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Ramsey Barner

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Member since: Sun Jan 21, 2018, 02:38 PM
Number of posts: 211

Journal Archives

Mountain climbers scale replica of Trump's border wall in under one minute: report

Several mountain climbers have reportedly scaled a wooden replica of President Trump's steel border wall that was built to disprove Trump's claims that a portion of the wall is "impossible to climb."

Rick Weber — a 75-year-old retired engineer, and active rock climber — built a replica of an 18-foot tall section of border wall in Kentucky earlier this month, inviting mountain climbers to compete to see who could climb it the fastest.

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As of Friday, Oct. 11, The Courier-Journal reports that numerous people have already scaled the replica wall, including an 8-year-old girl, even though Weber's competition isn't until this weekend.

According to the Courier-Journal, 30-year-old Peter Favaloro of Boston reached the top of the wall in about a minute. The novice climber told the publication he traveled to climb the wall after seeing news coverage about it.

Another climber, 29-year-old Erik Kloeker, made it over the wall in approximately 30 seconds during a demonstration for reporters. He later climbed the wall a second time while also juggling.


Video of the juggling climber and more here:
[link:https://thehill.com/homenews/news/465415-mountain-climbers-scale-replica-of-trumps-border-wall-in-under-1-minute-report?__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true|
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Fri Oct 11, 2019, 03:34 PM (5 replies)

James Risen: Biden going to Ukraine actually might have resulted in greater legal peril for his son

James Risen, The Intercept’s senior national security correspondent, best-selling author, former New York Times reporter, published two pieces in The Intercept this week, including one headlined “I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.”


The significance of his trip was that it was backed up by the whole Western world. There were several large Western countries that were demanding that the Ukraine fire this prosecutor and get — and crack down on corruption. His actions to demand this, the firing of this prosecutor, and to ask for a greater crackdown had the effect — the possible effect — of making his son have even greater legal peril than he did by being on the board of Burisma, because it could have led to a more aggressive investigation of Burisma.


[link:https://www.democracynow.org/2019/9/27/ukraine_president_biden_investigation|

Biden, right out in the open, did the right thing regardless of potential cost to his family, and the Right spun it into a smear.
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sat Sep 28, 2019, 02:41 PM (4 replies)

Barr's zealous defense of Trump makes it impossible to trust his legal judgment

By Neal Katyal

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Barr, by contrast, took the opposite approach. He appeared the next day on CBS News and said, “I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” and that “the opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity.”

Barr’s statement was news, not only to the American public, but also, I suspect, to Mueller himself. It also should have come as news to someone else: William P. Barr. On the first day of his confirmation hearing nearly five months ago, Barr was asked by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) about former FBI director James B. Comey’s July 2016 news conference on the decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Here is what Barr said in January: “I thought that to the extent [Comey] actually announced a decision was wrong, and the other thing is, if you’re not going to indict someone, then you don’t stand up there and unload negative information about the person. That’s not the way the Department of Justice does business.”

Barr has now directly contradicted what he told the Senate. Why?

The answer has to do with how Barr backed himself into a corner when he cleared Trump of obstruction of justice. Barr was criticized resoundingly for reaching such a determination within 48 hours of receiving Mueller’s report (which was more than 400 pages long). Barr tried to defend himself by explaining that he had had time to evaluate everything because Mueller had told him in a meeting three weeks beforehand that he wasn’t going to reach a decision on obstruction of justice. This has always been a strange claim — that Barr was evaluating the evidence without the report in his hand — but now it gets absurd.

If Barr thought Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction of justice, did he tell Mueller that when they met in March? Wouldn’t that have literally been Barr’s job, as the supervisor of the special counsel? Instead, he revealed his views only later — and contradicted his earlier position that prosecutors cannot “unload negative information about a person” and that that is not how the “Department of Justice does business.”

Barr’s position, as he described it on CBS, is absurd on its face. Imagine the outcry if Mueller were to have done what Barr now claims he could have done: Mueller would be labeling Trump a criminal, but Trump would have no legal process to defend himself. Folks — including me — would scream about the unfairness of such an outcome. Mueller was faithful to long-standing Justice Department considerations about being fair to potential defendants; Barr, by contrast, appears to be lurching from one bad position to the next.

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The only way forward is for Congress to carry out a thorough investigation and reach its own conclusions.

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Barr has shown himself to be an unreliable and unsteady voice, careening from one position to the next, always in favor of protecting his boss. And even had Barr acted without such partisanship, the whole point of the idea that a sitting president cannot be indicted is that there is an alternative forum to review those questions.

[link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/06/03/barrs-zealous-defense-trump-makes-it-impossible-trust-his-legal-judgement/?utm_term=.4c44db51ce7e|
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 08:37 PM (2 replies)

Suspension of preferential trade status for India under GSP is 'done deal': Trump

Source: Business Today

The Trump administration has said it is not going back on its decision to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme, terming the suspension a "done deal".

The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

On March 4, President Donald Trump announced that the US intended to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme.

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Under the GSP programme, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.

Read more: https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/suspension-of-preferential-trade-status-for-india-under-gsp-is-done-deal-trump/story/352427.html



Are we going to have a trade war with India, too?
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Fri May 31, 2019, 09:24 PM (12 replies)

Justice Department does not comply with court order to release transcripts of Michael Flynn's conver

Source: Washington Post

Federal prosecutors on Friday declined to make public transcripts of recorded conversations between Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the United States in December 2016, despite a judge’s order.

In a court filing Friday, the Justice Department wrote that it did not rely on such recordings to establish Flynn’s guilt or determine a recommendation for his sentencing.

Prosecutors also failed to release an unredacted version of portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn that the judge had ordered be made public.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/justice-department-fails-to-comply-with-court-order-to-release-transcripts-of-michael-flynns-conversations-with-russian-ambassador/2019/05/31/9b4a6754-83b8-11e9-95a9-e2c830afe24f_story.html?utm_term=.21429804fe04



"The government further represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant’s guilt or determining his sentence, nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record" means that DOJ is refusing to turn over the Flynn-Russians transcripts and audio recordings despite the Court's explicit order.
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Fri May 31, 2019, 06:27 PM (37 replies)

UAE Says Four Commercial Vessels Targeted by 'Sabotage Operations' Near Iran

Source: Haaretz

Four commercial vessels were targeted by "sabotage operations" near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday, adding that there were no victims.

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A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said they had no comment at this time when contacted by Reuters.

Tensions are running high in the region after the U.S. military sent forces, including an aircraft carrier, to the Middle East to counter what the White House says are "clear indications" of threats from Iran to its forces there.

Read more: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/uae-says-four-commercial-vessels-targeted-by-sabotage-1.7225373



Persian Gulf of Tonkin Incident?
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sun May 12, 2019, 04:17 PM (12 replies)

Pelosi says Trump is 'becoming self-impeachable'

Source: Washington Post

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President Trump is “becoming self-impeachable,” pointing to his efforts to fight all subpoenas from congressional investigations and prevent key aides from testifying before Congress.

“The point is that every single day, whether it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction — obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas . . . every single day, the president is making a case — he’s becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things that he is doing,” Pelosi said at a Washington Post Live event.

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In Wednesday’s interview, Pelosi also mocked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s declaration of “case closed” in the wake of the Mueller investigation.

“Isn’t that so sad? In for a dime, in for a dollar, right?” she said of McConnell (R-Ky.), describing his support for Trump. “You might as well go all the way.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pelosi-says-trump-is-becoming-self-impeachable/2019/05/08/87464a68-718c-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html?utm_term=.164c8b1a6b5d



We hold these Trumps to be self-impeachable . . .
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed May 8, 2019, 12:03 PM (13 replies)

Walt Whitman speaks . . . against Trump!

From ‘Walt Whitman Speaks,’ edited by Brenda Wineapple, to be published by the Library of America in April:

America must welcome all—Chinese, Irish, German, pauper or not, criminal or not—all, all, without exceptions: become an asylum for all who choose to come. We may have drifted away from this principle temporarily but time will bring us back. The tide may rise and rise again and still again and again after that, but at last there is an ebb—the low water comes at last. Think of it—think of it: how little of the land of the United States is cultivated—how much of it is still utterly untilled. When you go West you sometimes travel whole days at lightning speed across vast spaces where not an acre is plowed, not a tree is touched, not a sign of a house is anywhere detected. America is not for special types, for the caste, but for the great mass of people—the vast, surging, hopeful, army of workers. Dare we deny them a home—close the doors in their face—take possession of all and fence it in and then sit down satisfied with our system—convinced that we have solved our problem? I for my part refuse to connect America with such a failure—such a tragedy, for tragedy it would be.

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I anticipate the day when some wise man will start out to argue that two and two are not four but five or something else: history proving that two and two couldn’t be four: and probability, too: yes, more than that, the wise man will prove it out of his own consciousness—prove it for somebody—for a few: they will believe in him—a body of disciples will believe: then, presto! you have a new religion!

[link:https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/04/18/walt-whitman-alone/|
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Apr 17, 2019, 06:35 PM (1 replies)

Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance

Source: The Guardian

A narrow justice department interpretation of the emoluments clause gives countries leeway to curry favor with the president via commercial deals

The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.

The so-called foreign emoluments clause was intended to curb presidents and other government officials from accepting gifts and benefits from foreign governments unless Congress consents.

But in a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington University Law professor Kathleen Clark reveals justice department filings have recently changed tack. The new interpretation, Clark says, is contained in justice filings responding to recent lawsuits lodged by attorneys generals and members of Congress.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/09/dojs-new-stance-on-foreign-payments-or-gifts-to-trump-blurs-lines-experts



Trump is getting his money's worth out of Barr.
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Tue Apr 9, 2019, 03:11 PM (22 replies)

Whitaker is aware of pardons relating to individuals

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) asks a great question, and Whitaker indicates that he's been handling pardons:

https://twitter.com/AdamParkhomenko/status/1094269008495497216
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sat Feb 9, 2019, 05:52 PM (3 replies)
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