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Member since: Wed Aug 15, 2012, 02:24 PM
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Within national parks is room—glorious room—room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve. —Enos Mills

Journal Archives

Justin Amash votes with House Democrats to pass resolution supporting impeachment inquiry

Source: alternet

Written by Alex Henderson October 31, 2019

A resolution supporting an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, with Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan joining most House Democrats in voting for it.

“The resolution is adopted,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared after the votes were counted.

Amash has been among Trump’s most vocal critics on the right, and he left the Republican Party earlier this year after coming out in favor of Trump’s impeachment.

The vote went down along largely partisan lines. 232 House members, almost all of them Democrats, voted in favor of the resolution, while 196 House members (mostly Republicans) voted against it.............................

Read more: https://www.alternet.org/2019/10/justin-amash-votes-with-house-democrats-to-pass-resolution-supporting-impeachment-inquiry/


Ivanka Trump brutally mocked after tweet comparing her father to Thomas Jefferson


Ivanka Trump brutally mocked after tweet comparing her father to Thomas Jefferson


Written by Alex Henderson October 31, 2019

On Thursday morning — as the House of Representatives was preparing to vote on a resolution to proceed with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump — his daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, took to Twitter and made a Donald Trump/Thomas Jefferson comparison. And it wasn’t long before she was lambasted for it by fellow Twitter users.

In her Halloween 2019 tweet, Ivanka Trump quoted a letter that Jefferson (the third president of the United States) wrote to his oldest daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, in 1801 during an election crisis: “…surrounded by enemies and spies catching and perverting every word that falls from my lips or flows from my pen, and inventing where facts fail them.” Jefferson was describing the state of politics in Washington, D.C., and after quoting him in her tweet, Ivanka Trump wrote, “Some things never change, dad!”

The implication was that just as Jefferson (who served as president from 1801-1809) was unfairly smeared by politicians in his day, so is her father in 2019. And not surprisingly, many Twitter users disagreed strongly with the comparison.

@ HoarseWisperer angrily responded, “You are the most vapid tool ever to step foot in the White House,” and @Amy_Siskind tweeted, .........................

Journalist David Rothkopf explained why a Donald Trump/Thomas Jefferson comparison was wildly inappropriate, posting, “So, Ivanka, couple things: a.) Jefferson worked his whole life to ensure the president was not above the law b.) Jefferson was the first top official to call for the impeachment of a president (Washington) for being too close a foreign nation (when he approved the Jay Treaty).”

Twitter user @maydaymindy9 described the president’s daughter as “an empty vessel in a plastic casing,” while @RobinMadel posted, “Sorry, Ivanka doesn’t history very well.” And @Emolclause explained, “White House staffers didn’t throw up their hands in exasperation over Thomas Jefferson’s LIES.”...............................

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump--even the Brass are speaking out!

Long article but to the point.

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump

The commander in chief is impulsive, disdains expertise, and gets his intelligence briefings from Fox News. What does this mean for those on the front lines?


Mark Bowden November 2019 Issue Politics

For most of the past two decades, American troops have been deployed all over the world—to about 150 countries. During that time, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have experienced combat, and a generation of officers have come of age dealing with the practical realities of war. They possess a deep well of knowledge and experience. For the past three years, these highly trained professionals have been commanded by Donald Trump.

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Military officers are sworn to serve whomever voters send to the White House. Cognizant of the special authority they hold, high-level officers epitomize respect for the chain of command, and are extremely reticent about criticizing their civilian overseers. That those I spoke with made an exception in Trump’s case is telling, and much of what they told me is deeply disturbing. In 20 years of writing about the military, I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president. Trump’s pronouncements and orders have already risked catastrophic and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and Asia, and have created severe problems for field commanders engaged in combat operations. Frequently caught unawares by Trump’s statements, senior military officers have scrambled, in their aftermath, to steer the country away from tragedy. How many times can they successfully do that before faltering?

Amid threats spanning the globe, from nuclear proliferation to mined tankers in the Persian Gulf to terrorist attacks and cyberwarfare, those in command positions monitor the president’s Twitter feed like field officers scanning the horizon for enemy troop movements. A new front line in national defense has become the White House Situation Room, where the military struggles to accommodate a commander in chief who is both ignorant and capricious. In May, after months of threatening Iran, Trump ordered the carrier group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to shift from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. On June 20, after an American drone was downed there, he ordered a retaliatory attack—and then called it off minutes before it was to be launched. The next day he said he was “not looking for war” and wanted to talk with Iran’s leaders, while also promising them “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” if they crossed him. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and dispatched a three-aircraft-carrier flotilla to waters off the Korean peninsula—then he pivoted to friendly summits with Kim Jong Un, with whom he announced he was “in love”; canceled long-standing U.S. military exercises with South Korea; and dangled the possibility of withdrawing American forces from the country altogether. While the lovefest continues for the cameras, the U.S. has quietly uncanceled the canceled military exercises, and dropped any mention of a troop withdrawal.

Such rudderless captaincy creates the headlines Trump craves. He revels when his tweets take off. (“Boom!” he says. “Like a rocket!”) Out in the field, where combat is more than wordplay, his tweets have consequences. He is not a president who thinks through consequences—and this, the generals stressed, is not the way serious nations behave.

The generals I spoke with didn’t agree on everything, but they shared the following five characterizations of Trump’s military leadership.


Trump has little interest in the details of policy. He makes up his mind about a thing, and those who disagree with him—even those with manifestly more knowledge and experience—are stupid, or slow, or crazy.

As a personal quality, this can be trying; in a president, it is dangerous. Trump rejects the careful process of decision making that has long guided commanders in chief. Disdain for process might be the defining trait of his leadership. Of course, no process can guarantee good decisions—history makes that clear—but eschewing the tools available to a president is choosing ignorance. What Trump’s supporters call “the deep state” is, in the world of national security—hardly a bastion of progressive politics—a vast reservoir of knowledge and global experience that presidents ignore at their peril. The generals spoke nostalgically of the process followed by previous presidents, who solicited advice from field commanders, foreign-service and intelligence officers, and in some cases key allies before reaching decisions about military action. As different as George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in temperament and policy preferences, one general told me, they were remarkably alike in the Situation Room: Both presidents asked hard questions, wanted prevailing views challenged, insisted on a variety of options to consider, and weighed potential outcomes against broader goals. Trump doesn’t do any of that. Despite commanding the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus in the world, this president prefers to be briefed by Fox News, and then arrives at decisions without input from others.

One prominent example came on December 19, 2018, when Trump announced, via Twitter, that he was ordering all American forces in Syria home.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency,” he tweeted. Later that day he said, “Our boys, our young women, our men, they are all coming back, and they are coming back now.”

This satisfied one of Trump’s campaign promises, and it appealed to the isolationist convictions of his core supporters. Forget the experts, forget the chain of command—they were the people who, after all, had kept American forces engaged in that part of the world for 15 bloody years without noticeably improving things. Enough was enough..........

Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash

Source: Politico

The president is tapping his vast donor network to buck up lawmakers whose support he badly needs — but who also need him.

By ALEX ISENSTADT 10/31/2019 05:00 AM EDT

President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don't to get on board.

Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”

Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.

Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year.

On Wednesday, the Trump reelection campaign sent a fundraising appeal to its massive email list urging donors to provide a contribution that would be divided between the president and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. Each of the senators are supporting the anti-impeachment resolution despite being endangered in 2020.

“If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the message warned, “we won't be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT.” ..................................

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/31/trump-impeachment-senators-donor-062084

8 depositions lined up for next 6 work days! 🔥 🔥

Busy Busy Busy........

8 depositions lined up for next 6 work days!



Donald Trump Jr. Launches Attack Against Michelle Obama For Buying Home in Martha's Vineyard

Little jr. needs to be taken down a few pegs.

Donald Trump Jr. Launches Attack Against Michelle Obama For Buying Home in Martha’s Vineyard


By Andrea Jefferson October 30, 2019

Michelle Obama spoke out against “white flight” in a recent interview, saying she experienced it as a kid and that it remains a problem…and it seems to have triggered Donald Trump Jr.

“As families like ours — upstanding families like ours who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better — as we moved in, white folks moved out because they were afraid of what our families represented,” the former first lady said Tuesday at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago.

“I want to remind white folks that y’all were running from us … This family, with all the values that you read about, you were running from us. And you’re still running because we’re no different than the immigrant families that are moving in,” she continued. “The families that are coming from other places to try to do better. But, because we can so easily wash over who we really were — because of the color of our skin, because of the texture of our hair — that’s what divides countries, artificial things.”


After the speech, Don Jr. took to Twitter to slam Obama for buying a house in Martha’s Vineyard:


60 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization -- times are changing

Source: the hill

By Justin Strekal, opinion contributor — 10/30/19 04:30 PM EDT

According to a poll released last week by Gallup, there appears to be no buyer’s remorse on the part of the American people when it comes to their support for the legalization of marijuana. In fact, as more states move to end cannabis criminalization, Americans’ support for legalizing and regulating marijuana has only grown stronger.

Sixty-six percent of Americans now say that they endorse legalization, a total that is consistent with other recent polls and that is nearly 30 percent higher than 2012 totals — when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize adult marijuana use.

A separate nationwide poll also released last week by PPRI (the Public Religion Research Institute) similarly reported that two in three Americans support legalizing and regulating the plant.

The new Gallup poll finds that support for legalization is held by majorities of Democrats (76 percent), Republicans (51 percent), and Independents (68 percent). Further, every age demographic below 65, representing the overwhelming majority of the taxpaying public, would rather their dollars be spent to regulate cannabis, not incarcerate its consumers.


Read more: https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/468162-60-percent-of-americans-support-marijuana-legalization-times-are

DeVos admits latest nationwide education scores are so bad they're 'devastating'

Source: raw story

Published 5 mins ago on October 30, 2019

By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has just admitted that under her leadership nationwide education test scores have dropped so far they are “devastating.” Her plan: more of what she’s been doing for nearly three years.

“Fourth- and eighth-grade average scores on the ‘Nation’s Report Card,‘ released today, declined since the 2017 assessment, except for an increase in mathematics for fourth graders,” Politico reports, in an article titled, “Test scores slump in ‘Nation’s Report Card.’”


DeVos’ plan is to privatize as much of the education system and infrastructure as possible. Her “solution” to “devastating” education test scores is more vouchers, more charter schools, more federal, state, and local taxes being shoveled into the hands of her friends who run those programs.

She calls it “education freedom,” and claims it is “the only way to bring about the change our country desperately needs....................

“Two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers,” DeVos admits. “In fact, fourth grade reading declined in 17 states and eighth grade reading declined in 31. The gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite $1 trillion in Federal spending over 40 years designated specifically to help close it.”........................................

Read more: https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/devos-admits-latest-nationwide-education-scores-are-so-bad-theyre-devastating/


Trump Cheers On MAGA Teen Nick Sandmann As Libel Suit Against Washington Post Proceeds

I suppose we should be glad Trump is not actually doing any governing.

10/30/2019 10:21 am ET
Trump Cheers On MAGA Teen Nick Sandmann As Libel Suit Against Washington Post Proceeds

A federal judge ruled that “justice requires” further review of a portion of the student’s claims.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted his support for Kentucky teenager Nick Sandmann after a federal judge reinstated part of his libel lawsuit against The Washington Post. .................

The family sought $250 million in damages.

Judge William Bertelsman initially dismissed the lawsuit in July, ruling the 33 statements Sandmann filed the complaint over were not defamatory and were protected under the First Amendment.

After reviewing an amended version of the lawsuit, Bertelsman ruled Monday that the case could proceed into the discovery phase, stating that “justice requires” further review of three of the 33 statements the Sandmann family contends were libelous............................................



Dem Senators Say Mismanaged Student Loan Program Screwed Thousands

Source: huff post

10/30/2019 08:50 am ET

Lawmakers demanded that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigate a loan forgiveness program for teachers and other public service workers.

A group of Democratic senators demanded that the top consumer financial watchdog agency immediately investigate an embattled student loan servicer and its alleged mismanagement of a federal program designed to forgive the loans of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public service workers.

The 23 senators said in a Monday letter addressed to Kathleen Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency had committed many “missteps” and “errors” in its servicing of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program ― resulting in “harm to tens of thousands of public service workers and their families.”

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/public-service-loan-forgiveness-program-senators-cfpb-investigation_n_5db945d6e4b066da55291b4b

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