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Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,289

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3 Florida congresswomen denied access to largest child detention center in U.S.


3 Florida congresswomen denied access to largest child detention center in U.S.

Florida Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell were verbally denied access into the Homestead temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children last Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Miami Herald reports.

The big picture: The congresswomen say HHS is in violation of a law passed last year that says members of Congress can’t be prevented from entering "any U.S. facility used for maintaining custody of or otherwise housing unaccompanied alien children" for oversight purposes. HHS said they require a two-week visit notification from visitors. The for-profit Homestead facility, owned by Comprehensive Health Services, is the largest shelter for migrant children in the country, as reported by NPR.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Apr 7, 2019, 10:53 AM (75 replies)

... 'When Was the Last Time You Read 400 Pages Plus of Anything'

Watergate's John Dean Mocks Donald Trump over Mueller Report: 'When Was the Last Time You Read 400 Pages Plus of Anything'
By Alexandra Hutzler On 4/6/19 at 1:30 PM EDT




Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 04:38 PM (5 replies)

Barack Obama Warns Progressive Purists That Their 'Circular Firing Squad' Will Only Help Trump

Posted on Sat, Apr 6th, 2019 by Sean Colarossi
Barack Obama Warns Progressive Purists That Their ‘Circular Firing Squad’ Will Only Help Trump

Popular former President Barack Obama openly expressed his concerns on Saturday about progressives hurting liberal causes by shooting at their own Democratic allies.

At a town hall event in Germany, Obama said the overall progressive movement weakens when liberals set up purity tests and tear down Democrats who may not align with them on 100 percent of the issues.

“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it’s true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues,” Obama said, according to The Hill.

“When that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens,” he added.

Obama continued, “So I think whether you are speaking as a citizen or as a political leader or as an organizer … you have to recognize that the way we structure democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you, and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 03:23 PM (142 replies)

Fact-checking Trump's claims he's under audit


Fact-checking Trump's claims he's under audit
By Donna Borak and Marshall Cohen, CNN
Updated 6:40 PM ET, Thu April 4, 2019


Facts First: No matter what Trump says, an audit would not prevent him and has not stopped past presidents from releasing their tax returns.

Here's where it gets tricky. Trump's personal tax returns are likely under audit, but it's not exactly what you suspect. Every year dating back to the early 1970s, the Internal Revenue Service has made it a regular practice to audit the personal tax returns of every sitting US president and vice president.


During the dramatic hearing before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen further questioned the existence of the President's audit. He told lawmakers that he asked Trump for a copy of the audit, so he could discuss the subject with reporters, but he "was never able to obtain one."

"Statements he made to me ... what he didn't want was to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces, and then he'll end up in an audit and he'll ultimately have taxable consequences, penalties, and so on," Cohen explained to California Democrat Rep. Jimmy Gomez when asked about Trump's tax audit.

Gomez followed up to ask if Trump was not actually under audit at the time?

"I presume that he is not under audit," Cohen said.


During the 2016 campaign, Trump released a letter from his tax attorneys that confirmed he was under audit. But the letter also said the IRS finished reviewing Trump's taxes from 2002 through 2008. Trump did not release his tax returns from those years, even though the audits were over.

(The letter was deleted from Trump's campaign website, but an archived copy is viewable here.)

So, yes, Trump has almost certainly been under audit since he took office in 2017, like every other American president. But we don't know the status of Trump's audits after 2008. And there's nothing legally stopping him from releasing his taxes even if they're being audited.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 12:16 PM (2 replies)

Pretty Soon, House Democrats Could Start Arresting Trump's People

Posted on Sat, Apr 6th, 2019 by Leo Vidal
Pretty Soon, House Democrats Could Start Arresting Trump’s People


Trump, his lawyers, his attorney general, and other associates of the president appear to be ready to openly flout the requests coming from various House committees.

So that naturally leads to the question: What can House Democrats do about it?

Actually federal law is very clear: If a witness refuses to comply with a subpoena to either produce documents or testify, Congress can then use criminal statutes to enforce compliance.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized congressional subpoena power, and it has always upheld the enforcement power of contempt.

Even Trump’s cabinet members aren’t immune from being arrested for being in contempt of Congress.

If Attorney General William Barr ignores a subpoena to produce Mueller’s documents, he could be arrested for contempt.

If Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin ignores a subpoena to product Donald Trump’s tax returns, he could be arrested for contempt.

It’s likely if these things happened that the Department of Justice (under control of the president) would intervene and the conflict would end up in court.

But it would take an extraordinary set of circumstances for the federal courts — including the Supreme Court — to disregard federal law and allow Trump’s people to avoid complying with congressional subpoenas.

The tax laws are very clear with respect to providing Trump’s tax returns: the statute says they must be given to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee after he requests them, which he has done. There is no wiggle room here.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 11:44 AM (35 replies)

Yes, It Matters That Pete Buttigieg Is Gay


Yes, It Matters That Pete Buttigieg Is Gay
The fight for equality isn’t won, and the U.S. could use a president who understands that personally.
6:00 AM ET
Lucas Grindley
Executive director of Next City, a nonprofit journalism organization

Pete Buttigieg plays harmonica, guitar, and piano! He speaks Norwegian! Whoa, he actually speaks eight languages! I heard he even wrestled a bear live on CNN. None of the gee-whiz stories solidifying into the Buttigieg canon make any difference to me in deciding which of the Democratic candidates will get my vote. But as a gay man, I do care that Buttigieg is gay.

In my lifetime, it has been illegal for me to serve in the military, illegal for me to marry, illegal for me to adopt children, and even illegal for me to have sex. Society barred me from the first three; until 2003, the fourth meant risk of a fine or a prison sentence in some states. This discrimination did not just happen in a history book—it happened to me, and it happened to Buttigieg, too.

I am two years older than Buttigieg. We could have grown up with the same cartoons, listened to the same music, felt the same fear when we heard that Matthew Shepard had been murdered. We’ve lived through discrimination, and the fact that laws have changed doesn’t alleviate the trauma of our past. Ask our gay elders whether they’ve recovered from losing their friends and colleagues who died by the tens of thousands during the AIDS crisis. That pain is fresh.


You can be sure that LGBTQ people are paying attention to how society treats Buttigieg as a candidate. The questions on their mind: Is it safe out there? Is this really possible?

“Anytime a member of our community breaks through a barrier, it’s extremely significant,” said Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island when I asked whether it matters that Buttigieg is gay. Cicilline ought to know; he was also the first out mayor of Providence—or any state capital. “For young members of the LGBTQ community, many of whom may be suffering discrimination or bullying or even being ostracized from their own family, seeing a member of our community run for president helps them know it’s going to be okay.”

“As we continue the fight for full LGBTQ equality,” Cicilline said, “Mayor Buttigieg’s candidacy is an important measure of the progress we’ve made.”

As a gay man, I will definitely factor that progress into my vote for president.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 09:19 AM (3 replies)

Texas House Speaker drops constitutional carry bill after gun rights activist shows up at his home

Texas House Speaker drops constitutional carry bill after gun rights activist shows up at his home
By Owen Daugherty - 04/05/19 08:37 PM EDT

Texas's Republican House Speaker on Friday moved to drop the state's "constitutional carry" legislation after a gun rights activist showed up at his home to push for the bill.

Dennis Bonnen said the bill was "dead" after Chris McNutt, the executive director of Texas Gun Rights, appeared at his home to advocate for the controversial legislation that would allow Texans to carry firearms without a license, The Dallas Morning News reported.

McNutt, according to the outlet, drove 50 miles south of Houston last Wednesday before turning up at Bonnen's house to question why the legislation wasn't moving forward faster. The paper reported that McNutt had posted rants on Facebook about the lack of movement on the bill prior to driving to Bonnen's house.

Bonnen said McNutt's decision to show up at his house unannounced was a demonstration of “insanity” and called him an "overzealous advocate for criminals to get a gun."

McNutt also reportedly visited the homes of GOP state representatives Dustin Burrows and Four Price. Bonnen said his home has since been put on surveillance by the Department of Public Safety for his protection.

"If you want to talk about issues and you want to advocate, you do it in this building. You don’t do it at our residences," Bonnen said, according to the local news outlet. "Threats and intimidation will never advance your issue. Their issue is dead."


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 07:01 AM (5 replies)

'No Celebrities': Embarrassing Turnout at Trump's Beverly Hills Fundraiser


‘No Celebrities’: Embarrassing Turnout at Trump’s Beverly Hills Fundraiser

Tickets for the event allegedly started at $15,000 and went as high as $150,000.
Tarpley Hitt
04.06.19 2:41 AM ET

BEVERLY HILLS, California—Late Friday afternoon, Donald Trump landed in Los Angeles for a re-election fundraiser. The event was organized by Trump Victory, a fundraising partnership between the Republican National Convention and Trump’s campaign, and aimed to raise an estimated $5 million for the party. It was the president’s third visit to the celebrity-hub city and, by all accounts, not a star-studded one.

“Celebrities? No celebrities,” Rabbi Marvin Hier said of the event. Hier is the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and gave the prayer at Trump’s inauguration. Multiple valets in royal blue jackets, who declined to give their names because of their job, echoed his sentiment.

“No celebrities,” said one valet, driving past in a golf cart.

“Yeah, no celebrities,” said a second.

The event was held in the 22,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home of health-care executive and GOP donor Lee Samson. The 15-bathroom “Italian-style limestone villa” runs about $10 million, according to Zillow, and was named Robb Report’s Ultimate Home of the Year in 2012. Tickets started at $15,000 for dinner, $50,000 for a photo op with Trump, and $150,000 to join his roundtable discussion, according to an invitation obtained by the City News Service.


“Hundreds of people came,” Hier said. “Probably 400 people.”

“200,” Marlene corrected.

“No, 200 couples,” he said.

“Don’t quote him on that. It wasn’t 400.”

According to the Washington Post, 170 people attended the event at Samson’s home.

“It was a big turnout. It was wonderful,” Rabbi Hier said. “We couldn’t stay because of the sabbath. But the president shook hands with us. It was very nice... We couldn’t see the speech. The sabbath begins. That’s why we’re rushing home. It was sumptuous. There were a lot of things to eat. A beautiful home.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 6, 2019, 06:10 AM (73 replies)

Roger Stone defends Trump's attacks on Barbara Bush: 'She's dead and he's president'

Birds of a feather...


Roger Stone defends Trump's attacks on Barbara Bush: 'She's dead and he's president'
By Owen Daugherty - 04/05/19 07:40 PM EDT

Roger Stone defended President Trump’s recent attacks on the late Barbara Bush, saying “she’s dead and he’s president- who won that one?”

Stone, a former informal adviser to Trump, defended Trump on Friday on Instagram after Trump bashed the former first lady.

Trump, in an interview with The Washington Times on Thursday, bashed Bush, saying she was “nasty to him” and “look what I did to her sons,” referring to his defeat of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

In the recently released book “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of a Dynasty,” written by USA Today journalist Susan Page, Bush referred to Trump as a "symbol of greed" and “blamed Donald Trump for her heart attack.”

Stone echoed some of Trump’s favorite attack line in his Instagram post, calling Jeb Bush Barbara Bush’s “entitled low energy son” while mocking her for her sickness at the end of her life.

“Nasty, rude, vindictive, entitled, self-important - that’s the woman I had several unpleasant encounters with,” Stone wrote Friday.

Stone was indicted in January on seven counts in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Stone has denied any wrongdoing and has a trial set for November.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 5, 2019, 08:40 PM (16 replies)

Carl Hiaasen: 'Just pig out at the Mar-a-Lago buffet table. They'll never know you're a spy'


‘Just pig out at the Mar-a-Lago buffet table. They’ll never know you’re a spy’ | Opinion
By Carl Hiaasen
April 05, 2019 03:01 PM, Updated 3 hours 11 minutes ago


Because of what occurred last week, we are recommending new procedures for concealing thumb drives loaded with malicious software. Do NOT carry these devices in your purse, beach bag, pants pocket or billfold.

Alternative hiding places for thumb drives may include hollow shoe heels, fake Range Rover key fobs and empty Altoid tins. Some operatives report success at smuggling the thumb drives in vape pens, but there are conflicting accounts regarding the Mar-a-Lago club policy on cannabis paraphernalia.

As you walk through the rooms and hallways of the estate searching for a computer to infect, you should appear to seem lost, or mildly intoxicated. If you get stopped by a staff member or Secret Service agent, ask directions to the nearest restroom.

Tell them it’s an emergency — you have a spastic colon. Whatever.

Currently we are recommending no changes to the established procedure if you see the commander-in-chief during your infiltration of Mar-a-Lago. Proven methods of attracting his attention include waving excitedly, giggling at a high pitch or simply shouting, “We love you, Mr. President! Thank you for making America great again!”

Frequently he will respond by elbowing a visiting head of state out of the way, warmly beckoning you to his table and posing for photographs known as “selfies.” He will have no idea who you are or why you’re there, but he will put his arm around you and grin like you are a dear, beloved friend.

Before posting the picture on your Presidential-Access-For-Sale website, you may use the filter application on your cell phone camera to tone down the unusual apricot hue of the president’s hair.

Afterward, as you depart Mar-a-Lago, cruise by the buffet table and bag up a pile of stone crab claws. This act should remove any suspicion that you’re not a regular guest.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 5, 2019, 06:48 PM (6 replies)
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