Senator Kyrsten Sinema Addresses Criticism By Progressives Over BIF And Build Back Better

Senator Kyrsten Sinema(D-AZ) in an interview with Arizona’s ABC 15(11/19/21)

On the day the House passed the Build Back Better Act(Nov 19), Senator Kyrsten Sinema(D-AZ) sat down for an interview with Arizona’s ABC 15(KNXV), to discuss what lies ahead for the historic bill in the Senate. It is no secret that a lot of Democrats, especially Progressive Democrats, have been very upset with Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin(D-WV), over what they perceive as a coordinated effort by the two Senators to derail President Biden’s legislative agenda.

Asked by the ABC 15‘s host about the sharp, even personal criticism she regularly receives from Progressives regarding her perceived obstruction of the Build Back Better Act and other key Democratic legislative proposals(voting rights etc), Senator Sinema responded: “When I first was elected to head to Washington DC and represent Arizona about 9 years ago, I promised to be a work horse, not a show horse, and that’s exactly what I’ve done over these last 9 years. In the 3 years that I’ve served in the United States Senate, I’ve been known for just putting my head down and doing the work. And my experience is, if you want to negotiate and get to an agreement on difficult topics, the best way to do that is to build trust, and when you’re building trust with someone, you work one on one, you solve the problem, you stay focused, and you don’t get distracted by the noise outside. Now, I know that a lot of folks wanted to hear that noise outside, but they probably didn’t have the same goal as me, which is to negotiate and pass a historic infrastructure bill into law, and I guess I would just say the proof is in the pudding. Here we are today, the bill has become law, and we move on to the next topic, which is to implement it for the benefit of every day Arizonans. So while there are some who may not like this approach, it works, and I think it represents what Arizonans elected me to do, which is to put my head down, get the work done, and deliver results for every day families. “

There’s no other way to interpret Senator Sinema’s response, especially her work horse versus show horse analogy, other than she looks at her Progressive critics as a bunch of drama kings/queens who are either unwilling or unable to do the hard work of negotiating with the opposing party(Republicans)to advance legislation. Senator Sinema added that her approach, which involves quietly negotiating with Republicans produces results, as opposed to the unproductive “noise” which she attributed to Progressives.

In what could turn out to be a problem for the Build Back Better Act in the Senate, Senator Sinema later in the interview, raised concerns about the bill worsening the already alarming inflation problem. It’s highly likely that Senator Manchin will also raise similar inflation concerns, which may lead to the gutting of some popular Progressive items like paid family leave from the Build Back Better Act. A gutted Build Back Better Act may prove non-palatable to House Progressives thereby killing the bill, or extending it’s passage well into 2022, a tough election year for Democrats.

Bottom line folks, it was good to see Senator Sinema, often shrouded in secrecy, talking extensively to the media about her stance on the Build Back Better Act and other issues important to her constituents. Hopefully this is the beginning of a more “public” Senator Sinema.

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Extreme Gerrymandering In Ohio Called Out

CNN’s Reality Check w/John Avlon did a segment(11/19/21) featuring an extreme gerrymandering case currently playing out in Ohio. Back in 2018, Ohio voters overwhelmingly backed(75%) an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ensure redistricting was carried out in a bipartisan fashion. Ohio’s congressional district maps were to be drawn by a bipartisan 7-member redistricting commission. The idea behind a bipartisan redistricting commission was quite simple–to create competitive district maps which would in turn reduce political polarization. Basically, politicians will shy away from radical ideas/conduct if they know they can be easily beaten at the polls.

Well, it turns out Ohio Republicans have since reneged on their support for a bipartisan redistricting commission, and are now using the Republican-led state legislature to come up with an extremely gerrymandered map, one that will give them a 13-2 advantage in congressional seats(86%R-14%D), even though Trump’s 2020 win in Ohio was only 53%-45%. No reasonable person would ever conclude that Ohio is an 86R-14D state, yet this is exactly what the new congressional map being pushed by state Republicans attempts to achieve–a total fraud and willful disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters.

Even more repugnant is the way the Republican-led Ohio state legislature ended up being responsible for drawing the congressional maps. According to John Avlon, Republican members of the bipartisan redistricting commission simply refused to show up for duty, thereby crippling the commission because it was unable to convene meetings. With the bipartisan commission deliberately crippled, the redistricting job fell back to the partisan Ohio legislature, which drew the extremely gerrymandered map–a sad state of affairs indeed.

John Avlon said: “Ohio Republicans just decided to disregard the state constitution and the will of the voters. A seven-member redistricting commission had a month to work on a fair map, but Republican members refused to participate, and so the commission couldn’t convene. The power to draw the lines fell back to the Republican-controlled state assembly, who proceeded to do exactly what the constitutional amendment forbade. They cracked and packed minority communities, dividing counties and cities for their own partisan advantage. For example, Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, which voted for[President] Biden by a 16-point margin, will be divided into 3 congressional districts, with Black voters offset by White Republicans.”

This is just the latest example of how state Republicans are actively disenfranchising Democratic-leaning/minority voters while Democrats in Washington are still dithering over abolishing the filibuster, and coming up with a federal voting rights law. A federal voting rights law is the only solution to the rampant GOP gerrymandering.

Bottom line folks, time is of the essence. Democrats need to abolish the filibuster immediately and pass a federal voting rights law. The two Senate holdouts, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, must be confronted with this troubling Ohio gerrymandering case, and be forced to explain why a filibuster carve out for a federal voting legislation is not the appropriate way to go, given the dire circumstances.

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Damning Senate Report Provides Sufficient Grounds For Trump’s Criminal Prosecution In Georgia

A newly released, and damning report by the Senate Judiciary Committee, shows the extent to which former U.S. Attorney General William Barr and other top officials at the Department of Justice(DOJ), abused their positions to further former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 elections were rigged against him. Crucially, the Senate report shows that Trump and his DOJ allies focused heavily on the state of Georgia. You’ll remember that in early 2021, Fulton County DA Fani Willis launched an investigation into whether Trump’s phone calls to Georgia election officials pressuring them to overturn the Georgia election results, violated Georgia law.

Shortly after the Fulton County DA bombshell, there were media reports that a senior DOJ official, one Jeffrey Clark, went as far as drafting a letter that was supposed to be sent out to the Georgia legislature saying that the election results were under investigation, a move that would have given pro-Trump Georgia legislators an excuse not to certify the state’s election results. Even though Clark’s letter never went out, it’s mere presence raised a lot of questions as to whether DOJ resources were being abused to further Trump’s lies about election fraud.

Reasonable people will agree that this newly released, damning Senate Judiciary Committee report, bolsters the case for Trump’s criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, listen to what the esteemed Senator from Rhode Island said on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

Sen Whitehouse told Maddow: “I think there are three really key takeaways from this[Senate report]. First, is a very simple, one and that is how deeply, personally involved President Trump was in all of this–meetings, and phone calls, and contacts, Oval Office –he was neck deep in this personally. So that would be point one. Point two would be how much of the scheme focused on Georgia. The letter was about Georgia, the schemes to maneuver U.S. Attorney [B.J.]Pak out of Georgia were up his sleeve about Georgia, and it supplements whatever investigative materials the Fulton County DA, DA Willis, is pulling together to look at Trump’s effort to subvert the election in Georgia. So it ties together into what could be a very interesting case in the Fulton County DA’s office…”

There’s no other way any reasonable person could interpret Senator Whitehouse’s statements on The Rachel Maddow Show other than, the combination of Trump’s phone calls to Georgia election officials, plus the damning Senate Judiciary Committee report showing Trump’s effort to use the DOJ to overturn the state’s election results, provide enough legal justification for a criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. The only reason Sen Whitehouse stopped short of saying so explicitly on Maddow’s show, is because there are constraints as to what he can discuss publicly about this issue, given his role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bottom line folks, Trump’s harassing phone calls to Georgia election officials, plus his efforts to use the DOJ to overturn Georgia’s election results, provide more than enough legal justification for his criminal prosecution by the Fulton County DA’s office. The only question left is whether DA Fani Willis will for the first time, make Trump face consequences for his misdeeds.

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Handy List Of The 20 GOP Senators Up For Reelection In 2022

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching and Democrats cannot afford to lose both the House and the Senate to the GOP. Midterm elections traditionally favor the party out of power, so it’s reasonable to assume that Republicans have a good shot of recapturing both the House and the Senate in 2022. Recapturing the House especially favors Republicans given the fact that Republican-controlled states currently have an advantage when in comes to redistricting–they can add/redraw more congressional districts than Democrats.

Democrats however, cannot afford to lose the Senate, which is not affected by the redistricting process. If Democrats lose both the House and Senate in 2022, the Biden presidency will for all intents and purposes be over–at least until the 2024 general elections. Republicans are already abusing the filibuster to stifle President Biden’s legislative agenda, even without control of either chamber (House or Senate), so one can just imagine how reckless they will be, if they take over both the House and the Senate in 2022. Simply put, they will block all of President Biden’s legislative proposals and judicial nominations until the 2024 elections. The upcoming 2022 elections are therefore crucially important for the Biden-Harris agenda.

34 U.S. Senate seats are up in 2022. Out of these 34, 20 are currently held by Republicans, and 14 by Democrats. The map below gives a breakdown of the states where the 34 Senate elections will be held in 2022.

Republican Senators whose seats are up in 2022 include Richard Shelby(AL), Roy Blunt(MO), Rob Portman(OH), Pat Toomey(PA), Richard Burr(NC)–all of whom are retiring(open seats)–plus Lisa Murkowski(AL), Marco Rubio(FL), John Boozman(AR), Mike Crapo(ID), Todd Young(IN), Chuck Grassley(IA), Jerry Moran(KS), Rand Paul(KY), John Neely Kennedy(LA), John Hoeven(ND), James Lankford(OK), Tim Scott(SC), John Thune(SD), and Mike Lee(UT), Ron Johnson(WI)

Democrats are Mark Kelly(AZ), Alex Padilla(CA), **KDH SEAT, Michael Bennet(CO), Richard Blumenthal(CT), Raphael Warnock(GA), Brian Schatz(HI), Tammy Duckworth(IL), Chris Van Hollen(MD), Catherine Cortez Masto(NV), Maggie Hassan(NH), Charles Schumer(NY), Ron Wyden(OR), Patrick Leahy(VT) and Patty Murray(WA).

The U.S. Senate is currently tied at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans so neither party can afford to lose a seat in 2022. Democrats have a good shot at picking up the open Pennsylvania seat, where incumbent Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. President Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020. Based on a recent Iowa poll showing unfavorable numbers for incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Senate seat may also be a potential pickup for Democrats. These two pickups for Democrats, would make up for the two Senate seats where they have the biggest vulnerability–Warnock’s Georgia seat, and Mark Kelly’s Arizona seat. While President Biden won both Georgia and Arizona in 2020, these two states have traditionally voted Republican in statewide elections.

Bottom line folks, even though the game plan for Democrats heading into the 2022 elections should be to retain both the House and Senate, special emphasis must be placed on retaining the Senate. Simply put, if the Biden-Harris administration is to survive beyond 2022, Dems must retain the Senate.

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A Handy List Of 43 GOP Senators Who Voted To Acquit Trump Of Inciting DC Insurrection

The U.S. Senate voted Saturday February 13th, to acquit former President Donald J. Trump of inciting the January 6th 2021 insurrection in Washington DC, which led to five deaths, including two Capitol police officers, and an interruption of a live joint session of Congress. The incident, which mostly played out on live TV, will forever remain one of the lowest points of American democracy because it shattered one of the globally revered cornerstones of American democracy–that regardless of who wins the election, one could always bet on a peaceful transfer of power.

While generally acknowledging that former President Trump did indeed incite the violent mob that descended upon the Capitol building as alleged in his House impeachment, 43 Republican Senators still voted to acquit him, hiding behind the jurisdictional argument that because Trump was no longer in office, the U.S. Senate had no jurisdiction over his trial. In other words, they acquitted Trump because they argued that because he had already left office, his entire Senate trial was unconstitutional–a very shaky legal argument.

It bears pointing out that Trump’s impeachment by the House for inciting DC insurrection happened on January 13 2021, while he was still in office. The House sent the impeachment papers a few days later to the U.S. Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There was enough time for the Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to commence a Senate trial while Trump was still in office. Instead, McConnell made sure there would be no Senate trial until after Trump’s term expired on Jan 20, 2021. So it’s quite disingenuous and insulting for Senator McConnell and his fellow Republicans who voted to acquit Trump, to now turn around and hide behind a jurisdictional loophole that they manufactured. The fact of the matter remains that Senate Republicans knew full well that Trump’s incitement of the DC riots was an impeachable offense, so they created the jurisdictional loophole they could hide behind, as they carried out their goal from the beginning–acquit Trump at all costs.

After the Senate vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement which correctly summed up the decision by Republican Senators to acquit Trump:“Today an overwhelming bipartisan vote to convict Donald Trump speaks to the courage of the United States Senate.  I salute the Republican Senators who voted their conscience and for our Country.  Other Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable for igniting a violent insurrection to cling to power will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”

Because we totally agree with Speaker Pelosi that the decision by these 43 GOP Senators to acquit Trump of inciting DC insurrection “will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history“, we have to do our traditional name and shame for the sake of future generations. When our children and grandchildren read in History textbooks, that a group of U.S. Senators decided to acquit a U.S. President, even after he incited an insurrection which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead, it is only fair that they also see the names and faces of the shameful U.S. Senators behind such a horrendous decision. Here’s a handy list of the 43 shameful GOP Senators.

Bottom line folks, as horrible as Trump’s acquittal verdict was to people who love democracy worldwide, there may be a silver lining where Democrats are concerned. Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that the increasing radicalization of the Republican party could provide an opening for Democrats to go after corporations that traditionally sponsor the GOP. A healthy two-party system is good for American democracy, but given everything we’ve witnessed so far with the GOP under Trump, it is debatable whether the GOP is even a political party anymore. This was true even before DC insurrection, but now it is totally impossible to ignore the issue. The radicalization within the GOP under Trump has gotten so bad, that some establishment Republicans are already mulling branching away to form a reasonable “center-right” party. As we approach the 2022 elections, Democrats should seriously pressure corporations that traditionally donate to Republicans, by asking them to justify their continued funding of a party that has basically devolved into a Trump cult. Maybe, just maybe, guilt tripping major corporations into starving Trump’s GOP of major $$$, especially after DC insurrection, is the best way of slapping the Party of Lincoln back to normalcy.

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Handy List Of Iowa GOP State Senators Mad About Record Voter Participation Due To Mail-In Voting

Iowa witnessed record voter participation in its June 3rd primary elections as a result of a provision that allowed the secretary of state to mail absentee ballots to all registered voters due to the covid-19 pandemic. The noble goal of this provision was to save Iowa voters from going into crowded polling centers which would have increased their chances of contracting the virus. Given the ease and convenience of voting by mail, Iowans voted in record numbers, much to the delight of democracy lovers. Well, it turns out republicans were not happy with the record voter participation. They quickly moved in the Iowa state legislature to prevent universal voting by mail in the November elections–a clear cut effort at voter suppression.

On 6/10/2020 a bill that prohibits Iowa’s secretary of state from mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters for the November general elections passed the Iowa state senate by a vote of 30-19. Needless to say, all the 30 state senators who voted for this voter suppression bill were republicans. Because this is one of the most brazen acts of official voter suppression to date, we have no choice but to name and shame these 30 GOP state senators using our famous “handy list”.

Here’s a handy list of the 30 shameful Iowa GOP state senators who are mad that mail-in voting allowed record voter participation in the June primary elections, and are on a mission to prevent that from happening again this November.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. Where, as here, we witness such a brazen attempt at voter suppression by elected officials, we have no otherwise but to loudly call them out.

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Is Barr’s DOJ Targeting Sen Burr To Thwart His TrumpRussia Collusion Findings?

Senator Richard Burr(R-NC) and U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right)

On Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (TRMS), host Maddow advanced a provocative theory as to the real reason Attorney General Barr’s Department of Justice (DOJ) may be going after senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr(R-NC) for possible covid-19 insider trading. According to Maddow, DOJ and by extension AG Barr’s pursuit of senator Burr may have very little to do with the serious covid-19 insider trading allegations, and more to do with the fact that senator Burr was getting ready to release the final installment of his committee’s findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

Host Rachel Maddow said, “As bad as the insider trading allegations are against Senator Burr, we also simultaneously have to worry whether the U.S. justice department under Attorney General William Barr might be targeting Senator Burr for reasons that are less about insider trading and more about convenience to the Trump administration. Sen Burr you will recall, has led the only functional bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His committee’s findings have supported the intelligence community’s conclusions that for example, Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump’s candidacy. That is something President Trump continues to deny as recently as an interview that aired this morning. More to the point though, Senator Burr’s committee is set to release it’s final report on the Russia issue in the coming months and that last installment we are expecting is on ‘possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.’ That’s what Burr is working on right now, but he’s had to step down as chair of the committee.”

As Maddow correctly points out, given AG Barr’s demonstrable pattern of acting as president Trump’s personal defense attorney, it is not entirely implausible for one to conclude that the AG’s pursuit of senator Burr is also about defending Trump from a potentially damning senate intelligence committee finding that the Trump campaign did indeed collude with Russia in 2016. Maddow also correctly points out that an investigation into a sitting U.S. senator, especially one who chairs the powerful senate intelligence committee, must have been approved at the very highest levels of DOJ meaning AG Barr’s footprints are all over this.

Bottom line folks, AG Barr has so tarnished DOJ’s reputation that even when it undertakes a valid high profile criminal prosecution like senator Burr’s, the general perception among members of the public is that it must have something to do with helping president Trump politically. The very same thing happened during Jeffrey Epstein’s high profile criminal prosecution. I will say again what I have repeatedly stated before and that is, the only way DOJ can cure its tarnished reputation is for career officials within the DOJ to pressure AG Barr to step aside. Because it is highly unlikely that Trump will ever push aside his trusted defender, the onus is on career DOJ officers to begin demanding that AG Barr step down for the good of the department. Simply put, continued silence by career DOJ officials regarding AG Barr’s conduct at this juncture is tantamount to complicity.

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Republican Legislators In Oregon Subverting Democracy

A must read piece on Vox shines the light on a very troubling but growing pattern among state GOP lawmakers of crippling state legistature business whenever voters put Democrats in charge. Turns out in Oregon, where voters have recently given Democrats super majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, Republican legislators have resorted to sabotage–literally refusing to show up for work thereby crippling the legislature due to lack of quorum. As the Vox piece correctly points out, these tantrums by Republican legislators beg for mainstream media attention not only because they are patently undemocratic, but also because they are a good reflection of Trump’s GOP tactics.

Republican legislators in Oregon are apparently sabotaging the legislature’s business by not showing up for work because they are opposed to climate change bllls currently being pushed by the majority Democrats. According to the Vox piece, this is the fifth time in the last 10 months that Oregon state Republicans have resorted to this undemocratic sabotage tactic, having employed the same tactic when Democrats, exercising their electoral mandate, were pushing bills related to guns, forestry, the state budget and healthcare.

As the article correctly points out, this is not just a state GOP phenomenon, but rather an accurate depiction of the current state of mind of Trump’s GOP, especially when one looks at it in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conduct.

We have witnessed time and time again where McConnell and other Republicans in Washington ram through partisan bills using the argument “elections matter”. They are currently ramming through partisan/unqualified federal judges using the same rationale. It is interesting how elections matter only when voters put Republicans in charge and are seemingly meaningless when Democrats take over.

Democrats nationwide are looking forward to the elections in November hoping that a Democratic House, Senate and White House will automatically lead to enactment of Democratic Party policies. However, going by this Vox piece, Democrats prevailing in the upcoming November polls may not be enough. Democrats should expect sabotage by Republican minorities in both state legislatures and Washington, and should start seriously calling out these undemocratic sabotage tactics.

Bottomline folks,as the Vox piece correctly points out, this troubling GOP trend begs for more maindtream media attention especially now that we are in an election year. Republicans both at the state level and in Washington, must not be allowed to make elections matter only when they have majorities while rendering them totally meaningless when voters give Democrats the majority. Simply put, this troubling, patently undemocratic sabotage tactic currently employed by the GOP must either end or get seriously called out by the mainstream media.

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UPDATE-What is McConnell Hiding In His Military Records?

You’ll remember back in 3/31/2019, Yours Truly wrote a blog piece titled “What is McConnell hiding in his military records” that has elicited and continues to elicit a lot of reaction on Twitter and other social media platforms. There is no question that grassroots Democrats really want to know the real reason behind Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s military discharge in 1967.

In the blog piece, Yours Truly promised to dig into the real reason behind McConnell’s military discharge, an important election issue that mysteriously remains a mainstream media no-go-zone. Well, after months of pushing and prodding the Army for McConnell’s info via freedom of Information requests(FOIA), and being subjected to countless baits-and-switches by them, we have finally got some information.

FOIA On Mitch McConnell&#39… by Emolclause on Scribd

According to the FOIA response Yours Truly got from the Army on Jan 8 2020, Mitch McConnell served from March 21, 1967 to August 15, 1967(page 2). Virtually all of the personal information fields are populated by “N/A”, which I suspect is due to the Army’s privacy policy of requiring a signature before releasing such information. Specifically, the FOIA letter stipulates in part, “This record contains sensitive personal information which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy to the veteran……..If additional information is needed, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires the written consent (signature) of the individual to whom the record pertains.”(see page 1 of attached document). In essence, one would need McConnell’s written consent before getting details about his salary, source of commission, military education etc, which is pretty understandable especially given the fact that Yours Truly is big on privacy.

The sticky point however is in regards to the “Transcript of Court-Martial Trial” field. As you can see from the FOIA response(page 2), it is not populated by “N/A” like the other fields. The field is instead populated by “Not on File”. This raises a whole host of questions because it does not address the dispositive question Yours Truly set out to address with the FOIA request–whether McConnell’s discharge was due to a Court Martial? Remember, allegations/rumors have been flying around for decades that McConnell’s discharge from the military had something to do with a sexual incident between him and another officer and that this incident was the subject of a court martial. To prove or disprove this rumor one has to ascertain whether McConnell was indeed the subject of a Court Martial. The FOIA response offers no answer whatsoever to this crucial question.

Yours Truly took up this burning question with the FOIA Public Liaison officer listed on page 3 of the document, one Kevin Pratt. Specifically, Yours Truly inquired as to whether the “Not on File” listed on the FOIA response meant a court martial was held but the information has been redacted, or whether there was none with respect to Mitch McConnell?

According to Army’s Kevin Pratt, a FOIA request cannot answer the question as to whether one was court-martialed or not. He instead directed me to file a request in writing to another Army office for such information. I then asked him whether the FOIA Ombudsman’s office listed on the FOIA response (page 3) would have information related to court martials to which he replied that they don’t. It’s not clear whether these complications are McConnell-specific or are the norm when it comes to FOIA requests regarding the military. Reasonable people will agree that it should not be this complicated for the military to either deny or confirm whether Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful politicians in the country and who’s up for reelection, was ever the subject of a court martial. There can be reasonable disagreements however as to whether the details of such court martial proceedings should be kept private or be made available to the general public.

It cannot be left unsaid that the secrecy surrounding McConnell’s military record is patently unfair to his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, also a veteran . McGrath’s military record unlike McConnell’s, is an open book which allows McConnell’s campaign to dig for campaign dirt while robbing her campaign of a similar opportunity. This glaring political bias should be enough cause for the Army to forego all the procedural technicalities surrounding information requests for veterans and release McConnell’s full military record in the interest of Kentucky voters.

Bottom line folks, no politician should ever be allowed to serve consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress while hiding crucial information from the public. The circumstances surrounding Mitch McConnell’s military discharge have been a valid campaign ever since he first ran for the U.S. Senate. There is absolutely no excuse why the mainstream media, which readily digs into the backgrounds of Democrats, continues to allow McConnell’s military discharge to be a non-story, even as he runs for his 7th consecutive term in the U.S. Senate.

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Mnuchin Grilled Over Trump’s Tax Returns Double Standard

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 2/12/2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was grilled by Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) about the apparent double standard stemming from his department’s decision to deny a request for President Trump’s tax returns from House Democrats while at the same time gladly handing over financial records related to Hunter Biden to Senate Republicans.

Sec Mnuchin’s explanation, a plausible one, was that the request for Trump’s tax returns was governed by a different provision from the one governing records request related to Hunter Biden. According to Sec Mnuchin, the records request related to Hunter Biden was a SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports) request which he said Treasury has already released for over 1,000 individuals following requests by both Republican and Democratic committee chairs.

Specifically, Sec Mnuchin said, “The House disclosure of tax returns is subject to protections of 26 U.S.C. 6103 which on the advise of counsel as we documented, we had significant concerns. That’s very different than I believe what you[Sen Wyden] are referring to–SARS requests, which on a bipartisan basis we have responded to thousands ofSARS requests to the committees from both Republicans and Democrats on an equal basis.”

The question for House Democrats going forward is whether they can pin Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to this SARS rationale and get Treasury to release suspicious activity reports related to the Trump family from the myriad banking institutions they have been involved with, especially Deutsche Bank. This might prove particularly interesting given the fact that Attorney General William Barr’s daughter Mary Daly currently works at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FINCEN), which presumably handles suspicious activity reports from the various banking institutions. Was Mary Daly installed at FINCEN for a reason? Hmm

Bottom line folks, getting Trump’s tax returns remains a very high priority for the majority of the American public. However, there are other financial records related to Trump and his family that House Democrats could pry loose using Sec Mnuchin’s SARS rationale, especially records related to Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank. Hopefully House Democrats will seize on this great opportunity Sec Mnuchin has unwittingly presented them with.

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