Call Senators; Postpone the Kavanaugh Vote!

Your Action

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.

Background

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.

Script

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.

Tell the Senate NO to Perjuring, Corrupt, anti-Rule of Law Judge Kavanaugh

Your Action

Call your Senators at (202)224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Background

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.

Script

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
  • whether affirmative action is Constitutional.

“Soft Power” – Why Russia’s is Much More Dangerous than the West’s

The Kremlin, the seat of Russia’s government, in Moscow.

By Kseniya Kirillova

This article was originally published on DemWritePress.

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:
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Urgent CTA: Protect Mueller – Reps Must Vote No on Rosenstein Contempt

Your Action

Call your Republican representative and tell them to vote NO on Rosenstein contempt.
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Trump’s GOP Gets Swampier

By Adam Cohen

Donald Trump was right.

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.

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Opposition in Russia & the U.S.: Similarities and Differences

Protester Brandon McTear holds a sign and the American Flag as demonstrators gather to protest against U.S President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries from entering the United States during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. February 4, 2017 REUTERS/Tom Mihalek

By Kseniya Kirillova

In 2015, I wrote an article in which I explored the primary methods that Russian propaganda uses to try to discredit the Russian opposition, and also the major mistakes made by the Russian opposition in countering the propaganda. Now, against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s presidency, arguably the largest opposition movement in the modern history of the U.S. has emerged. Russian propaganda, often amplified by Trump and the U.S. right-wing media, is also being used against the American opposition movement to Trumpism. This article explores the vulnerabilities in America’s resistance movement, and how they are both similar and different to the opposition movement in Russia.
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Kseniya Kirillova: Veteran KGB Agent Provides Insight on Butina

Maria Butina’s ties with Russian intelligence make her a “grave” flight risk, US officials say, and she should not be bailed before trial.

By Kseniya Kirillova

This piece was originally published in Kyiv Post.

For the past several weeks, Maria Butina, a Russian national who was arrested in the U.S. on July 15, has not left the front pages of the American media.

On July 18, a grand jury formally indicted Maria Butina on two charges: conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent.

Veterans of the Soviet and American intelligence services have tried to sort out whether the activist is a real spy or just one of the sources for the Russian special services.
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Dismantling Republican Faux-Patriotism

By Avi Bueno

One of the more common tropes in modern American politics is the claim that the Republican Party has a monopoly on patriotism.

A flag flying in front of a home or a “Support Our Troops” bumper sticker is often assumed to signify the right-wing political affiliation of its owner. However, it’s clear upon deeper reflection that this has been a troubling display of misappropriation, which has watered down patriotism to nothing more than idolatry and cultish allegiance to symbols and slogans, rather than the principles they embody. This is all the more troubling as the Republican Party has rapidly become the party of Trumpism.
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It’s Time to Rescue Old Glory from Trumpism and the un-American GOP

By Nick Knudsen

For too long, the left has allowed the right to own and define our patriotic symbols. With Trumpism taking hold, it’s time for the real patriots to fly – and fight for – our flag.

We’re at a pivot point in American history. The country could either succumb numbly to the expanding darkness, or emerge emboldened into the light. So, let’s have a moment of candor:

The modern GOP is an abomination. A permanent blight on the American story. The GOP (in its current incarnation) is not acting in the best interests of the American people.
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Support the Menendez-Graham Russia Sanctions Bill (S.3336)

Your Action

Call your Senators and urge them pass the Menendez/Graham Russia sanctions bill. (S.3336)
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Tell Congress to Pass Legislation to Protect Robert Mueller’s Investigation

Your Action

Call your 3 members of Congress and tell them to protect the Mueller investigation and the rule of law by passing the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644) (H.R. 5505).
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Friday, July 27th is National Collusion Call-In Day

Your Action

Call your 3 members of Congress (833-293-9454) and tell them to protect the Mueller investigation and the rule of law by passing the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644) (H.R. 5505).
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DETER Act is the last chance we have at federal 2018 election protection

Your Action

Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to pass the DETER Act (S.2313) and demand it include even stronger sanctions against Russia.
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Kompromat, Russian Special Services & “Provincial Stallions”

Screen grab from Russian website showing a man identified by Russian media as Deputy British Consul James Hudson having sex with two prostitutes.

By Kseniya Kirillova

This piece was originally published in EU Today.

The meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, as well as previous events, once again led to the media questioning the nature of the relationship between the two leaders. It should be noted that the actions of Trump himself, as well as of the Russian side, provided additional grounds for discussion of this topic.
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Confront Corruption & Demand Democracy Nationwide Vigils

Participants fill Times Square in New York City, singing patriotic songs, holding signs & demanding to be heard.

Members of Congress Joined the Public to ‘Confront Corruption & Demand Democracy’ at Nearly 200 Candlelight Vigils Nationwide

D.C. Event Among Nearly 200 Nationwide in the Wake of Trump’s Meeting with Putin, 12 New Indictments in Mueller’s Russia Probe

Hundreds of activists joined members of Congress to hold a vigil outside the White House Wednesday evening to confront the open corruption of the Trump administration and demand immediate solutions to fix our democracy. The D.C. activists’ vigil was amplified by nearly 200 similar events in 39 states and Puerto Rico attended by thousands of Americans nationwide. The Loyal Opposition helped organize & participated in the vigil.

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Tell Congress to Loudly Oppose Trump’s Treason in Helsinki

Your Action

Call your senators and House representative at (202) 224-3121 and demand they publicly condemn Trump’s treason.
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Protect our elections: Call MoCs to support the P.A.V.E. Act

Your Action

Call your senators and House representative at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to pass the P.A.V.E. Act to require states to use paper ballots and conduct mandatory audits.
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The Propaganda Schemes of TrumpPutinism

Illustration by Sean McCabe appeared in May/June 2016 Politico Magazine

By Kseniya Kirillova

This piece was originally published in Euromaiden Press.

While analyzing all that is happening today in the United States, I’ve often noticed the striking similarity between the behavior and propaganda of Trump with his entourage and Putin’s Russia. The similarities are so obvious that sometimes it seems that Trump and his team’s methodologies were written in Moscow.

Renown Russian opposition politician and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov recently described the typical game plan that an autocratic leader follows when he gets caught “red-handed.” This is what it looks like:

  1. Deny, lie, slander.
  2. Claim that it was a misunderstanding.
  3. Boast and jeer: “And what are you going to do about it?”

Now I will try to illustrate the similarity in the propaganda strategies of “Putinism” and “Trumpism” using specific examples.
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Urgent: Protect Mueller’s TrumpRussia Probe Today [The vote is now over]

Note: This vote is now over.

Your Action

Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to vote ‘NO’ on the nomination of Brian Benczkowski (Bench-Cow-Ski) to head the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
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Russia’s Continuing U.S. Intervention

Trump and Putin meet at the APEC Summit in Vietnam.

By Kseniya Kirillova

This piece was originally published in DefenceReport.

On 16 February, special prosecutor Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian citizens with interfering in the 2016 US presidential election. The indictment reads almost like a crime novel and describes in detail how the “troll factory” tried to influence public opinion in America.  It lists the use of fake accounts created with the stolen identities of the US citizens, information about specific actions, including the amounts allocated to them, etc. Most importantly, the text of the indictment plainly states that since February 2016 Kremlin operatives had focused on supporting two presidential candidates: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and then, once the primaries were over, only Donald Trump.

The cover page of Special Counsel Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian citizens.

In fact, there is nothing surprising in this document. Of course, before the publication of the indictment, we did not know the exact sums or names of the defendants, and not all of the fake accounts used by Russian special services were known. However, for anyone who closely followed the course of the election campaign, it was obvious that the Kremlin was doing all in its power to advance its candidate. Let’s try to list some of the most obvious signs that we had previously brought to public attention and which fully corroborate the investigation findings.
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