HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » babylonsister » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,306

Journal Archives

The Woman Behind the Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign Is Ann Richards's Granddaughter

I had no idea!

The Woman Behind the Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign Is Ann Richards’s Granddaughter
Lily Adams was introduced to the country by her grandmother during Richards’s 1988 speech to the Democratic National Convention.
By Maria Recio
Jan 31, 2019

California Senator Kamala Harris had what many consider a boffo kickoff last week for her Democratic presidential campaign—a huge rally in Oakland, the most widely viewed CNN candidate town hall ever, and kudos from pundits. While Harris was everything her handlers could hope for—poised, polished, prepared—there’s always someone behind that kind of success, someone who helped plan and pull together the events, a strategist with a steely vision. In this case, it was a Texan with a political pedigree: Lily Adams, the 31-year-old granddaughter of Texas icon and former Governor Ann Richards, and daughter of former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.

Adams is Harris’s communications director. She demurred from talking about herself to Texas Monthly, saying she wanted the focus to be on the candidate, but, asked if she was a Texan, wrote that she sure was. “I was born in Los Angeles, California but we moved to Texas when I was 18 months when my grandmother was going to run for governor.” Adams says she grew up in Austin, Texas and went to Matthews Elementary until the family moved to D.C. for her father’s career.

How did Harris’s campaign kickoff go? Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told Texas Monthly, “as I tweeted Sunday, I’d say Kamala Harris has had the best organized and most impressive launch of the Democratic candidates who have announced. First impressions matter, though they don’t determine the final outcome. I actually learned about Lily Adams via Twitter. How? When I sent that tweet, multiple people responded that it was her doing. So credit to her. She certainly has the bloodline for politics.”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 05:22 PM (8 replies)

Over 3,000 more US troops headed to southern border

Over 3,000 more US troops headed to southern border
By Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr, CNN
Updated 1:21 PM ET, Thu January 31, 2019

(CNN)Over 3,000 additional active duty troops will be deployed to the southern US border to bolster security joining the 2,300 troops already there, several defense officials tell CNN.

The additional forces will allow the Department of Defense to fulfill a Department of Homeland Security request for assistance that acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan approved earlier this month.
President Donald Trump confirmed that additional troops would be sent via a tweet on Thursday.

"More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also," Trump wrote.

The combined active duty force at the border is expected to be slightly smaller than the mission's peak of 5,900 troops.

The Pentagon had previously said that the new troops would be involved in "mobile surveillance and detection, as well as concertina wire emplacement between ports of entry."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 03:06 PM (2 replies)

Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote


January 31, 2019 1:11PM ET
Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote
The Senate Majority Leader mocked a bill expanding ballot access while staying silent on foreign threats to our elections
By Jamil Smith

Suppressing votes is not merely a racist act, nor it is simply the last resort for a party out of ideas. Voter suppression is traitorous. Intentionally restricting access to the ballot is a violation of the ideals that we have been told are inherently American. The United States government is of, by and for the people. Yet we are barred from the fundamental democratic process by those in power merely because our skin color predicts our political persuasion. The Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby vs. Holder decision should have had people marching in the streets to restore that landmark civil rights legislation to its full powers — or at least made that a key topic of the subsequent presidential election. We are lucky if outlets use “racially tinged” or other cowardly terminology to reference it. Voter suppression is not an accident, as Chief Justice John Roberts would have us believe, some benign exclusion from the small-d democratic process. It is a form of violence.

Mitch McConnell is okay with this. The Senate Majority Leader, the longest-serving Republican to ever hold that position, all but admitted on the Senate floor Wednesday that having more Americans vote is bad for the Republican Party. H.R. 1, the omnibus package of ethics and civil rights reforms proposed by the newly elected House Democratic majority, was McConnell’s target.


Many are still wondering why Republicans blocked $250 million in funds last fall to enhance election security, but then months later cheer on a president who shuts down the government over $5.7 billion for his fantasy border wall? It doesn’t matter whether Republicans were complicit in foreign election interference. That interference helped elect Trump, and it is allowing the GOP to continually destroy our democracy. Whatever moral compromises and treachery is necessary to help McConnell and his party confirm conservative judges at a manic pace, they seem all too willing to do it.

The Russians failed to make a noticeable dent in the 2018 midterm elections, but not for a lack of trying. Still, McConnell and the Senate caucus he leads haven’t lifted a finger to make the nation’s electoral infrastructure more secure after our intelligence agencies concluded that we were attacked in 2016. Former vice-president Joe Biden alleged that the Obama administration’s response to the Russian election interference was slow-walked thanks to McConnell, which the Majority Leader denies.

McConnell’s behavior should disturb us.

It is somehow fitting that the man who blocked Merrick Garland from a Supreme Court confirmation hearing would declare H.R. 1 dead on arrival a month before it ever was debated on the House floor. In the same early December Wall Street Journal report in which he predicted that lawmakers would avoid a government shutdown, McConnell said that the omnibus Democratic reform bill is “not going to go anywhere in the Senate,” where Republicans hold 53 of the 100 seats.

McConnell isn’t betraying America merely because he is going against popular opinion. As he did by withholding the Garland pick, he is subverting democracy once again at its baseline level. Even worse, McConnell is targeting efforts to make the system fair, painting them as totalitarian while he holds the door open for actual despots seeking to muck with our ballots. His odd sycophancy to Trump, a man whom he clearly shares little in common with other than preferences for judicial picks, has been the story of the last two years. However, going forward, we should give McConnell more credit for his own villainy. He has earned the recognition.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 03:03 PM (3 replies)

David Corn: Once Again, the Kuwaiti Government Puts Money Right into Trump's Pocket


Once Again, the Kuwaiti Government Puts Money Right into Trump’s Pocket
Who cares what the Constitution says?
David CornJanuary 30, 2019 6:21 PM

It’s not news. But it still worth headlines: President Donald Trump collects money directly from foreign governments. He does this when overseas governments (and foreign corporations and persons) spend money at his hotels. These properties are owned by him through the the Trump Organization. (When he became president, he turned the business over to his kids, but retained ownership.) So if the Saudi Crown Prince hits New York City with his oversized entourage and obtains a block of room’s at a high-end Trump hotel, the money goes straight into the coffers of Trump’s family business. And this is exactly what happened last year. (That particular transaction was substantial enough to be responsible for a 13 percent uptick in the hotel’s business.)

Trump’s fancy hotel in Washington, DC, has been the recipient of revenue from governments, people, and parties with interests before the US government and motive to curry favor with Trump. One such entity: the government of Kuwait. As the below invitation shows (at link), the Gulf State is holding its independence anniversary shindig at the Trump International Hotel next month. This will mark the third year in a row that the Kuwaitis have decided to grace Trump’s hotel with their presence and petro-dollars.

These transactions are arguably violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibit a president from accepting any sort of gift from an overseas source—an anti-bribery measure that the Founding Fathers obviously believed necessary. A lawsuit claiming Trump has violated this part of the Constitution has been working its way through the courts, and oral arguments for the case are scheduled for March. The suit, which was filed by the attorneys general for Maryland and Washington, DC, cites the annual Kuwaiti bash as one of several violations of the emoluments clause.

It seems like Trump and the Kuwaitis don’t mind providing more potential evidence.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 01:51 PM (4 replies)

House Democrats Just Told the Pentagon to Redo Its Climate Change Report

House Democrats Just Told the Pentagon to Redo Its Climate Change Report
They were outraged by the first version.
Dan SpinelliJanuary 30, 2019 3:35 PM

Earlier this month, the Pentagon released a landmark report that identified the 79 American military installations most vulnerable to the “effects of a changing climate.” The 22-page filing frankly acknowledged the security implications of climate change—in dramatic contrast with President Trump’s very public global warming skepticism—but Democrats roundly criticized its failure to include several details requested by Congress, including specific cost estimates to protect or replace the ten most vulnerable bases from each of the military services.

Now those lawmakers want a complete do-over.

In a letter released Wednesday afternoon, three Democratic members of the House Armed Services panel, including Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), urged acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan to compile another report by April that “thoroughly and clearly addresses” the criteria requested by Congress.

“They clearly ignored the requirement in the law,” says Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), one of the signatories, who had described himself as “deeply disappointed” with the original report. “The report they issued was completely unsatisfactory.” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services panel, said the report carried “about as much value as a phonebook.” Smith immediately demanded another report that “rigorously confronts the realities of our warming planet.”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 01:39 PM (11 replies)

Who Needs Career Intelligence Officials When You Have Fox News?


January 30, 2019 1:16PM ET
Who Needs Career Intelligence Officials When You Have Fox News?
The president bashed the intelligence community on Twitter, questioning their assessments of Iran, ISIS and North Korea
Ryan Bort

Concerned as its agencies are with finding facts, President Trump has made sure to keep his distance from the United States intelligence community since taking office. Despite their wealth of expertise, he’s been reluctant to consider their security assessments as any more credible than what he happens to hear on Fox & Friends every morning. It isn’t hard to understand why, and it goes beyond Fox’s use of colorful graphics. The former presents the president with hard truths about dangers facing the nation that he is duty-bound to confront; the latter tells him that all is well — or, if it’s not, that it’s someone else’s fault — and that he’s doing a great job.

On Tuesday, the nation’s top intelligence officials briefed Congress on of North Korea, Iran and ISIS — all issues on which Trump has claimed varying degrees of victory. Their assessments didn’t exactly jibe with what the president would like to believe. Trump responded by attacking the intelligence community, tweeting on Wednesday that its officials are “extremely passive,” “naive” and “wrong,” particularly regarding their assessment of Iran. According to National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, whose warnings about Russian interference in America’s elections Trump has essentially ignored, Iran is still complying with the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, which Trump dramatically abandoned in May. “We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device,” said Coats.


The reason Coats and the rest of the intelligence community are second-guessing the president is because the president has absolutely no clue what he’s talking about. Unfortunately for America, Fox News will always be there to insist to him that he does.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 09:39 AM (1 replies)

Democrats And Republicans Finally Agree: The Best Way To Govern Is To Ignore Trump


Posted on Wed, Jan 30th, 2019 by Sean Colarossi
Democrats And Republicans Finally Agree: The Best Way To Govern Is To Ignore Trump

As Congress negotiates a deal that would keep the government open past the February 15 deadline, Democrats and Republicans have seemingly reached agreement on at least one thing: Ignoring Donald Trump is the best way to govern the country.

As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes laid out on Wednesday night, after Trump’s border wall tantrum kept the government shut down for over a month, nobody in Washington wants him near future negotiations.

“Donald Trump is now engaged in another battle over his unpopular border wall with an even weaker hand and everyone seems to know it except for one man, the president,” the MSNBC host said. “The increasingly irrelevant and ineffectual president is just about the only person in Washington who does not understand just how badly the shutdown damaged his own position.”


Chris Hayes said:

Donald Trump is now engaged in another battle over his unpopular border wall with an even weaker hand and everyone seems to know it except for one man, the president. Today lawmakers from both parties met for the first time to try to head off another Trump shutdown. And a temporary bill to fund the government runs out 16 days from now and they all seem to be paying as little attention as possible to the president of the United States. Trump has not held a public event in five days, he’s been holed in the White House rage tweeting about whatever he sees on Trump TV on DVR and attacking a former staffer who wrote a tell-all book. Trump did manage to briefly weigh in on the negotiations early this morning … and then everyone kind of just ignored him. … The increasingly irrelevant and ineffectual president is just about the only person in Washington who does not understand just how badly the shutdown damaged his own position. His approval rating is down and a majority of Americans continue to oppose his border wall that, you’ll remember, Mexico was supposed to pay for. There is massive opposition to Trump declaring a national emergency to try to get funding for the wall, which he has flirted with, and even greater opposition to enforcing the nation to endure another shutdown. … Back in November, a poll found Republicans with a 10-point advantage on handling border security. But in the wake of the Trump shutdown, it’s the Democrats who now have a nine-point advantage. I mean think about that: The president of the United States used the full force of his bully pulpit to make an argument to the American people, and he managed to convince them that his opponents are right.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 08:40 AM (21 replies)

White House Inquiry Finds No Evidence for Trump's Duct-Tape and Prayer-Rug Claims


1. BASELESS an hour ago
White House Inquiry Finds No Evidence for Trump’s Duct-Tape and Prayer-Rug Claims
Reuters / Carlos Barria

An internal Trump administration inquiry has found no evidence to support the president’s claims that prayer rugs have been found at the Mexican border or that smugglers are binding women with duct tape to traffic them, ABC News reports. While putting forward his case for border-wall funding, President Trump has repeatedly claimed that women have been discovered covered in duct tape and quoted an anonymous rancher claiming that multiple Muslim prayer rugs had been found by farmers near the Mexican border. Administration officials reportedly launched an effort to find evidence to support the president’s claims but, according to an official who spoke to ABC News, absolutely no evidence has been found. It’s been noted by CNN that prayer rugs at the border and duct-taped women were featured in the 2015 fictional crime film Sicario in which FBI agents fight Mexican drug cartels.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jan 31, 2019, 08:19 AM (9 replies)

Mitch McConnell: making Election Day a federal holiday is a Democratic "power grab"

Mitch McConnell: making Election Day a federal holiday is a Democratic “power grab”
McConnell is saying the quiet part out loud on voting rights.
By Tara Golshan Jan 30, 2019, 4:40pm EST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t think Election Day should be a federal holiday because that would give Democrats too much power.

McConnell took to the Senate floor Wednesday to rail against HR 1, the sweeping anti-corruption proposal House Democrats have put forward as their first bill in the majority. Among many other measures, it proposes making Election Day a federal holiday and encourages private sector businesses to do the same.

McConnell, who calls the bill the “Democratic Politician Protection Act,” sees that as a “power grab.”

“Just what America needs, another paid holiday and a bunch of government workers being paid to go out and work ... [on Democratic] campaigns,” he snarked on the Senate floor. “This is the Democrat plan to restore democracy? ... A power grab.”

The proposal to make Election Day a federal holiday is based on a simple reality: A wide swath of the American public doesn’t vote — and most of those nonvoters say they skipped the polls because they had to work or get kids to school and didn’t have the time.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jan 30, 2019, 07:41 PM (15 replies)

Trump blocked pay raises for 2 million workers. The House just voted to restore them.

Trump blocked pay raises for 2 million workers. The House just voted to restore them.
Trump said the government couldn’t afford cost-of-living increases for civilian federal employees.
By Alexia Fernández Campbell@AlexiaCampbellalexia@vox.com Jan 30, 2019, 3:10pm EST

President Donald Trump canceled annual pay raises for federal employees last year — and now members of Congress are trying to restore them.

On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would give civilian workers a 2.6 percent cost-of-living increase for 2019. They were supposed to receive an automatic 2.1 percent pay bump starting in January, but Trump canceled it in December — just days after he shut down the government and withheld paychecks for nearly 800,000 employees.

Furloughed employees are now back at work, waiting for their first paycheck of the year and back pay to cover the ones they missed during the 35-day shutdown. But Trump’s decision to reopen the government for three weeks — without funding for a border wall— did not include a raise.

That means roughly 2 million people won’t get an annual pay raise this year, including Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Members of Congress, though, think they can still make it happen. Senate Democrats introduced another bill on Tuesday calling for the 2.6 percent raise, which would match the increase given to military service members. So far, the bill has no Republican support, but GOP Senate leaders had previously been willing to give employees a 1.9 percent raise.

“Congress can override, and Congress should override this executive order,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who represents a district with thousands of federal workers.

Whether or not they can make a deal with the Senate is up in the air, and the raise may end up as part of the negotiations over the next government spending bill, which Congress must pass by February 15 to keep the government open. The main barrier to a deal, however, is the president, who has shown little to no concern for the impact his decision would have on the livelihoods of American workers.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jan 30, 2019, 07:33 PM (1 replies)
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »