Just recently five senior FBI officials in charge of election protection and cybersecurity have left the Federal Bureau of Instigation. The news broke  few days ago that one of the heads of the agency’s task force to protect the U.S. from overseas attacks, Jeff Tricoli,  had resigned. Today the Wall Street Journal is reporting via DailyKos that four more top FBI cybersecurity experts are also leaving.

Scott Smith, assistant FBI director is leaving this month and his deputy Howard Marshall is already gone; Smith’s supervisor David Resch, executive assistant director of the FBI’s criminal, cyber, response and services branch; and Carl Ghattas, the agency’s national security branch executive assistant director, are also on their way out.

Did Trump and his minions in the Republican Party drive them out? Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) suggests that perhaps they did. He said “One-and-one-half branches of our government appear to be committed to attacking the Bureau, its workforce and its mission on a near-daily basis.” FBI Director Chris Wray downplayed this, saying “Would they (FBI agents) prefer not to get criticized? Of course. […] But at the end of the day, the criticism we care about is the people who know our work.”

However, the reasons for their departure may not be nefarious.  Former officials say there are high levels of frustration about how to organize the program to protect our country’s cyber network. “There’s an internal tension in terms of how to staff cyber properly. […] We constantly have new people in leadership reinventing the cyber program,” one former official told the WSJ.

This comes at a time when Republicans have refused to provide additional funding for grants to local governments to beef up their protection of election systems from attacks. The White House is clearly a-okay with all that, as are others.

No Dream ACT? No CHIP? No Deal!

Right before Christmas, I voted “no” on the spending bill passed by the House and Senate to fund the government for another four weeks.

I made this decision because the bill does not protect 800,000 Dreamers — and it lets the vital Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) become defunded in March.

As a Democrat, I believe we have a responsibility to hard-working, everyday Americans. Not just the rich ones, or the ones who give out big checks, or the ones who call the shots in big corporations.

This month, Congress will vote again on a longer-term budget. 60 votes will be needed in the Senate. Democrats have leverage and should draw a clear line in the sand: NO DREAM ACT? NO CHIP? NO DEAL!

Can you join me in demanding that members of Congress oppose any spending bill that doesn’t include the DREAM Act and long-term funding for children’s health care?

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I am Thrilled

Tim Eyman is disappointed. I am thrilled. Eyman and his local Spokane buddy failed to collect enough signatures to qualify their initiative for 2018 for 30 dollar car tabs.

(Thursday, December 28, 2017) I’m really disappointed: we didn’t collect enough voter signatures for our $30 Tabs Initiative to qualify.

Despite months of hard work and effort by a lot of great people, I’m really disappointed to announce that we didn’t make it.

Even though bringing back our $30 car tabs has overwhelming public support (85% according to KOMO 4′s poll), we didn’t collect the 350,000 signatures needed to get our measure on the ballot. I know that this is heartbreaking news.

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Net Neutrality Rules in Washington State?

Nothing good will come out of Washington D.C. for another three years.  However, there is hope at the state-level.  It had not occurred to me that the State of Washington might try to pass its own net neutrality laws to maintain free speech on the internet.  Thanks Matt for speaking out this. For his announcement to run the 9th, see this post.

Just this morning, the FCC moved forward with its undemocratic decision to ignore the collective voice of the American people, and voted on party lines to repeal Net Neutrality consumer protections that safeguard the marketplace of ideas and the free flow of information on the Internet.

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Will McMorris Speak Out against Manweller?

matt-ManwellerWill Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers be a leader and speak out against Republican Rep. Matt Manweller and ask him to resign if found guilty? She has remain largely quite about the alleged improprieties by members of her Republican Party (see here). While the rest of the country had already made up their minds, it took McMorris two weeks to come forward with a statement.

Manweller has been place on an involuntary leave of absence while he is further investigated for the sexual harassment of college students at Central Washington University. Witness testimonial was found to be credible. Matt Maweller (born August 23, 1969) is an member of the Republican Party and was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2012 to representing a seat 13th Legislative District, which he has occupied since January 2013. He is also a Associate Professor of Political Science at the University, which is where the allegations are involved.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A state lawmaker who is facing scrutiny over past allegations of sexual harassment while teaching at Central Washington University has been placed on leave by the school because of a new investigation.

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Trump’s FCC Plans to End Net Nuetrality

I received this from Senator Maria Cantwell today about Trump’s efforts to end net neutrality.

If the Trump administration gets its way, your internet is about to get a whole lot slower.

In tw‌o da‌ys, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will be holding a vote to destroy President Obama’s net neutrality and open internet protections. Once those are gone, cable companies and service providers will be able to create a two-tiered internet — a fast lane for the corporations willing to pay and a slow lane for the rest of us.

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Tim Eyman Costs the State Billions in Revenue

 

Tim Eyman is again bragging about costing the State of Washington 35 billion dollars in support for Schools, State Parks, roads, buses, ferries, and healthcare.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Working together over the past 18 years, we’ve saved taxpayers over $35 billion from our various tax initiatives (http://www.voterswantmorechoices.com/SavTax.html).
With our 4 voter-approved 2/3-for-taxes initiatives, we’ve stopped Olympia from raising taxes billions more.

Finally

After two agonizingly long weeks, Cathy McMorris Rodgers finally says something about the pedophile within the Republican Party and asks him to drop out of the U.S. Senate race.  Do ya think?  Hundreds of other Republican leaders and rank-and-file members had already spoken out against Roy Moore for preying upon teenage girls. Why did Cathy take so long?  Is she a leader or a follower?

McMorris Rodgers’ statement echoes that of House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, who called for Moore to drop out of the race earlier this week. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, also called on Moore to end his campaign this week, after previously saying the allegations from multiple women should be verified (Spokesman Review, Fri., Nov. 17, 2017)

“What Matters Most” from Lisa Brown

I received this email from Lisa Brown

For the first time in 20 years, Congress missed the deadline to reauthorize the enormously successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This puts four million kids at risk of losing their coverage, including as many as 17,500 children here in Washington state.

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The Next Tim Eyman Initiative

I am not sure how it happened, but Tim Eyman got a hold of my email address.  He is again in cahoots with Spokane’s infamous Mike “bikini-barista” Fagan. I think I will just wait and see what he emails to me next.

(Wednesday, July 26th, 2017) It’s really inspiring.  We’ve had an overwhelming response to our $30 Tabs Initiative so far.  Requests for initiative petitions are pouring in.  This explosive start is because taxpayers are furious about their skyrocketing car tab taxes and Sound Transit’s lies.  Our initiative sets annual licensing fees for all vehicles at a flat, fair $30.For Initiative 695′s $30 tabs campaign in 1999, we started from scratch.  We didn’t have a huge list of supporters, no website, no email address.  And yet in 5 months, our supporters collected 514,000 signatures.  It was the 2nd highest number in state history.  What was most amazing was the fact that HALF the signatures were collected by 180 individuals.  That’s right:  260,000 signatures were turned in to us by 180 extraordinary people that we called our kamikazes — when it was all over, we gave each of them a 695 t-shirt.

Last Friday, I got an email from one of our kamikazes:  Bob Henkel from Tacoma.  This amazing man collected over 6000 signatures for 695!!  His goal is do even more for this year’s $30 Tabs Initiative.  Here’s his email:

“I decided today that I will work on your initiative again, because I’m not gonna let Sound Transit get away with taking away our $30 tabs. I’m gonna spend every ounce of effort that I have left at 87 years of age to see to it that we get our $30 tabs back.  I want to beat my old record!!  I will set up trap lines again like I did years ago.  I went to businesses within about 15 miles from where I live.  I made a loop from Tacoma to Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Orting, and back home again.  I asked them if I could place some petitions at a convenient location in their business.  I made a small sign to place near the petitions to draw attention to the petitions.  I told the store owners that I would be around every two weeks to pick up full petitions and to leave more petitions as needed.  I left them a card with my name and phone number so they could call me if needed.  And it’s not just businesses that sell cars that are good places — there are many other businesses that are also great places to leave petitions.  It is time that we show the bigwigs at Sound Transit that we are in charge, not them. We cannot let them get away with being so crooked.”

If you’re inspired by Bob Henkel’s heroism, send me an email and let me know how many petitions you want, your address, and your phone number.  I will find an Office Depot, Staples, or Kinko’s near you, order the petitions for you, and all you need to do is pick them.  It is a petition distribution revolution that nearly 100 supporters have done already.

The only way we’re going to collect 300,000 signatures in the next 5 months is with a massive grassroots effort.  Follow Bob Henkel’s example.  Be bold.  Be a leader.The people are clearly on our side:


The greatest threat to this initiative’s signature drive is OVERCONFIDENCE.  Having qualified 16 initiatives for a statewide public vote over the years, we’ve made it seem easy.  It’s not.  It’s really tough.  The only way we’re gonna make it is with a massive grassroots effort where everyone does their part to help. Help us make it happen.

If you want to stick it to Sound Transit by Bringing Back Our $30 Tabs for everyone in the state of Washington (for cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, motor homes, RVs, 5th wheels, and other vehicles), then please send us a donation for $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, $2500, $5000 or more (there are no limits on how much can be given). You can go to our website right now - www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com and make a secure on-line contribution by PayPal or VISA or M/C. OR, you can print this form, fill it out, and return it with a check or credit card information.

We’ve done so many amazing things over the past 18 years, but that’s only been possible thanks to successful benefactors like you.  We ask you to please help us help taxpayers.

Please donate TODAY.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, Fighting for Taxpayers for 18 years, 425-493-9127, tim_eyman@comcast.net

P.S.  There are thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and special interest groups working each and every day to raise your taxes.  Shouldn’t there be at least one person, one team, one organization that fights to lower your taxes?  Please help us so we can continue our successful efforts on behalf of taxpayers.

Ben Stuckart for Congress

I also received an email from Democrat Ben Stuckart who has declared his candidacy for 2018 primary election to run for the 5th Congressional District seat to run in the 2018 general election against McMorris .  Ben is currently the President of the Spokane City Council.  He was first elected in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015.

Friend,
I believe that big money should have no place in politics.  Our government must be of the people, by the people, and for the people – otherwise we descend into tyranny.
That’s why last year I was a statewide co-sponsor of Initiative 1464.  I partnered with the League of Women Voters and the Seattle Tea Party on the Initiative.

Sutherland Vies for Chance against Cathy

I got this email from, Matthew Sutherland, one of the Democrats who has declared his intent to run in 2018 for the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District, and, thus, the honor of running against Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the general election. He is pretty upset with Trump as well.

It’s become clearer with each passing day Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our national security.  Enabled by Congressional Republicans like our very own Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Trump repeatedly puts classified information at risk and jeopardizes the lives of our agents abroad despite warnings from our dedicated and hard-working intelligence agencies.

Trump viewed a North Korean missile test at an open-air table in the ballroom of Mar-a-Lago. There was such a lack of security that another visitor was able to take pictures of the event and post them to Facebook.

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Update on “$30 Tabs Initiative”

 

I have heard from a few sources that Tim Eyman is behind on his signature gathering and fundraising for his car tabs initiative. I noticed that he did not state how many signatures his volunteers have gathered in total so far, nor how much money he has raised. May be that is why.

(Wednesday, August 30th, 2017) Fantastic news. Debbie Blodgett is now the 3rd person to turn in 1000+ signatures for the $30 Tabs Initiative and thus has earned one of those bright orange $30 Tabs t-shirts. She rocks!!! And she’s still going strong.

Debbie is the chair of the Snohomish County Republicans and she is absolutely killing it when it comes to collecting signatures. She’s friendly and aggressive, a powerful combination. I couldn’t be happier and prouder to have her on our team. Monroe’s Evergreen State Fair and all the other fairs are a fantastic opportunity to get lots of signatures. But to get 300,000 signatures by the end of December, we need signature collection NOT JUST AT BIG EVENTS, but set out on counters everywhere for folks to sign.

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U.S. Secret Service Agency and Obama

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Before pointing too many fingers at our beleaguered Secret Service agency and its recent foibles, we should consider its success so far in its bottom line responsibility: to keep President Obama and family alive and injury-free.

Interviewed during Obama’s 2012 visit to Portland, Oregon, the Secret Service reported that “Obama faces more death threats than any other president. More than 30 a day.” (Portland Oregonian, 7/28/12).  This is consistent with the big spike in US hate groups, spread quite evenly over all states except Hawaii, that the Southern Poverty Law Center documented following President Obama’s 2008 election. Read the rest of this entry

“I am absolutely convinced that no amount of wealth in the world can help humanity move forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Ghandi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?” –Albert Einstein

Hundreds gather in Arizona for armed anti-Muslim protest

(By Evan Wyloge) PHOENIX —About 250 mostly armed anti-Muslim demonstrators — many wearing T-shirts bearing a profanity-laced message denouncing Islam — faced-off against a crowd of roughly the same size defending the faith in front of a Phoenix mosque Friday night. Demonstrators yelled and taunted one another across a line of police separating the two sides but violence did not break out.


Can you guess what happened? Read the rest of this entry

Keystone Pipeline: The Agenda of the Koch Brothers

(Letter-to-the-Editor) Let’s see if I have this correct. A foreign oil company wants to build a pipeline across American land to transport Canadian tar sands crude to American ports to export it overseas to make money for themselves.
Mitch McConnell stated that building the Keystone XL pipeline is the first item on the Republican agenda.  Why would this pipeline mean so much to the Republican Congress? Let’s look at some facts.
We know the Koch brothers are the largest lease holders in in Alberta.

(Lettter-to-the-Editor) The Republican party seems to think that because they are in charge of Congress that they have a mandate from “the people” to pursue their conservative agenda during President Obama’s final two years. Sorry Charlie. Even if they can get past the high hurdle of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, they are nowhere near the number of votes required to overturn a Presidential veto. And it should have been clear to anyone watching the State of the Union address that President Obama is no lame duck. Hey, Party of “no,” meet the President of “not on my watch.”

The Washington State Republican Party is no better off. Many of the WSRP positions (trickle-down voodoo economics of tax cuts for the rich and no minimum wage adjustments, no new taxes, “greed-is-good” deregulation, “climate change has yet to be proven,” opposition to Obamacare, anti-gay marriage, etc.) are unpopular with the majority of Washingtonians and across America. Yet, according to the WSRP web site, Chairman Susan Hutchison expects to build upon the Republican victories of 2014 over the next two years to elect a Republican governor and president.
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Parental Leave Laws

What’s wrong with the United States? How come we don’t respect our laborers?  Almost every country in the world treats parents who work better than we do.  Thanks Democracy for America for bring attention to this.

What do Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and the United States of America have in common? They’re the only countries in the world that don’t mandate any form of paid parental leave for workers.

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Thanks to Democracy for America for taking up a labor issue again.  Once again the United States, is in behind on labor issues.

Last week, President Obama issued an executive order on immigration, protecting millions of families from deportation. There’s another action the President can take to help working Americans, without waiting for Congress:

He can direct the Department of Labor to expand the number of workers who can receive overtime pay, putting more money in the pockets of as many as 10 million Americans.

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Vote for Joe Pakootas

(Letter-to-the-editor) So the Republican House of Representatives leadership now wants to sue President Obama over certain executive orders, even though he has made less of them than most other presidents.  But the real ethical, if not legal, offense is that the Republican leadership, including our Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (http://www.we-can-do-better.org), won’t allow a vote of the full House on the Senate-passed immigration bill S.744 even though it has enough House votes to pass and thus become law with Obama’s promised signature.

Please join me and vote for Joe Pakootas who will represent all of the people with an independent voice rather than simply echo the political leadership.

 

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA

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