Category Archives: International

Anita Malik hopes to defeat embattled Representative David Schweikert for the Congressional Seat in District Six this November.

Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik

In November, voters in Arizona and across the nation will go to the polls to elect new members to the House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senate. In this first election after the contest that thrust popular vote loser Donald Trump into the White House, Democrats will seek to build on the Congressional gains they achieved in 2016 and reach out to a surging group of enthusiastic voters who want a new direction for the country.

Needing 25 Representative seats, Democrats see this election as a major opportunity, with clear majorities rejecting the Republican program and Trump in particular, to gain control of the House for the first time since 2010. One of the seats Democrats hope to “flip” is the one occupied by Arizona Congressional Six Incumbent David Schweikert. Congressional District Six in Arizona includes all or parts of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, and Phoenix. Currently embattled in a political scandal that has seen the departure of his chief of staff, three Democrats are vying this year to be the candidate to defeat him this November. They are Anita Malik, Heather Ross, and Garrick McFadden.

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Release the Kraken, er, Kochtopus!

But of course they did.

The Trump administration has ordered “Release the Kraken er, Kochtopus!” from IRS “dark money” campaign contribution reporting regulations.

Now corporations and wealthy plutocrats are free to operate entirely in the dark, even from the IRS. ‘Dark money’ groups don’t need to disclose donors to IRS, Treasury says:

Nonprofits that spend money to influence elections but are not required to disclose donors to the public — called “dark money” groups by critics — no longer need to share their donors’ names or addresses in their tax filings under a new Treasury rule announced Monday.

The decision was immediately heralded by free-speech corporatist advocates who have long sought to protect donors’ private information. But it was rebuked by those who want to reduce the role of money in politics, who claim it would make U.S. elections more susceptible to anonymous foreign donations.

How significant is the change? Here is what you need to know.

What is this new rule about?

Wealthy donors can give unlimited sums of money to politically active nonprofits registered under sections of the Internal Revenue Service code, without their names or addresses being revealed in the nonprofits’ public tax filings.

There has been a surge of political activity by such nonprofit groups since the 2010 landmark Supreme Court Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend unlimited sums on campaigns.

These donors’ names, addresses and donation amounts were previously reported to the IRS, but the IRS would redact the names and addresses for public release.

With this policy change, the organizations will still be required to retain the donor information, but no longer have to submit it to the IRS.

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Russian operative arrested for influence operation in the NRA and GOP

Almost lost in Trump’s Surrender Summit on Monday is news that the Department of Justice announced it had arrested prominent Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina over the weekend, accusing her of setting up “back channel” lines of communication with the Kremlin in an operation that spanned from the months before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 through February 2017, the month after his inauguration. What a Russian operative’s indictment reveals about the Kremlin’s attempts to infiltrate American politics and the NRA:

In the unsealed indictment, the department accused Butina of conspiring to infiltrate U.S. political groups and advance the agenda of the Russian government through her network of high-profile American contacts in politics and media.

Read the full Complaint and attached Affidavit.

The indictment includes the most explicit and detailed accusation to date against a Russian, working with the help of an American citizen, to influence the 2016 presidential election. It also provides new details about the Russian government’s attempts to curry favor among prominent Americans.

Notably, the charges are not being made by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russia’s attempts to meddle in the 2016 election. The investigation was carried out by the FBI’s field office in Washington, and Butina is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s national security division.

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Trump’s Surrender Summit: A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

For almost 240 years, General Benedict Arnold has personified the traitor in American history. He can now finally rest in peace, because he has been surpassed by a far worse traitor whom history will condemn and vilify as the personification of the traitor for the rest of time. The name Trump will forever be synonymous with traitor.

To borrow a turn of phrase from Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, July 16, 2018 – a date which will live in infamy – a president of the United States capitulated and surrendered to a Russian dictator whose government conspired to help him win the presidency. In fealty to this Russian dictator, Donald J. Trump leveled attacks against his own government and its political institutions, and blamed the American people for his own cowardly act of betrayal.

Americans will remember the day when they witnessed their president casually capitulate and surrender to a Russian dictator — without a shot ever having been fired in an armed conflict — to reveal himself as a willing puppet of the Russian government, and a traitor to the United States.

America has a national security crisis. We have a compromised commander-in-chief who must be removed from office without delay in order to safeguard the national security of the United States. The U.S. Constitution provides only one remedy for this, impeachment. Article 2, Section 4, U.S. Constitution.

The only question today is whether Republicans in Congress will rise up to the urgency of this national security crisis and do their constitutional duty to remove this national security threat from the presidency. Their failure to act is silent consent to Trump’s betrayal of his country, and Republicans will be complicit in his act of betrayal. Any Republican who fails their constitutional duty to act must also be removed from office.

This is the litmus test: Do you stand with Trump and Putin, or do you stand with America and the Constitution you have sworn an oath to defend?

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Trump fails to defend America against Russian attacks; there is a word for that (updated)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s detailed indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers for cyber attacks on the U.S. to interfere in the 2016 election offered new details of just how deeply Russian operatives have infiltrated state and local election agencies across the U.S. Mueller reveals depth of states’ election vulnerabilities.

House Administration Committee Democrats in a report released Thursday identified 18 states that congressional researchers say lack key voting safeguards, including paper trails for vote tallies and post-election audits. Drawing on months of input from election officials and cybersecurity experts, it called on Congress to approve $1.4 billion in new election security funding for all 50 states over the next decade. House Democrats list states with weakest election security in new report. You should note that no Republicans signed onto its conclusions.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a convention of secretaries of state Saturday that “though votes were note changed” in the 2016 election, “ANY attempt to interfere in our elections — successful or unsuccessful — is a direct attack on our democracy,” (emphasis added by her press office.) Homeland Security chief calls Russian hacking “direct attack on our democracy”. You should note that “President Trump has never condemned Russia over its election interference, and the White House press office statement on the indictments does not mention a Russian attack on our democracy.”

Also last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned of an impending, potentially devastating cyber attack on U.S. systems, saying the country’s digital infrastructure “is literally under attack” and warning that among state actors, Russia is the “worst offender.” Intel chief Dan Coats says of cyber attacks, “We are at a critical point”:

Speaking at a scheduled event at the Hudson Institute, he adopted the language of former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet who, in the months ahead of the 9/11 attacks, warned that the “system was blinking red.” Coats, citing daily attacks from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, said, “Here we are, nearly two decades later, and I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.”

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A Letter to the GOP: Trump Doesn’t Know What U.S. Interests Are

By Michael Bryan

Charles De Gaulle famously said, “Nations have no friends, only interests.” Trump should listen, as he seems to have no idea that the United States has permanent interests beyond his whims. That is to say, Trump seems to believe that the interests of the United States consist only in him making “friends” with our foes, and declaring our traditional allies over historical time-scales to be ‘foes’.

Just because Trump likes Vladi Putin and Kimmy Jong Un does not change the fact that the interest of the United States consists in marginalizing and degrading the power of these dictatorial regimes, not celebrating them nor aligning with them. Our interests cannot be aligned with theirs. They are our foes for good reasons, not because past Presidents were insufficiently nice to them.

Why is it in our interest to resist the policy goals of nations like Russia and North Korea, you might ask? To begin with, they are international pariahs who murder people to maintain their power. If that weren’t enough, their national aspirations directly conflict with long-term American allies whose interests ARE aligned with our own, such as the NATO member states, the wider EU, and South Korea. If that STILL were not enough, they are economically insignificant as potential economic partners to the United States. North Korea has the GDP of a mid-sized American city, at best. Russia is a petro-state with an economy the size of Italy, but which lacks the dynamism of an Italy due to endemic corruption: Russia is basically a nuclear-armed organized crime syndicate in control of a mid-tier economy of mostly impoverished people. All that Russia has to offer is carbon energy at a time when carbon energy is in decline and the United States is largely self-sufficient in carbon energy. Plus, they attacked us and influenced our elections; they are no ‘friends’ of ours.

I am not some genius who solely can see this. Many, many Americans can and do recognize that the President is acting foolishly and embarrassing our nation before the entire world. Though many members of Congress understand this, only Democrats will act openly to oppose Trump’s follies. The Constitution makes the President the conductor of American foreign policy with the power to negotiate treaties and appoint ambassadors, but only with the concurrence of the Senate. Just as any symphony conductor would be turfed off the stage if he began to deviate too far from the sheet music, a President needs to be checked strongly if he begins to conduct foreign policy based on his own friendships and interests, and not those of the nation he serves.

President Trump has proven again and again that he is unable to recognize and operationalize the interests of the nation he serves. Congress is the only organization that can check and correct him. If they won’t do that job, then they must be replaced with a Congress that will exercise that oversight.

Don’t kid yourself. Even if you are a Republican, you must recognize that the Republican party is now acting merely as the party of Trump. A Republican-led Congress will not contain this President. The only way to contain this reckless and vain President is a vigorous oppositional Congress. Vote Democratic this year in all your Congressional races or our nation’s interests will suffer. I hope that enough of you are patriots able to recognize what has to be done.