fresh voices from the front lines of change







WH Staffers Voice Dissent

Trump sees treason from within. CNN: "It's impossible to know in the moment when a presidency begins to dissolve. But after a devastating 48 hours, it's already clear that Donald Trump's will never be the same. Whatever your view of Trump, his behavior and his presidency, Washington is watching the opening act of a stunning attempt to topple the elected leader of the nation. Damaging twin portraits of the President in a New York Times op-ed and Bob Woodward's new book are using the words of current top officials to fracture the mythology of vanity and bombast, conmanship and intimidation of Trump's personality cult. In an attack from an enemy within, top officials who see Trump up close, including one calling the band of renegades the 'resistance,' are finally daring to say -- albeit under Washington's invisibility cloak of anonymity -- what outside critics have long believed. They warn the President of the United States is not only unfit to be the most powerful man in the world, but is a venal mix of ignorance and ego, pettiness, malignancy and recklessness that is putting the republic and the world itself at risk."

What's Brett Kavanaugh Hiding?

Republicans are clearly worried about nominee’s hidden records. Salon: "Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) used those reams of hidden and confidential documents related to Supreme Court nominee's Brett Kavanaugh tenure with the George W. Bush administration to the best use he could Wednesday. The line of questioning goes back to 2004, when a senior staffer for then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist stole emails and memos from Judiciary Committee senators, including Leahy about their opposition to Bush's judicial nominees. The staffer, Manuel Miranda, shared the memos with Republican senators and with the White House where at the time, Kavanaugh was shepherding judicial nominees through the confirmation process. Leahy pressed Kavanaugh, who initially insisted that he didn't know the information he received from Miranda was stolen. This was a line of questioning for which Kavanaugh was clearly not prepared. Leahy pressed him, asking whether Kavanaugh though it was 'at all unusual to receive a draft letter from Democratic senators to each other before any mention of it was made public?' Here's where we get to the potential perjury Kavanaugh committed before the Senate Judiciary Committee previously. There is apparently evidence in the materials that Grassley has marked "Committee Confidential" that would show it. Leahy says so: 'I'm concerned because there is evidence that Mr. Miranda provided you with materials that were stolen from me. And that would contradict your prior testimony... there is no reason [those emails] can't be made public.'"

Kavanaugh Defends Views On Race, Guns

Kavanaugh defends judicial record as Democrats seek answers. NPR: "Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be back at the witness table Thursday, after fielding more than 10 hours of questions on Wednesday. Senate Democrats challenged his record on hot-button issues such as abortion, affirmative action and presidential power. Kavanaugh, who has written hundreds of opinions as an appeals court judge, defended those decisions, but generally avoided saying how he would rule in cases that might come before the Supreme Court. 'I have no agenda in any direction,' he said. 'I'm a judge.' Kavanaugh said he understands the weight that many people attach to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. But, pressed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., he declined to say whether that case was properly decided. Kavanaugh also sidestepped questions from Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., about the circumstances in which government can and cannot use race-conscious measures to address past discrimination. He conceded that hopes he expressed nearly two decades ago for a color-blind society have not been fulfilled. 'We see on an all too common basis that racism still exists in the United States of America,' Kavanaugh said. 'Our long march to racial equality is not over.'"

Kavanaugh Stumbles On Mueller

Kavanaugh stumbles when grilled on whether he discussed Mueller probe. Politico: "Nearly 12 hours into Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing, Kamala Harris opened with a tantalizing query: Has the Supreme Court nominee ever discussed Robert Mueller’s probe with a lawyer at Kasowitz Benson & Torres, President Donald Trump’s longtime law firm? 'Be sure about your answer, sir,' Harris asked Kavanaugh. Trump’s high court pick appeared nonplussed, responding that “I’m not sure I know everyone who works at that law firm,” but the California Democrat – a veteran prosecutor known for her tenacious questioning and high on her party’s 2020 presidential short lists — would not let up. 'How can you not remember whether you’ve had a conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that law firm?' Harris asked, suggesting that Kavanaugh was “thinking of someone and you don’t want to tell us.” The moment was striking, one of the Democratic Party’s newest leading lights taking on a well-respected Trump nominee with roots in hard-knuckle GOP politics. But Harris moved on from the question within minutes, turning what seemed like a chance to get Kavanaugh on the ropes into a mystery — and one with a sizable downside risk."

Vietnamese Immigrants Targeted For Deportation

Now Trump is targeting Vietnamese refugees. LA Times: "In its insatiable quest to rid the U.S. of immigrants, the Trump administration has been rounding up Vietnamese refugees who have been in the country for more than a quarter of a century and trying to send them back to Vietnam — despite a formal bilateral agreement that refugees who arrived here prior to the 1995 normalization of relations between the two countries would not be sent home. In a number of cases, the refugees have been held in detention centers for months as the government sought to obtain travel documents from the Vietnamese government, and despite a Supreme Court decision that said the government could not detain someone for an extended period of time if it was unlikely the home country would accept the deportee. This is yet another instance in which the Trump administration has just bulled its way forward to try to reduce the number of immigrants living in the U.S. If the government believes that it is in the nation’s best interest to deport Vietnamese refugees convicted of crimes, then it should reopen the 2008 agreement and create a lawful mechanism to do so."

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