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Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,339

Journal Archives

The House Expands Investigation Into Ivanka Trump Email Crimes


Posted on Mon, Jul 1st, 2019 by Jason Easley
The House Expands Investigation Into Ivanka Trump Email Crimes

The House Oversight Committee is expanding its investigation into the Trump administration’s email crimes and failure to comply with federal record-keeping laws.

According to a release from the House Oversight Committee:

After hearing no response for months, Cummings wrote again to the White House on March 21, 2019, conveying more troubling information about apparent violations of the Presidential Records Act by Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon, and K.T. McFarland.

In addition, the report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated that Mr. Bannon admitted that “he regularly used his personal Blackberry and personal email for work-related communications (including those with [Erik] Prince), and he took no steps to preserve these work communications.”

The purpose of this investigation is to determine why White House officials used non-official email accounts, texting services, and encrypted applications for official business; why they failed to forward records sent or received on non-official accounts to their official accounts within 20 days as required by federal law; whether there were specific topics that White House officials sought to conceal; and whether legislative changes should be made to prevent similar violations in the future.

Read the letter @ link:

Ivanka Trump has been illegally using private email for years

It is known that Ivanka Trump spent all of 2017 sending hundreds of illegal emails from the White House. Trump immediately blamed Hilary Clinton for his daughter’s email scandal, and the Trump administration has been stonewalling the investigation since before Democrats took back the House.

House Oversight Democrats are expanding their investigation in response to the Trump administration complying with no requests over the previous six months.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner broke the law.

With the state of New York breathing down their necks, the last thing the Trumps needed was another investigation into their illegal behavior.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 06:04 PM (10 replies)

The Democrats' Radical Agenda

June 30, 2019 9:00AM ET
The Democrats’ Radical Agenda
Play it safe or go bold? In the race to beat Trump, party leaders are rolling out revolutionary policies for the first time in a generation
By Tim Dickinson

For the 2020 election, Democrats are proposing policies of sweep and ambition not seen since the New Deal or the Great Society. Ideas that would have seemed radical even five years ago — publicly funded college, a Green New Deal, Medicare for All — are now at the top of many candidates’ platforms.

Most intriguing: As once-fringe ideas enter the mainstream debate, they are proving popular.
“Medicare for All is supported by at least 55 percent of the public,” says Sean McElwee, a co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress. “So why is that treated as an extreme position?” By offering visionary reforms for a defective democracy, a foundering middle class, the climate crisis and a system rigged for the wealthiest, progressives hope to inspire an electorate whose anger helped propel a strongman like Donald Trump to power.

These are moonshot ideas, to be sure, impossible to pass unless Democrats reclaim both the White House and the Senate. (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to be the “Grim Reaper” for these plans if the GOP holds the chamber.) And with price tags often soaring into the trillions — with a “t” — these proposals face resistance from America’s wealthiest, whose taxes would be hiked to pay for them, as well as centrist Democrats who fear tacking too far left might fumble one of the most consequential elections in the nation’s history.

Below, we examine a half-dozen of the Democrats’ edgiest ideas, underscoring what they could achieve, how much they might cost, and the obstacles they face.


The Problem It Solves: The world has about a decade to arrest greenhouse-gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change, including the collapse of ice sheets that would raise sea levels, displacing as many as 200 million people by the end of the century.

Prominent Backers: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey rolled out the Green New Deal in February, calling for massive investments to quit carbon and create economic opportunities for America’s most disadvantaged communities. While 2020 candidates from Bernie Sanders to Amy Klobuchar are backing the GND, to varying degrees, Jay Inslee has offered the most detailed plan. He would invest $3 trillion in federal funds to drive $9 trillion in economy-wide investment, creating 8 million jobs, and he promises 100 percent clean electricity and zero emissions from new cars and buildings within a decade.

Biggest Obstacle: A Green New Deal would be cheaper than adapting to submerged cities or waves of climate refugees. But spending trillions to decarbonize America is anathema to a Republican Party subsidized by the fossil-fuel industry, which has waged a four-decade disinformation campaign — including $1 billion spent globally on deceptive lobbying and PR since the Paris Agreement. Some top Democrats have also questioned the GND, with Nancy Pelosi dismissing it as “the green dream or whatever,” and others promoting a more moderate solution, like a carbon tax.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 04:57 PM (0 replies)

The Courts Won't End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them.

The Courts Won’t End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them.
While Democrats are fixated on 2020, Holder is fighting for fairer maps in 2021 and beyond.
Ari Berman
July/August 2019 Issue


Not long after the election, Holder launched the Nation­al Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), a political action committee that aims to unrig the system that has entrenched Republican control of the country’s most important swing states. He’d received the backing of top Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, who in December 2018 folded his own political operation, Organizing for Action, into Holder’s to give the fight against gerrymandering more clout. Now, while other top Democrats are focused on the White House, Holder has set his sights on neighborhoods like Merrill Park and on races like the one he was there to talk about, a state Supreme Court contest that had received virtually no attention outside Wisconsin.

“This state is in some ways ground zero for gerrymandering,” Holder told two dozen BLOC canvassers who would knock on doors that afternoon for the progressive judge running in the race. “Last year they called it a blue wave, and yet you didn’t flip one congressional seat here in Wisconsin. That’s not because you didn’t work hard or people didn’t vote. It was because of gerrymandering.” Republicans had so effectively gerrymandered the state that even when Democrats won 53 percent of the statewide vote in 2018, they took only 36 percent of the seats in the state legislature.

Holder views gerrymandering, which manipulates district lines to benefit one party, as part of a broader struggle for voting rights, since it effectively diminishes the value of certain communities’ votes. “There is a direct connection between gerrymandering and voter suppression, not only here in Wisconsin but in places around the country,” Holder told me before his speech at the union hall. “It is not a coincidence that you see the greatest amount of voter suppression in those states where you see the greatest amount of gerrymandering.”

For decades, Democrats successfully fought these twin efforts at disenfranchisement in the courts. As Obama’s attorney general, Holder led that charge, filing lawsuits against states like North Carolina and Texas that challenged Republican-­backed laws curbing the right to vote. But this tactic was handed an enormous defeat in 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder, ruling that states with a long history of discrimination no longer needed federal approval to change voting laws. Last week, the court struck another blow, declaring that federal courts couldn’t block partisan gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates face not only a hostile Trump administration but a growing number of federal benches controlled by conservatives. As the GOP’s war on voting has intensified, the traditional ways of protecting ballot access are no longer reliable.

So Holder is pursuing a new strategy, trying to elect down-ballot candidates who can deliver fairer maps and voting laws. The NDRC invested $350,000 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, hoping that a liberal majority on the seven-­member court might strike down any egregious gerrymanders in the next round of redistricting in 2021. “I don’t think that 10 years or so ago, you would have a former attorney general campaigning for a state Supreme Court justice,” Holder told me. “This is a recognition on the part of the Democratic Party, on the part of progressives, that we need to focus on state and local elections to a much greater degree than we have in the past.”


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 02:31 PM (5 replies)

Former US attorney announces Senate bid in Kansas

Former US attorney announces Senate bid in Kansas
By Max Greenwood - 07/01/19 11:22 AM EDT

Former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced on Monday that he would seek the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), becoming the highest-profile Democrat yet to jump into the race.

Grissom, who served as the top federal prosecutor in Kansas from 2010 until 2016, has entertained the possibility of a Senate bid for months, meeting with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) officials and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about a potential run.

In his announcement, Grissom recalled how he helped “lead the investigation and successful prosecution against the Wichita Airport and Fort Riley bombers,” and touted his record combating gang violence.

“As a federal prosecutor, I’m proud that I was able to stand up for Western Kansas and work with local sheriffs and police to help drive the violent Norteños gang off the streets of Dodge City, and disarm felons throughout the region,” he said.

“Now I’m running for the United States Senate, because I know we can do more for our healthcare and rural hospitals, we can fight harder for good paying jobs and education, and we must continue to keep the American people safe.”


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 11:37 AM (1 replies)

Trump wants tanks at his Fourth of July shindig

Trump wants tanks at his Fourth of July shindig
Taxpayers will pay and infrastructure may suffer.
Zack Ford
Jul 1, 2019, 9:51 am

President Donald Trump is hosting his own Fourth of July celebration at the Lincoln Memorial this year, complete with a VIP section for which taxpayers will foot the bill. The latest wrinkle, according to The Washington Post: Trump has insisted on having tanks and other armed military vehicles present for the celebration.

Abrams tanks or Bradley Fighting Vehicles would serve as props for Trump’s “Salute to America,” set for just three days from now. That’s in addition to a military aircraft flyover, including a performance by the Navy’s Blue Angels.

Last year, Trump similarly hoped to hold a military parade on Veterans Day, insisting it would be “great for the spirit of the country,” having been inspired by a Bastille Day parade in France. That parade would have reportedly cost an estimated $92 million, half of which would have just been for non-military costs like security. Even the American Legion responded that “the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”

There were likewise concerns that these massive tactical vehicles, some of which can weigh over 60 tons, would damage roads and bridges in the District of Columbia. The D.C. City Council weighed in Monday morning, saying, “Tanks, but no tanks,” and noting concerns about infrastructure damage.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 10:15 AM (17 replies)

Conditions at El Paso Border Station So Bad Agents Are Drinking and Arming Themselves


Conditions at El Paso Border Station So Bad Agents Are Drinking and Arming Themselves
Tom Sykes
Published 07.01.19 6:48AM ET

Conditions at an El Paso border station are so bad that agents are drinking heavily and arming themselves against possible riots, the government’s own internal watchdog warned as far back as May, giving the lie to Friday’s claim by a top Trump administration official that reports of poor conditions were “unsubstantiated.” The internal report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general said that only four showers at the Texas site were available for 756 immigrants, half of the immigrants were being held outside, and that a cell meant for a maximum of 35 people held 155 adult males, with only one toilet and sink. The cell was so crowded the men could not lie down to sleep. Temperatures in the cells reached over 80 degrees, the report said. Border facilities were “seeing more drinking, domestic violence, and financial problems among their agents,” the report said. The unnamed El Paso facility did have formula and baby food for children, but did not have soft mats for them to sleep on or clean clothing. DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Friday that news stories of poor conditions for children at a border station in the El Paso sector were “unsubstantiated.”
Read it at NBC News
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 07:26 AM (30 replies)

Forecast Model Predicts Democratic Win In 2020


Forecast Model Predicts Democratic Win In 2020
July 1, 2019 at 7:07 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Rachel Bitecofer’s Negative Partisanship Model — which nailed the 2018 midterm elections — predicts Democrats will win the presidency in 2020.

“The leaking of the Trump campaign’s internal polling has somewhat softened the blow of this forecast, as that polling reaffirms what my model already knew: Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. And that is really bad news for Donald Trump because the Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House.”

“Start with the numerical fact that Trump ‘won’ Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan with 47.22%, 48.18%, and 47.5% of the vote, respectively, after five times the normal number in those states cast their ballots for an option other than Trump or Clinton. This, combined with the depressed turnout of African Americans (targeted with suppression materials by the Russians) and left-leaning Independents turned off by Clinton (targeted with defection materials by the Russians) allowed Trump to pull off an improbable victory, one that will be hard to replicate in today’s less nitpicky atmosphere.”

With 270 votes needed to win in the Electoral College, Bitecofer forecasts the map as starting at 279 votes for the Democrats and 197 for the Republicans, with an additional 62 a tossup.

This forecast has been added to the interactive, consensus Electoral Vote Map.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jul 1, 2019, 07:21 AM (3 replies)

Trump Took Fox News Tucker Carlson, Not John Bolton, To North Korea

Trump Took Fox News Tucker Carlson, Not John Bolton, To North Korea
By Cristina Cabrera
June 30, 2019 3:27 pm

President Donald Trump brought Fox News host Tucker Carlson to North Korea on Sunday instead of his own national security adviser, John Bolton.

Several journalists reported seeing Carlson on the sidelines of Trump’s historic visit to the the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, and the hosts of “Fox & Friends” confirmed Carlson was there during a phone interview with him.

Meanwhile, Bolton was shipped off to Mongolia over the weekend.

While speaking to his Fox colleagues, Carlson defended Trump’s friendliness with the brutal North Korean dictator.

“[North Korea]’s a disgusting place, obviously. So there’s no defending it,” Carlson said. “On the other hand, you’ve got to be honest about what it means to lead a country. It means killing people.”

“Not on the scale that the North Koreans do, but a lot of countries commit atrocities, including a number that we’re closely allied with,” he continued.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jun 30, 2019, 04:10 PM (11 replies)

Democratic candidates demand closure of for-profit child detention facility

Democratic candidates demand closure of for-profit child detention facility
By Gabriela Resto-Montero Jun 30, 2019, 11:27am EDT

Activists demonstrating outside of a detention facility meant to serve as temporary quarters for migrant teens were joined by Democratic presidential candidates this week as conditions at the center and others like it have come under increased scrutiny following reports of a lack of basic sanitation at a Texas facility.

The candidates visited Homestead, a youth detention facility run by the private for-profit company Caliburn International on behalf of the federal government, while in Miami for the first Democratic primary debates. Many of the candidates, including Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, author Marianne Williamson, and former governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper visited as part of a group organized by Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who represents the Miami-Dade district where the Homestead shelter is located.

“Immigration reform should be a top issue in this presidential election,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Every 2020 presidential candidate ought to visit the Homestead Detention Center and join us in denouncing Trump’s cruel immigration policies. We need these children in safe homes and facilities and close this detention center down.”

None of the candidates were allowed in. Doctors and other professionals who have been inside have described the conditions as being harsh; recent reporting has found children are being held at the facility for extended periods of time, far longer than the few days the average child is supposed to spend there. As Vox’s Catherine Kim reported:

While Caliburn insists that it only runs “temporary emergency shelters,” critics are questioning how “temporary” applies when children are being held for weeks. According to a report from the New York Times, 1,162 out of about 2,300 children had been held at the center for at least 20 days. The longest held child was a Guatemalan boy, who had been held there for more than 122 days, or four months.

The report is even bleaker when it comes to facility conditions: Children at the shelter complain about loud noises and a lack of privacy, and although most shelters often take the children for trips outside the perimeters for a change of scenery, most children at Homestead do not get to leave the facility unless they are heading to a medical appointment. While government-run shelter must follow strict standards — such as releasing a child after 20 days or having a strict vetting process for staff — Homestead does not have to abide by such rules because it is privately owned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who visited the site Wednesday ahead of the main delegation, climbed one of the ladders activists have set up at the facility’s perimeter in order to look over its fence and interact with children in the facility’s yard. She described seeing a “harsh, packed-down field” surrounded by temporary shelters in the South Florida heat, and called Homestead’s existence “a stain on our country.”

She has has called for investigation into Caliburn, and for an inquiry into how President Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, came to be on its board after Caliburn won a $341 million no-bid contract to run the facility.

Many of the other candidates called for the facility to be shuttered; Harris pledged to shut down private detention facilities if elected, and Buttigieg lamented taxpayer dollars being used to fund Homestead. The Homestead facility costs US taxpayers $1 billion a year to run, which breaks down to roughly $750 per child per day.

“What is being done in that building is being done in our name and with our money and it is wrong,” the mayor said. “But if it is our tax money, our country, then it is our obligation to bring about something different and that is what we are here to do. We will say no more to prisons for children.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Jun 30, 2019, 04:05 PM (3 replies)

Trump Makes Up Imaginary Quotes From World Leaders About His Greatness


Posted on Sat, Jun 29th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Trump Makes Up Imaginary Quotes From World Leaders About His Greatness

It was clear that Trump was making it up when he claimed that other world leaders were complimenting him on the US economy at the G20.

Trump said:

We’re the hot show. We’re the hottest show in town. We’re the hottest show in the world right now. Our economy is the best.

One thing that every leader — virtually every leader that I dealt with said is that, “Congratulations. It’s incredible what’s happened to the American economy.” We’re the best economy in the world. And it’s something. And it started from Election Day. I put it out yesterday because we took a tremendous boost from — the day after I got elected, the stock market went crazy, from that point until essentially now. I think we hit, in certain of the markets, we hit the all-time high again for many, many times. I can’t tell you what it was, but many, many times we broke the record.

And we’re — you know, our stock market is great. Our jobs are great. We have the best job numbers, essentially, we’ve ever had. In some categories, definitely we’ve ever had. The minimum, you could say, is in 51 years, but it’s really more than that, and now it’s going to be more than that.


The World Leaders That Trump Quotes Are Never Identified

I highly doubt that any world leader called Trump and the US economy the hottest show in town. Trump always repeats these supposed compliments, but he never attributes them to anyone, and the people who said them don’t come forward and say them publicly.

The reason why is that the compliments aren’t real.

Trump is making them up to make himself look better.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Jun 29, 2019, 05:41 PM (6 replies)
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