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John Hummel
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Nunez and Ryan succeed in keeping Trump and cronies Above the Law

For now.

FTA: … the House investigation into Russia's interference in the US elections is stalled, the victim of a partisan showdown.

All meetings of the House Russia investigators were canceled this week shortly before the top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Nunes must recuse himself in order for the investigation to continue.


The full committee typically meets at least twice a week and it's uncertain if those meetings will be rescheduled.

This is obvious obstructionism (which is the only thing the rethugs have done in the last eight years — but in their defense, they’re fine a helluva lot of it.)

Heads need to roll.

thanks, +Valkyrie

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This would be hilarious if it weren't so horrifying. In addition to the sheer ratio of redacted statements to un-redacted ones, note also that none of the un-redacted ones contain any substance. In other words, in this interview, Trump was incapable of saying a single fucking thing that was both meaningful and true.

thanks, +Nate McD
I honestly think there is more blacked out than left in this. What do Drumpf supporters have to say about their Liar-In-Chief?

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In case you were wondering about the root cause of the lack of progress on the Trump-Russia investigation...

Nunez is the proximate/immediate cause, and Ryan is the enabling cause behind Nunez.

thanks, +Sarah Jones

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As anticipated, Trump signs Executive Order to roll back climate protections

FTA: WASHINGTON — President Trump signed on Tuesday a much-anticipated executive order intended to roll back most of President Barack Obama’s climate-change legacy, celebrating the move as a way to promote energy independence and to restore thousands of lost coal industry jobs.

For what it’s worth: Most of those jobs will go to robots, not ex-coal miners, so Trump’s little anti-environment stunt isn’t even going to create jobs; just wealth for already-wealthy mine-owners, shareholders, bankers, etc.:

“So even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs,” he added.

And there aren’t (and haven’t been) that many coal jobs anyhow:

While coal mining jobs have dropped in the United States, they do not represent a significant portion of the American economy. Coal companies employed about 65,971 miners in 2015, down from 87,755 in 2008, according to Energy Department statistics.

And going after environmental regulations is a red-herring — or else an act of pure spite — having nothing whatsoever with “job creation”:

“The problem with coal jobs has not been CO2 regulations, so this will probably not bring back coal jobs,” Mr. Godby said. “The problem has been that there has not been market demand for coal.”

Oh, and it gets even worse:

The order also takes aim at a suite of narrower but significant Obama-era climate and environmental policies, including lifting a short-term ban on new coal mining on public lands.

More evidence that this move is a stunt to make his friends money while appearing to help his voters:

Mr. Trump advertised the moves as a way to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported fuels and revive the flagging coal industry.

But energy economists say the order falls short of both of those goals — in part because the United States already largely relies on domestic sources for the coal and natural gas that fires most of the nation’s power plants.

“We don’t import coal,” said Robert N. Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University. “So in terms of the Clean Power Plan, this has nothing to do with so-called energy independence whatsoever.”

Like everything else Trump Bannon does, this is a plan to make more money for the user-rich at the expense of the 99% and the future of the planet. Maybe Bannon doesn’t actively intend to wreck the planet for future generations (although based on things he has said, there’s a good chance he actually does), but even then, wrecking the planet will be a cherry on top for him.

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Trump is really terrified that Yates will testify at the Intelligence Committee hearing

Every reason he gives for why she shouldn’t testify is, in fact, a compelling reason why she should.

The attempt to block her isn’t working (because her lawyer knows that Trump’s “reasons” are bullshit and can demonstrate it). Therefore:

The day that letter [from Yates’ lawyer] arrived, was the day Devin Nunes cancelled the public hearing.

That’s right: In a desperate move to prevent Yates’ testimony, Nunes simply canceled the hearing. Next, he’ll just decide to cancel the whole investigation.

(As a side note: Can no one find a way to take Nunes the hell off this case? He obviously has glaring conflicts of interest. Of course the rethudlicans don’t want him removed. But do they really hold all the power?)^

Oh, and unsurprisingly, the Trump regime is also denying that anyone is trying to stop Yates from testifying.

This whole thing would be laughably Orwellian if it weren’t so horrifyingly indicative of our rapid decline into unfettered fascism.

thanks, +Ed Christian

^ Update: Turns out Paul Ryan is the one who decides these things:

That is, Paul Ryan is the Ultimate Obstructor of the Trump-Russia investigation.

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Do This!

In the words of +Ole Olson, Call Congress, don't let them sell out your privacy rights to greedy ISP corps!

thanks, Ole

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EDIT: Apparently, this little report, delightful as it would be, is untrue.

Thanks to +Doug Senko and +Adam Liss for disabusing me.


This is the first time I have ever heard of a unanimous opinion from SCOTUS.

thanks, +Harold Jones

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Scott Pruitt and climate denial just for spite. (Well, OK. Spite and profit.)

thanks, +paul beard
"I know that you guys kind of laugh at us, but we're winning, We're in the driver's seat right now. And whoever thought that would happen? I've been doing this for 25 years. If you were to tell me that Steve Milloy would have a chance to fix EPA, I would have said you're crazy."

This is what has always been about — winning, ie, making the other guy eat a shit sandwich. If one side wants to drive on the road, winning means putting the wagon in the ditch. If one side wants to sail with the wind, winning means sailing against it. The destination doesn't matter. All that matters is not doing what the other guy wants.

This is Reagan's legacy, the idea that government never gets it right. If this charade survives the midterms, if both houses don't have a Democratic majority in solid opposition to Bannon, Putin, and Trump, you can call this experiment over. 

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Nunez must go

It is absolute insanity to have a republican in charge of the investigation of Trump, much less an avowed Trump ally. (What the hell were they thinking when they put him in charge? It’s like putting putting Dick Cheney in charge of investigating whether Halliburton committed crimes in Iraq.)

FTA: But here’s what anyone trying to follow the twists and turns of this Trump-Russia-wiretapping story is left with: A top Republican congressman and Trump ally was at the White House the day before he released information that appeared to somewhat defend the president on his defenseless wiretapping claims.

What’s more, the congressman released this secret information to the president — whose circle is under investigation by the FBI for alleged ties to Russia — before sharing it with his own committee members.

What the what??

From there, it’s not a stretch for a reasonable person to consider whether Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team, wants to protect the president.

That’s putting it mildly.

And from there, it’s not a stretch to question the impartiality of the investigation Nunes is leading in the House on Russia meddling in the U.S. election.

Ya think?

And here comes the best part:

("It could very well be the case that Chairman Nunes was briefing members of the administration about an investigation of which they are the subject," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor on Monday as he became the top-ranking Democrat to request Nunes step down from his committee post.)

And that, say ethics and national security experts, is where the real damage in Nunes’s White House trip lies.

In response to this observation, I reiterate my earlier question (in slightly different words): Who was the fucking genius in congress who failed to see this coming and decided it would be OK for Nunes to lead this investigation?^

And what genius failed to see that, even if by some bizarro miracle Nunes _did manage to conduct an impartial investigation, it would not occur to anyone — not anyone at all -- that he might just have the teensy, weensiest little conflict of interest?

Next question: Is congress really that fucking stupid, or do they think we’re that fucking stupid? Or both?

thanks, +Lee Rothstein

^ Update: Turns out the answer to this question is Paul Ryan:

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Trump’s foolish escalation in Iraq and Syria costing many civilian lives

In his inexcusable hubris and blinding ignorance, Trump thought it would be easy to put an end to ISIS. ("Only I can do it!")

These are the wages of Trump's stupidity and undeserved pride; of his thinking that defeating ISIS would only require massive use of military force.

FTA: The fighting against the Islamic State here has grown more urgent, with Iraqi officers saying the American-led coalition has been quicker to strike urban targets from the air with less time to weigh the risks for civilians. They say the change reflects a renewed push by the American military under the Trump administration to speed up the battle for Mosul.


Residents who were in the neighborhood during the fighting suggested that there had been every reason to believe the area was filled with civilians at the time of the airstrikes — especially because the Iraqi government and its American allies had dropped leaflets asking civilians to remain in their homes rather than risk fleeing into the middle of the battle.


Hundreds of residents, trying to escape indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire and fearful of airstrikes, took refuge in basements.

It was there that they died, from airstrikes targeting the snipers that caused entire buildings to collapse, survivors recounted.

“Not all of the houses had Daesh on the roof,” said Ali Abdulghani, a resident of the neighborhood, using another name for Islamic State fighters. “Why, just because of one Daesh, kill everyone?”
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