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Member since: Wed Oct 26, 2016, 04:18 PM
Number of posts: 5,303

About Me

Don't take what I say too seriously...I'm a dumb-ass.

Journal Archives

In honor of Dems retaking the House of Representatives

I actually bought this LP when it first came out...yeah, I'm ancient.

Trump 2020 campaign used a shell company for illegal coordination scheme with NRA

Shell games and blurred lines

The Trump campaign funneled money to ad buyers alleged to have facilitated illegal coordination between the campaign and the NRA by routing funds through a secretive LLC that appears to be little more than a shell company, an investigation by the Center for Responsive Politics has found.

While the Trump campaign stopped reporting payments to ad buyers alleged to have facilitated illegal coordination between the campaign and the NRA after the 2016 election cycle, Trump’s 2020 campaign has continued to deploy the same individuals working for the firms at the center of the controversy through payments to Harris Sikes Media LLC — a low-profile limited-liability company operating with no website or public-facing facade whatsoever.

Facing the illegal coordination allegations are National Media, Red Eagle Media Group and American Media & Advocacy Group (AMAG), closely tied consultancies that share staff, resources and adjacent storefronts in Alexandria, Va.

CRP’s analysis of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records found that Trump campaign political ad disclosures on file with stations across the country have continued to include signatures and names of individuals working for National Media, despite no mention of National Media or its known affiliates on any FCC or Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures. Those individual ad buyers’ names have simultaneously continued to be included in ad documents for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and America First, but with the ad buyers’ affiliation listed as National Media or one of its affiliates.

As the election nears, this all-encompassing support of Trump may make it difficult to tell the difference between ads supporting Trump’s agenda as president and his agenda as a presidential candidate — effectively allowing a group run by a candidate’s former staffer to pay the same individual ad buyers paid by the campaign to make purchases at the same time where the only issue listed is supporting the candidate’s agenda.

While some of the issues presented by the Trump campaign’s approach to outside groups may seem novel, Trump is hardly the only candidate with blurred lines between his campaign and outside groups supporting him. And in a political environment where many candidates face allegations of flagrantly violating campaign coordination rules without consequence, it’s unlikely his campaign will be the last to adopt this approach.

read more at https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2018/12/trump-2020-campaign-coordination/

Laura Ingraham's radio show has ended. The world will be a better place without it.

After 17 years of torturing Americans’ ears, Laura Ingraham’s radio show finally came to an end this December. The weekday show has long served as a safe space for the Fox News host and her guests to make cruel jokes, practice racism, demonize immigrants, and push wild conspiracy theories. The world will be better off without it.

If you have the stomach, a list of some of the more repulsive moments...
read more at https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/12/28/laura-ingraham-s-radio-show-ending-world-will-be-better-place-without-it/222359

One of the loudest Republican supporters of Russia and Assad announces his retirement

Dick Black bent over backwards to defend Syria’s dictator.

On Monday, Dick Black announced on Facebook that he would not seek re-election to the Virginia Sate Senate, where he’s served for seven years. Black didn’t specify any particular reason for his retirement, writing only that he is “looking forward to the next chapter.”

While Black isn’t a household name, he has made a name for himself in national security circles for the past few years. He became an outspoken defender of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Russian propaganda alike, and lately took on a notable role in pushing pro-Trump conspiracy theories about former FBI official Andrew McCabe.

In 2016, Black took a now-infamous trip to Syria, where he had a two-hour meeting with Assad. The Syrian government published photos of their handshake. In the midst of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilian populations, Black announced that he didn’t believe the Assad regime “favors any sort of widespread improper conduct.”

“There was sort of a spring in [Assad’s] step and a sense of joy and optimism, and looking out to the future and bringing the nation together,” Black later said.

The visit also came after Black wrote a letter to Assad praising him for his leadership. According to Black, Assad was a “heroic” leader. (A fellow Republican joked at the time, “What’s the matter, Dick? Kim Jong Un not returning your text messages?”) Black would go on to say that the U.S. could not allow Assad to be toppled.

Black’s support for Assad has, unsurprisingly, veered wildly into conspiratorial territory. In September, for instance, Black announced that Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency was plotting a chemical weapons attack in Syria — an attack that, Black explained, London would later blame on Assad.

But Black’s thirst for conspiracy didn’t end in Syria. Instead, it made him a favorite of another font of conspiracy: Russian propaganda outlet RT, which regularly featured Black to prop up Kremlin talking points. (RT mis-identified Black as a “Virginia Senator.”)

Despite the role RT played in Russia’s 2016 interference efforts, Black had no problem making multiple appearances on the outlet in 2018. Black also claimed that the Russian propaganda outlet was “the only credible mainstream media dealing with the Syrian conflict.”

“Virginians deserve public officials who go to Richmond to improve their lives, not ones that defend murderous foreign dictators, discriminate against the LGBTQ community and attack women’s health care rights,” Democratic Party of Virginia spokesperson Jake Rubenstein told ThinkProgress. “We look forward to replacing Senator Black with a Democrat whose focus will be lifting up his or her constituents in Prince William and Loudoun Counties.”

read more at https://thinkprogress.org/dick-black-assad-the-gop-official-at-the-heart-of-one-of-trumps-favorite-conspiracies-announces-retirement-d3b415ddc642/

As Democrats take back the House, a new bill seeks to mandate national same-day voter registration

Studies have shown that same-day voter registration increases turnout by as much as seven percent.

Right now, just 17 states and the District of Columbia allow same-day voter registration, and the bill, introduced by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), would mandate that the rest of the country join them.

“High participation in our elections ensures representation that works for the people, not special interests,” Brownley said in a statement to ThinkProgress before the bill’s introduction. “Same-day voter registration is one of the most effective tools for increasing voter turnout, which means better representation for everyday Americans.”

Brownley’s bill, called the “Same Day Registration Act of 2019,” would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

“Each [s]tate shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting, including early voting, is permitted for a Federal election… to register to vote in such election,” a draft of the bill text shared with ThinkProgress reads. Additionally, the bill would allow individuals already registered to vote to make same-day changes to their registration and cast their ballot.

Brownley’s legislation comes as Democrats officially become the House majority party Thursday. Already, party leaders have signaled voting rights issues will be a priority for the newly-elected Congress. First on the docket, presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said, is a bill they’re symbolically calling H.R. 1, which would create a national voter registration system and expand access to early online voter registration.

The bill would also create new donor disclosure requirements for political organizations and provisions for public financing of elections, including a plan to multiply small dollar campaign donations. Additionally, it would end most first-class travel for federal officials and require that presidents release their tax returns, something President Trump has refused to do.

Let's get to work...I think it's important to bring attention to Dems attempts to govern responsibly.

read more at https://thinkprogress.org/same-day-voter-registration-browley-leg/

Wyden Reintroduces Bill To Force Trump To Disclose Taxes

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) reintroduced a bill Thursday that would force sitting presidents to release their tax returns publicly.

Wyden first proposed the measure after Trump became the all-but-assured Republican nominee in May 2016.

The bill would require both sitting presidents and presidential nominees to disclose their tax returns. Wyden’s reintroduction of the bill follows on a House proposal to require presidential nominees to disclose the past 10 years of their tax returns.

At the same time, the battle over Trump’s tax returns is set to heat up. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the incoming chair of the Ways and Means Committee, is the only Democrat in Congress with the authority to request Trump’s returns from the Treasury Department, a move he is expected to take, though the timing remains unclear.

read at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/ron-wyden-reintroduces-bill-to-force-donald-trump-to-disclose-taxes

Why do DUers link to The Hill and Politico when they're such unabashed right-wing propagandists?

A quick glance at LBN would make you think they're a primary news source for DUers...more than a dozen linked pieces there today, and most of them are either right-wing spin or are published with the intent to make Dems refight the primaries from the last election cycle. Any time a new threat to the one percenters appears you can guarantee that hit pieces from The Hill and Politico will surface here.

This is simply a plea to fellow Dems here at DU to avoid falling into these traps set by the right-wing propagandists by repeating their disinformation over and over again. Thanks for your time and now I'll shut up.

Rep. Gutierrez Posts Video Of Man Threatening Illinois Staff

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) on Wednesday asked for the public’s help in identifying a man who berated members of his Illinois staff for several minutes, at one point telling one staffer that he would “beat your motherfucking ass, motherfucker.”

“After the man left, he came back in, passed through our lobby and threatened my staff some more with physical violence,” Gutiérrez wrote on Facebook. “Along with the objects he threw, this amounts to battery according the police report we filed.”

Gutiérrez also wrote that the man “identified himself as a precinct captain for Chicago City Councilman Reboyas.” The Chicago Tribune noted that Gutiérrez’s daughter, Jessica, is facing off against Reboyas for his seat next year. Reboyas denied that the man was his precinct captain to the Tribune and added: “I would never do anything like that. It’s not my style.”

read more at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/rep-gutierrez-posts-video-of-man-threatening-illinois-staff

Find this guy...

Roger Stone's lawyers send letter requesting release of his House testimony

Had your laugh for today? Then read the linked letter from Stone's lawyers to the House Intelligence Committee.


read more at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/roger-stones-attorney-demands-nunes-release-official-interview-transcript

Senators Try to Sneak Anti-BDS Measure Into Last-Minute Spending Bill

Two senators are trying to sneak legislation that would impose criminal penalties on American companies and groups that support a boycott of Israel into a spending package that would avert a government shutdown by Friday.

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, are pushing a proposal that would create criminal and civil penalties for American entities that back boycotts supporting Palestinian rights, The New York Times reported. The move seeks to weaken the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as BDS, that seeks to economically pressure Israel to give equal rights to Palestinians, similar to the South African anti-apartheid movement.

Cardin and Portman have pushed for the legislation for months and are now trying to attach it to a package of spending bills that Congress must pass to avoid a shutdown.

They said the bill is in response to a 2016 resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council that sought to create a database with companies doing business in territories occupied by Israel in violation of international law.

While the original proposal called for jail time for violators, a revised proposal would use fines as penalties. The legislation was also amended to “explicitly state that none of the provisions shall infringe upon any First Amendment right.”

But the ACLU says the wording is non-binding and “leaves intact key provisions which would impose civil and criminal penalties on companies, small business owners, nonprofits and even people acting on their behalf who engage in or otherwise support certain political boycotts.”

Even the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied for the legislation, admitted in a leaked internal memo that anti-BDS laws are “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional and bad for the Jewish community,” The Forward reported.

Cardin’s fellow Democrats have voiced opposition to the legislation as well. Rep. Betsy McCollum, D-Minn., slammed lawmakers secretly working to “to slip language into a must-pass spending bill that criminalizes politically motivated boycotts against Israel.”

“The Israel Anti-Boycott Act violates our right to free speech,” she tweeted.

But even if this legislation is delayed or fails entirely, most Americans already live in a state where anyone doing business with the state is barred from supporting the BDS movement.

26 states, including New York, California and Texas, have legislation in place barring state contractors from supporting a boycott of Israel, while 13 other states have similar bills pending.

read more at https://truthout.org/articles/senators-try-to-sneak-anti-bds-measure-into-last-minute-spending-bill/
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