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

Republican group to hand-deliver Mueller report to every GOP lawmaker

Republican group to hand-deliver Mueller report to every GOP lawmaker
By Rebecca Klar - 05/30/19 11:13 AM EDT

A Republican group is hand-delivering special counsel Robert Mueller's report to every lawmaker in its party on the heels of his first public remarks on the two-year Russia investigation.

Republicans for the Rule of Law announced Thursday it will deliver a copy of the report with highlighted sections to Republicans in Congress.

"As Republicans and conservatives, we consider an uncompromising commitment to the rule of law in the best interests of both the Republican Party and the United States," the group said in a letter to lawmakers.

"With this pre-highlighted copy of the Mueller report in hand, all Republicans in Congress will have an easy defense against charges of not having read it," the letter continues.

On Wednesday, Mueller said the report is his testimony and he does not want to appear before Congress. He said everything that needs to be said is laid out in the 448-page document.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri May 31, 2019, 03:15 PM (8 replies)

White House Can't Answer How Mexico Tariffs Will Help Immigration


Posted on Fri, May 31st, 2019 by Jason Easley
White House Can’t Answer How Mexico Tariffs Will Help Immigration

When they were asked, the White House couldn’t answer how new tariffs on Mexico would stop migrants from crossing the Southern border.

The Washington Post reported:

The economic consequences of Trump’s new plan could be swift and severe. Tariffs are paid by companies that import products, so U.S. firms would pay the import penalties and then likely pass some costs along to consumers. Mexico exported $346.5 billion in goods to the United States last year, from vehicles to fruits and vegetables. And many manufactured items cross the border several times as they are being assembled.

White House officials did not immediately explain how driving up the cost of Mexican goods might stem the flow of migrants. If the tariffs damaged the Mexican economy, more of its citizens would try to cross the border to find work in the United States, experts said.

Trump is going to hurt the US economy, and make immigration worse

Inflation is on the rise. The economy is slowing, so Trump’s answer is a tariff on one of the country’s biggest trading partners that will immediately hurt US companies and consumers. It would be almost pleasant to think that this move was not serious and meant to be a distraction from Robert Mueller, but Trump really believes that countries, not US businesses and consumers pay tariffs.

The president believes that he is crippling the Mexican economy when he is harming the United States.

The White House can’t explain it, because the tariffs won’t help solve the immigration crisis that Trump created.

Trump is taking the excellent economy that Obama left him and turning it into a recession one tariff at a time.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri May 31, 2019, 10:15 AM (5 replies)

Trump announces tariffs on Mexico over immigration


Trump announces tariffs on Mexico over immigration
By Rafael Bernal and Jordan Fabian - 05/30/19 07:35 PM EDT

'President Trump on Thursday announced new tariffs on Mexico in an effort to pressure the country to halt the flow of migrants from Central America, a dramatic escalation of his hard-line border policy that could jeopardize a pending trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

Trump said in a pair of tweets that the U.S. will impose a 5 percent tariff beginning June 10 on all Mexican imports “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” a goal that has never been achieved in recent history.

The tariff will increase by 5 percent each month until it reaches 25 percent “unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” the president said in an unusual, 1,004-word follow-up statement distributed by the White House.

Trump teased the announcement earlier Thursday, saying he would be making a “big league statement” that would include a “very dramatic” move regarding the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump last month threatened to slap tariffs on Mexico or close the border, but described his threat as a “one-year warning.”

The Trump administration has struggled to stem the tide of illegal migration, as crossings by migrants seeking asylum have approached levels not seen in more than a decade. More than 1,000 migrants were apprehended near a border crossing in El Paso, Texas on Wednesday in the largest single round-up on record, according to NBC News.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri May 31, 2019, 08:23 AM (4 replies)

Federal prosecutors subpoena Trump campaign fund, Mar-a-Lago for Cindy Yang records: reports

Federal prosecutors subpoena Trump campaign fund, Mar-a-Lago for Cindy Yang records: reports
By Rachel Frazin - 05/30/19 04:14 PM EDT

Federal Prosecutors in Washington, D.C., reportedly issued subpoenas to President Trump's Florida Mar-a-Lago resort and the political fundraising committee Trump Victory for records relating to Republican donor Li "Cindy" Yang and her businesses and associates.

The Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal reported on the subpoenas this week.

Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Yang fed Chinese money into Trump's reelection campaign or violated other campaign finance rules. They are not probing Mar-a-Lago or Trump Victory, but are rather gathering information as they put together a possible case against Yang and others who are close to her, according to the Herald.

One subpoena requires Mar-a-Lago to give prosecutors any documents or communications related to Yang and 11 others and seven companies and a charity she is connected to, a person familiar with the matter told the Herald. The other subpoena demands from Trump Victory campaign finance records related to Yang and others, according to the newspaper.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 05:14 PM (3 replies)

Former GOP senator: party's posture on Trump scandals untenable

Former GOP senator: party’s posture on Trump scandals untenable
05/30/19 09:20 AM
By Steve Benen

William Cohen had a rather extraordinary political career. He was first elected to Congress in 1972 as a moderate Maine Republican, and he soon after found himself on the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate impeachment inquiry. He later served nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate, before becoming secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration.

Yesterday, Cohen wrote a piece for the Washington Post on his party’s posture toward Donald Trump’s scandals, which he clearly sees as unacceptable.

With the exception thus far of Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Republicans have taken the position that Mueller’s redacted report has resolved all issues of alleged presidential collusion with the Russians and obstruction of justice. Case closed.

This is not a tenable position. The Mueller report has raised nearly as many questions as it has answered.

Cohen’s op-ed offered some useful historical context, explaining in some detail that while many Americans were uncomfortable with the idea of impeaching Richard Nixon, public attitudes shifted as the facts came to light.

At the same time, Cohen added, six Republicans om the committee “felt compelled to place loyalty to the rule of law above our political affiliation and political futures.”

He went on to write, “The silence of Republicans today in the face of presidential behavior that is unacceptable by any reasonable standard is both striking and deeply disappointing.” He added that Republican members privately “express their disdain” about Trump, but they’re too afraid to “speak out publicly even in the face of behavior they would find intolerable by any previous occupant of the Oval Office.”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 02:22 PM (1 replies)

That Pete Buttigieg MSNBC townhall will be at Fresno State. Tickets are already gone

I smell enthusiasm!


That Pete Buttigieg MSNBC townhall will be at Fresno State. Tickets are already gone
By Joshua Tehee
May 23, 2019 09:45 AM, Updated May 23, 2019 11:24 AM

Official details have been announced for Pete Buttigieg’s televised town hall – one of the first such meetings for the 37-year old Democratic presidential candidate.

The event starts at 3:30 p.m. June 3 inside the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre at Fresno State. It will be hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and air live, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets for the event were free and were gone within an hour of being announced.

Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 01:54 PM (2 replies)

Longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81

Longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81
By Jordain Carney - 05/30/19 10:54 AM EDT

Former Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who served in Congress for more than 45 years, died early Thursday morning at the age of 81.

Cochran, who served most recently as the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, resigned from the Senate in April 2018 because of health concerns, which he described at the time as an "ongoing challenge."

He passed away peacefully in Oxford, Miss., according to a statement from former aides Brad White and Chris Gallegos.

"Cochran’s family extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years," they said in the statement.

Cochran was known in the Senate for his quiet, polite and gentle demeanor in the Senate, where his colleagues described him as a "quintessentially Southern gentleman." He was dubbed the "quiet persuader" in 2006 by Time.

"Some people say that Thad Cochran is the last true southern gentleman, and I think theres's a lot of truth to that. Some people say that he represents the lost art of being nice," Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who succeeded Cochran as Appropriations Committee chairman, said after Cochran's retirement announcement last year.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 12:43 PM (0 replies)

David Frum: The Wisest Remedy Is Not Impeachment


The Wisest Remedy Is Not Impeachment
If the Democrats move ahead at this juncture, it will backfire on them.
6:00 AM ET
David Frum


Pelosi, of course, has resisted the push for impeachment hearings. But more and more national Democrats are calling for them, and after yesterday’s Mueller statement, that flow may rush into a flood. They are upholding the case advanced by Yoni Appelbaum in The Atlantic: “Only by authorizing a dedicated impeachment inquiry can the House begin to assemble disparate allegations into a coherent picture, forcing lawmakers to consider both whether specific charges are true and whether the president’s abuses of his power justify his removal.”

Yet this very coherence could—and under present conditions likely will—undo itself. Right now Trump is fighting on many fronts to suppress many investigations of many different forms of alleged wrongdoing. He must plug more holes in the dike than he has fingers. But submerge all those many stories into one big question—“remove or don’t”—and the impeachers will have to focus their energy on the most salient allegations. The battlefront will narrow, and as it narrows, the unity of the executive branch will confer a tactical advantage on even a weak presidential defense over the fissiparous offense in the House of Representatives.


By focusing on many different issues at once rather than the singular issue of impeachment, Democrats have the chance to do three things:

They focus on the discovery of facts rather than arguments over consequences: “What wrongs did Trump do?” rather than “Is removal the right remedy for these wrongs?”

They liberate their presidential candidates to campaign on the bread-and-butter issues that will mobilize and motivate less-committed voters, rather than obliging them to opine on the big existential question of impeachment and removal.

They reserve the impeachment remedy for the very genuine possibility of a Trump second term, by which time the Senate will likely have shifted more in the Democrats’ direction.

Trump outrages the sense of justice. It is understandable that many yearn for urgent and decisive action to cleanse the American system. But wise action is better than urgent action, and the best decision is one that leads to success.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 11:17 AM (20 replies)

Energy Dept Rebrands Fossil Fuels as 'Freedom Gas'


Energy Dept Rebrands Fossil Fuels as ‘Freedom Gas’
May 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

The Guardian: “America is the land of freedom, as any politician will be happy to tell you. What you don’t hear quite so often is that the stuff under the land is also apparently made of freedom as well. That is, at least according to a news release this week from the Department of Energy.”

“Mark W Menezes, the US undersecretary of energy, bestowed a peculiar honorific on our continent’s natural resources, dubbing it ‘freedom gas’ in a release touting the DoE’s approval of increased exports of natural gas.”


US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as 'molecules of freedom'

Posted by babylonsister | Thu May 30, 2019, 06:28 AM (6 replies)

David Corn: Mueller Reminds the Nation That Trump Betrayed the USA


Mueller Reminds the Nation That Trump Betrayed the USA
Treachery is not always a crime.
David Corn

Much of the immediate commentary following special counsel Robert Mueller’s surprise press conference on Wednesday focused on his damning statements about President Donald Trump’s actions that potentially could be charged as obstruction of justice—if Justice Department policy did not prohibit the indictment of a sitting president. But Mueller’s remarks were also a reminder of the core elements of the Trump-Russia scandal: Moscow attacked the 2016 election to help Trump, and Trump assisted Vladimir Putin’s assault by claiming at the time (and afterward) that it wasn’t real. That is, whether or not Trump had criminally colluded with Russian operatives, he did side with a foreign adversary that attacked American democracy—and that’s treachery.
The attack was real. It was significant. And there was a compelling need to investigate it.

Mueller began his statement by reiterating what has already been stated by the US intelligence community, Democratic and Republican members of Congress, and his own report: Putin “launched a concerted attack on our political system.” He noted the Russians “used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.” The Kremlin’s goal was to impede Hillary Clinton and, consequently, boost Trump. And, Mueller added, “a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to influence an election.”

In other words, there is no Russian hoax. This is no Deep State concoction cooked up to subvert Trump’s campaign or his presidency. The attack was real. It was significant. And there was a compelling need to investigate it and any contacts between Trump associates and Russians.


Mueller’s nine-and-half-minute-long statement likely had a different, possibly greater, impact than the release of that report. Here was a credible source telling the story, even if only in an abbreviated manner. This illustrated what House Democrats need to do, whether or not they proceed with impeachment: Bring witnesses to public hearings to convey the full narrative of the Russiagate. House committees are tussling with the Trump administration over potential witnesses, such as former White House counsel Don McGahn, but there are others the Democrats could showcase. (How about former Trump business associate Felix Sater, who negotiated the Trump project in Moscow?) The Dems ought to move past the procedural squabbling and present a clear depiction of Trump’s misconduct in this matter—and others.

Mueller did not advocate any course of action. His job is done, his mission accomplished. He announced his resignation and passed the case for obstruction to Congress. But he has told a slice of the story—a slice that is damning for Trump. It fixes a spotlight on the momentous lies Trump and his crew have told, lies that aided Putin’s war on American democracy, and lies that continue to flow from Trump and his henchmen. Mueller has served the truth. In doing so, he has indicted Trump—not in a legal sense, but for betraying his country.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed May 29, 2019, 07:39 PM (7 replies)
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