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Rwanda – And the Politic of Women Leaders

Rwanda has become the jewel of East Africa in terms of economic development and growth. A landlocked country which has the highest population per square mile in the world, the country is working to solve a lot of problems including the lack of basic infrastructure. It has been a while since the genocide which has left an indelible mark on the country – but it is moving forward with an sustained economic growth of about 5% a year.

It also is the only country in Africa whose Congress is majority woman. This has led to policies decidedly more vested in the growth and development of the country than the traditional “Strongman” governments on the continent.

The Congress and the male President Kagame, often clash over policies.

The last thing his supporters want is for a woman to run against him for his job.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Africa

 

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“Hail! Hail! The Witch is Dead!” – Republican Killercare Dies

Hopefully the end of this pathetic saga… And these clowns will get on with fixing the problems they caused in Obamacare trying to insert poison pills when the first Bill was passed.

 

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Asking the Right – Why Are Republicans Hiding the Evidence of Trump Treason

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Been saying for a while that the Russian hacking and collusion treason went far beyond just the Chumph and his merry band of morons and nitwit children.

Here, Digby begins asking the right questions at least.

Russia scandal goes well beyond Trump: GOP leaders definitely knew about hacking — did they benefit too?

Leading Republicans knew about Russian hacking long before Trump’s nomination. They said nothing and did nothing

Despite Europe’s clear disdain for President Trump it seems as though he’s over there every other week. In fact he’s arriving in France on Thursday at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron to help celebrate Bastille Day and have dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Considering that Trump has implied repeatedly that Paris is nothing but a hellhole these days, it’s a testament to just how desperate he is to get out of Washington. The heat is on and he wants out of the kitchen.

You have certainly heard that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer to get some promised dirt on Hillary Clinton that was represented as being part of a Russian government program to help Trump get elected. Now we know their breathless protestations that they didn’t know nothin’ about no Russians were lies, and we also know that this particular tawdry scheme reached into the highest levels of the campaign. We’ll have to wait for the next shoe to drop. There is always another shoe.

There was one new story on Wednesday that added an interesting detail to the saga and points to a possible larger conspiracy. McClatchy reported that House and Senate investigators as well as the Justice Department are looking at the Trump campaign’s digital operation, one of Jared Kushner’s pet projects (financed by big-daddy benefactor Robert Mercer), to determine if it may have worked with Russia’s sophisticated micro-targeting and propaganda program during the 2016 campaign.

McClatchy also reported that the Justice Department is looking into “whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.” That’s an issue I’ve written about previously here on Salonbased on some post-election investigative reporting by the New York Times.

This raises once again the question of just what was going on in the Republican Party during this period. After all, it wasn’t just Donald Trump who benefited from Russian hacking. The GOP-dominated House majority was a major beneficiary as well.

Remember, the congressional leadership knew in 2015 that it was happening. Reuters has reported that the so-called Gang of Eight (Republican leaders in Congress) was told that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party but that the information was so top secret they could not share it. As we know, hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee and the personal email of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. But they also hacked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and information gleaned from that hack was put to use in some 2016 campaigns for Congress.

Also recall that one month before Donald Trump Jr. took that meeting with the Russian lawyer, House Majority Leader Kevin “loose lips” McCarthy was talking about Trump’s connections to Vladimir Putin in a room full of Republicans:

A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016 exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. […]

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.

This was the day after news had broken that the Russians had hacked the DNC and Ryan and McCarthy had just come from a meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister, who “had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.”

Republican leaders kept this from the public for a year, then lied repeatedly about it when confronted until someone produced an audiotape, at which point McCarthy, Ryan, et al., said it was just a joke. Maybe it was. But we know for sure that this idea about Trump being under Putin’s thumb was in the ether in GOP circles even as the party was getting ready to nominate him as its presidential candidate.

Fast forward to late August when the intelligence community was becoming frantic over the evidence of Russian interference and Director of National Intelligence John Brennan held private classified briefings with eight top congressional leaders, telling then that there was evidence the Russians were helping Donald Trump and that unnamed advisers to the Republican nominee might be working with them. In September, intelligence officials convened a big meeting with the Gang of 12, meaning the House and Senate leadership along with chairmen and ranking members of committees on intelligence and homeland security. It was assumed this would result in a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” to protest this threat to the integrity of the American democratic process.

That was an erroneous assumption. The Republicans refused to sign anything that implicated the Russian government, only agreeing to tell state elections officials to beware of “malefactors” attempting to hack election software. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly “an act of partisan politics.” That was that.

Since the election, when Republican officials aren’t actively helping the White House cover up and misdirect, as House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes did, with a few exceptions they still dismiss the scandal, even in the face of documentary evidence like the Donald Trump Jr. emails.

There’s a lot of punditry every day bemoaning the fact that President Trump refuses to admit that the Russian interference in the campaign happened, seeing it as a stubborn (and insulting) rejection of the U.S. intelligence community and a dangerous unwillingness to take needed action to prevent it happening again. But really, why is Trump the only one on the hook? The Republican leadership has turned a blind eye to what was happening since 2015. They knew. They may have even known more about it than Trump did, at least in the beginning. They did nothing about it then and have shown no signs that they plan to do anything in the future.

It’s not all on Donald Trump. He may been the principal beneficiary but the leaders of his party aided and abetted the crime. We may just learn that they benefited from it too. 

 

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Congressmen File Official Articles of Impeachment for Trump/Chumph

It is about time!

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Congressmen officially file articles of impeachment against Donald Trump — and say ‘Republicans will join’

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) on Wednesday formally filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

According to a statement, Sherman and Rep. Al Green (D-TX) are filing for impeachment over what they believe is obstruction of justice in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, as well as revelations from the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.

“Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President,” the statement reads. “Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country.”

“Filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road,” Sherman adds. “But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually—many, many months from now—Republicans will join the impeachment effort.”

Sherman has indicated that he may invoke the “privileged motion” of impeachment filing — a parliamentary rule that requires the entire House to vote regardless of whether the House Judiciary Committee chooses to take it up.

“I would hope that the Article, once submitted, would receive expeditious consideration by the Judiciary Committee. However, if it becomes clear that such consideration is not forthcoming, I (after consultation with colleagues and leadership) will make a privileged motion that the entire House of Representatives immediately debate the Article,” he wrote.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Trump Impeachment

 

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That John Brown Moment – 2017

Bleeding Kansas” , the open war between anti- and pro- slavery groups started when Pro-slavery forces moved into Kansas and attempted to steal the vote to make Kansas a slave state.

It marked a turning point because Abolitionists who were the victims of slaver violence and terrorism began to fight back resulting in virtual Civil Wars along the Kansas Missouri border.

Substitute pro-slavery for today’s Republicans – and see if this doesn’t sound familiar –

Through the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Congress kept a tenuous balance of political power between North and South. In May 1854, the Kansas–Nebraska Act, created from unorganized Indian lands and territories of Kansas and Nebraska, permitted residency by U.S. citizens, who were to determine their state’s slavery status and seek admission to the Union. Immigrants supporting both sides of the question arrived in Kansas to establish residency and gain the right to vote. However, Kansas Territory officials were appointed (1854) by the pro-slavery administration of PresidentFranklin Pierce (in office 1853–1857), and thousands of non-resident pro-slavery Missourians entered Kansas with the goal of winning elections. They captured territorial elections, sometimes by fraud and intimidation. In response, Northern abolitionist elements flooded Kansas with “free-soilers.” Anti-slavery Kansas residents wrote the first Kansas Constitution (1855) and elected the Free State legislature in Topeka; this stood in opposition to the pro-slavery government in Lecompton. The two Territorial governments increased as well as symbolized the strife of Bleeding Kansas…

It was rumored in the South that thousands of Northerners were arriving in Kansas. Believing these rumors, in November 1854, thousands of armed pro-slavery men known as “Border Ruffians” or “southern yankees”, mostly from Missouri, poured into the Kansas Territory and swayed the vote in the election for a non-voting delegate to Congress in favor of pro-slavery candidate John Whitfield.[4] The following year a Congressional committee investigating the election reported that 1729 fraudulent votes were cast compared to 1114 legal votes. In one location only 20 of the 604 voters were residents of the Kansas Territory. In another 35 were residents and 226 non-residents.

Not much different from the situation America is in today.

John Brown, who had led anti-slavery forces in Kansas led a raid against the Harper’s Ferry West Virginia Armory in 1859. While the raid failed, and John Brown was executed…It established that Abolitionists would no longer tolerate slaver abuses and crimes, and would strike back.

In America today there are several hate attacks by Trump’s supporters against minorities, LBGT people, immigrants, and progressives. Peaceful protests are increasingly met with violence.

From the headlines as of the last two weeks –

  1. ‘Not racist’ member of ‘White Privilege Club’ tries to run over Trumpcare protesters with motorcycle
  2. White St. Louis cop shot black off-duty officer — then claimed it was a ‘friendly fire’ incident  
  3. An unarmed black police officer shot in his front yard after identifying himself as a policeman by a white officer.
  4. Trump administration cuts funding to group fighting neo-Nazis
  5. The Philando Castile jury was stacked with pro-gun, pro-cop, middle-aged white people
  6. Texas man charged with hate crime for burning mosque
  7. TEXAS MADE ATTACKING COPS A HATE CRIME; THESE STATES COULD BE NEXT
  8. Man charged with hate crime in phone threat to Muslim-American …
  9. Vandalism At Naperville Deli Leads To Hate Crime Investigation
  10. Amnesty calls for NI laws to be bolstered as hate crimes soar
  11. Central NY hate crime assault came after men were asked to get off …
  12. Kansas man charged with hate crime in killing of Indian
  13. Man charged with 2 Bellevue hate crimes
  14. Fulton Mayor: Hate crime suspects previously made a threat on my …

A good summary of the attacks by Trump supporters and right wing haters is here.

This just in…

Ray Tensing trial: Jury deadlocks, mistrial declared in Ohio cop’s murder retrial

This list doesn’t include those not charged, or those attacks on whites by alt-right and neo-nazi Trump white wingers. Right wing sites continually use language encouraging violence against the left.

The rise of the Second KKK in the US only abated when the victims began to shoot back,

Was the shooting of Republican Scalese our “John Brown” moment?

I hope so.

 

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Trumpcare = Blood Money

It is very hard for a government to take away a “right” already granted.

When you look at Revolutions in Third World countries, you find some common themes. The Governments of those dictatorships or quasi-dictatorships are controlled by a group representing the interests of a small minority of the population, typically the wealthy. The Government uses increasingly Draconian measures to force the population’s compliance. Here in America, Republicans are doing just that. Examples of those measures to suppress dissent include laws in several state which allow Chumph supporters to run down and murder protesters, and an attempt by Republicans in some states (including DC, which the Republican majority House now controls) to criminalize dissent though the abuse of felony laws to punish protesters for nonviolent protest.

When you start locking up your detractors in prisons…you have paved the way for violent revolution. When facing a felony conviction or death for waiving a sign on the public streets – there is very little difference in the punishment for blowing up buildings. The white-wing Republican government in America isn’t far from that line.

The Trump(don’t)care legislation is another example of abuse of the majority for the benefit of the rich. A lot of those folks who will be getting abused voted Republican. While the Second Amendment whackos are too consumed by racism to care…There are a lot of poor Republican Soccer Moms and caretakers of the sick and elderly out there who do.

Democrats have one chance to get this right. They need to do smething to stop this steamroller besides pretty speches.

 

 

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Session Wants to Perjure Himself…Again

Here is a guy who has already lied to Congress. And by all rights should have been tried and convicted of perjury and kicked out of office.

In the never-ending Chumph reality show…They are going to let him on the stand to lie his ass off …Again.

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Jeff Sessions makes last-minute request to testify in public so ‘people hear the truth directly’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly wants his Tuesday testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee to be open to the public.

Following allegations that Sessions failed to disclose a third meeting with Russian officials, the attorney general canceled his Appropriations Committee testimony and agreed to testify in a closed session to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Democratic lawmakers scolded Sessions for refusing to answer questions in a session open to the American people. And on Monday, the former Alabama senator relented.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said that Sessions is calling for his Tuesday testimony to be available to the public.

“He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him,” a spokesperson said.

 

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