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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 29,835

Journal Archives

Trump's Judicial Pick John Bush Lies to the Senate About Comparing Abortion to Slavery

Unreported testimony shows a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee transparently lied to the Senate about his extremist views.

07.19.17 11:41 AM ET

The Senate is poised to confirm Judge John K. Bush to a lifetime appointment as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. When it does so (the process is a foregone conclusion), Bush will become both the most appalling extremist on the federal bench, and a judge who lied to Congress.

As has been well reported, Bush has had long career as an extreme right-wing blogger, under his own name and under the pseudonym ‘G. Morris.’ This has led to significant liberal opposition and even a hashtag, #StopBush.. But what has gone unreported until now is how duplicitous, evasive, and outright deceptive Judge Bush was in defending the statements to the Senate, as revealed in the official record of his answers to questions senators posed to him.

Bush’s responses to Senators who pressed him on these statements indicate that he is unrepentant, uncooperative, and uninterested in the democratic process by which judges are confirmed.

For example, in 2008, Bush repeated Birther claims—made in the Birtherism-supporting World Net Daily—that “Obama’s kin” living in Kenya was a criminal. He also repeated a claim by Birther Jack Cashill that Obama didn’t write his book, Dreams from my Father.
Oh, but I’m not a Birther, Bush told the senators, “I usually relied upon readily available sources on the internet discussing topics that might be of interest to the blog’s readership.”

It just so happens that the only readily available sources were Birthers.


Is that footsie Trump is playing with Putin at the table, or what? - Tom Toles


With Trump and Russia, it's all about the money - By Paul Waldman

July 19 at 1:17 PM

That fateful meeting that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort took with a bunch of Russians was obviously deeply problematic on its own terms, and perhaps a violation of campaign finance laws. But it also may wind up serving as a doorway that opens up to a whole array of questionable connections and actions related to Russia, on the part of President Trump, his family and his advisers.

The latest revelation — the identity of the eighth attendee at the meeting — was somehow both shocking and not surprising at all. In fact, it lets us peek into one of the main ways that Trump has been intertwined with Russian interests and actors for decades. While the possibility of campaign collusion is what started this scandal, the financial connections between Trump and Russia may wind up being just as important.

In case you missed it, that eighth attendee was one Ike Kaveladze, an associate of Emin and Aras Agalarov (the Russian pop singer and his oligarch father who were friendly with the Trumps). Some years ago, Kaveladze was the subject (but never charged) of an inquiry into an enormous money-laundering scheme that involved setting up hundreds of bank accounts and thousands of shell corporations in Delaware on behalf of shady Russians. As Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) put it: “I doubt if this individual who had a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions.” Good guess.

So you had a lawyer with Kremlin connections, a former Russian intelligence official (though as they say, there’s no such thing as a “former” Russian intelligence official) and a man once suspected of being involved in money-laundering, all coming to peddle dirt on Hillary Clinton, a possibility so enticing that it led the candidate’s son, his son-in-law and closest adviser, and his campaign chairman to all come to a meeting with them. The latest version the Trump camp tells about the meeting is that the promised Clinton dirt was not forthcoming, and so the meeting didn’t last long. But given that they started out by lying about it — saying it just concerned Russian adoptions and hiding who was in attendance — there’s ample reason to be skeptical about whether we’ve yet gotten the whole truth.

What we do know, however, is that it makes perfect sense that the Russians would have had an in with the Trump family to begin with, because Trump’s financial connections to Russia are old and deep. As Craig Unger reported in a story last week that didn’t get the attention it should have:

A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money. Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower — in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics. “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.


Revisiting The GOPs Big 'Take Away Their Coverage' Celebration - By Josh Marshall (Wow!)

By JOSH MARSHALL Published JULY 19, 2017 10:31 AM

With the apparent (zombies are undead) collapse of Obamacare repeal, I thought it made sense to republish these handy infographics. Back on May 4th, 2017, the House passed the American Health Care Act, which included devastating coverage loss numbers across the country. House Republicans who voted for it went to the White House shortly thereafter to celebrate bigly with laughs and guffaws and cheers and backslapping all around. Here are some of the best pictures of the celebration with President Trump, with annotations noting how many constituents would lose their coverage in each member’s district.


Now, where do these numbers come from? First, let me give a huge, huge shout-out to Charles Gaba and his essential ACASignups.net website. People who follow this issue don’t need me to tell them about Gaba’s site. But if you don’t follow this number stuff that closely, Gaba is the guy on this. For years now he’s been an amazing resource for journalists, politicians, policy hands and more. (Gaba’s site is one of those amazing things about the Internet – one person, really just based on caring about an issue creates something of immense value to the whole society at really no direct benefit to himself.) For these particular numbers, here’s the sourcing: The Congressional Budget Office scored the original version of the AHCA in March. That’s the source for the 24 million lost coverage numbers. The Center for American Progress took the CBO numbers and crunched the numbers for individual states and districts using data from The Kaiser Foundation and the American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau. Gaba took that data and put them in very easy to read charts for every state and every district (because that’s just the kind of thing he does) and organized them so you can compare the impact of straight repeal and repeal and replacement with the AHCA.


Trump cannot be trusted to be alone with Putin - By Jennifer Rubin

July 19 at 1:15 PM

As much as the fact of the previously undisclosed tête-à-tête between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg at the G-20 meeting, the reaction to the news should alarm Trump’s shrinking band of supporters who now find it increasingly difficult to mount credible defenses for the president’s conduct, especially where Russia is concerned.

Walter Russell Mead observes, “Trump’s willingness to meet with Putin without even an American interpreter present was at best a sign that he hasn’t mastered some of the most basic elements of his job; whatever happened in that meeting, the impossibility of knowing what was said there will further diminish the President’s ability to lead the country.” Moreover, Mead argues that “stories like this that will endanger the legitimacy of the Trump presidency; the naive belief that something like this could be concealed is almost as troubling as some of the more sinister interpretations Trump’s most inveterate critics will place on this mysterious and unsettling encounter.”

In short, the president’s motives, judgment and loyalty are so suspect that the presumption of legitimacy — which Trump whined Democrats were trying to deny him — has all but disappeared. Sure, Trump is indisputably the elected president — the election results cannot be gainsaid at this point. Nevertheless, the impression is widespread that whatever actions he takes and statements he makes do not necessarily advance the interests of the United States. They might be designed to further his own legal position, to advance his business interests or to protect his family members. However, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that he only defends American interests when they happen to coincide with his personal interests. When the latter (e.g. maintaining he won the election without Russian help) depart from national interests, the national interests (e.g. protecting America from an assault on democracy) take a back seat.

Cagey world leaders tell him what he wants to hear (e.g., Putin denied meddling, Israel’s prime minister defends Trump’s obsession with a wall) or publicly fawn over him to assuage his ego (as his Saudi hosts did on his Middle East trip), knowing that he will sacrifice American interests and values in favor of public adulation. He’s the dream pawn for foreign espionage operations, not only a “useful idiot” but a desperate one. He rushes to Putin’s side at the dinner table because he craves the appearance of camaraderie with the man his opponents accuse of attacking our democracy. Trump perhaps desires to show our European allies and domestic critics he has an “in” with Putin, or perhaps he simply needs Putin’s attention — in the same way he needs big crowds (or needs to think they are big) and “Fox & Friends” hosts’ sycophancy.

The news of the extended conversation between Putin and Trump — was it not disclosed because Trump’s eagerness to be in Putin’s presence was so cringe-worthy? — confirms our perception that Trump is dependent (for whatever reason) on Putin’s approval. But the incident also illustrates that at some level the White House knows the public no longer trusts the president to meet with America’s most formidable foe. We know — and the White House knows we know — Trump is a slave to his own ego, a compromised figure whose fidelity to America can no longer be assumed.



Trump challenges senators to resurrect Obamacare repeal effort: 'We're close'

By David Nakamura July 19 at 3:27 PM

Hoping to avoid a humiliating political defeat, President Trump on Wednesday demanded that Republican senators resume their efforts to approve a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, insisting that lawmakers are “very close.”

A day after the GOP strategy to roll back the ACA appeared dead, Trump invited Republican senators to lunch at the White House and challenged them to work out an agreement even if it means remaining in Washington through their summer recess next month. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had previously announced that the recess would be delayed by two weeks.

“People should not leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we give our people great health care,” Trump said at the beginning of the lunch. “We’re close, very close … We have to hammer this out and get it done.”

The president’s effort to resurrect negotiations came a day after he declared that it was time to give up on the contentious process to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement and “let Obamacare fail.”


9/11 survivors accuse Theresa May of suppressing a report on Saudi terrorism links

Source: The Washington Post

By Amanda Erickson July 19 at 1:59 PM

Back when David Cameron was Britain's prime minister, he commissioned an inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups.

Cameron agreed, reluctantly, to produce the report if the Liberal Democrats supported an extension of British airstrikes on the Islamic State militant group.

They did, and the study was commissioned. Now, nearly 18 months later, that report has become famous. And it's not because of what's in it. At least, not exactly.

Theresa May, who succeeded Cameron as prime minister last year, has refused to say whether the report is done or whether it will ever be released to the public. This has fueled frustration and suspicion. Many people suspect that the research ties Saudi Arabia to terrorist attacks in Britain, a finding that could damage an important alliance.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/07/19/911-survivors-accuse-theresa-may-of-suppressing-a-report-on-saudi-terror-links/?tid=pm_world_pop&utm_term=.62105ffdde64

White nationalist pleads guilty to disorderly conduct at Trump rally in Louisville

Source: Courier-Journal

Thomas Novelly and Matthew Glowicki , The Courier-Journal Published 1:00 p.m. ET July 19, 2017 | Updated 2:55 p.m. ET July 19, 2017

The leader of a white nationalist group, who is accused of physically harassing a woman during a March rally in Louisville for Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in court Wednesday.

Matthew Heimbach, 26, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree disorderly conduct. Heimbach was ordered to have no contact with the victim in the case and attend anger management classes, court records show.

He was also fined $145 fine and sentenced to 90 days of jail time, but District Court Judge Stephanie Pearce Burkewaved jail time on the condition he not re-offend within two years.

He was originally charged with harassment with physical contact, a misdemeanor.

Read more: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2017/07/19/white-nationalist-pleads-guilty-harassment-charge-trump-rally/492219001/

Flake Wishes Muslim Senate Challenger Well After Islamophobic Abuse

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published JULY 19, 2017 11:02 AM

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sent well wishes to a potential political challenger on Tuesday in response to a barrage of abuse she faced for her faith


Flake linked to a column in azcentral.com detailing a stream of anti-Muslim abuse that followed a Facebook post from Deedra Abboud, an attorney competing in Arizona’s Democratic primary to challenge Flake for his seat in 2018.

Abboud had posted a dedication to the Constitution, noting, “In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference.”

In the comments below, Facebook users wrote things like “Fuck you Muslim bitch,” and “BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jeff-flake-speaks-out-islamophobia

Kobach: 'We May Never Know' Who Won 2016 Popular Vote

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published JULY 19, 2017 3:07 PM

The vice chair of the White House’s bogus “election integrity” commission said Wednesday that “we may never know” whether millions of illegal votes cost President Donald Trump the popular vote in the 2016 election — despite the lack of any evidence to support Trump’s frequent claim that millions of ballots were cast illegally.

“Do you believe Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 to 5 million votes because of voter fraud?” MSNBC’s Katy Tur asked Kobach in an interview after the commission’s first meeting. Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

“We will probably never know the answer to that question, because even if you could prove that a certain number of votes were cast by ineligible voters, for example, you wouldn’t know how they voted,” he said.

Kobach said the commission was not created to substantiate Trump’s claims.

Tur asked again later: “You think that maybe Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote?”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kobach-we-may-never-know-who-won-2016-election-popular-vote
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