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  1. #3916

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Tierney Sneed
    ‏Verified account

    Ahead of House Oversight's plans, as part of its census probe, to hold a contempt vote tomorrow for AG Barr and Commerce Sec. Ross, DOJ writes Cummings warning that Barr will request that Trump invoke executive privilege for the subpoenaed materials

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #3917

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Oversight Committee

    “I rise in strong support of this resolution. Ladies and gentlemen, the Trump Administration is engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate.“ -Chairman @RepCummings

    “And it is not just about #Russia. It is so much broader than that. This #coverup spans across numerous investigations, and it extends from the White House to multiple federal agencies of the government to completely separate outside parties.”

    “Administration officials now question the fundamental basis for Congress to conduct oversight. They object to Committee rules and precedents that have been in place for decades under both Republican and Democratic leaders.”

    “The #TrumpAdministration is challenging the very Constitutionality of congressional oversight—and it is happening in broad daylight!”

    “Several weeks ago, #PresidentTrump vowed publicly,“We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” Since then, he has refused to work on legislative priorities, such as infrastructure, until Congress halts all oversight and investigations of his Administration.”

    "He wants us to forego our responsibility under the Constitution as a condition of passing laws to help our constituents!"

    “The #President’s arguments are baseless. He suggests that all subpoenas from Congress are partisan and somehow related to the #Russia probe. But that is not correct.”

    "In the Oversight Committee, we have issued eight subpoenas. Six of them are bipartisan. And none of them is about Russia. They involve issues like the Census, immigrant children separated from their families, and the President’s finances."

    '“Over and over again, it does not matter what the topic is—the tactics are the same. And this begs the question—what are they covering up? “

    "Tomorrow, our Committee will vote on whether to hold the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce in contempt of Congress for refusing to produce documents relating to the Census. Again, these subpoenas are bipartisan, and this issue has nothing to do with Russia. "

    “Nobody is above the law—even the #President. Today’s resolution reaffirms that Congress has independent authority under the Constitution to investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and wrongdoing so that we can pass laws that are effective and efficient on behalf of our constituents.”
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  3. #3918

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    It is not about covering up anything anymore. It is about power. Tiny wants to make it clear he answers to nobody. The precedent is therefore set.
    You have to arrest these people. I don't know how, sure, but you have to show some force. It is the sole way bullies understand.
    Missing winter...

  4. #3919
    Director of Nothing
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Imagine if....oh never mind.

    Nuala McGovern
    So I got to ask
    a question as the Trumps did a pub crawl thru Doonbeg - is his trip a good use of US taxpayer money? ‘We’re just trying to have a good time’ the answer, poses for selfies, refuses to answer further & ducks into Madigans pub surrounded by fans &security
    6:43 PM · Jun 5, 2019 from Clare, Ireland · Twitter for iPhone

    He's since dumped the wife I believe. Still how did the "best journalists on the planet" not uncover and report this? Charlie Sheen-esque?

    It's the other one that dumped the wife - for a Fox news host who was once married to Gavin Newsom, somehow. Eric's still married, I think the wife is pregnant again (I saw a photo from when they all ambushed the queen, but I don't care to google to check).

  5. #3920

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    I get them confused. And sorry, not sorry about that. One is just as feckless as the other.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #3921

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    House panel votes to hold attorney general, commerce secretary in contempt over census probe, the next step toward a court battle

    By Matt Zapotosky and John Wagner June 12 at 4:55 PM

    The House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents about the administration’s decision to a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

    The nearly party-line vote of 24-to-15 came hours after President Trump asserted executive privilege to shield the materials from Congress. Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who has accused Trump of impeachable acts, was the lone Republican to join Democrats on the contempt vote.

    On Tuesday, the Justice Department had warned the committee that if it moved toward holding Barr in contempt, the attorney general would ask Trump to assert privilege to protect the materials. The department revealed the assertion in a letter to the committee, which called the contempt vote “unnecessary and premature.”

    In the Justice Department’s view, the privilege assertion undercuts the contempt finding because it prevents the attorney general from turning over materials lawmakers had subpoenaed.

    With the new development, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) delayed the contempt vote until later in the day so that members could read the Justice Department letter.

    “We must protect the integrity of the census and stand up for Congress’ authority under the Constitution to conduct meaningful oversight,” Cummings said in explaining the need for a contempt vote.

    He also questioned why Trump had waited to assert executive privilege on the brink of a contempt vote, given that the subpoenas in question were issued two months ago.

    “This begs the question,” Cummings said. “What is being hidden?”

    Wednesday’s developments marked a further escalation in the fight between House Democrats and the Republican administration over the investigatory powers of Congress that is playing out in multiple committees and the courts.

    Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump voiced frustration with the intensity of the House oversight.

    “Every day, they’re going to be going more and more, after, after,” he said in the Oval Office. “It’s the only way they think they can win the election.”

    If the Oversight Committee contempt resolution is approved by the full House, Cummings would be empowered to ask a federal court to order Barr and Ross to comply with subpoenas that sought documents related to the 2020 Census decision and testimony from a senior Justice Department official.

    It’s also possible that Democratic lawmakers and the Justice Department could still work out a deal before any court ruling.

    The Justice Department and the Oversight Committee are essentially on the same trajectory as the Department and the House Judiciary Committee were last month, when the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt for failing to turn over materials related to former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe.

    In that case, though, the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department later worked out a compromise. That contempt process is in “abeyance,” though Democrats have taken steps to make sure they have the ability to sue the department in court.

    Democrats say the larger issue is that the White House is almost completely rejecting congressional oversight — stonewalling requests for documents and blocking witnesses from testifying on various subjects. The administration, meanwhile, argues that Democrats are requesting far more materials than they should legally have access to in an attempt to embarrass the president, and they have been unwilling to negotiate.

    Democrats have already gone to federal judges in Washington and New York to seek enforcement of subpoenas targeting Trump’s financial records in the possession of private companies. They have scored initial wins in trial courts, but appeals are likely to play out over the coming months.

    The Oversight Committee authorized Cummings in April to issue subpoenas to Barr and Ross for documents related to the census decision and for a deposition of John Gore, principal deputy assistant attorney general.

    But the Justice Department said it would not comply with the subpoena for Gore to testify. In a letter last week to Barr, Cummings cited the attorney general’s “unprecedented order” to Gore to defy the subpoena as part of the reason for the contempt votes.

    Democratic lawmakers have accused the Trump administration of stonewalling their efforts to investigate Ross’s March 2018 decision to add the citizenship question, which the government says it needs to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

    In a statement last week, the Commerce Department noted that Ross has previously testified before the committee and that the department has turned over nearly 14,000 pages of documents to the panel.

    Cummings said Wednesday that many of those documents were already publicly available, had heavy redactions or were not responsive to the committee’s request.

    Opponents of the citizenship question have argued that it will suppress responses to the survey among immigrant communities, resulting in an undercount in the areas where they live.

    The population count from the Decennial Census is used to allocate $800 billion a year in federal funding and determine congressional representation and redistricting.

    A key issue in the challenges to the citizenship question is how it came to be added. Ross originally told Congress that his decision to add it came solely in response to a December 2017 request from the Justice Department, but lawsuits later produced emails showing that Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, had been pushing for the question for months before that.

    On Wednesday, Cummings said evidence showed that Ross was pushing for the addition of the question at the urging of the White House.

    In March of this year, Democrats on the Oversight Committee grilled Ross about the citizenship extensively, with several asking whether he had lied under oath, and one demanding his resignation.

    The committee also met with Gore that month on the matter, but Cummings said he refused to answer more than 150 questions, citing ongoing litigation.

    Three federal judges have struck down the census question, saying Ross’s actions in adding it were in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

    The Supreme Court heard the case April 23. Evidence in the case concluded with oral arguments that day, and it appeared that the conservative majority seemed inclined to agree with the government that the decision to add the question was within the authority of the commerce secretary.

    During Wednesday’s Oversight Committee meeting, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the top Republican on the panel, questioned why Democrats were opposing the addition of a citizenship question.

    “Why don’t the Democrats want to know how many citizens are in the country?” he asked.

    Last month, new evidence emerged suggesting that the citizenship question was crafted specifically to give an electoral advantage to Republicans and whites.

    The evidence was found in the files of the prominent Republican redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller after his death in August. According to lawyers challenging the question, it reveals that Hofeller “played a significant role in orchestrating the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census to create a structural electoral advantage for, in his own words, ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’ ”

    The lawyers also argued that Trump administration officials purposely obscured Hofeller’s role in court proceedings.

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) questioned why it appeared a deliberative process for adding a question to the census was abandoned, with the administration instead moving quickly to include the question of citizenship.

    “I want to know why this question was magically added, after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose, saying this will hurt Democrats and help Republicans,” she said.

    During a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Wednesday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats were determined to continue investigating the Trump administration.

    “It’s not about Democrats or Republicans, partisanship or anything like that, it’s about patriotism,” Pelosi she said, according to a senior Democratic official who requested anonymity to relay remarks that were not public.

    During the meeting, several committee chairmen with investigative powers updated the caucus on their work, the Democratic official said.

    Mike DeBonis and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  7. #3922

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Former White House aide Hicks agrees to testify to House panel investigating Trump

    By Josh Dawsey and Rosalind S. Helderman June 12 at 5:10 PM

    Hope Hicks, a top aide to President Trump during his 2016 campaign and his first year in the White House, has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Hicks will be the first former Trump aide to go before the committee investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But Hicks might not answer many of the panel’s questions, citing the president’s assertion of executive privilege on events that occurred inside the White House.

    Earlier this month, the White House instructed Hicks not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena for documents related to her White House service.

    Robert Trout, a lawyer for Hicks, declined to comment.

    The testimony will occur behind closed doors, said the individuals, but a transcript will be released to the public. A member of the White House Counsel’s Office will be present for the testimony as part of the deal between Hicks and the committee, according to an individual familiar with the planning who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the arrangements.

    The testimony marks a significant breakthrough for the committee. It has struggled to secure witnesses and evidence amid a fight with the White House and took the unusual step earlier this week of bringing in John W. Dean III, a lawyer from Richard Nixon’s White House, to talk about obstruction. The committee also wants to hear from Donald McGahn, the former White House counsel at the center of the Mueller report on Russian interference, and Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, among others. But Trump has said he does not want any of his advisers to cooperate, calling the probe a “do-over of Mueller’s probe.

    Hicks was one of five aides formally subpoenaed by the committee — which is probing the obstruction question, among other issues. Mueller’s report said there was insufficient evidence to show a conspiracy between Russia and any Trump associates and decided not to reach a conclusion about whether the president committed obstruction, based on long-standing Department of Justice policy.

    Hicks began working for Trump before he announced his candidacy and has been a trusted confidante for three years, shaping his image, managing his moods and counseling him on nearly all matters, from the substantive to the trivial. She was well-liked in Trump’s West Wing and held inordinate power due to her close relationships with the family, even as she acknowledged to colleagues that she was not a policy guru. She often spent hours in the Oval Office every day, and the president affectionately called her “Hopey.”

    She was present for many of the most contentious episodes during both the campaign and in the White House before she left the West Wing in February 2018, and she has kept in occasional touch with the president and some of his closest advisers.

    Hicks told others in the White House that she hated Washington and was looking forward to another chapter of her life. She now works at Fox Corporation in Los Angeles as a public relations executive.

    Hicks was interviewed by Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee, and her departure from the White House came within 48 hours of her telling the committee that she had told “white lies” for Trump.

    In a letter sent to the committee last week regarding documents, Trout drew a distinction between records the committee requested that pertained to the campaign, when Hicks served as a senior adviser, and documents related to her White House service. He agreed to turn over documents regarding her campaign activities. But he indicated that White House sign-off was needed for documents related to her time in the White House.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  8. #3923

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Alex Mallin
    ‏Verified account
    6m6 minutes ago

    Wow. The Office of Special Counsel finds that @KellyannePolls repeatedly violated the Hatch Act and **is recommending her removal from federal service.**

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  9. #3924

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Dino Grandoni
    ‏Verified account

    Kellyanne, when asked last month about her past Hatch Act violations:

    “Blah, blah, blah,” she said. “If you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.” ( …)

    Eamon Javers
    ‏Verified account
    11m11 minutes ago

    I was just standing in an office in the WH press office when Kellyanne Conway came in. I asked for her reaction to this. She pointed to the door and said “can you leave, please?” Later, I asked her again, and she said: “I have no reaction. Why would I give you a reaction?“
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #3925
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    They've already forgotten about when Kellyanne told viewers to go buy Ivanka's stuff?

  11. #3926

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    They've already forgotten about when Kellyanne told viewers to go buy Ivanka's stuff?
    There is so much 💩 to deal with every day some of it has to be let go or you'll never catch up.

    Do you talk about this? Tiny admitting to committing treason? The economy about to go belly up? The daily violations of established law and procedure? McConnell & his grift? And that's just some of the stuff.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. #3927

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Capitol Comments

    Mighty convenient that there’s an attack on a Norwegian tanker & a Japanese tanker in the #GulfOfOman the day after @realDonaldTrump shoves his foot in his mouth & while PM Abe is wrapping up meetings with Iran...isn’t it? Ironically, Trump even mentioned Norway last night too.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  13. #3928

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    There is so much �� to deal with every day some of it has to be let go or you'll never catch up.

    Do you talk about this? Tiny admitting to committing treason? The economy about to go belly up? The daily violations of established law and procedure? McConnell & his grift? And that's just some of the stuff.
    What about this?

    USDA research agencies will move to Kansas City region, Perdue announces

    Republican senators representing Missouri and Kansas welcomed Thursday’s announcement. “We’re home to some of the hardest working farmers in the country, so this is a fantastic decision by the USDA,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said in a statement.

    NIFA and ERS workers will join nearly 5,000 other USDA employees in Kansas City, said Cowden, whose group proposed the region to USDA last year.

    “We’re within 300 miles of 13 land grant universities,” said Kimberly Young, president of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, a development council initiative. The area is an epicenter of the animal health industry, Young said, with more than 300 such companies nearby.

    But current employees of the two agencies, mostly Democratic lawmakers and a bipartisan coalition of former USDA leaders warned that the move, more than 900 miles from Washington, would devastate the two agencies.

    “This is not just a change of address,” said Jack Payne, University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture. “It cuts NIFA off from the collaboration with other federal funding agencies in D.C. that are its major partners.”

    NIFA unionized earlier this week, and ERS unionized in May in the face of the decision. Union officials have promised to fight the move.

    “The announcement today should be met with great skepticism that Secretary Perdue has the best interests of either federal employees or American agriculture in mind,” said Kevin Hunt, acting vice president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3403, which represents ERS employees.

    Gale Buchanan, USDA chief scientist under President George W. Bush, and Catherine E. Woteki, chief scientist in the Obama administration, predicted the relocation would set ERS back “five to 10 years” due to a loss of specialized employees, as they wrote in a 2018 letter to Congress signed by dozens of agricultural leaders.

    “There isn’t a plan in place for how to manage this,” Woteki told The Washington Post. The offices, which together employ about 700 people when fully staffed, are roughly two-thirds the size they were during the Obama administration.

    Workloads have ballooned as ERS employees have quit at double the normal rate since October, The Post reported. Acting officials have filled several vacant ERS leadership positions.

    USDA lacks a chief scientist, who oversees ERS, NIFA and other USDA research offices. Trump’s first nominee, radio host Sam Clovis, withdrew from consideration over his ties to the investigation of Russia’s influence on the 2016 election. Sen. Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.) placed a hold on Trump’s second nominee, former Dow Chemical executive Scott Hutchins, because the senator opposes the relocation, Van Hollen’s spokeswoman said. In January, Purdue appointed Hutchins Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

    “Our overarching concern is what happens to the important scientific work that these two agencies perform at USDA on behalf of the public, on behalf of farmers and rural communities and everyone who eats,” said Karen Perry Stillerman, an analyst who specializes in food and the environment at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group that advocates for researchers.

    NIFA currently rents costly offices on the D.C. waterfront, and ERS leases space in the nearby Patriots Plaza. In April, Perdue announced a plan he dubbed “OneNeighborhood,” which seeks to consolidate workers into two USDA-owned buildings in the capital region. But ERS and NIFA employees slated for the move, per an April 19 memo obtained by The Post, were excluded from OneNeighborhood.

    Peter Winch, an organizer for American Federation of Government Employees, said the two agencies held all-hands meetings on May 22 to discuss buyouts and severance payments. Once employees receive relocation letters, they will have 30 days to decide whether to move. USDA will offer 30 or fewer buyouts per agency, he said employees were told.

    Using an internal ERS document known as the “stay-go” list, analysts at the Union of Concerned Scientists identified nearly 80 jobs scheduled to remain in Washington. The bulk belong to administrative staff, analysts who perform market outlook estimates and those who collect data. Economists and other ERS researchers who make conclusions from that data are likely to be reassigned to Kansas City, according to this analysis.

    But USDA disputed that. “Of the 76 ERS positions staying in the National Capitol Region, over half of these positions perform core research functions,” USDA spokeswoman Meghan Rodgers said in an email.

    Democratic lawmakers have also vowed to try to block the move. House appropriators recently prohibited funds for the move in a 2020 appropriations bill.

    “It is alarming that the administration is rushing ahead with this relocation in order to circumvent Congress,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), said in a statement. Hoyer vowed “to explore all options to reverse this decision.”

    Senate Democrats also introduced a bill to keep the agencies in the national capital region, mirroring House legislation introduced earlier this year by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Lawmakers have questioned whether the secretary has the authority to relocate these offices without congressional approval, prompting an investigation by the USDA’s inspector general office.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  14. #3929

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave at end of month, Trump tweets
    By Washington Post Staff June 13 at 4:16 PM

    “Our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” President Trump tweeted. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

    This is a developing story. It will be updated.

    From Post #3913 in this thread
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  15. #3930
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Governor? Help us...

    Sent from my SM-J737P using Tapatalk

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