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Here's what Trump isn't tweeting about: the separated migrant kids he has yet to return to parents

Campaign Action Here’s what Donald Trump isn’t tweeting about. Monday, October 22, marks 88 days since a federal judge’s reunification order, yet dozens of migrant children kidnapped from their parents at the border continue to remain under U.S. cust
Daily Kos

Here's what Trump isn't tweeting about: the separated migrant kids he has yet to return to parents

Campaign Action Here’s what Donald Trump isn’t tweeting about. Monday, October 22, marks 88 days since a federal judge’s reunification order, yet dozens of migrant children kidnapped from their parents at the border continue to remain under U.S. custody, according to recent numbers from the administration. Of these 66 children, one is aged 5 or under. Of the 66 kids, the parents of 50 have already been deported. Trump officials have struggled to reunite kids with deported parents because of their own cruelty, after having torn apart families with no plan set in place on how to reunite them. Now, as 66 kids remain separated, Trump is floating officially reviving family separation as a midterms strategy to rile up his racist base. This is Trump at his most immoral—and cowardly. Even if he doesn’t intend to introduce family separation 2.0, he at least wants the idea out there for the Stephen Millers of his base. What he doesn’t want to discuss are the actual faces and names, like Helen, the child separated from her family for 55 days. She’s only five, but apparently officials thought her old enough to be able to sign away her rights in a legal document. “People shouldn’t forget that there’s families still going through this, that families still don’t have their children,” one of her advocates said in a new video. “It took 55 days for this child, with an advocacy organization that is very strong, with help from national groups  … all of those children, maybe they don’t have that.” GET OUT THE VOTE for migrant kids who need a voice. Just click here, enter your zip code, choose the event that works best for you,​ and RSVP to attend. Don't let up the pressure. Can you give $1 to Beto O’Rourke and other Daily Kos-endorsed candidates for Senate and House?

Conservatives got caught running a program to get federal clerks to influence their judges

Conservatives have been coveting federal judgeships for years. Since the 1980s, they’ve invested in networks and infrastructure, developing a conservative pipeline to federal clerkships and judgeships. These efforts have been led by the Federalist Society
Daily Kos

Conservatives got caught running a program to get federal clerks to influence their judges

Conservatives have been coveting federal judgeships for years. Since the 1980s, they’ve invested in networks and infrastructure, developing a conservative pipeline to federal clerkships and judgeships. These efforts have been led by the Federalist Society, generally. Its long-time head, Leonard Leo, is now among Trump’s most critical advisors—and his kingmaker, judicially speaking. Most of the Right’s efforts to produce bench-worthy specimens are in the open. Federalist Society chapters at law schools entertain regular visits from conservative judges and thinkers, for example. Their back-channel efforts have been assumed, but rarely exposed. Until the Heritage Foundation got a little too comfortable with how partisan conservatives’ approach to the judiciary is. xNot taking my eyes off this. https://t.co/nlHMg0XIXU— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) October 19, 2018 Heritage’s Federal Clerkship Training Program was established at donors’ behest with the purpose of indoctrinating law clerks. “Indoctrination” is not hyperbole here. The application asks them to explain conservative legal principles and name their favorite justice.

Florida's Andrew Gillum wows audiences in debate with troubled Trump-backed Republican

Florida’s candidates for governor met in their first debate on Sunday night, a meeting that was delayed by Hurricane Michael. Republican Ron DeSantis came out of the gate attacking Democrat Andrew Gillum, but his own record and his closeness to Donald Trump
Daily Kos

Florida's Andrew Gillum wows audiences in debate with troubled Trump-backed Republican

Florida’s candidates for governor met in their first debate on Sunday night, a meeting that was delayed by Hurricane Michael. Republican Ron DeSantis came out of the gate attacking Democrat Andrew Gillum, but his own record and his closeness to Donald Trump—DeSantis dodged a question on whether Trump is a good role model for kids—gave DeSantis a lot to (try to) defend. CNN’s Jake Tapper—and the state of Florida’s particular vulnerabilities—get some credit for putting a question about climate change right up front, prompting DeSantis to try to have it both ways (a habit of his throughout the campaign). “I don't want to be an alarmist. I want to look at this and do what makes sense for Florida,” said DeSantis, which in his book means denying climate science and the human causes of climate change while saying he’ll promote “resiliency” efforts for specific effects of climate change on Florida. Gillum doesn’t have to thread such a tricky needle: «What Florida voters need to know is that when they elect me governor, they are going to have a governor who believes in science,» he said, «which we haven't had for quite some time in this state.» DeSantis predictably also ran into trouble addressing his racist comments, especially the morning after the primary when he changed the story from his win to having urged Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by electing Gillum. That’s not the only thing DeSantis has to answer for on race, though, and he doesn’t have much of an answer: Mr. DeSantis, who has declined to return campaign contributions from a supporter who was forced to apologize for calling President Barack Obama a racist slur, said he served in Iraq with military personnel of all races. “I will be a governor for all Floridians,” he said. Gillum, by contrast, could be a lot more blunt: “He has only continued in the course of his campaign to draw all the attention he can to the color of my skin. The truth is, I've been black all of my life. So far as I know, I will die black.” GET OUT THE VOTE for Democrats. Just click here, enter your zip code, choose the event that works best for you,​ and RSVP to attend.

Video shows body double wore murdered journalist's clothes, as the heat on Saudi prince rises

Twenty days after Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi went into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never came out again, the official story continues to shift. And so does the response from Donald Trump. Meanwhile new, highly disturbing details have bee
Daily Kos

Video shows body double wore murdered journalist's clothes, as the heat on Saudi prince rises

Twenty days after Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi went into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never came out again, the official story continues to shift. And so does the response from Donald Trump. Meanwhile new, highly disturbing details have been added to a story of a man tortured and murdered while seeking documents for his upcoming wedding. On Sunday, the Saudi government moved away from calling Khashoggi’s death “accidental” and for the first time employed the term “murder.” As CNN reports, that admission comes as new security videos show that one of the team sent to assassinate Khashoggi did something both odd and chilling—he wore the clothes of the man his team had just murdered and dismembered. One member of the 15-man team suspected in the death of Jamal Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras around Istanbul on the day the journalist was killed, a senior Turkish official has told CNN. This one member of the Saudi team which arrived in Istanbul appears to be approximately the same age and size as Khashoggi. The other members of the team were all military members or bodyguards in their 20s or 30s. This suggests that the man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes was sent there for this specific purpose—to appear on security cameras after the murder in hopes of spreading the idea that Khashoggi had been seen after leaving the consulate. The murderer arrives at the consulate wearing casual clothing and a blue checked shirt, and departs wearing Khashoggi’s suit and dark shirt.

Watching Yemen deteriorate: Journalist Jane Ferguson reflects on a decade covering the Middle East

Beirut-based Jane Ferguson describes the cruel tactic of using “hunger as a weapon” in Yemen and South Sudan
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Watching Yemen deteriorate: Journalist Jane Ferguson reflects on a decade covering the Middle East

Beirut-based Jane Ferguson describes the cruel tactic of using “hunger as a weapon” in Yemen and South Sudan

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson dismisses killing of Jamal Khashoggi because nobody knew him two weeks ago

“The outrage is so false,” the Fox News host said. “It’s a game. Don’t play along”
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson dismisses killing of Jamal Khashoggi because nobody knew him two weeks ago

“The outrage is so false,” the Fox News host said. “It’s a game. Don’t play along”

To hell with civility: Enough with the pity party for Mitch McConnell, please

Given all the abuse people of color face, it’s shameful for the media to lecture citizens for raising their voices
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

To hell with civility: Enough with the pity party for Mitch McConnell, please

Given all the abuse people of color face, it’s shameful for the media to lecture citizens for raising their voices

Texas Republican, facing a tough Democratic challenge, opts out of Trump rally

Republican Rep. John Culberson’s Houston-area district went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he’s facing a tough challenge from Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, so Culberson doesn’t seem overwhelmed with gratitude that Donald Trump is coming to town. H
Daily Kos

Texas Republican, facing a tough Democratic challenge, opts out of Trump rally

Republican Rep. John Culberson’s Houston-area district went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he’s facing a tough challenge from Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, so Culberson doesn’t seem overwhelmed with gratitude that Donald Trump is coming to town. He’s skipping Trump's rally Monday night, in fact. Oh, sure, he has an excuse: «Congressman Culberson is attending a previously scheduled neighborhood meeting that represents around 30 neighborhoods in west Houston, and he will be talking about his work to strengthen the area's flood-control network,» Kelly said. The meeting may have been previously scheduled, but if Trump were popular, it’s overwhelmingly likely Culberson would be at that rally. Culberson isn’t the first unexpectedly endangered House Republican to opt out of a campaign event with Trump: Rep. Kevin Yoder made the same choice earlier this month when Trump was in Kansas. Get out the vote: Join the MoveOn text team. Double your impact: Help take back the House by giving $1 to each of these amazing Democratic women.

Morning Digest: Independent Gov. Bill Walker's withdrawal leaves Alaska a two-way governor's race

Our race ratings: Senate | Governor | House The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David
Daily Kos

Morning Digest: Independent Gov. Bill Walker's withdrawal leaves Alaska a two-way governor's race

Our race ratings: Senate | Governor | House The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● AK-Gov: In a dramatic 11th-hour move, independent Gov. Bill Walker announced on Friday that he was abandoning his bid for re-election and endorsing former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, turning what had been a three-way race into a one-on-one battle between Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy, a former state senator. Polls had shown Begich and Walker, who first won office in 2014 with the support of Democrats, splitting the vote in the center and on the left, putting Dunleavy comfortably ahead. Walker’s departure should therefore improve the chances that Democrats pick up this seat.​ Campaign Action ​It was precisely that split that Walker identified in his surprise announcement just before a candidate forum on Friday as the key reason for his decision, saying, «In the time remaining, we cannot win a three-way race.» Walker said that after speaking with “many Alaskans” about who would be the stronger candidate, he’d concluded, “Begich has the better odds.” Polling, however, has found Begich and Walker with very similar numbers against Dunleavy, and Walker didn’t elaborate further as to why he’d reached that judgment. But there are additional factors at play, including one that hasn’t had time to surface in the polls: the resignation on Tuesday of Walker’s lieutenant governor, Byron Mallot, over unspecified “inappropriate comments” he’d recently made, apparently to an unidentified woman. While Walker quickly chose a replacement, Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, Mallot’s resignation was the sort of distraction no campaign wants just weeks from Election Day. And that wasn’t the only liability Walker faced. Alaska is heavily dependent on the energy industry, and the decline in oil prices in recent years has hit the state’s revenues hard. As a result, the governor has feuded with the legislature over unpopular budget cuts for years, leaving him with negative approval ratings. Begich doesn’t carry that same baggage with him, though he’s still the underdog, and recent polls of a head-to-head contest have found Dunleavy leading Begich. However, the only data over the last few months has come from just one firm, Alaska Survey Research, a Democratic outfit, and Alaska is a notoriously difficult state to poll. What’s more, all of those surveys tested what was, at the time, a purely hypothetical matchup; voters may feel differently now that a two-way race is a reality.

Is the paranoia justified? Now Russiagate has leaked into the 2018 midterms

No matter what happens on Nov. 6, both parties are all set to blame foreign meddling. This is not a good thing
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Is the paranoia justified? Now Russiagate has leaked into the 2018 midterms

No matter what happens on Nov. 6, both parties are all set to blame foreign meddling. This is not a good thing

Search for alien life should be a fundamental part of NASA, new report urges

A blue-ribbon committee says science of astrobiology is worthy of deep integration into NASA’s exploration efforts
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Search for alien life should be a fundamental part of NASA, new report urges

A blue-ribbon committee says science of astrobiology is worthy of deep integration into NASA’s exploration efforts

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Two weeks and counting

Will Bunch/philly.com: Trump, Saudis, money … and a murder. We need a new Congress to find out what really happened In early 2017, as the world was still processing the geopolitical earthquake that had been the ascension of Donald Trump to the America
Daily Kos

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Two weeks and counting

Will Bunch/philly.com: Trump, Saudis, money … and a murder. We need a new Congress to find out what really happened In early 2017, as the world was still processing the geopolitical earthquake that had been the ascension of Donald Trump to the American presidency, a high-ranking GOP congressman — California's Ed Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee — rose to speak on the House floor. Royce's words about U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia entered the Congressional Record but made barely a ripple, except with his apparent audience — key, shadowy players in the connected inner circles of the rising Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known to all as MBS … and of Donald Trump. Royce's obscure speech was celebrated in an email by Trump ally and fund-raiser Elliott Broidy — at the time, newly minted deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee. Broidy had just maxed out in campaign contributions to the California Republican and boasted in his (later hacked) emails that not only had he influenced Royce to made a policy flip toward the Saudis and away from its rival neighbor, Qatar, but that he'd «caused» the congressman to mention a virtually unknown Saudi general in his address from the House floor. The world, by and large, did not know anything about that Saudi — Major General Ahmed al-Assiri — in early 2017. xWSJ: As Khashoggi case escalated into a diplomatic crisis, MBS was shocked by the backlash. He couldn’t understand why...such a big deal pic.twitter.com/B3Uosa5q1J— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) October 21, 2018

Open thread for night owls: Saudi Arabia turns to trolls to spread 'their own version of reality'

The New York Times reports on the Saudi Arabia's efforts to control online dissent using what is fast becoming one of the most reliable tools of autocracies worldwide: A government-run army of social media trolls. Saudi operatives have mobilized to harass cr
Daily Kos

Open thread for night owls: Saudi Arabia turns to trolls to spread 'their own version of reality'

The New York Times reports on the Saudi Arabia's efforts to control online dissent using what is fast becoming one of the most reliable tools of autocracies worldwide: A government-run army of social media trolls. Saudi operatives have mobilized to harass critics on Twitter, a wildly popular platform for news in the kingdom since the Arab Spring uprisings began in 2010. Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed who was fired on Saturday in the fallout from Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, was the strategist behind the operation, according to United States and Saudi officials, as well as activist organizations. Many Saudis had hoped that Twitter would democratize discourse by giving everyday citizens a voice, but Saudi Arabia has instead become an illustration of how authoritarian governments can manipulate social media to silence or drown out critical voices while spreading their own version of reality. [...] One arm of the crackdown on dissidents originates from offices and homes in and around Riyadh, where hundreds of young men hunt on Twitter for voices and conversations to silence. This is the troll farm, described by three people briefed on the project and the messages among group members. Its directors routinely discuss ways to combat dissent, settling on sensitive themes like the war in Yemen or women’s rights. They then turn to their well-organized army of “social media specialists” via group chats in apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, sending them lists of people to threaten, insult and intimidate; daily tweet quotas to fill; and pro-government messages to augment. TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES • THE WEEK’S HIGH IMPACT STORIES TWEET OF THE DAY xMiami Herald Editorial Board recommends Andrew Gillum for FL governor | Miami HeraldThe Miami Herald endorses Andrew Gillum (& Bill Nelson) https://t.co/UeBSVjrk85— Steven Hanvey (@RantsFromStevo) October 21, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2013—Bush not Cheney's puppet, Peter Baker's new book says. Iraq invasion done to kick 'somebody's ass': For more than a decade, ever since Dick Cheney used his assignment to select a vice presidential candidate for George W. Bush to pick himself, the conventional wisdom has been that the former secretary of defense and former CEO of Halliburton pulled Bush's strings. In 2008, for example, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of the Washington Post won a Pulitzer prize for their four-part 2007 series—Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency that reinforced the view of Bush as willing and weak-willed marionette. Peter Baker's 650-page new book—Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House—presents a different view of the relationship between Bush and Cheney. Baker, who covered the Bush administration first for the Washington Post and subsequently The New York Times (where he is now chief White House correspondent), agrees that Cheney was the «most powerful vice president» of modern times. But he does not present George Bush as second-in-command to the imperious Cheney […] As one senior official who came to rue his involvement in Iraq put it, “The only reason we went into Iraq, I tell people now, is we were looking for somebody’s ass to kick. Afghanistan was too easy.” That may well be the unnamed senior adviser's perspective, but this we-did-Iraq-to-prove-our-manhood assertion doesn't mesh well with the reality of the Iraq invasion that other Bush White House insiders—such as former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill—have confirmed was on the agenda in January 2001. The September 11 assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were a convenient excuse for pinning something on Saddam Hussein, even though he had nothing to do it. It wasn't just «somebody's ass.» Hussein's Iraq was a specific target of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century long before Cheney, one of its charter members, even considered running for vice president. While Cheney and Bush may well have been at odds, that wasn't enough to stop slaughter in Iraq, torture everywhere and a legacy of tens of thousands of brain-damaged American veterans plus a $3 trillion-plus hole in the Treasury.   Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Republicans are coming for your Medicare in 2019

Eight years ago, Republicans steamrolled their way to an overwhelming victory in the 2010 midterms. Powered by demonstrable falsehoods about a “government takeover of health care,” Obamacare “death panels,” and Americans being “taxed enough already
Daily Kos

Republicans are coming for your Medicare in 2019

Eight years ago, Republicans steamrolled their way to an overwhelming victory in the 2010 midterms. Powered by demonstrable falsehoods about a “government takeover of health care,” Obamacare “death panels,” and Americans being “taxed enough already,” the GOP gained 63 seats and a huge new majority in the House of Representatives. Perhaps the biggest factor in the Republican tidal wave was a monstrous lie about a mythical Democratic threat to Medicare, the health care program now serving almost 60 million Americans. Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell darkly warned, were planning to pay for Obamacare by “sticking it to seniors with cuts to Medicare.” Then as for years since, future House Speaker Paul Ryan cautioned the elderly about President Obama’s supposed “$800 billion raid on Medicare.” Now, none of it was true. The Affordable Care Act realized hundreds of billions of dollars in savings from Medicare providers, not beneficiaries, savings every subsequent Republican budget (including those from President Trump and Speaker Ryan) have maintained. And even as voters headed to the polls in November 2010, Ryan and his House allies were pushing a voucher scheme to privatize and ration Medicare, the first of many such GOP plans the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warned would dramatically shift health care costs on to seniors themselves. Nevertheless, the Republican scam to scare seniors worked to perfection. On Election Day 2010, voters ages 55 to 64 and those 65 and over—the GOP’s two most reliable demographics—turned out in force while those under age 30 stayed home. Eight years later, however, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and their GOP allies are singing a different tune. Having created trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see, McConnell this week pledged to take an axe to the programs at the center of the social safety net, especially for older Americans. Ignoring the $1.9 trillion, 10-year price tag for the GOP’s tax cut windfall for the wealthy, the Senate Minority leader declared that Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid” funding constitutes “the real driver of the debt.” As Bloomberg News reported this week: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blamed rising federal deficits and debt on a bipartisan unwillingness to contain spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and said he sees little chance of a major deficit reduction deal while Republicans control Congress and the White House. “It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said. And as Steve Benen detailed, Mitch McConnell has plenty of company among the GOP’s best and brightest:

Trump’s “junk” health care plans threaten people with mental illnesses

Unlike normal health care plans, these Trump-approved short-term plans can deny those with pre-existing conditions
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Trump’s “junk” health care plans threaten people with mental illnesses

Unlike normal health care plans, these Trump-approved short-term plans can deny those with pre-existing conditions

Examining the nature of true and pure 'evil'

Our favorite unplanned White House resident, Donald Trump, railed during a speech to law enforcement that Democrats who had attempted to stop the Supreme Court confirmation of accused serial sexual abuser Brett Kavanaugh were “evil people” because he w
Daily Kos

Examining the nature of true and pure 'evil'

Our favorite unplanned White House resident, Donald Trump, railed during a speech to law enforcement that Democrats who had attempted to stop the Supreme Court confirmation of accused serial sexual abuser Brett Kavanaugh were “evil people” because he was proven “totally innocent.” “It was very, very unfair what happened to him,” Trump continued, “false charges, false accusations, horrible statements that were totally untrue that he knew nothing about.” “It was a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil,” the president added. “And he toughed it out.” He then repeated these hoax claims during an Air Force One trip which featured Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, while railing at Democrats for even thinking about trying to impeach Kavanaugh for his multiple perjuries. “I’ve been hearing that now they’re thinking about impeaching a brilliant jurist, a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats using the Democrats’ lawyers, and now they want to impeach him,” Trump said. “I’ve heard this from many people. I think it’s an insult to the American public.” Clearly, Kavanaugh was not “proven innocent” since there was no actual investigation of the allegations against him, only a few FBI interviews of several persons who were hand-picked by the White House. However, Trump’s claim about “evil people” is something that should be further explored. For example, let’s compare what happened to Brett Kavanaugh to a person who would willfully commit to being an accessory after the fact to the torture and bone saw murder of a Washington Post journalist simply because he has a pending business deal with the primary suspects. Somehow that seems significantly more “evil” than spreading mean rumors about a sitting federal judge.

Learn how to make this healthy guacamole: Over 75 percent of fats from avocadoes are good fats

People are concerned about eating avocadoes because they’re high in fat, but not all fat is considered equal
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Learn how to make this healthy guacamole: Over 75 percent of fats from avocadoes are good fats

People are concerned about eating avocadoes because they’re high in fat, but not all fat is considered equal

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