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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,434

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Senator Merkley on FB live filibustering Gorsuch

He is so articulate. Making great points. Going into Kochs, Citizens United, stolen SCOTUS seat.



Dems: Do the Right Thing."Sooner or later, you have to take a stand, even a costly one" (Moyers)

Bill Moyers, Contributor Managing Editor, Moyers & Company
Democrats: Do The Right Thing
04/04/2017 04:55 pm ET | Updated 27 minutes ago


And what exactly is the Judicial Crisis Network, the group behind the campaign to sell Gorsuch? According to an investigative report by Viveca Novak and Peter Stone, it’s a “secretive, right-wing judicial machine” with lots of money to spend; “dark money,” that is, from hard-to-trace sources.

Launched with the help of a former law clerk to Justice Thomas and a one-time Bush campaign operative, JCN proved crucial in drumming up support for Bush Supreme Court nominees Alito and John Roberts Jr. Last year it spent a reported $2 million on ads to block Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, who didn’t even get a confirmation hearing. Now it’s spending even more to support Gorsuch’s confirmation. When senators pressed Gorsuch to reveal the undisclosed donors “as a matter of respect for the process... so we can evaluate who is behind this effort,” Gorsuch pirouetted away from an answer.

There’s more. Novak and Stone wrote that “to expand its influence in state elections, JCN has emerged as a pipeline for secret money to other, better-known dark money groups,” including the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee. In 2012, “it dished out more than $2 million in court races in Michigan alone — half of that in a single down-ticket state circuit contest.” In 2008 “it funneled $200,000 to a Wisconsin group that produced the negative attack ads that helped a conservative eke out a victory over a sitting [state] Supreme Court justice, tipping control of the bench to the right.” With another ally, it even spent $1 million trying to kick off the bench a Michigan county circuit court judge.

The Judicial Crisis Network is a linchpin in a nationwide effort by conservative and business groups spending millions of dollars to get Republicans elected as state attorneys general who would then bring cases that challenge the federal government’s power to protect citizens, consumers and the environment. Such a friendlier legal climate would especially be hospitable to curbing tort liability for corporations, making it even harder for citizens to hold big business accountable.
This is the “dark money juggernaut” now in overdrive to put Philip Anschutz’s man on the Supreme Court, just a portion of the deep-pocketed crowd behind Neil Gorsuch. These donors and activists have had his back. He is part and parcel of their world view. They now eagerly anticipate the big payoff.

So, Democrats have legitimate reasons to try to stop his confirmation this week. Their gambit — a filibuster — is risky. None of its consequences are likely to be happy. But they should not be cowed by an inability to read the future. Sooner or later in politics, you have to take a stand, even a costly stand, to discover if you really are who you think you are. You can’t go on being bought off, pushed around, made a fool of and outmaneuvered by unprincipled adversaries like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who one year ago, backed by the likes of the Judicial Crisis Network and a host of secret donors, crudely and completely blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.



If Ryan's goal was to render House Intel impotent, no way he will replace Nunes unless....

So House Intel has now been rendered impotent, which seems to suit Ryan just fine; maybe this was his goal? He could have many motivations for this.

Nunes's actions certainly slowed things down, which could be to the Rs advantage in many ways, although in other ways, Nunes dug the hole deeper with his bumbling.

But the point is that people calling on Ryan to replace Nunes and he won't unless it becomes more of an advantage to replace him than to keep him there.

"The Nunes scandal is Paul Ryan’s scandal. That is why Ryan won’t remove him. Ryan is in it as deep as Nunes is. If Nunes can lose the chairmanship over it, Ryan can lose the speakership over it. "

O'Donnell keeps bringing up how Nunes is taking orders from Ryan (and then fell on his sword for Ryan), and how the media is almost completely overlooking this. People keep calling for Ryan to replace Nunes, but they don't seem to realize that Nunes acted under Ryan's direction. (see link to thread below for more on this)

Lots more in this thread:


O'Donnell again tonight showed clip of Ryan saying he "had to brief the speaker first" before going to WH. Asks, "Why are no reporters picking up on Ryan involvement in Nunes scandal? I’ve showed this clip three times of Nunes saying he had to brief the speaker before he did anything else, and yet no one is picking up on it."

"Ryan is at the center of the scandal. The press apparently didn’t hear it when he said it in the WH driveway when he said he first went to Ryan before going to the WH. Everything he did after that would have been at the direction of Ryan. "

Stephen King on Donald Trump: How do such men rise? First as a joke (Guardian)

This is very creative and clever; the master story teller at work:

Stephen King on Donald Trump: ‘How do such men rise? First as a joke’

He’s written novels with eerily similar plotlines – but how did Trump become president? The only way to find out: inject a panel of fictional voters with truth serum...

by Stephen King

Saturday 1 April 2017 05.00 EDT


I had written about such men before. In The Dead Zone, Greg Stillson is a door-to-door Bible salesman with a gift of gab, a ready wit and the common touch. He is laughed at when he runs for mayor in his small New England town, but he wins. He is laughed at when he runs for the House of Representatives (part of his platform is a promise to rocket America’s trash into outer space), but he wins again. When Johnny Smith, the novel’s precognitive hero, shakes his hand, he realizes that some day Stillson is going to laugh and joke his way into the White House, where he will start world war three.

Big Jim Rennie in Under The Dome is cut from the same cloth. He’s a car salesman (selling being a key requirement for the successful politician), who is the head selectman in the small town of Chester’s Mill, when a dome comes down and cuts the community off from the world. He’s a crook, a cozener and a sociopath, the worst possible choice in a time of crisis, but he’s got a folksy, straight-from-the-shoulder delivery that people relate to. The fact that he’s incompetent at best and downright malevolent at worst doesn’t matter.

None of these people was stupid or evil. Potent truth serum forced them to say what they actually believe

Both these stories were written years ago, but Stillson and Rennie bear enough of a resemblance to the current resident of the White House for me to flatter myself I have a country-fair understanding of how such men rise: first as a joke, then as a viable alternative to the status quo, and finally as elected officials who are headstrong, self-centered and inexperienced. Such men do not succeed to high office often, but when they do, the times are always troubled, the candidates in question charismatic, their proposed solutions to complex problems simple, straightforward and impractical. The baggage that should weigh these hucksters down becomes magically light, lifting them over the competition like Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar film Up. Trump’s negatives didn’t drag him down; on the contrary, they helped get him elected.

I decided to convene six Trump voters to discover how and why all this happened. Because I selected them from the scores of make-believe people always bouncing around in my head (sometimes their chatter is enough to drive me bugshit), I felt perfectly OK feeding them powerful truth serum before officially convening the round table. And because they are fictional – my creatures – they all agreed to this. They gulped the serum down in Snapple iced tea, and half an hour later we began. My panelists were:

LONG snip


Remember this? From our former president with the intelligent, sophisticated humor?

Not especially relevant to anything in particular, but I always loved his sense of humor. (She said wistfully...)


Here's why Comey may have stayed silent on Russia probe before election & it should terrify Trump

FBI was monitoring Trump Tower for "more than three decades" . They would have had to pick up a lot of incidental intel. Maybe this is where T is getting the Obama wiretap story.

Raw Story


The stark difference between FBI director James Comey’s radio silence on the bureau’s continuing investigation into then-Republican candidate Trump, and the director’s willingness to discuss the investigation into former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server raises serious questions—chief among them, why? What was behind the unwillingness to disclose an ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties to the Russian government?

According to a WhoWhatWhy exposé, published Thursday on AlterNet, the FBI declined to inform the U.S. public about ties between Trump and the Russian government for fear of exposing informants and “[jeopardizing] a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.”

A two month-long investigation by the publication revealed that FBI agents likely feared exposing an ongoing operation against “an organized crime network headquartered in the former Soviet Union.” This Russia mob “is one of the Bureau’s top priorities,” spans several decades, and is intricately linked with associates of Trump and businesses the president owns.

As the report notes, federal officials were intent on protecting an FBI source—a convicted criminal with deep links to the organized crime network—upon whom the bureau came to rely for information about this crime network. Some federal officials “were so involved in protecting this source” they later became a part of his personal defense counsel; upon his conviction government attorneys urged for “extreme leniency” toward this man.

The article further reveals that among the many details Comey was unable to discuss during his Mar. 20 testimony into the government’s investigation of Trump associates and Russian operatives was the fact that “for more than three decades the FBI has had Trump Tower in its sights,” monitoring its occupants deep ties to organized crime networks. According to the report, one former Trump Organization adviser, Felix Stater, fits the bill for the FBI’s source into the Russia-based crime ring.

Much more:

Watch Schiff presser here that just happened on WH, docs, Nunes, Trump, other nefarious stuff

More in article below:

At a news conference Thursday, Schiff, a California Democrat, said he has "a lot of unanswered questions" about the process. He raised concerns about why, if the White House did give Nunes the information, it shared the reports with the congressman rather than going directly to the White House.

"Why all the cloak and dagger stuff?" Schiff asked.

The White House repeatedly deflected questions Thursday about whether any Trump administration officials gave Nunes the information. During his daily news briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not concede if the reporting is correct.

Asked if he would tell reporters if the report was wrong, he said he was "not going to get into it."

The White House invited the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to view documents related to the probe, and Schiff said they will do so. Schiff is not sure if those documents are the same ones Nunes saw before making his announcement.

The panels' ranking member insisted that the confusion within the committee will not derail its probe.

"We're not going to get distracted," Schiff said.



Timing irony of Intel hearings & GOP attack on our cyber security won't be lost on any of you

What absolutely perfect timing for Senate Intel hearings to shine a light on GOP legislative efforts to compromise our cyber security. It will be interesting to see if it gives them pause or in any way affects their agenda.

THese hearings have not been in any respect a disappointment. They are doing a great job of laying groundwork before bringing in the suspects.

Witnesses scheduled for Senate Intel public hearings tomorrow

Open Hearing: Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns


No heavies yet. Sounds like they are laying groundwork. Cyber guys in the PM.

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 10:00am

Eugene Rumer
Director of Russia and Eurasia Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Roy Godson
Professor of Government Emeritus
Georgetown University

Clint Watts
Senior Fellow
Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security

03/30/2017 - 2:00pm

Kevin Mandia
Chief Executive Officer

General (Ret.)
Keith Alexander
Chief Executive Officer and President
IronNet Cybersecurity

Nunes Says He Held Russia Hearings Alone in His Apartment and They Went Great (Borowitz)

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Representative Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Wednesday that he just spent several days alone in his apartment holding hearings on President Donald J. Trump’s ties to Russia and that those hearings “went really great.”

“Having concluded several days of hearings on my own in my apartment, I am one hundred per cent satisfied that the President had no involvement with the Russians,” Nunes said. “Now it’s time to move on.”

While Nunes would not reveal who testified at the hearings in his apartment, he called their testimony “credible and productive.”

“I didn’t know what to expect when the hearings started, but, take my word for it, they were really, really good,” he said.

The disclosure that Nunes had conducted the Russia hearings alone in his apartment drew howls of protest from Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. “No one on the committee was invited to these hearings,” Schiff said. “I can’t believe that Devin keeps trying to get away with this crap.”

Nunes, however, pushed back against Schiff’s rebuke. “If Adam had ever seen my apartment, he would know there was not enough room to fit the whole committee in there,” he said.

After speaking to reporters, Nunes headed to the White House, where Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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