Depository of News

Politics

Get more results via ClueGoal

Trump links California lawsuit against his 'emergency' to his yanking of state high-speed rail funds

There has never been a modern presidency more devoted to screwing the administration's perceived enemies. After California and other states filed a lawsuit challenging Trump's declaration of a still-invisible «national emergency» on the southern b
Daily Kos

Trump links California lawsuit against his 'emergency' to his yanking of state high-speed rail funds

There has never been a modern presidency more devoted to screwing the administration's perceived enemies. After California and other states filed a lawsuit challenging Trump's declaration of a still-invisible «national emergency» on the southern border, it took only about a day for Trump's Transportation Department to respond by pulling $929 million from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, with a further threat to find some legal mechanism for requiring the state to repay the $2.5 billion in federal funds already spent. But wait, you say. Perhaps the timing is coincidental, and perhaps Donald Trump has nothing to do with it. Mmm-hmm. xAs I predicted, 16 states, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2019 Or perhaps Donald Trump blurts out whatever he thinks whenever he thinks it, providing an astonishing if unnerving map of a malfunctioning, revenge-obsessed human brain at work. The California High-Speed Rail project has been something of a mess since its inception. The original project to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles began with inadequate funding and planning; after delays and staggering cost overruns, new state Gov. Gavin Newsom caused a stir when he announced the project would be scaled back and refocused on completing only the already-under-construction segments in the Central Valley, eventually connecting Bakersfield to Merced, with the rest of the ambitious project to be worked out at a later date. Whether the federal government can yank remaining funds due to a change in project scope is not clear, and will no doubt be hashed-out in court; the threat to pull funds already spent is more dodgy still. We should note in passing that there is no topic on which Donald Trump can resist lying his behind off. Trump followed his first tweet with one insisting that the «failed Fast Train project» is «hundreds of times more expensive» than his demanded «Wall.» The most recent estimates for completing the entire Los Angeles-San Francisco line are around $77 billion; Trump's demands for funding an initial, unspecified portion of border wall have fluctuated in the $2 billion to $5 billion range. We would point out that 77 billion is not «hundreds of times» more than 5 billion, which again raises questions as to whether Donald Trump, self-alleged billionaire, knows how numbers work.

In the past year, Silicon Valley became even more dystopian, unequal: report

Sexual assault rose, women suffered, residents fled, and poverty increased — but if you're rich, the news is good
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

In the past year, Silicon Valley became even more dystopian, unequal: report

Sexual assault rose, women suffered, residents fled, and poverty increased — but if you're rich, the news is good

Is Roger Stone prison-bound? He keeps digging in new email, and his Florida home goes up for rent

Roger Stone has prided himself for his life’s work as a dirty political operative. He even has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. He’s built this entire persona around being the loudest guy in the room, especially when it comes to his fashion choices
Daily Kos

Is Roger Stone prison-bound? He keeps digging in new email, and his Florida home goes up for rent

Roger Stone has prided himself for his life’s work as a dirty political operative. He even has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. He’s built this entire persona around being the loudest guy in the room, especially when it comes to his fashion choices. And now his loud mouth is getting him into deep trouble with a federal judge who will be considering whether to revoke his bail tomorrow, days after he posted a photo on Instagram of Judge Amy Berman Jackson with a rifle crosshairs symbol next to her head. Stone lifted the image from a conspiracy-laden website, and less than a week after the same judge issued a gag order in his case.  To say Roger has had a bad week is an understatement, and all of it is his own doing. You’d think after the swift outcry from observers and the order from Judge Berman Jackson to appear in court to explain himself, Roger Stone might close his mouth for once in his life. But, no: On the same day Judge Berman Jackson issued the order, Roger Stone sent a fundraising email saying, this “may be the last time you hear from me if I am gagged by the Judge.« Furthermore, he bashed Judge Berman Jackson, insinuating she was part of a “deep state” plot. From The Hill: In the email, Stone refers to Jackson as an »Obama-appointed Federal Judge« and wrote that the »real reason they want to gag me is so I cannot raise the money necessary to mount a vigorous legal defense." Sure, Roger. He went even further, saying he was only under investigation because of his relationship with Trump. 

Trump calls the New York Times an 'ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE' for exposing his obstruction of justice

Tuesday's blockbuster New York Times report detailed Donald Trump’s «sustained» efforts to undermine law enforcement probes into Russian election hacking, its ties to the Trump campaign, and related criminal acts. Among the details presented: a
Daily Kos

Trump calls the New York Times an 'ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE' for exposing his obstruction of justice

Tuesday's blockbuster New York Times report detailed Donald Trump’s «sustained» efforts to undermine law enforcement probes into Russian election hacking, its ties to the Trump campaign, and related criminal acts. Among the details presented: an attempt by Trump to get acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to reinstall a Trump-allied U.S. attorney as head of federal investigations of «hush money» payments to several Trump mistresses. The Trump White House gave no indications it knew such a report was coming, and whether Trump's extremely sour mood of late was related to the upcoming report or to something else is unknown. Instead, Trump blasted «The Press» in general: «The writers don't even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control.» He singled out the New York Times reporting as «false,» declaring that the Times specifically is «a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!» Trump's objections were, as usual, performative. Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN that of course the Times reporters who prepared the report sought verification and comment from the White House, and that the White House ignored their questions. So Trump is either lying to the American people, yet again, or he got played by his own staff. Said Haberman, “That’s a lie, and I don’t know whether he knows it’s a lie or whether he is telling himself this is true, whether his staff doesn’t tell him that we have reached out, but I find that awfully hard to believe that his staff did not brief him, once again, that this kind of a report was coming.” Haberman is a reporter with deep White House contacts, one who knows more than most about the inner workings of Team Catastrophe, but this is still a tough call. It seems entirely plausible that Trump's staff would not tell him about an upcoming devastating public report of his attempts to Do Crimes. Who would tell him? Sarah Sanders? Bill Shine? Who would willingly pop over to the Oval Office to face the rage of an always-infuriated man-child to tell him still more leaks of his improper behavior have dribbled out from his supposed allies? Trump being kept in the dark on this one seems plausible. But it is also possible, even rote, for Trump to be intentionally lying about this as he does about Every. Single. Thing. Ever. The man has one lever, and it flips between smug bluster when someone is praising him to defiant, delusional gaslighting when someone is not. In the end it doesn't matter. Perhaps he's lying. Perhaps his staff lied to him. Perhaps both. It doesn't change the underlying report: Donald Trump attempted to install a favored, Trump-allied attorney to oversee a criminal investigation into his own actions, not recognizing the impossibility of what he was asking for and not caring about the overt corruption of such a request. Upon being exposed, he breaks out the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE language yet again, a clear betrayal of the Constitution and his supposed oath. He should be tossed out of office for that alone—and would be, if his party had not slid itself into whatever levels of corruption were necessary to prop the man-child up.

EPA issued 'emergency' approval to spray 16 million acres with bee-killing pesticide

Sulfoxaflor is a systemic insecticide that works by destroying the nervous system. Insects exposed go into tremors, then spasms, then death. Unfortunately, insects exposed means essentially all insects, including bees. In fact, sulfoxaflor is particularly h
Daily Kos

EPA issued 'emergency' approval to spray 16 million acres with bee-killing pesticide

Sulfoxaflor is a systemic insecticide that works by destroying the nervous system. Insects exposed go into tremors, then spasms, then death. Unfortunately, insects exposed means essentially all insects, including bees. In fact, sulfoxaflor is particularly hard on pollinators. That’s why in 2016 the Ninth Circuit Court overruled the EPA’s approval of the pesticide. As Reuters reported at the time, the court responded to a suit by associations of beekeepers by finding that “the EPA had made an error” in ever allowing broad use of the chemical. In October of that year, the EPA issued new guidelines that restricted the use of the chemical to crops that do not attract bees, or to post-bloom periods when bees should not be attracted to fields. But that was the pre-Trump EPA. As EcoWatch reports, in 2018 the EPA issued what it called “emergency” approvals to spray the substance that is “very highly toxic” to bee, on more than 16 million acres of crops that do attract bees. The EPA’s own inspector general found that the practice didn’t consider either the effect on the environment, or on human health. Just as with the National Emergency Act, the EPA’s ability to allow emergency use of otherwise restricted substances is supposed to be limited. The authority is there to protect against outbreaks of insects that might spread disease or threaten the food supply. However, neither of those things applied in this case. The 16.2 million acres sprayed was on sorghum and cotton plants across 19 states. There was no widespread threat. No new insect ravaging these crops. No emergency. But again, just as with the National Emergency Act, the EPA’s authority in making these rulings includes a lot of leeway, with the expectation that good judgement will be involved. Instead, the EPA under Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler has been searching out reasons to issue these orders.

Coast Guard officer charged with plotting mass murder of Democrats, journalists

Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested last week in Maryland on drug charges and that investigation spiraled, revealing Hasson was in possession of 15 guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a hit list of people to murder. The list in
Daily Kos

Coast Guard officer charged with plotting mass murder of Democrats, journalists

Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested last week in Maryland on drug charges and that investigation spiraled, revealing Hasson was in possession of 15 guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a hit list of people to murder. The list included many Democratic elected officials like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, along with journalists Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, among others.  Seamus Hughes, a former Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senior Counterterrorism adviser, broke the news on Twitter with the court filing detailing the absolutely frightening charges. Prosecutors said, “The Defendant is a domestic terrorist bent on committing acts dangerous to human life.” In fact, the first sentence of the motion for detention pending trial (seen below), is quite alarming: “The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” As you can see in the Twitter thread below from Hughes, prosecutors say Hasson had contacts with white supremacists, advocated for a “white state” in America, and was a fan of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people, including 59 children in 2011.  Hasson’s target list included Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Kristin Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, John Podesta, Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Van Jones. He used racist or inflammatory names for many of the people on his list.  More from The Washington Post: Christopher Paul Hasson called for “focused violence” to “establish a white homeland” and dreamed of ways to “kill almost every last person on earth,” according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.” Prosecutors say these are the first of many more charges. Hasson was arrested on illegal weapons and drug charges on Friday, but the government says those charges are the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.” Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland outlined Hasson’s alleged plans to spark chaos and destruction in court documents, describing a man obsessed with neo-fascist and neo-Nazi views. “Please send me your violence that I may unleash it onto their heads,” Hasson wrote in a letter that prosecutors say was found in his email drafts. “Guide my hate to make a lasting impression on this world.”

Betsy DeVos' free rein at the Education Department is over with a Democratic House

The oversight-free party is over for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, with Democratic Rep. Robert Scott now in charge of the House Education Committee. He's got a long and growing list of issues Democrats are going to hold DeVos accountable for. Among th
Daily Kos

Betsy DeVos' free rein at the Education Department is over with a Democratic House

The oversight-free party is over for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, with Democratic Rep. Robert Scott now in charge of the House Education Committee. He's got a long and growing list of issues Democrats are going to hold DeVos accountable for. Among the things Democrats are planning: requiring the department to hold states accountable for achievement gaps between white students and students of color, as the law requires; asking for an explanation for why the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools was reinstated after it had been stripped of its certification by the previous administration: and, in a new revelation, obtaining a response as to why her department is interfering in its inspector general's investigation into her decision to reinstate ACICS. Scott also wants to know DeVos' «justifications for rescinding policies meant to protect black students from being disproportionately suspended and placed in special education and student borrowers from predatory lenders and higher-education diploma mills.» Scott says he's less interested in a public grilling of DeVos than in having accountability. «Theater doesn't advance anybody's agenda,» he told the New York Times. «I'm interested in what research and evidence they used to come to these conclusions.» He apparently held his tongue firmly in cheek by suggesting that there was actual research and evidence behind any of DeVos' policy decisions. Scott has important allies in these efforts, the Times points out: Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. The Maryland Democrat is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and his intervening with DeVos apparently helped her decide to halt the effort to replace the inspector general who is investigating her. Cummings says he will look into the «countless decisions that have negatively impacted students across the country, including dismantling protections against predatory for-profit lenders.» For her part, DeLauro, who is chair of the Appropriations subcommittee on education, says that she will «hold the secretary accountable for the hollowing out of the Education Department» through staffing and program cuts, and fight DeVos' privatization schemes. «I believe that, overall, the mission of the Department of Education these days is to privatize public education,» she said, «and I want to block them.» Because that's what Article I of the Constitution demands. And because one congressional body has no interest in fulfilling its duties, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is far more interested in amassing his personal power than making the institution of the Senate work.

Writing middle-aged men in crisis: Novelists Lindsay Stern and Andrew Ridker in conversation

The authors of «The Study of Animal Languages» and «The Altruists» discuss failed fictional patriarchs and more
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Writing middle-aged men in crisis: Novelists Lindsay Stern and Andrew Ridker in conversation

The authors of «The Study of Animal Languages» and «The Altruists» discuss failed fictional patriarchs and more

Michigan governor blocks sale of former prison to private immigrant detention company

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has canceled the sale of a former state prison site to a for-profit private prison company that sought to reopen the property in order to detain hundreds of immigrants. The Democratic leader said she made the decision af
Daily Kos

Michigan governor blocks sale of former prison to private immigrant detention company

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has canceled the sale of a former state prison site to a for-profit private prison company that sought to reopen the property in order to detain hundreds of immigrants. The Democratic leader said she made the decision after Immigration Centers of America (ICA) wouldn’t guarantee that the prison “would not be used to detain adults who had been separated from their children or other family members.” “Because it would involve only adult civil detention,” the Detroit Free Press reports, “the 166,000-square-foot facility would house immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who have not been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, but instead are being held pending administrative hearing on issues such as deportation.” ICE consistently uses our tax dollars to detain and jail undocumented immigrants who shouldn’t be locked up in the first place. “ICE data shows that an average of 51% of the daily detained population in October 2018 was ‘non-criminal’ and 51% posed ‘no threat,’” immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice said earlier this month. Asylum-seekers should be free while they pursue their cases, but they too have been locked up in privately run prisons miles from legal assistance. Faith leaders and advocates applauded Whitmer’s move, saying that immigrants theoretically arrested in Detroit but then detained at the proposed site would have been nearly 150 miles from their families and legal help. Such a distance could have also endangered immigrants facing imminent deportation. “We applaud … Whitmer for standing up for immigrant families today, and standing against the private prison industry,” said Rev. Jack Eggleston, a board member of advocacy group Michigan United. But this may not be over just yet. Michigan Advance reports that ICA may now be seeking to build on private land, which would then be out of Whitmer’s hands, noting that “Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said Monday she did not want to ‘speculate’ on the possibility of ICA buying private land instead.” And, surprise, ICA’s legal advisor is Dennis Muchmore, who was once chief of staff to former Gov. Rick Snyder, who began the process of selling the site to ICA. Brown said of Whitmer that “the governor believes that building more detention facilities won’t solve our immigration crisis, and she also believes that separating families doesn’t reflect our Michigan values.”

Taxing the wealthy is popular. Democrats have figured that out

Donald Trump pledged to raise taxes on the rich during his 2016 campaign; then he turned around after winning and signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut into law that mostly benefitted the nation’s wealthiest. That GOP tax law remains deeply unpopular to this day
Daily Kos

Taxing the wealthy is popular. Democrats have figured that out

Donald Trump pledged to raise taxes on the rich during his 2016 campaign; then he turned around after winning and signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut into law that mostly benefitted the nation’s wealthiest. That GOP tax law remains deeply unpopular to this day, with just 30 percent of Americans supporting it, while 48 percent oppose it, according to a Civiqs survey released this week. What is popular is the concept of raising taxes on America's wealthiest individuals. A recent Politico survey found that 76 percent of voters think the rich should pay more. In addition, a New York Times poll showed 62 percent support for the idea that «the government pursue policies to reduce the wealth gap.» As Democratic hopefuls begin to view taxing the rich as both good policy and good politics, they are increasingly seizing on the issue. “This is about politicians catching up to where Americans have been,” Leslie McCall, a political scientist at the CUNY Graduate Center, told the Times. For Democrats, the issue also has the benefit of being viewed through a moral lens by their base. “They’re not paying their fair share,” Democratic voter Fred Wood, a retired teacher from Pennsylvania, told the Times. “It’s just not right when folks cannot afford health care.” But support for plans to increase taxes on the rich does vary according to the details. A proposal from 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren for a 2 percent tax on wealth over $50 million draws 61 percent support overall, according to the Times poll. Even 51 percent of Republicans favored that plan, as did 57 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats. The more straightforward plan from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of raising the marginal tax rate on people making more than $10 million to 70 percent still garnered majority support, 51 percent, but wasn't quite as popular as Warren's «wealth tax,» the details of which are still murky at this point. Democratic voters still like the AOC plan just as much at 75 percent, but a bare majority of independents support it, while just 31 percent of Republicans do. 

What to expect from the upcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova

Those who do not follow the events in this country but want to learn more the best option is to read the book by Aaron Miller “Moldova Under Vladimir Plahotniuc: Corruption & Oligarchy” published by Studio Igal Rozental, Ltd. While Washington
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Advocacy

What to expect from the upcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova

Those who do not follow the events in this country but want to learn more the best option is to read the book by Aaron Miller “Moldova Under Vladimir Plahotniuc: Corruption & Oligarchy” published by Studio Igal Rozental, Ltd. While Washington and Brussels policymakers view Ukraine as the main stage ...

Supreme Court issues unanimous ruling prohibiting excessive fines by state, local governments

In her second day back at the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg authored and announced a unanimous ruling Wednesday limiting civil asset forfeiture by prohibiting state and local governments from using excessive fines to raise revenues. NPR writes:
Daily Kos

Supreme Court issues unanimous ruling prohibiting excessive fines by state, local governments

In her second day back at the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg authored and announced a unanimous ruling Wednesday limiting civil asset forfeiture by prohibiting state and local governments from using excessive fines to raise revenues. NPR writes: The court's opinion came in the case of Tyson Timbs, whose $42,000 Land Rover was seized by the state of Indiana after he was arrested for selling a small amount of heroin to undercover cops for $400. A lower court in Indiana initially ruled against the state, determining that the fine far outweighed the crime, especially after Timbs paid other fines and underwent a year of house detention. That decision was overturned by the state’s high court, which asserted the Constitution's prohibition of excessive fines didn't apply to the states. The Supreme Court ultimately disagreed, with Ginsburg writing that seizing the Land Rover was «grossly disproportionate to the gravity of Timbs's offense.» Ginsburg called the ban on excessive fines a «constant shield» against fines being misused to punish enemies or improperly raise revenues.  Ginsburg’s authoritative return to the court came after she underwent lung cancer surgery late last year. 

Case of Mississippi prosecutor who routinely kicked black people off juries heads to Supreme Court

Mississippi state prosecutor Doug Evans worked for more than thirteen years to send Curtis Flowers to jail. After the 1996 murders of four people in Winona, Mississippi, Flowers was tried by Evans a whopping six times until Evans finally got a conviction t
Daily Kos

Case of Mississippi prosecutor who routinely kicked black people off juries heads to Supreme Court

Mississippi state prosecutor Doug Evans worked for more than thirteen years to send Curtis Flowers to jail. After the 1996 murders of four people in Winona, Mississippi, Flowers was tried by Evans a whopping six times until Evans finally got a conviction that stuck in 2010. Flowers, a black man, was an employee at the furniture store where the murders took place. He had no criminal record, and there was no physical evidence tying him to the crime. No witnesses placed him at the scene. So it’s a wonder where Evans’ evidence came from. One thing that is known, however, is that as part of his trial strategy, Evans made sure that black prospective jurors were excluded as much as possible. And now the Supreme Court will consider whether or not Evans’ use of several peremptory challenges to exclude the potential jurors represents a violation of the Constitution. As Adam Liptak writes in the New York Times, peremptory challenges do not require a reason. They are discretionary and aren’t to be second-guessed. However, Batson v. Kentucky, a case decided by the Supreme Court in 1986, ruled that racial discrimination during jury selection is an exception to this. Lawyers who are accused of it must provide an explanation for their peremptory challenges that is nondiscriminatory.  Upon first glance, it seems that Evans will face an uphill battle in proving that he was not actively and intentionally excluding blacks from the potential juror pool. In the first two trials against Flowers, he struck all ten potential black jurors (there were five for each trial). The first trial resulted in a white jury that produced a conviction and death sentence for Flowers. But the state’s Supreme Court overturned that conviction on the grounds of “numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct” that were apparently unrelated to jury selection.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson: «It's untrue that the darker you are, the more oppressed you are»

«I'm making a case for non-racial approach to policy – and the only one we can have without wrecking the country»
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Fox News host Tucker Carlson: «It's untrue that the darker you are, the more oppressed you are»

«I'm making a case for non-racial approach to policy – and the only one we can have without wrecking the country»

Numb to corruption: How Republicans trained their base to ignore Trump's criminality

How we got here: Republicans spent decades indoctrinating their supporters to ignore scandal and corruption
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Numb to corruption: How Republicans trained their base to ignore Trump's criminality

How we got here: Republicans spent decades indoctrinating their supporters to ignore scandal and corruption

Reports that the 'Russia investigation is over' could mean anything ... almost literally anything

Though it was easy to dismiss rumors earlier this week that Robert Mueller was about turn over a report to new Attorney General William Barr, those rumors just keep coming. And they’re looking increasingly un-rumor-like. CNN is now reporting that Barr is p
Daily Kos

Reports that the 'Russia investigation is over' could mean anything ... almost literally anything

Though it was easy to dismiss rumors earlier this week that Robert Mueller was about turn over a report to new Attorney General William Barr, those rumors just keep coming. And they’re looking increasingly un-rumor-like. CNN is now reporting that Barr is preparing to speak to Congress as early as Feb. 25, at which time he will announce an end to the Russia investigation. On the one hand, this seems impossible. Not only does the special counsel’s office have half a hundred threads still unresolved, but the office is actually before the Supreme Court right now to force testimony by that mystery foreign company. Michael Flynn has not been sentenced. Roger Stone’s case is barely underway. Nothing has come of the information on the Moscow Project, no indictments have resulted from the sweetheart deal given Flynn … this simply can’t be the end. An announcement that the Russia investigation “is over” clearly makes no sense. Because it’s not over. So what could this possibly mean? The Intermedio: Barr reports that Mueller has issued an interim report?  A number of rumors have suggested that the special counsel’s office was going to produce an “interim report,” perhaps one dealing with just the collusion aspect. But there are several problems with that idea. First, neither special counsels or special investigators have produced such reports in the past. Yes, they’ve turned over reports to the Justice Department and then spent literally years nailing down all the details and turning off the lights, but they’ve never turned in a report, then gone on to do something else significant. Based on past experience, if it’s over, it’s over. And Mueller has demonstrated a strong dedication to following department rules and guidelines. The Semisonic*: The investigation ends because Barr shuts it down? That this action is happening one week after William Barr settled in at the DOJ cannot be coincidence. One possibility is that, while Matthew Whitaker wrote public articles on how to shut down the Mueller investigation, it took someone with the gravitas of Barr to pull the switch. It could be over … because Barr says it’s over.

Midday open thread: Trump's top pick for climate panel is offensively wacko; leave Malia Obama alone

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is The Green New Deal vs. logic: • Top pick for panel to investigate whether climate change is a national security threat  once said carbon emissions are demonized like 'Jews under Hitler': The Trump administration
Daily Kos

Midday open thread: Trump's top pick for climate panel is offensively wacko; leave Malia Obama alone

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is The Green New Deal vs. logic: • Top pick for panel to investigate whether climate change is a national security threat  once said carbon emissions are demonized like 'Jews under Hitler': The Trump administration is launching what the The Washington Post calls «the most recent attempt to question the findings of federal scientists and experts on climate change» by assembling a panel dedicated to determining whether or not climate change poses a national security threat. It turns out that William Happer, President Trump's top choice to lead the panel, is quite fond of carbon emissions. So much so, in fact, that he said that people deserve to learn «the scientific truth, that more CO2 is actually a benefit to the earth» rather than a pollutant. In a 2014 appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, Happer told host Andrew Ross Sorkin the «demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.» • Demand for Tesla’s popular Powerwall batteries is big, but few installers have them: Twelve percent of U.S. companies that install solar panels and residential batteries carry the Powerwall, a study yesterday from Boston-based EnergySage and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners found. Meanwhile, about 55 percent of customers shopping for home-storage systems want them, according to the 871 installers surveyed in the report. [...] Tesla declined to comment. One reason independent installers who participated in the survey may have a hard time finding Powerwalls is that Tesla shifted its strategy last year to sell most of its systems through its website and stores rather than third-party channels. • Trump chooses Jeffrey Rosen to fill Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein’s shoes after he leaves next month: The 60-year-old Rosen is a veteran litigator now serving as deputy transportation secretary, a post that makes him the Transportation Department’s chief operating officer. He served as general counsel and a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2006 to 2009. Rosenstein took on the oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. That investigation is now the bailiwick of the new attorney general, William Barr, who took the job on the provisio that he could choose his own deputy. MIDDAY TWEET xKnow how everyone keeps saying 12 years? It's 10 years, 9 months and 9 days until 2030, when humanity must be halfway to net zero to have a fighting chance of avoiding truly catastrophic climate breakdown.Every day counts. Do all you can.— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) February 19, 2019 • Stop with the crap about Malia Obama, okay?  On Sunday, The Daily Mail published photos of Malia Obama drinking an $80 bottle of rosé poolside with her friends in Miami. The following day, the tabloid published another article claiming they’ve found Obama's secret Facebook account where she’s been vocal about her gripes with President Trump. The whole saga suggested more people side with Obama than against her, as evident by the flood of responses in the Daily Mail's mentions, in which the obvious point was made over and over again that the former First Daughter is a college student. On vacation. Whomst among us?? Really, we just wish we were drinking rosé in Miami instead of defending her on the lord's day (also known as Toni Morrison's birthday). • Survivor of newsroom massacre at Maryland’s Capital Gazette says Trump’s “media-bashing” makes her fear for her life and the lives of other reporters: Rachael Pacella responded to Trump’s tweet that “the press has never been more dishonest than it is today,” with tweets about her fears and the considerations she makes to protect herself. She writes: It's snowing here, so I hopped up to shoot a video of snow falling over Annapolis from the window of our temporary office. It's gorgeous. And then I realized I couldn't post it, because it would reveal our location. These are the things I have to think about every single day. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin, Armando and Joan McCarter are all on hand today for the important task of sorting out Trump scandals, McConnell scandals, Chao scandals, DeVos scandals, Ross scandals and Armando scandals. x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Paul Ryan's treachery—abetting sabotage of the investigation into Trump as a potential Russian asset

In May of 2017, an obscure transcript surfaced quoting a rather revelatory conversation that took place between several GOP lawmakers in June 2016. Then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told then-Speaker Paul Ryan and others, “There’s two people I th
Daily Kos

Paul Ryan's treachery—abetting sabotage of the investigation into Trump as a potential Russian asset

In May of 2017, an obscure transcript surfaced quoting a rather revelatory conversation that took place between several GOP lawmakers in June 2016. Then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told then-Speaker Paul Ryan and others, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” referring to California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and the soon-to-be Republican nominee for president. As the others laughed, Ryan shut down the conversation quickly, saying, “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.” That summer 2016 chat came on the heels of news reports that Russian government hackers had penetrated the DNC. But the Washington Post's initial report of the interaction came nearly a year later, the same month that former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe now says top congressional leaders were briefed about the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Trump.   When Today's Savannah Guthrie asked McCabe Tuesday if any of those leaders took issue with the FBI trying to determine whether Trump was a Russian agent, McCabe bluntly responded, «No one objected, not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds, and not based on the facts.» That means Speaker Ryan, along with his Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the two GOP Intelligence Committee chairs, Rep. Devin Nunes of California and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, knew the FBI not only suspected Trump of being a Russian agent, but also had enough actionable intelligence to open an investigation into the matter.  In the meantime, Ryan's office was fielding questions from reporters about what exactly he had meant a year earlier when he instructed his top lieutenants to keep it in the family, saying, «NO LEAKS» (as it reads in the transcript). In a statement, Ryan spokesperson Brendan Buck tried to pass off the exchange as a joke. “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor,« he said. »What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.” Ryan, however, would go on to support chairman Nunes along with Trump's entire House hatchet team—Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and others—in every harebrained scheme they concocted to dismantle that critical FBI probe. Whenever Nunes found a new reason to obtain classified documents related to the probe, Ryan was there for him. 

'Morally bankrupt system': House Democrats tour Florida prison camp for migrant children

Campaign Action A group of House Democrats who visited an unlicensed prison camp for migrant children in Homestead, Florida, described meeting kids who have been jailed there for as long as nine months. “I did not see criminals, I did not see gang member
Daily Kos

'Morally bankrupt system': House Democrats tour Florida prison camp for migrant children

Campaign Action A group of House Democrats who visited an unlicensed prison camp for migrant children in Homestead, Florida, described meeting kids who have been jailed there for as long as nine months. “I did not see criminals, I did not see gang members,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who led the delegation with Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Joaquin Castro of Texas. She was overwhelmed. “I saw kids who have hope … that this country will welcome them.” Nearly 1,600 children are currently jailed at the privately run facility, which advocates say is operating without a license because it’s supposedly a “temporary” facility. The former prison camp for kids in Tornillo, Texas, opened last June and was supposed to last just one month. Its operations stretched out for months until this year, and it shut down mired in allegations that administration officials lied to Congress about background checks for prison camp employees. Officials have now tried to paint an orderly picture at Comprehensive Health Services-operated Homestead, saying kids have talent shows and movie nights during the weekends. But other advocates who have visited described meeting children who burst into tears describing how they’re not allowed to hug one another. A prison camp for kids is still a prison camp for kids. “As a mother it was very difficult to watch,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “It has a prison-like feel.” While officials say that all the children at Homestead are unaccompanied minors, or kids who came to the U.S. alone, some actually came with a relative and were then torn from them. “If they came with an uncle, an aunt, an older brother or sister, they’re not considered separated,” said Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas. “We spoke with a number of kids and they all said they said they came with someone. But they were separated, so it’s still happening.” Family separation remains a crisis.

CNN needs to cut ties with its newly hired GOP operative—and now

Campaign Action Every news organization makes mistakes. Journalism is an imperfect craft and is sometimes practiced at a breakneck pace. The question is: What do news outlets do when confronted with overwhelming evidence that they messed up? That’s the ch
Daily Kos

CNN needs to cut ties with its newly hired GOP operative—and now

Campaign Action Every news organization makes mistakes. Journalism is an imperfect craft and is sometimes practiced at a breakneck pace. The question is: What do news outlets do when confronted with overwhelming evidence that they messed up? That’s the challenge CNN now faces in the wake of its extraordinary and inexplicable decision to hire a career GOP operative with absolutely no journalism experience as its new political director. Owning up to mistakes is even tougher when management makes them, and these are mistakes that clearly played out over a weeks-long hiring process. News organizations don't hire highly paid political directors on a whim. The current controversy was sparked when Sarah Isgur was tapped by CNN to help oversee the network's unfolding campaign coverage. A hardcore partisan, Isgur has spent her career flacking for Republicans such as Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, and Carly Fiorina. Until last year, Isgur worked as a spokesperson for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice. If CNN wants to hire conservatives like Isgur to go on camera and regurgitate Trump White House talking points, that's the network's prerogative. But to hire someone with Isgur's journalism-free resume to work behind the scenes and oversee campaign coverage is utterly baffling. «Her Twitter includes fact-free invectives against liberals and repeatedly rails against the ‘abortion industry,’» the Daily Beast noted. To maintain its reputation as an independent source of political news, CNN needs to cut ties with Isgur and admit that her hiring was a mistake. Otherwise, it's going to be difficult for Democrats to trust CNN this campaign season. And here’s a suddenly relevant question: Should the Democratic National Committee rethink the idea of CNN hosting upcoming debates for Democratic candidates?

Robert Mueller may issue something very soon, but it won't be a 'final report'

That idea that “Robert Mueller is going to file a report any day now” has been a news staple since shortly after Mueller was appointed special counsel in 2017. Compared to other special counsel investigations, the look into Donald Trump’s “foreign re
Daily Kos

Robert Mueller may issue something very soon, but it won't be a 'final report'

That idea that “Robert Mueller is going to file a report any day now” has been a news staple since shortly after Mueller was appointed special counsel in 2017. Compared to other special counsel investigations, the look into Donald Trump’s “foreign relations” has still been relatively brief, but pundits have been appearing in the press and media on a regular basis to predict Mueller wrapping things up with such regularity, and similarity, that it wouldn’t take a super artificial intelligence fake news machine to crank out the weekly allotment of Real Soon Now stories. The truth is that Mueller hasn’t provided, doesn’t provide, and isn’t about to provide the media with guidelines as to when he’s going to hand off that “final report” on what he learned, why some got indicted, why others skated clear, and why still others (or an other) earned an “unindicted co-conspirator” label. In fact, the date on which that report gets handed over to new Attorney General William Barr is still likely to be some time away. As in months away. Because there are a lot of things still to be cleared up. Mostly collusion, collusion, and collusion. The raid on Roger Stone’s home and offices was conducted not as a simple arrest, but as a clear exercise in gathering evidence. Pair that with the news that Stone was indicted at least in part because his lies were revealed in data found in Russian sources, and it seems like there’s still a good deal of work to be done in cleaning up everything around the actions of Stone and his associates, most of which seem to have been in dissemination of stolen information. There have been no indictments, outside of Russia, on issues directly related to assisting Russia’s social media effort. That includes no one from the Trump campaign or Cambridge Analytica, and not Republican strategist Aaron Nevins, who worked directly with the Russians to identify and distribute the most valuable of their stolen information. And that includes no charges directly aimed at Paul Manafort ferrying Trump polling data to a Russian agent.  There are still no charges resulting from the actions on which Michael Flynn cooperated with the FBI: the Trump campaign’s outreach to Russia, including discussions of both relaxing sanctions and finding a favorable outcome in Ukraine. Those two topics appeared again and again in conversations from Trump Tower to the Seychelles, and no one has yet received a single slap on the wrist for this “quid” partner to the Russian hacking and Moscow Project “pro quo.” There are still no indictments related to the work Cambridge Analytica did in providing Russia with the benefits of its analysis engine. Still no one but Marina Butina charged in relation to the Russia-NRA pipeline and the mystery $30 million that was shelled out for the election. The list of people who could still be facing indictment—including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Jefferson Sessions, Erik Prince, Aaron Nevins, Brad Parscale, Alexander Nix, Felix Sater, and, Justice Department rules or not, Donald Trump—is longer than the list of those outside of Russia who have been charged so far. And even inside Russia, Mueller may not be done.

Asylum-seeker says officer taunted parents with 'It’s Mother’s Day' before taking their children

Campaign Action “G.A.” should have spent his seventh birthday surrounded by his excited friends, but instead he spent it in U.S. custody, a young victim of the Trump administration’s barbaric “zero tolerance” policy. His mom Victoria was in a sepa
Daily Kos

Asylum-seeker says officer taunted parents with 'It’s Mother’s Day' before taking their children

Campaign Action “G.A.” should have spent his seventh birthday surrounded by his excited friends, but instead he spent it in U.S. custody, a young victim of the Trump administration’s barbaric “zero tolerance” policy. His mom Victoria was in a separate facility thousands of miles away. “She spent the day crying and thinking that her little boy was somewhere turning seven, all by himself,” a court filing states. They would not be reunited for another two and a half months. The asylum-seeker is now one of the families seeking millions in damages. Victoria recounts a traumatic journey from the moment she and her son were detained at the southern border in California last May, saying that border officers would only allow her and other detained mothers to see their children at night. Then one day an officer took them away completely. “Don’t cry today, today is a happy day,” he taunted. “It’s Mother’s Day.” Victoria witnessed one mom having her child physically ripped from her arms. Then G.A. was taken “without any words of comfort and without the slightest show of compassion.” Victoria would then spend weeks without any information about G.A., until she was allowed to talk to him on the phone in late June. The moment he heard her voice, the filing states, he began to cry. “The social worker said that G.A. was not eating and would not get out of bed. He spent all his time crying.” A second call a week later went no better. They would not be reunited for another month, in Texas. They were eventually released after Victoria passed her initial asylum interview, but not before spending months more in a family jail.

Contacts | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
Twitter Facebook Google +