Category Archives: International

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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Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight

Russian asset and crime family boss Donald Trump just keeps digging his hole deeper with the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Yesterday he added two more counts, for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The GOP House Freedom Caucus co-conspirators who are aiding and abetting his crimes should also be charged.

Steve Benen does a good job of breaking it down. Trump ignores security, crosses ‘red line’ with declassification gambit:

Donald Trump’s abuses have become routine, but that doesn’t make them any easier to tolerate. The president’s move yesterdayafternoon, for example, is awfully tough to defend.

In an unprecedented move that stunned current and former intelligence officials, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the public release of highly classified documents and text messages related to the FBI investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia.

A statement by the White House press office said Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice and the FBI to declassify about 20 pages of a highly sensitive application for surveillance against Carter Page, a one-time Trump foreign policy aide.

The president suggested two weeks ago that he was considering such a move, but many hoped Trump was just blowing off steam and he’d end up in a more responsible place. That’s obviously not what happened.

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Martha McSally is a creature of the military-industrial-congressional complex

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Raytheon) epitomizes what President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned this nation against in his farewell address in 1961:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

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We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Eisenhower’s orignal draft of the speech referred to the military-industrial-congressional complex.

In a series of negative campaign ads attacking her opponent, McSally presents a hyper-militarism. She always portrays herself in uniform for the persona of a  “woman warrior” to contrast with an old photo of Kyrsten Sinema in a pink tutu, as a girlie-girl “lefty-looney.”

The primary focus of McSally’s negative attack ads is to assert that Kyrsten Sinema “denigrated the service” of those in the military in protesting the Iraq war. Politifact rates this claim false, unsupported by any evidence. Did Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema protest troops in a pink tutu and denigrated their service?”

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Paul Manafort plea deal? GOP shields secret meeting between Putin and his puppet Trump

ABC News is reporting that Paul Manafort and special counsel reach a tentative plea deal:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC News.

The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

ABC News spotted the team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.

Word of the agreement comes as Manafort’s second trial was slated to begin later this month in federal court in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

Sooo, stay tuned on Friday?

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