range of ambitious bills on clean electricity, clean buildings, electric vehicles, banning hydrofluorocarbons, and boosting energy efficiency standards.

Inslee’s single-mindedness, even in the face of past failures, is important. A persistent problem in climate change politics is that Democrats pay lip service to the existential threat but prioritize kitchen table issues with faster political payoff. By the time they turn back to climate, if they turn back to climate, they’ve long since lost the capital necessary for the fight. Inslee made this point in an accurate assessment of Barack Obama’s first term:

The Democratic team said, “We’re going to do health care first.” And so climate didn’t get done. Now, could it have gotten done if it was put first? There are no guarantees in the historical retrospectoscope. But once health care went first, there wasn’t enough juice to get climate through.

We simply cannot have that experience again. So [climate change] can’t be on a laundry list. It can’t be something that candidates check the box on. It has to be a full-blooded effort to mobilize the United States in all capacities.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 12:23 PM (15 replies)

How Does Donald Trump Keep Getting Away with It?


How Does Donald Trump Keep Getting Away with It?
Hint: From Congress to the courts, people keep treating Trump like a ‘normal’ president. It’s time to stop.
By Elie Mystal
Today 8:35 am

Every day, President Donald Trump or his minions say something stupid, wrong, or demonstrably false. Most days, these people threaten to take illegal actions. Some days, they make good on their lawless threats.

And yet, they are still in power. Trump and his family and sycophants get help from the Russians (whether willfully or not) to influence our elections; obstruct justice; engage in corrupt practices; violate Constitutional principles; intimidate witnesses; ignore Congress; and lie as if “Falsehood” was their native tongue. And they seem to get away with all of it.

Nobody stops them. Yes, the Republican Party has shown itself to be a collection of craven hypocrites, so utterly debased from wallowing around in Trump’s filth that they can’t even remember what decency smells like. But if you’ve been paying attention, Republicans are always like this. Just ask Merrick Garland. Our system shouldn’t be so weak that the perverse noise makings of Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham can scuttle the very concept of the rule of law.


Everybody wants to see the “un-redacted” Mueller report, but nobody is outside of Bill Barr’s house right now demanding that he release it. Chief Justice John Roberts could be sitting right next to you as you read this, and most of you wouldn’t notice him, and those that do wouldn’t scream “I can’t believe you voted for the Muslim ban, you accomplice to bigotry” right in his face. The “resistance” should be near revolt, but instead we’re dithering about whether the normal process of impeachment is “worth it.”

The courts will regard Trump as a unique threat to the normal operation of government just as soon as we make the normal operation of government impossible while he reigns.

People know the start of the Frederick Douglass quote: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” But most forget how the passage ends: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

How does Trump keep getting away with it? Because we let him.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 12:04 PM (35 replies)

Trump urges Americans not to buy from American companies because of his own tariffs

Trump urges Americans not to buy from American companies because of his own tariffs
He really doesn't understand just how bad his own plan is.
Zack Ford
May 13, 2019, 10:00 am

President Donald Trump kicked Monday morning off with a series of tweets defending his new tariffs against China. His latest tactic is to urge Americans not to buy products from American companies if they manufacture in China.

The way tariffs work is that American businesses pay the fees for bringing in goods manufactured in China, which they then pass on to consumers. The president reasons, however, that Americans can easily avoid these increased costs.

Trump said there is “no reason” for U.S. consumers to pay the tariffs, before claiming that companies inside China would soon move to other countries. In the meantime, Trump said people should just buy products from inside the United States.




Posted by babylonsister | Mon May 13, 2019, 11:17 AM (8 replies)
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