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Republican candidate 'body-slams' Guardian reporter in Montana

(Guardian) The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. Gianforte’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Stuart G

WH Budget Chief: "I Hope Fewer People Get Social Security Disability Insurance"

(TPM) White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that he hoped fewer people received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as a result of President Donald Trumps 2018 budget proposal, suggesting that some SSDI recipients were not really disabled.

He said the proposal was the definition of compassionate: a compassion that is balanced between the people who get the benefits and the people who pay them.

Trumps budget proposal, though widely disregarded by congressional appropriators, would cut $31.4 billion from SSDI over 10 years, according to the Washington Post.

DonViejo

Lindsey Graham Rips Trump's Proposed Cuts to State Dept.: 'A Lot of Benghazis in the Making'

(Mediaite) The Trump administration released its 2018 budget proposal today and, predictably, it caught the ire of Democrats due to its cuts to social programs like Medicaid and food stamps. However, there was also criticism from Republicans, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his buddy, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

What are they mad about? That the White House wants to slash the budget for the State Department, that’s what. “If we implemented this budget, we’d have to retreat from the world and put a lot of people at risk,” Graham told reporters today. “You’d have a lot of Benghazis in the making if we actually implemented the State Department cuts.”

The budget reduces diplomatic spending by 31%, from $54.9 billion to $37.6 billion. When taking emergency funding out of the equation, the budget cut is 29% to State and USAID.

He noted that the budget is “dead on arrival,” a sentiment also held by McCain, who added that the commitment to rebuilding the military couldn’t be sustained with the spending level shown in the budget.

kpete

Former CIA Director Brennan: "With every last ounce of devotion to this country, resist"

BRENNAN: Because for the last 241 years, this nation and its citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty that this country was founded upon. Many, many Americans — brave Americans over the years — have lost their lives to be able to protect that freedom and liberty.

They’ve lost their lives also to protect the freedom and liberties of other countries and other peoples around the world. Our ability to choose our elected leaders as we see fit is, I believe, an inalienable right that we must protect with all of our resources and all of our authority and power.

And the fact that the Russians tried to influence that election so that the will of the American people was not going to be realized by that election, I find outrageous and something that we need to, with every last ounce of devotion to this country, resist. And to try to act to prevent further instances of that.

And so, therefore, I believe that this is something that’s critically important to every American. Certainly it’s very important to me, for my children and grandchildren, to make sure that never again will a foreign country try to influence and interfere in the foundation stone of this country, which is electing our democratic leaders.

DemocratSinceBirth

Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides

(Politico) Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Tuesday that he had concerns that Russian officials may have successfully recruited aides from Donald Trump’s campaign to help in the Kremlin’s efforts to influence last year’s presidential election.

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," he told lawmakers. "And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

By the time he stepped down as CIA director on Jan. 20, he added, “I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”

“Therefore,” Brennan added, “I felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well founded and needed to look into these issues.”

DonViejo

Dem senator: 'One of closest allies' expressed concern about intelligence sharing

(The Hill) A Democratic senator says that “one of our closest allies” has expressed concerns to her about sharing intelligence with the United States after a report that President Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats.

“This is an issue that has been raised with me recently by a high ranking official of one of our closest allies about whether their country could count on information that was shared with us with being kept secret,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Shaheen was asking Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats how Trump’s reported actions in a meeting earlier this month affect the United States’ intelligence sharing agreements with other countries.

Jersey Devil

New Survey USA poll has Ossoff with 7 point lead

(TPM) Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican Karen Handel by seven points in the special election to fill an open U.S. House seat in Georgia, according to a new poll from local television station WXIA.

Ossoff earned 51 percent of voters’ support to Handel’s 44 percent support in the poll, which was released Monday and conducted by SurveyUSA.

TheFerret

Late thoughts on the day's madness...

Y'know what's absolutely fucking nutty, friends? I look at today's news, which would have made newspapers in any other year in human history shriek like banshees, and I think "Meh. Not really up to the standards of say, last Wednesday."

In short...shit be cray.

Over the weekend, David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS returned to television, and Mississippi lawmaker Karl Oliver celebrated by saying that people who oppose the removal of monuments dedicated to treasonous confederate losers should be lynched! Isn't it fun that there are still old white dudes in the south who want angry mobs to carry out extra-legal murders of folks who oppose racism? It just gives you Andy-Griffith-style warm fuckin' fuzzies, makes you wanna pour cough syrup and Sudafed into a big ol' vat of your gramma's sweet tea, slap on a white hood and ride around burning crosses in some lawns, DOESN'T IT? Not to get all editorial, but fuck each and every single person who decides that Protecting Confederate Monuments is a cause worth fighting for...

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