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

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Lawrence said McCain showed again today he can't stand to listen to Kamala; no problem with men.

He is calling out the sexism....two weeks in a row that "these men on the committee have tried to silence Senator Harris...this tells you exactly what you need to know about today's GOP."

Man Ravaged by Amnesia Somehow Able to Hold Down Demanding Legal Job (Borowitz)

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—An Alabama man whose brain was ravaged by severe amnesia is somehow able to function in an extremely demanding legal job, leading neurologists reported on Tuesday.

The man, whom neurologists are calling a “medical mystery,” has performed highly exacting tasks in one of the country’s top legal positions despite having virtually no short- or long-term memory.

Dr. Davis Logsdon, the chairman of the neurology department at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said that the Alabaman’s brain “defies explanation.”

“In all the medical literature, we have never seen an example of someone capable of holding down such a high-powered job while having no memory whatsoever of people he met, things he said, places he has been, or thoughts he has had,” Logsdon said. “It’s the stuff of science fiction.”

Logsdon said that his team of neurologists was studying video of the man in the hopes of understanding the paradoxical functioning of his brain, but Logsdon acknowledged that such a task was challenging. “After listening to him talk for hours, your own brain starts to hurt,” he said.


Comey Forces Trump Defenders Into Extreme and Absurd Spin (David Corn)

very long snip
This is the conclusion:

On the right, the urge to make all this go away is so strong that reality must be insulted. A former FBI director—publicly and under oath—accusing a president of trying to halt an FBI investigation is itself a bombshell. (Imagine what Republicans would have done if an FBI chief had declared that President Barack Obama tried to muscle him to protect a close associate.) Trump is not vindicated. He stands accused by a credible witness. Comey disclosing that he thrice told Trump that he was not a direct target of the FBI’s Russia investigation does not mitigate this fact. As Comey noted, during one of his conversations with Trump, the president raised the possibility that “satellite” associates of his might have engaged in wrongdoing. (And if Republicans and Trump’s defenders are going to take Comey at his word when he says he told Trump he was not personally under investigation, they must accept Comey’s claim that Trump tried to subvert the Flynn investigation.)

It is especially concerning that the man in charge of the Senate’s Russia investigation, which has been regarded as the most credible effort on Capitol Hill probing the scandal, sees no “wrongdoing” in Trump’s attempt to stifle an FBI probe.

In any world not governed by the need to defend Trump at all costs, the Comey statement would be devastating in the eyes of all. Comey’s tale calls into question the president’s understanding and allegiance to the rule of law. It casts Trump as a liar and a scoundrel who engaged in action that might even be illegal. Republicans and Trump defenders cannot accept the true meanings of this text. To do so would be to acknowledge too much. They have to distort reality and embrace dishonesty to deny the statement’s significance and its newsworthiness, to dismiss it as nothing, or to cherry-pick the few lines that partially support Trump’s previous assertions. Consequently, they have to bare their worst to protect their president. Trump has forced them into an ugly act of self-abuse that cheapens them and abets a dangerous erosion of constitutional democracy.


So this is how Trump's lawyer is spinning Comey testimony:

Reactions to James Comey's Testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee
By Shannon Togawa Mercer
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 2:42 PM

We’re rounding up key public statements concerning James Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. Watch this page; we'll update as new statements are issued.

Written Statement by Marc Kasowitz, Attorney for Donald Trump:

Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the President privately: The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”


More reactions at link. Predictable to see the difference in Dem and R reactions.

The reason Comey didn't ask Trump what he meant by "that thing" is obvious:

Comey knows the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, and Comey is too smart to stick his fist into the Tar Baby. That was very clear from his testimony. Early on, he assessed Trump well enough to know not to engage with him any more than absolutely necessary, because anything he said could easily become a no-win, or metaphorically, a fist in the Tar Baby.

Yet in the hearing, the Rs kept asking Comey why he didn't ask T what he meant by that. Rs: Checkers, Comey: chess.

White House on Lockdown After Television Is Hurled Out Window

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The White House was on lockdown Thursday morning after a television was hurled out of a window, the Secret Service reported.

The incident, which occurred shortly after 10 A.M. E.S.T., caught the attention of the Secret Service after agents heard the sound of smashing glass emanating from the Oval Office.

“The sound was consistent with that of a large object, such as a television set, being thrown through a closed window,” a Secret Service spokesman said.

The television, which crashed to the ground outside the Oval Office, injured no one, the Secret Service confirmed.

A group of fourth-grade students from Bethesda, Maryland, was on a White House tour when the incident involving the television occurred.

“I heard someone screaming lots of swear words and then, like, this big crash,” Zach Dorrinson, a student on the tour, said. “It was messed up.”

Andy Borowitz is the New York Times best-selling author of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news, for newyorker.com.


Leaked NSA Docs, Paper Ballot Lawsuit in GA-06 - Election Nightmare Scenarios Come True: 'BradCast'

Leaked NSA Docs, Paper Ballot Lawsuit in GA-06 - Election Nightmare Scenarios Come True: 'BradCast' 6/6/2017
Guest: Marilyn Marks of the Rocky Mountain Foundation...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2017, 6:33pm PT

(Note: There are many hyperlinks embedded in the post at the link below)

On today's BradCast, the release of a leaked NSA analysis of alleged cyberattacks on voter registration systems and attempted intrusions into the computers of local elections officials just before last year's Presidential election underscore, once again, just about every warning regarding U.S. electronic voting, computer tabulation and voter registration systems that we've been yelling about for some 15 years on both The BradCast and at The BRAD BLOG. [Audio link to full show follows below.]

Today, we break down the specific details found in the leaked NSA documents published by The Intercept on Monday, how they highlight a much broader problem with the U.S. electoral system, and what the answer, at long last, must ultimately be in response to concerns about manipulated election results, no matter who the alleged or attempted culprit. (In this case, the U.S. intelligence services blame Russian military intelligence, which they deny. Either way, as detailed on today's show, it doesn't actually matter!)

On a not-at-all unrelated note, we are then joined by Marilyn Marks of the Rocky Mountain Foundation to discuss her lawsuit, filed with members of Georgians for Verified Voting, demanding hand-counted paper ballots for all voters in the upcoming, highly contested U.S. House Special Election runoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Marks, a former Republican mayoral candidate turned long-time Election Integrity expert, details some of the many concerns spelled out in her suit (Complaint here [PDF], TRO Motion here [PDF]) regarding the state of GA's 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems, and the known cyberhacks, e-pollbook thefts and computer tabulator failures that have already plagued the most expensive U.S. House race in history, where early voting is already underway in advance of the bellwether June 20 contest.

"There were so many things that have happened since March 1st," Marks explains, describing many of the problems that have already undermined this election. "As you've pointed out, these systems --- when you say they are 'unverifiable', what people need to understand by that, of course, is that there is no way to assure that the voter's intent is recorded. We know what the machines want to report. But there is no way to know what the voter intended to vote. We do know that with the evidence of a paper ballot. So, that is what we are telling the court, that this system has gone through so many problems. It was unverifiable to begin with. And now we have seen the instances of several problems, just in the last 60 days, that tell us there is no way that the Sec. of State and the county election officials should assume that the system is safe to vote on. They must presume the system is unsafe."

The plaintiffs request, she says, "is a simple one. And that is: let voters vote on paper ballots."

"The only practical answer is to go to paper ballots [and] hand count them," Marks tells me. "It would be very easy to do. We've had a professional estimate how long it would take --- less than an hour per precinct. It would actually be faster, cheaper, more efficient and far more transparent to vote on paper ballots in this simple election than it is to use the machines." Indeed, with just one contest on most of the ballots in this Special Election, hand-counting would amount to little more than separating ballots into two stacks, one for each candidate, and then counting each stack. It is what we have long described as "Democracy's Gold Standard."

Marks goes on to cite the concerns illustrated, once again, by yesterday's leaked NSA documents and argues: "You talk to any computer scientist, regardless of what party they are, you talk to any voting systems expert, I don't think you'll find a single expert, a single computer scientist who would say these machines even approach the point of being safe to vote on. And it has nothing to do with their politics."

"We must have transparent elections where the public can oversee the counting of the ballots. And in Georgia, there is no oversight. No one --- not the election official, not the public, not the campaign, not the candidate --- no one can figure out whether or not the ballots are counted right."

But does her lawsuit have a chance this late in the game, with early voting already under way? Tune in for her response to that and much more, including her thoughts on how GA's Sec. of State Brian Kemp, also a Republican, has responded so far to both Marks' complaint, and an earlier request, prior to the GA-06 primary, from dozens of the world's top computer security and electronic voting systems experts.

Yes, elections still matter. But, as computer security expert Bruce Schneier told The Intercept yesterday: "To the extent the elections are vulnerable to hacking, we risk the legitimacy of the voting process, even if there is no actual hacking at the time. It's not just that it has to be fair, it has to be demonstrably fair, so that the loser says, 'Yep, I lost fair and square.' If you can't do that, you're screwed."

Listen to complete show or download MP3 at link:

C.D.C.: Millions of Americans in Blue States Will Be Too Sick to Report to Work Thurs (Borowitz)

Comey hearing Thursday...

ATLANTA (The Borowitz Report)—In a mysterious epidemic that has spread rapidly in the past twenty-four hours, millions of Americans will be too sick to report to work on Thursday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Releasing a map of the United States on Wednesday, the C.D.C. indicated that the highest concentrations of people suffering from the baffling ailment occur in the areas colored blue.

“People in such states as California, New York, and Massachusetts appear to be especially vulnerable to this illness, which will prevent them from reporting to work on Thursday,” Harland Dorrinson, a C.D.C. spokesman, said. “If the trend continues, as many as sixty-five million people will be at home sick by 10 A.M. E.T.”

While those suddenly afflicted by the illness are located mainly in the areas of the map colored blue, the C.D.C. noted that there are millions of additional sufferers scattered about the red areas, as well. “Most residents of Texas appear to be immune to the illness, for example, but there are thousands of people suddenly falling ill in the metropolitan area of Austin,” Dorrinson said.

Although an inexplicable illness afflicting millions of Americans is a cause for concern, the C.D.C. spokesman urged people to remain calm. “It’s conceivable that by Thursday afternoon many of these people will be feeling much, much better,” he said.


Trump escalates spiraling Middle East crisis in tweets attacking Qatar

Donald Trump Escalates Qatar Crisis

His statements come amid sensitive negotiations, and after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to calm tensions.

By Akbar Shahid Ahmed

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump escalated a spiraling Middle East crisis on Tuesday morning in tweets attacking Qatar, which hosts 10,000 American troops at the largest U.S. military base in the region.

Beginning a little after 8 a.m., the president put out three statements criticizing Qatar and praising neighboring countries ― including Saudi Arabia ― for their moves to isolate the nation in recent days.

The president’s new messages endorse the claims of Qatar’s neighbors, who have waged a years-long campaign to draw U.S. attention to their anxieties about Qatar’s links to political Islam. Emails obtained and authenticated by HuffPost last week show the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the U.S. talking explicitly about shutting down the U.S. base and encouraging former Defense Secretary Bob Gates to publicly criticize Qatar.

U.S. officials have tried to avoid the appearance of picking a side in the dispute, which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and aligned nations say is over Qatar’s support for violent militants. (Qatar strongly denies the charges.) The Emirates has already taken a hard line, saying Qatar will need to make major concessions for it to re-establish normal ties with the country.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson both expressed hope the tension would be resolved soon. The U.S. ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, said on Twitter that the country had made progress on blocking terror finance, and military officials said the American base, the hub of operations against the Islamic State group, was functioning normally.

Tweets at link



Macron: "The U.S. has turned its back on the world, but France will not turn its back on Americans"



Macron, who made a televised address in French and English, said Trump had "committed an error for the interests of his country, his people and a mistake for the future of our planet."


"France believes in you (the U.S.), the world believes in you, but don't be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B," Macron said.

In a separate address in English, Macron responded to Trump's Make America Great Again slogan, saying, "Make the Planet Great Again!" Macron called on U.S. researchers and scientists disappointed by Trump's decision to come to work in France to fight climate change.


"Tonight the United States has turned its back on the world, but France will not turn its back on Americans," he said.


I hope they don't turn their backs on us. I hope they know we are with them 100% and are deeply concerned. I'm so grateful that there are all the protests scheduled for tomorrow to show the rest of the world how we feel and hopefully this latest will make for an even greater turnout.
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