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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

Americans like transgender servicemembers more than they like Trump

By Gwendolyn Smith · Wednesday, January 30, 2019

In spite of a recent move by the U.S. Supreme Court to let the Trump administration’s transgender military ban proceed, the most recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that 70% of Americans support transgender troops.

That number is higher than those supporting the architect of the ban, President Donald Trump: the same poll shows that just 38% of those polled approve of the president’s job performance.

Only 22% of respondents support the ban.

“It’s crystal clear that the far majority of Americans reject Donald Trump’s reckless, discriminatory attack on our nation’s brave transgender service members,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack via a press release.


Schultz Walks Back Denunciation Of Medicare For All As 'Un-American'

By Kate Riga
January 30, 2019 9:24 am

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz walked back his denunciation of Medicare for all Tuesday night, downgrading his insult from “un-American” to “unaffordable.”

“It’s not that it’s not American,” Schultz told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “It’s unaffordable.”

“What I believe is that every American has the right to affordable health care as a statement,” he added.

Schultz giveth, Schultz taketh away. To replace Medicare for all, he labeled a new thing un-American during the interview: that Dreamers don’t have a pathway to citizenship.

Read more on Schultz’s consistent verbal tic here.





Texas Warns Counties Of Flaws In Report Stoking Noncitizen Voter Fraud Fears

Source: Talking Points Memo/The AP

By Paul J. Weber

January 30, 2019 10:01 am

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Officials with the Texas secretary of state’s office began calling county election chiefs Tuesday to warn about problems with its recent report questioning the citizenship of tens of thousands of registered voters, the latest example of a state backpedaling after raising alarms about potential widespread election fraud.

Local officials told The Associated Press that they received calls from Texas Secretary of State David Whitley’s office indicating that some citizens had been included in the original data announced Friday. The state had used a database of drivers’ licenses and personal IDs to suggest that as many as 95,000 non-U.S. citizens may be on the state’s voter rolls and that as many as 58,000 may have cast a ballot at least once since 1996.

“We received a call from the state saying we should put things on hold,” said Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole. “Some of the data that they received was flawed. Some of the voters had already provided proof of citizenship.”

Whitley released a new statement Tuesday that didn’t provide any revised estimate of voters whose citizenship remains in question. It also doesn’t acknowledge any errors with the initial count, after his office Friday had expressed high confidence in the data that was used.

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/texas-report-noncitizen-voter-fraud-flaws

Schiff Teases Using Intel Chiefs' Hearing To Shoot Down National Emergency

By Kate Riga
January 30, 2019 8:10 am

House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) tipped his hand Wednesday, saying that he would use Tuesday’s testimony from intelligence chiefs to shoot down the rationale for a national emergency, should President Donald Trump try to use that card to fund a border wall.

“I will say this also that glaring absences that you talked about earlier—that none of the intel chiefs brought up a threat at the border as being one of the most pressing threats facing the country—that can be Exhibit A in a challenge of a national emergency,” Schiff said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The fact that none of the intelligence agencies think it is an emergency, the fact that Congress on both parties don’t think this is an emergency…I think if anything it is going to undermine that legal case that the President may try to make, that hearing yesterday can be a central exhibit.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday with their annual assessment of global threats. The U.S.-Mexico border did not make the list.

Watch here:




GOP Rep: 'I Aspire To Be The Conservative AOC...But I Can't Dance For Sh*t'

By Kate Riga
January 30, 2019 10:53 am

Though they may despise her policies, some conservatives admit—privately and publicly — that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has enviable political savvy.

According to Politico, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), an ardent Trump acolyte, is one of them.

“I aspire to be the conservative AOC,” Gaetz said, but he admitted there’s at least one obstacle in the way of his ambitions: “I can’t dance for shit.”

Gaetz was referring to the video of Ocasio-Cortez dancing from her college days that the right pounced on to try to make her look silly, but which was widely considered funny and likable.

Per Politico, Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter are also unlikely admirers of Ocasio-Cortez.



Trump Boosts Book by 'Low Level' Former Staffer

January 30, 2019 at 10:55 am EST By Taegan Goddard

CNN: “At the time of the Tuesday morning tweet, Team of Vipers was No. 12 on Amazon’s best selling books list. The rankings are updated every hour. Vipers has been moving up the list ever since, and as of Tuesday afternoon, it stands at No. 6.”

“Of course, it’s impossible to know how much of the sales momentum is due to Trump, and how much is due to other factors like Sims’ TV appearances… But Trump’s post triggered a brand new news cycle about Sims’ depictions of a distracted president and a distrustful inner circle of aides.”



Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is charging a whopping $200,000 per speaking gig

Kayla Tausche | @kaylatausche
Published 2 Hours Ago Updated 7 Mins Ago

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements, according to seven people with knowledge of the arrangement.

Engagements outside the United States could cost considerably more, these people said.

Haley's lucrative fee propels her into a league populated by U.S. presidents, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former first lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

With the Trump Cabinet's revolving door continually spinning, organizations looking for an inside glimpse into the administration have increasing options — but they come with increasingly higher price tags.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements, according to seven people with knowledge of the arrangement, who spoke on condition of anonymity because such quotes aren't made publicly available. Engagements outside the United States could cost considerably more, these people said.

In her October resignation letter, Haley said she would be taking a "step up" into the private sector after leaving the U.N. At the rate quoted for her engagements, just a handful would pay down more than $1 million in outstanding debt that was accrued during her 14 years of public service, according to a public financial disclosure report based on 2017 data.

Haley's spokesperson did not respond to an e-mail, text and call seeking comment.

But it may raise questions if she decides to re-enter the political fray. Haley's lucrative fee propels her into a league populated by U.S. presidents, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former first lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Charging roughly $225,000 apiece, Clinton brought in nearly $22 million from a wide range of engagements between leaving office in 2013 and running for president in 2015, according to an Associated Press investigation. That led to criticism from opponents who claimed she was influenced by special interests and calls for the event transcripts to be published.


EXCLUSIVE Mueller Witness' Team Gamed Out Russian Meddling ... in 2015

Betsy Woodruff, Erin Banco
01.30.19 5:05 AM ET

Days after Donald Trump rode down an escalator at Trump Tower and announced he’d run for president, a little-known consulting firm with links to Israeli intelligence started gaming out how a foreign government could meddle in the U.S. political process. Internal communications, which The Daily Beast reviewed, show that the firm conducted an analysis of how illicit efforts might shape American politics. Months later, the Trump campaign reviewed a pitch from a company owned by that firm’s founder—a pitch to carry out similar efforts.

The founder of the firm, called Wikistrat, has been questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as they investigate efforts by foreign governments to shape American politics during the 2016 presidential campaign. Joel Zamel, a low-profile Israeli-Australian who started the firm, has deep contacts in Middle Eastern intelligence circles. There are no known publicly available pictures of him. But he met people in the upper echelons of the Trump campaign.

In April 2016, senior Trump campaign official Rick Gates reviewed a pitch produced by a company called Psy Group, which Zamel reportedly owns. The pitch laid out a three-pronged election influence campaign that included creating thousands of fake social media accounts to support then-candidate Trump and disparage his opponents, according to The New York Times.

After Trump became the party’s official nominee, Zamel met with Donald Trump Jr. and discussed the plan, which echoed both the real election interference already underway by the Kremlin and the scenario Wikistrat gamed out the year before.

Zamel took part in at least two meetings in Washington in 2016 and 2017. And his staff at Psy Group made several connections about their social media manipulation plan with individuals who represented themselves as close to the Trump team.


Brennan rips into Trump for criticizing intel chiefs: it shows 'your intellectual bankruptcy'

BY MICHAEL BURKE - 01/30/19 10:24 AM EST

Former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday ripped into President Trump for criticizing top intelligence leaders, saying that the criticism was evidence of Trump's "intellectual bankruptcy."

"Your refusal to accept the unanimous assessment of U.S. Intelligence on Iran, No. Korea, ISIS, Russia, & so much more shows the extent of your intellectual bankruptcy," Brennan wrote in a tweet in response to Trump.

"All Americans, especially members of Congress, need to understand the danger you pose to our national security," Brennan, a vocal critic of the president, added.



Poll: GOP favorability drops as Dem favorability stays steady

Source: The Hill

BY MORGAN GSTALTER - 01/30/19 10:33 AM EST

The Republican Party’s favorability among Americans appears to have suffered following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, although views of the Democratic Party have remained steady, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.

The GOP’s favorability fell to 37 percent, down from 45 percent in September when it had been the most favorable rating for the party since 2010 after the successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The Democratic Party’s favorability rating has remained at 45 percent.

Although the Republican Party’s favorability has plummeted following the 35-day shutdown that ended last week, Gallup noted that opinions are still higher than the 28 percent rating the party was given during the October 2013 shutdown.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/427629-poll-gop-favorability-drops-as-dem-favorability-stays-steady
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