Call your Senators and tell them to insist a vote on the Kavanaugh nomination by the Senate Judiciary Committee be postponed until the sexual assault allegation can be fully evaluated.
Everyone knew Brent Kavanaugh was an extremely conservative judge when he was nominated, raising serious questions about the future of Roe v. Wade, the pre-existing coverage provision of the ACA, affirmative action and the ability of a prosecutor to force a president to comply with a subpoena.
Most Republicans have appeared willing to ignore these issues and rush through an approval of Kavanaugh, without receiving most of his records, and despite apparent inconsistencies in his testimony with the documents the committee has received. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has scheduled a vote for Thursday.
However, a new and very troubling issue has arisen. A woman has come forward with a highly credible claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the claim. However, the woman’s claim is bolstered by the records of a therapist with whom she discussed the lingering trauma years ago and by a polygraph she took last week.
Many Democrats and at least two Republican Senators, Senator Jeff Flake (R-CO), who is on the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) have called for the committee vote to be delayed so that the claims of the accuser can be evaluated.
This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP].
I urge [Sen.____] to insist any vote on the Kavanaugh nomination be postponed until the sexual assault allegation can be fully evaluated.
The accusation has credibility and, if true, should disqualify Kavanaugh from sitting on the Supreme Court. Inconsistencies in Kavanaugh’s testimony already call his character into question, and it would be a travesty to confirm him to the Supreme Court without fully evaluating this credible claim of sexual assault.
Call your Senators at (202)224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
Everyone knew Brett Kavanaugh was an extremely conservative judge when he was nominated, raising serious questions about the future of Roe v. Wade, the pre-existing coverage provision of the ACA, affirmative action and the ability of a prosecutor to force a president to comply with a subpoena. The reversal of these settled cases would have profound implications on Americans’ well-being. And Kavanaugh’s views on whether the president is essentially above the law could have additional profound implications for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
There are many Republican Senators who would welcome adverse rulings on some of these policy items. However, no Democratic Senator supports reversing these Supreme Court rulings and some Republican Senators also favor upholding existing precedents on one or more of these issues.
In an effort to disguise Kavanaugh’s record and muddy the waters on whether he would respect these existing precedents, Trump and the GOP leadership has withheld an unprecedented number of Kavanaugh’s records. Of the those records shown to the committee, some were designated as “committee confidential,” meaning Democratic Senators who release them or reference them in questions risk being stripped of their Senate seat.
Democrats have forced the release of at least some of these documents – literally risking their Senate seats to do so. It is easy to see why GOP leadership attempted to hide many of these documents as they make it clear that Kavanaugh has misrepresented his positions in meetings with Senators and in the hearings this week. The document release also makes it clear there are controversial matters from his Bush years that Kavanaugh has denied being involved with, under oath, when he was in fact involved; and it appears he committed perjury in some of these instances.
This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP].
I urge [Sen.____] to vote No on Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh does not belong on the Supreme Court. His testimony and documents show several instances that appear to be perjury, which lead to serious concerns of corruption. They also show he has not been straightforward about:
whether a president can be investigated or subpoenaed;
Roe v. Wade;
whether the ACA pre-existing conditions requirement is Constitutional; and
There are several main channels of influence that Moscow uses to undermine Western democracy. Among them are propaganda (both broadcasting media to foreign audiences and bribing the local media), bribing officials and politicians, building corrupt ties through business lobbies, and working with various segments of the population to exacerbate friction as well as dissatisfaction and conflicts, which exist in all societies.
Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, continues to stubbornly ensure that Russian propaganda broadcasts two mutually exclusive theses: “It’s not us” and “We are just defending ourselves.” Russian authorities, and after them the media, have for several years successfully proven to the population that any meanness and crime are justified by the unprecedented state of “external threat.”
They assure that the United States is to blame for all that Russia does today because they “organized” the orange revolution at the Russian border, supported and continue to support the opposition, cultivate a “fifth column,”“lobby their interests in Russia” and so on. Thus, Russia is trying to prove that its actions are only a “mirror image” of Western foreign policy. However, this statement is absolutely untrue.
The Russian threat is incalculably more destructive and terrible than the activities of the United States. Apart from espionage which all great states conduct, I shall attempt to concentrate on the differences in so-called “soft power.” These differences manifest themselves as follows: Read More
1. Different goals.
The “soft power” used by the USA in Eastern Europe and Russia throughout the period following the fall of the USSR was not intended to destroy the target countries. Quite the opposite: the democratic institutions the United States tried to introduce into the post-Soviet space, had they been fully enacted, would have led to notable improvements in the development of the country and the standard of living. This includes anti-corruption initiatives and attempts to create a transparent and independent judiciary, as well as procedures to insure the fairness of elections, etc.
Throughout my last years in Russia I maintained close ties to supporters of human rights in my native Urals, and I can confirm that the grant projects implemented by local human rights defenders and supported by foreign funds were in accordance with their officially announced goals. Moreover, if the USA really wanted to “destroy Russia” as averred by Kremlin propaganda, it would have been fully possible to do so in the 90’s. However, rather than this, America provided colossal assistance to Russia, both material and institutional.
In contrast, Moscow does not conceal its view of the USA as its main, deadly and irreconcilable enemy, the essence of evil, the creator of international terrorism, and the primary threat to the very existence of Russia.
Therefore, the Russian authorities set as their task to weaken the USA and Europe to the greatest possible extent, to undermine Western democracy, to destroy existing institutions with one overriding goal – to render these countries one way or another dependent on the Kremlin and incapable of resisting Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.
Russia has no interest in introducing any constructive institutions or positive changes in the West; it wants to convert the mass media into a source of propaganda and fake news, and convert business into a criminally corrupt mechanism to spread its influence and self-serving lobbying. Even the supposedly positive goals announced by Moscow turn out to be lies; not a single positive program exists in today’s Russia. This is why the Kremlin supports any, often mutually exclusive, ideologies and trends that could lead to the collapse of the “enemy” country.
For example, by wholly supporting Trump and his battle against key American institutions, Moscow also supports the man who claims to be Trump’s irreconcilable enemy who calls for the secession of California from the USA – Louis Marinelli. The goal of Russian influence is the absolute destruction of the West.
2. Difference in methods.
The United States uses “soft power” in a transparent way, consistent with democratic principles and its stated goals. America attempts to translate American values via mass media, the activities of NGO’s (including grants for foreign organizations), the possibility of foreign internships, educational programs, etc. Russian political scientists use almost the same channels of influence over Western societies with the difference that Russia does not create values for those it takes under its wing, but rather fear – and false fear, at that. Fear, hatred, and lies such as “Ukrainian fascism” or “American aggression” – these are the basic products of Russian propaganda.
The basic methodology of Kremlin propagandists is not to introduce positive examples or concrete models for development, as is the practice of Western countries, but rather to take advantage of any compromising material, disagreement, human fallibility, hatred, prejudice or fear, etc.
They use stereotypes, name calling, the demonization of certain groups of people, the destruction of identities, the creation of false templates and clichés that make it difficult for people to regard one another objectively.
As a result, even the most insignificant contradictions are taken as insurmountable, and completely natural difficulties are presented as catastrophes. The distortion of reality and drawing various political and social forces into a war of everybody against everybody else – this has always been the favorite method for destabilization used by Russian special services.
One should not discard from consideration the criminally corrupt contacts developed by Russian business, hacker attacks and false information intended to destroy the very concept of truth itself. And possibly the most important difference from the USA is the use by Russia of criminals and terrorists for military purposes, especially in Europe. Even without taking into account the unproven suspicion of many experts concerning possible contacts with ISIS by Russian intelligence, it is sufficient to cite the example of the annexation of Crimea, the war in Donbass, and preparations for the unsuccessful coup in Montenegro to confirm that international terrorism in Europe has become the norm for today’s Russia.
3. A tendency toward conspiracy.
It is important to remember that Russia is a totalitarian state headed by former special service operatives, above all the KGB. It is the FSB that controls the majority of social organizations, mass media, all big business, expatriate organizations abroad, many cultural programs, funds, etc. The suspicion any given Russian structure serves as a conduit for Kremlin policy, thus having no independence, is completely justifiable because suspicions of conspiracy, recruitment, and similar activity has frequently been used by Russian special services in relations with their “partners.”
This is why the Russians very often judge western countries according to their own Russian perspective. Former KGB officers simply are incapable of imagining the existence of independent mass media, a strong civil society with a plethora of social organizations free from government interference, uncensored creative arts, an independent judiciary, etc. Therefore, the spread of Russian propaganda and western adherents of conspiracy theories about a “world government” or a “deep state” in the USA are laughable lies or conscious projections by Moscow of its own operating style, manifested domestically with a very different society and state that exists according to its own laws.
It is obvious that the Russian threat demands a serious response from western society because, using all the advantages of the free world, Moscow resorts to methods that are unacceptable for western governments. And such a threat merits an adequate response.
Call your Republican representative and tell them to vote NO on Rosenstein contempt. Read More
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) never expected their July threat to impeach Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to succeed. It was a procedural move that didn’t require Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) consent. However, it would not have passed the House and certainly never received the necessary 2/3 vote in the Senate to remove Rosenstein. However, a failed impeachment vote would embarrass Ryan and the GOP close to the midterms.
The plan all along has been to leverage the threat of an impeachment vote into a vote on holding Rosenstein in contempt of Congress, which requires Ryan’s cooperation. Ryan caved and agreed that when the House returns from recess after Labor Day, Goodlatte can move forward with a contempt hearing in the House Judiciary Committee he chairs if he determines Rosenstein has not fully complied with the unprecedented GOP House subpoena seeking confidential information about the on-going Russia investigation. It is nearly certain Goodlatte will determine Rosenstein has not complied and that his committee will rubber stamp his determination, sending the matter to the full House for a vote.
If the House holds Rosenstein in contempt, Trump will use it as a pretext to fire Rosenstein and replace him with a loyalist who will strangle the Mueller investigation. Rosenstein is “Mueller’s boss” and his replacement would have enormous power to stifle the investigation.
A contempt vote in the House is likely in early September. All House Democrats will vote against it. We will need 22 Republicans to also vote against it to protect Rosenstein and preserve the Mueller investigation.
If you have a Republican representative, call them and tell them they must vote NO on any attempt to impeach Rosenstein.
This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP].
I want [Rep. ____] to vote No on any attempt to hold Deputy AG Rosenstein in contempt.
A vote for contempt is a vote to kill the Mueller investigation. Mueller must be allowed to complete his investigation.
There was substantial election fraud in 2016. Trouble is, it seems he was the one who committed it.
In an unprecedented debacle of a day in presidential history, on Tuesday Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes. A few scant moments later, Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, plead guilty to eight criminal charges, including two where he directly implicated the president in felony violations of campaign laws. According to Cohen, Trump was directly involved in arranging hush money payments to women, including porn stars, with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, and he did this to affect the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Yes, President Donald Trump is now officially an unindicted co-conspirator. Moreover Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, then suggested that Cohen may have information about Trump committing crimes involving collusion with the Russian government to secure the presidency.
And what effect did all this have on Trump’s behavior? Very little. The next morning the president took to twitter and attacked Cohen while praising Manafort. He even stated that Cohen “plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime.” I suspect such “legal” analysis would not be very convincing to either Cohen or Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And of course, he once again called this investigation, which has already either directly or indirectly netted SEVEN criminal convictions, a “witch hunt.” This doesn’t even include the indictments of sitting Congressmen Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter. They were Trump’s first two supporters on the Hill. It seems there are a lot of witches in Washington these days.
But the larger question is where this leaves our country. Trump has been directly connected with these two grave misdeeds, whether he believes the conduct is illegal or not, and there has been rampant suggestion that he is involved in many more.
The hacks into the Clinton campaign and distribution of the emails. The infamous meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower and the subsequent cover ups and lies. Potential obstruction of justice over firing FBI Director James Comey and continually pressuring the Justice Department to end the Mueller investigation. If one “third-rate burglary” was enough to take down President Nixon, what are we to make of all these allegations against Trump? Especially when so much of his conduct is already public record; and while that is not dispositive, it sure seems to indicate that Trump committed multiple crimes.
In 1999, Senator Lindsay Graham, then a Congressman, argued passionately that a president could be removed from office even if he had not committed a crime. Of course, that was when impeachment proceedings were pending against Democratic President Bill Clinton. Graham is a Republican. Now that it’s a Republican president desperately treading water to avoid drowning in a cesspool of criminal activity, Graham demurs, citing a lack of charges involving collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And let us not forget, Clinton’s conduct, though sordid, tawdry and thoroughly improper, was not done with an intent to influence the election. All of Trump’s actions were performed to affect election results or cover up possible crimes involving the election.
It is not surprising that Graham changed his tune. After all, he was likely wrong in 1999, as the Constitution states that a president may be impeached if he commits “Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes or Misdemeanors.” However, that seems to be beside the point for Graham, and most members of Congress. No, their issue isn’t one of Constitutional semantics. It’s instead the fact that Trump is on their team, and he’s their cleanup hitter. So while Graham called Trump a “kook” and said he was “not fit to be President” during the 2016 campaign, he now gives Trump a pass on conduct that was far worse than anything Bill Clinton imagined, and even praises him. Republican leaders Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have done the same. Cruz even wrote a gushing tribute to Trump for Time Magazine.
If there were a Democratic majority in Congress, this attitude by influential GOP members wouldn’t mean very much. A Democratic Congress would likely do its job, fulfill its Constitutional mandate, act as the co-equal branch of the American government that it is and determine whether impeachment articles should now be drafted. Instead, we see the president arguing that he has the power to act as his own judge and shut this incredibly prolific investigation down, musing about pardoning potential witnesses against him, defaming members of the investigation team and openly questioning whether crime is crime while watching his spokesperson saying truth isn’t truth.
Since the GOP is in charge, however, we have this president – conceivably so steeped in Russian interference with our election that many suspect Vladimir Putin controls him – continuing to enact controversial and even downright immoral policies.
And Congress has not done much, if anything, to stop him. Worse, they may compound the problem by going forward with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, lest we forget, has questioned whether the Supreme Court decision in the Watergate case that ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation was correctly decided; written that a president should not be subject to criminal investigations while in office; and argued that a president has the authority to fire a Special Counsel.
Will Congress allow a president, facing inquiries into whether he committed criminal conduct, to fire the man investigating him, and will they approve the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice hand-picked by that same president? Would they do it knowing that this Justice has previously written that the president has the power to discharge the team investigating his misconduct and still avoid prosecution? Or do their pronouncements that “we are a nation of laws” really mean “the laws don’t apply to everybody, and we get to pick and choose who has to follow them and who doesn’t”? During the Obama presidency, while successfully blocking the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, Ted Cruz cited historical precedent of the Supreme Court hearing cases with only eight members to justify this shameful Senate inaction. Will he apply that standard now, when the appointment is made by a president swaddled in scandal, or will he be cheering his team on as they denude democracy?
Looming gigantically over the both the president and Congress is the potentially game-changing question of whether Michael Cohen will cooperate with Mueller. Cohen was employed by the Trump organization for over a decade. Trump described Cohen as “my personal lawyer.” Cohen was involved in numerous real estate deals, including the putative transaction for Trump Tower Moscow. We can only imagine what he might know about Trump’s dealings with Russian nationals and what might be in – or conveniently omitted from – Trump’s taxes. While Trump tried to deny he had any dealings with Russians, Reuters reported that they had invested $100 million in Trump properties and Donald Trump Jr. admitted in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” These could all be legitimate business transactions, but there’s so much smoke swirling around Trump and Russia, and he’s lied so frequently, that’s it’s almost impossible to grant him the presumption of innocence. As Shakespeare wrote, the truth will out; when it does, those in power will make their judgments. Hopefully the umps won’t be swayed by any hometown crowds. But it gets harder each day to imagine a Republican majority doing anything other than avoiding the press and occasionally clucking their tongues while failing to reign in a president who would be king.
Finally (and doesn’t it seem that this always comes last) there is the question of how this will affect the populace. There are national elections in 2018 and 2020. The people will have a chance to make their voice heard. Does any of this make an impression upon them? Do people care about the rank corruption that seems to permeate throughout the newly-formed Trump GOP? His supporters don’t seem to mind. They keep electing his acolytes in primaries, regardless of whether they represent failed policies as in Kansas, brandish firearms at people as in Georgia, or pal around with far right conspiracy theorists as in Arizona. Polling suggests that Democrats will capture the House but not the Senate. Will Kavanaugh then get through? Will that grant Trump his “get out of jail free” card?
Or, with or without Trump’s help, can Russia actually rig our elections? If they can, which party will they favor? Because creating a Congress divided sharply along party lines might help them more than full Republican control.
Donald Trump famously pledged to “drain the swamp.” Instead, he packed it with rats, mined it for natural gas, erected an oil rig and set it on fire. And, much like the havoc such a disaster would wreak on the environment, our political climate will invariably be harmed.