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Democrats Move To Make Republicans Pay For Not Standing Up To Trump On Syria


Posted on Sun, Oct 13th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Democrats Move To Make Republicans Pay For Not Standing Up To Trump On Syria

Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will introduce a joint resolution calling on Trump to reverse the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Schumer said during a press conference:

There have been so many developments the last few days, one after the other and it shows how bankrupt this president’s decision-making process is. The president is simply derelict in his duty as president. He is making Americans much less safe, he is undoing years of work to curb ISIS. He is making America more susceptible to terrorism by his actions, he may not have intended to do that but that’s just what has happened as a result of his actions. And as New Yorkers, we particularly know the danger of terrorism, because of 9/11. I knew three people who lost their lives. Every New Yorker knows people who were lost and New Yorkers are more aware of terror than anyone else.

So we will be putting on the floor of the Senate and the House – Speaker Pelosi will be putting on the floor of the House – a joint resolution that urges the president to undo his decision to do everything he can to protect the Kurds, to do everything that we must do to prevent ISIS terrorists from escaping. And make sure that Turkey respects existing agreements related to Syria and with the United States.

And we believe we will have strong bipartisan support for these resolutions. In the House already, Congressman Mike McCaul, the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is supporting this resolution.


The House and Senate will have the same resolution. I’ve spoken with Speaker Pelosi, and we all know, as we all learned from 9/11, that terrorism can begin in a tiny cell as far as 7,000 miles away, and then metastasize into a domestic attack. We’ve worked so hard and so long to prevent it from happening again. We have sacrificed blood and dollars to make it not happen.

And in one fell swoop, the president undoes too much of what has been accomplished.

The flag of ISIS is again flying in Syria. US troops were fired on by Turkey and forced to withdraw. The Kurds are being forced into a surrender agreement with Assad, Russia, and Turkey. Trump set all of this in motion by refusing to stand with America’s allies. The death and harm that is coming to innocent people are all because of Trump.

Democrats are out to break the Republican silence on Trump. Republicans will have the choice of supporting what Trump has done, or standing up for America’s allies. It is going to be on the record, and those Republicans who stand with Trump will be supporting ethnic cleansing in Northern Syria.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 05:39 PM (2 replies)

The Trump-Blessed War in Northeastern Syria Is Already a Full-Blown Disaster

syria Updated 3:27 P.M.
The Trump-Blessed War in Northeastern Syria Is Already a Full-Blown Disaster
By Chas Danner

Less than a week after President Trump gave Turkey the green light to attack the U.S.-allied, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria, the conflict in the border region has already become a full-blown disaster and seems likely to get far worse.

As the fighting has intensified, nearly 800 suspected ISIS members have now escaped from SDF custody following a Turkish airstrike, and there have been other attempted escapes at other facilities, including a prison, which has been the site of at least two ISIS car-bomb attacks since the fighting began. An ISIS flag has also reportedly been raised in a region between a Kurdish-controlled town and the Turkish border. Furthermore, there have been confirmed incidents of sectarian atrocities perpetrated by Turkish-backed Syrian Arab militants, as well as indications that Turkey has already expanded their offensive beyond the limited scope it promised ahead of the invasion. Meanwhile, the civilian death toll is rising, as more than 130,000 people have now been displaced in what may soon become a humanitarian disaster for half a million.

On top of all that, U.S. troops appear to have been deliberately targeted by Turkish forces in an attempt to force them to withdraw — which they now are. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Sunday that the Pentagon is evacuating 1,000 American troops from the region after President Trump ordered a “deliberate withdrawal” on Saturday night. Esper, who just days ago promised that the U.S. would not abandon the region and its SDF allies, called the escalating violence a “terrible situation.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 04:47 PM (1 replies)

Mayor Pete Decries Trump's Decision to Withdraw Troops from Northern Syria

Mayor Pete Decries Trump’s Decision to Withdraw Troops from Northern Syria
“[This] is the president systematically destroying American alliances and American values.”
Jamilah King

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg excoriated President Donald Trump and his administration Sunday morning for the decision to withdraw the remaining US troops out of northern Syria in the coming weeks. On CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, Buttigieg said, “This isn’t even a strategy or a policy—it is the president systematically destroying American alliances and American values and that makes America worse off.”
Buttigieg is speaking from experience on the ground. He’s a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan as a Navy intelligence officer and has openly criticized Trump for avoiding service in the Vietnam War. “This is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was the child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place,” he said, according to NBC News.

Now, Turkey has launched a military offensive against neighboring Syria just days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with Trump on a call that has been described by officials as including “various diplomatic exchanges.” In the call, Trump reportedly made a spur-of-the-moment decision to pull out of Turkey, which surprised his advisers.

The situation in Syria has deteriorated steadily since that call. Brett McGurk, who has served as a national security advisor in the last three White House administrations, outlined on Twitter that hundreds of thousands of people have already been displaced and ISIS is moving into the newly vulnerable part of Syria.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 03:57 PM (0 replies)

A new lawsuit describes a violent gang in LA County. Its members are deputy sheriffs.

A new lawsuit describes a violent gang in LA County. Its members are deputy sheriffs.

The “Banditos” say they’re a fraternal club for LA deputies. But critics allege that the group violently harasses civilians — and other officers.
By P.R. Lockhart Oct 11, 2019, 7:30pm EDT

As concerns over police misconduct and use of force have drawn increased national attention in recent years, activists have argued that a key part of the problem is the ability for officers to shield one another from accountability.

But in California, critics of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have been faced with a unique version of the issue: the existence of what have been called “deputy gangs” — cliques of officers who allegedly engage in violent and potentially criminal behavior while protecting their members and clashing with other law enforcement officers.

These groups, which have reportedly been around in some form or another in Los Angeles County since the 1970s, have been a frequent topic of local media reporting. Outlets like the Los Angeles Times have highlighted how other officers have filed formal complaints about the “secretive groups,” describing them as powerful forces within the sheriff’s department who beat and harass local residents and, at times, actively work to intimidate other nonaffiliated officers.

Many of the deputy cliques share common features: hierarchical structures, intensive recruitment, hazing of younger officers, and a resistance to outsiders. But one of the features that has been most commonly cited is tattoos. Members of a specific group often have a shared “ink” that symbolizes their membership. In some instances, according to reports, this ink is only granted after a deputy commits an illegal act or violates department protocol to show their loyalty to the group. In other cases, deputies allegedly received additional markings after fulfilling certain conditions, like committing police brutality or being involved in a shooting.

Such groups are not exclusive to Los Angeles County, but the area has reportedly had a particularly difficult time dealing with the groups. “Defenders say the cliques are harmless fraternities, likening them to close-knit groups in the military,” the LA Times noted in a July article. “But time and again, the deputy clubs have come under fire for promoting aggressive tactics and an us-versus-everyone mentality.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 02:40 PM (3 replies)

We're going to impeach Trump's sorry butt -- thanks to a few brave citizens


We’re going to impeach Trump’s sorry butt — thanks to a few brave citizens
Written by Lucian K. Truscott IV / Salon October 12, 2019

You’ve heard the conventional wisdom from the pundits on TV, that Trump is finally going to be impeached because this time it’s easy to understand the crimes he’s accused of. That’s true as far as it goes, but the real reason we’re going to impeach his sorry ass is because a couple of people stood up and said, “That’s enough.”

This is what it takes, finally, to catch a crook like Trump: a few of our fellow citizens acting with courage, in the national interest. It never happened during the Russia investigation. Mueller had to drag evidence out of people scrap by scrap by arresting them on lesser crimes like lying to the FBI and then flipping them. That’s why he could never get Trump for collaborating with the Russian government to steal the election of 2016. Because while there were no doubt witnesses, there were no whistleblowers.


We now know that after receiving Taylor’s text, Sondland picked up the phone and spoke personally with Donald Trump. Five hours would pass before he responded to Taylor, sounding as if he (and Trump) were unsure of Taylor’s loyalties and were already working on a cover-up. “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”

Exactly two days later, the hold on the military aid to Ukraine was suddenly released with no explanation. Two days after that, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff sent a subpoena to the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, demanding that he release the whistleblower complaint exposing the call between Trump and Zelensky. Ten days later, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced an inquiry into impeaching Donald Trump.

Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday. Attorneys for the whistleblower are said to be working out details for testimony to be given either in person or in writing soon. Bill Taylor has not yet been subpoenaed, but I’m sure he’s counting on receiving one any day.

That is how fast things move when one person has the courage to blow the whistle, and another has the courage to call out a corrupt scheme when he sees one. They are patriots. We owe them.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Oct 12, 2019, 07:51 PM (0 replies)

Lindsey Graham Defends Trump Because It's Good for Lindsey Graham


Lindsey Graham Defends Trump Because It’s Good for Lindsey Graham
By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout
Published October 12, 2019


To be sure, Graham is not the only congressional Republican trying the patience of my thesaurus on the matter of hypocrisy. A pile of Republicans who were all in for the power of congressional oversight during the preposterous Benghazi investigation against the Obama administration are singing quite a different tune now that a fellow Republican is under scrutiny. Messrs. Pompeo, Jordan and Gowdy: Your table is ready.

Asking “Why?” at this juncture feels like a car accident in my head. Power politics in the raw, galactic shamelessness, fear of exposure and defeat, and the sense that they’ve already carried so much water for this small fraction of a president that reversal now is unthinkable. As to Graham’s specific motivations, some say he changed after Sen. John McCain died; the passing of one of Trump’s chief nemeses seems to have freed Graham to plumb the depths of his inner toady. Others believe the hard right saw him as too squishy for their taste, leaving him vulnerable to a primary challenge.

In any event, “Why?” is now academic. It happened: Lindsey Graham chose the short-term course that is terrible for the country but good for Lindsey Graham. He is doing what most elected Republicans are doing, only much louder and, amazingly enough, with even less shame.

Yet this choice has also bought Graham some very specific short-term trouble. Rudy Giuliani’s “shadow diplomacy” in Ukraine on Trump’s behalf has exploded into a whole constellation of new revelations after two of Giuliani’s henchmen were arrested trying to flee the country. It appears Giuliani was set to meet these men in Vienna for reasons not yet clarified. They have also been subpoenaed by the House to testify in the Ukraine affair. According to ABC News, Giuliani’s relationship with the pair is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation in New York.

Graham’s invitation to have Giuliani testify before his committee is looking especially fascinating at this point: If matters continue to unspool in the current fashion, Trump may become the first president in U.S. history forced to pardon his own attorney. Watching Lindsey and Rudy try to explain all this away during a Senate committee hearing will be mandatory television if it actually happens.

Lindsey Graham knows who and what Donald Trump is, because he told us. Then, when it was convenient, Graham turned his coat and helped grease the rails for every act of piracy and fraud perpetrated by this administration. He is not alone, but he leads the way.

There’s a word for that, too: quisling.
Thank you, thesaurus. You’ve never let me down.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Oct 12, 2019, 10:29 AM (2 replies)

Nashville elementary school refuses to provide ICE with student records

Nashville elementary school refuses to provide ICE with student records
Posted: 5:50 AM, Oct 11, 2019
Updated: 9:03 AM, Oct 11, 2019
By: WTVF Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was rebuffed by a local elementary school when it asked for student records.

According to the school district, ICE officials requested student records from Una Elementary School but school officials did not release them.

Una is a school that is largely made up of immigrant students.
Thirty-nine percent of its students are English Language Learners, and 23 different languages are spoken at the school, according to a Nashville Scene report.

"...all MNPS employees, contractors, and volunteers are respectful of the privacy of students and families," school officials said in a statement. "...only an authorized official (the principal) has authority to determine whether the student information can be released."

The circumstances surrounding ICE's request are unclear, but the news of it concerned immigration advocates.

"[ICE has] shown they will stop at nothing to strike fear in our communities and separate families in Nashville," said Conexión Américas Executive Director Juliana Ospina Cano in a statement.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 11, 2019, 08:18 PM (1 replies)

Justice Department Asks Judges to Block Subpoena


Justice Department Asks Judges to Block Subpoena
October 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

“The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court on Friday to stop the release of President Trump’s tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, arguing that local prosecutors should have to meet a very high legal bar before investigating a sitting president,” the New York Times reports.

“The filing meant Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department was lending support to his attempt to block a subpoena issued to his accounting firm for eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 11, 2019, 06:07 PM (29 replies)

"Repugnant to the American Dream": A Judge Just Blocked Trump's Plan to Target Poor Immigrants


1 hour ago
“Repugnant to the American Dream”: A Judge Just Blocked Trump’s Plan to Target Poor Immigrants
“It is simply offensive to contend that English proficiency is a valid predictor of self-sufficiency.”
Noah Lanard

An 1893 cartoon titled "Looking Backward" depicts the irony of American immigrants turning away additional newcomers. The caption reads: "They would close to the new-comer the bridge that carried them and their fathers over."

In a written decision filled with unmasked contempt, a federal judge blocked on Friday a Trump administration policy designed to punish poor and working-class immigrants. The “public charge” rule, which was set to take effect on Tuesday, would deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to use public benefits, to which they are legally entitled.

District court judge George Daniels was unusually critical of the arguments the Justice Department used to justify radically reinterpreting what it means to be a public charge, a part of federal immigration law that dates back to 1882. “In short,” Daniels wrote, “defendants do not articulate why they are changing the public charge definition, why this new definition is needed now, or why the definition set forth in the Rule—which has absolutely no support in the history of U.S. immigration law—is reasonable.” (A California district judge court issued a second injunction on Friday that, unlike Daniels’, does not apply nationwide.)


Congress has made clear that permanent residents are eligible to receive public benefits, usually after they’ve had green cards for five years. Daniels argued that it makes no sense to punish immigrants for being likely to use those benefits. “Under the Rule, although this individual is legally entitled to public housing, if she takes advantage of this right, she may be penalized with denial of adjustment of status,” he concluded. “There is no logic to this framework.” Daniels made clear that the new standard would cause significant harm, writing, “Overnight, the Rule will expose individuals to economic insecurity, health instability, denial of their path to citizenship, and potential deportation.”

The judge was particularly critical of a section of the rule that penalizes immigrants who do not speak English. “The United States of America has no official language,” Daniels noted. “Many, if not most, immigrants who arrived at these shores did not speak English. It is simply offensive to contend that English proficiency is a valid predictor of self-sufficiency.”

Earlier on Friday, the White House sent out a press released titled, “Activist Judicial Rulings Block the Administration From Enforcing Our Nation’s Immigration Laws.” Now it has one more decision to add to the list.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 11, 2019, 05:22 PM (0 replies)

Look who met 3 weeks ago to discuss and make plans for Syria - Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani


Look who met 3 weeks ago to discuss and make plans for Syria – Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani
Mark Lippman
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Thursday October 10, 2019 · 10:03 AM EDT

Vladimir Putin with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani at the Trilateral summit on Syria held in Ankara on September 16, 2019

Ironically, we have to turn to the Kremlin’s English-language website for information on the Trilateral summit on settlement in Syria held in Ankara, Turkey on September 16, 2019.


At the link, there are additional links onward to press statements and a 14-point Syria plan agreed by Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani at the meeting.

The Kurds weren’t invited to the summit and they weren’t mentioned directly but it’s clear that the three leaders agreed to deal with them in some unspecified way to guarantee Syria’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

From the 14-point statement released jointly by Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani (my italics added):

2. Emphasized their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic . . .

4. Discussed the situation in the northeast of Syria, emphasized that security and stability in this region can only be achieved on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and agreed to coordinate their efforts to this end.

5. Rejected in this regard all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.


None of it makes much sense unless you accept the fact that Putin is calling the shots. Everywhere.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 11, 2019, 04:24 PM (8 replies)
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