Trumpkins in Congress fall in line to protect their ‘Dear Leader’

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Midnight Run Nunes (R-CA) who has actively conspired with the Trump White House to obstruct justice  — the House Intelligence Committee released its final Russia report, disputing the intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election with the aim of aiding Trump — on Thursday rejected a motion to subpoena the interpreter present at President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent private meeting. GOP votes down Dem motion to subpoena interpreter from Trump, Putin meeting:

The motion was offered by Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee.

“It is our motion that the interpreter be subpoenaed to come and testify in closed session before our committee,” Schiff said during a public hearing on China’s threats to American government.

Schiff argued that the interpreter could have witnessed a key exchange which would shed light on national security matters.

“I regret that we have to request this in today’s meeting. We requested a business meeting next week, but that request has been declined. This may be our last opportunity before we go into an extended recess to vote to subpoena the interpreter and find out if there are any other national security problems that arose from this meeting,” Schiff continued.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agrees the White House needs to explain what, if any deal, was agreed to privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Finland. Flake supports Dem demand for notes from Trump-Putin meeting.

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No, Trump Did NOT Misspeak in Helsinki

This isn’t hard.

Trump categorically was lying when he said he misspoke in Helsinki.

According to Trump, he meant to say “wouldn’t” when he actually said “would” in the following passage.

I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server.

If you believe Trump, that simple change would convert the statement from expressing skepticism of Russian interference in the 2016 election, to not seeing any other possible culprits (you know, like China, or the 400 pound guy on his bed to whom Trump has referred, or whoever he had in his mind when he wrapped up his “clarification” Tuesday by saying “Could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”).

The trouble with Trump’s reconciliation is that it’s flat-out irreconcilable with the remainder of his remarks.  Continue reading

Putin’s fifth column of fellow travelers in the personality cult of Donald Trump

I have castigated the craven cowards in the Congress who will not defend America against Russian asset Donald Trump’s traitorous act of betrayal of the United States at the Surrender Summit.

These craven cowards are more afraid of upsetting the sycophant supporters in the personality cult of Donald Trump than in performing their constitutional and patriotic duty to defend the national security of the United States.

Max Boot makes a critical observation at the Washington Post. The stench from Trump’s execrable performance grows ever more putrid:

Even Russian state television admits that Trump “really smells like an agent of the Kremlin.” The only question is whether he is a witting or unwitting agent. But if Trump is, at best, a “useful idiot” for the Kremlin, what does that make Trump’s useful idiots? All of the “conservatives” (I use the word loosely) who serve as the president’s enablers should understand the price of their partisanship: They are weakening U.S. security and facilitating foreign aggression.

The most useful and idiotic enablers are at Fox “News” Channel [aka Trump TV]. The propagandists (a category that excludes genuine journalists such as Chris Wallace) were in fine fettle after Helsinki. Tucker Carlson, seemingly intent on making America a safe space for xenophobes, claimed that Mexico is guilty of far worse election meddling than Russia “by packing our electorate.” Sean Hannity praised his idol for being “very strong,” thereby raising the epistemological question of whether strength in supinity is possible. Jeanine Pirro rebutted Trump’s critics by demanding: “What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?” (Was that the only alternative?) And Lou Dobbs, with elementary-school eloquence, dismissed all naysaying as “stupid stuff.”

This brainwashing is as effective as it is preposterous. In a recent Economist/YouGov survey, only 40 percent of Republicans said the United States should stay in NATO and 56 percent said that Trump’s (borderline treasonous) relationship with Putin is a good thing. In the course of my lifetime, Republicans have gone from denouncing useful idiots to becoming useful idiots.

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Russian asset Trump continues his subservience to Putin

After his disastrous press conference at the Surrender Summit, Russian asset Donald Trump was forced to “clarify” his remarks yesterday in a hostage video (press conference) reading from notes prepared by his captors, Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump’s body language and demeanor clearly indicated that he did not support his captor’s “clarification.”

“I’ll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies. Always have … let me be totally clear in saying, and I’ve said this many times, I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

But then the hostage ad-libbed a qualification from the prepared remarks: “Could be other people also. There are a lot of people out there.” This totally negated what he just said.

I realize that there is a need for some clarification. It should’ve been obvious, I thought it was obvious, but I’d like to clarify just in case it wasn’t. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ The sentence should’ve been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ So just to repeat it, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’ and the sentence should’ve been, and I thought it would be maybe a little unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video. The sentence should’ve been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

So out of all the crazy shit that Trump said at his disastrous press conference at the Surrender Summit, he would only change one word taken out of context of everything else he said? That’s not a clarification.

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Kirkpatrick & Heinz Lead in CD2 Congress Fundraising, Marquez-Peterson Catching Up

Top row: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler Bottom row: Bill Kovacs, Barbara Sherry, Matt Heinz

Top row: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler — Bottom row: Billy Kovacs, Barbara Sherry, Matt Heinz

In the race for Congress in Tucson’s Congressional District 2, once again the top Democratic fundraisers were Ann Kirkpatrick and Matt Heinz, with Republican opponent Lea Marquez-Peterson catching up fast. The three also have the most cash on hand (see chart farther below).

The Democrats will speak at a CD2 Candidate Forum Thursday starting at 6:30 pm at Tucson High Magnet School, 400 N 2nd Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705.

Total campaign contributions

Name Total Receipts
Ann Kirkpatrick (D)  $ 1,755,795.57
Matt Heinz (D)  $    853,588.68
Lea Marquez Peterson (R)  $    707,289.85
Mary Sally Matiella (D)  $    256,723.88
Billy Kovacs (D)  $       71,922.37
Yahya Yuksel (D)  $       43,110.78
Brandon Ray Martin (R)  $       24,225.69
Bruce Wheeler (D)  $       21,344.76
Casey Welch (R)  $       14,196.70
Barbara Sherry (D)  $         6,815.77
Danny Morales (R)  $         6,364.60
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Confront Corruption Vigil Tonight in Tucson

By Michael Bryan

Inexplicably, no one had organized a Confront Corruption / Demand Democracy candlelight vigil for the Tucson area tonight, so I took it upon myself to remedy the problem. You can use this quick link to RSVP, if you like.

A candlelight vigil will take place on the front lawn of 4400 East Broadway Boulevard, starting at sundown (7:30pm), where Rep. Martha McSally has her district office. The location is clearly visible to passing traffic on Broadway. Bring signs and candles and/or chemical glow sticks to peacefully stand up for our democracy against the assaults by President Trump and his Republican-led Congress of inaction and unaccountability.