Republicans try to sneak fetal personhood language into tax plan

Republicans never stop trying to ban abortion—even, apparently, when drawing up plans on how to tax college savings. In the section on 529 college savings accounts, Republicans added a provision on “treatment of unborn children,” defined specifically as “a child in utero,” which “means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Emily Peck reports that:

Pro-abortion rights advocates were quick to call out the language. “This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said in a statement. “The tax code is no place to define what constitutes an ‘unborn child.’ What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?” […]

Abortion foes believe that if fetuses were legally considered people, then abortion would

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Carter Page is withholding documents … all the documents

During his just short of seven hour appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Carter Page admitted that he did tell Jefferson Sessions about his upcoming trip to Russia. But Page spent much of the day attacking the Steele dossier rather than talking about his own actions. 

And when it came to documents, Page had a frustrating response.

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The refusal to hand over any document did not endear page to the members of the House committee who spent a good piece of time trying to explain why “Nothing” was not an offer the committee was willing to accept.

Lawmakers said after the session that Page did not hand over documents they subpoenaed, though

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Carter Page is withholding documents … all the documents

During his just short of seven hour appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Carter Page admitted that he did tell Jefferson Sessions about his upcoming trip to Russia. But Page spent much of the day attacking the Steele dossier rather than talking about his own actions. 

And when it came to documents, Page had a frustrating response.

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The refusal to hand over any document did not endear page to the members of the House committee who spent a good piece of time trying to explain why “Nothing” was not an offer the committee was willing to accept.

Lawmakers said after the session that Page did not hand over documents they subpoenaed, though

Continue reading “Carter Page is withholding documents … all the documents”

Surprise! At global warming confab next week in Bonn, Trump regime will push fossil fuels, nukes

You would think it would be better not to show up at all next week in Europe for the 195-nation climate-change conference rather than to come promoting the burning of fossil fuels. But that’s exactly what the Trump regime plans to do at the latest session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany:  

“It’s embarrassing,” said Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, a Democrat. “After forfeiting international leadership on climate, the Trump White House is compounding their error with a silly stunt. Fossil fuel companies are not clean energy companies, and no amount of spin will change that.”

The “stunt” is a presentation on Nov. 13 titled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation.” Featured will be speakers from Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal; NuScale Power, a nuclear engineering firm; and Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas exporter.

Even though the Environmental

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Trump groped them and called them liars. These women just want us to remember that.

Donald Trump is hoping to keep his gross treatment of women out of court. The women who’ve come forward to tell their stories of being groped, kissed, and grabbed by Trump over the years are hoping that a lawsuit brought by one of them, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, will at least mean that their experiences are heard and taken as seriously as those of Harvey Weinstein’s victims. Or Bill Cosby’s. Or Kevin Spacey’s. Or Mark Halperin’s.

Not that any of those accusers got justice, even in the court of public opinion, quickly—but they didn’t have to watch their harassers or rapists be inaugurated president, either. The White House press secretary didn’t call them liars on national television. And it’s that response that’s at the center of the lawsuit that Trump’s victims hope will let them be fully heard:

The plaintiff in the lawsuit — Summer Zervos, a

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You can take this job and shove it! Twitter employee goes rogue, pulls the plug on Trump’s account

Last night for eleven glorious minutes, Donald Trump’s Twitter account was deactivated. Twitter promised an investigation and before long they revealed how and why Trump’s account had been closed for business. 

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And with that, Twitter began celebrating the unknown rogue employee.

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Trump administration recommends lifting ban on uranium mining in Grand Canyon

For 20 years, mining for uranium inside of the Grand Canyon has been banned. For that same amount of time, the Koch brothers have worked tirelessly to get the ban lifted.

Billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch are channeling money into an Arizona-based organization that’s fighting a plan that would include a permanent ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon.

The arguments for upholding the ban are that it provides no public profit to allow private uranium mining and that by not allowing such, we relieve ourselves of the burden of worrying about the very real environmental damage uranium mining would open up.

This is exactly why the new USDA report by the Trump administration is both unsurprising and grotesquely craven. In it they have all kinds of great recommendations for how we can “streamline” things in our national parks. Lo and behold, one of them “could” lead to uranium mining.

Adoption of this recommendation

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Paul Manafort is a crook at every possible scale

The indictments against Paul Manafort include some big numbers—like $75 million in illicit offshore accounts, and over $18 million laundered into the US through real estate purchases. But just because Paul Manafort was being crooked on a grand scale doesn’t mean he still didn’t enjoy the little things.

For example … in 2012, Manafort formed a shell company in the US called MC Soho Holdings. He then transferred into this shell company money from a shell company in Cyprus, and used it to buy a condo on Howard Street in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. But Manafort didn’t move into his new $2.9 million condo. After all, he wasn’t buying these places to live in. He was buying them to use as collateral in a series of rapidly escalating loans.

Instead, Manafort rented out the condo—the condo that he’d purchased using illegal funds given to him by Russian oligarchs for

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Congress to investigate deal that awarded $300M contract to Trump donor

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Few things generate bipartisan agreement in Congress these days, but the idea that a two-man firm in Montana with absolutely no experience was hired to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid at a cost of $300 million, is enough to spur some communication across the aisles.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said Congress “needs to understand why the Whitefish contract was awarded and whether other, more cost-effective options were available.”

A spokesman for Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, agreed that congressional review was needed. The resources panel oversees Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

Congress’ multi-year investigation into Whitewater may have turned up nothing, but the Whitefish deal already looks … extremely fishy. A firm whose biggest previous job was building less than five miles of electrical line in Arizona was given the mammoth task of taking on a shattered

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Steele Dossier was funded first by Trump’s GOP opponents then by Democrats—which we knew all along

On Tuesday, the Washington Post “broke” the story that sources connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party had taken over funding for Christopher Steele’s Trump–Russia compilation after Trump’s Republican opponents were knocked out of the race.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research. …

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

So, a lawyer with Clinton’s campaign hired Fusion GPS for opposition research—likely because they knew that Fusion had already been hired by at least one of Trump’s Republican opponents. Fusion, in turn, hired Steele’s firm. Only … this isn’t exactly breaking news. Here’s the Guardian story on the dossier

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Jeff Flake’s speech should be a watershed moment for Republicans … but it’s not

In announcing that he won’t be running for another term in the Senate, Arizona Sen.  Jeff Flake gave a powerful speech. It wasn’t just well-written and well-delivered, Flake poured his soul into the speech, calling out the Republican Party in a voice quivering with emotion. 

It’s easy to argue that Flake’s words were diminished because, like Bob Corker, he was delivering this words while packing his bags. But it’s not Flake who lost standing. It’s the Republican Party.

Flake may be the one who is surrendering his seat, but he’s doing so because the rest of the GOP has surrendered already. He’s not leaving the Senate because he and his fellow senators have been waging the good fight against Donald Trump’s “regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” he’s leaving because they’re not fighting. He’s leaving because the United States Senate has already become not just

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Appeals court rules against Trump administration, says immigrant teen has right to an abortion

After several weeks of attempted delays by the Trump administration, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. ruled on Tuesday that a 17-year-old immigrant woman in custody must be allowed to have the abortion she requested last month. 

A U.S. appeals court has cleared the way for a 17-year-old immigrant held in federal custody to obtain an abortion.

The ruling Tuesday by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overruled a decision by a three-judge panel of the court that at least temporarily blocked the teen from having the procedure.

Jane Doe, whose name is not being released in the press, is currently in a detention facility for unaccompanied minors in Texas. She has requested that she be permitted to have an abortion without parental consent since she is in the country without guardians. Though she made the request on September 11, the

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Two-man company that got $300 million Puerto Rico contract tied to Trump officials, GOP donors

This is how the local news media describes Whitefish Energy.

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The company was established in 2015. It doesn’t have an office and only lists two employees. 

Whitefish Energy is little more than a post office box. They grab temporary employees and toss them at small construction jobs—with an emphasis on small. The largest electrical line constructed by Whitefish coming into 2017 was less than five miles long. And yet, Whitefish has acquired the contract to repair the 2,400 miles of electrical lines in Puerto Rico over not just other private companies, but instead of calling in other power companies under an existing series of mutual aid agreements.

Why not exercise those agreements—which brought more than 30,000 utility workers to Florida to repair utilities after Hurricane Irma—rather than count on a tiny company which has brought in 280 temporary workers and is slowly hiring more? No one seems

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Republican Sen. Bob Corker: Trump is ‘devolving’ as president

It’s not just people on the outside watching Donald Trump’s mental/emotional capacity disintegrate. Others, like Republican Sen. Bob Corker, are noticing the same thing. In a rather candid on-the-fly interview from the halls of Congress, Corker talked about the White House asking him to “intervene” with Trump in moments where he was going “off the tracks.” Corker’s conclusion—and probably a main driver of his recent straight talk about Trump—is that Trump’s getting worse, not better.

“I’ve had private meetings with him, dinners with him, I’ve played golf with him, I’ve had multiple occasions where the staff has asked me to please intervene—he was getting ready to do something that was really off the tracks,” Corker said, “And look, I’ve seen no evolution in an upward way. As a matter of fact, I would say, it appears to me that it’s almost devolving.”

Corker also expanded on his earlier assertions that Trump is debasing the

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Roy Moore: Marriage equality is worse than slavery and fighting climate change is a ‘radical agenda’

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Roy Moore, the notorious Alabama judge and now the Republican nominee for Senate in that state, has made his name on things like putting a 10 Commandments monument in a court building and ordering probate judges not to follow the law on marriage equality after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision—a decision Talking Points Memo reports he has said was “even worse in a sense” than the Dred Scott decision upholding slavery. But if he’s elected to the Senate, Moore won’t just be casting votes for bigotry. He’ll have a say in other important issues, and Alexander C. Kaufman’s deep dive on Moore and climate change is about as scary as Moore’s views on social issues. Although he has largely ducked the issue as a Senate candidate, Moore has a history, writing at WorldNetDaily in 2009 that:

Climate change is already costing billions—and it’s getting worse

Being a climate change denier can be extremely profitable for energy companies and the politicians who love them. That’s why several energy companies have invested in spreading doubt. But climate change is becoming extremely expensive for everyone else.

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Climate change is costing taxpayers billions of dollars in disaster relief and the tab will only increase as extreme weather events become more common, according to a new government study.

The federal government has spent an estimated $350 billion over the past decade responding to extreme weather and fire events, which are exacerbated by climate change, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. It comes as Congress moves to approve billions of dollars in extra funding for hurricane relief.

With the recent series of disasters, including both hurricanes and fires, there’s been a tendency among scientists questioned to hedge around the relationship between causation and climate change with statements about

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‘No, no way’ would GOP Sen. Bob Corker support Trump for president again

Sen. Bob Corker continues to do battle with Donald Trump on Twitter and in the press, with Trump hurling a series of insults at Corker, who he persists in calling “liddle’” complete with bizarre and unnecessary apostrophe, while Corker told CNN’s Manu Raju that he wouldn’t support Trump for president again:

Corker, asked in the interview if he should have backed Trump’s presidential campaign, said he “would not do that again.” He also said Trump has “great difficulty with the truth.”

“You wouldn’t support him again?” Raju asked.

“No, no way,” Corker said.

Corker said Trump has “proven himself unable to rise to the occasion.”

Great. Now what are you going to do about it? Words are fun. Votes matter. Getting your fellow senators to take a stand matters. We’re going to need more than words here, Bob.

The two men are supposed to be in

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Sarah Sanders: Kelly’s lies about Frederica Wilson were ‘heartfelt,’ so he wasn’t wrong

It’s like something out of Stephen Colbert—the old, O’Reillyesque Colbert. After White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general, lied about Rep. Frederica Wilson claiming that she had gotten funding for a new FBI building, a story immediately contradicted by a recording of Wilson’s speech in which she claimed no such thing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted it was “highly inappropriate” to question Kelly’s false account because he was a retired general. Now, Sanders has followed up with the claim that Kelly felt his lie was true, and therefore it is not to be questioned:

Sanders: “I don’t think that General Kelly was wrong, and therefore I don’t think he should offer an apology.”

April Ryan: “So where did he get that information, then?”

Sanders: “He was there. And this wasn’t—everyone wants to narrow this down to a nine-minute speech. This was something that took place

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Tiny company from Zinke’s hometown gets $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid

In the midst of the disaster in Puerto Rico, it appears that someone may engaged in graft as large as the hurricane that hit the island.

Like other electrical utilities, the state-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has multiple mutual-aid agreements with other utilities. It can call on these agreements for help in repairing the power grid in an emergency. These are the same kind of arrangements that allowed utilities in Florida to get power there restored so quickly following the passage of Irma. But even though 79 percent of the island remains without power, PREPA  isn’t calling on those agreements.

A constellation of companies, including those controlled by Tesla’s Elon Musk, have offered to work with Puerto Rico to transform the island into a model for the nation using a series of micro-grids, distributed solar, and local storage. The resulting system would be clean, flexible, and resistant to large-scale failure. But, so

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Disgraceful: GOP congressman gets three tries, won’t condemn Trump’s attack on soldier’s widow

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After the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson confirmed Monday morning that she was indeed upset by Donald Trump’s phone call to her and his inability to remember her husband’s name, Trump immediately took to Twitter to say Myeshia Johnson was lying. Apparently nothing is “sacred”—to use Chief of Staff John Kelly’s word. Trump relentlessly attacked Congresswoman Frederica Wilson as a liar, and now that Johnson corroborated Wilson’s version of events as “100 percent correct,” he’s turned his fire directly on the pregnant grieving widow. 

On Monday afternoon, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney had three chances (video below) in an appearance with MSNBC host Steve Kornacki to say the president’s actions were completely inappropriate, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Here’s the first installment of Rooney’s profile in cowardice:

Kornacki: Just hours ago this morning, [Trump] chose to go on Twitter and tell the world, everybody sees this message, to dispute the story that sergeant Johnson’s

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