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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Journal Archives

Democrats Worry Targeting Trump Kids Could Backfire

Ugh. They're breaking and have broken the law, are part of his business and administration. This is a no-brainer imo. They are not underage children who don't know what they're doing.


Democrats Worry Targeting Trump Kids Could Backfire
March 7, 2019 at 6:58 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“House Democrats have already gone to war with President Donald Trump. But there’s one target they’re skittish of hitting too hard: his children,” Politico reports.

“In public and private, Democrats see potential pitfalls in dragging Trump’s adult children into their political squabbles with the president. So even as they ramp up their investigations into Trump, senior Democrats are reluctant to scrutinize Trump’s adult children too much as part of their sprawling probes into Trump’s administration, campaign and business empire.”

“Democrats, in fact, would prefer to let federal prosecutors handle the family while they take on the president themselves. Yet Trump’s family members — including Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner — are so deeply involved in his business and presidency that it likely would be impossible to take a completely hands-off approach.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 7, 2019, 08:19 AM (68 replies)

Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them Out of Saudi Meetings

WTF are they cooking up? No legit security clearance, he should be grounded.


Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them Out of Saudi Meetings
When a member of the administration travels overseas, the embassy often helps coordinate the trip. Not when Jared Kushner meets his buddy MBS.
Erin Banco
03.07.19 4:49 AM ET

Officials and staffers in the U.S. embassy in Riyadh said they were not read in on the details of Jared Kushner’s trip to Saudi Arabia or the meetings he held with members of the country’s Royal Court last week. And that’s causing concern not only in the embassy but also among members of Congress, according to three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter.

On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner stopped in Riyadh. While there, he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman to discuss U.S.-Saudi cooperation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and economic investment in the region, according to the White House.

But no one from the embassy in Riyadh was in the meetings, according to two sources. The State Department did have a senior official in attendance, but he was not part of the State Department team in Saudi. He is a senior member of the department focused on Iran, according to a source with direct knowledge of the official’s presence in Riyadh.


Lawmakers said they were concerned that the embassy in Riyadh did not have knowledge of what was discussed between Kushner, MBS and King Salman, pointing to the increasingly fragile relationship between the two countries following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Lawmakers are particularly interested in understanding the back and forth between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia regarding a potential nuclear deal.

The Daily Beast reported last week that the Trump administration is still actively working to make a deal to send U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia
and that American energy businesses are still hoping to cash in on Riyadh’s push for energy diversification.

Professional staff and officials in the administration said they are interested in the possible connection between efforts by private businesses to engage with Saudi Arabia on nuclear energy and the quiet, ongoing discussions between senior U.S. officials and Riyadh about a deal.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 7, 2019, 07:14 AM (32 replies)

Alex Trebek announces he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer


Alex Trebek announces he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Updated 5:32 PM ET, Wed March 6, 2019

(CNN)"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek is hoping for a victory as he wages a battle against cancer.
The longtime game show host on Wednesday announced he's been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in a video posted to the show's official YouTube account.

"Now, normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this. And I'm going to keep working and with the love and support of my family and friends -- and with the help of your prayers also -- I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease," he said.

Sony Pictures Television, which produces the show, did not immediately return CNN's request for comment.

Pancreatic cancer, on average and across all stages, has a 5-year survival rate of 9%, according to the American Cancer Society.

Trebek has hosted "Jeopardy" since 1984, when the show began airing daily in syndication.

He's known for his quick wit and sense of humor, which was on display in his announcement, despite the somber message at its center.

"Truth told, I have to [keep hosting] because under the terms of my contract, I have to host 'Jeopardy' for three more years," he joked. "So help me. Keep the faith, and we'll win. We'll get it done."
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 6, 2019, 06:41 PM (40 replies)

Nielsen: Cages for kids are OK because they're 'larger' than dog cages


Nielsen: Cages for kids are OK because they’re ‘larger’ than dog cages
By Emily Singer -
March 6, 2019

Nielsen said the chain-link pens DHS used to detain migrant children are different from dog cages because they are 'larger' and have 'room to sit, to stand, [and] lay down.'

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's Wednesday testimony on the Trump administration's child separation policy was an unmitigated disaster.

Nielsen showed up to the hearing, which was called by Democrats who now hold the House majority, completely unprepared and unable to defend the practice of ripping migrant children from their parents at the border.

In one truly jaw-dropping exchange with Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Nielsen tried and failed to explain why the facilities used to house some migrant children were any different from the kinds of cages dogs are kept in.

"What is a chain-link fence, enclosed into a chamber on a concrete floor, represent to you — is that a cage?" Watson Coleman asked Nielsen.

"It's a detention space, ma'am, that, you know, has existed for decades," Nielsen replied.

Watson Coleman didn't stop there.

"Does it differ from the cages you put your dogs in when you let them stay outside, is it different?" Watson Coleman continued.

"Yes," Nielsen said.

"In what sense?" Coleman pressed.

That's when Nielsen dropped this doozy: "It's larger, it has facilities, it provides room to sit, to stand, to lay down."

"So did my dog's cage," Coleman replied.

To Nielsen, apparently, the only thing differentiating the cages used to detain toddlers from the cages in a dog run is that they have toilets and are a little bigger.

Try as she might to defend the Trump administration's inhumane treatment families, Nielsen can only fail.

After all, she's trying to defend the indefensible.

Published with permission of The American Independent.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 6, 2019, 03:36 PM (8 replies)

Here's How the Democratic Presidential Nomination Will Go


Here’s How the Democratic Presidential Nomination Will Go
Paul Starr
March 6, 2019
A much-too-early scenario

Since the Democratic presidential nomination is wide open and will have more than a dozen serious candidates, it is foolhardy and premature to speculate about how the race will play out. So let’s be foolhardy and premature and do exactly that.

In the early polls—to which, of course, we should pay no attention whatsoever—Kamala Harris has broken out of the pack of new candidates and is running third, behind the two old guys with the widest name recognition, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, both of whose support may be soft.

That trio does make a certain degree of sense in terms of the party’s make-up. As an African American and child of immigrants (from Jamaica and India), Harris may win particularly strong support from people of color. Sanders’s biggest appeal is to white progressives and others who want to shake up the status quo, while Biden is the candidate of continuity, moderation, and familiarity, though he hasn’t yet said whether he’s running.

Leaping ahead, let’s say that three principal candidates emerge from the early primaries and that Harris is one of them, especially because California and the southern states vote in early March, which should give her a boost (assuming Stacey Abrams stays out of the race).

Sanders may have to duke it out with Elizabeth Warren because they appeal to many of the same voters. Both will also be expected to do well in New Hampshire, which has often given an edge to candidates from neighboring states. A recent national NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that being a “socialist” and “over 75” were the two characteristics respondents identified as least desirable in a presidential candidate. But Sanders has a devoted core following, which may be larger than Warren’s. So let’s suppose Sanders wins the battle in New Hampshire and other early states, forcing Warren to suspend her campaign. (I’ll come back to the opposite possibility later on.)

Let’s call the third main surviving candidate from the early primaries Candidate B. That could be Biden, or Beto, or Booker, or Brown, or even a candidate whose name somehow doesn’t begin with B like KloBuchar. Candidate B is by no means a conservative but is perceived as more moderate than Sanders or Harris. (If Candidate B is Sherrod Brown, that may not be true.) There could even be more than one Candidate B if a candidate who is running fourth or fifth decides to stay in the race because none of the top three is winning a majority of delegates.


Yes, you’re right, it’s way too early to engage in this kind of speculation. I should be using my time and yours more productively—don’t we all have more urgent things to do? Besides, it’s not as if the future of the world depended on the Democratic nomination.

Oh, wait … it does.

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 6, 2019, 03:22 PM (3 replies)

The Biggest Consequence of Trump's New Abortion Rule Won't Be for Abortion

The Biggest Consequence of Trump’s New Abortion Rule Won’t Be for Abortion
New restrictions on the Title X program may affect poor women’s access to other kinds of health care.
Olga Khazan
8:00 AM ET

In late February, the Trump administration dropped a new rule that has alarmed doctors’ groups and brought conservatives closer to achieving their long quest to defund Planned Parenthood.

Clinics that receive funds from the federal family-planning grant program Title X will no longer be able to perform abortions in the same space where they see other patients. Abortion and other health-care services will be required to be physically and financially separate entities. Title X participants will also no longer be able to refer patients to abortion providers, though they can mention abortion to their patients.

About 20 percent of Title X providers would potentially have to renovate their clinics to meet the new guidelines, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It will likely cost each of these providers $20,000 to $40,000 to come into compliance with the physical-separation element of the new rule.

The move is seen as a blow to Planned Parenthood, which operates about 40 percent of the 4,000 Title X clinics in the country. In the past, restrictions on state or federal funding for the family-planning organization have caused clinics to shut down. Such a measure might conjure images of scores of Planned Parenthood clinics suddenly closing their doors. But the impacts of the rule are likely to be more subtle, and to mostly affect poor women’s access to medical services unrelated to abortions. (The rule won’t go into effect for at least 60 days, and it might be legally blocked altogether. Several states and organizations have already said they will sue.)


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 09:26 PM (0 replies)

House Democrats Are Saying All The Right Things To Scare Trump To Death


Posted on Tue, Mar 5th, 2019 by Jason Easley
House Democrats Are Saying All The Right Things To Scare Trump To Death
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said that the purpose of the Democratic investigations is to gather evidence and build a case against Donald Trump.

Rep. Connolly said on MSNBC, “I don’t know if it’s really changing minds so much as being able to build a record of evidence that is compelling and the brings along the American people. Whether that leads to impeachment or not, that has to be a process. That has to be the end result of a process, not the beginning of a process. You may go to court or look at going to court to bring a criminal to trial. You still have to build a case. You don’t just decide in advance someone is a criminal, let’s put them away. And the president is entitled to due process, a fair process, and the American people are entitled to hear all the facts. Let’s remember the Cohen hearing was the first public hearing on this set of trump controversies. The first. There are more to follow.”


The House is conducting real investigations

For nearly a decade with Republicans in charge of the House, the American people saw a body that used conspiracy theories and Fox News as a basis for hearings and investigations. It has been nearly a decade since the American people saw the House functioning as it is supposed to function. There is an investigative process that must be followed for an investigation to have credibility.

House Republicans used to level accusations based on what they believed or thought they knew.

Democrats are going to go where the evidence and facts lead them. If the evidence leads to impeachment, that is what the House will do.

If it takes years of investigation, it takes years.

Democrats are willing to follow the process and do the right thing because they want to make sure that the evidence is solid, and if they decide to impeach, it will be facts, not partisan politics that guide their decision.

This is all being done the right way, why is why every single word that House Democrats are saying should strike fear into the White House and Trump.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 08:36 PM (3 replies)

The Democratic Party Attacks on Ilhan Omar Are a Travesty


The Democratic Party Attacks on Ilhan Omar Are a Travesty
I’m Jewish and have worked against anti-Semitism for decades. I was sitting a few feet from Omar at Busboys & Poets and I heard nothing—nothing—that smacked of anti-Semitism, overt or coded or otherwise.
By Phyllis Bennis
Today 11:36 am


I’m Jewish. I’ve worked against anti-Semitism, in the context of working against white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and beyond, for decades. And I heard nothing—nothing—that smacked of anti-Semitism, overt or coded or otherwise. Ilhan Omar simply didn’t say it.

Here’s some of what she did say.

I know what intolerance looks like and I’m sensitive when someone says, “the words you use Ilhan, are resemblance of intolerance.” And I am cautious of that and I feel pained by that. But it’s almost as if every single time we say something, regardless of what it is we say, that it’s supposed to be about foreign policy or engagement, our advocacy about ending oppression, or the freeing of every human life and wanting dignity, we get to be labeled in something, and that ends the discussion, because we end up defending that, and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of “what is happening with Palestine?” So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil-fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy.…

I mean, most of us are new, but many members of Congress have been there forever. Some of them have been there before we were born. So I know many of them, many of them, were fighting for people to be free, for people to live in dignity in South Africa. I know many of them fight for people around the world to have dignity, to have self-determination. So I know, I know that they care about these things. But now that you have two Muslims who are saying, “here is a group of people that we want to make sure they have the dignity that you want everyone else to have!”…we get to be called names, we get to be labeled as hateful.

No, we know what hate looks like. We experience it every single day. We have to deal with death threats. I have colleagues who talk about death threats. And sometimes…there are cities in my state where the gas stations have written on their bathrooms “assassinate Ilhan Omar.” I have people driving around my district looking for my home, for my office, causing me harm. I have people every single day on Fox News and everywhere, posting that I am a threat to this country. So I know what fear looks like. The masjid I pray in in Minnesota got bombed by two domestic white terrorists. So I know what it feels to be someone who is of faith that is vilified. I know what it means to be someone whose ethnicity is vilified. I know what it feels to be of a race—like I am an immigrant, so I don’t have the historical drama that some of my black sisters and brothers have in this country, but I know what it means for people to just see me as a black person, and to treat me as less than a human. And so, when people say, “you are bringing hate,” I know what their intention is. Their intention is to make sure that our lights are dimmed. That we walk around with our heads bowed. That we lower our face and our voice.

But we have news for people.… what people are afraid of is not that there are two Muslims in Congress. What people are afraid of is that there are two Muslims in Congress that have their eyes wide open, that have their feet to the ground, that know what they’re talking about, that are fearless, and that understand that they have the same election certificate as everyone else in Congress.

For the Democratic Party leadership to launch these false claims of anti-Semitism is a travesty. Ilhan Omar’s words were powerful, passionate, principled, and based on a deep truth. No lights were dimmed that night. Fearless voices, and hundreds of their supporters, from every community, every race, everyone, were all that we heard. And all we needed to hear.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 06:52 PM (62 replies)

Republicans reject calls to probe Trump role in hush-money payments

What, that check didn't provide enough proof?

Republicans reject calls to probe Trump role in hush-money payments
By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

Updated 4:24 PM ET, Tue March 5, 2019

(CNN)President Donald Trump may have committed crimes over a scheme to pay off women alleging extramarital affairs -- but Senate Republicans say they have no reason to look into it.

GOP leaders and key committee chairmen are making clear that they believe there is no reason to probe whether the President broke the law in engaging in a scheme to hide payments made to two women to keep their stories quiet in the days running up to the 2016 elections.

Sen. Ron Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and investigated Hillary Clinton's email controversy in the last Congress, says he wants to wait until special counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation first.

Told that the investigation into the hush-money scheme was being led by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Johnson said: "We'll let the justice system work its way. ... I want to see the definitive information as opposed to show-trial type testimony at congressional hearings."


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 06:15 PM (3 replies)

Eric Trump Admits Pressure on Family Maybe Not 'Worth' Winning Presidency

and a womp womp for good measure.


Eric Trump Admits Pressure on Family Maybe Not ‘Worth’ Winning Presidency

‘I mean, this was a billionaire who gave up an unbelievable life to go get punched on the chin every single day,’ Eric Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade.
Matt Wilstein
03.05.19 3:11 PM ET

In a new radio interview with Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, Eric Trump admitted that he sometimes thinks his father becoming president was not worth all of the “pressure” on his family.

After giving his guest permission to “punt on this question,” Kilmeade asked, “When you and your dad talk with your family around, do you guys ever look at each other and say, was this worth it? Was it worth it to be—to have the family dynamics be put on this type of pressure?”

While Eric Trump said he has not had those specific discussions with his father, he did admit that it is something that has talked about with his wife, Lara Trump. “Have I thought it in my mind? Have I said it casually at dinner with my wife?” he asked. “A hundred percent.”

At the same time, he insisted that “there is not a day that goes by where people don’t come up to me on the street and say, ‘Hey, thank you for what your family is doing, like, thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made.’” He said he used to “kind of almost roll my eyes at the statement, ‘thank you for the sacrifices,’” especially when “so many people have paid the ultimate sacrifice” for the country. But now, he gets it.

“I mean, this was a billionaire who gave up an unbelievable life to go get punched on the chin every single day,” Eric Trump added. “To get abused, and quite frankly, as a family we’ve done that as well.”

Asked by Kilmeade if everything his family has gone through over the past couple of years makes winning reelection more or less important now, Eric Trump answered, “You know what, in a certain way, I want to win this thing.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 04:34 PM (47 replies)
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