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Trump: Not a dime for California disaster aid.

( Mother Jones) A few weeks ago, California requested $7.4 billion in disaster aid following the massive series of wildfires in the northern part of the state that killed 43 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures. Actually, let’s back up. That’s not quite accurate. California’s Democratic governor, its two Democratic senators, and its 39 Democratic members of Congress asked for $7.4 billion. With only one exception, California’s Republican delegation boycotted a request for disaster funding for their own state.

Yesterday the Trump administration responded to California’s request. While the request includes anemic supplemental funding for states ravaged by hurricanes, it contains no funding whatsoever for rebuilding the communities in California devastated by the recent wildfires.

Judi Lynn

Roy Moores preposterous threat against an Alabama news publisher backfires spectacularly

(Alternet) Embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, accused of sexually assaulting minors, sent a cease-and-desist to Alabama Media Group (AMG) over AL.com's allegedly defamatory coverage of him.

AL.com, which endorsed Moore's Democratic opponent Doug Jones, was ready with a blistering response: "AL.com hereby rejects your demand.”

A lawyer for AMG wrote that not only would it continue publishing stories about Roy Moore, but Moore's poor image is "self-inflicted" and any litigation brought by Moore & Co. would result in "important information" being revealed about its clients.

The letter told Moore's company to maintain available records of "Mr. Moore's history of romantic relationships or physical encounters (whether consensual or not)."


Alabama ex-cop says she was tasked with keeping Moore away from cheerleaders at high school games

(Raw Story) A retired Alabama police officer told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday that she had to keep an eye on Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in the 1980s at local high school football games because he would regularly harass the team’s teenage cheerleaders.

Faye Gary, who for 37 years was an officer at the Gadsden Police Department, explained to Mitchell that Moore’s reputation for pursuing underage girls was widely known throughout the community.

“We were also told to watch him at the ballgames, and make sure that he didn’t, you know, hang around with the cheerleaders,” said Gary.


Krugman: "Tax bills look like attempts to entrench a hereditary plutocracy."

Top-down class warfare, coupled with false claims to be cutting taxes on the middle class, has been standard G.O.P. operating procedure for a long time. ...

But there are also some new aspects to this latest money grab. This time around, much more clearly than before, the goal seems to be to favor wealth, especially inherited wealth, over work. And buried in the legislation are multiple measures that would make it much harder for the children of the middle and working classes to work their way up.

We’re still waiting for detailed analysis of the Senate bill, but the House bill doesn’t just raise taxes on many middle-class families: It selectively raises taxes on families with children. In fact, half — half! — of families with children will see a tax hike once the bill is fully phased in.


Leading Trump Census pick causes alarm

(Politico) The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, according to two people who have been briefed on the Bureau’s plans.

Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”


Ex-Fox News Employee Says She Was Blocked From Investigating Trump-Russia Ties

(Bloomberg) A former Fox News employee said the network blocked her from going to Moscow to investigate President Donald Trump’s links with Russia, one of several claims of news bias at 21st Century Fox Inc. made by former and current workers opposing its takeover of Sky Plc.

“You can’t do in-depth reporting if you’re not there,” said Jessica Golloher, a former Fox Radio correspondent who is suing the division for gender discrimination, at a gathering with U.K. lawmakers and citizens in Parliament on Monday. “Fox didn’t let me go to Moscow to dig into Trump’s Russian connections, even when I offered to pay my own way.”

“Fox is just buying what the White House is selling,” she said.


HR McMaster said President Trump has the intelligence of a kindergartner, at a private dinner.

(Buzzfeed) National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation.

Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.

A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.


The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow

(Politico) n 1987, a young real estate developer traveled to the Soviet Union. The KGB almost certainly made the trip happen.

It was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the prestigious KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence.

Kryuchkov had begun his career with five years at the Soviet mission in Budapest under Ambassador Yuri Andropov. In 1967 Andropov became KGB chairman. Kryuchkov went to Moscow, took up a number of sensitive posts, and established a reputation as a devoted and hardworking officer. By 1984, Kryuchkov’s directorate in Moscow was bigger than ever before—12,000 officers, up from about 3,000 in the 1960s. His headquarters at Yasenevo, on the wooded southern outskirts of the city, was expanding: Workmen were busy constructing a 22-story annex and a new 11-story building.


Mueller Requests Wide Ranging Documents From DOJ

(ABC) Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

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