Category Archives: Congress

CD 6 Debate Tonight: support Anita Malik

Arizona congressman David Schweikert, a member of the radical GOP House Freedom Caucus, back in August drew an editorial opinion from The Arizona Republic practically begging voters to vote for his Democratic opponent — whoever wins the August primary. 5 reasons a Democrat could win David Schweikert’s seat, even in a Republican stronghold.

The winner of the Democratic primary is Anita Malik.

The rivals will face off at 5 p.m. Friday on Arizona PBS (Channel 8) in a televised debate moderated by Ted Simons of “Arizona Horizon” and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez of The Arizona Republic. Arizona elections: 6th Congressional District could be competitive:

Arizona’s 6th Congressional District has been a safe Republican district for years, but this year, fired-up Democrats are hoping to make a play for the seat held by four-term incumbent U.S. Rep. David Schweikert.

Schweikert, R-Ariz., is facing Democratic challenger Anita Malik, who works in technology and communications, in the Nov. 6 general election.

David Wasserman, a House editor of the nonpartisan “Cook Political Report” in Washington, D.C., said that this year is unusual for Democrats, who have been united and energized in opposition to President Donald Trump.

“As recently as April, a Democrat came within 5 points of winning a seat that’s much more Republican than the 6th District,” he said, referring to Arizona’s April special election in which Democrat Hiral Tiperneni lost to Republican Debbie Lesko in the 8th Congressional District, where voter registration is even more lopsided in favor of the GOP.

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The FOX News presidency is a threat to U.S. national security

I previously posted about how the intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice believe that President Trump has “crossed a red line” in ordering the declassification of the Carter Page FISA warrant applications and emails of FBI and Department of Justice personnel in pursuit of his “deep state” conspiracy theory concocted by his co-conspirators in obstruction of justice in the GOP House Freedom Caucus and House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes. Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight.

It turns out that Trump has not even read these documents, and is ordering them released on the advice of his “FOX News cabinet” of advisors who want the materials to further their “deep state” conspiracy theory effort to discredit federal law enforcement agencies and the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation. Trump ordered the government to declassify information he apparently hasn’t read:

It wasn’t a surprise when the White House announced Monday that it was ordering the Justice Department to declassify a set of material related to the genesis of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. For weeks, President Trump’s allies on Fox News and in the House had been echoing one another’s calls to do precisely that.

So on Monday, that very specific order from Trump: Declassify precisely those pages of the application for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that were mentioned in a news conference held by 12 staunchly Trump-loyal members of the House in September. What’s more, Trump ordered the department to declassify text messages involving a number of names familiar to the Fox News audience. Former FBI agent Peter Strzok, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and so on.

Those elected officials and the Fox News hosts who echoed their demand insisted that the declassifications would demonstrate anti-Trump rot in the Justice Department. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) promised that revelation would help Republicans win in November.

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An amoral indefinite detention policy for immigrant children (Updated)

The New York Times summarizes how we got here:

In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions installed a “zero tolerance” immigration policy, in which the government sought to jail and prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally.

For months, migrant families were separated as adults were placed in detention, and their children were sent to shelters across the country. Widespread outrage led the Trump administration to end the practice.

In July, the Trump administration lost its bid to persuade a federal court to allow long-term detention of migrant families.

If you can’t win in court, get a feckless GOP Congress to change the rules for you — if you can.

Two weeks ago the Trump administration proposed a new regulation to allow the government to sidestep the 1997 consent decree known as the Flores agreement and detain children with their parents while their cases are being considered by immigration courts.

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Ruh-roh! We may be back on government shutdown watch

Last week Congress passed a ‘minibus’ with a CR to avert Trump’s threatened government shutdown over his border wall.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the short-term spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 7 and avert a government shutdown, and put off a fight over funding for President Trump’s border wall until after the midterm elections. Senate passes defense and health spending bill, tries to delay border-wall fight to after midterms:

The 93-to-7 vote came less than two weeks ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline when government funding will expire unless Congress and Trump intervene.

The House is expected to take up [modifications to] the bill next week, but it remains uncertain whether Trump would sign the measure.

The legislation would not increase funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which funds construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president has toyed repeatedly with shutting down the government to try to get more funding for the border wall, at times saying there would not be a shutdown and other times saying he would welcome one.

This morning President Trump is making noise again about not supporting the spending bill because it does not include funding for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border. Which begs the questions, “He just now realized this?” And “Will he veto it?” Trump blasts Congress over ‘ridiculous’ spending bill: ‘Where is the money for the wall?’

President Trump lashed out at Congress on Thursday over the lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill, stoking a fight that GOP lawmakers had hoped to avoid until later this year.

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Roll Call: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward

As I said in the previous post, the FBI needs to complete a background check of the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford before any testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The FBI could discover circumstantial evidence which matches Dr. Blasey’s description of events and speak to other persons who were at the party in question who could corroborate Dr. Blasey’s description of events (she went upstairs with Kavanaugh and Judge, locked herself in a bathroom, fled the party, etc.) Someone at that party must have saw something. Republicans don’t want to take that risk.

Roll Call reports today that Dr. Blasey’s sexual assault was “chatter” among her classmates contemporaneously around the time that it occurred. Someone at that party must have saw something, and the White House by refusing to request the FBI to conduct a follow-up background investigation is actively engaged in a coverup. Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward:

A schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.

“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.

This incident did happen,” Miranda wrote. “Many of us heard about it in school and Christine’s recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true.”

In order for this to have been chatter at the school contemporaneously around the time that it occurred, it means that someone at that party must have saw something and there are corroborating witnesses whom the FBI has not interviewed solely because the White House has refused to direct the FBI to do a  follow-up background investigation.

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A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This is what GOP authoritarianism looks like: a sham hearing and a denial of due process to a victim of sexual abuse.

I explained yesterday, The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing: for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say.

The FBI background is the legally correct thing to do in fairness to both the accuser and the accused. Due process demands it. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told the Washington Post, “If there’s a hearing before that investigation, the committee is going to be shooting in the dark with questions.” “As a former prosecutor and state attorney general, there’s no way I would put a crime survivor on the stand in front of a jury, let alone the American people, without a full investigation so that I know what the facts are before I start asking questions.”

On Tuesday, Christine Blasey Ford Requested That the F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies, a reasonable request, as is her right:

Speaking through lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford said she would cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee and left open the possibility of testifying later about her allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”

Republicans signaled Tuesday night that they would not negotiate an alternative date and would go ahead with the hearing without her or declare it unnecessary if she refuses to appear, then possibly move to a vote. They have repeatedly stressed that Monday would be Dr. Blasey’s opportunity to testify, either privately or publicly, and that they planned to move forward with the confirmation process afterward.

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