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Former Rep. John Conyers dies at 90

Former Rep. John Conyers dies at 90 | 27 Oct 2019 | Former Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the longest-serving African American House member in congressional history, died Sunday at age 90. Conyers, a veteran of the Korean War and a participant in the Civil Rights movement, was a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and chaired the House Oversight and Reform Committee from 1989 to 1995. He also introduced the bill establishing a national holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Conyers was also the first African American to serve as the dean of the House, or the longest continually serving current member.

Northern California wildfires force nearly 200,000 people to evacuate

Northern California wildfires force nearly 200,000 people to evacuate --Hurricane-force winds, some with gusts topping 100 mph, sent multiple wildfires hurtling across California, leading to a statewide emergency. | 27 Oct 2019 | Turbocharged by winds reaching hurricane force, wildfires whipped across Northern California on Sunday, burning tens of thousands of acres, driving almost 200,000 people from their homes and seriously injuring a firefighter. The Kincade fire north of San Francisco continued to spread, injuring two firefighters, one of whom was airlifted to a hospital with serious burns, said Jonathan Cox, assistant chief of the San Mateo County division of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CalFire. Whipped into a frenzy by sustained winds above 70 mph -- category 1 hurricane level -- and gusts that topped 100 mph, the fire almost doubled in size from Sunday afternoon to Sunday evening, reaching more than 54,000 acres, and containment had fallen to 5 percent.

Former Bill Clinton adviser: Hillary Clinton thinks 'God put her on the Earth' to be president

Former Bill Clinton adviser: Hillary Clinton thinks 'God put her on the Earth' to be president | 27 Oct 2019 | Former adviser to President Clinton Dick Morris said Sunday that Hillary Clinton most likely wants to get into the 2020 presidential race because she thinks "God put her on the Earth" to be president. Morris told John Catsimatidis on his radio show that the major question revolving around the 2020 election is whether "the ghost of Hillary Clinton" will enter the election. "My feeling is that she wants to," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad." [The devil put her on Earth to be president (not)! --Michael Rectenwald]

Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid snowballing 'throuple' scandal

Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid snowballing 'throuple' scandal | 27 Oct 2019 | California Rep. Katie Hill -- who's been under fire for engaging in a "throuple" relationship with a former female campaign staffer -- announced Sunday that she's resigning from Congress. The freshman lawmaker was also the target of a House Ethics Committee probe over allegations she was romantically involved with her current legislative director, Graham Kelly. Hill had vehemently denied being involved with Kelly -- which would be a violation of House rules -- but did admit to a sexual relationship with former campaign staffer Morgan Desjardins while married to her estranged husband, Kenny Heslep.

California to train poll workers how to interact with transgender voters

California to train poll workers how to interact with transgender voters | 27 Oct 2019 | All poll workers in California will be trained on how to properly interact with and assist transgender and gender-nonconforming voters when they cast ballots. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) announced the new initiative last week, saying his office is partnering with the Equality California Institute ahead of next year's presidential primary. The training will provide county registrars with materials detailing best practices for assisting voters whose "gender identity, expression, or pronouns don't match their name on the voter rolls," according to a news release from Padilla's office.

House leaders threaten contempt if former White House official defies subpoena

House leaders threaten contempt if former White House official defies subpoena | 27 Oct 2019 | House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump late Saturday threatened contempt proceedings against a former White House deputy national security adviser if he fails to appear for a scheduled deposition Monday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), acting Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a letter that Charles Kupperman's lawsuit to prevent him from responding to a House subpoena was "without merit." On Friday, Kupperman asked a federal judge to rule on whether he must appear, saying he faced the "irreconcilable demands" of both the House subpoena and the White House's announcement that it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump addresses the nation and confirms that 'coward' ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by U.S. Special Forces

'He died like a dog' Donald Trump addresses the nation and confirms that 'coward' ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by U.S. Special Forces and died 'whimpering and crying and screaming' after being cornered inside his Syrian lair and detonated his suicide vest --Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead --U.S.-led forces descended on al-Baghdadi's lair in Idlib, Syria overnight --Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest in the raid --Trump teased Saturday night that he would be making a 'major statement' --Al-Baghdadi issued a chilling call to arms in 2014 declaring an Islamic 'caliphate' --Under his leadership, smaller-scale higher-frequency attacks became the norm | 27 Oct 2019 | Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS [I-CIA-SIS] leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed as the result of a U.S. Special Ops forces raid on his hideout in northwest Syria. 'Last night the United State brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,' Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room, where just a week earlier he announced a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds. 'He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world,' he continued as he described the events of the raid. Al-Baghdadi, the president confirmed, detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three children, during an overnight targeted attack in Syria's Idlib province.

ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed in US raid in Syria, Trump confirms

Breaking: ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed in US raid in Syria, Trump confirms | 27 Oct 2019 | US President Donald Trump has announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during a US military raid in northwest Syria, confirming an avalanche of rumors on the terrorist's death. "Al-Baghdadi has been killed…in a daring nighttime raid," Trump said in a live address from the White House. The US troops involved in the elimination of the terrorist "accomplished the mission in grand style," he said. The IS leader met his end "crying and screaming" due to being terrified by Americans might, Trump stated.

Russian MoD says US protects oil smugglers in Syria, offers aerial images as proof

Russian MoD says US protects oil smugglers in Syria, offers aerial images as proof | 26 Oct 2019 | Moscow released photos it claims show the real reason the US wants to keep troops in eastern Syria: to protect the illegal oil trade and reap large profits. On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry published aerial images of what it said is clear proof of Syrian crude oil being massively smuggled outside of the country "under the strong protection of the US." The black and white images are said to show scores of tanker trucks, supposedly loaded with crude oil, scattered in the oil-rich northeastern province of Deir ez-Zor...The trucks taking part in the smuggling operations are being protected by "US troops and the personnel of the US private military companies," Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

California wildfires force more than 50,000 evacuations after 'historic wind event,' more power shutoffs

California wildfires force more than 50,000 evacuations after 'historic wind event,' more power shutoffs | 26 Oct 2019 | Authorities have ordered at least 50,000 people in Northern California to evacuate on Saturday as a potentially "catastrophic" wind event could amplify the wildfires directed-energy induced fires that have scorched the area. The entire towns of Healdsburg and Windsor are set to evacuate ahead of strong winds that may lead to erratic fire behavior. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office expects to be the biggest evacuation in the county in over 25 years with Sheriff Mark Essick saying its the largest evacuation order he's experienced in his 26-year career.

FBI ambushed Michael Flynn, then celebrated: Court documents

FBI ambushed Michael Flynn, then celebrated: Court documents | 25 Oct 2019 | The FBI under James B. Comey "unilaterally" made the decision to interview retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, excluding input from the Justice Department, ignoring the White House counsel and leading Flynn to believe agents were arriving as friends to discuss terrorism, his lawyer says. Mr. Comey, after being fired by President Trump, later bragged in public that he sent Peter Strzok and another agent to the White House on Jan. 24, 2017, knowing he could capitalize on a chaotic place. Sidney Powell, Flynn's attorney, told District Judge Emmet Sullivan in a new court filing that FBI higher-ups strategized the day before for what she called an "ambush."

Swedish Daily Laments Museum Taxidermy Gender Disparity

Swedish Daily Laments Museum Taxidermy Gender Disparity | 25 Oct 2019 | A skewed gender balance among animals which have been stuffed and placed in museums can lead a distorted picture about the species, Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden's largest dailies has warned, its journalistic focus sparking netizens' wide disbelief. According to a study cited by Dagens Nyheter, there is a disturbing 'male' majority among museum taxidermies. This is especially true of birds, where the share of females is "merely" 40 percent. Among mammals, though, the figures were almost equal, with females accounting for 48 percent, the study concluded after analysing some 2.5 million museum objects. Nevertheless, according to Dagens Nyheter, this may lead to researchers having the "wrong picture" about certain species.

US may send troops, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields, Pentagon chief says

US may send troops, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields, Pentagon chief says | 25 Oct 2019 | Pentagon chief Mark Esper has said that the United States is considering sending American troops and armored vehicles to help protect oil fields in northeastern Syria controlled by US-allied Syrian Kurds, AP reports. Esper told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels that the US wants to ensure that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS [but still I-CIA-SIS]) militants don't get access to the oil, which could allow the insurgent group to obtain resources to rebuild. The US is considering repositioning American troops and mechanized forces, which include armored vehicles, into the area around the oil fields, according to Esper.

Russian gun activist Butina to touch down in Moscow Saturday after US prison release - envoy

Russian gun activist Butina to touch down in Moscow Saturday after US prison release - envoy | 24 Oct 2019 | Maria Butina is finally coming back home, after spending over a year behind bars in a bizarre case of anti-Russian hysteria that saw the gun rights activist libeled in the media and locked up as "unregistered foreign agent." She is expected to leave a federal prison in Tallahassee, Florida, and would be transferred from to a migrant center in Miami on Friday, Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov confirmed. He said the same day Butina would board the plane to Moscow and is set to touch down in the Russian capital on Saturday morning.

DOJ opens criminal probe into 'Russiagate' investigation after administrative review - report

DOJ opens criminal probe into 'Russiagate' investigation after administrative review - report | 25 Oct 2019 | The US Department of Justice has reportedly moved to launch a criminal inquiry into the roots of the 'Russiagate' probe, which fizzled after failing to uncover any damning evidence of collusion between the US president and Moscow. A months-long review launched by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the ill-fated Russia investigation, repeatedly denounced by US President Donald Trump as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt," has been transformed to a criminal inquiry, multiple media outlets reported late Thursday, citing US officials. The move, if confirmed, would give DOJ officials more leverage in conducting the ever-expanding investigation, such as issuing subpoenas to prospective witnesses and filing criminal charges. It's yet unclear if the grand jury had been convened in the case, a source told Reuters.

GOP senators frustrated with Romney jabs at Trump

GOP senators frustrated with Romney jabs at Trump | 24 Oct 2019 | Sen. Mitt Romney's (R-Utah) public battles with President Trump are taking a toll on his relationship with fellow GOP senators, with many resenting the implication that they're afraid of standing up to the president...Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of Trump's biggest defenders, told The Hill he's frustrated with Romney's regular critiques of Trump and suggested his colleague might have unresolved feelings about failing to defeat former President Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign. "Because one election didn't turn out the way that Mitt wanted it to turn out," Inhofe said Wednesday, "he's critical of the president."

Voters believe US two-thirds of the way to 'edge of a civil war' - poll

Voters believe US two-thirds of the way to 'edge of a civil war' - poll | 24 Oct 2019 | The average American voter believes the U.S. is two-thirds of the way to the "edge of a civil war," according to a new Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service poll released Wednesday. The poll showed that when voters were asked to rate divisions in America on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the "edge of a civil war," the mean response was 67.23...The survey also showed a majority of Americans believe that political, racial and class divisions are getting worse, including at least three-quarters of men and women and three-quarters of urban, suburban and rural voters.

Iraqi defense minister gives US troops 4 weeks to leave Iraq

Iraqi defense minister gives US troops 4 weeks to leave Iraq | 23 Oct 2019 | US troops withdrawing from northeastern Syria to Iraq are "transiting" and will leave the country within four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday. Najah al-Shammari made the remarks to the Associated Press following a meeting in Baghdad with visiting US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who arrived as Iraqi leaders chafed over reports the US may want to increase the number of troops based in Iraq, at least temporarily. Iraq's military said Tuesday that American troops leaving northeastern Syria don't have permission to stay in Iraq in a statement that appeared to contradict Esper, who has said all US troops leaving Syria would continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group from Iraq...
 

Trump announces 'permanent' cease-fire in Syria, lifts US sanctions on Turkey

Trump announces 'permanent' cease-fire in Syria, lifts US sanctions on Turkey | 23 Oct 2019 | President Trump on Wednesday said Turkey has agreed to make the cease-fire in Syria permanent and therefore all sanctions against Turkey will be lifted. "I have, therefore, instructed the secretary of the Treasury to lift all sanctions imposed Oct. 14 in response to Turkey's original offensive moves against the Kurds," Trump said at the White House. "So the sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we’re not happy with," he added..."We were supposed to be there for 30 days and that was 10 years ago," Trump said. "And now we're leaving."

Texas jury rules against divorced dad trying to stop 7-year-old son's gender transition

Texas jury rules against divorced dad trying to stop 7-year-old son's gender transition | 23 Oct 2019 | A Texas jury has ruled against a dad seeking custody of his twin 7-year-old sons in an attempt to stop one of the boys from transitioning their gender, according to reports. The Dallas panel denied Jeffrey Younger's petition for sole custody of sons Jude and James -- which came as the boys' mom is pushing for James to begin hormone replacement therapy, according to the Washington Examiner. The mom, pediatrician Anne Georgulas, contends that James is transgender, likes wearing dresses and prefers to be identified as "Luna," according to The Texan.

'Thanks, Russia!': Kurdish military chief welcomes Russian peacekeeping patrols

'Thanks, Russia!': Kurdish military chief welcomes Russian peacekeeping patrols | 23 Oct 2019 | Speaking with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, SDF chief Mazloum Abdi thanked Moscow for securing a deal with Turkey and said the Kurdish militia will support Syrian troops and Russian military police patrolling the border. Talks between the top Russian military officials and the commander-in-chief of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were held on Wednesday, via video link. Abdi discussed the ongoing developments in northeastern Syria with Shoigu and Russia's Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, expressing full support to the deployment of Russian military police and Syrian Army units into the region. "Currently, units of the Russian military police and regular Syrian troops are being deployed into many locations. We are providing them with all kind of help and assistance," Abdi said.

'Whistleblower' acknowledged additional element of potential anti-Trump bias, sources say

'Whistleblower' acknowledged additional element of potential anti-Trump bias, sources say | 23 Oct 2019 | The 'whistleblower' at the center of Democrats' impeachment inquiry acknowledged to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) that bias against President Trump might be alleged against him or her for a third, previously unreported reason, sources familiar with the ICIG investigation tell fox news. Fox News has previously reported the whistleblower is a registered Democrat and had a prior work history with a senior Democrat. Though Fox News has learned that an additional element of possible bias was identified by the whistleblower, its nature remains unclear.

House chairman asks sergeant at arms to 'take action' after Republicans bring electronics to secure hearing

House chairman asks sergeant at arms to 'take action' after Republicans bring electronics to secure hearing | 23 Oct 2019 | The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday asked the top congressional law enforcement official to “take action" in response to GOP lawmakers bringing electronic devices to a secure facility while disrupting the deposition of a witness in the impeachment inquiry. In a letter to Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said that Republicans' decision to bring cell phones into the room, known as a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), violated security protocols established by the intelligence community to protect classified information. Thompson asked Irving to make unspecified moves to make the security protocol clear to all House members.

Florida Senate permanently removes Scott Israel as Broward sheriff

Florida Senate permanently removes Scott Israel as Broward sheriff | 23 Oct 2019 | After hours of debate...the Florida Senate voted Wednesday to permanently remove suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. The 25-15 vote was mostly along party lines with Republicans, who are a majority in the Senate and loyal to the Republican governor [Ron DeSantis], generally supporting removal while most Democrats voted to reinstate the Democratic sheriff. All five Broward senators voted for reinstatement, despite the wishes of Parkland parents...Wednesday's outcome was seen as likely, especially after a vote Monday in the Senate Rules Committee, which recommended removal after 10-hour hearing.

GOP lawmaker shares audio of phone call he made from highly classified SCIF room

GOP lawmaker shares audio of phone call he made from highly classified SCIF room | 23 Oct 2019 | Rep. Alex Mooney (R. W.Va.) shared audio of a phone call he made from inside a secure room at the Capitol where Democrats were attempting to interview a witness as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The interview was delayed for hours after a group of conservative Republican lawmakers, including Mooney, stormed into the room to protest what they say has been an unfair impeachment process. During his call from the SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility], the West Virginia lawmaker said he and other Republicans stormed the closed-door hearing because House Democrats "refuse to have a hearing in a transparent way for the people of West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District can be aware of what's going on." "I represent over 600,000 people in West Virginia who are not given a right to know what's even being said in these hearings. It is a brazenly attempt for no reason to impeach the president of the United States," he continued.

Republicans storm closed-door hearing to protest impeachment inquiry

Republicans storm closed-door hearing to protest impeachment inquiry | 23 Oct 2019 | House Republicans stormed a closed-door hearing Wednesday to protest Democrats' impeachment inquiry process, breaking up the deposition of a top Defense Department official who was testifying about President Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Dozens of Republicans, including some members of leadership like House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), barged into the secure hearing room in the Capitol basement where Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was set to provide private testimony. "The fact that Adam Schiff won't even let the press in -- you can't even go in and see what's going on in that room," Scalise told reporters outside the hearing room. "Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what's happening behind these closed doors, where they're trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules, they call the witnesses."

Harvard student newspaper facing backlash for requesting comment from ICE

Harvard student newspaper facing backlash for requesting comment from ICE | 23 Oct 2019 | The Harvard Crimson, the university's student-run newspaper, is facing a campus backlash after requesting comment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for an article on a campus protest against the agency. Eleven student groups, including the Harvard College Democrats, signed a petition accusing the Harvard Crimson of showing cultural insensitivity for even contacting the government agency. On Sept. 12, students advocating for the abolition of ICE assembled for a rally organized by student group Act on a Dream in Harvard Yard. After the protest concluded, the paper reached out to an ICE spokesperson to ask for a statement in response to the protest for an upcoming story. Soon after, Act on a Dream published a petition, which currently has over 650 signatures, demanding The Crimson change its policies so that none of its reporters ever make contact with ICE again and apologize for the "harm [it] inflicted on the undocumented community."

Romney, Lee get negative job approval ratings from Utah voters

Romney, Lee get negative job approval ratings from Utah voters | 23 Oct 2019 | Both of Utah's U.S. senators -- Mitt Romney and Mike Lee -- are underwater in their voter approval ratings, as more Utahns disapprove of them than approve of them, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics poll shows. Romney has a 46-51 percent approval rating (46 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" approve, while 51 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" disapprove), with 11 percent don't know. While Lee has a 43-47 percent approval rating, while only 4 percent don't know.

PG&E moving forward with planned shutoffs in parts of North Bay, San Mateo County

PG&E's efforts to destroy California continue: PG&E moving forward with planned shutoffs in parts of North Bay, San Mateo County | 23 Oct 2019 | PG&E announced that it is moving forward with a Public Safety Power Shutoff in parts of the North Bay and San Mateo County. The shutoff is expected to impact about 34,000 customers in the Bay Area. The shutoffs are expected to begin around 2 p.m. in the Sierra Foothills, at 3 p.m. in the North Bay counties and about 1 a.m. Thursday in areas of San Mateo and Kern counties.

White House gives $4.5 million 'White Helmets' al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra operating in Syria

White House gives $4.5 million 'White Helmets' al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra operating in Syria | 22 Oct 2019 | While US President Donald Trump may be serious about pulling troops out of Syria, that doesn't mean Washington intends to stop meddling there, as evidenced by taxpayer dollars he just sent to the fake rescue [terrorist] group "White Helmets." The White House announced a $4.5 million donation to the group on Tuesday, citing the "important and highly valued" work the group has done...In reality...the outfit itself is but an extension of jihadist militants such as the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, recently "rebranded" as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Actual Syrians liberated from jihadist sieges and occupation have repeatedly testified that the "rescuers" are nothing of the sort -- including the family of the famous "Aleppo Boy" Omran Daqneesh. Last December, the Russian mission to the UN presented the results of its months-long investigation into the group, citing photos, documents and witness testimonies to accuse the White Helmets of organ harvesting, ties to terrorist groups, staged attacks and faked rescues.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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