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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Trump Signals He Won't Comply with House Probes

Now what?


Trump Signals He Won’t Comply with House Probes
March 5, 2019 at 3:14 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

President Trump signaled the White House will not comply with a barrage of congressional investigations, accusing Democrats in the House of launching the probes to hurt his chances of winning reelection in 2020, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “It’s a disgrace to our country. I’m not surprised that it’s happening. Basically, they’ve started the campaign. So the campaign begins.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 04:22 PM (12 replies)

Rep. Ted Lieu Requests Criminal Investigation Into Jared Kushner's Security Clearance

Posted on Tue, Mar 5th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Rep. Ted Lieu Requests Criminal Investigation Into Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an immediate criminal investigation into false statements made by Jared Kushner on his security clearance form.

Rep. Lieu said on MSNBC, “Prior to entering Congress, I already had a security clearance. I had to fill out an SF 86 form, the same thing Jared Kushner had to fill out, and right the form it says if you make false statements or omit material facts, you can go to prison for up to five years. Jared Kushner not only sent in one false and misleading form. He sent in two, so Congressman Don Beyer and I have made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice. Asked them to investigate Jared Kushner to see if he should be indicted for putting in false or at least material false SF 86 forms.”


Read the letter that was sent to Attorney General William Barr (at link)

In the letter, Reps. Lieu and Don Beyer (D-VA) wrote:

We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that President Trump ordered his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner a security clearance, overruling intelligence officials who raised concerns about the clear national security risks of doing so. Taken together with previous reports that Mr. Kushner omitted contacts with more than one hundred foreign persons on his clearance forms – including the Russian Ambassador – we request that the Department of Justice open an immediate investigation to determine if Mr. Kushner is criminally liable for his false statements.


Mr. Kushner and Ivanka Trump have both apparently lied in various public interviews and in statements, saying that the President never directed Kelly to grant a clearance for his son-in-law. In an interview on ABC News’ The View on February 8, Ivanka Trump said, “The President had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance – zero.”


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 03:08 PM (1 replies)

Senate Democrats Will 'Go On Offense' on Climate Change


Senate Democrats Will ‘Go On Offense’ on Climate Change
March 5, 2019 at 7:16 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“Facing a showdown vote as early as this month over the embattled ‘Green New Deal,’ Senate Democrats are preparing a counteroffensive to make combating climate change a central issue of their 2020 campaigns — a striking shift on an issue they have shied away from for the past decade,” the New York Times reports.

“Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) outlined the new strategy in an interview last week, casting it as a way to mobilize millennial voters, a key part of the Democratic constituency that the party will need to turn out to win in swing states.”

“With progressives pushing Democrats to embrace the Green New Deal — and Republicans ridiculing the idea as socialism — Mr. Schumer is effectively trying to turn a weakness into a strength. He is planning daily floor speeches attacking Republicans for inaction and a proposal for a special Senate committee focused on the issue, which he intends to announce this week.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 08:53 AM (4 replies)

The Guy Trump Called 'Fat Jerry' Is Chairman Nadler Now


The Guy Trump Called ‘Fat Jerry’ Is Chairman Nadler Now
The congressman who stood his ground against the developer in New York is up against the president in Washington now.
Michael Daly
03.05.19 4:55 AM ET

Long before there was Crooked Hillary and Lyin’ Ted there was Fat Jerry.

That 1995 bit of name-calling by Donald Trump was aimed at Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Democrat from New York who now serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

The insult may not make much sense to those who have begun taking notice of Nadler only now that he has sent out more than 80 letters to individuals and entities asking for a wide range of documents relating to their dealings with Trump.

But the present Nadler is a person transformed since he underwent stomach reduction surgery in 2001 and shed more than 100 pounds. He had been noshing himself toward a peak weight of 328 pounds back when he first roused Trump’s ire.

Their original object of contention was Television City, a metropolis within a metropolis that Trump proposed on a 52-acre tract he acquired on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1980s. The initial plan was for eight towers and 5,700 apartments, as well as television and movie studios.

Nadler met with Trump as the state assemblyman who then represented the area. Trump excitedly told him that the centerpiece would be a 150-story building, the tallest in the world. The lower floors were to be NBC’s new headquarters. Trump would of course occupy a palatial penthouse apartment at the very top.

Nadler was more of the opinion that New Yorkers wanted an affordable apartment. He opposed Trump’s project, viewing it as a neighborhood destroyer. Enough of the neighborhood agreed with him that he was elected to Congress after the incumbent, Rep. Ted Weiss, died the day before the primary in 1992.


Nadler introduced and single-handedly marshaled legislation that ruled out any federal funding for the project beyond what had already been allocated for a feasibility study.

Trump responded with name-calling and spin.

“Fat Jerry Nadler is doing me a favor,” he said. “He’s too stupid to realize it. He’s making me a lot of money.”


Nadler never responded to Trump's name-calling, but you can be sure he never forgot it.

And now, Fat Jerry has a new name whose ramifications Trump is only beginning to learn.

Chairman Nadler.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 5, 2019, 08:39 AM (22 replies)

Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defends collapsed North Korean talks, gets caught lying


Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defends collapsed North Korean talks, gets caught lying
Daily Kos Staff
Monday March 04, 2019 · 3:23 PM EST

Skim through this USA Today write-up of its interview with Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and take note of how often the ex-congressman turned top Trump adviser is described as "angry," is dismissive of the questions, or just generally comes off as an ass. It might be that the secretary was just having a bad day—perhaps he swallowed a bee or something. But he comes off as a man at the very end of his rope, doing his best to rebut the facts of the world with the Trump-required answers but no longer able to pretend at grace as he does it.

This exchange is especially peculiar, or would be in any mostly competent administration.

Pompeo reacted angrily when asked about the North Korean foreign minister's statement, made hours after the talks dissolved, that the offer Kim made in Hanoi was final.

“That’s not what the North Koreans said,” Pompeo responded. “Don’t say things that aren’t true. ... Show me the quote from the North Koreans that said this was their one and only offer. Where’d you get that?”

After he was read a quote from Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho – in which he said “our proposal will never be changed” – Pompeo fell silent for about six seconds. Then he countered, “What they said is they’re prepared to continue conversations with us and that’s what we intend to do.”

Hey, look, it's the entire Trump administration in a nutshell. Angrily denounce a question as fake news and call the questioner a liar. Get read the actual damn quote, a quote that a supposed top administration official in charge of that precise thing clearly would be expected to have been aware of. Sit in a stupor until the brain kicks in, then declare that, even though the thing happened exactly as the questioner said it did, it's still not true because reasons. Next question.

Pompeo has certainly had a busy week, and is apparently going to be kept busy by upcoming visits to the various states to shore up Republican election chances on Trump's behalf. (Farmers in Iowa are rightly irate over Trump's trade war, for example, so Pompeo will have to smooth things over with the usual implausible platitudes.) And he's almost certainly being screamed at by the incompetent, buffoonish Trump behind the scenes, so he has reason to be in a foul mood.

That doesn't mean we have to feel sorry for him, however. He knew what he was getting into, just as surely as all the others did. Back when he was a congressman, Pompeo made a name for himself as a tea party-branded conspiracy crank with an anti-Muslim, anti-science, anti-whatever chip on his shoulder, so the man already had learned how to advance through the party by saying demonstrably false things for momentary gain. He jumped at the chance to become one of Trump's designated incompetents. He’s presumably right where he wants to be.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 07:47 PM (7 replies)

...Keep your socialist hands off our government programs

Americans' mixed message for 2020 presidential candidates: Keep your socialist hands off our government programs
Americans have a clear message for 2020 presidential candidates, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: keep your socialist hands off our government programs.
As a philosophical label, socialism fares dismally alongside capitalism in public sentiment.
As a practical matter, however, average Americans who have long suffered from slow-growing wages want more help from their representatives in Washington.

John Harwood | @johnjharwood
Published 21 Hours Ago Updated 7 Hours Ago CNBC.com

Twenty months before Election Day, Americans have a clear message for 2020 presidential candidates: keep your socialist hands off our government programs.

That paradoxical verdict emerges from the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And it underscores the challenges facing both President Donald Trump and his Democratic adversaries.

As a philosophical label, socialism fares dismally alongside capitalism in public sentiment. Just 18 percent of Americans react positively to the mention of socialism, while 50 percent react negatively. Capitalism draws almost exactly the inverse reaction: 50 percent positive and 19 percent negative.

Those contrasting views explain why President Trump and fellow Republicans seek to slap that label on Democrats across the board. They also explain why most Democratic presidential candidates, apart from the self-styled Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, reject the label and call themselves capitalists.

As a practical matter, however, average Americans who have long suffered from slow-growing wages want more help from their representatives in Washington. So the poll shows that a 55-percent majority says government should do more to solve problems and meet their needs, compared to 41 percent who say government is doing too many things already. Americans have expressed a desire for more government help by double-digit margins throughout Trump's presidency.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 06:04 PM (8 replies)

Fox News's propaganda isn't just unethical -- research shows it's enormously influential

Fox News’s propaganda isn’t just unethical — research shows it’s enormously influential
Without the “Fox effect,” neither Bush nor Trump could have won.
By Matthew Yglesias@mattyglesiasmatt@vox.com Mar 4, 2019, 12:30pm EST

Jane Mayer, the New Yorker’s longtime star investigative reporter, has a fantastic new longform piece out detailing the extent to which the Fox News Channel has become propaganda television for the Trump administration.

Many of the basic points — like Fox’s bending of ethical standards to accommodate Sean Hannity, the collaborative relationship between Fox and Trump in shaping the news agenda, and the extent to which Trump at times seems to take his policy cues from Fox & Friends - will be familiar to Vox readers. But Mayer adds critical new insights into the arc of change at the network during a period when CEO Roger Ailes was deposed and then died, vice president Bill Shine left to become White House communications director, and the company’s owner Rupert Murdoch has restructured his media holdings and prepared to pass the baton to his son.

She also adds a couple of key scoops, including:

A Fox reporter named Diana Falzone had pieced together the entire Stormy Daniels story before the election, but network executives killed the story, demoted her, and then, after she sued them, reached a settlement with her that included a nondisclosure agreement.

“Trump ordered Gary Cohn, then the director of the National Economic Council, to pressure the Justice Department to intervene” and sue to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner. (The DOJ did sue, though they denied this was due to improper interference from the White House, and ended up losing in court.)

“During the Bush Administration’s disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, Fox’s ratings slumped so badly, a former Fox producer told me, that he was told to stop covering it.”

Fox’s propaganda broadcasting matters. It’s a somewhat underexplored topic in political science research, but the information that’s available suggests that right-wing propaganda broadcasting — led by Fox but also including Sinclair Broadcast Group — has a decisive influence on American politics.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:35 PM (10 replies)

Reporter blows lid off Fox-Trump partnership: 'They make money by enraging Americans'


Reporter blows lid off Fox-Trump partnership: ‘They make money by enraging Americans’
Travis Gettys
04 Mar 2019 at 08:00 ET

Reporter Jane Mayer came out Monday with a bombshell article probing the symbiotic relationship between President Donald Trump and Fox News — and she said their shared business model is undermining U.S. democracy.

The New Yorker investigative journalist appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the article, and she said her reporting found the relationship between the president and his favorite channel was even closer than it appeared.

“What Fox does is it makes money by enraging Americans, that’s how they keep them glued to the television set,” Mayer said. “It’s very much the same model that Trump has to keep his base engaged. So you’ve got a rage-based model for both of them, and what it’s doing is it’s spinning the country in an increasingly inflamed direction, and so it has a huge effect on our national politics.”

Mayer said the president and Fox News worked together to amplify their messages.

“It carries his message and it also gives him a message a lot of the time,” she said. “Trump picks up on what he sees on Fox, and I’ve got quotes from people who are very close in to the White House, people who worked in the White House, in and out of Fox, saying what you’ve got is a dysfunctional White House all of the time with no normal decision-making process, where a lot of the policy-making is the president picking up what’s on Fox.”

“Then I describe how Fox puts on what it does on the news, which is shocking in many ways,” Mayer added. “I mean, taking stuff straight off of the most crackpot blogs. Don’t take it me, take it from the people who are quoted from Fox saying so.”

Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 10:41 AM (9 replies)

Robert Reich: Dear Donald, We're Letting You Go: America's Final Letter to Trump


Dear Donald, We're Letting You Go: America's Final Letter to Trump | Opinion
Robert Reich , Newsweek Columnist and chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley
On 3/4/19 at 3:24 AM


Dear Mr President,

While we may disagree about the credibility of Michael Cohen, and have different views about what Special Counsel Robert Mueller will ultimately reveal, we agree on practical things—like obeying the Constitution and not letting big corporations and the wealthy run everything.

Your 35-day government shutdown was a senseless abuse of power. So too your “national emergency” to build your wall with money Congress refused to appropriate.

When you passed your tax bill you promised our paychecks would rise by an average of $4,000 but we never got the raise. Our employers used the tax savings to buy back their shares of stock and give themselves raises instead.

Then you fooled us into thinking we were getting a cut by lowering the amounts withheld from our 2018 paychecks. We know that now because we’re getting smaller tax refunds.

At the same time, many big corporations aren’t paying a dime in taxes. Worse yet, they’re getting refunds.

For example, GM is paying zilch and claiming a $104 million refund on $11.8 billion of profits. Amazon is paying no taxes and claiming a $129 million refund on profits of $11.2 billion. (This is after New York offered it $3 billion to put its second headquarters there.)

They aren’t breaking any tax laws or regulations. That’s because they made the tax laws and regulations. You gave them a free hand.

You’re supposed to be working for us, not for giant corporations. But they’re doing better than ever, as are their top executives and biggest investors. Yet nothing has trickled down. We’re getting shafted.

Which is why more than 75% of us (including 45% who call ourselves Republicans) support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed 70% tax on dollars earned in excess of $10 million a year.

And over 60% of us support Elizabeth Warren’s proposed 2% annual tax on households with a new worth of $50 million or more.

You’ve also shown you don’t have a clue about healthcare. You promised us something better than the Affordable Care Act but all you’ve done is whittle it back.

A big reason we gave Democrats control of the House last November was your threat to eliminate protection for people with pre-existing conditions.

Are you even aware that 70% of us now favor Medicare for all?

Most of us don’t pay much attention to national policy but we pay a lot of attention to home economics. You’ve made our own home economics worse.

We’ll give you official notice you’re fired on 3 November 2020, if not before. Until then, you can keep the house and perks, but you’re toast.



Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 09:55 AM (3 replies)

The pre-impeachment, public Trump trial


The pre-impeachment, public Trump trial

House Democratic leaders worry impeachment proceedings against President Trump could backfire if they move too fast.

The state of play: They plan to pursue a slow-bleed strategy with lengthy public hearings and scores of witnesses to methodically pick apart Trump's finances and presidency.

What's new: In an investigation being coordinated among six to eight House committees, Trump will essentially be on public trial for months to come, with topics that include abuse of power, obstruction of justice, conflicts of interest (including profit from the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue) and money laundering.

Why it matters: Democrats want to create a large, damning public record of testimony, documents and investigative reports.

Speaker Pelosi and other top Democrats don't want to take up impeachment if it's going to go nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

So with huge energy in the party pushing for impeachment, leaders are using the congressional investigation to buy time.

A source close to the House leadership told me: "Many in leadership believe impeachment could help Trump get re-elected," and instead will try to "pivot the anger to defeating him on the campaign side next year. ... The last thing they want to do is help Trump like it eventually helped Clinton."

Top Democrats say an opening area of attention is Trump's attacks on the FBI and intelligence agencies, and the long-term ramifications for national security.

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler told George Stephanopoulos yesterday on ABC's "This Week" that the committee will issue document requests today to more than 60 people, including White House and Justice officials, Don Jr., and Trump Organization CFO Alan Weisselberg.

Nadler said the mission is "to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power."

Nadler said that "to sabotage a fair election would be an impeachable offense," but added: "Impeachment is a long way down the road."

A key part of the House strategy is to engage the public on all those hot topics.

So expect lots of public hearings and aggressive pushes for the release of documents, most especially the Mueller report and all the investigative materials that went into it.

Be smart: Garrett M. Graff of WIRED told me the House strategy reflects the fact that what's most likely to move public opinion isn't any single crime or bombshell, but "when a pattern of behavior is so clear it becomes un-defensible."
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 09:45 AM (2 replies)
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