August 24, 2019 / by 

 

In Epstein’s Wake: MIT Media Lab, Dirty Money, and Swartz [UPDATE]

[NB: This is definitely not by Marcy; contains some speculative content. Update at bottom. /~Rayne]

MIT Media Lab is in upheaval after the disclosure that its organization accepted financial support from now-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Ethan Zuckerman announced Tuesday he was moving his work out of the MIT Media Lab by the end of May 2020. He’s been a highly-respected director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, a subset of the Media Lab. Zuckerman explained his decision in a post on Medium:

… My logic was simple: the work my group does focuses on social justice and on the inclusion of marginalized individuals and points of view. It’s hard to do that work with a straight face in a place that violated its own values so clearly in working with Epstein and in disguising that relationship. …

His moral and ethical clarity deserves applause; Zuckerman stands out against the highly compromised tech sector, in both academia and the private sector.

While his announcement was as upbeat as it could possibly be considering the circumstances, a faint sense of betrayal leaks through. It must have been painful to learn one’s boss has undermined their work so badly they have no choice but to leave, even if one enjoys their workplace and their boss.

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, offered his apology for his having accepted funding from Epstein through organizations Epstein controlled.

The explanation in Ito’s statement and his apology sound banal and will likely be accepted by the wider technology community given how little reaction there’s been from Silicon Valley.

One glaring problem: Ito is an lawyer, a visiting professor at Harvard. There’s little defense he can offer for taking  dirty money from a convicted human trafficker. It matters not if the money was ‘laundered’ through funds if they were under Epstein’s control. The money mattered more than the appearance, more than Media Lab’s ethics.

Ito still has considerable explaining to do. It won’t be enough fast enough to stem the tide, though.

J. Nathan Mathias, visiting scholar working on the CivilServant project at the Lab, has also announced he is leaving:

As part of our work, CivilServant does research on protecting women and other vulnerable people online from abuse and harassment. I cannot with integrity do that from a place with the kind of relationship that the Media Lab has had with Epstein. It’s that simple.

Epstein’s money didn’t directly fund CivilServant yet any of his dirty money funded the Media Lab it supported the infrastructure for CivilServant.

There will be more departures. Worse, there will be people who can’t leave, trapped by circumstance. Epstein’s poisonous reach continues beyond the grave.

~ ~ ~

When I read that Zuckerman was leaving MIT Media Lab, it occurred to me there was a possible intersection between MIT, law enforcement, and another activist who lived their values defending the public’s interest.

Aaron Swartz.

The government was ridiculously ham fisted in its prosecution of Swartz for downloading material from MIT for the purpose of liberating taxpayer-funded information. The excessive prosecution is believed to have pushed Swartz to commit suicide.

What could possibly have driven the federal government to react so intensely to Swartz’s efforts? One might even say the prosecution was in diametric intensity to the prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein a few years earlier.

Why was Swartz hammered by the feds for attempting to release publicly-funded material while Epstein got a slap on the hands — besides the obvious fact women and girls are not valued in this society as much as information is?

At the time I wondered whether it was research materials that might pose a threat to the existing stranglehold of fossil fuel industries. There was certainly enough money in that.

But in retrospect, seeing how Epstein made a concerted effort to inveigle himself into science and technology by way of investment, noting that researchers were among the compromised serviced by Epstein’s underage sex slaves, was it really research that Epstein tried to access?

What might be the overlap between Epstein’s outreach and the DOJ with regard to MIT and to Swartz’s activism?

Is it possible that something else besides scientific research might have interested both Epstein and the federal government, incurring the wrath of the latter?

I can’t help but wonder if Swartz’s work to liberate federal court archive Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER) documents might have been that something else.

In 2008, Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.org worked with Swartz, receiving what PACER documents had been downloaded from behind PACER’s pricey paywall.

Upon reading the downloaded content they found court documents rife with privacy violations, including

“names of minor children, names of informants, medical records, mental health records, financial records, tens of thousands of social security numbers.”

Malamud said they contacted

“Chief Judges of 31 District Courts … They redacted those documents and they yelled at the lawyers that filed them … The Judicial Conference changed their privacy rules. … [To] the bureaucrats who ran the Administrative Office of the United States Courts … we were thieves that took $1.6 million of their property. So they called the FBI … [The FBI] found nothing wrong …”

Was the harassment-by-excessive-prosecution intended to stop Swartz and Malamud from exposing any more confidential information exposed in federal prosecutions, shielded from the public by nothing more than a cost-prohibitive per page charge of eight cents?

Would politically-toxic sweetheart deals like the DOJ offered Epstein have been among those with privacy violations and poorly-/non-redacted confidential information?

Or given Epstein’s long relationship with senior members of MIT Media Lab, was Swartz cutting into someone’s turf by liberating data which might otherwise be salable — legally or illegally — if closely held?

~ ~ ~

Putting aside speculation, several things need to be dealt with immediately to remedy the mess post-Epstein.

First, all entities receiving public funding which also received contributions from Epstein-controlled funds must make full disclosure — ditto nonprofits which operate as 501(c)3 entities paying no taxes, like Epstein’s shady Gratitude America, Ltd. Who in each organization was approached, when, how did Epstein communicate his interest in funding their work, how were contributions made, and did any persons affiliated with the entities travel with, to/from an Epstein-controlled venue or Epstein-funded event? Everything these entities do is suspect until they are fully transparent.

It would be in the best interest of affected entities to make disclosures immediately; the court-ordered release of sealed documents from Virginia Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit against Epstein’s alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell is not yet complete. Only a portion has been published; failing to make disclosures ahead of the release has not helped Media Lab’s credibility. Nor has this:

MIT declined to comment on the money it received. “While donors, including foundations, may confirm their contributions to the Institute, MIT does not typically comment on the details of gifts or gift agreements,” MIT spokesperson Kimberly Allen told BuzzFeed News by email.

Second, in the case of MIT Media Labs in particular, a  complete narrative history and timeline of the Lab’s origin, work, and funding since it was launched is necessary. There isn’t one that I can find right now — not at the organization’s website, not even on Wikipedia. This lack of transparency is wretched hypocrisy considering the grief members of the Lab expressed upon Swartz’s death. Media Lab’s site Search feature offering content by range or years is inadequate and must be supplemented.

It’s not clear based on publicly available information what Marvin Minsky‘s exact role was and when with the Lab though he is referred to as a founder. Minsky, who died in 2016, is among those Virginia Giuffre has accused of sexual abuse. What effect including financial contributions did Epstein have on MIT Media Lab through his relationship with Minsky?

As Evgeny Morozov found when combing through papers, Epstein’s money could have been present as early as the Lab’s inception. Why can’t the public see this history readily, let alone the researchers, staff, students working in the Media Lab?

Even the work MIT Media Lab encompasses is not shared openly with the public. Mathias’ project CivilServant isn’t listed under Research — it can only be found through the Lab’s Search feature. How can the public learn what may have been shaped by Epstein’s funding if they can’t even see what the Lab is working on?

Third, Swartz’s work toward an Open Access Movement outlined in his Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto remains undone.

The effect of closed/limited access to publicly-funded information may be killing us and our planet. This can’t be stressed enough, based on one example from Malamud’s recollection:

… The last time Aaron had downloaded large numbers of journal articles was in 2008, when he downloaded 441,170 law review articles from Westlaw, a legal search service. He was trying to expose the practice of corporations such as Exxon funding a practice known as “for-litigation research,” which consisted of lucrative stipends given to law professors who in turn produced articles penned specifically so they could be cited in ongoing litigation. In the case of Exxon, they were trying to reduce their $5 billion in punitive damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Aaron didn’t release any of the articles he downloaded, but the research he did was published in 2010 in a seminal article in the Stanford Law Review that exposed these ethically questionable practices in the legal academy. …

If Exxon did this for the Valdez Oil Spill, have they also done this with regard to climate change-related documents since the late 1980s?

Why isn’t this kind of work protecting the public’s interest against the malign use of corruptly-controlled data one of the Lab’s research programs?

Open access, too, must apply to MIT Media Labs. It must be as transparent as Swartz would have wished it to be.

You have to wonder how different the course of technology would have been as well as history had open access been baked into publicly-funded research at MIT Media Lab from the beginning.

UPDATE — 9:00 AM EDT 23-AUG-2019 —

Keep an eye on Evgeny Morozov’s Twitter feed as he’s been sharing more material on MIT Media Lab and Jeffrey Epstein.

Like this thread in progress by Media Lab fellow Sarah Szalavitz, who had warned against taking Epstein’s money. Alan Dershowitz pops up in that thread.

Note also community member foggycoast’s comment in which they share quite a few resources to help flesh out MIT Media Lab’s early years as well as Aaron Swartz’s papers.

I’d like to hear from more women who worked at Media Lab because I’m sure they won’t be as blind to predatory behavior as men have been. But then this asks people with less social capital, including some potential victims, to do the work of exposing this hidden form of corruption.


Whip It Good: Crack That Whip [UPDATED-5]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. Updates will appear at the bottom of the post before the whip count table. /~Rayne]

I was really torn about sharing this video — watching it induced a wicked flashback to my salad days. As problematic as the images in it are now, the lyrics are effective and the tune snappy.

Just the thing to get you pumped up to make a phone call to your representative. Now crack that whip!

Since the last Whip It post we’ve picked up these Democrats in support of an impeachment inquiry:

Rep. Lauren Underwood IL-14 (rated R+5*)

Rep. Anthony Brown MD-4 (rated D+28)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján NM-3 (rated D+8)

As the current Assistant Speaker and former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair during the last session, Luján is the highest ranking representative to commit to date.

According to POLITICO’s most recent count, we’re at 131 Democrats in support of an impeachment inquiry.  We need 87 more to pass an authorizing resolution.

We’re entering the tough slog. It’s not going to be pretty when representatives are offering tepid support in spite of their very blue district, or flipping only after claiming their district is too conservative. I’m rather annoyed at Anthony Brown, for example, whose district is D+28 — ridiculous to string this out so long and make such a tepid statement when declaring support.

There are 104 Democrats who have not yet committed to supporting an impeachment inquiry. This means 17 Democrats can remain uncommitted and a resolution would still pass.

But there are 75 Democrats in districts ranked D+0 or better who have yet to get behind an inquiry. There are no excuses for this; surely they can see the 2018 wave will continue, especially as a recession begins and Trump continues to put the nation at risk nearly every damned time he tweets.

12 of the 29 Democrats in R+1 or worse districts must also eventually give their support. They will lose their existing Democratic base if they don’t. If they don’t already see obvious reasons why an impeachment inquiry must begin, they need to be primaried for having failed their oath of office.

You’ll notice if you haven’t in past Whip It posts that I’ve given up on the House GOP members. They are wholly committed to a transnational organized crime syndicate’s omertà, willing to kowtow to foreign entities to obtain continuing support, willing to turn a blind eye to the many gross failings of the Trump administration.

They’re willing to let farmers lose their farms, workers lose their jobs, constituents lose their health care, their homes to health care-driven bankruptcy, their lives to opioid addiction and to unregistered assault weapons in the hands of white nationalist terrorists.

They’ve completely thrown in the towel on democracy by refusing to protect voting infrastructure and ensuring every citizen has access to the polls.

Their oath of fealty to their syndicate is stronger than their loyalty to their fellow Americans and the Constitution.

This is the moment of differentiation for Democrats. This is when the rubber meets the road, when bullshit walks. Do not be found wanting when weighed and measured; do not be Republican light. Be a true (little r) republican and defend this democracy.

That goes for us as constituents as well. It’s still upon us to keep this republic, showing up at town halls our representatives have during the remaining summer recess, by calling their offices in D.C. or locally, by sending faxes or using Resistbot to make our sentiments heard.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Call your representative (and only your representative) and ask them to support an impeachment inquiry, even if they are a Republican. If your representative has already thrown their support behind an inquiry, do be sure to thank them.

This whip count will continue to be updated. Share in comments any new announcements by House members throwing support behind an impeachment inquiry.

And thank community member harpie for staying on top of the count as new commitments are made.

UPDATE-1 — 7:00 PM EDT —

Looks like another Democrat declared support for an impeachment inquiry while I was drafting this post.

Rep. Jim Langevin RI-2 (D+6)

UPDATE-2 — 11:30 PM EDT —

Oops, my count was off by two and now I know why. I missed Ruppersberger and Trone.

Note the rating on their districts:

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger MD-2 (D+11)

Rep. David Trone MD-6 (D+6)

Come on, Hoyer. Your Maryland district is a D+11 like Ruppersberger’s. Don’t think for a moment we’ve forgotten you.

UPDATE-3 — 3:40 PM EDT 22-AUG-2019 —

Add another to the tally, now at 134.

Rep. Bruce Schneider IL-10 (D+10)

UPDATE-4 — 6:00 PM EDT 22-AUG-2019 —

Feels like things are picking up steam. We have two more to add to the count:

Rep. Bill Keating MD-09 (D+4)

Rep. Mark Takano CA-41 (D+12)

That’s 136. Who’s next?

UPDATE-5 — 5:50 PM EDT 23-AUG-2019 —

Politico added Ro Khanna to their count; he’s made tepid statements over the last two months like Anthony Brown MD-4 so we hadn’t added him before now. I guess we’ll add him and then hold his feet to the fire to ensure he delivers, hmm?

Rep. Ro Khanna CA-17 (D+25)

Really no excuses not to be bolder when you’re in a true blue district. Be a leader, for crying out loud.

State Last First, Middle, Nickname Party Affiliation Impeachment Inquiry Y/N House Judiciary Committee
Alabama Sewell Terrycina Andrea “Terri” Dem
Arizona Gallego Ruben Dem Y
Arizona Grijalva Raul M. Dem Y
Arizona Kirkpatrick Ann Dem Y
Arizona O’Halleran Tom Dem
Arizona Stanton Greg Dem Y    🔺
California Aguilar Pete Dem Y
California Barragán Nanette Diaz Dem Y
California Bass Karen R. Dem Y (?)

see comment

   🔺
California Bera Amerish “Ami” Dem
California Brownley Julia Dem Y
California Cardenas Tony Dem Y
California Carbajal Salud O. Dem Y
California Chu Judy Dem Y
California Cisneros Gilbert “Gil” Dem
California Correa Jose Luis “Lou” Dem
California Costa Jim Dem
California Cox Terrance John “TJ” Dem
California Davis Susan A. Dem
California DeSaulnier Mark Dem Y
California Eshoo Anna G. Dem
California Garamendi John Raymond Dem Y
California Gomez Jimmy Dem Y
California Harder Josh Dem
California Hill Katherine Lauren “Katie” Dem
California Huffman Jared W. Dem Y
California Khanna Rohit “Ro” Dem Y
California Lee Barbara Dem Y
California Levin Mike Dem Y
California Lieu Ted W. Dem Y    🔺
California Lofgren Zoe Dem see comment
California Lowenthal Alan S. Dem Y
California Matsui Doris K. Dem Y
California McNerney Gerald Mark “Jerry” Dem
California Napolitano Grace Flores Dem Y
California Panetta James Varni “Jimmy” Dem
California Pelosi Nancy Dem
California Peters Scott Dem Y
California Porter Katherine “Katie” Dem Y
California Rouda Jr. Harley E. Dem Y
California Roybal-Allard Lucille Dem Y
California Ruiz Raul Dem
California Sanchez Linda T. Dem
California Schiff Adam B. Dem
California Sherman Brad Dem Y
California Speier Jackie Dem Y
California Swalwell Eric Michael Dem Y    🔺 (7)
California Takano Mark A. Dem Y  (11)
California Thompson C. Michael “Mike” Dem
California Torres Norma J. Dem Y
California Vargas Juan C. Dem Y
California Waters Maxine Dem Y
Colorado Crow Jason Dem Y
Colorado DeGette Diana L. Dem Y
Colorado Neguse Joseph “Joe” Dem Y    🔺
Colorado Perlmutter Edwin G. “Ed” Dem
Connecticut Courtney Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
Connecticut DeLauro Rosa L. Dem
Connecticut Hayes Jahana Dem
Connecticut Himes Jim Dem Y
Connecticut Larson John B. Dem
Delaware Rochester Lisa Blunt Dem Y
Florida Castor Katherine Anne “Kathy” Dem
Florida Crist Charlie Joseph Dem
Florida Demings Valdez “Val” Dem Y     🔺
Florida Deutch Theodore Eliot “Ted” Dem Y     🔺 (2)
Florida Frankel Lois J. Dem
Florida Hastings Alcee L. Dem
Florida Lawson Jr. Alfred “Al” Dem
Florida Mucarsel-Powell Debbie Dem Y     🔺
Florida Murphy Stephanie Dem
Florida Shalala Donna Elvira Dem
Florida Soto Darren Dem
Florida Wasserman Schultz Debbie Dem
Florida Wilson Frederica S. Dem
Georgia Bishop Jr. Sanford Dixon Dem
Georgia Johnson Jr. Henry C. “Hank” Dem
Georgia Lewis John R. Dem
Georgia McBath Lucia Kay “Lucy” Dem
Georgia Scott David Albert Dem
Hawaii Case Edward E. “Ed” Dem
Hawaii Gabbard Tulsi Dem
Illinois Bustos Cheri Dem
Illinois Casten Sean Dem Y
Illinois Davis Danny K. Dem Y
Illinois Foster G. William “Bill” Dem
Illinois Garcia Jesus G. “Chuy” Dem Y
Illinois Kelly Robin L. Dem Y
Illinois Krishnamoorthi S. Raja Dem
Illinois Lipinski Daniel William “Dan” Dem
Illinois Quigley Mike Dem Y
Illinois Rush Bobby Lee Dem Y
Illinois Schakowsky Janice D. “Jan” Dem Y
Illinois Schneider Bradley Scott “Brad” Dem Y
Illinois Underwood Lauren A. Dem Y
Indiana Carson Andre D. Dem Y
Indiana Visclosky Peter J. Dem
Iowa Axne Cindy Dem
Iowa Finkenauer Abby Dem
Iowa Loebsack David Wayne “Dave” Dem
Kansas Davids Sharice Dem
Kentucky Yarmuth John A. Dem Y
Louisiana Richmond Cedric L. Dem Y    🔺
Maine Golden Jared F. Dem
Maine Pingree Chellie M. Dem Y
Maryland Brown Anthony Gregory Dem Y
Maryland Cummings Elijah E. Dem
Maryland Hoyer Steny Hamilton Dem
Maryland Raskin Jamin B. “Jamie” Dem Y    🔺
Maryland Ruppersberger III Charles Albert Dutch “C.A. Dutch” Dem Y
Maryland Sarbanes John Peter Spyros Dem
Maryland Trone David Dem Y
Massachusetts Clark Katherine M. Dem Y  (1)
Massachusetts Keating William Richard “Bill” Dem Y
Massachusetts Kennedy III Joseph Patrick “Joe” Dem Y
Massachusetts Lynch Stephen F. Dem
Massachusetts McGovern James P. “Jim” Dem Y  (5)
Massachusetts Moulton Seth W. Dem Y
Massachusetts Neal Richard E. Dem
Massachusetts Pressley Ayanna S. Dem Y
Massachusetts Trahan Lori Loureiro Dem Y
Michigan Dingell Debbie Dem
Michigan Kildee Daniel T. “Dan” Dem Y
Michigan Lawrence Brenda Lulenar Dem Y
Michigan Levin Andy Dem Y
Michigan Slotkin Elissa Dem
Michigan Stevens Haley Dem
Michigan Tlaib Rashida Dem Y
Minnesota Craig Angela Dawn “Angie” Dem
Minnesota McCollum Betty Dem Y
Minnesota Omar Ilhan Dem Y
Minnesota Peterson Collin Clark Dem
Minnesota Phillips Dean Dem
Mississippi Thompson Bennie G. Dem Y  (8)
Missouri Clay Jr. William Lacy Dem Y
Missouri Cleaver II Emanuel Dem Y
Nevada Horsford Steven Alexzander Dem
Nevada Lee Susan Kelley “Susie” Dem
Nevada Titus Alice Costandina “Dina” Dem Y
New Hampshire Kuster Ann McLane “Annie” Dem Y
New Hampshire Pappas Christopher C. “Chris” Dem Y
New Jersey Gottheimer Joshua S. “Josh” Dem
New Jersey Kim Andrew “Andy” Dem
New Jersey Malinowski Tom Dem Y
New Jersey Norcross Donald W. Dem Y
New Jersey Pallone Jr. Frank Dem Y

see comment

 (10)
New Jersey Pascrell Jr. William J. “Bill” Dem Y
New Jersey Payne Jr. Donald M. Dem Y
New Jersey Sherrill Rebecca Michelle “Mikie” Dem
New Jersey Sires Albio Dem
New Jersey Van Drew Jeff Dem
New Jersey Watson Coleman Bonnie Dem Y
New Mexico Haaland Debra A. “Deb” Dem Y
New Mexico Lujan Ben Ray Dem Y
New Mexico Torres Small Xochitl Dem
New York Brindisi Anthony J. Dem
New York Clarke Yvette D. Dem Y
New York Delgado Antonio Dem
New York Engel Eliot Lance Dem Y  (3)
New York Espaillat Adriano Dem Y
New York Higgins Brian M. Dem Y
New York Jeffries Hakeem S. Dem
New York Lowey Nita M. Dem Y  (4)
New York Maloney Carolyn Bosher Dem Y
New York Maloney Sean Patrick Dem
New York Meeks Gregory Weldon Dem
New York Meng Grace Dem Y
New York Morelle Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
New York Nadler Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Dem
New York Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Dem Y
New York Rice Kathleen M. Dem Y
New York Rose Max N. Dem
New York Serrano Jose Enrique Dem Y
New York Suozzi Thomas R. “Tom” Dem
New York Tonko Paul David Dem Y
New York Velázquez Nydia Margarita Dem Y  (9)
North Carolina Adams Alma Shealey Dem Y
North Carolina Butterfield Jr. George Kenneth “G. K.” Dem Y
North Carolina Price David Eugene Dem Y
Ohio Beatty Joyce B. Dem Y
Ohio Fudge Marcia L. Dem Y
Ohio Kaptur Marcia Carolyn “Marcy” Dem
Ohio Ryan Timothy J. “Tim” Dem Y
Oklahoma Horn Kendra Dem
Oregon Blumenauer Earl Dem Y
Oregon Bonamici Suzanne M. Dem Y
Oregon DeFazio Peter Anthony “Pete” Dem Y
Oregon Schrader Walter Kurt “Kurt” Dem
Pennsylvania Boyle Brendan F. Dem Y
Pennsylvania Cartwright Matthew Alton “Matt” Dem
Pennsylvania Dean Cunnane Madeleine Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Doyle Michael F. “Mike” Dem Y
Pennsylvania Evans Dwight Dem Y
Pennsylvania Houlahan Christina Jampoler “Chrissy” Dem
Pennsylvania Lamb Conor James Dem
Pennsylvania Scanlon Mary Gay Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Wild Susan Ellis Dem
Rhode Island Cicilline David N. Dem Y   🔺
Rhode Island Langevin James R. “Jim” Dem Y
South Carolina Clyburn James Enos “Jim” Dem
South Carolina Cunningham Joseph K. “Joe” Dem
Tennessee Cohen Stephen Ira “Steve” Dem Y    🔺
Tennessee Cooper James H. S. “Jim” Dem
Texas Allred Colin Dem
Texas Castro Joaquin Dem Y
Texas Cuellar Henry R. Dem
Texas Doggett II Lloyd Alton Dem Y
Texas Escobar Veronica Dem Y    🔺
Texas Fletcher Elizabeth Pannill “Lizzie” Dem
Texas Garcia Sylvia R. Dem
Texas Gonzalez Vicente Dem
Texas Green Alexander “Al” Dem Y
Texas Jackson Lee Sheila Dem Y     🔺
Texas Johnson Eddie Bernice Dem
Texas Veasey Marc Allison Dem
Texas Vela Filemon B. Dem Y
Utah McAdams Ben Dem
Vermont Welch Peter F. Dem Y
Virginia Beyer Jr. Donald Sternoff “Don” Dem Y
Virginia Connolly Gerald Edward “Gerry” Dem Y
Virginia Luria Elaine G. Dem
Virginia McEachin Aston Donald “Donald” Dem
Virginia Scott Robert Cortez “Bobby” Dem
Virginia Spanberger Abigail A. Dem
Virginia Wexton Jennifer T. Dem Y
Washington Del Bene Suzan Kay Dem Y
Washington Heck Dennis “Denny” Dem Y
Washington Jayapal Pramila Dem Y    🔺
Washington Kilmer Derek Dem Y
Washington Larsen Richard Ray “Rick” Dem Y
Washington Schrier Kim Dem Y
Washington Smith David Adam “Adam” Dem Y  (6)
Wisconsin Kind Ronald James “Ron” Dem
Wisconsin Moore Gwendolynne S. “Gwen” Dem Y
Wisconsin Pocan Mark Dem Y
Alabama Aderholt Robert Brown GOP
Alabama Brooks Jr. Morris J. “Mo” GOP
Alabama Byrne Bradley Roberts GOP
Alabama Palmer Gary GOP
Alabama Roby Martha GOP
Alabama Rogers Michael Dennis “Mike” GOP
Alaska Young Donald E. “Don” GOP
Arizona Biggs Andy GOP
Arizona Gosar Paul Anthony GOP
Arizona Lesko Debbie GOP
Arizona Schweikert David GOP
Arkansas Crawford Eric Alan “Rick” GOP
Arkansas Hill James French “French” GOP
Arkansas Westerman Bruce GOP
Arkansas Womack Stephen A. “Steve” GOP
California Calvert Kenneth S. “Ken” GOP
California Cook Paul GOP
California Hunter Duncan Duane GOP
California LaMalfa Doug GOP
California McCarthy Kevin GOP
California McClintock Thomas “Tom” GOP
California Nunes Devin Gerald GOP
Colorado Buck Kenneth R. “Ken” GOP
Colorado Lamborn Douglas L. “Doug” GOP
Colorado Tipton Scott Randall GOP
Florida Bilirakis Gus Michael GOP
Florida Buchanan Vernon “Vern” GOP
Florida Diaz-Balart Mario GOP
Florida Dunn Neal Patrick GOP
Florida Gaetz Matt GOP
Florida Mast Brian GOP
Florida Posey William “Bill” GOP
Florida Rooney Francis GOP
Florida Rutherford John GOP
Florida Spano Vincent Ross “Ross” GOP
Florida Steube Greg W. GOP
Florida Waltz Michael “Mike” GOP
Florida Webster Daniel “Dan” GOP
Florida Yoho Theodore Scott “Ted” GOP
Georgia Allen Richard Wallen “Rick” GOP
Georgia Carter Earl Leroy “Buddy” GOP
Georgia Collins Douglas Allen “Doug” GOP
Georgia Ferguson IV Anderson Drew “Drew” GOP
Georgia Graves Jr. John Thomas “Tom” GOP
Georgia Hice Jody B. GOP
Georgia Loudermilk Barry D. GOP
Georgia Scott James Austin “Austin” GOP
Georgia Woodall III William Robert “Rob” GOP
Idaho Fulcher Russ GOP
Idaho Simpson Michael Keith “Mike” GOP
Illinois Bost Michael J. “Mike” GOP
Illinois Davis Rodney L. GOP
Illinois Kinzinger Adam GOP
Illinois LaHood Darin McKay GOP
Illinois Shimkus John M. GOP
Indiana Baird James R. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Banks James E. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Brooks Susan W. GOP
Indiana Bucshon Larry D. GOP
Indiana Hollingsworth III Joseph A. “Trey” GOP
Indiana Pence Gregory J. “Greg” GOP
Indiana Walorski Jackie Swihart GOP see comment
Iowa King Steven A. “Steve” GOP
Kansas Estes Ron GOP
Kansas Marshall Roger W. GOP
Kansas Watkins Steve GOP
Kentucky Barr Garland “Andy” GOP
Kentucky Comer James R. GOP
Kentucky Guthrie Steven Brett “Brett” GOP
Kentucky Massie Thomas H. GOP
Kentucky Rogers Harold Dallas “Hal” GOP
Louisiana Abraham Jr. Ralph Lee GOP
Louisiana Graves Garret GOP
Louisiana Higgins Clay GOP
Louisiana Johnson James Michael “Mike” GOP
Louisiana Scalise Stephen J. “Steve” GOP
Maryland Harris Andrew P. “Andy” GOP
Michigan Amash Justin IND Y
Michigan Bergman John W. “Jack” GOP
Michigan Huizenga William P. “Bill” GOP
Michigan Mitchell III Paul GOP
Michigan Moolenaar John GOP
Michigan Upton Frederick Stephen “Fred” GOP
Michigan Walberg Timothy L. “Tim” GOP
Minnesota Emmer Jr. Thomas Earl “Tom” GOP
Minnesota Hagedorn James “Jim” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Mississippi Guest Michael Patrick GOP
Mississippi Kelly John Trent “Trent” GOP
Mississippi Palazzo Steven McCarty GOP
Missouri Graves Jr. Samuel B. “Sam” GOP
Missouri Hartzler Vicky Jo GOP
Missouri Long Billy GOP
Missouri Luetkemeyer W. Blaine GOP
Missouri Smith Jason T. GOP
Missouri Wagner Ann L. GOP
Montana Gianforte Greg GOP
Nebraska Bacon Donald John “Don” GOP
Nebraska Fortenberry Jeffrey Lane “Jeff” GOP
Nebraska Smith Adrian M. GOP
Nevada Amodei Mark Eugene GOP
New Jersey Smith Christopher Henry “Chris” GOP
New York Collins Christopher Carl “Chris” GOP
New York Katko John M. GOP
New York King Peter T. “Pete” GOP
New York Reed II Thomas W. “Tom” GOP
New York Stefanik Elise M. GOP
New York Zeldin Lee Michael GOP
North Carolina Budd Theodore Paul “Ted” GOP
North Carolina Foxx Virginia Ann GOP
North Carolina Holding George Edward Bell GOP
North Carolina Hudson Jr. Richard Lane GOP
North Carolina McHenry Patrick Timothy GOP
North Carolina Meadows Mark Randal GOP
North Carolina Rouzer David Cheston GOP
North Carolina Walker Bradley Mark “Mark” GOP
North Dakota Armstrong Kelly M. GOP
Ohio Balderson Troy GOP
Ohio Chabot Steven J. “Steve” GOP
Ohio Davidson Warren GOP
Ohio Gibbs Robert Brian “Bob” GOP
Ohio Gonzalez Anthony E. GOP
Ohio Johnson Bill GOP
Ohio Jordan James D. “Jim” GOP
Ohio Joyce David P. “Dave” GOP
Ohio Latta Robert Edward “Bob” GOP
Ohio Stivers Steve E. GOP
Ohio Turner Michael R. “Mike” GOP
Ohio Wenstrup Brad R. GOP
Oklahoma Cole Thomas Jeffery “Tom” GOP
Oklahoma Hern Kevin R. GOP
Oklahoma Lucas Frank D. GOP
Oklahoma Mullin Markwayne GOP
Oregon Walden Gregory Paul “Greg” GOP
Pennsylvania Fitzpatrick Brian K. GOP
Pennsylvania Joyce John GOP
Pennsylvania Kelly Jr. George J. “Mike” GOP
Pennsylvania Marino Thomas Anthony “Tom” GOP
Pennsylvania Meuser Daniel P. “Dan” GOP
Pennsylvania Perry Scott G. GOP
Pennsylvania Reschenthaler Guy L. GOP
Pennsylvania Smucker Lloyd K. GOP
Pennsylvania Thompson Glenn William “G.T.” GOP
South Carolina Duncan Jeffrey D. “Jeff” GOP
South Carolina Norman Jr. Ralph W. GOP
South Carolina Rice Jr. Hugh T. “Tom” GOP
South Carolina Timmons IV William R. GOP
South Carolina Wilson Addison Graves “Joe” GOP
South Dakota Johnson Dustin “Dusty” GOP
Tennessee Burchett Tim GOP
Tennessee DesJarlais Scott Eugene GOP
Tennessee Fleischmann Charles J. “Chuck” GOP
Tennessee Green Mark E. GOP
Tennessee Kustoff David GOP
Tennessee Roe David Philip “Phil” GOP
Tennessee Rose John W. GOP
Texas Arrington Jodey Cook GOP
Texas Babin Brian GOP
Texas Brady Kevin Patrick GOP
Texas Burgess Michael C. GOP
Texas Carter John Rice GOP
Texas Cloud Michael J. GOP
Texas Conaway K. Michael “Mike” GOP
Texas Crenshaw Daniel “Dan” GOP
Texas Flores William “Bill” GOP
Texas Gohmert Jr. Louis B. “Louie” GOP
Texas Gooden Lance GOP
Texas Granger Kay N. GOP
Texas Hurd William “Will” GOP
Texas Marchant Kenny Ewell GOP
Texas McCaul Michael T. GOP
Texas Olson Peter Graham “Pete” GOP
Texas Ratcliffe John Lee GOP
Texas Roy Chip GOP
Texas Taylor Nicholas V. “Van” GOP
Texas Thornberry William McClellan “Mac” GOP
Texas Weber Randy GOP
Texas Williams Roger GOP
Texas Wright Ron GOP
Utah Bishop Robert William “Rob” GOP
Utah Curtis John GOP
Utah Stewart Chris GOP
Virginia Cline Benjamin Lee “Ben” GOP
Virginia Griffith H. Morgan “Morgan” GOP
Virginia Riggleman III Denver Lee GOP
Virginia Wittman Robert J. “Rob” GOP
Washington Herrera Beutler Jaime Lynn GOP
Washington McMorris Rodgers Cathy Ann GOP
Washington Newhouse Daniel Milton “Dan” GOP
West Virginia McKinley David Bennett GOP
West Virginia Miller Carol Devine GOP
West Virginia Mooney Alexander Xavier “Alex” GOP
Wisconsin Duffy Sean P. GOP
Wisconsin Gallagher Michael John “Mike” GOP
Wisconsin Grothman Glenn S. GOP
Wisconsin Sensenbrenner Jr. Frank James “Jim” GOP
Wisconsin Steil Bryan George GOP
Wyoming Cheney Elizabeth “Liz” GOP
North Carolina Jones Jr. (RIP) Walter B. GOP Open
North Carolina GOP Vacant Office

Emphasis indicates those who have committed to supporting an inquiry since the last whip update.

(1) Vice Chair, House Democratic Caucus

(2) Chair, House Ethics Committee

(3) Chair, House Foreign Affairs Committee

(4) Chair, House Appropriations Committee

(5) Chair, House Rules Committee

(6) Chair, House Armed Services Committee

(7) Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

(8) Chair, House Homeland Security Committee

(9) Chair, House Small Business Committee

(10) Chair, House Energy and Commerce Committee

(11) Chair, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee

* Ranking by Cook Partisan Voter Index (2018), indicating degree to which a House congressional district leans toward one of the two major parties.


Whip It Good: Higher and Higher

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

We could use a boost now as we work our way through the dog days of summer. Take a look at how far we’ve come even if it seems too slowly, measure our progress.

As of today we have 123 House Democrats supporting an impeachment inquiry.

This means we’ve picked up four more votes since the last Whip It post.

We need 95 more representatives to support a resolution approving an impeachment inquiry. It’s slow but steady progress.

Sure, we continue to hear that the House Judiciary Committee is working toward impeachment. HJC chair Jerry Nadler told CNN  last week,

“This is formal impeachment proceedings…We are investigating all the evidence, we’re gathering the evidence. And we will at the conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.”

But the HJC neither has a majority vote approving an impeachment inquiry within the committee nor a majority of the votes across the entire House — yet.

This only fuels the right-wing pundits who assure us attempts to impeach are doomed, DOOMED, they say.

Bah. Do take note of the source, like conservative think tanks’ thinky-tankers who are paid to both promote their conservative donor’s aspirations and sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

As I’ve noted before in previous Whip It posts, it’s still on us to make this happen by showing up at town halls our representatives have over the summer recess, by calling their offices in D.C. or locally, by sending faxes or using Resistbot to make our sentiments heard.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Call your representative (and only your representative) and ask them to support an impeachment inquiry. If your representative has already thrown their support behind an inquiry, do be sure to thank them.

It’s also time to take note of states in which too few Dems have thrown their support behind an inquiry. Like Connecticut — what the hell, Nutmeg State? What the actual hell?

This whip count will continue to be updated. Share in comments any new announcements by House members throwing support behind an impeachment inquiry.

State Last First, Middle, Nickname Party Affiliation Impeachment Inquiry Y/N House Judiciary Committee
Alabama Sewell Terrycina Andrea “Terri” Dem
Arizona Gallego Ruben Dem Y
Arizona Grijalva Raul M. Dem Y
Arizona Kirkpatrick Ann Dem Y
Arizona O’Halleran Tom Dem
Arizona Stanton Greg Dem Y    🔺
California Aguilar Pete Dem Y
California Barragán Nanette Diaz Dem Y
California Bass Karen R. Dem Y

see comment

   🔺
California Bera Amerish “Ami” Dem
California Brownley Julia Dem Y
California Cardenas Tony Dem Y
California Carbajal Salud O. Dem Y
California Chu Judy Dem Y
California Cisneros Gilbert “Gil” Dem
California Correa Jose Luis “Lou” Dem
California Costa Jim Dem
California Cox Terrance John “TJ” Dem
California Davis Susan A. Dem
California DeSaulnier Mark Dem Y
California Eshoo Anna G. Dem
California Garamendi John Raymond Dem Y
California Gomez Jimmy Dem Y
California Harder Josh Dem
California Hill Katherine Lauren “Katie” Dem
California Huffman Jared W. Dem Y
California Khanna Rohit “Ro” Dem
California Lee Barbara Dem Y
California Levin Mike Dem Y
California Lieu Ted W. Dem Y    🔺
California Lofgren Zoe Dem see comment
California Lowenthal Alan S. Dem Y
California Matsui Doris K. Dem Y
California McNerney Gerald Mark “Jerry” Dem
California Napolitano Grace Flores Dem Y
California Panetta James Varni “Jimmy” Dem
California Pelosi Nancy Dem
California Peters Scott Dem Y
California Porter Katherine “Katie” Dem Y
California Rouda Jr. Harley E. Dem Y
California Roybal-Allard Lucille Dem Y
California Ruiz Raul Dem
California Sanchez Linda T. Dem
California Schiff Adam B. Dem
California Sherman Brad Dem Y
California Speier Jackie Dem Y
California Swalwell Eric Michael Dem Y    🔺 (7)
California Takano Mark A. Dem see comment
California Thompson C. Michael “Mike” Dem
California Torres Norma J. Dem Y
California Vargas Juan C. Dem Y
California Waters Maxine Dem Y
Colorado Crow Jason Dem Y
Colorado DeGette Diana L. Dem Y
Colorado Neguse Joseph “Joe” Dem Y    🔺
Colorado Perlmutter Edwin G. “Ed” Dem
Connecticut Courtney Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
Connecticut DeLauro Rosa L. Dem
Connecticut Hayes Jahana Dem
Connecticut Himes Jim Dem Y
Connecticut Larson John B. Dem
Delaware Rochester Lisa Blunt Dem Y
Florida Castor Katherine Anne “Kathy” Dem
Florida Crist Charlie Joseph Dem
Florida Demings Valdez “Val” Dem Y     🔺
Florida Deutch Theodore Eliot “Ted” Dem Y     🔺 (2)
Florida Frankel Lois J. Dem
Florida Hastings Alcee L. Dem
Florida Lawson Jr. Alfred “Al” Dem
Florida Mucarsel-Powell Debbie Dem Y     🔺
Florida Murphy Stephanie Dem
Florida Shalala Donna Elvira Dem
Florida Soto Darren Dem
Florida Wasserman Schultz Debbie Dem
Florida Wilson Frederica S. Dem
Georgia Bishop Jr. Sanford Dixon Dem
Georgia Johnson Jr. Henry C. “Hank” Dem
Georgia Lewis John R. Dem
Georgia McBath Lucia Kay “Lucy” Dem
Georgia Scott David Albert Dem
Hawaii Case Edward E. “Ed” Dem
Hawaii Gabbard Tulsi Dem
Illinois Bustos Cheri Dem
Illinois Casten Sean Dem Y
Illinois Davis Danny K. Dem Y
Illinois Foster G. William “Bill” Dem
Illinois Garcia Jesus G. “Chuy” Dem Y
Illinois Kelly Robin L. Dem Y
Illinois Krishnamoorthi S. Raja Dem
Illinois Lipinski Daniel William “Dan” Dem
Illinois Quigley Mike Dem Y
Illinois Rush Bobby Lee Dem Y
Illinois Schakowsky Janice D. “Jan” Dem Y
Illinois Schneider Bradley Scott “Brad” Dem
Illinois Underwood Lauren A. Dem
Indiana Carson Andre D. Dem Y
Indiana Visclosky Peter J. Dem
Iowa Axne Cindy Dem
Iowa Finkenauer Abby Dem
Iowa Loebsack David Wayne “Dave” Dem
Kansas Davids Sharice Dem
Kentucky Yarmuth John A. Dem Y
Louisiana Richmond Cedric L. Dem Y    🔺
Maine Golden Jared F. Dem
Maine Pingree Chellie M. Dem Y
Maryland Brown Anthony Gregory Dem
Maryland Cummings Elijah E. Dem
Maryland Hoyer Steny Hamilton Dem
Maryland Raskin Jamin B. “Jamie” Dem Y    🔺
Maryland Ruppersberger III Charles Albert Dutch “C.A. Dutch” Dem
Maryland Sarbanes John Peter Spyros Dem
Maryland Trone David Dem
Massachusetts Clark Katherine M. Dem Y  (1)
Massachusetts Keating William Richard “Bill” Dem
Massachusetts Kennedy III Joseph Patrick “Joe” Dem Y
Massachusetts Lynch Stephen F. Dem
Massachusetts McGovern James P. “Jim” Dem Y  (5)
Massachusetts Moulton Seth W. Dem Y
Massachusetts Neal Richard E. Dem
Massachusetts Pressley Ayanna S. Dem Y
Massachusetts Trahan Lori Loureiro Dem Y
Michigan Dingell Debbie Dem
Michigan Kildee Daniel T. “Dan” Dem Y
Michigan Lawrence Brenda Lulenar Dem Y
Michigan Levin Andy Dem Y
Michigan Slotkin Elissa Dem
Michigan Stevens Haley Dem
Michigan Tlaib Rashida Dem Y
Minnesota Craig Angela Dawn “Angie” Dem
Minnesota McCollum Betty Dem Y
Minnesota Omar Ilhan Dem Y
Minnesota Peterson Collin Clark Dem
Minnesota Phillips Dean Dem
Mississippi Thompson Bennie G. Dem Y  (8)
Missouri Clay Jr. William Lacy Dem Y
Missouri Cleaver II Emanuel Dem Y
Nevada Horsford Steven Alexzander Dem
Nevada Lee Susan Kelley “Susie” Dem
Nevada Titus Alice Costandina “Dina” Dem Y
New Hampshire Kuster Ann McLane “Annie” Dem Y
New Hampshire Pappas Christopher C. “Chris” Dem Y
New Jersey Gottheimer Joshua S. “Josh” Dem
New Jersey Kim Andrew “Andy” Dem
New Jersey Malinowski Tom Dem Y
New Jersey Norcross Donald W. Dem Y
New Jersey Pallone Jr. Frank Dem Y

see comment

 (10)
New Jersey Pascrell Jr. William J. “Bill” Dem Y
New Jersey Payne Jr. Donald M. Dem Y
New Jersey Sherrill Rebecca Michelle “Mikie” Dem
New Jersey Sires Albio Dem
New Jersey Van Drew Jeff Dem
New Jersey Watson Coleman Bonnie Dem Y
New Mexico Haaland Debra A. “Deb” Dem Y
New Mexico Lujan Ben Ray Dem
New Mexico Torres Small Xochitl Dem
New York Brindisi Anthony J. Dem
New York Clarke Yvette D. Dem Y
New York Delgado Antonio Dem
New York Engel Eliot Lance Dem Y  (3)
New York Espaillat Adriano Dem Y
New York Higgins Brian M. Dem Y
New York Jeffries Hakeem S. Dem
New York Lowey Nita M. Dem Y  (4)
New York Maloney Carolyn Bosher Dem Y
New York Maloney Sean Patrick Dem
New York Meeks Gregory Weldon Dem
New York Meng Grace Dem Y
New York Morelle Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
New York Nadler Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Dem
New York Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Dem Y
New York Rice Kathleen M. Dem Y
New York Rose Max N. Dem
New York Serrano Jose Enrique Dem Y
New York Suozzi Thomas R. “Tom” Dem
New York Tonko Paul David Dem Y
New York Velázquez Nydia Margarita Dem Y  (9)
North Carolina Adams Alma Shealey Dem Y
North Carolina Butterfield Jr. George Kenneth “G. K.” Dem Y
North Carolina Price David Eugene Dem Y
Ohio Beatty Joyce B. Dem Y
Ohio Fudge Marcia L. Dem Y
Ohio Kaptur Marcia Carolyn “Marcy” Dem
Ohio Ryan Timothy J. “Tim” Dem Y
Oklahoma Horn Kendra Dem
Oregon Blumenauer Earl Dem Y
Oregon Bonamici Suzanne M. Dem Y
Oregon DeFazio Peter Anthony “Pete” Dem Y
Oregon Schrader Walter Kurt “Kurt” Dem
Pennsylvania Boyle Brendan F. Dem Y
Pennsylvania Cartwright Matthew Alton “Matt” Dem
Pennsylvania Dean Cunnane Madeleine Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Doyle Michael F. “Mike” Dem Y
Pennsylvania Evans Dwight Dem Y
Pennsylvania Houlahan Christina Jampoler “Chrissy” Dem
Pennsylvania Lamb Conor James Dem
Pennsylvania Scanlon Mary Gay Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Wild Susan Ellis Dem
Rhode Island Cicilline David N. Dem Y   🔺
Rhode Island Langevin James R. “Jim” Dem
South Carolina Clyburn James Enos “Jim” Dem
South Carolina Cunningham Joseph K. “Joe” Dem
Tennessee Cohen Stephen Ira “Steve” Dem Y    🔺
Tennessee Cooper James H. S. “Jim” Dem
Texas Allred Colin Dem
Texas Castro Joaquin Dem Y
Texas Cuellar Henry R. Dem
Texas Doggett II Lloyd Alton Dem Y
Texas Escobar Veronica Dem Y    🔺
Texas Fletcher Elizabeth Pannill “Lizzie” Dem
Texas Garcia Sylvia R. Dem
Texas Gonzalez Vicente Dem
Texas Green Alexander “Al” Dem Y
Texas Jackson Lee Sheila Dem Y     🔺
Texas Johnson Eddie Bernice Dem
Texas Veasey Marc Allison Dem
Texas Vela Filemon B. Dem Y
Utah McAdams Ben Dem
Vermont Welch Peter F. Dem Y
Virginia Beyer Jr. Donald Sternoff “Don” Dem Y
Virginia Connolly Gerald Edward “Gerry” Dem Y
Virginia Luria Elaine G. Dem
Virginia McEachin Aston Donald “Donald” Dem
Virginia Scott Robert Cortez “Bobby” Dem
Virginia Spanberger Abigail A. Dem
Virginia Wexton Jennifer T. Dem Y
Washington Del Bene Suzan Kay Dem Y
Washington Heck Dennis “Denny” Dem Y
Washington Jayapal Pramila Dem Y    🔺
Washington Kilmer Derek Dem Y
Washington Larsen Richard Ray “Rick” Dem Y
Washington Schrier Kim Dem Y
Washington Smith David Adam “Adam” Dem Y  (6)
Wisconsin Kind Ronald James “Ron” Dem
Wisconsin Moore Gwendolynne S. “Gwen” Dem Y
Wisconsin Pocan Mark Dem Y
Alabama Aderholt Robert Brown GOP
Alabama Brooks Jr. Morris J. “Mo” GOP
Alabama Byrne Bradley Roberts GOP
Alabama Palmer Gary GOP
Alabama Roby Martha GOP
Alabama Rogers Michael Dennis “Mike” GOP
Alaska Young Donald E. “Don” GOP
Arizona Biggs Andy GOP
Arizona Gosar Paul Anthony GOP
Arizona Lesko Debbie GOP
Arizona Schweikert David GOP
Arkansas Crawford Eric Alan “Rick” GOP
Arkansas Hill James French “French” GOP
Arkansas Westerman Bruce GOP
Arkansas Womack Stephen A. “Steve” GOP
California Calvert Kenneth S. “Ken” GOP
California Cook Paul GOP
California Hunter Duncan Duane GOP
California LaMalfa Doug GOP
California McCarthy Kevin GOP
California McClintock Thomas “Tom” GOP
California Nunes Devin Gerald GOP
Colorado Buck Kenneth R. “Ken” GOP
Colorado Lamborn Douglas L. “Doug” GOP
Colorado Tipton Scott Randall GOP
Florida Bilirakis Gus Michael GOP
Florida Buchanan Vernon “Vern” GOP
Florida Diaz-Balart Mario GOP
Florida Dunn Neal Patrick GOP
Florida Gaetz Matt GOP
Florida Mast Brian GOP
Florida Posey William “Bill” GOP
Florida Rooney Francis GOP
Florida Rutherford John GOP
Florida Spano Vincent Ross “Ross” GOP
Florida Steube Greg W. GOP
Florida Waltz Michael “Mike” GOP
Florida Webster Daniel “Dan” GOP
Florida Yoho Theodore Scott “Ted” GOP
Georgia Allen Richard Wallen “Rick” GOP
Georgia Carter Earl Leroy “Buddy” GOP
Georgia Collins Douglas Allen “Doug” GOP
Georgia Ferguson IV Anderson Drew “Drew” GOP
Georgia Graves Jr. John Thomas “Tom” GOP
Georgia Hice Jody B. GOP
Georgia Loudermilk Barry D. GOP
Georgia Scott James Austin “Austin” GOP
Georgia Woodall III William Robert “Rob” GOP
Idaho Fulcher Russ GOP
Idaho Simpson Michael Keith “Mike” GOP
Illinois Bost Michael J. “Mike” GOP
Illinois Davis Rodney L. GOP
Illinois Kinzinger Adam GOP
Illinois LaHood Darin McKay GOP
Illinois Shimkus John M. GOP
Indiana Baird James R. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Banks James E. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Brooks Susan W. GOP
Indiana Bucshon Larry D. GOP
Indiana Hollingsworth III Joseph A. “Trey” GOP
Indiana Pence Gregory J. “Greg” GOP
Indiana Walorski Jackie Swihart GOP see comment
Iowa King Steven A. “Steve” GOP
Kansas Estes Ron GOP
Kansas Marshall Roger W. GOP
Kansas Watkins Steve GOP
Kentucky Barr Garland “Andy” GOP
Kentucky Comer James R. GOP
Kentucky Guthrie Steven Brett “Brett” GOP
Kentucky Massie Thomas H. GOP
Kentucky Rogers Harold Dallas “Hal” GOP
Louisiana Abraham Jr. Ralph Lee GOP
Louisiana Graves Garret GOP
Louisiana Higgins Clay GOP
Louisiana Johnson James Michael “Mike” GOP
Louisiana Scalise Stephen J. “Steve” GOP
Maryland Harris Andrew P. “Andy” GOP
Michigan Amash Justin IND Y
Michigan Bergman John W. “Jack” GOP
Michigan Huizenga William P. “Bill” GOP
Michigan Mitchell III Paul GOP
Michigan Moolenaar John GOP
Michigan Upton Frederick Stephen “Fred” GOP
Michigan Walberg Timothy L. “Tim” GOP
Minnesota Emmer Jr. Thomas Earl “Tom” GOP
Minnesota Hagedorn James “Jim” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Mississippi Guest Michael Patrick GOP
Mississippi Kelly John Trent “Trent” GOP
Mississippi Palazzo Steven McCarty GOP
Missouri Graves Jr. Samuel B. “Sam” GOP
Missouri Hartzler Vicky Jo GOP
Missouri Long Billy GOP
Missouri Luetkemeyer W. Blaine GOP
Missouri Smith Jason T. GOP
Missouri Wagner Ann L. GOP
Montana Gianforte Greg GOP
Nebraska Bacon Donald John “Don” GOP
Nebraska Fortenberry Jeffrey Lane “Jeff” GOP
Nebraska Smith Adrian M. GOP
Nevada Amodei Mark Eugene GOP
New Jersey Smith Christopher Henry “Chris” GOP
New York Collins Christopher Carl “Chris” GOP
New York Katko John M. GOP
New York King Peter T. “Pete” GOP
New York Reed II Thomas W. “Tom” GOP
New York Stefanik Elise M. GOP
New York Zeldin Lee Michael GOP
North Carolina Budd Theodore Paul “Ted” GOP
North Carolina Foxx Virginia Ann GOP
North Carolina Holding George Edward Bell GOP
North Carolina Hudson Jr. Richard Lane GOP
North Carolina McHenry Patrick Timothy GOP
North Carolina Meadows Mark Randal GOP
North Carolina Rouzer David Cheston GOP
North Carolina Walker Bradley Mark “Mark” GOP
North Dakota Armstrong Kelly M. GOP
Ohio Balderson Troy GOP
Ohio Chabot Steven J. “Steve” GOP
Ohio Davidson Warren GOP
Ohio Gibbs Robert Brian “Bob” GOP
Ohio Gonzalez Anthony E. GOP
Ohio Johnson Bill GOP
Ohio Jordan James D. “Jim” GOP
Ohio Joyce David P. “Dave” GOP
Ohio Latta Robert Edward “Bob” GOP
Ohio Stivers Steve E. GOP
Ohio Turner Michael R. “Mike” GOP
Ohio Wenstrup Brad R. GOP
Oklahoma Cole Thomas Jeffery “Tom” GOP
Oklahoma Hern Kevin R. GOP
Oklahoma Lucas Frank D. GOP
Oklahoma Mullin Markwayne GOP
Oregon Walden Gregory Paul “Greg” GOP
Pennsylvania Fitzpatrick Brian K. GOP
Pennsylvania Joyce John GOP
Pennsylvania Kelly Jr. George J. “Mike” GOP
Pennsylvania Marino Thomas Anthony “Tom” GOP
Pennsylvania Meuser Daniel P. “Dan” GOP
Pennsylvania Perry Scott G. GOP
Pennsylvania Reschenthaler Guy L. GOP
Pennsylvania Smucker Lloyd K. GOP
Pennsylvania Thompson Glenn William “G.T.” GOP
South Carolina Duncan Jeffrey D. “Jeff” GOP
South Carolina Norman Jr. Ralph W. GOP
South Carolina Rice Jr. Hugh T. “Tom” GOP
South Carolina Timmons IV William R. GOP
South Carolina Wilson Addison Graves “Joe” GOP
South Dakota Johnson Dustin “Dusty” GOP
Tennessee Burchett Tim GOP
Tennessee DesJarlais Scott Eugene GOP
Tennessee Fleischmann Charles J. “Chuck” GOP
Tennessee Green Mark E. GOP
Tennessee Kustoff David GOP
Tennessee Roe David Philip “Phil” GOP
Tennessee Rose John W. GOP
Texas Arrington Jodey Cook GOP
Texas Babin Brian GOP
Texas Brady Kevin Patrick GOP
Texas Burgess Michael C. GOP
Texas Carter John Rice GOP
Texas Cloud Michael J. GOP
Texas Conaway K. Michael “Mike” GOP
Texas Crenshaw Daniel “Dan” GOP
Texas Flores William “Bill” GOP
Texas Gohmert Jr. Louis B. “Louie” GOP
Texas Gooden Lance GOP
Texas Granger Kay N. GOP
Texas Hurd William “Will” GOP
Texas Marchant Kenny Ewell GOP
Texas McCaul Michael T. GOP
Texas Olson Peter Graham “Pete” GOP
Texas Ratcliffe John Lee GOP
Texas Roy Chip GOP
Texas Taylor Nicholas V. “Van” GOP
Texas Thornberry William McClellan “Mac” GOP
Texas Weber Randy GOP
Texas Williams Roger GOP
Texas Wright Ron GOP
Utah Bishop Robert William “Rob” GOP
Utah Curtis John GOP
Utah Stewart Chris GOP
Virginia Cline Benjamin Lee “Ben” GOP
Virginia Griffith H. Morgan “Morgan” GOP
Virginia Riggleman III Denver Lee GOP
Virginia Wittman Robert J. “Rob” GOP
Washington Herrera Beutler Jaime Lynn GOP
Washington McMorris Rodgers Cathy Ann GOP
Washington Newhouse Daniel Milton “Dan” GOP
West Virginia McKinley David Bennett GOP
West Virginia Miller Carol Devine GOP
West Virginia Mooney Alexander Xavier “Alex” GOP
Wisconsin Duffy Sean P. GOP
Wisconsin Gallagher Michael John “Mike” GOP
Wisconsin Grothman Glenn S. GOP
Wisconsin Sensenbrenner Jr. Frank James “Jim” GOP
Wisconsin Steil Bryan George GOP
Wyoming Cheney Elizabeth “Liz” GOP
North Carolina Jones Jr. (RIP) Walter B. GOP Open
North Carolina GOP Vacant Office

Emphasis indicates those who have committed to supporting an inquiry since the last whip update.

(1) Vice Chair, House Democratic Caucus

(2) Chair, House Ethics Committee

(3) Chair, House Foreign Affairs Committee

(4) Chair, House Appropriations Committee

(5) Chair, House Rules Committee

(6) Chair, House Armed Services Committee

(7) Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

(8) Chair, House Homeland Security Committee

(9) Chair, House Small Business Committee

(10) Chair, House Energy and Commerce Committee


Chickens on ICE Raid: The Odd Luck of Peco and Koch Foods [UPDATE-2]

[NB: Note the byline, thanks. Caveat: This post contains speculative content. Updates at the bottom of this post. / ~Rayne]

I have to run an errand, can’t take the time to follow this line of inquiry further. But something about ICE raids conducted in Mississippi today set off my hinky meter.

Why Mississippi, which long-time community member earlofhuntington describes as “so reliably Republican”? Why wouldn’t ICE conduct raids in blue states as they’ve intended to twice this year in order to rattle the Latinx and other brown-skinned voters?

Why wouldn’t they conduct a raid closer to the Mexican border since the Trump administration and its state media organ Fox News have drummed up a manufactured ‘invasion’ crisis?

Why pick established businesses in a deep red state only days after mass shootings of Latinx Americans in El Paso?

This raid was planned, though, they don’t just sweep in. The two businesses, Peco Foods Inc. and Koch Foods Inc. were on somebody’s radar, earmarked in advance.

But why these two over any other businesses — say, golf courses competing with Trump org courses which likely hire undocumented personnel the way Trump’s courses did?

Would golf courses be too obvious and yield too few results? Would such raids piss off the same class of customers who frequent Trump’s courses?

There’s some other reason not obvious to the public.

Perhaps the companies are owned and operated by people who don’t fit Trump and Trump’s minions political ideology? But this is where I have to leave it to run an errand.

I’ll leave you with this (already posted in comments and on Twitter):

And with this:

What do you think? I haven’t had time to look at the other five companies raided today, including PH Food Inc., MP Food Inc., and Pearl River Foods Inc.

Does this also suggest Mississippi is at risk politically if the administration had to pick “so reliably Republican” a state, in spite of a 130-year-old state law preventing black Mississippians from holding elected statewide office if they don’t win 55% of the vote?

UPDATE — 11:10 PM EDT —

Add in unionization of workers as another factor in selection of businesses to raid:

And while some folks note unhappily the workers have been detained and owners/management haven’t been arrested, I’m not certain that won’t yet happen. Somebody might be very happy to see a Democratic donor (or two) behind bars before the 2020 general election primaries begin.

UPDATE — 11:15 PM EDT —

Yeah, Mississippi is undergoing a political tectonic shift; statewide races may be in play.

This is an open thread. Bring all the stray cats and dogs here.


Whip It Good: Impeachment Inquiry — Better than Half Way

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

You may have been following the impeachment inquiry whip count published July 1 with subsequent updates.

At the time we had 85 votes in support of an impeachment inquiry representing 39% of the needed 218 votes to pass a resolution authorizing an inquiry’s formal launch.

Today we’re better than half way to 218. The table below reflects the new tally of 118 House Democrats and one Independent in support of an impeachment inquiry. We now need 100 or 45% more of the House Dems.

It’s still on us to make this happen by showing up at town halls our representatives have over the summer recess, by calling their offices in D.C. or locally, by sending faxes or using Resistbot to make our sentiments heard.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

This whip count will continue to be updated. Share in comments any new announcements by House members throwing support behind an impeachment inquiry.

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler has said his committee has “in effect” been conducting an impeachment inquiry, but his statement does not have the full force that a majority-supported resolution would have. It’d be much harder for a federal court to deny Constitutional powers to an inquiry authorized by a majority of the House. Nadler and the Judiciary Committee (HJC)  filed an application for the release of grand jury materials (pdf) on July 26, relying on Watergate- and Clinton-era arguments to bolster this request. I’m not a lawyer but I think this could go either way after the recent McKeever v. Barr decision.

House Oversight is other committee steadily chipping away at Trump’s corruption. Chair Elijah Cummings must be making serious inroads if Trump’s bashing of Baltimore and Cummings as a Maryland rep is any indication. I saw a chart somewhere outlining the progress of Oversight investigations but I can’t find it now — it must have terrified Trump and his minions. Oversight’s work also looks like a precursor to an impeachment inquiry, but whether it can likewise wield clout like an impeachment inquiry remains to be seen.

The surest approach is an impeachment inquiry, freighted with authority directly from the Constitution. Let’s get one in gear — call your representatives. And do thank those who’ve already thrown behind an inquiry.

State Last First, Middle, Nickname Party Affiliation Impeachment Inquiry Y/N House Judiciary Committee
Alabama Sewell Terrycina Andrea “Terri” Dem
Arizona Gallego Ruben Dem Y
Arizona Grijalva Raul M. Dem Y
Arizona Kirkpatrick Ann Dem Y
Arizona O’Halleran Tom Dem
Arizona Stanton Greg Dem Y    🔺
California Aguilar Pete Dem Y
California Barragán Nanette Diaz Dem Y
California Bass Karen R. Dem
California Bera Amerish “Ami” Dem
California Brownley Julia Dem Y
California Cardenas Tony Dem Y
California Carbajal Salud O. Dem Y
California Chu Judy Dem Y
California Cisneros Gilbert “Gil” Dem
California Correa Jose Luis “Lou” Dem
California Costa Jim Dem
California Cox Terrance John “TJ” Dem
California Davis Susan A. Dem
California DeSaulnier Mark Dem Y
California Eshoo Anna G. Dem
California Garamendi John Raymond Dem Y
California Gomez Jimmy Dem Y
California Harder Josh Dem
California Hill Katherine Lauren “Katie” Dem
California Huffman Jared W. Dem Y
California Khanna Rohit “Ro” Dem
California Lee Barbara Dem Y
California Levin Mike Dem Y
California Lieu Ted W. Dem Y    🔺
California Lofgren Zoe Dem see comment
California Lowenthal Alan S. Dem Y
California Matsui Doris K. Dem Y
California McNerney Gerald Mark “Jerry” Dem
California Napolitano Grace Flores Dem Y
California Panetta James Varni “Jimmy” Dem
California Pelosi Nancy Dem
California Peters Scott Dem Y
California Porter Katherine “Katie” Dem Y
California Rouda Jr. Harley E. Dem Y
California Roybal-Allard Lucille Dem Y
California Ruiz Raul Dem
California Sanchez Linda T. Dem
California Schiff Adam B. Dem
California Sherman Brad Dem Y
California Speier Jackie Dem Y
California Swalwell Eric Michael Dem Y    🔺 (7)
California Takano Mark A. Dem see comment
California Thompson C. Michael “Mike” Dem
California Torres Norma J. Dem Y
California Vargas Juan C. Dem Y
California Waters Maxine Dem Y
Colorado Crow Jason Dem Y
Colorado DeGette Diana L. Dem Y
Colorado Neguse Joseph “Joe” Dem Y    🔺
Colorado Perlmutter Edwin G. “Ed” Dem
Connecticut Courtney Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
Connecticut DeLauro Rosa L. Dem
Connecticut Hayes Jahana Dem
Connecticut Himes Jim Dem Y
Connecticut Larson John B. Dem
Delaware Rochester Lisa Blunt Dem Y
Florida Castor Katherine Anne “Kathy” Dem
Florida Crist Charlie Joseph Dem
Florida Demings Valdez “Val” Dem Y     🔺
Florida Deutch Theodore Eliot “Ted” Dem Y     🔺 (2)
Florida Frankel Lois J. Dem
Florida Hastings Alcee L. Dem
Florida Lawson Jr. Alfred “Al” Dem
Florida Mucarsel-Powell Debbie Dem Y     🔺
Florida Murphy Stephanie Dem
Florida Shalala Donna Elvira Dem
Florida Soto Darren Dem
Florida Wasserman Schultz Debbie Dem
Florida Wilson Frederica S. Dem
Georgia Bishop Jr. Sanford Dixon Dem
Georgia Johnson Jr. Henry C. “Hank” Dem
Georgia Lewis John R. Dem
Georgia McBath Lucia Kay “Lucy” Dem
Georgia Scott David Albert Dem
Hawaii Case Edward E. “Ed” Dem
Hawaii Gabbard Tulsi Dem
Illinois Bustos Cheri Dem
Illinois Casten Sean Dem Y
Illinois Davis Danny K. Dem Y
Illinois Foster G. William “Bill” Dem
Illinois Garcia Jesus G. “Chuy” Dem Y
Illinois Kelly Robin L. Dem Y
Illinois Krishnamoorthi S. Raja Dem
Illinois Lipinski Daniel William “Dan” Dem
Illinois Quigley Mike Dem Y
Illinois Rush Bobby Lee Dem Y
Illinois Schakowsky Janice D. “Jan” Dem Y
Illinois Schneider Bradley Scott “Brad” Dem
Illinois Underwood Lauren A. Dem
Indiana Carson Andre D. Dem Y
Indiana Visclosky Peter J. Dem
Iowa Axne Cindy Dem
Iowa Finkenauer Abby Dem
Iowa Loebsack David Wayne “Dave” Dem
Kansas Davids Sharice Dem
Kentucky Yarmuth John A. Dem Y
Louisiana Richmond Cedric L. Dem Y    🔺
Maine Golden Jared F. Dem
Maine Pingree Chellie M. Dem Y
Maryland Brown Anthony Gregory Dem
Maryland Cummings Elijah E. Dem
Maryland Hoyer Steny Hamilton Dem
Maryland Raskin Jamin B. “Jamie” Dem Y    🔺
Maryland Ruppersberger III Charles Albert Dutch “C.A. Dutch” Dem
Maryland Sarbanes John Peter Spyros Dem
Maryland Trone David Dem
Massachusetts Clark Katherine M. Dem Y  (1)
Massachusetts Keating William Richard “Bill” Dem
Massachusetts Kennedy III Joseph Patrick “Joe” Dem Y
Massachusetts Lynch Stephen F. Dem
Massachusetts McGovern James P. “Jim” Dem Y  (5)
Massachusetts Moulton Seth W. Dem Y
Massachusetts Neal Richard E. Dem
Massachusetts Pressley Ayanna S. Dem Y
Massachusetts Trahan Lori Loureiro Dem Y
Michigan Dingell Debbie Dem
Michigan Kildee Daniel T. “Dan” Dem Y
Michigan Lawrence Brenda Lulenar Dem Y
Michigan Levin Andy Dem Y
Michigan Slotkin Elissa Dem
Michigan Stevens Haley Dem
Michigan Tlaib Rashida Dem Y
Minnesota Craig Angela Dawn “Angie” Dem
Minnesota McCollum Betty Dem Y
Minnesota Omar Ilhan Dem Y
Minnesota Peterson Collin Clark Dem
Minnesota Phillips Dean Dem
Mississippi Thompson Bennie G. Dem Y  (8)
Missouri Clay Jr. William Lacy Dem Y
Missouri Cleaver II Emanuel Dem Y
Nevada Horsford Steven Alexzander Dem
Nevada Lee Susan Kelley “Susie” Dem
Nevada Titus Alice Costandina “Dina” Dem Y
New Hampshire Kuster Ann McLane “Annie” Dem Y
New Hampshire Pappas Christopher C. “Chris” Dem Y
New Jersey Gottheimer Joshua S. “Josh” Dem
New Jersey Kim Andrew “Andy” Dem
New Jersey Malinowski Tom Dem Y
New Jersey Norcross Donald W. Dem Y
New Jersey Pallone Jr. Frank Dem
New Jersey Pascrell Jr. William J. “Bill” Dem Y
New Jersey Payne Jr. Donald M. Dem Y
New Jersey Sherrill Rebecca Michelle “Mikie” Dem
New Jersey Sires Albio Dem
New Jersey Van Drew Jeff Dem
New Jersey Watson Coleman Bonnie Dem Y
New Mexico Haaland Debra A. “Deb” Dem
New Mexico Lujan Ben Ray Dem
New Mexico Torres Small Xochitl Dem
New York Brindisi Anthony J. Dem
New York Clarke Yvette D. Dem Y
New York Delgado Antonio Dem
New York Engel Eliot Lance Dem Y  (3)
New York Espaillat Adriano Dem Y
New York Higgins Brian M. Dem Y
New York Jeffries Hakeem S. Dem
New York Lowey Nita M. Dem Y  (4)
New York Maloney Carolyn Bosher Dem Y
New York Maloney Sean Patrick Dem
New York Meeks Gregory Weldon Dem
New York Meng Grace Dem Y
New York Morelle Joseph D. “Joe” Dem
New York Nadler Jerrold Lewis “Jerry” Dem
New York Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Dem Y
New York Rice Kathleen M. Dem Y
New York Rose Max N. Dem
New York Serrano Jose Enrique Dem Y
New York Suozzi Thomas R. “Tom” Dem
New York Tonko Paul David Dem Y
New York Velázquez Nydia Margarita Dem Y  (9)
North Carolina Adams Alma Shealey Dem Y
North Carolina Butterfield Jr. George Kenneth “G. K.” Dem Y
North Carolina Price David Eugene Dem
Ohio Beatty Joyce B. Dem Y
Ohio Fudge Marcia L. Dem Y
Ohio Kaptur Marcia Carolyn “Marcy” Dem
Ohio Ryan Timothy J. “Tim” Dem Y
Oklahoma Horn Kendra Dem
Oregon Blumenauer Earl Dem Y
Oregon Bonamici Suzanne M. Dem Y
Oregon DeFazio Peter Anthony “Pete” Dem
Oregon Schrader Walter Kurt “Kurt” Dem
Pennsylvania Boyle Brendan F. Dem Y
Pennsylvania Cartwright Matthew Alton “Matt” Dem
Pennsylvania Dean Cunnane Madeleine Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Doyle Michael F. “Mike” Dem Y
Pennsylvania Evans Dwight Dem Y
Pennsylvania Houlahan Christina Jampoler “Chrissy” Dem
Pennsylvania Lamb Conor James Dem
Pennsylvania Scanlon Mary Gay Dem Y    🔺
Pennsylvania Wild Susan Ellis Dem
Rhode Island Cicilline David N. Dem Y   🔺
Rhode Island Langevin James R. “Jim” Dem
South Carolina Clyburn James Enos “Jim” Dem
South Carolina Cunningham Joseph K. “Joe” Dem
Tennessee Cohen Stephen Ira “Steve” Dem Y    🔺
Tennessee Cooper James H. S. “Jim” Dem
Texas Allred Colin Dem
Texas Castro Joaquin Dem Y
Texas Cuellar Henry R. Dem
Texas Doggett II Lloyd Alton Dem Y
Texas Escobar Veronica Dem Y    🔺
Texas Fletcher Elizabeth Pannill “Lizzie” Dem
Texas Garcia Sylvia R. Dem
Texas Gonzalez Vicente Dem
Texas Green Alexander “Al” Dem Y
Texas Jackson Lee Sheila Dem Y     🔺
Texas Johnson Eddie Bernice Dem
Texas Veasey Marc Allison Dem
Texas Vela Filemon B. Dem Y
Utah McAdams Ben Dem
Vermont Welch Peter F. Dem Y
Virginia Beyer Jr. Donald Sternoff “Don” Dem Y
Virginia Connolly Gerald Edward “Gerry” Dem
Virginia Luria Elaine G. Dem
Virginia McEachin Aston Donald “Donald” Dem
Virginia Scott Robert Cortez “Bobby” Dem
Virginia Spanberger Abigail A. Dem
Virginia Wexton Jennifer T. Dem Y
Washington Del Bene Suzan Kay Dem Y
Washington Heck Dennis “Denny” Dem Y
Washington Jayapal Pramila Dem Y    🔺
Washington Kilmer Derek Dem Y
Washington Larsen Richard Ray “Rick” Dem Y
Washington Schrier Kim Dem Y
Washington Smith David Adam “Adam” Dem Y  (6)
Wisconsin Kind Ronald James “Ron” Dem
Wisconsin Moore Gwendolynne S. “Gwen” Dem Y
Wisconsin Pocan Mark Dem Y
Alabama Aderholt Robert Brown GOP
Alabama Brooks Jr. Morris J. “Mo” GOP
Alabama Byrne Bradley Roberts GOP
Alabama Palmer Gary GOP
Alabama Roby Martha GOP
Alabama Rogers Michael Dennis “Mike” GOP
Alaska Young Donald E. “Don” GOP
Arizona Biggs Andy GOP
Arizona Gosar Paul Anthony GOP
Arizona Lesko Debbie GOP
Arizona Schweikert David GOP
Arkansas Crawford Eric Alan “Rick” GOP
Arkansas Hill James French “French” GOP
Arkansas Westerman Bruce GOP
Arkansas Womack Stephen A. “Steve” GOP
California Calvert Kenneth S. “Ken” GOP
California Cook Paul GOP
California Hunter Duncan Duane GOP
California LaMalfa Doug GOP
California McCarthy Kevin GOP
California McClintock Thomas “Tom” GOP
California Nunes Devin Gerald GOP
Colorado Buck Kenneth R. “Ken” GOP
Colorado Lamborn Douglas L. “Doug” GOP
Colorado Tipton Scott Randall GOP
Florida Bilirakis Gus Michael GOP
Florida Buchanan Vernon “Vern” GOP
Florida Diaz-Balart Mario GOP
Florida Dunn Neal Patrick GOP
Florida Gaetz Matt GOP
Florida Mast Brian GOP
Florida Posey William “Bill” GOP
Florida Rooney Francis GOP
Florida Rutherford John GOP
Florida Spano Vincent Ross “Ross” GOP
Florida Steube Greg W. GOP
Florida Waltz Michael “Mike” GOP
Florida Webster Daniel “Dan” GOP
Florida Yoho Theodore Scott “Ted” GOP
Georgia Allen Richard Wallen “Rick” GOP
Georgia Carter Earl Leroy “Buddy” GOP
Georgia Collins Douglas Allen “Doug” GOP
Georgia Ferguson IV Anderson Drew “Drew” GOP
Georgia Graves Jr. John Thomas “Tom” GOP
Georgia Hice Jody B. GOP
Georgia Loudermilk Barry D. GOP
Georgia Scott James Austin “Austin” GOP
Georgia Woodall III William Robert “Rob” GOP
Idaho Fulcher Russ GOP
Idaho Simpson Michael Keith “Mike” GOP
Illinois Bost Michael J. “Mike” GOP
Illinois Davis Rodney L. GOP
Illinois Kinzinger Adam GOP
Illinois LaHood Darin McKay GOP
Illinois Shimkus John M. GOP
Indiana Baird James R. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Banks James E. “Jim” GOP
Indiana Brooks Susan W. GOP
Indiana Bucshon Larry D. GOP
Indiana Hollingsworth III Joseph A. “Trey” GOP
Indiana Pence Gregory J. “Greg” GOP
Indiana Walorski Jackie Swihart GOP see comment
Iowa King Steven A. “Steve” GOP
Kansas Estes Ron GOP
Kansas Marshall Roger W. GOP
Kansas Watkins Steve GOP
Kentucky Barr Garland “Andy” GOP
Kentucky Comer James R. GOP
Kentucky Guthrie Steven Brett “Brett” GOP
Kentucky Massie Thomas H. GOP
Kentucky Rogers Harold Dallas “Hal” GOP
Louisiana Abraham Jr. Ralph Lee GOP
Louisiana Graves Garret GOP
Louisiana Higgins Clay GOP
Louisiana Johnson James Michael “Mike” GOP
Louisiana Scalise Stephen J. “Steve” GOP
Maryland Harris Andrew P. “Andy” GOP
Michigan Amash Justin IND Y
Michigan Bergman John W. “Jack” GOP
Michigan Huizenga William P. “Bill” GOP
Michigan Mitchell III Paul GOP
Michigan Moolenaar John GOP
Michigan Upton Frederick Stephen “Fred” GOP
Michigan Walberg Timothy L. “Tim” GOP
Minnesota Emmer Jr. Thomas Earl “Tom” GOP
Minnesota Hagedorn James “Jim” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Minnesota Stauber Peter Allen “Pete” GOP
Mississippi Guest Michael Patrick GOP
Mississippi Kelly John Trent “Trent” GOP
Mississippi Palazzo Steven McCarty GOP
Missouri Graves Jr. Samuel B. “Sam” GOP
Missouri Hartzler Vicky Jo GOP
Missouri Long Billy GOP
Missouri Luetkemeyer W. Blaine GOP
Missouri Smith Jason T. GOP
Missouri Wagner Ann L. GOP
Montana Gianforte Greg GOP
Nebraska Bacon Donald John “Don” GOP
Nebraska Fortenberry Jeffrey Lane “Jeff” GOP
Nebraska Smith Adrian M. GOP
Nevada Amodei Mark Eugene GOP
New Jersey Smith Christopher Henry “Chris” GOP
New York Collins Christopher Carl “Chris” GOP
New York Katko John M. GOP
New York King Peter T. “Pete” GOP
New York Reed II Thomas W. “Tom” GOP
New York Stefanik Elise M. GOP
New York Zeldin Lee Michael GOP
North Carolina Budd Theodore Paul “Ted” GOP
North Carolina Foxx Virginia Ann GOP
North Carolina Holding George Edward Bell GOP
North Carolina Hudson Jr. Richard Lane GOP
North Carolina McHenry Patrick Timothy GOP
North Carolina Meadows Mark Randal GOP
North Carolina Rouzer David Cheston GOP
North Carolina Walker Bradley Mark “Mark” GOP
North Dakota Armstrong Kelly M. GOP
Ohio Balderson Troy GOP
Ohio Chabot Steven J. “Steve” GOP
Ohio Davidson Warren GOP
Ohio Gibbs Robert Brian “Bob” GOP
Ohio Gonzalez Anthony E. GOP
Ohio Johnson Bill GOP
Ohio Jordan James D. “Jim” GOP
Ohio Joyce David P. “Dave” GOP
Ohio Latta Robert Edward “Bob” GOP
Ohio Stivers Steve E. GOP
Ohio Turner Michael R. “Mike” GOP
Ohio Wenstrup Brad R. GOP
Oklahoma Cole Thomas Jeffery “Tom” GOP
Oklahoma Hern Kevin R. GOP
Oklahoma Lucas Frank D. GOP
Oklahoma Mullin Markwayne GOP
Oregon Walden Gregory Paul “Greg” GOP
Pennsylvania Fitzpatrick Brian K. GOP
Pennsylvania Joyce John GOP
Pennsylvania Kelly Jr. George J. “Mike” GOP
Pennsylvania Marino Thomas Anthony “Tom” GOP
Pennsylvania Meuser Daniel P. “Dan” GOP
Pennsylvania Perry Scott G. GOP
Pennsylvania Reschenthaler Guy L. GOP
Pennsylvania Smucker Lloyd K. GOP
Pennsylvania Thompson Glenn William “G.T.” GOP
South Carolina Duncan Jeffrey D. “Jeff” GOP
South Carolina Norman Jr. Ralph W. GOP
South Carolina Rice Jr. Hugh T. “Tom” GOP
South Carolina Timmons IV William R. GOP
South Carolina Wilson Addison Graves “Joe” GOP
South Dakota Johnson Dustin “Dusty” GOP
Tennessee Burchett Tim GOP
Tennessee DesJarlais Scott Eugene GOP
Tennessee Fleischmann Charles J. “Chuck” GOP
Tennessee Green Mark E. GOP
Tennessee Kustoff David GOP
Tennessee Roe David Philip “Phil” GOP
Tennessee Rose John W. GOP
Texas Arrington Jodey Cook GOP
Texas Babin Brian GOP
Texas Brady Kevin Patrick GOP
Texas Burgess Michael C. GOP
Texas Carter John Rice GOP
Texas Cloud Michael J. GOP
Texas Conaway K. Michael “Mike” GOP
Texas Crenshaw Daniel “Dan” GOP
Texas Flores William “Bill” GOP
Texas Gohmert Jr. Louis B. “Louie” GOP
Texas Gooden Lance GOP
Texas Granger Kay N. GOP
Texas Hurd William “Will” GOP
Texas Marchant Kenny Ewell GOP
Texas McCaul Michael T. GOP
Texas Olson Peter Graham “Pete” GOP
Texas Ratcliffe John Lee GOP
Texas Roy Chip GOP
Texas Taylor Nicholas V. “Van” GOP
Texas Thornberry William McClellan “Mac” GOP
Texas Weber Randy GOP
Texas Williams Roger GOP
Texas Wright Ron GOP
Utah Bishop Robert William “Rob” GOP
Utah Curtis John GOP
Utah Stewart Chris GOP
Virginia Cline Benjamin Lee “Ben” GOP
Virginia Griffith H. Morgan “Morgan” GOP
Virginia Riggleman III Denver Lee GOP
Virginia Wittman Robert J. “Rob” GOP
Washington Herrera Beutler Jaime Lynn GOP
Washington McMorris Rodgers Cathy Ann GOP
Washington Newhouse Daniel Milton “Dan” GOP
West Virginia McKinley David Bennett GOP
West Virginia Miller Carol Devine GOP
West Virginia Mooney Alexander Xavier “Alex” GOP
Wisconsin Duffy Sean P. GOP
Wisconsin Gallagher Michael John “Mike” GOP
Wisconsin Grothman Glenn S. GOP
Wisconsin Sensenbrenner Jr. Frank James “Jim” GOP
Wisconsin Steil Bryan George GOP
Wyoming Cheney Elizabeth “Liz” GOP
North Carolina Jones Jr. (RIP) Walter B. GOP Open
North Carolina GOP Vacant Office

Emphasis indicates those who have committed to supporting an inquiry since the last whip update.

(1) Vice Chair, House Democratic Caucus

(2) Chair, House Ethics Committee

(3) Chair, House Foreign Affairs Committee

(4) Chair, House Appropriations Committee

(5) Chair, House Rules Committee

(6) Chair, House Armed Services Committee

(7) Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

(8) Chair, House Homeland Security Committee

(9) Chair, House Small Business Committee


Something in the Water: GOP Rep. Mitchell Bows out in Michigan

[Please check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan’s 10th congressional district announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election.

He explained to Politico, “You look at the rhetoric and vitriol, it overwhelms policy, politics becomes the norm. Everything’s about politics. Everything’s about an election. And at some point of time, that’s not why I came here.”

Mitchell also said “A career in Washington was never my objective,” wanting to focus on issues while in office. He had also criticized the racist remarks made about the House Democrats’ freshman “squad” which includes fellow Michigander Rashida Tlaib. Tlaib’s 13th congressional district is on the other side of Detroit from Mitchell’s.

In Mitchell’s case more time with family is a key reason for leaving; he has a child with special needs at home in Michigan.

~ ~ ~

Here’s where it gets interesting. Really can’t blame Mitchell for wanting to get out of the cesspool before it gets any worse, especially when his family needs him at home.

But were there other reasons for him leaving? Recall that The New York Times ran a piece on Monday, These Michigan Voters Show How Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Attack May Help Him.

It was a crappy piece in that it only spoke with white people, and most appeared to be in MI-10. Granted, MI-10 is very rural, very Republican (R+13) , and very white (like 93% white), but the article painted an image of a district which was very racist.

Mitchell had been asked for his opinion about Trump’s ‘Go Back’ remarks:

Even so, Representative Paul Mitchell, the conservative Republican who represents the Port Huron area, struck a note of caution. “I do believe this strategy will be damaging to this election,” Mr. Mitchell said in a telephone interview. He has asked for a meeting with the president, hoping to add his voice to other Republicans who have urged Mr. Trump to restrain himself.

All of the women whom Mr. Trump told to “go back” to their countries — Ms. Tlaib and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — are United States citizens, and only one, Ms. Omar, was born outside the country, in Somalia.

“I was appalled by the chanting ‘send her back,’” Mr. Mitchell said of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s rally Wednesday in North Carolina, where the chant was directed at Ms. Omar. For Mr. Mitchell, the message struck close to home. “My youngest son was born in Russia,” he said. “We adopted him. He’s an American.”

Mitchell also felt Trump’s racist remarks would spur minority voter turnout, which seems like an odd thing to worry about in a district that’s so very white.

Did the NYT get this wrong, perhaps talking to an insufficiency of MI-10 voters only to come away with the sentiment that Trump’s xenophobia could be a winner?

Or did Mitchell feel he was unable to reconcile his personal beliefs with that of his constituents?

There’s one other darker possibility. Did the GOP ask Mitchell to step down and let a pro-Trump white nationalist run for MI-10 in order to assure Trump carries the district in 2020?

Stranger things have happened.

~ ~ ~

A couple more things to keep in mind about MI-10:

The district is extremely rural — it has approximately 705,000 residents but one of the largest areas of Michigan’s districts. It’s also inside the reach of a Sinclair TV station, received more reliably than internet across the district.

The city of Flint’s new water pipeline runs through the middle of the district from Flint to Lake Huron. Two drivers pushing the pipeline’s development and subsequently forcing Flint off Detroit’s water system were the bank(s) funding the pipeline and development of fracking near the water pipeline in MI-10. Fracking needs more water than can be obtained by simply drilling wells.

Enbridge’s Line 5 also runs through the district. Michiganders want the pipeline shut down because it runs under water through the straits between lakes Michigan and Huron, posing a massive risk to these Great Lakes should the aged pipe fail.

How these factors feature in Mitchell’s decision and the 2020 race is anybody’s guess at this point but they shouldn’t be disregarded.

Adder: Ran across this article in MetroTimes published here in Michigan. Seems John James, black candidate running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Gary Peters, has removed all references to Trump from his social media sites.

Hmm.


HEARING THREAD: Special Counsel Robert Mueller

[Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before two different House committees today. This post is dedicated to these hearings. Please take any other topics to the open thread.

Hearing schedule:

8:30 a.m. ET – House Judiciary Committee (HJC) Hearing

Link to C-SPAN streaming

12:00 p.m. ET – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Hearing

Link to C-SPAN streaming

Who to follow:

https://twitter.com/emptywheel (of course)

https://twitter.com/bmaz (naturally)

https://twitter.com/BarbMcQuade – will be on MSNBC to cover at least one of these hearings

https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman – BuzzFeedNews

https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand – Politico

https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS – CourthouseNews

https://twitter.com/jentaub – (late adder – she’s live tweeting a numbered thread)

Apart from our team, here’s a list containing these and other folks who cover Trump-Russia at https://twitter.com/raynetoday/lists/trump-russia.

According to late Tuesday evening reports, Aaron Zebley, former deputy to Mueller, will be sworn in and appear alongside Mueller during at least one of the House committee hearings. (I see differing reports that Zebley will appear before the Judiciary, Intelligence, or both committees.)

The right-wing/Trump supporters are completely freaking out about Zebley’s appearance, blabbering he “was an attorney for Justin Cooper, the IT staffer who set up #HillaryClinton’s private email server & the aide who destroyed Clinton’s old Blackberry phones with a hammer.” (source on Twitter)

The likely loudest GOP voices on the House Judiciary Committee: Doug Collins (ranking minority member, GA-9); Louis Gohmert (TX-1); Jim Jordan (OH-4); Matt Gaetz (FL-1). If past HJC hearings are predictive, expect lots of hot-headed pontificating and few rational questions. Hard to say who will be the worst of the lot but Gaetz has the foolhardiness of youth and past approval from Trump to goad him on. Jordan will focus on “insufficient evidence” to sow fear,  uncertainty and doubt about the Special Counsel’s report and the investigation.

As for the HPSCI, the GOP’s most problematic participant will be Devin Nunes (CA-22) who is the ranking minority member. He’s been meeting with Trump this week about a replacement for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (who Trump wants to jettison for being too determined to protect the country). At least the explanation offered is Coats’ replacement; it’s possible that Nunes has been meeting with Trump about Mueller’s appearance before the HPSCI.

Content here may be subject to updates.

Again, this post is dedicated to these hearings. Please take any other topics to the open thread.


OPEN THREAD: Everything Else Not about Robert Mueller

[Please check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Though today will probably be nutzo with Mueller hearing content, we need a place to capture everything else going on.

Let me repeat: this is everything else NOT about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel’s Office (SCO) investigation and resulting report which will be addressed in a House Judiciary Committee hearing today.

I’ll kick this off with a few things I’ve had on my desktop. Caution: may contain speculation.

~ ~ ~

This is tangential to the Special Counsel’s investigation, but not a direct part of it.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Nader, who testified before the SCO, may also be prosecuted in New York as well as by the feds in Virginia:

I don’t recommend reading the government’s motion opposing Nader’s release on bond linked in her thread unless you have a strong constitution. I couldn’t stomach it. Judge Leonie Brinkema denied his release, thank goodness.

Nader was indicted last Friday when charges filed in April 2018 related to transporting a minor in 2000 for the purposes of sex and for possession of child pornography were unsealed. The charges had remained sealed while Nader cooperated with the SCO investigation.

He had been arrested in early June at JFK International airport in New York when he returned after complications from heart surgery.

I assume whatever was found at JFK voided any immunity agreement, as well it should.

At some point we need a society-wide discussion about the confluence of men whose proclivities deny consent to those with less power. It’s this issue I want us to address — it’s entwined with the anti-democratic movement.

~ ~ ~

I really hate to think about Alan Dershowitz at all let alone about his sex life. But didn’t anybody notice the weird caveat last week when he spoke about his love life last week Thursday?

“I have had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein. I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during that same period of time. He has an abnormal amount of chutzpah to attack me and challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time …”

This guy can play all kinds of word games, right? He parses like crazy. So why didn’t he say I’ve only had sex with my wife/life partner [insert her name because she’s a human being]?

And yet we know he’s admitted to receiving therapeutic massage at pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s place. Was he prevaricating about the meaning of the word ‘sex’ as Bill Clinton once did?

Not kink shaming sex between consenting adults, but that’s my point — were any these ‘massages’ or not-sex-sex with some other person actually with a non-consenting human? Like a minor?

Really wonder if it would be beneficial to go through the body of Dershowitz’ work with an eye to his opinions with regard to consent by individuals with less power in a given situation.

~ ~ ~

Deutsche Bank (DB) is in a world of hurt. It’s trying to downsize and reorganize in a big fat hurry, expecting to shed as many as 18,000 jobs over the next 2-3 years.

It’s also clients and deposits, hemorrhaging nearly a billion dollars a day after the bank announced it was exiting prime brokerage.

Now DB is trying to shed a problematic client, Jeffrey Epstein, whose accounts are like a mythic hydra. Lop off the known accounts and a bunch more unknown pop up.

DB has submitted Suspicious Activity Reports a number of times on Epstein’s accounts’ transactions; while not all activity triggering a SAR may be illicit, this is Epstein we’re talking about.

Timing is also rather interesting — check this excerpt from the NYT:

In 2015 and 2016, anti-money laundering compliance officers in Deutsche Bank’s offices in New York and Jacksonville, Fla., raised a variety of concerns about the work the bank was doing with Mr. Epstein. The employees were concerned that the bank’s reputation could be harmed if it became public that Mr. Epstein was a client, according to the three people familiar with the relationship.

Huh. What an interesting overlap with the U.S. 2016 campaign season. This, too, was interesting:

In addition, the compliance officers on at least one occasion noticed potentially illegal activity in one of Mr. Epstein’s accounts, including transactions in which money was moving outside the United States, two of the people said. The compliance officers produced a so-called suspicious activity report, but it is unclear whether the report was ever filed with the Treasury Department’s financial-crimes division.

Despite the compliance officers’ misgivings, the bank continued to do extensive business with Mr. Epstein.

What’s the bottleneck? Did corruption inside DB prevent Epstein from being discovered earlier than last fall’s investigative reporting by the Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown? Did any of these banking transactions mirror human trafficking transactions?

Will we ever know or will this all quietly go away?

~ ~ ~

There will be a separate post for the Mueller hearing today. Please take all Mueller hearing related content to that thread, thanks. This is an open thread.


FaceApp and Its Targeted Audience

[NB: Please check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

You may have seen the buzz earlier this week across social media when cellphone users loaded and used a mobile app which applied an aging filter to a selfie photo so users could see a predictive image of their future face.

Except the vain and foolish downloaded an app developed in Russia — an app with the most ridiculous terms of service. More at this Twitter thread by @PrivacyMatters:

The app doesn’t make it easy to find their Terms of Service (TOS) or Privacy Policy, which to me is a red flag.

Russia does not fall under the EU’s Global Data Privacy Regulation, meaning users cannot have expectations of privacy and government oversight protecting their data. Russia ratified the Council of Europe’s Data Protection Convention 108 in 2013 but this appears to be little more than a head fake when Russians have taken Facebook data and used it for adverse micro-targeting against U.S. citizens in 2016. If the convention had been taken seriously, Russia’s government would also have investigated the Internet Research Agency for abusing personal data without users’ consent after the Department of Justice indicted IRA members.

The app’s developers say users’ data isn’t hosted in Russia, clarifying after initial inquiries that only a limited amount of each users’ data was hosted on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud — but how would the average user be able to validate this claim? The question of hosting seems at odds with the developers’ explanation that

The Democratic National Committee issued a warning to 2020 campaigns that FaceApp should not be used and should be removed from devices.

It’s ridiculous that after the DNC was hacked and state election systems breached or targeted by Russia in 2016 that any sentient Democrat working or volunteering for a Democratic candidate’s campaign would be stupid enough to download and use this app, if they even read the TOS. But the  viral popularity of the application and the platforms on which its output was most often shared likely propelled its dispersion even among those who should know better.

Which brings up the app’s targeted audience: younger people who share images frequently in social media.

The app required users’ social media identity; it captured the IMEI address of the device they were using. Imagine being able to TREASUREMAP all these users over the internet and LANs.

Finally, the app captured the users’ image for editing. Imagine this data linked to all of a user’s Facebook data, matched to their DMV records including their photo, validated by phone number if recorded by DMV.

It’d be insanely easy to ‘clone’ these users in both content and in photos and in videos using Deep Fake technology.

It’d be a snap to micro-target them for political messaging and to make threats using manufactured kompromat.

All of this should be particularly worrying since the audience for this application is the youngest voter age groups which are least likely to vote for Trump and the GOP.

And they are the largest portion of the U.S. military. Think of what the FitBit app disclosed to any snoopers watching military bases. How many users who downloaded FaceApp were active duty or their family members?

Imagine FaceApp and all the other social data, public and private, synced with their phone which reveals their physical location. These users are entirely touchable.

There’ve been quite a few rebuttals to those worried about FaceApp; most complain that such concerns are merely Russia-as-boogeyman fearmongering and that U.S. Big Tech and Chinese apps like TikTok are just as bad (or worse) about collecting too much personal data and misusing it without users’ consent. Or they minimize the risk by theorizing the estimated 150 million selfies collected may train a Russian facial recognition app without users’ consent.

Except Europeans can rely on the GDPR for recourse and Americans have recourse through U.S. laws; they can also press for changes in legislation (assuming the obstructive Senate Majority Leader pulls his thumb out of his backside and does something constructive for once).

One other concern not touched upon is that we don’t know what this particular app can do over the long run even if deleted.

Researchers looking at it now may find it is rather inert apart from the invasive collection of personal photos.

But what about future updates? Can this app push malware which can collect other information from users’ devices?

And what about the photos themselves, once captured and stored. Could the developers embed detailed tracking in the images just as Facebook has?

Bottomline: FaceApp is a huge security risk. It may not be the only one but it’s one we know about now.

We need to regulate not only personal data collection but applications which collect data — their developers must be more transparent and upfront with what the app does with data before the app is downloaded.

We also need to work with Big Tech platforms through which apps like FaceApp are downloaded. We’re back to the question whether they’re publishers or utilities and what role they play in enabling dispersion of apps which can be weaponized against users.

And we may need to institute some kind of watchdog to detect risks before they reach the public. Perhaps as part of the regulation of personal data collection a licensing or clearinghouse process should be established before apps are permitted access to the marketplace. Apple has done the best job of the Big Tech so far in policing which apps are permitted in its market. Should gatekeeping for national security interests rest solely on a few corporations, though?

 

This is an open thread.


Three Things: Two USAs and a Bear

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

These things aren’t worth a full post but perhaps they’re worth a brief look. They bugged me when I ran across them — now it’s your turn.

~ 3 ~

The sketchy work former U.S. Attorney and now-former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta did on Jeffrey Epstein’s prosecution — a non-prosecution — looks worse as time goes by and we learn more about Epstein’s recidivism.

(Which really isn’t recidivism since he wasn’t prosecuted by the feds, yes? He continued business as usual unabated.)

But Acosta wasn’t the first U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida under the Bush administration. He replaced Marco Jimenez, conveniently in time to prosecute Jack Abramoff and investigate Jeffrey Epstein.

Jimenez’ departure to return to private practice in June 2005 didn’t draw much attention, though he was one of the relatively few USAs who served less than their full four-year term after appointment by the president. This seems odd given how much scrutiny the U.S. Attorneys received during the Bush administration due to “Gonzales Seven” scandal — the U.S. Attorneys dismissed en masse on December 7, 2006 by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Jimenez wasn’t one of the attorneys summarily fired by Bush.

At the time both Marcy and I had speculated about possible unifying reason(s) why the U.S. Attorneys were terminated. One of them was the possibility some of the USAs were LGBTQ and/or might be sympathetic to LGBTQ targets in prosecutions. Another reason was related to the handling of energy cases like Enron, FERC corridors, fracking, and pipelines.

But it didn’t occur to me that another possible unifying reason was human trafficking.

New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney was fired with the rest of the “Gonzales Seven.”

And Epstein not only had a residence in south Florida but in New Mexico.

What a coincidence.

David Iglesias was the USA for New Mexico until December 2006, succeeded by his assistant Larry Gomez. Gomez never received a nomination by Bush with Senate approval; he served the rest of Bush’s term as acting USA. Iglesias wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times that he believed he and the rest of the “Gonzales Seven” were terminated for political reasons.

Two GOP members of Congress — Representative Heather Wilson and Senator Pete Domenici, both now out of office — had pressed Iglesias to prosecute a corruption case. There had also been pressure to investigate and prosecute voter fraud.

Epstein’s New Mexico ranch is now under investigation.

~ 2 ~

Speaking of New Mexico, I’ve had this squirreled away for a while because I wasn’t certain what to make of it last October.

The acting U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, James Tierney, entered an agreement with the Trump administration in July 2017 about its “zero tolerance” policy pertaining to the El Paso Sector. The program separating children from family members was piloted through New Mexico, beginning there nearly a year before it was rolled out to the rest of the country.

The El Paso Sector should not to be confused with city of El Paso, which is located in Texas. Texas also has four USAs.

Why was the agreement with New Mexico’s USA alone and not with the USAs for all the border states — Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico? Why with an acting USA instead of waiting for a Senate-approved appointee?

Note also that Damon Martinez, appointed by President Obama, was forced out as U.S. Attorney for New Mexico in March 2017. Tierney was the acting USA until Trump nominee John C. Andersen was approved by the Senate in February 2018.

Sure would like to know what the trend is in New Mexico for human trafficking prosecutions.

I hope like hell children separated from their families or unaccompanied haven’t been trafficked out of U.S. concentration camps while the federal government looks the other way.

~ 1 ~

And now back to a tangent related to Epstein, who once worked for now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns before he opened his own financial management services firm.

This is really more of a reminder, I should say: Trump and/or his organization had obtained alternative financing through Bear Stearns, some of which was tied up in the beginning of the 2008 crash.

Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson’s January 2018 testimony before the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence mentioned Trump having had relationship with Bear Stearns:

[SIMPSON]… There’s the Trump vodka business that was earlier. And then ultimately, you know, what we came to realize was that the money was actually coming out of Russia and going into his properties in Florida and New York and Panama and Toronto and these other places.

And what we, you know, gradually begun to understand, which, you know, I suppose I should kick myself for not figuring out earlier, but I don’t know that much about the real estate business, which is I alluded to this earlier, so, you know, by 2003, 2004, Donald Trump was not able to get bank credit for — and if you’re a real estate developer and you can’t get bank loans, you know, you’ve got a problem.

And all these guys, they used leverage like, you know, — so there’s alternative systems of financing, and sometimes it’s — well, there’s a variety of alternative systems of financing. But in any case, you need alternative financing.

One of the things that we now know about how the condo projects were financed is that you have to — you can get credit if you can show that you’ve sold a certain number of units.

So it turns out that, you know, one of the most important things to look at is — this is especially true of the early overseas developments, like Toronto and Panama — you can get credit if you can show that you sold a certain percentage of your units.

And so the real trick is to get people who say they’ve bought those units, and that’s where the Russians are to be found, is in some of those pre-sales, is what they’re called. And that’s how, for instance, in Panama they got the credit of — they got a — Bear Stearns to issue a bond by telling Bear Stearns that they’d sold a bunch of units to a bunch of Russian gangsters.

And, of course, they didn’t put that in the underwriting information, they just said, we’ve sold a bunch of units and here’s who bought them, and that’s how they got the credit. So that’s sort of an example of the alternative financing. … [bold mine, excerpt pages 95-96]

We already know Trump and Epstein were friendly — enough so to party together. Was there some relationship between Epstein’s financial management firm and Trump’s business which might have helped Trump obtain access to Bear Stearns even while Trump was having difficulty getting credit elsewhere?

~ 0 ~

This is an open thread. What little stray things popped up recently that aren’t worth a post by themselves?

Copyright © 2018 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/author/rayne/