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Member since: Mon Oct 31, 2016, 07:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,634

Journal Archives

Any news of US forces on the Kurds yet? I can't find anything online.

Was hoping to hear American troops are defying Dumpster's order and assisting Kurds, or Congress has some way to assist them

USAToday: Senator says he was blocked by Trump from telling Ukraine foreign aid was coming

Source: USAToday

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he was blocked by President Donald Trump from telling Ukraine's president that U.S. aid was on its way amid accusations Trump was withholding it until the eastern European nation investigated his political rival.
Trump rejected Johnson's request in August after also refusing in May to back new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Oshkosh Republican told reporters Friday.
“I was surprised by the president’s reaction and realized we had a sales job to do,” Johnson said during a constituent stop in Sheboygan. “I tried to convince him (in August) to give me the authority to tell President Zelensky that we were going to provide that. Now, I didn’t succeed."

With his comments Friday, Johnson made clear that he was aware of allegations Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons weeks before the public knew.
Trump, who faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry over the matter, has denied the claim and Johnson has defended the president — but Johnson's story helps House Democrats confirm a key aspect of the probe.

Johnson was part of a delegation that attended Zelensky’s inauguration in May. He and others briefed Trump on the inauguration and urged Trump to back Zelensky but the president resisted the idea, Johnson said Friday. Johnson told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that Sondland told him that Ukraine would appoint a prosecutor who would, as Johnson put it, work to "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 — if President Trump has that confidence, then he’ll release the military spending."

“At that suggestion, I winced,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal. “My reaction was: Oh, God. I don’t want to see those two things combined.” He said he asked Trump about it and the president denied it.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/04/ron-johnson-says-trump-blocked-him-assuring-ukraine-aid/3868691002/

More details on the article. Note Johnson is Republican. More pieces of the puzzle coming together!

LA TIMES: Democrats in districts Trump won in 2016 face little impeachment backlash so far


Link is through MSN but article is by Jennifer Haberkorn from Los Angeles Times.

Democratic lawmakers are at home in their districts for a two-week recess from Washington, providing them their first opportunities to hear directly from voters since the House began a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump last week.

But at three town hall meetings in Pennsylvania and New York districts that voted for Trump in 2016, backlash to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was rare and only from loyal Trump supporters — not the key independent and moderate voters that Democrats will need for victory in 2020 in Congress and the White House.
Several Democratic voters in these swing districts said they didn’t begin to support impeachment until the president’s interactions with the Ukrainian president became public.
Polls show that public support for impeachment has risen in recent days. According to a USA Today/Ipsos poll released Thursday, 45% of Americans support the House’s effort and 38% oppose it. That’s up from 32% support and 61% opposition in a June USA Today poll. Other polls have found similar shifts in sentiment.

From MoveOn.org - Comcast & Trump admin to strike down key provisions of one of Civil Rights Acts

I got below letter in email. Why in heck is Comcast meddling in politics? Anybody else got one as well and is this true?

Comcast and the Trump administration are working to strike down key provisions of one of the oldest and most important civil rights laws in the country: the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

For more than 150 years, this law has been a bedrock protection from racial discrimination in employment, housing, banking, and consumer and business transactions. Now, Comcast is petitioning the Supreme Court to allow racial discrimination in business transactions as long as racism is not the only reason for denying someone a service.[1][2] If the Supreme Court sides with Comcast and the Trump administration, it will strike down one of the most important tools we have for protecting our communities from discrimination. Such a decision has the potential to fundamentally change how racial discrimination claims are decided for decades to come.

We cannot allow Comcast’s board and executive leadership to quietly dismantle civil rights laws so that it can pad its bottom line by discriminating against Black people. We still have time to force Comcast to withdraw its petition from the Supreme Court. But we need to act fast to turn up the pressure on its board of directors before it’s too late!

Demand Comcast withdraw its Supreme Court petition challenging the Civil Rights Act of 1866, our oldest civil rights statute.

Color Of Change has reached out to Comcast executives and board members directly to request its Supreme Court petition to be dropped. However, Comcast and its executives refuse to accept its legal defense will roll back civil rights protections. For a company that prides itself on being dedicated to diversity and inclusion in all facets of its business, it is clear these efforts may be contradicted at any time to protect the Comcast’s bottom-line.

Black people already face extensive barriers in accessing justice and economic equality in this country, and this petition would serve only to allow corporations off the hook for their discriminatory practices.

For Tatiana Denson, a 40-year-old Black woman who had the police called on her for trying to open a business checking account at a PNC Bank, or Judi Brown, a Black transgender woman who was subjected to transphobic and racist slurs and harassment by her manager and coworkers at a Circle K, this law is their only pathway to justice.[3][4] Comcast’s petition would make it so that Black people like Tatiana and Judi would have to prove that racism was the only driver of a decision or denial. Instead of affirming that racism has no place in the negotiation of a commercial contract, Comcast is partnering with a Department of Justice that is openly hostile to the civil rights of Black people. Together, they condone the inclusion of racism as a legitimate basis for refusing to enter into a contract with Black people — as long as racism is not the "only reason."[5]

We must ensure there are proper protections for our people now and for years to come. Demand Comcast drop its Supreme Court petition for a Civil Rights Act of 1866 hearing.

Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 places Black people on equal footing with white Americans by outlawing conduct that would prevent our communities from developing the means to work, build wealth, or have access to the justice system to vindicate our rights. Comcast is using an important piece of legislation to win a legal battle in an effort to disregard the large-scale effects of an adverse Supreme Court decision.[6] What is at stake is more important than television programming.

Comcast's persistent pursuit of a ruling undermining civil rights laws, despite our efforts to engage the corporation directly, places it at the forefront of coordinated efforts by this administration to strike down centuries of civil rights progress. Comcast must be held accountable for attempting to reverse legislation enacted to ensure the economic and civil protections of Black People. Demand Comcast drop its Civil Rights Act of 1866 Supreme Court petition.

By leveraging a relationship with an administration that pursues white nationalist ideals to block Black economic and media power, Comcast is standing on the wrong side of history, and this cannot go without consequence. It is critical that Comcast reconsider its petition to the Supreme Court, given the extensive harms that a ruling in its favor could extend to Black people, Black businesses, and Black economic equality.

Stop Comcast from setting an oppressive precedent that would make proving racial discrimination practically impossible.

Until justice is real,


Abbott's pulling a Dumpster move: threatens to intervene in Austin's "homelessness crisis"


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presented Austin and its Mayor Steve Adler with an ultimatum Wednesday: “Demonstrate consequential improvement in the Austin homelessness crisis” by Nov. 1 or the state will step in.

The SOB!! This is a city matter. Butt out Abbott.

Huffpost: 9 Unanswered Questions In The Whistleblower Complaint - Puny Pence & LowBarr involvement


1. Which White House officials were in on the call?

2. Which White House officials ordered the call transcript to be locked down and improperly classified? Which officials carried out the order?

3. What did former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats know, and when did he know it?

4. What was Attorney General William Barr’s involvement?

5. Did Ukrainian officials believe they needed to “play ball” with Trump?

6. Did U.S. officials believe Ukraine feared losing military aid?

7. Why did Mike Pence cancel his trip to Ukraine?

8. Why was U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed from office?

9. Did the White House improperly file other call transcripts with foreign leaders on the classified server?

Great article on these unanswered questions, lots of good info.

Jonathan Chait: The Ukraine Scandal Is Not One Phone Call. It's a Massive Plot.


On July 25, President Trump held a phone call in which he repeatedly leaned on Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and Paul Manafort’s prosecutors. The episode is so blatantly inappropriate even Trump’s most fervent apologists are, with a few exceptions, having trouble defending it. What they are trying to do, instead, is define this phone call as the entire scandal. Trump emphasizes that he “didn’t specifically mention the explicit quid pro quo” of military aid in return for the investigation.

That is true, as far as it goes. The quid pro quo in the call, though perfectly apparent, is mostly implicit. But the real trick in Trump’s defense is framing the call as the entire scandal. The scandal is much more than that. The call is a snapshot, a moment in time in a months-long campaign that put American policy toward Ukraine at the disposal of Trump’s personal interests and reelection campaign...

The White House–issued summary of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky shows the American president pressing his counterpart to undertake the twin investigations. After Trump asks Zelensky to investigate Biden, and Zelensky makes accommodating noises in response, Trump promises to have Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr call him. Barr also was involved in preventing Congress from seeing the whistle-blower complaint, and the call summary shows that he had a personal interest in doing so. Add Barr to the list of impeachment witnesses.

There may be many others. Last night on Fox News, Giuliani held up a phone he said included messages with official authorization for his activities. “You know who I did it at the request of? The State Department,” he said. The scheme to shake down Ukraine was a massive plot, spreading through the government and corrupting multiple officials. Trump had a lot of accomplices.

I watched Chris Hayes on MSNBC cover this last night. You can see he was so visibly shaken by the stark level of corruption in the details that came out of this redacted transcript he could hardly contain himself.

Democrats' Path To National Power In The 2020s Runs Through Small Races In Texas


It’s all about redistricting, the process by which governors and state legislators draw each state’s legislative and congressional districts, and which occurs every ten years, after each census. In recent decades, the Democratic party has overlooked the importance of state legislature races, giving Republicans tremendous power to draw district boundaries that give them a substantial partisan advantage.

If Democrats can win races like Hirsch’s and take back the Texas House in 2020, they’ll have a voice in Texas’ redistricting process. That could ensure that, in future elections, Dems have a much more level playing field in the huge, blue-trending state.

“We flipped 12 [seats] in 2018, we have to defend all 12 of those. … But we have to flip nine more and my race has to be one of them,” Hirsch told HuffPost. “There’s limited opportunity for Democrats to have a voice.”

Texas Republicans know exactly what’s at stake, too.

“There is nothing more important — not only to Texas, but literally the nation — than to make sure that we maintain the Texas House” going into redistricting, Republican state Sen. Kelly Hancock said at a Tea Party event in June. If “we lose Texas, we lose the nation. And there’s no other place to go.”


This is damn good. Glad Sharon Hirsch is running again given she lost last year by such a small margin. Plano TX is an affluent city full of BLUE voters. Dems need to also focus on winning control of state legislatures. Redistricting (more correctly, GERRYMANDERING) is the product of GOP having control of the levers of power at the state level.

SPOILER ALERT: Women's world cup soccer update

USWNT defeats France 2-1

They face British team next Tuesday

VIDEO of the game-winning goal:

Preet's got a new book out: Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule


“Imagine what it would look like now if I were still US attorney and it became known that I had quiet little chats with the president at the same time we were investigating the Trump organisation and Michael Cohen. So I didn’t call back, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.”

I will be getting a copy. He's on Morning Joe now.
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