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AZProgressive's Journal
AZProgressive's Journal
November 23, 2017


Sean Suiter, a Baltimore detective with 18 years of experience, was going to testify before a grand jury against a group of indicted officers on the day after he was killed, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told the press Wednesday evening.

Suiter's murder on November 15 has jolted the city and the police department, following the indictment of eight members of the gun task force who are accused of conspiring with drug dealers, filing false affidavits and claiming fraudulent overtime, according to CNN.

Davis noted that Suiter was conducting a follow-up investigation on a killing in West Baltimore’s Harlem Park neighborhood, when he noticed someone acting suspiciously. When asked if there was a connection between Suiter’s pending testimony and his killing, Davis said that “the BPD and FBI do not possess any information that this incident…is part of any conspiracy” adding that the shooting occurred spontaneously, according to The Baltimore Sun. But some believe that there are indications of foul play.

Shaun King, a prominent journalist, tweeted about the killing: “This is dirty. Baltimore Police officer who was just murdered was scheduled to testify AGAINST other corrupt cops on the force. I believe they had this man killed.”


November 23, 2017

Theres a third-world America that no one notices

By Parker Abt
November 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Parker Abt is a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Americans in Puerto Rico have spent weeks without reliable access to clean water, electricity and cellphone service. The conditions on the ground remain deplorable, with shattered homes and damaged infrastructure everywhere.

But what if hundreds of thousands of Americans lived in these conditions for generations and no one noticed? That's exactly what some border communities in Texas experience on a daily basis: third-world conditions compounded by public and official indifference to their plight.

In the "colonias" of the American Southwest, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens have lived without running water for decades (not to mention the lack of electricity, sewage treatment and drainage). Homes are built without regard for safety codes or regulations. The result is structures that look like shacks, hastily built by residents with little money and even less construction expertise.

Some colonia houses have dirt floors and fit a full family in a single room. Many families in the colonias live on less than $250 a week. I visited one colonia this past summer where a family showed me the blackened shell of their house, which burned to the ground after firefighters took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene.


November 22, 2017

Donald Trump's LaVar Ball tweets cross a line even for him

CNN)Before 6 a.m. ET, Donald Trump had already sent two tweets about the self-proclaimed "big baller" LaVar Ball.

Here's the full two-tweet set:
"It wasn't the White House, it wasn't the State Department, it wasn't father LaVar's so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man's version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It's a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!"

Even for Trump, who has defined the idea of the presidency downward, these tweets are shocking. So shocking in fact that I had to check multiple times that they were actually from Trump's verified Twitter account rather than some satirical one. But, they are very real -- and telling.

At the root of Trump's personality is grievance and a sense of victimhood. He has spent his whole life -- in his own mind -- on the outside looking in. His father was a successful developer, but not in Manhattan. When Trump became a player in Manhattan real estate, the old money in the city wouldn't accept him as one of their own. When he went to Washington in 2011 amid public speculation of a potential presidential bid, President Obama and the rest of the so-called media elites laughed at him.

At every stage, Trump has been driven by these perceived snubs. His operating principle in life can be boiled down to "I'll show you. I'll show you all!" And he is forever convinced that he's not being given proper credit for things he actually has done. He will find any evidence of these alleged snubs and do whatever it takes to "right the wrong."


November 22, 2017

Hes a Member of Congress. The Kremlin Likes Him So Much It Gave Him a Code Name.

By Nicholas Fandos
Nov. 21, 2017
WASHINGTON — For two decades, Representative Dana Rohrabacher has been of value to the Kremlin, so valuable in recent years that the F.B.I. warned him in 2012 that Russia regarded him as an intelligence source worthy of a Kremlin code name.

The following year, the California Republican became even more valuable, assuming the chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that oversees Russia policy. He sailed to re-election again and again, even as he developed ties to Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.

Then came President Trump.

As revelations of Russia’s campaign to influence American politics consume Washington, Mr. Rohrabacher, 70, who had no known role in the Trump election campaign, has come under political and investigative scrutiny. The F.B.I. and the Senate Intelligence Committee are each seeking to interview him about an August meeting with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, Mr. Rohrabacher said. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is said to be interested in a meeting he had last year with Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

At the same time, fellow Republicans — questioning his judgment and intentions — have moved to curtail his power as chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats. And back home in Southern California, where Democrats and Republicans alike smell blood, the 15-term congressman is facing his toughest re-election contest in decades, with well-funded candidates from both parties lining up to unseat him.


November 17, 2017

Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, by the Guardian journalist

Guardian journalist has book coming on Trump and Russia

NEW YORK — A journalist who has reported on the so-called “Steele Dossier” compiled on Donald Trump has a book coming out Nov. 16.

Vintage Books told The Associated Press on Monday that Luke Harding’s “Collusion: Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win” will be a detailed narrative on Trump’s connections with the Russians.

Harding is a foreign correspondent for The Guardian. He met last year with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, whose dossier on Trump contains explosive allegations about the president and Russia. The book also investigates such Trump aides and family members as Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager who was indicted last week for money laundering and other charges.

Harding said in a statement that the Trump-Russia story is one of “follow the money,” a phrase dating back to the Watergate scandals.


November 6, 2017

GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia


Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation.

Perhaps it's because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.

Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin's favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.

During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard "Len" Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik's donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik's holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org.

Marco Rubio's Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik's two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000.


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