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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sun 24 Sep , 2017 4:38 am 
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So this is the week when the President ticked off the stars of two major US sports and inspired first-ever protest in the third. How is it even possible?

At least LeBron James supporting his current nemesis Stephen Curry is sufficiently entertaining to distract me from the game of nuclear chicken Trump is playing with North Korea. :(

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sun 24 Sep , 2017 3:14 pm 
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I don't like nuclear chickens. :(



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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sun 24 Sep , 2017 8:42 pm 
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Who's Bill Krystol? Is there a reason his name sounds familiar other than that it is similar to Billy Crystal?

Anyway, his tweet today:

"I expected Trump to damage our government, our politics, conservatism and the Republican Party. But pro football?"

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 25 Sep , 2017 12:32 pm 

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I suspect the only people who like nuclear chickens are the current idiot in the White House and the fools who are blindly supporting him.

btw, I don't have the time or energy right now to follow politics/ news, beyond the occasional roll of the eyes at a new Trump stupidity when I happen to see a few minutes of the news. So if other people want to post the significant things that are being reported on The Hill and elsewhere, but lost in the noise from the network news focusing on whatever is most likely to attract viewers, that would be great.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 25 Sep , 2017 2:20 pm 

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Actually, I think I will pass on a couple of articles I had a chance to read today:

The first is about how Trump's inflammatory remarks about current affairs are unprecedented among U.S. presidents.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/trump-kaepernick-north-korea/540921/
Quote:
Trump's Shocking Recklessness

The president’s latest comments shouldn’t be surprising—but his deliberate inflammation of tense situations is no less stunning

Though, frankly, what else can you expect when the U.S. has elected an elderly, ignorant TV reality show star with a huge ego and no interest in governing well or learning from people who are much smarter than him? At this point, I don't think there's a chance of preserving the presidency as a respected institution unless Mueller manages to expose blatant wrong-doing even the congressional Republicans can't ignore.

The second is about the consequences of Trump and Zinke's attempts to gut national monuments and its consequences for protecting anything in the future. Basically, forget any meaningful, permanent protections under this act if they succeed:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/trump-zinke-recommendations-national-monuments/540843/

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 29 Sep , 2017 10:50 pm 
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To a complete lack of anyone's surprise:

BREAKING: HHS Sect. Tom Price, ardent Obamacare opponent, resigns amidst scandal over using public money for private jet travel.

Hang on. He's the man accused of abusing his position on the Ways and Means Committee for insider stock trading, isn't he.

Yup.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/hhs ... -scrutiny/

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sat 30 Sep , 2017 2:49 pm 

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Thanks, Frelga. :)
I had a few minutes to catch up on news and some people suspect his real flaw, according to Trump's views, is that he didn't magically do away with Obamacare. I doubt if Trump really cares how much of our money his cronies waste, except in that it looks bad to his ardent supporters.


A somewhat related article I was going to pass on today, about Zinke. Not surprisingly, some of Trump's upper level administrators seem to be real jerks in their own right.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/26/zinke-says-a-third-of-interiors-staff-is-disloyal-to-trump-and-promises-huge-changes/

I also saw on The Hill that Zinke has also taken some expensive charter flights at taxpayer expense but is unrepentant. Don't have the link right now.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct , 2017 1:44 pm 

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Just a quick visit to post this article from last week:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/14/epa-will-reconsider-obama-era-safeguards-on-coal-waste/
Quote:
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to reconsider parts of an Obama-era effort to regulate potentially toxic waste known as coal ash, again siding with energy-industry efforts to slow or reverse standards put in place in recent years.

Federal regulators have struggled for several decades with how to address coal ash, the substance that remains when coal is burned in power plants to generate electricity. A toxic mix of mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals, coal ash can pollute waterways, poison wildlife and cause respiratory illness among those living near the massive storage pits plant operators use to contain it.

A rule finalized in 2015 by the Obama administration imposed new standards on coal ash disposal sites by ramping up inspection and monitoring levels and requiring measures such as liners in new waste pits to prevent leaking that could threaten adjacent drinking water supplies.

In May, however, industry officials petitioned the EPA to ask that the new administration revisit the rule.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct , 2017 3:58 pm 
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Well. This is not what I expected to find on a feed of a White House correspondent. From Buzzfeed but the original report came from NBC and CNN.

"Tillerson will not address report that he called Trump a moron. Says I'm not going to deal with "petty nonsense" like that."

That's... not a no.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 10 Oct , 2017 6:17 pm 

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Frelga, I was waiting for a flight last week and happened to glance up at the airport TV. It read: "Trump knew Tillerson called him a moron." I got a chuckle out of that, thinking "Is there anyone alive who hasn't?"

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That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 10 Oct , 2017 6:44 pm 
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Then why is Trump continuing to stand by Tillerson? He's not known for overlooking even imaginary slights.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 11 Oct , 2017 3:33 am 
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Possibly because of the reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made a "suicide pact" where if one is fired the other two would quit.

Mind, his version of "standing by" apparently included challenging Tillerson to an IQ competition.

Mensa offers to host IQ test for Trump and Tillerson

The Hill wrote:
“I think it's fake news,” Trump told [Forbes] of Tillerson’s “moron” remark, “but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."

ITK reached out to the geniuses at Mensa — which describes itself as “an international society whose only qualification for membership is a score in the top 2 percent of the general population on a standardized intelligence test” — and asked if they’d be willing to take Trump’s suggestion.
“American Mensa would be happy to hold a testing session for President Trump and Secretary Tillerson,” said Charles Brown, the group’s communications director.


I keep meaning to start a separate thread titled You Can't -ing Make This Up, but then what would we post in this one?

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 11 Oct , 2017 2:47 pm 

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Especially when we find out that the word "moron" seems an understatement from Tillerson:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354855-trump-wanted-a-massive-expansion-of-the-us-nuclear-arsenal-report
Quote:
President Trump reportedly wanted to expand the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal by a factor of ten, a request that shocked top military officials. ...Officials told the network that they were surprised by the president’s reaction and questioned his understanding of the issue. According to NBC News, officials said they heard Secretary of State Rex Tillerson call the president a “moron” after that meeting.

Quote:
At a July meeting of top military officials, the president indicated that he wanted to dramatically expand the country’s nuclear capabilities...Officials present at the meeting told NBC News that Trump referenced a point when the U.S. had 32,000 nuclear warheads in the late 1960s, and said that he wanted to have that many now. The U.S. currently has 4,000 nuclear warheads, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The officials added that they then explained to the president why such an expansion, which would violate existing treaties and weapons agreements, would not be possible legally, nor in the country’s best interest.


Naturally, Trump is trying to deny this with his usual cries of "fake news!":
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354888-trump-fake-nbc-news-nuke-story-pure-fiction


It's downright scary when we're relying on the military to keep us out of a nuclear war. Here are a couple of articles that might be of interest. The first is a opinion and history piece I bookmarked earlier -it's in the Huffington Post, but by an army captain and former history instructor at West Point.
Quote:
More, more, more.

I was guilty of it myself. Commanding a small cavalry troop of about 85 soldiers in southwest Kandahar Province back in 2011, I certainly wanted and requested more: more troopers, more Special Forces advisers, more Afghan police, more air support, more supplies, more money, more... everything. Like so many others in Afghanistan back then, I wanted whatever resources would protect the guys in my unit and fend off the insurgent threat.

... It’s funny, though, people sometimes ask me now, “What’s really going on in Afghanistan?” .... I mean, the implication is: If you served over there, unlike those (liberal!) pundits and politicians who regularly mouth off on the subject, who would know better? But I’ve learned over the years that what they don’t want to hear is my real answer to such questions, so I rarely bother to tell them that historians, analysts, and thoughtful critics, even ones who haven’t been within thousands of miles of our war zones, probably understand the “big picture” better than most soldiers.

That’s the dirty little secret of America’s wars: despite the omniscient claims of some veterans, most soldiers see their version of war as if gazing through a straw at 30,000 feet. ...


...Which is why civilian control of the military, and of the policymaking process that goes with military action, is not just a constitutional imperative but desirable for thoroughly practical reasons. Which, in turn, is why the makeup of the current administration ― with an unprecedented number of generals in key positions ― raises some serious questions.

He goes on to discuss the times in the past when a sensible president decided to overrule advice by his generals and this turned out to be the right decision (for instance, Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis). This makes it doubly scary that Trump is not someone who seems able to collect opinions from diplomats and other experts, as well as the military, and synthesize those various opinions into a reasonable decision.


The second is by Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA, who is also worried. And when the CIA is worried...
http://thehill.com/opinion/international/354884-hayden-words-matter-and-trumps-may-mean-war
Quote:
It’s pretty amazing what kind of behavior has become normalized around Washington these days. I mean, I don’t remember an earlier period where I was counting on the the leader of North Korea to have enough emotional maturity and geopolitical wisdom to ignore the taunts of an American president.

Really. I don’t remember that.

Quote:
...Even more concerning for me was the president’s not-so-veiled critique of his own military leadership: “Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace.”

The president has a cartoon image in his head that all good generals are aggressively combative field commanders like his hero, the frequently invoked George S. Patton. In reality, I suspect that most of the flag officers in that White House picture more admire another general, George C. Marshall, who was all about the prudent use of American military power only when necessary and only in concert with the other tools of American power and influence.

...So take notice. The president just announced that he is growing weary of their caution.




On a different issue (a more survivable one), the Inspector General's office seems to have its hands full investigating Trump's administration:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354862-inspector-general-launches-second-investigation-into-mnuchin-travel
Quote:
Treasury's inspector general is reportedly launching a second investigation into Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s travel habits after learning of inaccurate information provided by the department.

An official told CNNMoney that the Treasury did not provide an accurate account of Mnuchin’s Aug. 15 trip to New York to meet with President Trump, which cost taxpayers an estimated $25,000.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 13 Oct , 2017 2:32 pm 

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Among all the other news - like Trump ending Obamacare payments and state governors suing him in response, this might be missed. And it could mean that Trump's actions have long term effects on the US, beyond what he's already destroyed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-in-congress-are-about-to-give-trump-even-more-power/2017/10/12/b7cb03d6-aec4-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html
Quote:
For 100 years the Senate has allowed home-state senators to play a central role in approving nominees for federal judgeships in their states. For a judicial nomination to move forward, both senators from a nominee’s state must return a “blue slip” that signals their agreement that that nominee should receive a hearing in the Judiciary Committee.

...Republicans have long been on board with this tradition. In 2009, the entire Republican conference wrote to President Barack Obama, telling him they had to be consulted and would use the blue-slip process to block any nominees from their home states they didn’t approve of.

...If successful, Republicans hope to stack the nation’s courts with young, ideological judges who could radically affect civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights and the ability to check the ever-growing power of corporations over Americans.


This could affect the courts' ability to act as a check on Trump:
Quote:
Removing the only tool that prevents President Trump from choosing anyone he wants to sit on our federal courts could further weaken the judiciary’s ability to serve as an independent check on the executive branch.


The hypocrisy is also worth noting. The GOP blocked many of Obama's nominees with the blue slip rule but now wants to get rid of it, since they're in power. I have plenty of criticisms of Democrats, but at least they supported the blue slip rule when they were in power, even though it hurt them. In other words, they supported bipartisan rule instead of embracing a winner-takes-all mentality.
Quote:
It’s important to consider how we got here. Trump’s ability to reshape our federal courts was made possible by unprecedented obstruction of Obama’s judicial nominees, often through the use of the very blue-slip process that Republicans now want to dispense with.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 16 Oct , 2017 2:02 pm 

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A summary of some of the latest messes. Apparently, even Japan has joined the list of nations uneasy about making deals with the U.S. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/10/16/donald-trumps-appetite-for-half-hearted-destruction/

This struck me as worth repeating, especially in light of Trump's desire to "get a better deal for the U.S." from NAFTA (In translation: "None of the previous U.S politicians, diplomats and negotiators who established NAFTA knew what they were doing, despite decades of experience dealing with other nations. But I, a total novice to politics, am going to get us such a great deal....")
Quote:
TPM’s Josh Marshall has a pretty good summary of where this latest spasm of destruction leaves the Trump administration in world politics. It’s not pretty:

Peer nation-states make agreements with the US in part because we tend to stick to our agreements, even through the change of administrations. The entirety of Trump’s vision of ‘deal-making’ is one in which you bully and cajole and threaten the other party until you get a deal that works for you and not them. That may make sense in the highly shystery world of New York real estate. But in the global order we’re going to be dealing with Germany and France and China and Mexico … well, we’re going to be dealing with them forever.

... international accords or treaties [and passing laws]... require building coalitions and trust because you’ll need to work with the same actors again in the future. You also need to build coalitions of people or nations each of whom think they have something to gain from the effort. … Trump’s idea of business is basically cheating. That doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the law, though Trump does plenty of that. It means making money by trickery and hard dealing in which the other party usually ends up screwed. Those just aren’t the skills that end up being effective for a President.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 5:15 pm 

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The Atlantic asks "what's the real story behind the troops in Niger," which Trump seems to be trying to deflect attention from, with his lies about President Obama not having called the families of soldiers who were killed.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/why-hasnt-trump-addressed-what-happened-in-niger/543054/

They don't actually have any definitive answers for us, unfortunately. But at least they're asking.
Quote:
The broader question, of what the soldiers who were killed were doing and what went wrong, remains unaddressed by the president, and Trump’s jab at other presidents may, unfortunately, help to keep it that way. The Special Forces soldiers were deployed to Niger, as Sanders mentioned, in an advisory role. The government has been spare with details about what they were doing or why troops who were supposedly only working in an advisory and training role would have been out on a patrol where they were ambushed. CNN reported that the ambush occurred as they exited a meeting with local leaders. This is not the first time that U.S. service members have been killed in combat while supposedly not in combat roles. The Obama administration appeared to blur the lines between training and combat for such deployments, and the Niger case raises the possibility that the Trump administration is doing the same.



It looks like some of the US negotiators on NAFTA are presenting demands that are against their better judgement:
http://thehill.com/policy/international/355768-canadian-outlet-trump-nafta-negotiators-dont-like-what-they-are-doing
Quote:
Some U.S. negotiators reportedly appear uncomfortable with the requests they are making in talks regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)."They don't like what they are doing," a source told Canada's CBC News.

There is also confusion about what the U.S. wants from the negotiations, the news outlet reported.

According to CBC, the demands presented by the U.S. delegation came from the Trump administration.



A conservative think tank is criticizing Trump's energy policies:
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/355673-conservative-think-tank-plan-to-help-coal-nuclear-power-arbitrary
Quote:
An analyst for the American Action Forum (AAF) said the proposal, announced this month by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, aims to address a “real problem” with “not the best solution."

Perry’s proposal aims to prop up coal and nuclear plants by mandating higher payments for the electricity they generate, arguing the two power sources are able to store so much of their fuel on site that they help support the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.

But Philip Rossetti, an AAF data analyst, said the plan “does not promote a policy that would necessarily achieve” a more stable electricity system, and instead would “arbitrarily value nuclear and coal power above their market rates.”

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 18 Oct , 2017 1:17 pm 

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A follow-up on the NAFTA negotiations, from a Canadian newspaper:
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/10/10/donald-trumps-outrageous-demands-put-nafta-negotiations-at-risk-of-collapse-as-talks-resume-wednesday-experts-say.html
Quote:
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland declined Tuesday to speculate on the future of NAFTA or discuss Trump directly. But asked at a Washington event about a Republican senator’s claim that Trump’s recklessness threatens “World War III,” Freeland said: “I think that this is probably the most uncertain moment in international relations since the end of the Second World War.”

Canadian officials have brushed off Trump’s rhetoric as negotiating bluster. Experts, however, say his professed disdain for the deal is being reflected in his negotiators’ actions to far — delaying the introduction of important proposals, then putting forth proposals obviously untenable to Canada and Mexico.


Some US interests outside the fringe "alt-right" are also alarmed:
Quote:
The most important American complaint to date came Tuesday from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Republican-leaning business lobby. Speaking in Mexico City, president Thomas Donohue said he had no choice but to “ring the alarm bells” about “unnecessary and unacceptable” proposals from the U.S. side.


The proposals mentioned in the article include a demand that a "hefty" proportion of cars be made in the US itself. Note that this is an agreement that applies to all 3 countries. It isn't a demand to US car manufacturers, by their own government, that they build more cars in the US.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 18 Oct , 2017 5:46 pm 
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Someone commented yesterday that Trump is running the country the way he functioned in the shyster world of New York real estate. It doesn't scale.

Sessions' hearing is well worth following.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 18 Oct , 2017 7:17 pm 

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I think that was "TPM’s Josh Marshall" from the Washington Post article I posted a couple of days ago. :) I'm not 100% sure, but I think TPM might be talkingpointsmemo.com


I wasn't following Sessions testimony. I assume it's on the cable news, and to one of the committees investigating Trump. Anything especially noteworthy?

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 18 Oct , 2017 7:37 pm 
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Seth Abramson has been tweeting about it. He's invested, and a bit heavy on I told you sos, but his facts usually hold up and hid legal opinions seem to be sound.

https://twitter.com/SethAbramson

@ACLU tweets have similar content

Highlights: Sessions was negotiating sanctions policy with Russia during the campaign.

Claims executive privilege in refusing to answer whether he and Trump have discussed the Russia investigation after Sessions recused himself.

Also various Senators are bringing up the DOJ discriminatory and possibly unconstitutional policies, which are worth tracking.

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