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Journal Archives

Internal Emails Reveal How Stephen Miller Leads an Extremist Network...

December 11, 2019 7:00AM ET
Internal Emails Reveal How Stephen Miller Leads an Extremist Network to Push Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda
This is what Miller’s white-nationalist policy agenda looks like — from inside the government
By Andy Kroll

For nearly three years, Stephen Miller has used his White House seat to orchestrate the most extreme anti-immigrant agenda in almost a century. But he hasn’t done it alone.

A loose network of lawyers and advisers embedded throughout the Trump administration has worked closely with Miller to carry out the daily effort of pushing through draconian and often inhumane policies like separating migrant families at the border, detaining young migrants in cage-like facilities, and drastically reducing the number of immigrants allowed entry into the country. In other words, Miller, with his white-nationalist mindset and fervor to enact xenophobic policies, is far from an isolated actor. He’s the leader of a broad operation spread across the federal government.

Newly released emails provided to Rolling Stone offer a glimpse of the working relationship between Miller and one of his internal allies and fellow ideologues: a senior adviser at Immigration and Customs Enforcement named Jon Feere. Feere has been a fixture in Miller’s immigration working group where new ideas for cracking down on immigration get conceived. Reading the emails, Feere comes across like Miller’s point man inside ICE, enjoying unfettered access to arguably the most influential aide in the Trump White House, working long hours to advance the administration’s extreme and often inhumane immigration policy.

In the emails, Feere strategizes with Miller about how to use the federal government to amplify their anti-immigration message; tees up potential attacks on prominent Democratic politicians; directly briefs Miller in great detail about upcoming enforcement actions and policy changes in the works; and recommends to Miller people the administration should hire to expedite its immigration agenda. The emails also show that on at least one occasion Feere bypassed his superiors at ICE to deliver updates and advice directly to Miller.

“Stephen Miller didn’t cut ties with the extremists when he joined the government — he brought them with him,” says Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, a government watchdog group run by former members of the Obama administration. American Oversight first obtained Feere’s emails through a Freedom of Information Act request and provided them to Rolling Stone.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Dec 11, 2019, 09:51 AM (4 replies)

The Rude Pundit: A Few Questions for Enraged Republicans


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
A Few Questions for Enraged Republicans

In the wake of Democrats finally loading the cannon on actual articles of impeachment, Republicans are somewhere between frantic denial and explosive apoplexy as they insist that Donald Trump did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and Congress. So I have a few questions for 'em.

1. If Ukraine is so corrupt, why was no funding held up in 2017 and 2018? And why was corruption in Ukraine not a significant part of any hearings in the House of Representatives in those years, when Republicans were in the majority? (And in hearings in the Senate, corruption in Ukraine was seen as directly being influenced by Russia.)

2. If Ukraine continues to be so corrupt, why were the funds even released in 2019 when they made no tangible additional effort to fight corruption between July and September?


7. When a Democratic president refuses to allow any documents to be given to Congress during investigations, do you support that?

8. If a Democratic president asks for a favor from the leader of, perhaps, Israel to look into, say, business deals of the Trump family because Israel is so corrupt, are you okay with that? Would you support that president withholding aid to Israel until they dealt with the issue?

These are all ridiculous questions because Republicans have decided that any sense of consistency, dignity, or honesty must be subsumed in their deeply depraved defense of Donald Trump. They are all his willing bitches and he's their enthusiastic pimp, sending them out to fuck the country, knock it out, and take its wallet.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Dec 11, 2019, 09:45 AM (2 replies)

Trump to sign order to interpret Judaism as a nationality

Trump to sign order to interpret Judaism as a nationality
By Betsy Klein and Paul LeBlanc, CNN
Updated 7:26 AM EST, Wed December 11, 2019

(CNN) President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday to interpret Judaism as a nationality and not just a religion, a move that the Trump administration believes will fight what they perceive as anti-Semitism on college campuses, a White House official said.

The impending order was first reported by The New York Times.

It's an order that would allow Trump to take further steps to combat anti-Israel sentiments and divestment movements on college campuses by requiring colleges and universities to treat those movements as discriminatory in order to keep their funding.

The move would trigger a portion of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that requires educational institutions receiving federal funding to not discriminate based on national origin, according to senior administration officials. The Department of Education can withhold federal funding from any college or educational program that discriminates based on race, color or national origin, according to the Civil Rights Act.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Dec 11, 2019, 07:38 AM (10 replies)

Donald Trump Jr. Was Treated Like a King on a Trip to Mongolia and Then He Killed a Rare Sheep


Donald Trump Jr. Was Treated Like a King on a Trip to Mongolia and Then He Killed a Rare Sheep
Published Dec. 11, 2019 5:31AM ET

Donald Trump, Jr. used a seven-day hunting trip to Mongolia he purchased during a National Rifle Association charity auction before his father was elected to the White House to allegedly kill a rare sheep on the endangered species list, ProPublica reports. Trump documented the excursion, during which he stayed in a yurt and was accompanied by Secret Service agents and apparently a Republican donor, on his various social-media channels, but did not admit to killing the rare sheep. ProPublica reports the kill was made legal after the president’s son was given a hunting permit retroactively after he had returned from the trip. The news outlet interviewed the hunting guide the Trump party used, who said he shot his argali at night using a rifle with laser sight, but would not allow the local guides to dismember it at the kill site, which is customary to leave scraps for scavenging animals. Instead, he instructed them to carry the carcass on an aluminum sheet to preserve the fur and horns. It is unclear whether he has imported his trophy to the U.S.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Dec 11, 2019, 07:27 AM (14 replies)

Sen. Joni Ernst Caught In Dark Money Scheme

12/10/19 8:11am
Sen. Joni Ernst Caught In Dark Money Scheme
Joni Ernst is in violation of campaign finance law, big time.
By Frances Langum
Video @ link~

An AP report this week shows Senator Joni Ernst’s campaign group broke the law in its close overlap with a shady dark money group set up by her top political staff to support her re-election campaign in 2020.

Here are five key facts in the AP’s storysd: ‘Dark money’ ties raise questions for GOP Sen. Ernst of Iowa

Illegal for Candidates to Coordinate with Dark Money Groups. Ernst Did It Anyway.
It’s illegal for dark money groups to work with the candidates they support or make political work their primary purpose — but “documents reviewed by the AP, including emails and a strategy memo, not only make clear that the group’s aim is securing an Ernst win in 2020… they also show Ernst and her campaign worked in close concert with Iowa Values.”

Documents “Offer Proof” Campaign Finance Laws Broken.
Legal experts told AP the documents “offer proof that the effort violates the spirit of campaign finance and tax law.” A nonpartisan campaign finance expert said there is “pretty strong evidence” that a $50,000 request for money was for an “illegal donation” and it’s “clear that the goal of Iowa Values is to reelect Joni Ernst, which may violate its tax-exempt status.”

Dark Money Group Was Founded by Ernst’s “Top Political Aides.”
The dark money group Iowa Values was “founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst [and] has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law.”

Ties Between Campaign, Dark Money Group “Undeniable.”
The close connection between Ernst and the dark money group is “undeniable”: Iowa Values was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime political consultant and former campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, Jon Kohan. Ernst’s top fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, is “deeply involved with both operations.” A condo owned by another former campaign manager — Derek Flowers, who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for Ernst.

Ernst Couldn’t Defend Her Campaign, Faces Mounting Questions.
The Ernst campaign was unable to substantively refute anything about the AP’s troubling report, so instead a spokesperson attacked the story as “the definition of fake news.” There has been no response from Ernst herself.



Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 06:17 PM (5 replies)

Obamacare had an unusually good day at the Supreme Court

Obamacare had an unusually good day at the Supreme Court
As many as six justices appeared bothered by a Republican effort to undercut the Affordable Care Act.
By Ian Millhiser Dec 10, 2019, 1:30pm EST

A trio of Supreme Court cases consolidated under the name Maine Community Health Options v. United States may fairly be described as the first “normal” Obamacare case to reach the Supreme Court.

They do not involve an existential attack on the Affordable Care Act, and they did not arrive on the justices’ doorstep after months of political turmoil over how the courts should resolve these cases. And during arguments Tuesday, a majority of the justices appeared to treat Maine Community as what it is — a difficult dispute about how the government makes promises and whether it is required to keep them, rather than as an opportunity to retreat into partisan camps.

Maine Community involves about $12 billion in payments owed to health insurers under a program known as “risk corridors.” Obamacare’s risk corridors program sought to encourage insurers to enter an uncertain new market by agreeing to reimburse a portion of their losses if the insurance company set premiums too low.

After many insurers agreed to sell plans on the Obamacare marketplace, Congress enacted a provision in an appropriations bill — a provision known as a “rider” — seeking to prevent the government from making most of the payments under the risk corridor program. The question in Maine Community is whether the government is still obligated by the Affordable Care Act’s original promise to make these payments, or whether the rider effectively ended the requirement.

A bipartisan mix of justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Samuel Alito, all had difficult questions for Paul Clement, the lawyer representing the insurers. Ginsburg, in particular, asked whether Obamacare’s language, which provides that the government “shall pay” its obligations under the risk corridor program, also permits the insurance companies to sue the government if the money is not paid.

Yet only Alito appeared to be a certain vote against the insurers. By the end of arguments, six justices — Roberts and Ginsburg, plus Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett Kavanaugh — all appeared likely to rule in favor of the insurers. Neither Justice Clarence Thomas nor Justice Neil Gorsuch spoke up during the session.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 04:53 PM (6 replies)

-- George Orwell, writing in As I Please in 1944


Flashback Quote of the Day
December 10, 2019 at 2:33 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 58 Comments

“For quite long periods, at any rate, people can remain undisturbed by obvious lies, either because they simply forget what is said from day to day or because they are under such a constant propaganda bombardment that they become anaesthetized to the whole business.”

— George Orwell, writing in As I Please in 1944.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 04:39 PM (1 replies)

David Corn: Inspector General's Report Shows Trump's "Spygate" Conspiracy Theory Was the Real Hoax


December 9, 2019
Inspector General’s Report Shows Trump’s “Spygate” Conspiracy Theory Was the Real Hoax
But this won’t stop the Deep State-truthers from denying Trump’s complicity.
David Corn


But the new 476-page IG report released on Monday blows up all the conspiracies that Trump and his handmaids have been slinging. It states unequivocally that the FBI investigation of the Russian attack and interactions between Trump associates and Russia was justified and appropriate. Period. The report, based on a review of over 1 million documents and interviews with more than 100 witnesses, states that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” to initiate the probe. The IG noted that the FBI also was fully justified in initiating investigations of four Trump campaign associates: George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort. “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations,” the report says.

There was no funny business, no FBI or Deep State vendetta against Trump. (This was obvious, given that the FBI kept the existence of this investigation a secret during the 2016 campaign.) The official account has been that the FBI kicked off the Russia investigation after it was informed in late July 2016 that Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, had been told by a suspected Russian agent months earlier—before it was public knowledge that Russian cyber-operatives had attacked the Democrats—that Moscow possessed Hillary Clinton’s emails. This, of course, caused the FBI to wonder about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, which was trying to undermine an American election, and the bureau did what it should do: cautiously investigate. Trump’s cult, though, has refused to accept this, with some insisting the Steele dossier triggered the investigation and with Papadopoulos (who is now running for Congress) and others contending that he was somehow set up by shadowy US intelligence operators. No, the IG says, that’s all bunk. The Steele memos, the IG notes, “played no role” in the launching of the investigation, and the FBI officials who opened the investigation “did not become aware of Steele’s election reporting until weeks later.” The report also stated there was no evidence that the FBI had entrapped Papadopoulos.

This is the big picture: Trump and the other conspiracy nutters—which includes Attorney General Bill Barr, who has been looking for evidence to back up the Papadopoulos-was-set-up claim—are flat-out wrong. They have obsessively promoted unfounded allegations about the origin of the Russia investigation and the role of the Steele memos in the inquiry, and they have excessively fixated on technical points regarding a surveillance warrant used by the FBI during the probe to mount a false flag operation. And this underhanded maneuver worked, to a degree, with these garbage talking points shaping the national conversation and media coverage of the Russia scandal. The IG report shows that Trump and his crew perverted and polluted the nation’s consideration of what happened in 2016—and that they have served, wittingly or not, as useful idiots for Russia.


The IG report should kill and bury all the conspiracy hogwash that Trump and his acolytes have used to poison the political environment and prevent a real and thorough discussion of what occurred in 2016: the Russian attack and Trump’s collaboration with it. But it won’t. As soon as the report was released, Barr started a disinformation campaign with a disingenuous statement: “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.” That’s the opposite of the report’s findings. And Jordan similarly chimed in: “The Inspector Generals report confirms what many of us feared: James Comey’s FBI ignored guidelines and rules in spying on President Trump’s campaign in 2016. We now know that within one week of the investigation opening, the FBI was surveilling the campaign and four specific individuals associated with it.” Yet the report states these investigations were appropriately triggered.

So the BS won’t stop. Trump, Barr, Jordan and the rest are too invested in it. Now they and their minions will turn to John Durham, the federal prosecutor whom Barr assigned to conduct a separate review of the FBI’s Russia investigation, to carry on their crusade. And Durham, in this hour of need, provided them great comfort. In an unusual move, Durham issued a statement noting that he did not “agree with some of the [IG] report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.” This means Trump and his crew will be able to continue their scorched-earth campaign against the truth they cannot handle: Russia attacked the United States and Trump helped. That full equation can never, ever, ever be acknowledged by Trump and his henchmen. They are fighting this battle as if the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency depends upon it. And in that they are correct.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 04:31 PM (7 replies)

Trump White House Spins Failed IG Report To Blame Obama


Posted on Mon, Dec 9th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Trump White House Spins Failed IG Report To Blame Obama

Trump’s investigation of the FBI flopped, so the White House is spinning and trying to blame former President Barack Obama.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

The shocking report from the DOJ Inspector General shows an out-of-control FBI under President Obama and former Director Jim Comey. The report makes clear that the phony Steele Dossier was “central and essential” for the FBI to secure wiretaps from the FISA Court to spy on the Trump campaign. But the FBI repeatedly lied to the FISA Court to make Steele seem credible and to hide information showing that the Dossier was false. The Dossier was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee – but that fact was hidden from the FISA Court.

Astoundingly, when evidence was repeatedly uncovered showing no wrongdoing by candidate Trump, that also was hidden from the FISA Court. On top of all that, one FBI lawyer altered an email in an effort to continue and extend the wiretapping – and he has been referred for criminal prosecution. All of this shows a repeated effort to mislead the FISA Court long after the FBI was aware the “Dossier” was false, phony and could not be used justify spying on the Trump Campaign.

The American people should be outraged and terrified by this abuse of power. This should never happen to another presidential candidate or any American ever again.

This rambling bit of incoherence from the White House that manages to blame President Obama for letting Comey run wild and the Steele Dossier bears no resemblance to the actual IG report. The report found that there was no spying against the Trump campaign. The FBI had no bias against Trump, and that the author of the Steele Dossier had a relationship with Ivanka Trump.

One can always tell when a Republican has failed because they will always come back to blaming Obama for all of their problems.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 10, 2019, 07:54 AM (1 replies)

Democrats to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday morning


Democrats to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday morning
“Our staff has been working on this for quite a period of time,” said one lawmaker.
12/09/2019 08:52 PM EST

Top House Democrats are expected to unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a press conference Tuesday morning, according to multiple Democratic sources.

The Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday, according to multiple Democratic lawmakers and aides. But several Democrats indicated Monday night the number of articles and specific charges against Trump were still being debated, potentially putting this week’s committee schedule in flux.

“There will be some announcements tomorrow morning,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said as he left a meeting with the other committee chairmen investigating Trump in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office Monday night.


“Our staff has been working on this for quite a period of time,” Cicilline said. “We’re going to work throughout the night.”

Nadler (D-N.Y.) wouldn’t comment as he left the chairmens’ huddle in Pelosi’s office to join the meeting of Judiciary Democrats in a nearby House office building.

Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff are expected to lead the press conference, which is scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m., according to multiple Democrats. The other committee chairmen investigating Trump are also expected to attend.

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 9, 2019, 09:57 PM (4 replies)
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