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Patrick Leahy calls out Obama administration on terror plots thwarted by NSA spying

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that the Obama administration hadn’t been forthcoming about the effectiveness of its phone surveillance program.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said during a hearing on the continued oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that he worried the White House was still providing incomplete or inaccurate statements about the bulk collection of phone records from communications providers.

“For example, we’ve heard over and over again that 54 terrorist plots have been thwarted by the use of (this program),” Leahy said.

“That’s plainly wrong,” the senator said. “These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted.”

National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander admitted that only 13 of those suspects had access to the United States, and he told the committee that he believed only two of those suspects were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection.

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Leahy scolded Alexander and the administration for providing Americans with false assumptions about the program’s effectiveness.

“We’re told we have to do that to protect us, and the statistics are rolled out that they’re not accurate,” Leahy said. “It doesn’t have the credibility here in the Congress, it doesn’t have the credibility with this chairman and it doesn’t have the credibility with the country.”

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Morning Joe panel brutally dismantles Lindsey Graham for doubling down and backing Trump’s extreme racism

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough was left speechless by Sen. Lindsey Graham's impassioned defense of President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen.

The "Morning Joe" host sat in stunned silence after rolling video of the South Carolina Republican defending Trump's tweets, and doubling down by hurling his own slurs against the first-year lawmakers.

"You call Americans in Congress communists?" Scarborough said, after gathering his thoughts, "and you say they hate America? And then your punch line to that is aim higher?"

Scarborough, who served alongside Graham as a Republican congressman, said the episode was a shameful new low for the veteran lawmaker.

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Storm may force Army Corps to flood thousands of acres of farmland

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The Army Corps of Engineers could flood 130,000 acres of farmland in southeast Missouri by blowing up levees on a floodway on the Mississippi River if the remnants of Barry or other storms this summer dump too much rain.

The Coast Guard has posted plans to halt barge traffic if necessary on the Mississippi from the junction with the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill., to downstream of New Madrid, Mo.

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Last chance for impeachment: Next week Robert Mueller will shape history — but how?

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When Robert Mueller comes to Congress next week to field questions — "answer" is too optimistic — about what he learned in his investigation of Russia and Donald Trump, it’ll be his and our last chance to get it right; to inform the American people of the enormity of Trump’s offenses and our sacred duty to impeach him. If he doesn’t want to, or can’t be made to, we may all say, in unison with Mitch McConnell, “case closed” as all hope of impeachment will have died.

It seemed as if our chance had passed; that due to the misfeasance of Robert Mueller and some Democrats, impeachment was all but dead. Trump’s latest racist tantrum — his noxious series of tweets directed at four progressive Democratic congresswomen — revived it simply by reminding Congress that he is morally unfit to be president of the United States. He is the greatest proved liar in the history of American public life. He runs the most corrupt administration in the history of the American presidency. He helped rig one election and now invites the rigging of another. He not only admits to being a serial sexual predator, but brags about it. But all that we knew.

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