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Hometown: Florida
Current location: Florida
Member since: Wed Jun 30, 2004, 12:25 PM
Number of posts: 2,768

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Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh's College Y

As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

In a statement, Kavanaugh wrote, “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name--and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building--against these last-minute allegations.”

The White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said the Administration stood by Kavanaugh. “This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”

Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)

A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants.

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Sun Sep 23, 2018, 08:29 PM (1 replies)

Voting by mail

Is it safer? More hack proof?

I'm hoping some of the good minds here on DU can give me arguments for or against.

My husband and I vote by mail, have been doing so for years.

I'm volunteering as a canvasser and we encourage people to sign up to vote by mail.

I personally feel safer, especially in Florida.

But is it really safer?
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:36 AM (32 replies)

Trump finally feels gravity's unforgiving pull

Trump’s stunning victory created such disorienting shock waves across Washington that neither Democrats nor Republicans understood what the accidental president admitted to me a month after his win.

“The election could have been held 20 different times, but that was probably the one day I would have won,” the president-elect said in December 2016. “Everything came together at once.”

The resulting political horror show produced daily by Trump has left journalists and politicians reeling but has failed to alter a few basic rules of politics:

First, presidents with approval ratings in the low 40s lose their majorities in Congress. Second, kowtowing to ex-KGB agents erodes support with registered independents. Third, lying about payoffs to a porn star and a Playboy model rarely helps with swing-state voters.

Like the multitude of mere mortals who faced voters before him, Trump may finally be feeling gravity’s unforgiving pull as one summer scandal bleeds into another. A recent Quinnipiac University poll put the president’s approval rating at 38 percent. More troubling for Trump’s quislings in Congress should be the political beating Midwest voters are dishing out on the politician they helped elect president. According to an NBC News-Marist poll, only 28 percent of registered voters in Michigan believe Trump deserves to be reelected, while only 30 percent of those surveyed in Minnesota and 31 percent in Wisconsin believe he deserves reelection. Republicans are also trailing badly in generic ballot tests, and Democrats’ prospects for taking over the House and Senate continue to rise.

The political news for Republicans is so bad that even Trump is blinking. Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the White House this year; the president has put major pieces of his trade war on hold and has shelved any plans to shut down the government this fall. But Republicans hoping to save themselves from the political storm that will soon wipe away their congressional majorities would be well served to speak out against Trump’s most destructive policies, which are anti-conservative, illiberal and sure to bring doom to the once-Grand Old Party.


Posted by coeur_de_lion | Thu Jul 26, 2018, 09:50 PM (12 replies)

Senate Republicans Move to End Trump Policy on Child Separation Video

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — Republican senators moved on Tuesday to defuse a political crisis by seeking passage of legislation that would swiftly bring an end to President Trump’s practice of separating children from their parents when families cross into the United States illegally.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said that “all of the members of the Republican conference support a plan that keeps families together,” endorsing an approach that would provide legal authority to detain parents and children together while their legal status in the country is assessed by the courts.

Asylum claims would be expedited by adding more immigration judges or allowing families to be processed before others, Republican senators said.

Mr. McConnell said he planned to reach out to Democrats to support the effort, hoping to stanch the political damage from an administration policy that led to heartbreaking stories of children separated from their mothers and brutal images of children in makeshift detention camps.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/us/politics/trump-immigration-children-separated-families.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Tue Jun 19, 2018, 07:56 PM (7 replies)

The story behind the photo of the little girl, crying as her mother is searched at the border


“It was very quick,” he recalled. The mother set the girl down, and an agent began to run gloved hands across her body.

Immediately, the girl began to scream.

“I wanted to stop her crying,” Moore said. He imagined the guards might have wanted that, too; he had seen them joke with other children during searches, to distract from what was happening to their parents.

But it all happened so quickly, and the girl’s despair was so complete in those few seconds.

“The mother stoically had her hands against the vehicle, and the girl was crying,” Moore said. “Neither were saying words. Nothing could be said with her. She needed to be with her mother.”

He took two shots, moments apart. He understood at once that they were the photos he had been waiting for — for hours, if not years. Both images would become symbols of what the U.S.-Mexico border has become under President Trump.
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Mon Jun 18, 2018, 11:36 PM (8 replies)

I lost my best friend this week

The subject of this old thread.


We were friends for about 45 years and there is no one else who influenced me as much as she did. My taste in music, my attitudes about life and volunteerism, and even the way I dress! She was my mentor when we were 13. My teenage life would have been sad and boring if not for her. She had such a wonderful sense of fun, which she never lost as we got older.

Except . . . she had gotten friendly with a guy from our high school days who was a rabid racist. She had never married and she saw him as her last chance. He poisoned her . . .

She turned into someone I didn't recognize. A Fredo loving confederate flag waving racist nut.

We last argued over Sally Yates and she unfriended me on FB.

Monday she was hospitalized for complications of diabetes and the flu. She's gone now.

I never loved her any less for all her awful racist rants because how could I stop loving someone who gave me my life when we were teenagers?

She was dead wrong, but now she's just dead.

This is our country now. Best friends pitted against each other, family pitted against each other, hatred tearing apart everything we hold dear about our country and what it stands for.

I want to know how we will all heal from this monstrosity Trump has created. How can we just ignore the 35% of this country who still think Fredo is good for the country? W've gone back to 1977 or even decades earlier.
Posted by coeur_de_lion | Sun Apr 8, 2018, 01:23 PM (111 replies)

The hacked emails at the center of Muellers Russia investigation


The Trump Tower meeting: It was on June 3, 2016 — a little more than a month after Papadopoulos’s tip, but still before any news broke about Democrats having been hacked — that publicist Rob Goldstone emailed an acquaintance of his, Donald Trump Jr. Goldstone described some news from his clients Aras and Emin Agalarov, a father-son pair of real estate developers who’d done business with the Trumps:

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

Don Jr. enthusiastically accepted the offer, and Goldstone arranged a meeting six days later, on June 9. The Trump delegation included Don Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner. They met Goldstone, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Agalarov company executive Ike Kaveladze, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, and translator Anatoli Samochornov.

Once the existence of the meeting became public, all parties involved claimed it was a dud, resulting in nothing of consequence. But the timing of the meeting is strange. Three days later, Assange announced he’d received emails related to Hillary Clinton. Two days after that, the DNC announced it had been hacked and blamed Russia.

Goldstone saw an article about that and emailed it to Emin and Kaveladze, writing that the news was “eerily weird” considering what they’d just discussed at the Trump Tower meeting. Guccifer 2.0 began posting the day after that.

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Mon Apr 2, 2018, 03:38 PM (19 replies)

Prominent Republican Donor Issues Ultimatum on Assault Weapons

It's a start. I hope many more will do the same.


A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style firearms to civilians.

Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer who was a leading fund-raiser for George W. Bush’s campaigns, said he would seek to marshal support among other Republican political donors for a renewed assault weapons ban.

“For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Mr. Hoffman said in an interview. “It’s the end of the road for me.”

Mr. Hoffman announced his ultimatum in an email to half a dozen Republican leaders, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. He wrote in the email that he would not give money to Mr. Scott, who is considering a campaign for the Senate in 2018, or other Florida Republicans he has backed in the past, including Representative Brian Mast, if they did not support new gun legislation.

Posted by coeur_de_lion | Sun Feb 18, 2018, 10:53 AM (6 replies)
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