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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Government withholds 84-year-old woman's social security, claims she owes for college

Government withholds 84-year-old woman's social security, claims she owes for college
Posted: Mar 15, 2019 01:15 PM EDT

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Mamie Walker is 84-years-old, has never attended college and depends on her monthly social security check of $1,498 to survive.

But for the past two months, the government has sent Mamie nothing, except a letter claiming she owes them $224,414.50.

A letter from the Treasury Department claims she has been referred to them for "collection action."

The letter explains up to 15 percent of each of her checks will be withheld to pay the debt. That was shocking enough, but no check came at all in February or March. She received another letter stating she won't receive another check until Sept. 2031.

"I'll probably be dead by then," Walker said. "I'm so scared. I don't sleep at night because I'm so scared next week ... my lights are going to be off."

Mamie says she not only never went to college, but she never learned to read or write because she had to go to work as a child to help support her family as a "field hand."


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 17, 2019, 08:10 AM (55 replies)

Joe Biden's meeting with Stacey Abrams sparks speculation

Joe Biden's meeting with Stacey Abrams sparks speculation
The former vice president and the Georgia politician robbed of the governorship met privately on Thursday
Matthew Rozsa
March 15, 2019 4:40PM (UTC)

Former Vice President Joe Biden had a private meeting with former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams on Thursday, prompting speculation about the implications of that conversation for each one's potential presidential candidacy.

A source close to Abrams confirmed the meeting and said that it occurred at Biden's request, according to the Associated Press. The meeting is significant because Biden represents the moderate, establishment wing of the Democratic Party and is widely expected to be an instant frontrunner if he decides to seek the presidential nomination in 2020. Abrams, by contrast, has run as an unabashed progressive and, because her most significant public office was that of a state legislator, she would normally not be considered as a viable presidential contender. That said, Abrams' defeat at the hands of Republican Brian Kemp during last year's gubernatorial election was widely viewed as tainted due to rampant voter suppression, and Abrams' star has risen within the party to the point where she delivered a response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address earlier this year.

Consequently, Abrams is being courted as a possible Senate candidate in 2020 — or even a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate that same year.

Abrams has admitted to having a possible interest in the presidential race, but less so in running for the Senate. As she told the AP, "My objective is to make sure I want to do that job, and because I’d not thought about the Senate before — it had never been in my list of considerations."


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:50 PM (1 replies)

Chaos was always the goal.

Tom Joad on FB...

“I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

With Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” it got “very bad, very bad” inside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch as the killer live-streamed the attack on Facebook. “Let’s get this party started.” The helter-skelter slaughter came with its own Manson-esque manifesto, promising the race war Charles failed to jump start in Amerikkka.

‘With enough pressure the left wing within the United States will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the U.S. will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.

'This attempted abolishment of rights by the left will result in a dramatic polarization of the people in the United States and eventually a fracturing of the US along cultural and racial lines.'

The difference between this act of madness and the summer of 1969, is these days we have a racist prick occupying the Oval, not-so-subtly suggesting violence himself — while live-tweeting his own insane manifesto each day.

“You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

It’s incapable of what humans call compassion — or perhaps Donald is just every bit as awkward as you’d expect someone to be who has never–once–given a second thought to anyone but himself. Who sends “warmest sympathy” to the victims of a tragedy? It’s as if staff brought in a collection of Hallmark “So Sorry You Were Shot” greeting cards and he just mixed and matched some words into a tweet. “Best wishes?!” Holy shit.

“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”

It’s not going to take much to justify the takeover. We’re living under a state of “national emergency,” let’s recall. Yesterday’s vote won’t survive a veto – because there’s plenty of time between now and the next vote to yank the leash and remind the GOP strays of what happens when the trail of campaign contributions leads back to the Kremlin. Whatever Trump has on Lindsey Graham has got to be truly epic kompromat — as he single-handedly kneecapped the House resolution to release the Mueller Report, because “her emails.” It’s true.

Chaos was always the goal. Tearing it down from the inside was the only way it was possible and Putin’s puppet is playing his part to perfection. The baby is beneath the bath water, as Grover predicted. Democracy is dying as the media plays a ratings game for profit and the shock jock in the bully pulpit is just getting warmed up. He LIVES for this.

“When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.” —DJT

This is not normal. It’s past time to choose sides. Stop sharing bullshit which disparages Democrats and remember which side of the barricades you occupy this primary season. “Like a diseased tick on the ass-end of democracy” is how I described Trump when he first came into office. It’s so much worse than I imagined. Through it all, I have yet to use his name and the word president in the same sentence. I don’t plan to, either.

When Trump says, “I have the support of the police, the support of the military ...” you say, I, (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Everything else is superfluous. Godwin’s Law is obsolete. Hyperbole died on a golden escalator. Hitler gave “legal orders,” too. Courage, citizens.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 01:07 PM (4 replies)

Rubio, Menendez request probe into administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia

Rubio, Menendez request probe into administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia
By Rachel Frazin - 03/15/19 11:18 AM EDT

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Thursday called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Trump administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia amid reports that senior White House officials pushed for the sale of nuclear technology to Riyadh.

"We request that GAO conduct an urgent review of [the Department of Energy's] interactions with Saudi Arabia regarding nuclear cooperation, how it has coordinated with or involved other relevant agencies, particularly the State Department, and the specific initiatives or proposals for nuclear cooperation that have been presented or discussed in those interactions," the senators wrote in a letter to Gene Dorado, who leads the GAO.

The two said in their letter that members of the Foreign Relations Committee, including both of them, are concerned that discussions on nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia "are happening in a very opaque manner" and that "DOE’s interactions with Saudi Arabia are not being fully coordinated within the interagency and that other key agencies, such as the State Department, may not be fully engaged or involved in the DOE-led discussions or negotiations."

They specifically requested that the GAO probe the extent of Energy Department interactions with Saudi organizations regarding future cooperation, what the nature of such interactions has been, whether the Energy Department has involved other government agencies and officials in these interactions and whether Energy officials have shared information with nongovernmental organizations or commercial entities.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 12:56 PM (1 replies)

Legal case against Trump's 'charity' comes into sharp focus


Legal case against Trump’s ‘charity’ comes into sharp focus
03/15/19 09:20 AM
By Steve Benen

Donald Trump’s political operation is under investigation. So is his business. So is his inaugural committee. The president himself is the subject of an ongoing probe. But let’s also not forget the investigation into Trump’s charitable foundation.

It’s true, of course, that the Republican’s so-called “charity” permanently closed its doors a few months ago, after having been accused of engaging in a “shocking pattern of illegality.” But as Rachel noted on the show last night, the foundation can be both shut down and still held to account for its alleged misdeeds. As the Associated Press reported late yesterday:

Insider testimony, emails and other evidence show President Donald Trump turned his charitable foundation into a wing of his White House campaign, New York’s attorney general said in a new court filing Thursday.

State Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, detailed her case against the foundation in a 37-page court filing in a lawsuit that seeks $2.8 million in restitution and an order banning Trump and his three eldest children from running any New York charities for 10 years.

That $2.8 million in restitution doesn’t include an additional multi-million fine the state attorney general’s office is seeking as a civil penalty for the foundation’s alleged misdeeds.


As regular readers may recall, let’s also not forget the fact that the president personally signed federal tax returns – under penalty of perjury – swearing that his foundation wasn’t used for political and/or business purposes, and we now know there’s quite a bit of evidence that suggests it was used for both.

Jenny Johnson Ware, a criminal tax attorney in Chicago, told the New York Times last year, “People have gone to prison for stuff like this.”

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 10:28 AM (5 replies)

Beto O'Rourke Says Trump Colluded With Russia and Obstructed Justice


Posted on Fri, Mar 15th, 2019 by Leo Vidal
Beto O’Rourke Says Trump Colluded With Russia and Obstructed Justice

Beto O’Rourke believes President Donald Trump “at the very least” attempted to obstruct justice and also attempted to collude with Russia during the 2016 election.

Friday morning on CBS This Morning, in his first TV interview since announcing his bid for the White House a day earlier, the former Texas congressman told host Gayle King — in response to a question about whether Trump should be impeached — that he is certain there are grounds for it.

He said:

“It’s beyond the shadow of a doubt to me that if there was not collusion, there was at least the effort to collude with a foreign power.”

“Beyond the shadow of a doubt that if there was not obstruction of justice, there was certainly the effort to obstruct justice. Whether that’s firing James Comey, the principal investigator into what happened in 2016, or in the light of day, tweeting to your attorney general as President Trump did to end the Russia investigation.”

Still, when King followed up by noting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s recent comments saying that impeaching the president right now is “not worth it,” O’Rourke sounded as if he agreed.

“How Congress chooses to address those set of facts, and the findings which I believe we are soon to see from the Mueller report, is up to them,” he said. “I think the American people are going to have a chance to decide at the ballot box in November 2020. And perhaps that’s the best way for us to resolve these outstanding questions.”

O’Rourke also addressed the topics of healthcare and taxes:

“When asked how he would tackle healthcare and taxes, @BetoORourke says “the goal should be universal guaranteed high quality health care” and that the “wealthiest at a time of historic income inequality should be asked to pay a greater share.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:44 AM (4 replies)

Mueller Might Not Be Done With Manafort Yet

Mueller Might Not Be Done With Manafort Yet

The disgraced operative still needs to answer for his ties to a suspected Russian spy.
Natasha Bertrand
6:00 AM ET


The first clue that Mueller’s interest in Manafort goes beyond his financial crimes came early last month, when one of the top prosecutors on Mueller’s team, Andrew Weissmann, said in a closed-door hearing that a meeting Manafort had in August 2016 goes “very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.” (Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates was also at the meeting, The Washington Post said, citing court records. A status update for Gates, who has been cooperating with Mueller, is due on Friday.) During that meeting Manafort provided internal Trump-campaign polling data to Kilimnik and discussed a “Ukraine peace plan” favorable to Russia. Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign, as his appointment memo described it; Jackson agreed that the topic of Manafort’s meeting was at “the undisputed core of the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation.”

But Weissmann’s tantalizing comment wasn’t resolved in the government’s sentencing memo for Manafort; on the contrary, details about the August 2016 meeting were conspicuously absent from the 800-page document. The episode was briefly brought up in Manafort’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday, when Jackson reaffirmed that Manafort had lied to the government about the meeting in his conversations with Mueller’s team. “I still find that the special counsel’s office proved that Manafort intentionally gave false testimony with respect to that matter,” she said. And it was only one of “several matters he lied about with regard to Mr. Kilimnik,” she added.

The topics discussed during the August 2 meeting might be the closest thing to a “smoking gun” of collusion that has been revealed so far. A footnote in a court filing submitted by Manafort’s attorneys last month, first noticed by the national-security journalist Marcy Wheeler, indicates that Manafort and his deputy sent 75 pages of polling to Kilimnik and that Kilimnik sent at least six emails to the pair discussing the data. Richard Westling, Manafort’s lawyer, denied that Manafort had lied about the content of the August 2 meeting and said that while the data that Manafort shared with Kilimnik was “very detailed” and “relevant” to a meeting the campaign had had earlier in the day, it would not have been useful to the suspected Russian spy. "It frankly, to me, is gibberish,” Westling said. “It’s not easily understandable." Jackson shot back: "That’s what makes it significant and unusual.”

Still, the content of the 2016 meeting was only revealed by accident due to a redaction error by Manafort’s lawyers, and the significance of the episode to Mueller’s main probe, while hinted at by Weissmann, has yet to be fully explained.

“It’s hard to imagine that something so explosive and central to the mission of his investigation wouldn’t be addressed either in charges against someone (Manafort or others) or in a report,” Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, wrote in an email. “And the fact that the special counsel hasn’t brought it out but it was only revealed inadvertently, reinforces the idea that [Mueller] is saving it for something else.”

That “something else” could be anything from a line in Mueller’s report to an entire conspiracy charge. “My money is on Mueller including the Manafort efforts as part of the ‘case’ alleging Trump campaign collaboration with the Russians,” Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in organized crime, told me in an email. “The question then is, what is the best way to make that case? For myself, I believe a RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] indictment would be the appropriate vehicle to bring such a case: charge the campaign as the ‘racketeering enterprise’ and name Trump, Manafort and the rest of the gang as members of the enterprise … straight out of the mob prosecution playbook.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:11 AM (1 replies)

Beto O'Rourke frequently voted for Republican legislation, analysis reveals

This won't be popular and it's from December. The more we know.

Beto O’Rourke frequently voted for Republican legislation, analysis reveals
Review of his six-year record in Congress shows Democrat frequently opposed own party, and supported bills that boosted the fossil fuel industry and Trump’s immigration policy
David Sirota@davidsirota
Thu 20 Dec 2018 06.00 EST
Last modified on Thu 20 Dec 2018 10.55 EST

Beto O’Rourke’s spirited run for the US Senate in Texas last month has prompted powerful voices in the Democratic party establishment to tout the outgoing Texas congressman as a 2020 presidential candidate who, as the party’s standard-bearer, would offer a vision of America contrasting against that of Republicans.
Beto O'Rourke poses growing threat to fellow Democrats with 2020 hopes

However, a new analysis of congressional votes from the non-profit news organisation Capital & Main shows that even as O’Rourke represented one of the most solidly Democratic congressional districts in the United States, he has frequently voted against the majority of House Democrats in support of Republican bills and Trump administration priorities.

Capital & Main reviewed the 167 votes O’Rourke has cast in the House in opposition to the majority of his own party during his six-year tenure in Congress. Many of those votes were not progressive dissents alongside other left-leaning lawmakers, but instead votes to help pass Republican-sponsored legislation.
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O’Rourke has voted for GOP bills that his fellow Democratic lawmakers said reinforced Republicans’ anti-tax ideology, chipped away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), weakened Wall Street regulations, boosted the fossil fuel industry and bolstered Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

Consumer, environmental, public health and civil rights organizations have cast legislation backed by O’Rourke as aiding big banks, undermining the fight against climate change and supporting Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. During the previous administration, Barack Obama’s White House issued statements slamming two GOP bills backed by the 46-year-old Democratic legislator.



Graham blocks resolution calling for Mueller report to be made public

Graham blocks resolution calling for Mueller report to be made public
By Jordain Carney - 03/14/19 03:55 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday blocked a resolution calling for special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be made public after it passed the House unanimously.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked for unanimous consent for the nonbinding resolution, which cleared the House 420-0, to be passed by the Senate before they leave town for a weeklong recess.

"There is no good reason, no good reason that the special counsel's report should not be made public. The American people are overwhelmingly for the report being made public. They have a right to see it. No one should stand in the way of that," Schumer said from the Senate floor.

But Graham, a close ally of Trump's who chairs the Judiciary Committee, objected after Schumer refused to amend the House-passed resolution to include a provision calling on the Justice Department (DOJ) to appoint a special counsel to investigate DOJ misconduct in the handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's email use and the Carter Page Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 14, 2019, 06:34 PM (9 replies)

Richie Neal and Trump's Taxes

Richie Neal and Trump’s Taxes
Jeff Hauser & Eleanor Eagan
March 13, 2019
The costs of having a corporate Democrat chair the House Ways and Means Committee

As most House Democrats enthusiastically jump on the long-dormant congressional oversight train, one senior lawmaker has conspicuously chosen to stay on the platform. Under the leadership of Representative Richard Neal, the House Committee on Ways and Means has shown none of the zeal for oversight exhibited by its counterparts.

The announcement two weeks ago that Neal would finally request Trump’s tax returns, after a good deal of pressure from the Democratic Caucus, might have appeared to be a welcome reversal. But look at the fine print and you’ll see that the committee’s strategy is basically a continuation of Neal’s obstinate refusal to deliver on Democrats’ 2018 campaign promises.

Not only is Neal’s request still set for some uncertain time in the nearish future (approximately two and a half or more months too late), the request he is contemplating is wildly inadequate.

That is because Neal plans to disregard tax law experts and request only the president’s personal returns.

Neal’s lame excuse is that business returns for Trump’s over 500 Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) are too complex. Neal is right that understanding Trump’s finances will be unjustifiably arduous, but as one of the few people in the country with the power to gather the resources and expertise to conquer this task, surrender in the face of this complexity is a cowardly dereliction of duty.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 14, 2019, 04:16 PM (1 replies)
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