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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.

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“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.

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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Trump has rolled out a ‘new scam’ amid internal turmoil over Fauci: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, Greg Sargent takes a look at the Trump's administration's recent walkback of its attempts to undermine its top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after they discovered that it wasn't being received by the public so well.

According to Sargent, President Trump's "new scam" is to present the image that his administration actually respects Fauci's advice while continuing to undermine him behind the scenes.

"What’s really going on here is a kind of two-step, a double game," Sargent writes. "Trump and his advisers want him to reap the political benefits of appearing to harbor general respect for Fauci’s expertise, while simultaneously continuing to undermine Fauci’s actual claims about the threat the novel coronavirus will continue to pose — because those claims badly undermine Trump’s reelection message."

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2020 Election

GOP strategist who wrote party’s 2012 autopsy says she hopes the party loses this year

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Former Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw, who wrote the GOP's so-called "autopsy" after its 2012 election losses, is hoping the party comes crashing down in defeat this fall.

In an email to NPR, Bradshaw conceded that the 2012 election postmortem was "obviously a failure," given that President Donald Trump had taken over the party in 2016 by explicitly ignoring its recommendations about taking a more inclusive approach to immigration reform.

However, she also seemed to think that the GOP's bill for not becoming a more inclusive party had finally come due given its failures to govern through a deadly pandemic that so far has claimed the lives of 137,000 Americans with no end in sight.

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Brutal video targeting moms hits Trump for trying to hurt their children by returning to school in pandemic

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President Donald Trump and Education Sec. Betsy DeVos announced this month that schools must reopen regardless of the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republican leaders have maintained that not being in school is so detrimental to the development of children that parents must risk their lives and the lives of their families, teachers, principals, and other school administration members.

Author Don Winslow posted a video directed at mothers recalling all of the great moments in a child's development from their first words to their first steps and their first days of school.

"Now Donald Trump wants you to abandon your most primal and powerful motherly instinct to protect your child," the video says. "Trump and Betsy DeVos have said children don't get Coronavirus. Tell that to the families of these children who all died from Coronavirus."

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