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.
And with that, Twitter began celebrating the unknown rogue employee.
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
Continue reading “Trump administration recommends lifting ban on uranium mining in Grand Canyon”
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
Continue reading “Paul Manafort is a crook at every possible scale”
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
Continue reading “Congress to investigate deal that awarded $300M contract to Trump donor”
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
Continue reading “Steele Dossier was funded first by Trump’s GOP opponents then by Democrats—which we knew all along”
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
Continue reading “Jeff Flake’s speech should be a watershed moment for Republicans … but it’s not”
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
Continue reading “Appeals court rules against Trump administration, says immigrant teen has right to an abortion”
This is how the local news media describes Whitefish Energy.
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
Continue reading “Two-man company that got $300 million Puerto Rico contract tied to Trump officials, GOP donors”
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
Continue reading “Republican Sen. Bob Corker: Trump is ‘devolving’ as president”
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:
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.
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
Continue reading “Climate change is already costing billions—and it’s getting worse”
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
Continue reading “‘No, no way’ would GOP Sen. Bob Corker support Trump for president again”
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
Continue reading “Sarah Sanders: Kelly’s lies about Frederica Wilson were ‘heartfelt,’ so he wasn’t wrong”
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
Continue reading “Tiny company from Zinke’s hometown gets $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid”
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
Continue reading “Disgraceful: GOP congressman gets three tries, won’t condemn Trump’s attack on soldier’s widow”
It’s not turtles all the way down after all. It’s elephants:
This is entirely perfect yet utterly mindblowing at the same time. John Cornyn is the second highest-ranking Republican in the United States Senate, but he’s so incapable of thinking for himself—and so afraid of Trumpist anger toward anyone who doesn’t declare total fealty to the man in the White House—that all he can do is give up his entire sense of self and pledge undying loyalty to whatever it is Donald Trump says, whatever that may be, whenever he gets around to saying it.
It’s as though Cornyn is a reverse Pinocchio: He doesn’t want to be a real senator—he just wants to be
Continue reading “This one tweet shows everything wrong with Trump, Trumpism, and the entire Republican Party”
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Krobach has never been accused of being the sharpest tool in the shed, and now he’s proving why. Kobach, who co-chairs Donald Trump’s ‘election integrity commission’ (aka, voter suppression commission), has been utilizing an unsecured database platform to compare the voter rolls of 32 different states in search of duplicates. Mother Jones‘ Ari Berman has more on the hacker-friendly Interstate Crosscheck Program Kobach has been using to push his assault on voting rights.
Yet newly released documents show that the program touted by Kobach has major security vulnerabilities that could lead to sensitive voter data being hacked, released, and even modified. States that employ the program upload their voter data to an unsecured server and exchange usernames and passwords to access the server over unsecured emails. They have also released sensitive, unredacted information on voters to the public.
Crosscheck was founded in 2005 to compare registration lists
Continue reading “Trump’s election ‘integrity’ chief using unsecured voter database primed for hacking”
Are we headed for a Hanukkah government shutdown? If Congress doesn’t pass a spending bill—requiring eight Democratic votes in the Senate—by midnight on December 15, the federal government will shut down. Thanks to Donald Trump, though, the list of legislative priorities that must be resolved just keeps growing:
Once Obamacare repeal failed, the only major item on Republicans’ agenda for the rest of the year was supposed to be tax reform. But then Trump announced his administration planned to sunset the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, putting upward of 600,000 unauthorized immigrants in limbo; and that it would end the Affordable Care Act’s subsidy payments, a move that will increase premiums for Americans and dig a deeper hole in the national deficit. Trump is forcing Congress’s hand to act, but he hasn’t given a clear or realistic policy directive on immigration or health care.
Congress also keeps putting
Continue reading “Trump is setting the stage for a brutal government shutdown fight”
As president, Barack Obama did not always put the most effort into building the Democratic Party. As a former president, he’s working to undo some of the losses the party has suffered at the state level in recent years. Organizing for Action, which came out of his campaign, is joining with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, headed by former Attorney General Eric Holder, to do exactly the long-game, state-level organizing at which Republicans so often trounce Democrats. The effort is kicking off with Obama’s direct participation:
“OFA volunteers and supporters will provide the grassroots organizing capacity and mobilization that we’ll need to win state-level elections and move other initiatives forward ahead of the 2021 redistricting process, making sure that states are in the best position possible to draw fair maps,” Obama writes in an email set to go out to the OFA’s list that he’ll call “Our Next Fight.” […]
Continue reading “Obama kicks off campaign to fight Republican gerrymandering”
Ah, the old “I was just trying to be edgy” defense.
Betty Price, the wife of former HHS Secretary Tom Price, is defending her comment about quarantining people with HIV as an attempt to be provocative about a public health crisis. […]
“I made a provocative and rhetorical comment as part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context.” she said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Saturday.
In that aforementioned free-flowing conversation, Price had mentioned “quarantine” and noted how Americans with HIV are not dying as “readily” as they once did.
“It seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers, well not carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and at that point they are not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge
Continue reading “Georgia legislator says she was trying to be ‘provocative’ with HIV ‘quarantine’ comments”