All entries by this author

Whether it’s Hunter Biden or Ivanka Trump

Sep 28th, 2019 5:32 pm | By

Sarah Chayes in the Atlantic on Hunter Biden’s legal and socially acceptable corruption:

The whistle-blower scandal that has prompted the fourth presidential impeachment process in American history has put a spectacle from earlier this decade back on display: the jaw-smacking feast of scavengers who circled around Ukraine as Viktor Yanukovych, a Moscow-linked kleptocrat, was driven from power. Ukraine’s crisis was the latest to energize a club whose culture has come to be treated as normal—a culture in which top-tier lawyers, former U.S. public officials, and policy experts (and their progeny) cash in by trading on their connections and their access to insider policy information—usually by providing services to kleptocrats like Yanukovych. The renewed focus on Ukraine raises jangling questions: How

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Their emails have been “retroactively classified”

Sep 28th, 2019 4:36 pm | By

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election, current and former officials said.

As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials. Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations,

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Anything Giuliani did should be praised, says Giuliani

Sep 28th, 2019 3:42 pm | By

At the Atlantic, Elaina Plott reports on a phone chat with Giuliani:

Even among the president’s closest allies, Giuliani is now the subject of scorn. When I reached him by phone this morning, following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s release of the full whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Ukraine scandal, he was, put simply, very angry.

“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told me.

“I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he continued, sounding out of breath. “Anything I

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Shouting ‘SCUM! SCUM! SCUM!’

Sep 28th, 2019 12:18 pm | By

Woman’s Place UK has a statement on what happened around that meeting in Brighton Monday which they want us to share widely:

On Monday 23rd September, Woman’s Place UK held its 24th public meeting in two years: A Woman’s Place is at Conference. It was timed to coincide with the Labour Party’s annual conference and to publicise our manifesto which contains demands we believe would significantly improve the quality of women’s lives, as well as address the structural oppression and discrimination that we face.

Members of our local organising team liaised closely with the venue and made sure they were fully informed about our campaign, and that previous meetings had been protested.

We also liaised with the local police

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Sep 28th, 2019 11:57 am | By

Reuters tells us:

A senior lawyer called on Tuesday for the top United Nations human rights body to investigate evidence that China is murdering members of the Falun Gong spiritual group and harvesting their organs for transplant.

Hamid Sabi called for urgent action as he presented the findings of the China Tribunal, an independent panel set up to examine the issue, which concluded in June that China’s organ harvesting amounted to crimes against humanity.

Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations by human rights researchers and scholars that it forcibly takes organs from prisoners of conscience and said it stopped using organs from executed prisoners in 2015.

Apparently China offers organ transplants to overseas patients customers at a very stiff price … Read the rest

Installing loyalists to run national intelligence

Sep 28th, 2019 10:25 am | By

So Trump and the trumpies knew the intelligence professionals were alarmed, so they (apparently) made haste to try to get rid of them. That’s not at all sinister or incriminating.

Three days after his now infamous phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Donald Trump abruptly fired his director of national intelligence in favour of an inexperienced political loyalist.

According to a New York Times report, the White House learned within days that the unorthodox call on 25 July with Zelenskiy had raised red flags among intelligence professionals and was likely to trigger an official complaint.

That timeline has raised new questions over the timing of the Trump’s dismissal by tweet of the director of national intelligence (DNI),

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Message in a bottle

Sep 28th, 2019 9:57 am | By
Message in a bottle

The very sane and normal president of the US.

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A historic scandal

Sep 28th, 2019 9:45 am | By

One particularly crisp summary, from Susan Hennessey:

Just to clarify what is going on here, the White House appears to be engaged in massive, systemic abuse of the classification system and underlying presidential authorities in order to cover up egregious wrongdoing including impeachable conduct. This is a historic scandal.

Also self-incriminating. They can’t use any “we didn’t realize it was wrong” defense because they hid the records. Watergate all over again: chorus: It’s not the crime it’s the cover-up.… Read the rest

Meanwhile, it’s off to a conference with Volodya

Sep 27th, 2019 3:31 pm | By

And in another part of the forest…Benjamin Wittes:

And we come to the part of the story where the Kremlin literally pays the president’s lawyer…


As the House prepares to consider whether to impeach President Trump over an unprecedented plot to turn Ukraine into an opposition research factory, his personal attorney and associate Rudy Giuliani has decided to keep busy: he is scheduled to attend a pro-Russian conference in Armenia next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And to be paid for it, according to Wittes and others, but I haven’t seen a journalistic source for that so far.… Read the rest

Sure, Don, but there’s a price

Sep 27th, 2019 3:08 pm | By


Trump is begging the NRA to help him not be impeached, and the NRA is demanding more fanatical support for More and More Guns as the price. It’s hard to know which half of that sentence is the most disgusting.

Susan Hennessey:

The President of the United States trading legislation the American public is demanding to stop the weekly slaughter of gun violence in exchange for money for his personal legal defense.

Talking Points Memo:

The squeeze is on.

With President Donald Trump facing impeachment, the NRA is reportedly looking to leverage the political moment to lock in his opposition to new gun control measures.

Trump and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre met Friday to discuss the the

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A sweetener

Sep 27th, 2019 7:32 am | By

NBC News looks into the facts about Bidens and Ukraine and money.

As vice president, the elder Biden lead the U.S. diplomatic efforts to bolster the country’s fledgling democracy and root out corruption after mass protests ousted the country’s pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Biden spoke frequently with Ukrainian leaders and in April 2014, he traveled to Ukraine, bringing financial support and warning the Russians — who had recently annexed Crimea — to stop intervening in Ukrainian sovereignty.

That all seems good. But the next paragraphs…

In May 2014, Hunter Biden was hired by a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, as a board member reportedly making $50,000 a month. He stopped working with the company earlier this year.

The company

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Trump says Hunter Biden is a multi-billionaire

Sep 27th, 2019 6:41 am | By

And now with video (and with more of the content, too).

At one point he says “that’s on top of hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars” that Hunter Biden is supposed to have “walked away with” from Ukraine. Then he claims (or insinuates) that Hunter Biden went to China on Air Force 2 and China gave him $1.5 billion.

All of this is addressed to UN staff, whom he is supposed to be thanking for their service.… Read the rest


Sep 27th, 2019 5:59 am | By

Genius at work. Trump a couple of hours ago:

To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!

President of the United States, everyone: doesn’t know what a hyphen is, doesn’t know what an apostrophe is, adds an apostrophe to an adjectival epithet for no known reason, announces for all the world to see that he doesn’t know what a hyphen is and doesn’t know what an apostrophe is and is basically only semi-literate.

Also misspells “describing” and thinks attaching a … Read the rest

Forced pregnancy returns

Sep 26th, 2019 5:44 pm | By

The Trump gang at the UN:

The Trump administration is calling on U.N. member nations to oppose efforts to promote access to abortion internationally, a move immediately criticized by reproductive rights groups seeking greater access to the services globally.

At a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke on behalf of the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries stating that abortion is not an international human right.

Well he’ll never need an abortion, will he.

Azar was joined by representatives from countries including Brazil, Poland and Iraq in making the statement, which was signed by a total of 19 countries including the United

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The Republican party and all it stands for

Sep 26th, 2019 5:16 pm | By

Apparently Trump deleted a tweet from today. Good thing people kept records. Malcolm Nance:

How do you get @realDonaldTrump to violate the Presidential records act and delete a tweet? Mock him with his own words! You’re welcome America! #Impeachment


Wow Trump deleted this tweet

Too incriminating even for him?

Our country is at stake, and that’s why he has to go.… Read the rest

Add it to the articles

Sep 26th, 2019 1:35 pm | By


One thing Maguire was firm on was reiterating that the still-anonymous whistleblower was judged to be “credible” by the intelligence community’s inspector general and that he deserved the full protection and security afforded to him by the law. “That individual works for me, therefore it is my job to make sure I support and defend that person. … I think the whistleblower did the right thing,” said Maguire.

Turns out his boss has a different view on the whistleblowing process! From the Los Angeles Times’ account of Trump’s remarks Thursday to a group of U.S. diplomatic staffers in New York (audio here):

“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the

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Goody, half a million more hungry children

Sep 26th, 2019 12:55 pm | By

Dragging myself away from the car crash for just a minute…these wonderful people who rule over us are gleefully taking free school lunches away from children who need them.

The Washington Post reported this week that President Donald Trump’s proposal to strip food stamps from three million Americans could cause a half-million children to lose free school meals “since food stamp eligibility is one way students can qualify for the lunches.”

“Trump is depriving 500,000 kids of their school lunches for no damn reason — even after 139 members of Congress warned him not to,” Sanders tweeted, referring to a letter he sent along with House and Senate lawmakers last month condemning the food stamps rule as “unconscionable.”

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“Why we chose to publish the information about the whistle-blower”

Sep 26th, 2019 12:26 pm | By

The New York Times, weirdly, chose to report information on the whistleblower…no doubt right around the time Trump was screaming threats at said whistleblower. Then it tweeted its explanation for doing so.

Dean Baquet, our executive editor, explains why we chose to publish the information about the whistle-blower

That may be, but given that the subject of the whistleblower’s complaint is a raving maniac, it’s not the most urgent consideration.

(Mind you, I mentioned the chit-chat about Coats, but then I’m not the New York Times.)… Read the rest

Don and Roods are livid

Sep 26th, 2019 11:51 am | By

From the Guardian live:

Rudy Giuliani, livid over the whistleblower complaint alleging that he improperly tried to convince Ukraine to launch an investigation of Joe Biden, vented his frustration to an Atlantic reporter.

“It is impossible that the whistleblower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons – when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told the Atlantic.

He added: “I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government. … Anything I did should be praised.”

Giuliani’s role as the president’s personal lawyer has raised concerns about a private citizen getting involved in foreign policy.

Just a … Read the rest

Trump described reporters as “scum”

Sep 26th, 2019 11:27 am | By

Somebody at that event this morning recorded Trump’s ravings and gave the recording to the LA Times.

Speaking at a private event in New York, Trump described reporters as “scum” and raged at the Democrats’ new impeachment proceedings, which were spurred by the whistleblower’s complaint alleging that Trump tried to strong-arm Ukraine’s leader to interfere in the 2020 election.

The still-unidentified whistleblower acknowledged that he did not listen to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, but cited information from more than half a dozen U.S. officials over the past four months as part of “official interagency business.”

“Basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call — heard

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