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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Al-Qaeda likes Steve Bannon so much, they put him on the cover of their official newspaper

By Amanda Erickson March 3 at 2:35 PM

The way al-Qaeda tells it, the West is locked in an existential war with Islam. This is how the terrorist group justifies its violence and its fundamentalist ideology. And now it has found a Westerner to back them up — top Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

Bannon graced the cover (above the fold!) of the most recent al-Qaeda-linked Al Masra newspaper. That prominence, University of Oxford researcher Elisabeth Kendall told Quartz, is “striking.”

The piece focused on Bannon's views of Islam, saying he believes that “the forces of Islam cannot be stopped by peaceful means.” The paper cited a conversation Bannon had with a Danish journalist in May 2016. It also claimed that Bannon believes that the struggle is really between Christianity and Islam, not just Islam and the West. And it suggested that Bannon has “lost confidence in secular Europe, and sees Muslim immigrants as partially responsible for the retreat of traditional Christian values.”

Like other Trump advisers (and former advisers), Bannon has spoken publicly about these beliefs. In 2014, he gave a speech to the Vatican via Skype in which he said, “We’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of global war against Islamic fascism.” On other occasions, he's suggested that the “Judeo-Christian West” is at war with “expansionist Islamic ideology.”


Tapper nails Trump for claim 'we must do a lot more with less' while costing taxpayers $3M at Mar-a-

Tapper nails Trump for claim ‘we must do a lot more with less’ while costing taxpayers $3M at Mar-a-Lago


Pence says his private email use was not the same as Clinton's

Source: Reuters

03 MAR 2017 AT 16:27 ET

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said there was “no comparison whatsoever” between his use of a private email account for state business while he was governor of Indiana and the email woes of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time in government became a major point of criticism against her as the Democratic nominee during the 2016 presidential election by Pence, the running mate of President Donald Trump, and others involved in the Republican campaign.

“There’s no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton’s practice, having a private server that was handling classified information, destroying emails that were requested by the Congress and by officials,” Pence told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Wisconsin.

Pence’s use of an AOL email account was first reported by the Indianapolis Star on Thursday. The newspaper said Pence used the account at times to discuss sensitive matters and homeland security issues. The account was hacked last summer, the newspaper reported.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/pence-says-his-private-email-use-was-not-the-same-as-clintons/

An undocumented immigrant father was arrested while dropping off his kids at school...

An undocumented immigrant father was arrested while dropping off his kids at school, and it was captured on video


Trump administration considering separating women, children at US-Mexico border

Source: Reuters

03 MAR 2017 AT 15:53 ET

Women and children crossing together illegally into the United States could be separated by U.S. authorities under a proposal being considered by the Department of Homeland Security, according to three government officials.

Part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children, said the officials, who have been briefed on the proposal.

The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the “least restrictive setting” while until they can be taken into the care of a U.S. relative or state-sponsored guardian.

Currently, families contesting deportation or applying for asylum are generally released from detention quickly and allowed to remain in the United States until their cases are resolved. A federal appeals court ruling bars prolonged child detention.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/trump-administration-considering-separating-women-children-at-us-mexico-border/

Trump Tweets To Call For Investigation Into Pelosi's 'Close Ties' To Russia

Source: Talking Points Memo

By KRISTIN SALAKY Published MARCH 3, 2017, 4:06 PM EDT

Another tweet, another call for an investigation.

President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon called for an investigation of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her "ties" to Russia, just hours after suggesting the same for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

I hearby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017

Trump's tweet included a link to a Politico story, which fact-checked Pelosi's claim that she had never met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The outlet pointed out the two are seen in a photo together. Her spokesman later told the outlet she was referring to a "one-on-one" meeting with him.

This is the second Democratic leader Trump has tweeted about in regard to Russia. Earlier in the afternoon he called for an investigation of Schumer for a 2003 photo of he and Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-tweet-pelosi-russia

In leaked document, the case for Trump's 'Muslim ban' takes another huge hit -By Greg Sargent

By Greg Sargent March 3 at 9:36 AM

We keep hearing that President Trump will roll out the new version of his travel ban any day now. The White House delayed it earlier this week, because Trump advisers reportedly thought it could step on the good press he’d earned from his speech, thus inadvertently undercutting their own claims that enacting the ban is an urgent national security matter.

Here’s the real reason for the delay: The Trump administration can’t solve the problem that has always bedeviled this policy, which is that there isn’t any credible national security rationale for it. Unlike on the campaign trail, when you’re governing, you actually have to have justification for what you’re proposing, or you often run into trouble.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had an important scoop on Thursday night that further undercuts the substantive case for Trump’s ban, which would restrict entry into the country by refugees and migrants from select Muslim-majority countries. Maddow obtained a new internal Department of Homeland Security document that reached this key judgment:

We assess that most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns.


Dear Republicans: About a special prosecutor . . . - By Jennifer Rubin

Dear Republicans: About a special prosecutor . . .
By Jennifer Rubin March 3 at 1:19 PM


Until now, Republicans lawmakers have uniformly opposed a special prosecutor, remembering the drawn out investigations of the George W. Bush administration by Patrick Fitzgerald. Their reflexive reaction is to circle the wagons around the White House as Democrats insist only a special prosecutor can get to the bottom of this and assure the American people if President Trump or his aides have been compromised in some fashion. Republicans, for their own good, should stop protesting. They should be anxious to shove the entire thing off their plates and into the hands of a third party.

The facts are going to come dribbling out week after week, it seems, with GOP members forced to comment on each revelation. We learned this week that the repeated statements insisting the Trump campaign had no contacts with Russian officials were patently false. USA Today counted up 20 such denials, but news reports confirming lots of contacts between members of Trump’s inner circle and the Russians have surfaced. Dead stop. That in and of itself should suggest the public and Congress have been misled. Why has the Trump team gone to pains to conceal, deny and distance themselves from such associations?

By concealing contacts — ones the Russians certainly know about — the Trump team may have already made themselves vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Moreover, even if the communications concerned innocuous chit chat about the campaign (“Hillary Clinton sure is vulnerable to the FBI,” “Clinton’s emails must have something in them,” etc.), those may have led Russia to weaponize and leak (via WikiLeaks) harmful information at just the right time. In any event, the Russians clearly thought those communications were worthwhile.

And we have not yet gotten to possible financial ties. What if those business connections are significant, more than what the president has acknowledged (zero)? We already know both Michael Flynn and Donald Trump Jr. were paid handsomely for speeches by Russians or through their allies. Donald Jr. has boasted about Russian money coursing through the company.


Trump promised to not let Iran jail Americans. When will he help free my father and brother?

By Babak Namazi March 3 at 10:17 AM

Babak Namazi lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On Oct. 23, 2016, during the height of the American presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump made a promise to the American people that I hope he can keep. He tweeted, “Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn’t happen if I’m president.” He was talking about my father, Baquer Namazi, and my brother, Siamak Namazi, who had each been sentenced to 10 years in prison days earlier for allegedly “collaborating with the enemy,” the United States. A month into the new administration, I was in Washington to tell President Trump that I am counting on him to make good on his word.

Both my father and my brother are dual Iranian American citizens who have committed no crimes. My family had remained silent for close to a year about this injustice, hoping that Baquer and Siamak would be quietly released once Iran acknowledged their obvious innocence. In fact, in private negotiations with the Obama administration, Iran had actually promised to release Siamak, but instead arrested my father, too. Our hopes were crushed when, in a perversion of justice, both were given extraordinary sentences. Their baseless convictions and the horrific conditions of detention force me to speak out on their behalf.

My father is a retired UNICEF official who devoted his career to under-served populations around the world. Upon retirement, he returned to Iran to dedicate his remaining years to volunteering with projects on poverty eradication. Siamak worked globally as a business consultant. In 2013, he devoted several months to researching the humanitarian impact of sanctions on Iran and presented his report at the Woodrow Wilson Center. His report contributed to targeted changes in U.S. policies to allow for more lifesaving medical supplies to reach the people of Iran.

There is no rational explanation for why the Iranian authorities targeted Siamak and Baquer — their humanitarian work only stood to benefit the Iranian people. Yet on July 18, 2015, after a weekend visit to see our parents, Siamak was stopped at Tehran Airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and his passport was confiscated. Over the next three months, Siamak was interrogated daily. Then on Oct. 13, 2015, Siamak was arrested and taken to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. My father was arrested a few months later by the IRGC on Feb. 22, 2016, and also brought to Evin Prison. There were never any formal charges, though the authorities and some media outlets have spawned lies accusing them of being saboteurs. The allegations are not true.


Pence is an incredible hypocrite on official emails. But that's only part of the story.

By Paul Waldman March 3 at 1:10 PM

I have some disturbing news to share: Republicans might not be as deeply committed to proper email management as you’ve been led to believe.

During the campaign, the entire Republican Party argued that despite Hillary Clinton’s copious qualifications for the presidency, it would be unconscionably dangerous to let her anywhere near the Oval Office because she had used a private email account while she was secretary of state. Crowds at Republican events would chant “Lock her up!” whenever Clinton’s name was mentioned. In one debate, Donald Trump said to Clinton that if he were president, “You’d be in jail.” With FBI Director James Comey’s help, Trump and Republicans made Clinton’s use of private email the single most important issue of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Which is why this story from Tony Cook of the Indianapolis Star is so interesting:

Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.

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