Friday, May 10, 2019

Lock Him Up Like You Would Anybody Else

Donald Trump Jr. has been subpoenaed to appear in a Senate hearing, and Reuters is saying that he does not intend to show up for it.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump Jr. is unlikely to comply with a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena to testify about his contacts with Russia, two congressional sources said on Thursday as the president publicly defended his eldest son.

The sources said Trump Jr is expected to cite his Fifth Amendment constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination, a day after reports that the Republican-led panel had issued what is the first publicly known subpoena for a member of the president’s family. Donald Trump Jr. seen resisting Senate committee subpoena: sources
Note that Trump Junior does not hold any position in the government. He does not have executive privilege or, apparently, a security clearance, or anything else that would make his testimony inappropriate or even controversial, nothing that would raise Constitutional questions about the checks and balances in our system of government.

He is just a guy who made some statements to Congress which were contradicted by findings of the Mueller report. The Senate committee will want Junior to explain some statements from his last visit.

The committee is chaired by a Republican, in a Republican-dominated chamber of Congress, and so it is likely they will toss him some softballs and let him go. But still, this is a subpoena, it is not a party invitation.

If you or I got such a subpoena and didn't appear, do you know what would happen? Yeah, they'd come find us and throw our butts in jail until Congress could schedule another hearing, and then they would drag us down there and make sure we sat in the chair and answered the questions.

I don't know about you, but I want to see how this works. Donald Trump Junior is a regular private citizen, just like you and me. Handcuffs fit around his wrists just like they fit on the rest of us. The jail door can clank shut behind him just like it clanks shut on anybody else who disobeys the law. I don't actually hope anybody goes to jail but it's totally his own choice at this point.

This administration routinely breaks the law with everything from emoluments to nepotism to giving clearances to a bunch of traitors. And the thing is, nothing happens. It's like there is no law, or it doesn't apply to the Trump family, business, or government administration. So once, just once, I'd like to see one of those smug crooks go sit on a metal bench in a room with a concrete floor and steel bars for walls. Maybe just overnight. Give one of them a taste of what the other ninety-nine percent experiences when we break the law.

I don't have any problem with Junior asserting his Fifth Amendment rights. The good ol' Constitution protects him. Of course, we understand you only need to be protected from self-incrimination if you have done something incriminating in the first place. I expect this the first of many.

153 Comments:

Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

"He is just a guy who made some statements to Congress which were contradicted by findings of the Mueller report."

actually he's not "just a guy"

he's the President's son, which is why he's being harassed

"The Senate committee will want Junior to explain some statements from his last visit."

he's testified, the Mueller report has thoroughly discussed the results of a two-year investigation of the incident in question

there's nothing unknown about the meeting

and it may fall under executive privilege since it involves relations with a foreign power that was seeking to lobby for US policy changes

"If you or I got such a subpoena and didn't appear, do you know what would happen? Yeah, they'd come find us and throw our butts in jail until Congress could schedule another hearing, and then they would drag us down there and make sure we sat in the chair and answered the questions."

probably not

btw, Comey, Clapper, and Brennan all lied to Congress

why no indictments?

btw, Eric Holder defied subpoenas from Congress

why no indictments?

May 10, 2019 10:49 AM  
Anonymous AP News said...

...The Senate Judiciary committee had renewed interest in talking to Trump Jr. after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified earlier this year. Cohen told a House committee in February that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the presidential election. Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal.

The panel has also investigated a meeting between Trump Jr., other campaign staff and a Russian lawyer. Emails leading up to the meeting promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Mueller’s report, released last month, says Cohen recalled being in Trump’s office “when Trump Jr. told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about Clinton was going forward.” The report notes that Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, that he did not inform his father about the emails or the upcoming meeting.

Cohen reported to federal prison this week to start a three-year sentence for crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made to protect his former boss.

A spokeswoman for the committee would not confirm the subpoena. But Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican member of the panel, hinted after Cohen spoke behind closed doors to the Senate intelligence panel that the committee would want to talk to Trump Jr. again. She said senators “clearly need to re-interview some witnesses whose accounts (Cohen) contradicts.”

The Senate intelligence committee has been investigating Russian election interference and Trump’s ties to Russia for the last two years. The panel is expected to try to call in several witnesses as it winds up its investigation over the next several months.

Burr told The Associated Press last week that he doesn’t expect to have any more public hearings and that he hopes to be finished with the investigation by the end of the year...

May 10, 2019 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"btw, Eric Holder defied subpoenas from Congress

why no indictments?"

Look what you missed:

Subpoena Fight Over; Fast and Furious Documents Settled

Thursday, 09 May 2019

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has struck a deal with the Justice Department to end a lawsuit filed seven years ago over the Operation Fast and Furious scandal...

District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a ruling in the case a year ago, which temporarily derailed a tentative agreement struck between both sides. In the new agreement, the House panel and the DOJ agreed to abandon their appeals and lawsuit.

"The Parties agree that because subsequent developments have obviated the need to resolve those issues in an appeal in this case, the District Court's holdings should not in any way control the resolution of the same or similar issues should they arise in other litigation between the Committee and the Executive Branch, and hereby waive any right to argue that the judgment of the District Court or any of the District Court's orders or opinions in this case have any preclusive effect in any other litigation," reads the agreement...

May 10, 2019 12:03 PM  
Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

yeah, the Mueller report obviated the need for calling DT Jr

there is really no purpose

Congress knows all it needs to know to judge legislative proposals

they aren't a court of law

The Democrats have made a big mistake in their blanket opposition to the policies of President Donald Trump, especially on immigration, said Charlie Munger, the right-hand man of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

“Donald Trump is right on immigration,” says Munger, 95, in his first interview after the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting. “Democrats are committing suicide...they hate him so much that they're against him even when he's right.”

“We should have way more control over our borders than we do,” adds Munger

He added, “Very few people want unlimited immigration of a different culture.”

May 10, 2019 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Gurgle, gurgle said...

Trump campaign officials are sounding the alarm over the president’s early fund-raising hauls. Trump’s son Don Jr. has privately warned donors that Trump only raised around $30 million in the last quarter, and pointed out that the number fell far short of the roughly $45 million Barack Obama raised in the second quarter of 2011 for his 2012 re-election bid, according to a source briefed on the conversations (A source close to Don Jr. disputed this). “They need more money, and there’s no enthusiasm. They need to amp it up,” a Trump donor told me. “Wall Street never liked Trump from the beginning. Goldman is filled with people who were Obama fund-raisers,” another Trump donor told me. In 2016, Trump raised only about $351 million. Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign took in $483 million.

Sources say the anemic fund-raising is being driven by several factors. The biggest is Trump himself. Trump’s shambolic governing style and endless tweeting are exhausting donors. “There’s Trump fatigue,” the longtime Republican donor told me. “The 2020 bumper sticker should be: ‘Same Policies, but We Promise Less Crazy.’” Then there’s Trump’s difficult re-election pathway. According to a source, some donors aren’t stepping up because Trump’s numbers in must-win states like Pennsylvania (https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/poll-trump-trails-every-top-2020-dem-in-pennsylvania), Michigan (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/Michigan.html), and Wisconsin (https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign-polls/434513-poll-trump-trails-biden-sanders-warren-in-wisconsin) continue to disappoint.

Another problem is the dysfunction in Trump’s donor-outreach effort. Simply put, donors feel ignored. “There’s no follow-through,” said a donor who’s interacted with the campaign. “They don’t return favors,” another donor said. One former administration official said some donors are upset at the slow pace of confirming ambassadorships and political appointments. “Donors are not being taken care of,” the official said. “All these people were supposed to be ambassadors by now, but they’ve been slow-rolled. Trump is furious.”

The poor boo-boos. Not getting their ambassadorships after all they've done to deserve it.

May 10, 2019 1:42 PM  
Anonymous You are all wet said...

"the Mueller report obviated the need for calling DT Jr"

No it didn't.

"Trump Jr. declined to speak voluntarily to Mueller's team," but he did speak to Senate Judiciary committee staffers. It's the discrepancy between Mueller's report and Don Jr's claims to Senate staffers that "renewed the Senate Judiciary committee's interest in talking to Don Jr."

As noted above:

"The Senate Judiciary committee had renewed interest in talking to Trump Jr. after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified earlier this year. Cohen told a House committee in February that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the presidential election. Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal."

May 10, 2019 2:09 PM  
Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

so, there's some new need because Cohen the perjurer, who was desperately trying to make up something he could trade for a get-out-of-jail card, made up some story?

Mueller investigated the incident and wouldn't have wrapped up if he were uncertain about it

again, they barely need to know what happened

they don't need to confront someone about some trivial inconsistency

it really doesn't matter what he told his father

May 10, 2019 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they don't need to confront someone about some trivial inconsistency"

Lying to the Senate about what the President knew and when he knew it is not trivial.

"they [Congress] aren't a court of law"

Congressional oversight is oversight by the United States Congress over the Executive Branch, including the numerous U.S. federal agencies...Oversight occurs in a wide variety of congressional activities and contexts. These include authorization, appropriations, investigative, and legislative hearings by standing committees; specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff.

What an interesting development:

Americans' support for impeaching Trump rises: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of Americans who said President Donald Trump should be impeached rose 5 percentage points to 45 percent since mid-April, while more than half said multiple congressional probes of Trump interfered with important government business, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday...

In addition to the 45 percent pro-impeachment figure, the Monday poll found that 42 percent of Americans said Trump should not be impeached. The rest said they had no opinion.

In comparison, an April 18-19 survey found that 40 percent of all Americans wanted to impeach Trump.

May 10, 2019 3:42 PM  
Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

"Lying to the Senate about what the President knew and when he knew it is not trivial."

actually, in a trivial matter like this, it is

the Senate "oversight" function is being distorted

their concern should be how policies are carried out

not what happened during the campaign

the President's knowledge and thoughts are irrelevant

May 10, 2019 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Democrats Issue Subpoenas For Donald Trump’s Tax Returns said...

The Trump administration is defying a federal law that is supposed to give Congress access to private tax information.

Democrats on Friday issued subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s tax returns after the Trump administration said it would not comply with a formal legal request for the documents this week.

“While I do not take this step lightly, I believe this action gives us the best opportunity to succeed and obtain the requested material,” said Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of Ways and Means, the chief tax-writing committee of the U.S. House.

Neal’s announcement marks the beginning of a legal battle that could drag on for months or years, though nobody knows for sure how long it could take because the situation is unprecedented.

The tax returns represent just one of many Democratic requests that the Trump administration has blocked while assuming an unprecedented posture of stonewalling. Federal judges have generally upheld the congressional power to investigate the executive branch, though court cases can outlast sessions of Congress.

The tax fight is different from the other oversight battles, however, because a long-standing federal law explicitly gives Congress access to anyone’s private tax information. The chairs of tax committees have routinely used the statute to help with drafting legislation and overseeing the executive branch. Requests usually go to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and experts are unaware of any previous request being denied.

But after Neal asked for six years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns last month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin swooped in to say the request was probably unconstitutional. Mnuchin formally refused to comply with the law on Monday.

Congress has never asked for a president’s personal tax information before, but that’s largely because presidents going back to Nixon have voluntarily disclosed their tax returns. Trump is the first modern president to keep his taxes private.

The New York Times reported this week that Trump’s tax transcripts from 1985 through 1994, which the Times obtained from an unnamed source, showed Trump reported more than $1 billion in business losses for the decade, allowing him to avoid paying any income taxes for eight of the 10 years.

“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes,” Trump tweeted in response to the story, adding that “it was sport” for real estate developers.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called Trump’s response to the story “a shocking admission of contempt for the law from the president of the United States” and said the story showed why Mnuchin “has chosen to break the law” rather than comply with Neal’s request.

May 10, 2019 4:57 PM  
Anonymous drip, drip, drip...Obama will be caught said...

"The Trump administration is defying a federal law that is supposed to give Congress access to private tax information"

like anything else, laws can't taken out of context

they need to be interpreted in light of other laws, judicial rulings, and the Constitution

in contrast to the oft-repeated platitude, this is not a nation of laws, it is a nation of rights

furthermore, judges have ruled that requests for information from the executive branch must have a "legitimate legislative purpose" not a faux legislative purpose with actual political theater intent

and further still, the law requiring disclosure of individual tax returns to Congress specifies not all Congressmen will have access and that strict confidentiality will be adhered to

Democrats have uniformly said that they think that Trump's returns should be made public

when you consider that in addition to the fact that there seem to be no consequences in our present society for breaking the law by leaking confidential information, it makes their request even more dubious

remember the egregious Diane Feinstein promised to keep Christine Ford Blah-blahsey's identity secret?

"Democrats on Friday issued subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s tax returns after the Trump administration said it would not comply with a formal legal request for the documents this week."

doesn't change much, there's already a law that tax returns must be given to Congress

all of what I discussed above still applies

"The tax returns represent just one of many Democratic requests that the Trump administration has blocked while assuming an unprecedented posture of stonewalling"

the Obama administration routinely refused to respond to such requests

Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress

so much for "unprecedented"

"Federal judges have generally upheld the congressional power to investigate the executive branch,"

not on an unqualified basis

see above discussion

"experts are unaware of any previous request being denied"

in the past, Congress hasn't abused the law to harass their political opponent

everyone is up in arms when past Presidents, like Nixon and Obama, have abused their power to harass political opponents

why would Congress get a pass to do the same?

"Congress has never asked for a president’s personal tax information before"

exactly, this is uncharted territory

"but that’s largely because presidents going back to Nixon have voluntarily disclosed their tax returns. Trump is the first modern president to keep his taxes private."

the "modern" era didn't start with Nixon

"The New York Times reported this week that Trump’s tax transcripts from 1985 through 1994,"

we need a law throwing editors in jail when their newspapers disclose taxpayers' confidential personal information

"“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes,” Trump tweeted"

obviously

you could the same response from millions of business owners

"Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called Trump’s response to the story “a shocking admission of contempt for the law from the president of the United States”"

someone of such profound ignorance shouldn't be a Senator

there should be a minimum IQ level required

May 11, 2019 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Creepy Sleepy Joe said...

Even Trump knows I'm gonna win!

President Trump on Friday offered his take on how the Democratic presidential primary race is shaping up.

“Looks to me like it’s going to be Sleepy Creepy Joe over Crazy Bernie. Everyone else is fading fast!” he tweeted.

That prediction is in line with recent polling and some expert analysis.

In a recent Morning Consult poll, 40% of Democrats voiced a preference for me, compared to 19%, who opted for Senator Bernie Sanders.

The remainder of the many, many hopefuls ended up with numbers in the single digits.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten also see me as the strongest candidate, giving me the top spot in their recent “power rankings” for Democrats.

Sanders, who previously held the number one position, slipped to second.

May 11, 2019 12:27 PM  
Anonymous promise made, promise kept: Dems should try it said...

The Pentagon has approved a plan to spend an additional $1.5 billion to build 80 more miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. defense official confirmed Friday.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the re-allocation of funds from various projects to help pay for the wall along the southern border.

"Today, I authorized the transfer of $1.5 billion toward the construction of more than 80 miles of border barrier," he said. "The funds were drawn from a variety of sources, including cost savings, programmatic changes, and revised requirements, and therefore will have minimal impact on force readiness."

In March, Shanahan approved the first transfer of Defense Department dollars and redirected $1 billion to help build nearly 60 miles of wall in Yuma, Ariz. and El Paso, Texas.

The combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border.

But the plan to divert Pentagon funding has sparked whining from congressional Democrats, who accused Shanahan of not seeking approval from Congress to “reprogram” the funds. Shanahan and other senior defense officials noted in response they did not have to get permission from Congress despite the pitching of fits by Democratic lawmakers.

Shanahan, who has said he plans to visit the border on Saturday, said that the Pentagon is “fully engaged” in fixing the border crisis. He said that more than 4,000 troops and 19 aircraft are supporting Customs and Border Protection personnel.

The funds are being reprogrammed from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, a project focused on chemical weapons, Air Force programs, savings related to a military retirement system, and coalition support funds. The Pentagon is also expected, at some point, to transfer up to $3.6 billion from military construction budgets to pay for wall construction, but details of those plans have yet to be announced.

The move comes after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders eloquently said Thursday that the president would officially nominate Shanahan to be the next U.S. secretary of defense. The decision to have Shanahan permanently lead the department “is based upon his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead.”

"Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do so," Sanders said in a statement Thursday.

Shanahan said he was “honored” by Trump’s magnificent decision.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy," he said. "I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”

May 11, 2019 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the Senate "oversight" function is being distorted

their concern should be how policies are carried out"

WRONG!

IN FACT:

Oversight occurs in a wide variety of congressional activities and contexts. These include authorization, appropriations, investigative, and legislative hearings by standing committees; specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff.

"Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress"

That case has been settled and the documents Holder was found in contempt for withholding "the court found had already been disclosed to the public."

AG William Barr has been voted in contempt of Congress.

You hope when the documents Barr refuses to provide Congress are disclosed to the public, his case will be settled too.

Harvard huh?

It sounds more like you went to Trump U.

May 11, 2019 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Obama will be with everybody in the whole cell block said...

"Oversight occurs in a wide variety of congressional activities and contexts. These include authorization, appropriations, investigative, and legislative hearings by standing committees; specialized investigations by select committees; and reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and staff."

and?

the point is legislative purpose is required, that is, the purpose of any investigation should be what kind of legislation is advisable given the facts they've uncovered in their investigation

Dems are known for abusing any power they get

Clinton taking advantage of a young intern

Obama misusing the IRS in 2012

Obama and Hillary misusing the FISA courts in 2016

now, Pelosi misusing Congressional investigative powers

fortunately, our Constitution has checks and balances

so, the Supreme Court will ultimately decide this

wonder how they'll rule.....

"Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress"

yes, that's why, when the stupid TTFer said Barr's actions were "unprecedented", he was lying

"Harvard huh?"

Harvard huh, what?

I never said I went to Harvard Law

Obama, however, did go there

and lost more constitutional challenges than any President in history

his legal incompetence is historical

apparently, Harvard Law has turned out some colossal failures

May 11, 2019 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"now, Pelosi misusing Congressional investigative powers"

Pelosi is still an amateur compared to Trey Gowdy in that department.

From 2014 to 2016, Gowdy chaired the United States House Select Committee on Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi which was partly responsible for discovering the existence of Hillary Clinton's private email server.[1] His investigative committee spent over two and a half years and $7.8 million investigating the events surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attack, ultimately finding no evidence of specific wrong-doing by then-Secretary of State Clinton.[2][3][4] Gowdy pressed for the prosecution of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.[5]

May 11, 2019 3:46 PM  
Anonymous drip, drip, drip...Obama will be caught said...

"Pelosi is still an amateur"

when it comes to how to be a statesmanlike Congressman, she's an amateur with decades of experience

that's rare

May 11, 2019 4:16 PM  
Anonymous drip, drip, drip...Obama will be caught said...

President Donald Trump told POLITICO on Friday that it would be “appropriate” for him to speak to Attorney General Bill Barr about launching an investigation into his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, or his son, Hunter.

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, said he would be traveling to Ukraine to urge the incoming government there to look at Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company that has reportedly been in prosecutors’ crosshairs.

“Certainly it would be an appropriate thing to speak to him about, but I have not done that as of yet. … It could be a very big situation,” Trump said in a 15-minute telephone interview on Friday afternoon, which stemmed from POLITICO’s inquiries for a separate story.

Barr also drew attention during his recent congressional testimony when he demurred on a question about whether anybody in the White House had ever suggested that he launch an investigation.

The two Bidens’ connections to Ukraine have become a subject of deep interest because Biden as vice president pressured the Ukrainian government to oust a prosecutor in order to benefit his son. The Ukrainian prosecutor had reportedly faced allegations of ignoring corruption among Ukraine’s business and political elite.

The president argued that the alleged conflict of interest, or appearance thereof, was not mushrooming into an all-out scandal because Biden is a Democrat.

“Because he’s a Democrat,” Trump said, the report had about “one-hundredth” the impact as it would have if he “were a Republican.”

As of Friday afternoon, Giuliani was about to travel to Ukraine in an effort to push the country’s president-elect to pursue the investigation into Hunter Biden’s involvement with the energy company, Burisma Holdings. He also wants Ukraine to probe whether the country’s officials were trying to help Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election by releasing forged documents tied to Paul Manafort.

Giuliani was planning to leave Sunday and return Wednesday, he told POLITICO in an interview Friday afternoon. During his trip, Giuliani was expecting to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian who was elected president of Ukraine last month and who has reportedly said he’s looking to replace one of the prosecutors involved in the cases.

“I just want to tell him, ‘Don’t let these crooks talk you out of the investigation. There are real facts there they’ve got to investigate,’” Giuliani said. “A lot of this stuff is a lot easier for them to get. They do get nervous if they think the government is going to scuttle this investigation.”

Biden’s stupid campaign advisers did not respond to a request for comment.

May 11, 2019 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Trump v the gayster said...

this is going to be a fun election

President Donald Trump came up with a nickname Friday for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg: Alfred E. Neuman — the freckle-faced, gap-toothed nerdy cover boy of Mad Magazine.

But Buttigieg came back with his own zinger, slyly dinging the 72-year-old president’s age, saying the outdated reference was a “generational thing.”

Trump told Politico Friday that “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,” when he was asked in a phone interview what he thought of the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Asked later about his new moniker, Buttigieg, 37, said he had “to Google” the reference to the mascot of a humor magazine launched in 1952.

“I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It’s kind of funny, I guess,” said Buttigieg.

May 11, 2019 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the 2016 campaign, Trump said it would be easy for him to act like a president - and then he strutted around the stage in a stiff and formal walk. It got some laughs from the audience.

Meanwhile, nearly 2.5 years later, America is still waiting for him to act like a president, and not spoiled teenager on a twitter rampage.

May 11, 2019 5:34 PM  
Anonymous joe biden.......LOL!! said...

"act like a president"

he's not the Queen of England

we expect him to do many things, most of which he's succeeded at

meanwhile, we're still waiting, 2.5 years later, for the party that lost so heavily in 2016, to act like advocates for their constituents

May 11, 2019 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Trump Declares War—on Accountability said...

The administration's moves to extend executive privilege, rebuff subpoenas, and challenge the courts are more than a rivalry between government branches.

The Trump administration has spent the past week refusing to give an inch, wielding executive privilege as a shield against every subpoena and request from Democrats.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that the full House hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to hand over an unredacted version of the Mueller report. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has repeatedly rebuffed Democratic requests for six years of President Trump’s tax returns, an open violation of the law. Some members of Congress are already threatening to hold Mnuchin and former White House counsel Don McGahn—who has been instructed by the White House to refuse to obey House subpoenas—in contempt, as well.

Meanwhile, Republicans are up in arms about yet another subpoena, sent to Donald Trump Jr. by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr. Trump Jr. has been asked to answer questions about apparent discrepancies between his testimony before three congressional committees and the Mueller report—but Donald the Younger (and, it seems, many Republicans) isn’t keen on appearing.

A place where most Republicans are happy to appear is the Federalist Society. It was there, earlier this week, that Vice President Mike Pence promised to start challenging injunctions leveled by federal courts at a host of Trump administration orders.

Individually, all these developments are troubling, but could be seen as more of the headline-grabbing chaos America has come to expect from the Trump era. But taken together, the events of the past few days represent a coordinated broadside in an administration war on congressional oversight, if not an attempt to fully obliterate the bedrock constitutional principle of checks and balances. It also represents a disturbing pivot, from a White House determined to roll back a century of systemic reforms—through executive orders, conservative judges, and the (very) occasional piece of conservative legislation—to one openly determined to abrogate the system. The White House is doing everything it can to halt any and all oversight. These actions are intended to prevent Congress from fulfilling its constitutionally-mandated duties.

The first two years of the Trump administration often felt like what The New Yorker’s David Rohde described as a “slow-motion Watergate.” The guardrails of democracy had clearly fallen off. The president clearly viewed both democratic norms and, in many cases, the law with disdain. But the nation seemed to avoid a full-scale constitutional crisis because a handful of Trump officials apparently jumped on grenades—most visibly, in this news cycle, McGahn, who reportedly refused a Trump order to fire special counsel Robert Mueller—and because of what can only be described as dumb luck. There was no equivalent to Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, no clear moment where the government lurched into the abyss. Instead, the disaster was more diffuse, permeating nearly every aspect of Trump’s presidency, but nonetheless never quite reaching an inflection point.

President Trump understood the seriousness of the Mueller investigation from the beginning. “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency,” he said after then-attorney general Jeff Sessions appointed Mueller in May of 2017. “I’m fucked.” Trump, haunted by previous investigations of the executive branch, understood its seriousness. “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump continued. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.” The next morning, Trump tweeted, at 4:52 a.m., “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”..

May 11, 2019 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Trump Declares War—on Accountability said...

... Despite Barr’s assertion that “the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation,” Trump did the bare minimum throughout Mueller’s two-year inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president repeatedly sought to interfere with the investigation, but never successfully ended it. He provided written answers to some of the questions from Mueller, but made it clear that he would fight a subpoena all the way to the Supreme Court. Mueller appears to have accepted this path of least resistance in order to complete the investigation rather than pick a legal fight with the administration (although he may have been pushed to prematurely conclude by Barr).

Trump has no such respect for (or, apparently, fear of) Congress’s oversight powers. Though he spoke loudly and carried a smallish stick with Mueller—the president has decided to go to the mattresses when presented with requests and subpoenas from the numerous committees investigating his administration. The White House is refusing to provide Congress with key documents, from an unredacted copy of the Mueller report to copies of the president’s tax returns, and doing everything it can to block key figures—whether or not they are still in the administration—from testifying before relevant committees.

To an extent, this is a gambit meant to improve the president’s seemingly poor reelection odds. In recent months, Trump and his allies have worked to amplify the argument he had been making about the Mueller investigation for years: The Democrats and Trump’s enemies were conspiring to create fake scandals in an attempt to delegitimize and destroy his presidency.

But, increasingly, the country is also falling prey to the president’s own biases—and those of many Republican leaders. Trump belongs to a class that always acts with impunity and treats any call for accountability with disgust. The GOP, meanwhile, has abandoned its constitutionally mandated Article One powers in exchange for stacking federal courts with like-minded judges. (In a sign that irony is not dead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed the lifetime appointment of a record 38th circuit court judge while the cameras were trained on the House Judiciary’s vote to hold the attorney general in contempt.)

In response, Democrats have only slowly begun to use the arsenal at their disposal. “We cannot allow this bad president to set bad precedent,” House Ways and Means Committee member Lloyd Doggett told reporters earlier this week. “If Trump once again faces only Republican silence and Democratic timidity, he will continue to erode our democracy by assuming more and more power.” The potential next step was revealed 46 years ago during the Watergate hearings: Should the likes of Barr and Mnuchin continue to flout subpoenas, the House can threaten to send the sergeant-at-arms to arrest them. Democrats may not have the stomach for that level of escalation, but it doesn’t change the basic truth. Until January of 2021—at the earliest—the United States will be the scene of an open war between two branches of government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for all her months of careful parsing, understands this. She indicated on Thursday that she now believed the country was in the midst of a “constitutional crisis.” “The administration has decided they are not going to honor their oath of office,” she said. Of course, members of Congress take an oath of office, too—are they finally ready to honor theirs?

May 11, 2019 6:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "the Mueller report obviated the need for calling DT Jr".

Nonsense. The Mueller Report documented over 200 pages of Trump campaign/Russia collusion. Mueller decided he did not have quite enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt there was a criminal conspiracy. That could easily change in six months if more evidence comes out.

When your investigation has found a pile of evidence of collusion, you don't ignore lies someone like Trump Jr told, you bring him in for questioning and try and find out what he's hiding.

It'd be a different story if there were no evidence of collusion whatsoever, then one could justify shutting down the investigation. But after Mueller details over 200 Trump/Russia contacts and over 200 pages of evidence of collusion, and many questions are left unananswered and Trump's financial ties to Russia not even looked at, you damn well continue investigating if you care about your country and its democracy.

May 11, 2019 6:34 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Guiliani told The Ukraine "give Trump some help in the 2020 election, legal or otherwise, or we won't help you in your fight with Russia. This is very scary.

Trump knew he couldn't have won in 2016 without the illegal help of Russia so he keeps denying Russia made sweeping and systematic attacks on the 2016 election.

And now Trump is admitting he doesn't think he can win in 2020 unless he gets aid from a foreign government. Just like dictators of history trying to destroy a democracy, Trump is openly seeking foreign help to win.

What Republicans got from the Mueller Report is, if you do your colluding in public, its not a crime.

May 11, 2019 6:49 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The gigantic Republican double standard. Imagine if Obama had gone to Russia in 2012 and said "Help me win the presidency" - they'd have been seriously screaming for his public execution.

And now Republicans, like the black hearted liars they are, are claiming this is okay if its a Republican

May 11, 2019 6:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

In the previous thread Good anonymous posted about a letter signed by over 300 former federal prosecutors.

The letter says that if any american citizen had done what Mueller reported on Trump doing, that person would be indicted on several counts and been in jail for obstruction of justice. They said its not even a close call, the evidence is overwhelming.

That letter is now up to over 800 (and counting) signatories saying Trump is clearly guilty of multiple accounts of obstruction of justice and if not for being president would be in jail right now.

May 11, 2019 7:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jim said "Trump Jr. is just a guy who made some statements to Congress which were contradicted by findings of the Mueller report."

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonyumous said "actually he's not "just a guy" he's the President's son, which is why he's being harassed".

Your claim is proven false by the fact that no one has subpoenaed Trump's daughter Tiffany. They would have if just being Trump's offspring was the reason why Jr was subpoenaed.

Trump Jr. has been subpoenaed because he refused to answer questions the Mueller investigation had. Mueller was soft on Trump Jr. and didn't force him to appear when Mueller asked him to be interviewed voluntarily.

Witnesses say Jr. told Trump about the first meeting with the Russian government to get stolen dirt on Hillary. Jr. lied to congress and said he didn't tell his father. Don Jr. needs to be questioned under oath about this glaring discrepency.

Just because the evidence of collusion Mueller found didn't arise to the level of being a crime doesn't mean that further digging won't dig up additional evidence that proves a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

For the sake of the American public, Democrats must keep digging for the answers.

May 11, 2019 7:31 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

US Among Few Holdouts On UN Plastic Waste Pledge

May 11, 2019 Idiocracy, Trump Administration

The Associated Press reports:

Almost every country in the world has agreed on a legally binding framework for reducing polluting plastic waste, with the United States a notable exception, United Nations environmental officials said Friday.

An agreement on tracking thousands of types of plastic waste emerged at the end of a two-week meeting of U.N.-backed conventions on plastic waste and toxic, hazardous chemicals. Discarded plastic clutters pristine land, floats in huge masses in oceans and entangles wildlife, sometimes with deadly results.

Rolph Payet of the United Nations Environment Program said the “historic” agreement linked to the 186-country, U.N.-supported Basel Convention means countries will have to monitor and track movements of plastic waste outside their borders.

May 11, 2019 9:04 PM  
Anonymous drip, drip, drip...Obama will be caught said...

"Imagine if Obama had gone to Russia in 2012 and said "Help me win the presidency" - they'd have been seriously screaming for his public execution."

Obama did do this. Not aware a mic was live, he personally asked Russian President Dmitri Med-whatever to give him space so he could win his last election and he'd be more "flexible" after the election. The Russian said "I'll tell Vladimir". Sounds like he went to Russia in 2012 and said "Help me win the presidency."

I would say Obama was traitor to his country but it's never been clear he was born here anyway.

Despite Obama's heinous betrayal of his country, no Republican called for his public execution.

May 11, 2019 9:27 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...


@JessicaValenti-

It's fascinating to see people argue that women won't really be punished if abortion is illegal.

Here are some things that have *already*happened to women despite Roe:

May 12, 2019 1:07 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trump called for women to have abortions to be punished. "There has to be punishment for the women."

As you can see in the link above, Republicans are already charging women with murder for having stillborn fetuses.

May 12, 2019 1:10 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Religious conservatives really want to punish people who have sex in ways they don't approve of.

Everyone has the most fundamental of all rights, the basis of all morality springs from our right to control our own bodies. No one has a right to another person's body, fetus or otherwise.

If we can't agree on that, we have no society.

May 12, 2019 1:32 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The WhiteHouse has cancelled almost all press hard passes and issued them temporary passes where they have not banned members of the press outright. The message to the press members who need to earn a living is "Give Trump nice coverage or you'll be banned from any press briefings."

This is yet another step straight out of the Dictator's Handbook - limit the information the public gets about what you're doing - Democracy dies in darkness.

May 12, 2019 1:37 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trump, who appealed to Americans to elect him on the basis that he was a great businessman and would run the government like a business...


Lost $1.17 BILLION in the ten years from 1985 and 1994. No other individual American has ever lost as much money as Trump. He lost all that money and left the people who lent him the money holding the bag. Now he's doing the same to government, with trillion dollar deficits to promote his own re-election and the beginning of his president for life dream.

Mueller never mentioned anything about Trump's finances even though its standard legal practice to "follow the money". There's a lot of serious questions about Trump's finances that need to be answered:

How did he rebuild his financial fortunes after a $1.17 billion dollar loss and no American banks willing to lend him any further money?

Where has the money come from that's supported his lavish lifestyle since his disastrous financial start (when he wrote the Art of the Deal)? Who is he financially indebted to?

The American public needs to know the answers to these questions. They need to know if their president is a crook.

Only Democrats will hold Trump accountable for his actions. Republicans are going all out and breaking the rule of law to cover up what Trump has done and is doing.

May 12, 2019 1:47 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Tennessee just passed an effective ban on abortion but kicked 128,000 children off of Medicaid. So much for "pro-life".

May 12, 2019 1:50 AM  
Anonymous joe biden.......LOL!! said...

“Fact is, every economic aspect of our Country is the best it has ever been!” read a recent Donald Trump tweet. Not surprisingly, Trump has made it clear that the economy’s strength will be the centerpiece of his reelection campaign. For that reason, the Democrats lining up to support former vice president Joe Biden as the most electable opponent to Trump have got it wrong.

Trump can’t resist exaggerating the economic news, but there is much to boast about. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969, with job openings exceeding the numbers looking for work. Hispanic and African-American unemployment rates, while still dramatically higher than the white rate, have hit record lows during Trump’s tenure.

Trump, of course, claims that his deregulation, his tax cuts, and his trade policies have made the difference. With the China trade deficit reaching a new height last year, the tax benefits going overwhelmingly to the already rich, and the deregulation blitz only beginning to take effect, his claims are a reach. But whether from good fortune or good policy, he can and will take credit from voters.

As Trump barrels forward, Democrats are engaged in a furious argument over how to stop him. Many Democratic primary voters indicate they are ready to support the candidate most likely to defeat Trump, even over their personal favorite. Joe Biden has become the early front-runner because of a widespread sense that he is the “safest bet” to defeat Trump. Experienced and moderate, “Scranton Joe” is credited with having a special appeal to the white working-class voters that went to Trump, particularly in the key swing Midwestern states.

Making the case for Biden, Andrew Sullivan dismisses arguments that he is too white, too old, too “handsy,” and too compromised to win. Sullivan maintains that Trump will turn out the Democratic base for any candidate, while Biden can appeal to moderate voters, notably non-college-educated white men. Biden enjoys the imprimatur, if not the endorsement, of one of the most popular Democrats, Barack Obama. A good portion of the party’s institutional centers—the money, the operatives, the union and establishment leaders—are rallying to his banner.

In fact, rather than the “safest bet,” Biden is more likely to end up the worst of all worlds—unable either to excite the emerging Democratic coalition of young people, minorities, and women or to win back the Obama-Trump working-class voters. He could easily become the Democratic equivalent of Bob Dole, the hapless Republican Senate leader who lost badly to Bill Clinton’s reelection bid.

May 12, 2019 7:33 AM  
Anonymous joe biden.......LOL!! said...

If the growing economy is Trump’s calling card, it is also his greatest vulnerability. This economy is about as good as it gets, and it still doesn’t work for most Americans. Wages have begun to stir but aren’t close to making up for the stagnation of the past decades. The costs of basics—health care, prescription drugs, housing, child care, college—are all rising faster than wages. College debt now totals over $1.6 trillion, with more and more families simply unable to afford to send their kids to school. Nearly 30 million lack health coverage, an increase of at least 7 million since Trump’s election. Tens of millions more can’t afford the care they need. Nearly one in five black families and one in seven Latino families are in debt or have zero net wealth. Trump chose to pass top-end tax cuts instead of rebuilding our decrepit and increasingly dangerous infrastructure. For all of his posturing, his 2016 jibe—that now we build cars in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint—is still true.

Beneath the populist packaging, Trump’s basic policies—top-end tax cuts, deregulation driven by corporate lobbyists, and a government open for business—are standard Republican fare, feeding inequality and corporate plunder. The central task of the Democratic standard-bearer in 2020 will be to expose Trump’s con by showing that even in the best of times, the economy is still rigged against most Americans—and Trump is adding to the fix—while offering a compelling agenda for change.

The essence of the Biden candidacy, however, is restoration—a promise of a return to the “normalcy” of the Obama years. That appeals to centrist Democrats, but it also makes Biden the perfect foil for Trump to run against. To counter Biden, Trump could position himself once more as the insurgent, the agent of change against a failed establishment.

May 12, 2019 7:38 AM  
Anonymous joe biden.......LOL!! said...

On the stump, Trump brandishes his aggressive trade policies as proof of his populist credibility. “The era of economic surrender is over,” he claimed at his recent rally in Panama City, Florida, indicting the Obama administration and its predecessor for “decades of calamitous trade policies that enrich Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.”

In contrast to Trump’s isolationist rhetoric, Biden is an avowed “free trader” and has supported NAFTA, the TPP, and China in the WTO. Given his record, he has little choice but to try to defend the indefensible. This won’t go well. Already at a stop in Iowa, Biden lamely dismissed the Chinese challenge, arguing that it was implausible that Beijing would “eat our lunch” and that China was “not competition for us.”

Trump offers a populist explanation about why this economy is rigged against what he calls “the invisible people.” Echoing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, he rails against the entrenched “elite” who rigged the rules and allowed other countries—China, NATO allies, NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada—to “rip off the US.”

In his first public rally at a Teamsters hall in Pittsburgh, Biden tried out his populist voice, scorning Trump for the tax cuts, indicting CEOs for their greed, voicing his solidarity with unions, and pledging to rebuild the middle class. “How did we get to this place,” he asked, where so many people across America “don’t think we see them?”

He never answered the question. Instead, he reiterated that “we’re tearing America apart instead of lifting it up” and suffering from a “broken political system that’s deliberately being undermined by our president to continue to abuse the power of the office.” But Trump is a symptom, not the source of America’s political and economic problems—and surely those who chose to vote for Trump after voting for Obama know it.

Worse, Biden really doesn’t have much to say about how to make the economy work for working people. It’s still early, but Biden isn’t a big policy maven and isn’t likely to lay out a bold agenda for the future. He’s already suggested that all Democrats “agree on basically everything, all of us running—all 400 of us.” He embraces the $15 minimum wage from Bernie’s agenda, calls for reversing Trump’s tax cuts, touts a public option for health insurance over Medicare for All, and waves vaguely at making college and training affordable. His agenda will fill out over time, but his appeal is less about the future than about ending the Trump “aberration” and returning to the status quo.

But elections, in the end, are always about the future. Democrats won’t beat Trump simply because of his personal corruptions, nor can they count on demography to carry their cause. They would be ill-advised to pick a candidate who champions a restoration to the past. Democrats need a leader who can puncture Trump’s populist con and lay out a bold vision and agenda for change. Joe Biden has many strengths, but that isn’t among them.

May 12, 2019 7:39 AM  
Anonymous creepy sleepy Joe....LOL!! said...

President Trump on Saturday took to Twitter and weighed in on the ongoing battle over his tax returns.

“I won the 2016 Election partially based on no Tax Returns while I am under audit (which I still am), and the voters didn’t care,” Trump tweeted. “Now the Radical Left Democrats want to again relitigate this matter. Make it a part of the 2020 Election!”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declared that the current members of Congress are “not smart enough” to review Trump’s tax returns.

“I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of Congressmen and women are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that president Trump’s taxes will be,” she said. “My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything.”

Trump says his returns are under audit, so releasing his tax returns would amount to putting every liberal wacko and journalist in America on the audit team.

May 12, 2019 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Rep. Jamie Raskin said...

Constitutional crisis looms, preceded by constitutional illiteracy and confusion, which now hang like a thick fog over Washington. President Trump’s administration refuses to cooperate with any congressional investigations he disfavors, drawing a curtain over the executive branch and blockading our oversight work: His treasury secretary has declined to produce the president’s tax returns, as demanded by the House Ways and Means Committee under federal statute. His attorney general has refused to comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and the evidence underlying his findings, and he has ordered Justice Department official John Gore not to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee (without even bothering to assert a legal privilege). Trump is suing House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) for seeking documents from one of the president’s accounting firms. And the White House has directed former counsel Donald McGahn and other witnesses not to appear before Congress. “Congress shouldn’t be looking anymore,” the president-king proclaims. “This is all. It’s done.”

Oversight isn’t the only area where the president thinks he can supersede and supplant Congress. He believes he can declare a national security emergency when lawmakers reject funding for his border wall — and then reprogram money Congress has appropriated for other purposes to build the wall behind our backs. And despite the fact that his main job is to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” as the Constitution’s Article II provides, he routinely sabotages the effective administration of the Affordable Care Act (by starving recruitment efforts and promoting “junk” plans) and encourages government officials at the border to violate the law on asylum seekers. All this falls outside of his constitutional power.

Whenever the president commits a new offense against the Constitution, one of my Democratic colleagues will inevitably rise on the House or Senate floor and implore the president to remember that we are a co-equal branch of government. This is a straightforward and intuitive concept: When our kids were little, my wife and I taught them that the separation of powers is like rock-paper-scissors. Sometimes this branch ends up on top, sometimes that branch wins — but the three have equal weight. This analogy appeals to our sense of fairness, and there is a kernel of truth in the idea that each branch has its limits: Congress cannot pass laws that violate the Constitution and will be checked by the Supreme Court if it does; the president can recommend laws to Congress but cannot force their passage; and the courts interpret what the law means when there are conflicting views.

But this naive cliche is now the heart of our current troubles. Congress was never designed as, nor should it ever become, a mere “co-equal branch,” beseeching the president to share his awesome powers with us. We are the exclusive lawmaking branch of our national government and the preeminent part of it. We set the policy agenda, we write the laws, and we can impeach judges or executives who commit high crimes and misdemeanors against our institutions. As James Madison observed in the Federalist Papers, “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” Congress is first among equals...

May 12, 2019 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Rep. Jamie Raskin said...

The founders replaced the intertwined monarchical and theocratic forms of government that prevailed in the 18th century with representative democracy so the people could govern, which is why our Constitution begins with those three magic words: “We the People.” It then establishes Congress in the very next sentence, placing our representative institutions, “a Senate and House of Representatives,” right after the sovereign people and way ahead of everything else. The House, in which I serve, was designed as the people’s body, based on the principle of equal representation for the populations of different states and, with two-year terms, closely tethered to public sentiment. The Senate would attain a more deliberative character.

Article I, the Constitution’s first section, confers upon us “All legislative Powers” and describes our lawmaking authority in vast terms, from regulating domestic and international commerce to setting up a capital city for the seat of government to declaring war. On a day-to-day basis, our greatest tool is the power of the purse, which allows Congress, and only Congress, to appropriate money for public purposes. In funding each executive-branch agency, Congress dictates the emphasis of that agency’s work. Of course, the president can veto legislation, but we can override him. It is the president’s main task to see that laws are “faithfully executed,” not thwarted, sabotaged or violated.

Indeed, the danger of presidential abuse of office is precisely why the people’s House has the “sole Power of Impeachment” — to guarantee that we have a final instrument of self-defense against a leader who tramples the rule of law and acts like a king. (Congress can remove the president, but he cannot remove us, because we answer to the people themselves. “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power,” as Madison put it in the Federalist Papers.) And our deliberations in Congress are protected by the speech and debate clause, just as the First Amendment protects the robust debates of the people.

Trump now seeks to disable major House investigations, but our “power of inquiry” also flows straight from Article I, and the specific “power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process,” as the Supreme Court found in Watkins v. United States in 1957. “That power is broad” — broad enough to include “probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste.” As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit observed in 1938, “A legislative inquiry may be as broad, as searching, and as exhaustive as is necessary to make effective the constitutional powers of Congress.”

Congressional supremacy has been tested time and again. A crucial showdown took place in 1952, when President Harry Truman directed his commerce secretary to take over the country’s steel mills. The president thought the power to keep the steel factories humming during the Korean War was self-evident and inherent in his role as commander in chief. But in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the Supreme Court held that the president’s authority to act “must stem either from an act of Congress or the Constitution itself.” The Constitution says nothing about giving the president power to seize private property, and Congress had specifically rejected the idea of the president taking over the steel plants. The steel seizure case stands for the proposition that the president’s powers are constitutionally limited and usually reliant on congressional policymaking — a proposition refuting Trump’s claim that he can declare a national emergency to spend billions of dollars more on his fantasy border wall when Congress has soundly rejected the idea...

May 12, 2019 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Rep. Jamie Raskin said...

Ever since President George Washington expressed surprise that the first Congress would not automatically accept his plans and nominees, presidents have sought to establish both their privileged place in our constitutional firmament and a realm of executive decision-making off limits to the supervision of the other branches. They have been especially eager to resist scrutiny by the judicial branch: When Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski moved to subpoena President Richard Nixon’s tapes and documents, Nixon appealed the subpoena up to the Supreme Court, which ruled against the claim of an “absolute, unqualified” executive privilege covering all presidential communications.

In other periods of American history, it was taken for granted that, as the body closest to the people, Congress provided essential direction for the national agenda. As House speaker in the early 1800s, Rep. Henry Clay of Kentucky worked out the public philosophy of the “American System,” which featured massive federal infrastructure investment and the use of a national bank to promote commerce. Before, during and after the Civil War, it was the Radical Republicans in Congress who drove the abolitionist and Reconstruction agendas, pushing President Abraham Lincoln and then President Andrew Johnson to confront the political power of the slave-master aristocracy. Democratic-controlled Congresses during the New Deal and Civil Rights eras pressed for sweeping social change. And what helped make President Lyndon Johnson one of the most effective presidents of the 20th century was that he knew how to build consensus in the Senate.

The presidency in the modern era has been inflated and aggrandized beyond anything the founders might have wished for or even recognized. The growth of the national security state after World War II gave the president a massive apparatus for practicing foreign intervention and waging unilateral, undeclared wars. Television and social media have exaggerated the natural political advantages of the branch of government defined by a single leader. Even a run of Supreme Court justices who made their careers in the White House and the Justice Department, like William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, have played a part in swelling executive powers, especially in the foreign policy field.

As presidential power has grown, congressional power has been eroded through a combination of legislative-branch passivity and executive-branch power grabs. Lawmakers stood by, never voting to declare war or demanding an end to hostilities, as armed conflicts like the Korean and Vietnam wars raged for years.

The current president is not the first to confuse himself with a monarch, but he has taken contempt for our lawful powers to unprecedented levels. When a president makes a blanket announcement that he won’t honor subpoenas or document requests from Congress, he isn’t only defying the separation of powers but also declaring that he’ll operate without any legislative or popular check at all.

But legislators aren’t consigned to watch the president trample our constitutional structure. This past week, the House Judiciary Committee (on which I sit) voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for ignoring our subpoena. The Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee said it will compel Donald Trump Jr. to testify. Members of both parties have voted to claw back our war powers by trying to block the national security “emergency” at the border and the administration’s support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen...

May 12, 2019 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Rep. Jamie Raskin said...

It’s tempting to think of the president as the main actor in the story of America, because he (or she) is a cast of one. But as the great Rep. Thaddeus Stevens reminded Americans during Reconstruction, “The sovereign power of the nation rests in Congress,” and its members stand around the president “as watchmen to enforce his obedience to the law and the Constitution.”

The three branches have different functions and different powers, and we operate in a dynamic relationship with one another. But the forward motion and energy must be provided by Congress, and Congress must protect our national values. For government to work as the Constitution’s framers intended, lawmakers must assert our proper role. And that means we must lead.



May 12, 2019 9:17 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jamie Raskin said "When our kids were little, my wife and I taught them that the separation of powers is like rock-paper-scissors. Sometimes this branch ends up on top, sometimes that branch wins — but the three have equal weight. This analogy appeals to our sense of fairness, and there is a kernel of truth in the idea that each branch has its limits".

Not as far as Republicans and president-king Trump think.

May 12, 2019 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Ed Brayton said...

I won a bet against someone who thought George W. Bush would ignore the 2008 election results. We heard the same thing from the wingnuts about Barack Obama. I’ve never taken such claims seriously at all. But now we’re hearing hints of it from prominent Trump supporters, Trump himself, and some very serious people.

Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, reiterated Pelosi’s worries, telling Salon, “I think Trump will do everything he possibly can to hold on to his power.”

“Remember Trump cannot be embarrassed— cannot be shamed. You can’t appeal to morality, because he has none. You can’t appeal to compassion, he has none. You can’t appeal to the law, he doesn’t care,” Lichtman added. “And if he thinks he can get away with it — absolutely, he will do anything.

Lichtman’s concerns were also echoed by Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb university professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard University.

“President Trump has sent troubling signals that he might well contest the results of any presidential election he fails to win — and any House or Senate election his preferred candidate fails to win,” Tribe told Salon by email. “Trump has even retweeted his agreement with the absurd and indeed radically anti-constitutional claim by Jerry Falwell Jr. that Trump’s first two years as president were ‘stolen’ from him by the supposedly illegitimate Mueller probe into Russia’s attack on the 2016 election. The ‘argument,’ though I hesitate to call it that, claims that Trump is ‘owed’ an extra two years as ‘reparations’ for the distraction of the investigations into what went awry in 2016.”

Tribe added: “History teaches that would-be dictators should be taken at their word when they declare an intent to remain in power regardless of election results. That’s a strong reason for patriotic citizens of all political persuasions to work toward an electoral landslide that would minimize Trump’s opportunity to cling to power."

May 12, 2019 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Waitman Wade Beorn said...

In early 2003, as a cavalry officer, I stood in front of my scout platoon at dusk after a long day preparing to deploy to Iraq. I spoke with them about the law of war and how they should treat civilians when we got into theater. It wasn’t a long conversation, but I felt that giving clear guidance about what was acceptable — and not acceptable — was important. They should treat the civilians as they would neighbors, I told them. Soldiers take most seriously the things their leadership makes most serious.

On Monday, President Trump pardoned the convicted war criminal Michael Behenna, who had murdered Ali Mansur, an unarmed, naked Iraqi, by shooting him in the head and chest. Making a specious claim of self-defense, Behenna argued that Mansur threw a piece of concrete at him and “ stood up like he’s coming at me.” And so he neutralized this threat, a naked man, already released by the Army. Behenna was supposed to be returning Mansur home to his village. A military court convicted Behenna of unpremeditated murder. American soldiers testified against him. The military court of appeals and a review panel upheld that conviction, though he was paroled early, in 2014.

Even before pardoning Behenna, Trump demonstrated a disturbing flippancy toward war crimes. He has repeatedly expressed support for former Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, another alleged war criminal. Gallagher’s own men told investigators that he had, according to the New York Times, “shot a girl in a flower-print hijab who was walking with other girls on the riverbank.” In 2017, Gallagher walked up to a 15-year-old prisoner of war and “stabbed the wounded teenager several times in the neck and once in the chest with his hunting knife, killing him.” He then texted images of his “kill” to friends. Even in the tightknit Special Operations community, fellow SEALs were horrified and repeatedly reported Gallagher’s behavior until charges were brought. He faces court-martial at the end of the month. Trump tweeted that Gallagher would be given better conditions in confinement “in honor of his past service,” an honor many would say he threw away long ago.

Trump has also publicly supported Maj. Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with premeditated murder in the shooting of an unarmed man and the burning of his body in Afghanistan. “I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ ” the president tweeted.

In at least three instances, then, our commander in chief appears to have preferred to overlook serious war crimes in favor of a warped notion of patriotism and heroism. Trump subscribes to a “bad things happen in war” mentality — odd for a man who actively avoided military service.

This attitude is incredibly dangerous. It doesn’t just undermine the enforcement of military justice; it also sends a message to our armed forces about just what kind of conduct the United States takes seriously...

Leaders are constantly making policy, by what they do — and by what they don’t do. Trump’s posture endangers our deployed men and women by betraying the trust of host nations that we will prosecute those rare individuals who commit crimes against their people.

May 12, 2019 1:33 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

After my last posts last night Wyatt/Regina posted four very long cut and pastes. Almost like they're afraid of the short on point posts I made (mostly my own writing).

And its pretty suspicious that after months of anti-gay venom and about how illegitimate supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh was going to punish those gays for "lying" about him, suddenly not an anti-gay peep out of them for weeks.

What happened Wyatt/Regina? Did Tony Perkins ream you out and say your constant over the top anti-gay hostility was putting you on the losing end of the moral argument over harmless gayness?

May 12, 2019 2:17 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I guess when you're trying to assist a dictatorial takeover of a democracy you don't want to publicize too much how you're going to gleefully punish all the people you don't like once total control of the government is seized.

May 12, 2019 2:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

There was a large and vibrant lgbt community in post WWI Germany. A world famous institute with research and information on lgbt people was stationed there and was the site of the very first Nazi book burning in the run-up to WWII

Evangelical christian Scott Lively has made a career of telling eager to believe religious conservatives that there never would have been any Nazis or WWII if it weren't for evil gays who allegedly started the Nazi party and were the central power behind it. Of course the truth is that gays were the very first targets of the right wing christian Nazis.

That's what Right Wing Authoritarians like Lively, Tony Perkins, and Wyatt/Regina do,they falsely blame their future victims for making them attack lgbt people by merely living harmlessly as they wish. E.G. Wyatt/Regina "Gays are going to really regret ["lying"] about Brett Kavanaugh".

May 12, 2019 2:30 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina, we'd all feel a lot better about your agenda if you'd make a committment here and now that you want a democracy over a dictatorship and that you will respect the results of the 2020 election, win or lose.

How about it guys?

May 12, 2019 3:02 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trump's former best friend Michael Cohen has revealed documents that show Trump has deliberately made his income and wealth as low as possible for tax purposes, but as high as possible for banks when he wants money from them. He often has valued the same asset or business at one low value for the IRS and one high value for banks, at the exact same time. That’s called tax fraud and bank fraud.

May 12, 2019 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump Tariffs Will Cost 900K for Each Job Produced

The Washington Post reports on a new study by an international economics think tank that concludes that for each job produced by Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, it will cost businesses and consumers $900,000. And that’s not even the full cost to the economy. On top of that, new tariffs on Mexican tomatoes goes into effect this week, which will send the price soaring.

“It’s very high. It’s arresting,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute who did the steel tariff cost calculation. “The reason it’s so high is that steel is a very capital-intensive industry. There are not many workers.”

But here’s the real reason for the total cost of those tariffs:

Many economists and business leaders point out that jobs in steel-using industries outnumber those in steel production by about 80 to 1, according to experts at Harvard University and the University of California at Davis.

Trump has claimed that other countries are paying the tariff bill, but evidence shows the tariffs are taxes paid by Americans. U.S. companies that buy metals are either absorbing higher costs or passing them along to consumers. General Motors and Ford said Trump’s tariffs have cost them $1 billion each.

Tariffs raise the price of steel and aluminum for American companies that use those materials to make finished products, from dishwashers to grills to a thousand other things. The price of raw steel has gone up dramatically since those sanctions were put in place, raising the cost of virtually everything that uses steel for the American public. We get royally screwed in the deal.

May 12, 2019 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rumpster proves he has no idea how tariffs work:


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner - there is absolutely no need to rush - as Tariffs are NOW being paid to the United States by China of 25% on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods & products. These massive payments go directly to the Treasury of the U.S....

7:43 AM - May 10, 2019

George W. is happy now that he won't go down in history as the stupidest US president ever. That honor has handily been won by "very stable genius" Cadet Bone Spurs.

May 12, 2019 4:09 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The mayor of a small Georgia town refused to hire a black applicant who was well-qualified for the job because she didn’t think the nearly all-white town was ready for a black city employee. And a member of the city council is supporting her because their Christian faith forbids interracial marriage. Using religion to discriminate against blacks is no different than using religion to discriminate against lgbts. No one should be discriminated against for harmless characteristics. Surely we can agree to that as a society where we all depend on each other.

May 12, 2019 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Americans regard paying taxes as a necessary evil. If they want to worship Satan, now the IRS has officially given them a tax-exempt place to do so.

The Internal Revenue Service has granted the same nonprofit status given to churches, synagogues and mosques to The Satanic Temple, an organization in Salem, Massachusetts, that calls itself America’s first devil-worshiping church. It is now protected by federal laws governing churches that operate as charities.

In a statement this week announcing the status, the group called itself “a non-theistic religious organization dedicated to Satanic practice and the promotion of Satanic rights.” Based in the town that hosted the Salem Witch Trials in the 17th century, the statement added that the group “understands the Satanic figure as a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.”

The move comes as some Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence have promised to roll back the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 Internal Revenue Code provision that prohibits tax-exempt groups, including churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates or engaging in political activities.

Last year in Little Rock, Arkansas, The Satanic Temple placed a statue of the goat-headed creature Baphomet at the state’s capitol to voice support for the removal of a monument to the Ten Commandments.
“As ‘the religious’ are increasingly gaining ground as a privileged class, we must ensure that this privilege is available to all, and that superstition doesn’t gain exclusive rights over non-theistic religions," Greaves said. Greaves, whose phone number contains a 6-6-6-, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

May 12, 2019 5:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

One of the first things Trump did as president was to pull the United States out of the 12 nation Trans-Pacific partnership. If the United States had remained in that trade agreement, it would have been twelve nations against China, working to hold China accountable for its abuse of intellectual property and other abusive trade practices. Now, its the United States by itself trying to hold China accountable. The U.S. alone is now in a much weaker negotiating position with China than it would have been if Trump hadn't pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. No wonder Trump is failing miserably at getting China to trade fair.

May 12, 2019 6:55 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trump has intentionally alienated all historical USA allies and embraced its opponents.

May 12, 2019 6:57 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Kudlow Admits That US Consumers Pay Tariffs (Trump Often Lies That China Pays Them To The US Treasury)

May 12, 2019 Trump Administration, Trump Lies

Axios reports:

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow admitted to Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday that the Chinese do not directly pay tariffs on goods coming into the U.S., but argued that China will suffer GDP losses as a result of a diminishing export markets.

President Trump has repeatedly claimed, incorrectly, that tariffs are forcing China is paying billions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury.

The tariffs are paid by U.S. importers of affected Chinese goods, not by China’s government or by Chinese companies. Importers then either raise costs on consumers, lower their own profit margins or both.

May 12, 2019 7:04 PM  
Anonymous PlutoAnimus said...

This may sound dumb, but a Joni Mitchell song posted here got me thinking:

My older brother's best friend killed himself decades ago, and did not leave an explanation. Steve was a gentle soul who played guitar.

I suddenly remembered he was a huge Joni Mitchell fan.

Then I realized that the only men I've known who were into Joni were gay.

So maybe Steve couldn't face the fact that he was gay.

His family and friends were uniformly homophobic in that 'I graduated from high school in the 70's' kind of way (including my brother). So if he was gay, it's almost impossible imagining him admitting it to anyone close to him.

May 12, 2019 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Brett Kavanaugh...LOL!! said...

"This may sound dumb,"

what's new?

that's the TTF motto

"but a Joni Mitchell song posted here got me thinking:"

in a dumb way

when was this song posted?

"My older brother's best friend killed himself decades ago, and did not leave an explanation. Steve was a gentle soul who played guitar.

I suddenly remembered he was a huge Joni Mitchell fan.

Then I realized that the only men I've known who were into Joni were gay."

yeah, like Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Graham Nash, Prince, and Herbie Hancock

apparently, all gay

here's that raging homosexual Plant about her: "someone told me there's a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair"

"So maybe Steve couldn't face the fact that he was gay."

so sad when people slander the dead who aren't around to defend themselves

"His family and friends were uniformly homophobic in that 'I graduated from high school in the 70's' kind of way (including my brother)."

you mean in that "entire-history-of-the-world-before-2012" kind of way?

"So if he was gay, it's almost impossible imagining him admitting it to anyone close to him."

of course, you could say that about anyone "decades ago"

"PlutoAnimus said" is a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing

May 12, 2019 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you can almost feel Jesus' love shining right through that last post.

No wonder so many people want to be Christians.

May 12, 2019 11:57 PM  
Anonymous the seasons go round and round said...

hmmmm....

PlutoAnimus made some pretty offensive comments:

1. guys who like Joni Mitchell are gay

2. because some deceased friend of a brother was "a gentle soul" and based on his taste of music, he must have been secretly gay

3. a social stigma against homosexuality was a 70s thing when the truth is that a new widespread tolerance of homosexuality in the 70s led to the AIDS epidemic

do you think these offensive comments might be deserving of ridicule?

or do you think tolerance of offensive comments is a Christian ethic?

May 13, 2019 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Offensive comments are a mainstay of Christian ethics. It's how they promote their agenda, demonize, and try to humiliate those they don't like.

History shows it is often a precursor to violence against "witches," "pagans," "heathens," even "Jews," and anyone else they don't like. Then they use their bibles to find justification for their "manifest destiny" to overrun a continent and commit genocide to clear out the natives they don't like who don't worship their god. For those they didn't kill, forced assimilation, loss of their native culture - and sometimes even their children was enforced by a brutal combination of church and state.

See: https://oxfordre.com/religion/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-394

Then of course there's the whole slavery business in which white Christian countries kidnapped black non-Christians and coercively forced them into unpaid labor, as well as the Christian religion. This institution was also enabled by the national laws and international treaties between Christian countries.

We see the same forces in play today, as Christians try to use legislative methods to coerce LGBT people to conform to their belief systems, and punish them when they don't.

History shows what the real Christian ethic is, and more and more people are coming to realize its damaging effects on society.

May 13, 2019 10:44 AM  
Anonymous I bet Kavanaugh lovers didn't expect this - siding with the liberals?!?!?! said...

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) ― The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave the go-ahead for a lawsuit by consumers accusing Apple Inc of monopolizing the market for iPhone software applications and forcing them to overpay, rejecting the company’s bid to escape claims that its practices violate federal antitrust law.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld a lower court’s decision to allow the proposed class action lawsuit to proceed. The plaintiffs said the Cupertino, California-based technology company required apps be sold through its App Store and extracted an excessive 30 percent commission on purchases.

Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an appointee of President Donald Trump, joined the court’s four liberal justices to rule against Apple.

Apple shares moved lower after the ruling.

Apple, backed by the Trump administration, argued that it was only acting as an agent for app developers, who set their own prices and payApple’s commission. Apple had argued that a Supreme Court ruling allowing the case to proceed could pose a threat to e-commerce, a rapidly expanding segment of the U.S. economy worth hundreds of billions of dollars in annual sales.

The dispute hinged in part on how the justices would apply a decision the court made in 1977 to the claims against Apple. In that case, the court limited damages for anti-competitive conduct to those directly overcharged rather than indirect victims who paid an overcharge passed on by others.

May 13, 2019 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Merrick Garland......LOL!! said...

"Offensive comments are a mainstay of Christian ethics."

you didn't answer the question

try again

"The justices, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld a lower court’s decision to allow the proposed class action lawsuit to proceed. The plaintiffs said the Cupertino, California-based technology company required apps be sold through its App Store and extracted an excessive 30 percent commission on purchases.

Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an appointee of President Donald Trump, joined the court’s four liberal justices to rule against Apple."

without knowing too much of the details, it sounds BK made the right decision

he may sometimes side with liberals

he's an impartial jurist

however, Roe and gay marriage are toast

May 13, 2019 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Garland, Goresuch & Kavanaugh...two outta three ain't bad said...

"Then of course there's the whole slavery business in which white Christian countries kidnapped black non-Christians "

ah, you neglect to mention that this activity has occurred throughout history in non-Christian cultures

slaves in Africa were often purchased from black non-Christians

also, around this times, the non-Christian Barbary pirates raided coastal towns in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Britain and kidnapped about 850,000 Christians and sold them as slaves in Arab markets

the beginning of the end of slavery started with a preacher in Christian England and later was propelled by Christian groups in the US

as you may know, Republicans fought a war to free slaves in America

May 13, 2019 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you didn't answer the question

try again"

You're operating under the mistaken presumption that I'm here to play your stupid little games.

"Christian ethics" are whatever they require at the time to promote and advance their controlling agenda. Christians like to be "top dog" when it comes not only to religion, but economic and social issues as well. Christians have wielded power over minorities for centuries based on religious theories that God ordained them as King or Queen, or that the colored people were pagans who had to be converted, or killed if that wasn't possible. Christians will use intimidation, propaganda, lying, powers of elected office, and any other means possible exert their control over other people and force them to conform to their ethics.


Let's look at this:

"PlutoAnimus made some pretty offensive comments:

1. guys who like Joni Mitchell are gay"

No, that is not Pluto's comment. That is a lie based on an inference and an extrapolation. What was actually written was:

"I suddenly remembered he was a huge Joni Mitchell fan.

Then I realized that the only men I've known who were into Joni were gay.

So maybe Steve couldn't face the fact that he was gay."

Pluto was wondering aloud as to the cause of his brother's best friend's death.

Your quick jump to the conclusion that this was an offensive comment is part of Christian's current ploy to pretend like they are the victims when things don't go their way. Somehow, letting gays get married is a massive imposition on them and their superstition, and they're upset that the government is no longer enforcing their marital restrictions on them.

"2. because some deceased friend of a brother was "a gentle soul" and based on his taste of music, he must have been secretly gay"

Either you've twisted this again to fit your argument, or you actually don't have a grasp of what in English is called the
"subjunctive mood." The big clue was the word "maybe:"

"So maybe Steve couldn't face the fact that he was gay."

Here are a couple of links on the subjunctive mood to help you out:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/getting-in-the-subjunctive-mood

https://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/pep/index-eng.html?lang=eng&page=grammar_9_hypothetically_speaking

"3. a social stigma against homosexuality was a 70s thing when the truth is that a new widespread tolerance of homosexuality in the 70s led to the AIDS epidemic"

No. The truth is that a previously unknown virus led to the AIDS epidemic. The level of gay acceptance is entirely irrelevant to viruses.

May 13, 2019 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ah, you neglect to mention that this activity has occurred throughout history in non-Christian cultures...

also, around this times, the non-Christian Barbary pirates raided coastal towns in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Britain and kidnapped about 850,000 Christians and sold them as slaves in Arab markets"

Ah, you neglect to mention that the Atlantic slave trade involved roughly 10 TIMES as many slaves as the Barbary trade.

You also neglected to mention that Christian countries put an end to the Barbary slave trade (via war) decades before they decided to stop trading slaves themselves.

Like many Christians, you operate under the false presumption that "if somebody else did it, it's not so bad that we did it too."

But thanks for bringing it up. It's nice to be reminded that sometimes Christians get a taste of their own medicine.

May 13, 2019 2:18 PM  
Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

"You're operating under the mistaken presumption that I'm here to play your stupid little games"

no, I wasn't mistaken

you voluntarily chose to engage in what you call "stupid little games"

try again

"Christian ethics" are whatever they require at the time to promote and advance their controlling agenda. Christians like to be "top dog" when it comes not only to religion, but economic and social issues as well. Christians have wielded power over minorities for centuries based on religious theories that God ordained them as King or Queen, or that the colored people were pagans who had to be converted, or killed if that wasn't possible. Christians will use intimidation, propaganda, lying, powers of elected office, and any other means possible exert their control over other people and force them to conform to their ethics."

you could insert any group in here

try Communist atheists, try Sikhs, try Aztecs, try Shiites

it all works

all that is to say humanity is fallen

which is a Christian doctrine

"Christians like to be "top dog" when it comes not only to religion,"

if you ever read scripture, as you should try it, it's written presuming that Christianity are a tiny persecuted sliver of humanity

it's he normal state of affairs

"No. The truth is that a previously unknown virus led to the AIDS epidemic. The level of gay acceptance is entirely irrelevant to viruses."

actually, the virus didn't "lead" to the illness, it was the illness

what led to it's spread, the epidemic, was rampant random promiscuous homosexual activity in San Francisco and NY that was unrestrained because homosexuality was so widely tolerated

shortly before the AIDS virus was discovered in the 70s, NBC ran a John Brokaw special report in prime-time entitled "The End of the Rainbow"

it documented the rampant random promiscuous homosexual activity in San Francisco ad Brokaw said "never in history has so much been available to so many men in one place"

the rest is history

"Ah, you neglect to mention that the Atlantic slave trade involved roughly 10 TIMES as many slaves as the Barbary trade."

I didn't know your issue was the volume of slavery

good to know

"You also neglected to mention that Christian countries put an end to the Barbary slave trade (via war) decades before they decided to stop trading slaves themselves. "

is that relevant?

why?

"Like many Christians, you operate under the false presumption that "if somebody else did it, it's not so bad that we did it too.""

no, I don't

you were implying that slavery was a Christian phenomenon rather than a ubiquitous one

I was simply correcting you

I assume you're used to being corrected

"But thanks for bringing it up. It's nice to be reminded that sometimes Christians get a taste of their own medicine."

there you go again

May 13, 2019 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you could insert any group in here"

Not nearly to the same extent. Mormons, if perhaps only because of their comparatively short history, have been far less barbarous than other Christian sects.

"if you ever read scripture, as you should try it, it's written presuming that Christianity are a tiny persecuted sliver of humanity

it's he [sic] normal state of affairs"

Like much of scripture, that doesn't apply anymore. Christianity has converted and murdered its way to the top -- 33% of the world and about 75% of the US. Perhaps scripture does explain current Christians' penchant for claiming they're a persecuted minority though; or perhaps it's poor understanding of math and statistics.

"actually, the virus didn't "lead" to the illness, it was the illness"

Again, you don't understand cause and effect, or language, apparently. A virus isn't an illness. If it was an illness, they'd call it "HII" for "human immunodeficiency illness" instead of "HIV" which is "human immunodeficiency virus."

The VIRUS attacks critical cells in the immune system, rendering the victims unable to mount an immune response to all sort of illnesses.

May if you spent a little less time reading the Goat-Herder's Guide to the Universe, and read a little bit of science once in a while, you might pick up some useful tidbits of information somewhere.

"what led to it's spread, the epidemic, was rampant random promiscuous homosexual activity in San Francisco and NY that was unrestrained because homosexuality was so widely tolerated"

You probably don't recall, but gay people weren't allowed to get married back then, and even being accused of being gay could lead to the loss of one's job. As such monogamous relationships weren't really an option for most gay people - hang out with the same guy too long, people would start saying "YOU'RE A FAGGOT!!!" and soon you'd be out of a job.

Christian "ethics" forced the vast majority of gay people into hidden, furtive, and temporary hookups that weren't good for them or society at large. Had they been allowed to marry and live openly in their committed relationships, it is unlikely that the epidemic would have been nearly as bad if it had started at all.

"shortly before the AIDS virus was discovered in the 70s, NBC ran a John Brokaw special report in prime-time entitled "The End of the Rainbow"

Really? Gotta link to that? Never hear of John Brokaw. I was a big fan of his brother Tom though, back in the day.

AIDS is known to have started in Africa, but it was at very low infection rates until modern Christian countries started exploiting cheap African labor in factories there. They paid enough money to lure men away from villages for work, but not enough to allow them to afford to bring their wives and children, leading to increased use of prostitutes, and spread of the disease.

But health care in many African countries is still so poor no one ever noticed a higher mortality rate in these workers. The virus had to find its way into a population that was otherwise quite healthy and had no other reason for dying before red flags started going up.

May 13, 2019 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I didn't know your issue was the volume of slavery

good to know"

I would have thought someone familiar with scripture would be more familiar with the parable about a plank and a speck - you know, Mathew 7:5.

But I guess not.

"is that relevant?

why?"

Well, it just sort of highlights the hypocrisy. But if the first part went over your head, there wasn't much hope of that making an impact.

"you were implying that slavery was a Christian phenomenon rather than a ubiquitous one"

Slavery shows up frequently in history, but I don't think it rises to the level of ubiquitous.

Christians however, practiced it on a far larger (industrial) scale in terms of slave numbers and geographical extent than any other group before or since. Christians also derived more gross product value out of forced labor than any other group for or since, and quite frankly, they haven't been particularly apologetic or penitent about it.

Even after giving up slavery, Christian countries still had a nasty habit of "colonizing" poor countries, extracting natural, mineral, and labor resources out of them without paying decent wages, and keeping most of the benefits for themselves.

One has to wonder what a modern world map would look like today if Christian countries hadn't spent so much time dividing up the globe into sections they could readily exploit.

May 13, 2019 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Things that Christians don't find offensive said...

Steven Anderson, a bigoted pastor known for his anti-gay sermons and celebrations of violence against his enemies, has been banned from Ireland following public outcry over his impending appearance later this month.

Anderson, who runs Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, was supposed to preach in Dublin on May 26 as part of a multinational tour, according to his website.

But after an online petition to “prevent the hate pastor” from appearing in Ireland garnered more than 14,000 signatures, an Irish judge tapped a never-before-used exclusionary order from the country’s 1999 Immigration Act to ban him, according to the BBC.

“I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,” said Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in a statement.

Anderson hasn’t made many headlines for a few years, but the vile content of his sermons seems to cause an uproar wherever he decides to preach. In 2016, he was arrested and deported from Botswana after joining a local radio station to declare that gays and lesbians should be killed. He was also banned from South Africa, which declared he and his congregation “undesirable persons,” according to CNN.

Previously, he prayed for the death of former president Barack Obama, and celebrated the gunman who killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando in 2016. At the time, the gunman claimed he did so in the name of the Islamic state.

Anderson’s hateful sermons, which include calling Jews “anti-Christs” and using homophobic slurs to promote violence against the LGBTQ communities, has landed him and his congregation in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups. According to a “doctrinal statement” on Anderson’s website, his congregation “opposes worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism,” and “believes that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”

May 13, 2019 5:47 PM  
Anonymous don't make me laugh said...

China is set to impose a tariff rate of as high as 25% on a portion of $60 billion worth of U.S. goods starting June 1, the Chinese government announced Monday.

May 13, 2019 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Garland, Goresuch, Kavanaugh, and the Jack of Hearts....LOL!!!!!! said...

"You probably don't recall, but gay people weren't allowed to get married back then,"

this is a warped way of stating the situation

it's not that they weren't "allowed", it's that marriage was accurately defined

that's coming back soon: we have an upgraded Supreme Court

"and even being accused of being gay could lead to the loss of one's job."

not really

indeed, certain vocations welcomed gays: Catholic priesthood, interior design, hair salons, classical music, education, art, legislators

even in other fields, an "accusation" would be more likely to hurt the accuser

"As such monogamous relationships weren't really an option for most gay people - hang out with the same guy too long, people would start saying "YOU'RE A FAGGOT!!!" and soon you'd be out of a job."

not really

most people knew gays but it was kept discreet, they invited them over for holidays and called them "uncle" or "friends of the family"

"Christian "ethics" forced the vast majority of gay people into hidden, furtive, and temporary hookups that weren't good for them or society at large. Had they been allowed to marry and live openly in their committed relationships, it is unlikely that the epidemic would have been nearly as bad if it had started at all."

so, you agree that the random rampant promiscuity among gays caused the spread of AIDS

you just think that they were "forced" to be randomly, rampantly, promiscuous to avoid exposure

if that were so, wouldn't a large number of partners increase the chance of exposure?

why didn't they just find one individual to secretly do this stuff with?

"Things that Christians don't find offensive said..."

a old TTF routine

anything that someone who calls himself Christian does is assigned to all Christians

let's try it with some other groups

Things that homosexuals don't find offensive: Jeffrey Dahmer

Things that Muslims don't find offensive: Osama bin Laden

Things that atheists don't find offensive: Kim Sum Fat

Things that Democrats don't find offensive: Anthony Wiener, Elliott Spitzer, Chuck Shumer, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Al Franken, Sleepy Creepy Biden

see how identifying all member of some group with unsavory characters that self-identify with that group is pretty unfair?

May 14, 2019 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and even being accused of being gay could lead to the loss of one's job."

not really

indeed, certain vocations welcomed gays: Catholic priesthood, interior design, hair salons, classical music, education, art, legislators"

And Harvey Milk found out the hard way that if you got voted to a city supervisor position, an angry Catholic dude might shoot you.

"see how identifying all member of some group with unsavory characters that self-identify with that group is pretty unfair?"

Yes. We learned that here from reading what the Christians post. Except they are even more insidious. Even though only one disgraced preacher has self-identified as gay (Ted Haggard), pedophile priests are held up as an example of how bad all gays are, and how they are the cause of many of the Catholic churches problems - even though they don't identify as gay.

Then of course there's the whole business about gays being instrumental in Hitler's rise to power, even though that is not supported by historical facts.

Unfortunately the "death for gays" sentiment among Christians can be found all over our society. I've even had Christian commenters tell me that they would be happy to kill gay people if it was legal, as it accords with their religious beliefs.

It is interesting to note that you didn't actually condemn the preacher's behavior or beliefs, but rather complained about how "unfair" it was.

If it is "fair" for Christians to call for the imprisonment and death penalties for gay people, conflate Nazis and pedophile priests with gay people, why wouldn't it be fair to conflate other Christians along with the worst of their own brethren?

May 14, 2019 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Garland, Goresuch & Kavanaugh...two outta three ain't bad said...

brilliant anon said you were wrong when you said even being accused of being gay could lead to the loss of one's job

your response?

"And Harvey Milk found out the hard way that if you got voted to a city supervisor position, an angry Catholic dude might shoot you."

which is completely non sequitur

Milk was not "accused" of being gay, he was a brazen homosexual

furthermore, Milk didn't lose his job because of his outspoken homosexuality

indeed, a resentful co-worker shot Milk because Milk got a job he wanted

further, Milk's murder was one of a kind, which is why it was headline news

"pedophile priests are held up as an example of how bad all gays are,"

no one her has said "pedophile priests are an example of how bad all gays are"

indeed, it's only been mentioned at all when countering TTF dwelling on every sex scandal as indicative of a general Christian phenomenon

"and how they are the cause of many of the Catholic churches problems - even though they don't identify as gay."

homosexuality is a desire to engage in perverted behavior regardless of how one wants to be identified

"Then of course there's the whole business about gays being instrumental in Hitler's rise to power, even though that is not supported by historical facts."

it's not that they were "instrumental in Hitler's rise to power"

it's that certain sick homosexuals from the anything-goes Weimar Republic began the cruel and sadistic practice of Hitler's security services

"Unfortunately the "death for gays" sentiment among Christians can be found all over our society."

actually, that's a baseless assertion

"I've even had Christian commenters tell me that they would be happy to kill gay people if it was legal, as it accords with their religious beliefs."

really?

who?

killing homosexuals is not in accord with Christian beliefs

May 14, 2019 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Peter Sprigg said...

“I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”

“I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States, because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Thank goodness you can say "At least he's not advocating killing gays."

May 14, 2019 10:48 AM  
Anonymous drip...drip..drip....... said...

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation.

John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates.

The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is separately examining investigators’ use of wiretap applications and informants and whether any political bias against Mr. Trump influenced investigative decisions. And John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, has been reviewing aspects of the Russia investigation.

There is damning evidence out there for investigators to find as they examine the FBI's conduct in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation.Classified documents will root out FBI misconduct in their use of an unverified dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. With Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the final stages of a FISA abuse investigation, lawmakers have referred to him newly revealed information about the dossier's author.

Clearly, fraud was committed against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courtwhen the FBI did not disclose dossier author Christopher Steele's anti-Trump bias and Democratic benefactors.

May 14, 2019 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"no one her [sic] has said "pedophile priests are an example of how bad all gays are"

indeed, it's only been mentioned at all when countering TTF dwelling on every sex scandal as indicative of a general Christian phenomenon"

Let's take a trip with the Way Back machine and see what someone has said:

"what a relief for TTFers!!

after the thousands of gay priests have abused children, finally there's a case of heterosexual priest engaged in sexual misconduct"

"The RCC is cracking down on LGBT folks because their parishioners are buying that the molestation scandal is due to gays in the church."

that's not unreasonable, considering that the vast majority of these priests who abuse kids are homosexuals"

"and conflating gay people with pedophiles,"

I haven't seen anyone do that here

although, obviously, some gays are pedophiles

just think of all the gays that became priests to hide in an ecclesiastical closet and then abused boys in their parish"

While it may be technically true that no one typed in those exact words, the sentiment that "the vast majority of these priests who abuse kids are homosexuals" comes through quite clear, and all these posts are intended to create the sentiment that lots of homosexuals abuse children.

It is an ancient Christian tactic that simultaneously deflects attention away from the criminal pedophile priests, and gratuitously slanders an entire class of people - the vast majority of which have never, and will never harm a child.

It is a rather crude and simplistic propaganda tool, but it has kept low-IQ church-goers in line and "spreading the word" well for centuries.

The fact that millions of innocent gay people have been harmed by this relentless slander is of no consequence to the self-righteous.

May 14, 2019 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"homosexuality is a desire to engage in perverted behavior regardless of how one wants to be identified"

No. That is just the definition Christians like to use as a pathetic excuse to justify their perpetually antagonistic and often dangerous behavior towards gay people. Anyone can look up the definitions:

ho·mo·sex·u·al·i·ty
/ˌhōməˌsekSHəˈwalədē/
noun
noun: homosexuality; plural noun: homosexualities
the quality or characteristic of being sexually attracted solely to people of one's own sex.

pe·do·phile
/ˈpedəˌfīl/
noun
noun: paedophile; plural noun: paedophiles; noun: pedophile; plural noun: pedophiles
a person who is sexually attracted to children.

But I'm pretty sure you already knew that. Despite your frequent reading comprehension problems, I don't think you're actually stupid enough to not know the difference between a homosexual and a pedophile. But like many Christians, I'm pretty sure you don't care about the difference and find it a very convenient means to advance your totalitarian agenda.

""Unfortunately the "death for gays" sentiment among Christians can be found all over our society."

actually, that's a baseless assertion

"I've even had Christian commenters tell me that they would be happy to kill gay people if it was legal, as it accords with their religious beliefs."

really?

who?"

He didn't leave his real name, and I don't recall what his handle was. It was a commenter on one of the Stream.org articles over a year ago.

As for the sentiment, I have a close conservative relative that happily intimidated a young lesbian at his college that "she should be grateful for his tolerance - that he didn't kill her - because that's what his faith told him was right." Keep in mind that he had recently returned from serving in the US army in Iraq, so make no mistake - he had the ability to do just that.

May 14, 2019 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it's not that they were "instrumental in Hitler's rise to power"

it's that certain sick homosexuals from the anything-goes Weimar Republic began the cruel and sadistic practice of Hitler's security services"

Quibble with the semantics all you like, but the fact is that a prominent Christians are still using this supposed Nazi link to demonize gay people. If even some of the people in Hitler's inner circle, or security services, or whatever moving target you'd like to make it, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Germany's war crimes were committed by white, Christian, heterosexuals. There is reason to believe that if the Catholic and Protestant churches had consistently condemned Hitler and the actions of the Nazi party, their power could have been greatly diminished - perhaps even extinguished. Perhaps not as efficiently as the gays that got sent to death camps, but at least thwarted.

But history tells us that forcing Jews into ghettos and making them wear yellow markers wasn't something new - the Catholic church had done it before.

Yet somehow the facts that Hitler's crimes were carried out mostly by white, Christian, heterosexuals is never really brought up by Christians. They'd rather focus on the handful that might have been gay.

But Christians have learned a lesson here from Hitler himself - you can get away with just about anything if your propaganda can sharply focus people's attention onto your enemy.

May 14, 2019 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo correction - it should read:

"If even some of the people in Hitler's inner circle, or security services, or whatever moving target you'd like to make it were gay, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Germany's war crimes were committed by white, Christian, heterosexuals."

May 14, 2019 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Chinese Hoax Not said...

It was 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean this weekend as carbon dioxide hit its highest level in human history

Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eclipsed 415 parts per million for the first time in human history.

By themselves, these are just data points. But taken together with so many indicators of an altered atmosphere and rising temperatures, they blend into the unmistakable portrait of human-induced climate change.

Saturday’s steamy 84-degree reading was posted in Arkhangelsk, Russia, where the average high temperature is around 54 this time of year. The city of 350,000 people sits next to the White Sea, which feeds into the Arctic Ocean’s Barents Sea.

In Koynas, a rural area to the east of Arkhangelsk, it was even hotter on Sunday, soaring to 87 degrees (31 Celsius). Many locations in Russia, from the Kazakhstan border to the White Sea, set record-high temperatures over the weekend, some 30 to 40 degrees (around 20 Celsius) above average. The warmth also bled west into Finland, which hit 77 degrees (25 Celsius) Saturday, the country’s warmest temperature of the season so far.

The abnormally warm conditions in this region stemmed from a bulging zone of high pressure centered over western Russia. This particular heat wave, while a manifestation of the arrangement of weather systems and fluctuations in the jet stream, fits into what has been an unusually warm year across the Arctic and most of the mid-latitudes.

In Greenland, for example, the ice sheet’s melt season began about a month early. In Alaska, several rivers saw winter ice break up on their earliest dates on record.

Across the Arctic overall, the extent of sea ice has hovered near a record low for weeks.

Data from the Japan Meteorological Agency show April was the second warmest on record for the entire planet.

These changes all have occurred against the backdrop of unremitting increases in carbon dioxide, which has now crossed another symbolic threshold...

May 14, 2019 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Rump+Putin said...

They're so tight they are practically completing each other's sentences:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday praised special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections as "objective."

"On the whole he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration, which we said was absolutely fake," Putin said during a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi, Russia, according to media translations."

Okaaay. But if he thinks the investigation was objective, he's admitting his sabotage:

"Mueller’s 448-page report, released to Congress and the public on April 18 after a nearly two-year investigation, provided the most comprehensive description to date of Russia’s efforts to boost Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election...

“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.""

Also, these must be objective conclusions too:

● Mueller rejects the argument that the president is shielded from obstruction laws.

●Trump, when told of appointment of special counsel Mueller, said: “This is the end of my presidency.”

● “Substantial evidence” supports Comey over Trump in account of Flynn meeting.

●Trump campaign attempted to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private emails.

● Campaign expected to benefit from stolen information released by the Russians.

● Mueller probe spawned 14 other investigations, including two unidentified cases that remain ongoing.

● Putin stepped up outreach to Trump after election.

● Special counsel team concluded Trump intended to obstruct probe in tweeting support for Manafort.

I guess that's all good for Trump and Putin. Case closed ...

May 15, 2019 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Yesterday Was a Dark Day for the Rule of Law said...

When Lindsey Graham told Donald Trump Jr. to ignore a subpoena from Senate Intelligence, he told him to commit a crime. But that’s not even the worst of it.

The degradation of Senator Lindsey Graham should no longer surprise us. Once the president’s implacable foe, now he’s his strongest ally. Once perceived as a Republican maverick alongside the late Senator John McCain, Donald Trump has turned him into a lackey.

Still, we ought to reserve some surprise for occasions like Monday, when the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, himself a lawyer, told a private citizen to defy a Republican senator and to break the law. And that’s what Graham did when he advised Donald Trump Jr. to ignore a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee, run by his Republican colleague Richard Burr. We should pause to be horrified. For the record, in the past Graham claimed that both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton could be impeached for defying subpoenas. But that was in the b.t. era: before trump.

Burr is not any kind of GOP moderate: He is solidly conservative. He has tried to work with the White House; Robert Mueller’s investigation found that he unwisely if not unethically shared information about the probe with Trump administration officials. He and the ranking Democratic member, Senator Mark Warner, have clashed more than once about how to conduct their probe, and how much to say to exonerate or reassure the president. Yet they have patched up their differences and conducted what most observers believe to be a sober and fair bipartisan investigation.

If Burr wants Trump Jr. to return to his committee, he has a legitimate reason for doing so. Reportedly, he wants to question him about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, along with inconsistencies in Trump campaign statements about the Trump Moscow project; specifically, the claim that all talk of the project ended by January 2016 as the Republican primary season began, when there is now evidence that conversations continued up until the July GOP convention, where Trump received the presidential nomination. It would matter that the man who very quickly emerged as the front-runner continued to negotiate with Russian oligarchs and officials to receive a sweet Moscow deal. It is also possible that Trump Jr. perjured himself in earlier Senate testimony.

At any rate, Burr has questions, and observers in both parties say they’re not likely to be frivolous. It should be underscored: He heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, so his concerns likely have to do with issues of national security; Lindsey Graham doesn’t even sit on that committee. Burr is one of the so-called “Gang of Eight,” the eight congressional leaders empowered to learn about the most sensitive details of threats to the US and intelligence operations; Graham is not.

To its credit, most of the mainstream media acted appropriately shocked by Graham’s wanton advocacy of lawbreaking. But one level of the prevailing analysis disturbs me. Many are shocked not just because Graham is advising Trump Jr. to defy a congressional subpoena and thwart its constitutional oversight function, but because he’s defying one from a conservative Republican. I do admit that makes it more brazen, but it’s honestly no more scandalous than those Republicans who endorse the White House defying subpoenas from Democratic House committee chairs Jerrold Nadler, Richard Neal, Adam Schiff, or Maxine Waters...

May 15, 2019 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Yesterday Was a Dark Day for the Rule of Law said...

...We have a constitutional crisis on our hands, and it’s less Trump defying Congress—he is a lawless president, but there are constitutional remedies for that. The constitutional crisis is that congressional Republicans are abdicating their oversight responsibilities to protect a lawless president because they fear he’ll come after them. The media must be as disturbed by the hundred-plus congressional subpoenas the Trump administration is ignoring, not just the one for Trump Jr.

Maybe the worst thing to happen Monday, in terms of the rule of law, was Attorney General William Barr’s decision to open an investigation into the origins of the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election. Trump is also trying to get information and possible assistance from the new Ukrainian government in investigating allegations against Hunter Biden as well as his father, former vice president Joe Biden, who is currently the Democratic presidential front-runner. Using your Justice Department and your foreign-policy apparatus to investigate and perhaps punish your political enemies is straight from the authoritarian playbook. (Oh, coincidentally, also on Monday Trump met with Hungarian autocrat and immigrant-hater Viktor Orban, and praised him.) Again, almost no Republicans, and not enough media professionals, seem to care.

That made Monday a particularly bad day for those who care about the rule of law. There is something about Richard Burr that is indeed different that we must acknowledge, however: He is not running for reelection. He doesn’t have to worry that Trump’s allies will recruit a primary challenger from North Carolina’s conservative fever swamps, or that he’ll turn his Twitter feed against him, and thus the party’s right-wing base. Trump can’t hurt Burr, and thus Burr’s “courage” tells us less about his righteousness, or the validity of his subpoena to Trump Jr., than about his party’s spineless swerve to the right, and its fealty to Trump over country.

May 15, 2019 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Ooops - somebody at Fox didn't get the memo! said...

News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano accused President Donald Trump of thrice violating the separation of powers in the last week.

He described it as a “very dangerous trend” in a “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers” segment that the widely watched conservative network’s website shared online Wednesday.

Napolitano said Trump’s reported instruction to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to divert money that Congress had authorized to buy a missile defense system to pay for a section of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall one was instance.

“He asked Congress for the money, and the Congress said no, and he took the money anyway,” Napolitano explained. “That violates the separation of powers.”

Other instances were Trump’s direction for Shanahan to send troops to the southern border and hiking tariffs on products imported from China, which Napolitano described as “a national federal sales tax imposed by the president and not by the Congress.”

Napolitano last month dubbed Trump “unlawful, defenseless and condemnable,” which earned him a rebuke from the president on Twitter.

He concluded:

It is dangerous when presidents write their own laws, impose their own taxes, spend money how they want and Congress looks the other way. It’s dangerous because it’s too much of an accumulation of power in the presidency and it imbalances that delicate balance that the separation of powers created. We need to be careful about too much power in the hands of too few.

May 16, 2019 10:20 AM  
Anonymous King Don said...

There was a time in American history -- nearly all of it up to the presidency of Woodrow Wilson -- when the federal government followed basic constitutional norms. With some unique and discrete exceptions, like the Civil War, Congress wrote the laws, the president enforced them, whether he agreed with them or not, and the judiciary interpreted them and assessed their compatibility to the Constitution. This is the separation of powers.

My late friend Justice Antonin Scalia often argued that the constitutionally mandated separation of powers is the most uniquely American and liberty-insuring aspect of the Constitution. James Madison, who essentially wrote the Constitution, believed that tension and jealousy between the three branches would enhance personal freedom by preventing the accumulation of too much governmental power in the hands of too few. But he publicly worried about that accumulation, and the branch he feared the most was the presidency.

When the federal courts have addressed challenges to the separation of powers -- for example, when the president writes a law and then enforces it -- they have uniformly upheld the Constitution. The president can't write a statute; Congress can't prosecute or acquit people; the courts can't determine tax rates. The Madisonian reason for all this is to maximize personal liberty by frustrating governmental power.

Madison's other core value was limited government. The Madisonian view of the federal government is one limited to exercising only those powers delegated to it in the Constitution.

That is, theoretically, how all this worked until a constitutional scholar from Princeton, with his own ideas of government without end, became president.

Wilson turned Madison's core values on their heads. His view of the federal government -- one adopted by all his successors -- was that the federal government can do whatever there is a political will for it to do, except that which the Constitution expressly prohibits. Wilson became the incarnation of Madison's fears when he -- not Congress -- prohibited folks from reciting the Declaration of Independence aloud outside military recruiting offices. Then he prosecuted them when they did so, arguing that the First Amendment only restrained Congress and not the presidency. Such an argument would flunk a course in constitutional law today.

Today, presidents have basically abandoned the separation of powers Madison so carefully crafted.

Three events took place last week -- all at the hands of President Donald Trump -- and each warrants examination from the Madisionian perspective as each assaults limited government and rejects the separation of powers. Each, as well, involves the accumulation of unconstitutional power in the branch of government that Madison feared the most.

Trump ordered acting secretary of defense Patrick Shanahan not to purchase a missile defense system that Congress had authorized and directed him to purchase -- and to which Trump had agreed -- but to divert that missile-budgeted money to build a fence along a 50-mile stretch of the 1,900-mile Texas/Mexico border. The secretary has publicly indicated that he will comply.

This violates the separation of powers because it is an expenditure of money from the Treasury -- solely a congressional prerogative -- without a congressional appropriation. As well, it directly defies Congress on the construction of this fence. The president asked Congress for the funds to build the fence and Congress said no. He took funds from the Treasury to build it anyway...

May 16, 2019 3:21 PM  
Anonymous King Don said...

...In the same breath last week, the president also ordered the acting secretary to deploy troops to assist the Border Patrol to enforce immigration laws at the Texas/Mexico border. This, too, is unlawful because among the laws Trump swore to uphold is a federal statute prohibiting the use of the military for domestic law enforcement.

Also, last week, the president announced the imposition of a 25 percent tariff on nearly all goods entering the U.S. from China. This, too, he did on his own, even though under the Constitution only Congress can impose taxes. Is the tariff a tax by another name? Trump argues that the Chinese government will be paying billions into the U.S. Treasury and he can then spend that money however he wishes.

Trump is wrong again. First, the tariffs are collected at the border and are initially paid directly by the Chinese seller, not the Chinese government. The seller then passes the tariff cost on to American consumers, who purchase the goods on which the tariffs have been imposed. The tariff is actually a sales tax, which will increase by 25 percent the cost of any product purchased in America that originated in China.

So, for every dollar that a Chinese seller pays to the U.S. Treasury, an American consumer reimburses the seller one dollar. Multiply that by a few hundred billion dollars, and you can grasp Trump's destructive ignorance of Economics 101. Perhaps he has forgotten that only Congress can direct the expenditure of funds in the Treasury; though this is a constitutional principle he has already shown that he rejects.

What's going on here?

Since Woodrow Wilson's broad expansive view of presidential power infected the American presidency, the public, the media and Congress often look the other way at presidential constitutional violations. When Congress does that, isn't it giving up its prerogatives by letting the president seize and then exercise what is really congressional power? The Supreme Court has said that the branches of government cannot trade or exchange or cede away constitutional powers, whether by ignorance or weakness or consent, without a constitutional amendment.

Madison's ideological adversary at the creation of the American Republic was Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton argued that the president should serve for life. Madison countered that life-tenure would make the president a king.

Once upon a time in America, Madison's fear of a king would have been unthinkable and unrealistic. Today, it is becoming the norm.


Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

May 16, 2019 3:21 PM  
Anonymous "arbitrary and capricious" said...

A split federal appeals court on Friday ruled that President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful because “it was not adequately explained."

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia found that the administration's termination of the program was "arbitrary and capricious," in line with a prior ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

The ruling comes as the legal battle over the termination of DACA continues. The Supreme Court is weighing whether to hear several cases over the end of the program.

The appeals court decision stems from a lawsuit arguing that the decision to end DACA needed to undergo public comment and other procedures required under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The complaint also alleged that the proposed policy changes on how the personal information of DACA applicants would be shared were similarly lawful, and violated due process protections guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

Attorneys for the Trump administration argued that the decision to rescind DACA was an agency decision, and therefore did not have to be made available for public comment.

But the court disagreed, finding that then-Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke “rescinded a general enforcement policy in existence for over five years and affecting hundreds of thousands of enrollees based on the view that the policy was unlawful.”

And the court found that while the administration argued that DACA was unlawful in its decision to end the program, the documents used to back up those claims did not “identify any statutory provision with which the DACA policy conflicts.”

The judges noted that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in a memo that courts had ruled against the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, which was similar to DACA and partly expanded the protections for children.

But they said that DACA and DAPA are still two separate programs, and the court rulings on one program cannot be used to argue for the elimination of another.

May 17, 2019 10:50 AM  
Anonymous “The Border Crisis. Coming to a City Near you!” said...

Or county.

Or even closer.

Florida officials are raising alarm and pressing for details about the purported intention of the Trump administration to send hundreds of immigrants a week to two heavily Democratic counties in South Florida.

Customs and Border Protection has not publicly disclosed its plans. But a partial picture of a new approach to managing a record influx of immigrants at the southern border came into view on Thursday based on the accounts of local leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Even allies of the president were nonplussed. The state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, joined federal lawmakers from Florida — Republicans and Democrats alike — in questioning the apparent effort to foist the immigration and asylum burden on two local jurisdictions without equipping them with the resources to house, feed, educate and protect new arrivals.

"We want a better plan from our federal government,” Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard, a Haitian-born Democrat, said at a news conference. “We are not a border state.”

As arrests at the border continue to increase — threatening to derail the immigration agenda that has formed the cornerstone of President Trump’s domestic policy — South Florida officials said they have been told to expect the arrival twice a week of 135 asylum seekers, rerouted from the El Paso area. That is equivalent to about 1,000 people per month, divided between the two counties...

“We will do everything possible to help these people,” [Broward County Mayor Mark D. Bogen] said in a news release. “If the President will not provide us with financial assistance to house and feed these people, he will be creating a homeless encampment.”

Citing the president’s threat to “send people who illegally cross the border to communities that are considered immigrant friendly,” the mayor called the plans “inhumane.” And he issued a threat of his own, saying that the county should bring those who couldn’t find shelter “to the Trump hotels and ask the President to open his heart and home as well.”

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is located in Palm Beach County.

May 17, 2019 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Jesse Memer said...

Can I tell you a secret? I don't care if there are undocumented immigrants in this country. I think its a non issue. Without social security numbers they're not getting the welfare people claim they're getting, the vast majoirity of them are normal people trying to live a better life.

This whole wall deport-the-illegals bullshit is just the one percent convincing teh working poor to blame a subset of the working poor for the fact that they're all poor due to the vast income inequality and resource price inflation in combination with wage stagnation. The existence of another poor person is not why you're poor. It's because the people who control everything refuse to increase your wages.

May 18, 2019 1:07 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

New polling shows a dramatic increase in confidence in Mueller's investigation and that the public, excepting Republicans, believes Mueller's findings are damaging for Trump or they are split on this question and say additional investigation is needed.

Its just like I said it would happen months before the Mueller Report was realeased:

Republicans will block everything but because the law is on their side Democrats will pull out one damaging thing about Trump and the
Republicans after another, bit by bit. It will be a steady stream of damaging revelations about Trump all the way up to 2020 - death of a thousand cuts.

Trump can't win a fair and honest election. That's why he's encouraging Russia to hack the election for him and he's told the Ukraine to do the same or he'll cut off aid.

May 18, 2019 1:15 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Can you believe the world isn't screaming about the fact that Trump talked to Putin about Mueller, but refused to talk to Mueller about Putin? Which country is Trump loyal to? What oath did Trump take?

May 18, 2019 1:58 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trade wars are so easy to win. Trump created the problem and settled for no gain.

Canada, U.S. [and Mexico] reach deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs within 2 days

Trump tariffed Canada and Canada tariffed the U.S. in retaliation. It was a tax on the citizens of both countries. A tax in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when its done for ego, without planning, and done in a way that disproportionately affects the lowest income earners, its a very bad idea.

May 18, 2019 2:17 AM  
Anonymous Trump administration showers Brazilian crooks with $62M bailout money meant for struggling U.S. farmers said...

The Trump administration has forked over more than $62 million — taxpayer cash that was supposed to be earmarked for struggling American farmers — to a massive meatpacking company owned by a couple of corrupt Brazilian brothers.

The Department of Agriculture cut a contract in January to purchase $22.3 million worth of pork from plants operated by JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS SA, which ranks as the largest meatpacker in the world.

The bailout raised eyebrows from industry insiders at the time, as it was sourced from a $12 billion program meant for American farmers harmed by President Trump’s escalating trade war with China and other countries.

But previously undisclosed purchase reports obtained by the Daily News this week reveal the administration has since issued at least two more bailouts to JBS, even as Trump’s own Justice Department began investigating the meatpacker, whose owners are Joesley and Wesley Batista — two wealthy brothers who have confessed to bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil.

Both brothers have spent time in jail over the sweeping corruption scandal.

Local prosecutors rescinded the Batistas’ plea deals last year after accusing them of withholding evidence. The seedy brothers aren’t allowed to leave Brazil as their complex cases go to court.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, is probing JBS for possible violations in the U.S. of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to filings in an unrelated court case reviewed by The News. Reuters reported in December that Justice Department investigators interviewed the Batistas in Brazil late last year as part of that investigation.

Nonetheless, Trump’s Agriculture Department issued $14.5 million in bailout cash for pork products from JBS in February and another $25.6 million earlier this month, totaling more than $62.4 million, according to the purchase reports.

The sheer size of the payouts stoked outrage from industry watchdogs, who question how subsidizing a deep-pocketed, Brazilian-owned company would help farmers in the American heartland.

“Why is the USDA bailing out plants operated by JBS, the largest meatpacker in the world, with a program designed to help domestic companies and producers under economic duress?” said Tony Corbo, a lobbyist at Food & Water Watch, noting that the meat giant reported a net income of $273 million for the first quarter of 2019.

Moreover, JBS appears to have benefited from the trade tensions between Beijing and Washington that the bailouts are supposed to mitigate.

The company’s exports to China ballooned to more than 24% in 2018, compared to less than 21% the previous year, according to public records, raising questions about the need for the Trump subsidy.

“This company does not seem to be hurting,” Corbo said.

By comparison, a similar Trump bailout to Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which is owned by a Chinese firm, was cancelled last year amid pushback from members of Congress that money meant for American farmers was ending up in the hands of foreigners...

May 18, 2019 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Tom Sullivan said...

Plenty of commentary has addressed the cultural clash between Baby Boomer workaholics and millennials faced with a declining life prospects and a warming planet. Recent legislation in multiple states targeting Roe v. Wade as well as the Me Too Movement point up a much deeper, more longstanding conflict: male domination of the political and cultural space.

That old order is passing, but will not go gentle into that good night.. Wise men (and not so wise). Good men (and not so good). Men both wild and grave, and those not so much of either. But men all, mister poet.

Nevada's state legislature, however, is the first in the country with a majority of women in office. A combined 52 percent between the Assembly and the Senate. When a Republican stood to defend a hoary piece of legislation requiring doctors to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she is married, newly elected senator Yvanna Cancela shot back, “A man is not asked his marital status before he gets a vasectomy.” The Washington Post reports the hearing room fell silent.

In Alabama, women make up just 15 percent of the legislature that just passed a near-complete ban on abortion.

But times have changed in Carson City:

"The female majority is having a huge effect: More than 17 pending bills deal with sexual assault, sex trafficking and sexual misconduct, with some measures aimed at making it easier to prosecute offenders. Bills to ban child marriage and examine the causes of maternal mortality are also on the docket.

“I can say with 100 percent certainty that we wouldn’t have had these conversations" a few years ago, said Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D). "None of these bills would have seen the light of day.”"

The change did not occur by accident nor organically. Women organized, ran for office, and won. The "boys club" that in 2015 refused to schedule a hearing for Sen. Patricia Ann Spearman's (D) bill on pay equity for women is over.

Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University observes, "it’s probably a lot more significant that we have 49 legislatures left to go."

It is not simply their politics and ethnicity conservative opponents of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) oppose. It is their gender and the challenge they and their female colleagues in Congress represent to a "man's world." Even in these Trumpishly incorrect times, revanchists do not have the manliness to say so aloud. Except in locker rooms surrounded by other naked men.

"If male politicians could get pregnant, there would be as many Planned Parenthood clinics as there are Post Offices. ���� https://t.co/2YUR8Htpqm

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 16, 2019"

May 18, 2019 12:12 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Justin Amash, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say the president has engaged in impeachable behavior.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election reveals that Trump "engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment," Amash, who has signaled he would consider running as a libertarian against Trump in the 2020 election, wrote on Twitter.

Mueller's report "identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence," Amash wrote.

Trump has said Mueller's report concluded there no obstruction of justice. Mueller's report made no formal finding on that question, leaving the matter up to Congress.

Amash also wrote that "it is clear" that Attorney General William Barr intended to mislead the public about Mueller's report in his conclusions and congressional testimony about it.

In his letter to Congress, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein determined there was insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed criminal obstruction of justice, or acted unlawfully to impede the investigation.

Amash's comments echoed the conclusions of many Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on May 8 that Trump was moving closer to impeachment with his efforts to thwart congressional subpoenas and obstruct lawmakers' efforts to oversee his administration.


The White House and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comments about Amash's tweets.

May 19, 2019 12:38 AM  
Anonymous the sky is falling!! said...

"Mueller's report "identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence," Amash wrote."

He's got a point

anyone who fired the FBI director because the director violated department policy would be in jail so fast it would make your head spin

same with anyone who counseled his son how to handle interrogators who were falsely accusing the father of winning the presidency by colluding with Russians

hard to believe someone who wants to expand the definition of "obstruction" to the point of absurdity has the nerve to seek the nomination of the LIBERTARIAN Party

From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France, and beyond, voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to purportedly fight human-caused climate change.

Skepticism over whether humans are causing dangerous climate change has always been higher in America than in most industrialized countries. As a result, governments in Europe, Canada, and other developed areas are much farther along the energy rationing path, cutting carbon dioxide emissions as required. However, residents in these countries have begun to revolt against the higher energy costs they suffer under due to high taxes on fossil fuels and mandates to use expensive renewable energy.

This is what originally prompted protesters in France to don yellow vests and take to the streets in 2018. They were protesting scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and stricter vehicle emissions controls, which French President Emmanuel Macron had claimed were necessary to meet the country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement. After the first four weeks of protest, Macron’s government canceled the climate action plan.

Also in 2018, in part as a reaction against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate policies, global warming skeptic Doug Ford was elected as premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Ford announced he would end energy taxes imposed by Ontario’s previous premier and would join Saskatchewan’s premier in a legal fight against Trudeau’s federal carbon dioxide tax.

And in August 2018, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to resign over carbon dioxide restrictions he had planned to meet the country’s Paris climate commitments. His successor announced that new goals of reducing energy prices and improving reliability, not fighting climate change, would be the government’s priority going forward. Subsequently, Australia’s deputy prime minister and environment minister announced the country would continue using coal for electricity and expand coal mining and exports.

But 2018 was just a prelude for the political climate revolt to come.

May 19, 2019 1:29 AM  
Anonymous the sky is falling!! said...

In mid-March, the Forum for Democracy (FvD), a fledgling political party just three years old, tied for the largest number of seats, 12, in the divided Dutch Senate in the 2019 elections. FvD takes a decidedly skeptical stance on climate change. On the campaign trail, Thierry Baudet, FvD’s leader, said the government should stop funding programs to meet the country’s commitments to international climate change agreements, saying such efforts are driven by “climate change hysteria.”

In Finland, climate change policies became the dominant issue in the April 14 election, as support for climate skepticism suddenly surged. While all the other parties proposed plans to raise energy prices and limit energy use, when all the votes had been counted, the Finns Party, which made the fight against expensive climate policies the central part of its platform, came out the big winner with the second-highest number of seats in Parliament. Just two months prior to the election, polls showed the Finns Party's support hovering below 10%. But after the the party made battling alarmist climate policies its main goal, its popularity soared, delivering it the second-most seats in Finland’s legislature — 39, just one seat behind the Social Democratic Party, with 40 seats. Even the New York Times noted the Finns Party’s electoral surge was based on its expressed climate skepticism.

In Alberta, where the economy declined after Prime Minister Trudeau’s climate policies were enacted, voters on April 16 threw out the reigning Premier Rachel Notley and her New Democratic Party, which supported federal climate policies. The United Conservative Party, headed by newly elected Premier Jason Kenney, took over after vowing to scrap the province’s carbon tax and every other policy in NDP’s climate action plan. As part of that effort, Kenney said he would reverse plans to accelerate the closure of the province’s coal power plants and its cap on emissions from the oil sands. In addition, Kenney says he will challenge the federal government’s climate impositions in court and streamline regulations hampering the province’s critical oil and gas industry and pipeline construction.

As daily headlines become ever more shrill, hyping climate fears based on projections made by unverified climate models, the international public is becoming increasingly wary of the Chicken Little claims of impending climate doom. Voters in developed countries are saying “enough is enough” to high energy prices that punish the most vulnerable but do nothing to control the weather.

May 19, 2019 1:29 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Every respected medical and mental health organization in the world considers attempts to change sexual orientation potentially dangerous. The American Psychiatric Association says that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) can lead to “anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior”, including suicide. The American Psychological Association says, “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.” Such “therapy” is considered so detrimental that sixteen states and the District of Colombia ban practicing it on minors.

According Dr. Caitlin Ryan’s study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: “LGBT teens who were highly rejected by their families were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs.” (Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009).

A new study by Dr. Ryan, who also directs the Family Acceptance Project, reports:

“Parent-initiated attempts to change participant’s sexual orientation during adolescence were associated with more negative mental health problems for young adults.”(Journal of Homosexuality, Nov. 2018)

May 19, 2019 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Justin Amash said...

Justin Amash✔
@justinamash

Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

3:30 PM - May 18, 2019

May 19, 2019 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Reginald Upinold said...

Who is this idiot, Priya Lynn? From the looks of her comments, she seems to be the snake-oil salesman of the blogosphere. What a dishonest posting!

"Every respected medical and mental health organization in the world considers attempts to change sexual orientation potentially dangerous."

She says, and then gives one example. So much for "every"!

Anyway, "respected" by who? The organization she cited has a history of kowtowing to political pressure. Famously, they removed homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses in the 70s when most of the members polled believed homosexuality was, indeed, a mental illness. Why? They succumbed to intense pressure from radical fringe gay advocacy groups.

"The American Psychiatric Association says that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) can lead to “anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior”, including suicide."

What a bunch of crap! You could say the same about applying to attend Harvard. Yeah, let's not ever try anything if failing could make you depressed and anxious.

"The American Psychological Association says, “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”"

You can say the same about many mental illnesses. No reason to give up. Where would we be if mankind always had that attitude?

"Such “therapy” is considered so detrimental that sixteen states and the District of Colombia ban practicing it on minors."

Yeah, because legislatures are known for making legislation based on rock-solid scientific evidence. That's why there are no laws combating climate change. No evidence.

"According Dr. Caitlin Ryan’s study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: “LGBT teens who were highly rejected by their families were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs.” (Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009)."

Duh! This is why anti-family groups are so misguided.

"“Parent-initiated attempts to change participant’s sexual orientation during adolescence were associated with more negative mental health problems for young adults.”(Journal of Homosexuality, Nov. 2018)"

Studies in the field of homosexuality are notoriously biased by preconceived results fr which they seek to find justification. They betray the scientific method.

btw, parent-initiated attempts to change participant’s habit of not making their bed during adolescence were associated with more negative mental health problems for young adults.

It's a fact!

May 19, 2019 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Mortimer Mouse said...

"Here are my principal conclusions:"

Says a guy who bases conclusions on bad feelings and fears.

Meantime, life outside goes on around you.

"1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report."

A matter of opinion. But an irrelevant one since the report has been released. Everyone can read it themselves and make up their own mind.

You should try it, Justin!

"2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct."

Again, a matter of opinion. Anything could, theoretically, be impeachable conduct, the Constitution doesn't define it. Still, most voters don't believe there is justification for removing the President from office. And Congressmen, who each have one of the 435 votes that could be cast for impeachment, have to face the voters every two years.

Voters won't look favorably on any Congressman who votes to impeach Trump when it is clear he won't be convicted and while the President is working hard to restore America's economic vitality.

Mitt Romney, who has publicly sparred with the president, said Sunday he disagrees with a fellow Republican who came forward over the weekend saying President Trump committed impeachable offenses.

The Utah Republican said he came to a different conclusion than Justin Amash after reading Mueller’s report, saying he did not think Mr. Trump should be impeached.

“There aren’t the full elements you need to prove an obstruction of justice case,” Romney said on CNN.

“The American people just aren’t there,” the 2012 GOP presidential nominee added. “I don’t think impeachment is the right way to go.”

His comments came after Mr. Amash took to Twitter Saturday to lay out in a series of tweets why he thinks the president’s conduct crossed the line, saying he violated the public trust.

"3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances."

The checks and balances are working fine, despite Democrats' view that Congress is not equal but has more power. Trump has obeyed all court orders, cooperated with two years of a dubious Russian hoax investigation by Congress and only taken action supported by legislation.

Democrats, on the other hand, have acted in anti-Democratic ways. They have abused the intelligence agencies of the country to fight a political opponent and are conducting sweeping investigations without legislative purpose. Trump is resisting the letter, citing past court decisions. The judiciary is a check on Congress.

"4. Few members of Congress have read the report."

Same applies to Obamacare. They can't read everything. They've read what they thought they needed to read and were elected to make such decisions. If their voters disagree, they have an opportunity to make a change every two years. That's what Justin Amash's constituents will do next year. they like the way trump is bringing Michigan back.

Hope he enjoys his 15 minutes of fame.

May 19, 2019 11:02 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

"Reginald Upinold" said "Who is this idiot, Priya Lynn?"

I've explained who I am in detail on Teach the Facts. If you really want to know, start with the three TTF threads below and then a couple of months later I make several more posts about who I am on those later TTF threads.

I posted "Every respected medical and mental health organization in the world considers attempts to change sexual orientation potentially dangerous."

Wyatt/Regina said "She says, and then gives one example. So much for "every"!"

Check it out for yourself, here's the link. at Truth Wins Out, the link to all the respected global medical and mental health organizations who say gayness is a normal, natural, and healthy variant of human sexuality for a minority of the population is near the bottom of the page.

I'll get to the rest of Wyatt/Regina's religious excuses for treating lgbts badly later.

Who I am is scattered about throughout the threads over the few months from the first below:

http://vigilance.teachthefacts.org/2018/12/flynn-free-trump-continues-to-march-off.html#comments


http://vigilance.teachthefacts.org/2018/12/drowning-accomplished.html#comments


http://vigilance.teachthefacts.org/2019/01/moco-hunkers-down.html#comments

To access the #200 and higher comments, go to the bottom of the blue page and click on th red "Post a comment" icon. When the white comment window page comes up, click on the "Newer" icon.


Religion never has and never will unite the world. Humanity faces existential threats from Human Caused Global Climate Warming to nuclear holocaust. We need a united humanity to address these threats and will only have it if all religious willingly subordinate themselves to the highest moral imperative of society - "To have the best society we can, society's highest priority has to be maximizing the happiness for all in an equal and fair way."

May 19, 2019 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Reginald Upinold said...

This Priya Lynn is not only an idiot, she thinks the rest of us are too. She made this assertion:

"Every respected medical and mental health organization in the world considers attempts to change sexual orientation potentially dangerous."

And then, when it is noted that she provided no proof of this claim, she says:

"Check it out for yourself, here's the link. at Truth Wins Out, the link to all the respected global medical and mental health organizations who say gayness is a normal, natural, and healthy variant of human sexuality for a minority of the population"

The discussion wasn't about whether "gayness is a normal, natural, and healthy variant of human sexuality." It was about whether "Every respected medical and mental health organization in the world considers attempts to change sexual orientation potentially dangerous."

There's no indication that attempts to change same-sex attraction is more harmful than attempting to change any other undesirable desires and behaviors.

Lunatic fringe homosexual advocates have used a cult-like technique to keep their fellow cult members from leaving. It's to their political advantage to claim that anyone who is homosexual has to stay homosexual. That's a dangerous viewpoint that obviously can and has led to anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior, including suicide.

May 19, 2019 2:02 PM  
Anonymous It looks like right-wingers turned over another rock said...

BY MAYA RHODAN JULY 31, 2014

Yvette Schneider spent a little over a decade as an active participant and a leader in the gay conversion therapy movement. In other words, she spent years working to convince men and women that they could stop being gay, lesbian, or bisexual through suppression and therapy.

But in 2010 she began to see things differently. At the time, Schneider did not share her feelings with her colleagues, but that same year, she was let go from her position as the director of the women’s ministry at Exodus International— a leading sexual orientation conversion organization that closed in 2013.

“I realized that no one was actually saying, ‘I’m straight,” she explains, referring to the post-treatment disposition of the Exodus clients she saw. “You can go through years of therapy and what are you left with—shame?”

Schneider, now 48, realized that simply leaving the movement wasn’t enough. On Monday, she officially apologized for her involvement in the anti-gay movement in an open letter published by GLAAD. And on Thursday she joined with eight other former leaders in the ex-gay movement to formally come out against the controversial practice in an open letter and support a widespread ban of the practice on minors.

“We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth,” reads the letter, published by the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically ‘broken’ about being LGBT. We know better now.”

The former gay conversion leaders, including Schneider, Brad Allen, Darlene Bogle, Michael Bussee, Catherine Chapman, Jeremy Marks, Bill Prickett, Tim Rymel, and John Smid, are joining the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect movement aimed at expanding state bans on conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen,” the letter reads. “We now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful.

May 19, 2019 3:25 PM  
Anonymous It looks like right-wingers turned over another rock said...

Currently, California and New Jersey are the only two states that have laws in place to ban the practice of using therapy to try to “cure” minors of homosexuality, though a Michigan lawmaker introduced a bill last week that would ban the practice on minors. In fact, the Texas Republican Party formally endorsed gay conversion treatments in their official platform in June. Yet, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and most leading professional medical and social science organizations oppose the therapy given its basis in the idea that homosexuality is “curable.”

“The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in anyway abnormal or unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations,” reads an American Psychological Association brochure titled “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth.”

Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International who has been speaking out against conversion therapy since 1989, says Thursday’s letter was the next step for leaders in the movement after Exodus closed. Now, he says their efforts should be focused on educating the public and ending the practice.

“There will be people who will be understandably upset, leaders can’t undo the harm they caused while they’re a part of these programs,” says Bussee who in 2007 publicly apologized for his work in the movement from 1976 until 1979. “All we can do know is say this harm needs to stop.”

May 19, 2019 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Horace Hendalicker said...

"she officially apologized for her involvement in the anti-gay movement in an open letter published by GLAAD"

Unless she forced someone to undergo therapy, she had nothing to apologize for. People have a right to seek change.

“We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically ‘broken’ about being LGBT. We know better now.”

This is not a matter of knowledge. It is a value judgement. She "knows" nothing she didn't before.

“Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen,”

It is not the role of government to make, or enforce, such a judgement.

"Yet, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and most leading professional medical and social science organizations oppose the therapy given its basis in the idea that homosexuality is “curable.”"

So, they don't oppose it because it's "harmful" but just because they don't think it's possible. Quite different.

"“The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in anyway abnormal or unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations,” reads an American Psychological Association brochure titled “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth.”"

That's a value judgement, not a scientific one. The opinion of these organizations is no more valid than anyone else's.

"“There will be people who will be understandably upset, leaders can’t undo the harm they caused while they’re a part of these programs,” says Bussee who in 2007 publicly apologized for his work in the movement from 1976 until 1979. “All we can do know is say this harm needs to stop.”"

It's just as harmful to tell people they can't change. We don't do it in any other sphere of life.

May 19, 2019 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unless she forced someone to undergo therapy, she had nothing to apologize for. People have a right to seek change."

And yet she (and the other ex-gay conversion "therapists") specifically apologized for "the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth.” It was typically parents that forced their children to suffer these treatments - not something they chose to endure themselves. Just because SHE didn't force them into therapy, doesn't mean she didn't harm people or had nothing to apologize for. And I'm quite sure you have no idea what harm she caused people.

“We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically ‘broken’ about being LGBT. We know better now.”

'This is not a matter of knowledge. It is a value judgement. She "knows" nothing she didn't before."

Actually she knows harming kids with "conversion therapy" to try and change their sexual orientation simply doesn't work, and harms people. Her kind of knowledge is that which comes from trying for years to do something and failing over and over again.

Some people learn from failures, figure out what they were doing wrong, use what they've learned and move on to new and better ways.

Doing the same things over and over again while expecting a different result has often been considered a sign of insanity. At the very least, it's obstinate stupidity.

But if you dress it up with some rituals and mystical beliefs that require no proof, then you can call it a "religion."

If people want to change their sexuality, there's nothing stopping them from being straight. They can jump to the other side of the field any time they like. The don't need religious organizations getting all up in their personal business and telling them what they need to do with unlicensed "therapists" that have no medical degree. There's plenty of books and movies on the subject of straight sex, and it's not difficult to find more information on it.

There's a reason we send doctors to schools based on science before we let them treat people - rather than monasteries; at least in this country. Historically, religion has a proven track record for separating gullible people from their money, but not for actually curing any illnesses.

"It's just as harmful to tell people they can't change. We don't do it in any other sphere of life."

Religious people tell trans folks they can't change their gender all the time. In fact they make a point of telling them that no matter what they do, they will never change. I bet you don't have a problem with that at all.

Your points are moot.

May 19, 2019 6:25 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Earlier I partially responded to a post by Wyatt/Regina.

They went on and on trying to trivialize people committing suicide because they failed to change from gay to heterosexual - that's the effect of religious condemnation on good harmless gays.

Wyatt/Regina, no matter how trivial you think the depression from trying to change sexual orientations is, there's no rational reason to endure that depression even if one could slog through it and change.

Its like when teachers gave schoolchildren the strap for writing with their left hands. Sure after much stress most manged to force themselves write with their right hand, but the stress was pointless given the lack of any benefit to not using one's left hand to write.

And its doubly pointless to try and change from gay to heterosexual given that it can't be done either.

Decades of research shows that gays who positively accept their orientation are happier and better adjusted than those poor religious gays who spend a lifetime fighting it.

And of course there's even less benefit to heterosexual couples like Wyatt/Regina from gays trying for a lifetime to be heterosexual. Wyatt and Regina Hardiman want gays to endure a lifetime of stress pretending to be someone they're not because Wyatt and Regina get pleasure from punishing gays and feeling superior to them.

Note how Wyatt and Regina compare trying to change one's sexual orientation to a child being "depressed" because its parents force it to make its bed. Wyatt/Regina see themselves as the rulers over "wayward" citizens like gays just like parents see themselves as the ruler over their children.

Wyatt/Regina think they are morally superior to gays and deserve to have their superiority over gays, and the regular punishment of gays entrenched in law. Wyatt/Regina are unconditionally opposed to equality and fairness.

Shame 'bout that.

May 19, 2019 6:26 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

When Alabama Senator Bobby Singleton (D) pointed out that the new law could punish those who dispose of fertilized eggs at an IVF clinic, Republican Senator. Clyde Chambliss said "The egg in the lab doesn't apply. It's not in a woman. She is not pregnant."

It's ONLY about controlling women, not about saving embryos they stupidly claim is a person.

May 19, 2019 6:32 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt and Regina think its their place in life to require gays to "live in society's shadows".

It doesn't get much more arrogant and self centred than that.

Me, I want to maximize Wyatt/Regina's happiness as well as my own.

That's why they hate me so much.

May 19, 2019 6:37 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Christianity, "a personal relationship with Jesus", "god's all about me."

It doesn't get any shallower than that.

May 19, 2019 6:39 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

If one is going to risk becoming depressed in order to make a gigantic change to themselves, there had damn well better be a big payoff for going through that, especially when many of the people going down this path become so despondent they kill themselves. That this outcome gives religious conservatives like Wyatt/Regina pleasure is not sufficient.

There is no benefit achieved if one could change from gay to straight. In fact, given the existential threat of exponential growth of the human race due to irresponsible heterosexuality, if anything, in this day and age gayness is to be preferenced over heterosexuality. At least until we get to zero population growth anyway.

May 19, 2019 6:45 PM  
Anonymous BeccaM said...

Trump's Attorney General ringer Bill Barr has always been a corrupt partisan hack willing to break any norm, violate any law, upend any sense of decency in pursuit of GOP Uber Alles.

Barr tried to submit a "summary of findings" in 1989 to help cover up evidence for illegal prisoner renditions. 1992, as Bush I's AG, Barr engaged in another coverup, this time for the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) Iraqgate scandal. Also in '92, he authorized one of the first programs to hoover up the phone records of millions of Americans not at all suspected of any crimes. Also in '92, Barr tried to pressure US attorney in Arkansas to go after the Clintons for Whitewater.

Forward to 2017, Barr was frequently quoted as saying he felt the Clintons should be investigated for the Uranium One deal (in which HRC didn't really play any part whatsoever) and for the Clinton Foundation (which has never had any wrongdoing accused of it). He plainly believes that the President—as long as he's a Republican—is above the law and beyond the reach of any justice.

May 19, 2019 7:44 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Fears of the black rapist have justified slavery and racist laws.

Fears of the brown rapist have justified mass detention.

Fears of the trans rapist are used to push laws preventing transwomen from using public bathrooms.

When the actual rapists are white heterosexuals? "Boys will be boys" **cough Brett Kavanaugh cough**

These people see rape as a class privilege.

May 19, 2019 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justin Amash became the first Republican member of Congress to suggest that President Trump should be impeached for his misdeeds, a stand that puts him at odds with the GOP and risks his future in the party... only if he is the only one to actually grow a pair.

Larry Lindsey, the national economic council director under former President George W. Bush, delivered a presentation on US-China trade talks to senior House Republicans on Tuesday and said that as part of his analysis of the talks he enlisted the services of two psychiatrists to analyze President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to two sources.

In that analysis, Trump was rated as a "10-out-of-10 narcissist" who doesn't have the capacity for long-term strategic ideals or goals, which Lindsey attributed to Trump's upbringing, the sources said.

"10-out-of-10 narcissist" well, that explains why the conservatives here like him - he's just like 'em.

May 19, 2019 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON — The longest-serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature became a Democrat this week. And in doing so, Representative Andy McKean made clear his move was all about President Trump. ‘‘If this is the new normal,’’ he said of Trump’s ‘‘unacceptable behavior,’’ ‘‘I want no part of it.’’

...there has been a Trump-inspired shift in the direction of party-switching in the United States. While for the better part of the last few decades, party-switching generally hurt Democrats and benefited the Republican Party — largely because of conservative Southern Democrats coming around to the GOP — these days, the movement is more leftward.

McKean’s colleague in the Iowa Legislature, now-former state Senator David Johnson, switched to independent during the 2016 election over Trump’s ‘‘racist remarks and judicial jihad,’’ calling Trump a ‘‘bigot’’ for suggesting the US-born judge overseeing the Trump University case, Gonzalo Curiel, was biased because of his Mexican heritage.

California state Assemblyman Brian Maienschein cited a number of reasons for his party switch three months ago, but he made clear Trump was one of them. ‘‘I don’t even know where to begin,’’ he said of Trump. ‘‘His conduct has been very offensive really since the beginning . . . his conduct was reprehensible, immature, counterproductive to what I believed was best for the country.’’

In Connecticut, Aundre Bumgardner won a House seat at the age of 20 in 2014. Bumgardner, who is black, was hailed as ‘‘part of the next generation of leaders in our party’’ by the state GOP. But after losing in 2016, he announced last year that he had ditched the party over Trump’s response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, Va.

Similarly, Meagan Simonaire was elected as the youngest member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, at just 24. She made national news last year for coming out as bisexual and decrying conversion therapy. Then, in October, she left the Republican Party, saying she couldn’t stay in a party that condones Trump’s ‘‘divisive rhetoric.’’

Hawaii state Representative Beth Fukumoto is another once-rising GOP star; she was featured on The Fix’s ‘‘40 under 40’’ list in 2014. She became minority leader of the state House before turning 30 and was tapped to help the national GOP recruit female candidates. Then in a February 2017 speech to the Women’s March in Honolulu, she spoke out against Trump’s comments about women and minorities, and the next month she announced her party switch.

May 19, 2019 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Libertarian Les said...

"If people want to change their sexuality, there's nothing stopping them from being straight."

That's like telling a smoker there's nothing stopping them from quitting or an alcoholic or a pyromaniac or an overeater or....

We shouldn't make laws to protect the cult of homosexuality. If people want to seek help, they have a right to do so. Gays will have to live with the freedom of others. Don't worry, you'll get used to it.

"They can jump to the other side of the field any time they like."

Only on their own. Other gays will ostracize and attack them socially in any way they can imagine. Those who want to leave homosexuality need emotional support and encouragement. A government that outlaws that is evil.

"The don't need religious organizations getting all up in their personal business and telling them what they need to do with unlicensed "therapists" that have no medical degree."

People should be free to seek help from anyone they want. These laws against religious counseling will be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

May 19, 2019 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Other gays will ostracize and attack them socially in any way they can imagine."

LGBT folks are used to being ostracized, assaulted, and getting death threats. It comes from the religious right on a regular basis. My friends and I have had to deal with that since childhood. The of course, there's the religious right's full-time preoccupation of slandering LGBT people as sexual predators out to harm children.

"Those who want to leave homosexuality need emotional support and encouragement. A government that outlaws that is evil."

The government has never outlawed giving emotional support and encouragement to the mythical ex-gays.

Christians can welcome them, encourage them and give them all the emotional support they might want. No one is standing in their way.

But if a Christian wants to practice psychotherapy, they need to get a degree and a license just like everyone else.

May 19, 2019 11:43 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

There's no benefit to a person to change from gay to heterosexual, so its pointless to endure any effort or pain to try, even if it were possible.

And it isn't.

May 20, 2019 12:47 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

If you're same sex attracted and your religious family and friends are telling you to try to change to heterosexual and risk your own suicide, you need to get a new family and friends.

They couldn't care less about you, you're just a tool to use to promote and falsely justify the oppression of gays. They want to use you as an excuse to ensconce in law maltreatment of lgbt people. That you die in the process of believing them is irrelevant to religious conservatives like Wyatt and Regina Hardiman and Tony Perkins.

May 20, 2019 1:15 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina use "quitting smoking" and "a child being forced to make his bead" as examples to try to trivialize the pain people feel from trying and failing to change their sexual orientation.

No one commits suicide because their parents made them make their bed or they failed to quit smoking.

Its just Wyatt and Regina's non-stop demand that society give gays less and less and make them pay more and more.

Don't forget how they gleefully trolled us with month after months of threats about how illegitimate supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh was going to punish gays.

May 20, 2019 1:20 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And then there's the fact that when gays try this religious counselling allegedly intended to change their sexual orientation, the counsellor and their religious family and friends will blame the gay male for being unable to become heterosexual - they'll say he didn't have enough faith and that's why he failed to change.

That's where the suicide often comes in.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous don't give a damn about that, any lie to advance the cause of society oppressing gays and giving special rights to christians. Young gay men committing suicide because they've been told to believe they failed their god and their family...to Wyatt/Regina and Tony Perkins those are all acceptable casualties.

May 20, 2019 2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A transgender woman in Texas who was brutally beaten by a mob last month in a possible hate crime was found shot to death over the weekend, Dallas police said.

Officers found Muhlaysia Booker, 23, lying face-down on a street in East Dallas early Saturday, police said at a press conference Sunday, She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said that they had no suspects or leads in what they called “homicidal violence,” and didn’t have enough information to determine whether Booker’s killing was motivated by hate.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) mourned Booker’s death in a tweet Sunday, and called on people with any information to tell the police.

ooker was attacked at a Dallas apartment complex on April 12 in what police called an apparent act of mob violence after she was involved in a minor car crash. People in the crowd kicked and punched her, police said, and a man later identified as Edward Thomas beat her to the point of unconsciousness and was charged with aggravated assault.

Booker suffered a facial fracture and other injuries. She told police that she heard homophobic slurs from the crowd. Police classified the incident as a possible hate crime.

Cellphone video of the violence captured by witnesses went viral.

Transgender people, particularly women of color, face disproportionate rates of violence in the United States. Booker is at least the fourth transgender person in the U.S. to be slain this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. All were black women.

Last week, Claire Legato, a black transgender woman in Cleveland, died after being shot in the head.

According to a Human Rights Campaign report last year, at least 128 transgender people were killed in the U.S. from 2013 to 2018. Almost 90% of them were women, about 80% were women of color, and almost 70% were black women. Nearly two-thirds of the transgender people died from gun violence.

May 20, 2019 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Reaping what you sow for 2020 said...

Muslim voter turnout in four key swing states jumped 25 percentage points from the 2014 to the 2018 midterm elections, according to a new study released by the Muslim political advocacy group Emgage.

Emgage, which works to educate, register and mobilize Muslim American voters, crunched the numbers in Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia.

The four states, with significant Muslim populations, also happen to be key battlegrounds in presidential and congressional elections.

Emgage hopes the findings show that politicians in both parties can no longer afford not to reach out to Muslim Americans and engage them on issues of particular importance to them.

“This is a community that has not engaged politically in the past and has been taken for granted by both political parties,” said Wa’el Alzayat, CEO of Emgage. “We’re seeing now an undeniable trend, and the trend is moving up. Muslims are voting. They’re going to be significant politically.”

On a new landing page on the organization’s website, users can find data and infographics showing the uptick in Muslim turnout in each of the key states Emgage looked at.

In Florida, 53% of registered Muslim voters turned out to vote in the 2018 midterm elections ― a 22 percentage point increase from 2014.

In Ohio, 48% of registered Muslim voters participated ― a 29 percentage point increase.

In Virginia, 60% of registered Muslim voters participated ― a 31 percentage point increase.

And in Michigan, 50% of registered Muslim voters participated ― a 19 percentage point increase.

In total, across the four swing states, Muslim turnout jumped from about 130,000 votes to over 285,000 from 2014 to 2018.

In close congressional races that often come down to just a few hundred votes, the data suggest that a modest change in Muslim turnout could make the difference in a race.

Donald Trump’s razor-thin margin of victory in Muslim-heavy Michigan in 2016 also indicates that Muslim voters could play a key role in the outcome of the 2020 election. In Michigan’s Wayne County, home to the Muslim hubs of Dearborn and Hamtramck in the metropolitan Detroit area, Muslim turnout jumped from about 18,000 people in 2014 to about 32,000 people in 2018.

“Had Muslims voted in 2016 at the rate that they voted in 2018, most likely that state would not have gone to Trump,” Alzayat said.

...the election of Trump, who ran a blatantly anti-Muslim campaign, and the accompanying growth of organizations like Emgage has sparked new interest in political participation.

The uptick in political engagement was not just limited to voting. Emgage estimated that in 2018, there were about 100 Muslim candidates for public office at all levels of government ― the most at any point since at least 2001...

Muslim Americans were once more diverse in their voting patterns, but the Republican Party’s embrace of anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies has increasingly driven Muslim voters into the arms of Democrats. More than three-quarters of Muslim Americans in five key swing states voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to a post-election survey conducted by Emgage.

“Muslims have been paying attention and are voting. Candidates who have stood by our community are going to get rewarded,” Alzayat said. “For candidates that have not, there might be consequences at the polls.”

May 20, 2019 12:18 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A number of years ago Wyatt/Regina and I were commenting on the murder of black transwomen. Of course Wyatt/Regina denied this proved there was any problem with anti-trans attitudes encouraging this violence. Wyatt/Regina blamed the murdered transwomen for their own deaths, arguing it was their own fault they got murdered because they went into dangerous areas of the city (apparently it never occurred to Wyatt/Regina that these women may have no other option but to live and work in those dangerous areas). Wyatt/Regina repeatedly insisted that despite the murder of these black transwomen there was no connection to anti-trans propaganda from people like them.

Then later in the discussion Wyatt/Regina slipped up and with an overtone of gloating said something to the effect of the people in those neighbourhoods won't put up with perverts - Wyatt/Regina just admitted they believe, contrary to their repeated forceful earlier denials, that they themselves believed these black trans women were killed because they were trans, that they were not just random victims of crime foolishly choosing to be in a high crime area.

May 20, 2019 12:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

So, in other words, Wyatt/Regina argued strenuously that the murders of black transwomen were not hate crimes and then later laughed about the murders being hate crimes.

May 20, 2019 12:55 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

That's how Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous have "debated" here over the last two decades. Just a total lack of integrity driven by unjustified animus towards harmless lgbt people.

May 20, 2019 1:01 PM  
Anonymous JD Eveland said...

Thank you for your courteous and generally conciliatory response. It is a great deal better than the screaming insults that are not at all uncommon in these forums. Obviously, we come at this issue from very different perspectives. I have spent my career studying the impact of organizational behavior on individuals, and I have seen how easy it is to shape attitudes and behaviors in ways that people are not even aware of. I don't go out of my way to attract attention, But neither do I hesitate to express my point of view.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s, and spent roughly 20 years thinking of myself as essentially asexual, simply because I had no information and no vocabulary for thinking about any kind of alternate sexuality. I married and had a wonderful daughter, but in my mid-30s I finally had to confront the nature of my sexual responsiveness. Over the course of the next 15 years, I managed to maintain functioning family relationships, but at a certain cost in ability to relate to others. Romance seems to be outside my realm of possibilities. This is unfortunate, but it is a natural result of a world that systematically discourages attractions such as mine. While I would rather be tolerated than maimed, in the long run the costs imposed are not all that distinguishable.

It's not just a matter of attractions; it's also responsiveness. You can't choose whom to be attracted to; still less can you choose who be responsive to. Of course same-sex relationships are different from opposite sex relationships. But they can both be fulfilling. The problem comes when law and society choose to uniquely advantage one sort of relationships over others. That is where the unfairness arises from - people choosing to advantage themselves over others using social structures to do so.

I'm glad that you are able to live your life within a curtain of social privilege that allows you to ignore the disadvantages of those unable to live within the same curtain. I hope that you will at some point at least acknowledge the existence of this curtain, and consider the possibility of relating to those outside it with something more human than pity and vague tolerance.

May 20, 2019 3:18 PM  
Anonymous JD Eveland said...

Your perspective is charming and heart-felt, but desperately naive. You want to reduce all the bad group feelings out there to a matter of individual choices and poor behavior. In fact, people are embedded in complex social webs of shared beliefs and attitudes, which both create and reinforce behavior. Both homophobia and systemic racism are very real phenomena, because they are tolerated and even reinforced by institutional and group practice. There are whole social systems that rely on this kind of discriminatory lack of justice to sustain themselves. And - let's be honest here - there is a great deal in contemporary evangelical Christianity that reinforces this bad practice, from the insistence that you are being persecuted by society generally by not being allowed to be hateful and exclusionist.

I can to some degree escape the worst effects of homophobia by simply slipping back into invisibility. This is not an option open to racial minorities, of course; they never lose their visibility. But my withdrawal from active persecution comes at a price of denying who I am. This is not fair to others like me or to society in general.

Unless and until the church is willing to acknowledge its structural collaboration in racism and homophobia, the world will continue to be a systematically worse and worse place for those on the outside. And no amount of pious deploring of bad behavior will have any real effect, except presumably to make you feel better about yourself and thus less responsible for the chaos outside.

Thanks for listening. All told, it's better to be real than self-deceptive.

May 20, 2019 3:21 PM  
Anonymous JD Eveland said...

Deploring political correctness is usually just a cover for saying that you'd really like to push back against those inherently weaker than yourself, if only they hadn't been able to mobilize enough public attention to make you ashamed of doing so. How dare they fight back? Don't they know that they are supposed to be the punching bags for the majority?

May 20, 2019 5:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Trump Ignorant About Constitutional Law, Part 18,000

The Trump administration is going to argue to the Supreme Court that they should not allow lower courts to issue injunctions that prevent agencies and others from violating the Constitution. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how the courts operate and this will be laughed out of court very quickly.

Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent lower courts from imposing nationwide injunctions against the president’s policies.

Pence complained Wednesday in a speech to the conservative Federalist Society that federal district courts have imposed more nationwide injunctions against Trump than the first 40 presidents combined. On Tuesday, an appeals court lifted such an injunction against a Trump policy that allows U.S. immigration authorities to force some migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated.

“A Supreme Court justice has to convince four of his colleagues to uphold a nationwide injunction — but a single district court judge can issue one, effectively preventing the duly-elected president of the United States from fulfilling his constitutional duties,” Pence said in prepared remarks. “This judicial obstruction is unprecedented.”

The solutions to this are very simple: Appeal the ruling of the lower court and win the argument (and if you can’t, that should tell you something), or stop violating the Constitution as often as you do. Voila, “problem” solved. Imagine what happen if they win this argument, which is that they think injunctions can only apply to the actual parties in the case. Sure, the state government is engaging in unconstitutional conduct, but the ruling only applies to that state and those parties. You have to file and win your own lawsuit to stop them from doing the same thing to you. Absurd and unworkable.

May 20, 2019 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thank you for your courteous and generally conciliatory response."

JD, could you specify who and to what exchange you were referring to?

It wasn't clear to me.

thanks

May 20, 2019 8:30 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...


JD, could you specify who and to what exchange you were referring to?


There you go.

May 20, 2019 9:42 PM  
Anonymous JD Eveland said...

Current evangelical Christianity is held together as a force almost entirely by a loathing for LGBTQ+ folks; if we were to disappear they'd fall apart completely.

May 20, 2019 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, this is far from reality that it's difficult to address. You seem to simply be lacking exposure to those who don't view things as you do. Can you give us some examples of what you are referring to, so we help enlighten you?

We could call it a type of conversion therapy.

May 21, 2019 12:03 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina, you can see the whole quote here.

Respond to JD there if you want.

May 21, 2019 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas raised dire concerns over the Trump administration’s intensifying tariff war with China, warning Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday that the impact on American farmers could prove devastating.

In a letter to Perdue, the lawmaker contended that the back-and-forth levying of tariffs threatens “to cause long term damage to U.S. agriculture.”

“Kansas farmers and ranchers understand the need to hold China accountable for bad behavior on trade,” he wrote. “Yet, net farm income has fallen by 50% since 2013 and the trade war has pushed commodity prices down even further. Many farmers and ranchers are on the verge of financial collapse.”
Though President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the tariffs he’s imposed are being paid by the Chinese themselves, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow acknowledged last week that American consumers and businesses will have to foot the bill.

On Wednesday, Purdue announced that an estimated $20 billion in trade assistance would be given to farmers to help ease their strain, similar to last year’s $12 billion in relief. But Moran argued that isn’t a sustainable solution, noting that producers have been told not to expect further payouts.

Throughout Trump’s tenure, Moran has voted in line with the president’s positions roughly 88% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. Although high, the figure falls on the lower end of the spectrum among his fellow Republicans in the Senate.

In March, the lawmaker supported overturning Trump’s national emergency declaration made by the president in an effort to obtain funding for a southern border wall. Detailing his stance in a Twitter thread, Moran agreed with Trump’s concerns over border security, but said that the declaration had violated the Constitution and was unnecessary.

May 21, 2019 8:45 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

"Maybe the worst thing to happen Monday, in terms of the rule of law, was Attorney General William Barr’s decision to open an investigation into the origins of the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election. Trump is also trying to get information and possible assistance from the new Ukrainian government in investigating allegations against Hunter Biden as well as his father, former vice president Joe Biden, who is currently the Democratic presidential front-runner. Using your Justice Department and your foreign-policy apparatus to investigate and perhaps punish your political enemies is straight from the authoritarian playbook. (Oh, coincidentally, also on Monday Trump met with Hungarian autocrat and immigrant-hater Viktor Orban, and praised him.) Again, almost no Republicans, and not enough media professionals, seem to care."

May 21, 2019 1:35 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano accused President Donald Trump of thrice violating the separation of powers in the last week.

He described it as a “very dangerous trend”
He concluded:

It is dangerous when presidents write their own laws, impose their own taxes, spend money how they want and Congress looks the other way. It’s dangerous because it’s too much of an accumulation of power in the presidency and it imbalances that delicate balance that the separation of powers created. We need to be careful about too much power in the hands of too few.

May 21, 2019 1:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "It's just as harmful to tell people they can't change. We don't do it in any other sphere of life."

Yes, just as harmful as in the same way its harmful to tell a person standing at the edge of a cliff they can't fly just because Jesus said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can do anything.

By Wyatt/Regina's logic, "Its just as harmful to tell black children they can't become white if that's what they really want." Lot's of black people have attempted it with varying degrees of success. By Wyatt/Regina's logic about gays, this is proof its okay to make white people superior to black people under the law.

May 21, 2019 2:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina said "It's just as harmful to tell [gays] they can't change."

In what way is it just as harmful as a young gay religious child committing suicide because his religious community told him he failed to become heterosexual because he didn't love Jesus enough? You've made the assertion, a good faith argument requires that you give us some specifics. Please elaborate:

May 21, 2019 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Hasan Minhaj, Desus & Mero said...

What's the one thing you would do if you woke up white?

May 21, 2019 3:45 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina said"what led to [HIV's] spread, the epidemic, was rampant random promiscuous homosexual activity in San Francisco and NY that was unrestrained because homosexuality was so widely tolerated"

Good Anonymous said "You probably don't recall, but gay people weren't allowed to get married back then, and even being accused of being gay could lead to the loss of one's job. As such monogamous relationships weren't really an option for most gay people - hang out with the same guy too long, people would start saying "YOU'RE A FAGGOT!!!" and soon you'd be out of a job.

And Wyatt/Regina's response to Good Anonymous is "That wasn't harsh enough."

Good Anonymous continued "Christian "ethics" forced the vast majority of gay people into hidden, furtive, and temporary hookups that weren't good for them or society at large. Had they been allowed to marry and live openly in their committed relationships, it is unlikely that the epidemic would have been nearly as bad if it had started at all."

Good Anonymous said "And Harvey Milk found out the hard way that if you got voted to a city supervisor position, an angry Catholic dude might shoot you."

Wyatt/Regina said "which is completely non sequitur Milk was not "accused" of being gay, he was a brazen homosexual furthermore, Milk didn't lose his job because of his outspoken homosexuality..."

You can see how Wyatt/Regina really feel about gays in their choice to describe Harvey Milk as "a brazen homosexual" - even though at the time it was illegal to be gay, gays couldn't marry and as a rule were fired from their jobs and evicted from their homes for being gay, that wasn't enough for Wyatt/Regina, they wanted society to be even more punishing for gays.

Inthis thread: at December 11, 2013 2:10 PM Wyatt/Regina/Bad anonymous expresses support for India recriminalizing gay sex:
And in this thread at September 22, 2011 3:10 PM Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "in the U.S., you can be executed for doing nothing in Iran, you have to commit a serious crime, like homosexuality"

May 21, 2019 11:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Good anonymous said "I've even had Christian commenters tell me that they would be happy to kill gay people if it was legal, as it accords with their religious beliefs."

Wyatt/Regina said "really?who?killing homosexuals is not in accord with Christian beliefs".

That's an obvious lie. The old testament calls for gays to be put to death. Christians re-wrote their bible so their favourite bible character Paul says "homosexuals are worthy of death" - not any real distance between those two positions, no matter how hard christians try to pretend this is a big difference. In truth, the oldest translations of the bible have Paul saying "the soft are worthy of death", anti-gay christians wanted a direct comdemnation of gays so they re-translated the bible to have Paul saying "no homosexual will get into heaven, homosexuals are worthy of death" when the word homosexual didn't even exist until the 1800's. So, its really just one lie after another from christians like Wyatt/Regina. You can see from their previous comments that killing gays is very much in accordance with the beliefs of evangelical christians Wyatt/Regina.


Wyatt/Regina said "indeed, a resentful co-worker shot Milk because Milk got a job he wanted further, Milk's murder was one of a kind, which is why it was headline news".

See, there's that dishonesty I'm sure you must be aware of. Milk's killer's "twinkie defence" was the "one of a kind" aspect to this case, not the killing of gays. I don't think its any mistake that Wyatt/Regina phrased their comment in such a way as to dishonestly conflate the two - its a standard Republican tactic of deception we've seen a constant flood of since Regan became president. If there's any one value that truly represents the Republican party and evangelical christians nowadays, its dishonesty.

Everytime you portray historical events that I've seen over the past two decades, you do so in a way that disonestly portrays society's responsibility for the abuse of innocent lgbt people. And you use deceptive tactics like the above conflation every single time. That's naked, raw animus towards gays - taking every opportunity to distort history to justify demanding ever harsher punishment of gays, never missing a chance to lie and say "the gays are doing fine" no matter how steep society's abuse.

Part of what made H. Milk's killer so resentful was that he believed being gay was a sin and that meant even more he should have gotten the job over Milk - Milk's gayness was just more "evidence" the killer believed helped justify killing him.

May 21, 2019 11:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina said "you could insert any group in here try Communist atheists, try Sikhs, try Aztecs, try Shiites it all works all that is to say humanity is fallen which is a Christian doctrine"

Which makes it obvious christianity doesn't do anything to encourage moral behavior. Which is no surprise that the foundational doctrine of christianity is to glorify a being that enforces the grossest of injustices possible - infinite punishment for finite and often trivial crimes. Clearly the world needs to move beyond religion if it is to survive and embrace a highest societal priority of maximizing the happiness for all in an equal and fair way. Religion prevents society from making things better for everyone, it by nature says some are more special than others. Religion by nature is another identity that divides us rather than uniting us.

Goood anonymous said "Christians like to be "top dog" when it comes not only to religion,"

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "if you ever read scripture, as you should try it, it's written presuming that Christianity are a tiny persecuted sliver of humanity it's he normal state of affairs".

Whew Whee! that's a whopper of a lie. Chrisitans are the dominant and most populous religious group on the planet. And Wyatt/Regina are trying to pretend they're the victims, not the perpretrators. Even the stories about christians being persecuted in the first few hundred years after their cult appeared are almost entirely made up to gain undeserved sympathy for wrongdoings they never experienced. Christians like Wyatt/Regina claim not being allowed to persecute gays is discrimination against christians - their lust to harm innocent gays has totally perverted any sense of morality they may have ever had.

May 21, 2019 11:39 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Yep...not a lot of distance between "kill that gay" and "that gay deserves to die".

"New" covenant - Ha!

Pathetic.

May 21, 2019 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Kansas said...

Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas raised dire concerns over the Trump administration’s intensifying tariff war with China, warning Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday that the impact on American farmers could prove devastating.

In a letter to Perdue, the lawmaker contended that the back-and-forth levying of tariffs threatens “to cause long term damage to U.S. agriculture.”

“Kansas farmers and ranchers understand the need to hold China accountable for bad behavior on trade,” he wrote. “Yet, net farm income has fallen by 50% since 2013 and the trade war has pushed commodity prices down even further. Many farmers and ranchers are on the verge of financial collapse.”

Earlier this month, trade negotiations between the U.S. and China collapsed, prompting tensions to escalate further following more than a year of tit-for-tat tariffs.

Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. hit $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs ranging from 25% to 10%. China retaliated days later with plans to slap new tariffs of between 25% to 5% on about $60 billion of U.S. products.

Though President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the tariffs he’s imposed are being paid by the Chinese themselves, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow acknowledged last week that American consumers and businesses will have to foot the bill.

On Wednesday, Purdue announced that an estimated $20 billion in trade assistance would be given to farmers to help ease their strain, similar to last year’s $12 billion in relief. But Moran argued that isn’t a sustainable solution, noting that producers have been told not to expect further payouts.

“This inherent unpredictability of ad hoc disaster assistance underlies the strong preference of farmers and ranchers for markets to sell their livestock and crops instead of government payments,” he said.

May 22, 2019 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Violent right wingers want to kill said...

The Proud Boys want the public to believe that they’re a “drinking club” who only resort to violence to defend themselves from anti-fascist protesters during political rallies.

But in private, these extremists have discussed injuring and even killing their adversaries, plotting tactics and optics for months in order to assert a claim of self-defense should they face charges.

According to private chat logs obtained exclusively by HuffPost, the punch-happy, pro-Trump street gang was particularly excited for its “Resist Marxism” rally, scheduled for April 6 in Providence, Rhode Island. With the right plan of attack, members said, this one could put them back on the map.

The group had been floundering ever since 10 of its members were arrested for assaulting protesters outside a GOP event in New York City last year. Their leader, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, reportedly arranged for his followers’ surrender.

In the chats, covering a time period between February and March of this year, members claimed they needed a conclusive “win” this time around, which they defined as a bloody battle against “antifa” in Providence. If this brawl were bigger and more violent than previous iterations, they might regain some of the street cred and followers they’d lost.

“We’ll grow this group of patriots and we’ll never back down,” wrote the event’s organizer, Proud Boys member Alan Swinney, in the private chat messages. “If we win, it will make more patriots come to the next rally. We just need to go there and we’ll beat them. We’ll have enough to crush them at some point.”

A source with direct knowledge of the exchanges confirmed to HuffPost that the logs were authentic. Swinney also responded to several screenshots. When asked about discussions of violence in the chat logs, he told HuffPost, “They’re warriors. ... Choir boys don’t go up against people like that [anti-fascists]. It takes a person with a certain type of mindset.”

The logs contained a revolving door of up to 30 Proud Boys and their allies, including militia members and other “patriots,” as Swinney called them. Those named in this story either publicly identify as members of the Proud Boys or affiliated groups, or have been identified as such in national news stories or by the groups’ leaders.

Looking forward to Providence, members in the private channel were pumped for the opportunity to cause mayhem. One Proud Boy named Anthony Mastrostefano said:

“All I want to do is smash commies too. Actually I’m lying, I’m way past just hitting them. When the time comes I will stop at nothing to fully eradicate them all!”...

The Proud Boys repeatedly acknowledged that their plans could get them in trouble.

“I advise all of you to only speak in terms of self-defense and never speak of premeditated violence,” wrote a man who identified himself as Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, an extremist who has previously been convicted of violent felonies and is known for his attacks at rallies and repeated parole violations, among other crimes.

He added: “I could be liable for what happens in Providence. So please stop making it easy for these people to prosecute us by putting threats of violence in writing that can be used against us later.”

Few seemed to listen, and leaders like Swinney had to attempt damage control on a regular basis.

For example, Proud Boy Shaun Hufton at one point made a direct threat to kill an anti-fascist activist who goes by the pseudonym Antifash Gordon on Twitter:

“This mother fucker needs to meet a 7mm [Magnum rifle] from about 500 yards,” he said, to which Scott responded, “Do not post any threats on here, the feds will use it against [us] in court.”...

In an interview, Swinney corroborated the authenticity of chat screenshots HuffPost showed him and said he personally agreed with statements about “smashing commies” like Mastrostefano’s...

May 22, 2019 4:28 PM  
Anonymous This is why we don't let religious leaders practice medicine said...

A New Jersey pastor has been doling out industrial bleach to thousands of poor Ugandans, promoting the poisonous liquid as a “miracle cure” that can cure cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and numerous other ailments when ingested, The Guardian reports.

Burlington County’s Robert Baldwin reportedly plugged his “healing water” in Uganda using Biblical imagery, claiming it was a divinely blessed, natural, earth-based remedy for everything from diabetes to malaria.

The liquid is actually “miracle mineral solution” (MMS), a mixture of sodium chlorite and citric acid, The Guardian reports. The two chemicals combine to form an industrial-strength bleach known as chlorine dioxide that is used in the textile industry. MMS has no known health benefits and can actually pose a significant health risk to consumers, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ― including causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.

Baldwin has been importing bulk quantities of sodium chlorite and citric acid into Uganda, according to The Guardian. His ministry, Global Healing Christian Missions, boasts that it has “trained” over 1,200 Ugandan church leaders on how to use this “natural health solution.” The leaders are in turn administering the liquid to up to 50,000 sick people every month, according to a Global Healing Christian Missions Facebook fundraising page that was still visible on Wednesday.

In one YouTube video, “Robert” speaks to a group of Ugandans through a translator about how the inspiration for the ministry came straight from God. Assuming the tone of a charismatic preacher, he claims that modern-day pharmaceutical companies have become corrupted by “Satan” and are only concerned with profiting from people’s suffering.

“The first thing I want you to understand is this is not a medicine, it’s not a drug,” the pastor says about his solution. “If you call it a medicine or a drug, the health ministry will demand a license and warranty to treat people.”

“The mineral, you don’t have to take it but for one week, two weeks, three weeks and you’re healed in Jesus Christ’s name,” he said.

In another YouTube video, “Robert” can be seen speaking to a crowd of people waiting to register for the program. He refers to the Biblical story of Jesus healing a blind man by spitting on the ground to make mud, and applying it to a man’s eyes.

“So Jesus gave us examples in the Bible of how we need to follow instructions of a man of God,” the pastor says. “When you follow those instructions and you take the minerals every day, then your healing will come.”

According to The Guardian, Baldwin trained as a student nurse and has no other medical expertise.

The project is partly funded by Sam Little, a British clairvoyant and a proponent of MMS who is currently residing in Western Uganda.

May 22, 2019 5:32 PM  

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