Skip to content

NRA Investigated By FBI For Funneling Russian Money To Trump Campaign

January 18, 2018

When we last left the NRA they were grinning at the increase in gun sales from the mass shootings that the previous uptick in sales allowed for in order to have yet more sales and more death and …well you get the idea.

But now there is news of a different kind involving the NRA.

The FBI is looking into financial dealings of the NRA that strikes to the heart of our republic.

“The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” McClatchy reports.

“FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA.”

Transgender Issues In The Military And Law

January 18, 2018

For the first time, transgender Americans are able to openly enlist in the U.S. military. Many have been fighting towards that goal for so long.

Hundreds of transgender people are expected to join the thousands already serving this year. With the social progress that has been made in communities around the country it seems the military community will also be a little bit more equal and a little bit more just than in years past. This is not to say that many rough spots do not exist.

The Pentagon is expected to complete its review of transgender military service next month with the president making further decisions on the policy regarding transgender personnel in March. However, the courts put a wrench in Trump’s plan to ban transgender military service, but his Department of Justice has pledged to continue to defend the president’s policies on the matter following the Pentagon’s review.

I place my hopes in the courts as they have produced the constitutional foundations for issues in the past that we hold dear today.

Where We Are With Government Funding–Shutdown–As Of Early Thursday Afternoon

January 18, 2018

The House Freedom Caucus Leaders urged Republican leaders to move off their plan to fund government until Feb. 16 — saying they still don’t have the votes. (Freedom Caucus controls something between two dozen and three dozen votes). House Republican leadership’s plan funds government through the month, and the military for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The senate majority leader intends to keep the chamber in session through the weekend and stage a series of votes.

On Thursday morning, McConnell sent his GOP members an email imploring them to stick together and assign blame to Democrats. Several Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Rounds of South Dakota have said they will oppose a House spending bill that could be voted on Thursday night. Rand Paul a also a reported NO on the CR.

Senate Republicans will attempt to originate its own CR if the House can’t pass one — either tonight or Friday. It’s unclear what the contours of what that package would look like, or whether they have the votes to pass it.

Meanwhile the Trump WH is not sure what they want. Trump tweeted that “CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!” but then later the WH put out a statement that “The President supports the continuing resolution introduced in the House.”

“‘We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,’ Senator Lindsey Graham stated as he walked into the U.S. Capitol and was told of Trump’s morning tweets. … ‘This has turned into an s-show for no good reason and the only way out of this thing is to grow up a little bit — and I think that’s going to happen,’ Graham added.”

Yeah—-I am laughing too.

Why National Democrats Can Be Pleased With Special State Senate Victory In Wisconsin

January 17, 2018

Wisconsin is rightly buzzing over the election news from Tuesday. Democrats picked up their first state legislative seat in 2018 as the party’s candidate won a special election for a state senate seat in Wisconsin’s 10th District.

Though Donald Trump had won the rural district by about 17 points in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic nominee Patty Schachtner defeated her Republican opponent for the open seat by a comfortable margin of about 10 points. The seat had been in GOP hands for 17 years.

The news is setting off alarm bells for Republicans, who are increasingly worried about a Democratic wave in the 2018 midterms. Prior to Wisconsin’s powerful showing there was already growing evidence of what is keeping Republicans up at night.  Wisconsin voters have now only added to the heft of these findings.

  • In the 74 special elections for both state legislatures and Congress across the country since Trump won that they tracked, Democrats performed, on average, 11 points better than they did in those areas in the 2016 presidential election.
  • While the average movement was in Democrats’ favor, there was a fair amount of variation. In 49 of those races, the Democratic candidate’s margin was better than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016. In 23 races, the Republican candidate did better than Trump. In the other two, it was about a tie.
  • Democrats aren’t just running up the score in already-blue areas. The party made many of its biggest improvements over the 2016 presidential in districts Trump won in the South and Midwest. This goes to show that the 2016 elections don’t at all seem to have heralded doom for Democrats in regions that tipped to Trump — in fact, it’s many Republican-held seats in those regions that suddenly seem to be flipping to Democrats for the first time in years.
  • Overall, 14 of those elections have resulted in a seat flipping from Republican to Democrat, compared to just a single one that flipped from Democrat to Republican (a state Senate seat in Massachusetts). The seats flipping to Democrats famously include the Alabama US Senate seat now occupied by Doug Jones, but also eight state house seats and 5 state Senate seats.

Porn Star Tells About Sex With Donald Trump In 5,500 Words

January 17, 2018

Porn star Stormy Daniels tells In Touch that she had sex with Donald Trump in his Lake Tahoe, NV, hotel suite in 2006 — a story that was corroborated by her good friend Randy Spears and supported by her ex-husband. She also took a polygraph test.

The sex was textbook generic. I actually don’t even know why I did it, but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.

After having sex, Daniels said: “We hung out for a little while and he just kept saying, ‘I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna call you. I have to see you again. You’re amazing. We have to get you on The Apprentice.’”

InTouch is planning to run the entire unedited interview it conducted with Daniels.

All 5,500 words of it.

Who Gave Best Soliloquy At Madison City Council Meeting?

January 17, 2018

Last night there was ample evidence to see why more people do not make an attempt to run for the Madison City Council.  It was most frustrating watching alders gazing at their navels while at times seemingly treating their speaking time as if it were a session with a therapist.  It was truly dispiriting to hear the most outrageous and nonsensical musings of citizens who surely just found a place to warm up from the frigid winter weather and then decided to turn the proceeding into open mic night.

Do not get me wrong.  I love democracy in action and have spent many, many hours over the decades wrapped up in C-SPAN happenings from the floor of congress.  And yes, it can be frustrating, but there is always the knowledge that the national shenanigans were taking place in Washington, far removed from where I live.   But to know that what I witnessed last night was only a few blocks away made the council proceedings almost painful to endure.

Alderman Mike Verveer brought up a motion to over-ride a mayoral veto of a liquor license request for Taco Bell on State Street.  He started out by saying the move was not likely to change the outcome from the first failed attempt to over-ride two weeks ago.  The only thing clear about his move was a desperate desire to carry water for a business interest that never had the votes to pass.   When Mayor Paul Soglin correctly pointed out the council members were being played as patsies over these types of liquor requests Vereer got touchy and irked.  But the mayor scored the win and proved why it never looks good to bring a matter to a vote just to look ‘concerned’.

The rag-tag group of locals who showed up to lodge some of the most dis-jointed and off-the-wall complaints about the police underscored what the vast majority know all too well.  That being it is vital that the grown-ups in this city govern and rule.  With wild and at times even crazy comments the rabble opined on the police and why the council should not allow for the hiring of 8 new officers and the funds to pay for them.  One of the oddest-hatted of the group tried to pin his lack of a degree from UW-Madison on Governor Walker’s policies, but given how poorly he presented himself before a governing body the only question is how he ever first was admitted to our esteemed school?


For over four hours the alders spoke to the issue of the police.  No one can say they debated the matter as the final outcome was never really in doubt.  While they all took pains to show their intent to have facts presented and the arguments weighed anyone watching at home fully understood this was a stage presentation of “Who Can Present The Best Soliloquy?”  I admit it was a close call but the winner had to be Alder Larry Palm, who in spite of stating he thought his cold was returning, did not limit his time to self-analyse his views while looking like he might fall asleep at his desk.  The vote came near 1 AM, and was 17-2.  The long play acting ended.

For those who care about the police–as I do–this was an important outcome.  It was a good night for those who know Mayor Soglin is a smart man who fights for the city.

But it was not a good evening for anyone who cares about effective governing and putting the best and brightest in focus for the city to watch.  Our council looks like they spend more time preparing to speak for the camera so they can massage and assuage the loudest and rudest elements in the city–based on who showed up to comment–than just cutting to the core and doing their job.

And so it goes.

America’s Original Sin Examined On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 15, 2018

I thought this article should be posted today, MLK Day, as it speaks to our history and the turmoil in which we find ourselves. THE LINK WILL WORK AS ONE READ IS FREE EACH MONTH AT FOREIGN AFFAIRS. I have listened to the author Annette Gordon-Reed and find her most grounded in history and also most gifted with the art of communication. Take a few minutes today and reflect on MLK, our history, and the way forward.

As a result, American slavery was tied inexorably to white dominance. Even people of African descent who were freed for one reason or another suffered under the weight of the white supremacy that racially based slavery entrenched in American society. In the few places where free blacks had some form of state citizenship, their rights were circumscribed in ways that emphasized their inferior status—to them and to all observers. State laws in both the so-called Free States and the slave states served as blueprints for a system of white supremacy. Just as blackness was associated with inferiority and a lack of freedom—in some jurisdictions, black skin created the legal presumption of an enslaved status—whiteness was associated with superiority and freedom.

%d bloggers like this: