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Russia Investigations


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#21 AnBr

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 09:52 PM

Congressman Eric Swalwell Launches Webpage Outlining Trump’s Ties To Russia

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Swalwell's page: https://swalwell.house.gov/russia
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


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#22 LFC

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:40 AM

Move along. Nothing to see here. Nope, doesn't prove a thing.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#23 LFC

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:59 AM

Devin Nunes is turning out to be an even bigger sycophant than Issa or Gowdy, and that's a pretty f***ing low bar. From TPM in full.

Quote

Trump toady Devin Nunes (R-CA), who currently serves as the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says America should be thanking disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for his secret conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the 2016 campaign and the presidential transition.

Said Nunes: “From everything that I can see, his conversations with the Russian ambassador, he was doing this country a favor, and he should be thanked for it."

Nunes, who is nominally charged with investigating Russian contacts with the Trump campaign earlier drew controversy for agreeing to act as a press surrogate to dispute reports of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

Yeah, I'm sure any investigation he'd be involved in would be objective.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#24 Traveler

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

Good takedown of the MSM on this issue by Taibbi.

Quote

Hypothesize for a moment that the "scandal" here is real, but in a limited sense: Trump's surrogates have not colluded with Russians, but have had “contacts,” and recognize their political liability, and lie about them. Investigators then leak the true details of these contacts, leaving the wild speculations to the media and the Internet. Trump is enough of a pig and a menace that it's easy to imagine doing this and not feeling terribly sorry that your leaks have been over-interpreted.

If that's the case, there are big dangers for the press. If we engage in Times-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy – Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

The press has to cover this subject. But it can't do it with glibness and excitement, laughing along to SNL routines, before it knows for sure what it's dealing with. Reporters should be scared to their marrow by this story. This is a high-wire act and it is a very long way down. We might want to leave the jokes and the nicknames be, until we get to the other side – wherever that is.


The comments by the LGM crew on this are pretty damning. This comment about the left purists made me lose my coffee:

Quote

Lit3Boltsays:
March 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I've written a thousand letters to the girl I love calling her a worthless bitch and treacherous whore...why doesn't she respond? I've said repeatedly I only want to use her for my own self-gratification and amusement...shouldn't that be enough? Doesn't she see we could be an unbeatable team if she simply did everything I commanded and allowed me to control her utterly?


"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#25 LFC

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:39 AM

Chuck Grassley, a man who has proven himself fully capable of being a partisan tool when he wants to be, apparently draws the line at Trump keeping his many tentacles to Russia secret. Politically he is twisting Trump's arm in a very substantive way.

Quote

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is openly frustrated with the Trump administration dragging its feet on fully briefing Congress on its various Russia investigations.

This week, he put his foot down, refusing to move forward on the backlog of confirmation votes before his committee until FBI Director James Comey tells the committee what is going on.

"He was supposed to get back to us and we still haven't heard anything," Grassley vented to reporters in the basement of the Capitol Tuesday night. "So here's what we've done: the Justice Department would like to get their deputy out of committee just as soon as they can. But I will not schedule a hearing on the Deputy Attorney General [Rod Rosenstein] until we get a briefing from Comey."

Other members of the Judiciary Committee are speaking out as well, demanding information about the intelligence community's probes into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and contact with Michael Flynn and other members of the Trump campaign. The committee has also written to the FBI requesting evidence to back up President Trump's seemingly baseless allegations that former President Obama wiretapped and surveilled him during the campaign. So far, they have received nothing.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#26 LFC

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

Flynn sounds dirtier than we thought than had previously been reported.

Quote

New documents released Thursday by the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee appear to show that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn took money from three Russian companies, including the state-run RT news organization, prior to becoming an adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

Flynn, who spoke at RT’s 10th anniversary gala in December 2015, told Yahoo News on July 18, 2016 that he had been paid for his appearance at the event by his speaker’s bureau, Leading Authorities, Inc., and not by the Russian government.

In fact, according to documents provided to the House Oversight Committee and published by the ranking Democrat on that committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), RT paid the entirety of the $33,750 speaking fee to Flynn Intel Group, including additional travel expenses, in addition to a $11,250 commission for LAI, in November 2015. Additional documents show the speaker’s bureau communicating directly, and coordinating payments with, a manager at RT.

[snip]

Quote

Following the release of the documents, top Democrats on the House Oversight, Armed Services, Judiciary, Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs Committees called for an investigation of Flynn’s compliance with the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

Retired military officers, they noted, are required to comply with the clause, which prohibits any person “holding an Office of Profit or Trust” from accepting without Congressional approval “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title” from a foreign leader or government. The letter also mentioned Flynn's recent declaration that he may have acted as a foreign agent, due to his employment by a Turkish-owned Dutch Company. Flynn said in his declaration that the work "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey."

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#27 Traveler

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:19 PM

Damn, that letter was fun reading!
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#28 LFC

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:14 PM

Deeper connections with Russia and more lies from the Trump administration.

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Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to “greatly benefit the Putin government,” according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. The new report directly contradicts the Trump administration and Manafort, who have both alleged that the former campaign operative never worked on behalf of Russian interests. In his work for a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, he strategized in June 2005 that he would influence politics and business dealings in Europe and the U.S. to positively benefit Putin’s government. Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska, and the two maintained a business relationship up until at least 2009. Manafort confirmed to the AP that he worked for Deripaska but said his work was being unfairly criticized as “inappropriate or nefarious” by a “smear campaign.” Manafort resigned from his position as Trump’s campaign chairman last August after press reports surfaced showing that he had, until 2014, organized a secret Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Russia political party.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#29 golden_valley

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:45 PM

Trump backers will just shrug and say that Manafort's actions pre-dated his involvement with the Trump campaign and so can't be part of the miasma surrounding the Trump campaign. Or maybe they won't admit such a miasma exists at all.

#30 LFC

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

More direct intervention by Manafort.

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According to a report by David Corn at Mother Jones, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was enlisted by a Russian billionaire to help him get a U.S. visa in 2000 despite FBI objections.

Spinning will continue to ramp up.

 golden_valley, on 22 March 2017 - 02:45 PM, said:

Trump backers will just shrug and say that Manafort's actions pre-dated his involvement with the Trump campaign and so can't be part of the miasma surrounding the Trump campaign. Or maybe they won't admit such a miasma exists at all.

Actually I saw on the news this AM that Spicey said that Manafort had "limited" involvement in the campaign. The MSM actually decided to report facts for once and chewed that lie up very efficiently. Here's what CNN had to say about it.

Quote

Spicer, pressed on a number of Trump associates' connections to Russian operatives, claimed Manafort played a "limited role (in the campaign) for a very limited amount of time."

That depends on what he means by the word "limited."

Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign in March 2016 to lead the delegate operation on the floor of the Republican National Committee in Cleveland.

Manafort was promoted in May to campaign chairman and chief strategist. And when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired in June, Manafort -- who butted heads with Lewandowski -- was widely seen as the campaign's top official.

Manafort is largely credited with securing Trump the Republican nomination, through a mix of deep ties in the Republican establishment and tireless organizing to win the Republican delegate fight which almost derailed Trump one year ago.

But Manafort's control did not last through Election Day. As power centers within the Trump campaign in August began to shift away from him to Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon as campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager, the former lobbyist stepped down from his campaign.

The resignation came amid a New York Times report that Manafort received $12.7 million in secret cash payments earmarked for Manafort from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. CNN reported August 19 that the FBI and Justice Department were investigating Americans tied to alleged corruption of the former pro-Russian President of Ukraine, including the work of Manafort's firm. Manafort resigned that day.

Although Manafort played no official role in the campaign between August and November, sources told CNN in December that the former chairman was still very much involved with Trump and played an informal role in the presidential transition.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#31 indy

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:03 PM

CNN now reports that the FBI has info that there may have been coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives.

Quote

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2...x.html?adkey=bn

McCain is now calling for a select committee to investigate as well. I don't believe he'd be doing that without a very good reason.

This may blow up fairly quickly.

ETA: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let one of those officials be Bannon.

#32 JackD

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:35 PM

The power question, though, is who can compel and independent investigation if the Republicans controlling all the branches of the federal government refuse to do so? I think the answer is no-one.

#33 Traveler

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:42 AM

 indy, on 22 March 2017 - 08:03 PM, said:

CNN now reports that the FBI has info that there may have been coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives.



http://www.cnn.com/2...x.html?adkey=bn

McCain is now calling for a select committee to investigate as well. I don't believe he'd be doing that without a very good reason.

This may blow up fairly quickly.

ETA: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let one of those officials be Bannon.

Unlikely from what I hear. But this is some serious news. Thanks. CNN is on fire.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#34 LFC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:05 AM

 JackD, on 22 March 2017 - 08:35 PM, said:

The power question, though, is who can compel and independent investigation if the Republicans controlling all the branches of the federal government refuse to do so? I think the answer is no-one.

This is an excellent example of the level of Republican corruption. Hillary Clinton is "investigated" ad nauseam on Benghazi after being cleared by 7 other investigations (with the requisite leaks, improper half truths, outright false statements, etc. by Gowdy and his ilk) but Trump is untouchable.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#35 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:03 AM

 LFC, on 22 March 2017 - 02:14 PM, said:


As others have pointed out, none of Trump's appointments have gotten half of the screening that an applicant for a conference speaking visa does -- and nowhere remotely like what the Administration wants to require for a 3-year-old refugee.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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#36 indy

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

 Traveler, on 23 March 2017 - 08:42 AM, said:

Unlikely from what I hear.

If you are referring to the likelihood of Bannon being involved, I tend to agree. Never know though.

#37 LFC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:18 PM

 indy, on 23 March 2017 - 10:55 AM, said:

If you are referring to the likelihood of Bannon being involved, I tend to agree. Never know though.

The fairness and thoughtfulness of that last sentence illustrates why you aren't wired to be a Republican.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#38 Traveler

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:25 PM

A bunch of articles about the investigation(s). First, how Trumpistas dropkicked it on the investigation. Apparently nobody know what Comey was going to say. Then Nunes tried to spin:

Quote

For the same reasons that Schiff was pleased with the thoroughness of the F.B.I. investigation, Nunes seemed concerned by it. As Nunes was leaving the hearing, a group of reporters surrounded him near the dais. Asked by one reporter if Comey was as forthcoming as he had hoped, Nunes said no. He complained that he was not informed by Comey about the investigation last year. “But I do think I should have been,” he said tersely. He also complained that there was now a “cloud” over the White House, and said that it was “very problematic” that Comey would not disclose whether current Trump officials were under investigation.

Nunes, like the White House, tried to distance Trump from any actions taken by his former campaign advisers. “I have no evidence of collusion or conspiracy, especially as it relates to anybody who is in the White House,” he said. “There’s all these extra characters out there who I don’t think really had anything to do with the campaign.” Asked by another reporter about Page and Stone, Nunes claimed, implausibly, that he had never heard of them.


Then how Nunes put his foot into his mouth.

Quote

As Comey said at Nunes’s hearing on Monday, “All FISA applications reviewed by the court and collection by us pursuant to our FISA authority is classified.” Assuming that anything Nunes said was true, it appears to involve material obtained under FISA. Nunes confirmed as much in his White House press conference; when asked if the targets were subjects of surveillance “under FISA orders,” he said, “It appears so.” Silly us, but we thought such material was classified until affirmatively declassified by the original classifying authority. Have NSA and FBI declassified the facts that Nunes publicly described today? Remember that Nunes apparently hasn’t even spoken to Comey about this yet.

When asked whether the Justice Department authorized him to make the information public, Nunes said he thought the President “needed to know,” presumably indicating he did not, in fact, have DOJ permission. Considering the focus on leaks of FISA material of Republicans at Monday’s hearings, the question of whether Nunes himself has just improperly discussed classified FISA matters in public is one that deserves at least some attention.


And now Nunes is eating crow.

Quote

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes apologized to the panel’s Democrats Thursday for how he disclosed information about surveillance related to Donald Trump, two committee aides said.

By revealing the existence of intelligence intercepts involving the president’s aides, the California Republican gave Trump some fresh ammunition for his so-far unsubstantiated claims of being surveilled. But that move may have come at Nunes’s own expense.
The apology -- which was done behind closed doors -- may not be enough to heal the partisan wounds in Congress. Nunes’s disclosure marked a significant breach of protocol for a panel that does the vast majority of its work behind closed doors, usually in close coordination with the panel’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California.

You just can't make this shit up.

ETA:

And BB weighs in:

Quote

Yet what was most alarming here was the disclosure itself. Nunes's comments were loaded with insinuation but provided almost no evidence. He conceded that the intercepts in question were almost certainly legal. And he acknowledged that he had shared the material with the president, a putative target of his investigation, but not with the rest of the intelligence committee.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#39 golden_valley

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:35 PM

 indy, on 23 March 2017 - 10:55 AM, said:

If you are referring to the likelihood of Bannon being involved, I tend to agree. Never know though.

Is that because you think the Russian connections are the result of Trump's business dealings or because Bannon is too much an egotistical lone wolf to get involved with Russian operatives who might try to tell him what to do?

#40 LFC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:36 PM

And in a case of what's good for the goose, but in a MUCH slicker fashion without revealing quite possibly classified information like Nunes did.

Quote

Two members of the House Intelligence Committee have told The Daily Beast that they have now seen "more than circumstantial" evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russia.

"The evidence is more than circumstantial," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee said. Rep. Mike Quigley, another Democrat on the committee, said in a separate conversation Thursday he had seen the same as Schiff.

Schiff said that the public would have to wait until the panel completed its investigation into Russian interference with the U.S. election to see the evidence he’s referencing.

"I certainly think at the conclusion of the investigation we ought to disclose as much as we can, but I don't think we should be disclosing evidence during the investigation," Schiff told The Daily Beast.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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