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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,430

Journal Archives

Brilliant protest sign by Muslim woman: "2/3 of Trump's wives..."

Friend just sent me this. I hadn't seen it before and thought it was brilliant and super funny! And the delight on her face makes me happy.

Excellent article on Senate Intel Committee investigation of Trump/Russia. It's coming together!

This article is from last week, but I never saw it posted and it is excellent - explains a lot of things I had questions about; why it took so long to get started and how it's moving ahead now at a much faster pace.

The Senate Intelligence Committee thinks it could be America’s last hope to understand what really happened between Russia and Trump.
Ali Watkins
BuzzFeed News Reporter


The early stages of the Intelligence Committee’s probe, first announced in early December, were hamstrung by standard, if wildly inefficient jockeying on the Hill over which of the Senate’s many committee’s had jurisdiction over the Trump-Russia issue. Both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings on Russia’s efforts to manipulate the election, and some democrats have pushed for a wholly separate “select” committee to handle the issue. Majority leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats backed off that demand on Wednesday, at least for the immediate future.

The scope of the Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe has been debated through the weeks, but has now been settled and agreed upon by both Republican and Democrat leaders. Its timeline will include everything from the post-election transition period to the year leading up to the election, and both Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner have left open the possibility that Obama and Trump administration officials will be called to testify.

Burr, who chairs the Senate committee, and Warner, the committee’s top democrat, said Tuesday that the investigation would include the Russian effort to manipulate the election, connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and any Russian efforts to undermine the transition period, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Though the inquiry is only in its nascent stages, conversations with staffers from both sides of the aisle suggest it’s the most cooperative, cordial and bipartisan the committee has been on a major, politically charged investigation in recent memory.

There was brief, if fiery, politicking over the committee’s investigation in January, when Burr — breaking from the initial announcement of the inquiry — told reporters that the panel wouldn’t probe connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, and would instead focus on the broader Russian intelligence effort to undermine the election. His comments caused a headache behind closed doors, as democrats and reporters furiously scrambled to find out what had changed.. The back-and-forth played out in press releases until both Burr and Warner said in a joint statement that yes, of course the investigation would include the campaign.

One official said in the days just after lawmakers had returned to the Hill in January, there was concern that committee Republicans would back off of the probe. But Warner, in a significant departure from his usually quiet demeanor, stepped up and unequivocally said the inquiry was of solemn import, and compared the situation to the Watergate and Church Committee eras of the 1970s. The official, who also requested anonymity to discuss the committee’s investigation, said it was a profoundly encouraging moment for the panel’s democrats. It was a clear indication, the official said, that Warner would be an advocate for the committee’s inquiry.

In recent days, Burr too has underscored the seriousness of the investigation, if not as publicly as his democratic colleagues. He’s closely monitored developments on Flynn’s ouster, and was noticeably troubled early this week that so little of the information had ever trickled up to the Hill.


Burr has been slammed by colleagues in recent days, who fear he’s slow-rolling an investigation into a fast-moving story. But much of the inquiry’s slow start was due to bureaucratic wrangling — some intelligence agencies insisted products be viewed on site rather than sent to the Hill, and some of the intelligence was so tightly controlled that it was unclear if staffers could even view it.

Lots more:

Video/article of Wyden town hall from Saturday. He is working for all of America, not just Oregon.

Russia, taxes and Trump take center stage during Ron Wyden's town hall in Oregon City

(Article plus video of entire town hall)

Sen. Ron Wyden touched on various state and national issues, ranging from the Affordable Care Act to voter registration, during his town hall meeting at Oregon City High School Saturday morning.

But it was a nuclear superpower 5,000 miles away that earned the crowd of 2,000's most visceral reactions.

"Your constituents want you to hold the Republicans -- your counterparts in the Senate -- we want you to hold their feet to the fire," Mary Stewart said when she was given the mic by one of Wyden's aides. "We want an investigation and we want it now."

Claps and stomps thundered through the school gymnasium 10 minutes before the meeting's end when she asked the senator to withhold consent from "business as usual" in D.C. until a full investigation into President Donald Trump's alleged ties to the foreign nation was complete.


THe first question is about Russia with a lengthy answer, but there are many more questions where he goes into more depth about it. The whole thing is excellent and he is very engaging throughout.

Will an openly gay mayor from the Rust Belt be the Democrats' next leader? (Guardian)

As Donald Trump descended the golden escalator in the lobby of his namesake Fifth Avenue skyscraper to announce his candidacy for president, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also had an announcement. In a personal essay published in the local newspaper that same day, Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic rising star who had also served in Afghanistan as a lieutenant with the Navy Reserves, came out as gay.

Now, nearly two years later, after Trump rode a dark horse campaign to the White House, the 35-year-old mayor of South Bend is mounting his own outsider bid to be the face of the opposition in the Trump era as the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“This race is a test of whether the DNC is prepared to change,” Buttigieg told the Guardian in an interview. “I believe I represent that change.”

A 2014 Washington Post profile called Buttigieg “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of”. The next year, Buttigieg won his re-election bid with 80% of the vote, a wider margin than the first time around. In June, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni proposed: “The First Gay President?”


Muslim Americans raise over $100,000 to repair vandalism of historic Jewish cemetery

Jewish Cemetery Desecrated

On the heels of bomb threats and hate crimes against dozens of Jewish community center's across the United States, a historical Jewish cemetery was vandalized this past weekend when over 170 headstones were damaged. Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. We also extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large.

The Campaign

In a campaign organized by Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy, the Muslim-American community extends our hands to help rebuild this sacred space where Jewish-American families have laid their loved ones to rest since the late 1800's. Campaign proceeds will go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in light of the recent damage. Any remaining funds - after the cemetery is restored - will be allocated to repair any other vandalized Jewish centers.

Is It Not a Human Soul?

While these senseless acts have filled us with sorrow, we reflect on the message of unity, tolerance, and mutual protection found in the Constitution of Medina: an historic social contract between the Medinan Jews and the first Muslim community. We are also inspired by the example of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who stood up to pay respects for a passing Jewish funeral procession. When questioned on why he stood for a Jewish funeral, he responded, "Is it not a human soul?" [Source: Bukhari]


I continue to be inspired by the goodness and decency of people as they come together in community to support those marginalized and targeted.

Susan Collins (Senate Intel) says investigation could result in subpoena for Trump tax returns

A Republican in the Senate Intelligence Committee just said that the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections could possibly result in a subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns.

Senator Susan Collins was asked by the host of local radio program Maine Public whether Trump’s tax returns would be requested as a part of the Russia investigation.

“If it’s necessary to get to the answers then I suspect we would,” Collins said, though she did say that she was unsure at this point whether such an action would be compulsory to their investigation.


Collins was one of two Republican Senators to vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, forcing a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence.

“All of us are determined to get the answers,” Collins said. “In some ways, this is a counterintelligence cooperation — in many ways — and that’s what our committee specializes in.”


At Wyden's town hall Saturday, he said numerous times,emphatically, that getting the tax returns released was critical to getting to the bottom of the issue.

GOP Rep Says Crowd At His Town Hall "Was Real People With Real Concerns" not "artificial crowd"

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) said on Wednesday that the crowd at his last town hall "wasn’t manufactured" and attendees were "real people with real concerns."

"This wasn't an artificial crowd. It wasn't manufactured. It was real people with real concerns in terms of what came next on healthcare," Sanford told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Rep. Sanford says people at his town hall were local and passionate, not "artificial crowd" https://t.co/ylK2ewgMTh https://t.co/i4mmx2OFQj

— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2017

Members of Congress who are home in their districts for the week during the congressional recess faced large crowds and vocal criticism at town halls on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed Wednesday that the wave of angry protests was partly due to a “professional protester manufactured base.”

“It is a loud, small group of people disrupting something in many cases for media attention, no offense," he said. "Obviously there are people that are upset, but I also think that when you look at some of these districts and some of these things, that it is not a representation of a member's district or an incident."

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