Tuesday, December 31, 2019

JUST IN: The Pentagon expects to send 700 additional troops to the Middle East after protesters attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins will ‘fall in line behind Moscow Mitch’ on impeachment: Maine writer @StephenKing

It's no surprise that Jeffrey Epstein's circle of friends consisted of serial abusers, including French model scout Jean-Luc Brunel. #10 goes into disturbing accusations that Brunel preyed on underaged girls and pimped them out of Epstein's properties

A US Embassy burns, and yet, he golfs. Our strategic foothold in countless places is eroded by revanchist Russia, and yet, he golfs. Have we ever faced such serious challenges with a team less capable of rising to meet them? Less capable of evaluating vital, objective truth?

BREAKING: A federal judge released a blistering opinion blocking the North Carolina GOP from enforcing its strict voter ID requirement and ordering state officials to inform voters that the requirement is not in effect for their upcoming elections.

#BREAKING: Kim Jong Un says the United States is just trying to pass time, North Korea will move on and he warns of "shocking" actions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to introduce a “new strategic weapon” in the near future and blasted Washington over stalled denuclearization talks

Iran just outplayed the United States — again

Really hard to overstate how badly Trump has bungled things in the Middle East. One of the only good things going - anti-Iran street protests in Iraq - have now morphed into anti-U.S. protests thanks to Trump's mishandling of Iran policy.

Illinois governor pardons thousands of marijuana-related convictions on the eve of the state allowing the recreational sale of the drug

The most important thing today is the safety of our people and our embassy. But I am reminded that in 2015 I sat in the 11th hour of a hearing that capped three years of endless investigations into Benghazi revisiting who did what when. This morning the President went golfing.

Where is @TGowdySC calling for a Benghazi-style investigation over the Iraq embassy protest? I'm waiting

“Secretary Pompeo, where was The President when you told him our embassy was under attack?”

Trump’s former campaign manager passes on challenging Sen. Shaheen.

Another question: How come we were able to help Russia but failed to help our own embassy?

Instead of a New Years resolution about self-betterment; resolve to make your country better. Resolve to build bridges rather than burn them. Resolve to fight the powerful forces trying to pull us apart. Resolve to be kinder and more accepting. Together, nothing can stop us.

The storming of our embassy in Baghdad by protestors and Iran-backed militias is deeply disturbing. The first priority is the safety of our personnel. Iraq has an obligation to protect them. Once secure, we need to be clear-eyed about reducing tensions and the path forward.

Trump has arrived at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida for a 12th consecutive day.

This is no surprise. Judges decide only actual cases, and Kupperman case became moot when subpoena was withdrawn. House is strategically putting all of its eggs in the McGahn basket rather than conducting scattershot litigation on many fronts. DC Cir hears McGahn appeal on Jan 3.

Trump's Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape

Perhaps, if you and just a few Republicans step forward, others might follow suit. As with the ACA, Americans look to the shrinking group of conscientious Rs to put country above party

So the thing is, someone (several people) in the intelligence community told the Trump admin exactly what would happen if they carried out strikes against KH, they were told this would happen, and they didn’t care

“America lost a quarter of its journalists from 2008 to 2018, the vast majority of them covering local issues” This is good news for all the wrong people. Please find a local site/newspaper or two wherever you are, and subscribe/support.

“Barr is the cheerleader Trump needs, but not the attorney general we deserve.” I would say Barr isn’t just a cheerleader, he is a fixer politicizing the DOJ & one pushing a right wing Catholic agenda that doesn’t accept separation of Church & State

‘These new revelations are a game changer,’ Schumer said, calling for witnesses to appear at the Senate impeachment trial.

I made a bet with a friend that even though the entire staff of the US embassy in Baghdad was evacuated this morning, the compound breached and run over by Hezbollah, potus would start his morning tweeting about his impeachment. I won.

'Shattered': Inside the secret battle to save America's undercover spies in the digital age

Haunting #AustralianFires images. This is the present and future climate change denial is leaving our children. Shameful.

Trump uncorks gibberish impeachment rant as crowds storm US embassy in Baghdad

Dollar eases, on track for smallest return in 6 years as risk appetite revives

Russia is waiting for Venezuela’s opposition leader to leave office before despatching economic advisers to help its ally Nicolas Maduro’s crisis-torn government


The US Army has banned the use of the hugely popular short video app TikTok by its soldiers, calling it a security threat.

In the past decade, at least 554 journalists have been killed worldwide

Not looking good for Alex Jones & Infowars: Judge orders he pay legal fees for Sandy Hook victims, & the defamation lawsuit hasn’t even begun. He’s being sued for spreading conspiracy theories that the 2012 school shooting in Connecticut was a hoax

The bushfires in Australia are now so big that they are generating their own weather, in the form of giant thunderstorms that start more fires, according to the Bureau of Meteorology in Victoria.

“Our world has entered an unsteady state, one where the things previous generations took for granted—a frozen Arctic, less violent weather—are no more.”

The efforts of @senatemajldr to fix this impeachment trial for the defense are so brazen as to nullify the impeachment clause of the constitution if permitted. Richard Painter: Trump Impeachment Coordination 'Brazen'

Evacuation on the beach at #batemansbay

Ex-pal: Ghislaine Maxwell is scoffing at legal threats because she has “serious dirt” on powerful people

The crew from Fire and Rescue NSW Station 509 Wyoming recorded this video showing the moment their truck was overrun by the bushfire burning South of Nowra. The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through.

“Some have been forced to camp on wharves or have been evacuated by boat after multiple fires surrounded the town of Mallacoota, cutting off road access”

What happens when one co-equal branch of government is delegitimized by another, asks @glennkirschner2. Given Trump’s recent actions, it feels like we are indeed in the midst of a slow-moving, intra-governmental takeove

Around 4000 people currently sheltering at the beach in #Mallacoota. Reports they’ve been told to jump into the water if the Cfa sounds their sirens.

Just Rudy Giuliani and Pete Sessions meeting with two Venezuelans indicted for money laundering, nothing to see here...

Note: #PresidentSanders started trending at 3AM. Americans aren’t up making trends at 3am. That’s #Russian bots Never forget the #MuellerReport stated Putin helped #BernieSanders campaign in 16 I don’t want candidates picked by Putin.

Batemans Bay CBD has lost power and is pitch black at 12.20pm.

New filing in Charles Kupperman v. House: Memorandum & Opinion

New filing in Charles Kupperman v. House: Memorandum & Opinion

Is there any reason to believe anything this White House says particularly about Trump-Putin relations?

.@BarbMcQuade: "When you keep things quiet and you're trying to hide the reason that you're doing things, it does suggest it's because you know that if the truth got out it would be either illegal, unethical, or politically damaging in some way."

Footage from Betka Road, facing towards Betka Beach, south of the Mallacoota CBD, taken by a resident. Posting with permission.

This is unacceptable: "Relative to entirely white neighborhoods, residents of entirely black neighborhoods waited 29 percent longer to vote and were 74 percent more likely to spend more than 30 minutes at their polling place." Someone needs to sue

Taiwan adopts sweeping legislation to counter Chinese interference

The President is now making up allegations of bribery against the Democratic primary front-runner. There is no evidence to support any of the claims he is making.

U.S. embassy in Baghdad stormed and set on fire by Iraqi militia supporters

Trump has spent at least 251 days at a Trump golf club and 332 days at a Trump property as President.

AT&T touted worker bonuses after $3 billion Trump tax cut — now it’s outsourcing thousands of jobs

The suspect in New York Hanukkah stabbings referenced 'Nazi Culture' in his journal, authorities said

Embassy staff and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq have reportedly been evacuated amid protests outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad against recent U.S. air strikes that killed at least 25 members of an Iran-backed militant group.

Kim Jong Un has been threatening to take a "new path" in nuclear talks if Trump doesn't sweeten the deal. Now, the world might learn where that road leads

As if the Trump-Ukraine scandal and impeachment weren’t enough to repulse the nation: Trump paid $2 million in a legal settlement after admitting to cheating, misusing charity funds. Court-mandated “training” to reform Trump’s thieving adult children.

"The dangerous escalation in Iraq occurs in the context of the Trump administration's reckless and needless 'maximum pressure' campaign that threatens to make Iraq an all-out battlefield between the U.S. and Iran."

Nothing more momentous happened in 2019 than Hong Kong’s heroic insurrection

BREAKING: Judge dismisses the lawsuit regarding Ukraine testimony from Bolton deputy Charles Kupperman, declares case moot.

The Trump Foundation gave $25,000 towards Pam Bondi’s reelection. Bondi didn’t investigate Trump University. No, Bondi holds a White House position and is justifying Senators who plan to work hand in hand with the White House through the impeachment trial.

‘My biggest regret is that I did not report him, then. If I had, we would not be here today.’ @MollyJongFast talks to Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser, who alleges Air Force Gen. John Hyten sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions.

"At least 4,000 flee to lake and ocean from town in Victoria that had not been given evacuation warning".

Iraqi Shiite militia supporters break down the US embassy gate and storm inside the compound as gunshots and sirens ring out

OMB didn't have the guts to rely on this argument in real time. As @neal_katyal & I have explained, OMB told DOD to hide from Congress the hold on Ukraine aid. If OMB believed its own theory, it would've told DOD, then Congress

NEW: Lev Parnas is looking to share more material with congressional investigators, according to a letter his lawyer has sent to a federal judge. The letter indicates that the House Intelligence Committee is gathering additional evidence about Trump World

Angela Merkel Issues Stark Warning on ‘Real, Alarming’ Climate Change

A Texas judge has ordered Alex Jones and his InfoWars hoax website to pay more than $100,000 in court costs and legal fees, marking the latest court victory for a Sandy Hook family suing Jones for his promotion of conspiracy theories about the shooting

West Virginia correctional cadets who gave Nazi salute in photo will all be fired

A significant number of Bernie's supporters will prefer Trump's re-election to any other Dem nominee. The Kremlin will no doubt amplify their attempts to bring about a Cultural Revolution, just as they did in 2016.

Devin Nunes’ campaign drops lawsuit against constituents who claimed he was a fake farmer

"We now have a much clearer glimpse into the murky depths of just how much more these [Trump admin] officials know about the [Ukraine] scheme — and just how much McConnell and Trump are determined to make sure we don’t ever learn."

James Comey: This is what it is like to be attacked by the president

New w/ @swin24. Here’s the story of how the WH and State Dept went on a wild goose chase to see who at the embassy in Brussels liked a Chelsea Clinton tweet during a Trump-Clinton spat. They interviewed 10 staffers.

Explosive new revelations just weakened Trump’s impeachment defenses

JUST POSTED: Senate Dems escalate push for testimony by top White House officials, in aftermath of NYT report on role top White House aides played along with Trump in blocking military aid to Ukraine.

You know folks I am tired of hearing about “Republicans this” and “Democrats that.” This is about loyalty to the country and our oaths. Read my take on it here. Every trial is a pursuit of truth. Will my colleagues in the Senate uphold that?

US State Dept Secretary Pompeo is on Putin’s State TV: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole”. How patriotic!

Trey Gowdy spent the weekend golfing with Trump and this is the impeachment defense he came back with

Incredible - and frightening - photos are emerging from Mallacoota, a small town in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, where about 4000 people are sheltering near water, protected by CFA tankers.

“If Republicans bear the brunt of media pressure to explain why they don’t want to hear from witnesses, that risks highlighting their true rationale: They adamantly fear new revelations precisely because they know Trump is guilty...”

Glad the prisoner swap between Russia & Ukraine happened. It's good news. But ask yourself: why would Russia want to receive Ukrainian policemen who shot and killed Ukrainian protesters in 2014 unless those policemen were on the Kremlin's team?

The "Venezuelan gold for Russian mercs trained in Africa by Erik Prince" story is breaking....

Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas' attorney is asking a federal judge for permission to share some information seized from Parnas when he was arrested, including the contents of one of his iPhones, with House impeachment investigators

Still think it’s a game ? It is not ! West Virginia corrections staff, cadets fired over photo of Nazi salute

So far, neither Senator McConnell nor any Republican Senator has articulated a single good reason why the trial shouldn’t have the witnesses or the documents we requested. The American people deserve to know the truth

There’s something Orwellian about the president turning the latest mass shooting into a gun commercial

.@RepRaskin doesn’t mince words. McConnell & Graham are disgracing the Senate and posing a dilemma for the Chief Justice: How can he in good faith administer the oath to “do impartial justice” to Senators who have said they will be anything but impartial?

Breaking: (AP) Hundreds of Iraqi mourners from a funeral are reportedly trying to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad following deadly airstrikes that killed 25 fighters from an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq. AP journalists saw the crowd outside the embassy shouting "Down with USA"

Barr traveled to Italy in pursuit of info that could help him discredit the Mueller investigation, on the taxpayer’s dime. The public deserves to know just how much money Barr has spent on an investigation that he should have already recused himself from.

It sure looks like Mick Mulvaney is preparing to throw Donald Trump under the bus

Hmm. Fed pumped $400 BILLION into stocks during the last 3 months through a "sneaky" quantitative easing. Fed planned to pump up to another $500 Billion into market by buying back treasuries from banks. But banks don't want more overpriced stocks. Hmm. Will stocks fall?

Molly’s June editorial is even better than I remembered it as being. A devastating exposure of the incoherence of the GOP’s ideas about abortion.

In the weeks leading up to the impeachment trial, senators are actively avoiding Giuliani—partly because they fear he might try to pass off Russian conspiracy theories as fact. "I wouldn't trust Rudy to represent me in a parking dispute so I'd say avoid."

Australia Burns

If Bernie Sanders could‘ve defeated tRUmp in 2016, then why did Russian information warfare operations support his campaign and amplify his supporters? Can’t blame HRC, because they’re doing the same thing right now for 2020 and she isn’t running.

“Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party and former Italian interior minister, is planning his comeback and wants to form an alliance w/ Trump, Boris Johnson and the leaders of Israel and Brazil.”

We’re breathing microplastic, eating it and drinking plastic-infused water every day. @ReutersGraphics illustrates what this amount of plastic actually looks like over various periods of time

My Latest-> Only a weak man speaks endlessly of his strength and only an ignorant man brags incessantly of his wisdom. How voters respond in the new year to the threat posed by this unstable man may determine the arc of our future for a generation to come.

Strong statement by Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki condemning Putin's shameful rehabilitation of Stalin as well as his outrageous lies and propaganda.

Elaine Chao’s conflicts of interest include failing to divest from a company that relies on DOT funding, questions surrounding her family’s business, and steering government grants to Kentucky. Has the government conducted any oversight of these issues?

The efforts of @senatemajldr to fix this impeachment trial for the defense are so brazen as to nullify the impeachment clause of the constitution if permitted. Richard Painter: Trump Impeachment Coordination 'Brazen'

UPDATE: U.S. ambassador and embassy have been evacuated

#UPDATE: Massive funerals begin in Baghdad for Iraqi Hezbollah members killed in US airstrikes two days ago

IRAQ: Scene outside the US embassy in Baghdad as more protesters arrive in the wake of US retaliation airstrikes against Katai'b Hezbollah positions.

#UPDATE: Commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Norkin: The United States Air Force attack two days ago in Iraq is a potential turning point

Monday, December 30, 2019

“It feels like a strange and slightly sad old guy yelling at you to get off his lawn, echoed by younger but no less sad people in red hats shouting, ‘Yeah, get off his lawn!’”

See below. Now that Judge Leon has dismissed the Kupperman/Bolton case, Judge Jackson's ruling is the definitive word. Bolton must testify

Trump won't stop attacking Democrats for homelessness in California and New York, but he's been completely silent about the issue in Florida, which has the third largest unsheltered population in the country. That's not a coincidence.

Erik Prince, founder of security firm Blackwater & brother of Betsy DeVos, has been referred to US Treasury Dept for possible sanctions violations tied to his recent trip to Venezuela to meet a top aide of Maduro per 2 senior US officials

Read me in ⁦@thedailybeast⁩ on why this veteran is suing the vice chair of the Joint chiefs.

It’s clear from the examples of the intersection of authoritarianism and surveillance that we’ve seen around the world that a privacy bill of rights is absolutely necessary. Privacy needs to start being seen as a human right.

Trump promised to eliminate the deficit in 8 years. So far, he has increased it by 68%

Trump boss Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, twists Hanukkah attack to push anti-immigrant agenda: “Apparently, American values did not take hold among this entire family"

The pastor of a Miami megachurch that will host President Donald Trump at a rally this week is guaranteeing that parishioners who entered the U.S. illegally won’t risk deportation by attending

"Trump's increasingly egregious abuses made 2019 one of the most corrupt years in US history. But we can hope for a measure of accountability in 2020,"

Mark Meadows accused of timing retirement to help elect wife’s friend. Lynda Bennett's website was registered on Oct. 28 by Scott Meadows. Her Facebook page was created the day before he announced his retirement. The Tea Party endorsed her by 6:15 am.

Trump and McConnell are bluffing. Call.

It’s been nearly 24 hours since Trump spoke to Putin and still no WH acknowledgement or readout of the call. Kremlin’s readout came immediately after, stating they discussed issues of “mutual interest”.

"Our battle with America and its mercenaries is now open to all possibilities,"

I find Andrew Yang an interesting candidate - but wasn’t aware of Russia link noted by @JuneCasagrande - Bernie Sucher - a board director of Yang’s Venture for America, co-founded Russia’s Troika Dialog, headed a subsidiary of Alfa Bank and was a former colleague of Carter Page

Outing and shaming whistleblowers harms national security by discouraging government officials from using official channels to report abuses. Alternatives are leaks or, perhaps even worse, silence.

Opinion: Assad is growing stronger under Trump’s nonexistent Syria policy

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump will be crucial for a small group of incumbent senators whose 2020 re-election bids are central to determining control of the chamber

Mike Pompeo arrives in Ukraine this week, where he will have to navigate the divide between official and unofficial U.S. policy without upsetting Trump or providing more fodder to the president's critics

Trump’s lawyers decided president could unilaterally take over Congress: report

‘Disgusting’: Internet blasts Trump for Americans learning of latest call with Putin from the Kremlin

The family of the suspect in the Monsey Hanukkah attack said he has a long record of mental illness and “was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races”

The destruction of the liberal international order-- i.e. break up of NATO, EU, WTO, etc -- and weakening of democracies. He'd love to go back to the 19th century with Russia as a major power in a multipolar word in which values do not play a prominent role in int affairs.

Esper and Pompeo say they came to Mar-A-Lago to brief Trump on events in Middle East. Pentagon targeted five sites in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for attack by Iranian backed militia attack on Iraqi facility that endangered US troops, and additional options under consideration

2000: Congress passes “Pain Relief Promotion Act” to enhance access to narcotic pain killers. 2000-2017: Congressional leaders take huge campaign donations from pharma companies while refusing to tackle the opioid epidemic. 2019: Congress blames DEA for opioid epidemic.

This, alone: “There was no public announcement that Trump wanted the assistance withheld. Neither Congress nor the Ukrainian government was notified.” The insistence on just quietly hurting Ukraine in their war with Russia— who was the audience for it?

“These men broke the customary code of silence maintained by the SEALs because they thought Chief Gallagher’s behavior violated something more sacred: the duty of the men and women who fight for the United States to fight for it honorably.”

Republican Sen. James Lankford said on CBS that he doesn't believe Trump is "a very good role model" for youth, and that disagreements on rhetoric have been a "grand challenge" for him as a person of faith.

The latest NYT article mentions Pompeo by name twice and offers no evidence he was against withholding aid. How are preparations for Mike Pompeo's Senate run going, @maggieNYT? Is Ron Lauder still on board?

#BREAKING - Lebanese Hezbollah stating they strongly condemn the "brutal" #US military strikes in #Iraq and #Syria earlier today.