Friday, November 17, 2017

Is Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner really cooperating with the Russian investigations? Because it does not appear that Jared Kushner is really cooperating with the Russian investigations.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday disclosed that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. 

The two senators sent a letter to Kushner's lawyer Thursday demanding additional documents from Trump's son-in-law as part of the committee's ongoing investigation of Russia's election interference. 

In the letter, Grassley and Feinstein say Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in September 2016 that he passed on to an official within President Trump’s campaign, in addition to communication about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite." 

“For example, other parties have produced September 2016 email communications to Mr. Kushner concerning WikiLeaks, which Мr. Kushner then forwarded to another campaign official,” the letter reads. 

“Likewise, other parties have produced documents concerning a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ which Mr. Kushner also forwarded," the letter says. "And still others have produced communications with Sergei Millian, copied to Mr. Kushner. Again, these do not appear in Mr. Kushner’s production despite being responsive to the second request. You also have not produced any phone records that we presume exist and would relate to Mr. Kushner’s communications regarding several requests.”

Wait, an email about Wikileaks, a "back door" contact with Russia?

Yeah, those seem like things the investigators are going to want to see.

But wait, there's more.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

Among the revelations from Congress’ news blast claiming the president’s aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner failed to provide documents about an alleged “Russian backdoor overture” is a smaller — but still controversial — contact he had with a Belarusian-American businessman. 

Discussing the findings from a letter sent to Kushner’s lawyers by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand told MSNBC host Chris Hayes that the lawmakers called the young real estate magnate out for failing to disclose that he’d been copied on emails from a businessman Sergei Millian. 

Millian, who founded the Russia-America Chamber of Commerce trade group, has claimed to have a business relationship with Donald Trump. He is also the alleged source of the rumor that Trump once hired prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on a bed that gave the infamous Fusion GPS document the nickname “golden showers dossier.” 

Millian’s name has appeared multiple times in 2017, most recently in relation to former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. The reports from the Senate Judiciary Committee also claim that Millian was in regular contact with Papadopoulos after the latter tried to set up a meeting with him, Bertrand said.

If this plot thickens anymore we may have to place it on a diet.

Damn!

A well known Democrat has been accused of sexual harassment so NOW Sarah Palin finally has something to say.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

Sarah Palin (R) on Thursday condemned sexual harassment in the workplace, adding that she has not personally experienced it because people know she carries a weapon. 

An MSNBC reporter stopped the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate in the Capitol, where she was meeting with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky). 

"I think a whole lot of people know I'm probably packing so I don't think there's a whole lot of people who would necessarily mess with me,” Palin said.

“I don’t mean to be lighthearted, this is a serious issue,” Palin continued. “It really stinks for women in the workplace that for too long, men have thought they can get away with that old-school thinking that it’s okay to belittle and harass women.”

Yeah, I actually do not think that Palin carries a pistol with her, nor do I really think she knows how to use one. at least from footage I have seen of her shooting in the past.

The reason that she never gets sexually harassed is because most men find her repugnant.

And when she was younger, like back when she served on the Wasilla Assembly, if somebody even looked at her she accused them of sexually harassing her. (I have heard several reports of that.)

Interesting, don't you think, that since Al Franken has been accused Palin finally has an opinion on workplace harassment.

I don't believe she said a word about Roy Moore or Donald Trump, but now......


Palin also weighed in on Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and of course Bill Clinton, but has defended Sean Hannity over calls to boycott his show for his defense of Roy Moore.

Odd isn't it?

And it also almost exactly reflects the behavior of her former boyfriend Donald Trump.
Speaking of her ex, exactly WHY was Trump in Washington the other day anyhow?

I mean it could not simply be to see this guy, right?
Earlier I would have mocked the idea of Palin actually joining the Trump Administration in some way.

But now, not so much. 

Guess what? Your tax dollars are being used to protect Donald Trump's private businesses from lawsuits.

Courtesy of USA Today: 

Taxpayers are footing the legal bill for at least 10 Justice Department lawyers and paralegals to work on lawsuits related to President Trump's private businesses. 

Neither the White House nor the Justice Department will say how much it is costing taxpayers, but federal payroll records show the salaries of the government lawyers assigned to the cases range from about $133,000 to $185,000. 

The government legal team is defending President Trump in four lawsuits stemming from his unusual decision not to divest himself from hundreds of his companies that are entangled with customers that include foreign governments and officials. 

In the cases, Justice Department attorneys are not defending policy actions Trump took as president. Instead, the taxpayer-funded lawyers are making the case that it is not unconstitutional for the president's private companies to earn profits from foreign governments and officials while he's in office. 

The government lawyers and Trump's private attorneys are making the same arguments — that the Constitution's ban on a president taking gifts from foreign interests in exchange for official actions does not apply to foreign government customers buying things from Trump's companies. The plaintiffs, including ethics groups and competing businesses, argue the payments pose an unconstitutional conflict of interest.

Hey, remember when the Founding Fathers laid out all of those rules to protect this country from becoming an oligarchy or from being taken over by a dictator?

Boy those were the good old days, weren't they? 

Trump's head of the FCC is on track to reverse the 2015 bill on net neutrality.

Courtesy of Reuters:  

The head of the Federal Communications Commission is set to unveil plans next week for a final vote to reverse a landmark 2015 net neutrality order barring the blocking or slowing of web content, two people briefed on the plans said.


In May, the FCC voted 2-1 to advance Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to withdraw the former Obama administration’s order reclassifying internet service providers as if they were utilities. Pai now plans to hold a final vote on the proposal at the FCC’s Dec. 14 meeting, the people said, and roll out details of the plans next week. 

Pai asked in May for public comment on whether the FCC has authority or should keep any regulations limiting internet providers’ ability to block, throttle or offer “fast lanes” to some websites, known as “paid prioritization.” Several industry officials told Reuters they expect Pai to drop those specific legal requirements but retain some transparency requirements under the order.

The progressives worked hard to get these protections in place, and it will require even more of an effort to protect them. 

Remember every single thing that the Obama Administration accomplished Donald Trump is determined to destroy.

The most common victim of sexual assault in Alaska is a 14 year old girl.

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch:  

Alaska's sex crime victims mainly are young — just children, really. They most often are targeted in someone's home. And they usually know their attacker. 

A new state report provides a detailed and disturbing snapshot of serious sex crimes in Alaska. It's the second year the state Department of Public Safety has produced an analysis of felony sex offenses, an effort that took many more years to bring together, according to Walt Monegan, public safety commissioner. 

Reports of felony sex offenses – which include rape, sex abuse of children, child pornography and sex with incapacitated individuals — rose 14 percent from 2015 to 2016, the new document says. The data is based on initial reports to law enforcement.

Here were the other findings of the report:

- More than half of the victims – 54 percent – are Alaska Native, far bigger than the overall 20 percent share of the population that is Alaska Native. 

 — Alaska Native girls and women are the most at risk of being sexually assaulted or abused in almost every part of Alaska. Only in Southcentral with Anchorage excluded – an area that includes the Kenai Peninsula and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough — are white people the most often victimized. 

— The problem of sex assault and abuse is magnified in Western Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome, Dillingham and surrounding villages. The rate of sexual offenses in that region is 446 incidents per 100,000 people compared to 262 per 100,000 in Anchorage and 66 in Southcentral, the report said. 

 — While the most common victim is a 14-year-old girl, the most common suspect is a 19-year-old male. But in the cases of the youngest victims, from infants up to 10-year-olds, suspects are young too, most often just 14 years old, the report said. For victims age 18 on up, the suspects are older too, most commonly 31. 

— When the victim is male, it's most often a young boy just 5 years old, the report said. 

— Some 47 percent of suspects are Alaska Native. About one-third are white. Some 97 percent are male. Suspects and victims tend to be the same race, except for black suspects, whose victims most often are white, the analysis found. 

— Almost all the victims and suspects knew each other. Just 4 percent of the attackers were strangers, and for the youngest children, only 1 percent were targeted by someone unknown, the analysis found. Most suspects were acquaintances. Some were relatives. A few were boyfriends or girlfriends. In five instances, the suspect was the baby sitter. 

— Almost three-quarters of reported sex offenses happened in a residence, the report said. Others occurred on tribal lands and in woods, in motels or at school and college, in bars and alleys, jails and parks. One was reported in a grocery store and one in a church. 

 — Some 15 percent of sex offenses involved weapons, mainly fists and feet. Guns and knives were reported in just seven incidents.

Alaska is a beautiful place to live by almost any standard, but we have a deep vein of ugliness that runs through our state, and sadly it just seems to get uglier all of the time.

Politicians promise to do something, but nothing ever seems to change.

When we elected our first female governor I allowed myself to imagine that things like sexual abuse and pedophilia would surely be one of her foremost concerns, after all wouldn't a woman be far more sensitive to those victims than a man?

But sadly she actually may have done the very least to address this problem, and it's a problem that seems to have no end in sight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Six Democrats introduce five articles of impeachment. And here we go.

Courtesy of The Independent:

Six Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced articles of impeachment targeting President Donald Trump. 

The legislators singled out five of Mr Trump's actions they say merit impeachment, including his decision to fire FBI director James Comey in May. 

They assert that Mr Trump obstructed justice by dismissing the top law enforcement official, who was leading a federal investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mr Trump has insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign's advisers and the Kremlin.

“Given the magnitude of the constitutional crisis, there’s no reason for delay,” said Representative Steve Cohen, the sponsor of the resolution. Creating a constitutional crisis would mean the President has disregarded checks on the executive branch. 

Joining Mr Cohen in endorsing the articles are Democratic Representatives Luis Gutiérrez, Al Green, Adriano Espaillat, Marcia Fudge and John Yarmuth. 

“We believe that President Trump has violated the Constitution, and we've introduced five articles of impeachment,” Mr Cohen said at a press conference.

Well they said it was coming, and here it is.

I don't think that there is much chance that this really has a real impact, and there are a lot of Democrats who think this is premature.

However it is the necessary first step in what will likely be the removal of Donald Trump from office at some point.

After all it's not as if there is not overwhelming evidence that he is unfit for office.

But that won't be this year, and it may not even be the next. But I really feel that it is coming.

So now Senator Al Franken has also been accused of being inappropriate with women. Update!

This is from Leann Tweeden's statement: 

On the trip was Tweeden's now-husband, an Air Force pilot, along with country music artists Darryl Worley, Mark Wills and Keni Thomas, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Franken, who was the headliner for the show. 

Tweeden said Franken wrote skits for the show, and, like many USO shows before it and since, she says "the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience." 

She said, "As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along." 

In the script, Franken wrote in a kiss between him and Tweeden, and, she says, he asked to rehearse the kiss before the show. Though she said they didn't need to rehearse the moment, since she planned to deny his advances for a laugh, he "continued to insist" and then "came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth." 

Tweeden wrote that she felt "disgusted and violated."

Later on the trip home Franken also acted inappropriately toward an unconscious Tweeden:

"I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated," she wrote. "How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it's funny?" 

First I would say that I am heartbroken by this revelation as I am a big fan of Senator Al Franken.

Secondly I would say that this young woman has every right to feel humiliated and victimized by what Franken did to her.

Having said that I am not certain that Franken's hands are making contact with her bullet proof vest, so I am not certain that "groping" is the appropriate term here. However once again she is quite right to have felt taken advantage of while she was unconscious.

For his part Al Franken issued a statement:  

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry. 

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. 

“But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women. 

“For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me. 

“Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that. 

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences. 

“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate. 

“And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”

I think that Senator Franken should be given at least some credit for taking responsibility for his actions, and for supporting an ethics investigation.

That is certainly a lot more than Roy Moore or Donald Trump have been willing to do.

Unfortunately for Franken another woman has just come forward with a similar allegation, and I would not be surprised if there are more to come.

I think at this point all of us should brace themselves for more allegations, and to see some of our favorite people, in politics and entertainment, facing their own accusations.

After all if people like Al Franken, George Takei, and George H. W. Bush are capable of this kind of thing, it stands to reason that there are a whole lot of other men out there, in positions of some power, who demonstrated poor judgement as well.

I sort of feel obligated to make an attempt to recognize that some of these incidents are far more egregious than others, but ultimately I am not sure that it makes any real difference in the perception of the people being accused.

Which brings me to my next point.

2018 and 2020 are going to be tough election cycles for men in both parties.

ANY male candidate for office is going to have to have a VERY serious conversation with themselves and really ask if there are ANY women, or men, in their past who may make an accusation of inappropriate sexual contact.

In 2020 for instance Al Franken was one of my fantasy football picks for either a Presidential or VP candidate, but now that is simply not going to happen.

People are talking about a potential run by Joe Biden, but with all of these pictures out there clearly that idea needs to be quietly smothered in its sleep.

No, the Democratic candidate for President in 2020 is going to HAVE to be female in my opinion.

At this point I am not sure WHICH female candidate would be the best choice (And no not Hillary.), but whoever she it she will have to be squeaky clean and very pro-woman and anti-sexual harassment.

Update: Well this is somewhat troubling.
Not sure if this means this is a set up, or if this story from Leann Tweeden was talked about before she came forward.

Update 2: Unbelievably Roy Moore actually weighed in on these Franken allegations.
Of course he was destroyed on Twitter.

Trump administration reverses ban on shipping elephant trophies to America from hunts in Zimbabwe. Gee, I wonder why?

Courtesy of WaPo:

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia can now be imported to the United States as trophies, reversing a ban under former president Barack Obama. 

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that large sums paid for permits to hunt the animals could actually help them “by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” according to an agency statement. 

Under the Obama administration, elephant-hunting trophies were allowed in countries such as South Africa but not in Zimbabwe because Fish and Wildlife decided in 2015 that the nation had failed to prove that its management of elephants enhanced the population. Zimbabwe could not confirm its elephant population in a way that was acceptable to U.S. officials, and did not demonstrate an ability to implement laws to protect it. 

The Service’s new statement did not specify what had changed in that country — where the African elephant population has declined 6 percent in recent years, according to the Great Elephant Census project — to allow hunting trophies. A spokeswoman said an explanation will be published in the Federal Register on Friday.

Yeah I really don't get it.

I guess there is just no part of my body that is so small and shame inducing which would require that I murder these magnificent animals in order to make up for it. 

New defense for Roy Moore courtesy of Rush Limbaugh. "Did you know that before 1992 when a lot of this was going on that Judge Moore was a Democrat? "

Courtesy of the Daily Rushbo: 

RUSH: So no matter what the real stories are here and no matter what the evidence is, these guys, these people on the Republican side are making it clear they’re going to prevent this guy from ever being seated in the United States Senate. 

Did you know that before 1992 when a lot of this was going on that Judge Moore was a Democrat? You didn’t know that? How about all these people now saying, “Oh, yeah, yeah, everybody here knew about Judge Moore. Oh-ho-ho, yeah, good old boy we’ve known about Judge Moore for a long time.” While he was a Democrat. Nobody said a word. When he supposedly was attracted to inappropriately aged girls, he was a Democrat. For what it’s worth.

I guess I'm supposed to have a response to this, but words fail me.

In other news apparently Roy Moore has removed a list of endorsement from his website:

Roy Moore's campaign website no longer contains a list of endorsements. 

A message on www.roymoore.org said the list of endorsements "is currently being updated." A list of names was on the site as recently as yesterday. 

The change comes after a host of Republicans have pulled their support from Moore in the wake of allegations he had improper sexual contact with two teen girls when he was in his 30s. 

Yeah I think that list of endorsements is being updated to zero.

Also yesterday two new accusers stepped forward to point the finger at Moore:

Gena Richardson says she was a high school senior working in the men’s department of Sears at the Gadsden Mall when a man approached her and introduced himself as Roy Moore. 

“He said, ‘You can just call me Roy,’ ” says Richardson, who says this first encounter happened in the fall of 1977, just before or after her 18th birthday, as Moore, then a 30-year-old local attorney, was gaining a reputation for pursuing young women at the mall in Gadsden, Ala. His overtures caused one store manager to tell new hires to “watch out for this guy,” another young woman to complain to her supervisor and Richardson to eventually hide from him when he came in Sears, the women say. 

Richardson says Moore — now a candidate for U.S. Senate — asked her where she went to school, and then for her phone number, which she says she declined to give, telling him that her father, a Southern Baptist preacher, would never approve.


A few days later, she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High when she was summoned to the principal’s office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call. 

“I said ‘Hello?’” Richardson recalls. “And the male on the other line said, ‘Gena, this is Roy Moore.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’ ” 

Jesus, he actually had her paged at her high school. Damn that is some aggressive stalking right there.

The other woman says that the teenage girls at the mall all talked about how to avoid Moore, and were told “just make yourself scarce when Roy’s in here, he’s just here to bother you, don’t pay attention to him and he’ll go away.’”

The next story to pop up concerned not a teenage girl and an unmarried stalker, but a woman in the beginnings of divorce proceedings and an already married Roy Moore.

Courtesy of Al.com:

Once the papers were signed, she and her mother got up to leave. After her mother walked through the door first, she said, Moore came up behind her. 

It was at that point, she recalled, he grabbed her buttocks. 

"He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it," said Johnson. She was so surprised she didn't say anything. She didn't tell her mother.

She did however tell her sister who confirmed her story.

For their part Moore's legal team is focused on the yearbook he signed, because they are pretty sure that suckers a forgery. Never mind all of these other stories that confirm Moore's behaviors.

And that is good enough for Sean Hannity who, based on a letter Moore sent him, is back on the Roy Moore for Senator bandwagon.

Okay so was Rush implying that the only reason that Moore used to be a pedophile is because he was a Democrat, and once he switched parties he was cured?

Is that argument?

Damn, that much stupidity just makes my head hurt.

I'll just leave this here.

And this too.
I think yesterday was one of Marco Rubio's favorite days.

Donald Trump will break tradition and NOT meet with American Noble prize winners.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

President Trump will not meet with the American Nobel laureates this year, Stat News reported. 

The decision breaks with that of past presidents, who have met with the American Nobel Prize winners nearly every year since 2001. 

Two American Nobel Prize winners told Stat News they didn't plan to go to the White House if there was an event. 

Columbia biophysicist Joachim Frank said he was "relieved" he wouldn't see the president. 

“I will not put my foot into the White House as long as Trump, [Vice President] Pence, or [Speaker Paul] Ryan (i.e., the possible succession of impeachments) will occupy it,” Frank told Stat. 

“I cannot speak for the others; don’t know them personally yet, but I strongly believe that as thinking intelligent people they will have a similar attitude as I.” 

The White House said Trump wouldn't meet with the recipients in person because of foreign travel. Trump has been traveling through Asia and is expected to return late Tuesday.

Yeah, okay.

Both Barack Obama and George W. Bush met with the American Nobel prize winners during their presidencies, but then again they were not quite as terrified of intelligence as Tangerine Hitler.

You know you really cannot blame the two scientists quoted in this article for not wanting to meet Trump.

It would be akin to Jane Goodall attempting to sit down to tea with one of the chimpanzees she was studying.

Just another day in Trump's America.

Making America Great Again.

Right?