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Maine’s wingnut governor breaks the law

Gov. LaPage, Freeport Flag Ladies and Susan Collins

Paul LaPage, uberwingnut, is a loose cannon who looks for any excuse to cut benefits to poor people:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has pounced on the recent unsealing of court documents showing an Iranian refugee who resettled in Maine and later joined the terror group ISIS.

But the governor’s eagerness to use Adnan Fazeli’s radicalization here to rail against welfare benefits for refugees may have led him to run afoul of a federal law designed to protect the identities of welfare recipients and their families.

State officials have not confirmed that Fazeli, or his family, received welfare benefits when he lived in Maine between 2009 and 2013. According to federal laws governing food stamps and cash assistance, they’re not supposed to.

“It’s concerning if that was indeed reported by Maine officials because federal law is clear that people’s confidentiality should be protected,” said Robyn Merrill, director for Maine Equal Justice Partners, an advocacy group for low-income Mainers

Merrill’s concerns were raised by a report in the Boston Herald in which Maine state officials are quoted as saying that Fazeli, and his family, received cash and food stamp benefits.

Those benefits, known also as SNAP and TANF, are federal programs, funded mostly with federal tax dollars. According to federal rules, the identities of benefit recipients are confidential — only law enforcement, immigration officials and state administrators are allowed to know who receives the benefits.

Those same officials, according to the law, “must adequately protect the information against unauthorized disclosure.”

The Herald story also contained an interview with LePage, who told the newspaper that the Fazeli case prompted him to order a review of all benefit programs for refugees.

Merrill said that Fazeli’s radicalization here is concerning, but she worries about the LePage administration’s zeal to politicize it.

“It seems as though this one particular circumstance is really being exploited and used as justification to deny help to a whole group of people,” she said.

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Rudy: There were no terror attacks in the U.S. before Obama

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Rudy Giuliani, the very man who touts his efforts as Mayor of New York City after the attacks on September 11, 2001, just said, “Under those eight years before Obama came along we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks inside the United States.” Giuliani said that in Youngstown, Ohio, just after discussing Ground Zero… Continue Reading →

That time Donald Trump had to tell the truth

Trump tax plan seen as boon for rich, question mark for others

It was at a 2007 deposition hearing:

The lawyer gave Donald Trump a note, written in Trump’s own handwriting. He asked Trump to read it aloud.

Trump may not have realized it yet, but he had walked into a trap.

“Peter, you’re a real loser,” Trump began reading.

The mogul had sent the note to a reporter, objecting to a story that said Trump owned a “small minority stake” in a Manhattan real estate project. Trump insisted that the word “small” was incorrect. Trump continued reading: “I wrote, ‘Is 50 percent small?’ ”

“This [note] was intended to indicate that you had a 50 percent stake in the project, correct?” said the lawyer.

“That’s correct,” Trump said.

For the first of many times that day, Trump was about to be caught saying something that wasn’t true.

. LAWYER: Mr. Trump, do you own 30 percent or 50 percent of the limited partnership?TRUMP: I own 30 percent.

It was a mid-December morning in 2007 — the start of an interrogation unlike anything else in the public record of Trump’s life.

Trump had brought it on himself. He had sued a reporter, accusing him of being reckless and dishonest in a book that raised questions about Trump’s net worth. The reporter’s attorneys turned the tables and brought Trump in for a deposition.

For two straight days, they asked Trump question after question that touched on the same theme: Trump’s honesty.

The lawyers confronted the mogul with his past statements — and with his company’s internal documents, which often showed those statements had been incorrect or invented. The lawyers were relentless. Trump, the bigger-than-life mogul, was vulnerable — cornered, out-prepared and under oath.

Thirty times, they caught him.

NBC’s O’Donnell To Gov. Christie: ‘Are You An Imperfect Messenger’?

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After Gov. Chris Christie held a mock trial against Hillary Clinton and used the RNC Convention’s audience as judge and jury to convict her over and over again of criminal and ethics violations, Christie was questioned about his own checkered past. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked him point blank if he should attacking Hillary since he’s had… Continue Reading →

Report: Bush ignored numerous warnings before invasion

Chilcot Inquiry Rally (6.7.16) (163)

The dirty hippies were right again. I’m sure none of us are surprised, exactly, but it’s still shocking to see it all laid out:

Last week, the independent British committee established to delve into the blunders that led to that country joining the Iraq misadventure released a report astonishing for its breadth and sobriety. It is no easy read—with 2.6 million words in 12 volumes, it explores every detail of the processes and decisions that cost the lives of 179 British servicemen and women. And since the goal of the inquiry was to determine what went wrong across the board, it provides information no Republican politician would allow anyone on Capitol Hill to dig up.

The report’s shocking conclusion is obvious: The White House, the Pentagon and, to a lesser extent, the State Department had no idea what they were doing.

Incompetence permeates the tale, with Bush officials arrogantly waving aside warnings and pleas for better planning. The march toward war took on an unstoppable political momentum as evidence piled up that this invasion would be a colossal catastrophe. Preconceptions—such as blithe dismissals of a humanitarian and governmental role in the invasion for the United Nations, as well as a disregard for day-after-war preparations in favor of gut feelings and slogans—undermined the chance for success. Records show the British considered themselves indispensable to the effort, if only to counter the Bush administration’s reckless planning, which officials in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government derided as fantastical.

If you have the stomach for it, go read the rest.

They sure do pick ’em

FEB 2009 Page - Jennifer Priest for Michelle Van Etten

It’s the George Costanza effect!

A Florida businesswoman who the Trump campaign personally asked to deliver a speech at the Republican Convention was billed as the successful employer to a staggering 100,000 people — when, in fact, she employs no one.

Michelle Van Etten, “a multi-level marketer” for a dubious nutritional product company called Youngevity, is slated to speak during Wednesday night’s business-focused event called “Make America First Again.”

The official RNC schedule and a Sunday press release described Michelle as a small-business owner who “employs over 100,000 people and is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, knowing his policies will support businesses all across America.”

Van Etten, 42, revealed to the Daily Beast on Monday that, actually, she has zero employees.

Drip, drip, drip

Closer, ever closer:

NEWARK, New Jersey – A former top appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday in connection with a plan to cause traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge as political payback. Two other former Christie allies, meanwhile, face federal criminal charges in the scandal known as Bridgegate.

At the federal court here in the Garden State’s largest city, David Wildstein acknowledged conspiring with Bill Baroni, Christie’s then-top Port Authority appointee, and Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich by closing lanes on the entrance to the George Washington Bridge in 2013, because Sokolich had declined to endorse Christie in his re-election bid. At the time, Wildstein was a top official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge.

The Donald Scrambles To Bury His Video Testimony In Trump U Scam Case – What’s He Hiding?

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Trump U Continues To Haunt Donald’s Campaign Trump U is the gift that keeps on giving – if you’re a liberal, that is. The lawsuits brought against Trump U claim that it wasn’t an accredited school, and that the seminars and “classes” given were much more akin to infomercials, and completely failed the students in teaching… Continue Reading →

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