Category Archives: Elections

FBI investigating the NRA for Russian collusion

The lobbyist organization for the merchants of death, the National Rifle Association, is under investigation by the FBI to determine whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Donald Trump win the presidency. McClatchy News reports, FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump:

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.

It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.

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Disclosure of the Torshin investigation signals a new dimension in the 18-month-old FBI probe of Russia’s interference. McClatchy reported a year ago that a multi-agency U.S. law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s intervention, begun even before the start of the 2016 general election campaign, initially included a focus on whether the Kremlin secretly helped fund efforts to boost Trump, but little has been said about that possibility in recent months.

The extent to which the FBI has evidence of money flowing from Torshin to the NRA, or of the NRA’s participation in the transfer of funds, could not be learned.

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Election challenges filed in CD 8 special election primary

Democratic activist Lynda Vescio has filed an election challenge to the petitions filed by Democrats Brianna Westbrook and Gene Scharer. Two of Three Democrats in Arizona Special Election Face Lawsuit:

CD 8 boundaries

Lawsuits were filed against two Democrats running in Arizona’s 8th District’s special election on Thursday challenging the number of signatures on their petitions to get on the ballot.

Brianna Westbrook and Gene Scharer are both running in the special election to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned last month after reports he offered a staffer money to carry his child.

The lawsuits said the two did not have enough petition signatures to be on the ballot. [Westbrook submitted 800 signatures, and Scharer submitted 666 signatures.]

But some of the ballots for the primary, which will be held on February 27, have already been mailed to military and overseas voters, ABC15 reported. The general election is scheduled for April 24.

Lynda Vescio did not file an election challenge to the petitions of Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, the third Democrat in the special eelction primary, who submitted 2,048 signatures, more than enough to qualify.

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House Intelligence Committee releases transcript of Glenn Simpson testimony

Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Today, the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted to release the transcript of its interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. House intelligence panel votes to release transcript from Fusion GPS co-founder interview:

The committee voted in a closed-door meeting to release the transcript, which Simpson himself and the panel’s top Democrat had pushed for over the past month. The vote was unanimous, committee member Rep. Denny Heck told CNN.

Read the House Intel Committee’s interview with Glenn Simpson (Scribd).

With the vote, the House panel will be second committee to make the details of Simpson’s interview public. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, last week released the transcript of Simpson’s August Senate Judiciary Committee interview without the consent of Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

One congressional source said that the House Intelligence Committee interview with Simpson has material that was not in the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript.

In addition to the Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees, Simpson has testified before the Senate Intelligence panel. But that committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, has been wary in the past of releasing any committee documents.

I will update if there is anything of interest in the transcript.

The ‘shit-show’ shutdown appears likely

Evil GOP bastard House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to avert a government shutdown at midnight on Friday is to hold poor children covered under the CHIP program as hostages, and to attach the long-delayed CHIP program renewal to a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to entice enough votes to pass the short-term spending bill. Poor children are pawns to be used by Paul Ryan in shutdown politics.

This morning our Twitter-troll-in-chief appeared to blow up Ryan’s evil plan. Trump Upsets Republican Strategy to Avoid Shutdown:

President Trump blew up Republican strategies to keep the government open past Friday when on Thursday morning he said a long-term extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program should not be part of a stopgap spending bill pending before the House.

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With his tweet, Mr. Trump even inadvertently backed late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in his fight with House Republicans over their use of CHIP as a lure to win Democratic votes despite the impasse on immigration. Mr. Kimmel responded by saying that Mr. Trump was “absolutely correct.”

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Republican leaders had spent Wednesday pressuring Democrats to vote for the spending bill, arguing that opposing it would effectively block a six-year extension of the children’s health program, attached to the spending bill as a sweetener for lawmakers in both parties.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin said on Wednesday that it would be “unconscionable” for Democrats to oppose funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program with a “no” vote on the short-term spending bill.

No, what is unconscionable is to hold poor children hostage in order to pass the fourth CR spending bill since September, because this loser Paul Ryan can’t whip enough votes in his own GOP caucus to pass necessary spending bills.

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Tea-Publicans are failing to address the threat Russia poses to future U.S. elections and national security

Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein put an end to the bullshit being pulled by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley by releasing the transcript of testimony from Fusion GPS on the Steele dossier. GOP’s crazy Russia probe conspiracies are crushed in Fusion GPS transcript.

What you may not have seen reported is six House Democrats who serve as ranking members on their committees sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling him and other Republicans out for stonewalling their efforts to “investigate, hold public hearings, and advance legislation” concerning the Trump-Russia investigation. Top Democrats accuse GOP of ignoring Russia threat:

Six senior House Democrats on Tuesday said Republicans “put President Trump ahead of our national interests” by failing to address the threat they said Russia poses to future U.S. elections and national security.

“Rather than pursue the truth on behalf of the American people, House Republicans have waged an aggressive campaign to shut down congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s attack,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan.

Signing the letter were Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the Oversight Committee; Rep. Maxine Waters, the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee; Rep. Elliot Engel, the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Rep. Bob Brady, the ranking member of the administration committee and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.

The Washington Post reported, Democrats go it alone on Russia probe after partisan breakdowns:

Democrats are striking out on their own this week over all but one of the congressional investigations into Russian meddling, independently releasing reports and transcripts, and attacking Republicans they accuse of intentionally undermining active probes in deference to President Trump.

Senior Democratic officials in the Senate, frustrated by what they consider a Republican campaign to discredit the law enforcement and intelligence agencies investigating the president, cleared their members to release the interview transcript of one of the Russia investigation’s most sensitive witnesses and, separately, to publish a report detailing the disinformation and intimidation tactics the Kremlin deploys against democracies globally.

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America’s racism runs deeper than racist Donald Trump

So Donald Trump, once again, says ‘I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed’.

Yeah, “me thinks thou dost protest too much.” The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial:

Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, his racially unequal society.

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The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions.

David Leonhardt and Ian Philbrick provide Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List:

The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive. And Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.

Here, we have attempted to compile a definitive list of his racist comments – or at least the publicly known ones.

Trump and his enablers (Sens. “Tehran” Tom Cotton and Sonny David Perdue – correction) really want to blame the government shutdown coming this Friday over the DACA negotiations on Democrats rather than on Trump’s racism towards immigrants, the very foundation of his 2016 campaign and appeal to the white grievances of GOP voters. Trump says ‘I’m not a racist,’ accuses Democrats of impeding DACA deal.

But Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the “gang of six,” says Democrats are negotiating ‘in good faith’ on Dreamers deal:

“One thing I do take big issue with the president on is he is saying that the Democrats aren’t moving forward in good faith,” Flake said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I can tell you I’ve been negotiating and working with the Democrats on immigration for 17 years and on this issue, on DACA or on the DREAM Act for a number of years, and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith.”

So add Trump’s political posturing to his list of more than 2,000 lies he has told since taking office.

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