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Member since: Fri Jan 14, 2005, 11:36 PM
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Breaking down Trump's 'Soros' attack on the Manhattan DA



In the wake of a Manhattan grand jury’s historic decision to indict Donald Trump, the former president and some other prominent Republicans, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have invoked liberal billionaire George Soros in their attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump claimed in a statement that Bragg was “hand-picked and funded by George Soros.”

Here are the facts.

Soros, a longtime supporter of Democratic campaigns, various liberal causes and prosecutors who favor criminal justice reform, has been a frequent target of antisemitic conspiracy theories painting the Jewish philanthropist as a puppetmaster behind various US and international events. Soros did not make any direct contributions to Bragg’s 2021 election campaign, and a Soros spokesperson, Michael Vachon, told CNN last week that the two men have never once communicated in any way.

Rather, Soros’s connection to Bragg is indirect: he has been a major donor to a liberal political action committee that supported Bragg’s candidacy. A spokesperson for the PAC denounced the Soros-related attacks on Bragg in an interview with CNN last week, calling them “antisemitic,” “anti-Black” and an overstatement of both Soros’s role in the PAC’s decision-making and the PAC’s role in Bragg’s election victory.

Donations to a PAC that supported Bragg

Bragg is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a former federal prosecutor and a former chief deputy attorney general for New York state. He won a competitive Democratic primary for Manhattan district attorney in 2021, against an opponent who had millions more to spend, and then trounced a Republican in the general election.


Transgender Texans and doctors say Republican lawmakers are lying about the science


Several Republican Texas lawmakers are clashing with medical groups over whether puberty blockers and hormone therapies help or hurt transgender kids. Those conflicting positions come as some legislators push bills that would limit — or completely block — queer youth from accessing transition-related treatments that many medical associations support.

Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, is championing a bill that would bar doctors from providing such treatments — but only if they’re used to help a child gender transition. During a debate last week on her Senate Bill 14, Campbell and opponents of transition-related care portrayed doctors who provide such care as opportunists capitalizing on a “social contagion” with treatments that lack sufficient scientific data that could determine whether the care is safe and effective.

“I got into the Senate, or government, because I wanted government out of our lives,” Campbell said during the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing. “But if there comes a time when a profession, such as the medical profession, cannot regulate itself to protect patients, protect children, then the government needs to step in.”

Yet medical groups, doctors and transgender Texans say the scores of lawmakers backing such bans are either missing the point of how transition-related health care helps trans people — or are deliberately misconstruing information to target an already marginalized group of people.


Trump allies misrepresent crime in NYC


According to reports, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) is close to indicting former President Donald Trump for falsifying business records and violating campaign finance laws in relation to a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, a former adult film star who says that she had an affair with Trump. On Saturday, Trump announced on Truth Social that he was anticipating being arrested Tuesday, although that did not happen.

Trump has responded to the reports by calling Bragg a "Racist in Reverse," and said it was implausible that he had an affair with Daniels because she has a "horse face." These claims have not gained much traction with his Republican supporters.

But at the CPAC Conference earlier this month, Trump claimed that Bragg “is presiding over one of the most dangerous and violent cities in the United States… where killings are taking place at a number like nobody’s ever seen, right in Manhattan.” Trump told the crowd that Bragg should focus on stemming the alleged increase in violent crime instead of the “now ancient” story of Stormy Daniels “where there is no crime anyway.”

Trump’s top allies have coalesced around that narrative, arguing that Bragg should forget about Trump and focus on the “skyrocketing” crime in New York City.

In an interview on ABC News, former Vice President Mike Pence said he was “taken aback” at the reports of a potential indictment. “At a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left,” Pence said.


Jim Jordan is such a dumbfuck. His "whistleblowers" discredited



Three of Jordan’s witnesses have come in for private interviews with committee staff so far. None of them appear to have had their claims validated by government entities that grant federal whistleblower protection, sources familiar with their testimony said. One who alleged there was FBI wrongdoing had their claims rejected. Another is retired and it’s unclear whether he has first-hand knowledge of the violations he alleges. The third has not revealed his direct disclosures or FBI suspension notice to House Democrats, according to transcripts reviewed by CNN.

Separately, several other supposed whistleblowers who have not come in for interviews were suspended from the FBI for being at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to multiple sources familiar with the committee’s work. This is a point Jordan has not shied away from, using the accounts of “several whistleblowers” in a May 2022 letter to accuse the FBI of “retaliating against employees” for engaging in “protected First Amendment activity on January 6.”

For more than a year, Jordan has made whistleblower allegations a central part of his campaign to uncover what he claims is political bias inside the federal government, including drafting a 1,000-page report last year that leans heavily on claims by government employees alleging political interference by both the Justice Department and the FBI.

That report and the groundswell of support among House Republicans helped lead to the creation of an entire subcommittee Jordan now leads, the “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” which is helming the whistleblower interviews.


Republicans keep forgetting who the U.S. president was in 2020


For much of Joe Biden’s presidency, a variety of Republicans have pointed to fentanyl seizures at the U.S./Mexico border as proof of lax security measures. That’s never made any sense — the claims are inherently self-defeating — but an amazing number of GOP officials have spent the last couple of years pushing the line.

This came up again yesterday during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, when Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene pointed to the Biden administration successfully seizing fentanyl before it reaches American soil as evidence of the Biden administration failing to stop fentanyl before it reaches American soil.

That was, to be sure, quite weird, but it wasn’t the Georgia congresswoman’s only misstep. Greene also published this missive to Twitter:

“Listen to this mother, who lost two children to fentanyl poisoning, tell the truth about both of her son’s murders because of the Biden administrations [sic] refusal to secure our border and stop the Cartel’s [sic] from murdering Americans everyday [sic] by Chinese fentanyl.”
The tweet came with a video of Rebecca Kiessling, a Michigan woman who told lawmakers about losing two sons to accidental fentanyl overdoses.

But while Greene saw Kiessling’s tragic story as proof of the Biden administration’s policies, there was a fairly obvious problem with this attempt at blame: Kiessling’s sons died in 2020, when Biden was a private citizen.

And while I don’t imagine anyone was especially surprised to see that the right-wing Georgian hadn't done her homework, it was part of a curious recent pattern in GOP politics: Republicans keep forgetting who was president in 2020.


What does the science say about the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic?


Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began three years ago, its origin has been a topic of much scientific — and political — debate. Two main theories exist: The virus spilled over from an animal into people, most likely in a market in Wuhan, China, or the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and spread due to some type of laboratory accident.

The Wall Street Journal added to that debate this week when they reported that the U.S. Department of Energy has shifted its stance on the origin of COVID. It now concludes, with "low confidence," that the pandemic most likely arose from a laboratory leak in Wuhan, China.

The agency based their conclusion on classified evidence that isn't available to the public. According to the federal government, "low confidence" means "the information used in the analysis is scant, questionable, fragmented, or that solid analytical conclusions cannot be inferred from the information."

And at this point, the U.S. intelligence community still has no consensus about the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Four of the eight intelligence agencies lean toward a natural origin for the virus, with "low confidence," while two of them – the DOE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation – support a lab origin, with the latter having "moderate confidence" about their conclusion.

But at the end of the day, the origin of the pandemic is also a scientific question. Virologists, who study pandemic origins, are much less divided than the U.S. intelligence community. They say there is "very convincing" data and "overwhelming evidence" pointing to an animal origin.


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